So as I look at the toons in Ordo Serp I notice that there are a number of people with Mages as alts in the Ranks. So I figured I'd put together a little list of tips that folks may or may not have thought of.
1.) Have a Sheep Macro. I use a focus macro to set my target as the focus and then sheep it. This is a macro that can be found pretty easily just do a google search. In a group it's important to be able to keep something sheeped and not have it be a large effect on your DPS. This macro helps tons.
2.) Have a counterspell macro, or 2. The basic counterspell macro is simply:
Typically when you need to counterspell you need it now and when you finish casting your current spell it will be too late. You can also build a focus macro like the sheep macro, although it's only situationally useful.
3.) Know your Nukes. Mages have a number of spells that could be classified as nukes. However, for each build there are usually only one or two that are truly effective. Know what spells you are casting and when. Whenever you cast a spell you should know why you are casting that particular spell. Have a reason. (Even if the reason is wrong it is still a reason and now you can learn from it.) If you don't have a reason to cast a spell that is different from your primary nuke, you should proably still be casting your primary nuke.
4.) Know your Gear. For the most part, Spell Damage is greater than anything else. If given the choice between spelldamage and something else, usually, you take the spell damage. Hit is Key vs bosses. It only take a little hit to hit a level 82, it takes a lot more to hit a level 83. Haste is a good DPS increase, but it also increases the rate you burn through mana. Crit is an increase in DPS with no increase in MPS. However, Crit does not scale very well, even in the crit heavy builds, like Frostfire. It's still worth aquiring, but don't sacrifice too much to get it.
5.) Know your builds. THere are 5 Builds that seem to work pretty well right now. (Well or will as of 3.0.8)
Deep Arcane w/frost: 53/0/18 (or similar) Should be viable come patch 3.0.8. Very Mobile spec. Good damage. Has +6% hit. Complex rotation and mana management. Does not bring the 10% crit forthe party/raid. Primary Nuke: AB - > ABAR
Deep Arcane w/fire: 53/18/0 (or similar) Very similar to the Arc/Frost build. POM Pyro is satisfying, but not worth basing a build around. Has improved scorch to bring the 10% crit buff. The loss of persoanl DPS makes this a hard pill to swallow, but if no one else can bright the 10% crit may still be worth it. Primary Nuke: AB - > ABAR
Deep Fire: 18/53/0 Not the king of DPS it once was but very powerful. At the end of the day it's still a fireball spam build. Primary Nuke: Fireball
FrostFire: 0/53/18: Currently the spec to beat. Big Crits, Simple playstyle. Long range. No Focus magic. Primary Nuke: Frostfire Bolt
Deep Frost: 18/0/53: Simpler playstyle with Frostbolt spam. Water elemental. Can work in some survivability talents without cripling damage. Primary Nuke: Frostbolt
Find a style that works for you and run with it. Your playstyle and how well you play the spec will matter much more than which spec you choose. Once you choose a build look up how they value certain stats and gear appropriately. (For example Arcane benefits from Int more than other builds while Frostfire gains more benefit from crit than the other builds.)
OK so that's enough to get you started. I can post more if folks are interested.