Friday, December 21, 2007

AOE Mage tips

Now is the actual process of AoE grinding. The killing part is really
easy. All you need to do is press a key, aim, and then unleash hell on
your foes. And watch the purple numbers fly.

I wouldn't recommend actually grinding before lvl 40 or so, but that's
just me (I prefer questing, it means more for the game to me – yes, I
know, I'm writing a grinding guide….). But if you insist, I really
recommend only grinding when you hit 26. This is when you get Arctic
Reach 2/2 and Imp Blizzard 3/3, which are vital talents. Otherwise
you'll only fit in 1 full Blizzard.

Pick a place where there are 5-10 MELEE mobs, of your same level.
All ranged classes murder you, as they interrupt your blizzard casting
and generally mess everything up. If you're lucky, and there's only
one, you may be able to sheep them, but this is risky.
STAY AWAY FROM RANGED! There should be space for blinking around,
running around, and also a good place to flee just in case. I'll
suggest some good places later on.

Here is the entire AoE process, and I'll explain how further below.

Q u o t e:

- Choose a good spot, where you can see 5 or 10 mobs, and a good
space for you to run around.

- Pop up Ice barrier, or mana shield (not recommended – ice
barrier doesn't waste mana)

- Mount up if you have a mount

- Take a deep breath and hope you don't die.

- Run into the mobs – try to get the mob furthest away from your
original position first, to the mob nearest to you.

- After you have the mobs you want, run around in spirals for a
few seconds to cluster them together. If they're not in a group, run
back and circle them until they are.

- Dismount. (Or just hit the next spell, ie. Ice Block or Ice
Barrier - dismounting is now automatic)

- Put Ice block on, if you have it. Otherwise, put on ice barrier
(just to be safe).

- Once they are all hitting you, frost nova, and blink away.
Anywhere, so long as it's not off a cliff, or into more mobs. Strafe
away about 16 yards, or a few seconds. This is your max range for

- Hit the key, and aim the green circle so that the edge furthest
away from you touches the furthest guy at the back.

- When the first blizzard is about to be over, hit the key again,
and aim the green circle so that the furthest edge away from you is
just IN FRONT of the guy CLOSEST to you.

- Ice barrier if you want to be safe. You'll probably run out of
mana around here, and you still need mana for one more blizzard and a
CoC. Eat a mana gem if you want.

- CoC, then frost nova and blink TOWARDS the enemy (so you're now
behind the mob who was furthest away from you – or you can blink away,
but you have to check there IS space. Generally there isn't, and just
to be safe, you should blink towards your mobs)

- Blizzard again, and they should be dead. If not, finish up with
a CoC, and if the infidel still insist on living, you can wand them
down, AE, Fire blast, etc.

- Hooray! You killed them all!

Essential talents to take there are:

Q u o t e:
-Imp Blizzard, 3/3 –

You need 3/3 to fit in 2 blizzards when firing at max range before the
mobs reach you. If you spec 1/3, you can only fit in 1, and 1.5 if 2/3.

Q u o t e:
-Arctic Reach, 2/3

Like Imp Blizzard, you need this to obtain the max 36 yards of your
blizzard. Otherwise you can't fit in 2.

Q u o t e:
-Imp CoC, 3/3

You'll be using CoC a lot, with your blizzard, and more damage (+35%)
is good.

Q u o t e:
-Ice Barrier 1/1

You need this during the pulling part. If you use mana shield you'll
have half your mana burned before you even start killing.

Note the above are the absolute `must'. You simply have to take them.

Here are the recommended talents. (Not just talents which could be
helpful, but should be taken unless you really want another talent)
These are in no particular order.

Q u o t e:
-Elemental Precision 3/3

Nothing is worse than 1 out of the 10 mobs resisting that frost nova
and then whacking you as you perform blizzard.
Less resistance, thus, is good, and so is the reduced mana cost as you
will be burning up your entire mana bar during the killing process
(blizzard x3 or 4 + CoC + frost nova + ice barrier is quite a lot of

Q u o t e:
-Cold Snap 1/1

Useful if you really need to pop a frost nova or ice barrier.

Q u o t e:
-Improved Frost Nova 2/2

Frost nova is used a lot, and 4 secs left of cooldown is always good.
However this is not vital.

Q u o t e:
-Permafrost 3/3

Reducing the mobs' speed by +10% gives you more time to think and
react, but this is once again not essential.

Q u o t e:
-Ice block 1/1

This is actually a very important spell, and is on the border of being
a `must' talent. This can be used during the pulling process – pop up
the ice block and allow them to you, so they become clustered into a
group. Also useful in emergencies.


Q u o t e:
Frost Channeling, 3/3

Less mana usage is always good, as explained in Elemental Precision.

Talents NOT to take – these aren't talents which aren't good (some of
them are amazing), they just wreck your AoE grind if you take them.

Q u o t e:

Yuck. Having some mobs frozen and left behind and some not means the
group is not together and clustered.
Absolutely horrible, because you can't perform AoE on them if one is
ahead and the other is 50 yards behind. Go take Wand Specialization,
if you're going to take this. Absolutely horrible for AoE grinding.
Note this is actually pretty good if you're single-targetting DPS.


Q u o t e:
Any +crit % or +crit damage (ice shards, shatter)

These don't wreck your AoE grinding, but you need to save these
talents for others. Blizzard doesn't crit, so it's quite pointless,
and you don't want to rely on critting for this type of grinding
process in case it doesn't crit. Then you're dead.

OK. Enough of talents. That was quite boring.

Heres a list of some spots to aoe, contributed by mardy. (slightly
modified by Knoxwille @ Grim Batol ;>

I know some of the link`s to the spot is broken,and i will add new
working ones as soon as i have time

First off i'd recommend to go for Stamina and Intellect in gear for
aoe levling. Spell damage doesn't matter very much. since pre level
mid 60`s you will need to gimp sta and/or intl to get +spell dmg

(Level: 14-15) Savannah Lions - SW of Sludge Fen (Barrens)

(Level: 16-18) Venture Co. - Boulderlode Mine (Barrens)

(Level: 17-19) Stonesplinter Troggs - Ironband Excavation Site (Loch

(Level: 17-23) Mosshide Gnolls - Near Loch Modan Entrance [Few
Casters] (Wetlands)

(Level: 19-21) Ravenclaw Undead - Beren's Peri (Silverpine Forest)
I suggest to do quests until level 20 and then start to do aoe at the
places belove ( since frankly, you wont do that good before u get some
talent into frost tree imp blizzard and the fact that you don`t get
blizzard before lvl 20 :> so you will do more xp pr hour by questing
and stuff :> from lvl 1 -20

Also if you just started wow, you shod rather do quest and explore the
game,rather then use this guide since leveling 1-60(1-70now :D ) was
greate fun on my first char (atleast i liked the quest, and taking
time to explore Azeroth, seeing the instance and work with other ppl
in groups.

But it get kinda boring after the first char tho, since u mostly know
all quest and mostly want to get to the top level as fast as possible
( atleast thats how i feel)
(Level: 25-29) Skeletal Undead - Raven Hill Cemetary (Duskwood)
(this is a GREATE spot also the Gy is really close ( not that greate
for horde tho, since there is quite alott of allys add`s around :>)

(Level: 21-24) Bael'dun Dwarves - Bael'Dun Dig Site (Barrens)
( very easy to get adds =( so pay attention to mobs around before
pull, since its a loooong walk from gy)

(Level: 21-25) Foulweald Furbolgs [Bring a Healer] (Ashenvale)

(Level: 21-26) Shadowhide Gnolls (Redridge Mountains)

(Level: 22-26) Hillsbrad Farmers/Peasants - Hillsbrad Fields
(Hillsbrad Foothills) shod bring a
mage friend or a healer for this, since you often get adds. ( you shod
also pick up the quest for this spot in tarren mill(Horde), since the
you do get somewhat decent xp from those)

(Level: 23-31) Highperch Wyverns (Thousand Needles)

(Level: 25-32) Dragonmaw Orcs - Angerfang Encampment [Few
Casters/Bring Healer] (Wetlands)

(Level: 26-28) Plague Spreaders - Raven Hill Tomb (Duskwood)

(Level: 26-28) Hillsbrad Miners/Sentrys- Azureload Mine (Hillsbrad
Foothills) (I
sugest to bring another mage or a priest here, since u dont get alott
of space to move in therefore cant use blizzard to well, and mobs hit
kinda hard)

(Level: 28-30) Nightbane Worgens - Near Rotting Orchard (Duskwood)

(Level: 29-33) Syndicate Humans - North of Tarren Mill (Alterac

(Level: 29-35) Sparkleshell Turtles - Shimmering Flats (Thousand

(Level: 30-32) Cave Yeti's (Hillsbrad Foothills)

(Level: 30-33) Mountain Yeti's (Alterac Mountains)

(Level: 30-34) Salt Flats Vultures/Scavengers - Shimmering Flats
(Thousand Needles)

(Level: 33-35) Dabyrie Humans - Dabryie's Farmstead (Arathi highlands)
This spot is amazing, I would advise doing this area until 37-38

(Level: 33-35) Hammerfall Orcs - Go'shek Farm (Arathi Highlands)

(Level: 33-36) Silithids - Shimmering Flats (Thousand Needles)
Shimmering flats is to spread out i never did it

(Level: 33-36) Crushridge Ogres (Alterac Mountains)
I've ran through here, I never personally grinded here but it is a
viable spot, the mobs are kinda spread out though

(Level: 33-36) Scorpid Reavers/Terrors - Shimmering Flats (Thousand
same as before

(Level: 33-40) Saltstone Basilisks - Shimmering Flats (Thousand
The Basilisks are grouped nicely but personally there are not enough
to make it worthwhile

(Level: 35-38) Mirefin Murlocs - NE of Zone (Dustwallow Marsh)
The next best spot, For a frost mage i'd advise doing this spot until
44, just a filler until you get your next blizzard

(Level: 35-38) Syndicate Humans - North of Zone [One Caster per Camp]
(Alterac Mountains)
Never liked it, tried it a little bit

(Level: 35-39) Darkmist Spiders - North of Brackenwall Village
(Dustwallow Marsh)

(Level: 36-39) Lesser Rock Elementals - NW Corner (Badlands)
Not enough mobs to make worthwhile

(Level: 36-40) Bloodfen Raptors - NE of Brackenwall Village
(Duskwallow Marsh)
Seem to be spread out

(Level: 37-39) Elementals [Various Locations & Types] (Arathi

(Level: 37-40) Shadowforge Dwarves - Agnar Fortress [Few Casters]
The casters make this a pain

(Level: 39-44) Woodpaw Gnolls (Feralas)
The gnolls have a few ranged mobs, so as a frost mage I did not find
this spot to be suitable

(Level: 40-43) Grimtotem Tauren (Feralas)
Again some casters, not advisable, depending on your aoe spec

(Level: 40-45) Wastewater Bandits (Tanaris)
The bandits have casters mixed in, to me there was not enough of these
mobs to make it worthwhile, I'd advise doing the murlocks

(Level: 40-45) Southsea Pirates (Tanaris)
Ahhh now LOST RIGGER COVE is where its at. On my server not many
people grind this area. I catagorized the area into 5 pulls, will last
me until 52. At level 51 im able to grind 40k/hr.

(Level: 41-47) Green Sludges (Hinterlands)

(Level: 41-48) Dark Iron Dwarves [Various Locations] (Searing Gorge)

(Level: 42-48) Dunemaul Ogres (Tanaris)

(Level: 45-50) Thistleshrub Elementals (Tanaris)

(Level: 46-47) Rage Scar Yeti's (Feralas)

(Level: 46-51) Nethergarde Humans (Blasted Lands)
Good spot to level besides the fact of not being able to mount in the
mine, a few ranged mobs, not advised unless you have no other option

(Level: 47-50) Northspring Harpies (Feralas)
Have alot of casters mixed in with them

(Level: 47-50) Ravasaur Raptors (Un'goro Crater)

(Level: 47-50) Deadwood Furbolgs (Felwood)
Have ranged

(Level: 48-54) Jadefire Saytrs [Various Locations] (Felwood)

(Level: 49-50) Saltwater Snapjaw- East Coast (Hinterlands)

(Level: 49-54) Thunderhead Hippogryphs - Northern Peninsula (Azshara)

(Level: 49-55) Jaedenar Forces (Felwood)
Just a bad spot

(Level: 50-52) Felstone Fields [Few Casters] (Western Plaguelands)
The casters don't make it worthwhile in my opinion

(Level: 50-53) Flamekin Imps [Various Locations] (Burning Steppes)

(Level: 50-54) Warpwood Elementals (Felwood)

(Level: 52-56) Sorrow Hill [SE of Anderhol] (Western Plaguelands)

(Level: 52-58) Ice Thistle

Places to grind in (thank you Drec, for the coords! :P) –

These are mainly alliance regions, but unless you're on a pvp server,
most should be accessible by horde anyway.
There is a nice list of ALL AoE spots (inc Horde) at the bottom too.

I'm assuming you're at least lvl 26 or so for the talents, so I'll
start at around this level.

These are some of the 'better spots', but if you have difficult, check
out the link I've posted below, or the sticky about AoE spots on the
mage forums!
There's also a sticky on the forums for more spots if you don't like
the ones listed below:

Raven Hill or Tomb. Duskwood. Good Undead mobs to grind on, lots of
them and fast respawns. Watch out for casters, and there may be
limited space to blink around in. Lots of quests for killing these
guys. Undead so no runners.

Q u o t e:
21, 37 -
• 65,50 - Worgs
• 68,80 - Worgs
• 72,74 - Worgs

Gnolls in Redridge. Pretty good, generally not too much ranged.

Witherbark Village. Arathi Highlands. The trolls are great to grind
on, but watch out for ranged. There are quests for here too in AH.
Look out for runners.

Yetis in Yeti Cave of Arathi Highlands. No ranged or casters, good to
grind on. However, they may be quite spread out, so be careful during
pulling process.

Q u o t e:
• 46,31 - Yeti Cave

Hillsbrad farms. Horde only, this is an amazing place. Lots of
meleeing weak male farmers - annihilate them! Watch out for the mages,
though. The farmers run too, so get ready to wand. Work your way to
the north, then go south again, etc.

34 - 37
Farms in Arathi Highlands. Lots of humanoids here, no ranged. Be
careful for runners, but generally quite good. Kill the civilians!

Q u o t e:

• Alliance - 60,57 - Hammerfall Peons / Go'Shek Farm
• Horde - 54,39 - Dabyrie's Farmstead

Murlocs in Dustwallow marsh. These have no ranged and are easy to
grind on, since they have no special attacks. This is where AoE
grinding starts to kick off, excellent place to grind. There's a large
camp of around 40 murlocs north east of North Sentry Tower, with fast
Over the hill there are another 40 too, but these guys give poison, so
watch out.
However, the aggro radius is pretty big, so watch out on this as well,
They also run too. Gurgle

Q u o t e:

• 57,16 -Murlocs
• 54,14 -Murlocs
• 57,21 -Murlocs

Murlocs in Swamp of Sorrows. Read above. Gurgle.

Some people are having lots of trouble here, I'm not sure why. The
important thing is to find enough space amongst the vegetation, and no
ranged. Lots of mobs doesn't matter, more doesn't necessarily higher
chance of dying.

Pirates in Lost Rigger Cove, Tanaris, or just in Tanaris (watch out
for the `locks though). Some ranged, and they run.

Trolls in Hinterlands. Not that great because there are lots of ranged
mobs. Only really choose here if you have a quest, or you hate the

Q u o t e:
• 31,57 - Trolls at Hiri'watha

Undead in Sorrow Hill. Great place, this is where the speed of AoE
grinding really kicks in when it boosts you to 60. Very fast respawns,
and the mobs generally cluster in 5s or 6s in the first place anyway.
Lots of runecloth/money drops, and no runners. No ranged. This can be
a busy place though, so try to find a quiet time in the day, eg late
at night or early in the morning. Weekdays ftw.

Q u o t e:

• 51,77 -Sorrow Hill

Undead in Dalson's Tears. This is a great place to grind, no ranged at
all. Even faster respawns than Sorrow Hill, and good drops too. Nice
place to grind for rep for AD, watch out for fears though. This will
take you all the way to the infamous 60. This is less busy than Sorrow
Hill, so come here when you can.

Q u o t e:
• 46,53 -Dalson's Tears.

Above level 40 or so Alliance players can go to Horde areas easily, or
vice versa. A lot of people have requested Horde grinding sites, but I
don't many but here's a good list compiled by Runningcat (thanks! :P)
And no, I have not grinded past 60 yet >.<

However, you can try these mobs out (thanks, echxlor!)-

Hellfire Pennisula

Bonestripper Buzzards (53-59)
Bonestripper Vulture (57-62)
Rogue Voidwalker (58-61)
Uncontrolled Voidwalker (58-61)


(This zone is quite tricky because you don't often have a lot of room
to manouevre)

Daggerfen Assassin (61-63)
Ango'Rosh Brute (62-63)

Terokkar Forest

Shienor Talonite (58-63)
Timber Worg (59-63)
Dreadfang Lurker (59-64)
Bone Crawler (60-65)
Lost Spirit (60-65)
Boulderfist Invader (64-65)
Auchenai Warrior (might be the initiate I mean but the ones with no
mana!) (64-66)

Most animals there are good for AOEing, watch the Talbuk's however as
they have a nasty charge which can bring tears to even the most highly
talented AOEers out there...

Blade's Edge Mountains
Shadowmoon Valley

GEAR – if you can, invest in stamina and intellect.
Eagle gear is good, as it focuses on these 2 stats.

Spirit is the only other valid option for a mage, but since you're
casting 100% of the time, all it'll do is less downtime, but you can
drink anyway. Mage armour allows a bit of mana regen (30%), but you'll
need a lot of spirit for it to have any effect, so it's not worth it.

Mana/5s - like spirit, you need a lot for effect and it's better to
take intellect and stam since you're doing burst mass damage, not slow
endurance damage.

+damage does not affect blizzard much in comparison of the other
spells. It's good, but tbh Stam and Int is better, and imo it's more
important to get those. But if you think you have enough hp/mana, grab
some +dmg for some extra pew pew.

You need lots of intellect because of the high mana usage, and lots of
stamina since a lvl 50 being hit by 10 lvl 50s is quite deadly.

1 int = 15 mana
1 stam = 10 hp

Don't take strength or agility, etc. You need a lot for the effect.

Try to get a rune of perfection from the wsg pvp vendor, as it makes
your mobs resist less. It's a trinket.
If you can, try to up your +hit, but don't sacrifice your int/stam for

Apart from that, the main thing is to have fun! AoE grinding is meant
to be fast, fun and exciting, so if you hate it, don't force yourself!
However, DO remember you die a lot in the first few tries, so don't
let that put you off. Once you learn it, you can't forget, and you'll
be racking in the xp by the 1000s.

Enjoy this guide, and I hope it's been of use. Have fun in AoE
grinding, and may you always be a blink away from danger!


PS. If you have any useful things to add, or correct, please do! :P
PSS. There is an interesting response to my guide about some of the
details, feel free to take a look:

otes on the tactic above

The killing part is very easy to master. It simply involves blizzard,
blizzard, CoC, nova, Blizzard, and maybe another CoC.

The pulling part requires precise movements and reactions, as you are
being hit by 10 mobs of your same level. Ice barrier is pretty
important, as you can lose a lot of hp much faster than you think.
You don't just charge in like a crazed gnome either, you should tag
the one furthest away, then work your way to the front. Keep going
back to the first tagged mob once in a while, so they keep their aggro
on you. Once you've tagged them all, you must run around in spirals,
and if there are ones which aren't with the group, you need to run to
them, then run back to the group.

The biggest area for dying is the part between the dismounting and the
blinking away.
This is why ice block can be very useful. It needs to be done quickly,
but not rushed.
The second you dismount, you must frost nova, but you have to nova all
of them.
If there is a mob you know who's outside the nova range, don't bother
wasting your nova. Just run around in circles (very dangerous) until
you can, and immediately blink away. If you're lucky you might be able
to pop up a CoC just before you blink, but this is depending on how
good you are.

The first few tries you WILL die a lot. It's a sad fact, but you have
to accept it. Just keep practicing and practicing until you get the
times, CDs, and movements right.

Oh no, it's all gone wrong!

Things can go wrong. Not every run is going to be perfect, or
identical. Part of the challenge is to deal with these problems
(usually involving running away as fast as you can :D).

Here are some things which can mess up, and some solutions -

Nova (after the pulling) does not freeze all the mobs - either through
resisting, or just out of range
There are 3 ways of approaching this

- Cold snap, and then nova again
- Summon your elemental, and freeze the extra mobs
- Run away. This is actually probably the best idea, for several
- It's still early in the AoE run, so there's not much to
lose. You'll have mainly full hp and mana, so just try again
- If you CS/Elemental and nova again, the extra mob(s) is
away from the main group, which may lead to difficulties later on.
You'll also have lost precious seconds refreezing.
- All the mobs are frozen, so it's very easy to run away.

You've eaten your gem, drank your pot, but they're still living and
you have no mana

Don't panic. Just pop up ice barrier, and evocate. If you don't
have the barrier, freeze and blink away (hopefully you have mana to do
this - if you don't, just pray), then evocate. If they've still got
more than 50% hp, there's something wrong with your tactic, you're
burning your mana far too fast.

Help! An add!

Generally, just leg it. You can try to follow the nova tips
(elemental/CS + nova), but the adds will be far from your main group,
and have full hp. Freeze your friends and blink out of the area.
If the add is a ranger/caster, run away as fast as you can.
Don't even try to fight back, unless your main group is dead and you
have a decent amount of mana left to single-target the guys. Do NOT
AoE range/caster adds.

If you're evil, run towards some unsuspecting player. He'll either run
away, or try to help you, or do some heroic last stand. If it's the
last two, then well done, you've saved your life and killed a player.

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