Looking for Help with EpicAdvice.com

We've recently published a new blog post explaining what's going on with EpicAdvice.com and are looking for someone to work with us to improve the site. If you're interested, have some ideas and want to know more, check out our blog post and feel free to email us at team@epicadvice.com. - Jesta

How do you kill a mage



I'm playing a mage and i love it. I've rolled arcane in pvp and it's working okay (my dear priest, thank you for heals!)

I know how to play mage, however what i lack is knowledge of other classes - i.e. what abilities and tricks they will use to kill me.

So dear rogues, pallies, druids, etc, etc, please share your best practice to kill a mage (pref arcane). I want to know the enemy better :)


This should probably be a community wiki, as no single answer will be correct. – Wridel (Oct 12 2009 12:32 PM)

9 Answer(s)

Sort by... votes newest



I can answer your question two different ways:

1 Generally:

The mages strength in PVP is the ability to kite and evade. As a rule of thumb, if the other player is engaged before they are able to get in close to your thin cloth robes, the burst damage and snare/slow abilities of the mage will win out. The key to killing a mage usual lies in the initial engagement of the caster. Rogues with their Steath abilities, a Paladin's Judgement of Justice, Druids' Entangling roots, a Warrior's Charge, tend to be the bane of a mages PVP existance.

2 Rogue-Specific:

Playing a rogue as my main, I have come up against mages in world PVP and BGs numerous times. Usually, at the onset of the engagement, the person who strikes first will eventually become victorious. If the mage is able to detect the rogue, or see it coming from afar, the rogue will have a hard time getting in close/avoid being kited by the mages abilities, (arcane = slow, blizzard, frostbolt, etc.) If, however, the rogue is able to get in close before being detected, a flurry of blades and stuns will surely send the clothie to the nearest graveyard. Battles between mages and rogues, if started fairly evenly, usually comes down to a trinket/mana/energy battle. Forcing the opponent to use their special abilities, (rogue: vanish, shadowstep, CoS; mage: frost nova, slow, blink) before using your own can greatly push the advantage to your own favor.

Also, as a rogue, two things you can do to gain slight advantages when you DO get close enough to hit a mage lies in your poisons - Crippling Poison to hinder the kiting tendency of the mage, as well as Mind-Numbing Poison to slow casting time.



Myself being a mage, and having pvp'd quite a bit, I can tell you what I've found most troubling. Keeping Arena aside, as that is another matter entirely...

Rogues usually are subtlety when they pvp, so I've found that they will most likely come up from behind, start off with a stun and a few attacks.. Mages being squishy they can get us down pretty quickly, blink out of the stun, they follow up with shadow step if they are high enough, and if not, sprint and probably kidney shot to stun again and kill is that way. I find that rogues will go for stun locks on most people, but it is particularly effective against us mages, as we don't have much health to back us up.

Druids are a pain to kill. If they are bear they do a lot of damage due to our low armor and therefore low physical damage mitigation, kitties do the rogue things and get the jump on us, and do a lot of damage quickly. Having potions that increase stealth detection are very helpful to counter this. Knowing when to hit frost nova can really help, and being able to see the stealthed characters will be of great help.

Prot Warriors hurt.. and they've got spell reflect, so, it just generally sucks. If you know when to not cast, they shouldn't cause much trouble for you. Most melee classes can beat us as we have low armor and low health.

Arms/Fury warriors.. a lot of physical damage really quickly, plus hamstring, so even if we blink, we aren't going anywhere quickly. Unless you are a human or a gnome and can use your racial to get out of it, you'd have to use your pvp trinket, and then if they do it again, you're in trouble. Whirlwind and bladestorm hurt.

Ret Pallies, Repentance followed up by crusader strike, divine storm and again, melee damage against low health low armor clothies, it kills quickly. Range is your friend. But they can still stun, and even if you get them low, they bubble, we can't remove it, and its generally not a pleasant experience.

Prot Pallies, takes longer to kill us, but they have more health, so they can widdle us down before we can kill them.

Hunters, they also are ranged, so you'd want to get in close. But, their pet is where you'd need to worry about most. If you can get rid of that, dispatching the hunter shouldn't be too hard. Again though, its ranged physical damage along with ranged magic damage. We have low armor and health. I recommend presence of mind and polymorph to instant sheep a pet then nuke the hunter.

Shadowpriests, they've got silence and dots. You'll eventually die. Can't do much against silence.. Some have their fear, which also isn't nice.

Disc Priests take longer to kill as they can bubble and similar to fighting all healers.. they can widdle you down over time. So unless you can kill them, its a long and slow death.

Other Mages, some arcane mages have imp counter spell, so, as with shadow priests, can't do much against silence. In that time period burst damage will come at you must likely. Low health = death. If your opponent is another arcane mage, most likely, they'll hit up arcane power and icy veins, if they are arcane frost, followed with an arcane blast spam and arcane missiles should missile barrage proc. Pure frost, or frostfire/frostarc, will most likely use icy veins and just come at you with frostbolts or maybe the odd fireball if brainfreeze procs. Fire mages, probably will hit combustion plus icy veins if frostfire, or if fire/arc they might just hit combustion and leave it at that. In my experience, all mages might use this time... or just before engaging, use mirror image, if at 80. Each mage being different, there is a lot you might have to deal with, which is why I hate fighting other mages, as much as I hate fighting warlocks and hunters.

Warlocks. Nasty pet, felhunter that can silence and eat your buffs. They've got fear, and they've got dots. The dots, even with resilience with take out quite a bit of your health. We have no way to heal ourselves. Lots of dots, plus pet damage, silence, fears. Hunters and Warlocks are your enemies, and their pets are annoying. Warlock pets can't be sheeped though. They've also got more health, so...

That's just my advice though, from what I've encountered in my pvp experiences.


Good, informative and well rounded answer, but can you proofread your post a bit? "In that time period burst damage will come at you must likely." What? – Wridel (Oct 12 2009 12:37 PM)


The person asking the question being a mage, I didn't necessarily see the need to go in depth, as the person asking would probably know. But should they not have known, I've gone and edited it, adding in a longer explanation on what I feel would be done. – Solon Tofusin (Oct 12 2009 1:24 PM)


Tbh, for a Mage, hunter pets won't be too hard to kill. Just 2 Arcane Blasts and its dead, and the Hunter is pretty much dead without its pet. – Clbull (Oct 13 2009 6:24 PM)


Thanks for this one! Personally I find it very difficult to fight warriors, dics priests and resto druids. Asasination rogues as well of course. And the easiest seem to be boomkins and frost mages (which makes sense). – Nevermind (Oct 14 2009 9:26 AM)



Retribution Paladin

As a Ret pally mage is one of my biggest problems in PvP. As paladin's we dont have too much in terms of magic resists so our biggest friend is our bubble.

I try to come in on a mage with Repentance, because my Hammer of Justice can be removed via Blink. Against a mage I will try to hold off your dps trinket and wings until the he/she blinks. Once blink is on CD you can apply HoJ for a nice stun then burst out as much dps as possible. If all goes well he will be dead.

Other tools I need to use against a mage - Hand of Freedom for that pesky slow effect. Dispels are huge too so you can remove frozen effects and debuffs and as always out bubble. Eye for an Eye can do some damage but it wont be the deciding factor, just watch for it if you are low on health.

Just remember that distance is your biggest friend with against a ret pally. We have almost no range attacks and our interrupts and stuns are on long cooldowns. Burst damage coming in is your biggest enemy



As a rogue there's a number of ways to kill a mage. But it depends on how many CD's we each have up. Sometimes it can seem like a Rock-Paper-Scissors match of counter-CC's. A handy resist, a small mistake, or a lucky latency spike can really make a difference in this matchup.

There's two ways to play the opener. You can Cheap Shot and hope they'll burn Blink. Then you can Kidney Shot stun-lock them til they die. Or, you can open with Garrote which silences them for 3 seconds. Then you can build up combo points and go for quick burst with a Cold Blood Eviscerate, or try to Kidney Shot. Of course, as I mentioned before, if they have Blink or a trinket active they'll just break that.

Of course they'll Frost Nova or even summon an Elemental to layer the CC. Rogues (especially a gnome like my main) have a number of ways out of that. Vanish will break a nova, Cloak of Shadows will break one as well as any slowing effects, and Escape Artist will also break a nova. You can use Sprint with Glyph of Sprint as a gap closer and Preparation will refresh the cooldown of most of these moves so you can counter them repeatedly. Trinket seems best used for if the Mage gets off a clutch Polymorph or a worrysome Deep Freeze.

After the Ice Block, I just stealth out of range of Frost Nova and approximately at the range of an immediate Blink. Usually, if it's not a good Mage, they'll Blink directly into me and I'll have them for a completely uninterpretable stun-lock.

Know that in an Arena situation, what I've always heard is that it's worth DPS'ing the elemental. The elemental does a decent burst and layers the control, so it's worth the effort to switch over and quickly kill it.




A rogue normally opens with Cheap Shot then chains the stun to Kidney Shot. Since a mage can blink out of stun, a rogue should start with Garrote then build up CPs as fast as possible before Eviscerate. By this time the mage will have blinked away and the rogue should be popping whatever snare dispel he has, possibly Cloak of Shadows, and Sprint back in range to get another few combo points and another Evis. At this point a good rogue will Vanish and go for the reopener. With Preparation they have the ability to reopen twice.

Against an arcane mage, I might not go defensive right away. They tend to be squishy and if I'm not getting blown up or peeled, I might cloak and take a little damage but try for the kill right away.



As an enhc shammy what I tend to do when aproaching an arcane mage is drop some totems (grounding and stoneclaw (glyphed for self shield)), inturupt on the way in (prefarbly barage) and try and get a stormstike off on the target. the mage normally frostnovas/slows at this point and blinks away. droping a earthbind totem should get you out of this relatively quickly. you frost shock (talented to do a frost nova type snare) to root the target to the floor and chase them while dropping a new grounding totem firenova totem and stoneclaw if it's off cooldown, and dispelling any cheeky buffs the mage has up (sheilds are the priorty). at this point the mage should be relativly defenseless, stunned, low on health and hopefully low on cooldowns so it's just a matter of finishing them off.

frost mages are a completely differnet kettle of fish, and are bloody annoying.



Personally I play a shaman, both as Enhancement and Resto as my main. I have found that (having a 80 mage as well) the best way to kill a mage is a purge spam, and using grounding totem and wind shear as much as possible. Incase you were sure: Purge- removes 2 beneficial spells from an enemy. Grounding totem- grounds the next harmful spell cast on the shaman. Wind Shear- interrupts spell casting for the magic school being cast for 2 seconds. Resto is pretty simple assuming your gear is at least equal. we have ONE instant cast heal spell. just one. I have found many mages spell steal my earthsheild... but its so easy to re-fresh that i find this to be a waste of mana on the mages part. make a dent in the shamans health, counter spell a lesser healing wave (or healing wave if he is that noob) and pop the CDs. resto shamans do little damage, but do avoid the lava bust with a fireward if possible. Enhance is going to be more difficult for you to kill. They use a pet summon (feral spirit) and if you allow the shaman to get within melee range of you... you are pretty much dead. I wait till after the always immediate sheep, purge the mana sheild and frost shock the mage in place. I then proceed to pop my wolves and stun the mage. generally they blink out of the stun, so i wait at the potential blink spot. Personally i dont pay as elemental (i find it boring) so im not going to attempt to explain.

Thats just my two cents... You have to remember one thing... even with knowledge of class abilities, timing is key. if a shaman were to put down grounding totem say at the exact time you launched a missile barrage - procced arcane missiles.... you just lost a in-valueable proc.




For Hunters, even a half decent Mage is going to be very hard, if not near impossible to kill. You have to watch out for several things including:

  • Damage spells. Mages can crit EXTREMELY high, especially in PvE gear where they'll have no problem 2 - 3 shotting you.
  • Frost Nova - Get hit by this and you're rooted. Its on a small cooldown too.
  • Melee range - Because theres nothing stopping the Mage from rooting you, running into melee then spamming instants to death.
  • Blink - Any futile attempts to root/stun a mage can be thwarted with just a single Blink.

So anyway. some advice to killing mages.

  • Use Feign Death to interupt casts, especially on CC and major damaging abilities. Silences also help if MM, and so does Imtimidation as BM.
  • Try and nuke the Mage to death. You'll soon force him to Ice Block to save himself... for 12 seconds.
  • See a massive burst damage barrage coming your way? DETERRENCE IMMEDIATELY. That ability can save your life even though its a 5 second lame version of a bubble.
  • If the Mage even gets close to melee range, do Disengage immediately, because if he freezes you and runs into melee whilst you're frozen and unable to defend yourself, he wins, end of.
  • Use LoS to your advantage. Sure it won't save you from Arcane Missiles but it can save you against Arcane Blast/Barrage.
  • Get snared? Use Master's Call... if your pet is alive that is.


Thanks a lot for this one. Very comprehensive! – Nevermind (Oct 14 2009 9:18 AM)



As a disc priest I normally don't kill them myself but i found the key to allow my partners to kill them is to

Priest against Mage

(1) dispell everything he does (frost nova, deep freeze, polymorph) as quickly as possible

(2) evade sheeps by hitting shadow word:death on something right before it lands so the self-damage get's you out

(3) pillar turtling when his cooldowns are activated

(4) mass dispelling his block as fast as possible

(5) fake heals so his counterspell misses, cancel penance after the second tick if the target won't die immideately and he can cs you, use flash heals to fake, they don't heal much anyways

(6) if everyone is topped of and you have nothing to dispell manaburn him because a counterspell will only lock your shadow school

(7) fear him if he is nearby and then drink back up to full

(8) if you want to damage him use your poison dot instead of your sw:p because magic is reduced by magic armor, poison is not, use holy fire+smite if a spell lock to holy is no danger for you

How to counter this as a Mage

1 - by using your dispellable abilities only if the priest is cc-ed (or spell locked, dispell magic belongs to the holy school), too far away, out of line of sight or too busy to dispell it (like if he is at 20% with a rogue on him you can polymorph his partner because he probably has to heal and can't dispell)

2 - faking sheeps or cs before sheep or sheeping someone else and then when they dispell the other one sheep them on gcd

3 - don't activate your cooldowns prematurely when the enemy can still turtle away and wait them out

4 - counterspell the priest or tell your partners to cc/spell lock the priest and immediatly shout when they do it so you can safely block and wait to get healed back to full

5 - predict his mind if he is going to fake it or not, be very FAST on your cs-es on penances, if you cs before the second penance bubble you will nearly always hit it, if he casts flash heal its more likely that he fakes them

6 - line-of-sight the priest if you don't want to cast on him and don't expect him to fake manaburns (at least I never fake them, don't know about the others) and don't counterspell manaburns if you might get a kill by cs-ing a heal, sheep him and drink if your mana gets low or even if you even lack only a bit mana but you can reset easily

7 - if the priest comes near you blink away or counterspell so he cant fear you, use mage armor so fear only lasts 4 seconds on you, prevent him from drinking

8 - if you are low get away from the priest even if hes a healer he can still do good damage you general: use mage armor against priests

EpicAdvice.com Sponsors