What You Need to Know About Mages

“Hrmm…so there’s more to mages than just tables and portals? Interesting…”

Blog Azeroth’s official weekly shared topic for this week is, “What you need to know about [your class here]”

Essentially, the theme asks bloggers to write about their main’s class, with the content aimed at an audience whose mains are not of that class. The purpose of this is to inform other classes with regards to having us in their group, or just interacting with us in general.
As a cryomancer, there’s no general fundamental difference between me and mages of different specs, so for today, I’ll speak on behalf of all mages.


1. Concerning Polymorph

We can only sheep humanoids and beasts. If you put moon on a demon or elemental, we’ll kindly remind you. There are a few exceptions to the rule, especially in heroic mode, where certain mobs can’t be sheeped. If the mob that was assigned to us is immune, we’ll try our best to announce it in party chat. Tanks should pay attention and adjust their aggro management accordingly.

We can only sheep one target at a time. That’s kinda obvious, but there are subtle applications behind that rule that people should be aware of. Firstly, we can sheep other mobs that may be dangerous to the pull, such as those that threaten the healer. But if we do that, the previous sheep will break and either go after me instead, or the healer due to healing aggro. So either way, the healer is “gonna’ get a hurt reeeal bad”. Thus, don’t expect us to sheep anything that goes after the healer. We have frost nova for that.

Be aware of diminishing returns on the sheep. If a sheep breaks prematurely, because of AoE, or just by sheer luck, successive sheeping attempts will result in shorter sheep durations. This might not be applicable to trash pulls, but moreso on boss fights that have adds, such as the Priestess in Magister’s Terrace. It’s the responsibility of the whole team, not just the mage, to really pour on the DPS to ensure that this doesn’t become a problem.

Despite that, it’s still imperative that the party takes the sheep last, since the other forms of cc are one time only, or require some other fancy shuffling to perpetuate (ie, hunter chain-trapping) that noticeably lowers that member’s overall DPS.

Oh yeah, don’t AoE or DoT the sheep please. If I see an immolate on my moon-labeled mob, I’m not even going to bother sheeping it.

2. Concerning Warlocks

We are not Warlocks. Don’t get us confused with them. We can’t summon you to instances, nor can we give you healthstones. Alternatively, we can port you away from instances, and give you food and drink. Our mana gems are bind on pickup, so we can’t give them to you.

3. Concerning Food and Drink

There was a WI post about a topic on the official WoW forums regarding mage tables, and there is always a heated debate about player’s rights to a table in BG’s and raids. Most mages in raids WILL summon a table. If they don’t, they’re usually kicked anyways. But in an instance, don’t expect all of us to table for you. Two arcane dusts spent on a table for five is a waste, especially when your party consists of a rogue and a non-pally tank. Alternatively, we’ll just conjure drinks separately for everyone. Let the healers take care of your health after pulls.

Be polite. As obligated as some mages are with giving out tables in BG’s and raids, a little kindness goes a long way. There’s no arguing or debating that. You’re more likely to be attended to if the mage is not put off by the nature of your request. Treat it as a buff, and ask us for food the way you ask priests and pallies for prayers and blessings.

4. Concerning Frost Nova

Frost Nova is our “OH CRAP” spell for aggro, particularly when it comes to healing aggro. It is a good mage tactic to always stay near the priest on trash pulls. If a priest overheals and draws aggro from the pull, us mages can and should nova the mob(s) in place before the priest gets hurt. If the mob is in front of a healer, the healer should move away. Tanks should walk their mobs over to the frozen guy so that the frozen guy can regain aggro on the tank. I’ve witnessed many a time where the priest never walked away from the nova’d monster and got killed, or where the tank never picked up the frozen monster, only to delay the priest’s eventual death.

5. Concerning AoE

Tanks, if we’re doing an AoE trash pull, use your best AoE-based threat abilities to keep them all cluttered up. This is obvious to warriors and pallies, since they regularly use thunderclap and consecrate, but druids can do it too by hurricane pulling and keeping thorns up. Druids who don’t know what hurricane pulling is should go here to learn how to do it. It’s quite awesome.

Oh, and Warlocks, please don’t use seed of corruption. It makes us mages look utterly, utterly useless =(

6. Concerning Mages Not in Your Party

If you really consider us to be vending machines, at least treat us appropriately as such. A generous tip goes a long way, especially since tomes for our highest-levelled Food and Drink spells sell for ridiculous prices at the AH.

When requesting for a portal from a capital city, at least tip us to cover the cost of:

1) the rune of portals that will bring you wherever you want to go,
2) the rune of teleportation that will bring me to you, and
3) the rune of teleportation that will bring me back to wherever I was before you asked me to port you.

While 50s will more than cover the three, but publicly offering 50s in trade chat will get you /laughed at even by non-mages. The more you offer, the more likely you’ll entice one of us mages who are sitting on our asses watching TV while waiting for the next spellcloth cooldown.

Be aware of the levels when mages learn portals. Portals to Ogrimmar, Undercity, Silvermoon, Stormwind, Ironforge, and Exodar are learned at 40, while Darnassus and Thunder Bluff aren’t learned until 50. Mages can teleport to Shatt at 60, but can’t portal until 65 (I think, I need to check up on that again).

And once again, politeness comes a long way.


6 thoughts on “What You Need to Know About Mages

  1. Hey Hey,
    1) I think there are only diminshing returns on PvP polymorph. Though MgT might be a little different.

    3) I usually table for a 5 man. Means I have the food/drink I require, and is usually less mana that individual summonings. I also encourage mellee to take some, they can always give it back if we run out, or a new member joins.

    4) It’s actually bad practice to stand near the healers.. because if you get aggro and drop it (via iceblock or death), then the healers will cop it. I usually stand apart, but watching to run though and drop it if need be. Really tho that’s the tanks job.

    Great post tho ;-0
    Mine coming next week… to busy shooting it out with those other 2 mages

  2. I loved your request to warlocks not using seed of corruption.

    The top spot on the dps chart should be permanently reserved for mages, no expceptions allowed!

    If it seems that we won’t reach it of course everybody else is expected to slow down their dps a little bit and leave room for us, the dps kings, or whatever Blizzard once called us, heh?

  3. @gnomeageddon: actually, i’m not actually quite sure myself, but i’m under the impression that it does. there have been just way too many times where dps was lacking in my pug groups (wow, i must really suck as a mage, lol), and my sheep target would always break earlier and earlier each time i tried to sheep him. i’m going to have to look into it a bit more.

    @larisa: we’re probably going to have use pom pyro on rats in between pulls just to keep up on the dps charts. there’s this one neat little corner in shattered halls that has a bunch of critters in one place. a good flamestrike when nobody is looking will definitely help boost your numbers.

    actually, there are a good number of spots that i can think of, i should probably make a post about it…

  4. Frost Nova: Kills Party Members.

    Thats the key rule I learned with Mages (well that and “no table no instance”, costs me about 4-8g in food / water to run an instance + repairs, if I do my job you take no damage so lets be fair).

    Frost nova locks a group of mobs in place, this means that they will melee attack anything near them if their threat target is out of range, so if you use this ability the tank cannot pickup the target, if they have to move to that target anything else in the Nova is likely out of range. Also this stops dynamic repositioning by the tank, if I get a mob in my back I move, if you ice nova they don’t follow, its a bad spell and should be used as a last resort only.

    In terms of tables, and a portal at the end, thats a cost you typically should endure as part of being in a party, the same way a lock has to farm shards, a Paladin get symbols. At certain gear levels the reliable cc of sheep out weighs the requirement to make a mage perform these additional roles, however I wouldn’t expect any buff class to buff you if you aren’t returning the favour, rogues get away with it because they don’t have such an ability, its cheap and easy to use, so why not drop it anyway. There are several mages I won’t run instances with now because they didn’t drop tables when asked to, they did their job but they cost everyone on the run a lot of money to use food / water, I eat repair bills as a tank without comment, I don’t expect to get a kickback at the end for taking damage, its just common courtesy to avail the party of any available services you can offer them to make the run as smooth as possible.

  5. @2ndnin: i’m always obliged to do all the mage stuff, like tables and ports and buffs and whatnot. considering that with invisibility, i’m less likely to die in a wipe compared to the rest of the group, my repair bill isn’t as high as other classes in my group, especially tanks. hence, i’m willing to pony up.

    regarding frost nova, what i meant was to use it on the lone mob who strays away from the pack due to healing aggro. if he’s already almost at the healer, then the tank did not do his job picking him up, and the snare is absolutely necessary for the healer’s survival. i would never use it in the middle of a pack of mobs that the tank is focusing on, unless if it was an aoe pull. see my other post for amendments to what i said in this post.

  6. 😛 there are good uses for frost nova, but the majority of mages freeze stuff not realising how hard it makes life for the poor tank, movement is key with mobs. One of my friends plays a mage and started a warrior, she never realised quite how annoying frost nova was when I told her until mages started doing it to her 😛 at that point she stopped frost novaing except in situations like tank down or tank far away and dying healer.

    As for making tables, its not because you wipe less, its part of the class, imagine a lock not making healthstones, a paladin not buffing or a priest not doing stamina, its just one of those costs we all eat because we want to do well. Maybe its not a /kick offence not dropping one, but its very unlikely you will get invited back to my group if you don’t, even in heroics I blow pots and stuff because I want to make it a success, so someone not blowing 17s or whatever the cost is seems petty.

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