October 9, 2007

The Zen of Mage Macros

My class leader has long advocated the use of macros "to simplify your life and give you inner peace." While inner peace isn't usually a concept I associate with WoW, I do consider macros one of the basic tools every mage should have in his arsenal. The farther you progress on your mage, the more complex you may find your job -- in a high end raid, you could be chain sheeping one target, dpsing another, and casting detect magic on a third. The combination of spells, targets, and buttons to click can get rather complicated, which is where macros come in.

A good macro can combine several separate actions into one, allowing you to automatically cast trinkets when their cooldown wears off, polymorph your sheep target without losing your dps target, or cast all of your buffs on yourself with a single button. This post is focused on some of my favorite macros as a primarily PvE mage, and is greatly indebted to Zarakaar's Mage Macro Guide on the WoW forums, as well as Cogwheel's Complete Macro Guide. Oh, and if you've totally new to macros and looking for a basic introduction, check out the official World of Warcraft Macro Guide for some basic pointers.

Toggleable Rank 1/Rank 14 Frostbolt
Rank 1 Frostbolt is a handy kiting tool in PvP or PvE, since it takes 1.5 seconds to cast, only costs 25 mana, and creates the same 40% movement slowdown as higher rank Frostbolts (albeit for 5 seconds instead of 9). This macro will cast your highest rank Frostbolt unless you're holding down the alt key, in which case it'll cast rank 1.

/cast [modifier:alt] Frostbolt(Rank 1); Frostbolt
Here, "#showtooltip" allows your button to gray out if you're out of range, and "/stopcasting" gives you built-in functionality for use with the Quartz add-on. (Note: the need for /stopcasting is supposed to be fixed in Patch 2.3, and macros may have to be updated accordingly.)

Stop Everything and Counterspell!
Interrupts usually need to happen fast. This macro will interrupt your current cast and immediately CS your target. You can add an optional line like "/s %t Counterspelled!" if you need to coordinate your interrupts with other raiders.
/cast Counterspell
Someone Has to Keep Up Scorch
But why should it take up a button slot? Use this macro to cast Fireball, or hold down alt to cast Scorch.
/cast [modifier:alt] Scorch; Fireball
Arcane Missile Spam
If you're a button masher, this macro lets you spam your AM button without breaking your Arcane Missles before they finish.
/cast [noChanneling:Arcane Missiles] Arcane Missiles
One-Button Thermostat
Toggleable Frost or Fire Ward.
/cast [modifier:alt] Frost Ward; Fire Ward
Eat and Drink
Since you have an unlimited supply of food and water, why not combine eating and drinking into a single button?
/use [nomodifier] Conjured Glacier Water
/use [nomodifier] Conjured Croissant
Self Buff in a Can
This macro creates a single button you can hit to apply all of your self buffs. Note that Molten Armor can be replaced with Ice Armor, according to your preferences.
/castsequence [target=player] reset=60 Dampen Magic, Arcane Intellect, Molten Armor;
Mana Gems in a Can
Hit this macro repeatedly to conjure all five mana gems. (If you don't carry around all five -- and I didn't until I got my Serpent-Coil Braid -- you can delete the ones you don't want. I recommend carrying three for most people.)
/castsequence reset=60 Conjure Mana Emerald, Conjure Mana Ruby, Conjure Mana Citrine, Conjure Mana Jade, Conjure Mana Agate
Ready, Focus, Polymorph
This is a one-button sheeping macro which sets your current target as your focus if you don't already have a focus. Clicking it again will resheep your focus without changing your target. To manually change poly targets before your old focus is dead, hold down alt while hitting the macro button.
#show Polymorph
/clearfocus [modifier:alt]
/focus [target=focus,noexists]; [target=focus,dead]
/clearfocus [target=focus,help]
/cast [target=focus,exists,harm] Polymorph; Polymorph
Hoverable Decursing
When used with a raid frames set up to display curses, you can hover your mouse over a cursed player and hit this macro to decurse them. I was able to drop Decursive by using this with Grid.
/cast [target=mouseover,exists] Remove Lesser Curse
Use My Trinket Whenever It's Up
This macro will try to use whatever trinket you have in your bottom trinket slot every time you cast Fireball. To specify a specific trinket instead of a slot, just write out its name, like "/use Xi'ri's Gift".
#showtooltip Fireball
/use 14
/cast Fireball
The PoM Pyro 'I Win' Macro
For arcane/fire mages, this is a one-button macro which pops Presence of Mind, Arcane Power, and whatever trinkets you have equipped, and then insta-Pyroblasts your target. A simple way to put your enemies in a world of pain.
#showtooltip Pyroblast
/cast Presence of Mind
/cast Arcane Power
/use 13
/use 14
/cast Pyroblast
More Macro Tips
  • Macros are stored locally on your computer, so if you play on multiple computers, you'll need to copy them over from your account folder. (World of Warcraft\WTF\Account\Youraccountname\macros-cache.txt contains your general macros, and World of Warcraft\WTF\Account\Youraccountname\Yourrealmname\Yourcharactername\macros-cache.txt your character-specific macros.)
  • If you want to cast a particular rank of a spell, you can either shift-click or drag it from your spell book, or include in in parentheses -- i.e., "Frost Nova(Rank 1)". Without a rank specified, your character will automatically cast the highest spell rank.
  • I've used the Alt key as a modifier for all these, but you can replace that with other keys or with mouse buttons. For instance, "cast [button:2] Frostbolt; Fireball" would let you left click for Fireball and right click for Frostbolt.
  • For a more comprehensive list of mage macros, including more trinket and cooldown macros and PvP-focused macros, try the list of useful mage macros at Wowwiki.
Have a question, suggestion, or another good macro to share? Leave a comment below!


Karthis said...

My baby Mage thanks you for all of these! Much appreciated.

Girl Meets WoW said...

Glad the post is helpful. There's actually a bunch more useful ones I've never used for frost mages, especially for use with your pet's frost nova, so it really is worth going and looking at some of the other lists, too.

Grumpy said...

Actually, since I will be re-inventing my Warlock alt once I ding 70 while waiting on WotLK, these macros can be "twisted" to my own evil means at some nice Warlock macros, thanks for the ideas )

BTW, nice blog too!

Girl Meets WoW said...

Honestly, I'm not sure warlocks are even capable of enjoying a peanut butter and jelly sandwich without twisting it to evil purposes.

Sellia said...

I think im gonna play my mage again just to try these ... :-)

Thanks a lot for the infos !

Anonymous said...

Nice macros! When I resume my mage, I'll try some of those! I've been using macros profusively on the other chars I've been playing and found that they do add a lot of fun by not having to use so many buttons! In fact, most of my chars I now play with mouse-wheel UP/Down/Click, and CTRL-Mouse-wheel UP/Down/Click. Those and PgUp/PgDn do 90% of the work!

BTW: the file location for the char macros is being "cropped". This reminds me of a suggestion I've been planing to make: why not use a less "restricted" format for your blog? Most screens these days are only being half-used reading "fixed-width" blogs such as yours!

Lissa said...

I've a question for you, concerning your focus: polymorph macro.

I have recently obtained polymorph: pig and would like to use that in lieu of polymorph: sheep. Do you have any recommendation on how to work that in?

Irishdove said...

I'm trying to us self buff in a can but I can only get the first one to to buff me not the second or third. Any suggestion on how to make this work? I've double checked that I typed correctly. Any help is appreciated Thanks

Lancinante said...

To Lissa: Just replace Polymorph with Polymorph(Rank 1: Pig), so that it would be something like this:

/clearfocus [modifier:alt]
/focus [target=focus,noexists]; [target=focus,dead]
/clearfocus [target=focus,help]
/cast [target=focus,exists,harm] Polymorph(Rank 1: Pig); Polymorph(Rank 1: Pig)

Anonymous said...

to IrishDove,

You have to press the button 3 times if you have 3 buffs. The only cool thing here is that you dont have to press three "different" buttons to get all yer buffs.

Freddy said...

Im having an issue deleting this macro. I've deleted formt he list... checked the char macro.txt file and nothing.. still says msg in grp and /say. Any suggestions.

Lyer said...

Hi nice work here would you have any suggestions for a 19 pvp twink mage? thanks a lot

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Jim said...

I just up the utility of Buff in a Can a bit:

/castsequence [target=player] reset=60 Ice Barrier, Mana Shield, Dampen Magic, Arcane Intellect, Molten Armor, Evocation

Now I am fully buffed and full of mana. And as I run around nuking stuff I can easily rebuff my barrier and shield.

I used Bind Pad and bound this macro to the ` key. (just left of the 1 key) Now I don't even have to move my hand to reapply.

thanks for the tip!!

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