WoW Patch 4.3 Arcane Mage Quick Guide – Stats, talent spec, glyphs, reforging and gems, priorities and rotation

Fancy the feel of raw, crackling power surging through your fingers, into the various gribbly, draconic, or badly-spelled mobs, and ending up in a massive great bar at the top of the DPS meter? Yep, it’s Arcane time. So if you want to get your pwnage up to speed for Patch 4.3 and downing Deathwing, read on to get the best rotation, spec, gems, glyphs, enchants, stat weights, and everything else for this new, Deathwinged patch.

Updated Nov 29th for Patch 4.3

Arcane Mage changes in Patch 4.3

Absolutely nothing. Seriously. Not a thing.

Our set bonuses are interesting – very interesting, in fact. I can’t easily summarise the discussion so far here, and there aren’t any firm recommendations for how to change your play style to take advantage of them yet, so if you want to know more, I recommend WoW Insider’s Arcane Brilliance column on the subject

Arcane Rotation / Priorities

Like most DPS classes in Cataclysm, Arcane Mages don’t have a rotation. In fact, they have an extremely unique DPS system, based on the fact that one of their talents increases their DPS based on how much mana they currently have.

Hence, Arcane Mages alternate between two phases – a high-DPS “Burn Phase” where they’re burning mana, ended by an Evocation to bring mana back to 100%, and a lower-DPS “Preservation Phase” where they keep their mana as close as possible to 100% whilst waiting for the next Evocation cooldown.

Judgement Calls: Uniquely, Arcane Mage rotations are very dependent on personal gear, and it’s important to test a few things on a target dummy before you start using your rotation. Notably, you’ll need to know how long it takes you to reach 30% mana when spamming Arcane Blast (including using a mana gem), and you’ll need to know how many stacks of Arcane Blast you can build up before your mana starts to drop significantly. Test both these things on a dummy as soon as possible, because you’ll need to know them for your DPS system.

Burn Phase: Spam Arcane Blast until you’ve used 12k mana (the amount restored by a Mana Gem). Then use the mana gem, pop Mirror Image and Arcane Power, and spam Arcane Blast until your mana hits 30%. At this point, use Evocation to bring mana back to nearly 100% and enter Preservation Phase.

Preservation Phase: Use Arcane Blast until you’ve built up the number of stacks you know you can sustain, then use Arcane Missiles, or if that’s not available Arcane Barrage to drop those stacks, then repeat. You can also use Flame Orb to rapidly regenerate mana here. Keep going with this phase until the cooldown remaining on Evocation is equal to the amount of time it’ll take you to burn down to 30% mana. At that point, switch to the Burn Phase.

Tips: Timing your Burn Phase to coincide with high-damage fight phases is vital. For example, Alysrazor’s burn phase or Magmaw’s Exposed Head phase. Also, don’t Evocate when you’re going to take damage – you’ll lose ticks and mana. And remember to keep Mage Armor and Arcane Brilliance on yourself!

AOE: Build up 4 stacks of Arcane Blast, then use Arcane Explosion, refreshing the Arcane Blast stack with Arcane Blast when needed. If the mobs aren’t near enough to Arcane Explosion, alternate Blizzard and Flamestrike instead.


Arcane Talent Spec

Stats, reforging and gemming for Arcane

Intellect is the most important stat for Arcane followed by Hit, then Haste, then Mastery. Crit is your worst stat.

Reforging: Reforge to the Hit Cap (1,742). If you hit this, then reforge to Haste. Reforge from Crit (and Spirit if you have any) first.

Gems: Use a Brilliant Inferno Ruby unless the socket bonus provides 10 or more Intellect or 20 or more of another stat. In that case, use Veiled Demonseye for blue sockets and Reckless Ember Topaz for yellow sockets.

Arcane Mage enchants

Several professions can provide better enhancements than these – Inscription, Tailoring, Engineering all have potential buffs. Check the stat priorities above.

Head Arcanum of Hyjal
Shoulders   Greater Inscription of Charged Lodestone
Back Enchant Cloak – Greater Intellect
Chest Enchant Chest – Peerless Stats
Wrist Enchant Bracer – Mighty Intellect
Hands Enchant Gloves – Greater Mastery
Belt Ebonsteel Belt Buckle
Legs Powerful Ghostly Spellthread
Feet Enchant Boots – Lavawalker
Weapon Enchant Weapon – Power Torrent
Off-Hand Weapon Enchant Weapon – Superior Intellect


Prime: Arcane Blast, Mage Armour, Arcane Missiles

Major: Arcane Power, Blink, Evocation.

Minor: Slow Fall – others are your preference.

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