Mage PvP Guides for WotLK Classic
Core Concepts for PvP Mages
Being a Mage in PvP, no matter your specialization, is all about following a two-step plan to victory:
- Control your opponent(s) — This can be as simple as landing a Polymorph in preparation for an Arcane Power Arcane Blast, followed by a Presence of Mind Arcane Blast and a Missile Barrage Arcane Missiles one-shot combo, or a complex sequence of freezing and slowing spells meant to exhaust your opponent's means of getting to or away from you.
- Destroy your opponent(s) — Once they are brought under control, you can simply shatter combo them with Frostbolt and Ice Lance and finish them off with your instant casts of Fire Blast, Cone of Cold, and Arcane Explosion. Opponents that are immune to stuns can take heavy damage from Deep Freeze.
The first step is the most important, but also often the hardest one, requiring you to know the tools of the class(es) you are facing and how to trade your cooldowns for theirs. Experience is key!
To make the Icy Veins PvP guides as accurate as possible, they are written in line with the PVP theorycrafting of Finx (ktmfinx#8286 on Discord) from the Mage Discord.
Talent Builds for PvP Mages
Mages have three primary talent builds in PvP: Imp CS + Deep Frost (20/0/51), Deep Arcane (53/7/11), and Imp CS + Deep Fire (20/51/0).
One small, but important detail to keep in mind is that you need 4 to 10% Hit Chance to be capped in PvP. Of those 10%, 4% are to overcome the level-based hit cap, 2% to cover racials like the Undead Shadow Resistance and 4% to counter Ret/Boomkin/Rogue talents. This means Spell Hit talents such as Precision and Arcane Focus are only useful early on, before you have any Hit on your gear.
Further, having 120 Spell penetration is recommended to overcome most of your enemies talents from abilities and PvP talents.
Frost Mage PvP in WotLK Classic
With the introduction of Fingers of Frost, Brain Freeze, and Deep Freeze AND Torment the Weak in WotLK, together with the good old TBC abilities Summon Water Elemental, Icy Veins, and Ice Lance, Frost Mages are absolute powerhouses which setup enemies into crowd control chains, and follow up with Shatter burst from Frost Nova and their elemental's Frost Nova.
Our guide below will take you through what you need to know in order to play as Frost in WotLK Classic PvP.
Deep Arcane Mage PvP in WotLK Classic
If Frost is all about survivability, crowd control, and finesse, Arcane is about bursting down enemies with the deadly Arcane Power, Icy Veins, Arcane Blast, Presence of Mind, Arcane Blast combo that does even more burst if Missile Barrage procs either from Arcane Blast or from Arcane Barrage. If crits and procs align, it can straight up melt enemies with low Resilience, allowing you to get free wins that require little-to-no skill to pull off.
Our guide below will take you through what you need to know in order to play as Arcane in WotLK Classic PvP.
Deep Fire Mage PvP in WotLK Classic
Our guide below will take you through what you need to know in order to play as Fire in WotLK Classic PvP.
Best in Slot (BiS) Mage Gear in WotLK Classic
The Resilience stat makes PvP gear the best for PvP, as this new stat reduces your damage intake significantly, allowing your team much more time to kill your enemies before being overrun.
For each spec, we have separate recommended gear, gems and enchants guide in the respective guide for each spec:
Macros and Addons for Mage in WotLK Classic
Macros and Addons can greatly benefit your gameplay, especially in PvP where split-second decisions translate to wins. Macros lessen the time it takes for you to perform an action by combining two or more commands into a single button. Addons increase the amount of information you are receiving, allowing you to make better decisions on the fly.
We list below our guides for Mage-specific Addons and Macros. While many of these are targeted toward PvE, they can also be quite useful for PvP.
PvP Mage Professions in WotLK
Engineering is very good in WotLK, as you can enchant your gloves with a ~1500 damage rocket on use (45s cooldown) or 340 haste on-use for 12 seconds (60s cooldown). However, the usefulness of Engineering items for Arena might be adjusted by Blizzard. Outside the Arena, it is still the best profession for world PvP and Battlegrounds.
Jewelcrafting gives you +39 Spell power, +34 haste, or +34 Resilience gain, which is great for PVP. This is the highest raw stat gain you can get for PvP
PvP Mage Consumables in WotLK
Consumables are not as important in WotLK as they used to be in WoW Classic and TBC, as Battlegrounds and World PvP are considerably less relevant with the Arena.
In the Arena, you cannot use any sort of consumables, except for Heavy Frostweave Bandage. The only water you can drink is Mage water or Star's Sorrow. This allows you, as a Mage, to provide free water and food for your teammates and yourself, saving a lot of gold in the process.
The potions listed below have a 2-minute shared cooldown and do not work inside the Arena. Bandages work in the Arena, but apply a debuff that prevents the use of another bandage for 1 minute.
Mage Arena Compositions
If you are interested in learning more about a variety of Arena compositions featuring a Mage and their relative strength in PvP, please consult our guides on them below:
- 18 Jan. 2023: Reviewed for Phase 2 release ahead of Ulduar raid release.
- 26 Sep. 2022: Page added.
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