The Mage Leveling Guide for Shadowlands

Undead Mage, Firelord Gear

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 (and killing) 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 gear and statistics you want to aim for to blast through the levels as quickly as possible.

So get out there, kill some stuff, and get to the level cap. Now.

And then… it’s time for the end game!

The WoW Mage: Contents

Other Magery

 

Mage Changes for Shadowlands

Well, the Incredible Hulk crash landed on the levels and smashed them. What was 120 is now 50 and the cap is 60. Naturally gear levels and stats were similarly smashed.

Lots of abilities were shifted around, as one would expect, but the overall feel of Mages is much the same.

People brand new to World of Warcraft will now start in a brand new zone, Exile’s Reach, which will run you through some basic “How to play this game” stuff. It’s even good for experienced people and you will finish it with a decent set of gear.

You now longer have to level through the various lands, you can stick to one prior expansion and level to 50 there. Want to go back to Pandaria or Legion or…? Once out of the starting areas you will have your choice of where you want to level to 50. Pop over to your capital city (Stormwind or Orgrimmar) and either check the mission board, near the entrance, or find Chromie and talk to him.

You can find a list of the Mage changes here, as well we other places. On this page the new/moved/changed abilities will be listed further down the page.

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.

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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 Shadowlands.

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. Pick talents that give you more damage and mobility. If you’re PvP leveling then you’ll want talents which control/slow/stop the other guy.

Race: While all of the races have some special abilities that bring something to the game, either offensive or defensive, it doesn’t matter much while leveling. If you are more serious about PvP or squeezing every bit of effectiveness out of your character, then yeah, some of the abilities are more useful than others.

Otherwise play what you like.

  • Pandarens can be either Horde or Alliance and get better food buffs and longer lasting rest XP.
  • Alliance PvE: Draenei (Int & Heal)
  • Alliance PvP: Human (escape, better stats) 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.)
  • More detail on race, here.

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

  • Frost, especially if you’re on a PvP server, due to more freezes (crowd control).  The freezes and slows and such will also make it easier for the new player.
  • Fire or Arcane: Whichever suits your game. Fire’s more random, but lets you indulge your inner Pyromaniac. Arcane has a bit of a ramp up time, but hits hard when at the peak.
  • More detail on specializations, below

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, prior to Shadowlands enchants, can be added to the lowest level item, so go ahead them to your heirlooms or any gear you’ll keep for awhile. You can sometimes find cheap enchants on the Auction House.

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Race choice for the Leveling Mage

With the arrival of the Cataclysm expansion the various classes were opened to more races then ever before. Sinfe then every race can be a Mage except the Tauren and Highmountain Tauren.

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.

Mechagnome Fire mage

Mechagnome Fire mage

Allied races, introduced in the last couple of expansions, will take a little work to acquire, though less than before. You will need to complete an achievement appropriate to that race, then head over to the Orgrimmar or Stormwind embassies to do another set of quests. Once done you will have access to that race. They also start at level 10.

Here are the various achievements needed:

 

Pandaren

The only race that starts as “Neutral.” You will pick your side once you hit level 10.

    • 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.

Alliance Mage Races

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. Nice. This effect has a 3 min cooldown and shares a 90 sec cooldown with other similar effects.
    • Since you are skilled at Diplomacy you have a 10% faster rep gain with everyone than does any other race. Useful at times, especially if you want the perks that come from “Exalted” such as various goodies.
    • The Human Spirit increases your secondary stats (Haste, etc.) by 2% each.  

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. Every one minute.
    • 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.
    • And your Engineering Specialization gives you +15% to that skill.
    • Nimbleness adds +1% to Haste,which is a good stat for any mage.
    • You also have a bit of Arcane Resistance , and so take 1% less damage from the stuff.

Draenei:

Winners of the interstellar bodybuilding contests. All of them.

    • The Gift of the Naaru (a Heal Over Time effect, 20% heal over 5 seconds) acts as a secondary bandage every 3 minutes and, like a bandage, it can also heal an ally.
    • You have extra Intellect from Heroic Presence , that one might think you’d have from the body-building work, but maybe because you are just awesome? The Int scales up as you level.
    • Your skill at Gemcutting gives you +10% to your Jewelcrafting skill.
    • Being a devout follower “of the light” you have Shadow Resistance , for 1% less Shadow Damage.

Night Elf 

    • Shadowmeld : Activate to slip into the shadows, reducing the chance for enemies to detect your presence. Lasts until cancelled or upon moving. Any threat is restored versus enemies still in combat upon cancellation of this effect. Against certain spells, if you have really good timing, you can S’meld after it’s cast and thus dodge it. You might find some use for this if you have War Mode active.
    • A bit more Dodge and movement speed (2% of each,) via your Quickness. Always nice.
    • Touch of Elune gives you a bit more (1%) Crit by day and Haste by night.
    • Transform into a  Wisp Spirit  upon death, increasing speed by 75%. Hopefully you will only rarely have any use for this trait.

Dwarf

    • Your Might of the Mountain ability increases the damage and healing from your critical strikes by 2%, it does not add to your crit chance.
    • You can become one with the stone via your Stoneform . This removes all poison, disease, curse, magic, and bleed effects and reduces all physical damage taken by 10% for 8 sec. Cooldown is 2 minutes. MOstly for PvP, but every now end then…
    • You are also an Explorer and so are better at Archeology than others, finding more fragments and surveying faster.
    • Being naturally cool, you have a bit (1%) of Frost Resistance .

Worgen 

    • Your Altered Form allows you to switch between your human and Worgen forms and your Two Forms lets you turn into your currently inactive form.
    • Then your Darkflight activates your true form, increasing current movement speed by an additional 40% for 10 sec. Always nice to have an extra movement ability.
    • You also have your Running Wild ability, where you drop to all fours to run as fast as a wild animal.
    • Flayer  increases your Skinning skill by 15 and allows you to skin faster.
    • And your inate Viciousness  increases critical strike chance by 1%.

Void Elf – Allied, Starts at level 10.

    • Your abilities have a chance to empower you with the essence of the Void, Entropic Embrace , which increases your damage by 5% for 12 sec. It has a 33% proc chance with 60 seconds internal cooldown. Nothing like a bit of Void energy added to your attacks, right?
    • Spatial Rift : Tear a rift in space. Reactivate this ability to teleport through the rift. 30 yd range. 3 min cooldown. You can activate this, then change direction, hit it again, and be back to the original spot. Practice this to get a good idea of how it works.
    • Your etheral connection gives you a 50% discount on Void Storage and Transmog.
    • Your calm means that your casts are not delayed by incoming damage.
    • Chill of Night reduces the Shadow damage that you take by 1%.

Lightforged Draenei – Allied, Starts at level 10.

  • Your passion for killing demons ( Demonbane ) is reflected in your earning an extra 20% experience from that action. Maybe you’ll want to level in the Legion zones? Obviously not much use once your are at max level.
  • You have two area effect attacks, Light’s Judgment and Light’s Reckoning . The former lets you call down a strike onto enemies close to you, with a three second delay. Reckoning causes you to unleash the Light upon dying, damaging enemies within 8 yards and healing any allies for the same amount.
  • Not only do you get +10% to your Blacksmithing skill, you can summon a Forge of Light.
  • Naturally you are a bit more resistant to holy damage than others, taking 1% less damage from the stuff with your Holy Resistance.

Dark Iron Dwarf – Allied, Starts at level 10.

  • Your Fireblood removes all poison, disease, curse, magic, and bleed effects, just like your Dwarven “brethren,” but your ability increases your Intelligence, with a bonus for each additional effect removed. Scales with your level. Lasts 8 sec. with a 2 min cooldown.
  • You’re a tunnel dweller and Dungeon Delver and you’ve learned how to move 4% faster while indoors, plus your people have the  Mole Machine : While out doors you can summon a Mole Machine that tunnels through the earth and can pop you up in a variety of places.
  • Being tough you have your Forged in Flames ability, and take a bit less physical damage.
  • Having spent your life working in the forges you have a Mass Production skill , giving you +5 to your blacksmithing skill and letting you work 25% faster.

Mechagnome – Allied, Starts at level 10.

  • Hyper Organic Light Originator summons a couple of images of you to distract your foes. Somethng like your Mirror Images. Added damage or use it to give yourself a moment to set something up. See it in action here .
  • And you get some Racial Passives:
    • Combat Analysis : You gather and analyze combat data every 5 sec, increasing your Int, stacking up to 10 times. The data decays while out of combat.
    • Mastercraft : You function as a personal Blacksmithing Anvil, Cooking Fire, and Mining Forge. In addition, your limbs include every profession tool.
    • Emergency Failsafe : When you fall below 20% health, heal for 15% of your maximum health. This effect cannot occur more than once every 2.5 min.
    • Skeleton Pinkie : Allows opening of locked chests and doors at your current level +1, so at level 50 you can unlock chests that require 51 skill.

Kul Tiran – Allied, Starts at level 10.

  • Wind up, then unleash your mighty Haymaker upon your foe. Doesn’t hurt much, but does stun then for 3 seconds and knocks them back substantially.  2.5 minute cooldown. Knock ’em back then last away.
  • Brush It Off – Increases Versatility by 1%. When you take damage you sometimes heal for 2% of that damage over 4 sec.
  • Your Child of the Sea ability lets you swim 10% faster and hold your breath longer (by 50%) than anyone who is not Undead.
  • You are a Jack of All Trades  which increases all of your Tradeskills by 5. Unfortunately it does not give you free tradeskills, just a boost to the ones you actually learn
  • Many generations of seafaring experience have earned you the Rime of the Ancient Mariner ability, and so you take 1% less from Frost and Nature damage.




Horde Mage Races

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

Undead:

    • Your Will of the Forsaken removes fear, sleep, and charms. Definitely useful in PvP and of occasional use elsewhere. It also allows indefinite underwater breathing.
    • Your Touch of the Grave is a passive ability that will add a small amount to your overall damage and self-healing.
    • Cannibalize is a nice “in your face” ability for PvP and eliminates the need to use a bag slot for regular food (you’ll want to keep any foods that provide buffs.) Just go full zombie mode and eat what you kill. And if you are a Fire Mage then it is already cooked! Works on humanoids only. Restores 35% of total health over 10 seconds.
    • You also have a bit of Shadow Resistance , taking 1% less damage from those shadows.

Troll:

    • Berserking increases your Haste by 10% for 12 seconds, on a 3 minute cooldown.  Generally useful, since it reduces cooldowns, speeds casting, and gives you faster resource regeneration.
    • You get a 20% XP increase when Beast Slaying . This only applies to beasts, not humanoids or other non-beasts. You’ll be chopping up lots of beasts while leveling, so this is a nice bonus. Not useful once at max level.
    • Da Voodoo Shuffle gives you a nice 20% reduced duration of movement impairing effects, such as snares, slows, etc. Not stuns or anything else.
    • Regeneration , Mon! Trolls regenerate 10% faster than others and can even regenerate a bit while in combat, not that you are likely to notice.

Blood Elf:

    • Your Arcane Torrent removes one beneficial effect from any nearby enemies (8 yards) and restores some of your Mana.
    • And your Arcane Acuity gives you a bit more crit (1%.)
    • Naturally your Arcane Affinity gives you +10% to the Enchanting skill.
    • And your Arcane Resistance allows you to take 1% less Arcane damage.

Orc:  Big, mean, green… the perfect Mages.

    • Enrage ( Blood Fury ) to increase all of your damage (increased Attack Power and Intelligence) every 2 min. Lasts 15 seconds. A very useful cooldown.
    • Your Hardiness makes you resistant to stuns (20% shorter duration, about 1 second off a 5 second stun) – Useful in PvP, but also nice at times while leveling/raiding.
    • If you have a pet then your Command ability gives that pet 1% more damage..

Goblin: Terminally cute. And if you go Goblin you’ll get rich, right?

    • Can Rocket Jump forward and away from, on into, stuff. so is a bit like the hunter ability disengage. Note that any effects that slow falling will be suppressed for 10 seconds. So no Rocket Jumps off cliffs. The fall is fine, the impact at the end hurts.
    • Speaking of rockets… Rocket Barrage !!! The perfect Goblin ability. Can launch rockets at enemies. Damage is trivial, but you can probably find a use for it. Maybe.
    • A bit (1%) more Haste, Time is Money ya know.
    • Being an expert negotiator, of course, you receive the Best Deals Anywhere . You pay whatever the minimum price is for stuff, regardless of faction.
    • Your relentless urge to try “Crazy New Things” gives you the Better Living Through Chemistry ability, which adds +15 to your Alchemy skills.
    • Check your bank stash from anywhere, every 30 min, with your pack Hobgoblin . A truly deadly ability.

Nightbourne – Allied, Starts at level 10.

    • You can do an Arcane Pulse , which damages all nearby enemies and reduces their speed for 12 seconds. Note that this will break most “crowd control” effects you might have on those enemies. 3 minute cooldown.
    • Can read your mail from anywhere, with your Cantrips ability. Get a note while you’re in the middle of nowhere? No problem.
    • Your love of lore and Ancient History give you +15 to your Inscription skill.
    • Your Arcane Resistance   allows you to take 1% less damage from Arcane energy and you also have a Magical Affinity which allows you to do 1% more magical damage.

Mag’har Orc – Allied, Starts at level 10.

    • Your Ancestral Call will boost a random secondary stat (crit, haste, versatility) for 12 seconds on a 2 minute cooldown. The boost scales with level.
    • Your love of the open skies increases your mounted speed by 10%.
    • Savage Blood : Since you are extremely healthy you get reduced duration of curses, poisons, and diseases (by 10%.)
    • If you have a pet then it receives a 10% health boost through your Sympathetic Vigor .

Vulpera – Allied, Starts at level 10.

Zandalari Troll – Allied, Starts at level 10.

    • Your Embrace of the Loa ability allows you to choose which Loa you are associated with. Has a 5 day cooldown. Each embrace also lasts through death.
      • Embrace of Bwonsamdi  – Your damaging abilities have a chance to deal Shadow damage and heal you for 100% of the damage done. Pretty good general ability for tanks and damage dealers.
      • Embrace of Pa’ku – Your abilities have a chance to grant you +4% critical strike for 12 seconds. Live by the crit? This is for you. This is your default Loa.
      • Embrace of Kimbul  – Your damaging abilities have a chance to cause the target to bleed over 6s. This effect stacks up to 3 times. More damage is always good.
      • Embrace of Gonk  – Increase movement speed by 5%.
      • Embrace of Akunda – Your healing abilities have a chance to heal their target for some extra points. Good for anyone with a ranged heal.
      • Embrace of Krag’wa  – Taking damage has a chance to grant you additional Health and 66 Armor. Good tanking ability.
    • Regeneratin’ – Regenerate 100% of your maximum health over 6 sec, interrupted by damage. 2.5 min cooldown.
    • Pterrordax Swoop – Slows your fall for two minutes. Time for some serious cliff jumpin’. Yes, it is redundant with your Slow Fall.
    • Your also have your City of Gold ability, making you the envy of Goblins, since it lets you loot an extra 2% gold from your targets.

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Your Mage’s Abilities

Which spec?

Any Spec will do just fine for leveling. Frost is generally “best for PvP,” and might be easiest for leveling gives that it’s a bit easier to get out of trouble. Arcane for PvE. Fire does well in all areas.

Indulge your inner pyromaniac, chill out, or dabble in the Arcane. Your choice.

Here are the abilities common to all Mages. Note that some of them bill have improvements with one or the other specialization (spec) you choose.

CD = Cooldown, P = Passive, DOT = Damage Over Time.

    1. Frostbolt (level 1) is now available to all mages. Does damage and slows the enemy for 8 seconds, by 50%.
    2. Fire Blast (2) Hits a little harder. 12 second recharge.
    3. Frost Nova (3) is great for trapping things that are too close, then you escape or blast away. Roots everything within 12 yards, lasts 8 seconds, might break on damage. 30 seconds recharge.
    4. Blink (4) blips you forward 20 yards, unless some object is in the way. Breaks you fee of stuns and bonds. 15 second recharge.
    5. Conjure refreshment (5) conjures healthy, nutritious food for you and your group. If a group, then it appears as a table. If you are solo, then in your bags. Heals 100% of health and Mana over 20 seconds.
    6. Arcane Explosion (6) damages everything within 10 yards of you.
    7. Counterspell (7) zaps the target’s spell casting and silences that school of magic (such as Arcane) for 6 seconds.
    8. Arcane Intellect (8) increases your Int by 5% for 1 hour. Have this up always.
    9. Slow Fall (9) slows your, or a group member’s, fall for 30 seconds. Want to go cliff jumping?
    10. Illusion* (10) comes with a 10 minute CD and allows you to take the image of another, targeted, player. If you target yourself you will look like another member of some race. Yes, your Blood Elf under an Illusion might look like a Dwarf. Mounting up will dispel the effect.
    11. Polymorph* (10, sheep) turns your beast or humanoid target into, yes, a sheet. Lasts 1 min and the sheep is harmless for that time. Damage breaks the effect. There are a number of polymorphs and there is a list of where to get a few of them here.
    12. Teleport (21) pops you over there somewhere. Where depends on which places you have learned. To learn them head to the portal trainer in your racial city, such as Exodar for Draenei or Silvermoon for Blood Elves.
    13. Ice Block (22) causes you to chill for 10 seconds, encased in a block of ice, impervious to all damage, and also unable to move or attack. 4 minute CD.
    14. Portal (24), like teleport, opens a portal to somewhere. Where depends on which portals you have learned from the portal trainer you visited earlier. The portal is usable by other players. You might be able to earn some coin by opening portals for people.
    15. Remove Curse (28) removes ALL curses from the target. 8 second CD.
    16. Invisibility (34) has a 5 minute CD and takes 3 seconds to take effect. Lasts 20 seconds.  You can move around, but not cast spells or fight without breaking the effect. Good for dropping aggro or sneaking past certain things.
    17. Spellsteal (39) steals a useful spell effect from the target, for a max. of 2 minutes.
    18. Mirror Image (44) brings up 3 copies of you and they blast away at the target. Lasts 40 seconds with a 2 minute CD. While they are active you take 20% less damage, but a hit on you dispels one of the images.
    19. Time Warp (49) had a 5 min. CD and boosts Haste for the entire group by 30% and lasts 40 seconds. Anyone affected will be unable to gain benefits from similar effects, such as Bloodlust, for 10 minutes.
    20. Teleport: Oribos (52) is learned from a Portal Trainer, like the rest of your teleports and portals.
    21. Portal: Oribos (58) Also learned from the trainer.

* Tome of Illusion, tome of Polymorph to Black cat, and Tome of Arcane Linguist are purchased from Endora Moorehead in Dararan Northrend. In the NW corner of town, in the shop just south of the Wolf Citadel steps.

 

Mage Abilities by Specialization

Each spec of Mage gets a set of unique abilities that they gain as they level.

CD = Cooldown, P = Passive effect, DOT = Damage over Time

 

Arcane Spec

Create and spend arcane charges to build more power and to drive Arcane Barrage. Explosions.

Fire Spec

And there was much burnination. Crit happy. Chance for free Pyroblasts. Lots of Dots.

 

Frost Spec

Lots of freezing and slowing and shattering. More damage against frozen. The PvP spec.

Arcane Blast (10) zaps the target and generates an Arcane Charge. More charges do more damage and speed cast time a bit.

Arcane Barrage (10) Solid hit that consumes all Arcane Charges and does +30% damage for each charge used beyond the first. 3 second CD.

  • Arcane Barrage Rank 2 (31) now hits +1 target, per Arcane Charge, for 40% damage. Must be near to the primary target.
  • Arcane Barrage Rank 3 (52) gives back 2% of your max mana back for each Arcane Charge you spend.

Mastery: Savant (10, P) Boosts your mana regeneration and max by 9.6%, your charges increase Arcane Blast damage by 4,8% and Barrage by 2.4%. +8% to all other arcane damage.

Prismatic Barrier (11) shields you from magic damage for 1 minute, and any harmful magic effects on you are reduced in duration by 25%. 25 second CD.

Slow (12) reduces the victim’s speed by 50%$ for 15 seconds.

  • Slow Rank 2 (3) effect is now 60%.

Arcane Missiles (13) channels missiles over 2.5 seconds to blast the target.

Clearcastng (14, P) gives you a chance to make your next Arcane Missiles or Arcane Explosion free and your Missiles will channel 20% faster.

Conjure Mana Gem (17) conjures a gem, with 3 charges. Each use will restore 10% of your mana. Like your conjured food, the gem will disappear for you log out for more than 15 min. If you switch specs you keep the gem, but can’t use it.

Arcane Explosion Rank 2 (18) for +10% damage.

Alter Time (19)  lets you cast the spell, do stuff for 10 seconds, and then you blip back to the initial position and level of health. Don’t die during the 10 seconds, or move too far away from the start point (~100 yards.)

Evocation (27) lasts for 6 seconds and regenerates or mana at +750% speed. 3 min CD. Stay still, moving or doing anything cancels the spell.

  • Evocation, Rank 2 (43) CD is reduced to 50%, 3 min to 1.5 min.

Arcane Power (41) gives you +30% damage for 10 seconds on a 2 min. CD.

  • Arcane Power Rank 2 (41) redcues the cost of your spells by 30% for the duration of the effect.
  • Arcane Power Rank 3 (56) now lasts 15 seconds.

Touch of the Magi (33) adds a nice burst for tougher targets. Apply it to a target and it tracks 25% of the damage you do to it over 8 seconds, then explodes it back, also doing reduced damage to nearby enemies. 45 second CD.

Presence of Mind (42) makes your next two Arcane Blasts instant. 1 min CD.

Greater Invisibility (47) replaces your Invisibility, is instant, lasts 20 seconds, has a 2 min CD. Drops all threat and you cannot be targeted. Soaks all incoming damage as those attacks do  60% less damage, and that also applies for 3 seconds after you become visible again. Also you can Blink to G. Invis to successful escape.

Fireball (10) throws a small ball of fire at the target.
  • Fireball, Rank 2 adds a stacking 10% crit chance each time is fails to crit. Resets when it finally crits.
  • Fireball, Rank 3 (41) gives +15% damage to the spell.

Mastery: Ignite (10, P) your target keeps burning, for a small amount, 9 seconds after your various attacks.

Blazing Barrier (11)  throws up a shield around you which absorbs a minimum of 20% of your max health in damage. Melee attacks against you will cause the attacker to take a small amount of damage.

Pyroblast (12) lobs a flaming boulder at the target, for solid damage.

  • Pyroblast, Rank 2 (54), now adds some small additional damage over 6 seconds.

Scorch (13) does a small amount of damage, but is usable while moving. Nice for “kiting” your targets and fishing for that Hot Streak.

Hot Streak (14) makes your next Pyroblast or Flamestrike spell instant after you get two crits in a row from your other spells. Also causes double the Ignite damage.

Flamestrike (17) burns all the targets in the area effect and reduced their movement speed by 20% for 8 seconds. 4 second cast unless you’re using your Hot Streak. 

  • Flamestrike, rank 2 (43), cast time is slightly reduced: by .5 seconds.
  • Flamestrike, rank 3 (52) increases damage by 15%.

Fire Blast, Rank 2 (18) always crits. Nice for boosting those Hot Streak pops. 1 charge.

  • Fire Blast, rank 3 (32) castable while casting other spells,.
  • Fire Blast, Rank 4 (37) now has 2 charges.

Phoenix Flames (19) has 2 charges and a 25 sec. recharge. Goes good damage to the main target and reduced damage to nearby targets.

Critical Mass (23, P) gives your spells a +15% Crit chance.

  • Critical Mass, Rank 2, increases crit chance from all sources by 10%.

Dragon’s Breath (27) damages enemies in front of you, in a cone shaped area, and disorients them for 4 seconds. Further damage to them will break the effect. 20 sec. CD.

Combustion (29) lasts 10 seconds, increases your crit chance by 100%, and grants you mastery rating of 50% of your modified crit chance. Can be cast while casting other spells.

Cauterize (42, P) causes that fatal strike to, instead, drop you to 35% health and then burn you for 28% of your max. health over 6 seconds. As you burn you have 150% movement and cannot be slowed. CD is 5 minutes.

Alter Time (58) lets you cast the spell, do stuff for 10 seconds, and then you blip back to the initial position and level of health. Don’t die during the 10 seconds, or move too far away from the start point (~100 yards.) 1 minute CD.

Ice Lance (10) is your basic shot, but damage is tripled Vs frozen targets.
  • Ice Lance, Rank 2 (33) adds 10% to the damage.

Mastery: Icicles (10)

Ice Barrier (11) shields you against damage to about 22% of your max health. Melee attacks against you reduce the attacker’s run speed by 50%.

Summon Water Elemental (12) summons Aquaman to come and fight… er… ummm…. A water elemental to fight along side you.

Fingers of Frost (13)

Blizzard (14) Summons up a Blizzard developer to… hmm…  Summons up shards of ice to damage the area for 8 seconds and slow enemies by 50% for 3 seconds. 8 yard radius around the target.

  • Blizzard, Rank 2 (47) reduces the CD of your Blizzard by .5 seconds every time it does damage.
  • Blizzard, Rank 3 for +15% damage.

Shatter (17) multiplies your crit chance against frozen targets by 1.5 and then adds another 25%.

  • Shatter, Rank 2 (27) adds another 25% crit chance.

Cone of Cold (18) has a 12 sec. CD and projects a cone shaped area effect out to 12 yards, damaging and slowing (by 50%) your targets in that cone.

  • Cone of Cold, Rank 2 (43) slows opponents by an additional 20%.

Flurry (19) sends shards of ice at the target and can generate icicles. Will reduce the target’s run speed by 70% for up to 3 seconds.

Freeze (23) can now be cast by your Elemental pet. 8 yard radius and roots them in place for 8 seconds. Effect might be broken by damage.

Icy Veins (29) has a 3 min. CD, lasts 20 seconds, and grants you 30% Haste and prevents incoming damage from slowing your spell casts.

Brain Freeze (32, P) gives your Frostbolt a 30% chance to be instant and do 50% more damage.

  • Brain Freeze, Rank 2 (37) now causes Flurry to apply Winter’s Chill to your target, causing it to take damage from you as if it were frozen.

Frozen Orb (38) sends an orb out to 40 yards, damaging up to 8 opponents in that line. Grants 1 charge of Fingers of Frost if it hits at least one enemy. Enemies damaged are slowed for 3 seconds by 30%.

Frostbolt, Rank 2 (41) for +15% damage.

Cold Snap (42) is a cooldown (5 min) which resets the CDs of your Ice Barrier, Frost Nova, Cone of Cold, and Ice Block.

  • Cold Snap, Rank 2 (54) reduces the CD by 30 seconds.

Frost Nova, Rank 2 (46) adds 2 seconds to the duration.

Alter Time (58) lets you cast the spell, do stuff for 10 seconds, and then you blip back to the initial position and level of health. Don’t die during the 10 seconds, or move too far away from the start point (~100 yards.) 1 minute CD.

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Talents for Mage Leveling

Blood Elf MageYou can change your spec any time you’re out of combat. Do some PvP as Frost, switch up to Fire just to watch things burn, Arcana for the nuking, and so on. Just be out of combat and you can switch up anytime. You do not need any special items to switch back and forth.

Your talents can easily be changed IF you’re in a “rested XP” area, such as your garrison, an inn, or the big city. No reagents, trainers, or special rituals required.

If you are in the raid/dungeon or out on the world and need to change talents before the next fight? Buy or make (with Inscription) a stack of Tome of the Quiet Mind, which will work up to level 59. From 51 to 60 you can use a Tome of the Still Mind. Either will give you one minute to switch up.

If one suggested talent doesn’t work for your style, change it up.

Frost mage talents are here, slide down a bit for Fire Mage and Arcane Mage talents. The “Z” marks in the image are Zygor’s recommendations.

 

Frost Mage Leveling Talents

Frost Mage Leveling Talents for Shadowlands

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

CD= Cooldown, P = Passive, DOT = Damage over Time

Tier 1 Talents, Level 15

    1. Bone Chilling (P) gives you the Bone Chilling effect whenever you try to get your target to chill out (try to chill your target.) It increases your spell damage by .0,5%, stacking up to 5% max, and lasts for 8 seconds. Best used when your tank has rounded up a nice group.
    2. Lonely Winter lets you run without your elemental, in return you get +25% damage to your Frostbolt, Ice Lance, and Flurry. Care to be petless for a time?
    3. Best talent Ice Nova has a 25 second CD and damages the target and also any others within 8 yards (for partial damage) and freezes all of them in place for 2 seconds. Just enough time to get another spell off.

Tier 2 Talents, Level 25

    1. Glacial Insulation causes your Ice Barrier to increase your armor by 200%, while active, and your Ice Block now applies Ice Barrier when it ends. Not generally useful in leveling/questing.
    2. Best talent Shimmer replaces your Blink, has  a 25 second CD, and two charges. Castable while casting, but loses the “breaks free from stuns and bonds” effect. If you need the “break free” then take something else, otherwise you can do two blinks, pop pop, with a 25 second recharge per charge, instead of one blink ever 15 seconds.
    3. Ice Floes is instant cast and allows your next spell to be cast while moving. Has occasional use while leveling, but more use in scenarios which involve a lot of movement. Those are mostly in PvP or some end game dungeons/raids.

Tier 3 Talents, Level 30

    1. Best talent Incanter’s Flow – (P)  You now have a ten second cycle, five seconds to a peak of +20% damage, then 5 to drop to +4%, then repeat. Note that there is always a positive bonus. You can constantly move, as Flow is a passive ability. This is the way to go when staying in one place is not really an option, such as in PvP or instances where the enemy causes you to move a lot.
    2. Focus Magic increases the target’s crit chance (cannot cast in on yourself) by 5% for 30 min. Target does not have to be in your group, though it will help since when the target crits then you get +5% Int and Crit chance for 10 seconds. The target’s buff remains if it moves away, but YOU lose the buff when it does.
    3. Rune of Power places a Rune of Power on the ground for 12 seconds. While standing within 8 yards of it your spell damage is increased by 40%. 45 seconds recharge. Great for fights where little movement is required. Drop the rune and blast away. Casting your Icy Veins will also drop a rune.

Tier 4 Talents, Level 35

    1. Frozen Touch (P) causes your Frostbolt to pop Fingers of Frost and Brain Freeze 20% more often. 
    2. Best talent Chain Reaction (P) Your Ice Lances again frozen targets increases the damage of your following Ice Lances by 3%, stacking up to 15%. Just a straight up damage increase for an often used spell.
    3. Ebonbolt is an extra attack, 45 second CD, doing damage and giving you Brain Freeze. Sort of like eating your ice cream too fast…

Tier 5 Talents, Level 40

    1. Frigid Winds (P) causes all of  your chilly effects to add 10% to their speed reduction.  Has some PVP use.
    2. Best talent Ice Ward (P) gives your Frost Nova 2 charges. This is the most generally useful talent in this set.
    3. Ring of Frost – Summons a Ring of Frost at the target location. Lasts 10 seconds with a 45 sec. CD. Enemies entering the ring will become incapacitated for 10 seconds (10 target limit.) Cast this, then start blasting. Terrific for bottle-necking areas, such as cave tunnels or bridges. 2 second cast time.

Tier 6 Talents. Level 45

    1. Freezing Rain (P) causes your Frozen Orb to make your Blizzard instant cast and do 60% more damage for 12 seconds.
    2. Best talent Splitting Ice (P) give you 5% more damage for your Icicles and Ice Lance. They also hit a second nearby target for 2/3 damage. Your Ebonbolt and Glacial Spike, while not receiving a damage buff, also hit one secondary target, but for 80% damage. A generally useful talent and it’s passive, so no extra buttons to hit.
    3. Comet Storm has a 30 sec. CD and calls down 7 comets onto your target’s head. Deals damage to all targets within 6 yards of the main target. Nice to see comets smashing down on the opposition.

Tier 7 Talents, Level 50

    1. Best talent Thermal Void (P) increases your Icy Veins duration by 10 seconds. Your Ice Lances, cast against frozen targets, will extend it by a further 1 second. Another generally useful passive, as long as you’re using your Icy Veins often.
    2. Ray of Frost has a 1.5 min. CD and is channeled over 5 seconds, doing damage each 1 second and also slowing your target by 60%. Each time it does the damage both the slow and the next damage are increased by 10%. Over that duration it will generate two Fingers of Frost.
    3. Glacial Spike requires 5 Icicles to cast and spikes the target, using up all 5 of your icicles to increase its damage. Also freezes the target in place for 4 seconds. Note that your Ice Lance will no longer launch those icicles. Your spike now does that. If you have room

PvP (War Mode) Talents for Frost Mage Leveling

Live dangerously, level with War Mode on. You gain +10% XP, and might get +30% if your side is greatly outnumbered on your server. You don’t mind getting ganked on occasion, do you? You can turn on War Mode in your capital city, Stormwind or Orgrimmar.

The talents suggested here are for general questing and are not optimal for PvP. Of course, like any other talents, you can change them whenever you are in a “rested XP” area, such as an Inn. You can also turn War Mode off there.

Grab them in the order that works best for you. You can choose PvP talents at 20, 30, and 40, though certain talents require other levels.

    1. Burst of Cold resets your Cone of Cold cooldown and boosts its damage by 400% right after you use your Frost Nova. Lasts 6 seconds. Hope in, freeze, cone them. If you have Shimmer and Ice Ward you can immediately repeat this. Requires level 20.
    2. Frostbite gives any of your “chilling” effects a 20% chance to freeze the target for 4 seconds. You then blast away and get those extra crits. Requires level 20.
    3. Prismatic cloak lasts for only 2 seconds after a Blink or Shimmer. You will take 50% less magical damage during that time. If your timing and skill are good it has it’s uses. Requires level 20.
    4. Concentrated Coolness puts your orb in a set location, up to 40 yards away, and increases its damage by 10%. Nice to drop into the middle of a group that will stay there for a bit, such as groups piled up by your tank. Requires level 40.

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Fire Mage Leveling Talents

Blood Elf Mage in Human illusionThese picks are made with questing in mind, out in the open world. If you’re doing PvP or dungeons or just want a different feel then change ’em up.

Your talents can easily be changed IF you’re in a “rested XP” area, such as your garrison, an inn, or the big city. No reagents, trainers, or special rituals required.

If you are in the raid/dungeon or out on the world and need to change talents before the next fight? Buy or make (with Inscription) a stack of Tome of the Quiet Mind, which will work up to level 59. From 51 to 60 you can use a Tome of the Still Mind. Either will give you one minute to switch up.

The “Z” marks in the image are Zygor’s recommendations.

Fire Mage Leveling Talents for Shadowlands

CD= Cooldown, P = Passive, DOT = Damage of Time

Tier 1 Talents, Level 15

    1. Best talent Firestarter (P) causes your Fireball and Pyroblast spells to always crit when the target is at nearly full health (over 90%.) Open the fight with a crit.
    2. Pyromaniac (P) gives you an 8% chance to instantly reactivate Hot Streak when used to cast Pyroblast or Flamestrike. Nice to get the occasional extra Pyroblast, but too random and infrequent.
    3. Searing Touch gives your Scorch 150% damage, and a 100% chance to crit, when the target is below 30% health. Nice for dungeons and raids with tough bosses, because you can stay on the move and constantly crit, and so mix in a lot of Pyroblasts.  Less use for leveling since mobs won’t be at that level very long.

Tier 2 Talents, Level 25

    1. Blazing Soul causes your Blazing Barrier to ignite whenever you cast Blink. 
    2. Best talent Shimmer replaces your Blink, has  a 25 second CD, and two charges. Castable while casting, but loses the “breaks free from stuns and bonds” effect. If you need the “break free” then take something else, otherwise you can do two blinks, pop pop, with a 25 second recharge per charge, instead of one blink every 15 seconds.
    3. Blast Wave is a zero range effect that blasts outward, doing damage and knocking enemies back and slowing them by 70% for 6 seconds.

Tier 3 Talents, Level 30

    1. Best talent Incanter’s Flow – (P)  You now have a ten second cycle, five seconds to a peak of +20% damage, then 5 to drop to +4%, then repeat. Note that there is always a positive bonus. You can constantly move, as Flow is a passive ability. This is the way to go when staying in one place is not really an option, such as in PvP or instances where the enemy requires you to move a lot. If you are generally able to stay in one place to blast away, then grab Rune. Or burn a tome and switch as necessary.
    2. Focus Magic increases the target’s crit chance with spells  (cannot cast in on yourself) by 5% for 30 min. Target does not have to be in your group, though it will help since when the target crits then you get +5% Int and Crit chance for 10 seconds. The target’s buff remains if it moves away, but YOU lose the buff when it does.
    3. Rune of Power places a Rune of Power on the ground for 12 seconds. While standing within 8 yards of it your spell damage is increased by 40%. 45 seconds recharge. Great for fights where little movement is required. Drop the rune and blast away. Casting your Combustion will also drop a rune.

Tier 4 Talents, Level 35

    1. Best talentFlame On (P) reduces the CD of your Fire Blast by 2 seconds and adds 1 charge.
    2. Alextrasza’s Fury (P) Increases the damage of your next Pyroblast or Flamestrike by 35%.  Also your Dragon’s Breath now contributes to your Hot Streak and its crits do 50% more damage. Note that you have to be close enough to use your Dragon’s Breath.
    3. From the Ashes (P) gives +2% mastery for each charge of your Phoenix Flames that is not on CD, and any other direct damage crits reduce its CD by 1 second.

Tier 5 Talents, Level 40

    1. Frenetic Speed (P) increases your movement speed by 30%, for 3 seconds, when casting Scorch. Nice for raids and situations requiring movement. Do you need the speed boost? Or to be able to lock down the enemy more often?
    2. Best talent Ice Ward (P) gives your Frost Nova 2 charges. This is the most generally useful talent in this set. If you need a speed boost more then take Frenetic Speed.
    3. Ring of Frost – Summons a Ring of Frost at the target location. Lasts 10 seconds with a 45 sec. CD. Enemies entering the ring will become incapacitated for 10 seconds (10 target limit.) Cast this, then start blasting. Terrific for bottle-necking areas, such as cave tunnels or bridges. 2 second cast time.

Tier 6 Talents. Level 45

    1. Flame Patch (P) causes your Flamestrike to leave the ground burning, doing damage there for 8 seconds to any who remain in the area.
    2. Best talentConflagration (P) causes your Fireball to continue to do a small amount of damage over 8 seconds to the target. Any enemies now burning from either your Ignite or your Conflagration have a 10% chance to flare up and spread it around to other nearby enemies. Passive effect, so one less button to hit for more damage.
    3. Living Bomb applies a DOT to the target that lasts 4 seconds and then explodes doing damage to the target and also to surrounding enemies (within 10 yards.) Each enemy hit by the explosion also acquires the DOT, but cannot spread it further. 10 second CD. Nice with larger groups.

Tier 7 Talents, Level 50

    1. Kindling (P) reduces the CD on your Combustion by 1.5 seconds for each crit you score with your Fireball, Fireblast, Phoenix Flames, and Pyroblast, (not Scorch.)
    2. Pyroclasm (P) gives you a 15% chance, when you consume your Hot Steak, to make your next, regular cast, Pyroblast do 240% damage. Max of 2 stacks and has to be cast within 15 seconds.
    3. Best talentMeteor calls down a meteor to strike your enemies for good damage. Damage is split among all enemies with 8 yards and the ground burns for another 10 seconds. And it’s fun dropping meteors.

 

Fire Mage PvP (War Mode) Talents for Leveling

Live dangerously, level with War Mode on. You gain +10% XP, and might get +30% if your side is greatly outnumbered on your server.

The talents suggested here are for general questing and are not optimal for PvP. Of course, like any other talents, you can change them whenever you are in a “rested XP” area, such as an Inn. You can also turn War Mode off there.

Grab them in the order that works best for you. You can choose PvP talents at 20, 30, and 40, though certain talents require other levels.

    1. Controlled Burn – your Ignites burn faster.  Since quest mobs die fast you actually have a chance to cook your target with a complete Ignite. Does not spread. Requires level 20.
    2. Tinder – Have not cast a fireball for at least 8 seconds? Then your next one hits 30% harder and a 50% reduced cast time. Running between quest mobs? Boom. Requires level 20.
    3. Pyrokinesis – Each Fireball you cast reduces the CD of your Combustion by 5 seconds. Combined with Kindling (level 50 talent) you can have Combustion active quite often while levelling. This is highly recommended. Requires level 30.
    4. Temporal Shield – Very nice for leveling or when ambushed. After 4 seconds you get your health back. Do not die or cancel the effect in that 4 seconds or it will fail. 45 second CD. Requires level 30.
    5. Prismatic Cloak – Good survivability tool, when timed correctly. Blink or Shimmer and get 2 seconds of  50% magic damage reduction. Nice when those rares are casting spells at you. Requires level 20.

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Arcane Mage Leveling Talents

Blood Elf Mage in Human illusionThese picks are made with questing in mind, out in the open world. Arcane is not the easiest to level with, but it can do a lot of damage and with a bit of practice you should do fine.  In other areas? PvP will be a challenge, dungeons will be good. and if you just want a different feel then change ’em up.

Your talents can easily be changed IF you’re in a “rested XP” area, such as your garrison, an inn, or the big city. No reagents, trainers, or special rituals required.

If you are in the raid/dungeon or out on the world and need to change talents before the next fight? Buy or make (with Inscription) a stack of Tome of the Quiet Mind, which will work up to level 59. From 51 to 60 you can use a Tome of the Still Mind. Either will give you one minute to switch up.

Arcana Mage Leveling Talents for Shadowlands

Our general picks are checked, Best talent, but do note that you might want to change now and then, depending on the particular fight. The “Z” marks in the image are Zygor’s recommendations.

CD= Cooldown, P = Passive, DOT = Damage over Time

The above picks are checkmarked .

Tier 1 Talents, Level 15

    1. Amplification (P) gives you +2 Arcane Missiles when your Clearcasting effect happens. Some more damage is always a good thing.
    2. Rule of Threes (P) reduces the cost of your next Arcane Blast or Arcane missiles by 100% once you gain 3 Arcane Charges. 
    3. Arcane Familiar attacks your enemies, lasts an hour, and boosts you maximum mana by 10%. The weakest of the three.

Tier 2 Talents, Level 25

    1. Best talent Master of Time (P) reduces the CD of your Alter Time by 30 seconds.
    2. Shimmer replaces your Blink, has  a 25 second CD, and two charges. Castable while casting, but loses the “breaks free from stuns and bonds” effect. If you need the “break free” then take something else, otherwise you can do two blinks, pop pop, with a 25 second recharge per charge, instead of one blink every 15 seconds.
    3. Slipstream (P) causes your Clearcasting to allow Arcane Missiles to be channeled while moving.  Also allows your Evocation to be channeled while moving.

Tier 3 Talents, Level 30

    1. Best talent Incanter’s Flow – (P)  For questing: You now have a ten second cycle, five seconds to a peak of +20% damage, then 5 to drop to +4%, then repeat. Note that there is always a positive bonus. You can constantly move, as Flow is a passive ability. This is the way to go when staying in one place is not really an option, such as in PvP or instances where the enemy requires you to move a lot. If you are generally able to stay in one place to blast away, then grab Rune. Or burn a tome and switch as necessary.
    2. Focus Magic increases the target’s crit chance with spells  (cannot cast in on yourself) by 5% for 30 min. Target does not have to be in your group, though it will help since when the target crits then you get +5% Int and Crit chance for 10 seconds. The target’s buff remains if it moves away, but YOU lose the buff when it does. Have another Arc. Mage in your group? Cast it on each other.
    3. Rune of Power places a Rune of Power on the ground for 12 seconds. While standing within 8 yards of it your spell damage is increased by 40%. 45 seconds recharge. Great for fights where little movement is required. Drop the rune and blast away. Casting your Arcane Power will also drop a rune. This is the best pick for group content (dungeons) where you can just blast away.

Tier 4 Talents, Level 35

    1. Best talent Resonance (P) gives your Arcane Barrage +15% damage per target hit. Easiest of the trio to use and a nice boost.
    2. Arcane Echo (P) works with your Touch of the Magi ability. Any direct damage sent to a target affected by that ability does an immediate explosion, doing slight damage to up to 8 nearby targets.
    3. Nether Tempest does some damage over 12 seconds to your target and reduced damage to nearby targets. Each Arcane Charge used adds 70% to the damage done.

Tier 5 Talents, Level 40

    1. Chrono Shift (P) gives you a 50% movement boost and slows enemies hit by your Arcane Barrage by 50% for 5 seconds. Do you need the speed boost?
    2. Best talent Ice Ward (P) gives your Frost Nova 2 charges. This is the most generally useful talent in this set.
    3. Ring of Frost – Summons a Ring of Frost at the target location. Lasts 10 seconds with a 45 sec. CD. Enemies entering the ring will become incapacitated for 10 seconds (10 target limit.) Cast this, then start blasting. Terrific for bottle-necking areas, such as cave tunnels or bridges. 2 second cast time.

Tier 6 Talents. Level 45

    1. Reverberate (P) gives you a 50% change to gain an extra Arcane Charge if your Arcane Explosion hits at least three targets. Best if you are casting a lot of Arcane Explosions.
    2. Best talent Arcane Orb fires an Orb forward out to 40 yards, damage all within its line, grants 1 Arcane Charge when cast and also each time it does damage. Does nice damage and can generate several Arcane Charges.
    3. Supernova causes arcane energy to pulse around a target, allied or enemy. Damages all enemies within 8 yards of the target and knocks them upwards. If cast on an enemy target then that target takes +100% damage.

Tier 7 Talents, Level 50

    1. Overpowered (P) charges your Arcane Power which now does +50% damage and reduces mana costs by 50%, up from 30% each. Need to burn something down? Grab this one.
    2. Time Anomaly (P) warps time around you so the you might receive a buff at any given moment. It will be either 8 seconds of Arcane Power, 1 second of Evocation, or 6 seconds of Time Warp. 
    3. Best talent Enlightened (P) increases your arcane damage, while you are at 70%+ mana, for 8%. If your mana falls lower then it increases y our mana regen by 20%. If you’re having mana issue then this is a nice pick.

Arcane Mage PvP (War Mode) Talents

Live dangerously, level with War Mode on. You gain +10% XP, and might get +30% if your side is greatly outnumbered on your server.

The talents suggested here are for general questing and are not optimal for PvP. Of course, like any other talents, you can change them whenever you are in a “rested XP” area, such as an Inn. You can also turn War Mode off there.

Grab them in the order that works best for you. You can choose PvP talents at 20, 30, and 40, though certain talents require other levels.  Pick three:

    1. Arcane Empowerment (P) – Your Clearcasting effect can now stack 2 more times and it increases the damage of your Arcane Missiles by 5% per stack. It no longer reduces the mana cost of your Arcane Explosion.  The extra charges do not interact with Slipstream.  So you get some nice extra damage. Requires level 20.
    2. Torment the Weak (P) – Increases the range of your Slow by 15 yards (to 50) and will affect two more nearby targets. Nice kiting tool for a spec that lacks them. Requires level 20.
    3. Prismatic Cloak (P) – Going to get hit with magical damage? Blink now gives 50% magical damage reduction after the blink. Ambushed by spell users (Players or mobs?) Blink and get that 2 seconds worth. Requires level 20.
    4. Temporal Shield – Very nice for leveling or when ambushed. After 4 seconds you get your health back. Do not die or cancel the effect in that 4 seconds or it will fail. 45 second CD. Requires level 30.
    5. Master of Escape – Reduced the CD of your Greater Invisibility by 45 seconds. Gank avoidance. Nice escape when overwhelmed. Requires level 48.

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Stats for the Leveling Mage

Stats, for leveling, are really easy:

In short ( ‘>’ = “greater than.” )

    1. Item level on any gear with Int. Higher is better.
    2. Int > all else
    3. Stamina

The most important statistics for any leveling 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.

Once you hit level 60 then you can look into stacking Haste, etc.

Primary Stats

Int and Stam, nothing else matters.

    • Your Int determines your Spellpower and nothing else. Int is your 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.

Secondary Stats –

    • Do not sacrifice Int to get any of these stats and don’t worry about them much while leveling (Fire might be an exception, with Crit.)
    • 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.
    • Mastery – This stat improves some aspect of what you do. It’s not necessarily your best stat.
    • Versatility adds to your damage and also to your damage reduction.

Tertiary Stats

They’re pretty rare, but nice when you find them. Do not worry about stacking them.

    • Avoidance: lets you avoid some damage from area attacks.
    • Leech returns some health to you based on damage (and healing) done to the target.
    • Speed adds to your run speed
    • Indestructible makes the one item immune to damage.

 

Gems, Enchants, Gear

Gems? You won’t see socketed gear very often. If you have the gold to buy gems then stick to Int gems, otherwise skip them. Gems generally have item level requirements, so make sure you check those when browsing the Auction House.

Enchants? Prior to Shadowlands you could put the highest level enchants on your white titled, level 1 dagger. The value of the enchant would scale down appropriately. You can still do that with any enchant before Shadowlands, though they will max out at some point. Shadowlands enchants all require you to be at least level 50.

Enchants made by professions, such as the tailoring leg enchants or the Inscription shoulder enchants, require a level 32+ character to apply, though a level 1 can use them. Again, they will top out before you hit level 50.

This is only recommended for gear that you will keep for awhile. They can be expensive.

If you are in heirlooms then go ahead and enchant the heck out of them.

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

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

How Much of a Challenge do you Want?

This guide assumes that you’re in Easy or Moderate mode, but you can make it harder, if you like:

  • Easy mode: Full heirlooms, or the best dungeon/pvp gear you can get, on a PvE server.
  • Moderate: Same as above, but on a PvP server.
  • Hard: Only use the gear you earn from quests. No heirlooms, no gear bought from vendors or the Auction House or other players.
  • Ironman: Only white quality gear. No, you don’t get to buy gear from that Tony Stark Gnome. No Auction House gear, no potions, scrolls, enchants, gems, etc. Only buffs that you can cast on yourself are allowed.
  • Hardcore: Like Ironman, but no talents, no glyphs, no groups, no professions, no enchants or gems, your only gold comes form what this character earns. Oh yeah, if you die you reroll. Just like the Diablo game.
    Completely Nuts: Hardcore on a PvP server.

Gearing Up

A note about Heirlooms: These can be purchased from your guild vendor or from a special vendor.

  • For Alliance it’s Krom Stoutarm in the Library of Ironforge, which is found on the north-eastern edge of the outer ring.
  • For Horde it’s Estelle Gendry in the south-western side of the Rogue’s Quarter of Undercity.

The value of ‘looms is that they level with you, so you never need to upgrade them. At least until you exceed their level cap. For example, your basic ‘looms are good to level 29 max. Hit 30+ and the other gear you find will soon be better.

Heirloom Gear is what most are wearing these days, at least those who’ve been around long enough to handle the costs. You can buy them with gold, for a few hundred gold each, and they’re good through level 29. Spend a fair amount more and the items are good to level 50 in Shadowlands. (Figure 9k gold to give the armor, ring, or trinket a level 50 cap and 13.5k for a weapon. Need more gold?)

Start at level 29 max, then upgrade to a level of:  35  > 40 > 45 > 50 > grind new gear from 51 to 60.

The heirlooms are better than almost any gear you will get until you hit the level max for your ‘looms. Epic gear, should you be so lucky, will be better for 4 or 5 levels.

If you want to enchant your heirlooms, here are some suggestions:

Intelligence Enchants for your ‘looms:

Note that Item level is not character level. Your ‘looms top out at level 50, but note that the ring and weapon enchants will last longer then the ‘looms.

Shadowlands Enchants require at least level 50. Find something that you will keep awhile? Put one of these on it. Note that only a few items can take enchants.

    • Cloaks can take a +30 enchant, or a +20 with +30 in either Leech, Avoidance, or Speed. For example: Fortified Leech.
    • Chest: Eternal Stats gives +30 Int.
    • Rings: You can get +16 to your Haste, Crit, Mastery, or Versatility. For example: Tenet of Haste.
    • Wrists (Bracers:) Eternal Intellect for +16 Int.
    • Weapon(s:) Celestial Guidance has a chance to add 5% to your Int when attacking or using spells or abilities.

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How to Kill Stuff (Your “Rotation”)

Scroll down a bit for “how to” videos.

If you are brand new to the game, then you will start in the new starting zone, Exile’s Reach. it will teach you some of the basics of your character and the game.

If you have been there (leveled a character) before, then you can start in either Exile’s Reach or in your own racial starting area.

If you have an Allied Race then your start at level 10 and can skip both.

At level 10 you pick your specialization and can look at the Mission Board, near the front gates of both StormWind and Orgrimmar, to pick where you want to level. Or find Chromie and talk to him/her/it.

Once you hit 48 you will get the chance to enter the Shadowlands and level to 60. Enjoy.

Up to level 10:

  • Spam FrostBolt until the enemy dies. its slow effect 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 (run or blink) away. Fire.
  • Fire Blast does decent damage, but has a longish cooldown, so you can’t spam it.
  • Arcane Explosion (lev. 6) will make it a bit easier.

Frost nova and blink will help keep you out of their range, but within yours.

Keep in mind that you’re squishy, have few defenses, and little “burst” at low levels. PvP will be… interesting at this level. Might be fun with same level opponents.

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

Fire Mages:

Fire will start getting Pyroblast! “procs” from level 14. These procs allow you to instantly fire off an enhanced Pyroblast. Use them as they pop up. 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. Note that this does mean you want as much crit rating as you can get. On the rare occasions where you might have a choice between more Int or more Crit, seriously consider going with more Crit.

Assuming you’re attacking first, start combat with Pyroblast, continue with fireball if you don’t have to move, Scorch if you do. Fire off your Pyro! procs as they pop up. If you get a “heating up” proc you can use your the Fire Blast to boost it to a Pyro! proc.

Frost Mages:

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.

Only the Frost spec has Shatter. It’s recommended that you abuse this. Freeze the enemy every chance you can, then blast away.

See the video just a bit below for more detailed “how to Frost.”

Arcane Mages:

Arcane Mages will live off their Arcane Blast. Use your AB all the time. You will build up to four Arcane Charges every time you use AB and your power increases with the number of charges. A fully charges AB hits pretty hard. Consider getting as much Crit rating as you can. Even at higher levels a fully charged Arcane Blast crit will one shot most mobs and do a lot of damage to anything else, including players.

Try to get to the next mob before the 15 second time limit on your charges runs out. Your next Ab will refresh the timer, as will using your Explosion or your Missiles.

Use Arc. Explosion to kill off low health mobs, and Arcane Missiles (if you have missile charges) for a nice instant attack. Arcane Barrage is a nice attack to finish off that last mob, as it’ll use up all of your charges.

See the video just a bit below for more detailed “how to Arcane.”

 

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. Yes, I am repeating this.

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, 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. Obviously quest mobs will go down a lot faster, but these videos will give you an idea of what to do.

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 (or whichever Int potion you can use) 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 can 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

A basic “how to Arcane” guide. It is for the Battle for Azeroth expansion, but the stuff covered works just fine for Shadowlands. About 4 minutes.

Fire Mage Burnination

A basic “how to Fire” guide. Is for the Battle for Azeroth expansion, but the stuff covered works just fine for Shadowlands. A bit under 4 minutes.

Frost Freezing

A basic “how to Frost” guide for Shadowlands. A bit under 4 minutes.

How to Kite the (Melee) Enemy

This is a very basic “how to kite” guide. The basic idea is to keep as much range as you can away from the target. Use your slows, disorients, blinks, frost nova, etc. Get away, blast, stay away, etc.

Do Not Backpedel (walk backwards.) Learn to run forward and jump+spin+instant cast then finish spin and run.

Heh. And practice on weaker mobs before you do this in PvP.

 

  1. Communicate with any team you might have.
  2. A well timed Polymorph gives you more options.
  3. Ice block might give you the time you need to let Blink finish its cooldown. If you time it right you can block those large bursts of damage, then blink away.

So something with a big axe is in your face, what do you do?

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Staying Alive as a Mage

Pay attention to what’s around you. Obviously leaping into the middle of a bunch of enemies is a good way to get a quick trip to the graveyard, so what do you do?

Pick your fights – A tank can go barging in, you need to position yourself where you can burn ’em down in sequence. You can take on several at a time, with good gear and some practice, once you get your area effect abilities. At lower levels it’s easier if you can stand on a hill and blast ’em one at a time.

Learn to Kite – “Kiting” is simply the ability to stay out of melee range from an attacker while staying in casting range. So anything you can do to slow or stop him while you keep away and fire away is a good thing. Master this ability and you will be far more dangerous. See just above this section for a “how to kite” video.

Frost nova (level 3) is great for escaping or setting up the enemy. Lock ’em up, get range, blast away.

Counterspell (level 8) is not much use in questing because the caster mobs don’t hit very hard, though if you’re playing hardcore (no real armor, far fewer hit points) they hurt more. Zap his spell and he’ll run up to you. Dungeon mobs hit harder, but are (usually) focused on the tank. Zapping spells can be much more important and save someone from a fair amount of damage or bad effect.

Ice Block lets you take a pause while getting your head beat in. More use with a team as they can, hopefully, take some of the pressure off you. A couple of glyphs make this spell a lot more interesting if you use it often, such as Glyph of Ice Block.)

Polymorph (lev 14) lets you sheep the first while you kill the other(s.)  If you have the Ice Barrier talent you’ll be able to cast it on that guy who’s beating on you, without his attacks slowing your cast. Then you get range or get away.

Slow (Arcane only, level 36) – Keep him slowed while you blast away. Or run and hide.

Invisibility (lev 56) will let you sneak past plenty of stuff, to get the right position. Or to get out of bad spots.

Your Novas – (level 75 talent) These replace your Frost Nova, though not the Frost Novas generated by your Ice Ward talent.

  • Blast Wave (Fire) slows the enemy,
  • Ice Nova (Frost) briefly roots them in place,
  • Supernova knocks them upwards, stopping them for a moment.

Your Armors – use these at all times.

  • Molten Armor (Fire, level 36) reduces physical damage taken.
  • Frost Armor (Frost, level 54) bad guys who hit you are slowed. Nice for kiting mobs and players.
  • Mage Armor (Arcane, level 80) your enemy’s magical effects on you don’t last as long.

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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.
  • Learn your abilities and their limitations.
  • 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.
  • Keep your buffs up: Potions, flasks, your mage armor, etc.
  • 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.
  • Grinding can occasionally (Ok, rarely) be fun, but questing provides a lot more XP.

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.

Dungeoning

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. Tanks have little to zero wait time for dungeons, so if you can buddy up with a tank you can do a series of random dungeons very quickly.

If you’re sharp and well geared you may be able to solo some of these dungeons that are a little lower than your level.

PvP

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 Conjure Refreshment is free, use it. 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 that are much better than bandages.

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 combinations:

  • 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.
  • 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 do sell for nice prices.

Gear – Stam, stam, and more stam. At least at low level.. 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. Zygor’s guide will figure out your new level and the best spot to continue your questing.

Boosting to 50 (for a measly $60?) In Shadowlands the level cap is 60, so you’ll still want to use Zygor to finish off those next ten.

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, Shadowlands included, 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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