Mage Builds Guide for Level 70 Players


Hail to my fellow mages,

So as noone did it yet, I decided to make a compilation of the most current mage builds at level 70. This is not meant to be a static guide but on the contrary an interactive one. So I need your help : post me your builds, your advices, your experiences and we can together contribute to make this a clear and usable guide of good mage builds for everyone.

But to answer many questions on this forum, I will start by describing the main leveling builds.

I. Leveling Builds :

1-70 is a long way to go and most players are worried about the fact they could make the wrong choice that would slow their leveling : this feeling is of course totally natural. But dont worry here, no big mistake can be done and there is no "imba leveling build" which owns all the others. The main different ways to go have almost been perfectly balanced by Blizzard.

The first question coming here again and again is : should I go for frost or fire to level my mage ? The answer is simple : both are fine. It's two different playstyles and I would rather advise you to try both of them, as soon as you feel the opportunity for a respec.

Knowing your mage deeply costs many and many respecs and nothing is better than "your own" experience as a true guide and master to follow.

Fire is about continuous high dps on a single target (before you get Blast Wave and Dragon Breath two excellent aoe skills). Frost is more about control and huge dps on frozen targets. You kill faster with fire, but you run out of mana a bit faster too. You have a bit more mana efficiency and more control against one or several mobs with frost, but you're more dependant on your nova/shatter for killing them, and on your cooldowns for survival.

The second question here is : should I go for a AOE grinding build or not ? If you want to do alot of AOE grinding then you need mainly to go frost and take the suitable talents. However this guide is not meant to be a AOE grinding guide, and I will redirect you to Bangy's guide on this forum if you're interested. I'll just mention later the talents you need as a frost AOE mage.

I'll give here five examples of leveling builds, if you want to go : 1. fire, 2.a frost, 2.b frost aoe, 3. elemental, 4. Arcane. Leveling with arcane is a bit more tricky to my mind, but if this is really your choice and your dream tree, then go for it. Remember : nothing is impossible for a mage !

Those talent builds are intended for pure solo pve/questing. Pvp is meant to be balanced (*cough*) only at level 70, so if pvp is your choice I can just advise you to grind to level 70 faster as you can.

1. Fire leveling talent build.

I'll give here just an example of talent picking order until the level 50. After the level 50 you can refer to the level 70 builds in this same guide, and should start to think which one you're going to play. That will mainly answer to the question about what talents to pick between levels 50 and 70.

Lvl 10-14 : Improve Fireball 5/5
Lvl 15-16 : Flame Throwing 2/2
Lvl 17-19 : Ignite 3/5
Lvl 20 : Pyroblast 1/1
Lvl 21-22 : Ignite 5/5
Lvl 23-24 : Burning Soul 2/2
Lvl 25-29 : Impact 5/5
Lvl 30 : Blast Wave 1/1
Lvl 31-33 : Critical Mass 3/3
Lvl 34 : Improve Fire Blast 1/3
Lvl 35-39 : Fire Power 5/5
Lvl 40 : Combustion 1/1
Lvl 41-43 : Pyromaniac 3/3
Lvl 44-45 : Molten Fury 2/2
No there is no need to take Empowered Fireball as your +sd gear should not be that high.
Lvl 46-47 : Improve Fire Blast 3/3
Lvl 48-49 : Incinerate 2/2
Lvl 50 : Dragon Breath 1/1 ! Grats you got one of the best fire talent/skill in whole game, that's an achievement and now enjoy ! Then you can keep on with the fire tree and pick among : Improved Scorch, Master of Elements, Blazing Speed...

At level 50 your fire tree should look like this one : http://www.wow-europe.com/en/info/basics/talents/mage/talents.html?0000000000000000000000055523201200003105312010000000000000000000000

Of course there are many alternatives to the way i just described. You can choose to skip Impact to get Master of Elements for more mana efficiency. Improve Fireblast is very good to be put at max soon if you occasionnally do some pvp or use it alot in pve. But I like Impact and even in pve it has many procs that brings the whole process a bit more fun.


2. Frost leveling talent guide

2.a non-aoe frost leveling

Lvl 10-14 : Improve Frostbolt 5/5
Lvl 15-19 : Ice Shards 5/5
Lvl 20-22 : Frostbite 3/3
Lvl 23-24 : Improved Frost Nova 2/2
Lvl 25-29 : Shatter 5/5. Done ! This one will make your whole frost leveling faster and funnier ! 5/5
(As an alternative some ppl even advise to go fire before being level 27-29, then respec to get shatter and going full frost. To my mind that's not really necessary, but it's up to you)
Lvl 30 : Ice Block 1/1 (a good life savier)
Lvl 31 : Cold Snap 1/1 (a second life saving chance, variant : you can get this one higher if you think you dont need it yet).
Lvl 32-33 : Artic Reach 2/2
Lvl 34-36 : Piercing Ice 3/3
Lvl 37-39 : Frost Channeling 3/3
Lvl 40 : Ice Barrier 1/1
Lvl 41-42 : Ice Floes 2/2
Lvl 43-45 : Improve Cone of Cold 3/3
Lvl 46-48 : Permafrost 3/3
Lvl 49 : Elemental Precision 1/3 (variant : you can take Elemental Precision to 3 and Permafrost to 1, as you prefer. Permafrost gives you a good kiting tool, mobs will reach you later. On the other hand Elemental Precision avoids you "annoying" resists)
Lvl 50 : Summon Water Elemental 1/1 ! Congrats !

At level 50 your frost tree should look like this one : http://www.wow-europe.com/en/info/basics/talents/mage/talents.html?0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000515323310235013201001

2.b Frost aoe grinding talent build.

For more details about aoe grinding, refer to the suitable guilds, Bangy's one on this forum and many others on wowiki and other world of warcraft forums. I'll give just an example of build that can be suitable for aoe grinding. The build is intended mainly for blizzard and coc aoeing.

Lvl 10-14 : Improve Frostbolt 5/5
Lvl 15-19 : Ice Shard 5/5
Lvl 20-22 : Permafrost 3/3 (or skip this one and get Piercing Ice instead if you're very confident in your blizzard skills, it very depends on your own choice now)
Just know that frosbite is a very bad idea when you aoe grind cause it will mess up all your pulls by letting mobs frozen behind while others are still running to you. And as frostbite being a great frost talent that's mainly where the main choice between aoe/non-aoe lies.
Lvl 23-24 : Improved Frost Nova 2/2
Lvl 25-29 : Shatter 5/5
Lvl 30-31 : Ice Block 1/1 Cold Snap 1/1
Lvl 32-33 : Artic Reach 2/2
Lvl 34-36 : Improved Cone of Cold 3/3
Now there are several possibilities : are you confident in your mana pool ? Go to Piercing Ice 3/3, or do you want a larger security not to feel short of mana during an aoe killing then go Frost Channeling 3/3. Ice Floes 2/2 is also very useful to give you better cool downs, mainly on your coc.

Now one thing is sure you'll take the Ice Barrier 1/1 at level 40 and you're ready to start some aoe grinding. Then you'll take among Piercing Ice, Frost Channeling, Ice Floes (what you've not taken already) for the next levels. For more details about the whole process, please refer to suitable aoe grinding guides. That's a whole topic I've not been so deep in, and I prefer to let you take advice to the field's specialists.

At level 40 your frost tree should be close to this one : http://www.wow-europe.com/en/info/basics/talents/mage/talents.html?0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000505023010235013001000

(Note : for pure aoe grinding some specialists will advise you to drop Improved Frostbolt to 2/5 and get Elemental Precision at 3/3, and actually if you only AOE that's the way to go. Anyway if you mix AoE and single target dps mobs, improved frostbolt 5/5 will make you earn some time on your nukes. Then to take this decision you should know by first how you will proceed during your leveling)

3. Elemental leveling talent guide.

The underlying idea is to get shatter as soon as possible then go in the fire tree. During your pve, you alternate between fire and frost spells to kill your opponents with the most suitable spells, according to each situation, having huge bursts of damage against your frozen targets. That's a very good alternative to the previous 2 builds. To try it, is to love it. Only drawback : when you're level 30 you have to forget some excellent frost things that come at hand to start to work on the fire tree again from the beginning. That's a bit frustrating, and probably the main reason why people prefer to go either pure frost or pure fire. But if you can endure this relative "pain", you'll love the elemental way to level your mage.

Lvl 10-14 : Improved Frost Bolt 5/5
Lvl 15-19 : Ice Shards 5/5
Lvl 20-22 : Frostbite 3/3
Lvl 23-24 : Improved Frost Nova 2/2
Lvl 25-29 : Shatter 5/5

Now you have one alternative according you decide to go fire directly or you prefer to take Ice Block 1/1 and delay your fire leveling by one point (or 2 points if you want also Cold Snap 1/1). No good or bad choice here, just a matter of what you prefer. Assuming you wanna get Dragon Breath at 70 and go to a classic 0/41/20 Elemental Build without any respec I'll describe here only the first way to proceed.

Lvl 30-34 : Improved Fireball 5/5 (Impact 5/5 is another very good way to go here, depends on what you prefer)
Lvl 35-39 : Ignite 5/5
Lvl 40-41 : Flame Throwing 2/2
Lvl 42 : Pyroblast 1/1 (not so useful for that build, but still nice to have in case)
Lvl 43-44 : Burning Soul 2/2
Lvl 45-47 : Improved Scorch 3/3
Llv 48-49 : Improve Fire Blast 2/3
Lvl 50 : Blast Wave 1/1
Lvl 51-53 : Critical Mass 3/3
Lvl 54 : Improve Fire Blast 3/3
Lvl 55-59 : Fire Power 5/5
Lvl 60 : Combustion 1/1

At level 60 your fire and frost trees should look like this :
http://www.wow-europe.com/en/info/basics/talents/mage/talents.html?0000000000000000000000050523001230003105010000505320000005000000000

Then you'll go through Pyromaniac, Molten Core, Impact... all your way to level 70. Consult the 0/41/20 Elemental talent build for more informations (the only difference being that pvp elementalists dont take Improved Fireball).

But whatever happens that should end with :
Lvl 70 : Dragon Breath 1/1 ! Big congrats !

4. Arcane leveling talent guide :

This is a really tricky way to go to my mind, but nothing impossible. But just know that you may be less effective than pure frost of fire mages during the first two thirds of your leveling. Therefore if you are not sure about your "arcane infinite motivation" I would rather suggest you to skip this way and go for one of the three main possibilities described above. If Arcane is really the tree you always dreamt about, then dont hesitate, go for it.

Lvl 10-14 : Improved Arcane Missiles 5/5 (variant : Arcane Subtlety 2/2 and Arcane Focus 3/5 if you dont like AM)
Lvl 15-19 : Arcane Concentration 5/5
Lvl 20-21 : Arcane Subtlety 2/2
Lvl 22-24 : Arcane Focus 3/3 (Arcane Impact 3/3 Magic Absorption 2/5 in the variant where you didnt take Improved AM. You can ever go to Wand Specialisation 2/2 instead of Magic Absorption 2/5 as you may use wands alot in lower levels. Anyway if you do this you'll have to respec later to drop it cause wands are not so useful at higher levels. If you go for it, then change the order and take it at level 15-16 as you need it the sooner for the lower levels)
Lvl 25-27 : Arcane Meditation 3/3
Lvl 28-29 : Improved Mana Shield 2/2 (I know it's a shame not to take Improved CS here, but it's mainly a pvp talent even if it's one of the best. Personnally I would take it anyway, up to you^^)
Lvl 30 : Presence of Mind 1/1
Lvl 31-34 : Arcane Mind 4/5 (here is an alternative if you love to blink alot, go for Improved Blink 2/2 and put only 2/5 on Arcane Mind for the moment. Just count how many blinks you cast in a whole mana pool and see it isnt more interesting for you in terms of mana economy. Blink becomes very expansive at higher levels : 630 mana at level 70)
Lvl 35-37 : Arcane Instability 3/3
Lvl 38-39 : Arcane Potency 2/3
Lvl 40 : Arcane Power 1/1
Lvl 41-42 : Spell Power 2/2 ... now you're going to truely love your Arcane build ! But that was a long way to get there !
Lvl 43 : Arcane Potency 3/3
Lvl 44 : Arcane Mind 5/5

At level 44 your arcane tree should look like this one :
http://www.wow-europe.com/en/info/basics/talents/mage/talents.html?2350050002030150330120000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

Now you have several ways to go. More probably you still dont have the gear to trully benefit now from Mind Mastery, but if you plan to spend money on level 40-50 gear to get as much +sd as you can, it's doable, then go for :
Lvl 45-49 Mind Mastery 5/5
Lvl 50 : Slow 1/1 ! Congrats for your pure arcane leveling ! And enjoy slow which is a great talent to my mind (for pve it's indeed dicussable, but you'll love it in pvp anyway).

Otherwise you may want to spend points to get :
lvl 45-49 : Improved Fireball 5/5 (or Impact 5/5 if you dont mind 3.5 sec fireballs and wanna be prepared for pvp the sooner)
Lvl 50-54 : Ignite 5/5
Lvl 55 Pyroblast 1/1 to use with your pom/AP.
Then after back to Arcane with :
Lvl 56-60 Mind Mastery 5/5 (now you'll start to get some nice spell damage to enjoy it fully)
Lvl 61 Slow 1/1 ! Grats !

And dont forget to take back Improved Counterspell 2/2 on the way as soon as you gonna start to pvp ! Those two points have been the reason why so many pvp mages went into arcane for ages.

Now let's go to the second part and main purpose of this guide :

II. Mage Builds at level 70

1. The Pure Frost Mage

Let's start by the pure frost mage. Frost 0/5/56 : this build has everything good in the frost tree, it leaves you with 5 points. Then here I suggest Impact for pvp, for the procs on fireblast. You can also go 5/0/56 getting Improved Arcane Missile as an alternative if you like to use it sometime. Or 5/0/56 with Arcane Subtlety 2/2 and Arcane Focus 3/5.

The pure frost mage combines a very good survivability with huge bursts of dps on frozen targets (ice lance is a great tool for frost mages). The Water Elemental is a very nice tool you get every 3 mins that can be useful in many situations, both pve and pvp. As a friend of mine used to say "The pure frost mage has an answer to every situation". On the other hand, in solo pve and pvp he depends alot on his nova and frostbite procs to burst damages, and on his cooldowns to survive in battlegrounds.

http://www.wow-europe.com/en/info/basics/talents/mage/talents.html?0000000000000000000000005000000000000000000000535323313235013251051
or
http://www.wow-europe.com/en/info/basics/talents/mage/talents.html?0050000000000000000000000000000000000000000000535323313235013251051
or
http://www.wow-europe.com/en/info/basics/talents/mage/talents.html?2300000000000000000000000000000000000000000000535323313235013251051

Solo pve : 5/5*
Group pve : 4/5
Raid pve : 3.5/5
Duel : 4.5/5
Battlegrounds : 4/5
Arena : 4/5

(Note : what i call arena is more 2vs2 or 3vs3 fights. 5vs5 would require its own category, and therefore more knowledge and experience before being rated here)

(* : 1/5 against immune frost mobs)

Alternatives :
The two things a pure frost mage may drop are : Improved Blizzard (some people dont use it alot) and Winter Chill (mainly pvp players used to drop it, even if now it's a good stacking debuff on your target against dispellers). The points coming from Winter Chill can be used to take Flame Throwing 2/2 and Improved Fire Blast 3/3 on the fire tree then we have a 0/10/51. Or Ignite 5/5 + Improved Fire Blast 3/3 if you drop the Improved Blizzard too : 0/13/48. Ignite is just useful here if you cast scorch alot, otherwise it may not be worth it just for one skill, Fire Blast, furthermore non-improved. Here we go on more pvp oriented builds, but they are still very good for pve.

Now pve players and raiders may try to drop some frost tools to get clearcasting 5/5. 1/3 Permafrost and 0/3 Improved Blizzard is a way to go.

Then we get the 10/0/51:

http://www.wow-europe.com/en/info/basics/talents/mage/talents.html?2300050000000000000000000000000000000000000000535321310235013251051

Solo pve : 5/5*
Group pve : 4/5
Raid pve : 4/5
Duel : 3.5/5
Battlegrounds : 3.5/5
Arena : 3.5/5

Improved Counterspell is an awesome tool to get in pvp for any mage, be it frost or fire therefore comes the 17/044 Improved CS/Frost build. You keep the main frost goodies and level Arcane up to 17 to get Improved CS.

http://www.wow-europe.com/en/info/basics/talents/mage/talents.html?2300052300200000000000000000000000000000000000535320310225013201051

An alternative is to drop Arcane Impact and 2 points in Arcane Focus to get Improved Arcane Missiles for those who like to use it.

Solo pve : 4.5/5*
Group pve : 4/5
Raid pve : 3.5/5
Duel : 5/5
Battlegrounds : 4.5/5
Arena : 4.5/5

2. The Arcane/Frost Mage

The Arcane/Frost mage is based on a three talents combination : Spell Power, Ice Shards, and Shatter. At level 70 you can get huge dps burst on frozen targets with very high crit rates. Ice Lance may hit for 2k+, and frostbolt up to 3k very regularly, not depending on any cooldown other than nova procs. With Arcane Power you can reach 4k+ frostbolts easily. You add to this the high survivability of frost mages with double Ice Block, and chill effects. Those are mainly pvp intended builds, who work very fine in solo pve too.

Let's start with the main two builds here : 34/0/27 and 40/0/21. I suggest rather the first one as being the best choice. You drop a bit +spell damage from mind mastery to get the very useful Artic Reach. This drop is partially compensated by the +6% damage from Piercing Ice. But 40/0/21 is also a very good way to go.

34/0/27 : http://www.wow-europe.com/en/info/basics/talents/mage/talents.html?2300052302210140330120000000000000000000000000505320310205010000000
or
40/0/21 : http://www.wow-europe.com/en/info/basics/talents/mage/talents.html?2300052302210150330125000000000000000000000000505220010005010000000

Without any doubt those are the "Arena" builds. (for 2vs2 and 3vs3, in 5vs5 it may be a different matter)

Solo pve : 4.5/5*
Group pve : 3.5/5
Raid pve : 3/5
Duel : 5/5
Battlegrounds : 4/5
Arena : 5/5 !

As a variant we can consider the 21/0/40 pom/frost build. You drop the huge boost coming from spellpower to get more frost goodies. To my mind this build is a bit inferior to the 34/027, but it's still debatable.

You can end with a build looking like this one : http://www.wow-europe.com/en/info/basics/talents/mage/talents.html?2300052302210100000000000000000000000000000000535321310235013201000

For a mainly pve/mana efficiency Frost/Arcane build we can deal with something like 18/0/43. This is purely dps/mana efficiency in raid/instance environnements intented. You'll miss frostbite and improve coc for pvp and pve solo. So I wouldnt advise you to go such, only if you're sure you will only raid/instance pve. (Here I'd like some advices of people playing Arcane/Frost in raids... to know if this is really not too bad to miss Frostbite juste to get Arcane Meditation)

http://www.wow-europe.com/en/info/basics/talents/mage/talents.html?2300550000030000000000000000000000000000000000535020310235010151051

Solo pve : 3.5/5*
Group pve : 4.5/5
Raid pve : 4.5/5
Duel : 3/5
Battlegrounds : 3.5/5
Arena : 3/5

3. The Pure Fire Mage

Fire has for long been considered as the king way to go for a mage, be it for pve or pvp. But since the Ignite talent has been nerfed, and even bugged, fire is not anymore "THE" way to go, but still one of the very nice ways to go. Pure fire has a great versatility being as good for pve or pvp. And it's maybe the one tree that will bring you the more fun in this game, as being a mage. In solo pve you will see many mobs dieing before they can even reach you and in group pve you will often be at top of the dps meters. In pvp it will depend alot about your placement, whether you manage get the opening or not on your opponent, whether you manage to keep range from you and your ennemies. Your great instants, being Fire Blast, Blast Wave and Dragon Breath should be used only to finish your ennemies, or to get some range and place a few scorchs, but can never burn your opponent from 100% down to 0% health.

Let's start by the pure fire mage : 0/59/2.

http://www.wow-europe.com/en/info/basics/talents/mage/talents.html?0000000000000000000000055523201232333125312510020000000000000000000

Some people will argue that you'll get a better result by mixing Arcane tricks in your Fire, and they're right. But it's still really doable and a great way to go to learn all about fire. This build has the great advantage to offer everything fire has both for pve and for pvp. Most of the other fire builds, taking a few arcane talents, will ask you to choose between both.

Solo pve : 4.5/5 - 1/5 against fire immune mobs
Group pve : 4.5/5
Raid pve : 4/5
Duel : 3.5/5
Battlegrounds : 4/5
Arena : 3.5/5


Here is an alternative with Clearcasting instead of Master of Elements : 10/51/0

http://www.wow-europe.com/en/info/basics/talents/mage/talents.html?0050050000000000000000055523201230003125312510000000000000000000000

As a variant, looking for more mana efficiency for pve you can go for both Clearcasting and Master of Elements, just replacing Improve Fireblast with Master of Elements in the previous one.

A very good fire pve build is also the 10/48/3 with botch Clearcasting for the mana efficiency and Elemental Precision to avoid annoying resists (and for the 3% mana economy too).

Here you go for this build :
http://www.wow-europe.com/en/info/basics/talents/mage/talents.html?2300050000000000000000050521201230333105312510030000000000000000000

Solo pve : 4.5/5
Group pve : 5/5
Raid pve : 5/5
Duel pve : 3/5
Battlegrounds : 3.5/5
Arena : 2.5/5

Now for pure raiders It's possible to get more Arcane goodies up to Arcane Meditation and go with a 18/43/0. (I still need some raiders advice on this topic, from their tests and experiments : thanks !)

http://www.wow-europe.com/en/info/basics/talents/mage/talents.html?2300250300030000000000050520201230303105312500000000000000000000000

(It's still possible here to drop one point somewhere to get Dragon Breath as it is a bit a shame to get to up to 43 in fire and not to get this amazing talent)

Solo pve : 4/5
Group pve : 5/5
Raid pve : 5/5
Duel pve : 2.5/5
Battlegrounds : 3.5/5
Arena : 2.5/5

Now let's see the Counterspell/Fire mage build, a pvp one mainly. You'll drop some fire goodies to get Improved Counterspell from Arcane. 17/44/0 is the way you go then. You can even get 19/42/0 to take Improved Mana Shield for more survivability and dropping 2 fire points and go only 1/3 Playing with Fire.

http://www.wow-europe.com/en/info/basics/talents/mage/talents.html?2300052300200000000000005523201230033125312010000000000000000000000

Solo pve : 3.5/5*
Group pve : 3.5/5
Raid pve : 3/5
Duel : 4/5
Battlegrounds : 4.5/5
Arena : 4/5

4. The Arcane/Fire Mage

The arcane/fire mage is mainly based on getting Spell Power for huge critics. If you love big numbers, if you love them so much than you even keep records of how high you can get, then it's purely the way for you to go. The several variants here depends mainly on whether you wanna go up to Mind Mastery in the Arcane Tree and drop some fire goodies for that, or not. Some people will call you a "3-minute" mage, but nothing is much wrong than stating this mage cant do anything the next 2min45sec. It's an excellent overall build, with a huge boost every 3 mins (mainly for pvp). Try it, you'll love it.

First we have the excellent 33/28/0 :

http://www.wow-europe.com/en/info/basics/talents/mage/talents.html?2300052300230140320120005523001230003103000000000000000000000000000

Variant : if you're more pvp oriented you drop 2 points in Arcane Meditation to get Improved Mana Shield 2/2.

Solo pve : 4/5
Group pve : 4/5
Raid pve : 4/5
Duel : 4/5
Battlegrounds : 4.5/5
Arena : 4/5

Then another beloved one as a variant is the 40/21/0, Mind Mastery/Blast Wave. Some people may change this into 41/20/0 just to get Slow for pvp instead of Blast Wave, but it's more rare. The first one is the more popular.

http://www.wow-europe.com/en/info/basics/talents/mage/talents.html?2300052300230150330125005522001230000100000000000000000000000000000

Variant : you can drop some 2 points from Burning Soul to get Incinerate if you wanna go more for pvp instead of pve.

Solo pve : 4/5
Group pve : 4/5
Raid pve : 4/5
Duel : 4/5
Battelgrounds : 4/5
Arena : 4/5

5. The Pure Arcane Mage

The Pure Arcane Mage is most often not so far from the hybrid Arcane/Fire mage we just discussed. The only difference is that the Pure Arcane Mage goes for Arcane Missiles while the Arcane/Fire one doesnt.

Arcane is not only about mana efficiency as many people think. It's still about huge sustained dps, and big crit numbers. You'll be surprised to see that your fireballs and scorchs deal much damage most of the time being an arcane mage than being a pure fire mage ! And Arcane Missile becomes simply the highest dps skill in the game when it is spammed in instances. On the other hand the arcane tree is maybe the one which offers the lowest survivability of the three ones (fire being not far). There comes Slow that you need to practice a bit, but which is a great tool in pvp, and still very enjoyable in many pve situations. And also Improved Mana Shield, that became much better since the recent Mana Shield boost.

However if you want to go this way you must know about the Arcane Missile (AM) bug. AM sometimes (and this sometime is often) fires only 4 missiles on 5. Some player experienced this bug on up to 50% of their casts, and I have confirmed this by testing it myself... That's a 10% dps lost ! On the other hand the clearcasting/AM bug compensates a bit, but not fully the dps loss (this bugs make Clearcasting proc for the AM you're casting as it is still usable for the next spell you cast, so you get a double clearcasting and double critical boost from Arcane Potency therefore).

Here we find such builds as the 43/18/0 Empowered Arcane Missiles/Scorch. Now if you wanna spam only AM taking improved scorch is a bit debatable. For pure AM raid spam, you may want to skip this one to take 5/5 Arcane Mind. Then you go 44/17/0. But beware : AM spam can become fast repetitive and boring !

http://www.wow-europe.com/en/info/basics/talents/mage/talents.html?2350050000230140333125105520001230000000000000000000000000000000000
or
http://www.wow-europe.com/en/info/basics/talents/mage/talents.html?2350050000230150333125105522001200000000000000000000000000000000000

Solo pve : 3.5/5 (with a good spell damage bonus you can kill mobs with 2 arcane missiles at level 70)
Group pve : 4.5/5 (gonna be a 5/5 when Blizzard will fix the AM bug)
Raid pve : 4.5/5 (gonna be a 5/5 when Blizzard will fix the AM bug)
Duel : 4/5 if pom/AP is up, rather 2.5/5 otherwise
Battelgrounds : 3.5/5
Arena : 3/5

Another alternative is to skip totally fire and take only arcane talents. This is a bit more tricky but still totally playable. Remember nothing is impossible for a mage ! However I would not recommand it, because depending almost only on Arcane Blast and Arcane Missiles to kill your opponent is a bit weird and fast boring. But to complete the guide let's mention the 61/0/0 !! where you take all arcane talents but Wand Specialisation. I just mention it as a theorical curiosity, more than an advice to go in it.

However in the case you wanted the purest Arcane build, i'd rather suggest the 50/11/0 with instant Pyroblast to on the 3 mins pom/AP. This is as you go :

http://www.wow-europe.com/en/info/basics/talents/mage/talents.html?2350050312230150333125105500001000000000000000000000000000000000000

Solo pve : 3.5/5*
Group pve : 4.5/5
Raid pve : 4.5/5
Duel : 3.5/5 (you dont kill an opponent only with a pom/pyro nowadays...)
Battlegrounds : 3/5 (you miss alot the range from flame throwing)
Arena : 2.5/5

(* : 2.5/5 against arcane immune mobs)

6. The Elemental Mage

The elemental mage try to combine the best of fire and frost trees to get huge damage bursts and alot of versatility. Elemental is not the easy way to go for a mage and asks alot of knowledge, fast reaction and experience. But it's a very rewarding one when you start to master it. You have both the fire tricks to play long range and the frost efficiency and dps burst against frozen targets at close range. This is a king way for many pvp mages, but once again it's not the easiest to master.

Here again we have two main possibilities, and alot of variants.

The most classic one is the 41/20/0, Dragon Breath / Shatter build :

http://www.wow-europe.com/en/info/basics/talents/mage/talents.html?0000000000000000000000005523201230003125312010505320000005000000000

This one skipping both fireball talents is more a pvp one but can still do very well in pve.

Solo pve : 4/5
Group pve : 4/5
Raid pve : 3/5
Duel : 4.5/5
Battelgrounds : 4.5/5
Arena : 4/5

As a variant you can drop one point in Frostbite to get Cold Snap to recast your nova in emergency cases.