; edited by: Michael Hartman
; updated: 5/12/2012
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Of the four starting classes in Aion, the Mage is the one designed for ranged magical damage. Controlling the powers of Earth, Wind, Water, and Fire, your Mage can wreak havoc on the battlefield and contribute substantial dps to groups and alliances.
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Gear and Stats
Mages are the glass cannons of Atreia. Garbed in only cloth armor and wielding naught but a Spellbook, they are powerful additions to any party. With a skilled player at the helm, a Mage is also capable of soloing almost all at-level content with little trouble. The secret to playing a Mage is simply to make sure your enemy dies before he can reach you. Casters and other ranged fighters pose the most danger to a Mage, but she has many other tricks in her bag along with the requisite balls of fire and frost.
Of the six primary stats for all characters, the Mage is most concerned with Knowledge (affects spell damage and spell accuracy) and Will (affects total MP and rate of MP recovery). Other secondary caster attributes that will come into consideration are Magic Boost for extra damage, Magical Crit Hit, and Concentration (reduces chance of spell interrupts from damage received).
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Spell Rotation, Levels 1-4
Your Mage only knows two skills upon her arrival in the starting area: Restraint and Flame Bolt I. Luckily, the first two levels will fly by in no time. Use this time to get acquainted with the strategy of tossing Flame Bolts until the mob reaches you, then using Restraint to bind it in place while you strafe away to the side. Once you have gained a little distance, it shouldn't take more than one final Flame Bolt to finish off your target.
If the mob only has a tiny bit of health left and you like to conserve your MP, you can use the Attack skill to toss pages at it from your equipped Spellbook. Keep in mind, however, that these attacks count as physical damage, not magical, and the damage done will be based on your Mage's likely insignificant Power attribute.
At level 3, you will receive a message that it's time to learn a new skill. Scamper off to the first village and visit the Mage Trainer. For the Elyos, that's the Akarios Village. Asmodian players will seek out Adelle Village. Starting off your rotations with this new spell, Ice Chain I, will slow the advance of your enemy, giving you much more time to pelt it with Flame Bolts.
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Spell Rotation, Levels 5-6
At level 5, you will be able to purchase a damage-over-time (DoT) ability called Erosion I, and also your first chain spell, Blaze I. Chain spells work a little differently, in that they are not always available for your use but rather have a good chance to proc from the successful cast of a related spell. For instance, Casting Flame Bolt will usually cause your Blaze spell to proc, and you will see the icon change on your abilities bar. The icon will also flash to grab your attention and let you know that it's available, and a second indication will flash on your screen just to the right of center. Toss out a Blaze whenever it's available since it not only is almost twice the base damage of Flame Bolt, but also reduces the target's magical resistance.
Your rotation for a single pull at this point will now begin with Ice Chain and Flame Bolt. If Blaze procs, be sure to trigger the ability before moving on. Next, use Erosion to get the DoT ticking, and follow up with an other Flame Bolt. Your target is very likely dead by this point, or nearly so, and is finally in melee range. You can apply Restraint and strafe away, but understand that the DoT ticks will probably break the snare within a few seconds.
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Spell Rotation, Levels 7-9
Level 7 brings about good additions to your arsenal, while the mobs are getting harder and more of them are now hostile to you on sight. Stone Skin provides some damage absorption and Frozen Shock is your second chain spell. Triggered by Ice Chain, Frozen Shock adds a brief knock-back and stun to your opener, giving you even more room to charge up those Flame Bolts.
You may be tempted to use Stone Skin as a precaution, applying this spell before battle begins. However, you might consider that if you draw the attention of a second (or third) mob while it's still on cool down, you may be in trouble. Rather, keep Stone Skin hot-keyed in a handy position so that you can pop it when you are actually taking damage. It will probably hold long enough for you to crowd-control an add or even flee, if necessary.
Your rotation is now Ice Chain, followed by Frozen Shock (when available), Flame Bolt, Blaze (when available), Flame Bolt. Hang on to Erosion for the time being, as it really doesn't have a handy place in your spell rotation unless your chain spells don't activate. Otherwise, using it early in the rotation will lessen the stun effect of your frost spells, and saving it until later won't give it the time it needs to be effective.
Level 9 only gives you one spell, Energy Boost, which returns a little MP to you. Use this ability whenever the cool down is up in order to keep you casting and moving with a minimum of down time.
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The choice is yours - Sorcerer or Spirit Master?
Once you attain level 9, you will automatically receive the quest for your Ascension. During this quest chain, you will be offered a choice. Will you choose to master the destructive power of the elements as a Sorcerer, or harness the spirits of the elements to do your bidding?
Beyond Ascension, your Daeva will choose a specialization. Excelling at your new party role requires attention to gear, manastones, stat boosts, and a solid rotation. This series of guides will give you the information you need to dominate the battlefield and succeed in your chosen party role.