Mage Leveling Guide From 1 to 70 for TBC Classic
Welcome to the Burning Crusade leveling guide for Mages. Here, you will learn how to efficiently level your Mage all the way to Level 70.
This guide will aim to provide you with a clear skill and gear path to max level as a Mage in TBC Classic. We will focus on talents, skills to buy and spell rotation, as well as leveling gear and the class-specific quests you will find along the way.
General TBC Leveling Advice
Providing non-Hunter leveling advice is outside the scope of this article and is covered in our general TBC leveling guide.
Mage Talents for Leveling in TBC Classic
Mages have three talent trees: Arcane, Fire and Frost
Frost is the recommended leveling build due to its consistency and flexibility when dealing with World PvP, as well as the strong defensive power of Frost's chill and freeze effects which will render most enemies unable to fight back. Other strong points in Frost's are the Summon Water Elemental and Icy Veins abilities, both introduced in The Burning Crusade. These abilities further enhance the already-great Frost Mage capabilities.
Frost can be played with a focus on single-targeting enemies one by one, which is maybe one of the easiest specializations to play in TBC Classic and extremely safe. The main downside, however, is that it can be slow to level with relative to the alternative.
You can also throw caution to the wind and specialize in pulling and killing 5+ enemies at once. In order to do this you will require a specialized talent tree focused on Improved Blizzard and a lot of skill to consistently pull it off. It will also be required that you farm relatively uncontested spots, as otherwise you will not have enough enemies to pull in order to make the AoE Grinding worth it. Contrary to not having enough enemies to pull, the AoE cap introduced in TBC will also make your AoE spells deal a maximum amount of damage which means you can also pull too many mobs and deal less damage to them.
Another advantage of leveling as Frost is that it gets you acquainted with the spells and talents you will be using during the first raids of TBC Classic: Karazhan, Gruul's Lair and Magtheridon's Lair. Frost also maximizes your ability to control enemies in 5-man dungeons and delivers Summon Water Elemental as a great burst-damage tool. In addition to all that, Frost is the most Mana efficient spec for leveling, raiding and dungeons. Later on, when you have farmed your pre-raid gear and already have some raid pieces, you will be able to easily switch to Fire or Arcane spec if you choose.
Compared to single target leveling, AoE leveling will always be faster. The new TBC talents make this task much easier than it was before in Classic with Icy Veins and Summon Water Elemental being the two main reasons. After reaching Level 70, at the most optimal pace, the AoE spec will only be useful for farming and 5-man dungeons. If you plan to do anything beyond that, respeccing to a proper Arcane, Fire or Frost raiding spec is recommended.
If you are especially fond of it, Arcane has a flexible, strong, all-rounder tree which starts off slow but quickly grows in power once you approach Level 40 and beyond. Once you hit 70, the Arcane spec we recommend for leveling will have to be changed into a raiding spec.
Finally, Fire is a very powerful single-target leveling spec, having some of the best damage-increasing talents in the game on its tree. Once you hit 70 you will be optimized for Level 70 dungeons, and if you have some Mana support like a Shadow Priest, you may also go into raids with this spec. However, a respec to a Fire raiding spec is recommended and generally Frost will be less-dependent on support.
Fastest Leveling Talents and Strategy for TBC Mages
The ultimate way to speed level in TBC Classic is through Mage AoE grinding. Because you need Blizzard and Improved Blizzard in order to do it consistently, begin with this Fire-focused build. It will make questing and single targeting enemies up until Level 22, where you will get the two talents above, safer and easier.
At this point, you should be able to immediately begin grinding like a pro with our AoE grinding guide:
A nice bonus of this approach is that by the time you are near Level 70, this method of leveling will have made you quite rich from the items the mobs you farm drop. While doing this AoE grinding method, it is recommended to set your hearthstone to a nearby inn and have a bank alt you can send all your loot to quickly.
To get an impression of how AoE grinding for Levels 1 to 60 is done, watch this guide by Stretta. For Levels 60 to 70, we recommend taking a look at the Slave Pens method by Fp, demonstrated in this impressive video .
Dungeon Leveling as a Mage — Spell Cleave
Leveling with a premade group in dungeons is extremely fast in TBC Classic, and you can maximize your experience-per-hour by pulling big groups using Improved Blizzard-based kiting strategies such as the ones we list in the Mage AoE grinding strategy guide.
While leveling the following way will not be for everyone, as it requires a group of people of specific classes doing specific pulls for maximum efficiency, feel free to give it a try with your friends. If doing so, we recommend Devilin's Prot Video!
Even though this video is with a Paladin, you can also farm dungeons in a similar fashion and make even bigger pulls with five Mages, taking turns on Ice Blocking pulls and using your Water Elementals and aggro-ping-pong strategies to kill bosses. There are no limits to your creativity when using this method.
Learning professions early on is very useful, as you can naturally level them as you go and avoid extra work at max level. However, leveling professions during leveling also decreases your leveling speed because you will not kill mobs during that time and gain no experience. It is a decision you have to make on your own on whether you want to have maxed out professions when you hit Level 70 or not; the time investment stays regardless. Gathering professions, however, are great to level during your journey from 1-70, since they often increase with your natural progress through the different zones of World of Warcraft.
We recommend that you learn First Aid as soon as possible for easy self-healing. Skinning, Herbalism, and Mining are great primary professions for a leveling Mage, allowing you to make extra gold or accumulate materials that you can use to level crafting professions later. There is also a case to be made for leveling Engineering early on since its crafts, such as Iron Grenade, can make your leveling much easier
While Mages are quite gear-independent while leveling. However, you should still aim to gather items with as much Intellect as possible, making your Mana pool last longer before you have to drink or wait for regeneration. Intellect further allows you to cast more spells against enemies before you are running oom, which is especially important for AoE grinding.
Spirit is also a useful stat for leveling, as it increases your Health and Mana regeneration rates, but keep in mind you can only regenerate Health outside combat unless you are a Troll and Mana will not regenerate if you cast a spell in the past 5 seconds unless you use Mage Armor, making this stat mostly useful while traveling and eating/drinking, which you will do a lot.
Spell Damage will be very useful at maximum level, but its impact on the spells you will be using while leveling is low, and it has no effect whatsoever on wand damage which you will be using often to finish enemies off; do not go out of your way to get it on your gear for the lower levels. During higher levels past Level 50, and if you do a lot of single-target farming, the value of Spell Damage greatly increases, as it is free damage that does not cost you any Mana.
Stamina allows you to live for longer and can be useful in PvP situations and when gathering enemies up for AoE grinding, but for the most part you should aim to kill enemies from a distance, taking little damage in return.
Progressing your Mage at Level 70
By the time you hit level 70 and want to learn how to play in PvE content, we recommend you to use the other Mage articles for guidance. Raid spots for Mages in TBC are more rare than in other expansions of WoW, so gaining additional knowledge over your competition will help you getting in.
- 02 Jun. 2021: Updated Level 22 talent and spirit description, added links to PvE guides.
- 27 May 2021: Updated format, slightly changed text, added links to Frost AoE guide.
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