Arcane mage love

Mages’ arcane tree is fabulous with the last few changes done during patch 3.2.2 on World of Warcraft. /cheer

I’ve waited a while before posting my thoughts about the changes as I wanted to give them a couple of raids before making conclusions; during the first week, I was only able to raid Trial of the Crusader (both 10- and 25-man) with the guild, and pugged Onyxia; I saw a significant increase in damage done and DPS for all raids, but as PUGs are obviously wildcards, I didn’t want to take that into consideration.

Missile Barrage proc on Ulduar trash

Missile Barrage proc on Ulduar trash

The succeeding raids, however, saw the same general result: higher overall sustained DPS, and naturally arcane burst was still top-notch; fabulous enough to suddenly be called OP on the Lord Jaraxxus fight, apparently <_< I wish I had thought to take a screenshot of Recount data, though, for posterity’s sake; we didn’t have logging on that night. Heroism + Nether Power + cooldowns + procs = absolutely yummy! I’ve never been one to look at how much and how high I crit, but I had a 48k crit that night (care of my other guildies who actually looked into Recount, haha).

The way I see it, it’s a given that mana is less of a constraint for arcane with the changes done. With generally lower mana costs, and free Arcane Missiles on proc (seemingly only when Arcane Power is not in effect), mana is certainly less of an issue than previously. It’s not just the mana savings though; since the patch came out I’ve been spamming my Arcane Blast key a lot more as I felt it was “safer” to spam it. That probably counts for significant increases in damage done, too. So actual and psychological changes = win!

So what’s with the rotation?

What rotation to use when you’re arcane specced can depend on your latency in-game, although not by much. Personally, I do:


That’s spamming Arcane Blast up to four stacks, consuming the Missile Barrage proc with Arcane Missiles if you either have zero stacks or 4 stacks. That means fishing for a Missile Barrage proc by spamming Arcane Blast; once mana dips too low because of AB spammage, I do a no-proc Arcane Missiles to consume the Arcane Blast debuff and start all over again. I’d have to say that these occurrences aren’t that many, since the likelihood of getting Missile Barrage on Arcane Blast has been raised significantly.

The high DPS rotation is basically the same, except that the Missile Barrage proc can be consumed at any time. Admittedly, this is something I’m still getting used to, but owing to the very real danger of me running out of mana when I blow all my cooldowns, I should really get used to hitting Arcane Missiles on proc. It has to be noted though, that there have been a couple of posts pointing out that Missile Barrage when combined with Arcane Power is not free; but definitely almost-free. 20% of the original cost, from the looks of it.

Obviously, it doesn’t mean that there is no more danger of running out of mana. There is, especially when you burn your cooldowns and you get a 1-second Arcane Blast/MBAM. The spec is more forgiving, but it doesn’t mean you don’t need to deal with the consequences. I’m also seeing a lot more occurrences of getting aggro from the tanks; never really used to be a problem before, but now Invisibility is becoming one of my best friends.

Moar arcane plz kthx

There’s more arcane love incoming! From the WoW 3.3.0 patch notes on PTR:

Arcane Empowerment: This talent now also grants 1/2/3% increased damage done by the mage’s party or raid for 10 seconds after the mage gets a critical strike with Arcane Explosion, Arcane Missiles, Arcane Barrage, or Arcane Blast. This effect is exclusive with Ferocious Inspiration and Sanctified Retribution.

Woo! Arcane raid utility! Hot damn, I’m excited. Now I’m not just the raid vending machine/mini-fridge and Focus Magic giver, but I actually give all DPS a boost! I would say that +haste to the raid instead of +damage sounds like it would fit the spec more (as we eat haste! om nom nom!)–I’ve heard of a couple suggestions like adding an aura to Netherwind Presence which fits nicely with arcane flavor. But the +damage isn’t shabby at all, and makes sense in a “enemy becomes susceptible to more damage because of arcane damage from a mage” point of view.

We’ll see how this raid utility modification pans out. \o/