WoW Cataclysm Classic: Mage class changes guide & new abilities

James Lynch
Jaina Proudmoore, the Mage, in WoW Season of Discovery

Throughout World of Warcraft’s history, Mages seem to be in a perpetual state of excellence. Even by that standard, they blew the competition away in the final weeks of Wrath of the Lich King.

In particular, Fire and Arcane Mage have outperformed every other class/spec combination by some margin. Though Frost is a little further down the pecking order, this is mostly due to the popularity of the other two specs skewing the damage output.

In the first few weeks of Cataclysm Classic, things aren’t likely to change drastically, but bigger improvements to other classes will level the playing field somewhat. That said, Mages should also remain a strong and competitive choice, regardless of the prowess of their peers.

With all of that in mind, here’s our breakdown of the changes to the Mage class in Cataclysm Classic.

New Mage spells and abilities

WoW Mage Jaina Proudmoore Dark Heart Content Update

Level 81: Flame Orb

This will undoubtedly become a huge part of the Mage rotation in PvE activities. Essentially, it shoots an orb in a straight line, dependent on the direction the character is facing. At the end of its range it stops and begins to pulse, dealing huge AoE damage for 15 seconds.

Level 83: Time Warp

Mages can now fulfill some of the group buffs that Shamans provide, thanks to the addition of Time Warp. This grants a significant Haste buff to the group, increasing attack and casting speed by 30%. It also provides a temporary movement speed boost for the Mage.

Level 85: Wall of Fog

Wall of Fog creates a 30-yard-wide that will slow enemies if they pass through it, as well as dealing damage. This is super useful for AoE farming when well geared, as the slow in combination with Blizzard essentially renders chasing enemies immobile.

Talents, Masteries and Spec changes

world of warcraft wow elf fire mage

Arcane Missiles now require a proc to cast, with any offensive spell giving a 40% chance of triggering it. Additionally, Dampen and Amplify Magic have been removed, alongside Fire and Frost Ward, with Mage Ward the replacement as an all-encompassing damage resist.

Cataclysm has now made it possible for Mages to use CC without technically initiating combat. This means that clever use of Polymorph can render previously difficult quests and areas trivial, as the Mage walks by potential threats.

Ring of Frost is going to be yet another huge addition to the Mage’s toolkit. It casts a circle onto the floor that begins to freeze enemies in place after three seconds. Anyone within the ring is then frozen for 10 further seconds (unless they use an effect to escape).

The Frost Mage is going to lag behind in PvE encounters again, as it simply doesn’t have the damage to keep up with Arcane and Fire. That said, it does have the best crowd control of the bunch and is a simple yet supremely powerful way through PvP modes.

Fire is the standout choice in PvE, thanks to its great range of options for single-target and group encounters. Arcane has the potential to surpass it in certain circumstances, but the movement required by raid and dungeon mechanics will make this unlikely.

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