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- See also: Human (playable)#Racial traits
While humans have not wielded arcane magic for as long as high elves, they have a strong tradition of it. When high elf magi brought the secrets of arcane magic to humans, the younger race showed a natural predilection for it. Human mastery of arcane energy was instrumental in vanquishing the ancient troll empire that threatened human and high elf civilization. Humans and high elves recognized the danger arcane magic posed, and so created the Guardians of Tirisfal — powerful arcane casters who guarded against demonic invasion. Since that time, human ability with the arcane has continued and evolved; humans established the Kirin Tor, a council of archmagi who ruled Dalaran, an arcane city. Even with the destruction wrought in the Third War, humans remain consummate magi, eager to use flame and ice to scour their enemies. Many human magi are creative, creating spectacular new spells or new ways to use existing spells. The iconic human mage, however, is a powerhouse of arcane energy. She summons creatures to her aid while pounding her foes with blasts of fire or rains of slashing ice.
Most of the remaining mages are human. This is mostly due to the fact that Dalaran was essentially a human nation, and naturally it culled a great majority of its members from humanity. Humans are also the most populous out of all races who study the arcane arts.
When the quel'dorei trained the first batch of one hundred humans in the most rudimentary of arcana, they were surprised to find the young race had great natural affinity. The sheer, raw power they could summon up even surpassed what high elven casters were capable of mustering, but they lacked control. This trait became what forever characterized the typical style and approach of human mages. Most human mages prefer using fire and arcane spells, as they allow for the caster to dish out salvos of raging energy, which become bigger, powerful and more varied streams as the mage gains experience. However, humans still find it difficult to concentrate and focus their attacks for more precise and subtle effects. For example, while a human mage might find incinerating a cadre of gnolls child's play, lighting the tip of a candle or precisely bombarding a target without harming those around the target may be difficult.
- Diplomacy is a useful bonus for all classes, especially at higher levels where reputation becomes more important for collecting gear. The spirit bonus means you'll recharge your mana pool (and health) at a slightly faster rate then similarly equipped mages. Perception is also useful for spotting lurking creeps with stealth or an enemy rogue. As low health casters, mages are often early targets of sneaky types.
- The human bonus to mace and sword skills are useless. You can't use maces, and swords are only equipped for their stats. If you're out of mana, you will be using your wand.
- Humans received a new racial bonus with Wrath called Every Man for Himself that removes all movement impairing effects. This can be helpful for a mage who has their Blink on cooldown and needs to make a fast escape. The ability shares a cooldown with similar effects (i.e. Insignia of the Alliance) but has a much shorter recharge time and frees up a trinket slot for other uses.
- See also: Gnome (playable)#Racial traits
In a community as eccentric as mages, for other mages to regard gnomish mages as outlandish is really a statement. Gnome mages are characterized by their bizarre and bold (some would say 'whimsically suicidal') probing into just how many things they can get their spells to do. The insatiable curiosity of gnomes is legendary, and all gnomes of all walks of life tinker. Gnomes as a race hold no general preference for any particular tree of magic or school of thought, but all are highly individualistic, and their idiosyncratic spells are evidence. Gnomes have the most creative spell repertoire of all the practicing races by far, and home-made gnomish spells either end up as fabulous successes or extremely dangerous failures.
- Gnomes are generally well-suited to caster classes, with a 5% bonus to Intellect. Also useful is the Escape Artist ability, which is invaluable when the low-hitpoint mage needs to get away from creeps or players with movement-hampering abilities. They also have a minor 10 point bonus to Arcane Resistance.
- The bonus to engineering is nice if you want to explore the strange devices produced by engineering, however explosives (a large subset of engineering recipes) are of dubious use to a mage with a full spell arsenal. There are plenty of other interesting things, however, and there is no shortage of gnomish mage engineers.
- See also: Troll (playable)#Racial traits
Many may wonder how the trolls, a race performing primitive rituals based around a spiritual religion, could wield the arts of the arcane. Yet the recent alliance between the Darkspear Tribe and the Horde showed that the trolls are quite a perceptive race, willing to learn new ways if it is for the best of the tribe, much like the humans back in their primitive days.
The arcane arts were once exclusively elven and human, governed by the mages of Quel'thalas and the Kirin Tor of Dalaran. However, the fall of these organizations during the Third War resulted in many scattered mages across Azeroth searching for a place to settle. It is not unlikely that the trolls might have adapted their arcane knowledge from these scavengers, as well as from their recent allies, the Forsaken, who still possess knowledge of the arcane arts in undeath.
- Troll abilities (with the exception of the two ranged weapon bonuses) each have their own upside and downside for a mage. Trolls gain a +1% chance to critically strike with Bows and Throwing weapons, but since mages are unable to actually use either of these types of weapons, they are useless.
- The troll regeneration ability increases health regenerated by 10% and allows 10% of said regeneration to continue while in combat. This means less time spent eating for the mage, but since mages can conjure free food and have their downtime stretched by mana, not health, this seems like a weak bonus at best. However, since they retain some health regeneration in combat, troll mages can take a hit or two more than other mages before keeling over.
- Trolls have an ability called Berserking. This ability increases attack and casting speed by a flat 20%. While commonly over looked, this can take off nearly a half second on spells that take two seconds to cast, and also shortens the time you're vulnerable while channeling spells such as Arcane Missile and Blizzard.
- Trolls also gain a +5% bonus to damage done against beasts. This works the same as it does for any other class, increasing damage done against beasts by 5%, no matter the source. A very good racial passive for grinding.
- See also: Undead (playable)#Racial traits
Forsaken mages are mostly fallen former human mages; they might as well be affected by their proximity to Dalaran, ancient minions of Archimonde who could roam the ruins of the fallen city and understand the complex science of magic.
As all their un-life is affected by the cold of their bodies, many Forsaken mages are starting to share the virtues of high elves (because they, too, have a long lifespan), using the frost school for the same reasons. A Forsaken mage has the willpower only a man that has abandoned all hope may have.
- Underwater Breathing and Shadow Resistance have obvious value, especially with quests that bring you to the bottom of a lake, or when fighting priests or warlocks or a mob who has shadow attacks.
- Will of the Forsaken removes fear, sleep or charm effects on you. This effect shares a 45 sec cooldown with other similar effects.
- Cannibalize has situational use. Since magi can summon themselves a snack and eat it, cannibalizing is almost a waste of time if you are merely using it reduce downtime. However, cannibalize can also be used in combat while eating can not. Combined with the Polymorph ability if you are at low health and a nearby corpse, it can be used to regenerate most of your health in a tight situation.
Other mage races
High elf mage
High elves are the most arcane-imbued race in the Alliance. Many credit them with discovering arcane magic, and it is a matter of historical record that high elves taught arcane magic to humans many thousands of years ago. High elf magi are unparalleled masters of the craft. They usually focus their efforts on shaping and changing their spells and expanding their repertoires; they do not let the distractions of familiars, of summoning elementals, or of excessive focus on fire and ice distract them from their chosen path. The iconic high elf mage is a dark and haughty individual, claiming knowledge of arcane secrets that never fell into human hands.
Elven mages tend to have more control over magic than other races. Magic is not just a craft to them, it is the way of life. Having an long lifespan affords several advantages, including plenty of time to study, hone and discover all manner of spells and different ways of applying them. As a result elves are extremely flexible casters, and can handle themselves in all manner of situations. The long-lived casters are also famed for their concentration, precision and control. Because of this, many high elves prefer using frost spells, which rewards accuracy and timing. Frost spells are also highly flexible, being equally useful defensively and offensively, manifesting in various forms such as attacks, armors and cages. Blood elves, upon their self-proclaimed rebirth as a new race, have since embraced fire as their mainstay tree of study.
Because of the aforementioned ability to experiment and tweak their spells throughout their long lifetimes, high elves are much more knowledgeable of magic than mages of other races, and often possess exclusive knowledge on secret and obscure arcana - sometimes, even forbidden and dangerous. They take no humility in constantly reminding other races of this fact.
- Main article: Siren
The naga are powerful arcane spellcasters. Night elves invented the art, after all, and the naga have had 10,000 years to refine it. Indeed, one of the greatest mortal mage ever to live is the naga's queen, Azshara, who still lives. In fact, she may no longer be mortal.
Naga women are their race’s spellcasters, and over the millennia they have developed a number of talents and techniques related to their art. Through intense study they learn to expand their repertoires to include other, unrelated spells. Their spells strike with the fury of the sea, whipping and crushing their opponents. Naga magi receive some military training as well.
The iconic naga mage is called a siren, and she slithers forward with her brethren, glaives clutched in two of her arms. The other two weave arcane energy, and she protects her allies and decimates her opponents with her spells. She is assured and arrogant, and with good reason.