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Legion Class Preview: Mage

by - 2 years ago

The Mage Legion class preview blog post went up today detailing mostly quality of life changes, as well as some cool new active talents. Below, we’ve summarized the changes to each of the class’s specs, including ability, talent, and rotation changes.

Key Points

  • Mages are in a good place as far as spec identity, resource management, and mechanics
  • Conjure Refreshment now passively provides a food stack for Mages
  • Mages in a raid team will automatically provide a Conjured Refreshment Table
  • Arcane’s resource, Arcane Charges, now has its own resource bar on the character plaque
  • Fire’s Combustion, Ignite, and Inferno Blast have been simplified
  • Frost will no longer use Frostfire Bolt, but will focus more on Frozen Orb

 

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment (Official Post)

In terms of spec definition and overall design changes, Mages lay in contrast to the classes we’ve talked about so far in this series. Mages are in a very strong place compared to most classes, both thematically and mechanically. There’s a lot of distinction among Arcane, Fire, and Frost Mages, with each type of caster specializing heavily in a single school of magic, and each of the three schools having strong themes and consistent properties. Arcane magic warps time and space, and controls the flow of mana; Fire magic unleashes destructive force that spreads chaotically; and Frost slows and controls, setting foes up for devastating strikes.

Arcane

Like all Mage specs, Arcane is already in a good place, but will see several improvements. First, Arcane Charges will no longer show as a tiny debuff next to the mini-map–they will instead be part of your name plaque underneath your mana. Second is its new Mastery, which “increases your maximum Mana by a percentage, and increases the damage bonus from Arcane Charges.”

Personally, I think the new Displacement ability, on a 1.5 minute cooldown, will be an interesting game changer for Arcane, which has struggled with mobility. For four seconds, it allows the caster to freecast Blink without triggering its cooldown.

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment (Official Post)

Core Combat Ability Changes

  • Arcane Blast
    • 5% Mana, 40 yd range, 2.25 sec cast
    • Blasts the target with energy, dealing moderate Arcane damage and generating an Arcane Charge.
    • Arcane Blast’s damage is increased by 50% per Arcane Charge, and its Mana cost is increased by 100% per Arcane Charge.
  • Arcane Missiles
    • 40 yd range, Channeled
    • Launches five waves of Arcane Missiles at the enemy over 2 sec, causing minor Arcane damage per wave. Generates an Arcane Charge.
    • Arcane Missiles’ damage is increased by 50% per Arcane Charge.
    • Arcane Missiles has a chance to be activated after each of your damaging spell casts. Limit 3 charges.
  • Arcane Barrage
    • 0.5% Mana, 40 yd range, Instant, 3 sec cooldown
    • Launches bolts of arcane energy at the enemy target, causing strong Arcane damage. Consumes all Arcane Charges.
    • Arcane Barrage’s damage is increased by 50% per Arcane Charge, and it hits 1 additional nearby target per Arcane Charge for 50% damage.
  • Evocation
    • Channeled, 1.5 min cooldown
    • Gain 25% of your total Mana instantly, and another 75% of your total mana over 6 sec.
  • Mastery: Savant
    • Increases your Mana regeneration rate and maximum Mana by 20% (with Mastery from typical gear).
    • Arcane Charges increase the damage of affected spells by an additional 10% (with Mastery from typical gear).
  • Displacement
    • Instant, 1.5 min cooldown
    • For the next 4 sec, casting Blink will not trigger its cooldown

 

Select Talent Changes

  • Quickening
    • Passive
    • Arcane Blast and Arcane Missiles also grant 2% Haste for 6 sec, stacking.
    • This effect is cleared when you cast Arcane Barrage.

Fire

Again, Fire is mostly in a good spot (although personally I think it needs some strong buffs for viability, but that’s a different topic). Inferno Blast will no longer spread Ignite and grant a Hot Streak. Ignite now spreads on its own (no micro-management necessary!) and Inferno blast is off the global cooldown, meaning you can fish for Hot Streaks to your heart’s content.

Additionally, Combustion has been simplified, and Cinderstorm is a new active talent that projects 6 cinders in an arc to damage multiple enemies–sounds neat!

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment (Official Post)

Core Combat Ability Changes

  • Fireball
    • 4% Mana, 40 yd range, 2.25 sec cast
    • Throw a fiery ball that causes moderate Fire damage.
  • Hot Streak
    • Passive
    • Getting 2 direct-damage critical strikes in a row will make your next Pyroblast or Flamestrike spell instant cast, and cause double the normal Ignite damage.
    • Developer Comment:
      • You may not start a new streak (aka, gain Heating Up), while a Hot Streak is already active
      • It was never our intention for players to sit with a Hot Streak active, then keep fishing for another Heating Up before throwing instant Pyro out—in general, we don’t like the game telling you to press a button when you shouldn’t
  • Inferno Blast
    • 2% Mana, 40 yd range, Instant, 12 sec recharge, 2 charges
    • Blasts the enemy for moderate Fire damage. This damage is always a critical strike.
    • Inferno Blast is not on the global cooldown, and can be cast while casting other spells.
  • Pyroblast
    • 5% Mana, 40 yd range, 4.5 sec cast
    • Hurl an immense fiery boulder that causes massive Fire damage.
  • Combustion
    • 10% Mana, Instant, 2 min
    • Engulf yourself in flames, increasing your critical strike chance by 100% for 10 sec.
    • Also grants you Mastery equal to your Critical Strike stat.
  • Mastery: Ignite
    • Your target burns for an additional 30% (with Mastery from typical gear) over 9 sec of the total direct damage caused by your Fireball, Inferno Blast, Scorch, Pyroblast, and Flamestrike. If this effect is reapplied, any remaining damage will be added to the new Ignite.
    • Every 2 sec, your Ignites may spread to another nearby enemy.

Select Talent Changes

  • Cinderstorm
    • 1% Mana, 40 yd range, 1.5 sec cast, 8 sec cooldown
    • Throw a spread of 6 cinders that travel in an arc, and each deal minor Fire damage to enemies they hit.

Frost

Easily already the most popular Mage spec, with pretty sweet effects and mechanics, Frost found the least amount of changes. Frostfire Bolt has been removed, and in its place Frozen Orb will play a greater part in Frost Mage rotations (the justification being that fire would logically nullify the frost part of the projectile–keks–and that it dilutes spec identity).

The new active talent Glacial Spike (*cough Diablo reference cough*) allows players to opt for spending all their Icicles at once instead of firing them with Ice Lance. It seems to play into the fantasy of setting up huge attacks with smaller ones and CC, and then unleashing Glacial Spike’s massive damage. It requires all 5 Icicles.

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment (Official Post)

Core Combat Ability Changes

  • Frost Bolt
    • 4% Mana, 40 yd range, 2 sec cast
    • Launches a bolt of frost at the enemy, causing moderate Frost damage and slowing movement speed by 30% for 15 sec.
  • Frozen Orb
    • 10% Mana, 40 yd range, Instant, 1 min cooldown
    • Launches an orb of swirling ice forward, dealing minor Frost damage every 1 sec to all nearby enemy targets for 10 sec. Grants the Mage 1 charge of Fingers of Frost when it first reaches a target.
    • Targets damaged by the Frost Orb are slowed by 30% for 2 sec.
  • Ice Lance
    • 1% Mana, 40 yd range, Instant.
    • Quickly fling a shard of ice at the target, dealing minor Frost damage.
    • Ice Lance damage is doubled against frozen targets.
  • Brain Freeze
    • Passive
    • Your Frostbolts have a 10% chance to reset the cooldown of Frozen Orb.
  • Fingers of Frost
    • Passive
    • Your successful Frostbolt hits have a 15% chance, and your Blizzard and Frozen Orb ticks have a 5% chance to grant you the Fingers of Frost effect.
    • The Fingers of Frost effect causes your next Ice Lance to act as if your target were frozen, and deal 140% increased damage.
  • Shatter
    • Passive
    • Multiplies the critical strike chance of your spells against Frozen targets by 1.5, and adds an additional 50% chance.
  • Mastery: Icicles
    • When you damage enemies with Frostbolt, 45% (with Mastery from typical gear) of the damage done is stored as an Icicle with you, for 30 sec. Also increases the damage that your Water Elemental deals by 45% (with Mastery from typical gear).
    • Up to 5 Icicles can be stored at once. Excess Icicles that are generated will be automatically launched. Casting Ice Lance causes any Icicles to begin launching at the target.

 

Select Talent Changes

  • Glacial Spike
    • 1% Mana, 40 yd range, 3 sec cast
    • Conjure a massive spike of ice, and merge your current Icicles into it. It impales your target, dealing massive damage, plus the damage stored in your Icicles.
    • Requires 5 Icicles to cast.
    • Also freezes the target in place for up to 4 sec. Damage caused may interrupt the effect.
    • Passive: Ice Lance no longer launches Icicles.

Class Changes Overview Blog Schedule

Later today, Paladins will be in the spotlight.

  1. Sunday (11/8): Hunter
  2. Monday (11/9): Priest, Mage, Paladin
  3. Tuesday (11/10): Warlock, Death Knight, Shaman
  4. Wednesday (11/11): Warrior, Monk, Druid
  5. Thursday (11/12): Rogue

Seth Harkins

PC gamer and lover of (most) things Blizzard. In his off time, he writes bad fan fiction, tends to his growing number of house plants, and enjoys a love-hate relationship with two cats.