Hi Worgenmage here i will be submitting a how to guide for mage pvp. I will go over each class and how to properly defeat each one in pvp. First i will tell you what armors are good in certain situations.
- Frost Armor - Good vs Rogues, Warriors, Death Knights, Feral Druids, and any other melee classes, this gives a chance to have their movement speed slowed by 40% and the time between attacks increased by 25% for 5 seconds. This armor is great for kiting melee classes. (as if that isnt easy enough already )
- Molten Armor - Causes 190 Fire damage when hit, increases your critical strike chance by 3% and reduces the chance you are critically hit by 5% This armor is great against rogues and warriors because they take damage while you have a 5% reduced chance you are crit by them.
- Mage Armor - Increases your resistance to all magic by 45 and causes you to regenerate 3% of your maximum mana every 5 seconds. In addition, the duration of all magic effects used against you is reduced by 50%. Use this armor vs warlocks, mages, elemental shamans, shadowpriests, and deathknights if you so choose. It is very nice having the dots half duration and will greatly increase your survival.
Now that you have an idea of what armors to use in certain situations, lets move on to your button placement.
First you want to make sure you either have your keys bound to things you can easily reach and that you are used to. You will find that if you are a clicker, when you first bind your keys you will not be used to it and probably play bad. Not to worry when you bind keys and spells you will find how much better you will start playing after you get some practice using your keybinds. As for me i can easily reach 1-6 on the keypad, the rest i have bound to either the shift key or my mouse. A mouse with buttons will help you immensely! You can multi task and easily reach your most important spells with a simple click of the thumb.
I have a few of my keys bound to shift and a bunch of others bound to various keys such as Q and E. Most people use those to strafe around the enemy. I prefer to use my mouse. You can do either. I also click spells, i put them on left and right action bars where i can easily access them. If you can handle more key binds, you could also bind all of these keys. Just do what you're most comfortable with.
Basics of mage pvp
First off, if you are new to the mage class you will find out that mages arent as easy to play as everyone would think. We wear cloth, we are very fragile. We are glass cannons, if you dont know what that means, it means that we can deal alot of damage but we cant take very much damage. Now we do have alot of tools at our disposal to survive. Now days Mages are one of the best survivability classes out there. Simple rules to be good at mage pvp are:
We have all heard the term practice makes perfect. For playing a mage this is exactly what it means. The more you play and get to know how to fight each class, find out what they do and figure out the best way to counter each ability will make you a better player overall. The only way you can experience this is testing yourself in situations such as pvp and world pvp. Duels help when you can figure out how to best defeat a player after dueling them multiple times and knowing how to react to their attacks. Some nice players may also give you tips on how to do better vs them.
Awareness occurs when you are reacting quickly to other players movements or spells. For instance when playing a rogue, depending how you play, one wrong move could lose you the duel or get you killed in world pvp, you have to think quickly of what spells or cooldowns the other player has to use against you. Picking the right time to frost nova, blink or iceblock is very crucial to your survival. I will go into detail about that later.
Timing is one of the most important things as a mage. Counterspelling a heal for instance. Did you counterspell when they were full health? Half health? Depending on timing of alot of your spells and abilitys can cost you a duel or your life in world pvp. as you play you will learn the best time to do your abilitys.
Now i will show you the best ways to defeat each class For this i will be telling you how to do this as a Frost mage since this is the most used spec.
Warriors can kill a mage in seconds if you are caught with your pants down. Be careful!
To sum up how to beat a warrior as a frost mage,
- Armor- Use Frost Armor vs the warrior to help you kite him around. If you are confident in your kiting abilitys use Molten Armor if you wish
- Kiting - when the warrior charges you should have your Ice Barrier and Mana shield up. Do not blink, let him hit you and get into frost nova. You can also use improved cone of cold to freeze him in place. Distance yourself from him just enough to either polymorph him or start casting Frost bolt.
- Distance A warriors charge is anywhere from 8-30 yards. If you play enough you can figure out where the "dead zone" is and stay in there so you don't get charged or hit. Cone of cold helps to keep them from running.
- Spellsteal is very important, any good warrior will have a spell reflect macro, if you have a warrior in a frost nova and you start casting frost bolt, more than likely he will use his spell reflect macro. Spellstealing it is the safest way to not crit your face with a huge frostbolt or icelance. After he has used his spell reflect he has 9 seconds before the next. use this time to freeze him again using your pet nova or another cone of cold or a frost nova. Deep freeze him and cast frostbolt followed by an icelance.
Fighting a warrior can be tough if you get caught in a charge with your Ice barrier down. Just remember to only blink if you have to. Try to do this after he charges and intercepts so there is no way he can catch you right after your blink. If you cant stay in the dead zone then use your pets nova to distance yourself away from the warrior and use your cooldowns.
- Another good tip is to use your mirror images then move away from them so that he doesnt come in and fear you and your images and have free reign to smack your butt.
When a warrior bladestorms your best option is to iceblock this. It should be the only time you use iceblock on a warrior, use your trinket for fear. After he shattering throws just cone of cold or pet nova him to keep him from hitting you again.
- Keep Ice Barrier and Mana Shield up
- Try to stay in the "Dead Zone"
- Blink after the charge and intercept if you can help it.
- Iceblock the bladestorm only
- Trinket a charge or intercept or fear depending on situation
- Drop Mirror images away from you so they don't get feared
- Spellsteal his spell reflect
Rogues can be a very tough opponent if you don't know what you're doing.
- Frost armor- Best way to keep a rogue off of you. The rogue will have a chance to be put in a frost nova generated by your Frost armor.
- Blink - choosing when to blink vs a rogue can be the deciding factor. The best time to blink a rogue is when you are either in a 5 point kidney shot or right after a shadow step, Most rogues now days will open with a garrote on mages. If they do open with a cheap shot i would advise just holding your W key to go forward soon as the cheap shot is done, he should be frozen from either your armor or your Ice Barrier breaking, if he try's to stop you from moving forward he will kidney shot you and you can blink. If he shadow steps instantly to you, use your pets frost nova or cone of cold to freeze him in his tracks. Vs a shadow step rogue try to keep the front of your character facing the rogue. This is so he cannot back stab you while you are running away. So turn your character while running away or strafing.
- Mirror images- using mirror images during a rogue duel will help you out alot. I like to use them as soon as i can when i get a free chance to bring them out.
- Trinket- The only time you should use trinket vs a rogue is when you are blinded. A good rogue will save his blind after you trinket say a kidneyshot or something else. Giving him the opportunity to reopen on you and possibly kill you or lose the duel.
- Iceblock Very good when you have no other option to run, say he catches you in a shadowstep and you cant blink, he is using cloak of shadows and your ice barrier is down. Perfect time to iceblock. Use it when you know you will die from him either using cloak or catching you with your Ice Barrier down.
- novas - A mages best friend vs rogues. A good tip is when you start out and say you get garrote, just keep walking forward and keeping your front faced to the rogue so you dont get possibly back stabbed then use your pet nova to catch him. If he vanishes use your frost nova instantly to try to catch him from running away. Cone of cold also works if you are fast enough to catch him with that.
- Ice Barrier- Keep Ice Barrier up at all times, remember not to refresh the Barrier if it is still on you. After a barrier is broken it will put the rogue in a frost nova, so use it whenever you can. That is if you spec into improved Ice Barrier.
Warlocks can be very annoying, a rule as a frost mage is to kill them as fast as possible, blowing your cooldowns to make the fight short and sweet before the lock gets the upper hand.
- Casting- Casting vs a warlock can be difficult. The warlock pet fel hunter has a silence, and just like the mage if you get caught casting a frost bolt you will be out of luck for 10 seconds in the frost school, your best bet is to keep the warlock Frost Novaed as much as possible, using cone of cold to nova him and your pet nova. After each nova icelance as much as possible to start wearing him down. If you are good enough you can "Fake" cast by casting your frost bolt half way or however you desire then stopping to see if the warlock will use his pet to silence your frost bolt, if that works then you follow the next step.
- Cooldowns - If you get a warlock to use his pet silence on you and you stopped casting at the pefect time..UNLOAD all your cool downs. Icy veins, Time warp, Fire orb, Mirror Images etc. Deep freeze the warlock and just pillage him. Use deep freeze every time its up and be careful of the warlock pets silence.
- Mage Armor Your best friend vs a warlock, use this armor to reduce the dots on you by half. Also don't forget to decurse yourself.
- Mage Ward Use this every time it is up as well, it will absorb 6819 fire damage from the warlock.
- Counter spell Counter spelling a warlock can be confusing sometimes, he has so many fears and other abilitys that you might not know what to interrupt. For most warlocks the fire tree is what you want to stop, his spells Hand of Gul'dan and Incinerate are a few examples, Chaos Bolt also is a Fire spell, cancel either of these to prevent more damage occurring to you. Don't forget to also keep up mana sheild.
- Trinket Be careful what you trinket when fighting a warlock, sometimes you can get carried away and maybe trinket a fear and he may death coil fear you right after. The best thing to do is keep him under control with your novas, if he casts a fear and your Ice barrier is up and you think you can survive, just ride it out. But if he is getting low and he throws a death coil then you should trinket and finish him off. Its really up to you. Also you can blink out of shadow nova so don't waste a trinket on that.
Mage on mage is probably the most annoying and difficult fight you may have, there are so many variables that it takes a keen eye and quick wit to win.
- Mage armor Use mage armor vs another mage 100% of the time, this can save you from a game winning ice lance if you get a lucky resist.
- Spell Steal - This is your best friend vs another mage. At the start of your duel or encounter say you see a mage with Ice Barrier on. Just start spamming spell steal and take it off, since a mage with no shield is pretty weak, constantly spell stealing a mages Ice barrier and anything else will help you win the fight. You can also steal procs like fingers of frost or clear casting and brain freeze.
- Counter Spell- The most important part of your mage duel or encounter will be counterspell. Sometimes when fighting another mage you may panic and out of habit just counter spell. The best time to counter spell is when a mage is casting Frostbolt. That is if you are fighting another ice mage. If it is a fire or arcane mage then counter spell the tree they are specced in. Once you counters spell his tree you can try to fake cast a frost bolt on him to get him to counter spell you. Once the enemy mage counter spells you and you didnt get any of your schools interrupted then you should unload all of your cool downs to finish him before his counter spell is up again.
- Ice Lance is the safest way to duel a mage without getting caught casting. Constantly using frost nova and casting ice lance to whittle down your opponent will win you the game better than if you get caught casting.
- Deep Freeze- This spell is also a game changer vs another mage. If you didnt already know a mage can blink out of deep freeze, that is unless he is counter spelled. A tactic some mages use is to counter spell a mage in deep freeze so they cant blink. It's best to do this either after they blink or iceblock and dont have a trinket, if you want go ahead and try to catch them off guard by casting one randomly.
Hunters can be a formidable opponent, playing smart will help you survive verses a Hunter
- Frost Armor- Best armor to use so you can slow the hunters pet down so you can kite and sheep it.
- Blink- When going against a hunter, your best bet for blink is to close the distance between you and the hunter, since you are both kiting classes make sure to save blink for the best time, like right after a disengage from the hunter trying to create distance from you. Right after he does do disengage you should frost nova to hold him in place, stay in his dead zone and ice lance and cone of cold him.
- Polymorph- Most mages dont do this but polymorphing the hunters pet is a great way to keep yourself alive. Since Cataclysm hunter pets do MUCH more damage than usual so this is a good idea to do. Some pets may not be be able to be sheeped if the hunter is Beast Mastery
- Iceblock Make sure you use iceblock only if you think you cant survive. Say the hunter gets you in a situation where you cant blink or move and are caught with your icebarrier down. He is far away just shooting away. Iceblock then use that time to hopefully get blink back up so you can close the distance between yourself and the hunter. Always try to keep them close
- Trinket- Since you want to keep a hunter close to you at all times to prevent them just sniping you down. Make sure you trinket anything that is going to prevent you from staying close to the hunter. If you happen to get caught in an icetrap then a good idea would be to trinket. If you get scatter shot you may be able to blink right after to the hunter but icetrap is probably the best think to trinket.
- Cone of Cold- This is a great tool for keeping the hunter close to you. If you are in his dead zone just ice lancing away then use cone of cold everytime its up to keep the hunter close. It will also freeze them making you crit and enabling you to deepfreeze if you have to.
- Ice Barrier- Keeping this up all the time vs a hunter will help you survive, they can hit really hard and sometimes all you have is your ice barrier.
- Deep Freeze- Amazing tool to kill a hunter with. Make sure to be careful incase a hunter uses his deterrence because your deep freeze wont work. Best time is to use it right after deterrence or if you have a good chance to unload alot of cooldowns on him
Death Grip and Anti magic shell and an array of dots are dangerous for any mage.
- Mage Armor will decrease the time of the diseases and dots by 50% this is the best armor to use vs a death knight
- Blink- Rule 1 vs a death knight, never blink until you are death gripped. End of story. You want to create as much distance from the death knight as possible. The only thing he will be able to do is summon a gargoyle, his scourge pet or death coil. Other than that creating distance between you and the death knight will help you win.
- Mage Armor- Mage armor vs a death knight will help against the many dots they have. Since most of the death knights damage depends on how many diseases they have on you, it will help the sooner they are off you.
- Polymorph - is one of the best ways to open an encounter vs a death knight, if you can survive his anti magic shell and strangulate, you can polymorph and create some distance so you can start freezing and nuking the death knight.
- Mage Ward -Be careful when he casts anti magic shell, make sure you have Ice Barrier up at all times and are trying to get away from the death knight, if you can freeze him after his shell run away so you can nuke him. Keeping Mage Ward up will help you vs the frost damage the death knight will deal to you.
- Ice Block- If you do get death gripped after a blink then iceblock and wait until more of your cool downs and snares are up. Also if you get in a position where he has anti magic shell and strangulate on you. That would be a good time to Ice block as well.
- Save your trinket for his Hungering Cold ability which freezes you in place for 10 seconds, it looks just like a mage iceblock.
When fighting any paladin make sure you time your spells correctly and dont take them lightly.
- Frost Armor for a ret paladin and possibly Molten armor for a holy paladin so you can kill him faster.
- Counter spell- is fairly easy when you fight a paladin, since they only have 1 tree you need to interrupt, then a well timed counter spell can win you the encounter. The idea is to bring the paladin to low health, force him to heal. Once you are confident you can kill him within 10 seconds, counter spell his heal and unload all you have. If he hasnt already bubbled he will likley do so, then just time your counter spell again when the paladin is low. Dont get fake casted by a paladin at full health healing.
- spell steal- vs a ret paladin can help you easily defeat them. Many ret paladins will use blessing of freedom to get away from your trapping effects, make sure you are constanly spell stealing anything useful to the paladin, especially Freedom. Another thing you should spell steal is Avenging Wrath. Who wouldnt wanna have golden wings as a mage anways!?
- Blink when you fight a paladin the only time you should use blink is to create distance from him, treat this fight like a deathknight, staying far away and casting is what will help you easily win. The best time to blink is right after Hammer of Justice.
- Trinket- when fighting a ret paladin your trinket should be used on repentance. It is one of the other stuns you cant blink or easily get away from, the paladin can try to burst you if they catch you in a repentance. If you have to then you can Ice block.
Priests can be one of the most annoying classes for a mage to kill, simply because if you dont time your counter spell correctly, you may run out of mana and be killed.
- Mage armor- use this for priests so the dots duration is cut by 50% and so you can up your shadow resistance by 45
- Deep Freeze- I haven't said this on other sections but timing your deep freeze when an opponent is low health is a sure fire way to kill them. Just with any other of the classes it is a good idea to deep freeze the priest when they are low in health to guarentee your kill, the best way is to counter spell them as the deep freeze ends so you can guarantee about 6-8 seconds of no healing.
- Counter spell Depending what type of priest you fight, you will want to time your counter spell perfectly. When fighting a shadow priest you can either counter spell Vampiric touch at the beginning of their cast cycle and nuke them down, or you can wait until they come out of shadow form to heal. When fighting a holy or disc priest the best way is to counter spell them when they are very low, enough for you to finish them off.
- Nuke When fighting any priest using all of your cools to finish the job is probably the best way to go. Since they can either out heal most damage or nuke you to death. You want to finish the job fast. Blow everything then counter spell when the time is right, dont forget to use mage ward.
- Cooldowns Dont be afraid to use all of your cool downs or even cold snap so you can kill a priest. They can be very irritating to fight.
Shaman may be one of the hardest classes for a mage depending on the skill of the shaman.
- Mage armor- use mage armor so the shamans lava burst wont hurt you as bad, also helps when you have to use alot of mana to kill a resto shaman
- Fake Casting Shamans have an earth shock spell that interrupts spell casting and can be very irritating to deal with. The best way around this is to fake cast until you get shocked, then continue casting frost bolt, if the shaman puts down a grounding totem ice lance it then start to fake cast polymorph. Let him try to shock you then once you successfully fake cast that, then sheep the shaman. Spell steal any buffs, earth shield etc. You want to line up your burst, blow all your cools as the shaman is sheeped. Soon as the shaman is about to come out of the sheep deep freeze then nuke. After the deep freeze is up then counter spell. This is the best way to kill a resto shaman.
- Frost Novas- are your best friend vs an enhancement shaman. Freeze his puppies and stay away from the shaman as best you can. Invisibility works to get away from the puppies as well.
- Mage Ward will help you vs an elemental shaman, it can mitigate a Lava burst so you don't take as much damage.
- Spell Steal the earth shield during the polymorph if you can.
Any druid can be a formidable opponent for the mage, if not the deadliest.
- Frost armor- Must have for feral druids, Mage armor for boomkins.
- Ice Barrier must be up at all times either vs a Boomkin or Feral druid, vs a boomkin make sure to use Mage ward to mitigate the arcane damage, also ice block during his starfall. Careful to stay out of his silencing Beam of light. Nuking a boomkin is the only way to win. They will destroy mages very fast if you don't blow your cooldowns.
- Frost Novas are probably the only thing that keep you alive vs a Feral Druid, By always using frost nova and cone of cold you may be able to survive a feral druid. Ice lance as much as possible, also try to catch him in a deep freeze. Try to keep moving and freeze the druid as much as possible to keep him from killing you quickly.
- Ice Block works well when a druid has a full set of bleeds and dots on you. Those bleeds can tick for over 10k now days so be really careful when fighting a feral druid.
Thank you for reading this guide and i hope it wasn't too boring. I attempted to put pictures in but apparently i couldn't because i haven't posted enough here before. Thank you for your consideration.