Hello, I am Fabulous and so is War Mage!
War Mage spams her lasers without a care in the world, melting both dragons and computer screens. If you play with effects transparency set to 0 and damage numbers on, I wouldn’t recommend her for you. As a side effect of this, she stays mid-range and doesn’t move around a lot, so lazy players rejoice! She has less survivability compared to other sorceresses, as she is the only sorceress specialization without an iframe ultimate skill, but she has some time-bending techniques to ensure her survival. I hope that by the end of this, you’ll decide to wreak havoc with War Mage. Feel free to message me on Discord (Fabulous 🌠#3971) with your accomplishments and discoveries!
[If you're interested in learning about other classes, we have a Class Guide Archive! - Naka]
[Wheeling Staff]: At level 6, it can push objects (such as the Ice Crystals in IDN).
[Toxic Spray]: Toss this right before a boss spawns to know when its iframe ends.
[Shock Wave]: Max for [Class Mastery III].
[Linear Ray]: Looks cool but sucks. You can charge it for some more damage, but it still pales in comparison to your other skills. Your [Energy Blast (Awakened)] allows you to use the fully charged version right after, so you should always pair these two together.
[Force Shield]: Your version of Pyromancer and Ice Witch’s [Elemental Shield] – except this gives you 30% magic attack on top of the defensive buffs. Its base version is awful because of the 10% proc chance, but with Awakening, it automatically applies when you cast [Fast Forward], regardless of its cooldown.
[Nine Tail Laser]: Your premier skill for obtaining bubbles and debuffing the enemy’s crit resist. Awakening stores the cooldown up to 3 times so that it can be spammed more easily. One cast grants 27 bubbles if all the lasers hit.
[Force Mirror]: Applies a damage taken debuff to enemies. This doesn’t stack with other classes’ damage taken debuffs, and many classes have one, so you don’t need to cast it most of the time. (It gets in people’s way and can cause serious bodily harm!) I only use it when there are multiple enemies, such as Jasmine’s Exploding Cores and Balapa’s Spirits. It also absorbs projectiles, such as the ice blocks when Ice Dragon spins and Typhoon Krag’s waves.
[Spectrum Ray]: A burst skill that hits a circular area around you. It does slightly more damage when you cast it while not facing the enemy. [Class Mastery II] turns it into an Instant skill. You’ll usually use regular [Spectrum Ray] into the Instant version. Casting the Instant by itself is a waste of time.
[Beam Tempest]: Your Ultimate skill that channels a bunch of lasers in one area while increasing your defenses against incoming attacks. With Awakening, you can use other skills to get out of its animation lock at the expense of its defensive shield. The best way to use it is to [Laser Ray] immediately after. The lasers from [Beam Tempest] will continue to strike, generating bubbles and effectively extending [Laser Ray]’s duration. Awakening also reduces its cooldown by about 15s each time you reach max bubbles.
[Triple Orbs]: Filler.
[Gravity Crush]: Last resort freeze for IDN Phase 1 Punisher.
[Teleport]: Max it to decrease its cooldown from 15s to 10s and give you extra mobility.
[Dark Wave]: Activates your [Class Mastery II] Instant skill, but does negligible damage otherwise.
[Time Stop]: Max it for the sole purpose of freezing IDN Punisher; it lasts for 14s. While 14s is more than enough to defeat the Punisher, [Fast Forward] gives you another use just in case. Mystic is the supreme crowd control class for Punisher because of this skill.
[Time Dodge]: Use this skill when you get hit to avoid getting knocked to the ground.
[Fast Forward]: Reduces your cooldowns by 80% for 15s. Awakening reduces its cooldown to a little more than a minute when plated. Since [Force Shield] automatically applies during it, you should use it off cooldown as long as there are no impending mechs or buff wipes. With [Fast Forward] active, you have infinite [Blink]s and if you do get hit, [Force Shield]’s defensive buff softens the blow.
[Fast Forward Augment (Beyond Time)]: Changes your [Fast Forward] to apply the cooldown buff to party members as well! They receive a reduced effect of 40% cooldown reduction for 10s. In exchange, you permanently lose 15% damage and elemental damage. The cooldown reduction is negligible in nests, where the limited number of recipients and nest length don’t outweigh your DPS contribution. It may serve a purpose in raids, but many classes don’t benefit from it. As such, I choose to not take it, but feel free to experiment.
War Mage & Awakening
[Laser Cutter]: War Mage's signature skill. A laser falls from the heavens and travels forward a little before exploding for big damage, then returns back to you. [Class Mastery III (Shockwave)] adjusts it to continuously strike one location. Just use [Class Mastery III]. It does more damage in total than the normal version since it has an additional explosion.
- On live, the explosions occurred on the first and last hits. Here, the coefficients have been shuffled around so you deal explosive damage on the first few hits. This is great so that you can deal damage quickly and worry less about your positioning. That said, you should still think about boss movement to maximize your [Laser Cutter]’s damage. If you have to use the normal version, make sure that it will explode in the boss’s range.
[Laser Ray]: Our top DPS skill. In its normal form, it has long range and high super armor, at the cost of 5 bubbles per second (total 6s cast). When you hold left click while channeling it, its power increases at the cost of 8 bubbles per second (total 4s cast). Unfortunately, this enhanced version also decreases its range and super armor. For example, the normal version will continue casting through Kodiak’s Poison Waves, while the enhanced one breaks at the slightest touch from the boss. For the most part, just use the enhanced one. Use the normal version when you need the extra range, like if the Ice Dragon is spinning. This skill benefits from action speed buffs, so it’s in your best interest to suck up to a Lencea/Machina and hog all Flash Elixirs.
- As a side note, this skill bugs out a lot. For the enhanced version, it will go straight to cooldown without casting. The normal version will look like it’s casting but won’t register any hits. This issue becomes more of a problem the worse your computer or ping is.
[Energy Blast]: Teleports you backwards while dealing some damage. Always use [Linear Ray] after it for the extra damage. You can cancel [Laser Ray] with it, which works well with [Laser Ray]’s mid-range. It apparently has an iframe that activates when you hit an enemy, but I haven’t been able to make use of it.
Unified Skill: Ultimate CD
[Arcane Overdrive DMG] / [Fast Forward CDR] / [Nine Tail Laser CDR] / [Laser Cutter DMG] [Spectrum Ray DMG] / [Beam Tempest CDR]
+1 [Laser Cutter] or [Spectrum Ray]
- [Laser Cutter] has its limitations as a 25-hit skill that takes about 8s to finish casting. This makes it great for golem and questionable for nests.
- [Spectrum Ray] pulls through for nests with adds like IDN and Guardian. It can hit all of them and pad its own damage. It’s also more practical of a burst for mechs like Ice Dragon's Ice Crystal DPS check. However, there is a bug with [Spectrum Ray] +1. It often activates a ghost instant that does no damage. For example, you cast double [Spectrum Ray], but either (1) one of them does no damage, and you have to use the Instant afterward, or (2) they both do damage, and you see the instant light up afterward, but it won’t do damage. If you’re willing to persevere through this, the output is worth it.
One nice thing about War Mage is that her bubble generation is easy compared to other classes (hello Launchers). Pre-stack bubbles before going into a nest with 2 casts of [Nine Tail Laser]. This way, you can start with your [Laser Ray] combo.
With pre-stacks, start with the following:
[Force Mirror] → [Class Mastery III] → [Beam Tempest] → [Laser Ray]
Afterward, use [Nine Tail Laser] x2 → [Class Mastery III] → [Spectrum Ray] x2. Then [Fast Forward] if appropriate.
[Fast Forward] allows for two rotations:
- Spam [Laser Cutter] and [Spectrum Ray]. With [Harmonize], it should proceed like this: [Class Mastery III] → [Spectrum Ray] x2 → [Class Mastery III] → [Nine Tail Laser] x2 → repeat. [Beam Tempest] may come up during this; you can save it for [Laser Ray] or use it right away for some extra damage. This is effective against bosses that remain immobile or move around a lot in a wide area, like dragons and Ignacio.
- Focus on [Laser Ray] while dodging attacks. [Fast Forward] basically resets the cooldown of [Laser Ray] if you need to cancel it. I recommend this for bosses that move around a lot in a small area, like Balapa or Typhoon Krag. [Laser Ray]’s limited range makes this less effective on larger maps. As mentioned earlier, [Laser Ray] directly benefits from action speed buffs. With just a Premium Benefit and Harmonize, it’s slightly weaker than the first rotation. When you have a Flash Elixir or Returned Hero’s Shard, it should become a priority.