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World of Warcraft Classes Mage «Arcane»

Arcane Mage PvE Guide (WoW Legion 7.3.5)

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;
  • Strong dependency on Legendaries;
  • Almost no DoT mechanics.

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.

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Main abilities

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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.

* Amplification, 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.

  • 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.
  • 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.

* 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.

  • 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. Gives you 4 Arcane Charges instantly. CD 40 secs.
  • Resonance. Arcane Barrage deals 25% more damage per each target hit.

* Resonance is your default choice without 4T21.
Charged Up becomes a default choise with 4T21.
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.

  • 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 60% + Mastery per each Arcane Charge.
  • Unstable Magic. Arcane Blast has 20% probability of delivering additional 50% of damage to the main target as well as to every enemy withint the 8-m range of it.
  • Erosion. Your attacks increase the damage delivered by your spells to those targets by 1%. Stacks up, up to 8 times. In case you restrain from attacking for 3 secs, the stack count on the target starts going down, 1 stack per second.

* Erosion is your best talent for most situations.
Unstable Magic may turn up best in situations demanding frequent switching. The talent is also more convenient for Open World.
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%.
  • Temporal Flux. Your Arcane Blast‘s casting time reduces by 5% with each Arcane Charge.
  • 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+.
Temporal Flux is not used at the moment.

So, we can boil it all down to the following builds:

Raid build 4T21:

  1. Amplification
  2. Rune of Power / Incanter’s Flow
  3. Charged Up
  4. Erosion
  5. Overpowered

Raid build without 4T21 / Also useful at cleave and AoE fights:

  1. Amplification
  2. Rune of Power / Incanter’s Flow
  3. Resonance
  4. Erosion
  5. Overpowered


  1. Amplification
  2. Incanter’s Flow
  3. Supernova
  4. Chrono Shift
  5. Unstable Magic
  6. Temporal Flux

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Unlike talents, in the weapons branch there is no choice of what you can and what you can’t take. With the current Artifact Knowledge, the order of artifact acquisition is insignificant as to open all the traits, you only need to earn 2.23 billion artifact power which is extremely easy to do just over the first few minutes after you’ve reached level 110.


An Arcane Mage uses 2 Arcane and 1 Frost relics.

In most cases, the relic ilvl – which, in its turn, increases the weapon ilvl – would have more value than the traits. Here is the list of traits with their weapon ilvl equivalents, based on single target simulations:

  1. Aegwynn’s Imperative 4
  2. Ethereal Sensitivity 2.7
  3. Blasting Rod 2.1
  4. Aegwynn’s Intensity 2
  5. Aegwynn’s Wrath 1.9
  6. Aegwynn’s Fury 1.9
  7. Torrential Barrage 0.6

* Arcane Purification on AoE 4.1 ilvl

If you face situations where you’re not sure, we recommend you use the raidbots.com web-site which has a convenient interface for figuring out if it’s worth replacing Relic A with Relic B.

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Netherlight Crucible

Tier 1 of any relic allows you to increase your weapon’s ilvl by 5 points.

Tier 2. This is where you face the first important choice between Light and Shadow as the result of your choice deprives you of one of the traits on Tier 3. Your objective is to pick the optimal way providing the highest weapon ilvl equivalent sum on Tiers 2 and 3.

  1. Torment the Weak 5.3
  2. Shadowbind, Secure in the Light 4.8
  3. Infusion of Light 4.7
  4. Chaotic Darkness 4.2
  5. Murderous Intent 2.8
  6. Shocklight 2.7
  7. Master of Shadows 2.4
  8. Light Speed 2.3
  9. Dark Sorrows 2.2

Tier 3 coincides completely with the trait values from the Relic section. Keep following the track of the highest total.

  1. Aegwynn’s Imperative 4
  2. Ethereal Sensitivity 2.7
  3. Blasting Rod 2.1
  4. Aegwynn’s Intensity 2
  5. Aegwynn’s Wrath 1.9
  6. Aegwynn’s Fury 1.9
  7. Torrential Barrage 0.6

* Arcane Purification on AoE 4.1 ilvl

Other traits are defensive and provide no dps that’s why they are not accounted for here. Hence their value is considered equal to 0.

If you are using CrucibleWeight you can import this string into the game:

cruweight^127857^ilvl^1^252799^2.59^252922^2.11^187287^1.92 6:1.85 7:2.01^187264^3.97 6:3.79 7:3.84^252875^4.68^187304^0.65 6:0.97 7:0.49^187258^2.09 6:2.1 7:2.06^187321^1.97 6:1.95 7:1.98^187276^2.71 6:2.51 7:2.36^252906^5.16^238054^1.95 6:2.03 7:1.98^252888^4.27^252091^2.46^252191^2.74^252088^2.3^253070^4.75^253093^4.83^end


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An Arcane Mage has access to the total of 14 Legendaries.

The best are:

Mystic Kilt of the Rune Master restores 3% of your Mana per each Arcane Charge spent on Arcane Barrage. The strongest Legendary for any combat type as it restores tons of Mana. If you are using 4T21 + 2T20 it is better to pay attention on 2 rings below.

Soul of the Archmage grants you Temporal Flux for free. The best single target choice.

Shard of the Exodar allows you to receive an additional effect of Bloodlust / Heroism / Time Warp once in 5 min. Can turn out to be an extremely potent Legendary in combats with certain duration.

Mantle of the First Kirin Tor, for every Arcane Charge consumed by Arcane Barrage, grants you a 10% charge of launching Arcane Orb in front of you. The best AoE Legendary.


Cord of Infinity makes each Arcane Missiles hit increase the damage be your next Mark of Aluneth by 1%.

Rhonin’s Assaulting Armwraps make your Arcane Missiles grant you an 18% chance that your next Arcane Blast cast within 6 secs comes Mana-free. A rather average Legendary.

Kil’jaeden’s Burning Wish has a huge number of stats; active utilizing of this accessory allows you to deal massive AoE damage. A good Legendary.

Prydaz, Xavaric’s Magnum Opus provides a huge list of stats and grants a damage absorbing shield for 25% of max HP once every 30 secs. In terms of DPS, it’s no worse than other Legendaries; the defensive effect, however, can come in handy while exploring new bosses or on high Mythic+ when you have Survival > DPS.

Gravity Spiral. Your Evocation now has 2 charges. In general, this is a weak Legendary, but it can be useful in case you need max damage.

Belo’vir’s Final Stand makes your Blink / Shimmer generate a damage absorbing shield for 20% of your max Health for 15 secs.

Norgannon’s Foresight grants you an opportunity to cast spells while moving for 4 secs, provided the previous 6 secs you haven’t moved. The countdown starts once you start moving.

Sephuz’s Secret gives you, passively, 2% Haste and 10% moving speed. The proc that is activated with your dispels, stuns and paralysis increases Haste by additional 25%, and the moving speed – by 70%.

Insignia of the Grand Army empowers the effects of the Netherlight Crucible by 50%.

Celumbra, the Night’s Dichotomy is a craft Legendary. Okay for fresh characters if you’re willing to put in the gold and the agents for creating it. Replaced as soon as you receive the first two Legendaries.

If you’ve got different Legendaries out of the first list, and want to figure out which one of them would be better for you, we recommend you use Simcraft.

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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.





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The basic priority rating for the characteristics is as follows:

Haste > Versatility > Crit > 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.

  1. Gems:
  1. Chants:
  1. Food:
  1. Flasks and Potions:

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Set bonuses




  • 2 pieces: Each Arcane Charge spent by you increases your damage dealing by 4% for 8 secs.
  • 4 pieces: When you generate an Arcane Charge you get 8% probability of your Haste increasing by 20% for 6 secs.


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Counterspell with a modifier, with the Shift key held, the ability is applied on a remembered target, without – on the current one.

#showtolltip Counterspell
/cast [mod:shift,@focus][]Counterspell


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