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Mage abilities come in three schools of magic: Arcane, Fire, and Frost, which are affected by their specialization abilities and talent choices. Mage spells are also usually delineated by their purpose: direct damage, area of effect damage, and utility. Mages are also the only class with the ability to teleport themselves or their group members to the variety of the capital cities.

The spells themselves can be classified quite easily by the school they are in. Most Fire spells will have the purpose of heavily damaging an opponent, while the majority of Frost spells are weaker, but usually with an inherent snare built in, which allows them a greater modicum of control. Arcane consists of many of the utility spells, while also supporting either of the other trees through the usage of talent trained abilities.

Core abilities

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.

Frost Nova

Ability Min Level
Frostbolt Starts with
Fire Blast 3
Frost Nova 5
Polymorph 8
Conjure Refreshment 13
Blink 16
Ability Min Level
Counterspell 22
Slow Fall 38
Ice Block 50
Spellsteal 70
Time Warp 80

Extra spells

These spells are alternate versions of trainable spells, meaning they don't affect functionality, but they merely possess a different icon or other cosmetic change. They are learned through books or given as quest rewards.

Ability Min Level Taught by
Polymorph 60 N Mage} [60] Fragmented Magic from Archmage Xylem in Azshara.
Polymorph 60 Tome of Polymorph: Rabbit from the Noblegarden event.
Polymorph 60 Tome of Polymorph: Turtle from Combat Gahz'ranka in Zul'Gurub.
Polymorph 60 Tome of Polymorph: Black Cat for 2500g from Neutral Endora Moorehead in Dalaran at neutral Kirin Tor reputation.

Spells by function

Damage spells

Single-target Damage

[Frostbolt] (frost spec) for ice-based single target damage (and a snare); [Fire Blast] for instant fire damage (and brief cooldown); [Fireball] (fire spec) for a big whopper of fire damage. [Scorch] (talent) is another fire-based spell which has a short casting time and does good damage. [Arcane Missiles] (arcane spec) are channeled over 2 seconds, with five waves of arcane damage fired.

[Pyroblast] (fire spec) is a slow-casting, huge Fireball with a large DoT component.

Area of effect damage

This category of spells includes your first AoE spell: [Arcane Explosion], an instant cast arcane point blank area of effect; [Blizzard], a channeled ground target area of effect cold spell; and [Flamestrike], a fire-based ground target area of effect spell.

Defensive spells

Snares and roots

[Frostbolt] (frost spec) slows the enemy, and [Frost Nova] is a point blank area of effect root which also inflicts a small amount of damage.

[Frost Armor] gives the Mage both spell haste buff and a reactive debuff to enemies that hit the Mage in melee. Attackers are slowed.

Arcane mages can get [Slow], which slows attackers by 50% and also increases enemy casting time by 50%.

Crowd control

[Polymorph] allows the Mage to turn a Humanoid, Beast or Critter into a sheep, pig, turtle, penguin or black cat (depending on the spell and glyph used) for a certain amount of time.

Damage absorption

With talents, [Ice Barrier] can be acquired. It's an instant cast shield that protects you from all damage types up to a limit or 1 minute, whichever comes first. It has a short cooldown (30 seconds).

Utility spells

[Slow Fall] - a "defensive" spell of sorts - protects against falling damage.


Mages have [Arcane Brilliance], which offers a buff to spell power and critical strike chance.


[Conjure Mana Gem] gives you a stone that acts as a free mana potion on a separate cooldown from your other potions. These stones can not be shared. [Conjure Refreshment] and [Conjure Refreshment Table] can also be used for restoring health and mana, and is an important preparation for reducing downtime for a solo mage or an entire raid.


The fastest way to regenerate your mana, [Evocation] can refill the majority of your mana bar (60%) over the course of its 6 second cast. Be sure not to be at risk of getting hit, since this is a channeled effect.

Teleport Spells


This includes the Teleport: <Capital City> spells as well as [Blink].


Creates a portal that can be clicked to instantly move your group to a friendly city.