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Frost- First thing you wanna do is put the Freeze Spell from your Water Elemental on your hot bar or somewhere easy to click. As soon as you have got rank 3 in Fingers of Frost put 3 in Improved Freeze so that every time your water elemental casts Freeze, it will give you a 100% chance to get a Fingers of Frost proc which improves damage of your Ice Lance by 25%, and you will most likely crit.
The outcome of a Rogue vs. Mage battle is predominantly based on who attacks who first.
Frost- With frost, which is what I'm focusing on here, You're going to use your 3 rooting spells. Cone of Cold, Frost Nova, and Freeze from your Water Elemental. You're going to want to run to the spot you saw the rogue stealth if they stealth, which they will, and spam Frost Nova and Cone of cold first. After that if you miss just wait to be sapped, trust me on this, once they sap you wait till they come in range of your sight, have Freeze ready to pop because your Water Elemental will NOT be sapped, just you, and when they come in sight pop the Freeze on them before they can get to you to crit you and eventually your sap will run out and just blink away to gain some distance and hit him with Frostbolt to keep him slowed, he will probly then pop Sprint to get some speed or get out of it, by then your blink should be recharged, just go in melee range, pop Frost Nova, then blink away again, then just hit him with Freeze again to get your Fingers of Frost Proc and hit him with Ice Lance 2 times because your will get 2 procs. Rinse and Repeat.
Rogues are defeated much like Warriors. Do not Blink out of the initial attack; you won't gain much ground considering the Rogue will likely Sprint, and then you'll be unable to Blink out of the endless stun. Instead of Blinking initially, Frost Nova. Then run just out of melee range and Polymorph the Rogue. That move will effectively reset the battle, except now our Rogue friend is unstealthed and thus weakened. From this point on, it is literally almost the same as fighting a Warrior (especially for a Frost Mage). Get to maximum range ASAP and begin to kite the Rogue. You should make quick work of him once you're at maximum range.
If the Rogue manages to Vanish out of your Frost Nova before you can Polymorph him, stay as close as possible to the spot where he was and use Arcane Explosion as quickly as possible. Since Rogues don't move as quickly in Stealth, he likely won't have gone far. Also, after he Vanishes, he'll likely be moving TOWARDS you anyway attempting to CS/Ambush you, so it's beneficial to use Arcane Explosion immediately after he uses Vanish. If you're quick, he'll rarely get another jump on you via Vanish. Remember, Rogues CAN Sprint while stealthed.
The DoT on Fireball, Pyroblast, and Frostfire Bolt are useful in keeping a Rogue visible. Once he's visible (and staying that way) work on keeping him under control. It's dangerous to Polymorph him without Presence of Mind. A Rogue can Sprint in Stealth and when Chilled, he can Vanish out of Frost Nova, and he will almost certainly Kick you when you're trying to Polymorph at point blank range. Assume all rogues have their PvP Trinkets, and watch for your opponent to use his. However, if you can sheep him when he doesn't have his Vanish and Trinket, he is yours to play with. Get to max range and let him have it.
Most Mages consider Rogues an even matchup; usually the one to initiate battle wins.
Since the new patch, Rogues can start popping Cloak of Shadows (CoS) on you once a minute. This basically amounts to a 5 second stun as there isn't really much you can do except Blink away (and if you do you'll probably end up getting stunned). A Mage's best bet is to save Ice Block for these moments, as CoS makes Rogues extremely difficult opponents against Mages. Save your Blink for his Cheap Shot/Kidney Shot.
When a Rogue opens on you with a Garrote Silence, immediately move away and Frost Nova. This will usually prompt the Rogue to pop his Cloak of Shadows. You have five seconds to run immediately away from the Rogue (flipped camera on keybind helps here) until the Cloak wears off; don't stand still as five seconds is shorter than you think. Usually it's much easier to burst the Rogue down at this point with instants and slow than to risk getting Kicked or being the target of a Deadly Throw while trying to Polymorph the Rogue. If he uses his PvP Trinket to escape your Frost Nova, use Cone of Cold to keep him at distance until the cooldown on Frost Nova is over. Frost Mages can use their Water Elemental's Freeze ability to great effect, or simply use Cold Snap. Remember, don't panic and Blink; tank some of his hits while saving Blink for when you know the big damage is coming. Prepare for possible encounters with Stamina gear and a supply of Healing Potions.
From a different point of view, never keep your Mana Shield up, unless your health has decreased disproportionally to your mana. Using Mana Shield will quickly leave you with half health and no mana when fighting a Rogue. My advice is to take that first hit or two.
Frost Mages can kite Rogues with relative ease. Note that Sprint is on a 3 minute cooldown, and Preparation is on an 8 minute cooldown while, for a Frost Mage, your Ice Block is on a 5 minute cooldown (4min talented), and Cold Snap is on a 8 minute cooldown (HINT HINT). Then again, cooldowns are not always necessary.
An easy way to combat a Rogue in fact comes down to talents. As said above PoM is very, very useful, and can make the idea of "first hit wins" incorrect. Allow me to explain: If it's at the start of a fight and you find yourself in trouble, then use it to Polymorph the Rogue. But if, let's say, you're struggling near the end of the fight, and he has approximately a few hundred/1-2k health points left, then using PoM - Pyroblast, or PoM - Fireball/Frostbolt is actually better; if you know your damage for them and feel you can finish him by using them, go ahead. I've done this quite a few times and have changed from losing to winning a duel very, very quickly.
- [Arcane] medium-hard.
- [Fire] medium.
- [Frost] easy-medium.
Warriors used to be easy kiting material for Mages. Your tricks are Frostbolt, Frost Nova, Cone of Cold, and Blink. That was enough to kite a Warrior to death. Until WotLK hit. Which is when Arms Warriors got if not the most annoying ability for Mages - Charge in combat. His usual tricks remain Hamstring, and Intercept. You may have other tricks as well, depending on your race or spec, that will help in this encounter: Slow, Blast Wave, Dragon’s Breath, Escape Artist, Every Man for Himself, and Will of the Forsaken will all come into play against a Warrior.
Beware of Warriors using a combination of Hamstring and Piercing Howl/Intimidating Shout. This combo slows you to a manageable pace, letting the Warrior bash you at his leisure. This can be trumped by a proper PvP Frost spec - which is by far the most recommended against them. Ice Block is best saved for Bladestorm (Arms) or when low on hp and full of debuffs (Prot).
Although a lot of Gnomes completely ignore their racial ability, a Gnome Mage can easily defeat a Warrior. Escape Artist can give you the edge on a Warrior, destroying their Hamstring and Charge/Intercept stuns. This ability doesn’t share a cooldown with your trinket, allowing you superior kiting abilities against a warrior.
Warriors with exceptional life and decent resist will be a slight challenge to Mages, especially Fire Mages. Spell penetration gear will be handy in this situation. But these situations are extremely rare. Generally, Frost Mages will have an easier time against Warriors through effective kiting. For Fire Mages, your best bet is to hit the Warrior as hard as you can after you sheep him/her, blow all your cooldowns, and hope to kill him before he kills you, for Warriors can easily 2-3 shot a Mage.
Always use whatever damage absorption abilities you have. Ice Barrier is best, Mana Shield if it’s not available (bear in mind that Mana Shield on low mana is a sure way to get yourself oom and then murdered). A single hit from a big two-handed Warrior weapon can take out more than 1/4 of your health bar, and a critical chain at the wrong time will most likely kill. Some mages use Mage Ward if the Warrior abuses Spell Reflect. Most of the time, this is a good decision, considering a lot of Warriors spell reflect the Shatter combo AFTER the Mage releases the Frostbolt. This will mitigate the damage between you happen to inflict on yourself.
An alternative and highly effective method for dueling Warriors as a Mage is based on preventing the common Warrior tactic of Charging. This can be achieved simply by Counterspelling a warrior when you see him coming. Counterspell has a larger range than Charge, and will put the Warrior in combat, disable his ability to Charge, and put him at a very volatile range from which you can pelt him with magic. Since the start of Wrath, this only works against Fury Warriors since they are the only spec that doesn't have a Charge-in-combat wonder-talent. Virtually every Warrior expects you to Blink away from his initial charge, allowing him to switch to Berserker Stance and to immediately Intercept you, leaving you helpless to get out of the stun. In a duel you should stay very close to your Warrior opponent as the counter ticks down; he can't charge you at close range. As soon as he becomes hostile, Frost Nova him, take a couple of steps back for safety, and then sheep.
Some Warriors will use their PvP trinket to free themselves from Frost Nova, and then do an Intercept on you. This is why you saved your Blink. If he does it, Blink away, and sheep. His trinket is on cooldown, as is his Intercept; he is yours to play with. Charge up your largest crit, Fire Blast, then either Scorch, or if he manages to get close to you either spam AE or use your Frost Nova if it is back up, and repeat-- but without sheeping.
This strategy is risky against Arms spec Warriors with high DPS two-handers who may very well need only a couple of lucky crits to finish you, but is virtually guaranteed against Fury Warriors.
Beware of Warriors carrying shields. While Protection Warriors may deal less damage (and are, frankly, easier to kill), your tactics must be adjusted for such encounters. Shield Slam removes a magic effect on the target, so you will most likely lose your high mana cost Arcane Intellect first. Spell Reflection allows him to reflect the next spell that hits him in the next 5 seconds back on you. The cooldown for this is only 10 seconds. A nice counter-tactic for this is to throw a Polymorph spell on the Warrior when you see the animation of the skill, which will give you several seconds of regeneration before the Warrior breaks it.
Arcane Mages: Begin with a PoM+Polymorph then begin casting Arcane Blast, If you are speced in Nether Vortex then it should apply Slow automatically. the warrior will most likely use charge, Frost nova and run away while using instants, when Arcane Missles become available get enough distance to cast it as well as arcane Blast. Keep your trinket unused until the warrior uses Throwdown. Should be easy if you have talent points on Torment of The Weak, Improved Blink, Inchanter's Absorption, and Nether Vortex.
- [Arcane] easy-medium.
- [Fire] medium.
- [Frost] easy (if you know what you're doing)
Priests frequently Fear you first, apply Shadow Word: Pain, and then start inflicting any other damage according to their build. Some Priests are attentive enough to dispel your buffs, but frankly, your innate buffs won't matter much against a Priest.
Killing a Priest, as against any healing class, requires surprise and burst damage. Improved Counterspell helps since it can temporarily block attempts at reshielding, fearing, and Silence, but it is best saved against their heal or Mind Blast. The best move to start with is surprisingly simple: Polymorph. Then another Polymorph in case he trinkets or Shadow Word: Death's you. Follow up with Fireball/Scorch spam, Shatter combo, or Slow/Arcane Blast/Arcane Baragge depending on your build and preference, Presence of Mind, your largest nuke, improved Counterspell, Fire Blast, and Cone of Cold. Use instant-cast Arcane Explosion or Scorch if the target is very low on hp.
Frost-specced Mages should exercise caution when attempting to Frost Nova a Priest. Psychic Scream is short-range, and moving in to nova a Priest can get you feared, giving him time to heal, shield, and attack. Use your Water Elemental’s ranged Freeze, move in to Frost Nova when the Priest is Silenced (or their Shadow school is Counterspelled), or try to get a Frostbite proc for your Shatter combos. Beware of Shadow Priests that do the following: spam dispel everything you have on, dot you up, fear, Silence, Psychic Horror. They will attempt to keep you under control while their dots slowly eat away at your health bar. The counter to this is being aggresive from the start.
Remember, the Priest has several helpful buffs that can become YOUR helpful buffs through Spellsteal. Snagging Power Word: Shield is like winning the lottery, especially if you stack it with Ice Barrier or Mana Shield, and it leaves the Priest exposed and still under the effects of Weakened Soul. You can also steal Renew for a nice HoT or Power Word: Fortitude for some extra durability. Inner Fire and Inspiration boost your armor, but aren’t too helpful in this particular fight. If you’re lucky, you might get Inner Focus, which will reduce the mana cost and increase the critical strike chance of your next spell. Learn the icons for Priest buffs to help you determine when it may be time to use Spellsteal.
If a Priest begins the fight with a shield, and you don’t want to spend the mana to try and steal it, open with a Polymorph. If the priest doesn’t immediately use their trinket, Polymorph will give you time to wear away their shield. Remember, damage to the shield won’t break the polymorph, so don’t feel obliged to use a nuke here. Save that for when the shield is gone and polymorph breaks. Either follow up with a second Polymorph (then a Pyroblast or Arcane Blast) or head for a Shatter combo. If they DO trinket out of the first polymorph, recast and rejoice; they no longer have the trinket, but you always have your spells.
The most important part of fighting a Priest is to Counterspell the heal. Unless the Priest is shadow, the only way for him to get off a heal uninterrupted is to Fear you. It is very important that you break the fear to counter the heal, otherwise the fight has just swung massively in his favor.
For Mages, skillful use of the Ice Block is key. The most useful time to use Ice Block is when you are either Feared or have numerous DoTs and debuffs on you or both. Should the Priest get the jump on you, DoT you up, Fear you, and be about to Mind Blast, a well-timed Ice Block will negate all three attacks simultaneously.
In normal combat, the outcome is determined mostly by gear and your ability to break Fear.
In TBC, Priests who PVP are generally taking talent points in Holy and Discipline that drastically reduce the amount of damage they take. In addition, their Mana Burn can eat through your bar with heals outlasting the damage you do. Offensive sheeping to interrupt spells when Counterspell is on cooldown works if you immediately damage the Priest to prevent sheep from healing too much. Beware of Priests who are skilled enough to use Shadow Word: Death to preemptively break them out of sheep.
- [Arcane] easy-medium
- [Fire] medium
- [Frost] medium
Try getting close to him/her, or even behind him, to make his spellcasting fail. You'll want to Counterspell anything from his Shadow tree if he's Affliction/Demonology or Fire if he's Destruction, and you'll get many chances to do that. His Fear is recastable (though it is subject to diminishing returns, and can be broken by damage), and won't heal you like Poly does. A Warlock can easily equal your damage if he's willing to sacrifice Soul Shards.
Three key things for any Mage regardless of spec will be a PvP trinket, Remove Curse and Fire Ward - these will nullify two DoTs (Immolate and Curse of Agony) and enable you to escape the worst of the Warlock's Fear.
- Succubus: Seduction is a 1.5 second cast with no cooldown, and does not heal you like Poly does. If you can get a Poly off, you will get Seduced. Seduce is considered a charm effect and is subject to diminishing returns. The sole upside to this is that he can't put any DoTs on you without breaking Seduction, which puts a crimp in his damage output and reduces the risk of death-from-dots even if you kill the 'lock. The Succubus can be worth killing at times - her hp is low enough for her to be feasibly killed within the time span of a Polymorph.
- Felhunter: Felhunters are the preferred Pet for PVP, due to their ability to Counterspell and Dispel Magic. You can Polymorph the Warlock and until 3.3.3 the Felhunter could have dispelled the debuff. It is recommended to use Fire Ward, Mana Shield and Slow Fall as dispel buffers. Additionally, the Felhunter can Counterspell/Silence you. The Felhunter Counterspell and Devour Magic are on a medium cooldown timer. To counteract Spell Lock, use a weaker school of magic (i.e., Frost Mages use Fire) in an attempt to fool the Warlock into shutting down your weaker school of magic for 6 seconds. If the Warlock has put points in Master Demonologist, the Felhunter provides 10% reduction in all spell damage. You are going to need a lot of mana for a fight with a Felhunter given the big reduction in damage and dispelled debuffs you'll get, and if you don't have Ice Block or Barrier it will most likely outlast you.
- Imp: This is the only Pet you should consider trying to kill, as its Firebolts delay your non-instant spells too often, and it goes down fast (losing Blood Pact will also knock some HP off the Warlock).
- Voidwalker: For the most part, you can just ignore it. The chief danger of the Voidwalker is that the Warlock may sacrifice it giving himself up to 30 seconds to escape, heal up, or call for help. If it does get sacrificed, SPELLSTEAL. You may find it useful to Polymorph the warlock, especially if you can dispel the dots on yourself - it only lasts 30 seconds, and damage done to the shield will not break sheep unless it breaks through the shield. The shield is only a minor annoyance, and after it you are fighting a petless Warlock - just don't let him summon another. Also remember as a level 70 mage you have access to Spell Steal and can simply remove his Voidwalker shield and use it for your own protection.
As of WotLK sacrifice deals damage to the voidwalker instead of killing it.
- Felguard: Another dangerous pet. Expect to be stunned by Intercept, which you can Blink out of. Make good use of Ice Armor to slow down his melee and movement speed, because he hits hard and fast - if this thing is pounding on you, you won't be able to cast much. It is usually better to just focus the Warlock than to deal with him.
Succubus, Felhunter and Felguard will probably get you killed, while the other two will probably get the Warlock killed.
Talent spec makes an enormous difference. Frost Mages are in an excellent position to beat a Warlock. Keep Ice Barrier up, and remember to time Ice Block right. Got an unholy number of DoTs on you? Ice Block them all away nice and early. Large waste of mana for them. Just been Feared with a large spell on the way? Ice Block it. This has got to be the #1 most useful spell for fighting Warlocks.
An awesome way to beat a Warlock is with Counterspell. As was said, Counterspelling his Shadow tree gives you a small packet of seconds to play with. This leaves you with a few options:
- Take out the pet; a few Frostbolts will kill Imps; possibly following up with a Fireblast or something along those lines will finish the majority of them off. This is best used versus a Voidwalker where the Warlock hasn't sacrificed it yet.
- Dish out some damage; one nice Fireball on a Warlock will give you a nice bunch of health points to play with, and will probably allow you to win.
- Escape; admittedly, not many people do this, but a Frost Nova - Counterspell can give you time to mount and escape or just run.
- [Arcane] easy-Medium
- [Fire] Medium
- [Frost] Medium-hard(if its destro)
Fighting a Mage is like fighting any other caster, except you’re sure to be familiar with their tricks. Have Dampen Magic up early. Mage Armor is your best bet here, followed closely by Molten Armor for critical hits. Ice Armor is a distant third, with no helpful benefits other than increased frost resistance.
Try to determine what the Mage’s spec is early on. Look for an Ice Barrier or Water Elemental to mark a Frost Mage. Blast Wave, Dragon’s Breath and Combustion mark a Fire Mage. Arcanists are easily recognized by the Arcane Empowerment buff they always have on. They will also spam Arcane Barrage a lot. Things like Presence of Mind and Slow are harder to detect on a potential opponent, but watch for them nonetheless, as PoM is a yummy buff to steal. As soon as you know the mage’s spec, throw up the proper ward. Use Fire Ward against Arcane Mages, since they’re likely to use Fireblast and the oh-so-popular PoM-Pyroblast 3Min Mage.
Don’t use mana shield too often unless you have 2 points invested in Arcane Shielding OR very little life and a lot of mana. You should know by now that mages are the kings of burst damage, so it will only buy you a few seconds, at best.
If you’re Fire or Arcane specced, open with polymorph as soon as possible. If you see your opponent trying the same thing, and he’s going to beat you to the punch, use Counterspell. Opening with Counterspell if you have Improved Counterspell is risky but guarantees a successful sheeping. As soon as he’s sheeped, hit him with your hardest nuke, but don’t blow Presence of Mind just yet. He will probably pop Ice Block if he's scared. By the time you hit him Counterspell (if you used it) will have worn off, and he’ll either try to return the favor (and gain the upper hand) or hit you with some damage of his own. If you’re Arcane, cast Slow and let loose with your favorite nukes. You’ll be Counterspelled quickly, so be ready to switch schools. If you’re Fire, now’s the time for some heavy damage. PoM-Pyroblast would be nice, but work with what’s best for you. Dragon’s Breath and Blast Wave can keep your opponent under control while you lay down the hurt. Don’t forget to use your damage trinkets and Arcane Power.
If you’re a Frost Mage, life is sweet. Polymorph your foe as detailed above, but don’t just blow a nuke to break it. When your opponent has been sheeped, summon your Water Elemental. This can be done beforehand, but doing so runs the risk of a defensive Elemental breaking polymorph before the proper time. Begin casting Frostbolt, and just as it leaves your fingers cast your Elemental’s Freeze ability at the feet of your opponent for an instant, risk-free Shatter combo. Again, he will most likely IB if he's smart. With proper timing, you can work an Ice Lance into that mixture. If you haven’t use Counterspell already, use it now to stop the inevitable Polymorph your opponent is now casting. Order your pet to attack, use Icy Veins and any damage trinkets, and go on the attack. Be sure to keep moving, as a well-placed Dragon’s Breath or Blast Wave by the enemy can quickly turn this encounter against you.
Don’t forget Spellsteal. If your Ice Barrier or ward of choice is on cooldown, and you can spare the mana, feel free to steal your opponent’s. Mage buffs generally won’t be much use to you, since you’ve already got them, but stealing them keeps your opponent from using them (and stolen buffs no longer override existing ones, so you won’t lose your own buffs’ durations). Ideally, the enemy Mage will have buffs from other classes, like Mark of the Wild or Power Word: Shield, that you can steal.
Fights between magi often boil down to skill, initiative, gear, spec and patience. Proper application of Arcane spells, like Counterspell, Polymorph, and Spellsteal are key, as is a working knowledge of your own spec. Your odds of survival are highest as a Frost Mage, but never underestimate the DPS of Fire and the control of Arcane.
- [Arcane]Easy(vs frost mage)-Medium
- [Fire] Medium
- [Frost]easy(vs fire)-Medium(vs frost)-hard(vs arcane)
Having Dampen Magic is an obvious must against any caster class, but even more so against the Druid, so that you might actually last a while against his Moonfire. The dangers are that you can't Polymorph-lock him, you can't Frost Nova him for long, he can heal, he has instant-cast Moonfire to kill you, and he has instant-cast Travel form to run you down.
The trick is knowing how to deal with the various Druid attacks. Bear form should be considered a low threat, even with the Frenzied Regeneration, the extra hit points, and the stun, which you can Blink out of. You will significantly out-damage the bear form Druid simply by standing your ground and having Frost Armor up. The two dangerous Druid threats come from a well-equipped Feral Druid in Cat form, and any Druid engaged in chain-casting Moonfire on you. The latter tactic can be counterproductive in mass combat, because any friendly healer can spend far less mana to out-heal Moonfire spam. If you spent talent points in making your Arcane Missiles uninterruptible from damage, it may be possible to out damage some Druids engaging in this tactic with Arcane Missiles, or to just counter with Scorch. Feral Druids in Cat form are particularly dangerous if, as certain players are prone to do, you neglect your stamina gear.
Contrary to popular belief Frost Nova and Polymorph aren't completely useless against Druids. They can escape any form of movement reduction by shapeshifting; however, it can require a significant amount of mana to constantly shapeshift.
Keep in mind that the usual reason to be in normal humanoid form is to heal. If the Druid is a specced Balance or Feral, you can wait for the switch back to humanoid form, watch for the healing to start (the instant-cast heal over time won't save the Druid from impending death) and use Counterspell. If the Druid is Restoration-specced, you may have to preemptively use Improved Counterspell to stop instant heals -- some say any Mage engaging in PVP should have Improved Counterspell to Silence the target; others maintain that the usefulness of the four second global cooldown is usually overshadowed by that of room for a second tree. Use whatever burst damage you can to finish the Druid off. Careful Druids, particularly Restoration Druids, know to heal well before they become low on health. With TBC, Druids were given Cyclone as a spell which immobilizes you for 6 seconds. Typically a druid will try to Bash or Maim you then Cyclone into a large heal for them. During their heal while you are Cycloned is a good time to pop your PVP trinket; otherwise you may want to save your Blink for the Stun that you know is coming when the Druid is low on health and may want a heal.
Keep in mind he is likely to shift out of movement-impairing effects - if you're specced Frost, it is a tactic worth considering to follow up larger spells with a Rank 1 Frostbolt - talent-improved, they provide a 10 second snare on a 1 second cast with the chance to Freeze. Keep firing these whenever your Druid opponent switches into an animal form and he can't hope to keep on top of removing them.
Running a Druid OOM from shifting can be easy depending on if you have Frost talents or Slow. Every time a (level 70) Druid shapeshifts into Bear or Cat he loses 800-1000 mana. Since you have a much bigger mana pool than a Feral Druid (7000 or so), you could spam Slow or any other movement impairing effect every time he switches to Bear, Cat or Travel form until he is oom and cannot shift; then you can root him or even sheep his caster form. If he cannot reliably catch you in any of his forms he is likely to Feral Charge you in Bear form in which case you can Blink away.
Depending on the Druid's talent configuration and gear quality as compared to yours, you may have even chances against him. The player with the initiative will likely win.
With a level 70 mage, it's worth remembering that a Druid's Rejuvenation, Regrowth and Lifebloom can be stolen and used to heal yourself; just watch his buffs. Lifebloom is an especially good one to steal as the chunk of health comes when it completes, in contrast to Regrowth where you only get the over-time part of the spell.
- [Arcane] easy-medium (depending on spec)
- [Fire] medium
- [Frost]easy-medium(depending on spec)
Never engage a Hunter in long-range combat in a 1 vs. 1 situation and do not try to Polymorph the Hunter or Pet. The key to victory is to close the distance as soon as possible and get into the Hunter's melee range. The combo Frost Nova --> Fire Blast --> Cone of Cold is essential and should be done immediately try to stay in his melee zone, using Arcane Explosion to nuke him down. Depending on the Mage specification there are some slight variations after the Frost Nova --> Fire Blast --> Cone of Cold combo to stay into melee range. As a Arcane Mage you can maintain melee range by using slow after the Frost Nova --> Fire Blast --> Cone of Cold combo. A Fire Mage can use Blast Wave --> Dragon's Breath after the Frost Nova --> Fire Blast --> Cone of Cold combo. Spamming instant spells like Arcane Explosion at melee range is essential to beating a Hunter. However, you should beware of Bestial Wrath and Traps.
If the Hunter's Pet is large and red, you are in trouble. It is under the effect of Bestial Wrath; it does 50 percent more damage, and you can't sheep it, you can't stick a Frost Nova under its feet, and it runs faster than you. USE ICE BLOCK!
In addition, because the duration of Ice Block is 8 seconds shorter than that of Bestial Wrath, if the hunter for some reason pops his Bestial Wrath as an opener when his pet is right next to him, you shouldn't use Ice Block as soon as possible. Instead, wait for the pet to get to you, then Blink towards the Hunter (do it ASAP if the pet is already next to you when he pops it), use some fast nukes (if the Hunter himself is large and red as well, just like his pet, don't bother using Frost Nova here, because the Hunter has specced also for The Beast Within and therefore is immune to crowd control effects just like his pet for the duration of Bestial Wrath) and use Ice Block only when the pet has reached you again. This will waste a few precious seconds from his pets enrage effect, and if you are lucky and/or mobile enough, you will evade the damage from the enraged pet altogether.
If Ice Block is on cooldown, then Mana Shield and Blink into the Hunter after an Intimidation stun-- since you know the Hunter doesn't have Scatter Shot-- and keep close to him until the Wrath wears off then slow kite him with Slow or Cone of Cold/Blast Wave.
If a Hunter is using his Traps: You don't want to step on one, unless it is a Snake Trap which you can ignore while spamming Arcane Explosion. Move away quickly (Traps have a 5 yard range) before it can activate. If you get Trapped, use your trinket; otherwise you will eat an Aimed Shot and allow the Hunter to get distance.
-Trap Note: Ninety percent of the time, the Trap is right under the hunter, or, if he is circling, in the middle of the circle. Use a strafing pattern while remaining as close to the Hunter as you can, and through the course of the fighting you may actually detect the Trap you are circling. Hunters tend to back up to get range and to attempt to Wing Clip or attack while backing up, but use that to your advantage to run faster than your opponent since both of you will be slowed.
A hunter with gear equivalent to yours will beat you if you fall into his Trap and you cannot break out. If you don't get frozen, the fight is trivial; just stay in his melee range and use your snares to keep him from gaining distance while you nuke him down with instants.
Hunter Move - Response
- Scatter Shot - Wait for FD/Trap then Ice Block, if he doesn't trap and instead tries for an Aimed Shot IB while shot is in the air
- Freezing Trap - Ice Block
- Concussive Shot - Blink
- Aspect of the Cheetah - Any damage spell.
- Attacking - Nova in melee range
- Pet attacking you anyway because it has leet Frost resist and Nova didn't work! - Close range with the Hunter and Mana Shield. Pet damage is trivial unless it's Enraged and your Shield can easily take a few swipes from that annoying Cat/Bat. The main idea is to minimize damage you receive from the hunter by not allowing him to get his most powerful abilities off. Don't try to cast any spells with long cast times as a Hunter will have various abilities to interrupt your cast like Scatter Shot, Silencing Shot, and Feign Death. Focus on slowing the Hunter or Freezing him so he can't get the distance he needs.
Or, you could save your trinket for the Scatter Shot/Trap and continue to be in the Hunter's melee zone.
IMPORTANT: If you are caught off guard by a Hunter who's placed a Freezing Trap, it should be noted that Ice Block and Freezing Trap have the same animation in-game. If a hunter is not spec'd for Beast Mastery it is often a smart thing (and mildly comical) for you to Ice Block out of Freezing Trap (for which there is no transition animation, so it looks as if you're still trapped). Generally, a Hunter won't realize that you've Ice Blocked and will continue to cast Aimed Shot and will proceed to get a big fat "IMMUNE". From this vantage, you can usually Blink into the Hunter's melee range (or close enough to Nova him and THEN get into his melee zone). If you've got 31 points in the Frost tree and have invested in Ice Barrier, keep it up at all times; this way if he does Scatter Shot you and gets some range on you (usually minimal) you can at least mitigate some of the damage he can do before you get back in his melee range.
Since patch 2.3, a Hunter's Arcane Shot dispels one magic buff. Thus, don't buff at long-range combat; try to get in melee range first.
Note: Up to some time after TBC was released all Hunters had an area between 5 and 8 yards called deadzone in which they could not attack neither with melee nor ranged attacks, which was largely used in combating them. However, this deadzone has been removed from the game, so any tactics that relied on abusing deadzone, have become useless.
Another way to play around with inexperienced Hunters when fighting them is to abuse line of sight. Try to hide behind a pillar or a similar object (trees won't work, he can shoot right through them) and run around it, so the hunter is on the other side of the obstacle. More often than not, a hunter will send his pet straight for you, and you can try to immobilize and/or nuke it down with instants while the Hunter tries to get a shot at you. However, this is little likely to work against experienced Hunters, because they will recall and mend their pet when they realize that it is in danger. However, even against them it can sometimes be beneficial in 1v1 situations, because if you stubbornly stay out of their LoS, they will eventually have to come for you, that way decreasing the distance you have to travel to get in their melee range.
- [Arcane] Medium
- [Fire] Medium
- [Frost] Medium
Keep your distance. As against any healing class, you are automatically at a disadvantage assuming the Paladin doesn't foolishly wait until he's one or two-shottable to start healing. Paladins who sacrifice mana and stamina for attack power and increased crit chances, "critadins", are fairly vulnerable to defeat, but at the same time, they may kill you even faster.
Paladins can use Blessing of Freedom or Cleanse to undo any form of movement reduction you can inflict. They have two innate ways of inhibiting movement: Hammer of Justice (which you can Blink out of), and with the advent of patch 1.9, possibly the Repentance talent at the end of the Retribution talent tree. A Paladin has two forms of invulnerability and Lay on Hands, but since patch 1.9, there is a 1-minute cooldown debuff inflicted on the beneficiary of invulnerability effects.
Most Paladins will activate Seal of Command in small-scale combat to inflict a lot of damage, which has the peculiar advantage of proccing holy damage. The proc itself can inflict damage exceeding the actual weapon damage when used in conjunction with other gear, seals and judgement effects, and it crits like melee damage rather than spell damage. There are no known innate player resistances to holy effects in the game. The danger here is that in much the same way a Shaman benefits from a Windfury proc, a Paladin can get a sudden burst of lethal damage.
Should the Paladin manage to reheal himself to full health when you are down to less than half life, attempt to resheep to escape death.
All of this combined with their high HP and plate mail (although as a Mage, plate mail will not really protect your Paladin opponent against you) makes them hard to take down. However the Mage is the probably the best DPS class in the game so, you still stand a fair chance.
They might be able to escape your snares but that doesn't mean they'll always do it, or at least not within 1–2 seconds. Frost Nova can still be useful, and the same goes for Polymorph. How you fight depends on your build; just keep your distance and do as much damage as you can. However try to use up your instacast spells at the beginning so their cooldown wears off. You'll need them for when the Paladin heals. When he does heal, Counterspell it. As all Paladin spells are of the Holy Class, if you do interrupt his heal, that’s 10 seconds where he can do nothing except auto attack you. That's 10 seconds for you to do all the burst damage you can, be it Fire Blast, Cone of Cold, Blast Wave, or anything else that hurts him.
If you have Imp. CP Talent then it'll silence him for 4 seconds, but in this case, interrupting the heal is much better.
The key to winning, and this also applies to any healers, is hitting harder (with an exceptional amount of +damage and crit gear) than their heals. Expect spell resistance due to their aura combined with gear. You may want to consider resorting to AM or your secondary school if they have decked themselves out in full resist gear.
You may often hear "You can't kite a Paladin." While it is true you cannot consistently slow them, as said you can delay them for the time it takes them to cast Cleanse. You may also speed yourself up to make them relatively slower. Nifty Stopwatch goes far towards this, and your boots should be enchanted with run speed (avoiding even a single hit beats out +70 hp). Unlike Warriors, who can use Intercept as often as you can Blink, Paladins cannot HoJ as often as you can Blink, and Repentance breaks on hit.
A note on Shields: DS will most likely be used to break sheep, or to heal. Just turn tail and Blink and run until the shield is gone, then resheep, Bandage/Evocate, and start fighting again. Save AP (if you have it) until after the DS. If you by chance see their secondary shield, Blessing of Protection, relax; the shield prevents them from attacking while it is up, and from DSing until 1 minute after it has been cast. The Blessing of Protection shield also only prevents Physical damage being inflicted to them, so Magic spells will still damage them. And Mana Shield (as of patch 2.0.6) absorbs Magic damage as well. So if you were planning to run up and melee him, that's as useless now as before; stick with your class description and nuke him.
In short, keep your cool, and your distance, resheep if things start to look bad, and you should have no problem against any Paladin whose gear doesn't totally outclass yours.
- [Arcane] Medium
- [Fire] Medium
- [Frost] Medium
Shaman were arguably one of the most powerful classes in individual combat, although recent bugs and nerfs have diminished that severely. They have a balance of healing, melee power, and spell damage. Shaman are basically weak warriors, priests and mages, all in one. Their melee is limited to auto-attack, hoping for a Windfury proc and possibly Stormstrike, which requires them to invest 31 points in enhancement. Stormstrike causes weapon damage (the totaled damage from both weapons if they are dual wielding), has a chance to allow Windfury and Flurry to proc and causes you to take an extra 20% damage from the next 2 Nature damage based spells you are hit with. Against an Enhancement Shaman, it is best to immobilize him using Frost Novas and slowing spells to get range then blasting him down before he can heal.
Elemental Shaman will generally use Lightning Bolts to whittle down your health, using Nature's Swiftness to instantly heal themselves or to throw another Lightning Bolt at you generating incredible burst damage. Elemental Shaman will generally not heal themselves and will run OOM casting spells very fast so it is a good idea to whittle down their health as fast as possible while interrupting some of their longer casting spells with Counterspell.
The Shaman's Shock spell line is very strong, since it's on a 6-second (5 seconds with talents) cooldown, inflicting serious damage and having a detrimental effect. There are several downsides to this, however. First, mana efficiency. Shaman generally don't have a large mana pool, and their spells are very inefficient. They have no way to regenerate mana quickly (minus potions), and generally have terrible mana regeneration via spirit (unlike Mages, who need to concentrate on only 3 stats, Shamans need all 5 to be effective). Secondly, Shocks represent a high part of the Shaman's DPS, but due to the fact that most of the Shaman's utility is tied to them, they cannot be spammed as you would any other damage spell.
Shaman Totems are a unique class ability. Shaman can plant Totems, which consume valuable attacks to counter while continuing to benefit the Shaman unattended. Grounding Totems are very potent, being able to absorb most spells although a lot of bugs involved mean that some might get through. It can absorb more than one spell if they have travel time (such as a Fireball, and a PoM-Pyroblast). The shaman also have both frost and fire resistance totems which they will most surely use, often at the same time. The shaman have no resistances for arcane however, and grounding totem does nothing against frost novas.
Generally speaking, you'll want to keep your distance, 20 or more yards if possible (at this range, the Shaman loses his ability to interrupt your spells, and is left with a rather less effective ranged Lightning spell). Chain Lightning is generally a 2.5 second cast, whereas a normal Lightning Bolt is 3 second cast. If you force the Shaman to use these spells, it's assumed that you have already won the fight.(Update: lightning spells are the main damage source of an Elemental Shaman and their Lightning Bolt is 2 second cast now, with significant spell damage dealing as much as a Mage's Frostbolt. Although it has no snare effect, the faster cast time means that an Elemental Shaman can sometimes equal the DPS of a Mage at long range.) Normally Shaman will attempt to close to within melee range. Once there, they can interrupt any non-instant spell every 5 or 6 seconds, depending on talent build, not to mention the constant interruption from melee damage. Keep in mind that the Earth Shock only interrupts one school, so you can quickly switch to another.
So how do you beat a Shaman?
First, control. A successful Polymorph on a Shaman is almost half the battle, as the Shaman has no way to remove that except by using a PVP trinket. In addition to the really short range of effectiveness of his spells, and the long range of the Mage, you can remove a large part of his health before he can do anything.
Two words: Fast Spells. Grounding Totems eat a single spell. Earth Shock eats a single spell, and knocks out the Tree, so hopefully that was a Scorch rather than a Fireball that you just threw into the Totem, and hopefully you only invested 1.4 seconds, instead of 2.4 or even 2.9 seconds into that Earth-Shocked nuke, and hopefully it wasn't your only good Tree. Fireball Mages have FAR more trouble with Shaman than those that Scorch. You can also Wand the Totem, or cast Rank 1 Arcane Missiles. The first 'Missile' that hits the Shaman will destroy the Totem. The best spell for dealing with Totems in TBC has proven to be Ice Lance since it is instant cast with no cooldown and minimal mana cost. Generally before you cast any large spell (i.e., PoM Pyro) make sure you preface it with an Ice Lance to make sure your Shaman opponent has no Grounding Totem up. Similarly, Ice Lance any Frost/Fire Resistance Totems and any Windfury Totems that you see once a Shaman is sheeped.
The greatest weapon in your arsenal is probably Counterspell. Every Shamanic spell (except Frost and Flame Shock, as well as Frost and Fire Totems, which are pretty useless against you) is Nature-based. No more healing, no more Lightning, no more Earth Shock, no more Grounding Totem, no more Earthbind Totem... nothing. In 10 seconds, any Mage with Counterspell should kill any Shaman that's not ?? to him at that point.
A smart Shaman will only cast a heal if the Grounding Totem is up.
A Restoration Shaman will be able to out-heal your damage by spamming Lesser Healing Wave with a Mana Totem and Earth Shield up. Your best bet is either to save some burst damage and the Counterspell for when a lucky crit gets his health low, or to sheep and try to burst him down with a big spell without getting interrupted then Counterspelling his heal to win.
Improved Counterspell will Silence the Shaman no matter what is up. The Grounding Totem will absorb the initial Counterspell, but the Improved part will go through, Silencing it. This will allow you to Polymorph him, and subsequently destroy him.
Frost Nova and Blink allow you to get out of range (keep in mind, shocks have a 20 yard range only), and unleash hell from far away. By the time the Shaman gets in range, he'll be dead.
Any Shock you resist essentially means that you get a huge window in which the Shaman can only walk and auto-attack.
Any decent Shaman will Purge off your buffs at the earliest opportunity. This means that Ice Barrier and Mana Shield will often not be available, nor will Mage Armor. One thing to note, though: Purge gets resisted a LOT, so you might have the Shaman try it on you several times before it works. This gives you time, and will slowly deplete the Shaman's mana pool.
Some PvP Shaman will attempt a strategy which revolves around Windfury Proc + Stormstrike + Nature Damage Spell (usually Earth Shock), and which usually results in instant death for the target before they can react. If you see a Shaman with a 2-Handed Axe or Mace, it's very likely he'll be aiming to use this combo on you, so make sure you don't let him anywhere near you under any circumstance.
- [Arcane] Easy if enhance, Medium else.
- [Fire] Medium
- [Frost] Medium
Deathknights in many ways are similar to warriors; they do an incredible amount of melee damage and can tear apart a mage in a matter of seconds. Therefor it is imperative that you keep distance away from the deathknight. Save your blink for after they deathgrip you and be prepared to switch magic schools when the deathknight locks you out of one. It is recommended to start out with an off-spec tree until getting silenced (ie: start with fire if you are frost until fire is silenced). It is advisable to keep up frost ward to help against the DK's snares.If they channels army of dead,try to use a quick spell(like ice lance) or a counterspell to interrupt the channeling.
Do not waste your time on their pets. Go straight for them just like you would with a hunter.
Frost Mages- If you see a DK and u get death gripped immediately rejoice for the Dk is not so smart. As soon as you get death dripped run behind them and Frost Nova and never stop moving. This method has proven effective for me because A) they wont be expecting that. B) they have to turn around to be able to swing at you(by which time you will have frozen them and be out of their swinging range) IF YOU ARE SERIOUSLY OUT GEARED I WOULD NOT TAKE THIS RISK. INSTEAD BLINK IMMEDIATELY. Otherwise you will freeze him and his pet and at that point you can Cone of cold quickly while gaining distance. Don't Blink yet. Try to cast frostbolt as soon as you can. Link it with Ice lance and keep moving if he trinkets out or if the frost nova has broken for some reason. ( only if you don't have time to cast another frostbolt.) remember your primary objective is to have the safety you need to cast. At some point you can summon your elemental and freeze him that way. i recommend you have a key binding for that too. If he chains of ice, try to get a frostbolt off and blink before he gets to you. you cant let him have any free hits. A good dk will open with silence, death grip, then chains of ice. Meaning your best option is to wait out the silence with Ice block. Remember the key to this is Key bindings. You have to be able to react quickly to anything he does. after your ice block is done blink and cast. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQpel3Kfnec> i recommend watching this frost mage. even though his video is outdated, you can still learn from his timing with all his spells.
Fire mages- similar to above except you have the option of using dragons breath as soon as they death grip instead of nova( i recommend it because it has less of a cooldown). and of course replace the main nuke with fireball. use cone of cold to slow them down since fire has no slowing effect. throw blast wave in there when he gets to close. Keep in mind the range on blast wave and frost nova. You can do both without the dk getting in range so you dont even have to take damage. Otherwise, just fireblast, cone of cold and such when you are trying to gain distance. Polymorph is you friend at the beginning. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZSqPvoQvJA> This is also a good mage except he is fire specced. This is a great example of how to handle dks using dragons breath when they death grip.
Watch for their magic shields.Be especially wary of the flying gargoyle as it will tear you apart in seconds.
Counterspell can be effective, but there are very few "casting" spells the DK will use, so timing may be very difficult.
Be wary of their heals, primarily bloodworms, which can be killed in a quick AoE, like arcane nova. The Deathknight has very few range spells that deal any significant damage but they can snare/slow you down easily.
Frost dk tanks can put you (and some more enemy in close range) into an iceblock letting them have a moment to think.