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Low level melee mage seems lacking

I’m not sure whether this would be better placed here or in the “feedback” forums, but after leveling a few mages recently, it became apparent that there’s a pretty obvious disparity in how “fun” the leveling experience is (at least for me) between caster and melee.

For the sake of simplicity, when leveling a character that I plan to make into a Spellblade, I would like to be able to play melee from the start of the game. There’s really only one ability that scales with “melee”, which seems a bit imbalanced. Mana strike, in and of itself, isn’t bad, but it presents a lack of options. You can’t convert it to any element other than lightning, and it doesn’t interact with any other mage skills that you get before you choose to become a Spellblade. Even after you choose spellblade, you are essentially “stuck” using Mana strike because it is the primary way you can regenerate your mana quickly.

Shatter strike feels awesome to use. Flame Reave and Firebrand feel distinct and and look great, even though I haven’t really tried either as a primary damage source yet. Surge seems like a fun alternative to Teleport, but it costs more mana and doesn’t have anything analogous to the defensive buffs available in the Teleport tree.

I think it would improve the early leveling experience for Spellblades by a hefty margin if there were either:

A) Options to change the element of Mana Strike, either through the Mana strike tree or through passives.
B) Other skills that shared the same scaling tags as Mana strike (Maybe a node to change Elemental nova or Fireball (or even Glacier) into a melee skill?
C) I suppose it could also be a “band-aid” to add “melee” to mana strike’s scaling tags, but I think either of the above options would be better.

Ideally, I think you should have a choice to level as melee with any of the element types. It struck me as especially odd that my choices of melee skills was limited to one lightning ability until I chose my mastery, and then my mastery granted me an ability that was only available as cold.

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