Warlords of Draenor officially landed on Nov. 13, 2014 and is now up to patch 6.1.2.
The idea behind the changes is generally this: Bliz feels that button bloat (too many abilities on the action bars) has gotten unmanageable for most, so is working to trim that. What that means for your Mage is that some abilities are going away and other are changing in one way or another.
Also, Crowd Control has gotten a bit out of hand, in their view. Some of the various changes being made will reflect that view.
Will your Mage still be recognizable? Yes, just a bit streamlines. Read on and tell us what you think.
Skip to: Patch 6.1 — Stats — Abilities — Talents — Glyphs — Perks
The Mage Changes in 6.1
- Level 15: Evanesce should now provide protection against many more effects, and function more consistently. Perhaps this means someone will actually take the talent?
- Level 30: Alter Time now has a 1-minute cooldown (down from 1.5 minutes.) It still only resets position and health.
- Level 75: Ice Nova (Frost) now roots the target instead of stunning them, but the root is no longer affected by diminishing returns.
- Level 90: Mirror Image copies of Frost Mages now deals 15% less damage withFrostbolt.
- Level 100: Comet Storm (Frost) damage has increased by 94% but deals 33.3% less damage in PvP combat.
- Presence of Mind (Arcane only) can now be applied to Polymorph spells.
- Fireball now replaces Frostfire Bolt for Fire Mages.
- Deep Freeze‘s stun effect now always breaks on damage from Ice Lance or Ice Nova, but no longer has a chance to break from other damage sources.
- Glyph of Frostfire Bolt has been replaced with Glyph of Ignite, which causesMastery: Ignite to also reduce the target’s movement speed by 40%.
- Glyph of Splitting Ice effect can now hit targets up to 60% further away from the primary target, but no longer ignores crowd-controlled targets.
- Tier-17 4-piece bonus for Fire Mages is now approximately 0.7 procs per minute (downfrom 1 proc per minute.)
- PvP 2-piece set bonus for Frost Mages has been redesigned. Cone of Cold now leaves behind a patch of ice on the target area slowing any enemies caught within it by 50% for 6 seconds.
- PvP 4-piece set bonus for Frost Mages has been redesigned to increase Frostboltdamage by 30% against unsnared targets, and increases Frostbolt damage by 50% against snared targets.
Everything past this point are the original Warlords changes, Patch 6.0
Changes to Your Stats and Such
There are a number of general changes which will affect all mages. (Changes to the individual specs are listed below.)
- Intellect no longer provides an increased chance to critically strike with spells. The base chance to critically strike is now 5% for all classes. There are no longer different chances to critically strike with melee, ranged, and spells. For Fire, especially, this will devalue Int a bit.
- Hit and Expertise has been removed completely. Any abilities, gear, racials, or gadgets that provided either stat will now provide other stats instead. For example, the Draenei +1% Hit racial will pride an Int boost.
- Your Spell Power now affects the entire damage throughput of your spells, rather than being somewhat less consistently applied.
Stat “Attuning” is something that Blizzard has decided to apply as a small boost to all characters. Every spec of every class has a secondary stat that is best for that class’s damage/healing “throughput.” This will give you an idea of where to stack appropriate stats, when possible to do so (eg: Gems.) For Mages, these are the appropriate stats:
- Arcane: Mastery
- Fire: Critical Strike
- Frost: Multistrike – this stat gives you a change to fire off additional copies of your strike, though at greatly reduced power.
Mage Changes for Abilities in WoD
The intent of Blizzard is basically to clean up the mess of too many abilities, too many buttons, and too much similarity between specs. To that extent they’re going to be shuffling a few things around.
There are also various talent changes, in addition to the new ones. Scroll down to see all the coming changes.
Dead and Gone (Forever?)
- Conjure Mana Gem has been removed. I guess it seemed redundant since Mages don’t usually have mana issues. Arcane will still have Evocation, though.
- Pyromaniac has been removed, but check the Perks, below.
- Improved Counterspell has been removed.
- Conjured Refreshments now restores 100% health and Mana over 20 seconds, regardless of level.
- Amplify Magic, a new spell available to Mages, amplifies the effects of helpful magic, increasing all healing received by 12% for all party and raid members within 100 yards, and lasts 6 seconds with a 2-minute cooldown. This should be pretty handy in certain situations.
- Polymorph variants except for Polymorph: Sheep are now all learned as spells and grouped in a flyout on the Spellbook instead of being a Minor Glyph that alters the visuals of Polymorph: Sheep.
- Cone of Cold’s cooldown has been increased to 12 seconds (up from 10 seconds.)
- Deep Freeze is now available only to Frost Mages.
- Frost Nova’s cooldown has been increased to 30 seconds (up from 25 seconds.)
- Ice Ward’s Frozen effect now shares Diminishing Returns with all other Root effects.
- Presence of Mind is now Arcane only and can no longer turn Polymorph into an instant-cast spell.
- The Temporal Shield talent has been removed and replaced by Alter Time.
- The talents Incanter’s Ward and Invocation are replaced and are dead.
- Arcane Blast‘s cast time has been increased to 2.25 seconds (up from 2 seconds), damage has been increased by 12.5% to compensate. This was done to allow more Haste effects to apply.
- Arcane Charges now last 15 seconds (up from 10 seconds,) to aid in questing and encounters.
- Arcane Barrage replaces Fire Blast for Arcane Mages. You never used FB anyway, right?
- Arcane Blast now replaces Frostfire Bolt for Arcane Mages.
- Arcane Explosion is now available only to Arcane Mages, making it a bit harder for other Mages to slaughter mass quantities of lower level dungeon trash.
- Evocation is now available only to Arcane Mages.
- Mage Armor is now a passive effect and is available only to Arcane Mages.
- Flamestrike is now available only to Fire Mages.
- Molten Armor is now a passive effect and is available only to Fire Mages.
- Combustion no longer deals direct damage or stuns. It just adds another DOT based on your Ignite.
- Combustion‘s damage has been increased by 100% and replaces Deep Freeze for Fire Mages.
- Ignite now deals the same total damage with a 1 second period (down from 2 seconds). Base duration changed to 5 seconds so that duration when refreshed remains 6 seconds. Stacking Ignites is now possible.
- Dragon’s Breath now replaces Cone of Cold for Fire Mages and the disoriented effect now shares Diminishing Returns with all other Mesmerize effects.
- Glyph of Frostfire Bolt is now available only to Fire Mages.
Bliz likes the idea of Frost being viable in PvE so theyplan on keeping that. They do, however, want to clean things up a bit. Some of these changes, such as to Shatter, now allow yu to effectively gain more Haste & Crit on your gear (without it being worthless.)
With the changes to the level 75 talents (see below) you might choose not have a Bomb, so they made some changes to compensate, one being how Brain Freeze triggers.
- Blizzard is now available only to Frost Mages.
- Ice Lance replaces Fire Blast and is now only available to Frost Mages.
- Ice Lance’s base damage has been increased by 100%, since you no longer have access to Fire Blast, but its damage multiplier against frozen targets has been reduced by 50% (it’s now 2x instead of 4x.)
- Shatter is now available only to Frost Mages (My Fire Mage cries…) and it now multiplies Critical Strike chance by 1.5 (down from 2.)
- Frost Armor is now a passive effect and is available only to Frost Mages. It will increase your Multistrike chance (8% MS instead of 7% Haste) and slows enemies who hit you in melee.
- The Brain Freeze effect now increases Frostfire Bolt‘s damage by 25%, and can now stack up to 2 times. It also no longer triggers from the Bomb Talents, and instead has a 10% chance to trigger from Frostbolt casts. Each Multistrike of Frostbolt increases that cast’s chance by an additional 25%. (Total of 60% on double-Multistrikes).
- Deep Freeze is now available only to Frost Mages, plus it can now be broken by damage (by the same amount as Frost Nova.)
- Glyph of Icy Veins now causes Icy Veins to provide 35% chance to Multistrike instead of 20% Haste.
New Mage Changes for Talents
The Mage changes for talents are a bit more extensive the some other classes. Some abilities, such as Alter Time, are now talents and there are a few more changes. Note that all of these might well change a lot between now and the Warlords launch.
Level 15 Talents:
- Ice Floes no longer has a restriction on base cast or channel times for spells (formerly only worked on spells with a base cast or channel time of less than 4 seconds.)
- Evanesce is a new Talent available at level 15 and causes the Mage to fade into the nether, avoiding all attacks for 3 seconds. This spell has a 45-second cooldown, replaces Ice Block, is not on global cooldown, and may be cast while a cast-time spell is in progress. Evanesce replaces Presence of mind, which is now a level 22 Arcane only ability.
Level 30 Talents:
- Alter Time is now a level-30 Talent, replacing Temporal Shield. Alter Time now lasts for 15 seconds (up from 6 seconds), has a 90-second cooldown (down from 3 minutes), and no longer affects the Mage’s mana, buffs, or debuffs.
Level 45 Talents:
- Ice Ward was changed to make it more competitive with the rest of its talent row. Ice Ward now causes the next 3 attackers (up from 1) to trigger a Frost Nova.
Level 60 Talents:
- Cold Snap now also resets the cooldown of Presence of Mind, Dragon’s Breath, and Evanesce.
Level 75 Talents:
- Nether Tempest, Living Bomb, and Frost Bomb now all share the left-talent slot and is available based on the Mage’s specialization.
- Frost Bomb has been redesigned. It now lasts 12 seconds, has no cooldown, and explodes every time the target is hit by the Mage’s Ice Lance while frozen. The damage dealt per explosion has been reduced by 75% to compensate.
- Living Bomb can once again be applied to multiple targets, can be spread by Inferno Blast, and has a 1.5-second cooldown. More of its damage has been moved into its explosion.
- Nether Tempest can now only be on 1 target at a time (down from unlimited), but its secondary damage now hits all targets in range (up from only 1), deals 100% of the primary damage (up from 50%), and its damage can now be increased by Arcane Charges.
- Unstable Magic is a new Talent which causes your Arcane Blast, Fireball, and Frostbolt have a chance to explode on impact, dealing an additional 50% damage to the target, and all other enemies within 8 yards. The explosion will break CC on nearby targets so you might want to be careful about using this talent in group PvP.
- The third slot varies by specialization. Each of these talents causes and area blast and all replace your Frost Nova. All are instant cast and have two charges.
- Blast Wave (Fire): Cause an explosion of fiery force around the target enemy or ally, dealing Fire damage to all enemies within 8 yards, and dazing them, reducing their movement speed by 70% for 4 seconds. If the primary target is an enemy, they take 100% increased damage.
- Ice Nova (Frost:)) Cause a whirl of icy wind around the target enemy or ally, dealing Frost damage to all enemies within 8 yards, and freezing them for 4 seconds. If the primary target is an enemy, they take 100% increased damage.
- Supernova (Arcane:) Cause a pulse of Arcane energy around the target enemy or ally, dealing Arcane damage to all enemies within 8 yards, and knocking them into the air. If the primary target is an enemy, they take 100% increased damage.
Level 90 Talents:
This row in now purely about damage, rather than mana management.
- Mirror Image is now a level-90 Talent, replacing Invocation. Mirror Images now inherit 50% of the Mage’s Spell Power (up from 5%.) The Glyph of Mirror Image has been removed and its effects have been incorporated into Mirror Image.
- Rune of Power no longer replaces Evocation, no longer increases mana regeneration, and now lasts 3 minutes (up from 1 minute).
- Incanter’s Ward has been replaced by Incanter’s Flow: Magical energy flows through you, increasing all spell damage done by 5% per stack. While in combat, the magical energy builds up to 5 stacks over 5 seconds and then diminishes down to 1 stack over 5 seconds. This cycle repeats every 10 seconds.
Level 100 Talents:
- The first level 100 talent extends the duration of certain spells:
- Arcane – “Overpowered:” Casting your Arcane Missiles extends your Arcane Power by 2 seconds.
- Fire – “Kindling:” Crits from Fireball, Pyroblast, and Inferno Blast extend your Combustion by 1 second.
- Frost – “Thermal Void:” Casting Ice Lance extends your Icy Veins by 2 seconds.
- Prismatic Crystal All specs. (Was Focusing Crystal) 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.
- The third talent looks pretty nice, dealing area damage. Fire and Frost can both get an Orbital Bombardment talent, which is just too cool.
- 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.
Some Changes to the Mage Glyphs
One of the more interesting changes coming to glyphs in general is that now every class will get a set of glyphs that are learned automatically, just as talents and abilities are learned. All the rest of the glyphs will still be obtained from scribes or the Auction House. Note that even though they are automatically learned they are not automatically installed.
Additionally, glyphs will be in categories and you won’t be able to use two or more glyphs from the same category. Other glyphs will be restricted to a particular specialization, such as Glyph of Frostfire Bolt which will be Fire only.
Here are the glyphs that you’ll learn as you level:
- At level 25, the following Glyphs are automatically learned: Frost Nova and Blink
- At level 50, you learn: Polymorph
- At level 75, you will learn: Slow and Frostfire Bolt
- Major: Mana Gem & Evocation
- Minor: Discrete Magic & Mirror Image
At this point no new glyphs have been introduced for Mages, but that may well change before release.
New Abilities and What the Heck are Mage Perks?
Unlike previous expansions you will gain no new abilities past level 90 (though you will gain a couple at 90.) What you will gain, instead, are Perks. These are enhancements of current abilities. For example, one of your perks will be “20% increased damage to some ability.” So you get a better ability instead of a new one. All of the Perks are passive, so will add no new buttons to your bars.
Also, the perks are learned randomly. You will eventually get four perks, starting at 92, but they will be learned in random order. At level 95 you may well have a different pair of perks than that other level 95 Mage. At level 99 you will have them all.
Now, about the new abilities. These are based on a Stat Attunement. Blizzard has decided that certain stats are best for your “throughput” (damage, in your case) and so you get a 5% bonus to that stat. It may not be the best stat for your purposes, but it’ll certainly be worth looking at carefully.
- Arcane will get Arcane Mind, which provide 5% more Mastery from all sources.
- Fire will get Incineration, which adds 5% more Crit from all sources.
- Frost gets Ice Shards, which adds 5% more Multistrike from all sources.
Here are the perks you will get, post 90.
So there you have it, all of the major Mage changes coming in Warlords of Draenor. Probably only 86.14% of them being destined to change in some way before release. Have something you want to add? Say it in the comments below.
So, for the next coming expansion, what do you think would be better? Arcane or fire? Both look like they have pretty good spells and talents coming.
Better for what? I’ll be playing Fire in all cases, but not because it’s “better.”
At this point, I haven’t a clue. Arcane’s always been good for DPS, but I think Bliz wants PvE parity between the three. I think we’re going to have to wait and see how it all shakes out. My guess is that they’ll be close enough, for PvE, that your skill will make a much bigger diff than your spec.
Thanks for your opinion. 🙂 I’m arcane right now and wanted to see what others would think
I think you should go out and “lay waste!” 🙂