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World of Warcraft Mage PVP Guide -- Part II

Updated on February 26, 2013
A collection of each of the profession icons
A collection of each of the profession icons

Professions

In the World of Warcraft universe there are a variety of professions that any class can level up and become proficient in. Each profession offers special and unique bonuses to the player. Professions are divided into primary and secondary professions. Secondary professions are available to all players. A player can only choose 2 primary professions to level at any single time, so you have to make them count. Here's a breakdown of all the professions that can help you as a mage, and the ones you should ignore.

  • Mining, Blacksmithing, Skinning, and Leatherworking should be ignored. Their bonuses, and products either aren't applicable or aren't terribly useful to mages. You could make the case that Engineering and Jewelcrafting are good choices (and they are, especially if you happen to have racial bonuses for these professions), but these are generally tied to mining and the buffs they do provide could be considered marginal when compared to some other professions.
  • Herbalism and Inscription pair well together, and in addition to making glyphs instead of buying them, you also get a nice shoulder-enchant with Inscription. Herbalism at max-level also gives a nice haste increase. On the whole it's a very nice gold-making profession but these shoulder-enchants can be sold. In terms of pure stats, you might be better off going with another profession.
  • Speaking of Enchants, there's also Enchanting, and Tailoring. With tailoring you can create, at max level, some epic armor sets. And even your first PVP "contenders" set. (Do NOT go into a battleground with PVE gear). While you can sell, and buy enchantments on the auction house like you can with inscription, the main advantage you have with Enchanting is you can spend much, much less gold buying them if you can make them. You also can Enchant your own rings, which can give a significant boost to both stamina values and intellect.
  • Alchemy and it's companion profession of Herbalism offers the most versatility. Although you can obtain many potions on the Auction House, there are several significant buffs that are only available to alchemists. Perhaps the largest boon alchemy gives to mages though is the ability to create healing potions. At max level, these can heal as much as 20% of your health, and only have a minute cooldown. If you incorporate these into your usual rotation, you'll be surprised by how quickly you're forced to buy another stack of 20 if you're not an alchemist.


A mage completing an Evocation
A mage completing an Evocation

Glyphs

Glyphs in MoP have been condensed down into only major and minor glyphs.

Here's a list of the the must-have glyphs, followed by a list of useful, but still optional ones:

  • All mages, regardless of specialization, should have the Glyph of Evocation it gives you a significant heal, and makes you much less dependent on first-aid bandages, that are notorious for breaking on taking damage, and there's a very good chance that when you need it most there will be some sort of DoT preventing you from applying a bandage.

  • Fire mages should consider Glyph of Frostfire bolt . Your Fireball and Frostfire bolt both do equal damage, and with this glyph they also have the same casting-time. The bonus is that with Frostfire bolt your target is also slowed. I know quite a few mages would say quality over quantity when it comes to our Combustion spell, but I would not recommend Glyph of Combustion. The extra damage it gives just isn't worth the excessive cooldown and resulting loss of Combustion's CC stun you could have had with the regular spell.
  • Arcane mages should buy or make Glyph of Slow, it automatically applies your slow spell to your Arcane Blast, this in turn gives you an extra global cooldown you may have spent casting Slow to cast something else.
  • Frost mages have a variety of must-have glyphs to choose from. Glyph of Fire Blast is, perhaps ironically, one since it allows you to trigger your frost bomb once you've applied it. Glyph of Water Elemental is very useful as it allows your water elemental to cast while moving, as well as always keeping it within range (though personally I'd like to see it strengthen it's attack, or lower the cooldown on its Freeze spell.) Glyph of Frost Nova is also desirable since it lowers the cooldown on your Frost Nova allowing you to use it more often, and take advantage of the frostburn mastery aspect of the frost tree.

Some of the optional glyphs include:

  • Glyph of Deep Freeze
  • Glyph of Spellsteal
  • Glyph of Armors
  • Glyph of Arcane Power
  • Glyph of Blink
  • Glyph of Ice Lance
  • Glyph of Counterspell
  • Glyph of Polymorph

Your personal play-style will determine which ones you'll be using.

All that said, a good rule of thumb is to usually have 1 glyph based around CC (or damage, since the best defense is a strong offence), another on damage, and another on healing/damaging mitigation.

Talents

Many players either loved or hated the talent system changes with the release of MoP. Personally, I think it was one of the best changes they made. Talents in that previous expansion weren't flexible, and nearly everyone had the same talents with the same abilities and tactics were usually stale because of it. Anywho, off my soap-box.

Once you reach level 15, you have access to your first talents (exciting!)They are: Presence of Mind, Scorch, and Ice Flows. This is your movement tier. You can't really go wrong with any of these talents no matter what your specialization may be. Presence of Mind is useful for fire mages to get an instant Pyroblast. Ice Flows is useful for arcance mages to move and channel their Arcane Missiles at the same time. Generally, however, Scorch will the most useful in most situations. Obviously, with it's shorter casting time and respectable damage output, it's a very nice filler spell for fire mages, even more-so than casting fireball. And you can cast it, and move at the same time.

At level 30 you gain access to Temporal Shield, Blazing Speed, and Ice Barrier. This is your damage mitigation tier. The vast majority of mages tend to choose Ice Barrier. Given our flimsy armor, I certainly can't disagree. Temporal Shield does offer a nice high-ceiling heal, and you can cast it while CC'ed, but the heal it returns to you is only really useful if you can manage to root/freeze/stun an opponent to get away from them. This is because it's on a 25-second cooldown, and if you can't get away after that initial damage-and-heal, the next 25 seconds will be painful. Given the prevalence of Death Knights in PVP, and their extremely annoying Death Grip ability, pulling off that great escape won't be easy. Blazing Speed, combined with Blink, is actually a viable PVP option on a battleground, I've used it to get entirely out-of-range of enemies when taking heavy damage, and kite them into a group of my allies -- the downside is if you aren't careful, and move at the right time you will die. Quickly. DoTs are also more of an issue.

Level 45 brings you a CC tier. You have your choice between: Ring of Frost, Ice Ward, or Frostjaw. Ice Ward is useful especially given that all mages can now cast Deep Freeze, but it does require that you're attacked to activate. It is useful only if you're attacked, and not stunned, which given the state of PVP now is maybe 70% of the time. There are more useful spells, which you have greater control over. Frostjaw is a great single-target ability that not only roots your target as a Freeze spell, but also silences them. I've also found it to be very useful against shadow priests in particular, and other casters in general. For whatever reason, people tend to instinctively use their silence once they've been silenced. Use this to your advantage, and open with a Frostjaw. Take the silence that nearly all would throw back at you in the beginning, and save your Counterspell for when you expect to take the most damage. Also, they've wasted a silence attempt, while you're free to cast CC and proc criticals for the next 30 or so seconds. Ring of Frost may still be the best over all. Everything you can do with Frostjaw or Ice Ward you can do with Ring of Frost as it's more or less a mass Deep Freeze. Plus, you can place it in choke-points. In fact, I recommend using it whenever its available. Quite a few Rings of Frost have saved me from a warrior's charge, monk, or paladin when I placed it around myself during my usual casting rotation.

At level 60 you've finally reached Outlands, personally my favorite of the PVE zones, and unlocked some new battlgrounds for PVP. This is a healing/damage mitigation tier for talents and you can choose from Greater Invisibility, Cauterize, or Cold Snap. Greater Invisibility is a nice talent but it's highly situational, considering you already have an Invisibility spell at your disposal, I'd ignore it. Cauterize is an excellent talent if you happen to have dedicated healer nearby, but if you're queuing for random battlegrounds, ignore it as well. Cold Snap instantly restores 30% of your health AND resets your Ice Block's cooldown. In a sense, it's a bit like a warlock's Healthstones, except it never runs out. Definitely choose Cold Snap, no matter your specialization.

Congratulations, you're finally nearing some of the epic end-game content. On this tier you have your DoTs. And these, I've found, are the exception to the rule of talent choices not being specialization-specific. Both Arance Bomb and Living Bomb are instant cast, and have some reliable damage, plus, you can apply these to multiple targets. Forst mages should choose Frost Bomb. Why? When it explodes it does a massive amount of damage, and it slows your target to a crawl for a few seconds. Unlike the others, you can't apply it to multiple targets, and it has a cooldown. But, unlike the other specializations, you can cast Frozen Orb for the same AoE damage. It also procs your main crit, Frostfire bolt. For this last reason I highly recommend you frost mages out there have the Fireblast Glyph, because you cause it to instantly explode and proc your Frostfire bolt once you've applied it.

Finally, level 90! Contrary to popular belief, this isn't a healing tier. Mages always have and always will have sub par healing. Instead, you get something maybe even better at this tier: spellpower. Rune of Power is a nice all-around PVE choice when combined with your other healing options, and means you can effectively tank mobs of nasty sha-infested creatures. This talent however, doesn't belong anywhere near a PVP battle, as it hampers your movement too much. The current favorite tends to be Incanter's Shield for PVP, it gives the largest bonus to spell power, a (very) minor additional layer of protection, and you're still free to cast Evocation for the heel (when glyphed). The only downside is that if you happen to be off on your timing for incoming damage, you don't gain any benefit from it. Invocation however is a great choice, and from what I understand in the upcoming 5.2 patch it's casting time will be cut in half, and the spell power buff extended to a full minute. This would make it roughly equal in casting-time to a priest's Heal spell -- and means you may very well see many more mages channeling their invocations on battlegrounds while in battle, instead of between fights.


Thanks for Reading my Mage Guide, and if you haven't checked it out, here's a link to part I of my Mage Guide.

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