WotLK: New Beta Talent Build

New Talent Build is out for the Wrath of the Lich King beta. Also known as the Build 8681, there are new changes to many Class Talents, including Mages. I found most of the changes from MMO-Champion.com, and you can go there for more information. Here are the Mage changes from the new build:


  • Arcane Subtley – Lower your target’s resistances by 5/10 changed to 15/30% dispel resist
  • Wand Specialization – Removed
  • Arcane Fortitude – Moved to Wand Specialization’s spot, changed to 3 ranks, now provides 50/100/150% of your Intellect into armor.
  • Magic Absorption – Changed to 2 ranks, increases resistances by .5/1 per level, now only restores 1/2% of mana on full resist.
  • Arcane Impact – Renamed Spell Impact. Now increases the damage of your Arcane Explosion, Arcane Blast, Blast Wave, Fire Blast, Ice Lance, and Cone of Cold by 2/4/6%.
  • Student of the Mind – Moved to Tier 3
  • Focus Magic – New Tier 3 talent, increases magic damage taken by the target by 150, lasts 1 min or 50 charges.
  • Improved Mana Shield – Renamed Arcane Shielding, now increases the armor and resistances gained by the mage by 25/50%.
  • Improved Blink – Now reduces the mana cost of Blink by 25/50%, and chance to be hit for 4 sec after Blink by 15/30%.
  • Prismatic Cloak – Now reduces damage taken by 2/4/6% and Invisibility fade time by 1/2/3 sec
  • Arcane Potency – Reduced to 2 ranks, connected to Presence of Mind instead of Clearcasting, Increases critical strike chance of any spell by 30% when Presence of Mind or Clearcasting is active.
  • Empowered Arcane Missiles – Renamed Arcane Empowerment, now Increases the damage of your Arcane Missiles spell by an amount equal to 15/30/45% of your spell power and the damage of your Arcane Blast by 3/6/9% of your spell power.
  • Potent Spirit – Removed, replaced by Arcane Flows. Reduces the cooldown of your Presence of Mind, Arcane Power and Invisibility spells by 30/60 secs.
  • Netherwind Presence – Reduced to 3 ranks and moved up a tier, now increases your spell haste by 2/4/6%.
  • Missile Barrage – Added in place of Netherwind Presence. Gives your Arcane Blast, Fireball, Frostbolt and Frostfire Bolt spells a 15% chance to reduce the channeled duration of the next Arcane Missiles spell by 2.5 secs and fire missiles every .5 secs.


  • Improved Fire Blast – Moved to Tier 1, now 2 ranks, Reduces the cooldown of your Fire Blast spell by 1/2 sec.
  • Incineration – Moved to tier 1, now 3 ranks, Increases the critical strike chance of your Fire Blast, Scorch, Arcane Blast and Cone of Cold spells by 2/4/6%.
  • Burning Determination – New Tier 2 talent, When Interrupted or Silenced you have a 50/100% chance to become immune to both mechanics for 10 seconds.
  • World in Flames – Moved to Tier 2, Increases the critical strike chance of your Flamestrike, Blast Wave, Dragon’s Breath, Living Bomb, Blizzard and Arcane Explosion spells by 2/4/6%.
  • Flame Throwing – Moved to Tier 3
  • Impact – Moved to Tier 3
  • Pyroblast – Cast time reduced to 5 seconds
  • Improved Scorch – More damage types added, now your Scorch spells have a 33/66/100% chance to cause your target to be vulnerable to Fire, Frost and Arcane damage, increasing damage taken by 2/4/6/6/10% and lasts 30 seconds. Stacks up to 5 times.
  • Master of Elements – Fire and frost wording removed, now your spell criticals will refund 10% of their base mana cost.
  • Blast Wave – Knockback added, now a wave of flame radiates outward from the caster, damaging all enemies caught within the blast for 154 to 186 Fire damage, knocking them back and Dazing them for 6 seconds.
  • Fiery Payback – Changed to, When below 35% health all Physical and Fire damage taken is reduced by 10/20% and your Pyroblast spell’s cast time is reduced by 1.75/3.5 secs.
  • Empowered Fireball – Changed to 3 ranks, Increases the damage of your Fireball spell by an amount equal to 5/10/15% of your spell power.
  • Firestarter – New talent added, Your Blast Wave and Dragon’s Breath spells have a 15/30/45% chance to make your next Flamestrike spell instant cast. Lasts 10 seconds.
  • Dragon’s Breath – Disorient changed from 3 sec to 5 sec
  • Burnout  – Talent changed to read, Increases your spell critical damage bonus with all Fire spells by 5/10/15/20/25% but your spell criticals cost an additional 1/2/3/4/5% of the spell’s cost.
  • Living Bomb – Mana drain added, The caster becomes a living bomb, causing 51 Fire damage to all enemies within 10 yards every 2 sec. After 6 seconds, a fiery explosion occurs causing 212 Fire damage to all enemies within 10 yards and burning 106 mana, dealing damage equal to the amount drained.


  • Shattered Barrier – New Tier 6 talent that gives your Ice Barrier spell a 50/100% chance to trigger a Frost Nova when it is destroyed.
  • Winter’s Grasp – Renamed to Fingers of Frost, which gives your Frost damage spells a 5/10% chance to apply the Fingers of Frost effect, which treats your next Frost spell cast on the target as if the target were Frozen. Lasts 10 seconds.
  • Brain Freeze – Changed to give your Frost damage spells have a 5/10/15% chance to cause your next Fireball spell to be instant cast and cost no mana.
  • Improved Water Elemental – Changed to increase the duration of your Summon Water Elemental spell by 5/10/1515 sec and your Water Elemental heals all party or raid members 1/2/3% of their total health every 5 secs.
  • Chilled to the Bone – Changed to increase the damage caused by your Frostbolt, Frostfire Bolt and Ice Lance spells by 1/2/3/4/5% and reduces the movement speed of all chilled targets by an additional 2/4/6/8/10%.
  • Deep Freeze – Damage added, causes 694 to 806 Frost damage and stuns the target for 5 seconds. Only usable on Frozen targets.

MMO-Champion.com also made an updated Talent Calculator to reflect the new changes. You can see the new Talent Tree HERE.


Whew… lots of changes. Blizzard continues to make changes in hopes to make things “balanced” and not overpowered. Every time there is a change, every class holds their breathe in hopes that the new overpowered spell doesn’t get nerfed, and some of the useless talents gets taken away or changed. The Mage talents sees a little bit of both.


I see they finally got rid of Wand Specialization. Yay! Looks like they made Arcane more viable for PvP with some of the talents. Arcane Fortitude is now Tier 2, and increases armor by 50/100/150% of your Intellect. Improved Blink gets buffed to 15/30% chance to dodge all attacks.

There is also a few buffs to PvE also. Prismatic Cloak is now makes your Invisibility spell instant with 3 points (also good for PvP), and the new Arcane Empowerment now effects Arcane Blast and doesn’t increase mana cost of Arcane Missles.

A new big buff is Focus Magic. I can see Mages putting 11 points into Arcane just for this spell. It is a debuff that all spell casters will benefit from, and depending on the cooldown for the spell, Mages will be working out a Focus Magic rotation to make sure the debuff is up at crucial times.

Arcane Potency, from what I read from it now can be made to make an Arcane Missile spec possible. Technically you can activate Presence of Mind, and spam only Arcane Missiles, and keep the +30% spell critical strike rating the entire time (since Arcane Missiles doesn’t consume the Presence of Mind charge). Grab the 4 piece Tier 6 bonus, your favorite Shadow Priest, and a ton of Mana pots, and this spec can do some serious DPS.

New Arcane spell rotation?: Arcane Missiles -> Arcane Barrage -> Repeat


Fire gets a serious buff to PvP, and it was much needed too. The biggest buff is the knockback added to Blastwave, giving Fire Mages another way to put some distance from Melee, or even to interrupt enemy spell casting. Fiery Payback giving Fire Mages 1.5 second Pyroblasts at when they are at under 35% Health can make almost dead Mages very deadly. Living Bomb also gets a buff, and now burns Mana.

Burning Determination looks weird to me. For 2 points, it gives you a 100% chance when Interrupted or Silenced to be immune to Interrupts or Silences for 10 seconds. Say you get the Fire tree locked out for 8 seconds. When you can cast Fire Spells again, you only have 2 seconds of uninterrupted casting left? Ooh you Kicked my Fireball, now you can’t stop my Frostbolts! I dunno… sounds a little weak to me.

For PvE, the biggest buff I see is Improved Scorch also effecting Frost and Arcane spells, to buff other Mages in the raid. Burnout now doesn’t burn too much of your mana now, and having 5 points into the talent pretty much increases your spell critical strike bonus by 25%, for the cost of cutting the mana efficiency of Master of Elements by half. Pretty good trade off.

I can see Fire Mages going with some 11/49/11 spec now.


Not too many changes to the Frost Talents, but we do see one nerf to one of the new powerful talents in the Frost tree.

For PvP, Ice Barrier gets a buff through a new talent Shatter Barrier, which gives you a 50/100% chance for Frost Nova to cast when your Ice Barrier breaks. By doing this, Shatter Shield (which was a trainable spell, but not anymore) will now only be for Frost Mages.

Deep Freeze gets a buff, and now does damage to go along with that stun. Since it is still only castable on “frozen” targets, that damage is most likely going to crit too (you DID get Shatter right?!). So Shatter Combo 2.0 is now: Frost Nova (or Freeze) -> Deep Freeze + Ice Lance -> Stun -> Frostbolt -> Frostbolt + Ice Lance.

Brain Freeze no longer makes players that are Frostbitten or Frost Nova’d to miss anymore, now gives your Frost Spells a 5/10/15% chance to give you a free and instant Fireball. Meh… maybe good for the burst damage for PvP, but still not worth the 3 talent points imo.

Winter’s Grasp has been nerfed (we all saw it coming) and has been renamed Fingers of Frost. It no longer provides a raid wide buff, and no longer gives other Mages a shared buff. It will only affect your next Frost Spell. Ouch…

Improved Water Elemental no longer gets the 30% increased in health and mana, but now gives a raid wide buff of healing 3% of their health every 5 seconds for 1 minute with 3 points into the talent. A decent trade off I guess. Now it is necessary to have a Shadow Priest in your group now or Squirtle will run out of mana (he already runs out of mana in ~35 seconds without one). I think I would like it more if they made it return mana instead of health though.

New PvE spec for me now with Focus Magic: 11/0/60

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  • Grey said:

    Whoa…whole lot of changes.

    Fire is starting to look really interesting now, and us Ice Mages have been made a bit more viable with the changes to scorch and focus magic…I hope they stick through Beta.

    Was also confused by Burning determination, at first I though it makes you immune, i.e. cancelling the silence that had just been used, but realised that would be way too OP for a tier 2/any talent. With the cooldown on kick/pummel(lol) being over 10 sec anyway, the only place I could see this being useful is when two people are beating on you/trying to cc you, or against shammies-> earth shock silence for 2 sec, then enjoy your 8 seconds immunity to their next earth shock.

    I Disagree with you on Brain freeze, I think this could be good. Moreso in PvP – i.e. chasing someone spamming ice lance until you get your instant fireball to help bring them down. Probably more one for aspiring elementists although not sure how far down the tree this is? In PvE I guess an instant fireball for when you have to move around might be .. meh.

    Anyone else starting to get excited about PvP in WOTLK? Currently thinking about it, -Frost Nova Every 24 Sec, -an extra one from Barrier breaking every 24 secs (with floes), -your pets freeze every so often and -the Odd fingers of frost proc…seriously thats a hella lot of frozen time –> 5sec Stun/shatter/run away opportunities (depends on diminishing returns)…dunno maybe too optimistic but this looks sweet.

  • Tuna (Author) said:

    Yea I can see the new Brain Freeze being good for PvP, but it is at the same Tier as Water Elemental and Improved Water Elemental. If you are already that far down the Frost Tree (43 points), there won’t be many Talent Points left for you to put into Fire to make a good Elemental Build.

    3 Points for one talent is too much for that talent, especially in the Frost tree where you could put those 3 points to better use me thinks.

  • Ahrimsblight said:



    That is the best pve spec that I have seen so far… not threat wise though,

    I used to actually be a arcane blast mage… ever since they changed it and nerfed it into oblivion it jsut hasn’t been the same! /cry

    if you have any other builds that you think i shoudl try let me know

  • Tuna (Author) said:

    @ Ahrimsblight

    I just posted three PvE specs that has good potential HERE. I haven’t gotten around to messing around with a Frostfire Build yet, but I see a lot of potential for that as well. Yea with the recent changes to Arcane Blast, you have to make a few adjustments as an Arcane Mage.

    The spec you have linked actually goes to a 11/49/11 spec. Which is actually a very decent PvE build for single target DPS.