The World of Warcraft Classic Mage Leveling Guide

Update: This article contains only a brief introduction to the Mage leveling guide. If you want something more detailed and in-depth, this unofficial wow classic mage guide is for you.

If you want to level up the Mage as fast as possible with the best build, I recommend the first thing to do is head over and get yourself a copy. Not only does it have a much more detailed and up-to-date strategies on the Mage, but an amazing leveling guide as well. You could have saved yourself a lot of trial and error with this.

Solo Strategies

For effective killing, in terms of speed and mana efficiency, you need to use certain talents, and cast spells in a certain order, maintaining maximum speed and efficiency.  If you follow the outline well, you can go from 1-60 in as little as 7 days /played time.

The most important aspect of speed levelling, and general solo play, is your talent spec. 

I would suggest you invest heavily into the Fire tree very early, with your first talents going into Improved Fireball.  This is the best possible increase in damage at level 10, and is still a good talent all the way up to level 60. 

Basically, follow the Burst DpS build outlined above, investing only into the Fire tree until you can at least access Blast Wave.  If you aren’t going to group, don’t spend any points in Arcane until you’ve maxed your Fire talents (you can always respec).

The fastest way to level to the mid 40’s is single target speed killing.  For this to work effectively, you need to have Improved Fireball maxed, as well as Flamethrowing, so you have a fast casting Fireball which can be cast at 41 yard range.  Firstly, position yourself at max range from your target. 

Open with a  Fireball, then as soon as that is finished, cast Fireball again.  If you timed it right, you should be able to get a third Fireball off just as they reach you. 

Then, Frost Nova, to freeze them in place.  Now it’s time to back up again, and get some range.  You have 8 free seconds here, so use them.  Get as far away as possible (you can run or Blink and run, but don’t walk backwards, it’s too slow).  Start casting Fireball again. 

Depending on the health of your target, they should be close to death now.  You can either cast another Fireball, if they have lots of HP, or finish then off with Fire Blast and Scorch. 

Pyroblast is good damage, but because of the slow cast time and high mana cost, it isn’t as effective as repeatedly casting Fireball.  If you come across any grey elites, use Pyroblast.  They aren’t as strong as normal elites, but have a good chance to drop rare items, so always try and kill them.

Once your target is dead, Shift+Right Click on the corpse, which autoloots for you, and move on to your next target.  There are some excellent locations for this kind of grinding, and I will outline them more in the grinding section. 

Group Strategies

The main role of a mage in the group is simple: deal as much damage as possible.  There is a “holy trinity” of classes in World of Warcraft, consisting of a tank (warrior) a damage dealer (mage) and a healer (priest). 

Mages are the best damage dealers in most situations, so you should never have trouble finding a group. Mages are also a better damage dealer than hunters in many cases.

Unlike when you are soloing, it’s not wise to go all out damage as quickly as possible.  Damage generates agro, which makes things more difficult for the healer, because healing a mage is a lot harder than healing a warrior.  Your first aim should be to not get agro.  Then you should focus on dealing damage.

Fire spells, while good for soloing, aren’t the best for group play.  They aren’t particularly mana efficient, and can generate high threat.  Crits generate additional threat, so if you are going for a crit build, be extra careful in groups.  Pyroblast is also an extreme threat generator, so its not advisable to use it in group situations. 

The best spells to use in groups are damage over time spells, which rather than frontloading damage, spread the damage and hence the threat over a window.  Unfortunately mages do not have access to these spells, but there are some options for spreading threat. 

Arcane Missiles, although not technically a DoT, does spread the damage over an interval, and is an excellent spell to use (it’s not particularly mana efficient though, so don’t use it as much in long fights.  It’s best used in conjunction with clearcasting). 

Frost based spells are a good option to use when it comes to group PvE play.  They are mana efficient, and you can get quite good damage out of the Frost line by simply casting Frostbolt.  Because it has lower base damage, and doesn’t crit as high, it generates less threat than Fireball, for example.  It also helps to slow the opponent. 

The key to keeping threat in check (and hence keeping a group of enemies from pounding on you) is to make sure that your tank has generated sufficient threat before engaging the mobs. 

This means NOT opening with a Pyroblast as soon as the pull starts.  The mob will run straight to you, and you will most probably die.  Wait for the warrior to get a few hits in, and then start attacking.

An important part about instancing is knowing what to attack.  The warrior should always choose the main target, and unless there are non-elites mixed in with the group you are pulling, this should be the target you attack.  In this situation, a simple macro is essential. 

To create a macro, simple press enter and type /macro.  A screen will pop up, giving you a few options.  Choose an icon for you macro, and name it, in this case call it “Assist”.  Then type your commands in the box on the left-hand side.  It’s only one command in this case, simply /assist,

What /assist does is simple.  When you have a target selected, and you press this macro button (or type /assist in the command console), you will target whoever they have targeted.  This is great for situations when you have multiple mobs in a pull, and you aren’t certain who you are supposed to be attacking.  Simply target the tank, activate the macro, and blast away. 

Single-target damage dealing is fairly easy, and if you follow the above rules, you shouldn’t get agro, and your group should progress quickly.  A little more difficult is dealing with large groups through the use of AoE attacks.

You can pair up with a warlock to help controlling mobs.

AoE attacks are generally used on groups which consist of both elite and non-elite mobs.  You need to take out the non-elites first, because if you don’t they will run straight for your healer, including the druid, as soon as they heal your tank (the worst possible thing that can happen.  Without a healer, your group will die very quickly).  The general way to take care of these mobs is to AoE them before focusing on the elites one by one.

When AoEing, all agro rules go out the window.  You are going to have agro no matter what, and you want to kill the 4 or so mobs that are attacking you as fast as possible.  Use all the AoE capabilities that you have; Flamestrike, Blast Wave, Blizzard, and most of all, Improved Arcane Explosion. 

Keep spamming that, and you will take them down quickly.  Non-elite mobs die pretty fast, and once they are gone, don’t attack for a little while.  You may have agroed an elite mob through your attacks, and it’s a good idea to wait for the tank to get agro off you before you do anything (unless the mob is on low health, in which case it’s better just to finish them off). 

There are also certain situations where you can AoE elites, provided you have a good healer (or 2).  You generally need 2 mages to do this.  The same rules apply, but you will be taking more damage.  Try to kill as fast as possible in this situation. 

The third part of a mage’s roll in a group is pulling.  You will often be the designated puller in instances, simply because of Polymorph.  You need to know how, when, and who to pull to do this effectively, and if you don’t you can give your group significant trouble. 

When using Polymorph to pull, make sure your group knows who you are going to use it on.  You can tell them in the chat window, or to be more specific, you can cast detect magic on them.  Make sure you are at maximum range when pulling, because all the mobs are going to run straight for you.  Cast Polymorph, then run straight back to your group.

When main puller, you have to make sure the mob you Polymorphed remains a sheep until all the others are dealt with.  This means re-casting Polymorph, and it’s usually a good idea to do this before it runs out, rather than have the mob break the Polymorph and attack your group.  Polymorph, like all crowd control spells, does not suffer diminishing returns when cast against NPCs, so you can keep recasting it without fear. 

When first casting Polymorph, you need to choose your target carefully.  If you aren’t at level 60, choose the target closest to your level, so it doesn’t break early.  Also, try and Polymorph the most dangerous opponent – generally a healer or a caster.  Anyone with mana, really.  You don’t want someone healing the mobs you are attacking, or a caster hitting you from a distance with big damage attacks. 

If there is more than one caster, which is often the case, your job extends to casting Counterspell.  If you Polymorph one caster, the other will just stay back, and hit your group with attacks from a distance.  Caster attacks always do lots of damage, and should be dealt with first.  If you silence the other caster when you use Polymorph to pull, the target will run to your group and attempt to melee, rather than stay back casting spells. 

This can be a bit of a dangerous tactic, because Counterspell generates a high amount of threat, and the target will invariably run straight for you, and will be hard to remove.  Make sure your group knows this, and tell them to attack and kill the silenced target first, otherwise you will be dead pretty quickly.  If you have Ice Barrier, cast that on yourself before you pull.  If you have Ice Block, you can use that to shed the agro, and allow your tank to take over and do his job. 

Once the group you have chosen is coming towards you, it’s a good idea to cast Frost Nova to freeze them in place.  This helps your group by separating the enemies, and allowing them to target the caster (or the most dangerous mob) first.  It also allows you time to get your distance and begin casting your opening spell.  Frost Nova only generates a tiny amount of agro, so don’t be afraid to cast it.

Aside from pulling and damage dealing, every mage should have First Aid as high as possible, and have at least 1 stack of bandages in their pack at all times.  If you do take incidental damage, through AoE attacks, or just from pulling, don’t expect your healer to heal you.  You are better off bandaging yourself, saving precious mana for the healer to use on the tank.  Don’t be afraid to heal others in your group, especially your healer, who may not get a chance to heal themselves.  First Aid is easy to level, and is also very useful solo, so there’s no reason not to get it.