Mages in the Season of Discovery receive exciting runes that redefine their role in all PvE content. The traditional Frost rotation gives way to new dynamics, especially with the rise of Arcane and Fire specs. Frost sees additions like Fingers of Frost, Ice Lance, and Icy Veins, but the meta now leans towards playing Arcane or Fire.
Fire Mages: Fire Mages, once a powerhouse in Classic, gain additional runes that enhance their toolkit. Living Flame summons a trail of spellfire towards the target, Living Bomb becomes a powerful DoT with AoE potential, and Burnout boosts crit chance with all spells by 15%. Fire Mages are expected to shine, pending mana considerations in the early stages.
Arcane Mages: Arcane Mages, overshadowed in Classic, receive new spells in the Season of Discovery. Arcane Blast, reminiscent of its TBC/WOTLK version, buffs other Arcane spells, while Arcane Surge unleashes a burst of Arcane energy, dealing up to 300% more damage based on current mana. Both Fire and Arcane specs promise strength and enjoyment.
In addition to runes, Mages now utilize scrolls, providing buffs and the unique ability to resurrect with Reintegration. Scrolls come in two tiers, with specific buffs randomly assigned upon identification using a Comprehension Charm. These scrolls offer versatility and strategic options for Mages.
Tier 1 Scrolls - Level 10
Tier 2 Scrolls - Level 20
Fire is one of the options for Mage DPS. With the level cap is also only 25, meaning we're short in all the trees to really unlock the talents that make the specs really flash. In a perfect world the fights aren't too long and our mana last long enough for Mages to go Fire. The power of Ignite from all the mages, mixed with hard hitting Fireball, Living Bomb and Living Flame will be enough to carry any raid, assuming we have the mana for it.
The other option for spec will be Arcane. This will be another very powerful spec, once again locked behind how much mana you have, but not as much as Fire. Arcane Blast is unique in how it works, increasing you're damage from all other Arcane spells, while also increasing the mana cost of your Arcane Blast. The play is to cast a certain amount of Arcane Blast to get it to 3 or 4 stacks, Right now it's looking like you would get to three stacks and then reset your stacks by casting any other Arcane spell, typically Arcane Missiles. Arcane Surge won't be used much in PvE, as it uses the rest of your mana, making this solely a PvP spell.
Which runes you use will depend on your spec. Both Living Flame and Burnout are all around great rune whether your Arcane or Fire. Arcane obviously needs Arcane Blast as it will be your main spell to cast. Icy Veins is really good option and whether you use that or Living Flame is up to you.
Mages excel in AoE scenarios, showcasing solid single-target damage that improves with better gear and shorter fights. Their strengths and weaknesses shape their performance in various situations.
1. Powerful AoE capabilities with Blizzard, Arcane Explosion, Living Bomb, and Living Flame.
2. Strong single-target damage.
3. High mobility with Blink.
4. Utility includes resurrection with Reintegration, self and group healing with Rapid Regeneration, and versatile utility spells like Polymorph and Portals.
1. Squishy and susceptible to damage.
2. Mana-dependent; a larger mana pool correlates with increased damage potential.
3. No defensive abilities until level 25 (Ice Block).
4. High competition for desirable loot.
The rotations for both Fire and Arcane will need to play correctly to ensure you don't waste any mana, since that is a vital resource and you won't have much of it at LV 25. Fire will consist of trying to get and keep up Ignite as much as you can. It's difficult to know because we're unsure if we're getting the original 4 or 2 second window for Ignite, since it changed during Classic. It started at 4 seconds, then went to 2 seconds with the launch of AQ and then back to 4 seconds when they launched Classic Era. As soon as anything is found out, this guide will be updated to match it immediately. Outside of keeping Ignite up, you want to keep Living bomb on the target as much as you can, while keeping Living Flame on cooldown if you're using it, then use Fireball as your filler in the meantime.
For Arcane, it's much simpler, but also mana intensive with Arcane Blast costing 175% more mana each time you cast it. Keeping Living Flame on cooldown. Casting Arcane Blast three times for two or three stacks depending on how your mana is. Two stacks is safe, three if you can afford the mana. then Arcane Missiles to dump your Arcane Blast stacks, then stack it back to three charges, dump with Arcane Missiles, repeating until the boss is dead. It's crucial that you pay attention to your Arcane Blast stacks, for your mana sake and your damage.
1. Cast Living Bomb and keep it on the target as much as you can.
2. Living Flame and keep it on cooldown
3. Fire Blast(If mana allows)
4. Cast Fireball until Living Bomb needs to be reapplied or Living Flame is off cooldown
1. Cast Arcane Blast four times, so Living Flame gets more damage off the fourth Arcane Blast
2. Keep Living Flameon cooldown
3. Cast Arcane Blast three times
4. Cast Arcane Missiles
5. Cast Arcane Blast three times
6. Cast Arcane Missiles
7. Repeat until the boss is dead
Stat priority for Mages will change slightly throughout the phases. Spell Hit is always the most important stat, however it is very difficult to obtain in Phase 1. Thankfully Mages have talents like Elemental Precision and Arcane Focus. Also, there is a very good pair of Tailoring only boots that you should be aiming to get as soon as you can, Extraplanar Spidersilk Boots. There will also be a weapon oil, Blackfathom Mana Oil, that can only be used inside of the new Blackfathom Deeps raid.
1. The spell Hit cap is 16%
2. Early game at LV 25 Intellect is king. This will increase your mana and your critical strike chance. At the lower levels mana will be an issue due to not having too much Intellect in the game, so finding it any way you can will be vital.
3. 1 Intellect is 15 mana
4. 60 Intellect is 1% Increased Critical Strike
Spell damage is another very strong stat that follows closely behind the other two stats. In a perfect world, you can stack spell power, or rather; Arcane, Fiery or Frost Wrath pieces (depending on what spec you are.) The only problem with this is all of those pieces have ZERO Intellect on it. Meaning you most likely won't be able to sustain using this gear.
Critical Strike Chance is the chance you have to crit. The more you crit, the more damage you do. This stat is one of your best stats as a Fire mage thanks to how Ignite works.
Spirit will increase the rate at which your Health and Mana regenerate. This is much more helpful at the lower levels, then the later levels and you'll be looking to have some on your gear. A good portion of your gear will be Intellect and Spirit pieces as they go well together.
Stamina gives you more health. Mages don't need to stack Stamina, we just need to make sure we don't get one shot by mechanics.
1 stamina is 10 health
1. Spell Hit
3. Spell Power
4. Critical Strike
It will be hard to know what's Best in Slot until Season of Discovery launches and we see what gear drops in the raid. However for now, we'll list some pieces that we know are in the game that you will be wanting to get below.
These are some really strong pieces of gear that we KNOW will be in the game.
1. Magician's Mantle - This is a very good pair of shoulders with not only a chunk of Intellect, but also 5 Spell Damage. These are Bind on Equip, meaning you can pick them up from the Auction House.
2. Black Velvet Robes - This a very good robe with a LARGE amount of Intellect and some Stamina to go with it. These are Bind on Equip, meaning you can pick them up from the Auction House.
3. Mindthrust Bracers- This a strong pair of bracers with a chunk of Intellect. These are Bind on Equip, meaning you can pick them up from the Auction House
4. Twisted Chanter's Staff - This is an amazing Staff with a large amount of Intellect and some Stamina to go with it. These are Bind on Equip, meaning you can pick them up from the Auction House
5. Belt of Arugal - This is a really good belt with a large amount of Intellect. This drops inside of Shadowfang Keep off of Archmage Arugal.
6. Lorekeeper's Ring- This is a nice ring with some stamina, but also 5 spell damage and some slight mana regeneration with 2 mP5. This is from being honored with Silverwing Sentinels.
Mages can choose between two different Races on the Alliance side: Gnomes and Humans.
Gnomes are the best race for Mages, the Gnome Racials are far too good. Escape Artist is a racial ability that allows you to get out of ANY Immobilzation, roots, snares and slows. This can range from being Frost Nova, the Frostbolt slow, Entangling Roots, Wing Clip and just about everything that can hinder your movement. This is obviously insanely good in PvP and can be lifesaving as a tank or DPS. On a very short cast time of .5 sec and a very short cooldown of one minute, this is easily one of the best racials in the entire game.
Next up they have Expansive Mind. This is a flat out 5% increased Intellect. Intellect is great for casters since it increases your mana pool and your chance to crit with all your spells.
The last important racial Gnomes have is Engineering Specialization which gives us an extra 15 to our Engineering skill. This normally wouldn’t be that big of deal, but in Season of Discovery, we can only get to 225 on our professions. However with the 15 Engineering bonus, this allows only Gnomes to get to 240 Engineering skill, which allows them to make items that nobody else can make like Hi-Explosive Bomb, which are not only great for PvP, but very good for PvE, as it provides a ton of extra dmg and l lastly Deepdive Helmet, as it provides the most Stamina out of any other Helmet.
Humans are the only other option for Alliance Mages and they don’t bring anything to the table really. They have a PvP racial in Perception on a 3min cooldown, but that doesn’t help much, if at all in PvE. The increased Spirit from The Human Spirit is better than nothing and will slightly boost your mana regeneration, but it's not super helpful. Diplomacy gives a 10% reputation gain bonus, however we don’t really have much rep to grind in Classic and lastly Sword Specialization gives us 5 increased skill with Swords and 2H swords, which does not matter at all for Mages.
Mages can choose between two different Races on the Horde side: Troll and Undead
The main reason for picking a Troll is Berserking. This passive provides a substantial damage boost, especially when low on health. This doesn’t happen very often, however, as you are liable to die quickly if left on low health, especially in raids.
1. Regeneration will give you some health regen, which can be nice since we want to stay as high on health as possible.
2. Beast Slaying can be helpful when fighting Beasts, otherwise not that helpful.
3. Bow Specialization and Throwing Specialization are worthless as a Mage
Undead have Will of the Forsaken, which will get you out of all Fear, Seduction and Sleeps. As you can imagine, this is extremely helpful in PvP. This can also be helpful in PvE, however much more niched, as there isn’t too many encounters where you can be Charmed, Fear or slept. Either way, its still nice to be able to get right out of it when it does happen.
Undead also have another niche racial in Shadow Resistance, which simply gives you some added Shadow resistance for those few encounters where it can be handy. Lastly they have Cannibalize, which allows you to feast on any human or Undead corpses around you, healing you for 7% of your total Health. This is just a nice quick heal that can come in handly in between pulls, or trash packs, or while out leveling.
Engineering has always been a strong profession in Classic and it will remain so in Season of Discovery. With the ability to do extra damage from all types of grenades and sappers and the ability to craft other Engineering only items.
Is very handy as it will help you craft tailoring only items like bags, spell power gear and the new boots Extraplanar Spidersilk Boots if they're in at launch!
Mages in the Season of Discovery bring a refreshing approach to DPS gameplay. Whether embracing the fiery prowess of Fire or the arcane mysteries, Mages offer a dynamic and engaging experience in World of Warcraft. Adaptability and strategic use of scrolls add an extra layer of depth to the Mage's toolkit. As the journey unfolds, Mages are poised to leave an indelible mark on the adventures that await. May your spells be potent, and your victories many!
Embark on the Season of Discovery with your Mage, mastering the arcane arts or wielding the power of fire. As you explore Azeroth, may your scrolls bring unexpected benefits, and may the challenges ahead only serve to enhance the mage's legend. Best of luck on your magical journey in World of Warcraft!