Mage – What Race is Best for Arena?
Will of the Forsaken has always been a game-changer in the PvP environment. Not only does it break fear, sleep, and charm effects, it also makes you immune to them for 5 seconds (2m cooldown). This will allow you to use your PvP Insignia for a potentially crucial moment later in the game. You also gain a passive +10 shadow resistance, which is nice against some of our toughest matchups (e.g. warlocks), but not significant. Cannibalize can be used in arena matches, and is beneficial in niche situations.
Berserking is a nice option to have, increasing your casting speed by 10-30% for 10 seconds (3m cooldown). This is a great ability to combo with your second Icy Veins after you’ve used your first with Mind Quickening Gem, or you can drop MQG completely and combo it with a damage trinket instead. A downside is the requirement of a large health deficit to achieve the 30% value upon activation, and activating at full health for +10% speed will not often make or break games. Trolls also deal +5% damage to Druid beast forms and Shaman Ghost Wolf in PvP due to Beast Slaying. The increased health regeneration (+10% during combat) is generally negligible in the arena context.
Blood Elf: ★
Arcane Torrent instantly silences all enemies around you within 8 yards for 2 seconds (2m cooldown). This can be impactful in certain moments such as preventing crucial enemy heals landing in arena, however, the short-range requirement can be tough to work with especially against better players that practice good spacing, and the short silence duration is underwhelming. Blood Elves also gain +5 to all resistances which is nice, but not significant.
Escape Artist is an instant ability that removes all movement-impairing effects from your character (1m 45s cooldown). This is an incredibly powerful tool to increase a mage’s already mobile kit, and breaking distance is always a huge benefit. Gnomes also gain +5% intellect from all sources, leading to a larger mana pool and slightly higher crit rate, both of which are very valuable in the arena context. Gnomes passively gain +10 arcane resistance which is generally not significant.
Perception dramatically increases your stealth detection for 20 seconds (3m cooldown). Using this to find a stealthed rogue before they open you is a large tempo swing in arena games. You can also use this to roam the map and search for druids attempting to avoid you at the beginning of a match, which is a huge benefit in common comps such as Mage/Rogue. If your arena partner(s) are also human though, then the value of your own perception is decreased slightly. The increased spirit (+10%) is a nice benefit especially if you’re playing a longer game with Mage Armor on.
Gift of the Naaru is a 1.5-sec cast that applies an HoT to your target, healing them every 3 seconds for 15 seconds (3m cooldown). After scaling, this HoT will be medium-weak in the arena context. Draenei passively increases their own and party’s spell hit chance by 1%, which saves you roughly 13 hit ratings from gear. They also passively gain +10 shadow resistance, which is nice, but not significant.