Arcane Mage Compendium 5.2.
This thread is intended as a consolidated resource for arcane mages in Mists of Pandaria, and is a work in progress. If you notice any errors, or if you have any ideas regarding improvements that could be made to the thread, please send me a PM. It should be noted that the details in this post will be expanded in time as more details of the upcoming Arcane changes are known, which means some sections may appear sparse at this time.
This compilation is the combined work of the EJ Mage community, I am simply collating and updating the information as necessary. I will keep Fire Compendium scheme for an easyer navigation and understanding.
[top] Acronyms & Abbreviations
[top] Key abilities
The mastery ability for arcane mages in MoP is Mana Adept, meaning that the arcane mage DPS depends on the amount of mana unspent.
When the target of a druid’s Symbiosis, mages gain the spell Healing Touch, a medium-large sized, mana-intensive heal with a 2.5 sec cast time and 10 sec CD.
Talents are now a choice between 3 1-point talents every 15 levels, and most have some degree of utility to all specs. Given how changing talent choice has been made cheaper and simpler, redoing talents for situational benefits between raids, or even encounters, looks to be a viable option for now.
[top] Tier 1
Scorch is by far our best option. Scorch is excellent for fights involving a lot of movement, as it enable you to keep DPS-ing while moving. Scorch is also an excellent way to keep your mana and AC stacks up.
[top] Tier 2
All three have their uses, depending on the situation and what other talents you have taken. Temporal Shield + Cauterise makes a strong combination, especially if Ice Block is off CD to ensure you survive the 4 sec if you end up taking more than 200% of your health in damage. Ice Floes will allow casting while moving out. Ice Barrier doesn’t have cute tricks like the other two do, but will be a huge help to your healers during heavy-damage fights, and while being on the GCD has a negative DPS impact, the pushback negation should make up for this on heavy-pushback fights.
[top] Tier 3
Which of these three to take primarily depends on personal preference, as well as some situational considerations. Ring of Frost will allow you to CC multiple targets at range, Frostjaw allows you to CC one target at range (and is particularly good for CCing casters), while Ice Ward is useful to pop on a friendly target who needs to either kite something, or keep it in place for a few seconds.
[top] Tier 4
Of these three, Cauterise is best option, being essentially a passive battle rez that can proc every 2 min. As it no longer burns away more health than it gives you, and having several options for negating or restoring the health it does burn away, it’s good for pretty much any situation. Next is Greater Invisibility, with its situational use for reducing AOE damage and removing DoTs and threat.
[top] Tier 5
Which bomb is best depends on how many targets you will be using it on. Nether Tempest is the best single target and up to 5-6 targets bomb, or with spread out targets and Frost Bomb is best against 6+ targets as there is no limit on the number of targets hit by the detonation as long as they are within 10 yards of the primary target.
[top] Tier 6
As with previous tiers, each talent is better for different situations. Rune of Power is the best on fights with no movement, or where you have a small amount of movement and can arrange to be moving between two or three particular places. Invocation is good for fights with moderate movement, when you have time to pause to cast an Evocation before moving again. Incanter’s Ward is good on high-movement high-damage fights, as it has no impact on mobility, can’t be interrupted, gives some damage mitigation, and to get the maximum benefit you need to ensure that you’re getting enough damage that the shield breaks rather than expires. However, at this point it’s not able to sustain mana regeneration for arcane mages.
Of the 16 major glyphs for fire mages, only 14 have any use for arcane, and two of those (Polymorph and Spellsteal) are extremely situational. Fire Blast, Evocation, Arcane Power, and Mana Gem appear to be the most consistently useful.
Glyph of Mirror Image will give a DPS increase, the other minor glyphs are fun or cosmetic, and don’t really offer much advantage. Take whichever you like the most. Situationally, Glyph of Momentum will allow you to blink while strafing instead on only blinking in front.
Crit Strike | Increases the chance to crit.[/table]
[top]Haste and Ticks Breakpoints
With thanks to Binkenstein, who has great haste breakpoint cards over at Totem Spot.
This table does not take into account the Frost Armor buff, as arcane mages should be using Mage Armor.
[top] Stat priority
Intellect > Hit = Expertise (until 15% spell hit) > Mastery > Haste > Crit
Useful racials for mages.
Draenei get Gift of the Naaru, which is a small HoT, Heroic Presence, which gives them +1% hit, and Shadow Resistance, which reduces shadow damage taken by 1%.
Dwarves get Stoneform, which will reduce incoming damage by 10% for 8 sec and remove all poison, disease, and bleed effects.
Gnomes get Arcane Resistance, which reduces arcane damage taken by 1%, Escape Artist, which removes movement impairing effects, Expansive Mind, which increases mana by 5%, and Shortblade Specialisation, which gives them +1% spell hit when using a sword or dagger, and also have an increased mana pool.
Humans get Every Man for Himself, which removes movement impairing or loss of control effects, and Sword Specialisation, which gives them +1% spell hit when using a sword.
Night Elves get Quickness, which reduces the hit chance of incoming attacks by 2%, and Shadowmeld, which can be a useful aggro dump when necessary.
Pandaren get Epicurean, which doubles the stat bonus from food buffs.
Worgen get Aberration, which reduces shadow and nature damage taken by 1%, and Viciousness, which gives them +1% crit, and Darkflight, which is helpful in moving out of crap.
Blood Elves get Arcane Torrent, which restores 2% mana, silences all enemies within 8 yards for 2 sec, and interrupts enemy spellcasting within 8 yards for 3 sec.
Goblins get Time is Money, which gives +1% haste, Rocket Jump, which is useful when Blink is on CD, and Rocket Barrage, which can be used to keep up a small amount of DPS if you’ve been silenced.
Orcs get Blood Fury, which gives +2257 spell damage for 15 sec, and Hardiness, which reduces the duration of stuns by 15%.
Pandaren get Epicurean, which doubles the stat bonus from food buffs.
Trolls get Beserking, which gives +20% haste for 10 sec, Da Voodoo Shuffle, which reduces the duration of movement impairing effects by 15%, and Regeneration, which increases health regen by 10% and allows 10% health regen while in combat.
Undead get Cannibalise, a channelled effect which genes 7% health and mana every 2 sec for 10 sec if there are human or undead corpses within 5 yards, Shadow Resistance, which reduces shadow damage taken by 1%, Touch of the Grave, which gives damaging spells a chance to further deal 13,413 to 15,589 damage and heal you for the same amount, and Will of the Forsaken, which removes charm, fear, and sleep effects.
[top] Enchants and Enhancements
Until epic gems are available, your best options are either rare gems or the blue-quality ‘Perfect’ cuts of regular gems.
Unlike previous expansions, in MoP it appears that the best DPS outcome is to gem with hybrids in all sockets, as the secondary stats on gems are now double that of primary stats. Another option is to gem straight secondary stats, especially as your gear gets better, given that the value of mastery increases as gear gets better. It is strongly recommended that you run your own sims to determine the best gemming options for your gear.
The stats you want to gem for are Int, Hit (until hit cap), and Mastery.
Generally, you can’t reforge into a stat that is already on an item. However, with expertise now adding the same amount of spell hit that hit does, you can get around this by reforging into expertise if an item already has hit on it.
Reforge into hit/expertise until hit cap (15%, or 5100, unless you’re a draenei, or a human or gnome using a sword), then reforge into Mastery.
Reforge out of hit/expertise above the hit cap first, then out of crit, then haste. Avoid reforging out of mastery as much as possible.
Note that buffs are doubled for Pandaren.
Mogu Fish Stew gives +300 Int.
Braised Turtle, Great Pandaren Banquet, & Banquet of the Pot gives +275 Int.
Swirling Mist Soup & all other Banquets gives +250 Int.
Flask of the Warm Sun gives +1k Int (+1320 for alchemists)
Potion of the Jade Serpent gives +4k Int for 25 sec. Best used just before combat starts, as this way it can be used again during combat.
Master Healing Potion heals 60k health.
Master Mana Potion restores 30k mana.
Use Mage Armor, keep Arcane Brilliance up, and refresh your mana gem back to three uses before each raid boss encounter.
Use Potion of the Jade Serpent just before combat starts so that potions will be available to use during the fight.
[top] Single target
Single target is a mana based rotation:
2 – 4 targets:
[top] Mana management
Arcane mages appear to have problems with mana management, despite mana pools being standardised as long as a proper rotation is respected you can still manage mana but some DPS will be sacrificed during the process. Mages can either go for longer burst phases that will result in a longer recovery, or choose to sacrifice the long burst for a more constant damage during the entire fight.
For mana regen on longer encounters, several options are available:
Most profession bonuses have now been standardised. With the exception of gathering professions, each will give you approx. the same bonus.
[top] Secondary Professions
Archaeology – is again mostly toys and items better for levelling toons. It does, however, give us Umbrella of Chi-Ji (a Pandaren artefact), which is one of the better pre-raid caster off-hands.
Cooking – Once you get up to Banquets at 575 skill level, all Banquets will provide each person with their best stat (so Int for us), with Banquet of the Pot providing and Great Pandaren Banquet providing +25 over the other Banquets. From 525 to 575, or for single-person food, Way of the Pot is the Int food. If you’re only going to work on one Way, Pot should be it. If you plan to level multiple Ways, Pot should be first.
First Aid – The same as it’s always been. Useful to help your healers out in a pinch, especially when it’s a choice between stopping DPS to get a bit of bandaging in and then back to casting, or stopping DPS for the entire fight by dying.
Fishing – As always, the cheapest way to get some of your cooking mats.
Farming – Not a secondary profession per se, but may as well be. Farming in Halfhill is where you get the rest of your cooking mats. The higher rep you are with the Tillers, the more you’re able to grow. At higher rep levels you can also plant seeds which will grow into mats for other professions.
Stops casting your current spell in order to immediately cast Ice Block. Clicking again removes Ice Block.
#showtooltip Ice Block
/cast Ice Block
/cancelaura Ice Block
Stops casting your current spell in order to immediately cast Counterspell.
(if you use the [Glyph of Counterspell], the /stopcasting line in the macro becomes unnecessary).
Casts Remove Curse on your mouseover target.
#showtooltip Remove Curse
/cast [target=mouseover,exists] Remove Curse
/cast Remove Curse
Casts your Mage Bomb (whichever you have chosen).
/cast [target=mouseover,harm,nodead,exists]Mage Bomb
[top] Helpful Mage Addons
[top] Edit Log
Are there some artifacts left over from copying from the Fire compendium? e.g. this priority seems more appropriate for fire than arcane.
Hey there and thank you for your feedback.
I edited the mistake, thank you for pointing that out. As stated in the post, using Fire compendium as a matrix for an easyer navigation.
You say Frost armour works better for your character and that may be true since you are more haste oriented, however the guide is made keeping in mind a mastery based gear selection and a mana passive rotation. If you could provide some more information I'd gladly update the post with a new rotation and new stat priority.
Since there isn't any thread regarding the next patch, I would post it here.
What is there to expect from the next changes?
Regarding arcane, this patch, in my opinion, will quite change arcane viability overall.
The stacks beeing reduced to 4, but the mana cost beeing hugely increased (150% instead of 75%), and the damage increase to 50% lead to a more "burst" spec. Basically, faster to maxumum dps, but cost lots of mana.
My question is, not knowing arcane really well, how are you gonna fill the cycle in without having scrotch? [yes I keep in mind that Invocations cooldown is reduced]
I'm having a hard time to see arcane beeing as good as it is now in the next patch.
As for fire, the light seems to be a bit brighter, scrotch can be replaced by POM. The other talents seemingly affecting more PvP than PvE.
Well any opinion on the subject would be appreciated.
Also I think that [Glyph of Loose Mana] is a dps increase for Arcane. You can use almost at full mana and stay there rather than lower mana (dps loss) before using it. Also using gem with this glyph applies buff which restores mana and can be re-applied with Alter Time (and so doubling the effect).
Scenario: 30 second buff:
Say I use it at 20 seconds, total buff uptime: 20 seconds (pre-AT) + 6 seconds (during AT) + 10 seconds (after AT)=36 seconds
Say I use it at 24 seconds, total buff uptime: 24 seconds (pre-AT) + 6 seconds (during AT) + 6 seconds (after AT) = 36 seconds
Usually you wait until all major trinket procs are up before hitting AP/AT so that you don't waste an entire trinket proc (if you AT and a trinket procs in the 6 sec window, the buff is removed when AT finishes).
So hitting AT towards the end of buffs is generally better as there's no chance new procs will occur due to everything being on ICD.
This behavior may change with the T15 2pc and some of the RealPPM procs which have no ICD.
Noticed that Yu'lon trinket takes few casts to procc. Considering a prepot and Jade spirit procc, best way to use at the last 6 seconds of the first proc (usually Yu'lon if you use it). You will never have a perfect lineup on internal proccs and even if you do, I'd go safemode.
I'm also using AT to dodge stuff / reset stacks like Tsulong hc: Burst in my RoP, pop AT before Nightmare, blink in the sunbeam, use ABr just before AT ends and get ported back on my rune thus dodging nightmare and resetting my stacks in 2 GCD's. but that's a matter of playstyle.
I'd like to understand better why you say "Mastery>Haste" - Through different sims of different gear sets and different fight types, I have found a varied weights for these stats. In select cases, Mastery can be greater than haste, but in other cases I find that Haste>mastery or Mastery = haste (when the numbers are within .05 of each other) - On top of this I've been quoted weights, normalized to int, routinely under .5 of int. Only in Heavy movement fights has Mastery and Haste scored above .5 of int, suggesting that gemming pure int is slightly better over all.
Now, as I understand it, the weights show the gain from the "Next point of a given stat" and doesn't show the possibly exponential gain from stacking over time - That said, Simcraft only plots out the next 1000 points, and even at that, in my current gear, haste comes out the winner there (not by much, but it does).
Is there any data out there showing the long range benefits of favoring one stat over the other (say, 5K to 10K worth of points in the future)?
Every time I did this (every new upgrade), I always got a lower result than a balanced haste/mastery approach with the same gear set. I follow the code changes in SimC and I believe its fairly accurate for the arcane mage model, so I trust the sim experiments as well.
As far as armor goes, its easy to try your own character, just import and change the "actions.precombat+=/mage_armor" string to "actions.precombat+=/frost_armor" after importing and see if its better for you as well.
I end up trying to shoot for an extra NT tick (Raid haste+Frost armor) at 6343 rating (source) and balancing mastery afterwards, always running frost armor. Please let me know what you think.
(too bad all this seems moot in 5.2 anyways...)
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