Looks aren't everything, and sometimes it is best to go with function over form. For anyone looking to maximize their potential, picking the best race for mage is of vital importance. Let's talk about the ups and downs of each race of the Alliance, and figure out the best ones for PvP and PvE.
Human is the first and probably most common choice for mage. For PvP, Every Man for Himself truly shines, along with the rogue and druid-busting Perception. Getting to equip two high-end PvE trinkets AND being better at catching stealthers? Humans are amazing for PvP.
But while they shine in PvP, Human is somewhat less amazing in PvE. Every Man for Himself will let you get back to DPSing on the occasion where you get CC'd, but overall it just doesn't mean much. The only other thing worth noting is the 3% spirit bonus...and since Spirit is a terrible stat, it doesn't really help pull human out of the pit as far as PvE goes. Skip them if PvE is your main focus.
Next up is gnome. Gnome is another good choice for PvP thanks to Escape Artist and their passive 2% resistance to Arcane. And Expansive Mind, a 5% bonus to Intellect, is great for anyone rolling mage, be it for PvP or PvE. Gnome is a solid choice for an all-around player.
The final option on the Alliance side for mages is Draenei. Gift of the Naaru, a fairly-powerful HoT racial, is pretty handy for PvP and even has some use in PvE; not dying is great for improving your DPS. And even if you aren't in risk of dying, taking pressure off raid healers can be good for the raid as a whole.
Gift of the Naaru isn't the big thing on the Draenei racial list though. Heroic Presence, a 1% hit bonus to yourself and your party, is what makes them worth rolling. Missing spells can prove fatal in PvP and gimp DPS in PvE, so being capped is vital...and this talent means you can stat more offensive stats instead of stacking hit. Rounding out their racial list is a 2% shadow resistance, all together making Draenei another good choice for mage.
So everything is a decent option Alliance side...but what is the best race for mage? Well, Human is hands down the best for PvP. High end trinkets are massively powerful, and being able to equip two is just amazing for PvP.
And for PvE? It kind of depends. If you are going to be running with other Draenei, then Heroic Presence is wasted, since it doesn't stack. And even then, the Intellect bonus from Gnome is hard to ignore. So I'd say in most cases, Gnome is going to pan out to be your best choice for PvE.
Hopefully this has answered your questions about which race to roll for Alliance mages. Horde races will be the next thing I write about, so be sure to give that a look if you aren't sure what faction you are going to play.
Enjoy this article? then read my blog about everything related to World of Warcraft gold at http://wowgoldspot.blogspot.com. For more about mages in particular, then read my guide to Mage Gold!