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re: Arcane 6.0 MAGE

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90 Human Mage
15690
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Warlords of Draenor Arcane guide

The current version of the guide does not yet contain everything for level 100 content. My goal was to publish the guide early to help everyone who will play Arcane during patch 6.0. The guide will be updated for WoD as we approach the release date. The information relevant to patch 6.0 is located from sections 1.2 to 5 and in section 6.4.

Once again – the level 100 stuff is subject to change a lot while we are doing tests, especially optimal talent builds.

Table of contents
1. Introduction
1.1 First time Arcane
1.2 Arcane coming from Mists of Pandaria
2. Spells and abilities
2.1 Core abilities
2.2 Other base abilities
2.3 Arcane Draenor Perks
2.4 Other spells
3. Talents
4. Glyphs
5. Stats
6. Gameplay (with talent and glyph builds)
6.1 Leveling
6.2 Single target
6.3 AoE
6.4 Patch 6.0 and Siege of Orgrimmar
7. Gear
7.1 Dungeon gear
7.2 T17 gear
7.3 T17 set bonuses
7.4 T17 BiS list
7.5 T17 trinket ranking
8. T17 boss guide and tips
9. Useful addons
10. Raiding information summary

1. Introduction

Welcome to the Arcane guide for Warlords of Draenor. It is our goal to provide Arcane mages and those who wish to become Arcane with all the information they might need going into the expansion and later into dungeons and raiding. We hope you enjoy reading it and find what you are looking for. The guide is penned by Shangalar with input and corrections from Cycobi and Voltaa, but the content presented is inspired by everyone who tested, analysed and discussed Arcane during testing and of course will be updated as updates are necessary.

1.1 First time Arcane

Those of you who have decided to pick up your mage after some time or just boosted it to level 90 with the token, you’ll find all the information for a fresh start as Arcane and can come back later to the more complex stuff or max level information.

1.2 Arcane coming from Mists of Pandaria

While there was a large number of spell changes, the mana management essence of Arcane and the core rotation were not changed. However, it is worth listing the important changes:
- Level 90 talents are no longer tied to mana regeneration and instead our natural mana regen has been significantly increased
- There are no more mana gems for a quick mana fix
- Alter Time is now a talent and a pure defensive ability
- A mana burn phase is once again possible (and viable and competitive)
- Arcane no longer has access to the following spells and abilities: Frostfire Bolt (when choosing Arcane at level 10), Fire Blast (replaced by Barrage at level 12), Deep Freeze, Molten Armor, Frost Armor, Flamestrike, Blizzard, Ice Lance, Shatter

2. Spells and abilities

This section, broken into hopefully logical chunks, will present all the spells and abilities at the disposal of Arcane mages.

2.1 Core abilities

Arcane Charge – the primary Arcane resource (next to Mana)
- generated by Blast, Missiles, Explosion and Orb, spent by Barrage and Evocation
- stacks up to 4
- affects spells in various ways

Arcane Blast – the primary spell
- generates 1 Charge
- damage increased by 50% per Charge and mana cost by 150% per Charge
- best used to generate Charges

Arcane Missiles – Arcane’s proc
- generates 1 Charge
- has a 40% chance to proc from other damaging spells
- damage increased by 50% per Charge
- no mana cost
- stacks up to 3
- best used at max Charges

Arcane Barrage – the rotational finisher
- spends all charges
- damage increased by 50% per Charge
- cleaves for 50% damage on 1 extra target per Charge
- best used at max Charges after spending Missiles

Evocation – the mana regeneration cooldown
- restores 40% + flat 10% per Charge mana over a 6 second channel (ticks at 0, 2, 4, 6)

Mastery: Mana Adept – plays a key role in Arcane’s gameplay and rotation
- increases damage done based on the mage’s current mana percentage

2.2 Other base Arcane abilities

Arcane Explosion – Arcane’s area of effect damage spell
- refreshes the duration of Charges and has a chance to generate 1 Charge if it hits anything

Arcane Power – the damage cooldown
- increases the damage of all spells by 20% and the mana cost of all spells by 10%

Presence of Mind – makes the next cast time spell instant
- cannot be used with Polymorph, Teleport or Portal

Arcane Mind – passive buff
- you gain 5% more Mastery rating from all sources

Mage Armor – passive buff
- increases Mastery by a flat 5% (550 rating at level 100)

Slow – Arcane’s crowd control
- slows the target’s movement speed by 50% for 15 seconds
- unlimited targets

2.3 Arcane Draenor Perks

These perks are obtained in a random order at levels 92, 94, 96 and 98.

Enhanced Arcane Blast – the cast time of Blast is reduced by 5% per Charge
Improved Evocation – reduces the cooldown of Evocation by 30 seconds (to 1.5 minutes)
Improved Arcane Power – Power now reduces the cost of spells by 10% instead of increasing it
Improved Blink – increases movement speed by 60% after blinking

2.4 Other spells and abilities (in order of acquiring)

Frost Nova – root all enemies around you
Blink – teleport a short distance away
Counterspell – counter a spell and lock out the target from that spell school
Polymorph – transform an enemy into a sheep and disable them for a time
Ice Block – a 10-second immunity
Cone of Cold – deals damage and slows enemies in a frontal cone
Remove Curse – dispel all curses from a friendly target
Slow Fall – slows falling speed
Conjure Refreshment – conjures food which restores health and mana
Invisibility – makes you invisible after 3 seconds, dropping threat
Arcane Brilliance – buffs all party and raid members with 10% spell power and 5% crit chance
Spellsteal – steals a useful buff from an enemy
Nether Attunement – passive – haste increases our mana regeneration from all sources
Time Warp – increases the haste of all party and raid members by 30% for 40 seconds
Amplify Magic – increases healing received by 10% by all party and raid members for 6 seconds
 
90 Human Mage
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3. Talents

Level 15 – Mobility tier

Evanesce – grants immunity from all attacks for 3 seconds, allowing you to not move from bad stuff
- replaces Ice Block
- can be used while casting something else

Blazing Speed – suppresses slows while Blazing Speed is active and gives a short burst of speed

Ice Floes – allows the casting on the move of one spell per charge used

Tip – use Evanesce for stationary fights, Blazing Speed when you have to reposition quickly or rush to a priority target and Ice Floes for mobile dps. For higher tier raiders, Ice Floes will most likely remain the best option because it allows you to rarely stop casting

Level 30 – Defense tier

Alter Time – memorizes your location and health and returns you to them after 10 seconds or when reactivated

Flameglow – passively shields from a small chunk of all damage received

Ice Barrier – shield yourself to absorb some damage

Tip – it seems that Flameglow is still undertuned, so Ice Barrier is the go-to talent and practically the only choice at the moment. Alter Time might possibly find its way into the build in very specific cases, but is generally too weak because of its cooldown.

Level 45 – Crowd Control tier

Ring of Frost – stuns enemies in a circle

Ice Ward – wards a target and freezes enemies around the target when they next take damage

Frostjaw – silences and freezes a target

Tip – for raiding there might come a need to use one of these and for solo play RoF or Ward are both a good choice.

Level 60 – Survival tier

Greater Invisibility – buffs Invisibility to make it instant, on a shorter cooldown and gives you 90% damage reduction while invisible and 4 seconds after

Cauterize – prevents a deathblow up to twice your health and restores you to 50% health, but leaves a DoT effect which requires attention

Cold Snap – heals you and resets the cooldown of several useful spells – Ice Block, Presence of Mind and Frost Nova

Tip – Cold Snap is still typically the best for PvP and can be used in special situations for PvE. The Cauterize vs. Greater Invisibility will be here forever, but I still think that G.I. gives more utility and is a better choice for more situations than Cauterize.

Level 75 – AoE tier

Nether Tempest – a DoT effect that deals extra damage to all nearby enemies and looks amazing while doing it. Damage increased by 50% per Arcane Charge at the moment of casting

Unstable Magic – passive – gives Blast a chance to deal extra damage to the target and all nearby enemies

Supernova – deals damage to all targets close to the primary target, knocks them up and deals double damage to the primary target. Has 2 charges and can proc Missiles

Tip – based on current testing, Nether Tempest is the best choice for single target encounters, while Supernova is best for aoe.

Level 90 – Damage buff tier (kind of)

Mirror Image – buffs your damage by summoning 3 Mirror Images who attack enemies

Rune of Power – creates a rune for 3 minutes that increases damage done by 15% while standing in it

Incanter’s Flow – grants a dynamically changing damage buff, cycling from 4% to 20% and back over 10 seconds

Tip – Mirror Images deal nice damage and can be used for fights with lots of movement. Because of Arcane’s inability to camp at 4 Charges, or rather, to save Missiles for Incanter’s Flow peak moments, Rune of Power is once again our optimal choice for all but the most movement heavy encounters.

Level 100 – kind of cool powers with aoe but not really and it’s quite confusing tier

Overpowered – extends the duration of Arcane Power by 2 seconds when you cast Missiles

Prismatic Crystal – creates and automatically targets a crystal which takes 30% increased damage and releases all damage evenly on nearby targets

Arcane Orb – release an orb which deals damage to enemies it passes through. Grants 1 Charge when cast and 1 Charge per enemy hit

Tip – Current testing suggests that a build with Arcane Orb is the best, but we will have more information as the expansion draws closer.

4. Glyphs

This is a breakdown of all glyphs available to Arcane Mages, presented in order of appearance on the Glyphs panel.

Major:
Arcane Explosion – extra range for Explosion – useful for aoe
Arcane Power – doubles the duration and cooldown, its usefulness for WoD is to be determined, but currently smells of being a dps loss because of suggested gameplay described below
Blink – extra distance – useful in rare situations
Cone of Cold – 3x damage – very good for aoe
Counterspell – longer cd, but castable during other casts, good for some pvp
Frost Nova – lower cd, not totally bad for solo play or pvp
Ice Block – great for pvp, useful for solo or specific cases
Polymorph – good for pvp or dungeons to make sure the cc doesn’t break
Rapid Displacement – very good for raiding and solo play
Regenerative Ice – a decent heal for solo play or pvp, will possibly interact with Evanesce as well
Remove Curse – great when there are curses to remove
Slow – great for solo play and pvp
Spellsteal – good for pvp, situational anywhere else

All Minor Glyphs are now purely and fully cosmetic and a matter of personal choice and enjoyment.
 
90 Human Mage
15690
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5. Stats

- there are no more hit chance requirements, hit and expertise no longer exist
- reforging is gone so optimal gearing will take longer

Mastery – still Arcane’s main stat, further helped by our two passive buffs

Haste – reduces cast time and increses mana regen (which kind of cancels each other out), but the stat is always good to boost gameplay dynamics plus it has really good synergy with Evocation

Crit chance – Arcane typically hits hard and hitting twice as hard is cool, but crit chance often fades in comparison to other stats

Multistrike – gives a chance to deal 30% extra damage after any damaging spell

Versatility – increase damage, healing and absorbs and reduces damage taken

Minor stats can appear randomly on gear and don’t directly affect damage output:

- movement speed
- avoidance – reduces damage taken from aoe
- indestructible – item takes no durability damage
- leech – heals for a percentage of damage done

Our precise stat weights will be available when the number tuning ends and optimal gameplay is developed, but the testing suggests:

Mastery – Haste – Multistrike – Crit – Versatility

6. Gameplay

At this point we are not yet completely sure of what the final rotations are going to be, but some primary examples can be found below.

6.1 Leveling up in Draenor

Suggested talents: Evanesce/Blazing Speed, Ice Barrier, Rune of Frost/Ice Ward, Greater Invisibility, Supernova, Mirror Image/Incanter’s Flow

Suggested glyphs: Slow, Rapid Displacement, Cone of Cold

The goal while leveling is to have minimum downtime and maximum efficiency, preferably at the same time. The setup with Evanesce, Barrier, RoF, G.I. and Supernova gives a lot of damage reduction, crowd control and escape mechanisms. The glyphs help even more. For dungeons it would be better to use Rune of Power for the stable damage buff, but if you want to put your mind on passive while leveling up, Incanter’s Flow is a perfectly acceptable choice.

6.2 Single target and 6.3 AoE – coming soon

6.4 Patch 6.0 and Siege of Orgrimmar

This section is the primary reason for the early publishing of the guide. When patch 6.0 comes, there will be people who continue raiding Siege of Orgrimmar and we want to help you do it.

Suggested talents: Evanesce, Ice Barrier, Greater Invisibility, Nether Tempest, Rune of Power

Suggested glyphs: Rapid Displacement, Cone of Cold, Regenerative Ice if it applies to Evanesce for raids, Slow for solo play, Arcane Explosion for specific encounters

With reforging gone we might feel a drop in Haste because of the Hit/Mastery and Crit/Mastery items that we use. Oh and we also have a mana burn phase again, but without the Enhanced Blast and Improved Evocation perks, it’s not really useful to do it at this point. That brings us back to the rotation:

1. Rune of Power, pre-pot, pre-pull Blast
2. Presence of Mind + Blast
3. Blast, Blast
4. Arcane Power
5. Nether Tempest
6. Missiles x1-2-3
7. Mix Blast and Missiles some more with the help of T16 2-set
8. Refresh Nether Tempest
9. Barrage

Remember that at this point we don’t have a lot of useful perks for level 100 content so we’re bound to a conserve phase and can use Evocation only as an emergency tool to regain mana if we screw something up.

After that original pull phase, it’s important to refresh Nether Tempest only when at 4 Charges and the new damage over time extension mechanics allow us to not lose any damage if we refresh the DoT at any point in the last 30%, which in the case of Nether Tempest means any time it has 3.6 seconds of less remaining. So if you always refresh NT during the last 3.6 seconds, you will not lose any ticks. Haste does not influence DoT duration anymore.

Now, for aoe encounters, Supernova pulls ahead of Nether Tempest. What to do in that case? Supernova has no interaction with Charges, so it’s best to use it at highest mana moments, which means after the second or third Blast. It can also generate Missiles which is cool. After that, depending on the situation, continue with the usual rotation. Obviously in full aoe, you’d go for Explosion or Cone of Cold and Barrages and stuff.

So what to do in Siege of Orgrimmar? Here are some suggestions:

Nether Tempest: Immerseus (if you focus on the boss), Fallen Protectors, Norushen, Sha of Pride, Iron Juggernaut, Dark Shaman (split tactic), Nazgrim, Malkorok, Blackfuse (if your job isn’t to go all out on the mines), Klaxxi, Garrosh
Supernova: Galakras, Spoils

Since we can easily use Rune of Power on all bosses because we’re pro and already doing it, we can continue to do so. However, for fights with more movement like Shaman, Spoils and Blackfuse, Incanter’s Flow will also be a good talent and in some cases even Mirror Image. We haven’t really experimented with these builds on the ptr, but an optimal setup will quickly present itself when 6.0 comes live
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