- For information on the role of Mages within the lore of Warcraft, see Mage lore. For related articles, see Category:Mages.
The Mage (plural: magi or mages) is a caster that specializes in burst damage and area of effect spells. Their primary role in a group at lower levels is damage dealing and crowd control through the use of Polymorph, creating harmless critters for a temporary time. At higher levels, the Mage's role expands into utility, as many encounters in the game are difficult to finish without Counterspell, Detect Magic, and Remove Lesser Curse. A Mage's utility spells also include conjuring food and drink, and the ability to teleport to major cities and open portals for party members. In PvP combat, the Mage deals ranged damage while using escape skills to avoid taking damage during combat. Their primary stats are Intellect, Stamina, Spell Damage, Spell Critical Strike rating, and Spirit (the order of importance varies with the player's role). Mages are decent against most classes except Warriors, where they have a big advantage due to the Warrior's lack of spells.
- Main article: Mage Races
The Mage class can be played by the following races:
Weapons and armor
Mages are able to wield staves and wands when first created; they can later learn how to use daggers and one-handed swords from weapon masters in Stormwind, Darnassus and the Exodar for Alliance, Undercity for Horde. Wands go in the ranged slot and have the autoshoot ability. Mages can only wear cloth armor.
For details on armor set items that are useful for Mages, see Mage Sets.
- Main article: Mage Spells
Mages have a wide variety of spells which fall in to three schools of magic: Arcane, Fire or Frost. Fire and Frost are elemental schools, and most spells in these schools do damage. Arcane is the school of pure mana energy, and while it has a few damage dealing spells, most spells are of a utility nature.
Fire spells are primarily damage-dealing spells, including direct single-target damage and area of effect (AoE) damage. With Fire comes other side-effects such as damage over time, and for fire-specializing Mages, stun, disorient and daze effects. Fire spells typically have a higher damage output potential than Frost or Arcane spells.
Frost spells are primarily single-target and AoE damage-dealing spells, but with more emphasis on the chilling effects. Nearly every frost spell has a chill or freeze effect that fully or partially immobilizes an enemy. This includes freezing it in place (called a root) or slowing its movement speed (called a snare). Frost specialized Mages can further improve these chilling effects and increase frost damage output to respectable levels. Frost spells help the Mage use kiting as a combat tactic.
Arcane spells are primarily utility spells, though there are several useful direct-damage arcane spells, including the very useful AoE spell Arcane Explosion. Arcane spells allow the Mage to remove curses, provide crowd control, absorb damage, teleport himself or others to major capital cities, Slow Fall, Counterspell, buff players' intellect stat, save mana for later use in the form of mana gems, conjure food and water for himself or others, and perform many other useful roles that give the Mage class its perks.
Wrath of the Lich King additionsThis section concerns content exclusive to Wrath of the Lich King.
Fire Blast (Rank 11)
Requires: Level 80, Fire Blast (Rank 10)
Blasts the enemy for 730 to 865 Fire damage.
Frostbolt (Rank 16)
Requires: Level 79, Frostbolt (Rank 15)
Launches a bolt of frost at the enemy, causing 630 to 690 Frost damage and slowing movement speed by 40% for 9 sec.
Arcane Explosion (Rank 10)
Requires: Level 80, Arcane Explosion (Rank 9)
Causes an explosion of arcane magic around the caster, causing 377 to 407 Arcane damage to all targets within 10 yards.
- Main article: Mage Talents
Mage Talents are split into 3 categories which mirror their 3 main spell types. Descriptions of the roles of Mages who specialize in each talent tree are shown in parentheses.
Many Mages with a math background have studied the mathematical "best" talents and builds for different roles; theorycrafting as it is called. For more information on these details, see Mage Theorycraft.
With the introduction of patch 1.11, Mages enjoyed a high degree of flexibility in the end game. Previous to patch 1.11, it was expected that most Mages would spend at least 11 talent points in the Arcane tree for Evocation, as it is a quite powerful mana-regenerative spell. It was given free without the use of talent points. New changes to all three trees also made investing points into both the Fire and the Frost trees much more viable. This still holds true with the release of the Burning Crusade. It should be mentioned that a build predominantly using the Fire tree will contribute greater DPS; those using a predominantly Frost tree will contribute a fair amount of control.
PvP-wise, Mages are considered "glass cannons" - a design philosophy which gives Mages generous burst damage at the cost of, generally, low health. Aided by talents such as Presence of Mind and Arcane Power, they are one of the classes with the potential for dealing out the greatest amount of damage in the shortest amount of time. In group PvP, Mages will stay back and focus on crowd control with Polymorph and pick off targets from range. Depending on the Battleground and the situation, Mages typically AoE to prevent node captures or nuke flag carriers as fast as possible.
The endgame Mage also acts as a utility class, providing drink, food, buffs and portals. When it comes to providing drink and food, Mages are by some considered equal to "vending machines" due to their unique ability to create refreshments out of thin air and provide them with no cost except mana and time. However, many Mages feel that this is not their primary role and therefore refuse to give away merchandise free to people he or she doesn’t know. It is suggested that the Mage provide his party or raid with food and drink for free.
- See Starting a Mage for some advice when starting out
- See the Category:Mages for further information on the Mage class
- See Mage Theorycraft for numerical information on the popular different Mage talent specializations
- See Mage Tactics for advanced information on playing as a Mage
- See Useful macros/Mage for useful macros
- See Mage (Warcraft II) for unit statistics in Warcraft II
- Spell Damage Coefficients
- Mage Stamina Gear List
- The history of Arcane Magic in the Warcraft Universe
Some helpful information at the official WoW forums:
- Mage Leveling Guide - Helps new Mages choose their talents at early levels.
- WoW Mage Discussion
- WoW Mage Class Forum
- Mage Class FAQ guide
- A Guide to Mage Talent Specs