Vanilla WoW Wiki
Instance grouping guide
Main Roles

Instance tanking (Tank)
Instance healing (Healer)
Instance damage dealing

(Damage dealer)

Currently a stub.

Other Roles

Instance leader
Instance puller
Crowd controller
Instance main assist
Instance off tank
Instance scout
Instance rezzer

Currently a stub.

Class Roles



Other Topics

Marking up mobs
Crowd Control
Combat Cycle
Dying and Wipe prevention
Role Assignment
How Not To Do Things
Additional Tips

Related Topics

Crowd control
Looking For Group

Meeting stone
Pickup group

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The Mage in Instances

As a Mage

  • Before heading off to the instance, make sure you have enough reagents for portal and Arcane Brilliance spells.
  • There is almost always someone waiting before the group is ready to start an instance. Use that time to make plenty of food and water for everyone. As you move through the instance, it's a good idea to maintain an extra stack or two in your inventory so you can just hand it off instead of wasting time creating it on the spot.
  • You should not pull aggro unless you are using AoE attacks. If you are getting aggro on a regular basis:
    • You aren't letting the tank build enough hate. Wait a little longer before attacking, or slow down your casting (especially if you are getting a lot of crits).
    • You aren't paying attention. If the tank switches targets because of an add or because the healer grabbed aggro, don't mindlessly attack the same mob unless it's going to die relatively quickly.
    • Your tank isn't doing a good job.
    • If you're using Fire spells, consider switching to Frost or a wand if you have one. Frost still does damage, but it does a lot less than Fire, and so will cause less aggro.
  • Frost/Ice Armor vs. Mage Armor:
    • Frost/Ice Armor is good for situations when you expect to get hit (mostly when using AoE). In addition to the extra armor, it slows down a mob's movement and attack rate, reducing the damage you take and making the healer's job easier.
    • Mage Armor lets you regenerate mana while casting, and gives you some extra magic resistances. Since you generally shouldn't be getting hit (especially in high-end instances where one or two hits may be fatal), this is a good general choice for keeping your drinking downtime to a minimum. Also, the extra resistances are useful if you are expecting magical attacks (such as Baron Rivendare's damage field in Stratholme).
  • Blink/Frost Nova combos or Rank 1 Frostbolts are good for stopping/slowing down runners. You can sheep as well, but it's not recommended unless the mob is very likely to bring adds and you don't think the group can handle them.
  • If there is a bad pull or difficult adds, don't be afraid to unload your mana bar quickly on the mobs. With your AoE attacks, you can dish out more burst damage than any other class. You may go down, but the extra damage you do may be enough for the remaining party members to prevent a wipe.
  • Try to give your healers a heads-up if you are going to AoE.
  • Sheeping tips:
    • ALWAYS keep an eye on your sheep. They seem to break at the worst times. There is also a nice addon called SheepWatch that shows a progress bar that greatly eases the job of resheeping. You can get it here.
    • NPCs are not affected by diminishing returns. Feel free to resheep early and often. Resheeping a sheep before it breaks is a good idea.
    • If you can, try to keep your sheep a little bit away from the main fighting. It's easier to watch it, and you don't have to worry about unexpected AoE attacks from other party members breaking it.
    • Presence of Mind works with Polymorph. Use it if you need a quicker sheep or if your casting is being interrupted.

Working with a Mage

  • Don't break the sheep!
  • Mages generally use AoE to kill mobs that aren't Elite. When they do this, try to hold the aggro of the Elites and let the mage (and other AoE attackers) handle the non-Elites. If there is a Priest in the party, he/she should shield the Mage to help reduce the damage coming from the non-Elites.
  • For large swarms of non-elite mobs, it's helpful for the tank to gather the mobs into a tight unit before the mage starts AoEing. This gives the mage time to fire off a Flamestrike, Frost Nova and Flamestrike again before getting up close and personal with Arcane Explosion. It also gives the tank time to be throwing some AoE and shout spam of his own, which generally holds the mobs on him just long enough for them to die from mage AoE.
  • Don't tell a Mage what schools of magic to use. Most likely, a Mage will use whatever school they are specced for, since those spells will be more effective due to the Mage's talents; they also are likely to know what spells they should use for the situation (ex: an experienced Fire Mage knows not to use Fire spells in Molten Core). Telling a Frost Mage to use Fire spells without a good reason is like telling a Feral Druid to fight in caster form or telling a DPS Warrior to fight in Defensive Stance with a shield.