Racial Traits for Mages


“I was planning on making a new Mage, what Race should I be? It doesn’t matter if it is Horde or Alliance since I will be starting on a PvE server with a couple of friends. Thanks!”

Creating a new character can be very time consuming. I remember spending a good 30 minutes or so, customizing how my character looks when creating my first character. Even thinking of a name can take a good amount of time!

Looks aren’t as important anymore with the new barber shop feature, you can always change the way your character looks. Or you can go even further and use the Character Re-customization feature, where you can go back and change the sex of your character.

However, you have no way of changing the Race you picked. You’re only option would be to re-roll another character. So your Race selection can be a very important choice you make when creating your character.

Blood Elves

Arcane Affinity: This is a little helpful if you are deciding you will be an Enchanter, but not a decision factor. The +5 Enchanting skill will only be helpful in the early stages of leveling Enchanting, or when you want to max out the profession, but that is it.

Arcane Torrent: The ability to silence all enemies around you ever 2 minutes is a very nice ability to have in PvP. The secondary ability to recover 6% of your mana 2 minutes is great for both PvE and PvP. Remember it is your MAX Mana Pool, not your BASE Mana, making this racial even more useful.

Magic Resistance: This passive ability to reduce the chance to be hit by all Spells by 2% is another good PvP racial trait, especially with the lack of Hit on PvP gear.



Gemcutting: This is a little helpful if you are deciding you will be an Jewelcrafter, but not a decision factor. The +5 Jewelcrafting skill will only be helpful in the early stages of leveling Jewelcrafting, or when you want to max out the profession, but that is it.

Gift of the Naaru: A heal for a non-healing class? I’ll take that. The best thing is that it scales with your Spell Power, so the more you have the more it heals. Great for PvP and PvE. At level 80, it heals for 1235 before taking Spell Power into account.

Heroic Presence: An aura that gives you and your party members +1% Hit to all Spells and Attacks. Great for any solo/group situations for both PvE and PvP.

Shadow Resistance: This passive ability to reduce the chance to be hit by Shadow Spells by 2% is another good PvP racial trait, especially against those pesky Warlocks and Shadow Priests.



Despite random sightings of Dwarf Mages, sadly you cannot make a Dwarf Mage.



Arcane Resistance: This passive ability to reduce the chance to be hit by Arcane Spells by 2% is a decent PvP racial trait. It is only decent because it is only good against other Mages.

Engineering Specialization: This is a little bit more helpful than other profession racials because you get +15 skill instead of +5.

Escape Artist: A great ability to have for PvP to remove any snares or slows. The best thing is that it doesn’t share a cooldown with your PvP trinket.

Expansive Mind: For a Mage, Intellect is a very valuable stat, especially for an Arcane Mage. Each point of Intellect gives us +15 to our Mana Pool, and at level 80, 45.91 Intellect equals 1% Crit. The 5% Intellect bonus is add AFTER calculating your gear, which makes it better as you get more geared.


Diplomacy: Arguably the best PvE racial trait in the game. With Reputation a big aspect of PvE, getting 10% more reputation gains makes getting to Exalted with factions faster.

Every Man for Himself: Then you have Arguably the best PvP racial trait in the game. This ability works exactly the same as a PvP trinket, getting you out of any stun/snare/slow/cc. This ability shares the same cooldown as a PvP trinket, but also open up a trinket slot for PvP.

Mace / Sword Specialization: Increases your expertise with Maces and Swords by 3. Not important for a Mage since you shouldn’t be meleeing.

Perception: A passive ability to give you a +5 Stealth detection. Basically makes you see stealth as if you were one level higher. Helpful against stealthers in PvP. I miss the old perception…

Human Spirit: Gives you a passive 3% increase in your Spirit. With recent changes to how Spirit could affect Mages, this racial trait will be valued more. The 3% increase is applied after calculating gear.



Beast Slaying: The ability to do 5% more damage against Beasts is good for some PvE encounters, as well as for dealing with Hunter’s Pets.

Berserking: This ability gives you a Haste effect when activated. The amount of Haste depends on your Health at the time of activating the ability. Over 40% Health and up, you only will get a 10% speed increase. Under 40% Health you get a 30% speed increase. Great for PvP and PvE.

Throwing / Bow Specialization: Nope… not useful for Mages at all.

Da Voodoo Shuffle: Reduces the duration of all movement impairment effects on you by 15%. A good passive ability for PvP, and a cool name!

Regeneration: Passive ability to increase your Health regeneration by 10%, and allows 10% of your Health regeneration to occur during combat. A good ability to have for PvP.



Cannibalize: The ability to restore 7% of your total health by feeding off the corpse of a Humanoid or Undead. A nice racial trait to have while grinding, and could also come in handy while PvPing since this can be used while in combat.

Shadow Resistance: This passive ability to reduce the chance to be hit by Shadow Spells by 2% is another good PvP racial trait, especially against those pesky Warlocks and Shadow Priests.

Underwater Breathing: Pretty much gives you the ability to stay underwater for 10 minutes before having to go up for air. Comes in handy with all the underwater quests in Northrend, but that is pretty much it.

Will of the Forsaken: When used, it will remove any Charm, Fear, or Sleep effect. It also does not share a cooldown with a PvP trinket, so you can use both in PvP.


If you are going to base your Race selection to make the “best” Mage you can, then you have many choices. Each of the different Races have some really nice abilities for that could benefit you for PvE or PvP, depending on what you like.

Personally, I like Humans for Alliance, and Trolls/Undead for Horde if you are going by usefulness of Racial Traits.

Remember, you don’t HAVE to base your selection on the racial traits. If you want to be a Blood Elf Mage because they look better in Mage Gear, go for it! Sure racial traits are helpful, but it’s your game, play however you like.

Going by just looks, I would probably go Gnomes/Humans for Alliance, and Blood Elves/Undead for Horde.

Also, before we even get into each Race you pick, there maybe a few things you might want to consider before picking a Race. The server itself can narrow down your choices, and even the classes/races your friends choose could narrow your choices even further. After evaluating all the different factors, remember to just pick what will make your gaming experience better.

First you have to see if the server is right for you. Do some research before setting it in stone. Make a level one alt on there and ask the citizens there about the Horde/Alliance ratio. This may narrow down which faction to choose. See if the server time is a good match for your own time zone. If everyone is raiding/pvping at 8pm server time, but it is 8am for you, it might effect your gaming experience.

You maybe just starting off with a few of your friends now, but if you look ahead, you may need to play with others when you reach max levels. This will differ between every player, so check what your end goal is for you and your friends.

If you are to play with a couple of your friends, some players prefer to be leveling up around the same area, or at least the same continent. If all your buddies roll Draenei, then it might be difficult to meet up with them if you are a Gnome.

Getting from one capital to another isn’t too bad though. It may take some travel time with a Zeppelin or boat. Or it could take a few seconds with a nice Mage portal. Not a huge deciding factor, but it could decide where you want to start.

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  • dorgol said:

    While MALE Draenei look pretty silly in robes, FEMALE Draenei look mighty fine. I would keep them in mind from a “looks” perspective. :)

  • Gnomeaggedon said:

    You forgot the Gnome racial trait of… “ohh look he’s so little and cute… must hit big opponent”.

    However, my 1st Mage was a human male… if only I could stand the idea of following it all over Azeroth… his animations just drove me insane.

    Thus most important racial trait is “Am I prepared to spend more time with this collection of pixels than my family & friends?”

    Gnomeaggedons last blog post..Noob or Inexperienced?

  • Zuggy said:

    You forgot the other troll one…

    Good Looks – Your charming good looks render your enemies helpless, paralyzing them by the sight of your glorious orange hair.


    great post as always, tuna

    Zuggys last blog post..Season 5 Gladiator Rewards

  • Tuna (Author) said:

    @ dorgol and Gnomer

    Exactly why I made a female Human. If I’m going to be looking at this character for the majority of my WoW time, might as well be a pretty female than a buff dude.

    I originally was going to make a Gnome thinking, “I’ll be small, and less likely to be targeted!” But it seems on the Horde side, all Gnomes are KoS and are actually targeted more frequently!

    @ Zuggy

    Haha I actually checked for something I missed before reading the rest of your post. I also noticed that Humans and Trolls have 6 racials, while the other classes have only 4! Blood Elves have only 3! Sup with that?!

    Guess Humans and Trolls are just better :P

  • Zuggy said:

    tru dat! Troll4life! I hope they open up racial changes eventually so I can change my tauren shaman to a troll shaman…you just can’t beat their hair cuts.

    Zuggys last blog post..Arena Season 6 Gear

  • Zulade said:

    also don’t forget about the animation each race does when they’re casting!
    i regret making all my characters blood elves, IMO i think the trolls have the best casting animation: KAMEHAMEHA!!!!!

  • Warcraft angeln said:

    Yeah, I like humans too. I just like the “normal” look. Unfortunately it took me a lot of time to find a face i like.
    Warcraft angeln´s last blog ..Angel Einführung My ComLuv Profile