An Arcane Mage is the lord of the most ancient and mysterious branch of magic whose power once brought The Burning Legion to Azeroth.
Let’s take a closer look at the weakest and the strongest aspects of this specialization:
- Extremely potent burst damage;
- Nice damage on a single target;
- Nice damage into 3-4 targets;
- High mobility.
- The major portion of damaging is done during bursts. Out-of-burst DPS is extremely low;
- Dependency on procs;
Basic information on the spec:
Like all Mages, Arcane uses Mana as their key resource, and, unlike other specs, spends a lot more of it. There is also an additional resource – Arcane Charge which empowers particular spells and increases the mana-cost on some of them.
Back to top
(Area of Effect) is basically the area where this of that effect is actuated regardless of whether its damage or healing. This command is usually used to act in a team/raid on several targets. It is also used to describe any ability of a Boss with the aforementioned effect.
Buff stands for any positive effect. Always reflected to the left of the mini-map, by its upper edge.
Burst is an ability to do – in multiple ways – massive damage within a short period of time.
Gear is what it is.
GCD (Global Cooldown) is the overall ability recovery time.
Debuff stands for negative effect. By default, it’ reflected to the left of the mini-map by its lower edge.
DoT stands for Damage over Time.
DPS (Damage per Second) is a measure that reflects the damage done within one second.
Cleave is an ability to damage secondary targets through damaging the main one with no (or minor) loss in the damage done to the main target.
Cooldown (often CD) primarily refers to the ability recovery time. Can be often applied to bursts and various protective abilities.
Melee and Range. Melee is the close-range combat zone, also used in the titles of all the classes and specs that do effective damage in this zone. Range usually refers to a zone that is not a close-range one and is used, respectfully, in the titles of all classes and specs that do effective damage remotely.
Trait is a name for the ‘talents’ your azerite armor has.
Back to top
Arcane Blast casts 2.25 secs; in its base form, spends a small amount of Mana. Deals Arcane damage and generates 1 Arcane Charge. The damage grows by 64% + Mastery per each Arcane Charge, and Mana spending grows by 100%, the cast time reduces by 8% for each charge.
Arcane Missiles is a channeled 2.5-sec spell releasing 5 Arcane missile shots and dealing the respective type of damage to your target.
Arcane Barrage has an instant cast and deals medium Arcane damage to your target. The damage grows by 32% + Mastery per each Arcane Charge. It also absorbs all the Arcane Charges stacked. Each Arcane Charge consumed his way allows you to deal 40% of the initial damage to one additional target per charge. CD 3 secs.
Arcane Explosion costs a small amount of Mana and deals Arcane damage to all the enemies within the 10-m range. Hitting at least 1 target, it generates 1 Arcane Charge. For each Arcane Charge, damage dealing grows by 64% + Mastery, and the Mana cost grows by 100%.
Arcane Power increases damage dealing by all your spells by 30% as well as reduces Mana spending by 30% for 10 secs. CD 1.5 min.
Presence of Mind allows you to cast the following 2 Arcane Blasts instantly. Does not depend on GCD, has instant action. CD 1 min, starts after the second Arcane Blast.
Evocation is a channel spell restoring 100% of your Mana over 6 secs. CD 1.5 min.
Time Warp CD 5 min; but those receiving Time Warp get a 10-min debuff which prevents them from triggering similar effects over the debuff’s action time.
Mastery: Savant increases the Mana restoration speed and increases max Mana stock by 9.6% + Mastery. It also makes Arcane Charges empower their spells by additional 4.8%.
Clearcasting For each 0 mana you spend, you have a chance to gain Clearcasting, making your next Arcane Missiles or Arcane Explosion free and channel 20% faster.
Greater Invisibility allows you to instantly go to the state of invisibility for 20 secs. In this condition, you are undetectable. After using it, your danger level towards all the targets equals 0. While in that state, and 3 secs after it, you receive 60% less damage. Any actions – apart from moving – cancel the invisibility effect. CD 2 min
Ice Block makes you immune to damage of any type for 10 secs, but it also prevents you from taking any actions over that period. It also touches you with the effect Hypothermia which keeps you from entering Ice Block again for the next 30 secs. CD 4 min.
Prismatic Barrier activates a shield absorbing a small portion of damage and reducing the taken magic damage by 15%. The action time of all negative effects cast on you shrinks by 25%. The shield acts for 1 min or until the damage is completely absorbed. CD 25 secs.
Counterspell interrupts spell casting by your enemy and prevents them from using a spell of the same school for 6 more secs. CD 24 secs.
Slow instantly reduces your target’s moving speed by 50% for 15 secs.
Slow Fall helps you reduce an ally’s falling speed for 30 secs.
Frost Nova makes your enemies within the 12-m range freeze for 8 secs and deal tiny Frost damage. Any damage received by the enemies can cancel the effect.
Blink moves you 20 m forward or to the nearest barrier and cancels any stunning or movement impairing-effects on you. CD 15 secs.
Portal allows you to open a portal for your group/raid-mates leading into one of your fraction’s major cities or big-scale general Sanctums.
Polymorph turns your enemy into a sheep that wanders near its initial location for 50 secs. In this shape, you enemy can take no actions but does restore Health rapidly. Any received damage cancels the effect on the target. This transformation can only be applied to one enemy at a time. Applicable to humanoids and beasts only.
Displacement allows you, for 10 secs after utilizing Blink , to return to the initial location you were at before casting Blink . It also finishes Blink‘s restoring time instantly.
Conjure Refreshment creates food that restores Health and Mana. The generated items disappear from your inventory if you leave the game for over 15 min.
Teleport allows you to teleport into your fraction’s major cities as well as to other key locations.
Spellsteal costs quite a lot Mana, and allows you to steal one positive magic effect off your enemy. The effect’s max duration is 2 min.
Back to top
General information. On achieving several new levels you’ll get access to new talent ‘Tiers’. Talents may have different effect on abilities: add new features, replace old ones, modify passively different effects and spells. Talents can be changed in Sanctuaries or any recreational zones. However, if you don’t have any of those places nearby you can use the Codex of the Tranquil Mind which allows you to switch channels within a minute. You can’t change talents in combat. You can’t change a talent if the talent you’ve picked in the last Tier is on Cooldown. You’ll have to wait until it’s restored first.
Tier 1. Lvl 15
* Rule of Threes, by default. The other two talents are significantly weaker in any situation.
Tier 2. Lvl 30
* With frequent short runs, Slipstream is your best option. Shimmer goes well for encounters that demand less frequent but longer distance relocations. Mana Shield is never used.
Tier 3. Lvl 45
- Incanter’s Flow. During combat the damage dealt by you grow by 4 to 20%. The factor increases or decreases in cycles. The duration of a cycle is 10 secs.
- Mirror Image. Summons 3 copies of yours which attack your enemies. Copies live for 40 secs. CD 2 min
- Rune of Power. Within 1.5 secs, you generate a rune of power in the selected area. The rune lives for 10 secs. As long as you’re within an 8-m range of your Rune, your spells deliver 40% more damage. At least 2 charges. CD 40 secs.
* In most cases, Rune of Power should be talented, provided you have the capacity to use its full duration. Best pick for both single target and AoE. Incanter’s Flow is a backup option used in case you can’t stand up within the Rune completely. It is also your choice for Dungeons and the Open World. Mirror Image is not used.
Tier 4. Lvl 60
- Resonance. Arcane Barrage deals 10% more damage per each target hit.
- Charged Up. Gives you 4 Arcane Charges instantly. CD 40 secs.
- Supernova. Can be applied to your ally as well as to your enemy. Supernova deals Arcane damage to all the enemies within the range of 8 m of the selected target, and throws them up. The key enemy target receives 100% more damage. CD 25 secs.
* Charged Up is your default choice on st and cleave. Resonance is used on AOE and in m+. Supernova is an occasional choice in case you need the throw-away effect.
Tier 5. Lvl 75
* Chrono Shift is your best default choice as is gives you great mobility. Ring of Frost and Ice Ward are extremely occasional. Just keep them in mind in case you ever need them.
Tier 6. Lvl 90
- Reverberate. If Arcane Explosion hits at least 3 targets, it has 40% chance to generate and Extra arcane charge.
- Touch of the Magi. Arcane Blast has a 10% chance to apply Touch of the Magi, accumulating 15 % of the damage you deal to the target for 8 sec, and then exploding for that amount of Arcane damage to the target and all nearby enemies.
- Nether Tempest. Tags the target with a DoT which deals periodic damage to the main target as well as all the enemies within the 10-m range of it. Can be kept on no more than 1 target. The damage grows by 64% + Mastery per each Arcane Charge.
* Touch of the Magi is the best raiding and cleave talent. Reverberate is used in m+ and on AOE+. Nether Tempest loses to both talents.
Tier 7. Lvl 100
- Overpowered. Arcane Power now increases the damage you deal by 60% and reduces Mana spending by 60%.
- Time Anomaly. At any moment you have a chance to gain Arcane Power for 8 sec., gain Evocation for 1 sec or 4 Arcane charges.
- Arcane Orb. Launches an Arcane Orb that flies a straight trajectory, 40 m forward from your current position, and deals major Arcane damage to all the enemies hit. Utilizing this ability brings you an Arcane Charge, and one more Arcane Charge per each enemy hit along the way.
* Overpowered is your best pal for absolutely any situation. Arcane Orb can be good for really quick AoE on huge packs which can happen in low-level Mythic+. Time Anomaly is not used because it is too random.
So, we can boil it all down to the following builds:
- Rule of Threes
- Rune of Power
- Charged Up
- Touch of the Magi
- Rule of Threes
- Rune of Power
- Chrono Shift
- Overpowered / Arcane Orb
Back to top
In BFA typical sets were removed and Azerite armor took their place. Now every chest/helmet/shoulders have a few rings for traits.
- Equipoise. While you are above 70% mana, Arcane Blast deals additional damage. While you are below 70% mana Arcane Blast cost is reduced. The best trait that is ideally to have 1-3.
- Galvanizing Spark. Arcane Blast deals additional damage and has a 8% chance to generate a second Arcane charge. You can have 1 of such trait for a chance of the second charge proc.
- Arcane Pummeling. Clearcasting procs 10% more often, and each wave of a Clearcasting Arcane Missiles, deals more damage than the previous. Not the best trait but if there is nothing better you can take it.
* It is the list of the best traits only so we recommend to use raidbots.com to see other good traits/combinations.
We recommend to use Herodamage and AzeritePowerWeight addon. Import the addon command from the site and you can easily compare your azerite in the game:
( AzeritePowerWeights:2:"herodamage.com - Stacks_1T_T24":8:62: 127=10, 575=7.78, 562=7.49, 522=7.44, 526=7.42, 193=7.40, 82=6.57, 196=6.49, 374=6.10, 504=5.22, 479=5.20, 88=4.95, 157=4.92, 483=4.92, 478=4.70, 501=4.69, 489=4.62, 495=4.62, 195=4.61, 492=4.47, 486=4.47, 505=4.38, 488=4.29, 494=4.29, 485=4.28, 481=4.11, 194=4.01, 523=4.01, 561=3.96, 482=3.95, 521=3.36, 480=3.35, 30=3.35, 576=3.11, 498=3.06, 156=2.96, 192=2.84, 214=2.80, 167=2.77, 500=2.65, 459=2.55, 493=2.37, 487=2.37, 31=2.24, 21=2.17, 22=2.05, 499=1.81, 560=1.78, 18=1.73, 491=1.67, 497=1.67, 461=1.63, 541=1.55, 496=1.36, 490=1.36, 462=1.35, 375=-0.09: )
Back to top
These ratings are based on simulations, statistics of WarcraftLogs and players experience.
An Arcane Mage’s damaging model comprises 2 phases: the burst phase in which Mana is blown; and after it’s restored with Evocation, there comes the phase of thrifting and Mana-saving.
But let’s follow the flow and review the phases one by one.
After Evocation, we start the Mana-saving phase (or Mana conserve). During this phase, Mana is only regenerated passively which means you need to be very careful and attentive to what spells you are using, because by the time Arcane Power restores, you need to be at your max Mana.
Let’s review the priorities for this phase:
- If your Rune of Power has 2 charges, use one
- Arcane Orb, if talented; If you face a group of enemies, use it with zero Arcane Charges to get as many charges as possible.
- Arcane Missiles when procs or when mana is lower than 100%
- If Charged Up is talented, use it at 0 Arcane Charges.
- Supernova, if talented.
- Arcane Barrage, if all the conditions above have been met, and you need to regenerate Mana.
- Arcane Explosion for 3+ targets;
- Arcane Blast.
The phase begins as soon as you start using your Rune of Power and Arcane Power. Before entering this phase, consider all the mechanics present on the encounter and make sure that you won’t have to be exiting your Rune’s action range any time soon, or even move at all.
- Use Charged Up / Gain 4 charges
- Place Rune of Power
- Activate Arcane Power + racial abilities and trinkets
- Spam Arcane Blast, without using Arcane Missiles while Arcane Power is active
- Keep following №4 until you spend all mana and after that use Evocation and go back into phase when you save mana
If Resonance is talented, and your main target has secondary ones, use Arcane Barrage at the last second of Arcane Power.
If Charged Up is talented, use Arcane Barrage right after Arcane Power is over; then proceed with Charged Up and continue burning Mana.
- If, during the conserve phase you go below 70% Mana, discard Arcane Charges by 3 instead of 4.
- Rune of Power. Since every stack has a restoring time of 40 secs, sometimes you’ll just have to discard your charged out of bursts. Let’s review the best opportunities to use them out of Arcane Power:
1. After your Arcane Power is over, provided you have enough Mana to stand 10 secs in the Mana burn phase.
2. If a certain moment in your encounter demands max DPS.
3. If you have several powerful trinket procs, or various encounter mechanics increase the damage dealt by you; or the damage received by some particular targets is increased.
4. If you don’t need to run anywhere.
5. If you have accumulated a lot of Mana, and you have 4 Arcane Charges.
- Movement. In general, an Arcane Mage has a whole bunch of ways to keep damage dealing up on the move. The first – and the key – rule is – don’t do extra movements. Using Shimmer does not interrupt your cast. The talent Slipstream allows you to cast Arcane Missiles on the go which enables you to move short distance. If your Blink / Shimmer happens to be on CD, or if it throws you way too far, and you lack Arcane Missiles charges (with Slipstream), your optimal choice would be casting or renewing Prismatic Barrier.
Back to top
The basic priority rating for the characteristics is as follows:
Crit => Haste => Versatility = Mastery> Intellect
The current specialization’s Mastery increases the max Mana and the damage dealing by the spells empowered by Arcane Charges.
Haste reduces spell casts as well as GCD and CD of Arcane Barrage.
This is the base stat priority, but (!) their values are close to each other, plus it can be influenced by Legendaries, set bonuses and accessories. That’s why it is recommended, once you receive new equipment, you use Simcraft or Raidbots.com. There is no way to get a more precise answer to which stat to focus on first, but through a simulation.
Based on the aforementioned characteristics and results of your character’s own simulation results, you can draw conclusions on Gems, Chants and Raid Chemicals.
Flasks and Potions:
Back to top
Counterspell with a modifier, with the Shift key held, the ability is applied on a remembered target, without – on the current one.
If you’re not spamming the buttons, you could use a macro for your Ice Block (1 click activates Ice Block, the second click cancels it):
#showtooltip Ice Block
/cancelaura Ice Block
/cast Ice Block
If you do spam the buttons, you’d better make two separate macros:
#showtooltip Ice Block
/cast Ice Block
/cancelaura Ice Block
Back to top
Leveling. If your character has been inactive since the previous expansions, the best option to level up it is by Timewalking dungeons. You will gain a lot of experience, but there is one big disadvantage of leveling this way. Timewalks are available only for one week during a month, but Overgear is always here.
Equipment. At high level, the most important thing for you will become your gear. WoW is a multiplayer game, that’s why we recommend for you to play it with your friends, or to find a new friends for mythic+ runs. If you have any trouble with it – Overgear may help you to find not just friends for a run, but a complete well geared and experienced group that also will be glad to trade all the loot you need.
Raids. Raids are the top-tier PvE content in the game. That’s why the equipment’s base ilvl is higher than anywhere else. These dungeons require knowing all the tactics and have a good gear to kill the bosses. The possibilities of Overgear might let you skip those criteria.
Azerite. It is also not the best idea to forget about the Heart of Azeroth and not to feed it with more Azerite. Ignoring this won’t make your character stronger. The easiest way to do it – just complete all the world quests with Azerite rewards everyday. You can get extra azerite from Island Expeditions. Companions can be found at Overgear.