Classic Mage DPS Spell Summary

Last updated on Jun 30, 2019 at 10:27 by Seksixeny 33 comments
[:dps, nil, "DPS"]
1.

Introduction

This page will list the relevant skills for a Mage, and explain what they do. It is recommended that you read through this page in order to have a basis for the various topics that are discussed throughout the rest of this guide.

2.

Core Rotational Abilities for Mages against a Single Target

Frostbolt Icon Frostbolt is your bread and butter PvE spell as a Frost Mage, as it has the best damage, range, and Mana cost ratio in their kit. Even in PvP, it has plenty of uses, as long as you are able to cast it before being interrupted. Its Rank 1 version is one of the fastest casting spells in the game, while keeping its strong slowing properties, and should be used whenever you are requiring a quick single-target slow.

Scorch Icon Scorch is, technically, only used to stack Improved Scorch Icon Improved Scorch and to finish enemies off as a Fire Mage in PvE. For PvP, however, its short cast time and no travel time make it a very useful finisher or quick cast you can use while kiting or chasing enemies.

Fireball Icon Fireball, is a Fire Mage's PvE bread and butter spell, for much the same reasons as Frostbolt Icon Frostbolt for Frost: it has the best damage, range, and Mana cost ratio in the kit and scales well with spell damage. In PvP, its uses are limited by its high cast time, but if you can find an opening feel free to cast some!

Arcane Missiles Icon Arcane Missiles is the only Arcane themed single-target spell in WoW Classic, and also the only Mage spell that you can reliably cast without being interrupted by damage in PvP, specifically when using Improved Arcane Missiles Icon Improved Arcane Missiles, and especially against melee players since it will auto-track them as they jump around you. Unfortunately, its overall damage, range, and Mana cost ratio is way worse than the other options, making it not viable for PvE.

3.

Core Rotational Abilities for Mages against Multiple Targets

Flamestrike Icon Flamestrike causes strong area of effect damage instantly, followed by extra damage over 8 seconds to enemies who stay in its area of effect. Due to its high cast time requirements, it is typically used with Presence of Mind Icon Presence of Mind or as an opener against unsuspecting or frozen enemies.

Blizzard Icon Blizzard also causes strong area of effect damage but, unlike Flamestrike Icon Flamestrike, this damage starts immediately and is spread over its 8-second duration. When you are using it with Improved Blizzard Icon Improved Blizzard it also slows enemies in its area of effect, converting it into the ultimate tool in the AoE grinding Mage's kit. Use Rank 1 to quickly push enemies out of stealth.

Arcane Explosion Icon Arcane Explosion causes moderate area of effect damage instantly around you. Its instant, no-cooldown nature, makes it great for finishing weakened enemies off, and also causes its damage to be guaranteed, while you can easily be interrupted, or even killed before Flamestrike Icon Flamestrike or Blizzard Icon Blizzard deal damage.

Cone of Cold Icon Cone of Cold causes strong area of effect damage instantly in front of you, and also slows for a considerable amount, with a long duration. This makes it one of Mage's best do-it-all tools, which you will be using in most PvE solo situations and everywhere you go, in PvP.

4.

Cooldowns for Mages

Because Mage is such a versatile class, it is impossible to cleanly divide most of their cooldowns into strictly defensive, and strictly offensive ones. Even something usually purely defensive like Ice Block Icon Ice Block can be used to quickly break crowd control and chase down a fleeing player. Thus, instead of categorizing them into offensive and defensive categories, we will comment on each individually.

Evocation Icon Evocation causes you to rapidly regenerate most of your Mana over 8 seconds of channeling, with a cooldown of 8 minutes. Use it to quickly regain Mana in the middle of combat, if you find yourself out of Mana.

Fire Blast Icon Fire Blast is available to all Mages and causes an instant burst of damage to an enemy. Use it to finish off low-health enemies or when casting is not opportune, such as when chasing fleeing enemies, and against enemies who will interrupt your casts.

4.1.

Cooldowns specific to Frost Mages

Cold Snap Icon 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 Cold Icon Cone of Colds, and for control in the form of extra Frost Nova Icon Frost Novas and Ice Block Icon Ice Blocks.

Ice Block Icon 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 is extremely useful against Warlocks, but its main use is to allow you to survive overwhelming odds, while planning your next move and waiting for cooldowns to reset.

Ice Barrier Icon 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.

4.2.

Cooldowns specific to Fire Mages

Pyroblast Icon Pyroblast does huge damage, but also requires 6 seconds to be cast. This means it is usually used alongside Presence of Mind Icon Presence of Mind or as an opener, before enemy players can react to your presence or while they are Polymorph Icon Polymorphed.

Blast Wave Icon 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 Icon 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.

4.3.

Cooldowns specific to Arcane Mages

Presence of Mind Icon Presence of Mind makes your next spell be instantly cast, but only once every 3-minutes. This can be used to burst very hard with Pyroblast Icon Pyroblast (or Frostbolt Icon Frostbolt, if you are not Fire specced), to instantly crowd control an enemy with Polymorph Icon Polymorph and other, more niche, uses.

Arcane Power Icon 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, but ultimately it requires a heavy commitment to the Arcane tree that lowers your burst damage outside of the Arcane Power window.

5.

Baseline Passives for Mages

Dodge Icon Dodge allows you to avoid a melee attack, as long as you are facing the enemy when it is attacking.

Shoot Icon Shoot allows you to use a wand to deal damage, saving Mana in the process.

6.

Movement Abilities for Mages

Blink Icon Blink lets you teleport a short distance in front of wherever you are facing, assuming there are no obstacles in the way. It also removes stuns and root effects, making it extremely useful to use immediately after being hit with Intercept Icon Intercept, Kidney Shot Icon Kidney Shot, and similar abilities.

7.

Crowd Control Abilities for Mages

Counterspell Icon Counterspell interrupts enemy casts for 10 seconds, on a 30-second cooldown. Use it to keep enemies under control while you (and your group) kill them.

Frost Nova Icon Frost Nova freezes nearby enemies, stopping their movements. This is very useful to gain distance against melee enemies, or when chasing fleeing enemies. It can also increase your damage through Shatter Icon Shatter's effect.

Polymorph Icon Polymorph disables an enemy for a long duration, during which it will rapidly heal to full health. This is one of the most reliable hard crowd control spells in the game, and you can use it to gain control over your opponents in most types of situations where you are fighting multiple targets.

8.

Buffs from Mages

Arcane Intellect Icon Arcane Intellect increases the Intellect of yourself, or a target party member, by a fixed amount for a long duration. Use this to boost the Mana pool and critical strike chance of your team.

Frost Armor Icon Frost Armor and Ice Armor Icon Ice Armor slow enemies who hit you in melee, as well as granting you some extra armor (and Frost resistance, in the case of Ice Armor). These are typically quite useful against melee enemies, reducing both their mobility and their damage if they ever get close to you.

Mage Armor Icon Mage Armor increases your magic resistance and allows 30% of your Mana to continue while you are casting, which translates to a lot of Mana gain over the course of a long encounter.

Mana Shield Icon Mana Shield absorbs physical damage, but drains 2 points of Mana per each damage absorbed, which can quickly run out of Mana, if you are not careful. Still, this shield will prevent interruption from damage and dazing or getting dismounted from damage while active, which is extremely useful. It also often save your life against overwhelming burst damage such as what Eviscerate Icon Eviscerate can do.

Dampen Magic Icon Dampen Magic and Amplify Magic Icon Amplify Magic reduce and increase the target's magic damage taken, and also the healing it receives from spells. This is very useful to reduce the damage you take against magic-wielding enemies while solo, or to increase your healing received when facing physical damage enemies, while in a group.

Fire Ward Icon Fire Ward and Frost Ward Icon Frost Ward shield you for a significant amount of Fire and Frost damage, respectively. Use them when you know you will be taking potentially deadly damage of their respective type within the next 30 seconds.

9.

Utility Abilities for Mages

Teleport: Stormwind Icon Teleport: Stormwind, Teleport: Orgrimmar Icon Teleport: Orgrimmar, Teleport: Ironforge Icon Teleport: Ironforge, Teleport: Undercity Icon Teleport: Undercity, Teleport: Darnassus Icon Teleport: Darnassus, Teleport: Thunder Bluff Icon Teleport: Thunder Bluff are all used to facilitate your transportation around the world.

Portal: Stormwind Icon Portal: Stormwind, Portal: Orgrimmar Icon Portal: Orgrimmar, Portal: Ironforge Icon Portal: Ironforge, Portal: Undercity Icon Portal: Undercity, Portal: Darnassus Icon Portal: Darnassus, Portal: Thunder Bluff Icon Portal: Thunder Bluff are all tools you can use to facilitate your group's transportation around the world.

Remove Lesser Curse Icon Remove Lesser Curse allows you to remove one curse effect from yourself or an ally. Since there are many deadly curses in WoW Classic, this is an invaluable asset Mages (and Druids) bring to a group.

Slow Fall Icon Slow Fall causes you to fall slowly for the next 30 seconds, and requires a Light Feather to be used. Its most obvious use is to prevent fall damage, but it can also be used to reach otherwise impossible to reach places.

Detect Magic Icon Detect Magic allows you and your party to see what beneficial magic effects are present on the target. A niche spell, it is typically used to give your group advance warning on important buffs that might need to be dispelled off the target.

Conjure Mana Agate Icon Conjure Mana Agate, Conjure Mana Jade Icon Conjure Mana Jade, Conjure Mana Citrine Icon Conjure Mana Citrine, and Conjure Mana Ruby Icon Conjure Mana Ruby serve as Mana "potions" during combat. You can only have one of each in your inventory at any time, and recasting them during combat wastes more Mana than you would gain, so keep some of them with you before entering prolonged combat.

Conjure Food Icon Conjure Food and Conjure Water Icon Conjure Water allow you to create your own food and water supplies, which can also be traded to nearby friendly players, making them your friends forever!

10.

Changelog

  • 30 Jun. 2019: Page added.
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