Cataclysm Classic Arcane Mage Leveling

Last updated on May 12, 2024 at 00:00 by Wrdlbrmpft

On this page, you will find our level-by-level Arcane Mage leveling guide for WoW Cataclysm Classic.

1.

Arcane Mage Level by Level Rotation and Talents

The Arcane spec is great for leveling. For the first few levels, it is basically spamming Fireballs. However, as soon as you unlock the Arcane talent tree at level 10, your gain Arcane Barrage Icon Arcane Barrage. This is a very powerful tool for early leveling. With the early Arcane Blast Icon Arcane Blast, you will start doing serious single-target damage at even low levels. For AoE, Arcane is a bit on the weaker side, but together with Engineering grenades (see below in the preparation), you can also AoE level decently.

Move the slider below to make the guide update to your level!

Level: 1
2.

Leveling Talents

Leveling has been greatly eased for casters in Cataclysm. Instead of visiting your class trainer every few levels for new spell ranks, spells automatically grow stronger with each level. Class trainers are only visited to learn spells. At level 10 your talent tree unlocks, giving you a talent tree to choose from, your talent tree specific ability (Arcane Barrage Icon Arcane Barrage for Arcane) and the first talent point. The next talent point comes at level 11 and from then on every uneven level, until level 81. From level 81 on, you gain talent points every level again. If you can, use any heirloom you can get, for the reasons above.

The first three talent points will be placed into Netherwind Presence Icon Netherwind Presence.

The first three talent points will be placed into Netherwind Presence Icon Netherwind Presence, followed by only two points into Arcane Concentration Icon Arcane Concentration. This talent will be filled in later.

Two points should be placed into Improved Arcane Missiles Icon Improved Arcane Missiles for more damage with the talent points gained at Level 19 and 21.

Two points should be placed into Improved Arcane Missiles Icon Improved Arcane Missiles for more damage with the talent points gained at Level 19 and 21. Two points can then be placed in Improved Blink Icon Improved Blink for improved mobility.

Two points should be placed into Improved Arcane Missiles Icon Improved Arcane Missiles for more damage with the talent points gained at Level 19 and 21. Two points can then be placed in Improved Blink Icon Improved Blink for improved mobility and one point in Arcane Concentration Icon Arcane Concentration.

The next two points go into Missile Barrage Icon Missile Barrage to make your Arcane Missiles Icon Arcane Missiles fire faster.

The next two points go into Missile Barrage Icon Missile Barrage to make your Arcane Missiles Icon Arcane Missiles fire faster. One point in Presence of Mind Icon Presence of Mind is a prequisite for the Arcane Tactics Icon Arcane Tactics talent learned later and gives you an instant spell when you need it.

The next two points go into Missile Barrage Icon Missile Barrage to make your Arcane Missiles Icon Arcane Missiles fire faster. One point in Presence of Mind Icon Presence of Mind is a prequisite for the Arcane Tactics Icon Arcane Tactics talent learned later and gives you an instant spell when you need it. Putting two points into Torment the Weak Icon Torment the Weak is a prequisite for later, when Nether Vortex Icon Nether Vortex will automatically slow your Arcane Blast Icon Arcane Blast targets.

Arcane Tactics Icon Arcane Tactics will be your next talent. This gives you and your raid party 3% more damage.

Arcane Tactics Icon Arcane Tactics will be your next talent. This gives you and your raid party 3% more damage. From here, finish Torment the Weak Icon Torment the Weak with one last point.

Arcane Tactics Icon Arcane Tactics will be your next talent. This gives you and your raid party 3% more damage. From here, finish Torment the Weak Icon Torment the Weak with one last point. Two talent points in Arcane Flows Icon Arcane Flows will reduce the cooldown of Evocation Icon Evocation by 2 minutes.

Arcane Tactics Icon Arcane Tactics will be your next talent. This gives you and your raid party 3% more damage. From here, finish Torment the Weak Icon Torment the Weak with one last point. Two talent points in Arcane Flows Icon Arcane Flows will reduce the cooldown of Evocation Icon Evocation by 2 minutes. The next point in Improved Arcane Explosion Icon Improved Arcane Explosion is for group leveling/AoEing. If you plan to AoE level a lot, finish this talent instead of Arcane Flows.

Put one point in Slow Icon Slow. It is not worth using Slow on its own, but is taken for an interaction at the next talent point gain with Nether Vortex Icon Nether Vortex.

Put one point in Slow Icon Slow. It is not worth using Slow on its own, it will be applied automatically by Arcane Blast Icon Arcane Blast if you put the next two talent points into Nether Vortex Icon Nether Vortex, which is amplified by Torment the Weak Icon Torment the Weak.

Put one point in Slow Icon Slow. It is not worth using Slow on its own, it will be applied automatically by Arcane Blast Icon Arcane Blast, if you put the next two talent points into Nether Vortex Icon Nether Vortex, which is amplified by Torment the Weak Icon Torment the Weak. Arcane Potency Icon Arcane Potency soaks the next two points, which is a straight damage buff for your next two spells after a Clearcasting Icon Clearcasting proc from Arcane Concentration Icon Arcane Concentration or Presence of Mind Icon Presence of Mind.

Improved Mana Gem Icon Improved Mana Gem takes the next two points. Use this as a blasting tool whenever your target has high health.

Improved Mana Gem Icon Improved Mana Gem takes the next two points. Use this as a blasting tool whenever your target has high health. Place one more point into Improved Arcane Explosion Icon Improved Arcane Explosion, finishing the talent off.

Improved Mana Gem Icon Improved Mana Gem takes the next two points. Use this as a blasting tool whenever your target has high health. Place one more point into Improved Arcane Explosion Icon Improved Arcane Explosion, finishing the talent off, and place the next two talent points into Incanter's Absorption Icon Incanter's Absorption. You should avoid getting hit by enemies, however you can use this talent to your advantage to nuke high health targets.

Improved Mana Gem Icon Improved Mana Gem takes the next two points. Use this as a blasting tool whenever your target has high health. Place one more point into Improved Arcane Explosion Icon Improved Arcane Explosion, finishing the talent off, and place the next two talent points into Incanter's Absorption Icon Incanter's Absorption. You should avoid getting hit by enemies, however you can use this talent to your advantage to nuke high health targets, especially if combined with the next talent point in Arcane Power Icon Arcane Power and the Mana Gem Icon Mana Gem synergy.

Your talent journey continues in the Fire talent tree. Should you get hit, the three points in Burning Soul Icon Burning Soul will help you against spell pushback.

Your talent journey continues in the Fire talent tree. Should you get hit, the three points in Burning Soul Icon Burning Soul will help you against spell pushback. Fill out Master of Elements Icon Master of Elements next for that extra 30% base Mana cost return on critical strikes.

The last five points go into Piercing Ice Icon Piercing Ice and Shatter Icon Shatter in the Frost talent tree. It depends on your personal preference on if you place points into Shatter or Piercing Ice first. Shatter can be really powerful if you freeze an enemy with Frost Nova Icon Frost Nova, allowing you to land lethal critical hits.

3.

Leveling Glyphs

As your Prime Glyphs we recommend taking Glyph of Arcane Blast Icon Glyph of Arcane Blast, Glyph of Arcane Missiles Icon Glyph of Arcane Missiles and Glyph of Mage Armor Icon Glyph of Mage Armor. Glyph of Evocation Icon Glyph of Evocation, Glyph of Blink Icon Glyph of Blink and Glyph of Arcane Power Icon Glyph of Arcane Power are great Major Glyphs. For Minor Glyphs Glyph of Slow Fall Icon Glyph of Slow Fall, Glyph of Conjuring Icon Glyph of Conjuring and Glyph of Arcane Brilliance Icon Glyph of Arcane Brilliance are solid choices. Please note, that all of these Glyphs are also great for end-game content.

4.

If you prepare the following steps, you will zoom through levels. These preparations are not mandatory, but highly(!) recommended. The prep is absolutely worth the time spent, even if only for one alt. Furthermore, you can use them on any caster alt. First of all you want to start by using heirloom items, as well as enchants. For the first few levels, we also recommend white quality items with strong enchants on them, until you find better items. The enchanting part will give you an extreme time benefit while leveling. Of course you could go even crazier on enchants and prepare them for each level (there are even better enchants from TBC for level 35+ items), however, this guide will focus on the low hanging fruit. Especially in the lower levels, the benefits from preparation works wonders.

Item Source Enchant
Tattered Dreadmist Mask Icon Tattered Dreadmist Mask 1500 Gold, Guild bonus  
Tattered Dreadmist Mantle Icon Tattered Dreadmist Mantle 2175 Justice Points, Heirloom Vendors  
Tattered Dreadmist Robe Icon Tattered Dreadmist Robe 2175 Justice Points, Heirloom Vendors Enchant Chest - Greater Stats Icon Enchant Chest - Greater Stats
Ancient Bloodmoon Cloak Icon Ancient Bloodmoon Cloak 1200 Gold, Guild bonus  
Dread Pirate Ring Icon Dread Pirate Ring Win Kalu'ak Fishing Derby, Dalaran  
Dignified Headmaster's Charge Icon Dignified Headmaster's Charge 3500 Justice Points, Heirloom Vendors Enchant Weapon - Mighty Intellect Icon Enchant Weapon - Mighty Intellect
2x Discerning Eye of the Beast Icon Discerning Eye of the Beast 2725 Justice Points each, Heirloom Vendors  
Alliance: Thin Cloth Gloves Icon Thin Cloth Gloves Vinasia in Darnassus Enchant Gloves - Minor Haste Icon Enchant Gloves - Minor Haste
Alliance: Thin Cloth Shoes Icon Thin Cloth Shoes Vinasia in Darnassus Enchant Boots - Minor Speed Icon Enchant Boots - Minor Speed
Alliance: Thin Cloth Bracers Icon Thin Cloth Bracers Vinasia in DarnassusEnchant Bracer - Greater Intellect Icon Enchant Bracer - Greater Intellect
Horde: Tattered Cloth Gloves Icon Tattered Cloth Gloves Lauren Newcomb in Undercity Enchant Gloves - Minor Haste Icon Enchant Gloves - Minor Haste
Horde: Tattered Cloth Boots Icon Tattered Cloth Boots Lauren Newcomb in Undercity Enchant Boots - Minor Speed Icon Enchant Boots - Minor Speed
Horde: Tattered Cloth Bracers Icon Tattered Cloth Bracers Lauren Newcombin Undercity Enchant Bracer - Greater Intellect Icon Enchant Bracer - Greater Intellect

The heirlooms give you a total 40% bonus XP, which equals 40% less time spent leveling. For all enchants you will need only the following few materials and an enchanter (or you just buy the scrolls off the AH):

  • 1 Small Radiant Shard Icon Small Radiant Shard, Aquamarine Icon Aquamarine, Lesser Nether Essence Icon Lesser Nether Essence each
  • 2 Large Radiant Shard Icon Large Radiant Shard, Wildvine Icon Wildvine each
  • 6 Greater Eternal Essence Icon Greater Eternal Essence (transform one into 3 Lesser Eternal Essence Icon Lesser Eternal Essence)
  • 8 Large Brilliant Shard Icon Large Brilliant Shard
  • 26 Illusion Dust Icon Illusion Dust

For consumables you want to prepare Wizard oils, as they work on heirlooms in Cataclysm. Minor Wizard Oil Icon Minor Wizard Oil (Lvl 5+), Lesser Wizard Oil Icon Lesser Wizard Oil (Lvl 30+), Wizard Oil Icon Wizard Oil (Lvl 40+), Brilliant Wizard Oil Icon Brilliant Wizard Oil (Lvl 45+) and Superior Wizard Oil Icon Superior Wizard Oil (Lvl 58+), and are cheap to make. They persist through death as well, should you die while leveling.

Furthermore, Elixirs are also easy to come by and have a great effect. We recommend: Elixir of Wisdom Icon Elixir of Wisdom (Lvl 10), Elixir of Greater Intellect Icon Elixir of Greater Intellect (Lvl 25), and Flask of Distilled Wisdom Icon Flask of Distilled Wisdom (Lvl 50), Flask of the Frost Wyrm Icon Flask of the Frost Wyrm (Lvl 75), Flask of the Draconic Mind Icon Flask of the Draconic Mind (Lvl 80+). Feasts, such as Seafood Magnifique Feast Icon Seafood Magnifique Feast can be used by level 1 characters. If you have a good friend or a second account to place a feast for you, harness this power. This buff is extremely strong, giving you 90 Stamina and Intellect for an hour. Apart from feasts, buffs from cooking are generally rather weak.

Another tip for leveling is to level Engineering, but this takes a bit more time than the other steps do. It is one of the two best professions a MageMage can get and you need it for your endgame content anyways. Furthermore, it gives you access to Iron Grenade Icon Iron Grenades (Lvl 20), Thorium Grenade Icon Thorium Grenades (Lvl 35), Saronite Bomb Icon Saronite Bombs (Lvl 50) and other useful stuff. Make sure to always max out your Engineering Skill while leveling, especially since you plan on AoE leveling.

Having First Aid as a helping leveling profession goes without saying. Do not sleep on this, you can use very high level bandages very early (see the "Requires ..." tooltip), as you can learn high ranks of First Aid early on. For instance, Expert First Aid - Under Wraps Icon Expert First Aid - Under Wraps does not have a level requirement, only a First Aid skill requirement, making Heavy Runecloth Bandage Icon Heavy Runecloth Bandage usable at level 10. At level 35, when you do the First Aid quest for the skill of 300 (Triage), you can use Master First Aid - Doctor in the House Icon Master First Aid - Doctor in the House afterwards, level to 350 skill and use Frostweave Bandage Icon Frostweave Bandage. At level 65 you can visit the Northrend/WotLK tailoring trainers to skill up to 450 and use Heavy Frostweave Bandage Icon Heavy Frostweave Bandages and Embersilk Bandage Icon Embersilk Bandages. Level 75 is required to finish your First Aid training and to use Heavy Embersilk Bandage Icon Heavy Embersilk Bandage and Dense Embersilk Bandage Icon Dense Embersilk Bandage.

5.

Class Trainer Spells

Please visit the class trainer from time to time to learn the highlighted core-spells. Learning all the other spells not mentioned here is optional, but does not hurt.

  • Levels 1-4 — It is not worth learning spells yet, just level.
  • Level 5 — Fire Blast Icon Fire Blast and Arcane Missiles Icon Arcane Missiles.
  • Level 9 — Counterspell Icon Counterspell
  • Level 12 — Evocation Icon Evocation
  • Level 14 — Polymorph Icon Polymorph
  • Level 16 — Blink Icon Blink
  • Level 18 — Cone of Cold Icon Cone of Cold (AoE ability)
  • Level 20 — Arcane Blast Icon Arcane Blast
  • Level 22 — Arcane Explosion Icon Arcane Explosion (AoE ability)
  • Level 24 — Self-Teleports to major cities
  • Level 30 — Ice Block Icon Ice Block and Remove Curse Icon Remove Curse.
  • Level 34 — Molten Armor Icon Molten Armor
  • Level 36 — Mage Ward Icon Mage Ward
  • Level 38 — Conjure Refreshment Icon Conjure Refreshment
  • Level 42 — Group-Portals to major cities.
  • Level 44 — Flamestrike Icon Flamestrike (AoE ability)
  • Level 46 — Mana Shield Icon Mana Shield
  • Level 48 — Conjure Mana Gem Icon Conjure Mana Gem
  • Level 50 — Mirror Image Icon Mirror Image
  • Level 52 — Blizzard Icon Blizzard (AoE ability)
  • Level 58 — Arcane Brilliance Icon Arcane Brilliance
  • Level 66 — Teleport and Portal to Shattrath (Iorioa in the middle of Shattrath).
  • Level 68 — Mage Armor Icon Mage Armor
  • Level 74 — Teleport and Portal to Dalaran (Archmage Celindra in Dalaran).
  • Level 76 — Ritual of Refreshment Icon Ritual of Refreshment
  • Level 81 — Flame Orb Icon Flame Orb
  • Level 83 — Ring of Frost Icon Ring of Frost
  • Level 85 — Please visit your class trainer to learn all spells!
6.

Leveling Rotation

The Arcane rotation is pretty easy, so we jump right into it.

For single-target combat, you cast Fireball Icon Fireball or Frostbolt Icon Frostbolt pull mobs. Use Arcane Missiles Icon Arcane Missiles if it procs (and the mob does not hit you, causing spell pushback). Arcane Barrage Icon Arcane Barrage can be used to finish off mobs or on while moving. Occasionally Frost Nova Icon Frost Nova or Blink Icon Blink if you need to gain distance.

For single-target combat, you cast Arcane Blast Icon Arcane Blast to pull mobs and build stacks. Be careful, if you gather too many stacks, Mana cost will explode. Use Arcane Missiles Icon Arcane Missiles if it procs (and the mob does not hit you, causing spell pushback), or Arcane Barrage Icon Arcane Barrage to reset your stacks and deal big damage. Occasionally Frost Nova Icon Frost Nova or Blink Icon Blink if you need to gain distance. Arcane Barrage Icon Arcane Barrage is also a great spell to cast when you need to move. Use cooldowns like Presence of Mind Icon Presence of Mind, Arcane Power Icon Arcane Power whenever you need to hard nuke a target.

In AoE combat, you basically only spam Arcane Explosion Icon Arcane Explosion, use Cone of Cold Icon Cone of Cold to slow mobs. With Frost Nova Icon Frost Nova, you can let your enemies eat one Arcane Explosion or Blizzard Icon Blizzard, before it breaks. Flamestrike Icon Flamestrike can be used together with Presence of Mind Icon Presence of Mind. If you have Engineering, the grenades mentioned in the Preparation part of this guide will help you a big time.

In both AoE and single-target situations, make sure to always have a Mage Armor (Molten Armor Icon Molten Armor from level 34 on, Mage Armor Icon Mage Armor) and your Arcane Brilliance Icon Arcane Brilliance (Level 58+) up. At level 81, learn Flame Orb Icon Flame Orb and use it on cooldown! Ring of Frost Icon Ring of Frost is learned at level 83 and is a great tool for CCing mobs and for AoE, too. Blink Icon Blink, Slow Fall Icon Slow Fall, Polymorph Icon Polymorph and Ice Block Icon Ice Block can be life-savers. Evocation Icon Evocation can be used every 4 minutes (2 minutes if talented) to restore 45% of your mana. Teleport spells to the major cities of your faction can be learned at each cities' Mage trainer from level 24 on. These can greatly reduce your travel time. Once you have learned Mirror Image Icon Mirror Image, you can use them to focus enemy fire on them while you nuke your foes.

7.

Continue Improving at Level 85

Congratulations on hitting Level 85 in Cataclysm! Now that your leveling process is over, you can learn more about Level 85 Arcane Mage gameplay by reading our fully detailed guide below.

8.

Changelog

  • 12 May 2024: Guide added.
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