State of mage as a new long term main?

Im tired of swapping mains and having dozens of alts.

And I’m kind of tired of filling what my team needs so I finally want to get myself a longtime main and I narrowed it down to warlock or mage.

How are mages right now overall? How do their specs tend to fair in m+ and raids every tier?

And why do you find yourself playing mage over other classes?

I want something that I can stick to and it will have the highest chance of being always viable/meta so pugging is easier. And can do fine in pve and pvp so I can really do everything on this character like mount farming, rep farming, achievment hunting, etc.

Also whats your favorite alliance race for mages?

If you want what’s the best out of all longterm, then there’s obviously no real way of saying which one will stick longterm. However, as of right now it’s warlock by a mile with destro and demo. Like, the gap in power is that wide.

However, that does not mean that mage is a hulking pile of trash. Certain specs right just make other feel inferior by comparison. So, lock for the best and mage if you can’t deal with lock, but still want something that’s good :+1:


I love warlock to be honest but i’ve played it enough that besides the really fun moments with tyrant or destro aoe, the rest is kinda… mind numbing.

I am also worried about the state of their specs long term because they can be really hit or miss from what I have experianced. Right now they dominate but next patch they could be gone.

From what I understanding mages are a bit more reliable in that regard, plus I think thr rotation for far is a bit more fun (might be because its new)

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In mythic+ its between frost and fire for what’s the best out of the 3. Arcane is still serviceable and can get the job done… but frost and fire just does what it can do, but better.

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Awesome, when I play something I like to play all 3 specs even if I mainly just play one of them. Hows leveling as a mage? And what alliance race do you think makes a good looking mage?

Leveling is okay. In my experience i was switching between all 3, but used frost for all of revendreth. Other people have differing experiences though.

As for the race, ive always felt that draenei was the best looking… imo :sweat_smile:

Mages almost always have at least one average spec. Most tiers they have an S rank spec, but this is the first tier in a while where we don’t. Fire and frost are still decent but most groups prefer a hunter for the lust class and a destro lock.

Regardless, mages seem to be a decent long term main. You’ll usually be competitive in one spec.

Frost for leveling for sureeeee. More util, and you can talent into a pet.

The reason i chose mage as my main.

I have been druid since 2008 during wrath and watch as blizzard slowly butchered feral druid dps.

I took a year hiatus from shadowlands and returned with renewed vigor after i saw the dragonflight reveal.

I came back to my druid and decided to seriously raid and finish up loremaster and transmog, but i felt something lacking and just got bored…I just didnt feel excited to play as druid.

So I decided to reroll and find a new main and saw fire mage in one of my raids and was just wowed (pun inteded).

I was in awe so i thought about it. I love the alliance and i had void elves unlocked so i decided to create a void elf mage and i knew in lore high elves were magic users. Im glad i did, the burst is crazy and the dps is fine and for once i dont have to hug a boss’s butt in order to dps. I can throw fire balls from afar.

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I decided to go lightforged, one of the few times I can go LF Draenei (since they look best with robes) and I could get the heritage armor. It’s been fun so far!

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I had a lightforged fire mage in BFA but I was too stuck on my druid. So I deleted that mage and went back druid. Now. I’m having way too much fun on my fire mage this time around.

Fire is the one spec I am uncomfortable playing so far, I know how to play frost and arcane but fire? It kinda intimidates me! lol

Blizzard has a penchant for always nerfing mage down to average when they have anything nice. Other classes are allowed to be top for extended periods of time, but mages almost never. The worst part is that they like to nerf the base kit based on borrowed power. So if you’re not running bis or have the right legendaries you’re trash and leveling is always trash.

Also rune of power is used for high end performance on the class, it’s very clunky to pull off. I’m considering abandoning the game or my mage for good because i’ve kind of had it with how blizz has approached this class, but i still find its rotation and fantasy fun.

If you follow cookie cutter builds you’ll be decent. If you don’t, heaven help you.

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This is the first character I made in TBC. I have never had to sit out a tier I wanted to play. There were absolutely tiers where a mage was not brought to the WF kill of the final raid boss, but that’s not anyone here.

Mages have never been and likely never will be ‘unviable.’ But that’s also true for warlocks. Depending on how sweaty your team is they may only bring one of each

If I had to say it I would say Warlock is much more enjoyable overall than mage. The tier sets are s+ and I know how to play it, its great so soloint, etc.

In comparison Mage is less enjoyable overall but in playstyle I would say it’s probably slightly more enjoyable then Warlock. The tiet sucks suck (my opinion) but they bring lust and have portals which is nice. Them being more popular makes it lose some points for me.

So its kinda now its kinda 70(warlock)/30(mage) but logically mage is a safer choice for a long term main because of the specs plus portals make farming easier. This is why its so hard for me


You do know the mage brought to one of the first world clears at the beginning of TBC was solely for the ports and food, right? in a 25 man team? IIRC, one of the first raids in TBC was cleared using shadow priests and Warlocks as their primary DPS comp with Curse of shadows and shadow weaving giving crazy damage. No intelligent guild leader of a normal guild should ever tell a good player to sit out when their DPS class isn’t FoTm, but I feel mage is kept very middling, which is annoying in context, because it’s not like it’s a great solo class, and a primary DPS class should have occaisional moments in the sun. And it’s even more annoying when they balance class mechanics and abilities around temporary power boosts. In fairness I’ve played Vanilla, TBC, Legion and BFA, so I missed Pandaria’s insanity that was great for mages, but it’s been a while. Also there needs to be good builds that don’t involve RoP clunkiness. BFA arcane was insane where meta was to squeeze all your damage into a 10 second window with trinkets that give temporary power boosts. And it’s not like it was amazing. It was a lot of work to be “okay” and have 0 cleave.

You seem unsure yourself about the specifics

It absolutely has. I skipped mop and wod entirely myself and didn’t play cata/legion/most of bfa seriously but off the top of my head I can point to cata fire and bfa s4 fire

I enjoy rop and have never found it clunky personally. It has an 8 yd range, gives you plenty of space to bait mechanics slightly off to the side then move to the other side. Can be done in the middle of a rotation with fire and frost.

Idk sounds like we’re enjoying the game differently, which is cool, but maybe you would enjoy warlock more?

Excellent choice! The updated Draenei customizations are quite nice, but I am rather envious of the hoof plates LF get.

You seem unsure yourself about the specifics

The only thing I don’t remember clearly was which raid it was. I clearly remember the comp, and even the damage combo if you’re paying attention. If you want even more technical details, mage was the only caster class to get a coefficient penalty for investing in talents for improving their bolt spells.

It absolutely has. I skipped mop and wod entirely myself and didn’t play cata/legion/most of bfa seriously but off the top of my head I can point to cata fire and bfa s4 fire

Okay, so recent history: 1 season in the last 4 years, for 1 spec. Great. As someone who doesn’t play fire, I wasn’t happy. Frost in fairness was strong S4 too, but it was noIL, and all based on borrowed power, which is one of my main complaints in my other posts. Fire was using borrowed power as well too (see mechagon bracers). Looking at charts on Logs, I just felt other DPS classes were more consistently getting specs stronger all throughout BFA and it wasn’t all borrowed power holding them up.

Idk sounds like we’re enjoying the game differently, which is cool, but maybe you would enjoy warlock more?

Maybe, but that’s basically what blizz has been trying to get me to do since TBC, and tbh, I like mage fantasy a bit more. Rerolling to a different fantasy because the devs treat it like the teachter’s pet isn’t fun or a good answer.


Everyone’s different insight has help a lot. I don’t personal mind Rune of Power but I also play ffxiv and have played Black Mage where they have leylines so maybe I am just use to that type of thing.

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I’ve been playing black mage in ff and it is tons of fun. Someone told me that black mage in ff is what arcane wishes it was and after trying it and feeling a bit of what it has to offer… I’d agree 100%

Even though there’s a lot of emphasis on buffing yourself and keeping your buffs up it is 100% worth it and the payoff does not disappoint. You feel powerful with perfect or near perfect execution. It kind of makes arcane in wow feel very sad conceptually :sweat_smile: