Classic Mage DPS Spec, Builds, and Talents
Talent Builds for Mages
This being said, feel free to use a Fire build instead if you are focused on dungeons, as Fire is a very effective build for most of them.
If you were looking for leveling builds, please refer to our leveling guide for Mages.
Mage Talent Builds: Arcane Power Frost
This build is the highest Frost damage dealer, allowing to have some of the best Frost tree damage oriented talents, such as Ice Shards, combined with the best of the Arcane tree, including the powerful Arcane Power.
Due to the strict talent tree required to get Frost Channeling and Arcane Power, the only preference points available are the ones we put into Magic Absorption and Improved Arcane Explosion. You can replace these with points into Magic Attunement, Wand Specialization or Improved Counterspell.
Mage Talent Builds: Winter's Chill Frost
Due to its great power in buffing Frost spell damage, Winter's Chill is a must have from one of the Mages during Molten Core and Blackwing Lair. Due to the high amount of points required to get it, this build will do less damage than Arcane Power Frost, but boost the raid's damage as a whole.
Since you are forced to go deep into the Frost tree anyway, there are a lot of preference points available. We opted to make the build as AoE grinding friendly as possible, with points into Permafrost and Improved Blizzard. If you want more single-target damage against regular enemies instead, simply swap these points into Improved Frost Nova and Shatter, or any other talent of your preference.
Mage Talent Builds: Fire
Putting it quite simply: this is the highest Mage (and possibly ranged) damage spec in the game, as long as what you are hitting is not Fire immune or resistant.
Once your critical strike chance is high enough, Ignite becomes a monster, constantly fed by all the Mages in your group into dealing higher, and higher numbers over time. The other talents in the Fire Mage tree are also very powerful for damage dealing, with Fire Power and Critical Mass alone providing 10% more damage and 6% more critical strike chance.
While spare points are scarce, once you feel your Mana does not need help during fights, feel free to drop points in Magic Absorption and Arcane Meditation, and put them into Improved Flamestrike, Blast Wave, and Improved Arcane Explosion for a massive AoE damage boost.
Notable DPS Mage Talents
The arcane tree is full of utility goodies for Mages, including very powerful damage boosting talents at the end of the tree.
Arcane Concentration allows Clearcasting to happen after 10% of your casts, which saves a ton of Mana over time and allows gameplay such as using weaker, cheaper spells to proc it, followed by your strongest, most expensive spell.
Presence of Mind makes your next spell be instantly cast, but only once every 3-minutes. This can be used to deal burst damage with Frostbolt and other longer cast time spells, or to instantly crowd control an enemy with Polymorph, for example.
Arcane Power increases your damage by 30% but makes them also cost 30% more Mana, and only lasts 15 seconds, with a 3-minute cooldown. This is a very powerful boost to your damage, which ultimately requires a heavy commitment to the Arcane tree, and as such is not available to most builds.
Ignite allows your critical strikes to create a damage over time effect on the target for 40% extra damage over 4 seconds. This damage over time effect has its duration reset, and grows, for each extra critical strike from Ignite Mage's Fire spells landed in its duration, which has incredible synergy with a raid full of Fire Mages.
Improved Scorch allows Scorch to stack up a debuff that increase enemy damage taken from your Fire spells, which is obviously a very powerful effect that you will want to have, and keep, on longer lived enemies as much as possible.
Blast Wave is both a powerful AoE damage spell, and a crowd control tool due to its 50% slow for 6 seconds to anyone hit. Use it when kiting, and to open up a fight, especially against multiple opponents.
Combustion is a powerful 3-minute cooldown that causes your critical strike chance with Fire spells to increase by 10% (stacking) for each of your Fire spell hits, lasting until you caused 3 critical strikes with Fire spells. Use it for bursting down enrage phases or whenever all of your other cooldowns and trinkets are also available.
Permafrost increases the duration of your slowing effects by up to 3 seconds and makes them slow for 10% more. This allows lower duration slows, such as Improved Blizzard to be much more annoying and impactful on opponents, and makes Cone of Cold have a longer slow duration than its cooldown.
Cold Snap has a lengthy 10-minutes cooldown, but instantly resets all of your Frost spell cooldowns when used. This makes it an incredibly flexible tool, for damage in the form of back-to-back Cone of Colds, or for added control in the form of extra Frost Novas and Ice Blocks.
Improved Blizzard causes your Blizzard spell to slow hit targets by up to 65% for 2 seconds. When combined with Permafrost, the duration and slow effects are increased to 5, and 75%, respectively, which is extremely strong for controlling packs of enemies, or slowing single enemies with the Rank 1 version.
Ice Block literally turns you into an ice block, immune to all enemy attacks for 10 seconds, but also incapable of performing any action while it is active. It removes all debuffs on you, which makes it extremely useful against certain bosses, but its main use is to allow you to survive otherwise deadly damage.
Winter's Chill makes your Frost spells increase the likelihood further Frost spells will critically strike the target by up 10%, when at 5 stacks. This is a very powerful raid buff when there are several Frost Mages present, and should be applied as soon as possible.
Ice Barrier creates a barrier of ice around you, absorbing damage for 1 minute. This is very useful, for the extra survivability, and also for the immunity to spell interruption from damage while it lasts.
- 30 Jun. 2019: Page added.
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