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This page is a discussion of the racial traits of the races that can play as the mage class, and how much they can offer a mage.



See also: Human (playable)#Racial traits

While humans have not wielded arcane magic for as long as high elves, they have a strong tradition of it. When high elf magi brought the secrets of arcane magic to humans, the younger race showed a natural predilection for it. Human mastery of arcane energy was instrumental in vanquishing the ancient troll empire that threatened human and high elf civilization. Humans and high elves recognized the danger arcane magic posed, and so created the Guardians of Tirisfal — powerful arcane casters who guarded against demonic invasion. Since that time, human ability with the arcane has continued and evolved; humans established the Kirin Tor, a council of archmagi who ruled Dalaran, an arcane city. Even with the destruction wrought in the Third War, humans remain consummate magi, eager to use flame and ice to scour their enemies. Many human magi are creative, creating spectacular new spells or new ways to use existing spells. The iconic human mage, however, is a powerhouse of arcane energy. She summons creatures to her aid while pounding her foes with blasts of fire or rains of slashing ice.[1]

Most of the remaining mages are human. This is mostly due to the fact that Dalaran was essentially a human nation, and naturally it culled a great majority of its members from humanity. Humans are also the most populous out of all races who study the arcane arts.

When the quel'dorei trained the first batch of one hundred humans in the most rudimentary of arcana, they were surprised to find the young race had great natural affinity. The sheer, raw power they could summon up even surpassed what high elven casters were capable of mustering, but they lacked control. This trait became what forever characterized the typical style and approach of human mages. Most human mages prefer using fire and arcane spells, as they allow for the caster to dish out salvos of raging energy, which become bigger, powerful and more varied streams as the mage gains experience. However, humans still find it difficult to concentrate and focus their attacks for more precise and subtle effects. For example, while a human mage might find incinerating a cadre of gnolls child's play, lighting the tip of a candle or precisely bombarding a target without harming those around the target may be difficult.

  • Diplomacy is a useful bonus for all classes, especially at higher levels where reputation becomes more important for collecting gear. The spirit bonus means you'll recharge your mana pool (and health) at a slightly faster rate then similarly equipped mages. Perception is also useful for spotting lurking creeps with stealth or an enemy rogue. As low health casters, mages are often early targets of sneaky types.
  • The human bonus to mace and sword skills are useless. You can't use maces, and swords are only equipped for their stats. If you're out of mana, you will be using your wand.
  • Humans received a new racial bonus with Wrath called Every Man for Himself that removes all movement impairing effects. This can be helpful for a mage who has their Blink on cooldown and needs to make a fast escape. The ability shares a cooldown with similar effects (i.e. Insignia of the Alliance) but has a much shorter recharge time and frees up a trinket slot for other uses.


See also: Gnome (playable)#Racial traits

In a community as eccentric as mages, for other mages to regard gnomish mages as outlandish is really a statement. Gnome mages are characterized by their bizarre and bold (some would say 'whimsically suicidal') probing into just how many things they can get their spells to do. The insatiable curiosity of gnomes is legendary, and all gnomes of all walks of life tinker. Gnomes as a race hold no general preference for any particular tree of magic or school of thought, but all are highly individualistic, and their idiosyncratic spells are evidence. Gnomes have the most creative spell repertoire of all the practicing races by far, and home-made gnomish spells either end up as fabulous successes or extremely dangerous failures.

  • Gnomes are generally well-suited to caster classes, with a 5% bonus to Intellect. Also useful is the Escape Artist ability, which is invaluable when the low-hitpoint mage needs to get away from creeps or players with movement-hampering abilities. They also have a minor 10 point bonus to Arcane Resistance.
  • The bonus to engineering is nice if you want to explore the strange devices produced by engineering, however explosives (a large subset of engineering recipes) are of dubious use to a mage with a full spell arsenal. There are plenty of other interesting things, however, and there is no shortage of gnomish mage engineers.


See also: Draenei (playable)#Racial abilities

The Eredar were natural magic users, and this tradition continued when they became the Draenei. They are one of the oldest races in the universe and therefore have had a lot of time to research and improve their knowledge of the arcane arts. Since they have had so much knowledge passed down and live such long lives to practice it, the draenei are among the most powerful mages in the known universe.

  • The Gift of the Naaru gives a heal ability every 3 minutes that scales with level and spell power: It can be useful in a tight corner.
  • Draenei magi receive the very useful Heroic Presence which increases chance to hit with spells by 1% for both them and all party members within 30 yards. Note that this buff does not apply to entire raids, so raid leaders will often rearrange Draenei accordingly.
  • The 2% chance to dodge in the Shadow school of magic makes harder to hit when fighing Shadow Priest and Warlocks. This is also useful for end game raids and basic grinding against Shadow wielding mobs.
  • The 5 point skill bonus to Jewelcrafting is of minor interest.

Night elves

One of the new race-class combinations from Cataclysm was the night elf mage. These were returning Highborne attempting to make amends, as foreshadowed by Mordent Evenshade.



See also: Troll (playable)#Racial traits

Many may wonder how the trolls, a race performing primitive rituals based around a spiritual religion, could wield the arts of the arcane. Yet the recent alliance between the Darkspear Tribe and the Horde showed that the trolls are quite a perceptive race, willing to learn new ways if it is for the best of the tribe, much like the humans back in their primitive days.

The arcane arts were once exclusively elven and human, governed by the mages of Quel'thalas and the Kirin Tor of Dalaran. However, the fall of these organizations during the Third War resulted in many scattered mages across Azeroth searching for a place to settle. It is not unlikely that the trolls might have adapted their arcane knowledge from these scavengers, as well as from their recent allies, the Forsaken, who still possess knowledge of the arcane arts in undeath.

  • Troll abilities (with the exception of the two ranged weapon bonuses) each have their own upside and downside for a mage. Trolls gain a +1% chance to critically strike with Bows and Throwing weapons, but since mages are unable to actually use either of these types of weapons, they are useless.

A troll mage in Blackwing Lair.

  • The troll regeneration ability increases health regenerated by 10% and allows 10% of said regeneration to continue while in combat. This means less time spent eating for the mage, but since mages can conjure free food and have their downtime stretched by mana, not health, this seems like a weak bonus at best. However, since they retain some health regeneration in combat, troll mages can take a hit or two more than other mages before keeling over.
  • Trolls have an ability called Berserking. This ability increases attack and casting speed by a flat 20%. While commonly over looked, this can take off nearly a half second on spells that take two seconds to cast, and also shortens the time you're vulnerable while channeling spells such as Arcane Missile and Blizzard.
  • Trolls also gain a +5% bonus to damage done against beasts. This works the same as it does for any other class, increasing damage done against beasts by 5%, no matter the source. A very good racial passive for grinding.
  • Since the release of Wrath, trolls have received a new racial bonus Da Voodoo Shuffle, reducing movement impairing effects by 15%. This can be helpful for a mage who has their Blink on cooldown and needs to make a fast escape.


See also: Undead (playable)#Racial traits

Forsaken mages are mostly fallen former human mages; they might as well be affected by their proximity to Dalaran, ancient minions of Archimonde who could roam the ruins of the fallen city and understand the complex science of magic.

As all their un-life is affected by the cold of their bodies, many Forsaken mages are starting to share the virtues of high elves (because they, too, have a long lifespan), using the frost school for the same reasons. A Forsaken mage has the willpower only a man that has abandoned all hope may have.

  • Underwater Breathing and Shadow Resistance have obvious value, especially with quests that bring you to the bottom of a lake, or when fighting priests or warlocks or a mob who has shadow attacks.
  • Will of the Forsaken removes fear, sleep or charm effects on you. This effect shares a 45 sec cooldown with other similar effects.
  • Cannibalize has situational use. Since magi can summon themselves a snack and eat it, cannibalizing is almost a waste of time if you are merely using it reduce downtime. However, cannibalize can also be used in combat while eating can not. Combined with the Polymorph ability if you are at low health and a nearby corpse, it can be used to regenerate most of your health in a tight situation.

Blood elves

See also: Blood elf (playable)#Racial abilties

Blood Elves present a significant force of Arcane mastery in the world of Azeroth, even before their fall, the Elves were noted for their mastery over Arcane magic. Now, that mastery has been infused with the dark desire for vengeance. Most, if not all Blood Elves have rudimentary knowledge in the Arcane arts and many choose the path of the mage. The main difference between a blood elf mage and their high elven cousins is in their preference of spells. While most high elves choose the frost school, blood elves instead practice fire magics.

The Burning Crusade brought blood elves to the Horde. After the Highborne forsook the night elves, they have learned how to master the arcane arts. They have casting classes bonus, which is excellent for mages.

  • Arcane Torrent is very effective against other casting-type enemies and can give back a 6% base mana while silencing and interrupting enemy players and mobs . It can make the difference when the enemy is almost out of mana.
  • Also, they have chance to dodge all mage schools by 2 percent, which makes players more reliable against other casting enemies.
  • The +10 enchanting bonus raises cap for the profession and gives a little head start for those who choose enchanting. Besides that, they have the highest Intellect of all Horde races, which means more mana, more DPS and critical hits. Blood elves seem to be the answer from Blizzard to magi like the gnomes from Alliance.

Tauren are the only race in the game unable to be a mage, thought by users to be a tradeoff for the lack of gnomish hunters.

Other mage races

High elf mage

High elves are the most arcane-imbued race in the Alliance. Many credit them with discovering arcane magic, and it is a matter of historical record that high elves taught arcane magic to humans many thousands of years ago. High elf magi are unparalleled masters of the craft. They usually focus their efforts on shaping and changing their spells and expanding their repertoires; they do not let the distractions of familiars, of summoning elementals, or of excessive focus on fire and ice distract them from their chosen path. The iconic high elf mage is a dark and haughty individual, claiming knowledge of arcane secrets that never fell into human hands.[1]

Elven mages tend to have more control over magic than other races. Magic is not just a craft to them, it is the way of life. Having a long lifespan affords several advantages, including plenty of time to study, hone, and discover all manner of spells and different ways of applying them. As a result, elves are extremely flexible casters and can handle themselves in all manner of situations. The long-lived casters are also famed for their concentration, precision and control. Because of this, many high elves prefer using frost spells, which reward accuracy and timing. Frost spells are also highly flexible, being equally useful defensively and offensively, manifesting in various forms such as attacks, armors, and cages. Blood elves, upon their self-proclaimed rebirth as a new race, have since embraced fire as their mainstay tree of study.

Because of the aforementioned ability to experiment and tweak their spells throughout their long lifetimes, high elves are much more knowledgeable of magic than mages of other races and often possess exclusive knowledge on secret and obscure arcana - sometimes, even forbidden and dangerous. They also take no humility in constantly reminding other races of that fact.

Naga mage

Main article: Siren

The naga are powerful arcane spellcasters. Night elves invented the art, after all, and the naga have had 10,000 years to refine it. Indeed, one of the greatest mortal mage ever to live is the naga's queen, Azshara, who still lives. In fact, she may no longer be mortal.

Naga women are their race’s spellcasters, and over the millennia they have developed a number of talents and techniques related to their art. Through intense study they learn to expand their repertoires to include other, unrelated spells. Their spells strike with the fury of the sea, whipping and crushing their opponents. Naga magi receive some military training as well.

The iconic naga mage is called a siren, and she slithers forward with her brethren, glaives clutched in two of her arms. The other two weave arcane energy, and she protects her allies and decimates her opponents with her spells. She is assured and arrogant, and with good reason.

Starting attributes

Race Strength Agility Stamina Intellect Spirit Armor Health Mana
Alliance DraeneiDraenei Draenei World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade 21 17 20 23 24 34 52 165
Alliance Ironforge dwarfIronforge dwarf Ironforge dwarf World of Warcraft: Cataclysm 22 16 23 22 21 ? ? ?
Alliance GnomeGnome Gnome 15 22 20 27 22 44 52 225
Alliance HumanHuman Human 20 20 20 23 22 40 52 165
Alliance Night elfNight elf Night elf World of Warcraft: Cataclysm 17 25 19 23 22 ? ? ?
Alliance WorgenWorgen Worgen World of Warcraft: Cataclysm 23 22 20 19 21 ? ? ?
Horde Blood elfBlood elf Blood elf World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade 17 22 20 26 20 44 52 210
Horde ForsakenForsaken Forsaken 19 18 20 21 27 36 52 135
Horde GoblinGoblin Goblin World of Warcraft: Cataclysm 17 22 20 26 20 ? ? ?
Horde OrcOrc Orc World of Warcraft: Cataclysm 23 17 22 20 25 ? ? ?
Horde TrollTroll Troll 21 22 20 19 23 44 52 119