The best Mage builds in Terraria Calamity

More hocus pocus than you could shake a wand at.

Screenshot by Gamepur

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The 2D sandbox Metroidvania Terraria already has a wealth of content, but the popular Calamity mod brings even more side-scrolling goodness with new enemies, items, and biomes. Mana-using items, such as spell tomes and lasers, are also included in the mod, which can greatly shake up the standardized progression for players from start to finish. There are now a heft of ways that mage-based players will aim to progress their builds in Terraria Calamity — this guide will walk you through our preferred items from pre-Hardmode to pre-Moon Lord.

Related: How to get a Terra Blade in Terraria

Pre-Hardmode Mage build guide

Like many classes, the pre-Hardmode mage isn’t much to get excited about. Find every star possible to increase your mana by crafting and consuming Mana Crystals, and aim for the Corruption early to grab a couple of mage-related items. Here are the items you should be searching for while gearing up to fight the Wall of Flesh.

  • Vilethorn
    • This magic weapon stretches out a long spear from the caster and can hit enemies up to seven times when positioned correctly. This will ultimately be your default item during fights, as it helps to push enemies away, while the piercing ability can help mitigate large stacks of foes.
      • Dropped from Shadow Orbs in the Corruption, and retrieved by fishing in the Corruption.
  • Frost Bolt
    • Fires an ice orb that moves slowly toward enemies, unaffected by gravity. Also inflicts Frostburn debuff onto foes it hits, dealing minor DoT. This weapon is helpful in certain situations, such as firing against long enemies like Eater of Worlds, as it can hit multiple times.
      • Any ice block (x20)
      • Shiverthorn (x2)
      • Any snow block (x10)
      • Water bucket
  • Jungle Armor (set)
    • The full set provides a 16% reduced mana usage, meaning you’ll be in the fight for longer. Change it immediately once you enter Hardmode — the defense offered (17 base) is mediocre at best.
      • Stingers (x10)
      • Vines (x2)
      • Jungle Spores (x32)
  • Band of Starpower
    • This is a simple accessory that increases mana by 20. It tends to be easily found, and it’s a sizeable boost, effectively giving players an additional full Mana Star to use in casting.
      • Found in Living Tree loot (chests and crates)

Hardmode — Mechanical Bosses Mage build guide

Screenshot by Gamepur

The Wall of Flesh went down, and now the world has changed drastically. This is when the Mage class begins to step into their own tier of efficiency, as spawn rates increase and enemy health does as well. Thankfully, Mages start to get unique mana-based toys to eliminate these new threats. Try this build for an early step up in damage at the beginning of Hardmode.

  • Golden Shower
    • The Golden Shower is easy to build (if you already have Crimson in your world, else you’ll need to plant Crimson seeds) and offers easy, reliable damage. The cherry on top of this weapon is the heavy Ichor debuff, which effectively rends the enemy armor for 10 seconds after getting hit. You’ll want to consistently give your enemies a Golden Shower before the rest of the party closes the distance and finishes the job.
      • Spell Tome
      • Ichor (x20)
      • Soul of Night (15)
  • Miasma
    • Fires up to five gas clouds that inflict the Irradiated debuff for three seconds, causing DoT. Keep Golden Shower proceed, then follow up with Miasma while enemy armor is debuffed with Ichor for maximum damage.
      • Nimbus Rod
      • Aquamarine Staff
      • Corroded Fossil (x10)
  • Frigidflash Bolt
    • A slow-moving orb that inflicts both On Fire! and Frostburn, causing heavy DoT for three seconds on strike. This orb bounces off of walls four times or can pierce enemies four times — it’s best used in smaller spaces (such as the Dungeon or Hell) or when you can get all of the enemies in a line (during Invasions, while defending your base).
      • Frost Bolt
      • Flare Bolt
      • Essence of Eleum (x2)
      • Essence of Chaos (x2)
  • Sorcerer Emblem
    • This emblem will likely be a standard piece of equipment for the rest of your time as a mage. It offers a simple +15% outgoing magic damage buff while equipped.
      • Drops from the Wall of Flesh at a 12.5% chance.
  • Clairvoyance
    • This buff lasts until death and is received by interacting with the Crystal Ball. It offers a +20 mana, +5% magic damage, +2% magic-based critical strike chance, and -2% mana usage. This buff lasts until you die, so set it up right next to your bed or spawn point and take advantage of the easy buff.
      • The Crystal Ball can be purchased from the Wizard NPC for 10 gold.
  • Cobalt Armor (set)
    • The Cobalt Armor is the only set that you’ll be able to find at the beginning of Hardmode that offers reduced mana usage, at 14%. The Cobalt Armor is also reasonable for Warrior builds and Rangers, so don’t be surprised if everyone in the world is rocking the same gear until the three Mechanical Bosses are downed.
      • Cobalt Bars (x65)

Pre-Lunar Mage build guide

Screenshot by Gamepur

Countless horrors have appeared and fallen at the hands of your stave. Now, you’re aiming at killing the gods themselves, and you’re going to need the magic-powered arsenal to do so. With a fierce armory of DoTs, debuffs, and homing projectiles, you might just have a chance with this build.

  • Betsy’s Wrath
    • A staff that lobs fireballs in clusters of three, allowing for heavy damage to large single-targets and mobs alike. With a fast cast time, 100 damage, and a nasty debuff called Betsy’s Curse, which removes 40 armor from any enemy struck, Betsy’s Wrath is criminally overlooked by most mages.
      • Dropped by Betsy during the Old One’s Army Invasion.
  • Everglade Spray
    • An upgrade of the Golden Shower, Everglade Spray retains its Ichor debuff and gains a new one called Cursed Inferno, which increases all damage received by a struck enemy by 20% and also acts as a heavy DoT. This weapon is almost necessary for many late-game boss fights, thanks to its ability to trivialize most heavily armored enemies. Reforge it into Mythical for the best stats.
      • Golden Shower
      • Cursed Flames
      • Perennial Bar (x3)
  • Gatling Laser
    • Sometimes, you need to put the magical trinkets to the side and just blast something in the face. The Gatling Laser is a fast-firing mana-based rifle that not only shreds enemies but also offers the 1.5-second debuff On Fire!, which acts as a DoT. Combining this weapon with the debuffs of Everglade Spray and Betsy’s Wrath is a nasty combo that can trivialize many bosses if you have the movement skills necessary to dodge the incoming bullet-hell.
      • Decrypted schematic from the Jungle Bio-center Lab.
      • Mysterious Circuitry (x15)
      • Dubious Plating (x15)
      • Life Alloy (x5)
      • Infected Armor (x5)
  • Hydothermic Armor (Mage set)
    • Hydrothermic Armor comes in five different variants for various classes, but the Mage aspect (with the Hydrothermic Mask) is a decent buff, offering 5% increased magic damage and 15% reduced magic expenditure.
      • Core of Chaos (x6)
      • Hellstone Bars (x17)
      • Scoria Bars (x32)
  • Sign of Calamitas
    • This accessory offers 15% increased magical damage, 100 additional mana, and 10% decrease in mana usage. This trinket, once obtained, should be a permanent fixture in any noteworthy Mage’s arsenal.
      • Celestial Emblem
      • Ashes of Calamity (x5)
      • Core of Chaos (x5)
      • Scoria Bar (x2)
      • Evil Water (x10 — either Crimson or Corruption is adequate for this)