K... this is more of a general info post on why and how mages can be nasty.
You got three flavors of mage. Arcane, fire and frost.
Deep arcane is kinda pathetic, so we should ignore that.
Deep frost and frost/arcane are their own little thing.
But if ya run into a fire/fire frost mage... this here's a little warning.
Notice majeure is slowly creeping up. And unlike SOME mage players I could name... maj is pretty well equipped for her level. 420 +damage and almost 30% crit are nothing to laugh at for her level. For comparison, a mage can raid at level 70 with about 700 +damage and 25% crit.
For the hunters out there... fire mages crit like survival hunters. So a 30% crit for a fire mage is like a 22% crit for another mage build.
K... mages have armor options. And I aint talkin cloth. Mages take sicko sicko damage from physical. If you lucky, you get 15-18% damage reduction if you go frost. Fire... you looking at 10-12%. Ouchies.
But in return for such magnificent vulnerability, you get ARMOR. Frost mages get Ice armor. Ice armor is nice... and boring.
Fire mages get Molten armor. Now, I'm not saying that frost mages can't use molten armor, and that fire mages can't use ice armor. BM hunters can run with sporebats. Men can marry llamas. Do what feels right. Don't feel obliged to run a cookie cutter build if being strange floats yo boat.
K, for the sane readers. Molten armor pops at level 62. Which is a long damn time to wait, but worth it. For the fire mage, almost every talent boosts molten armor from something nice into something to be feared.
Molten armor has the following effects.
+3% to crit
-5% to be crit against
any attack against you incurs 75 damage.
The first two are self explanitory. + to crit, and reduced crit vulnerability are nice, but not complicated. But the thorns effect... oh... that gets NASTY with mage talents.
First... that 75 damage is modified by +spell damage. With maj's 420, attackers take about 105.
Second. It can crit. Did I mention that maj has a 30% crit chance?
Second part B. Fire mages have a talent called ignite. On a fire spell crit (including molten armor crits) the target gets gifted with a 40% additional damage dot over 4 secs.
Think about this. Yo typical hunter pet comes in, attacking every second... and taking an expected 125 damage each strike. Claw does what, 70-80?
Even nastier with rogues, fury warriors and enhance shammys. :) ...if the last doesn't remember to purge :(
And last... fire mages have yet another talent that gives a 10% 2 sec stun proc to their fire spells. This, also, works with molten armor.
All in all, it makes the aoe grind much more interesting. But can come as a nasty surprise for anyone not quite ready... so slap that HoT on frisky before you send him into play with the mage. His furry ass is gonna need it.