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    Mage FAQ by DoNu7

    Version: 2.31 | Updated: 04/25/08 | Printable Version | Search This Guide

    				Guide to a Mage
    
    				     By DoNu7
    
    			             Version 2.31
     
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    Table of Contents
    
    1. Introduction
    
    2. Version History
    
    3. Definitions and Acronyms
    
    4. Races (Work in Progress)
    
    5. Spells
       5.a. Arcane
       5.b. Fire
       5.c. Frost
    
    6. Talents
       6.a. The Talents
       6.b. Template Builds
    
    7. Gear
       7.a. Levels 1-56
       7.b. Levels 57-70
       7.c. Post 70
    
    8. Professions
       8.a. Manufacturing Professions
       8.b. Gathering Professions
       8.c. Secondary Skills
       8.d. General Tips
    
    9. Combat
       9.a. PvE
          9.a.i. Soloing
          9.a.ii. Groups/Raids
       9.b. PvP
          9.b.i. Your Opponents
          9.b.ii. Battlegrounds
          9.b.iii. Arenas
    
    
    10. Common Questions
    
    11. Recommended Mods
    
    12. Disclaimer
    
    13. Helpful Sites
    
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    1. Introduction
    
    Thank you for choosing this mage guide! I have played my mage for a while now, 
    and I have found this class to be very intriguing and fun. I would like to 
    make a few notes before we begin. 
    
    First off, much of the information in this guide is opinionated. Some people
    may disagree with the facts, while others heartily agree with what I have 
    written. However, whether you agree with the facts or not, I hope that you 
    will find some use in this guide.
    
    Another note that I would make is that we mages have burst damage. This does 
    not mean we are the highest damage dealers. Rather, we deal damage in a short 
    period of time, but if the fight lasts longer, well-equipped Rogues and 
    Warlocks would outstrip us badly in terms of damage.
    
    While we do not have many abilities that directly help our allies, such as 
    healing spells, or the ability to tank, we help others by quickly finishing 
    off enemies, and therefore making the battle safer for everyone. In addition, 
    we can polymorph enemies and help control large crowds. We can also
    make food and water for party members. Finally, our greatest asset is our
    powerful area of effect attacks, most of which are instantaneous and can be
    cast while running.
    
    Mages are also very fragile. However, each class has their problems, so 
    there is no reason to think that mages are a weak class for in fact, we can 
    solo very well and we can kill enemies with quick succession. This class
    takes a lot skill to play, but with some quick reflexes and careful planning,
    the mage can be a very potent class.
    
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    2. Version History
    
    1.00 Release
    
    1.01 Tiny update, fixed a couple of minor errors and edited the disclaimer,
         added new section (this one), fixed some incompleteness that I missed.
         Might add Battlegrounds section at one point, but so far I have never 
         tried one yet.
    
    1.02 Few errors fixed. Fixed Disclaimer a bit.
    
    1.12 Changes to a couple of sections.
    
    1.22 Fixed more errors. Added new information. Hope I haven't missed out 
         on anything...
    
    1.32 Many changes to PvP section. Removed part of the group section which
         didn't seem to be very useful, but rather a huge waste of space.
    
    1.52 BIG fix, mainly to Combat section (which I pretty much revamped). Note 
         that I skipped all the way from 1.32 to 1.52, and this was intended as I
         considered releasing 1.42, but decided I had more to add.
    
    1.62 Phwew, it's finally out. Made some changes. Added "Ice Block" <-- Yay! 
         Decided to screw BG section since most of the strategies were covered in
         "Large Scale PvP" section. Planning to add equipment section and maybe
         introduce some good talent builds.
    
    1.72 W00t template builds!
    
    1.82 Ok sorry guys I forgot that in 1.11, the talents are changed so things
            would look weird. I've fixed the prob now.
    
    1.92 Everything's updated for patch 1.11 now. Phwew. I have also removed
            that block of descriptions on each talent since once can simply view
            the online talent calculators. Also, for those of you who were confused
            about section 7, sorry about that I scrapped that idea in the end but
            forgot to remove it from the guide.
    
    1.94 Added more goodies. Added paragraphs in certain places so people don't
         go blind reading my guide x_x
    
    1.95 Someone pointed out to me that all of my talent URLs were wrong, 
    	which I fixed. Thanks for the headsup =D
    
    2.0 Updated for new patch.
    
    2.10 Updated for the Burning Crusade.
    
    2.20 Added new stuff, like the questions section. Fixed many typos. Added
    	more to the Helpful Sites section. Be sure to check them out for
    	more guides so that you can become a better mage! Gotta get
    	races done someday...
    
    2.21 Fixed some minor errors and updated a bit for patch 2.10.
    
    2.31 New gear section. More Combat tips. Going to add Jewelcrafting soon.
    	still a lot to do, now that I've gone casual, but I'll try to update as
    	often as possible.
    
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    3. Definitions and Acronyms
    
    Here is a list of the definitions of some more obscure words that relate to
    mages.
    
    AB-Arcane Brilliance.
    
    Add-Extra monster that enters the battlefield
    
    Aggro-Also called threat, determines chances for enemy to attack it's 
    opponent. The higher the aggro, the more likely the enemy is going to attack 
    that player. Also, term used when a monster begins to attack the party.
    
    AoE-Area of effect. 
    
    Buff-Spell or ability that benefits the target.
    
    Caster-Character class that uses spells to damage enemies and/or heal allies.
    
    Chain Casting-Cast several spells in quick succession.
    
    Dps-Damage per second.
    
    DOT-Damage over time
    
    Int-Intellect. If someone asks you "int buff please", it would mean that
    they want an Arcane Intellect, or Arcane Brilliance buff from you.
    
    Kite-A term that means to keep the enemy at range while damaging them.
    
    NPC-Non-player characters. These are the vendors, enemies, quest givers, and
    trainers of the game
    
    Puller-Person that pulls enemies to a party. Mages do not make good pullers,
    despite what some may think. Act as puller only if you are assigned to 
    "silence pull", which means silencing the target with Counterspell so that
    they are forced to come to the group and melee, rather than fight from range.
    
    PvP-Player versus player.
    
    PvE-Player versus environment (NPC's).
    
    Root-Trap the target in place.
    
    Spam-Repeatedly cast a spell on a target as fast as the spell regenerates.
    
    Spi-Spirit.
    
    Stam-Stamina.
    
    Threat-See "aggro".
    
    For a complete glossary, visit this page: http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/info
    /basics/glossary.html;jsessionid=CC6857B8D2332ED6B877B67528439F68.app02
    
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    4. Races (Work in Progress)
    
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    5. Spells
    
    The first section covers the uses of the spells of a mage. For information on
    the stats of each spell, go to http://www.thottbot.com/?c=Mage.
    
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    --------
    
    5.a. Arcane
    
    --------
    
    The Arcane line consists of a variety of spells that deal damage and protect
    the mage. This is the most damaging tree, but it is also fairly mana
    inefficient.
    
    
    Arcane Brilliance
    
    This spell is dropped from loot. Basically, it has the same effects as 
    Arcane Intellect, only it buffs the entire group, so this is a good way to 
    instantly give everyone Arcane Intellect. In addition, this ability lasts 30
    minutes longer than the generic Arcane Intellect.
    
    
    Amplify Magic
    
    Amplify Magic increases the amount of magic damage taken. This may sound like
    a downside, but the good part is that it also increases amount healed. For
    this reason, cast it on the party when there are no enemy casters, and be
    sure to tell them to turn it off should any casters appear!
    
    
    Arcane Blast
    
    Note: The Arcane Blast effect reduces the cast time of your next Arcane
    Blast by 0.33 seconds and increases mana cost by 75%, and can stack up to 3
    times, eventually reducing cast time by 1 second and increasing mana cost by
    225%.
    
    Arcane Blast actually has better mana efficiency than any other mage spell
    on the first cast. Is it the latter casts that become extremely inefficient,
    but the spell can still be spammed for huge dps. At level 70 with about 400
    spell damage, Arcane Blast does 1000 Arcane damage per cast even without
    any talents to boost it, and that's 1k damage every 1.5 seconds, or 666 DPS
    (yes not exactly a good number). Obviously, the side effect to such godly
    damage is its steep mana cost, or about 450 after 3 stacks, but it's 
    still a good spell to use if you're in a doozy. Also, like I said earlier,
    it's the most efficient spell on the first cast, so mages wishing to cast
    efficiently should always use this spell whenever the Arcane Blast debuff
    is gone.
    
    
    Arcane Explosion
    
    This is the spell for the ultimate fast AoE damage potential. It dumps a ton 
    of mana down the drain, but it dishes out the damage just as fast. This 
    spell is good to use after using an aoe opener, like Flamestrike, and
    against single targets that you need to kill fast, but don't have the time
    to stand still and cast.
    
    
    Arcane Intellect
    
    This is an important buff that increases your intellect by a moderate amount.
    The amount of mana increased through this buff can't be overlooked however. 
    All casters love to have this buff, because the increased intellect really
    does make a difference in the battlefield. As you learn higher levels of this
    buff, it will become very costly, but this is not a problem because the long 
    term effects of this spell are much more worth it.
    
    
    Arcane Missiles
    
    This is a very powerful spell that when fully talented, can dish out torrents
    of nasty Arcane damage. To balance it's huge DPS, the spell doesn't have
    very good mana efficiency, so therefore it's a tradeoff; less mana
    inefficiency for more damage. Another upside is that you can get a talent
    that reduces threat generated by Arcane spells by 40%. For all other spells,
    you can only reduce 10% threat. This makes Arcane missiles useful during
    aggro-intensive fights. One thing to be aware of is that Arcane missiles is 
    channeled, so if any damage is done to you, it will reduce the length of 
    the channeling, and may even threaten to cancel your casting. 
    Fortunately, there are talents to prevent this from happening.
    
    
    Arcane Power (Talent)
    
    This is a buff learned through the Arcane talent line. When activated, it 
    increases the damage from all your spells by a substantial amount, but it also
    increases the mana cost by the same percentage. For this reason, the best use
    for this spell is if you want to quickly finish off the enemy, and you aren't
    too worried about your mana pool. This is surprisingly useful in PvP because
    it can help you kill your opponent so fast they won't have much time to 
    retaliate.
    
    
    Blink
    
    Note: Blinking from terrain to an object (such as from dirt to a stone bridge)
    or across a large angle (about 30 degrees or more), will cause you to
    teleport backwards.
    
    Blink instantly teleports you 20 yards forward. This may not sound like much,
    but it will gain you quite a bit of distance in PvP or PvE fights. As you know
    distance is very important to a mage, so being able to instantly gain some 
    distance is a crucial thing. Another important thing to keep in mind is that
    blink will also cause you to break free from stuns and roots. Therefore, if
    you get holed down, you can instantly break away. Keep in mind the 15 second
    cooldown.
    
    
    Conjure Food
    
    The use of this spell could not be underestimated. Conjure food allows you to
    conjure food that is quite reasonable for the level you are currently in. The
    big plus for this spell is that you can create food out of thin air, and you
    do not need to go to vendors to buy food. In some cases, even the hunter's pet
    in your group may wish for a loaf of free bread!
    
    
    Conjure Water
    
    This is similar to food, although it conjures water instead. This is much more
    important than food since liquids are the only things in World of Warcraft 
    that replenish mana. Spells and bandages can replenish health, but not mana.
    The only exception to this is the mage's Evocation and the druid's Innervate.
    
    
    Conjure Mana Agate/Citrine/Jade/Ruby/Emerald
    
    Note: The act of conjuring costs more mana than the gem restores, so don't
    think you can cheat the system.
    
    This spell allows you to conjure a mana gem. In some ways, these gems are like
    mana potions because they instantly restore mana. The only difference is that
    all you need in order to make a gem is mana! Take note that only one gem of 
    each type can be in your packs at a time. This does not mean that you can't 
    have a mana ruby and a mana jade at the same time! Conjuring several types of 
    mana gems and keeping them in your packs is a very good idea. Although all 
    gems receive a cool-down after you use one, some of the longer fights may be 
    so long that you'll use all your gems in one go. Note that mana gems are bind 
    on pick-up, so you cannot give it to other players. Gems are on a 2 minute
    cooldown.
    
    
    Counterspell
    
    This is one of the best ways to anger enemy casters. What it does is that it
    halts enemy casting mid-sentence, and they cannot cast any spell from that
    school of magic for another ten seconds. The only problem is that it creates a
    large amount of aggro, although this isn't a problem during soloing. In groups
    use it wisely. Improved Counterspell greatly helps this ability by attaching a 
    4 second silence to it.
    
    
    Dampen Magic
    
    Dampen Magic reduces the amount of magic damage taken by a small amount, and
    also reduces the amount healed. Magic damage includes anything from poisons to
    Magic (duh). Of course the downside to this is the reduction of the amount 
    healed through spells. Use this if there are no healers in the group, or 
    when soloing.
    
    
    Detect Magic
    
    Nothing special about this spell. It shows the magic buffs on a target. While
    this is useful in some cases (such as when they cast a spell-immunity shield),
    it won't make a huge difference in combat. It is nice to know what your
    opponents have before you Spellsteal them.
    
    
    Evocation
    
    Note: The percentage of mana that evocation regenerates goes down as
    you level up due to gear progression. Sad but true.
    
    Evocation allows your mana to regenerate at super fast speeds for a couple of
    seconds. Your mana begins regenerating even if you have just cast off a spell
    and you aren't using Mage Armor, or you haven't learned the talent to allow
    mana regeneration while casting. Note that this is channeled, so any damage
    taken will shorten its length. Also note the long cooldown, so save this spell
    for important battles when you absolutely need to quickly replenish some mana.
    
    
    Invisibility
    
    Note: Performing ANY action aside from running and jumping causes Invis
    to break. The tooltip is wrong.
    
    Invisibility causes you to slowly fade to invisibility over 5 seconds. Once
    you are invisible, you receive a threat wipe, and are invisible to enemies
    for 20 seconds. It's a great talent that serves as an escape ability and as
    a threat wipe. The downside is that you cannot perform any action while
    fading, so don't wait until the last second before using invisibility. The spell
    requires much planning to be effective, but used properly and it is one
    heck of a spell.
    
    
    Mage Armor
    
    Note: You can only have 1 active armor spell at a time.
    
    Mage armor increases resistance to all schools of magic, and it allows 30% 
    mana regeneration while you are casting. Unfortunately, it does not provide
    an armor bonus like Frost/Ice Armor. If you constantly find yourself running 
    out of mana while retaining tons of health, you should consider migrating to 
    Mage Armor. If your mana and health seem to always stay at the same level, 
    stick with Frost/Ice Armor. Mage Armor is great for groups. In a group 
    setting, you will rarely get hit, and the only thing you will need to worry 
    about is mana.
    
    
    Mana Shield
    
    Note: Shielding yourself will prevent buffs with a reflective effect from
    working. These include Ice/Frost Armor, Molten Armor, etc.
    
    Not a bad spell, but it gets your mana drained pretty quick. The big bonus to
    this is that it negates any interruptions. This means that you can cast away
    without losing any casting time, or losing your channeling. Also works with
    bandages. A good way is to shield then bandage so that it doesn't get stopped.
    This also negates daze effects when a mob attacks from behind, so it's a
    good idea to use mana shield when you are making a run for it. Mana Shield is
    also very good when paired with mage armor. While you are casting, your mana
    will still regenerate a tiny bit, and this will help keep up your mana
    reserves.
    
    
    Polymorph
    
    This spell turns the enemy into a wandering sheep. This is definitely the best
    way to control large groups of enemies since even putting at least one enemy
    out of action would make a difference during solo and group. The downside is
    that any damage done to the sheep would cause it transform back. Also, the
    target quickly regenerates health as a sheep. For this reason, it is not a
    good idea to cast sheep on an injured target. Polymorph can also be used to
    buy you, or your group some time as they bandage up, regenerate some mana, or
    start a long-casting spell such as Pyroblast.
    
    
    Polymorph: Pig
    
    Same effect as normal polymorph except it transforms them into a pig. That
    way if there is more than 1 mage in the party, it'll be easier to distinguish
    who's polymorph is who's. This spell is learned through a quest.
    
    
    Polymorph: Turtle
    
    The third polymorph, this spell turns the target into a turtle. The
    spellbook drops from Gahz'ranka, a spawned boss in Zul'Gurub.
    
    
    Portal 
    
    Alliance: Stormwind/Ironforge/Darnassus/Exodar/Shattrath
    
    Horde: Thunder Bluff/Orgrimmar/Undercity/Silvermoon/your closet
    
    This is a special ability learned through a portal trainer at a major city.
    Be aware that you can only learn to be able to create a portal to whatever
    city that trainer is in. In order to create portals to other cities, you will
    need to talk to the trainers in those cities. Only you and your party members
    can go through the portal, and once you go through, you cannot come back.
    
    
    Presence of Mind (Talent)
    
    This is an ability that reduces the casting time of your next spell by 100%.
    The only abilities that are not included are portals, teleportation, and
    hearthstone. For other spells, this is extremely useful. Mages who also go
    into the Fire line generally get Pyroblast to pair it with this spell as 
    Pyroblast has a very long casting time, and making it instant is absolutely
    killer.
    
    
    Remove Lesser Curse
    
    Although this spell says "remove LESSER curse", it could apparently remove any
    curse as long as it is around your level. This spell doesn't cost very much
    mana either, so feel free to use it any time you need to. Note that
    occasionally it may fail, forcing you to recast it.
    
    
    Slow
    
    Slow is a very decent spell. Many Slow naysayers will say that
    "zomgz u can get same effect w/ lvl 1 forstboltz1!1!!", however, that's
    not really the case. Slow is instant, while level 1 Frostbolt has a 1.5 second
    (1 second w/ talents) cast time. It may not seem like much, but if your
    opponent is right at your heels, you have absolutely NO time to cast that
    Frostbolt. In addition, the Frostbolt slow effect is weaker than Slow 
    (40% snare compared to 50% of Slow) and requires the PermaFrost
    talent in order to match the effect of Slow. Slow's cast time increasing
    portion is also invaluable. The melee speed reduction isn't much since
    most melee classes rely on instant attacks to achieve damage (think 
    rogue), but many spells require cast times. Heals and fears all take longer
    to cast, and this also makes it much easier to counterspell. The only
    downsides to this spell is its fairly steep mana cost (649 at level 70)
    and the fact that two classes (3 if you count warlocks w/ felhunters)
    are able to dispel it and that it is fairly useless against opponents
    that use channeled spells and DoTs.
    
    
    Slow Fall
    
    Reduces falling speed so you don't take fall damage. Not very useful,
    but you can jump very far with it. It's more of a "fun" spell rather than a
    "useful" spell.
    
    
    Spellsteal
    
    Fun and useful, you can steal literally any buff from an opponent. Use
    Detect Magic if you want to check out their buffs, and then start 
    stealing. Stolen buffs can be dispelled, but usually it'll take a few
    seconds before your opponents realize what you just did. A few 
    notable things to steal that I'd like to name and that you should 
    watch for are:
    
    Druid:
    
    Rejuvenation
    Regrowth
    
    Mage:
    
    Arcane Power
    Presence of Mind
    Ice Barrier
    Combustion
    
    Paladin:
    
    Blessing of Freedom
    Blessing of Kings
    Any Seal (they don't benefit you much but you'll want to strip them of it)
    Avenging Wrath
    
    Priest:
    
    Power Word: Shield
    Shadow Protection
    
    Shaman:
    
    Lightning Shield
    Earth Shield
    
    Warlock:
    
    Shadow Ward
    Fel Armor (replaces yours but it's still an amazing buff)
    
    
    A few things to keep in mind before you start stripping and griefing your
    opponents, one, stolen buffs last a MAXIMUM of 2 minutes, so stealing
    someone's Arcane Power won't make it last 2 minutes, two, most armor
    buffs stolen from an opponent will replace your armor buff, such as Fel
    Armor, and three, the spell chooses a random buff to steal, so you can
    get anything from any opponent, although of course you can keep on using
    the ability until you get the buff you want.
    
    
    Teleport
    
    Alliance: Stormwind/Ironforge/Darnassus/Exodar/Shattrath
    
    Horde: Thunder Bluff/Orgrimmar/Undercity/Silvermoon/your bathroom
    
    Same effect and rules as Portal, except it only affects you. However, this
    ability is cheaper and a rune of teleportation cost only half as much as
    rune of portal does.
    
    --------
    
    5.b. Fire
    
    --------
    
    The Fire line is mostly centered around damage. Fire spells are best for high
    damage while maintaining modest amounts of mana. This makes an efficient line 
    in which damage is dealt with fair speed.
    
    
    Blast Wave (Talent)
    
    This is an instant AoE that hits surrounding enemies with a wave of Fire. It
    does decent Fire damage and slows victims to 50% normal speed. Be aware of 
    the long cooldown, so you'll probably only get to use it once in a given 
    battle.
    
    
    Combustion (Talent)
    
    This an instant ability that raises your chance to crit with a Fire spell each
    Time you cast a Fire spell. The first Fire spell receives 10% extra crit
    chance, the second receives 20% crit, and so on. The ability lasts until 3 crits
    have occurred so save this ability for Fireballs. 
    
    What's nice is that even though it says that it only lasts 3 crits, you can 
    make it so that it lasts 4. The trick to do this is that when there is only 1 
    more crit available, use Fireball and follow up with Fireblast before the 
    Fireball hits. The reason this works is because projectile spells (Fireball, 
    Frostbolt etc) are determined the moment they leave your hands if they 
    are going to crit or not. If your combustion is at 70% crit, then the moment 
    your Fireball leaves your hands, it's determined already that it has a 70% 
    chance to crit. Meanwhile, combustion does not fade until your Fireball has 
    impacted the target, so therefore the buff is still there, and if you Fireblast 
    immediately afterwards, the Fireblast will also receive the 70% crit chance.
    
    
    Dragon's Breath
    
    Dragon's breath is a powerful spell that breathes Fire on enemies in a cone
    in front of you, does some hefty damage to them, and disorients them. This
    is a very powerful ability because not only does it work as a spell
    interrupt, but it can also be a handy escape tool. Dragon's Breath + sheep
    is a decent way to start a battle if you get jumped, provided your DB did
    not crit. Dragon's Breath + Scorch + Fireblast is also nice for dishing out
    quick damage while not taking any damage yourself and it is a decent
    finisher. 
    
    A couple tidbits to note, first off it shares a cooldown with Cone
    of Cold. If you use Dragon's breath, both CoC and DB receive a 20
    second cooldown. If you use Cone of Cold, both CoC and DB receive a
    10 second cooldown. Second, contrary to popular belief, it has the same
    area of effect as CoC, but the graphic appears to be much smaller.
    
    
    Fire Blast
    
    This spell instantly blasts enemies with a hit of Fire. It's usefulness cannot
    be underestimated. Use it to complement your normal spellcasting whether you 
    are Frost, Fire, or Arcane as it will increase your DPS by a large amount. Be 
    aware of the short range and the cooldown.
    
    
    Fire Ward
    
    Note: Activating this places a cooldown on Frost Ward as well.
    
    This spell is nice to have when fighting Fire casters. It'll stave off a few
    hits from Fire spells from mobs. When fighting other mages, expect it to only
    last one Fire ball. Still, it will save you quite a bit of health.
    
    
    Fireball
    
    A very basic spell, this will be the main thing you'll be using if you are a 
    Fire mage. It does have a relatively long casting time at the later levels, so 
    talents really help. It is more mana efficient than Arcane Missiles, and is a 
    good thing to use when fighting mobs. Complementing it with occasional blasts 
    of Fire Blast and that makes things even better.
    
    
    Flamestrike
    
    Note: Its radius is actually slightly larger than its targeting circle.
    
    The primary AoE of the Fire line, it does a modest amount of damage 
    immediately, but the damage it does mainly relies on the DoT that comes along 
    with the spell. Indeed half the damage is from the DoT, while the rest is from 
    the immediate hit. Obviously it'll require the enemy to stay in that spot so
    that the spell can do its full damage potential. This makes the spell quite
    useless for repeated casting. A good idea is to Flamestrike the enemy, then
    Frost Nova them in place and start using Blizzard, or spam them with Arcane
    Explosion. A tank at the head of the battlefield will also be useful as they 
    can keep the enemy in place.
    
    
    Molten Armor
    
    Note: You can only have 1 active armor spell at a time.
    
    Another Armor buff, this one gives you a spell critical increase,
    reduces the chance for you to be crit, and does damage to melee attackers.
    Naturally, it's an excellent PvP armor for Fire mages. The added bonus is
    that the damage reflection can also activate impact, making this armor
    even more useful for Fire mages. The armor is also great for Fire mages in
    PvE when there are enemies that tend to pop out at you, such as out of
    stealth.
    
    
    Pyroblast (Talent)
    
    This is a spell learned through Fire talents. Sure it has a long casting time,
    but the damage it does is tremendous. Use it against unsuspecting targets in 
    order to get a good head start, or pair it with Presence of Mind during the 
    course of the battle to unleash a sudden, tremendous attack.
    
    
    Scorch
    
    A very efficient Fire spell, it has slightly less DPS than Fireball, but it
    has much better efficiency and versatility. Since it has such a short cast
    time, you can literally use hit-and-run tactics with this spell. Fireball
    on the other hand requires 3 seconds to cast.
    
    --------
    
    5.c. Frost
    
    --------
    
    The last line for a mage, these spells do somewhat lower damage than Fire
    spells, but when used in the right combo, plus the correct talents, this can
    be a very potent set.
    
    
    Blizzard
    
    Note: Blizzard's radius is slightly larger than its targeting circle.
    
    One of the main AoE's that you will be using, this is a channeled spell that
    showers an area with ice. The power of this ability cannot be underestimated.
    With the right talents, this spell will also be able to slow enemies down, and
    will even gain a chance to freeze the enemy in place. This reduces the need
    to use Frost Nova to keep the enemy in place while you pound them. Be aware of
    the large mana cost. If you learned Arcane Concentration, then it is a good 
    idea to cast some other spells to gain a Clearcast, then unleash a mana-free
    Blizzard.
    
    
    Cold Snap (Talent)
    
    Note: Doesn't always clear all cooldowns. Likely a bug.
    
    When activated, finishes the cooldown of all your cold spells except for the
    spell itself. The spell itself does have a long cooldown, but it can be used
    if you really need to pull off that extra Ice Block, Frost Nova, etc.
    
    
    Cone of Cold
    
    This is an AoE spell that hits a cone of enemies in front of the caster with
    Frost damage. A good idea is to run backwards so that the enemies will tighten
    up a bit, then use cone of cold to hit them all. A good combo with this spell
    is to use Blast Wave first, then use CoC when the daze affect goes away. Cone
    of Cold also reduces the enemy's speed by 50%, so you can use this to 
    accomplish what Blast Wave fails at. Cooldown is relatively short at 10 
    seconds.
    
    
    Frost Armor
    
    Note: You can only have 1 active armor spell at a time.
    
    A basic and necessary spell, it increases your armor by a substantial amount,
    and enemies also have a chance of having their movement speed and attack speed
    slowed down. Frost Armor is simply awesome when you have also learned Frost
    Bite talent. With each hit from the enemy, they have a chance to freeze in
    place. Unfortunately, it does not stack with Mage Armor, so you have to choose 
    whether you would have one or the other. 
    
    
    Frost Nova
    
    This is one of the most important spells to use to get you out of melee 
    trouble. Whether you are in a group, or you are soloing, this is one of the
    most important spells you will get. Paired with Blink, this spell becomes
    even more powerful. Note that it does have a pretty long cooldown, so you'll
    probably only get to use it once during a battle. 
    
    
    Frostbolt
    
    Just like Fireball, this is the spell you will be using most of the time if
    you are a Frost mage. However, even if you are specced in something else, this
    is still not a bad spell to start off a fight with since it slows the enemy 
    down by a modest amount. This will force the enemy to take some time to get to
    you while you dish out spells at it.
    
    
    Frost Ward
    
    Note: Activating Frost Ward also places a cooldown on Fire Ward.
    Similar to Fire Ward, except it absorbs Frost damage instead. Great against
    Frost mages and shaman, and against mobs that use Frost spells.
    
    
    Ice Armor
    
    Note: You can only have 1 active armor spell at a time.
    
    Similar to Frost Armor, except is also increases your Frost resistance by a
    tiny amount. This can only be learned later on, after Frost Armor.
    
    
    Ice Barrier (Talent)
    
    Note: Shielding yourself will prevent buffs with a reflective effect from 
    working. These include Ice/Frost Armor, Molten Armor, etc.
    
    The apex of the Frost line, Ice Barrier acts like the priest's Power Word:
    Shield, except it absorbs less damage and can only be cast on the self. A
    nice perk is that the shield lasts 1 minute, but has a 30 second cooldown,
    meaning you can have the shield up and it has already cooled down. This 
    equates to you being able to cast an ice barrier immediately after it falls.
    Coupled with Cold Snap, you can have up to 3 ice barriers per fight!
    
    
    Ice Block
    
    Note: Shielding yourself will prevent buffs with a reflective effect from 
    working. These include Ice/Frost Armor, Molten Armor, etc.
    
    The spell, available to all mages, is excellent for soloing and raiding, and
    is INCREDIBLE in groups and in pvp. While you can't cast for the 10 second
    duration, you are completely immune to everything except for a server crash
    for those seconds. This gives you time to have a breather and it also gives
    you time to replenish some cooldowns. Say you use blink, and you find that
    you need to use it again. You can ice block and effectively grant you 10 free
    seconds to recharge blink. Ice Block can also be used to remove yourself of
    debuffs that are placed on you.
    
    
    Ice Lance
    
    Ahhh, the infamous Ice Lance. The spell does not deal much damage, but
    against a frozen target, it can cause some serious hurt. Add to the fact that
    it's instant and that it costs very little mana and it becomes the choice spell
    for all mages against frozen targets, yes even Fire. Put this spell in an easy
    to reach location so that you can start firing it the moment your target is
    frozen.
    
    
    Icy Veins (Talent)
    
    This nifty buff increases the speed at which you cast by 20%, and gives
    you 100% resistance from spell pushback for 20 seconds. It's great for
    PvE in that it provides a decent damage boost, and is fantastic for PvP
    in that it prevents any spell you cast from being knocked back. As the
    spell haste increase and pushback resistance apply to all spells, this
    is a great talent for ANY mage.
    
    
    Water Elemental
    
    Note: If the elemental casts consistently without pause, it can run out of
    mana before it finishes its duration.
    
    Note: The elemental has its own pet bar. If you have not played a class
    that uses pets yet, you will need to take some time to practice using the
    pet functions.
    
    The Water Elemental is a very powerful pet. It does hefty damage and also
    has a nasty ranged Frost nova that's excellent for Shatter-loving Frost
    Mages. Unfortunately, it only lasts 45 seconds, but during that time,
    it can put out an insane amount of damage. A Water Elemental can 
    deal around 12,000 damage over its entire lifespan, and it recieves
    spell damage, health, and intellect bonuses from the caster, so it can
    in fact deal more than that amount of damage. The bonus damage it
    recieves is acquired when it is summoned, so it is wise to pop any
    trinkets before summoning, in order to maximize the elemental's
    damage output. The pet's cooldown starts running from the moment
    that it is summoned, so while its cooldown is 3 minutes, you only
    have to wait 2 minutes and 15 seconds to summon another one. 
    
    A few important things to keep in mind: you can only have one WE
    summoned at a time, so using Cold Snap will not let you immediately
    summon another elemental. Also, the Elemental has limited health,
    and dies in seconds if focused on. Finally, when summoned, the pet
    is initially placed in Defensive mode (meaning it will not attack unless
    it is attacked by someone else, or when you order it to attack).
    Therefore, keep in mind to order your elemental to attack after it is
    summoned, or it'll go to waste.
    
    
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    6. Talents
    
    In World of Warcraft, talents are a special ability tree that is similar to 
    the skill tree in Diablo II. However, talents only help to improve your
    fighting capability of your character, rather than being the deciding factor
    of how well you will be able to fight as spells do.
    
    -----------------------
    
    6.a. The Talents
    
    -----------------------
    
    The following is a guide on the usefulness/uselessness of the mage talents.
    Rating of 5 being very useful, rating of 1 being useless. There will be
    a breakdown of all talent ratings at the beginning of each talent tree
    section. Talents in individual trees are broken into their respective tiers.
    
    Visit http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/info/classes/mage/talents.html for
    details of each talent.
    
    --------
    
    Arcane
    
    --------
    
    Tier 1:
    
    Arcane Subtlety
    
    Soloing: 1
    Groups/Raiding: 5
    BG's: 1
    Arenas: 1
    
    The resistance reduction isn't much, especially in the later levels when
    10 resistance becomes VERY trivial. However, the threat the reduction is
    absolutely amazing. -40% threat means you can deal 40% more damage without
    worrying about aggro. Even a mage who does not plan on using Arcane
    Missiles/Blast should take this talent because it also reduces threat on
    sheep, counterspell, and Arcane Explosion, spells that are used by every
    mage.
    
    
    Arcane Focus
    
    Soloing: 5 
    Groups/Raiding: 5
    BG's: 5 
    Arenas: 5
    (Rating of 1 if you are spellhit capped)
    
    Another great talent. Very useful for Arcane mages, and great for other
    mages since it also affects sheep, counterspell, and Arcane explosion.
    Less resist on important spells like the ones mentioned above is very handy.
    
    
    Improved Arcane Missiles
    
    Soloing: 3 (talent is good, but AM isn't efficient)
    Groups/Raiding: 4
    BG's: 4
    Arenas: 2 (talent is good, but AM is not good for Arenas)
    (If you are taking Empowered AM, add 1 to each rating)
    
    If you plan on using Arcane Missiles, this is a must. Having Arcane
    missiles interrupted is a very bad thing and can hurt your damage-per-mana.
    Of course if you don't use AM often, you'll be better off getting the other
    tier 1 talents.
    
    
    Tier 2:
    
    Wand Specialization
    
    Soloing: 1
    Groups/Raiding: 1
    BG's: 1
    Arenas: 1
    
    Yay, I deal more damage with something that I use 1% of the time! Unless for
    some reason, you are using your wand for your main damage, you should leave
    this talent home. In the earlier levels, wands may seem to deal a lot of
    damage, but after a couple of levels, this changes, and you'll find yourself
    relying more and more on your mage spells.
    
    
    Magic Absorption
    
    Soloing: 3
    Groups/Raiding: 2
    BG's: 3
    Arenas: 2
    
    Not exactly a terrible talent, but the problem is that it requires so many
    points before it becomes even somewhat useful. Not to mention, the 
    resistance bonus does not scale with level, and it becomes trivial in the 
    later levels. The mana gain is great, but it is only useful when you are 
    fighting caster mobs that are several levels lower than you, and you
    have a high chance to resist their spells.
    
    
    Arcane Concentration
    
    Soloing: 5
    Groups/Raiding: 5
    BG's: 5
    Arenas: 5
    
    This talent is absolutely amazing. On the surface, it looks simply like a
    10% mana reduction, but in fact there's more. You can use the clearcast on
    any offensive spell of your choosing, so you can gain a clearcast, and use
    your spell with the highest mana cost (preferably Arcane Missiles). If you
    get this far in the Arcane tree, there's no point not to take this talent.
    
    
    Tier 3:
    
    Magic Attunement
    
    Soloing: 4
    Groups/Raiding: 3
    BG's: 4
    Arenas: 4
    
    This talent significantly increases the effects of Dampen and Amplify
    Magic. It's a great talent, and only costs 2 talent points to max out.
    Unfortunately, this talent also increases the side effects of Dampen and
    Amplify, so really, it's a double-edged sword. It's still worth taking
    once you get this far into the Arcane tree.
    
    
    Arcane Impact
    
    Soloing: 5
    Groups/Raiding: 4
    BG's: 4
    Arenas: 4
    (If you don't use Arcane Blast ever, subtract 2 from each)
    
    A decent talent. Getting some more crits with Arcane Blast is great, if you
    plan on using it. Even if you don't use Arcane Blast, you can still
    benefit from the crit increase to Arcane Explosion.
    
    
    Arcane Fortitude:
    
    Soloing: 3
    Groups/Raiding: 3
    BG's: 4
    Arenas: 4
    
    A fairly decent talent, as it increases your armor by a fair amount for
    just one talent point. For a Mage who goes deep into Arcane and
    stacks up on Intellect, this talent can net about 4% melee damage
    mitigation, which essentially translates to an 4% hp for you.
    
    
    Tier 4:
    
    Improved Mana Shield:
    
    Soloing: 3 (you don't wanna be caught mana shielding in PvE anyway)
    Groups/Raiding: 3
    BG's: 4
    Arenas: 4
    
    Not a very bad talent. Mana shield drains your mana pretty quickly, and this
    talent helps to ease the mana drain. The problem is, it doesn't ease
    up the drain enough.
    
    
    Improved Counterspell:
    
    Soloing: 4
    Groups/Raiding: 2
    BG's: 5
    Arenas: 5
    
    If you plan on going this far down the Arcane tree, this is one talent you
    MUST spec into. A 4 second silence is great in PvE, and it's absolutely
    amazing in PvP. If you miss a counterspell, no problem, you'll still have
    something to make up for it. If your opponent has multiple spell trees to
    choose from, no problem, this thing completely silences them, preventing
    them from casting literally anything during that period. In groups and
    raiding however, most mobs only have one talent tree to cast from
    anyway, and some raid mobs are immune to silence.
    
    
    Arcane Meditation:
    
    Soloing: 5
    Groups/Raiding: 5
    BG's: 4
    Arenas: 4
    
    It may not seem much, but if you pair this talent with Mage Armor, you'll
    get 60% mana regeneration while casting. If anything, it's a wonderful
    talent to pick up, considering the limited amount of options you have
    at this tier.
    
    
    Tier 5:
    
    Improved Blink:
    
    Soloing: 1
    Groups/Raiding: 3
    BG's: 3
    Arenas: 3
    
    This talent reduces the chance you are hit by 13/25% for 4 seconds
    after you Blink. On surface, it sounds like a nice talent, before you
    realize that the only way for the talent to be effective is if you 
    Blink INTO your enemy, which is generally what you're trying to
    avoid with the exception of hunters. Occassionally, you may get
    lucky, and you're opponent will miss a powerful attack or a crucial
    spell interrupt, but for the most part, there are better options out
    there.
    
    
    Presence of Mind:
    
    Soloing: 5
    Groups/Raiding: 5
    BG's: 5
    Arenas: 4
    
    See Presence of Mind under the spells section for more details.
    
    
    Arcane Mind:
    
    Soloing: 5
    Groups/Raiding: 5
    BG's: 5
    Arenas: 5
    (Subtract 1 if you are not taking Mind Mastery)
    
    More intellect = more mana = more spell crit = more enjoyment. If you get
    this far, it's a must-take. Plus, it's a key talent for later talents like Mind
    Mastery.
    
    
    Tier 6:
    
    Prismatic Cloak:
    
    Soloing: 3
    Groups/Raiding: 3
    BG's: 4
    Arenas: 4
    
    The damage reduction doesn't seem like much, but once you hit 70 and hit
    points do not scale directly with damage anymore, a 4% damage reduction
    can be huge. At 7000 hitpoints, this talent translates to 140 hitpoints (or 14
    Stamina) per point, and at 10000 hp, it's 200 hitpoints (or 20 Stamina) per
    point! 
    
    
    Arcane Instability:
    
    Soloing: 5
    Groups/Raiding: 5
    BG's: 5
    Arenas: 5
    
    With this talent, you get more damage and crit on all your spells. It
    seems like a trivial amount, but since each point adds 1% to both
    damage and hit, the net result is that each point gives roughly 2% more
    damage for ALL spells.
    
    
    Arcane Potency:
    
    Soloing: 5
    Groups/Raiding: 5
    BG's: 4
    Arenas: 4
    
    Seems like a great talent, but in reality, if you do the math, it's only
    a 3% crit chance increase (.10 x .30 = .03). Still, if you took Arcane
    Concentration, you should take this talent anyway. Not to mention,
    clearcasts can be used with any offensive spell, so you can get a clearcast,
    then cast a pyroblast with 30% extra crit and no mana cost.
    
    
    Tier 7:
    
    Empowered Arcane Missiles:
    
    Soloing: 3
    Groups/Raiding: 5
    BG's: 4
    Arenas: 3
    (Subtract 2 if you are not taking Improved AM)
    
    This talent increases the damage of Arcane Missiles to godly levels. The
    mana cost increase may seem like a lot, given AM's steep mana cost, but
    eventually you'll come to ignore it. Just make sure to stack up on spell
    damage (and Intellect if you take Mind Mastery).
    
    
    Arcane Power:
    
    Soloing: 5
    Groups/Raiding: 5
    BG's: 5
    Arenas: 5
    
    See Arcane Power under the spells section.
    
    
    Spell Power:
    
    Soloing: 5
    Groups/Raiding: 5
    BG's: 5
    Arenas: 5
    
    This talent increases the critical strike damage bonus of ALL your spells.
    What's also amazing is that it stacks with Ignite and Ice Shards, enabling
    massive Fire and Frost crits. Simply an outstanding and superb talent. If
    you get this far in the Arcane tree, there is absolutely NO reason you 
    should not take it. Many partial Arcane builds are centered around this
    talent and Arcane Power.
    
    
    Tier 8:
    
    Mind Mastery:
    
    Soloing: 5
    Groups/Raiding: 5
    BG's: 5
    Arenas: 5
    
    An amazing talent. In the later levels, you'll be able to amass huge amounts
    of intellect, and this talent will put that intellect to even better use and
    grant you plenty of spell damage. Note that the spell damage increase applies
    to all spells.
    
    
    Tier 9:
    
    Slow
    
    Soloing: 2
    Groups/Raiding: 2
    BG's: 4
    Arenas: 4
    
    See Slow under the spells section.
    
    
    --------
    
    Fire
    
    --------
    
    Tier 1:
    
    Improved Fireball:
    
    Soloing: 5
    Groups/Raiding: 5
    BG's: 5
    Arenas: 5
    
    If you plan on using lots of Fireballs and forgetting about the mana
    inefficiency that comes attached with it, you'll do yourself well with
    getting this talent. -.5 seconds off on your Fireball doesn't seem like
    much, but if you think about it, after 6 casts you'll have saved up 3
    seconds, allowing you to Fire an extra Fireball. That's equal to about 16.7%
    DPS increase. It is especially important for PvPers, who must cast
    everything as quickly as possible.
    
    
    Impact:
    
    Soloing: 5
    Groups/Raiding: 5 (Groups) / 1 (Raiding)
    BG's: 5
    Arenas: 5
    
    The stun is great. It can interrupt enemy spell casting, and stop melee in
    their tracks. It's too bad most raid enemies are immune to stun.
    
    
    Tier 2:
    
    Ignite:
    
    Soloing: 5
    Groups/Raiding: 5
    BG's: 5 
    Arenas: 5
    
    This talent causes your fire criticals to also add a powerful DoT to your
    target for 4 seconds. It is a nice boost to your overall damage, and
    getting multiple crits will rack up to an insane DoT. Ignite has had an
    infamous history of being revised multiple times, often with multiple
    attempts by Blizzard at fixing its bugs. In its current state, the talent is
    still bugged, mainly due to programming limitations. As such, the talent has
    an unusually complex mechanism. I suggest that you check out this article
    to get the full details on what Ignite currently does: 
    http://www.wowwiki.com/Ignite
    
    
    Flame Throwing:
    
    Soloing: 5
    Groups/Raiding: 5
    BG's: 5
    Arenas: 5
    
    6 yards can mean standing inside a enemy's aoe range or standing clear of
    it, and more range in PvP is even more important.
    
    
    Improved Fire Blast:
    
    Soloing: 3
    Groups/Raiding: 3
    BG's: 4
    Arenas: 5
    
    If you're going to use Fire Blast a lot, get it. If you only use it
    occasionally, leave it at home since it won't provide any benefit.
    
    
    Tier 3:
    
    Incineration:
    
    Soloing: 4
    Groups/Raiding: 4
    BG's: 4
    Arenas: 4
    (Add 1 if you constantly use Scorch/Fireblast)
    
    You'll occasionally find yourself using Scorch and Fireblast and unlike Imp.
    Fireblast, this talent works even if you don't always use those spells.
    
    
    Improved Flamestrike:
    
    Soloing: 3
    Groups/Raiding: 3
    BG's: 1
    Arenas: 1
    
    You'll find yourself using Flamestrike quite rarely. Plus, half of
    Flamestrike's damage is in its DoT, making this talent fairly pointless.
    
    
    Pyroblast:
    
    Soloing: 5
    Groups/Raiding: 4
    BG's: 3
    Arenas: 3
    (Add 1 if you also have Presence of Mind)
    
    See Pyroblast under the spells section.
    
    
    Burning Soul:
    
    Soloing: 5
    Groups/Raiding: 5
    BG's: 5
    Arenas: 5
    
    Having your Fire spells be nearly uninterruptible is HUGE. This is an
    extremely essential talent for PvP and PvE. Some people will argue that if
    a mage is being hit, then they're guaranteed to lose. Well, that's pretty
    obvious if you're standing there unable to cast anything because your spells
    are getting pushed back the entire time. The minor threat reduction is also
    a nice plus for PvE, giving you room to deal 10% more Fire damage
    without drawing aggro.
    
    
    Tier 4:
    
    Improved Scorch:
    
    Soloing: 5
    Groups/Raiding: 5
    BG's: 5
    Arenas: 5
    
    This talent is a bit iffy. On the one side, its a great boost to everyone’s
    Fire damage. On the other hand, it requires a minimum of 5 casts to get 
    the full benefit of the debuff, and if there are multiple mages with this
    talent, it will be wasted because there cannot be multiple Fire 
    Vulnerabilities on a target. It's still a good idea to get the talent anyway
    if you plan on using Scorch often. It's also a good talent to annoy
    Paladins and Priests with when they try to despell.
    
    
    Molten Shields:
    
    Soloing: 2
    Groups/Raiding: 1
    BG's: 3
    Arenas: 3
    (Add 1 if you also took Impact)
    
    This talent gives your Fire Ward spell a chance to reflect a fire spell
    back at the target, and causes your Molten Armor spell to damage
    ranged and spellcasting targets. The Fire Ward reflect can make a
    difference in drawn-out mage-to-mage or mage-to-warlock battles, but
    the real draw to the talent is the improvement to Molten Armor. While
    the damage of Molten Armor is low, the damage proc from Molten
    Armor does give a chance to cause Impact. Being able to proc Impact
    on a ranged or spellcasting target is a huge boon when you are unable
    to retaliate. Overall, a nice talent, if you have the points to spare.
    
    
    
    Master of Elements:
    
    Soloing: 4
    Groups/Raiding: 3
    BG's: 3
    Arenas: 3
    (Add 2 if you have Shatter)
    
    Provides a decent mana refund when you crit, but only when you crit. If
    you don't have a high critical chance, this spell won't do you much good.
    If you do have a high critical chance (I recommend at least 20%), or if
    you have the talent Shatter in your build, you'll be well served by this
    talent. 
    
    
    Tier 5:
    
    Playing with Fire:
    
    Soloing: 1
    Groups/Raiding: 4
    BG's: 1
    Arenas: 1
    
    Yay, I deal a tad more damage while taking a tad more damage, what a
    great trade-off... not really. Unless you are trying to maximize your
    damage output for raiding, it's not exactly a worthwhile talent.
    
    
    Critical Mass:
    
    Soloing: 5
    Groups/Raiding: 5
    BG's: 5
    Arenas: 5
    
    One of the core Fire talents. Increases your critical chance, which
    means more damage, more Ignitage, and more Master of Elementage.
    
    
    Blast Wave:
    
    Soloing: 5
    Groups/Raiding: 3
    BG's: 5
    Arenas: 5
    
    See Blast Wave under the spells section.
    
    
    Tier 6:
    
    Blazing Speed:
    
    Soloing: 4
    Groups/Raiding: 3
    BG's: 5
    Arenas: 5
    
    Provides a solid speed boost, which can be very useful in PvP against
    hunters and pesky melee, but has limited use in PvE. While it does help
    you kite better in PvE, you must be hit first, and you only have a
    limited amount of hitpoints, and generally a hit or two from a boss mob
    results in death anyways.
    
    
    Fire Power:
    
    Soloing: 5
    Groups/Raiding: 5
    BG's: 5
    Arenas: 5
    
    Another core Fire talent. Provides a fairly significant boost to your
    damage, which is very important.
    
    
    Pyromaniac:
    
    Soloing: 5
    Groups/Raiding: 5
    BG's: 5
    Arenas: 5
    
    While the critical boost is very small, it also reduces mana cost by a small
    amount. With the two boosts combined, it provides a net of 2% per
    talent (1% damage/ 1% mana reduction), which is the same as Fire Power.
    
    
    Combustion:
    
    Soloing: 5
    Groups/Raiding: 5
    BG's: 4
    Arenas: 3
    
    See Combustion under the spells section.
    
    
    Molten Fury:
    
    Soloing: 4
    Groups/Raiding: 5
    BG's: 4
    Arenas: 4
    
    Provides a fairly significant damage boost, when your target is almost
    dead. Most mobs and players can be one-shotted at 20%. The spell is very
    good against bosses though, and you can put out ENORMOUS dps with
    Molten Fury and Arcane Blast spam, so if you plan on doing some raiding,
    this is an ideal talent to take.
    
    
    Empowered Fireball:
    
    Soloing: 5
    Groups/Raiding: 5
    BG's: 5
    Arenas: 5
    
    You need quite a bit of +damage gear for this talent to be effective, but
    most end-game gear can net you 600 spell damage or more, so that's not
    really a problem. If you plan on using Fireball often, this talent is a
    must.
    
    
    Dragon's Breath:
    
    Soloing: 4
    Groups/Raiding: 3
    BG's: 5
    Arenas: 5
    
    See Dragon's Breath under the spells section.
    
    
    --------
    
    Frost
    
    --------
    
    Frost Warding:
    
    Soloing: 3
    Groups/Raiding: 1
    BG's: 3
    Arenas: 3
    
    It's not necessarily a bad talent, given that it'll provide a boost to
    Ice/Frost Armor, a spell you will be using often in PvP as a Frost mage,
    but it's just that there are far better talents to take. The Frost reflection
    is almost negligible since very few classes use Frost spells.
    
    
    Improved Frostbolt:
    
    Soloing: 5
    Groups/Raiding: 5
    BG's: 5
    Arenas: 5
    
    If you use Frostbolt often, you'll want to get this talent since the small
    cast time reduction can mean a lot in the long run. Like Improved
    Fireball, it is a direct boost to your DPS.
    
    
    Elemental Precision:
    
    Soloing: 5
    Groups/Raiding: 5
    BG's: 5
    Arenas: 5
    (Rating 2 if you are spellhit capped)
    
    If you plan to use Frost, Fire, or both spells, you'll need to take this
    talent. The 3% resist reduction may not seem much, but it'll mean a
    resisted Pyroblast, or a Pyroblast that hits, a resisted Frost Nova
    or a Frost Nova that hits, and any mage will know that a resisted Frost
    Nova is a pain in the arse.
    
    
    Ice Shards:
    
    Soloing: 5
    Groups/Raiding: 5
    BG's: 5
    Arenas: 5
    
    Not to sound like a broken record but more damage from critical strikes is 
    always a good thing.
    
    
    Frostbite:
    
    Soloing: 5
    Groups/Raiding: 2 / 1
    BG's: 5
    Arenas: 5
    
    Adding a chance for any of your Frost spells except Ice Lance to freeze
    the target for a few seconds is simply heaven. A freeze will not only
    mean that the target is stuck and cannot melee you, but it also gives you
    a large critical bonus if you took Shatter. Note that this talent also
    works with Ice/Frost Armor, so melee will have a very hard time getting
    at you.
    
    
    Improved Frost Nova:
    
    Soloing: 5
    Groups/Raiding: 2
    BG's: 5
    Arenas: 5
    
    Cooldown reduction for Frost Nova is amazing, especially since you
    have to rely on this spell very often. A solid talent for any non-raiding
    spec. Also, this talent is a requirement for Shatter.
    
    
    Permafrost:
    
    Soloing: 5
    Groups/Raiding: 2
    BG's: 5
    Arenas: 5
    
    A fairly decent talent. It helps to improve the snare bonus of your spells,
    and also adds to their length, which is especially important if you get
    Improved Blizzard.
    
    
    Piercing Ice:
    
    Soloing: 5
    Groups/Raiding: 5
    BG's: 5
    Arenas: 5
    
    More Frost damage. The question is, why not?
    
    
    Cold Snap:
    
    Soloing: 5
    Groups/Raiding: 5
    BG's: 5
    Arenas: 5
    
    See Cold Snap under the spells section.
    
    
    Improved Blizzard:
    
    Soloing: 4
    Groups/Raiding: 2
    BG's: 2
    Arenas: 1
    
    Blizzard isn't exactly the best spell per se, but it is amazing for AoE
    grinding. Getting this talent will slow enemy movement to a crawl, and
    if you trained the PermaFrost talent, your opponents will barely even be
    able to move. Add Frostbite to the mix and your targets will literally be
    frozen in their tracks for the entire duration of Blizzard. In BG's and
    groups, this talent has limited use, except during huge congregations
    involving mobs and/or enemy players (think Alterac Valley). Otherwise,
    there are better places to spend your points in.
    
    
    Arctic Reach:
    
    Soloing: 5
    Groups/Raiding: 5
    BG's: 5
    Arenas: 5
    
    Adding some range to your Frost spells is extremely important. Not only
    will it allow you to start attacking from farther away, allowing you to
    cast more spells before you target reaches you, but it can also mean
    being inside the aoe range of a boss or outside of it.
    
    
    Frost Channeling:
    
    Soloing: 5
    Groups/Raiding: 5
    BG's: 4
    Arenas: 4
    
    A large mana reduction and a decent threat reduction. Two great things
    in one small package.
    
    
    Shatter:
    
    Soloing: 5
    Groups/Raiding: 2
    BG's: 5
    Arenas: 5
    
    If you plan on going this far into the Frost tree, this talent is a must. Not
    only does it boost your critical rate, but it also works perfectly in
    conjunction with Frostbite. You can deal some absolutely crazy damage
    with Shatter. Use Frost Nova, followed by Frostbolt and Ice Lance and
    at level 70, you can deal nearly 5k damage in about 2.5 seconds.
    
    
    Frozen Core:
    
    Soloing: 1
    Groups/Raiding: 1
    BG's: 1
    Arenas: 1
    
    The damage reduction is fine, but it's only for Fire and Frost spells.
    Not very useful.
    
    
    Icy Veins:
    
    Soloing: 5
    Groups/Raiding: 5
    BG's: 5
    Arenas: 5
    
    See "Icy Veins" under the spells section.
    
    
    Improved Cone of Cold:
    
    Soloing: 5
    Groups/Raiding: 3
    BG's: 4
    Arenas: 3
    
    It's a great talent in that it provides a large boost to the damage done
    by Cone of Cold, but there are so many other great talents, that this
    one will have to be put into the back seat. Nonetheless, if you have
    the points to spare, this one's a must.
    
    
    Ice Floes:
    
    Soloing: 5
    Groups/Raiding: 5
    BG's: 5
    Arenas: 5
    
    Reduced cooldown for every Frost spell except Water Elemental.
    Some don't recommend this for short Arena fights (2v2s in particular),
    but nevertheless, I think it's still worthwhile to take as it'll reduce the
    cooldown of Ice Barrier and CoC, which you need to cast as often
    as possible in Arenas.
    
    
    Winter's Chill:
    
    Soloing: 4
    Groups/Raiding: 5 (1 if a mage in your raid already has Winter's Chill)
    BG's: 5
    Arenas: 5
    
    While providing a boost to Frost critical chance, it's still lacking a bit in
    that most enemies won't be living by the time you have 5 stacks of
    Winter's Chill on them. It is a great talent in raiding, but as long as there
    is one mage in your group has this talent, no other mage needs to have
    it. In addition, only other mages will benefit from this talent as not other
    class frequently uses Frost spells. Still, in PvP, this will add a great
    debuff to annoy Paladins and Priests with when they try to despell.
    
    
    Ice Barrier:
    
    Soloing: 5
    Groups/Raiding: 5
    BG's: 5
    Arenas: 5
    
    See Ice Barrier under the spells section.
    
    
    Arctic Winds:
    
    Soloing: 4
    Groups/Raiding: 5
    BG's: 5
    Arenas: 5
    
    Reducing the chance for enemy attacks to hit is good. In addition,
    this talent increases Frost damage by a small amount. An excellent
    talent that is worth taking, and is great for raiding Frost Mages who
    are looking to maximize their damage potential.
    
    
    Empowered Frostbolt:
    
    Soloing: 5
    Groups/Raiding: 5
    BG's: 5
    Arenas: 5
    
    If you made it this far into the Frost tree, you'll want this talent. Even if
    you don't have much spell damage, this talent will provide you with a
    decent critical bonus.
    
    
    Water Elemental:
    
    Soloing: 5
    Groups/Raiding: 5
    BG's: 5
    Arenas: 5
    
    See Water Elemental under the spells section.
    
    
    -----------------------
    
    6.b. Template builds.
    
    -----------------------
    
    For template builds, I like to use the WoWHead talent calculator. To
    view these builds, simply copy the URL onto your web browser and hit 
    "enter".
    
    Remember that you can always tweak these talents to your liking, so if
    you don't like having one talent in a certain place, take the points off 
    of it and put it somewhere else.
    
    Be sure to also check out http://www.wowarmory.com to check out
    what other people have for their talent builds!
    
    
    The Cookie-Cutter Frost Spec
    
    http://www.wowhead.com/?talent=Rf0VZZVAGsofxsbqt (10/0/51)
    or
    http://www.wowhead.com/?talent=odZZVAGIofxsiqt (3/0/58)
    or
    http://www.wowhead.com/?talent=oZVZVqGIofxsiqt (0/5/56)
    
    Arenas		(5 stars)
    Battlegrounds	(5 stars)
    Soloing		(5 stars)
    Groups		(4 stars)
    Raids		(3 stars)
    
    Very decent spec that is useful in all situations. It offers good damage, good
    protection, and great versatility. It is very well-rounded and favored by most
    PvP-oriented Mages. The first spec offers more efficiency, the second spec
    has some more snare and has Winter's Chill, while the third spec is even
    more suited for PvP as it has Winter's Chill, better snare, and Impact for
    stuns through Fireblast and Molten Armor. Works decently for Raids and
    Groups, but you'll get outdamaged by your fellow Arcane and Fire mages.
    Points can be removed from Elemental Precision if you are hit-capped.
    
    
    Cookie-Cutter Frost Raid-Based Spec
    
    http://www.wowhead.com/?talent=oi0V0oZZVAhcof0siqt (13/0/48)
    
    Arenas		(2 stars)
    Battlegrounds	(2 stars)
    Soloing		(3 stars)
    Groups		(4 stars)
    Raids		(5 stars)
    
    A more raid-oriented version of the cookie-cutter Frost spec. You must
    be very dedicated to raiding, as the build doesn't work so well in PvP
    situations, as you give up on Shatter.
    
    
    Cookie-Cutter Fire
    
    http://www.wowhead.com/?talent=kf0VZEgMzf0cReRt0h (10/48/0)
    
    Arenas		(3 stars)
    Battlegrounds	(4.5 stars)
    Soloing		(5 stars)
    Groups		(5 stars)
    Raids		(5 stars)
    
    Great damage and amazing efficiency. Throw some quick scorches to
    stack up Fire vulnerability, and then unleash massive Fireballs. Fire mages
    and warlocks will love the buff. Also, dragon's breath works
    decently in a pvp setting, providing damage and defense. Weak spec for
    Arenas as you don't have a lot of "burst" options (like Arcane Power and
    Shatter).
    
    
    Full Arcane/Fire Spec
    
    http://www.wowhead.com/?talent=orxVc0fzgIuioxg0z (48/13/0)
    
    Arenas		(2.5 stars)
    Battlegrounds	(4 stars)
    Soloing		(3 stars)
    Groups		(5 stars)
    Raids		(4 stars)
    
    The Arcane spec is quite amazing. Arcane Missiles deal more
    damage than Fireball, and it doesn't cost that much more mana. In
    addition, you can temporarily boost your damage with Arcane power,
    allowing you to far out dps Fire mages. Despite the steep mana cost that
    Arcane missiles carry, you have talents to help you out. Arcane
    Meditation help you regenerate mana faster, and Arcane Mind increases
    your total intellect, which boosts mana pool, crit rate, and works in
    conjunction with Mind Mastery, and Mind Mastery is a whole new story.
    This is also a great spec if you have lots of intellect gear, but little
    +damage gear. It's great for Battlegrounds as you can stand to the side
    and unload Arcane Missiles, but it's awfully weak for Arenas as you'll be
    extremely reliant on the Arcane tree, and if it gets locked down, you lose
    Polymorph, Arcane Missiles, Counterspell, Arcane Power, and Presence
    of Mind, and you'll be in some serious trouble.
    
    
    Partial Arcane/Fire Spec
    
    http://www.wowhead.com/?talent=kf0Vf0fzxIziZVgMzf00o (40/21/0)
    or
    http://www.wowhead.com/?talent=kf0Vf0fzLGzbZVgRzf0coh (33/28/0)
    
    Arenas		(4 stars)
    Battlegrounds	(5 stars)
    Soloing		(4 stars)
    Groups		(5 stars)
    Raids		(5 stars)
    
    Another class favorite. Again, great spec if you have lots of intellect gear,
    but little +damage gear. Second spec is better for those of you that have
    lots of spell damage gear, instead of Intellect gear. This spec is far more
    flexible than the Full Arcane spec in that you'll have two trees to work
    with, and is also very comparable in damage.
    
    
    Arcane/Frost Spec
    
    http://www.wowhead.com/?talent=of0Vf0fzxIziZZVVMMo0xo (40/0/21)
    
    Arenas		(4 stars)
    Battlegrounds	(5 stars)
    Soloing		(3.5 stars)
    Groups		(3 stars)
    Raids		(4 stars)
    
    Frost instead of Fire. Plus, who doesn't like huge Frostbolt crits that
    also have a decent snare? Not to mention, you also get lovely, lovely Ice
    Block. You miss out on Water Elemental and Ice Barrier though,
    which can be a bummer.
    
    
    The Damage-Junkie Elementalist
    
    http://www.wowhead.com/?talent=RZVgMzfzcoxZVqGhobxobo
    (0/30/31)
    
    Arenas		(5 stars)
    Battlegrounds	(5 stars)
    Soloing		(4 stars)
    Groups		(4 stars)
    Raids		(3 stars)
    
    This build lacks Imp. Counterspell, but it has pretty much everything
    else. Lots of damage, and powerful snares. Use Frostbolts for snares,
    Fireblasts and Scorches for damage. Remember that Shatter works 
    with ALL spells, so you can shatter-crit with Fireblast and Fireball also.
    You also get Cold Snap, Icy Veins, and Ice Barrier, so this is really
    the only Fire-oriented spec that works for Arenas. Like a full Frost
    spec, it's a bit lacking for Raids. Works nicely for soloing. Frost
    Nova > Fireball crit > Fireblast crit can net you some nasty Ignites,
    and if you have enough spell damage, you can literally kill any
    regular mob just by casting this combo. In addition, you'll get a
    nice mana refund through Master of Elements, so it is a very
    efficient way of soloing.
    
    
    The Elementalist
    
    http://www.wowhead.com/?talent=oZVgMzf00oZVVGIobxRbox
    (0/21/40)
    
    Arenas		(4 stars)
    Battlegrounds	(4 stars)
    Soloing		(5 stars)
    Groups		(3 stars)
    Raids		(2 stars)
    
    More Frost damage, although, generally the point of an
    Elementalist build is to have Frost snares and Fire damage.
    Still, some people like having Blast Wave.
    
    
    Tri-build
    
    http://www.wowhead.com/?talent=of0Vf0fzLGzbZxLZbhGuo0L
    (33/9/19)
    
    Arenas		(?? stars, but probably 3-4)
    Battlegrounds	(4 stars)
    Soloing		(1 star)
    Groups		(3 stars)
    Raids		(2 stars)
    
    Surprisingly it doesn't suck too much. However it is VERY reliant
    on Frost nova and being able to shatter. If POM and Frost nova are
    up though, Frost nova > AP > Fireball crit > POM Pyroblast crit >
    Fireblast crit > dead target. If you have enough spell hit, you can
    also drop Frost Warding and Elemental Precision for Improved
    Frostbolt, which can give you a nice snare to work with.
    
    
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    
    7. Gear
    
    Gear is fairly important to the Mage. While it is not as much of a
    deciding factor for Mages as it is for Rogues and Warriors, it is
    still important for helping you kill faster and for surviving battles.
    It is, however, especially important for a Mage post-70, as the only
    way to improve your character from that point on is through gear,
    although there is plenty of gear at that level to improve yourself
    with.
    
    
    7.a. Levels 1-56
    Getting the right gear for levels 1-56 is a fairly simple process;
    basically, just get whatever beneficial gear you can get your hands
    on.
    
    For levels 1 through 56, focus mainly on Intellect and Spirit if you
    are playing on a PvE server, or focus on Stamina and Intellect if
    you are playing on a PvP server. While Stamina won't help you
    fight faster, you will need the extra hitpoints to survive those
    encounters with other players. If you don't have to worry about attack
    from other players, swap out the Stamina for Spirit to help your mana
    regenerate faster. Gear that adds Spell Damage can be hard to
    come by. "Of (Some Spell) Wrath" gear should be avoided because
    they provide no statistical bonuses, and at these early levels, it is
    important to maintain decent stats, as you'll occassionally need to
    do a bit of AoE work, and that extra Intellect will be extremely
    handy.
    
    As a general rule of thumb. Look for "Of the Owl" gear for those
    of you on PvE servers, and "Of the Eagle" gear for those of you
    on PvP servers. Owl gear grants Intellect and Spirit, and Eagle gear
    grants Stamina and Intellect.
    
    There are some notable pieces of gear that you should consider and
    obtain through your leveling journey. Getting better gear will always
    help you kill faster, and in turn, level faster, so it is usually always
    worth taking the time.
    
    
    Robe of Power
    http://www.wowhead.com/?item=7054
    Excellent chest item obtained through Tailoring (you are a Tailor
    right?). Decent Intellect, Spirit, and Spell Damage, should last you
    through plenty of levels. It's BoP so you have to be a Tailor in order
    to obtain it. All materials can be bought from the Auction House
    or farmed from enemies.
    
    Dreamweave Gloves
    http://www.wowhead.com/?item=10019
    Great gloves. Ok on Intellect and Spirit, but plenty of Spell
    Damage. Can be crafted by a Tailor and bought from the Auction
    House.
    
    Dreamweave Vest
    http://www.wowhead.com/?item=10021
    If you didn't get Robe of Power, this is the one to get. Good
    Intellect, Spirit, and Spell Damage, and it's BoE so you can
    purchase from the Auction House. Crafted by Tailors. It's a
    decent replacement for Robe of Power anyways.
    
    Dreamweave Circlet
    http://www.wowhead.com/?item=10041
    Fantastic head item. Excellent Intellect, Spirit, and Spell
    Damage. Should last you past the 50's.
    
    Deep Woodlands Cloak
    http://www.wowhead.com/?item=19121
    Good back item, but only obtained through a Horde quest.
    Quest involves killing an elite, but if you're good, you should
    be able to solo the quest.
    
    Atal'ai Gloves of the <Random Enchant>
    http://www.wowhead.com/?item=10787
    All have +9 spell damage, but have random stats. Drops from
    Sunken Temple. Of the Eagle and Owl are the best (duh).
    
    Kentic Amice
    http://www.wowhead.com/?item=11624
    Drops in BRD. Good shoulders, and easily obtained since the
    boss is fairly easy and close to the entrance.
    
    Spritecaster Cape
    http://www.wowhead.com/?item=11623
    Also from BRD. This one's a bit harder to obtain, but is the
    best cloak option for Alliance since they cannot obtain Deep
    Woodlands Cloak.
    
    Any drop from one of the Level 60 "endgame" instances. Most
    have decent spell damage and stats.
    
    
    
    7.b. Levels 57-70
    
    For your final levels, you will have more options than before on what
    gear you may obtain. In addition to "Of the Eagle" and "Of the Owl"
    gear, new options include "Of the Sorcerer", which is Stamina,
    Intellect, and Spell Damage, and "Of the Invoker", which is Intellect
    Spell Damage, and Spell Critical Chance.
    
    Same rules apply for PvE/PvP servers, Mages on PvP servers should
    choose "Of the Sorcerer" gear hands-down. Mages on PvE servers
    should consider Invoker gear instead. 
    
    Also look for quest rewards. There are some excellent rewards for
    simple quests such as Goldweave Tunic
    (http://www.wowhead.com/?item=28052), which simply requires
    burning some towers in a small fel orc encampment filled with
    normal mobs (for Alliance), or killing a named mob (for Horde).
    
    
    
    7.c. Post 70
    
    Yay, you're level 70 now! Continue to complete quests and do all of
    the soloable ones. Completing these quests will net you some
    great items that will help gear you up for post-70 instances, as well
    as battlegrounds and arenas. Also, if you are Tailoring, you should
    powerlevel it to 375 to craft your Spellfire/Frozen Shadoweave sets
    and Spellstrike/Battlecast sets.
    
    The following is a list of notable pieces of equipment that you should
    go for. This list does not include any gear from Raids, Heroic
    Instances, and Arena/Battlegrounds as those are almost always
    better than gear that can be obtained through quests and 5-mans,
    and you simply pick them up or discard them as you come by them.
    
    
    Head:
    
    Evoker's Helm of Second Sight
    http://www.wowhead.com/?item=31104
    Obtained through easy, soloable quest that's also fun to do. Great
    spell damage, crit rating, and ok stats, but it's the large number of
    sockets that provides the biggest draw.
    
    Hydromancer's Headwrap
    http://www.wowhead.com/?item=28183
    Obtained through quest where you basically complete Steamvaults.
    Good damage and stats to boot, plus a meta slot, but has no crit
    rating. Better than Evoker's for PvP use and for Frost Mages, who
    don't rely on crit rating so much.
    
    Crown of the Sea Witch
    http://www.wowhead.com/?item=32776
    Crafted from Jewelcrafting, large heaps of Stamina and blue
    sockets make this an excellent PvP helmet for those who cannot
    afford Battlecast.
    
    Exorcist's Silk/Dreadweave Hood
    http://www.wowhead.com/?item=28760
    http://www.wowhead.com/?item=28759
    These are also excellent PvP headpieces. Great alternatives
    without forcing you to dig deep into your pockets, and yes
    that's Resilience you're seeing on them. These are pure PvP
    helms.
    
    Destruction Holo-gogs
    http://www.wowhead.com/?item=32494
    Excellent stats and Spell damage, but can only be worn by
    Engineers, and is difficult to craft. You can have this
    and the Spellfire/Frozen Shadoweave set at the same time, but
    you'll need both a 350+ Engineering and Spellfire/Frozen
    Shadoweave Tailoring at the same time. Yikes!
    
    
    Shoulders:
    
    Spaulders of the Torn-heart
    http://www.wowhead.com/?item=30925
    Recieved from somewhat difficult and long quest, but otherwise
    a very nice shoulder piece to boot! Perfect for PvE, a bit lacking on
    stats for PvP, but if you can get some more Stamina from other gear
    you'll be fine.
    
    Mantle of Three Terrors
    http://www.wowhead.com/?item=27994
    Great shoulders that can be obtained through Black Morass.
    Nice amounts of Stamina; certainly better than Torn-Heart for PvP,
    but not quite as good for PvE.
    
    Mana-Sphere Shoulderguards
    http://www.wowhead.com/?item=28374
    These can be obtained from fairly easily through Arcatraz, but
    they're not that much better than Torn-Heart and Three Terrors,
    and the other two shoulders are easier to obtain than this.
    
    
    Neck:
    
    Natasha's Arcane Filament
    http://www.wowhead.com/?item=31693
    Obtained through fairly easy and soloable chain quest.
    Excellent Stamina and damage makes it a great PvP neck.
    
    Natasha's Ember Necklace
    http://www.wowhead.com/?item=31692
    The other quest reward for the same quest from which you
    recieve the Arcane Filament. Not as nice for PvP, but pretty
    solid for PvE.
    
    Chest:
    
    Will of Edward the Odd
    http://www.wowhead.com/?item=31340
    Extremely rare random world drop. If you are willing to dig deep,
    you can also purchase from the auction house. Otherwise, a great
    chest piece with good Intellect, Critical Rating, and Spell Damage.
    Excellent for PvE, but no Stamina makes it not as good for PvP.
    Also, there are no sockets.
    
    Kirin Tor Apprentice's Robes
    http://www.wowhead.com/?item=29780
    Obtained through group quest, but is soloable if you are skillful
    enough. It's a decent chestpiece with good stats, Spell Hit, and
    Spell Damage.
    
    Robe of the Crimson Order
    http://www.wowhead.com/?item=31297
    This is Will of Edward the Odd's little brother. Nearly identical
    stats and also best for PvE useage. These aren't a whole lot
    worse than WoEtO either, and you'll save a LOT of money.
    
    Anchorite's Robes
    http://www.wowhead.com/?item=29129
    If you are in allegiance with Aldor, these are decent robes to
    have. It's the sockets that provide the real draw. The socket
    bonus is useless, so shoehorn in some +12 Stamina gems for
    PvP use or some +9 Spell Damage gems for PvE.
    
    Bloodfyre Robes of Annihilation
    http://www.wowhead.com/?item=28252
    Obtained through Mechanar. Lack of Spell Crit makes it more
    suitable for Frost Mages.
    
    Warp Infused Drape
    http://www.wowhead.com/?item=28342
    Similar to Anchorite's Robes, three sockets provide for lots of
    customization. Drops in Botanica from last boss.
    
    
    Main-Hand Weapons:
    
    Greatsword of Horrid Dreams
    http://www.wowhead.com/?item=27905
    A nice all-around sword with good Spell Damage, Stamina,
    Intellect, and Spell Hit. Also, it looks sexy as hell, which is
    a major selling point.
    
    
    Item Sets:
    
    Spellfire
    http://www.wowhead.com/?itemset=552
    The Fire/Arcane Mage Tailored set. It has no Stamina, so it's not
    suitable for PvP use, unless you can get some other gear
    with plenty of Stamina. Otherwise, it has great crit rating, excellent
    Fire and Arcane damage, and a great set bonus to boot. This set
    is perfect for raiding mages.
    
    Frozen Shadoweave
    http://www.wowhead.com/?itemset=553
    The Frost Mage Tailored set. Has decent Stamina so it's ok for
    PvP use. No crit rating, but as a Frost Mage, you won't have to rely
    on crit rating so much anyways. Has great Frost damage. Set
    bonus is ok. Decent for PvP, and good for PvE. Frost mages get
    a little more flexibility with their set than Fire/Arcane Mages in this
    department.
    
    Spellstrike
    http://www.wowhead.com/?itemset=559
    Great PvE set. Crafted by Tailors, but its BoE so anyone can
    obtain it. Nice dollops of Spell Damage, Hit, and Crit. Not much
    Stam and Int though, but some gems can make it somewhat ok
    for PvP.
    
    Battlecast
    http://www.wowhead.com/?itemset=572
    Excellent PvP set. Also crafted by Tailors and is BoE. Good
    Stamina, Intellect, and Spell damage. No Hit and Crit though, so
    it's not as great for PvE use. This set is more preferable for Frost
    Mages, who don't rely on Crit Rating so much.
    
    Evoker's Silk Battlegear
    http://www.wowhead.com/?itemset=741
    This is a recently added set designed to gear up PvE'rs for PvP.
    The set basically has the same stats as the now-defunct
    Grand Marshal's set. The pieces can be acquired by achieving
    Honored with various factions. They pack a nice amount of
    Stamina, Resilience, and Spell Damage. If you can grab all of
    the pieces, you will be well prepared for the Battlegrounds and
    Arenas.
    
    Imbued Netherweave
    http://www.wowhead.com/?itemset=556
    Easy-to-craft Level 70 set. Crafted by Tailors, materials are fairly
    simple, and you can usually find Imbued Netherweave pieces on
    the Auction House for just 10-20g apiece. Robes are for PvP,
    while Tunics are for PvE.
    
    Oblivion Raiment
    http://www.wowhead.com/?itemset=644
    The supposed "warlock" dungeon set, is nevertheless excellent
    for PvP oriented mages as it packs lots of Stamina and great spell
    damage.
    
    Mana-Etched Regalia
    http://www.wowhead.com/?itemset=658
    The "everybody" dungeon set, it's decent for mages, but it's harder
    to obtain than Incanter's or Oblivion.
    
    Incanter's Regalia
    http://www.wowhead.com/?itemset=647
    The "mage" dungeon set, is quite lackluster for PvP. It's great for
    PvE though as it has plenty of spell crit rating on top of the damage.
    
    
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    
    8. Professions
    
    There are numerous professions in this game, as well as numerous 
    combinations of professions. However, the game only allows 2
    professions at a time, so you'll need to be careful about which
    professions to take.
    
    So you're probably wondering, which profession or profession combo 
    would suit a mage the most? Below is a guide to what you should take 
    and what you should avoid.
    
    8.a. Manufacturing Professions
    
    --------
    
    Alchemy
    
    Verdict: Take
    
    Best profession to pair this with: Herbalism
    
    Specialty: Transmutations.
    
    Benefits at a glance: Potions to increase mana/health pool for short periods.
    Potions to instantly recover mana/health. Beneficial potions, like run
    speed, +stat, +spelldamage, etc. Good moneymaker.
    
    Cons: Some of the potions do not have very important effects. Potion effects
    are temporary. All potions can be bought from the auction house or from
    another alchemist.
    
    Alchemy is a solid profession to take for a mage. Most of the effects are
    instant, short-term effects rather than long-term effects. For this reason,
    potions can be notorious for quickly turning the tide of a battle. If you
    take part in a lot of grouping and PvPing, Alchemy is definitely a good
    profession to take up. In addition, there are potions that damage enemies, and
    potions that increase your movement speed whether above ground or underwater.
    There are also potions that increase your stats, however these aren't very
    important. Since you will rarely go into melee, strength and agility potions
    are out of the picture. Intellect potions are useless too because your 
    intellect buff does not stack with them. There are potions that add spirit
    and stamina (or they add directly to your health) and these are somewhat more
    useful. Possibly the best types of potions are those that increase your spell
    damage. Although some of the potions are useless to you, they may benefit 
    others, so you can go around selling potions you wouldn't use normally and
    bring home the money.
    
    Of course you can also take Alchemy for other reasons. Grab this profession
    and start doing primal transmutes. Some of the transmutation recipes are
    a bit rare, but they can lend you quite a load of cash.
    
    --------
    
    Blacksmithing
    
    Verdict: Avoid
    
    Best profession to pair this with: Mining
    
    Specialty: Bind-on-pickup plate armor and weapons.
    
    Benefits at a glance: Open your own lockboxes! Create different kinds
    of fine equipment with which to sell to others to make large clumps of money
    
    Cons: Most of the equipment created through this profession cannot be used by
    mages. It's easy to find a rogue who will open a lockbox for free or tip you for
    less than the amount of coin required to make a key.
    
    Normally, mages don't take this profession because it has very few attributes
    that will benefit you. However, it does have some pluses. One of these is that
    it can help you earn large amounts of money simply by auctioning various
    products. Some of the equipment that you can make later on, such as Phantom 
    Blade, will really get people to dig into their pockets. One of the direct
    bonuses of this profession is that you can open lockboxes by yourself without
    the need of a rogue. Blacksmithing does allow you to create consumables
    such as sharpening stones which you can also sell for cash. Yet in the end,
    you'll probably be better off just taking up mining and selling the bars and
    stones for gold.
    
    --------
    
    Enchanting
    
    Verdict: Take
    
    Best profession to pair this with: Any, but mages usually take it with 
    tailoring
    
    Specialty: Ring enchants, which can only be done on the enchanter's rings.
    
    Benefits at a glance: Increase the effectiveness of your equipment. Earn tons
    of money by selling enchants, likewise you will not need to spend tons of
    money by purchasing enchants from others.
    
    Cons: Big money sink at the beginning where people generally don't wish to 
    purchase your inferior enchants. Takes time and practice to get customers,
    although the amount of time and effort taken is often worthwhile. Most
    enchants can be bought from others.
    
    This is a very good profession to take up if you are a mage. It allows you to
    marginally increase the effectiveness of your equipment by placing enchants
    on them. You can also earn lots of money later on because usually, people are
    willing to spend huge amounts of money on your enchants. Some good examples
    include the Icy Chill enchant, which usually sells for around 80 gold, and the
    Fiery enchant, which usually sells for around 45 gold. Note that this 
    profession is a big money sink if you cannot get customers. This is because
    the reagents you get for enchanting are from disenchanting items that are
    uncommon or better. This means that instead of being able to sell such items, 
    or auction them at the Auction House, you must instead disenchant them. To 
    sum it up, you will run out of money quickly if you don't find customers fast.
    There is however a way to make money even if you don't have customers by
    simply selling the enchanting materials on the auction house. On some servers,
    enchanting materials sell for quite a bit and you can still stack up a lot of
    money.
    
    Most people who get lucky off this profession can purchase their mounts 
    earlier than others because they were very successful through their enchanting 
    profession. Enchanting affects you over a period of time, so it will not make 
    dramatic changes in a battle like what Alchemy can do. 
    
    --------
    
    Engineering
    
    Verdict: Take
    
    Best profession to pair this with: Mining
    
    Specialty: Bind-on-pickup cloth head armor, allow the engineer to use
    items created by other engineers.
    
    Benefits at a glance: Bombs to help damage, disorient, etc. Cloth head armor 
    that provide high intellect/spirit/stamina/spell-damage. Numerous nifty
    items that help groups and solo. Provide some laughs.
    
    Cons: Big money sink, and once you dive into this profession, there's no way
    you can redeem that money, unlike enchanting where you can sell enchants. This
    is because most of the engineering products can only be used by other 
    engineers.
    
    This is also a very good profession to take up. You can use the bombs to 
    increase the damage dished out during a group fight, but the biggest reward
    for this profession are the goggles. These cloth headgear are perfect for
    casters, and the attributes that they have can help improve your stats even
    more. Of course there's also nothing like a stun with a bomb to disrupt
    enemy spellcasting should your counterspell still be recharging. There are 
    many other pluses as well. A main addition to this profession is that you
    can summon pets. Mages have very few options in order to protect themselves,
    so a combat chicken or an arcanite dragonling will seriously help defend you
    should you get attacked by multiple mobs and you need some backup. One serious
    problem with engineering is that it uses up gobs of money. The reason for this
    is because the reagents needed for engineering becomes very broad toward the
    end. Unless you have alternative characters who have invested in other types
    of professions, you will need to go to others to buy reagents from them. This
    will cause you to spend a large amount of time and money. Ultimately, this
    will be worthwhile and you will well appreciate it. 
    
    --------
    
    Leatherworking
    
    Verdict: Avoid
    
    Best profession to pair this with: Skinning
    
    Specialty: None
    
    Benefits at a glance: Armor kits to provide boosts to your armor or stamina. 
    Ability to create numerous leather and mail items to sell to others. Cloaks can
    be created through this profession, and these benefit everyone.
    
    Cons: You will not be able to use most of the products. Armor kits can be
    bought from others and from the auction house.
    
    Leatherworking isn't a very good choice when you are a mage, but it does help
    in certain ways. One of these is that you can create armor kits out of it.
    The armor boosts provided by these kits will overlap any enchants, but if
    you don't have any enchants on that particular item, then it doesn't hurt to
    slap on an armor kit. These kits can only be used on the chest, hands, legs,
    and feet, but when you put the bonuses on each of these items, the effects 
    will stack and the overall amount of added armor will be extreme. A good 
    example are the rugged armor kits. These provide 8 stamina each, and 8 X4 
    equals 32 stamina, or 320 hitpoints. However, armor kits can simply
    be purchased from the auction house.
    
    Another benefit of this profession is that you can earn lots of money by 
    creating leather products and selling them to others. Some of the later leather 
    armor and mail armor are quite desirable, and many people will surely dig into 
    their pockets in order to buy one off of you. The last bonus of this profession 
    is that you can create cloaks. As you know, cloaks can be worn by anyone, so 
    this is one type of leatherworking product that you can wear. 
    
    The bad part about leatherworking is of course the fact that you won't be
    able to wear most of the products. They will either have to go to the vendors,
    or to the hands of another person. In addition, you can simply sell the leather
    that you obtain from skinning.
    
    --------
    
    Tailoring
    
    Verdict: Take. This the best profession for non-raiding mages and mages
    that only raid occasionally.
    
    Best profession to pair this with: Any, but most people pair this with 
    enchanting. Skinning is not a bad choice either.
    
    Specialty: Bind-on-pickup cloth armor
    
    Benefits at a glance: Create your own high-end armor! Create bags, which just
    about everyone needs. Create high-end items to sell to others for a profit.
    
    Cons: Slightly less cash income, due to the fact that instead of being able to
    sell your cloth, you'll have to use them, and cloth generally sells for quite
    a bit. Also counters with First Aid because First Aid also requires cloth.
    Most armor created by Tailoring can be bought from others and the
    Auction house.
    
    Tailoring is probably the best profession for a mage to have, in fact any 
    caster class would benefit greatly from Tailoring. One big reason is that you
    can create some high-end items later on with Tailoring. A couple of these are
    bind on pickup, so it becomes even more important to grab this profession 
    because you will not have a chance of having those items if you did not take
    up Tailoring.
    
    In addition, you can also create bags from this profession. 
    Everyone loves bags because it gives them more room to store their items. At
    the Auction House you will generally find many bags that are being auctioned
    for. Don't be discouraged, make a ton of bags and stick them in. Most of them
    will sell because so many people wish to have bags. Possibly the best 
    profession to take with this is enchanting. The reason is that you can create
    items from this profession in order to level it up, and you can disenchant
    these items to get reagents for enchanting. Therefore, the two professions 
    help each other out. 
    
    The biggest problem is that you will need cloth to make 
    your items, and these generally sell for quite a bit. In addition, this 
    profession also counters First Aid because in that secondary skill, you will
    need cloth to make bandages. While you use cloth for that, you will also need
    the cloth for your tailoring.
    
    --------
    
    8.b. Gathering Professions
    
    --------
    
    Herbalism
    
    Verdict: Take
    
    Best profession to pair this with: Alchemy
    
    Specialty: Some herbs can give temporary buffs/debuffs after picking
    them up. Herbalism can be used on some mobs.
    
    Benefits at a glance: Gather herbs which are required for alchemy.
    Excellent moneymaker
    
    Herbalism is best taken with alchemy. The reason is because almost all the
    products require herbs. This is a relatively easy profession to take up, and
    your herbalism skill will go up in no time. Can also grab you tons of cash.
    
    --------
    
    Mining
    
    Verdict: Take (for the money)
    
    Best professions to pair this with: Blacksmithing, Engineering
    
    Specialty: Mining can be used on some mobs.
    
    Benefits at a glance: Mine ore, and transform them into bars for use in
    blacksmithing and engineering. Also gather rare gems that are also needed in
    some of the recipes. Another giant moneymaker.
    
    Mining is definitely the thing to take when you have Blacksmithing and 
    engineering. These two professions solely rely on mining, although the 
    ingredients needed for engineering tends to be quite broad. Note that you can
    also get some rare gems that are required in some recipes. In addition, the
    stones that you sometimes get through mining will also help as they are used
    in certain other recipes. Many of the ores go for huge prices on the Auction
    House, so it's worth taking this profession if only for the money.
    
    --------
    
    Skinning
    
    Verdict: Take
    
    Best professions to pair this with: Leatherworking, Tailoring
    
    Specialty: None
    
    Benefits at a glance: Skin the hide of beasts in order to get leather for
    certain recipes. Also a great way to bring in large amounts of cash if that
    is what you are going for.
    
    Skinning helps leatherworking the most. This is because leatherworking is 
    mainly reliant on the leathers gathered through this profession. In addition,
    skinning also helps Tailoring. One of these is that at certain times, when you
    skin a sheep they will drop you some wool. Another thing is that certain 
    tailoring products will require you to get some leather. Some of the more 
    popular recipes, such as Small Silk Pack will require leather, and since you
    will be making large quantities of them, it will mean requiring large 
    quantities of leather. In addition, skinning is a great way to bring in the 
    cash. You can generally make large amounts of money in a short period of time
    by selling your leather.
    
    --------
    
    8.c. Secondary Skills
    
    --------
    
    Cooking
    
    Verdict: Avoid
    
    Specialty: None
    
    Benefits at a glance: Create food to eat. Generally, such foods also provide a
    short bonus to certain stats.
    
    Cons: Mages can already create your food, being able to create additional 
    sustenance is not very impressive, although generally turning a pile of meat
    into a steak will increase its sell value. Food can be bought on the auction
    house.
    
    Cooking is definitely unnecessary. Sure it provides some statistical bonuses,
    but these aren't very useful in the long run. Plus, you can already reduce 
    your downtime through your conjured food and water. A good thing about cooking
    is that it will increase the sell value of an item than when it was raw. For
    this reason, you can actually increase your income by a small amount. Plus, 
    it's quite fun to see what types of food that you can cook, and some of the
    foods such as Dragonbreath Chili are outrageously wild.
    
    --------
    
    First Aid
    
    Verdict: Take
    
    Specialty: Allows you to use bandages created by others.
    
    Benefits at a glance: Allow you to quickly regenerate health in or out of
    combat.
    
    Cons: When you have downtime, you also need to replenish your mana, and this
    will not help decrease your downtime since you still have to sit down and
    drink. In fact, this will increase your downtime because you cannot bandage
    and drink at the same time, while you can eat and drink at the same time.
    
    First Aid isn't very important in some cases, it won't help reduce downtime, 
    and generally mages die so fast that if they try to bandage themselves, they 
    will get killed before they regenerate a decent amount of health with their 
    bandaging. In addition, it will grab off cloth from your tailoring profession. 
    One of the pluses to this profession is that you can bandage others, so if you 
    have an injured warrior who is not getting hit, you can bandage him and save 
    the need of having to have the healer use their mana supply to heal him. 
    
    However, for a Mage on a PvP server. First Aid may benefit a mage more than 
    any other class in the game. When a rogue comes out of nowhere and 
    ambush/backstabs you to 1/2 health, you're going to want to polymorph him and 
    use a bandage. First Aid and evocation coupled with polymorph can basically 
    reset any fight, except against druids (and to some extent shamans, since 
    they're so hard to polymorph).
    
    --------
    
    Fishing
    
    Verdict: Take
    
    Specialty: None
    
    Benefits at a glance: Fish up fish that can be eaten or sold. Also allows you
    to hook up fish that are needed in certain alchemy potions. Sometimes, you 
    might also get a rare object that will help one way or another.
    
    Cons: Raw fish sells for very little, although cooking tends to nearly double
    their sell value.
    
    Fishing benefits your mage depending on which professions you have taken. In
    general, this skill helps no matter what you have taken. Fishing can always
    allow you to fish up something needed for alchemy, but there are times where
    you just might get lucky. One of these are the health and mana potions. These
    are generally hard to come by. Another thing that you can fish up are clams,
    and just like clams dropped from mobs, they might contain a pearl inside. Then
    there are the times when you can fish up a Venture Company crate that contain
    various engineering parts, therefore helping you out if you are an engineer.
    There are also the times when you get REALLY lucky and you can fish up an 
    uncommon sword!
    
    --------
    
    8.d. General Tips
    
    --------
    
    Bringing in the Money
    
    There are certain people out there who just like to bring in the cash. There
    is nothing wrong with this approach. Generally, these people are able to buy
    many quality items from the auction house, and they usually get to purchase
    their mounts earlier than others. The matter with this is how to bring in the
    money. 
    
    The most straightforward approach is to take Mining and Skinning. 
    Leathers from skinning can sell for a ton. The ores, stones, and gems go for
    quite a bit at the auction house, especially the high-quality ones. 
    
    Cooking is also good to take up. It will help increase the sell value of 
    many of the items received from beasts. 
    
    Another, but riskier way of bringing in the money is to take Tailoring and 
    Enchanting. Enchants can sell for tons of money later on, and if you get 
    costumers to buy those enchants, then you will get even more rich than if 
    you were to take Mining and Skinning. The only problem is the risk 
    involved. You must be able to find costumers, otherwise you will end 
    up quite broke. Make sure that your enchants are reasonably priced also, so 
    that people will actually be willing to get your enchants.
    
    --------
    
    PvP Professions
    
    A great profession combo to take for a PvP Mage is Alchemy and
    Herbalism. This combo is very nice at changing the way a battle is going. 
    The potions that regenerate health and/or mana are the most worthwhile. In
    addition, the flask effects, as well as the potions that increase damage
    or do damage themselves will greatly help too. Just note that with this
    profession combo, you will not receive very many long-term effects. 
    
    Another great PvP profession is engineering. There are many gadgets and
    such with this profession that help change a battle also. The main difference 
    between these two is that potions tend to center more on defense, while 
    engineering is all about damaging and harassing the enemy.
    
    --------
    
    PvE Professions
    
    The best thing to take for a PvE mage is Tailoring. When 
    fighting mobs, you'll generally want things that last. Tailoring will allow 
    you to create items that will benefit you over time. For this reason, any
    mage that like to fight mobs will generally like this profession since the
    benefits are so useful. 
    
    Enchanting is awesome too. When you receive a high-quality item and you 
    wish to put it on, enchant it to improve it further. Just keep the powerful
    enchants for the more powerful items as they can cost you a lot.
    
    
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    9. Combat
    
    In this section, we will discuss various tactics on playing as a mage. There
    will be many tips concerning what to do to handle various situations. Note
    that there are many exceptions, so any of the scenarios that are stated will 
    not always be what they are in this guide.
    
    
    
    ---------------------------
    
    9.a. PvE
    
    Mages are excellent in a PvE environment, capable of providing reliable area-of
    -effect damage, and able to hold their own in various situations.
    
    ---------------------------
    
    --------
    
    9.a.i. Soloing
    
    --------
    
    --------
    
    9.a.ii. Groups/Raids
    
    --------
    
    
    ---------------------------
    
    9.b. PvP
    
    Mages are an excellent PvP class as well, but one must use a mage to its
    full potential to do well in PvP, which can require a lot of skill. As mentioned
    in the very introduction of this guide, Mages take more skill to play than
    just about any other class. Only by harnessing the full potential of mage can
    one do well in PvP.
    
    Before I begin on the intricacies of PvP, I would like to point out that I
    highly, HIGHLY, stress that you watch some PvP videos. Only by seeing how
    other Mages PvP will you see all the tricks of the trade of being a Mage and 
    become good yourself (at least, that's the way I got better). Recommended
    websites and recommended PvP videos are listed under the "Helpful Sites"
    section.
    
    ---------------------------
    
    --------
    
    9.b.i. Your Enemies
    
    --------
    
    The following will contain strategies for killing each class of enemies. Note
    that situations will change depending on your talent spec and depending on 
    the level of the enemy as well as the talent spec that they picked.
    
    
    Druid	Difficulty: Medium to Medium-Hard
    
    Druids can offer a pretty difficult fight, mainly depending on your spec. If
    you're Fire or Arcane specced, you may have an easier time since you don't 
    need to rely on your snares and roots so much, and Improved Arcane
    Missiles and Burning Soul will help you deal with spell pushback, which can
    be rampant in a fight against a Druid. Frost Mages can have a more
    difficult time as they rely heavily on being able to snare their enemies.
    
    Start off simply by blasting away at them. Polymorph won't hold them off for
    long unless they're a newbie. Druids can pick and choose from three different
    trees. Two of them focus on ranged damage, the third one (feral) focuses on
    melee damage. Either way, they are all very tough. Ranged druids often spam
    moonfire on you. It's very annoying because it causes you to lose a ton of
    casting time. They'll also use Cyclone and follow up with Starfire. It is a very
    annoying tactic and only allows you to cast during the time they are
    casting Cyclone. If you think you can burst them down fast enough,
    counterspell their Cyclone and lay the smackdown.
    
    Feral druids have some nice melee damage, but what's scariest
    is feral charge, which is similar to the warrior's intercept, but can lock
    down the type of the spell that you're casting for several seconds.
    
    Use roots even though they can break simply by shapeshifting. Not all 
    players have lightning-quick reflexes, and your Frost nova my be able
    to buy you 2-3 seconds, which also happens to be ample time for you
    to use Ice Lance.
    
    Counterspell any heal they bring up. If they are Restoration, they'll try to
    heal early in the fight. Don't use your Counterspell yet as you run the risk
    of not being able to kill them fast enough. Wait until they are around 50%
    hp, then CS and throw a faceful of damage at them.
    
    There aren't many to tricks to take down a Druid. The important thing to
    stay mobile, use lots of instants, and Counterspell their heals at 50% hp.
    
    
    Hunter	 Difficulty: Hard
    
    Hunters can make a very difficult fight. Polymorph them first, then, when 
    their pet gets close, Frost nova the pet and let off a flurry of shots at the
    hunter. If you can, Polymorph the pet afterwards. 
    
    Hunters will also try to Freeze Trap you. This trap places you in an ice cube
    and prevents any action, allowing the hunter to prepare a deadly Aimed
    Shot. There is no way to combat this unless you decide to blow an Ice
    Block. Even then, the hunter's Freeze trap is only on a thirty second
    cooldown, compared to the five minute cooldown of Ice Block. So the next
    time the two of you battle again, you won't stand much chance. After you
    are frozen, the hunter will move away, use Aimed Shot followed by
    Multi-Shot and Arcane Shot. Usually, this is enough to wipe away
    one-fourth of your health if they don't crit, and can put you at a great
    disadvantage.
    
    If you still aren't dead yet, 41-point marksmanship hunters
    (which make up about 70% of all hunters), will pop a silencing shot on
    you. This shot does hefty damage and silences you for 3 seconds. Followed 
    up by a Scatter Shot, this is usually certain death, and unfortunately, 
    there isn't much you can do about it. 
    
    There's no easy way to take down Hunters. Talents that help you resist
    spell pushback will be key to giving you a chance to win these fights.
    Other than that, you'll have to rely on instants and short casts to try to
    chip away at their health. Remaining mobile is key. If you are going to rely
    on instants, try running through them to interrupt their melees/ranged
    shots. Above all, don't be afraid to blow your cooldowns, you'll need them
    to win these fights.
    
    
    Mage	Difficulty: Easy to Hard
    
    The difficulty of fighting another mage is quite varying. Spec can be a
    small factor. Each spec can bring something new to the table, whether
    it is the defenses of Frost, the massive burst of Arcane, or the consistent
    high damage of Fire.
    
    Gear is an important factor. A Frost mage wearing full Merciless
    Gladiator gear can easily decimate an Arcane mage wearing level 70
    greens.
    
    There are a few key things to know. First off, remember to use
    Counterspell. You should be prepared to Counterspell the moment they
    attempt to cast Polymorph. In fact, I suggest you Counterspell whenever
    the other mage attempts an Arcane spell as locking down the Arcane
    tree stops Polymorph, Arcane Explosion, and Counterspell. In addition,
    never forget your ward spells. If you are getting pummeled by Frostbolts,
    throw up a Frost ward to reduce some damage. Make sure you are buffed up at
    all times. I prefer Dampen Magic, Arcane Intellect, and Molten Armor when
    fighting other mages. The damage reduction, intellect boost, and crit chance
    reduction really help.
    
    Try faking casts to make them waste their Counterspell. This is done by
    casting a spell, then moving, in an attempt to make them accidentally
    try to use Counterspell to interrupt your cast. Most importantly, rely on
    instant casts, until they have used their Counterspell. You don't want to
    be caught with your main spell tree locked down by a CS.
    
    
    Paladin	    Difficulty: Easy to Medium
    
    Paladins can prove to be a somewhat easy fight. Most people get the feeling 
    that Paladins don't die, and that they are the most difficult things to beat.
    While this is very true for a warrior, it's definitely not true for a mage.
    
    As always, start off with Polymorph, then let fly as many spells as possible.
    By the time they reach you, they'll most likely be down to 1/3 of their health
    and they'll have to shield and heal. Once they heal, start counting to 12.
    Once you have counted to about 10, start winding up your Fireball,
    Frostbolt, or Arcane blast. If you did it right, your nuke will go off just as
    their shield drops. Easy damage. Afterwards, it's just more nuking until
    they are dead.
    
    Like with other melee classes, stay away from them. Paladins with
    Crusader Strike can put out quite a bit of damage, and you don't want to
    take that damage.
    
    Holy Paladins can be extremely annoying. Well-geared Holy Pallies can
    regenerate mana fast enough such that they can literally chain-heal
    indefinitely, making them extremely hard to kill, and their auras can
    reduce the length of the Counterspell lockdown, allowing them to recover
    more quickly. Your best bet is to Counterspell them when they are low
    on health (less than 40%), and then bust out the Shatters and Arcane
    Power before they recuperate.
    
    Other things to remember are that they can dispel DoT's, snares,
    and roots. They also have something called Blessing of Freedom that makes
    them immune to roots and snares. This can be problematic, until level 70
    by which time you can Spellsteal it and put it to your own use =). This is
    when the fight becomes relatively easy.
    
    
    Priest	    Difficulty: Medium to Medium-Hard (Depending on their spec)
    
    Priests may seem easy, fragile beings, but they're not. They're Mind Blast 
    does some evil damage, and they also have a shield as well as numerous 
    healing powers. Priests come in three flavors: Holy, Discipline, and Shadow.
    
    A Holy priest with decent gear, and a Holy priest with top-of-the line gear,
    are not the same thing. A priest with the best gear can regenerate mana
    quickly enough that they can almost heal indefinitely, making them extremely
    difficult to take down. You can try Counterspelling, but you'll need to be able
    to burst them down quickly enough. Try waiting until their health is below 50%
    before Counterspelling their heals, and then bust out those big Shatter crits
    and/or Arcane Power to burst them down before they regain their healing
    powers.
    
    Discipline priests can be hard if the fight lasts too long, since they're mana
    Burn you until you're dry. Like Holy priests, it really comes down to how
    well-geared the Discipline priest is.
    
    Shadow priests are tough cookies. They swap around between mind blast
    and mind flay and deal a heck of a lot of damage. They'll Silence you so
    that you can't cast anything, and when you are low on health, they'll slap
    you with Shadow Word: Death in which case you're... dead. Don't waste your 
    counterspell on their Shadow spells, although you can risk it if you feel
    your opponent isn't smart enough to exit Shadowform and heal up. The 
    damage might be threatening, but if they manage to heal themselves, then 
    you're in for worse.
    
    The general tactic is to Polymorph them first. Spellsteal is a spell from
    heaven against Priests. I know this sounds crazy, but you should try
    to Steal that Power Word: Fortitude before you start dealing damage. At
    level 70, this buff provides 790 hp (1030 hp with Improved PW: Fort).
    Stealing this buff is essentially the same as dealing 790 - 1030 damage
    to the Priest, and on top of that it's instant, and you don't break your
    Sheep! It's not very efficient (440 mana), but it's heck of a lot better than
    blowing a CoC or Dragon's Breath that does similar damage, but costs
    much more mana. After then sheep, use your regular spell spam, and
    basically try to burst them down before they dps you down. Spellsteal
    any shield they bring up. Yes they can despell it after you Steal, but
    you'll want to Steal it for the same reason you stole Fortitude earlier; it's
    instant "damage". Interestingly enough, PW: Shield costs the Priest 600
    mana to bring up, so it's actually more efficient for you to shield yourself
    than for the Priest to shield themself.
    
    Probably the most important thing is to not get close to them. That allows
    them to set off their fear which will send you running for up to 8 seconds
    during which time they are free to throw some damage at you. You'll also
    typically see priests rush you in an attempt to fear. If they do so, 
    run away and throw instants at them.
    
    
    Rogue	    Difficulty: Medium/Medium-Hard
    
    The difficulty of a rogue is quite varying. If they're the type that uses 
    Cheap Shot to open up the fight, they generally won't pose too much of a 
    threat as you can just blink away to cancel the stun. If they are the Ambush
    kind, then things will be tougher. Their Ambush, when used will most likely
    drain 1/2 of your health, even with mana shield. Garrote rogues are also
    hella annoying. Garrote silences you for three seconds, and if they manage
    to proc a crippling poison on you, which they most likely will, you are
    seriously screwed. 
    
    Your best bet is to try and reveal them with rank 1 Arcane Explosion. 
    I like to use this against rogues so that I may get a chance to detect 
    them while stealthed. Once they are revealed, get some distance and 
    polymorph them. If they chose to vanish, try to find them again, or use 
    bandages to regain any lost health. After they come out of their second 
    stealth, get distance, start polymorphing. They will most likely throw up
    Cloak of Shadows, in which case you'd better start running. When CloS
    wears off, try polymorphing again. They will most likely be able to gain
    enough distance to gouge you, but you can also face away from them.
    Gouge only works when you are facing them. While this allows them to
    quickly backstab you, they'll backstab you anyway while you're gouged so
    it doesn't make much difference. 
    
    If you managed to survive all this, it gets much easier. Gain some distance,
    throw spells, Frost nova, throw more spells, and they're dead.
    
    
    Shaman	   -Medium Hard
    
    Shaman deal heavy damage, but lack of health means you'll be able to burst
    them down pretty quick.
    
    Most shaman will have Windfury Weapon up. This shaman buff 
    gives them a chance to gain two extra attacks that have extra attack power. 
    If their Windfury procs, be ready to face some major damage. It's a bit hard 
    to stay away from a shaman because most of the time, they will use Frost Shock 
    to slow you down then move in for the kill, so it is imperative to slow them 
    down as well. 
    
    Another big hassle with Shaman is their grounding totem. This totem sucks up
    whatever spell you throw at the Shaman. It will suck up whatever spell you use
    against them, although the totem itself will be destroyed in the process. Ice
    Lance is a great way of taking these out without wasting too much of your
    mana.
    
    Save up your counterspell as well. When you see them heal up, 
    Counterspell to prevent their healing. Watch for their purging as well, they
    can use it to strip you of buffs and can remove your wards and shields.
    
    
    Warlock	      -Medium Hard to Very Hard
    
    Warlocks with Felhunters or Felgaurds will be, by far, your toughest fight. 
    While they won't pose much of a threat if they have an Imp or Voidwalker out 
    (just polymorph caster and kill the pet), it will be near impossible to kill 
    a warlock with a Felhunter. The Felhunter can counterspell you somewhat like 
    how you can counterspell a warlock, and they can also eat your buffs. The
    Felguard simply does insane damage, and it is difficult to root/snare,
    making it hard to stay away from it.
    
    Some warlocks also use the Succubus. What they will do is make the Succubus
    seduce you, then they fear you and use Soul Fire or Shadowbolt followed by
    a DoT or more Seduce (the infamous chain-seduce). They're not nearly as
    problematic as Felpuppy Warlocks, and Succubi die very easily, but they're
    still annoying.
    
    In large scale PvP, warlocks generally won't be using Felhunters because it is
    a far to specialized pet. In this case, you'll probably have a leg up them and
    they will most likely prove to be a medium hard fight.
    
    
    Warrior	       -Medium
    
    You can almost be sure that they'll try to start off with Charge, so spam an Ice
    Lance on them the moment they get within range. Ice lance's range is 30 yards
    while Charge's range is only 25 yards. If you manage to catch them with an Ice
    Lance, then good for you. If not, don't panic, the fight isn't simply decided
    Just because they managed to Charge you. Whatever happens, be sure to
    Polymorph them first. Get some range, and throw a Pyroblast or Frostbolt at
    them. After this, you can be sure they'll intercept you. If they don't have
    enough range because they're too near, they'll scooch back a bit to get their
    range. But you can also try advancing on them. If they run towards you, start
    running sideways. Done correctly and they won't be able to do jack while you
    cast instants on them. Intercept also has a 3 second stun attached to it,
    so blink away immediately after they pull off this ability on you. Afterwards,
    cast a spell, Frost Nova, get some range and cast more spells. They only
    way they can catch you now is by running after you, so throw off a quick
    Scorch or Frostbolt and start kiting using Ice Lances and Fireblasts. You
    should be able to kill them simply through this method.
    
    As a general rule of thumb when fighting Warriors, use instant casts
    whenever they are mobile. Don't wait until they get close, because then
    they'll Hamstring you and you'll be in trouble. Blink out of Intercepts, but NOT
    Charges. The reason being that Intercept stuns for longer than Charge.
    
    
    --------
    
    9.b.ii. Battlegrounds
    
    --------
    
    --------
    
    9.b.iii. Arenas
    
    --------
    
    Before you start on this section, I suggest that you first check out the
    official Arena Introduction site:
    http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/pvp/arena/index.xml
    
    
    Getting Started
    
    Arenas are a lot of fun, and you can earn some excellent rewards. In fact,
    Arena rewards are some of the best gear you can obtain outside of Crafted
    items and items obtained through Raiding, and Arena rewards are
    undisputably the best for PvP. If you can't raid, this is your avenue to
    obtaining powerful rewards.
    
    Many people would suggest that you gear up first before entering the
    Arenas. However, I disagree. For every week that you don't do Arenas,
    you essentially earn 0 points. What's better? 0 points or maybe even
    a measly 200 points? Of course 200 points! If you have any intentions of
    doing Arenas, I seriously recommend that you start the moment you hit
    70. Remember that Arenas take only about 30 minutes to 1 hour of your
    time per WEEK. You can simply do 10 quick battles, and then get on
    with your gearing-up business, completing quests, crafting items, doing
    dungeons, etc. Even if you are in a 3v3 team and your team only has a
    1400 rating because you are all undergeared and unexperienced and
    cannot defeat your tougher and better-geared enemies, you are still
    earning 270 points a week! That's much better than a flat-out 0.
    
    
    Group Combos
    
    Some group combinations for Arenas are better than others. Most
    notably,  Warrior-Paladin-Mage-Shaman-Rogue for 5v5 or Warrior-
    Paladin for 2v2. However, the most important thing is to form teams
    with people you are familiar with. Arena is a great bonding
    opportunity for you, your friends, and your guildmates, as you will win
    and lose by your Arena partners' sides for, well, as long your
    team lasts! You must be able to communicate well with your Arena
    partners or you will lose for sure, so knowing them well and getting
    along with them well is key. Inviting a complete stranger with a bad
    reputation on your server into your Arena team simply spells trouble.
    
    
    Talent Spec
    
    Any talent spec works for Arenas, but the only talent spec that can
    actually take you to places is a deep-Frost spec. The main reason
    Frost is so good for Arenas is that your spell cooldowns are reset
    every time you enter an Arena match. This means that Cold Snap,
    Ice Block, Ice Barrier, and Water Elemental will all be ready to use
    the moment you step into an Arena. Having Cold Snap up every
    Arena match also means that in every match, you'll essentially
    have at least two Ice Blocks, two Ice Barriers, and two Water
    Elementals! The Fire and Arcane specs simply can't provide as
    much. With a Fire spec, you'll only get one Combustion, which is
    mediocre for Arenas, and with an Arcane spec, you will only get
    one Arcane Power and one Presence of Mind. Granted, AP and
    PoM are powerful spells, but you will only be able to use them
    once per match, unless of course the match lasts longer than
    3 minutes, but by then a Frost Mage would have had three
    Water Elementals, and not to mention countless Ice Barriers. In
    Arenas, Frost is simply king.
    
    If you are serious about getting a high rating in the Arenas, then
    you should definitely go with a Frost spec. If you take to the
    Arenas with a more casual mood and just want to have fun while
    reaping some rewards every now and then, or if you mostly Raid/
    do Instances, then you can go with any spec that you like.
    
    
    Gear
    
    Of course you'll want to start off Arenas as soon as you can, but
    you'll also have plenty of time to obtain outside gear to maximize
    your Mage's potential in Arenas. I suggest you try to obtain
    7500 hitpoints as your first priority, and try keeping your
    spell damage at above 500.
    
    As a general rule of thumb for PvP, it's Stamina >
    Spell Damage > Spell Hit (until you are Hit capped) >
    Spell Crit > Everything else. Stamina is absolutely essential for
    PvP. Mages are extremely squishy. Ice Block and Barrier can
    help, but they won't last you forever, so having that buffer of health
    can greatly help you outlast your opponents. Spell Damage
    comes next, and is essential so that you can actually kill your
    opponents in a reasonable amount of time. Spell Hit comes
    next and is only important until you are Hit capped, which
    requires a Spell Hit rating of around 38. The reason I place
    Spell Hit above Spell Crit is that having a spell be resisted is
    far worse than missing out on a chance to get a critical. Getting
    a Polymorph or Frost Nova resisted can be absolutely
    disastrous. In addition, getting spells such as Frostbolt
    resisted means a missed chance to snare the enemy. While
    talents such as Elemental Precision and Arcane Focus can
    increase your chance to hit, having some Spell Hit means you
    can remove points from those talents and place them in more
    useful talents. Spell Crit comes after Hit, and is good for
    increasing general DPS when you don't have the opportunity to
    Shatter. Finally, the rest of the stats, Intellect, Spirit, Mp5, etc
    come after Spell Crit. Resilience is also an important stat, but
    it usually just comes along with PvP gear. Most PvE-based
    gear have no Resilience. There are gems that add Resilience,
    but I recommend that you simply go for Stamina or Stamina
    Spell Damage instead.
    
    Having multiple gear sets is a great idea too. 8k hp and 600 spell
    damage may be decent for Arenas, but it won't do you any good
    in a Soloing or Raiding environment. I recommend you keep a
    PvE and a PvP set. Some high-end PvE gear also pack plenty
    of Stamina, and those can be used for both purposes. Once you
    have obtained most of your Gladiator gear though, you should
    have around 10k hitpoints and 800 spell damage, as well as
    350+ Resilience to boot!
    
    
    Onto the Arenas!
    
    Ok, so now you've read all that crap about gear and group
    combos and stuff, it's time to get fighting! If you haven't read
    Section 9.b.i. Your Enemies, I recommend that you do so now
    so that you can get a heads-up on the enemies that you are about
    to face.
    
    Since you'll be facing a variety of group combos with people of
    different skill levels, no two fights will play out the same. No matter
    what fight you are about to get into, there are a couple of general
    tips to remember:
    
    - If your group is DPS-heavy, i.e. a 2v2 team of two Mages or a
    3v3 team of Mage, Rogue, and Priest or maybe even triple-Mage
    team (actually works, skip this video to about 25% of the way through: 
    http://files.filefront.com/Holylolavi/;8395018;;/fileinfo.html), fight
    aggressively and relentlessly. This means open up with Water
    Elemental the moment the action begins, Ice Block out of crowd
    control ASAP and pop Cold Snap immediately afterwards so that
    you can use Water Elemental when your current one dies/goes
    oom and you can Ice Block again at a moments notice (when
    Hypothermia goes away of course). You want to be able to kill
    quickly as a healer team can outlast you and pick your team
    apart while you're OOM.
    
    - Focus on the healer! You should always try to burst down the
    opposing team's healer(s) as fast as possible. If your team prefers
    a different strategy, then keep an eye on the opposing team's
    healers and Counterspell them when you catch them healing.
    Having Focus bars works perfectly.
    
    -
    
    
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    10. Common Questions (Everyone has them!)
    
    
    Question: What is the chance for freeze effects such as Frost Nova and 
    Frostbite to break?
    
    There is no determined %tage, but the chance to break appears to be 
    about 40-45% for a direct hit from a melee or ranged attack or a spell. 
    and about 60-70% for a critical hit from a melee or ranged attack or a 
    spell. The amount of damage of the attack or spell is also a factor.
    
    
    Question: Help! I took up SpellFire tailoring and now I wanna spec Frost!
    
    As of patch 2.10, you can go to the SpellFire Tailoring trainer in
    Shattrath and he will allow you to respec Tailoring for 100g, in which
    you can take up the Frozen Shadowweave Tailoring. Don't throw away
    your Spellfire though in case you wanna go back to Fire!
    
    The same works vice-versa.
    
    
    Question: I don't like my spec, what do I do?
    
    Go to any mage trainer and hit "Unlearn talents". There will be 2
    confirmation boxes, and if you accept both, your talents will be reset
    and your points refunded.
    
    
    Question: I heard Arcane sucks.
    
    Arcane isn't too special before 30 points. After 30 points, you'll be
    rewarded with excellent talents like Arcane Power, Spell Power, and
    Mind Mastery.
    
    
    Question: For an Arcane/Fire build, 5/5 Mind Mastery or 3/5 Fire 
    Power plus 3/3 Critical Mass?
    
    This is a tricky one. If you plan on using some Arcane Blast and
    Arcane Missiles, Mind Mastery is definitely the choice talent. If you
    solely use Fire spells,go for Fire Power instead. Another factor is your
    Intellect to spell damage ratio. Although I haven't found an equation to
    determine the breaking point between taking MM or FP, the general
    consensus of the point seems to be 450 intellect and 700 spell damage,
    so basically a ratio of 2 intellect to 3.1 spell damage. If your ratio
    has more intellect, go for Mind Mastery, if your ratio has more spell
    damage, go for Fire Power.
    
    
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    11. Recommended Mods
    
    
    For information on where to DL these mods, go to the Helpful Sites section.
    
    
    -Cryolysis
    
    This mod keeps things neat and tidy by removing the need to put nearly as
    many buttons on your hotbars.
    
    -Bartender, Bongos, or some other bar mod
    
    I find that sometimes it's hard to locate my buttons with the default
    Blizzard user interface, but bar mods are capable of putting the buttons
    closer together. In addition, they will let you place the buttons anywhere
    on the screen, letting you put them in a place more accessible to you.
    This is more of preference really.
    
    -Mobhealth
    
    The name of the mod says it all. Displays a fairly accurate estimate of the
    amount of HP that the mob or player has. As you encounter more mobs,
    it adds their HP to the mod's database and remembers it the next time you meet
    that same mob again, although it doesn't seem to be able to save player 
    health.
    
    
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    12. Disclaimer
    
    Copyright (c)2008 Josh Gregs.
    All rights reserved.
    
    This may be not be reproduced under any circumstances except for personal,
    private use. It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise distributed
    publicly without advance written permission. Use of this guide on any other
    web site or as a part of any public display is strictly prohibited, and a
    violation of copyright.
    
    I will grant www.gamefaqs.com, www.neoseeker.com, www.gamerstemple.com,
    www.supercheats.com, and http://www.onlinegametrader.net to post a copy of s
    this guide.
    
    If you have suggestions, e-mail me at: lotr9_1@hotmail.com. Currently, I am
    no longer looking to post this on new sites since have to constantly update my
    guide on various sites is too much of a pain. Sorry =(
    
    I am open to any suggestions you have, because in order to create a perfect
    guide, I must have opinion from readers! In addition, I might be able to 
    learn something from others too.
    
    Thanks go to:
    
    -Noah Parquette for pointing out Blink can get you out of stuns. (Wish I had
    known that earlier.)
    
    -Valjiin who had a ton of suggestions.
    
    -Craig Henderson and me Kender for giving extra suggestions on pvping 
    against hunters and warriors.
    
    -Ryan Thiessen for helping me with some warlock and shaman pvp tips.
    
    -Joe Blow and Xalrath for more Warlock tips.
    
    -tim hodges for additional Druid stuff.
    
    -Bob Scheller for pointing out a missing component and for bringing blizzard
    to me in a new light.
    
    -Chris Lam for some suggestions. 
    
    -A bunch of people who told me there was something wrong with my 
    template builds, which caused me to realize that I haven't updated my talents
    for 1.11. (woops)
    
    -And more people that I've lost track of, thanks for the tips folks!
    
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    13. Helpful Sites
    
    For additional information on mages, as well as information about the
    wonderful World of Warcraft, here are some pages that you may wish to visit:
    
    
    General:
    
    http://www.wowhead.com
    (WoW information database. Probably the most useful of the lot)
    
    http://www.thottbot.com
    (Another World of Warcraft information database)
    
    http://wow.allakhazam.com
    (Still another World of Warcraft database, a bit slower than the others
    but in some cases more comprehensive)
    
    http://www.worldofwarcraft.com
    (Official World of Warcraft website)
    
    http://wow.curse-gaming.com
    (Tons of UI mods. Probably the best site for them as it's fast and it's 
    HUGE. Not to mention, there are some other goodies in the site that you
    can check out.)
    
    http://www.wowarmory.com
    (Online character database. View other people's gear and talents to see
    what you'd like to get!)
    
    http://www.wowarmory.com/character-sheet.xml?r=Feathermoon&n=Darack
    (My armory page. Oggle at my average gear =)  )
    
    
    Mage-Related:
    
    http://www.wowwiki.com/Mage
    (Excellent wiki with comprehensive info. Info on talents, tactics, gear lists
    spell damage coefficients, and more)
    
    http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=75311165&sid=1
    (Excellent mage FAQ for more of your burning questions)
    
    http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=77590389&sid=1
    (Great, in-depth guide on each individual talent)
    
    http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=10931119
    (Irontygress's mage gear calculator post, with program link. Quite nifty)
    
    http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=79170045&sid=1
    (More talent builds...)
    
    http://www.warcraftmovies.com/
    (Excellent World of Warcraft movies site with plenty of PvP, PvE, and
    general humor videos)
    
    
    PvP Help:
    
    http://ma.sword.googlepages.com/home
    (Evertras of Chromaggus's webpage, currently dedicated to mage PvP
    tactics. Excellent guides, although he tends to be a bit too modest)
    
    http://www.warcraftmovies.com/
    (I know I just listed this site in the "Mage-Related" section but you
    simply HAVE to watch the PvP movies to up your skills.)
    
    http://www.warcraftmovies.com/movieview.php?id=39506
    (Vurtne's PvP video. It's not "Level 70 PvP", but Vurtne displays
    amazing skills and shows that you can overpower your foes even
    if you are undergeared. Definitely useful for teaching you how to
    survive PvP opponents during your post-70 days.)
    
    http://www.warcraftmovies.com/movieview.php?id=43172
    (This is a true "teaching" video, as it also has voiceovers.
    Seriously recommend that you watch as Evertras will guide you
    through his duels/arenas/battlegrounds. I promise you'll learn a
    lot.)