Updated Thu, Feb 21, 2008 by Messiah
If your goal as a mage is doing the absolute max DPS to single targets then then a fire spec'ed mage is for you. A fire spec mage is someone who you don’t want to mess with in ranged combat, a mage based off using fire can rip apart most enemies in only a few fireballs and other flashy spells. With the ability to shoot highly damaging fireballs, teamed with an initial blast from a Pyroblast, the Fire Mage can deal with most enemies in a straight up engagement due to the fact he not only causes massive amounts of direct damage, but also does fire damage over time.
There is a serious limitation to a fire mage's though at high level, because Molten Core and Blackwing Lair both feature MOBs and bosses with very high fire resistance. The resistance so effects your damage output that casting fire spells is essentially a waste of mana against them.
If you like what you just learned and want the ability the BBQ your foes at will, then a Fire based mage is for you! Check out some of the best builds out there:
30/21 Presence of Mind Fire Build
This is a solid overall fire build that aims for solid DPS with a capacity for nasty burst DPS. It is good for almost all situations where you either have a group or are doing PvP. This build ignores the 31 point talent in the fire tree to get the 21 point talent in the arcane tree Presence of Mind, which allows any spell with a casting time of less than 8 seconds to become an instant cast! Amazing for burst DPS!
|31/21 PoM Fire Build (Click to View)|
For details on each talent in this build visit the talent calculator for this build here:30/21 Presence of Mind Fire build.
An ice mage trades away much of the fire spec DPS for control, mana efficiency and a talent tree loaded with combos. Even though an ice mage loses out in maximum DPS they are capable of performing incredible chains of spells while the chilling effects of their magic detain their enemies. Also when they are in a group with others, Ice Mage's prove their worth by using the devastating Blizzard spell to its fullest effect against multiple enemies engaged in combat with other players.
Almost all Ice mage's load their talent tree with what is known as the essential three. Three talents in the Ice tree that work so well together that many players only feel you are an ice mage if you have all three. The three to have are Ice Shards, Shatter and Frostbite. You really should add frost channeling and improved frost nova to the build as essential, but they are just gravy, the first three you NEED.
If you prefer to submit your enemies to the deep freeze, control their movement and limit their options, then a Frost based mage is for you! Check out some of the best builds out there:
34/17 Frost based control Build
With the release of patch 1.11 and the Mage talent update, the old standard 33/18 frost build had to change slightly. Less points are now required in Arcane, freeing up an additional point in the frost tree.
|34/17 Frost Control Build (Click to View)|
For details on each talent in this build visit the talent calculator for this build here:34/17 Frost Based Control build.
34/17 Presence of Mind Frost Build
This build is a Frost version of the Fire based Presence of Mind build. It focuses on all the best Frost talents while still going deep enough into the Arcane tree to get the amazing Presence of Mind ability.
|31/21 PoM Frost Build (Click to View)|
For details on each talent in this build visit the talent calculator for this build here:30/21 Presence of Mind Frost build.
One of the more unique types of Mage's, the Arcane Mage relies highly on the benefits gained from the varying talents that can be received from the Arcane Talent Tree. While there are many useful arcane spells the most critical ones are polymorph, and arcane explosion, which you can get without going into the talent tree. An arcane mage is a generalist and the tree is generally taken as a filler with Ice or Fire as the main. The one really amazing standout talent in this tree to me is evocation. With this little gem you can regenerate your mana at 1500% for 8 seconds. While it is channeled and can be interrupted, if it isn't you essentially get your full mana pool back which is amazing in long fights. The one downside is that it is a 10 minute cool down ability. Considering you will only be using this against boss's that are generally more than 10 minutes apart it isn't all bad.
If you want to be a mage that plays like the energizer bunny and keeps going and going and going in long fights, then an Arcane based mage is for you! Check out some of the best builds out there:
31/20 Arcane Power Pyro build
This build delves to the end of the Arcane talent tree to pick up Arcane Power. It also picks up Presence of mind from the arcane tree and pyroblast from the fire tree on the way to level 60. The combination of all of the talents make arguably the best burst DPS'er in the game, several abilities have a cool down though so you can not keep it up for any length of time.
|31/21 Arcane Power Pyro Build (Click to View)|
For details on each talent in this build visit the talent calculator for this build here: 31/20 Arcane Power Pyro Build.
These two builds focus on leveling up to 40 as fast as possible. By level 40 you have 31 talent points and can respec to a final build of your choosing. However to that point these builds offer abilities that are extremely useful early on, but not at later levels. Some players stick with these builds until very close to level 60, but past 40 your on your own for what to pick.
While arcane builds used to be viable to level with, post 1.11 patch most of the bonuses you were looking for rolled into your normal abilities, therefore I would now stick with Fire of Frost. I chose Fire as my leveling build even though I switched to Frost for my end game build. It's all up to you.
Fire Leveling Build
This build is probably the fastest way to level a Mage. It turns out sick damage all the way through the leveling process. It also handles single mobs better than all other builds. At some stages though it will fall behind builds that are based on killing multiple MOBs. Each fight though is a fast paced race to the finish, as you are all about DPS.
|Fire Leveling Build (Click to View)|
While there is no perfect order to put point in with this build, I put points into it in the following order: Imp. Fireball, Ignite, Impact, Master of Elements, Burning Soul, Pyroblast, Critical Mass, Firepower.
For details on each talent in this build visit the talent calculator for this build here: Fire Based Leveling Build.Frost Leveling Build
While a fire based mage can do more damage, they don't have the control over pace that an ice based mage has. A frost mage can slow down the enemies, lock them in place and take their time enjoying the fight at leisure. You have solid damage, control and decent AOE effects (that control movement even more!) wrapped up in a tidy little package.
|Frost Leveling Build (Click to View)|
As with the Fire build it is not critical the exact order, but the recommended order is: Imp. Frostbolt, Frostbite, Ice Shards, Cold Snap, Piercing Ice, Imp. Frost Nova, Shatter, Arctic Reach, Frost Channeling, Ice Block.
For details on each talent in this build visit the talent calculator for this build here: Frost Based Leveling Build.