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Mage Specs

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#1
Cabe Bedlam

Cabe Bedlam

    Master of Magic, no really I'm serious

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The Mage Taken from Mage builds - WoWWiki - Your guide to the World of Warcraft
Mages, or magi, are casters that specialize 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, temporarily changing humanoids and beasts into harmless critters. At end-game levels, the role of the magi expands into utility, as many encounters in the game are difficult to finish without Counterspell, Remove Lesser Curse and Spellsteal. The mages' 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, magi deal 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).

Level 70 Builds (patch 2.3.2)

Raiding Builds

Depending on the your gear, length of the fight, movement, trash clearing, and interruptions, there's no real "perfect" raiding build. These are the standard builds for each school and how casting works to maximize DPS. Core talents are contained in the builds, extra talent points are available in some cases.

Arcane Icy Veins
(43/0/11+7)

This build's primary rotation is 3x Arcane Blast -> 1x Arcane Missiles -> 1x Frostbolt -> Repeat. The first Arcane Blast is timed to begin casting with the 3x debuff active, and end casting after it expires.
[edit] Arcane Pyro (43/11/0+7)

This build's primary rotation is 3x Arcane Blast -> 1x Arcane Missiles -> 1x Scorch -> Repeat. The first Arcane Blast is timed to begin casting with the 3x debuff active, and end casting after it expires.

Arcane Pyro (fire) (43/18/0)

This is a suggestion of a complete Arcane Pyro build. Which should work great for raids, 5 man instances and soloing. This build is based on two different rotations: One for "trash mobs", which is the same as the above Arcane Pyro rotation. But since that may be a little low DPM for longer boss fights, consider to start with 2x Arcane Blast -> 5x Scorch -> Fireballs. Then keep the imp. Scorch debuff up and use Fireball as your main spell.

Arcane Fire
(33/28/0)

This build's primary rotation is 3x Arcane Blast -> 4x Scorch -> Repeat. The first Arcane Blast is timed to begin casting with the 3x debuff active, and end casting after it expires.

Arcane Frost (40/0/21)

This build's primary rotation is 3x Arcane Blast -> 3x Frostbolt -> Repeat. The first Arcane Blast is timed to begin casting with the 3x debuff active, and end casting after it expires.

Fire (10/45/3+3)

All the Fire talents which optimize raid output with Fireballs are taken. Imp Scorch is used only to maintain the Fire vulnerability debuff. The three extra talent points leave a little room for other items; this spec is usually added to with one point in Pyroblast and one point in Blast Wave, leaving one more point up to the user. A slight variation on the 10/48/3 would be to pull a point from Playing with Fire and placing it in Blazing Speed.

Fire/Icy Veins
(2/47/11+1)

This spec is assumed to be doing its damage with Fireballs, using Scorch only to maintain the Fire vulnerability debuff.

Frost (10/0/49+2)

This spec is assumed to be doing its damage with Frostbolts and the Water Elemental.

Frost, Deep (0/0/49+12)

This spec is assumed to be doing its damage with Frostbolts and the Water Elemental.

Frost/Meditation
(18/0/43)

This spec is assumed to be doing its damage with Frostbolts and the Water Elemental.

PvP Builds

With Ice Block now available from the class trainer, PvP builds have gained more flexibility.

Deep Frost + imp CS - (17/0/44)

17/0/44 is the standard Solo/BG/Arena build for PvP. The key talents in this build are Improved Counterspell, Frostbite, Shatter, and Summon Water Elemental. Although arcane subtlety is considered by most players to be a must-get, the remaining 13 points leading to two points in improved counter spell are somewhat situational. In the frost tree, points can be moved between Arctic reach, Improved Cone of Cold and permafrost depending on play style. Arena-focused version of 17/0/44.

Deep Frost + Impact (0/5/56)

This build gives up counterspell for more control from the frost tree and the stun from Impact (molten armor & fireblast).

Tri-spec - (21/18/22)

Includes Improved Counterspell and Presence of Mind for silence and burst. Cold Snap adds to this builds survivability in the form of reset cooldowns for Ice Block and Frost Nova

Elemental Hybrid (0/30/31)

Lots of fast and instant burst damage, plus the crit chance increase

Elementalist
(0/30/31)

This build has the same burst ability, but I strongly suggest putting points into Master of Elements because you are going to run out of mana really really fast burst DPSing, and since everything crits, it plays directly into the build. I'm sure there is an argument to be made for improved scorch and some people swear by blazing speed, but personally I felt better conserving some mana and maxing out firepower.

PvE/Grinding Builds

Some mages farm for riches.

Frost Aoe (13/0/48)

This build is used against melee mobs. The pull usually happens with ice/mage armor, then a frost nova, blink to get distance, blizzard X2, frost nova, then blizzard or Arcane Explosion to finish them off. With this build a solo mage can easily pull ten or more mobs 2 levels higher. Note the omission of frostbite in the build. If frost bite procs during a blizzard, the mobs are no longer in a tightly packed group, making the blizzard less effective. Note: with the move of Cold Snap into a tier 5 talent, this build is less useful for AoE grind leveling then before patch 2.3.2.

Improved Frost Aoe (18/0/43)

This build is different from the above in many ways. Firstly, there is no Ice Shards, Shatter or Winters Chill. This is because Blizzard CANNOT crit, and therefore these talents do not help much with blizzard AOE grinding. Instead it has Arctic winds for more spell damage and survivability, Magic Absorption and Arcane Meditation for mana efficiency, allowing you to have more spell damage and less intellect dependence. Also has good Frostbolts for Instances.

Similar grinding sequence to the above: NOTE: Bracketed ( ) items are optional/situational.

(Mana Shield), Ice Barrier, (Mount), gather mobs, (Ice Block), Frost Nova, (Cold Snap+Frost Nova or Water Elemental+Freeze), Blink,
(Icy Veins), Blizzard, Blizzard, (Ice Barrier), Cone of Cold, Frost Nova, (Cold Snap+Frost Nova or Water Elemental+Freeze), (Blink),
Blizzard, (Cone of Cold / Fire blast / Wand / etc).

* [1] - Video AoE guide called In Frost We Trust

Builds By School

The following sections may contain information prior to patch 2.3.2

Three School

Mages typically determine their spec based on specific needs such Improved Scorch for vulnerability to hard hitting fire spells, or Shatter for high critical chance against frozen targets. For PvP, it is possible to incorporate the essential elements of each tree in a single, versatile template while including must haves like Improved Counterspell and Presence of Mind for silence and burst. Cold Snap adds to this builds survivability in the form of reset cooldowns for Ice Block and Frost Nova

Tri-spec - 21/18/22 [2]

Cryomancer


Frost mages sacrifice the pure damage capabilities of Fire or Arcane mages for survivability and control. The survivability comes from spells such as Ice Block and Ice Barrier, which protect a Frost mage in PvP and PvE encounters. The control is gained from the debuffs of most Frost spells. Frost debuffs usually decrease an opponent's attack and movement speed.

Frost was once the most predominant PvE/raid build for mages, due to fire-resistant end-game content in Molten Core and Blackwing Lair. New raid dungeons such as Ahn'Qiraj and Naxxramas did not have this limitation, and Fire builds became popular for raiding mages looking for maximum damage potential. Frost is still capable of respectable damage through Winter's Chill, Piercing Ice, Ice Shards and Arctic Winds, while being fairly mana-efficient. For burst damage, the 41-point Summon Water Elemental gives a significant DPS boost for 45 seconds (three minute cool-down).

Frost is very popular in PvP for the increased survivability, through talents such as Ice Block and Ice Barrier. Shatter combined with Frostbite gives excellent burst damage for a quick kill. The water elemental has a second freeze effect like Frost Nova that is cast at range for added control.

One of the more advanced techniques for frost mages is AoE grinding. Talents such as Improved Blizzard, Improved Cone of Cold, Permafrost and Ice Floes give the mage tools to kite and kill large groups of mobs for fast cash, loot and experience.

Example Frost Builds


Deep Frost - 10/0/42 (9)[3]

Deep Frost builds are good all-purpose builds. The mage gains the survivability of Frost and can easily handle two or three creatures. The survivability of deep Frost builds make it a solid choice for PvP, but its lack of damage capabilities make it a poor choice for raiding. The build provided includes all of the core talents, and has nine points to be distributed at your discretion. Arcane Meditation is recommendable if you mostly do PvE content, but Shatter, Permafrost and Frostbite are best for PvP, in which case points should be removed from Winter's Chill.

PvP Deep Frost - 17/0/44 [4]

Drops talents from frost to gain Improved Counterspell which helps to shutdown casters.

PvP Fire/Frost - 0/12/49 [5]

This is an alternate PvP build for frost which focuses on maximising the power of Fireblast and to a lesser extent Molten Armor. Although the build lacks Improved Counterspell, the single spell school shutdown is still enough to cripple healers, and the 17 points spent in the Arcane tree can be redistributed to fill out the Frost tree a little and significantly increase the power of Fireblast. Note that points may also be removed from the Empowered Frostbolt to take Ignite, making Fireblast even more powerful.

The mentality behind this build focuses on allowing the mage to maintain high survivability whilst still CC'ing and outputting as much DPS as possible through instant casts, particularly fireblast.

Arena PVP Fire/Frost
- 0/7/54 [6]

Among arena mages this build is becoming fast recognized as one of the most efficient arena specs. By not opting for Improved Counterspell, the mage is able to instead pickup 17 points to be used elsewhere. Putting 5 in Impact and 2 in Flame Throwing means that you have the ability to stun melee and effectively net a 31 yard Fire Blast. The loss is minimal as the only real point of speccing 17 into arcane is to get Improved Counterspell and some contend Clearcasting as well. But Frost Channeling in the Frost tree more than makes up for the Clearcasting procs lost and the additional points in Winter's Chill help with stopping quick dispels of CC effects. Overall, the spec just has more utility and longevity at the cost of a mere silence that is primarily used in 1v1 situations against healers.

Raid Frost
- 40/0/21 [7]

This build maximizes damage with Frost with Spell Power and Arcane Instability. Spell Power will increase your damage by about ten percent alone. For this build to shine, however, you need one or more mages in the raid with Winter's Chill to maximize your benefit from Spell Power.

Support Raid Frost - 18/0/43 [8]

This build will help the frost mage soloing and in 5 men but also'll improve the damage output from the other frost mages with the old 40/0/21 construct in either raidiing or Alterac Valley enviroment giving them +10% spell crit with Winter's Chill and doing a great job taking care of AOE mobs with Improved Blizzard + Frostbite.

AoE Grinding - 13/0/48 [9]

It is generally accepted that Frost is the better Tree for AoE grinding, due to its slow and root capabilities. To create a successful AoE build Arctic Reach, Permafrost and Improved Blizzard are essential. Frostbite is actually detrimental here and should be skipped over, as it has a tendency to split up your tight pack of mobs that is required for AoE grinding. Ice Barrier also helps you from taking any damage as you round up mobs (even hits from mobs below your level will start to add up).

PvP Frost - 0/10/51 [10]

this is a build i swear by most of the time on my frost mage. it's a slight variant of the commonly used impact/flame throwing, where i took out points from frost channeling, since mana isn't that big of an issue for me, and put them into improved fireblast for 1.5 seconds shaved off the cd. note a build posted above has points into incineration. i personaly prefer permafrost for kiting so i did not add points into that talent(this build is good vs melee and should be paired with another class that can shutdown casters eg. warlock+felhunter in arena)

Fireball/Frostbolt - 0/20/41 [11]

This build i'm certain is best for group PvP (arena is an example.) It relies on the casting of frostbolt/fireball and is designed to fire and go whilst specing frost to allow for control of battle. Good if you like to use the environment to your advantage. Better for use of standing from afar and casting.

Winter's Powerhouse - 0/0/61 [12]

If crowd control and survivability is your middle name, I recommend you to use this skill. While Blizzard has longer range, your Ice Barrier shields any damage that may interrupt the spell. If the team gets ganged up, Ice Block will protect you from sneaky ambushes from Rogues. This build will typically enhance critical chances and damage due to Frostbite and Winter's Chill.

Pyromancer


Where Frost builds offer control and survivability, Fire builds are the ultimate in damage dealing. From Ignite, which burns your target for additional damage on crits, to Critical Mass and Fire Power which enhance your damage potential, Fire Mages are feared and respected opponents. Current as of patch 2.3.2 ice block is available to all mages, thus increasing the survivability of fire builds.


Typical Fire Builds


Heavy Fire - 10/48/3 [13]

This is a well-balanced PvE and PvP build, with one point to distribute at your discretion. It can dish out large amounts of damage, and Dragon's Breath and Blast Wave help massively in PvP. However, if your focus is on PvP, it is best to remove points from Playing With Fire and put them into Blazing Speed.


Fast Fire - 2/45/11 [14]

An extremely high DPS build with 3 points to distribute at your discretion. Linking Combustion and Icy Veins together with your Fireball spam will pile the damage (and threat) on fast. The mana burn rate of this build is some what mitigated by the change to the Mana Emerald giving it 3 charges justifying giving up the Clearcasting of Heavy Fire. Possible uses of the 3 remaining points are Improved Fire Blast x3, or 1 point in Improved Blizzard to take advantage of Frostbite during AOE, and 2 points in either Incineration or Blazing Speed for those "I'm outta here" moments.


Heavy Raid Fire
- 18/40/3 [15]

This build is based on the Heavy Fire build mentioned above, except that it can keep you casting longer in raids (especially combined with Mage Armor) and gives you a slightly higher armour value but a slightly lower solo effectiveness. One variation on this build would be to put the points now in Molten Fury, in Combustion (and something else) instead, so that you can use this rotation:
Scorch (until stacked 5 times) -> Combustion -> Fireball/Pyroblast (until you had 3 crits)


Heavy Fire PvE - 15/41/5 [16]

This build is based on the above two Heavy Fire builds, except that it adds more defensive capabilities at the expense of a few fire abilities. This build is better for PvE rather than PvP as it leverages the defenses from Arcane Fortitude and Magic Absorption in the Arcane tree along with Frost Warding from the Frost tree to provide for improved defenses. Additionally, it grants uninterruptable Arcane Missiles while still being heavily focused on dealing massive Fire-based damage from Blast Wave and Dragon's Breath.


Hybrid Arcane/Fire -33/28/0 [17]

An extremely devastating Arena PvP build which is only barely beaten by Heavy Fire in PvE environments. There are few enemies which cannot be buried by a critical hit of an instant-cast Pyroblast backed by Arcane Power. This build is also an excellent PvE build, which allows quick kills combined with mana efficiency, the combinations of Mage Armor, Arcane Meditation/Concentration and Master of Elements allows you to keep up substantial damage over a long period of time without exhausting your mana.


PvP Fire - 17/41/0 [18]

Another PvP build. focuses on using scorch for quick criticals. magic attunement and improved counterspell for when you run into casters and arcane impact for when you get up close and personal.


Raid/Party Fire
- 40/21/0 [19]

This build is good for keeping up damage over long periods of time without exhausting your mana supply. The main concept here is to spam scorches until you proc clearcasting, then cast a fireball or PoM Pyroblast. There is a good chance that the spell will score a critical hit, and you will see free mana (Master of the Elements).


Solo Pyromancer - 18/42/0 [20]

A spec for the soloing mage. Only 60 points were use because at 70 you should respec for raiding or PvP.

Arcanist

With the addition of several new talents in the Arcane tree, it is now viable to play as a heavily Arcane spec'd Mage. From Empowered Arcane Missiles, which offers a high damage output at the cost of increased mana, to Mind Mastery (Spell Damage increase) and Spell Power (Critical Strike Damage Bonus), the Arcane Mage has truly arrived. Current as of patch 2.3.2 ice block is available to all mages, thus increasing the survivability of arcane builds.


Various Arcane Builds


Arcane Overload
- 61/0/0 [21]

Sure to inspire heated debates, this exclusive Arcane build offers heavy damage and amazing utility. Mind Mastery and Spell Power provide more than enough fire power to your Arcane Missiles. In fact, despite the increased mana cost of Empowered Arcane Missiles, with good gear the normally draining Arcane Missiles will actually become considerably MORE mana efficient. Having Arcane Power is icing on the top. Presence of Mind can also be used very creatively in this build to quickly sheep your foe, or to blast out a Fireball (handy for the DOT) or Frostbolt.

Typical PvE attack rotation for this would be Arcane Blast, Arcane Blast, Arcane Missiles, scorch (using Arcane Missiles whenever Clearcasting procs). By the time you fire off the scorch, the Arcane Blast debuff will have almost disappeared, allowing a fast arcane blast cast at normal cost if timed so the debuff expires while casting. With this rotation, combined with Arcane Meditation, Arcane Mind, and Mage Armor, it isn't uncommon for the Arcane Mage to outlast the normally more efficient Fire and Frost Mages. The only major drawback is the lack of Flame Throwing, limiting your range to 20 yards if you intend to use Fireblast, which is very short for a ranged class.

Also, the three-minute mage talents, combined with Arcane Blast, make for the deadliest burst damage of any class, any build. Stack the Arcane Blast 3 times, fire off an AP/PoM Fireball, and then blast away with your Arcane Blast. This is, however, a sure way to run yourself out of mana, so try to use it only when necessary, or when already low on mana.


PvP Frost - 41/0/20 [22]

This build has been growing more and more popular among mages. With the combination of Shatter and Ice Shards in the frost tree, stacked with Arcane Power and Spell Power, this enables the mage to experience the maximization of all the critical strike bonus talents. While relying heavily on chance and burst damage, this build allows the mage to have close to 100% critical strike chance if used properly. While the target is frozen, you gain 50% critical strike. At level 70, your base critical strike will be around 15-20%. If you are clear casting, you gain 30% critical strike. 50% + 20% + 30% = 100%! Stack that with ZHC and Arcane Power and your enemies will be shattered to pieces!


Arena Frost
- 33/0/28 [23]

This build is currently a very popular build among high rating mages. This build has maximum controlled burst damage with Shatter, Ice Shards, Spell Power and Arcane Power. Ice Block is included and is considered by many mages in arena as a necessity. This build has great burst damage.


Balanced Arcanist
- 43/11/7 [24]

All the bonus damage you can get from arcane tree, amazing utility and "3 Minute Mage" talents for those moments when you really need blow up something fast.


Variant 3 minute mage - 31/30/0 [25]

This varies from the normal 3 minute mage builds in that it tries to be viable for both PvP and PvE (arcane meditation). Few enemies can withstand the "arcane power - pyroblast - PoM - pyroblast - fireblast - blast wave" combo with enough HP left to be a threat. This for the Arenas.


Arcane Revolution
- 49/12/0

Arcane Revolution is an unusual spec which uses primarily Scorch, Arcane Blast, and Arcane Missiles. Pyroblast is fit in where possible. The most common rotation used is:

Arcane Blast->AB->AB->Arcane Missiles->Scorch->Repeat

PoM Pyro is used when able on clearcasts.


Raid Arcanist
- 45/13/3 [26]

This spec is designed to keep you casting as long as possible, while still providing decent DPS. In most fights your attack pattern should mainly consist of mana-efficient moves such as Arcane Missiles or Scorch. Keep casting those until Arcane Concentration procs, in which case use Pyroblast. Against casters cast Slow as soon as possible to increase their casting time. When (or if) your mana runs out use Evocation or your wand if Evocation is on cooldown.

Arcane DPS


Basically Arcane Missles spec. I skipped 1 point in Arcane Subtlety because otherwise you couldn't get that POM Pyro you'll probably want to do if you ever pvp. Slow is also for pvp, and I got Magic Absorption so that Mage Armor becomes actually useful in pvp. DPSing is just pressing that missle button over and over unless you really need to bomb them down quick, in which case spam Arcane Blast. It's less efficient but your damage skyrockets. Arcane is the highest DPS spec for mages, because most Fire and Frost Mages will use Arcane Missles for a quick burst of damage, because it does more damage than their normal move despite less efficiency. Arcane makes it do even more damage and makes it somewhat efficient.


Variant 3 minute mage - 34/24/3 [27]

This is a pure PVE build made for farming. It revolves around mana efficiency, and if done with mage shield active can result in hours of farming for the mage with no down time. Elemental Precision is picked up to minimize resists.
[edit] Elementalist

Elementalist
builds combine Fire and Frost talents, with few or no points in Arcane. These builds were very uncommon before the Patch 1.11 Mage talent review, due to abilities such as Evocation and Improved Arcane Explosion being must-have talents for many mages. Also, Fire and Frost trees didn't have much synergy between the two. With the talent review, talents in each tree were modified to provide this cross-tree synergy, such as Shatter affecting non-frost spells, and new talents Elemental Precision and Master of Elements improving both schools. Evocation was made trainable, and Arcane Explosion made instant, meaning many mages could viably drop the Arcane tree all together. These builds are very effective in PvP, and can see use in Raids as well. Elementalists may want to inform their raid leaders of their build beforehand, since there are unique problems associated with this style in PvE.

Many Elementalists tend to focus on one element of the other, often using Fire for DPS and Frost for control and Shatter. A balanced approach offers more versatility, and similar damaging power. Elementalists claim the build requires more skill, especially since helpful abilities from the Arcane tree such as Improved Counterspell and Presence of Mind that see much use in PvP are never present in these builds.

Typical Elemental Builds

Balanced
- 0/24/27 [28]

This build mixes the survivability of Frost with the burst damage of Fire. A solid PVP or RAID build depending on your personal preference.

Fire n Ice - 0/30/21[29]

Whereas the build above aims to walk the line of surviving and dealing high damage, this build is a PVP machine. Frost is used mainly for Shatter to set up heavy damage via an array of AoE attacks. This template is supreme for burning down multiple foes in rapid fashion.

Frost Over Fire - 0/20/41 OR 0/21/40

This build is less for mages who want maximum damage, but great for those who want more survival options. This build will give you the survival capabilities of frost, along with the high damage of pyroblast. This build is more for PvP, because it has a greater use for frostbite. Shatter + Frostbite will make your spells crit a lot when used correctly, and with Master of Elements, that is a lot of mana regained. in 0/20/41 The extra frost nova from the water elemental only increases this, while in 0/21/40 The extra frost AoE + ignite + possable stun's can be very useful in both PvE and PvP, There are 4 extra points, two in frost and two in fire if you don't need to increase your range(Flame Throwing and Arctic Reach), but for some end game raid bosses the extra 6 yards can take you out of some of their spells' ranges.

NOTE: in both builds you can change things but your main goal should be ice barrier and pyro..

ice barrier,pyro and water ele if 0/20/41

ice barrier,pyro and blastwave if 0/21/40

keep in mind there are lot's of combos you can make, just try and test things till you find what works best


Frost/Fire
(may not be the name of it) - 0/30+1/30+1

There is one point left over for you to pick if you want Combustion or Ice barrier i dont know if this is any good but i think Evertras used something close in his "I Suck At Dueling I (30/31 fire/frost)"

[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]






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