The overall role of the mage in Cataclysm, as in any other iteration of WoW, is that of a damage dealer. What changes in Cataclysm is that the mage will be more useful to others, so much so that you might actually get a random raid invitation instead of a request to chauffeur people to one.
In addition; the introduction of class mastery in Cataclysm and the related changeover to a 31- point talent tree will affect mages in the same way it affects everyone else. You’ll need to identify your specialization tree upfront and whatever you pick determines what special spell and bonus you will get.
Dwarf, Goblin, Night Elf, Orc, Worgen
NEW MACE SPELLS
Flame Orb: Launch a flame orb forward from the mage’s position, dealing a certain amount of fire damage every second to the closest enemy target for 15 seconds. What’s different about this spelt is that it requires you to point in the direction of your target, which you may or may not hit depending on your aim and their ability to avoid it. The spell can be enhanced by spending at least six talent points in the Fire tree to get a 33% to 100% chance of the orb exploding at the end of the 15-second period.
Time Warp: Warp the flow of time, increasing melee, ranged, and spell casting speed by 30% for all party and raid members. It lasts for 40 seconds and is mutually exclusive with the shaman buffs,’ Bloodlust, and Heroism. The recipient can only get the buff once every 10 minutes. While this is a strange spell for a mage to have in her arsenal, it nevertheless increases her value in a raid.
Ring of Frost: Summon a ring of frost, taking three seconds to coalesce. Enemies entering the fully formed ring will become frozen for 10 seconds. This lasts for 12 seconds and has a 10-yard radius. Since you can’t expect smart enemies to knowingly enter a forming ring of frost, this is more of a defensive spell and would be most useful in protecting squishies or perhaps battleground targets.
At the outset, mages will have to choose from three specialization paths: Arcane, Fire, or Frost. All three are damage paths, but you get 25% more damage from the spells specific to your chosen path. You also get one spell and one passive skill accordingly.
For the Arcane path, you get Arcane Barrage, which is an instant-cast spell, and Mans Adept, a passive skill that increases all spell damage output in proportion to your remaining mana. In other words, as an Arcane Mage, you’ll want a really high mans pool and to practice mana conservation to be more effective.
For the Fire path, you get Pyroblast, a high- damage opening spell that also does damage over time. The related passive skill is Flashbum, which ups your periodic fire damage effects by an additional 20%.
Frost mages get the Water Elemental pet, plus Frostburn, a passive skill that increases the damage done by spells against frozen targets by an additional 20%.
Undoubtedly, Time Warp adds a new dimension to the mage’s role in raids. Arcane mages will still have the raid advantage with the Arcane Tactics and Focus Magic talents, as these provide additional damage and crit buffs to party members. But with the new spell being accessible to everyone, the higher damage and better crowd control that Fire and Frost bring, respectively, might even things out.
Click here for World of Warcraft Cataclysm Walkthrough Mage Build Guide