Arcane Mage 9.2 Tier/Covenant Legendary Feedback
- Harmonic Echo Damage dealt to enemies affected by Radiant Spark's vulnerability echo to your current enemy target and 4 nearby enemies for
30% 25% of the damage dealt.
Inventory Type: Head, Waist, Back
This is currently bugged on PTR and hits a 5th target instead of the primary target, however for the sake of this article I am assuming this is specifically unintended and will be fixed before live.
After consuming 8 Clearcasting your next Touch of the Magi is instant, incurs no cooldown and lasts for 6 sec.
Touch of the Magi's duration is increased by 4 sec and grants 25% mana regeneration for 12 sec.
These two changes are more than welcome for Kyrian Arcane Mages. Two of our biggest issues with the next tier have been the covenant legendary not working in single target situations and the tier set creating unwanted delays in our burst due to its reliance on Touch of the Magi
being off cooldown. Now with this setup, we have a working covenant legendary in all situations but also may have eliminated a huge debate about range and distance related to Arcane Barrage
's travel time and the Radiant Spark
/Touch of the Magi
window restrictions. This is a very welcoming bonus for Arcane now and praise is due to Blizzard for these changes. Thanks!
While at first glance, Touch of the Magi
's window being extended seems like it may be boring and non-interactive, but this is most likely unwarranted, as any experienced Arcane Mage will in the future will be discussing how to time your Touch of the Magi
explosion around critical add spawn timings and your big Arcane Barrage
cleave hit for maximum funnel. In practice, this could play out in all sorts of ways with perhaps a mid-Touch cast of Spark, or being more deliberate about clearcasting procs around our burst windows; it is already the case that some preliminary simulations show Arcane Echo
to be leading in single target over Resonance
. All in all, the tier change is very welcomed and I look forward to seeing how it may change our behaviors.
Venthyr and Friends
While the above changes are absolutely stellar for Kyrian Arcane Mages and the tier set change is generally good for all Arcane Mages, Venthyr, Necrolord, and Night Fae are largely being left behind. In a general sense, all three of these covenants benefit significantly from the set bonus change, this could end up making it worth syncing cooldowns for non-Kyrian covenants. The real issue for these covenants lies with the covenant abilities and their subsequent covenant legendaries. To expand on this, Night Fae and Necrolord are currently significantly behind (~12-20%) in single-target, largely due to their covenant ability and conduit in 9.1.5. In 9.2; none of these three covenants are getting very much in the way of power from their covenant legendaries which will only add to the growing disparity.
Venthyr has had kind of a contentious effort staying relevant for Arcane, while on paper it has all the tools and damage it needs to be relevant, in practice the structure of raid encounters in Sanctum have lent themselves in a very favorable way to Kyrian Arcane and Mythic+ demands generally favor Kyrian as well. It is worth noting that in pure ST, venthyr does have a small lead on Kyrian in general, but those encounters are few and all pretty irrelevant in the current tier. Venthyr now has another issue in 9.2, their covenant legendary Sinful Delight
essentially does not work in a meaningful way. The legendary reduces the covenant ability Mirrors of Torment
cooldown everytime you spend a clearcasting proc, however because it does not reduce the cooldown enough to align with your burst windows (which always sync Mirrors of Torment
with Touch of the Magi
and Arcane Power
), all of the cooldown reduction goes to waste as you sit on the cooldown to align with your other burst spells. My suggestion would be for the legendary to simple reduce Mirrors of Torment
to 45 seconds without being tied to clearcasting procs. Even with this proposed change, Venthyr may still lag behind Kyrian in power but at bare minimum would give the legendary some power for Arcane at all, it may be worthwhile looking into having this legendary increase the number of mirrors or their damage in a significant way.
Necrolord is the distant third for Arcane covenants, which is rather unfortunate due to its many appealing properties for Arcane (a spell power boost during cds, cleave during single target, and soulbinds that lean heavily into burst windows). However, all of these points have been watered down to the point where the covenant is considered non-viable, the cleave being reduced by sqrt formula caps its usefulness when competing with resonance and the spell power boost and soulbind strengths have not kept up with buffs other covenants have received in the form of direct buffs to abilities/soulbinds or buffs to synergizing legendaries. After all the changes since 9.0 and going into 9.2, we see that Necrolord provides a small damage boost for a extremely long time when using the covenant legendary Death's Fathom
and conduit Gift of the Lich
, which both provide significant uptime but no added damage multipliers, this does not fit well for Arcane who wants to go all-in on burst windows. My suggestion would be to change the covenant conduit to give damage % instead of duration.
Night Fae is an even more distant last place covenant, the covenant ability is only useful in burst during aoe and never in single target, which also means that the covenant legendary, Heart of the Fae
, is also equally useless outside of aoe for increasing burst. It would be true that the more frequent burst would offset this, however it just simply does not. We're a spec built on multipliers and big burst and Night Fae's covenant ability/legendary just do not bring enough to compete against the other three covenants which all supplement this design philosophy in some way or another. At current, I cannot see a single situation where Night Fae would be useful for Arcane that the other covenants would not do as good or better in. While I have many ideas on how to address Night Fae's issues for Arcane, none of them are a simple or quick fix and it may be more realistic to just expect this covenant to not be viable in 9.2 as it was in 9.1.