WotLK Mage keybind/Macro/Tips - The way I play the Mage (2022)

This guide will provide a general idea of how mage players can keybind their skills as well as some small tips and macros for raiding or PvP in general for patch 3.3.5a.

About me
A kid, a code-monkey and a wow addict too. I've been playing on Molten for 2+ years, always leeching information from the forums so I thought I should give something in return after all these years. I am a retired but proud member of <Serenity> of Lordaeron and ex-Mage class commander of <Tea and Biscuits> of Lordaeron. As for more credentials just ask oldies on Lordaeron who this Soya/Xoya kid is. Nowadays you will find me on [strike]Lordaeron[/strike] Deathwing horde side doing some random bgs, rdf hc or non-hardcore raiding.

Table of Contents

I. Introduction
II. Keybindings
III. Macros
IV. Tips
V. Conclusions
VI. Acknowledgements

I. Introduction

This post will not cover basic spell rotation because as mages we have very simple spell rotation when fighting a raid boss and I am pretty sure you can find guides on any WoW-related forum. We mages are the squishiest amongst the cloth caster classes. However, what makes us unique is the sheer amount of utility skills we possess in our arsenal, be it active defense skills, crowd control tools etc. What distinguishes a skilled mage from a cohort of mediocre ones is his or her ability to use utility skills proficiently. While Frostbolt or Arcane Missiles may seem irrelevant to a fire mage, whether it is PvE or PvP, important utilities such as Cone of Cold, Frost Nova, Fire Blast, Polymorph, Spell Steal should be conveniently keybound. A set of well-designed keybinding will always take you to the next level, both in survivability and damage.

II. Keybindings

(Video) Xaryu's SECRET WOTLK Mage Macro's

Here are some examples of how a mage's action bar should look (with SpartanUI + Bartender 4):

WotLK Mage keybind/Macro/Tips - The way I play the Mage (1)Fire
WotLK Mage keybind/Macro/Tips - The way I play the Mage (2)Frost
WotLK Mage keybind/Macro/Tips - The way I play the Mage (3)Legend
A-: alt-
S-: Shift-
Sp: Space
TB: tab

What each icon does is pretty self-explanatory if you are familiar with all your mage spells. Disregard any non-mage-spell icon because those are just for shiz and gigz.

As you can see from the screenshots, the placement of utility spells accessible to all three specs such as Ice block, Mirror Images, Blink, Polymorph, Counterspell etc are pretty much the same. The main difference is that the major spells you use to deal damage in each spec are placed in the main 1,2,3 action slots. E.g. Frostbolt and Ice lance for Frost Mage.

1. Wait, why no 4-9,0 and - ?
As a mage you want be constantly on the move especially when you are PvPing. If you use number keys such as 5 and onwards you are very likely to take your fingers off from your WASD movement buttons and this is never good for a mage. Hence using keys that are near to you is a smart solution. E.g. unbinding your character sheet screen (default key is c) and bind it to Polymorph. Well If you have big hands or long fingers I suppose you can use the '5' key. :)2. Wait, how do you Ice Block?
I personally use a Razor Naga mouse and I use one of my keys on the mouse to Ice Block that's why my Ice Block is bound to the default '=' key. Hence you may want to come up with your own keybind for Ice Block.3. Wait, I do not see Fire Ward!
Several spells have been combined into one skill using macro with key-modifier. I will explain this later in the macros section.4. Wait, you don't even use tab for target switch!
I do not use tab for target switch because I use mouse-over macros for every single spell that requires a target e.g. Polymorph, Deep Freeze etc., which will be covered later (And yes my macro slots are full). This leaves us one extra free key to bind to a skill.5. How about trash buffing/dispelling your teammates?
It is very important during fights that you help dispelling curses from your team mates as well as spamming trash buffs on them when the opposing team (PvP) is spamming Dispel Magic/Purge. I use Vuhdo (works with other click-to-heal add-ons too) and have bound relevant spells to specific click combinations. E.g. I have bound Slowfall to right click, Remove Curse to left click, Arcane Intellect tot Shift+ left click, and Dampen Magic to Shift+ right click. III. Macros
In this section several types of macros you should use as a mage will be introduced.1. Mouseover with Alt modifier on focus
The following macro will enable you to cast spells at an enemy by hovering your mouse over the model or the nameplate of that enemy. It will also allow you to cast directly cast spells at your focus by pressing the Alt modifier:


#showtooltip arcane barrage/cast [modifier:alt,@focus][@mouseover, harm][harm] arcane barrage
Here you can change arcane barrage to any appropriate spell.2. Macro to avoid clipping channelling ticks
This macro is especially helpful if you do not want to clip the channelling ticks of your Arcane missles, Blizzard or even Evocation but you just like to spam those buttons.


#showtooltip Arcane Missiles/cast [nochanneling:Arcane Missiles] Arcane Missiles
3. Stopcasting macro
This macro is especially helpful if you want to use defensive skills when an enemy is onto you but you are casting other spells at the moment.


#showtooltip Cone of Cold/stopcasting/cast Cone of Cold
(Video) Mages NEED this Macro!! Best WoW Classic Mage Macro, simple copy and paste.


#showtooltip Counterspell/stopcasting/cast [modifier:alt,@focus][@mouseover, harm][harm] Counterspell
4. Water Elemental Manipulation
As a frost mage in pvp your Water Elemental provides DPS as well as the ability to freeze the enemy. You want to bind command to manipulate it better.


#showtooltip Frostbolt/cast [modifier:alt,@focus][@mouseover, harm][harm] Frostbolt/petattack
The macro above allows your pet to start casting water bolts at the enemy when you start attacking using Frostbolt to provide extra little DPS (because every little bit helps).


#showtooltip Polymorph/cast [modifier:alt,@focus][@mouseover, harm][harm] Polymorph/petfollow
(Video) The ONLY Keybinding Guide You NEED For WRATH! - World of Warcraft Guide
The macro above tells your pet to stop attacking and follow you (your water elemental should be on DEFENSIVE mode) after you poly your target so the poly does not accidentally break.


#showtooltip Freeze/petfollow/script UIErrorsFrame:UnregisterEvent("UI_ERROR_MESSAGE"); /click [pet] PetActionButton5 /script UIErrorsFrame:RegisterEvent("UI_ERROR_MESSAGE");
The macro above allows you to use the appropriate pet action button ( in my case my pet button 5 is freeze. If you spam the button it will also tell your pet to stop doing whatever he's doing and follow you.5. Shields and Wards
We mages have four shields: Fire/Frost Ward, Ice Barrier and Mana Shield. It is not optimal to waste 4 slots on action bar for each one of them. Hence the following macro will condense the four skills into 2 action bar slots:


#showtooltip/stopcasting/cast [mod:shift] Mana Shield; Ice Barrier
The above allows you to cast either mana shield or Ice Barrier with Shift modifier.
The above allows you to cast either Fire/Frost Ward with Alt modifier.7. Ice Block!
Your most important defensive cooldown! This macro will allow you to Ice Block and cancel it whenever you want by pressing it again:


#showtooltip Ice Block/stopcasting/cancelaura Ice Block/cast Ice Block
(Video) WOTLK Classic: Mage Leveling Guide (Talents, Tips & Tricks, Rotation, Gear)
8. Evocation with 2 Tier 3 gear
The tier 3 two-set bonus reduces the cooldown of our evocation by 1 minute.
By switching to 2 pieces of our gear to tier 3 (out of combat) before casting Evocation will result in 1 minute CD on evocation if you are an arcane mage. This is especially useful if you are pvping as an arcane mage and knows how to juke. Just don't forget to spam click it again after you've done evocating to switch your level 80 gear back.


#showtooltip Evocation/equip Frostfire Shoulderpads/equip Frostfire Bindings/cast Evocation/equip Sanctified Bloodmage Shoulderpads/equip Ether-Soaked Bracers
9. Optional Macros
Will be added upon request.IV. Tips
1. Fireball/FFB mages have long range (40-41 yards). They can continue to set the Lich King on fire during transition phase if properly positioned.

2. Use level 1 Frostbolt! Belive it or not this is one of our best cc skill (Short cast time, long snare duration at long range).

3. If you cast Arcane missiles on a rogue before he vanishes, [strike]you will stop channelling the spell, but the remaining ticks that are still flying[/strike] you will continue to channel the spell and the missile ticks (they will appear to become "stealthed" with the rogue) will get him out of stealth. Timing is very important for this. (Tested working 25/03/2015)

4. Use scorch as a frost mage to put your enemy in dilemma whether to interrupt your spellcast or not.

5. Cone of Cold-ing and Dragon's Breath-ing backwards is an essential skill that a mage must master.

[strike]6. Get 2 pieces of Tier 9, wear them before you cast armour spells and switch back to your normal gear will grant you more bonus. Especially more crit from molten armour for PvE. It is a legit usable bug. [/strike](This is no longer valid as of 24/02/2015)


7. Fake cast spells! Be dirty enough to fake cast using Hearthstone when you need to!

More will be added upon request.

V. Conclusions
Keep in mind the keybindings and macros defined in this guide is just a general idea. Players should use keybinds and macros that they are comfortable with. However as a mage you should NEVER be clicking the action bar more than twice in a minute because that split second you use to click could mean live or death, or wipe or kill.VI. Acknowledgements
I would like give special thanks to my friend Saki for guiding me through my darkest days as a noob apprentice mage. Without him this guide would not have been possible.


1. FROST MAGE WOTLK GUIDE | Best Race, Talents, Glyphs, Gear, Professions & Macros
(Skill Capped WoW Guides)
2. WoW Classic - Best Mage Macros and Keybinds for AOE Gold Farms/Power Leveling!!
3. The best way to keybind in Classic WoW... using a system that makes sense.
(Skill Capped WoW Guides)
5. Be a Boss Warrior with One Simple Trick - Mages HATE THIS! WOTLK Classic Macros, Tips & Tricks.
6. Revealing my SECRET Classic Mage MACRO'S!

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