Last Guide Update: February 01, 2017
Hey all, sorry that I've not been as active as I was in the past. Unfortunately, there's been a lot of Real Life and In-Game drama to deal with. Regarding in-game, I'm going to need to switch to a tanking role, so I won't be able to main my mage for some time. Definitely not happy about this, but everytime our group gets a tank, it doesn't seem to last long before they depart for elsewhere.
I'll still swing by, but updates will be irregular. I'd highly suggest checking out Nelfy's YouTube and Altered-Time guides as he's been very active in the mage community and has great insight.
Please feel free to continue reaching out if you have inquiries as I can still assist, I just won't be able to maintain the same level of dedication that I originally had.
May the Arcane see well over your powers!
Youtube Videos & Informational Links:
Personal Details:... This is in my signature now
Sometimes we abbreviate where we can within the guides to help explain things quicker. If you happen to come across weird letter combinations, chances are they’re one of these. Please remember, this is not a complete list, but I wanted to give acronyms for most applicable spells and talent choices, since I’ve encountered a lot of these in the forums.
AM = Arcane Missiles
AE = Arcane Explosion
ABarr = Arcane Barrage
MoA = Mark of Aluneth
AC = Arcane Charges
AP = Arcane Power
TotM = Touch of the Magi
Evo = Evocation
Pom = Presence of Mind
Amp = Amplification
WoP = Words of Power
RoP = Rune of Power
IF = Incanter’s Flow
SN = Supernova
CU = Charged Up
NT = Nether Tempest
OP = Overpowered
TF = Temporal Flux
AO = Arcane Orb
~~Guidance, Rotation, How-To’s~~
Updated: February 01, 2017
Standard Arcane Mage 7.1.5 Build
This build revolves around strong burn phases to off-set lower damage conservation phases. Even though I wouldn’t really call it a conservation phase honestly. It’s more like a control phase. So for the purposes of this, and to hopefully change the outlook of the phase, I’ll refer to it as “Control Phase” going forward.
The below image shows off most of the ideal talents to choose. There are a couple wherein you have the ability to change them to better suit your playstyle or the fight at hand.
The overall output seems to be in the mid 300k range to low 400k while under the Control phase. The peaks during the burn phase look to be anywhere from 600k~ to about 900k~ based on your own gearing, playstyle, and luck.
Selected Talents & Stats:
(Img is pre January 24 hotfix)
With regards to Stats, the common concurrence of the community is that Crit and Haste have a better value over Mastery. While Versatility seems to fall to your own choice in this lineup. I’ll outline the priorities that I am going with for my mage.
Critical Strike > Haste > Mastery > Versatility
Just for clarity purposes, here’s how the stat rating affect the percentage, as per WoW Head
Critical Strike: 400 rating is equal to 1% for the stat.
Haste: 375 rating is equal to 1% for the stat.
Mastery: 400 rating is equal to 1% for the +Max Mana & +Mana Regen. 666.6 rating is equal to 1% AC Damage
Versatility: 475 / 900 for +1% to +Damage & +Healing / Damage Reduction
One point of note/contention, is Neck Enchants
I have been testing out Mark of the Claw since January 21st, and have noticed that it competes heavily with Mark of the Hidden Satyr. Essentially it's a +1,000/+1,000 Crit/Haste buff that lasts for 6 seconds, and procs about as often as Satyr does from what I've experienced. Satyr itself is just a flat damage proc, but I feel that if you can track your Claw buff, and get lucky during a burn phase, you can squeeze out an extra 1-2 AB's. Which I think can lend itself to greater damage output. Satyr is typically only worth about 3% of my overall damage for a fight on any given encounter, if that. So yea. Not saying swap to this just yet, but throwing out the thought.
http://ptr.wowhead.com/spell=236628/amplification- With a +12% AM damage per AC stack, this is a VERY good option. A flat +dam increase per AC stack is preferable if you’re trying to get started in Arcane.
Familiar is more mana which is more casts, but not by a huge amount so it’s not a huge increase of damage in that nature.
Words of Power is just a chance to proc AM. If you’ve been stacking Artifact Relics to increase your AM proc chance, then this may be a better option as more AM casts equates to more damage overall and will eventually compensate for the lack of damage increase from AMP.
http://ptr.wowhead.com/spell=236457/slipstream - This tier is dealers choice in my opinion. Shimmer is great, but Slipstream does a similar function, but under different circumstances. I don’t personally find Mana Shield very useful in raiding environments, but in some cases (like Trilliax) I’ve found some use with it. Either way, your choice
http://ptr.wowhead.com/spell=116011/rune-of-power - Overall, Rune of Power is still very powerful with regards to most encounters. Even though it’s been dropped by 10% damage (Now 40% from 50%), it’s still outweighing Mirror Image in most, if not all, cases.
Incanter’s Flow is still always desireable on high movement fights, but even at that, in most cases you can find 10 seconds of stationary combat in most all fights. With regards to IF, it comes down to management of your buffs. There’s a few Weak Aura strings out there that will give you a growing and shrinking bar to easily track when would be best to begin burning during IF. However, it doesn’t fit my playstyle, so I shy away from IF. I have heard of multiple occasions where IF competes heavily against RoP when used properly.
http://www.wowhead.com/spell=205032/charged-up - When it comes to this tier, there’s options based on your playstyle. I personally enjoy Charged Up the most as it allows me to be in control of my clears roughly every minute, as I don’t just use it on cooldown basically. (As for myself, I just recently got the Kilt, so this definitely helps to extend burning instances).
Resonance is a good choice if you want to work against a mass of adds, and it even has single target benefits as it’s a flat +25% damage to 1 target, but increasing per AC charge.
Supernova is a bit up in the air right now. Some are saying it works great for single target, but I haven’t seen much else about this, nothing to really check against. However, I’ve seen people saying that with Temporal Flux, this seems to give you better control of your long blasting increments by breaking them up all the slightly.
http://ptr.wowhead.com/spell=205036/ice-ward - I’ll revamp this as it’s a complete option which you choose here. Personally, I’m fond of Chrono Shift or Ice Ward. I’ve yet to find a good instance where Ring of Frost is viable, but I imagine for WQ or PvP it’s a solid pick. Just my picture up above was taken before writing this, and I flip flop a lot with this tier.
http://ptr.wowhead.com/spell=205039/erosion - This pick feels like it’s the most consistent damage increase there is.
While Unstable Magic has higher output if you’re spamming AB during burn phases,.. IF (not Incanter’s Flow) you get lucky with the 20% chance to proc the 50% damage explosion. However, it’s less than a 1 in 5 chance of occurring, so it’s a bit…unstable….(see what I did there! I’m so punny!).
I prefer to have consistency in my output. While Erosion has a ramp up time, it’s consistent as long as you’re focusing.
Nether Tempest,..well, unless your’e stacking haste, or going with a TF build, I’d shy from this one.
http://ptr.wowhead.com/spell=155147/overpowered - In the end, for this build, this thing is the MVP. While there is a time and place for TF and Arcane Orb, this one seems to be the best for raid encounters in most scenarios. Granted it got a 10% nerf recently (70% > 60%) it still has a great feel about it.
sorry for this being short and sloppy (if that), just late at night for me and I need to document this quickly. I'll touch it up tomorrow ^_^
*Reminder, this rotation is based on the above selected talents*
Also, whenever you see “AM”, it’s stating that IF you have an AM available, cast it, if not, move onto the next step.
• Prepot w/ your choice of Prolonged Power or Deadly Grace
• AB until 4 AC stacks accrued
• IF: AM available, then cast once
• IF: AM is not available, continue AB until an AM is avail, or you have 8 Erosion stacks, whichever happens first.
• @ 8 Erosion Stacks: MoA > RoP > AP > AM x3 > AB > @3 Seconds left on AP use PoM > ABx2
• RoP > AM > AB
A this point, it’s prioritize AB unless you get 3 AM stacks.
If you chose Slipstream, bank 1 AM for movement purposes, but never let the buff fall off, use it or lose it
• Once you can no longer cast AB, clear any AM you have. If enough mana came back for 1 AB, use it.
• Finally, if there is not enough mana to cast AB, and no AM stacks (unless you’re banking 1), then EVO
*Renamed from Conservation Phase as you almost don’t care about mana too much during this. Instead it’s about controlling your output enough that you don’t go OOM, and have enough mana to utilize a full AP, belting out AB’s during it without hitting OOM during. For most folks, this will be around 20-30% mana.
*Avoid casting AM once your Evocation is completed. I know that this is carry-over from Quickening in the past, but you want to use your mana, not stay capped at 100%*
• AB until around 30% mana > AM > ABarr
*There are two rotations here based on your Mastery, Playstyle, and Mana levels*
• If Mana Regen is ample: ABx4 > AM > ABarr
• If Mana Regen is poor or you have very little mana: ABx2 > AM > ABarr
This is a complete judgment call section. You will know your mage’s mana and casting feels best. For me, I find that if I’m a bit skittish, so if I’m higher than 40% mana, I do ABx4 > AM > ABarr. However, once I’m below 40%, I kick over to the ABx2 > AM > ABarr.
Now, I did just get the Kilt, so that buckles this rotation a bit since you can go to almost no mana, and by weaving ABarr’s with 2-3 AC stacks, you can get yourself up to near 50% mana with relative easy and damage output. Granted, when I provide numbers back to the community, I will not be providing damage numbers while using a legendary’s power. Legendary is ok, but the equip power is not, so I have plain pants on reserve for testing.
Conditions for next Burn
• ~30-40% mana
• AP Off CD
• 20-35-s CD remaining on Evo
• RoP x1 avail minimum
• *Preferred* MoA avail to replicate your original opening burn
Rinse and repeat my fellow magi,.. rinse and repeat…
Overall, the Arcane Mage is not necessarily struggling right now, but it's not at the peak of the charts. I know a lot of people have said they're bottom of the barrel, but I must dispute back that we don't even have 1 month's worth of data to go off of. Let alone, if a small handful of logs get out there, and they're not "up to snuff" people get the impression they're bad so they don't give arcane the proper try out that it deserves. They're too scared to put themselves out there for it. In that regard, the few of us putting our logs out there, we're still learning the changes to the playstyles. If you claim to be a master of Arcane right now but state the logs show they're horrible,.. well I'd be hard pressed to believe you as you've barely had a chance to truly unlock the potential of this spec.
Give it some time everyone. No need to cry that it's the end of the world for us. I think we're perfectly fine. We bring enough to the raid group that we're still welcomed around. Are we kings of the single target burn right now? I've seen better. However, we're not horrible by any stretch o the imagination.
Keep your chins up everyone. Things will work out and be fine ^_^
As always, you're welcomed to reach out to myself directly via my battle-tag in my signature section. I'm on most evenings (eastern standard time), and usually can set time aside to speak about the mage.
By no means am I the perfect mage. Lol, I'd scoff at that if someone called me it. I'm a Normal tiered raider, going into Heroics shortly. I used to be a hardcore raider years ago, but gave that lifestyle up because I'm just too busy to dedicate that sort of time and effort into a game.
Just keep things civil, and lets make the Arcane Mage a fun class-spec to play and have it be desirable by our love for it ^_^