The Mage Leveling Guide


Updated for Warlords of Draenor 6.2

Undead Mage, Firelord GearThere are a fair number of changes to Mages in Warlords. Some abilities were removed and others (Cone of Cold, for example) were restricted (Frost and Arcane.)  Here are all of the  Mage Changes in WoD. Patch 6.2 didn’t change anything important.

Once thing that didn’t change is that Mages can still throw out a lot of damage and make short work of the opposition.

So get out there, kill something, and get to 100. Now.

The WoW Mage: Contents

Other Magery

Mages are a tricky class in which to gauge performance, particularly in leveling speed.  Put a mage with the best gear possible in the hands of an noob and you will have to work a bit.  On the flip-side, with an experienced player behind the class it becomes a pretty efficient leveling machine.

Being a “glass cannon,” especially at earlier levels, you will need to develop some skills in “kiting.” Learning to manipulate multiple mobs is also a nice skill, especially with Fire.

So, that’s why this guide is here to help. In addition to overcoming the hump of what talent build and general progression to follow, I’ll also be covering what statistics you want to aim for to truly maximize efficient damage output.

Buffs and Nerfs: With the various patches, expansions, hotfixes, etc. it’s hard to predict where Mages will be at any given time. Most likely they’ll be throwing out lots of damage, but may or may not top the damage lists in raids. On this page we’ll just focus on how to level your Mage and leave the “Flavor of the Month” info for another time and place.

Super Fast Leveling all the Way to the Cap!Click Here for fast and easy leveling all the way to the cap!

Mage Changes for Warlords of Draenor

The Warlords of Draenor changes are along the lines of ability pruning. Classes have too many abilities, so Blizzard has removed a few. As far as how Mages stack up as killing machines, well, they’re doing just fine. You’re pretty much the same as always, meaning a bit fragile at first, then picking up. Lots of damage at the end-game.

  • A number of ability are being completely removed, others are being restricted to one or another spec.
  • Few new abilities are being added and all of those either replace an existing ability or are passive.
  • You’ll get “Perks” instead of new abilities. Perks are gained at 92+ and are enhancements to existing abilities, such as +20% damage to one ability.
  • New Level 100 talents.
  • Items are being squished. For example, that nice gem from Mists that gave you +160 Int now gives you 10. Enemies are being squished the same way. The end effect should be little change in “feel,” and only a change in the actual numbers.
  • Hit, Expertise, Resilience, PvP Power, and reforging are all dead in Warlords.
  • You have two new stats:
    1. Multistrike: Grants a chance for spells and abilities to fire up to 2 additional times, at 30% effectiveness (both damage and healing.)
    2. Versatility: Increases damage, healing, and absorption done. Reduces damage taken.
  • Other than the above, the mechanics, glyphs, talent system, etc are all unchanged.
  • All of the Mage change details are here.


The Quick Mage Leveling Guide

This is the short version of this guide. There is much more detail below this section. All of this is appropriate for Warlords.

Talents will vary depending on exactly how you’re leveling. If Ferd Gobstomper is carrying you through the dungeons then you don’t need any talents. These picks assume that you’re mainly questing. See below for more detail.

  1. Blazing Speed for the movement
  2. Flameglow because it’s easy, or take Ice Barrier for tougher fights.
  3. Ice Ward if things are chasing you about, Frostjaw if fighting  casters.
  4. Cold Snap for the heal and more uses of useful abilities.
  5. Take your Nova talent, because it hits like a truck.
  6. Incanter’s Flow for general (ease of) use.
  7. Prismatic Crystal has its uses.

Glyphs vary a lot, depending on exactly what you’re doing. See below for our recommendations.

Race: It doesn’t matter much. Note that any racials dealing with Hit or Expertise are gone in WoD. Humans are best if you’re really into PvP, otherwise…

  • Pandarens can be either Horde or Alliance and get better food buffs.
  • Alliance PvE: Draenei (Int & Heal)
  • Alliance PvP: Human (escape, Versatility) or Gnome (mana pool & escape)
  • Horde PvE: Orc (Blood Fury) or Troll (Berserking, beast slaying)
  • Horde PvP: Orc, Troll, or Undead (for the escape & drain life.)

Spec: All specs level just fine. The builds linked to also include glyphs.

Stats and Gear:

  • Stack as much Stamina as you can at low levels
  • After that, Int above all else
  • No Spirit, no Agility, no Strength.
  • If you find direct damage gear (eg: +fire damage for fire mage) then use it.
  • At higher levels
    • Fire likes Crit, a lot.
    • All mages like Haste.

Gems & Enchants:

Keep in mind that you’ll level out of your gear quickly, so only get expensive gems if you’re rich. The highest level enchants can be added to the lowest level item, so go ahead and add Mists or Draenor enchants to your heirlooms.

  • You can sometimes find cheap enchants on the Auction House. Get: Stam, Int, Spellpower.
  • Heirloom gear can take any enchant as of 5.4. Yes, you can put level the 100 enchants on your level 1 items.
  • Note that the Draenor enchants are only for secondary stats and only for rings, neck, cloak, and weapons.
  • All profession “self only” enchants are now gone.

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Race choice for the Leveling Mage

Mists of Pandaria Dwarf MageWith the arrival of the Cataclysm expansion the various classes were opened to more races then ever before. However, the Tauren were left out of Magery, and they still are in Warlords of Draenor. Bovine discrimination?  WoD does not change this.

Really, the best choice for race is to pick the one that fits your game. If you want to get every last bit of efficiency then some choices have advantages as mages. Orcs and Trolls are probably best for raiding, with Draenei being next. For PvP Orc (Enrage & Stun resist) or Human (escape ) though Gnomes & Undead have their uses.

Skill counts for more than race, though. Much more.

In Warlords all abilities that had Hit or Expertise are now gone. Some abilities were added. Now all races have something that adds to their damage.


  • You can stun enemies with a quick strike of your hand. This is a great way to get away from something that’s a bit too close.
  • Rested (as from an Inn) XP is improved for faster leveling. You will literally get XP faster than other races, as long as you’re logging out at an Inn.
  • Increased benefits from food buffs, is a nice perk to have in any aspect of the game.
  • Good at Cooking, naturally, given your race’s love of good food and drink.
  • Bouncy,” so take less falling damage, just in case you don’t cast your Slow Fall.
  • WoD: No Changes


For the Alliance, the Draenei may be best for Raiding (with their +1% to hit chance,) while Humans and Gnomes are best for PvP

  • Human:
    • Good for PvP with their Escape ability. Also allows the use of two “do more damage” trinkets. This ability will have occasional use in PvE and leveling, as well. It’ll break you free of any stun or snag. Nice.
    • Diplomacy is nice if you are going to be gaining faction at any point and since so much past level 60 is a faction grind… Mists of Pandaria and Warlords both introduced even more factions. This will save you some time in getting friendly with them.
    • WoD: The Human Spirit” now increases your versatility (and not Spirit,) so will be useful.
  • Gnome:
    • As is true for Humans, Gnomes have an Escape Artist skill and their small size is not to be scoffed at. It makes them a bit harder to see in the heat of a (PvP) fight and a bit harder on people who click om their targets.
    • Gnomes have an increased mana pool, which is certainly of interest to any caster. This is true even if Mages generally don’t have to be concerned about mana.
    • Engineering skill doesn’t help casting, but that skill can make some nice gadgets which will help. Many of those are fun and several are actually useful, especially in Warlords at level 90+
    • WoD: +1% to Haste
  • Draenei:
    • A small heal (Gift of the Naru) is always handy for a class that has no heals. Also usable on others.
    • Draenei are good at gemcutting and love their bonus to their Jewelcrafting skill.
    • WoD: Your Heroic Presence now Increases your Strength, Agility, and Intellect, instead of adding Hit.
  • Night Elf 
    • Their Shadowmeld ability has its uses while leveling or PvPing, such as lurking in wait for unsuspecting targets. In instances and raids it will drop the aggro you picked up until you unmeld. Hopefully the tank has picked the mob(s) up by then. (Popping out of hiding to blast away has definite PvP value. )
    • Being a bit harder to hit is also occasionally useful while leveling or in PvP.
    • Faster movement while dead is an interesting perk. Hopefully you’re not finding too much use for this ability.
    • WoD: +1% Haste by night, +1% Crit by day.
    • WoD: general movement is 2% faster.
  • Dwarf

    • Stone form is nice in PvP and is of occasional use elsewhere. It washes away bleeds and other effects and also reduces damage by 10%, which is of some benefit in those “Oh Rats!” situations.
    • Dwarves are good with Archeology
    • WoD: Critical strike bonus damage and healing increased by 2%.
  • Worgen (Cataclysm)
    • Can periodically move quickly, which is a generally nice ability for any aspect of the game.
    • Crit chance increased, which is nice, especially for Fire and Frost.
    • Worgen are good with Skinning. This only make sense with those teeth and claws, right?
    • WoD: No changes


For PvE? Troll or Orc
For PvP? Troll or Orc for offense, or Undead for “Will of the Forsaken.”

  • Undead:
    • Will of the Forsaken is a nice PvP ability, but much more situational outside of PvP. Still, there are times when you will have use for this ability.
    • Cannibalize is useful every now and then, especially if you need to heal while in combat or “rub it in” to some player you just killed. It frees up a bag slot that would otherwise carry food.
    • Touch of the Grave is a passive ability that drains life and heals you for a small amount. Any heal is always nice and it does add a bit to your damage numbers.
    • WoD: Underwater breathing is back and it’s now indefinite.
  • Troll:
    • Berserking increases casting speed by 20% for a few seconds. Very nice, drop it into a macro and use it when you need to ‘blow him away.”
    • Beast Slaying is a nice little bonus for leveling as it increases the XP gained from killing beasts.
    • Voodoo shuffle is a help in PvP, but situational elsewhere.
  • Blood Elf:
    • An increase to Enchanting skill is of no direct use, but ‘chanters get some self-only ‘chants which are nice.
    • Arcane Torrent is of little use, since it doesn’t return much mana and the opponent has to be close to you for the silence to work and casters will rarely be that close (though DKs might be…) On the other hand, if you’re bouncing in to drop a Frost Nova then an AT might not be a bad thing to throw in along with it.
    • WoD: +1 to Crit chance
  • Orc:  Big, mean, green… the perfect Mages.
    • Blood Fury adds to spell power as well as attack power. Put it in a macro and use it when you want a burst of damage.
    • No useful mage specific abilities, though the increased resistance to stun does have some general use.
  • Goblin: Terminally cute. And if you go Goblin you’ll get rich, right?
  • Tauren (nope)
    • Bovine discrimination? Racism? General Tauren policy? No mages here. Giant, war-stomping, furry Tauren things can’t be mages at this time.

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Your Mage’s Abilities

At level 10 you get to decide on your specialization (your “spec.”) You get your first talent at level 15. In Mists of Pandaria through Warlords and onward, the talents work like this:

  • In short: You get seven. Pick ’em now.
  • You get them at levels 15, 30, 45, 60,, 75, 90, and 100. Each “tier” has three choices, you get to pick one.
  • Any spec of mage can pick any one talent from any one tier. Notes that some talents are exclusive to one flavor of mage.
  • Talents can be changed like glyphs, one at a time, using one dose of powder/dust/tome that you get from your inscription supply vendor. You can change them at almost anytime. Your trainer can always wipe all of your talents for you. He can also teach you how to have a second specialization.
  • You do not need to see the trainer when you level, you will automatically acquire the new abilities and open up the new talent slots.

Which spec?

  • Any Spec will do just fine for leveling. Frost is generally “best for PvP,” Arcane for dungeons. Fire does well in all areas.
  • Mists of Pandaria changed things, but not so much for just leveling. All mage specs are fine for PvE, while Frost is still the PvP king (though many do Fire and a few do Arcane.) All are fine for leveling.
  • Warlords didn’t change anything significant in that department. Leveling, that is,

Mage Abilities by Specialization

With Mists of Pandaria each spec of Mage got a set of unique abilities that they gain over time. (Only Arcane Mages get Arcane Blast, for example.) These spec abilities are in addition the regular abilities that all mages get.

  • Note: Cone of Cold is Frost and Arcane only, even though the tooltip does not state that. Fire cannot use it.
  • Perks are enhancements to existing abilities. You gain a random (from the list of four) perk at 92, 94, 96, and 98. All are passive.
Arcane Spec Fire Spec Frost Spec
Arcane Blast 10 Pyroblast 10 Frostbolt 7
Arcane Charge 10 Fireball 12 Summon Water Elemental 10
Arcane Barrage 12 Inferno Blast 24 Fingers of Frost 24
Arcane Missiles 24 Critical Mass 36 Icy Veins 36
Slow 36 Scorch 48 Frozen Orb 62
Arcane Power 62 Dragon’s Breath 62 Brain Freeze 77
Mastery: Mana Adept 80 Combustion 77 Mastery: Icicles 80
Mastery: Ignite 80
Arcane Mind: +5% Mastery from all sources, this is your “attuned” stat. Incineration: +5% Crit from all sources, this is your “attuned” stat. 90 Ice Shards gives you +5% Multistrike from all sources.
New in Warlords:

  • Arcane Explosion, lev 18, is now Arcane only.
  • Presence of Mind is no longer a talent, and is now learned only by Arcane Mages (at lev 22.)
  • Evocation is now available only to Arcane Mages.
  • Mage Armor is now a passive effect and is available only to Arcane Mages.
  • Arcane Mind – +5% Mastery from all sources, this is your “attuned” stat.
  • Cone of Cold is Frost and Arcane only


New in Warlords:

  • Scorch is level 22, no longer 48.
  • Molten Armor is now a passive effect and is available only to Fire Mages, at lev 34.
  • Flamestrike is now Fire only, and is learned at level 44.
  • Combustion‘s damage has been increased by 100% and replaces Deep Freeze for Fire Mages.
  • Incineration – +5% Crit from all sources, this is your “attuned” stat.


New in Warlords:

  • Frost Armor is now a passive effect and is available only to Frost Mages.
  • Frostbolt is now level 12
  • Shatter is now available only to Frost Mages, at level 16
  • Ice Lance replaces Fire Blast and is now only available to Frost Mages.
  • Blizzard is now available only to Frost Mages, at lev 52.
  • Deep Freeze is now available only to Frost Mages, at lev 66.
  • Cone of Cold is Frost and Arcane only
  • Ice Shards gives you +5% Multistrike from all sources.


Create and spend arcane charges to build more power and to drive Arcane Barrage. Usually tops of any class and spec in the DPS charts (for raids and such.) And there was much burnination. Crit happy. Chance for free Pyroblasts. Lots of Dots. Chance for free spells, lots of freezing and slowing and shattering. More damage against frozen.


Talents for Mage Leveling

See below the image for descriptions, including Warlords changes that are coming. This build assumes that you are questing, for the most part. Our picks are checked: Best talent

The image shows the Arcane talents, but that only matters for levels 75 and 100. The markups should be clear.

Mage Leveling Talents in Warlords of Draenor

Level 15 Talents:

  1. Avoid effects: Evanesce – Avoid all attacks for three seconds and replaces your Ice Block. It does not remove any effects that are already on you, such as periodic effects (DOTs.)
  2. Best talent Extra movement: Blazing Speed is fine for PvP, or wherever a burst of speed is needed. Note that it only lasts 1 second and has a 25 second cooldown. Nice for burst movement in dungeons. Not a travel talent, but it will help you escape from stuff. It saves your blinks and adds another movement ability.
  3. Cast while moving: Ice Floes isn’t much use while leveling, but it might have use in scenarios which involve a lot of movement. Those are mostly after you hit level 100.

Level 30 Talents

  1. Instant… something: Alter Time – Reset up to the last ten seconds of time. Does not replay your buffs or effects, it will only move you in position and/or wash away that last (up to) ten seconds of damage.
  2. Passive dmg reduction: Flameglow stays up and knocks a bit off of all incoming damage. Useful if you’re taking constant damage, which you generally won’t be while leveling. It’s a good pick if you’re dungeoning, since it just stays up and deflects enough damage to be useful. It’s also one less button to push.
  3. Best talent Shield:  Ice Barrier – Instantly shields you, absorbing some damage and lasting for 1 min. While the shield holds, spellcasting will not be delayed by damage. Keep this up, it’s a pretty nice spell.

Level 45 Talents

Note that in WoD: Shatter is Frost only

All of these are nice talents, “the best” is a tough choice, though Ice Ward is probably best for questing.

  1. Area freeze: Ring of Frost – Summons a Ring of Frost at the target location. Enemies entering the ring will become frozen. Cast this, then start blasting. Enemies will run into it and freeze and you’ll Shatter them. Terrific for bottle-necking areas, such as cave tunnels or bridges. 2 second cast time.  While questing you set off ROF, zap a mob, he and his buddies come running across the ROF, freeze, and you pick them off.
  2. Best talent Passive melee Freeze:  Ice Ward – Places an Ice Ward on a friendly target (or yourself.) When an enemy strikes the target, all nearby enemies within will become frozen in place for a few seconds. Nice if you like to kite things and do the “run and gun,” which you will often be doing anyway. Note that it fires off a Frost Nova even if you take one of the level 75 “Nova” talents, all of which “replace” Frost Nova.
  3. Let There Be Silence! Frostjaw – Silences and freezes the target in place for a few seconds. Lasts half as long versus Player targets. Nice for setting up shatters, if you’re Frost. Pick your target, freeze it, drop your long cast time spell and get the bonus shatter damage and follow up with a second, faster cast.

Level 60 Talents

  1. Drop everything: Greater Invisibility – Instantly makes the caster invisible, reducing all threat, and removing two damage over time effects. While invisible, you are untargetable by enemies. Lasts 20 sec. Useful as an escape or to sneak past enemies. Nice in PvP or in dungeons where the tank loses things.
  2. “One Shot” avoidance: Cauterize – An attack which would otherwise kill you will instead bring you to 35% of your maximum health, and you will burn for 28% of your maximum health over the next 6 sec. Nice when you face stuff that can kill you with one or two shots. You won’t see much of that while leveling.
  3. Best talent More Spells: Cold Snap – Finishes the cooldown of your Ice Block, Frost Nova, and another spell depending on your spec. It also instantly restores 22% of your health. This spell is usable while stunned, frozen, incapacitated, feared or asleep, and is not on the global cooldown. Very nice survival spell. This one is the most generally useful for leveling.

Level 75 Talents

In WoD: all the bombs are moved into the first talent and each spec gets its own bomb; Living Bomb becomes Fire only, for example.

  1. Set up us the Bomb:
    • Arcane: Nether Tempest – Damage to the target over 12 seconds, plus damage to all enemies within 12 yards.
    • Fire: Living Bomb – fire damage over 12 seconds, exploding at the end.
    • Frost: Frost Bomb on the target for 12 seconds. Your Ice Lances will cause a pulse that damages both the target and nearby enemies. Note that Frost Bomb does no damage unless you’re hitting it with those Ice Lances.
  2. Passive: Unstable Magic (all specs:) Your main bolts (Arcane, fireball, frost, and frostfire) all have a chance to explode on impact, doing more damage to the primary target and spreading to nearby targets.
  3. Best talent Runaway truck:  #3 varies by spec, as with the bombs, all are instant, damage enemies within 8 years, and have two charges on a 25 second recharge. All hit like a runaway truck.
    1. Arcane: Supernova. Blow up enemy target, knocking all nearby opponents upwards.
    2. Fire: Blast Wave. Blow up enemy target, slowing all nearby enemies.
    3. Frost: Ice Nova. Blow up enemy target and freeze all nearby targets for 2 seconds. Fire them off back to back and the second shot gets the Shatter effect from the freeze (of the first shot.)

Level 90 Talents

Depends on what you’re doing. The first requires a bit of “set up” time, the second to stay in roughly the same place for the whole fight, the last if you need to move and you’re taking damage (such as in PvP.)

  1. Burst: Mirror Image – this is the same as the original ability. You summon up three copies of you which then start blasting away. Massively buffed over the original spell, this is a very nice burst cooldown.
  2. Stand and blast: Rune of Power – Replaces Evocation. Places a Rune of Power on the ground for 1 min. While standing in (or within 8 yards in 5.4) your own Rune of Power, your mana regeneration is increased by 100% and your spell damage is increased by 15%. Only 2 Runes of Power can be placed at one time. Great for fights where little movement is required. Drop runes and blast away. Better for blasting dungeon bosses than for leveling.
  3. Constant buff: Incanter’s Flow – You have a ten second cycle, five seconds to a peak of +20% damage, then 5 to drop to +4%, then repeat. The cycle continues until stopped. Launch a Pyro blast proc (or similar) and a couple of Novas at the top flow and that’s a lot of damage. You can constantly move, as Flow is a passive ability. This is the way to go is staying in one place is not really an option.

Level 100 Talents

Gratz on 100! Pick whichever seems to fit your style. They’re all good.

  • Talent #1 is….
  • Prismatic Crystal – All specs – puts a crystal at the targeted location. Only you can attack it and it takes 130% damage from your attacks. Any time it takes damage it instantly releases that damage, splitting it evenly among all enemies within 8 yards. This makes your single target attacks into area attacks. The only issue is that your targets have to stay put, which is sometimes an issue. Against a single target you’ll be doing +30% damage while the crystal is up, so it’s great for burst.
  • Talent #3 is…
    • Arcane gets“Arcane Orb: Your Arcane Orb travels up to 40 yards doing damage to everything it passes through and it generates an Arcane Charge every time it does damage.
    • Fire gets Meteor: Drops a fraggin’ meteor!! Doing damage to an 8 yard area, also burning the ground doing continuous damage to all who remain in the fire.
    • Frost gets Comet Storm: Comets! 7 icy comets bombard the target area, each damaging all enemies withing 4 yards of the impact point.


Mage Leveling Glyphs

You get a total of 6 glyphs, 3 major and 3 minor, at level 75. You can learn all of them and swap them in and out as necessary. As with the talents the glyphs are easily swapped. You just need a dose of Vanishing Powder (or similar) from your reagents vendor.

New to Warlords is that your will be automatically learning several glyphs, just as you do with your other abilities. You still have to install them, you just won’t have to buy them.

Mage Glyphs, Major

This is where all your major mods come from. depending on which spec you choose there are other glyphs which can be useful.




Minor Mage glyphs

There are pretty much just cosmetic, but a couple have some utility.

  1. Glyph of Momentum – ever wish you could keep facing something and blink sideways? Now you can.
  2. Rapid Teleportation – Teleport somewhere and then move quickly for a minute.
  3. Illusion – look like someone else for two min.
  4. Conjure Familiar – Conjures a Familiar Stone containing your beastie.

Blast through the levels to 90

Click here and Get Leveled Fast, Even in Warlords of Draenor


Stats for the Leveling Mage

In short: ( ‘>’ = “greater than.” 

  1. Int > all
  2. Stamina
  3. Crit and more crit for Fire
  4. Otherwise: Spellpower and Haste.

In Warlords …

  • Int does not add to Crit chance, but you do start with a base 5%.
  • Your Hit, expertise, resilience, and reforging are all gone.
  • You have two new stats: Multistrike and Versatility.

You also have an Attuned stat. This is the stat that Bliz feels is “best” for your spec. Depending on exactly how you do things you may prefer something else, but the attuned stat is a good start and you’ll get +5% of it anyway. These start at level 90+.

Your Attuned Stats Are:

The most important statistics for any levelng mage are intellect and stamina. These two stats improve two things that no mage is ever satisfied with: health and power.  Thankfully, it’s easy (at low level) to find cloth armor pieces that contain at least one, and often both, of these stats in ample levels. Higher level gear will, of course, always have those two stats.

Primary Stats

Int and Stam, nothing else matters.

  • Your Int determines your Spellpower, and influences your Crit Rating, but not your mana pool. Int is, by far, you most important stat, for any flavor of mage (and any caster.)
  • Stamina – you need enough to stay alive. Pile it on at low levels until you’re happy with your life expectancy.
  • Strength? For what? To hold up a heavy staff? Skip it.
  • Same for Agility.
  • Spirit, with 4.0 and later, has pretty much zero use for mages. Avoid it.

Secondary Stats –

  • Do not sacrifice Int to get any of these stats and don’t worry about them much while leveling
  • Spellpower doesn’t appear much on gear until the high end, and even then it’s pretty much only on trinkets and some enchants. Nice when you can get it, it’s second only to Int for all specs.
    • Some early gear has Fire/Frost/Arcane damage as a stat. This is good stuff.
  • Crit rating – Crit is very important for fire mages since you will get free Pyroblast procs after two consecutive crits with direct damage fire attacks. Crit is less important, though still nice, for the other Mage specs.
  • Haste – Another stat appearing mostly at the high end of the level range. Good for all mages, better for Arcane and Frost.
  • Lev 80+: Mastery – This stat appears at level 80 and it improves some aspect of what you do. It’s not necessarily your best stat.
  • Lev 90+: Multistrike is one of the new stats. It gives you a chance to get one or two additional strikes at 30% effect.
  • Lev 90+: Versatility adds to your damage and also to your damage reduction.



Buffs, Armor, etc.

Early on you will have to rely on foods and potions/flasks/elixirs for any buffs.

Armor Spells

All are passive and each is only for one spec of Mage.

  • Molten Armor, at level 34, Fire only, increases your crit and reduces the damage you take.
  • Frost Armor, level 54, Frost only, more Haste and enemies that strike you are slowed.
  • Mage Armor, level 80, Arcane only, Increases Mastery and reduces the damage of spells that come your way.

Buffing Spells

The better buffed you are the faster your leveling will go. Keep your Armor and Int spells up along with any other buffs appropriate to the situation.

Foods of certain types buff your Stamina at low levels and other stats at higher levels. Get cooking or keep an eye on the Auction House for interesting foods. Check for current recipes appropriate to your level. Also, prices and availablility on the AH vary wildly, so keep that in mind when shopping.

Scrolls add to your Stam or Int and are generally very cheap to buy, but with 4.0 they are now considered “battle elixers” and won’t stack with other battle elixers or potions. So buy a bunch of the Auction House or talk to your friendly, neighborhood Inscription expert.

Potions can add to various stats as well as recover health and/or mana. Consider Herbalism and Alchemy to keep yourself in Pots as you level.

You can find Flasks of “more Int” on the Auction House or from an Alchemist. Use them if you have the gold. They’re often pretty cheap (not always.)

Quest Rewards – Every now and then (it’s rare) a quest reward will provide a buff or buffing item. Use these to good effect.


Gems, Enchants, Gear

You won’t see socketed gear very often, if at all, until 60+. If you have the gold to buy gems then stick to Int gems, otherwise skip them. If you’re gemming high end gear then be aware that Mists of Pandaria gems and enchants are much better that the Cataclysm versions. The gems require item level 417 gear, while enchants require iLevel 372 gear. You can hit 85, buy or make your iLevel 377 PvP set and enchant it with the new enchants (if you’re rich.)

You can sometimes find Mists of Pandaria blues at level 81, with an iLevel of 417. It generally does not come with gem slots, though.

Some enchants are handy, but they can be very expensive. How much gold do you have? At lower levels I look for really cheap enchants. Buying the expensive ones is pointless when you will be out of that gear soon.

If you are PvPing in competitive BGs then some enchants, especially Stamina, can be desireable.

If you need the gold to guy this stuff, or the gear below, check out Tycoon.

Gearing up

  • From day 1 you want gear with Intelligence. If it also has Stam, then great.
  • At all levels you will find better gear on the Auction House than you will be questing. Even in the dungeons you have to be lucky to get the right gear and really lucky to get a full set.
  • If you can stand to run through a few battlegrounds before level 70, enough to accumulate about 2k honor points, you will be able to pick up the epic PvP set at level 70 from the legacy arena vendors, such as Blazik.
  • At 81 put your better heirlooms back on. Mists of Pandiria gear is available for level 81s, so keep an eye on the Auction House.
  • At 85 you can get iLevel 450 gear on the AH. If you’re lucky, and rich, you might get a full set, which will make your journey through Pandaria that much easier.
  • Vendors scattered around the Pandaria zones sell complete sets of green gear (starting at iLevel 377 or so) for any class and spec. And they sell it for very little money. This is an inexpensive way to get some decent gear.
  • At 90 (Congratulations) you can buy a crafted PvP set or collect Timeless isle tokens for 496 gear. This will get you started on your 90-100 leveling in warlords.
  • 91+ – If you have way too much gold there are item level 640 crafted items available the require only level 91. The armor pieces can be upgraded to 715 and the weapons to 705 (in patch 6.2.) These items can be crafted or bought, as can the pieces to upgrade them. The upgrades will cost far more than the original item.
  • Otherwise look for rares and WoD treasures, which will sometimes have nice gear. The Handy Notes addon will help you find both. It also works for Mists of Pandaria.
  • 100 – Congratulations!

Go to => TopQuick GuideRaceFireFrostArcaneStatsOtherLevel Faster


How to Kill Stuff (Your “Rotation”)

Scroll down a bit for “how to” videos.

Up to level 10:

  • Spam Frostfire Bolt until the enemy dies. FF Bolt’s slow will help keep them away. Try to be at max range when you attack.
  • Frost Nova comes very early. Lock up anything that gets too close, move away. Fire.
  • Fire Blast does decent damage, but has a longish cooldown, so you can’t spam it.

That routine will, more or less, be what you do until top levels. Locking down your opponent buys you time to blast away.

  • Frost nova and blink will help keep you out of range.
  • At some point you will start getting “procs.” Such as Pyroblast!. These procs allow you to instantly fire off an ability. Use them as they pop up.
  • Frost mages will get their pet at level ten. This will add to your overall damage, give you an extra freeze, and take a bit of pressure off you.

In Warlords only the Frost spec will have Shatter. It’s recommended that you abuse this. Freeze the enemy every chance you can, then blast away.

Fire lives off the Pyro crits. Get a crit, use Fire Blast to get the proc, fire away. With your low crit rating you won’t see them too often, but they will happen.

Keep in mind that you’re squishy, have few defenses, and little “burst” at low levels. PvP will likely be painful, except maybe for skillfully played Frost.

Set yourself up, pick your targets, pay attention to other mobs on the area, and you’ll do fine.

Rotation Videos

While these are aimed at level 100 characters, or characters boosted to 90, there is a lot that lower levels can use. They’re also oriented towards raids and/or tough targets. Just take what your level will let your use.

A couple of definitions that you might need to know:

  • Pre-pot or pre-potting – This has nothing to do with gardening or smoking. It’s taking your Draenic Int potion slightly before the fight starts, so that you can do another at some point during the fight. Normally you can only do one potion per fight, this lets you do two. Lower levels fighting tough opponents and use similar potions.
  • DPS macro – a macro that has your various buffs in it, so you can fire them all off with one click. For example, one macro that uses your troll/orc buff, your Arcane Power buff, plus your “on use” trinket buff, and any other “use me now” buffs that you might have, such as that Int potion.

Arcane Mage Awesomeness

Fire Mage Bunination

Frost Freezing



Leveling Tips for the Mage

The general routine is this: Keep the opposition at maximum range wherever possible and blast away. Use Frost Nova or Ring of Frost or Frostjaw when the mob gets too close. Blink, get some range and blast away to get that Shatter effect (if you’re Frost.)

  • Always log out at an inn, to get that 2x “rest XP.”
  • Pick your fights. If something to a bit tough then back down a level or two on the opposition.
  • Learn your abilities and their limitations. For example, Frost Nova is not ranged.
  • Bind your abilities to your keyboard. (Here’s a starter if you don’t know how.)
  • Macros can also be useful. Here’s our “How to Macro” post.
  • Guilds will often be happy to help, offer advice and tips, answer questions, and so on. Especially if they’re “leveling” guilds. Just ask around if you need to, it should be pretty easy to find a guild and help.
  • Some heirloom items come with +5 or 10% XP and you can get +25% total. If you only get a couple of heirlooms get these first.
  • Keep your buffs up: Potions, flasks,
  • Get a guide to show you the way.
  • Herbalism and mining both award XP each time you use a node, generally more than you’ll get by killing mobs.

If you’re 90+ and Questing:

You can buy +20% XP potions from your Garrison vendor: Excess Potion of Accelerated Learning

Some areas on in draenor are bonus areas. Do the quests there and get a nice bit of XP and gold (about 4 normal quests worth.) If you have HandyNotes (from Curse) they’ll be marked on your minimap.

Some of your garrison missions award XP and you get rest XP when logging out from your garrison. .

Questing anywhere

Gather as many quests in one area as you can, do the local ones first, hand ’em in. Save the ones that take you somewhere else for later.


You can start doing random dungeons from level 15. You’ll queue as “Damage.” Once in the dungeon find the tank and follow him around the place. Kill lots, get decent XP.

If you’re sharp and well geared you may be able to solo some of these dungeons.


You have the battlegrounds and skirmishes to build XP and honor. Of course, you get a lot more if you win. At low level that will be challenging. The better your own skills the better your team’s chances. Skill-capped can help with that.

If you’re partnering with someone then use your headset and mic and Skype/Teamspeak/etc. for better communication.

More leveling Notes

Also see our Top Ten Ways to get Leveled Faster post.

Something to show you the way as you level, where to go and what to do, helps alot.

Food – Keep well stocked. Regular foods are great if you need to recover a lot of HP. Beverages keep your mana up. Your Create Water & Create Food are free, use them. You can usually find beverages that will recover more mana than the spell in certain level ranges, so grab those when appropriate, but again… the spell is free. :)

First Aid – An essential skill (too bad there isn’t a “first aid for Mana.”) Keep this skill maxed. Draenor 1st Aid will let you make some nice healing potions, much better than bandages, in my opinion.

Crafting– skip the crafting professions unless you have a ton of cash. If you want to go for it, and you don’t need to gather stuff to sell, then there are a couple of good combiniations:

  • Herbalism and Alchemy – You’ll be able to create lots of very useful potions with the stuff that you gather, this keeps your costs way down.
  • Skinning and Mining (or Herbalism) -is a great money making combo. Builds Stam and Crit rating, too.
  • Tailoring and Enchanting – Enchanting is very expensive to level. You can use it here, though, to disenchant many of the surplus items that you make with tailoring. The mats created will sell for more than the items. Or save the mats and use them for the enchants. By the way, some clothing items sell for nice prices.

Gear – Stam, stam, and more stam. At least until 20 something. Get the biggest bags you can afford. Carry plenty of food and bandaids and beverages. Once your survival isn’t an issue start stacking as much Int as you can.

Bank alt– make a bank alt so you can mail your stuff and get back to leveling. Yes, you can ‘port to the city, but ‘porting back to your leveling area isn’t quite so easy.

Develop eyes in the back of your head, especially on PvP servers. It’s not that you can’t do damage up close, it’s that you can’t take it. See what’s coming before it surprises you and Learn to love the Frost Nova and Blink combo, especially when sneaky things are about.


Get Your Mage Leveled, the Fast Way

Zygor leveling guidesOnce you have the right build for your Mage consider a full blown Mage Leveling Guide for the most effective (fastest) leveling. Why? With thousands of quests and a million mobs to grind the trip to the top level can take a while. A long while. Grab an in-game leveling guide and you’re make that looong leveling patch a whole lot easier.

Start from any level and use Zygor’s to blast to the finish. Heck, you can even grab a few levels in the dungeons and/or battleground PvP. Dugi’s guide will figure out your new level and the best spot to continue your questing. Boosting to 90? Use Zygor to finish off those next ten and get your Draenor Loremaster achievement (which is part of the requirement to unlock Draenor Flying.)

Pick your starting point and the guide will show you where to go and what to do. It automatically updates and advances as you complete tasks and quests, sets a waypoint arrow automatically (always showing you where to go next,) and includes all the important quest info. You will probably never need to look at your quest log again, much less stop mid-play to browse some website.

Note: Zygor’s is fully ready for all new patches and expansions, it’ll never be obsolete. Go with Zygor now and beat all your friends to the level cap.


Related pages and Stuff


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