Best Mage specializations?

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I'm resetting my talent points, so what is the best combo of fire, arcane, or frost? And also, what professions should a Mage get? I have skinning atm
90 Troll Mage
12990
For leveling, they are all viable. Frost offers the "best" survivability when solo questing, fire an arcane are good for 5-mans.

End-game, with the current patch, and pre-raid gear - I'd say Arcane is the best for 5-man dungeons.
PVP - Frost wins
Fire - good for AoE but a bit underpowered.

Raiding - seems with good gear Arcane and Frost are viable single target dps specs, fire is by far the best AoE spec (arcane is probably 2nd).

Frost seems to be the choice for PVP.

Professions - really deends on you.

Two gathering professions is what most players recommend for new players (gathering = skinning, mining, herbalism). Then sell the materials gathered on the Auction house so you can get a decent cash flow.

Crafting professions - all give the players ~+80 primary stat (mages = intellect). The obvious choice for mages are tailoring (make your own gear, and Best in slot cloak enchant). However, being a tailor will mean you will not be able to sell gathered cloth on AH because you will use it in tailoring (selling cloth is good income).

The other professions are also viable. I would avoid leatherworking and blacksmithing as they will give you very little while leveling since you can't wear that armor type.

All crafting professions are gold sinks, meaning you spend way more money to level than you will make back at end-game. Over time, the most profitible profession is probably Jewelcrafting, but it is a real pain to level. As people get new gear they need new gems. Enchanting is in the same boat.
40 Blood Elf Mage
300
I've tried all three specs just recently.

For leveling, I think Frost is easier and safer. Also more fun, but that may just be me.

Arcane is better at running away from trouble. Frost is better at controlling trouble...you'll have three different roots, so you can really handle extra monsters if you attract them. Fire seemed to be all about the explosions.

At 30 you can dual spec, so really you're just trying to get 6 more levels as a single spec. Frost also seems to have the most keys to use, so I'd go Frost for the next 6 levels, then pick a second spec and try it out.

It's just a bit more than 1 gold to re-spec, so try all three!
90 Undead Mage
5715
Arcane is good for leveling since Arcane Blast quickly ramps high damage hits and arcane missiles is a heavy hitter once fully talented. The downside is that it's expensive and you can quickly go OOM if you're not watching your stacks, although this should only happen if you pull a bunch of mobs. Evocation talented down to 2 minutes largely relieves your mana concerns, but you don't get slow till 49 which is kind of a pain.

Fire is rather like arcane except that you don't have near the mana problems, you get your (admittedly rather short) slow spell a lot earlier and your potential burst is much higher. Fire provides much better AoE damage with impact to spread Pyroblast's DoT/ Ignite, Blast Wave, and instant Flamestrikes. Unforetunately, you don't have the escape tools that arcane does or the crazy control frost does either, any you're heavily reliant on crit for Hot Streaks. Some of the problems of control are relieved once you get the ability to cast scorch while moving, making almost anything into your kite.

Frost is probably the best leveling spec because of the crazy amounts of freezes, and controlled burst damage you have. Unfortunately, it's also the most mana expensive tree. It doesn't have the low base mana costs of fire, nor the super short evocate of arcane and that can be a bit of a pain when you need to take a drink after about 10 mobs. Frost is certainly the best if you want to avoid any chance of dying thanks to 4 separate freezes (2 baseline and two talented), blink, iceblock, and ice barrier.
Edited by Charredpants on 8/29/2011 9:23 AM PDT
90 Human Mage
11725
Corpse runs take much longer than eating a mana biscuit. Go frost. :)
I think I've actually decided to stay frost. Is it a good idea to use all 41 talent points on frost? And leave fire and arcane alone? I could still use some instant fire casting spells on weaker enemies to get them out of the way, and arcane for mana and what not.
40 Blood Elf Mage
300
Not such a good idea. You can look at people's specs. Look at Raimondas there, for instance. Click the little down-arrow next to his name, click on the blue text that says "Profile," then click on the "Frost" button under his picture. You'll see his spec. Notice that he's put enough points into Arcane to get Improved Blink, and he's bought Burning Soul from Fire.
60 Troll Hunter
11600
08/29/2011 03:37 PMPosted by Ahàron
Is it a good idea to use all 41 talent points on frost?


I can't think of a single class or spec that is best to have all of your points in one tree. as Ixix said take a look at some 85's talent trees on the mage forums and see if you find any that are 0/0/41 0/41/0 or 41/0/0 you probably won't
85 Night Elf Druid
8240
08/29/2011 04:20 PMPosted by Jilixx
Is it a good idea to use all 41 talent points on frost?


I can't think of a single class or spec that is best to have all of your points in one tree. as Ixix said take a look at some 85's talent trees on the mage forums and see if you find any that are 0/0/41 0/41/0 or 41/0/0 you probably won't

For the most part, the talent trees are designed so that once you get the 31-point talent at the bottom you can branch out to dabble in another tree and snag something useful that applies to multiple specs. That's why a lot of the early talents seem ambiguous in terms of what spells they affect rather than specific "This boosts Frost and only Frost spells" kind of talents.
It says at 31 I can start another branch. At what level can I have all 3?
60 Troll Hunter
11600
You can put points into any of the trees after your 31 points in your primary tree. At level 30 you can dual spec and choose a second talent tree. You can only have one active at a time though.
Ok, I understand now that you can have two sets of trees, that you can switch off from. For my primary, I want frost. After I add 31 points to frost, how do I put a few points in both arcane and fire?
90 Night Elf Rogue
5290
08/29/2011 07:18 PMPosted by Ahàron
After I add 31 points to frost, how do I put a few points in both arcane and fire?


At either level 69 or 71 (can't remember which at the moment) you'll get your 31st talent point. After that the other two talent trees will no longer be grayed out. You'll still gain talent points all the way up to level 85. Those "extra" talent points can go in any tree you want.
90 Troll Hunter
15720
At the end it will look something like this:
http://www.wowhead.com/talent#o0bZfcZffMosuszro
90 Troll Mage
12990
08/29/2011 07:18 PMPosted by Ahàron
Ok, I understand now that you can have two sets of trees, that you can switch off from. For my primary, I want frost. After I add 31 points to frost, how do I put a few points in both arcane and fire?
Just a note, but as a mage you want intellect, your back and one ring provide not real benefit to mages. Unless those are the first drops you've found, they aren't worth equipping. I'd look to get a dungeon drop, quest reward or bag from a dungeon to replace them.

Also go to the auction house and look into the glyph of evocation. If you can afford it, you'll love it.
60 Troll Hunter
11600
Also go to the auction house and look into the glyph of evocation. If you can afford it, you'll love it.


This every leveling mage should try to make this their first glyph purchase.
Please check the date of the post before adding a comment to it, Zajinja. This thread is from 2011. You're best off creating a new thread in this case.
Edited by Harlsoco on 4/22/2013 4:56 PM PDT
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