UPDATED TO 4.2
Alright I'll start this by saying I'm not a gladiator. But I have been playing at gladiator range (2700) against multiple rank1 gladiators and blizzcon winners and I also have experience on 5different classes at 2200+ ratings so my general knowledgebase is decent.
This guide holds alot of MY OWN personal opinions, if you disagree feel free but don't start a flamewar there is no point.
3. Macros & Keybindings
4. Teams & Setups.
1. Spec, where to put those extra talent points?
This is what I am using, I'll start by saying there is ALOT of different spec choises you should consider when specing you mage.
The 7points in fire tree are mostly extra talentpoints.
So you can mess around with the 8 "extra" talent points, you can get haste and interrupt damage(invocation) from arcane etc.
Thats basically covered, choose the extra 8 talent points(that is in the fire spec in this one) with your playstyle, what you usually do and wich one of them benefits your setup.
Glyph of Ice Lance, Nothing is better.
Glyph of Frostbolt, Nothing is better.
Glyph of Frostfire, Nothing is better.
Glyph of Polymorph
Glyph of Ice Barrier This is situational, some people use this instead and swap Evoction to Frost Armor but I myself prefer using Poly, Evo and Frost Armor.
Glyph of Frost Armor
Glyph of Evocation
The reasoning why is that evocation has saved my life so many times when I'm low and my healer is cc'd I'll just start hardcasting evo to keep myself alive. The absorb provided by the glyph of barrier is so small I really don't feel it's necessary at all.
These 2 are VERY good, if you don't want to carry Light Feathers with you, get the slow fall glyph. Conjuring is good because it reduces the manacost of managem aswell, so if you are having long matches where you might even end up using all of your charges, this one is very good.
Glyph of Slow Fall
Glyph of Conjuring
2. Gearing up, gemming, what to choose?
The most important stat for you to choose is HIT.
The PvP hitcap for a mage is 4% in cataclysm.
It should be easy to obtain, if you are under the hitcap don't forget Reforging will always help you out (:
Secondary and very close up on the list is Spell Penetration, you will need about 195 Spell Penetration since this is what the resistance auras, totems etc. give out max.
Against other Mages, they will be running with Mage Armor wich increases their resistances by 45 so with buffs and Mage Armor they can reach up to 240 resistance to your spells.
Ruthless offsets give you 240 so this will suffice, you don't need to gem for it even if you only have a Vicious piece that gives spellpene, it's enough. I'm running with Spell penetration neck since I can get a masterycloak but I cannot get a masteryneck.
Now we go into the part wich is kinda blurry for most people atm.
Haste/Crit/Mastery, what to choose?
Why would you gem for crit when you have [Shatter]? Because it multiplies your crit chance by 3. So lets say you are running with 15% crit, if the target is frozen you will have 3x15% wich is 45%, thats very low thinking you want to crit with each Ice Lance or Frostbolt on frozen targets. So best to get is 18-22% crit wich will then put your shatters up to decent crit chanse. Gemming crit until you reach a reasonable amount is suggested.
You will be low on crit at lower level gear (Vicious) but as you get more Ruthless items your crit will increase by a significant amount. Just remember don't reforge the crit away at low crit levels.
Haste I have to say, one of the most useless stats for mages right now. I tried full haste but I sacrificed so much crit and mastery it's ridiculous. I tried it in bg's. Yes my casts were really fast but I had so low crit I rarely crit and spamming frostbolts that hit for about 6-9k is shit. Don't go haste, it's not worth it.
As for mastery, you will have about 2.00 mastery rating without any gained from gear, it will increase your damage to frozen targets. If the more mastery you have the more dmg you do. That is AWESOME. Mastery is our mainstat after getting your crit high enough 18-22%. Mastery will let you get those 70k shatters into low resilience targets. I myself if I recall my biggest crits were a 42k Frostbolt followed by a 38k Ice Lance. That my friends is alot of damage.
Gearing, how much resilience do I need?
(my armory; http://eu.battle.net/wow/en/characte...rixzy/advanced)
Resilience for a Frostmage is starting to be key, try to aim for about 3.8k+ resilience, dont take those pve pieces since Ruthless has resil on it, depeding your setup ofcourse but nowdays Mages are the targets people go for (Hunters/Rets/Wars/DK's) hit hard
More about gemming:
Yellow; Intellect / Mastery
Meta; Burning Shadowspirit Diamond (+54 Intellect and 3% Increased Critical Damage.)
Blue; Intellect / Hit.
Cogwheels; Mastery and Crit.
With this gemming you will have 3 Blue gems (Gloves, Belt & Legs). You will have 4Red gems(Helm, Chest, Prismatic socket on belt. & Pants.) and 3 Yellow ones. (Shoulder, Feet & Chest.)
With all the changes made in the recent patches etc I'm running with 17.14% crit, I played with a Feral druid who brought me the 5% crit aura that popped me up to 22.14% and going full out mastery. My spellpower is really high with my ragnaros trinket passive and after they buffed it no doubt one of the best trinkets for arena. (If you cannot get your hands on rag trinket get Moonwell Chalice / DMC:V / Soul Casket, these are all good trinkets that give you amazing burst).
Head, Guardians of Hyjal Revered; 60Int 35Crit (or resil)
Shoulder, Therazane Exalted; 50Int 25Haste (or resil)
Cloak, Enchanter; 50Intellect
Chest, Enchanter; 40Resilience
Wrist, Enchanter; 50Int
Mh Weapon, Enchanter; Power Torrent
Oh, Enchanter; 40Int
Gloves, Enchanter; 65Mastery
Legs, Tailor; 95Int 85Stam
Feet, Enchanter; Movement Speed and 35 Mastery
Now you have your gear and spec set up time to get into action.
3. Macros and Keybindings, how will I become better by using these?
Starting off, I suggest you bind almost all your abilites to some key in your keyboard. Most common bindings are 1-5,(since your fingers probably are not long enough to reach the 0 button while your right hand is on the mouse, yes you need to keep your right hand on the mouse.)Shift+1-5 keys, Control+1-5keys and Alt+1-5 keys. You can add such bindings as E,S+E,C+E,Q,S+Q,C+Q,0,F,T,F,C ETC...(all of these with shift + control modifiers),Shift+Space etc. there is over 60bindings you can put into your keyboard that you can reach with your left hand alone, not even including the keybindings you can add to your mouse Mousewheelup, mousewheel down, mousewheel button with modifiers. If you have additional buttons on your mouse them aswell.
Keybinding is essential if you keep your actionbar looking like (1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-0-+) with important spells on those, you will have to move your right hand from your mouse to your keyboard or stop moving with your character. Removing your right hand from the mouse will limit your view in arena, you cannot see what is happening if you are looking at a wall and have your right hand on the keyboard, so keep it on the mouse.
A good tip is to bind Q, E and S to abilities and change your A and D key to strafing. This will prevent backpedaling(yes, there is NO reason AT ALL for you to EVER s-key.) This will also give you more bindings and you'll get used to strafing and keeping you hand on the mouse.
Focus target counterspells and sheeps are essential in the arena for a mage, you will need to set up a focus target (usually the healer) and while targeting your nuke target you can click on a macro to do something to your focus target without switching targets.
Here is a picture of my current UI;
My bottomleft actionbar is hidden with abilities that are spammable and have no cooldown, fbolt/lance/decurse/buffs/armors etc.
Rest of the UI is pretty default I have Prat, Bigwigs and my own addon that removes the Gryphons, adds Classicons and shows 130k/130k (100%) at the same time.
Counterspells your target, if you click on shift modifier Counterspells your focus target.
/cast [modifier:shift, target=focus] Counterspell
/cast [nomodifier:shift] Counterspell
Sheeps your target, if you click on shift modifier Sheeps your focus target.
/cast [modifier:shift, target=focus] Polymorph
/cast [nomodifier:shift] Polymorph
#showtooltip Ice block
/cast Ice Block
This will decurse your mouseover target if you have one, if not it decurses yourself
/cast [target=mouseover,exists] Remove Curse
/cast [target=player] Remove Curse
This is a onebutton all armors kind of thing. Puts on Molten Armor without modifiers, with shift modifier Mage Armor, with control modifier Frost Armor. Molten Armor tho is mostly for PvE, you probably wont use it in arena so if you like you can replace it with Mage/Frost Armor and remove the ability from the macro
/cast [nomod:ctrl, nomod:shift] Molten Armor
/cast [mod:ctrl] Frost Armor
/cast [mod:shift] Mage Armor
You can find guides on other sites and AJ aswell to mage macros and how to macro stuff, this is just the basics.
4. Teams & Setups
This Section is not to tell you every comp out there you can play, and neither is this guide about what setup to run so you can get "free" glad. This guide is to help out and here is only the most "popular" comps.
RMP; Rogue Mage Priest. One of the best mage setups around, has been for a very long time.
FMP; Feral Mage Priest. Almost like RMP but with abit more control but less versatility (no smokebombs etc.)
MLS; Mage Lock Shaman. One of the best if not the best mage setup. This setup has so much control damage and healingpower it's hard to match up.
MLD; Mage Lock Druid. Almost like MLS, less healingpower but abit more control. Druids are also really weak so this setup needs alot of peeling.
You shouldn't pick your class by racials pick the one you think looks awesome and stick with it. I myself am rocking my UD.
Happy Arenaing & GL!