How to Grind World of Warcraft Gold with Your Mage
Mages are renowned as being one of the best grinding classes out there, especially through their ability to AoE and take out many mobs in the same time a different class would take 1 or 2. Actually, there are two main mage gold grinding techniques that we’ll discuss a bit later in this guide: AoE Frost or AoE Fire grinding and single-target Frost or Fire grinding. Arcane is good as a support tree, but going deep in this tree is not recommended. But before going into detail over these techniques, let’s talk about a gold grinding mage’s talent build.
World of Warcraft Mage Gold Grinding Guide – Talent Build
Personally I found that a 20 Arcane / 41 Frost spec is the best for my grinding style, although Fire / Frost or Fire / Arcane are also viable options. Here are the most important talents in each tree when it comes to gold grinding:
Mage Gold Grinding Talents – Fire Tree
Ignite – Ignite is useful when AoE grinding with a fire spec, as you will have a lot of crit chance as a fire mage and the DoT damage of ignite will come in handy. Flame Throwing – Extra range is very useful when gold grinding, since it means you can pull mobs into clusters from further away and the more of them you bring to you, the more you can kill at once. Improved Flamestrike – Useful for AoE fire grinding, but totally useless if you plan to gold grind using single targets. Burning Soul – The 70% chance to resist interrupts is crucial as mobs WILL slip out of the clusters as a fire mage and one is bound to start chewing/clawing/stabbing you and ruining your entire strategy if you don’t have Burning Soul. Master of Elements – Fire gold grinding is extremely mana heavy, so this talent could prove useful in the long run, especially on heavy crit-based gear setups and builds. Blast Wave – A very useful AoE fire spell that gives you a taste of how to use Dragon’s Breath efficiently. Dragon’s Breath – The ultimate fire mage AoE grinding talent, this works just like Blast Wave, but with higher efficiency.
Mage Gold Grinding Talents – Arcane Tree
Arcane Subtlety – Used in conjunction with Elemental Precision from the Frost tree, Arcane Subtlety allows you to handle AoE gold grinding better and avoid those annoying resists. Arcane Concentration – a 10% chance for a free damage spell is quite useful, especially for fire mages that eat up mana fast. Arcane Impact – If Arcane Blast/Explosion are your main gold grinding AoE spells, Arcane Impact is a must. If you use Fire/Frost AoE, it’s not really worth taking, since Arcane Blast will be only used as a filler between the main spells from the other trees. Arcane Meditation – Great for mana intensive Frost grinding specs and best used in conjunction with heavy Spirit gear. Presence of Mind – Great to use as either a starting or finishing move on a group of mobs. Works best with single-target fire gold grinding builds, in conjunction with Pyroblast. Arcane Mind – A great talent for mage gold grinding at level 70, when your gear already has some heavy Intellect. Best used in deep Arcane builds with Mind Mastery, or as a support talent for Fire crit mages. Arcane Power – Awesome for power AoE grinding with either Frost, Fire or Arcane spells. It allows you to gather up more mobs than usual, but it also creates longer downtimes due to its extreme mana cost. Spell Damage increasing trinkets can be used in conjunction with Arcane Power for an enhance effect. Mind Mastery – If you came all the way up here in the Arcane tree, max Mind mastery out and make sure you also took Arcane Mind.
Mage Gold Grinding Talents – Frost Tree
Elemental Precision – excellent talent to use in conjunction with Arcane Subtlety, which is a combination that almost eradicates resists from equal-level mobs. Good to use in either Frost or Fire AoE gold grinding builds. Improved Frost Nova – Crucial spell for Frost AoE grinding mages, the reduce cooldown means you’ll be able to better control groups of mobs to Blizzard. Improved Blizzard – With Blizzard being one of your main Frost AoE spells, the slowing effect this talent adds to it is great. Cold Snap – Getting an extra Frost Nova or Ice Barrier/Block can save your life and allow you to finish off the group of mobs that you started grinding. Arctic Reach – Another crucial talent, since Frost AoE grinding requires you to stay at maximum range in order to fit in 2 Blizzards before the mobs can get to you. Frost Channeling – Anything that reduces mana costs during AoE is welcomed, but this is not crucial, just an extra to put points in if you’ve already hit your essential talents. Ice Block – Offers good survivability in AoE frost grinding and gives you a chance to plan your next moves. It also allows you to safely gather up mobs in a cluster and is a prerequisite of Ice Barrier. Improved Cone of Cold – Cone of Cold is another main AoE gold grinding spell, next to Blizzard and the damage increase is definitely worth it, considering you get it maxxed out for only 3 talent points. Ice Floes – Frost mages are reliant on cooldowns and reduced cooldowns are obviously great. It doesn’t affect Frost Nova cooldown by the way, however Cone of Cold, Cold Snap, Ice Barrier and Ice Block all get the full effect from Ice Floes. Ice Barrier – An ice block that actually lets you kick ass while you’re Godmode as well. Great talent and can be put to good use in AoE gold grinding techniques. Summon Water Elemental – Good for both AoE grinding frost mages (due to the Water Elemental’s Freeze ability) and for single-targeting DPS grinding. Worth getting if you came this far in the Frost tree, unless you’re going for Blast Wave in Fire.
World of Warcraft Mage Gold Grinding Guide – Gear Setup
AoE Frost mages will prefer +spell damage/+frost damage items over anything else, although +spell hit might also help, especially if you’ve skipped the Arcane Subtelty and Elemental Precision talents. Fire mage gold grinding is usually based on high +spell crit items but it really depends on the talents you took from the tree. Shatter Frost mages who single-target grind will also want high +spell crit ratings on their gear.
In what regards physical stats, Intellect and Stamina are the most important, followed by Spirit. Stamina is extremely important for all AoE builds, since AoE sessions can go really wrong really fast and you need good HP to sustain a beating before you can blink, ice block/barrier or frost nova. Single target fire and frost mages don’t really need that high Stamina when grinding, since they’ll be fighting 1-3 mobs at a time and they’ll die before they get close to you anyway. Actually, any single target gold grinding build like Frost Shatter, or Fire crit, requires high Intellect to cope with these mana hungry builds and for the extra crit chance.
Spirit might give you a shortened downtime and can be used effectively with the Arcane Meditation talent and Evocation, but shouldn’t really be a priority over Intellect, Stamina, Spell Crit, Spell Damage or Spell hit. You can check out some of the best gold grinding mage gear at high levels in our Mage Outland Gear Guide
World of Warcraft Mage Gold Grinding Guide – Grind Tactics
Frost Mage AoE Gold Grinding Technique - (Requires Improved Blizzard, Improved Cone of Cold, Ice Block, Ice Barrier, Improved Frost Nova and Arctic Reach)
This is probably the best AoE gold grinding technique in the game when used properly, rivaled only by the warlock’s Seed of Corruption AoE technique. Provided you have the above mentioned talents, here’s what you should do:
- Go to your favorite grinding spot, where you can easily gather up 6-10 mobs to kill at once (I’ll provide some of the best places for this later in the guide)
- Make sure the 10 mobs are not too spread out, or you might lose some of them and pop all your cooldowns killing just 3-4 of them.
- Put Ice Barrier on (mana shield also works if you have the Improved Mana Shield talent and didn’t go for Ice Barrier for some reason, but I wouldn’t recommend it since you’ll be needing every drop of mana you can squeeze out of your build)
- Mount up and aggro all of your target mobs, then gather them up in a clear place where you can blink and take some distance (make sure you don’t pull all the mobs in an area where they or you can attract even more mobs). If they don’t stay close, run a few short circles on your mount to cluster them up. If you get dazed and dismounted, pop Ice Block and let them gather up around you. If you have the time and the confidence required, you can cast a cone of cold before Ice Blocking but at first let’s just play it safer.
- Once the mobs are clustered around you, Frost Nova them to the spot and blink out in a safe area (like I said, it requires a bit of terrain studying first). Move as further away possible but make sure all the mobs are still in range of Blizzard.
- Aim your Blizzard spell so that the edge of the AoE circle covers all the mobs you just frost nova’d.
- Once your first Blizzard is over, channel a new one right in front of the incoming mobs. They’ll be moving slowly, with the frost effect on them, so the second blizzard will hit them almost as effectively as the first.
- Once they’re close to you, use Cone of Cold to slow them down, then jump in the middle of them and Frost nova again (use Cold Snap if the cooldown on Nova is not ready yet – it should be, if you chose the Improved Frost Nova talent though).
- Blink away from the middle of the mobs again and start the Blizzard technique all over. If you run out of mana, eat a pot or a mana gem. You can also wait for a bit of Spirit-based mana regeneration and only use Blizzard or Cone of Cold to finish off the mobs when their frost nova is about to break.
- Collect the World of Warcraft gold you’ve worked so hard for :).
Fire Mage AoE Gold Grinding Technique - (Requires Flame Throwing, Blast Wave, Dragon’s Breath, Molten Fury, Improved Frost Nova)
I think everyone will agree that this is slightly less effective than the Frost AoE technique, because of two reasons: 1. fire mages are a lot less mana efficient, 2. fire mages don’t have as many crowd controlling options as frost mages. This is actually a combination between AoEing and single-targeting. It goes like this:
- Spot a group of 5-6 mobs with a bit of room around them so you can move around.
- Pop armor on, mount up and gather them up.
- Frost Nova and blink away, moving furthest possible
- Cast a blizzard to break the Nova, then immediately choose a target and Pyroblast or Fireball them. When the other mobs get close to you, the sole target you chose should be dead (with the help of a Fire Blast if the Pyro/Fireball didn’t get them).
- Use Dragon’s Breath/Blast Wave when they’re close to you
- Frost Nova again and repeat, choosing a new single-target
- By the time the remaining mobs get close to you, they should be a lot easier to kill since you took Molten Fury and they will be in its effect range.
World of Warcraft Mage Best AoE Gold Grinding Spots - Outland
Hellfire Peninsula – Bonestripper Vultures – these guys can be found south of Honor Hold, around the bones of some whatshisnameasaurus of sorts. They’re in really compact groups and you can easily gather up 8-10 of em. Being beasts, they don’t drop cloth, but they do drop gold, grays and most importantly, Buzzard Meat which is used for a popular cooking recipe and it can be either used on yourself, or sold at the Auction House.
Zangarmarsh – Nagas – not a lot of AoE opportunities in Zangarmarsh, since most of the mobs here include casters or ranged attackers which can pretty much screw up any AoE tactic. The Naga camps surrounding several of the Zanga lakes are an exception, as you can pull 5-6 mobs without a caster each time.
Blade’s Edge Mountains – Death’s Door – the demons around this area are juicy AoE opportunities, but some of them have a higher fire resistance, so try this out only if you’re Frost AoE specced.
Nagrand – Elemental Plateau – the Plateau is a popular farming place, with the elementals in it dropping valuable motes, gold and grays that can be later sold for cash. Frost mages have it easy here again, but fire mages will be inefficient since half of the mobs in the Plateau are Fire Elementals.
Netherstorm – Manaforges – the Manaforges around Netherstorm are perfect for both fire or frost AoE gold grinding, since the blood elves populating them are in tight clusters, they drop great stuff, including cloth, money, items and Scryer signets.
Netherstorm – Kirin’Var – the Kirin Var village is populated with all sorts of mana fiends and aberrations that drop valuable motes of mana. They’re a good spot for mage grinding, since warlocks can’t AoE grind here with the mobs being resistant to shadow damage. On PVP servers however, with the Kirin Var village being one of the best quest hubs around levels 68-70, you will probably get bugged by those annoying levelers. In addition, the mobs aren’t too clustered so you can’t really gather up more than 4, maximum 5 of them.