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

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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.

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5.b. Fire

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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.

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5.c. Frost

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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 everyones
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.

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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.

---------------------------

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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

--------

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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.)