[Mage] Nilz' Guide to Arcane Mages

Nilz's picture


Welcome to the to first wow-pro guide introducing and expanding your knowledge of the arcane specialization. Today, if you read the whole guide, you will read about; why arcane is in my opinion the best, what you need for arcane, what spec you should be using, your rotation, and anything else i can think of adding after I've written this intro. Just before we start I want to remind all readers that this is one a Work in Progress because I'm still learning everything there is to know about mages and two that this is designed more for end game and while some of the strategies could possibly be used while leveling, these are more constructed towards level 80s.

Table of Contents

  1. Level 80!
  2. Spec
  3. Rotation
  4. Gear
  5. Gems
  6. Enchants
  7. Professions
  8. Buffs

Gratz on Level 80!

Congratulations on level 80, you finally made it! But now the hard part is just beginning because now you have to choose what spec you want and you must gear up your mage, fun stuff considering were pure DPS and those instance are about 15 minute waits, but while your waiting why not read this!
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What will I spec?
Arcane is one of the few considered raiding specs for mages in WoW (the others being fire and FFB) the spec i would recommend can be found here.
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What is my Rotation?

After you've respecced you now need to to re-order your action bar to account for your rotation spells, my favourite part of the arcane rotation is that it is a very simple rotation consisting of 2-3 buttons depending on your preference. Your main move will be Arcane Blast, you may choose to do this 3-4 times at least, personally (because I have a bigger mana pool then the new 80's, I prefer to go 4 at least however if your missile barrage has not proc'd yet then I would recommend to continue casting Arcane Blast until it does, after it procs use a quick Arcane Missile and if you want throw a little Arcane Barrage for fun. so rather than reading through to fully understand your rotation here it is in a fun little arrow scheme

Arcane Blast until missile barrage (3 minimum) -> Arcane missiles -> Arcane barrage *Optional*

I'll explain later why arcane barrage is optional later.
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Why is Caster gear so confusing??

So you've done a couple of dungeon and you are now ready to buy your first piece of gear; lets say for example its Mantle of Catastrophic Emanation or Pauldrons of Revered Mortality. Which one do you choose, they have very similar stats but one gives spirit the other gives crit and hit. This is where your playing preferences comes into play, you'll see that one of them gives haste, a very desirable stat for mages but you also need the crit to up that DPS which is where you need to decide if you need hit as well, because the one that gives spirit also gives crit because of your Molten Armor. So which do you choose Mantle of Catastrophic Emanation or Pauldrons of Revered Mortality? Honestly its up to you, but remember a lot of gear comes with hit, and if your already hit capped then whats that hit used for anyways.

On the topic of hit cap the hit cap for arcane mages who have fully specced into both [Precision] and [Arcane Focus], which you would be if you use the spec above, then you only need 368 hit rating, so after that hit becomes kind of overkill.
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Gems now too??

That's right just when you thought it was over and the confusing part was done it comes back, gemming however it based purely on preference and opinion. There are three gems i would recommend to use and two ways to gem in my opinion. These gems are Runed Cardinal Ruby, Purified Dreadstone, Reckless Ametrine. Now you may say "I don't care about the gemming bonus as long as its right" if so, you may want to gem pure Runed Cardinal Ruby for the hard hits, but don't forget about your meta gem which can also vary on what you find on your mage. If your constantly out of mana and feel you should have more then feel free to get Ember Skyflare Diamond but if you don't want more mana then you should probably go the route of Chaotic Skyflare Diamond completely up to you just make sure you gem properly otherwise its useless.
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Let's talk about enchants!

Enchants are very similar to gems because they also depend on play style for example if you want haste Black Magic is obviously better than +81 spellpower however some are clearly common sense below you will see enchants I recommend you to use but i will also put alternatives to let you decide.

Gear PeiceEnchant(s)Location
HeadArcanum of Burning MysteriesKirin Tor Quartermaster
ShoulderGreater Inscription of the Storm,Master's Inscription of the StormSons of Hodir Quartermaster (requires exalted reputation),Inscription
BackLightweave Embroidery,Greater SpeedTailoring, Enchanting
ChestPowerful StatsEnchanting
BracerSuperior Spellpower,Fur Lining - Spell Power,Socket BracerEnchanting, Leatherworking,Blacksmith
HandsExceptional Spellpower,Socket Gloves, Hyperspeed AcceleratorsEnchanting, Blacksmithing,Engineering
WaistEternal Belt BuckleBlacksmithing
LegsBrilliant SpellthreadTailoring
RingsGreater SpellpowerEnchanting

Before I forget, this is a good spot to mention why above i said if you want to, in your rotation through in an arcane barrage, that is because if you went towards more haste you may feel like you have a rhythm while casting and throwing in a third button may interrupt it or even lower your dps.
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Is tailoring really the best profession?

While many people think that just because mages use cloth armor tailoring is the best profession for us, while this may be considered many other professions give mages many other benefits.

BlackmithingSocket Gloves,Socket Bracer
EnchantingEnchant Ring - Greater Spellpower
Engineering Hyperspeed Accelerators,Nitro Boosts,Hand-Mounted Pyro Rocket
InscriptionMaster's Inscription of the Storm
JewelcraftingRuned Dragon's Eye
LeatherworkingDrums of Forgotten Kings,Drums of the Wild,Fur Lining - Spell Power
SkinningMaster of Anatomy
TailoringSanctified Spellthread,Lightweave Embroidery

So, after seeing all these benefits from each profession, you can decide which one to go for because as you can see, tailoring may be the best to some people but you may want to go a different route.
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So you finally made it, your in ICC and your leader is flask checking! Did you bring the right stuff?Well as long as you bring at least a Flask of the Frost Wyrm you should be fine but if you want to have that edge over the other mages try using Potion of Speed, this is generally overlooked considering no one checks for pots.

P.S. a little strategy for Hast pots, pop one just before you enter combat because it shares a cd with health and mana pots so you'll be able to use two in one fight!

Well, i think I've exhausted my knowledge of the arcane mage right now, until i can remember some other stuff, please leave any helpful comments and if I think there worth putting in I'll add and give you credit.
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Jiyambi's picture

Moved to Archive Section

Hey Nilz. I know you are still active on the site so I'm leaving you a slightly more personalized message. Basically we are cleaning up the site and move outdated guides to the archive section. Your guide is no longer up to date as of 4.0, but since I know you've been following the Cataclysm mage changes, I'm betting you'll update soon. However, to make sure we're applying the same policy to everyone, I'm moving your guide to the archive section until it gets updated (my tree guide is hanging out there as well!)

Here's the canned message:

We are recently working on improving the quality of content here on WoW-Pro.com, both by limiting low ranked guides and by moving out of date guides into archives. For more information, see the full news post detailing this process.

Your guide has been moved to the archive section for the following reasons:

  • The guide is significantly out of date.

If you improve your guide to address these issues, you are welcome to move the guide back to it's proper category. If someone else would like to adopt the guide, please leave a comment.

If you have any questions about this process, feel free to comment here.

So stats to aim for after hitcap is...

Spell power, Haste rating, Crit rating, Intelligence and lastly Spirit?
And Glyphs, you forgot to mention them.

Brune's picture

Looks good, but you didn't

Looks good, but you didn't actually answer your question of 'is tailoring the best profession' Sticking out tongue

Nilz's picture

true, ill fix that

true, ill fix that Sticking out tongue

EDIT: Fixed!