WoW Classic Mage Guide - The Best Mage builds for Vanilla

WoW Classic Mage Guide
p3ter 10.06.2019 0

WoW Classic Mage Guide

One of the most popular classes during Vanilla in World of Warcraft was Mage. Those masters of spell weaving were known as probably the only class in the game for being at least good (if not better) in everything. As most of the classes during early WoW days were very unbalanced, almost all of them had something which was their weakness. For example, Warriors were amazing when paired with healers but they were weak alone. Hunters were amazing at leveling but not so great at raids. Rogues shined in PvP but were hard to grind with. And there we have Mages - good at PvP, great at PvE, valuable in every party and every raid - this versatility makes them definitely a great class to pick up. Let's get into WoW Classic Mage Guide in details.


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Vanilla Mages

Mages are extremely good levelers thanks to their AoE abilities. As one of the few classes, they can easily group mobs and kill them all at the same time with their spells. By using crowd control spells they are able to bring huge packs of mobs together and lock them in place while they safely kill them with their destructive spells. This lets Mages get best experience ratios on mob grinding from any class.

Mages are a really strong class for early levels. You can make even better use of it with a good supply of WoW Classic Gold!


The only downside to this method is how fragile cloth-wearing classes are. When grouping up mobs Mages are easiest gank target in the world and many people will be using this weakness to ruin their leveling time. You can solo farm as a Mage really efficiently, but they also excel in party setups with a designated tank and healer, when you don't have to wory as much about the low durability. Remember about that as you try and pull a train of monsters. The aggro makes you an easy target.


At the same time, after you get to the level cap and equip yourself with good gear (for instance the Bloodvine set), you become a top tier DPS character for endgame content that can slay whole armies of mobs and do their part in punching through a gaitn health bar of a raid boss.


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Best race for Mage

As a Mage in Vanilla you had four races available for choosing : Humans, Gnomes, Undeads and Trolls. Although all of them were viable and good at their own thing Humans stand out as the worst choice for this class. This makes Gnomes the best option for Alliance players. When choosing which race you want to play keep in mind that perk bonuses that come with certain races aren’t as important as the fun you could have. Make sure to pick a race based on your own liking. Leveling in Classic World of Warcraft will take a lot of time and you most likely want to stick to one character during that time so make a wise decision and be happy with it.



Gnome :

-Escape Artist racial lets them leave immobilizing effects.

-Expansive Mind increases their intellect by 5%

-Arcane Resistance increased by 10

-Engineering Specialist gives them +15 bonus to Engineering



Undead :

-Will of the Forsaken provides them immunity to Charm, Fear and Sleep for 5 seconds with a 2 min cooldown. It also breaks ongoing effects.

-Cannibalize lets them regenerate some health from corpses

-Underwater Breathing gives them more time to stay underwater

-Shadow Resistance increased by 10



Troll :

-Berserking increases attack speed of your weapon and your spells by 10%-25% depending on how much health you missing. The more you miss the faster you attack. The effect lasts for 10 seconds and has a 3 min cooldown

-Regeneration increases their health regen by 10%

-Beast Slaying increases their damage versus beasts by 5%

-Throwing and Bow specialization increases their spec with these weapons by 5


So when it comes down to choosing the literally best race for a mage Gnomes with their 5% Intelligence bonus on top of Escape Artist makes them best race for Mage. Trolls are also amazing with haste bonus to spells as it is extremely good for quick bursting your opponent in PvP. It also has good use in PvE situations. Regeneration is also very handy when leveling so from horde side Trolls are best mages. Keep in mind to choose a race for your Mage basing on what you like and not on skills alone.

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Pros and cons - Reasons to play Mage

Mages, as mentioned before, are a great class to play in pretty much every situation. They perform well in PvP, leveling, dungeons, raids, battlegrounds, duels and pretty much everything else. Of course, they aren’t straight away greatest class in classic but they are most definitely not a weak one. Mages have tons of great utility that they bring to parties. They can create consumables for free which is amazing because they can save a lot of gold by using this ability. Portals and teleports can also be made by them which allow fast travel between major cities. They have spell damage, crowd control, shields and everything you need.


Pros :

-One of the best levelers in the game (worse than Hunters and Druids when it comes to quests)

-Great damage in single target and in AoE

-Not dependent on gear (spells hit hard even when undergeared)

-Engaging gameplay

-Amazing utility (Free food, Teleports, Buffs and more)

-Sought after in every party and raid

-Great Crowd Control

-Strong PvP, you can lock down an enemy and nuke them

-Decent mobility

-Three viable specs (but one better than others)

Cons :


-No self-healing

-Easy target during AoE training

-Low sustained damage

-Has trouble dealing with targets immune to Freeze


Mages are strong in almost every aspect of the game and there are no real downsides to playing one. Their biggest weakness is their low health pool combined with cloth armors which makes them easily burstable. They also don’t have self-healing but it isn’t such a huge problem since they can create food for free. If you are still wondering if Mage is a good class - we can definitely recommend it to both new and advanced.


General tips for Mages

The mage just like others casters in Vanilla World of Warcraft should make good use of a five seconds rule. It basically means that when you are leveling attack mobs with your spells for five seconds to ensure your mana starts regenerating. It is better to burn your spells right away when fighting than to keep them for later. By using your abilities earlier you start regenerating faster and you get more ticks of regen during combat. It simply means that you want to maximize the value you get from everything. When you are out there is Azeroth hunting creatures, whether it is for the pure grind, quest-completing, dungeons or something else - always make sure you are spending your cooldowns, hp, and mana. You never want to be full hp and mana because when you are it means you are not killing mobs hard enough. Always push yourself for more and maximize your profits.



Speaking of profits if you want to make most out of your mob kills hunt for monsters who are same combat level as you. In Classic World of Warcraft creatures which are level behind or level above you don’t give their maximum experience values to a player who killed them. You are topping your efficiency only by killing those who are at the same level as you. Make also sure to adapt your rotation cycles to newly learned skills. Be cautious what you use and don’t just spam click everything. Learn your class during leveling so you will have an easier life after level 60.


-Treat your mana like a treasure and spend it only if you need to.

-Make a good use of clearcasting procs.

-Kill monsters in AoE whenever possible to increase both time and mana efficiency.

-Keep your rank 1 Frostbolt and Fireball spells on the bar; They deal less damage but provide the same dot with better cast times.

-Try to not let mobs hit you - make use of cc in the form of roots and slows


mage Leveling guide

This is a standard Frost Mage leveling build which sacrifices a little bit of AoE Efficiency to improve single target frost spells. Follow the path below in order to get maximum value while completing your build. It is very easy to use talent path which will improve your most used abilities while questing. Frost is widely believed to be the best spec for leveling. Optionally, you can include Improved Blizzard in this build. If you have problems with managing talents and transitioning to other builds later, you can make it much easier with a talent calculator.


Frost :

3/3 Elemental Precision + 2/5 Improved Frostbolt + 3/3 Frostbite + 2/2 Improved Frost Nova + 5/5 Ice Shards + 5/5 Shatter + 1/1 Ice Block + 1/1 Cold Snap + 5/5 Improved Frostbolt + 2/2 Arctic Reach + 3/3 Frost Channeling + 1/1 Ice Barrier


Arcane :

2/2 Arcane Subtlety + 3/5 Arcane Focus + 5/5 Arcane Concentration + 2/2 Wand Specialization


Frost :

3/3 Piercing Ice + 5/5 Winter’s Chill

frost mage build

This is how this build looks like at 60, as you can see, the Frost spec is great for leveling.


Mage class specific addons

As a Mage, your best friend in terms of addons goes by the name Energy Timer. This simple tool lets you track your mana ticks to push the efficiency of your spell casting. By seeing clearly how much mana you spend and how much regenerate you are able to predict what spells can you use next. Another great tool is a Range Finder which gives your Mage ability to detect when monsters that you are hunting are exactly at 36 yards. It lets you use Frostbolt and Blizzard at maximum range to kite them from longer distances. Xp/Hr Tracker comes in handy just like on every other class. It is a great tool to use because you will always know when your efficiency is high and when it plummets. Add-ons like Skada Damage Meter and other DPS charts are almost necessity these days to make good use of them. There is also Spawn Time Tracker which is not as useful but might be good to have sometimes.


Stat priority

Although Mage is not really dependent on gear that he is wearing it is always nice to get some additional magic damage. Spells cast by Mages have good overall values so unlike classes that rely heavily on auto attacks Mages are strong no matter what. While leveling your character you will see tons of pieces of gear so it is very important to distinguish which ones are better than the others. This is where stat priority comes in handy. Although there are many very useful stats like Spell Crit Chance we will cover only the main ones. Here is a general stat priority for Mages :


Intelligence > Stamina = Spirit > Agility > Strength


Intelligence :

-Increases your mana pool by 15 for every point

-Improves Spell Critical Strike chance by 1% for every 59.5 points of intellect


Stamina :

-Increases your health pool by 10 for every point


Spirit :

-Increases your mana regeneration rates with this formula: {Spirit/4 + 12.5}


Mana begins to regenerate via Spirit only when you have not cast any spells that cost Mana for 5 seconds. This is referred to as the "Five Second Rule" so when fighting always burn down your spells quickly and start recovering mana before finishing a fight.


Agility :

-Increases your chance to dodge by 1% for every 20 points

-Increases your armor rating by 2 for every point


Strength :

-Increases your melee attack strength by 1 for every point.


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Best Professions for Mage leveling

When it comes down to Mage professions there are no exact choices which you can assume right away. Most people tend to take two gathering professions at low levels because it allows them to maximize profit when grinding. It is a great way to make some additional gold which is much needed during the early stages of the game. By getting more gold you are able to progress further and level faster - just like always better gear equals better damage. From other choices, some Mages go for Tailoring which lets them create better gear by themselves. It is also a good profession for this class since it provides you with crafted BoP items which are often much better than those dropped by mobs. Without this professions you're going to have to rely either on monster drops or getting rich very quickly. By choosing these professions you also still have one available spot for another one because it does not require Skinning like Leatherworking does or Mining like Blacksmithing does. When choosing Tailoring take Herbalism so you still will be able to make some gold while leveling.


Surprisingly Skinning is very good early on. Many people don’t see value in this profession because it is not as good as Herbalism and Mining on high levels. It does, however, shine early on because it allows you to get more loot from monsters. By skinning what you have killed you can easily vendor your loot for additional gold, unlike Herbalism and Mining which require playing around in Auction House.


There are also other professions which you might find more valuable than those so make sure to check out our Professions Guide to do your own research on this matter. If you want to get started with Vanilla, feel free to read our other class guides and learn about all the classes! The list of remaining ones goes like this: Warrior, Priest, Hunter, Warlock, Rogue, Paladin, Druid and Shaman.


This is the end of this Wow Classic Mage Guide. Make sure to leave your opinions about it in comments below - we value your feedback and we want to hear what is there to improve.

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If you're one of the players that miss the old school, challenging MMORPG experience, WoW Classic will be perfect for you! Join the newly forming hardcore community that enjoys the more demanding, grind-heavy gameplay. In Vanilla WoW players can go back to early days of World of Warcraft - patch 1.12. 


The progression is much slower than in the live Battle for Azeroth version. Not only gathering experience and farming will be much slower, but even moving around the map takes more time. Getting a decent mount will be a challenge in Classic, so be ready for that. 


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