The mage is a DPS caster that specializes in burst damage and area of effect spells. Their primary role in a group is damage dealing and crowd control through the use of . At end-game levels, mage damage is supplemented with spells like Counterspell and Spellsteal. Mage utility spells also include conjuring food and drink and the ability to teleport to major cities and open portals for party members. In PvP, magi deal ranged damage while using snare effects and Polymorph to control enemy players.
Magi, the most common of arcanists, are found all over Azeroth. They focus on magic that creates and changes things, most often with the purpose of damaging their enemies and boosting the power of their allies. Such beings can obtain a familiar, which is a normal animal that gains new powers and becomes a magical beast when summoned to service by a mage, while others choose to become a focused mage. Magi also understand the workings of arcane energy so well they can counter most magic with great effectiveness. Those who have dedication to and natural predilection for one of the schools of specialization becomes more entrenched. At this point they choose either evocation or transmutation as a preferred school. The magi of the Kirin Tor first mastered the art of casting spells using the elements of ice and fire. Magi are also known for being able to summon elementals, usually water elementals, but can also summon air, earth, and fire elementals. The greatest mortal mage ever to have lived is the naga, Queen Azshara. In fact, she may no longer be mortal.
The first known magi on Azeroth were elves. They existed before the breaking of the Well of Eternity and the Exile of the High Elves, who lived on the shores of the Well of Eternity and wielded its tremendous magic powers.
Early kaldorei civilization was defined by direct manipulation of magic drawn from the Well of Eternity to create and sustain their society. The constant use of the Well attracted the attention of Sargeras and the Burning Legion; their coming resulted in a massive war known as the War of the Ancients. The war had grave consequences, for even though the combined might of Azeroth's mortal races were victorious, the continent of Kalimdor was shattered and a swirling, raging miasma of sea storms flowed into the vacant area where the Well of Eternity used to reside. This Great Sundering caused the Well's waters to dissipate into the atmosphere and spread magic all over the world.
This event convinced the majority of night elves to reject arcane magic and embrace Malfurion Stormrage's call for druidism. Many of the Highborne refused this lifestyle and were exiled to Lordaeron, where they eventually founded their kingdom of Quel'Thalas and became the high elves. When their kingdom came under siege by the trolls of Zul'Aman, the high elves agreed to teach one hundred humans the art of magic in exchange for military aid from Arathor. From these two races, the arcane arts have spread to various races all over Azeroth.
Although masters of their art, the Conjurers of Azeroth who fell during the First War were unprepared for the rigors of warfare. A new breed of magi, once students of the Conjurers, were determined to avoid a similar fate. This new order was forced to discover untapped magical forces to command in their war against the ruthless orcs, dedicating themselves to the command of more aggressive and destructive magic. Whether in their sanctum at the Violet Citadel in Dalaran or on the many battlefields of Lordaeron, the Kirin Tor are resolute in their efforts to defend the people.
The most powerful magi of the Eastern Kingdoms were perhaps the Archmagi of Dalaran. The city was transported to Northrend when the magi believed they were in danger from the Lich King and further moved to the Broken Isles to assist in thwarting the Burning Legion's most recent invasion. The Kirin Tor are quick to recognize fellow magi as allies, but outsiders must prove themselves.
- Main article: Mage races
The mage class can be played by the following races:
- See also: Mage sets
Magi can use wands, daggers, one-handed swords, or staves. Wands go in the main hand, continue to shoot once manually started, and do not require any form of ammunition. A mage can only wear cloth armor.
- Arcane spells include single-target damage spells and utility. Arcane spells allow mages to remove curses, provide crowd control, absorb damage, teleport themselves or others to major capital cities, Slow Fall, Counterspell, buff players' intellect stat, save mana for later use in the form of mana gems, conjure food and water for himself or others, and provide many other conveniences.
- Fire spells are primarily damage-dealing spells, including direct single-target damage and area of effect damage. Many fire spells include damage over time effects.
- Frost spells are primarily single-target and area of effect damage-dealing spells, but with more emphasis on chilling effects. Nearly every frost spell has a chill or freeze effect that fully or partially immobilizes an enemy. This includes freezing it in place (called a root) or slowing its movement speed (called a snare). Frost specialized magi can further improve these chilling effects and increase frost damage output to respectable levels. Frost spells help the mage use kiting as a combat tactic.
- Stat priority
- Critical Strike
|Arcane Barrage (2)||34|
|Presence of Mind||54|
- Stat priority
- Critical Strike
|Fire Blast (2)||14|
|Fire Blast (3)||48|
|Critical Mass (2)||65|
- Stat priority
- Critical Strike
|Summon Water Elemental||12|
|Fingers of Frost||24|
|Cone of Cold||34|
|Brain Freeze (2)||48|
|Frozen Orb (mage)||57|
- Note: Players technically start in Frost spec; if a player chooses another specialization at level 10, the following are removed: Frostbolt. Arcane magi lose Fire Blast.
These are learned at the portal trainers in each main city, with the exception of the Ancient versions.
|Level||Abilities (choose one)|
|15|| Arcane Familiar
Ray of Frost
| Presence of Mind
Conflagration (mage talent)
| Words of Power|
Firestarter (mage talent)
|45||Mirror Image||Rune of Power||Incanter's Flow|
| Charged Up
|75||Ice Floes||Ring of Frost||Ice Ward|
|90|| Nether Tempest
|Unstable Magic|| Erosion|
|100|| Overpowered (mage talent)
| Quickening (mage talent)
Glacial Spike (mage talent)
| Arcane Orb (mage talent)|
|Glyph of Crittermorph||All|
|Glyph of Evaporation||Frost|
|Glyph of Polymorphic Proportions||All|
|Glyph of Smolder||Fire|
|Glyph of Sparkles||All|
|Glyph of the Unbound Elemental||Frost|
|2||Train of Thought (honor talent)|
|8||Concentrated Power, Tinder, Chilled to the Bone|
|10||Master of Escape, Firestarter (honor talent), Concentrated Darkness|
|13||Adaptation (honor talent)|
|25||Torment the Weak, World in Flames, Frostbite (honor talent)|
|28||Rewind Time, Flamecannon, Burst of Cold|
|31||Relentless (honor talent)|
|43||Time Anomaly, Flare Up, Deep Shatter|
|46||Mass Invisibility, Greater Pyroblast, Ice Form|
- and are logical choices for any cloth armor-wearing class. This allows crafting decent armor and various enchants from created items as one levels. Tailoring also increases cloth drops at higher levels.
- can be useful for those who need quick potion heals and various buffs from elixirs and flasks. This profession is also good all around for making money and supplying guild runs.
- provides ingredients for and , and is also good all around for making money.
- is good for non-combat health regeneration and provides good buff foods, but is less needed than other non-healing classes, since magi can conjure basic regen foods.
- is good for in-combat health regeneration and low downtime regeneration.
- is good for leveling cooking.
The endgame mage also acts as a utility class, providing drink, food, buffs and portals. It is expected that magi provide their party or raid with food and drink for free.
PvP-wise, magi are considered "glass cannons" - a design philosophy which gives them generous burst damage at the cost of generally low health and armor values. They are one of the classes with the potential for dealing out the greatest amount of damage in the shortest amount of time. In group PvP, they will stay back and focus on crowd control with Polymorph and pick off targets from range. Depending on the battleground and the situation, magi typically AoE to prevent node captures or nuke flag carriers as fast as possible. In solo PvP, a skilled frost mage is a formidable opponent.
Fire mostly consists of stuns and max damage output at the cost of time and mana. Arcane consists of medium damage output at a low cost of mana and time. Arcane is most useful in battlegrounds if opponents are frozen first. When an enemy approaches or is attacking, the mage uses Freeze, then Blinks away and attacks. On average, the freeze ability gives about five uninterrupted seconds to attack.
- The Wrath of the Lich King faction of Dalaran, the Kirin Tor, start with a neutral reputation standing with all other classes. Magi, however, are automatically friendly with the Kirin Tor, making it possible to purchase and wear the Tabard of the Kirin Tor at level one.
- Dr. Bill Lee, a reoccurring character from the TV Series Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis, states that he plays a mage and makes multiple references to the game, including Elwynn Forest.
- See Cataclysm changes.