WoW Mage Guide: Advanced Techniques
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If you are here because you
want to know how to use your Mage in combat, it is likely that you have
already completed the sometimes arduous task of picking a spec for your
Mage. Now its time to move onto more important matters; actually
learning the basics of how to use your Mage. Be aware that most of your
skill will come from
in game experience and much trial and error, but
hopefully this guide will at least give you a nudge in the right
direction. Continue reading below for more information on Mage combat:
Mage Solo Play
Soloing as a Mage (or any
for that matter) is not overly difficult. Really you could probably
roll your face across the keyboard and mange to get something done.
However, you do need to exercise some caution as the Mage can be taken
down rather easily by enemies if they manage to get to close. So
because of this soloing as a Mage will become a combination of keeping
your enemies at a distance and killing them quickly. Thankfully Mages
are powerhouses, who have no trouble taking out most enemies, the
problem arises with keeping them at a distance.
Thankfully the Mage is well
equipped with a variety of tools to allow “kiting”
of mobs to be possible. Not to mention their polymorph spell which can
easily take an enemy out of the equation temporarily. Read more about
both of these abilities in the sections below.
Like the powers of Arcane that
this tree draws from the Arcane Mage will form a rotation based on a
burst of DPS then a lull that will be based around mana management.
Your burst (or burn) cycle will consist of an Arcane Blast spam that
will undoubtedly consume a ton of mana making you want to run to your
mommy. As soon as you consume enough mana to make it worth it, the Mage
should use Evocation. This will mark the beginning of the next cycle.
The next portion of the Arcane
cycle in which the Arcane Mage will focus on (hopefully) regaining and
keeping their mana above 90% will consist of casting Arcane Blast two
or three times just enough to maintain the stacks, and then using
Arcane Missles to fill in the gaps. Once the Evocation timer is off of
cool down the Mage should rotate back to the burst cycle mentioned
“burst” cycle is the most important phase for the
Arcane Mage, as it does the most damage, you may want to start out with
your mana regaining cycle, as it will draw less aggro at the beginning
of a fight. Once the tank has aggro, you should instantly begin the
burst cycle to get the Evocation cool down timer started as soon as
possible. The more times you can use the burst cycle in a fight the
Looking to do some epic Arcane
AoE damage? Well you may have picked the wrong spec for that, but when
in need you can use that old time favorite of Arcane Mages; Arcane
Explosion. However, be sure to note that this spell will require you to
put yourself in the middle of angry mobs and could result in your
death. Because of this some Arcane Mages choose to use Flamestrike or
Fire Mage Group Play
Those Mages who choose the way
of Fire will have many rotations to choose from. Each rotation should
be used depending on the particular situation the Mage finds himself
in. See the
Frostfire Orb - Should be used
on EVERY cool down without fail.
style="font-style: italic;">Burst Rotation
- Requires the Mage to chain
cast Fireball, keep Living Bomb up, and use Pyroblast when Hot Streak
procs. This is the highest DPS rotation for the Fire Mage on a single
target. This rotation consumes much mana and cannot be maintained for
long periods of time. Because of this use this rotation
situations: to burn off extra mana, when a boss is weakened, during
powerful procs, after Spellstealing powerful DPS boosting buffs.
style="font-style: italic;">Mobile Rotation
- Some fights will require you to move around quite a lot to avoid an
untimely death. In this case the Mage will want to cast Scotch,
Pyroblast, Living Bomb, Flamstrike, and Blastwave. All of these spells
allow the Mage to remain mobile while still doing some damage.
style="font-style: italic;">Mana Friendly Rotation
- This rotation will help the Mage conserve mana which will be very
important in longer fights. During this rotation the Mage will rotate
using Scorch and Fireball. Usually the Mage will use this rotation to
prepare for the Burst Rotation mentioned above.
style="font-style: italic;">Out of Mana Rotation -
While we all try to avoid it at one time or another we will find
ourselves totally out of mana. During this
time the Mage should revert to simply casting Scotch and Pyroblast on
Hot Streak procs until the Mage is able to obtain more mana or the
Frost Mage Group Play
Those Mages who choose the
chilly path of Frost will find that this spec is much more
straightforward than the other Mage specs and requires more watching
and knowing your cool downs than anything else. Master your cool downs
and you can master the Frost Mage.
style="font-style: italic;">Frostfire Orb -
Should be used on EVERY cool down without fail.
style="font-style: italic;">Icy Veins
- Because of its
long cool down time you will want to be
sure to use it at the most
opportune times. This means you will almost always want to use this
spell when Bloodlust is active which usually occurs near the end of the
fight. Depending on the length of the fight you may be able to use Icy
Veins at the beginning of a fight and at the end as well.
- As you may know, Deep Freeze can only be used on a target that is
frozen which can only be achieved while Fingers of Frost is active
during a boss fight. Using your Water Elemental’s Freeze can
greatly assist in this. Saving Freeze for when Deep Freezes comes off
cool down is the best method so it can be used in a timely manner.
style="font-style: italic;">Cold Snap -
During a typical boss fight the Mage will only want to use this cool
down during Bloodlust which typically falls at the end of the fight. In
the best situation Frostfire Orb and Deep Freeze will both be used just
before Bloodlust becomes active. Once active Icy Veins would be used
followed by Cold Snap to remove the cool downs from Fingers of Frost,
Deep Freeze and Icy Veins.
Now that you know about
Frost’s cool downs your rotation (or priority list because of
cool downs) as this spec should look should look something like this:
Deep Freeze, Frostfire Orb, Brain Freeze (with Fingers of Frost), Ice
Lance (with Fingers of Frost), Frostbolt. Combine this rotation with
the knowledge of when to use the cool downs above. Looking to do some
AoE damage as a Frost Mage? Most Frost Mages will fall back on Blizzard
to not only slow enemies (if you have the proper talents) but do some
Kiting is one of the most basic
and important techniques a Mage can do. To break it down kiting is
dragging an enemy around by snaring or slowing it while you
methodically DPS it down. The Mage (especially the Frost Mage) is
equipped with a variety of spells to make this technique easy to
achieve including: Frost Nova, Ice Armor, Cone of Cold, Frostfire Bolt,
and Frost Bolt.
The easiest way to kite an
enemy is using Frost Nova. The Mage simply will sling a few spells at a
mob, wait till it comes within range, then casts Frost Nova to bind it
to the ground. Once the mob is incapacitated the Mage will want to put
some distance between himself an the mob. Run or use Blink to achieve
this then begin to throw more spells at the mob. Repeat this process
till the mob is dead.
This method can also be used in
PvP, however, please note that a Mage’s snares can be
dispelled and are not fail proof.
Polymorph is but one of the
many tools available to the Mage, however, it may be one of the most
important. Working only on Beasts, Humanoids, and Critters the
Polymorph spell transforms the enemy into a harmless animal (sheep,
cat, pig, rabbit, turtle, or even turkey). Once transformed the mob
becomes harmless and is forced to wander aimlessly for up to 50
seconds. Only one enemy may be Polymorphed by a single Mage at a time.
Multiple Mages may Polymorph multiple targets.
The down side of this spell is
that while Polymorphed any damage you have
done to the mob will likely
be undone. While under the effects of Polymorph a mob quickly
regenerates health. That being said used properly the Polymorph spell
can be an invaluable tool that can save the life of the Mage and his or
Polymorph can be used in PvP to
take enemies players out of the battle, while soloing to offset an
ambush of two or more mobs, or even in group settings to make large or
difficult pulls more manageable
Managing Mage Aggro
One of the most important
things that every DPS needs to be aware of is their aggro and how to
manage it. Remember, if you are dead, you aren’t doing any
damgae and are therefore useless to your group. To begin lets go over a
simple definition of aggro and how it works.
Aggro is rated aggression or
threat a mob has towards a certain player. Each mob has a table that
tracks the threat points for all targets that it is currently aware of.
Ignoring abilities that generate extra threat, each point of damage
basically generates one point of threat. The mob will attack (or aggro)
the target that currently has the most threat points against it.
Threat can become very
complicated and confusing, especially when dealing with large groups of
mobs. Almost any action a player takes (healing, damage, shields) will
gain aggro on one or more mobs. Learning what to cast, when to cast,
and when to stop casting will come with experience in game. However,
for an easy way to gauge your threat, consider downloading one of the
many great threat meters out there (such as Omen). Or if you
don’t like to introduce add ons into your game; simply make
use of the in game threat meter provided by Blizzard! Keep an eye on
your threat meter at all times to keep yourself and the rest of your
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