If you’re looking for a solid ranged DPS class, you can’t go wrong with a Mage.
Mages are versatile, mobile damage dealers that come with a heap of useful abilities, and each Mage spec is useful for different parts of the game.
Whether you enjoy throwing spells at ferocious bosses, exploring old Raids for interesting transmog, or battling foes in PVP Arenas, there’ll be a Mage spec to suit you.
This guide breaks down the best Mage spec in Dragonflight for a variety of playstyles, looking at everything from Mythic+ Dungeons and PVP Arenas, to soloing old Raids for Battle Pets.
Best Solo Leveling Mage Spec
While all three Mage specs are great for leveling up and getting geared, I’d personally recommend sticking to a Frost Mage for quick, easy leveling. They have some great abilities that help with solo content, and the rotation is decently easy to pick up.
That’s not to say Frost Mages are easy, by any means.
But if you’re new to playing a ranged DPS and you want a spec to learn that will feel rewarding, Frost Mage is one of the coolest specs to sink your time into.
One of the best things about leveling with a Frost Mage is that the spec offers lots of mobility and mob management abilities.
This means that if you get into any sticky situations while leveling up, you can hit a group of mobs with Frost Nova or Cone of Cold, and Blink away to a safe distance.
There are plenty of damage mitigation choices on offer in the Frost Mage talent tree that are great for leveling up and staying alive, too.
Being able to use Alter Time alongside spells like Ice Barrier and Ice Block is great for staying in one piece while doing dungeons to level or while pulling large groups of mobs for a fetch quest.
The movement, mitigation, and survivability skills that Frost Mages have make them incredible for leveling, especially when you consider the standard Mage benefits like being able to Blink, conjure food, buff, and teleport, too.
Again, you can level comfortably with any Mage spec. But from my personal experience, playing a Frost Mage gives you great control and survivability while you’re leveling. It’s also an incredibly fun spec to play, and using it during Dungeons or RBGs while leveling is a blast.
Best Mage Spec for PVP Arenas
Mages have always been a popular choice for Arenas, especially when it comes to popular comps like RMX and RMPal. Every Mage specialization is viable in Arenas to some extent, but one that stands out in terms of pure damage potential and lethality at the time of writing is Fire.
Fire Mages have some incredibly punchy damage options and a wide variety of abilities that makes them suitable for a lot of different match-ups.
Fire Mages also have a lot of survivability, with multiple moves like Blazing Barrier and Cauterize to help keep them alive for longer. This combined with the increased mobility of the spec makes them ideal for Arenas, as they can zip around and bypass enemies with ease.
The standard Mage talent tree abilities make Fire Mages especially suitable for PVP Arenas.
Being able to Blink through damage and use Frost and Arcane abilities alongside your Fire moves is incredibly handy, making Fire Mages one of the most versatile damage dealers for Arena fans to consider picking up.
Best PVP Mage Spec for Battlegrounds
As with the Arena segment, you could argue for any of the Mage specs being the best pick for Battlegrounds to some extent. My recommendation, though, is to opt for Frost if you want to maintain a good level of control over your enemies.
Fire is a close second, as the mobility it offers is unmatched.
The main reason I’d recommend Frost Mages for Battlegrounds is the wide variety of snares, roots, and damage mitigation options. They’ve also got some great AOE abilities which are useful if you’re rushing a particular location or if you end up on your own.
Splitting Ice is another useful ability to have on hand in a Battleground. Being able to split your damage when fighting in a team situation is a great asset and can help to make the difference between winning and losing.
The addition of Dragon’s Breath to the Frost Mage rotation has given them extra utility in PVP. While Fire and Arcane Mages can certainly pull off some incredible feats in Battlegrounds, Frost Mages stand out as being the most versatile and suitable for this particular kind of PVP.
Strongest Solo Shuffle Mage Spec
The easiest way to answer the question of ‘which Mage spec is the best for Solo Shuffle queues’ is to look at the spec that isn’t the best. Arcane is a great specialization and can do a mountain of damage, but it’s simply not as good as Frost or Fire in the current meta.
Both Frost and Fire Mages have incredible survivability, which is one of the key factors you’ll want to look at when picking out a Solo Shuffle specialization.
They’re a little squishy without the right gear, but if you opt for a build that prioritizes movement and use your trinkets well then you shouldn’t have any issue facing off against foes in this style of play.
Something that makes Fire Mages particularly great for Solo Shuffle battles is that they don’t have immensely long cooldown windows and don’t require too much in the way of casting requirements, either. Even in-between Pyroblasts, there’s plenty that a Fire Mage can do to keep an enemy at arms reach.
Where Fire Mages shine with damage and sustained output, Frost Mages glimmer with damage mitigation and longevity. They can withstand a lot of damage, and they’re quite flexible in terms of fitting into different comps, too.
Arcane is absolutely viable and worth trying at least once in Solo Shuffle queues, but the best specs right now for Mage players are Frost and Fire, without a doubt.
Best Mage Specialization for PVE
While Arcane isn’t currently the ideal pick for most PVP scenarios, it’s doing incredibly well in both the Raiding and Mythic+ communities right now. It’s a heavy-hitting spec that can make quick work of most end-game bosses, providing you have the right gear.
One of the best things about picking up the Arcane Mage spec for a PVE scenario is that it offers a high level of burst damage. This applies to both single-target fights and multiple target fights, making this spec an incredibly versatile one.
Another brilliant thing about the Arcane spec to consider as a PVE fan is their exceptional survivability, thanks to both the Arcane talent tree and the standard Mage tree.
Prismatic Barrier is one move that particularly stands out. This ability costs 3% of your base mana, but it absorbs a set amount of damage (based on your stats), limits the duration of magic effects used against you, and reduces damage taken by 15% for a minute.
While there is a lot to love about the Arcane spec as a PVE fan, it’s important to remember that this spec is one with quite a high skill cap.
It requires decent planning and strong mana management, and a good sense of timing as well. It’s also a lot of fun to play, but it’s worth considering this before trying it out.
Best Mage Spec for Soloing Old Content
If you’re a fan of tackling old content for rare mounts, pets, and transmogs, you should consider playing an Arcane Mage. They’re the most suitable Mage type for soloing old content, and they can help make your single player runs a lot smoother.
One of the main reasons that Arcane Mages are great for soloing old content is that they have the Arcane Familiar ability, which summons a cute wisp that helps to do damage. Having a pet handy is always great for solo work, as they can help pull aggro and survive tricky encounters, too.
They’ve also got plenty of damage output potential, which will help you take down old Raid or Dungeon bosses quickly.
Content from older expansions doesn’t take long to complete nowadays in Dragonflight, and Arcane Mages can make incredibly quick work of it.
This spec has particularly good burst damage, which is useful for burning down old bosses quickly. They’ve got great mobility options too, making it much easier to zip about different raids and work on larger mob pulls.
What to Do When You’ve Picked Your Spec
Once you’ve picked which type of Mage you want to play as, here’s what I’d recommend doing next to make your in-game experience even better:
- If you’re making a brand new character, look into some speed leveling routes and methods to help make your Dragonflight leveling experience a breeze.
- If you’re a PVP fan, read up about Rogue specs and Warlock specs. Rogues are common partners for Mages in Arenas, and Warlocks are one of the ranged classes that can seriously give Mages a run for their money. It’s good to understand how both play.
- If you’re a PVE fan, keep an eye on which specs are popular in end-game content at the moment. While you don’t need to know how every spec and class plays, it’s good to know what’s popular so you know where you might need to do extra burst damage or AoE damage to help support the team.
I’m a huge fan of Mages and if you’ve never leveled one up before, I’d highly recommend getting one to max level. They’re viable in both PVP and PVE, and they’re also very useful for farming mobs and making gold, too, as they have good AoE damage.