[Mage] Kwaice’s Mage Leveling – Talents and Tips – (1-80)


(This is the first version of the guide.
I’ll soon add spell icons, wowhead links and finish all the sections.)

Table of Contents.

  1. Introduction
  2. Basic Spells
  3. Talents
  4. Cast rotations
  5. Frostfire Bolt
  6. Gear
  7. Useful addons
  8. Macros
  9. Glyphs

1. Introduction

First of all, i’ll ask you to be nice with my english, i come from Belgium and french is my primary language. This is also the first guide i write myself :p

This guide is here to help you leveling up your mage, not by telling you where to go and which quest to pick up (there are very nice leveling guides on wow-pro for that) but by giving you some piece of advice with the talents you should choose, the gear to aim for and some useful macros as well as addons.

It only aims to help you during the leveling process, it will not cover pvp, dungeons nor raids.

So let’s get started.

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2. Spells

The mage is a caster. 99,9% of the time, you will want to keep the ennemis as far as possible from you.

Until 75 and the poweful Frostfire bolt, the deep Frost spec is, in my opinion, the best spec to pick up while leveling.
It offers much more control over your ennemies than fire and arcane and can dish out very nice damage.

The spells you will use most of the time as a frost spec mage are Frostbolt, Frost Nova and Ice Lance (at 66). You’ll also use Fireblast quite alot.

  • 32px-Spell_Frost_FrostBolt02.pngFrostbolt : 3 sec cast time damaging spell that slows down your enemy’s walking speed. This is your primary nuke spell, not as powerful as fireball (damage-wise) but it will let you solo more easily without worrying much about enemies getting close to you.
  • 32px-Spell_Frost_FrostNova.pngFrost nova : Roots the enemies in place, allowing you to get some distance if they managed to get close to you. Useful against any melee mob and even caster type for the burst it offers with the Shatter talent (see Talents section).
  • 32px-Spell_Frost_FrostBlast.pngIce Lance : Instant low-mana spell that does 3 times its initial damage if the enemy is frozen in place. Can deal HUGE damage and is instant cast. It only comes at 66 though. Also useful to tag a mob.

Also, the following armors will be available depending on your level :

  • 32px-Spell_Frost_FrostArmor02.pngIce armor : Slows your enemy when they hit you in melee. Not really the best armor for leveling. It can be favored over mage armor/molten armor if you play on a pvp server and are often attacked while questing.
  • 32px-Spell_MageArmor.pngMage Armor : Increases your resistance to magic and allows 30% of your mana to regen while casting. In my opinion, this armor is better than ice armor for leveling, since it will lower your overall downtime.
  • 32px-Ability_Mage_MoltenArmor.pngMolten armor : Increases your critical chance by 3% and inflicts 75 fire damage when you’re hit in melee. The critical chance is neat, it means you will kill faster. I personaly used this armor once i got it (level 62).

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3. Talents

Let’s review the frost tree and the talents that will help you the most. A star (*) next to a talent means that you should ABSOLUTELY take the talent.

  • 32px-Spell_Frost_FrostArmor.pngFrostbite* : Extremely useful talent. It allows your chilling spells (frostbolt, cone of cold, ice armor, improved blizzard, frostfire bolt) to have a 15% chance to root your ennemies in place, like a mini frost nova.
    Sometimes, you’ll be unlucky and it will never proc during the battle, but when it procs, it basically means your ennemy is going to die very soon (See Shatter). It lasts like 5 secs. 
  • 32px-Spell_Frost_FrostBolt02.pngImproved Frostbolt* : Frostbolt will be your primary nuke spell until you get Frostfire bolt at 75. You’ll cast it more than any other spell and you’ll even dream about it too (ok maybe not). Improved frostbolt shortens the cast time of your primary spell by 0.5 sec when maxed.
    While this may not seem much, it will speed up the leveling process and improve the overall damage you deal to your ennemies. Beside, you’ll be glad to have this talent maxed when you will need to Shatter your ennemy and won’t have much time left on your Frost Nova or Frostbite proc timers.
  • 32px-Spell_Frost_IceFloes.pngIce Floes* : There is “Survival” written on this talent. Maxed, it shortens the cooldown of your :
    • Frost Nova by 5 secs.
    • Cone of Cold by 2 secs
    • Ice Block by 60 secs
    • Icy Veins by 36 secs

    Frost Nova is a spell you’ll want available when one or more ennemies managed to get close to you. Same goes for Cone of Cold.
    The shortened cooldown on Ice Block has saved my life many times, those seconds you gain with this talent can mean the difference between life and death when fighting mobs and especially elites.

  • 32px-Spell_Frost_IceShard.pngIce Shards* :Core talent. Improves the damage of your critical spells by 100%.
    In short, a spell that does 50 base damage for example will, without Ice Shards, crit for 75 (50% more damage).
    With Ice Shards, the same spell will actually crit for 100, so double damage.
    Improves your burst damage tremendously.
  • 32px-Spell_Ice_MagicDamage.pngElemental Precision3% hit when maxed means that you will have less “missed” spells when fighting mobs. This talent is really only useful if you’re often taking on enemies that are higher level than you. You shouldn’t really have much use of it while leveling but if you growl each time your spells miss, then i guess it wouldn’t hurt to take this talent :p Otherwise it’s not really mandatory. The mana reduction alone isn’t really worth 3 talent points.
  • 32px-Spell_Frost_Wisp.pngPermafrostYour chill effects last 3 sec longer and the walking speed of your enemies is decreased by another 10%.
    Not that useful for leveling in my opinion. It allows you to kite the enemies longer but by the the time your enemies get to you, they should be already half dead anyway. It is pretty useful in pvp.
  • 32px-Spell_Frost_Frostbolt.pngPiercing Ice*6% more damage on your frost spells, i think it speaks for itself.
  • 32px-Spell_Frost_ColdHearted.pngIcy VeinsActivated, this allows you to cast your spells 20% faster without suffering pushback. It is nice when you need to burst down your enemy but i never really used it while leveling up. It is very useful in raids and dongeons though.
  • 32px-Spell_Frost_IceStorm.pngImproved BlizzardDepending on your playstyle, this could be a must get. Improved Blizzard adds a chill effect to the base spell allowing it to slow your enemies. Coupled with Permafrost (+3 secs chill and +10% slow), this means that the enemies taken in your blizzard are slowed by 75% for 4,5 secondes AND that Frostbite can proc, rooting them in place.
    Also note that Blizzard can now crit since patch 3.0.2 (not too sure which patch).
    If you like to take on many mobs at once and aoe them down, then this talent definitely is for you. It all depends on your playstyle.
  • 32px-Spell_Shadow_DarkRitual.pngArctic Reach*This talent can seem weak but it is very useful while leveling. Being able to cast your opening Frostbolt on the enemy from x yards instead of x yards results in more frostbolts launched before it gets to you. It can save you a Frost Nova that could be useful when fighting the next mob. Also more range on Cone of Cold and Blizzard and a higher Frost Nova radius is very nice, allowing you to avoid hits more easily.
  • 32px-Spell_Frost_Stun.pngFrost Channeling*All your spells cost 10% less mana. This means less downtime while leveling. Also the -10% threat can be nice if you like to do dungeons from time to time.
  • 32px-Spell_Frost_FrostShock.pngShatter*THE core talent of the frost tree. If you don’t put points in it, you’d be better just respecing fire or arcane.
    This talent allows you to burst down your enemies everytime they are frozen in place. Your crit chance against them will raise by 50%.
    Enemies frozen in place are the ones affected by the following spells : Frost Nova, Frostbite, Hungering Cold (Death Knight) and Frost Trap (Hunter).
    Chill effects will NOT affect Shatter. Enemies slowed by a Frostbolt won’t make your crit chance go up by 50% but if frostbite procs, then it will.
  • 32px-Spell_Frost_WizardMark.pngCold Snap*Very nice talent that resets all your frost cooldowns. Can save your life if you need to Frost Nova an enemy chasing you when you’re at 5% hp or so, or pop an Ice Block that was on cooldown to give you some fresh air. It is also a required talent point to unlock the very useful Ice Barrier.
  • 32px-Spell_Frost_Glacier.pngImproved Cone of ColdNot really needed while leveling. Beside the “I-hope-frostbite-will-proc” Cone of Cold that you should use while leveling, you’ll only use Cone of Cold to slow a pack of enemies that are close to you or to kite one enemy while your frost nova is on cooldown.
    Cone of Cold can be nice when it procs Frostbite but it’s not reliable enough. We don’t really use the spell for its damage, so 35% more damage for 3 talent points isn’t really worth it imo.
  • 32px-Ability_Mage_ColdAsIce.pngCold as Ice*Maxed, it shortens the cooldown of your :
    • Cold Snap by 1 min 36 secs.
    • Ice Barrier by 6 secs
    • Summon Water Elemental by 36 secs

    Very useful, juste like Cold Snap and Ice Floes, it adds more survavibility and the shortened cooldown on Summon Water Elemental is very very nice to have while leveling (and anything else actually).

  • 32px-Spell_Frost_ChillingBlast.pngWinter’s Chill*+3% crit on your main nuke. Beside, each time your damaging spells hit, you have 1% more chances to crit. Stacks up to 5 times to make it 5%. Allows you to crit your enemies more often. Take this.
  • 32px-Ability_Mage_ShatterShield.pngShattered BarrierI personaly don’t really like this talent for leveling. I didn’t find much use for it. More of a pvp talent imo.
  • 32px-Spell_Ice_Lament.pngIce Barrier*Your personal shield, that prevents pushback on your spells while it’s active. Very useful against those annoying ranged mobs and against a pack of enemies that are too close to you. It takes a % of your spell damage to absorb more. Core talent that will make leveling easier.
  • 32px-Spell_Frost_ArcticWinds.pngArctic winds*+5% damage on all your frost spells. It doesn’t seem like much but it will make you kill mobs faster. Also the chance to be missed by melee and ranged attack can be very nice. You’ll love seeing missed ranged hits 😀
  • 32px-Spell_Frost_FrostBolt02.pngEmpowered Frostbolt*Your Frostbolt gains an additional 10% of your spell power. Your primary nuke is now even stronger. You also gain 0,2 sec casting time. Core talent, don’t level without it.
  • 32px-Ability_Mage_WintersGrasp.pngFingers of Frost*Your chilling spells (Frostbolt, Cone of Cold, Improved Blizzard) have a 15% chance to make your 2 next spells act like your target was frozen in place, even if they are moving. Shatter, anyone ?

    Must have. It’s basically a 15% chance to improve your crit rate by 50% for your next 2 spells even if your target is not frozen. You will definitely like it.

  • 32px-Ability_Mage_BrainFreeze.pngBrain Freeze*Burst damage. A free (zero mana cost) instant cast fireball, even untalented, hurts. Makes your killing even faster.
  • 32px-Spell_Frost_SummonWaterElemental_2.pngSummon Water Elemental*The Water Elemental is a VERY strong guardian. Its bolt hurts alot and its Freeze is basically a frost nova that you can cast anywhere, even 35 yards away from you. It allows very nasty burst damage on demand.

    I suggest using the water elemental macro from the guide for your water elemental though, as it can be annoying to click on your pet cast bar. This is how the macro works:

    -The first click makes you summon your water elemental on defensive mode and makes it attack your current target.
    -If you click on the macro again, 2 things happen : It makes your water elemental attack your other target if you changed targets. It also activates the Freeze ability of your Water Elemental, you still have to target it around your enemy to make it work though.

    As you can see, you become very powerful when your elemental is active. You can run to an enemy with your elemental, start casting Frostbolt and just when Frostbolt is about to be launched, use the Freeze ability of your elemental to root your enemy in place. That will make your frostbolt crit almost all the time, chuncking a huge amount of hp off the mob. Even more deadly at 66 when you get Ice Lance.

    The elemental also takes a percentage of your spell damage, intellect and stamina.

    Too bad it only lasts 45 secs >_<

  • 32px-Spell_Frost_SummonWaterElemental_2.pngImproved Water ElementalMainly useful while raiding. Recovers the mana of your raid and your elemental now lasts 1 min. Not very useful while leveling, your enemies will be dead very quickly anyway.
  • 32px-Ability_Mage_ChilledToTheBone.pngChilled to the Bone*Your Frostbolt, Frostfire Bolt and Ice Lance do an additional 5% damage. What else can i say, still more damage on your primary nuke spell as well as Ice Lance. Your enemies also take more time to get close to you <3 We won’t use this talent with Frostfire Bolt, i will suggest another spec for it
  • 32px-Ability_Mage_DeepFreeze.pngDeep Freeze* A 5 secs stun ability only available when your target is frozen in place (Frostbite, Frost Nova, you know the music). Pretty nice, this ability makes you untouchable and lets you solo elites without problems if they are not immune to stuns. You can make solid combos that prevent your enemies from even moving, like Frostbolt > Frost Nova or Frostbite > Frostbolt + Ice Lance + Deep Freeze, allowing you to cast another full Frostbolt while your enemy is stunned (if he isn’t dead that’s it).

This is how i would put my talent points while leveling up. I’ll also explain the cast rotation depending on which spell is available. I’ll go up to 75 and then i invite you to read the Frostfire section of the guide.

10-14 : 5/5 Improved Frostbolt
15-17 : 3/3 Frostbite
18-20 : 3/3 Ice Shards
21-23 : 3/3 Icy Floes
24 : 1/3 Piercing Ice
25-27 : 3/3 Shatter
28-29 : 2/2 Arctic Reach
30 : Cold Snap
31-33 : 3/3Frost channeling
34 : 2/3 Piercing Ice
35-37 : 3/3 Winter’s Chill
38-39 : 2/2 Cold as Ice
40 : Ice Barrier
41-44 : 4/5 Arctic Winds
45-46 : 2/2 Fingers of Frost
47-48 : 2/2 Empowered Frostbolt
49 : 5/5 Arctic Winds
50 : Summon Water Elemental
51-53 : 3/3 Brain Freeze
54 : 3/3 Piercing Ice
55-59 : 5/5 Chilled to the Bone
60 : Deep Freeze

Now we’ll venture a bit in the fire tree until 75 and the Frostfire bolt respec. You can also put points in the frost tree wherever you feel like it.

61-63 : 3/3 Incineration (more crit with Fireblast and Cone of Cold)
64-65 : 2/2 Improved Fireblast (-2 secs on Fireblast CD)

(Improved Fireball is useless anyway, since we only cast it on Brain freeze procs)

66-70 : 5/5 Ignite (more damage on fire crits, even if it’s not our primary nukes, it helpsl)
71-73 : 3/3 Impact (your spells have a 10% chance to stun your enemies for 2 secs, just to make you even more unreachable).
74 : Last point before the respec, put it wherever you like to. Burning Determination maybe.

75. Here we are, you can now learn Frostfire Bolt at your mage trainer. I strongly suggest respecing to take full advantage of this spell because it’s simply monstruous imo.
I also invite you to head to the Frostfire section for more information on it.

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4. Cast Rotation

Your cast rotation will vary depending on what level you are and what spells are available in your arsenal.

Note: You should always start at max range of your Frostbolt.

Level 1-3 : Cast fireball from max range and melee the mobs to finish them.

Level 4-5 : Just chain Frostbolt from max range and melee the mobs to finish them.

Level 6-11 : Same as before, but use Fireblast to finish the mobs. If they still live, just cast another Frostbolt / Fireblast or melee them down.

Level 12-25 : Start chaining Frostbolt until your enemy gets close to you. When it does, use Frost Nova (available at level 12) to froze him in place, take some distance and start chaining Frostbolt again.

Level 26-30 : You now have access to Cone of Cold. I like to use it whenever an enemy manages to get close to me because it can proc Frostbite. That will save me a Frost Nova, which has a longer cooldown, and allow me to cast another Frostbolt that will most likely crit, thanks to Shatter.
If it doesn’t proc Frostbite, i will then use Frost Nova followed by a Frostbolt or i will use Fireblast to finish the mob, depending on its hp left.
The goal, with Cone of Cold, is to save Frost Nova as much as possible.

Level 30-39 : Same as before, excepted Cold Snap is available, meaning you can Frost Nova your enemies two times in a row to burst them even faster.

Level 40-44 : Ice Barrier is available. You’ll have to worry less about being hit and will be able to cast your Frostbolt wihout pushbacks while the barrier is active.

Level 45-49 : You’ll start criting even more. Fingers of Frost will speed up your killing tremendously.

Level 50 : Your Water Elemental is now available. I suggest saving it for tricky situations (elites, pack of mobs, etc..).

Level 51-59 : Now you have to monitor the Brain Freeze proc. When it does, launch the fireball after your nukes. Don’t interrupt your spells for a fireball unless it can finish off your enemy.

Level 60-65 : Deep Freeze is available, meaning you can stun your enemies when they are frozen in place. I suggest stunning them when Frost Nova / Frostbite is about to break.

Level 66-70 : Killing machine : ON. Ice Lance is a crazy spell. It is instant cast, costs almost nothing and does HUGE damage if your enemy is frozen. As soon as you see the enemy frozen in place, be ready to launch an Ice Lance right after your Frostbolt. Those 2 spells critting in a row will remove like 60% of your enemy’s health.

Level 71-74 : Your spells can now stun, thanks to Impact. If an enemy manages to gets close to you, it means either that you were AFK or that he is immune to movement-imparing effects :p

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5. Frostfire Bolt

32px-Ability_Mage_FrostFireBolt.pngFrostfire Bolt is a unique spell that takes the benefit from fire AND frost at the same time. It’s like a fireball that can slow and that benefits from both fire and frost talent trees.

I will list the talents that benefit Frostfire Bolt.


  • Ignite : +40% dot on crit
  • Impact : 10% stun chance on hit
  • Burning Soul : -70% pushback when casting and -10% threat
  • Master of elements : 30% of the mana cost of the spell refund when you crit
  • Playing with fire : +3% damage
  • Critical Mass : +6% crit chance
  • Fire Power : +10% damage
  • Combustion : see the talent
  • Pyromaniac : +3% crit chance
  • Molten Fury : +12% more damage if your enemy is below 35% hp
  • Empowered Fire : Your frostfire bolt gains an additional 15% of your spell power
  • Hot Streak : When you score 2 cricital hits in a row, you get an INSTANT CAST pyroblast
  • Burnout : +50% crit damageFrost
  • Frostbite : 15% chance to root the enemy in place
  • Ice Shards : +100% crit damage
  • Elemental Precision : +3% hit
  • Piercing Ice : +6% damage
  • Icy Veins : Only the faster casting time
  • Frost channeling : -10% mana cost (note that FFB doesn’t get -20% threat if you take this talent and Burning Soul, it only gets -10% threat max)
  • Winter’s Chill : +2% crit chance everytime it hits, stacks 5 times for a total of +10% crit chance.
  • Arctic Winds : +5% damage
  • Fingers of Frost : +15% chance to make your next 2 spells have a 50% more chance to crit (if you took Shatter, which you should)
  • Chilled to the Bone : +5% damage and -10% walking speed

As you can see, the spell can benefit from many talents. I suggest going through the Fire path for Burnout, which is a huge dps boost and to take the essential Frost talents going with it.

This is the spec i used at 75 for leveling with Frostfire Bolt: 0/48/18

I then suggest putting your talent points like this :

76-77 : 5/5 Burnout
78-79 : 2/3 Frost Channeling would be my fav but the last 2 points are up to you
80 : Weeeeeeeee o/ I suggest filling up Frost channeling if you plan on questing more with the spec.

Basically, your frostfire bolt (at 80) :

  • has +9% chance to crit (critical mass + pyromaniac)
  • does +19% more damage (31% more when the enemy is below 35% hp) (playing with fire + fire power + piercing ice + molten fury when under 35%hp)
  • gains an additional 15% of your spell power (empowered fire)
  • does +150% damage when it crits, refunding you 30% of its mana cost and also adding a 4 sec dot equal to 40% of the damage done by your crit (e.g. if frostfire bolt crits for 5000, it will also dot the enemy for 2000 in 4 secs. every 2 sec) (ignite + master of elements + ice shards + burnout)
  • has +3% chance to hit (elemental precision)
  • has a 10% chance to stun the enemy (impact)
  • has a 15% chance to freeze the enemy in place allowing Shatter (+50% crit if the next spell lands) (frostbite)
  • costs -13% mana (frost channeling + elemental precision)

Also, if you score two critical hits in a row with either Fireblast, Frostfire bolt or Scorch, your next pyroblast (which has a +6% chance to crit thanks to “world in flames”) cast within 10 secs will be instant.

As you can see, the spell is very very sexy and benefits from soooooooo many talents at the same time that it is really worth a respec for the last 4 levels.

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6. Gear

There are 3 useful stats that you will need while leveling and 2 less useful.

Let me start by saying that you should completely avoid STR and AGI unless you’re trying to be some sort of battle mage that likes to hit stuff with your staff (yo).
If so, i … don’t think mage is the right class for you :p … but if you like it, hey, why not.. you’ll just level slower than 90% of the server… make it 99% actually.

Anyway, the main stats you should aim for are :

  • Spell power : Increases the damage of all your spells. You should always try to get more as it will improve your overall damage per second.You won’t find many items with spell power in the lower levels but you’ll start seeing more and more as you level, especially when you arrive in Outland. The same goes with crit.
  • Critical strike rating : Improves the chances that your spells will critically hit. Crit is as important as spell power is. A crit will improves your killing speed tremendously.
    If, for example, you loot an item that lowers your spell power by 10 but increases your critical chances by 1%, well, equip it but don’t equip an item that increases your crit chance by 0.2% and lowers your spell power by 35. It’s all about balancing the both.
  • Intellect : “Int” increases your mana pool as well as your crit chance. The amount of crit you gain from int depends on your level.
    (There is a nice addon that can tell you how much crit you gain from int, Rating Buster, i suggest it in the addon section.)
    Having a decent mana pool is also important. If you must sit to drink after every mob because you don’t have enough mana, then something is wrong.
    Having more mana also helps you taking on multiple mobs at once. This is the 3rd stat to aim for, but try to mainly aim for the first two. Usually, the cloth items with spellpower and/or crit have enough int to not have to worry about it.
  • Spirit : Spirit allows you to regen more mana when you are not casting and even when you are casting IF you use Mage Armor. It’s always nice to have some but you can level all the way to 80 without it. You shouldn’t really focus much on it until raids.
  • Stamina : Stamina improves your health pool. It’s not really useful while leveling BUT if you play on a pvp server, then you might want to have more health to survive an ambush.

Overall, the important stats are spellpower / crit > int > spi > sta.

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7. Useful addons

I recommand those addons while playing.

  • Rating Buster : Rating buster converts stats into ratings and allows you to quickly compare two items to see which one is the best for you.It can, for example, tell you how much critical rating an item with 57 int would actually give you and if that items will make you win or lose crit and spell power if you equip it. A must have in my opinion. It also works with any other class when properly configured.
  • Range Display : Small addon that shows the distance between you and the mob. Very useful to know exactly when you are in max range for a frostbolt or any other spell. Easily configurable too.

8. Macros

  • Food/Water macro :#showtooltip nameofthefood
    /cast [button:2] Conjure food; nameofthefood

    Replace nameofthefood in the macro by the exact name of the food you can summon (shift-click the food to copy the text in the macro).

    For example, at level 6, you can start using the macro by right-clicking on it to summon Conjured Muffins. Replace then nameofthefood by Conjured Muffins in the macro to make it work. The macro will be :

    #showtooltip Conjured Muffins
    /cast [button:2] Conjure food; Conjured Muffins

    Right-click on the macro to summon food.
    Left click on the macro to eat.

    Sames goes for the water.

    /cast [button:2] Conjure water; nameofthewater

  • Auto-trinket macro.#showtooltip Frostbolt
    /use 13
    /use 14
    /cast Frostbolt

    This macro will automatically try to use equiped trinkets when you cast frostbolt whenever they are available.

    You can equip 2 trinkets at most.
    Those trinkets go in slot number 13 and 14 in your character sheet.

    Note: /use 13 and /use 14 can be placed individually in the macro or both at once.
    If, for example, you have a spell power trinket in the first slot and your insigna of the horde/alliance in the second slot, then DON’T put /use 14 in the macro, as it will actually use your insigna every time you try to cast a spell, which you don’t really want, do you ?

    If you only want to use your first trinket, replace the macro by :

    #showtooltip Frostbolt
    /use 13
    /cast Frostbolt

  • Water Elemental macroOk, i can’t live as a frost mage without this one. It makes life so much easier when you have your water elemental.

    #showtootlip Summon Water Elemental
    /cast Summon Water Elemental
    /cast Freeze

    As explained in the talent section :
    The first click on the macro will summon your water elemental on defensive mode and make it attack your current target
    Another click on the macro will :
    – make your pet attack your other target if you swapped targets
    – make your pet cast Freeze, which is a ranged Frost Nova that you have to target on the ground just like Blizzard

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9. Glyphs

Until you get Frostfire Bolt, i’d use the following glyphs



  • Glyph of Frost Armor : 30 more mins on your buff.
  • Glyph of Slow Fall : You’ll cherish this glyph when you’ll need to pop Slow Fall, cause you never notice when you’re out of feathers :p …
  • Glyph of Arcane Intellect : Reduces the mana cost of the buff. Can be useful. You can use other glyphs if you feel like it, minor glyphs aren’t that important.

When you get Frostfire Bolt, i’d use those 3 major glyphs instead :

  • Glyph of Frostfire : Frostfire is a crit-dependant spell, and 2% more damage as well as 2% more crit chance is a god send.
  • Glyph of Molten Armor : 2% crit chance when Molten Armor is active, making it +5% crit chance.
  • The last one is up to you but Glyph of Mana Gem is always useful and will reduce your overall downtime.

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    Déc 30, 2008 @ 15:15

    Very nicely written, andVery nicely written, and it’s exactly how I would suggest to level a mage as well.

    Thumbs up!

    Small mistake here:

    “Replace nameofthefood in the macro by the exact name of the food you can summon (shift-click the food to copy the text in the macro).[i/]”

    The italic tag needs to be fixed. put the / before the i 🙂

    • img
      Déc 30, 2008 @ 15:36

      Thank you Jame. Fixed.Thank you Jame. Fixed.

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        Mai 3, 2010 @ 23:36

        one questionthis is a really good guide, i’m using it right now, I have one question though, why not do Shattered Barrier it’s pretty much like another frost nova

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    Déc 30, 2008 @ 18:19

    Wow!This guide is GREAT! I mean, what I really needed to level a mage! I found it very useful, well written and formatted. I have just one thing to add: in the Brain Freeze explaination, you should add that it is instant cast and has NO MANA cost :).

    Other than that, I loved this.

    • img
      Déc 30, 2008 @ 19:55

      Thank you for the commentThank you for the comment Benhir.

      I will bold the “free” part of the spell and add that it costs no mana 🙂

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    Déc 30, 2008 @ 20:49

    This looks great, and I seeThis looks great, and I see it has Jame’s seal of approval! I have so many alts so these class-specific guides that are coming out are a big help. Thanks for making it!

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    Déc 31, 2008 @ 8:14

    Thank you Jiyambi.

    YourThank you Jiyambi.

    Your guides as well as Jame’s helped me a ton to create this one.

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      Jan 2, 2009 @ 6:43

      After reading through it inAfter reading through it in more detail, I can say yet again that this looks quite impressive with a lot of really useful tips.

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    Jan 3, 2009 @ 19:24

    Very NiceVery Nice Guide!!

    I’ve never played a Mage before and after reading this it kind of makes me want to go and make a Mage alt.

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    Jhaessyn Jardeath
    Jan 7, 2009 @ 0:48

    I tried this, I like it!I have a mage alt that I’ve let sit on the wayside. I read this, and redid his talents, and sought out items as you suggested…he rocks! Thanks so much for the helpul tips, and info.

    Interested in doing a priest guide now? 🙂

    To do is to be – Socrates
    To be is to do – Voltaire
    Do be do be do – Sinatra

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      Jan 7, 2009 @ 14:17

      Thanks for the input, gladThanks for the input, glad you liked it.

      I could do a priest leveling guide but i don’t have much time for it now.

      If i get the time, i will make one.

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    Jan 9, 2009 @ 10:02

    Nice guide =)

    RecentlyNice guide =)

    Recently rolled a mage alt as a side project while waiting for wrath, but had so much fun with him, he’s now my main!

    Looks like your guide cover’s everything well, and the frostfire section was very helpful as i haven’t really looked into that spec yet as levelled fully (currently 78) deep frost.

    I specked more towards being an AOE machine and levelled from the early 20’s to late 40’s doing only about 10 quests, the rest AOE grinding. I just thought I’d mention it because i don’t really think any mage guide is complete without a mention of the basic AOE cast cycle e.g
    Ice barrier / mana shield -> round mobs up -> frost nova -> blink / run -> blizzard-> blizzard -> cone of cold (should be dead, unless they are a few level higher then you, if so start the rotation again)

    great video here and the inspiration for me rolling a mage

    and a horde version here (but watch the above one first)

    if you want me to do a bit of an AOE wright up let me know and ill see what i can do when i get some time,



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      Jan 9, 2009 @ 12:50

      Thank you.

      I’ve personalyThank you.

      I’ve personaly never used the aoe grinding path so if you want to add a section to the guide, feel free to send me a message 🙂

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      Jan 30, 2009 @ 9:18

      TalentsBut don’t forget to change the Talents if you do take on an AoE section – after all, can you imagine AoE grinding with Frostbite???!

      “[i]Wise is the man who knows he does not know[/i]”…
      …Or who knows why my mother keeps calling me.

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      Mai 24, 2009 @ 15:19

      mana shield??I would suggest you never …ever….use mana shield when AoE grinding for the following reason, if your low level AoE grinding your mana pool isn’t going to be too big and will allow you to get off 2 Blizz, 2 nova a blink and CoC with very little mana left the reason you need your 2 nova is if you miss a mob or have an add
      and need to regroup them, if you where to use mana shield each hit will take mana off you (and you will get hit) leaving you with an OOM situation and 10 almost dead mobs coming at you
      If you don’t have Ice barrier yet go in with no shield round up nova Blizz Blizz CoC
      all mobs dead, you will have little mana left and your HP will be well down but its better that OOM, full HP 10 mobs running at you

      Once you get higher level your mana pool will support you using mana shield but then you have Ice barrier so why would you 😉

      oh one more thing if mana is an issue forget blink and sidestep away, it might give you that little bit extra to finish them off

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    Jan 9, 2009 @ 11:14

    Nice guideQuite nice guide and it will probably help many people who want to roll a mage. There are some things I would like to mention though:

    1. Buy water. I know this may seem stupid, but when your conjured water is worse than the one you can buy you should buy it it will diminue greatly your downtime (personal experience :P). After a certain lvl ( 10 I think) this is the case for lvls 15-20, 25-30, 35-40 and so on. If you have a main you shouldn’t have money problems also not if you’ve picked 2 gathering proffesions (my priest alt has probably made about 20g and is only lvl 13 :P)

    I have something other to say to but I don’t have time now, will add it in the afternoon 🙂

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      Jan 9, 2009 @ 12:58

      Interesting, i neverInteresting, i never actually thought of that while leveling, but i’ve indeed noticed that my water sometimes didn’t replenish my mana bar fast enough :p

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    Jan 10, 2009 @ 13:25

    Talent buildThe other thing I wanted to say (sorry, had no time yesterday) is about your suggestions on talents and especially ice shards.

    I agree that it is a core talent for a frost mage, but as at the beginning your crit chance with spells is about 5% and maybe a bit more depending on your gear your damage output will not be that raised by that talent. I suggest waiting utnil you get shatter to optimize the combinations of these two.

    Also I would say to take Icy Veins, it’s only 1 point anyway and because some people don’t like to use spells on cd and hold them for a more difficult situtation I can guarrantee that I’m one of them and even if I feel bad everytime I do it use your spells, the cd will be over faster than you think. In this case I would suggest a macro if you don’t feel comfortable clicking each time on spell icon, because if I remember right Icy Veins doesn’t trigger the GCD.

    And last I would say to not take Cold as Ice immediatly as at this moment it only affects Cold Snap.

    So, I would say something like that (although it’s not that perfect just to get a general idea):

    10-14 : 5/5 Improved Frostbolt
    15-17 : 3/3 Frostbite
    18-19 : 2/3 Icy Floes
    20 : 1/1 Icy Veins
    21 : 3/3 Icy Floes
    22-24 : 3/3 Icy Shards
    25-27 : 3/3 Shatter
    28-29 : 2/2 Arctic Reach
    30 : 1/1 Cold Snap
    31-33 : 3/3 Frost Chanelling
    34 : 1/3 Piercing Ice
    35-37 : 3/3 Winter’s Chill
    38-39 : 3/3 Piercing Ice
    40 : 1/1 Ice Barrier
    41-42 : 2/2 Cold as Ice

    From here on just continue as you would, maybe only give less points to Arctic Winds.

    P.S. For AoE grinders I stronly recommend :
    impr Blizzard ofc
    Icy Veins
    Shattered Barrier
    improved Cone of Cold
    frost chaneling as blizzard uses lots of mana
    and permafrost is also nice

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      Jan 15, 2009 @ 10:32

      Very valid point indeed.

      IVery valid point indeed.

      I didn’t really think about the low crit chance at lower levels.

      I just went “if i crit, i want to crit BIG ! :p” even if i have 6% chance to crit only.

      If you really like Icy veins then yes, you can put it in your build and remove 1 point in Arctic Winds like you suggested.

      I will change the guide a little when i get some free time.

      Thanks for the great suggestions 🙂

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    Jan 21, 2009 @ 4:32

    Hello, Kwaice. I just wantedHello, Kwaice. I just wanted to offer to proofread the guide for you, if you wanted. I saw a few errors earlier, and I’m a grammar freak sometimes, haha. 😛

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      Jan 22, 2009 @ 10:58

      Yeah go ahead, english isn’tYeah go ahead, english isn’t my primary language so i am sure there are some errors here and there 😀

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    Fév 3, 2009 @ 13:26


    I’m currently levelingHi,

    I’m currently leveling a mage, ’till level 29. Then I’m gonna twink him. When I looked for a guide for mages, this was the first one I found. I’m using this guide and I love it.

    A few things I noticed:


    – You can color your links by putting the colour between the text, before the URL code. like this:

    [code] [ url=YourLinkHere][ColourTypeHere]TextHere[/color][ /url] [/code]

    This would be a nice addition for your spells. For instance, blue colour for Frost spells, and red for Fire.


    At ‘6. Gear’ you have ‘Critical Rating’, I think it should be ‘Critical strike rating’.

    At ‘6. Gear’, again. You say [b]INT[/b], you might want to say the full word, Intellect. Sounds a bit friendlier and nicer for new players, in my opinion. Same with Stamina and Spirit, in that section.


    You could replace all of the ‘i’ with capital ‘I’ if you mean ‘yourself’.

    There are alot of other things, but I wont nitpick any longer 😛 Outside of that, it’s a wonderful guide. Covered everything I would ever need for leveling.

    ~ Trollvink

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    Fév 5, 2009 @ 4:07

    Sorry for the long delay;Sorry for the long delay; I’ve been busy recently, I’ll finish it soon!

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    Fév 16, 2009 @ 14:53

    I love the guideI have been following the guide since level one and it has been a great help.

    I just wanted to point out that you get Ice Lance at 66.


    a.k.a. Sonnis on Anetheron

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      Fév 18, 2009 @ 7:57

      Oops, thanks, fixedOops, thanks, fixed 😀

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    Fév 19, 2009 @ 23:09

    Great guide. I do have aGreat guide. I do have a question, however. What rotation do you suggest at 75, after you switch specs to get Frostfire bolt?

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      Fév 21, 2009 @ 18:40

      Just frostfire boltJust frostfire bolt spam.

      You can’t start with Living Bomb or scorching the mob for the +crit chance right away or you’ll lose the range advantage.

      But if you like living bomb, you can go with

      Frostfire bolt (max range) > Living Bomb > Frostfire bolt spam.

      Mobs just die very very quick for Living Bomb to be worth casting anyway.

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        Fév 26, 2009 @ 1:01

        blast wave?I’m guessing I shouldn’t use pyroblast to start attacking, but at 75 should blast wave replace frost nova, and dragon breath replace cone of cold?

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          Mar 10, 2009 @ 13:34

          Yeah, those 2 attacks areYeah, those 2 attacks are very nice to cast if a mob manages to get close to you.

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    Fév 23, 2009 @ 21:52

    Frost AOE
    If you are going to level frost then AOE grinding is the only way to go IMHO. Frostbite = death wish for AOE

    It would be nice to have a Frost AOE guide. You can still follow Jame’s guide but AOE when you can pull a few (most of the time)

    DKs rule…others drool

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    Mar 10, 2009 @ 13:35

    I noticed that i talkedI noticed that i talked about living bomb and scorch in my last comment (Nyon’s question) when it’s not even in the spec i suggested so don’t take that comment into account, i had the raiding spec in head :p

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    Avr 2, 2009 @ 10:37

    ummmy frost bite talent only lasts about 2 seconds.

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    Avr 2, 2009 @ 10:44

    or maybe i just rememberedor maybe i just remembered it wrong

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    Avr 2, 2009 @ 15:48

    I disagree with the 6-11I disagree with the 6-11 rotation, its alot better to do a fireball from max range (35yd), then go for frostbolt untill the mob has 1/4 HP then use fireblast and then melee or a last frostbolt, the DoT helps alot.

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    Avr 16, 2009 @ 19:42

    after patch 3.1do you still recommend getting winters chill since it only gives 1% extra crit now after patch?

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      Avr 23, 2009 @ 10:49

      Yeah, crit makes for fasterYeah, crit makes for faster kills, even if it’s 5% less, it’s still nice. You also gain those 3% crit with your frostbolt.

      Beside, i don’t see where i would put those points instead.

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    Mai 12, 2009 @ 2:32

    talent calculatorGreat guide. Just wanted to say that now whenever i go to the talent calculator link shown after the frostfire blot section, im told access denied and it says i need a username and password. anyone know why this is?

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    Juin 15, 2009 @ 22:40

    Great guideWow, this is a great guide! My alt is a mage, and this is helping a LOT. Thanks!

    Also, I’d recommend one, and only one, point in Improved Blizzard, for the reason you spoke about — it slows AND gives you Frostbite -> Shatter chances. When I’m instancing, this annihilates mobs around the tank.

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    Août 2, 2009 @ 18:39

    MacrosI’ve been working on my macros lately and tried the conjuring food/water macro you have listed. It conjures perfectly but you say to left click to eat and it’s not doing it. Any suggestions

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      Août 18, 2009 @ 17:19

      CEO160 Yes mate that happened to me two the way t odo it it on the [button:2] make sure there is the : between the button and the 2 thats all there is to it

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    Août 25, 2009 @ 6:33

    Any chance you might beAny chance you might be updating this guide? From what I am reading some people suggest switching to more of a Arcane/Fire build once at level 70 to 80. Then jusing it for raiding at 80.

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    Young Blood
    Oct 5, 2009 @ 1:41

    Great guide, but I found gramatical error…This guide is AMAZING!!! It really helped me out a lot!!!! I did find one small problem. In section 3, for the description of Empowered Icebolt, you wrote “You also gain 0,2 sec casting time” when it should say 0.2 Thanks again. Keep up the great work!! Please.

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      Oct 5, 2009 @ 8:50

      Actually …Actually we Europeans always spell it like that. Depends on which continent you are I think 😛

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        Young Blood
        Oct 18, 2009 @ 8:10

        Wow!Wow thats really cool! Thanks for telling me. You learn something new every day I guess.

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    Déc 29, 2009 @ 12:55

    This guide is awesome, noThis guide is awesome, no doubt on that.
    But, the only small problem i found was the rotation,
    after level 74, you don’t tell us the new rotation for the fire spec,
    can you maybe update that?

    other than that, it’s a great guide:)

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    Mar 5, 2010 @ 2:16

    Excellent guide One thing IExcellent guide One thing I didn’t see though was the rotation for when after you get Frostfire bolt. Other than that, great guide! 🙂 🙂

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      Avr 14, 2010 @ 16:10

      The guide is clearlyThe guide is clearly outdated and i am not even sure i’d use frostfire if i was to level a mage again as it’s too reliant on crit for my taste.

      I should take some time to revamp it :d …

      It’s still a fun spec and if you go frostfire for leveling, the rotation is pretty simple: just chain frostfire bolt at max range. When hot streak procs, pyro.

      Blast wave and Dragon Breath mana cost is really low (7% of base mana) and can be used to gain back some distance if enemies manage to get close to you or to finish them.

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    Avr 2, 2010 @ 1:34

    Glyph suggestionI’ve found that the [url=]Glyph of Eternal Water[/url] has been awesome for leveling. Sure, you lose the rooting ability of the elemental (and the associated frostbolt crit) but you’ve got a DPS pet helping you the entire way. It’s helped my mage out a lot.

    A warning on it, though. Anytime you take a taxi, or log out, your pet will be gone. On the plus side, the CD on the summon spell starts as soon as you summon, so if your elemental dies you’ll likely be able to summon one right away.

    Hope this helps.

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      Mai 27, 2010 @ 15:36

      Indeed, i’ve been using itIndeed, i’ve been using it too on my mage reroll, along with the glyph of *gasp* mage armor since i dinged 34.

      The 70% mana regen while casting is awesome and i haven’t made water since like level 40 ? She is 67 now.

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        Juil 19, 2010 @ 12:23

        Thank you Lycander andThank you Lycander and Kwaice for your Glyph tips. I shall start moving my Mage now since I’m abit bored.

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    Août 4, 2010 @ 20:35

    Glyph of Slow FallI found glyph of slow fall to be a bit redundant if you master this one skill. When falling, right before you might meet your doom, you blink. Blinking resets your falling position and you don’t take as much damage or none at all! Of course you might as well take it since there aren’t that many other good minor glyphs.

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    Sep 10, 2010 @ 3:35

    Outdated?!?Maybe it’s just me, but I’m highly disappointed at the lack of updated guides. Not just this class, but across the site for the most part. And I know that everyone’s going to say, “Oh, but there’s no point in updating – until we find out what Cataclysm does!” My answer? That’s a load of CRAP… some of these guides are almost a year and a half to two years’ old.

    Perhaps it’s a product of the game itself. I’ve witnessed this phenomenon a bit myself, within my own guild. The push to raid, the emphasis on gearscores, armor sets, etc., has robbed a lot of the fun. Some of us are NEVER going to see ICC… For whatever reason, desire, play style, time constraints, etc.

    Some of us also like making and leveling alts… We could use current, updated information. Just because it’s free, shouldn’t make it worthless…

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      Sep 10, 2010 @ 4:21

      Hi there. Now, you areHi there.

      Now, you are entitled to believe whatever you want here, but I’m getting this sense that you think the contributors to this site are doing this full time and getting paid. You seem to think we aren’t updating some of these guides because we are being lazy.

      In that, you are quite mistaken – we are all gamers in our off time, just like you, and we all have real jobs or school, not to mention friends and family and actually playing the game, that take up time. So you see, we don’t have endless hours to devote to the game.

      We have to do a little something called [b]prioritizing[/b].

      While I’d love to have an infinite amount of time in which to update every single guide on this site (I’m not being sarcastic, I LOVE making guides and that would be pretty awesome) – I just don’t. I work and go to school, run a guild, and try to have some kind of social life as well. I just don’t have time to update everything, and while there are other contributors to the site, they are often in the same situation as I am. We are all VOLUNTEERS and we volunteer as much as we can, but that’s not enough to do everything and make everyone happy.

      I am aware that you may have different priorities than I do, and that’s fine. But since I’m the one volunteering my time and effort and not you, I get to decide what to update first. And I think for most of our users, we’d rather have some out of date guides now and have everything ready for launch date of cataclysm, than trying to play the catch up game now and have nothing ready at launch. Again, this is an opinion – you’re entitled to yours.

      Do please think about what you are doing next time, however, when you go on about how disappointed you are with people who are doing something for nothing that you are getting enjoyment out of. None of us are obligated to create this content for you to use – please keep that in mind. I’m not trying to say you shouldn’t give suggestions or offer constructive criticism, but to be honest your comment rankled a bit and is a slap in the face for all the authors here on the site working their butts off so you can freely enjoy their creations.

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    Oct 20, 2010 @ 23:22

    Moved to Archive SectionWe are recently working on improving the quality of content here on, both by limiting low ranked guides and by moving out of date guides into archives. For more information, see [url=]the full news post detailing this process[/url].

    Your guide has been moved to the archive section for the following reasons:
    [list][*]The guide is significantly out of date.[/list]

    If you improve your guide to address these issues, you are welcome to move the guide back to it’s proper category. If someone else would like to adopt the guide, please leave a comment.

    If you have any questions about this process, feel free to comment here.

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    Juil 24, 2018 @ 10:37

    Talents from lvl 75Hello! I’ve found out that the link with the talents from lvl 75 isn’t working anymore. Maybe somebody has it, or somebody can help me with this.

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      Août 11, 2018 @ 19:43

      RE: Talents from lvl 75. Things have changed considerably since this was written, which is why it has been moved to the archive section.  It was well written at the time and some amount of the content is still useful.  That being said, I think the link you refer to was a link to Wowheads talent calculater which doesnt exist anymore in that format, since talents don’t exist in that format.  If you want current talent / spec information I would suggest Icy Veins or Wowhead.

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