Classic Mage DPS Guide

Last updated on Dec 01, 2020 at 14:11 by Seksixeny 37 comments

Welcome to our Mage DPS guide for WoW Classic, tailored for PvE content. Here, you will learn how all you need to know to play the Mage class as DPS. Click the links #below to navigate the guide or read this page for a short introduction.

If you were looking for TBC Classic content, please refer to our TBC Classic Mage guides:

Mages are, arguably, the best ranged DPS class in WoW Classic. Sporting impressive PvE DPS from the start, due to strong talents such as Elemental Precision Icon Elemental Precision, Mages are also full of tricks, such as Polymorph Icon Polymorph, Blink Icon Blink and Ice Block Icon Ice Block, which are useful in PvE and unrivaled for PvP, when in the hands of a master. Finally, they have great convenience tools, such as Teleport: Stormwind Icon Teleport: Stormwind, or the group version Portal: Stormwind Icon Portal: Stormwind, and Conjure Water Icon Conjure Water or Conjure Food Icon Conjure Food.


Mage in the Season of Mastery

Although the Season of Mastery brings with it a number of changes to how you may experience the content of WoW Classic, these tweaks do not include any adjustments to how you play Mage. As such, this guide will cover all you need to know regardless of which version of Classic you wish to play.

However, due to certain pieces of content from later Phases now being available at an earlier date, gearing recommendations for Mage will be different. Because of this, we have created additional pages detailing your best in slot items for both pre-raid gear and the current raids available.


Mage Strengths

  • Highest ranged damage potential in the game, all the way from the start as a Frost Mage (roughly tied with Hunters in early Molten Core parses), down to the finish as Fire Mage (unrivaled ranged damage in Naxxramas).
  • Has tools for every type of situation and convenience, as well as the best Crowd Control tools in the game.
  • One of the classes where your skill matters the most, ahead of every other aspect.

Mage Weaknesses

  • Squishiest class in the game. If you are caught off-guard you can die in the blink of an eye, watch out for Ambush Icon Ambush!
  • Very Mana hungry, especially while leveling, which forces you to rest and drink often.
  • For most high-end PvE content, you will be stuck spamming either Frostbolt Icon Frostbolt or Fireball Icon Fireball, which can get boring after a while.

Best Races for Mages

While racials are important, look and feel is even more important for many players. These should be your main consideration when picking a race!


Best Races for Alliance Mages

Gnome is the best race for PvE and PvP. Human has inferior perks for Mages, but feel free to roll it if you prefer its looks! You can read more details on each race below.


Gnome Mages

Gnome is the best race for Alliance Mages, due to Expansive Mind Icon Expansive Mind, which increases Intellect by 5%, leading to a larger Mana pool and higher critical strike chance. Their racial ability, Escape Artist Icon Escape Artist, is also a deal breaker in PvP, where being caught means death. Finally, they also have Engineering Specialization Icon Engineering Specialization, which is quite useful in WoW Classic, due to the power of Engineering.


Human Mages

Human is weaker than Gnome in every aspect, but racials are not as huge as skill and gear, so we would recommend you to play it if you really enjoy their look and feel compared to Gnome's.


Best Races for Horde Mages

Troll is the best race for PvE and Undead is, arguably, the best race for PvP. You can read more details on why below.


Troll Mages

  • Beast Slaying Icon Beast Slaying gives a 5% damage bonus against Beasts.
  • Berserking Icon Berserking is a 3-minute cooldown that gives you between 10-30% increased attack and casting speed depending on your health, with the effect being greater the more hurt you are.
  • Bow Specialization Icon Bow Specialization increases your skill with Bows by 5, which increases your chance to hit with a bow.
  • Regeneration Icon Regeneration gives +10% passive health regeneration and allows you to regenerate 10% of your total health regeneration during combat.

Troll is the best PvE race for Horde Mages, due to Berserking Icon Berserking's DPS increase. Beast Slaying Icon Beast Slaying is also a nice boost whenever you are fighting beasts.


Undead Mages

  • Will of the Forsaken Icon Will of the Forsaken is a 2-minute cooldown that makes your immune to all Fear, Sleep, and Charm effects for 5 seconds. This will also break you out of any current effects.
  • Cannibalize Icon Cannibalize is a 2-minute cooldown that lets you channel to consume a nearby corpse, regenerating 7% of your total health every 2 seconds for 10 seconds for a total of 35% health.
  • Underwater Breathing Icon Underwater Breathing allows you to breath underwater for 300% longer than normal.
  • Shadow Resistance Icon Shadow Resistance increases your shadow resistance by 10.

Undead is, arguably, the best PvP race for Horde Mages, as Will of the Forsaken Icon Will of the Forsaken provides a way to break out of dangerous crowd control effects, which can otherwise spell your doom.


Best Professions for Mages

Mages can do insane DPS, especially in later WoW Classic, when geared and in Fire specialization. Engineering is the best profession for improving your damage, as its bombs and sapper charges deal a ton of area of effect damage. Combine these with Arcane Explosion Icon Arcane Explosion and watch the honor kills rack up!

If you enjoy traveling the world, get Mining so that you can mine what Engineering needs yourself. Otherwise, Tailoring is great for Mages due to Robe of the Archmage Icon Robe of the Archmage, one of the best pre-raid chests. Also, you can get easy gold from Mooncloth Icon Mooncloth and wand / bag selling!

We would recommend reading our profession guides for the full briefing on the different professions WoW Classic has to offer.



  • 01 Dec. 2020 (gear page): Reworked the BiS guide with Naxxramas and clarity in mind.
  • 01 Dec. 2020 (enchants page): Added Phase 6 shoulder enchants, Frozen Runes, and the Silithus world buff.
  • 12 Nov. 2020 (gear page): Added a Phase 6 gear best in slot list.
  • 05 Nov. 2020 (gear page): Added a Frost Resistance gear list.
  • 06 Aug. 2020 (gear page): Transferred the Ahn'Qiraj gear into the main guide.
  • 27 Jul. 2020 (gear page): Added a link to the Nature Resistance gear guide.
  • 14 Jul. 2020 (enchants page): Updated enchant and consumable list for Phase 5.
  • 13 Jul. 2020 (gear page): Added a link to Ahn'Qiraj gear suggestions.
  • 19 May 2020 (gear page): Added Cloak of the Hakkari Worshipers and Sandworm Skin Gloves.
  • 19 May 2020 (enchants page): Updated with current World Buffs as of Phase 4 as well as glove enchants.
  • 15 May 2020 (gear page): Added Silithus Twilight boss summonings gear.
  • 23 Apr. 2020 (gear page): Added Bloodcaller and Zulian Ceremonial Staff.
  • 15 Apr. 2020 (gear page): Added a few missing Zul'Gurub items.
  • 15 Apr. 2020 (enchants page): Added Zul'Gurub consumables and enchants.
  • 14 Apr. 2020 (gear page): Updated with Zul'Gurub gear and some new PvP options.
  • 11 Mar. 2020 (gear page): Updated with Arathi Basin gear.
  • 28 Feb. 2020 (gear page): Added Flarecore Leggings.
  • 11 Feb. 2020 (gear page): Transformed this page into a WoW Classic Mage gear hub and added Blackwing Lair BiS.
  • 11 Jan. 2020 (stats page): Reworked Spell Power's coefficient explanation.
  • 04 Jan. 2020 (gear page): Added PvP reputation gear and more ranked PvP gear.
  • 23 Nov. 2019 (gear page): Separated the Horde / Alliance PvP gear into different lines.
  • 18 Nov. 2019 (gear page): Updated the BiS list for Phase 2.
  • 04 Nov. 2019 (gear page): Added an Area of Effect grinding BiS gear list.
  • 13 Oct. 2019 (gear page): Added Dire Maul gear to the BiS list.
  • 29 Sep. 2019 (gear page): Added Phase One Molten Core / Onyxia gear BiS list.
  • 29 Sep. 2019 (enchants page): Added a shortlist with the essential consumables for Mages, ranked by price vs effectiveness.
  • 19 Sep. 2019 (gear page): Changed some gear slots due to powerful gear that was confirmed to be available in Phase 1, when it was previously not thought to be the case.
  • 27 Aug. 2019 (this page): Added a section for each race to make the guide easier to read.
  • 24 Aug. 2019 (this page): Reworked race section and improved the professions section, adding more details, item links and tips.
  • 16 Aug. 2019 (gear page): Added new special gear to the list and changed its position to the bottom of the guide.
  • 12 Aug. 2019 (enchants page): Added weapon enchant.
  • 29 Jul. 2019 (enchants page): Corrected some text typos.
  • 29 Jul. 2019 (stats page): Corrected some text typos.
  • 29 Jul. 2019 (rotation page): Corrected some text typos.
  • 29 Jul. 2019 (this page): Changed the description of Gnomes slightly based on feedback.
  • 30 Jun. 2019 (gear page): Page added.
  • 30 Jun. 2019 (enchants page): Page added.
  • 30 Jun. 2019 (stats page): Page added.
  • 30 Jun. 2019 (rotation page): Page added.
  • 30 Jun. 2019 (talents page): Page added.
  • 30 Jun. 2019 (spells page): Page added.
  • 30 Jun. 2019 (this page): Page added.
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