Post by nickseng
The Arcane Thread
- updated for 3.1Relevant changes in 3.1
Yeah, there's nothing much for us this patch.
Oh, if you insist.
- Arcane Blast stacking effect is no longer considered a Magic effect and will not be dispelled.
- Mage Armor: Now grants 50% of mana regeneration while casting.
- Mage Armor: Now grants 50% of mana regeneration while casting.
- Arcane Meditation: Now grants 17/33/50% of mana regeneration while casting.
- Glyph of Arcane Barrage: Reduces the mana cost of Arcane Barrage by 20%.
- Arcane Potency: Fixed a bug where sometimes the benefit was consumed before altering the critical strike chance of the mage. In addition, will no longer benefit the critical strike chance of Molten Armor’s damage.
Playstyle remains more or less the same as 3.0.9, with some minor consideration.
Note: This FAQ is specific to Arcane only, and thus assumes a lot of prior knowledge. Please read the Mage FAQ
for more information.1.0 Introduction
The Arcane tree has gone through some pretty rough changes this expansion. Things were looking great in the WotLK beta, with a major tree revamp. Then we started getting nerfed even before it made it out of the gates. Arcane Blast was changed from being godly in beta (it increase damage by 25% and mana by only 75%) to the lackluster version it is now. Mind Mastery was nerfed so that it doesn't scale with the increased intellects we'd get.
That's not to say everything is bad with the new changes. We did get a god spell in Arcane Barrage, and had some interesting and cool revamps to our existing talents, but ultimately, they just weren't enough to compete with the other specs in a Raid. It was fun for PVP, but often at the ridicule of other mages.
Things looked pretty grim for a while, but a change seems to be on the Horizon. If patch 3.0.8 makes it to live, it could very well rejuvenate the Arcane spec,%2
Post by nickseng
Level 20 Arcane
-- We're gonna start off by dipping into the frost trees for some improved snares. Why frost and not fire? Well, early on, we lack Slow, and ensnared targets while also increases our survivability, they also come into play later into the tree. Icy Veins is just nice to have for the haste, as we have less use for the pushback immunity.Level 30 Arcane
-- Okay, with the talents in the support trees, we're ready to dip into our Arcane tree.Arcane Stability is invaluable when levelling because it makes our best DPS spell uninterruptable. And Arcane Concentration is a no-brainer. Would you say no to free spells? Level 40 Arcane
-- Take a point in focus magic, and feel free to throw it on any spell caster you meet.You pick up Spell Impact to boost the DPS of a AE, Icelance and Fireblast. A point in Magic Absorbtion is purely filler, as it's rather situational while levelling. I take them over magic attunement since your frost spells are capped at 30 yards at this point. Finally, Torment the Weak gives a huge boost to your offensive spells as long as the targets are ensnared, which they should always be. A good rotation will be casting Frostbolt, then follow up by Arcane Missiles, which will benefit from TtW.
Finally Arcane Meditation helps your mana efficiency. With this and Mage Armor on, you'd be able to last quite a while before drinking.Level 50 Arcane
-- Now we're starting to get to the best parts of Arcane. Presence of the Mind, (and another talent below) is what gives Arcane such huge burst DPS. Arcane Mind scales well with gear, and gives your more mana and spell crit, and Arcane Instability gives you more damage and crit ... with ALL of your spells. Finally, top off your Arcane Meditation.Level 60 Arcane
-- Go to the nearest mage trainer, and respec your talents. That's right. Now that we have access to Slow and Arcane Barrage, we no longer need the Frost talents, as Slow is instant, and snares for more than Frostbolt. Playing arcane is different than before, in that we need to be as mobile as possible. My prefered rotation is to start off with a Fireball, then cast Slow as soon as the Fireball leaves your hand. Alternate between ABarr and FB, and AM on Missile Barrage procs. Things should die pretty quick with that rotation, and never lay a finger on you.
From here on, it's up to you on how to distribute your points. I would recommend maxing Magic Attunement for the range, and maxing Prismatic Cloak for some huge survivability.4.2 Raiding
Raiding as Arcane (ie. rotations)
My spec of choice, this one goes far enough into Frost to pick up ice Flows, Precision, and Icy Veins; and into fire for Incineration.
There are 3 points leftover, and can be distributed as you like.
This build trades in less damage for more mana efficiency, and better AOE.
My least favourite Arcane build, this one provides Imp. Scorch in case you're the only mage in the raid.
I had a hard time with this, since I couldn't figure out how to present this information. And then it hit me, why try to reinvent the wheel, when someone else explained it so much better?
-Only cast mbarr once you reach the maximal number of stacks you were reaching for. This is because AM is rather inefficient, however, it deals a lot of total_damage. As such, you want to apply the biggest ab_buff multiplier to it to make it worthwhile. This also means that generally going for mbarr procs as soon as it pops will tend to be suboptimal.
-Always follow mbarr with abarr unless going for the extreme mana efficient cycles.
-If you need a high mana conservation cycle (ex: evocation was interrupted), going for 1 less AB max stack will save a tremendous amount of mana.
-AB spam until mbarr proc is almost 2x more mana intensive than the next rotation
| no. | cycle | dps | mps | dpm | dpm tradeoff | dpm tradeoff | general | note |
| | | | | | (next cycle) | (cycle 2) | use | |
| 1 | AB3+ | 5495.957 | 387.9541 | 14.17 | | 1.85 | mana dump / during AP | cast mbarr only at 3 stack |
| 2 | AB AB AB ( or abarr) | 5132.355 | 190.8791 | 26.89 | 1.85 | | main cycle / during AP | |
| 3 | AB AB AB AM | 5070.111 | 157.7089 | 32.15 | 1.88 | 1.88 | main cycle / during AP | |
| 4 | AB AB ( or AB AM) | 5031.662 | 146.4452 | 34.36 | 3.41 | 2.27 | main cycle | |
| 5 | AB ( or abarr) | 4760.778 | 87.75334 | 54.25 | 4.62 | 3.60 | mana saving | |
| 6 | AB ( or abarr) | 4677.5 | 74.82857 | 62.51 | 6.44 | 3.92 | mana saving | |
| 7 | AB AM | 4184.583 | 32.69562 | 127.99 | 11.71 | 5.99 | mana saving | |
( or AB AM) indicates: "AB AB AB AM" (without mbarr proc) and "AB AB mbarr" when mbarr procs)
(clarification: AB3+ refers to AB spamming. It also means you must cast at least 3 AB)
The optimal rotation, IMHO, should probably be (2), but feel free to adjust your rotation based on fights.
Your target is to be close to OOM every 2 minutes, and at to the end of the fight. Obviously, what rotation to use to achieve this varies greatly with each person and gear, hence, the need for you to experiment. :)4.2.1 Detailed Rotations.
The 2 optimal rotation for Arcane is either going to be:
- AB AB AB ( or Abarr
- AB AB AB AM
What's the difference between the 2 rotations? In terms of numbers, the first one does slightly more dps at the cost of less efficiency. That is to say, it uses for mana. But AM costs more mana than ABarr, why is it more efficient?
One of the reason is because casting AM allows us to get out of the 5 second rule, and a non-MBarr AM allows us to get our full spirit tick. Of course, with the advent of 3.1's spirit regen nerf, the difference is no longer as big as it used to be.
Again, no one will be able to make the decision on which rotation to use for you. It will dependly closely on gear and stats. And always keep in mind that there's always an option to switch to a lower rotation if need be.4.2.3 Mage Armor vs. Molten Armor
So which Armor should you use and glyph for? My preference? Molten Armor. But again, much of this is dependant on your playstyle.
Mage Armor favours a more conservative playstyle. What this means is that instead of evocating at every opportunity, this allows the Arcane Mage to last longer without Evocating, and only using it when needed. This is a safer (and probably easier) option, as it is less damaging to your DPS if your Evocation is interrupted.
Molten Armor favours the more aggresive playstyle. This means using Evocation whenever it's up (or Icy Veins, depending on the Raid damage). This is a more flexible rotation, as it forces you to change your rotations on the fly, as you're constantly trying to empty your mana pool, or if your Evocation gets interrupted, to conserve your mana. Only use this if you're more experienced with Arcane playstyle and rotations.4.3 PVP
Arcane PVP epitomizes the very concept of Glass Cannon. We die if we're even sneezed upon, but we sure as heck can dish out the damage. 51/20/0
This build off-specs into Fire for more damage. The points in Fire are movable, and Impact is probably too random to be reliable, so you can move it as you like.
The important thing here is to get Pyroblast, for the extra burst-age.
Missile Barrage is skipped here, since if you do have 2.5 seconds to spare to cast, you should invariably be casting Arcane Blast instead.
- Keep slow up at all times, as that not only snares, but also increases the damage of Arcane Barrage by a significant amount. You should always be moving, casting Arcane Barrage whenever the cooldown is up, and filling the gaps with other instant casts like Fireblast, Ice Lance, Frost Nova, etc.
- Whenever an opportunity presents for you to stand and cast (ie. the opponent is stunned, CC-ed, etc.) cast as many Arcane Blasts as you can, in preparation for the massive burst you will unleash when when he does get free.
- POM should almost always be used with Pyroblast, but if you already have 2 AB buffs, don't hesitate to use AB with POM. While AP and POM no longer stack, you can still stack POM with your damage trickets.
- Don't panic if you're locked out of your Arcane School. You can always Ice Block if things get too dicey, and Ice Block will always outlast any school lockout.
- Instant Invisibility + Evocation to instantly reset your health and mana.
5.0 Gearing5.1 Glyphs
Not gonna do Minor glyphs, as those are mostly cosmetic. Choose whichever you like. Also gonna be skipping some major glyphs, like Glyph of Fireball, for obvious reasons.
- Glyph of Frost Nova
- More of a PVP glyph, even then, it's more for Frosties than Arcanists. Skip it.
- Glyph of Ice Armor
- Again, it's more of a PVP glyph, as no raider will use this over Molten or Mage Armor. 20% more armor and resist is still very little, as is wasted in a major glyph slot. Skip it
- Glyph of Arcane Explosion
- Good if you're planning to use Arcane Explosion a lot, but since AE is no longer the best AOE for a mage, I'd recommend you skip it.
- Glyph of Arcane Missiles
- Increases the crit damage bonus of AM by 25%, this is a very good glyph, as AM features heavily in any Arcane build.
- Glyph of Blink
- This lets you blink up to 25 yards. Probably more useful in PVP than anything else, though I'm unsure if 5 yards more will make a difference.
- Glyph of Evocation
- This Glyph is godly for levelling and PVP, as it gives mages something it always lacked; a way to heal ourself. While not as useful in raids, as we tend not to evocate if possible, this might change with the next patch and 2 minute Evocation.
- Glyph of Icy Veins
- Fairly useless in raids, this is great for Arenas, acting as another additional trinket
- Glyph of Improved Scorch
- A must have, depending on whether your build includes points in Improved Scorch or not.
- Glyph of Ice Block
- A PVP and levelling glyph. A frostie will make better use of this, though, so I'd recommend skipping it.
- Glyph of Mana Gem
- Not worth the Major glyph slot, the additional mana returned is pitiful. Would see more use if it were a minor glyph.
- Glyph of Mage Armor
- A pretty potent glyph for an Arcane Mage. With this, it allows up to 80% mana regen, which in turn, translates to longer burn phases.
- Glyph of Arcane Power
- Gives you 3 more seconds more uptime, which can translate to 2 more Arcane Barrages. Pretty good for an Arcane mage.
- Glyph of Ice Lance
- Situationally useful in PVP, as this allows Ice Lance to have range equal to your talented ABarr. Still not worth a major glyph slot.
- Glyph of Polymorph
- A glyph that's more forgiving on mistakes, it does allow for target switching in high-end Arenas. Worth glyphing for? Your guess is as good as mine.
- Glyph of Fireblast
- Seeing as an Arcane mage has no way of stunning or incapacitating an opponent, this glyph will see heavy use in Mage+rogue 2v2.
- Glyph of Invisibility
- Yeah, not worth it.
- Glyph of Molten Armor
- This is a very good glyph, but unfortunately Arcane scales horribly with crit. Depending on gear, you might wanna glyph Mage Armor instead of this
- Glyph of Remove Curse
- Usefull? Yes. Worth a Major Glyph slot? Not really.
- Glyph of Arcane Blast
- Increases the damage of the Arcane Blast buff by 3%, bringing a full stack to 54% more damage to any Arcane spells. This one is mandatory in any Arcane raiding spec.
Recommended glyphs for Arcane spec:
Arcane Blast, Arcane Missiles, Molten Armor
Post by Kaitain
Yes really excellent write up :-) GJ.
The only thing i would add is to stress again (although you already did several times) that mana regen can add a huge amount of damage for this spec.
Spirit is an aweome stat to stack as nickseng says. So when you see a spell damage item with healthy spirit on it, that's the one you want. To get the most out of it, use Mage Armor
. I personally use Mage Armor
the entire time. The 3% crit from Molten Armor
is highly overrated.
A list of spirit items
for Arcane Mages. The list is in reverse order of attainability (i.e. Sunwell items at the top, Kara at the bottom). In particular these 3 items
can be bought with badges, and are really incredible for an Arcane Mage.
Another thing worth considerring is that if you are in a raid, try to beg/bribe/blackmail your way into the Shadow Priest's group. Their Vampiric Touch
will give you a huge amount of damage potential over the course of longer fights (and even on short fights it can let you get in one more Aracne Blast that you otherwise would. Multiply by every trash pull in the instance and it's a huge difference).
Make sure you have Blessing of Wisdom
, and Blessing of Kings for any long fight will give you nice spirit boost to add to it. Blessing of Salvation
is pretty essential too so if you only had one pally buff you'd have to see what your tank's threat generation was like first then decide.
A final thing to note is that Sorcerer's Alchemist Stone
is a really insanely good trinket for an Arcane Mage. If you chain mana pots at every available opportunity (which you should) the boost to your long term mana regen is in the order of 40mp5. Really awesome.