Basic Rotation - Priority List:
1. Rune of Power – There should never be a time that you are not standing in your Rune as an Arcane mage. The only time you should not be in one, is when you need to move from Rune to Rune and so then you should either be using your Mage Bomb or Scorch.
2. Mage Bomb – For single target fights, Nether Tempest is your best option. If you take Nether Tempest, then only cast it once it fully runs out, otherwise you lose 1 cast of Arcane Blast every 15 seconds and most likely a tick of the dot itself.
3. Arcane Missiles (2 Stacks) – If you ever find yourself with 2 Arcane Missiles! procs, you should instantly spend one of them. If you do not, you are effectively losing Arcane Missile! procs as you cannot gain anymore when at 2 stacks. (Do not do this if you are peforming the Arcane Power + Alter Time combination)
4. Arcane Blast > 92% Mana – I will explain later why you will always be at 6 Arcane Charges and why you should only Arcane Blast when at more than or equal to 92% mana.
5. Arcane Missiles (1 Stack) <92% Mana – After an Arcane Blast, which will drop you ~8% mana, you should cast either Arcane Missiles or Scorch. If you’ve just cast an Arcane Blast and you have an Arcane Missiles! proc, you should straight away cast Arcane Missiles.
6. Scorch <92% Mana – If you have just cast an Arcane Blast, and you have no Arcane Missile! procs, then you should cast Scorch if you below 92% mana.
7. Scorch Whilst Moving.
8. Cast Arcane Explosion Whilst Moving to Maintain Arcane Charge Stacks (Just as they’re about to run out).
9. NEVER CAST ARCANE BARRAGE – The only exceptions to this rule are: In an Alter Time + Arcane Power combination... Or if a target is about to become immune and you won’t be able to sustain your 6 Arcane Charges with; Arcane Explosion, Arcane Blast or Arcane Missiles.
The aim of perfecting your Arcane Mage is to minimise movement and spend as much time possible in your Rune of Power. Another aim is to maintain as high mana as possible due to our Mastery.
You can do things during movement phases such as refresh your Rune of Power on a position where you know you will end up.
Never cast Arcane Blast if you are not on a Rune of Power as your mana will drop and not regenerate fast enough.
Mastery: Mana Adept: Increases all spell damage done by up to ~% based on the amount of mana the Mage has unspent. (This scales dramatically with mastery, so if you 50% mastery and are at 100% mana, then your spells will do 50% more damage, hence the idea of staying at as high mana as possible).
Methods to Maintaining 6 Arcane Charge Stacks:
• Casting Arcane Blast and weaving Arcane Missiles will refresh Arcane Charge stacks.
• During movement phases, you can as a last ditch effort, cast Arcane Explosion to refresh your Arcane Charge stacks. Only do this if you cannot return to a Rune of Power and cast an Arcane Blast.
• Never cast Arcane Missiles during movement (As you will not be on your Rune of Power) – UNLESS you have 2 stacks of Arcane Missiles and you have the time to finish the cast (roughly less than 2 seconds).
• You can also, during phases where there is nothing to attack, cast Arcane Explosion to refresh your Arcane Charge stacks if you do not have roughly 1.8 seconds to cast an Arcane Blast.
Clarification on Scorch / Arcane Missiles Weaving:
The idea is to maintain 6 Arcane Charge stacks at all times and ditch the rotation of using Arcane Barrage at 6 stacks as it is inferior.
How: Casting Arcane Blast will spend roughly 8% mana. So it will drop you to 92% mana, but during this cast, your Rune of Power and Nether Attunement passive will regenerate your mana.
• So basically you will cast Arcane Blast if at more than 92% mana.
• If at 92% mana, you will drop to around 84% mana.
• You will then cast Arcane Missiles if you have a proc or Scorch if you do not.
• After WEAVING Arcane Missiles or Scorch, your mana should regenerate back to around 92%.
• After WEAVING either spell, you should then cast Arcane Blast again.
Summary: Arcane Blast -> Arcane Missiles (Priority) / Scorch -> Arcane Blast -> Arcane Missiles (Priority) / Scorch. If when you cast your WEAVE spell you are at <92% mana, just weave another Scorch.
Note: If you ever find yourself with 2 Arcane Missile! procs, you should instantly spend one of them otherwise it’s an overall loss.
1. Pre-Pull – Use Potion of the Jade Serpent. You can then use another Potion during another Alter Time + Arcane Power combination.
2. Mirror Images – Cast this just as you pull, the bonus you gain from waiting for Intellect procs is worthless at the start of a fight as it wastes a GCD.
3. Mage Bomb – Cast your mage bomb (Nether Tempest). Refresh mage bomb either when it runs out or just before you’re about to do the Alter Time + Arcane Power combination.
4. Arcane Blast x6 – Even if you gain 2 Arcane Missile! procs as you are building up to 6 Arcane Charges, you do not spend these Arcane Missile! procs.
5. @ 6 Arcane Charges – If luck is on your side, you will have 2 Arcane Missile! procs. If not, then cast Arcane Blast @ > 92% mana and Scorch if it drops below 92%. When you have 2 Arcane Missile! procs you move onto the next step.
6. Arcane Power -> Alter Time: See below.
7. Return to Basic Rotation.
8. Note: Arcane Power will still be up, so it is advised that you try to use as few scorches as possible during this period of time. You can avoid using scorches only once during this phase by: Using mana gem when at 83% mana. Once you’ve used your mana gem, refer to Scorch / Arcane Missiles weaving in and out of Arcane Blast casts to maintain around 92% mana.
(Do not waste mana gem in this opener as it is useful for when you still have your Arcane Power buff)
Note for Next Section: Refer to the haste values that I give. Use the relevant rotation depending on the haste buffs you have.
WITH SUPER HASTE >56% (Achieved through base haste and heroism/bloodlust):
Cast Arcane Power -> Alter Time – Cast Arcane Missiles -> Arcane Blast -> Arcane Missiles -> Arcane Blast -> Arcane Barrage. Your Alter Time will then automatically return you to what you were 6 seconds ago, meaning that you will again have 6 Arcane Charges and 2 Arcane Missile! procs. At this point you refer back to the basic rotation.
WITH HASTE BUFF / HIGH HASTE >20% Haste:
Cast Arcane Power -> Alter Time - Cast Arcane Missiles -> Arcane Blast -> Arcane Missiles -> Arcane Barrage. Your Alter Time will then automatically return you to what you were 6 seconds ago, meaning that you will again have 6 Arcane Charges and 2 Arcane Missile! procs. At this point you refer back to the basic rotation.
WITHOUT HASTE BUFF / LOW HASTE <19% Haste:
Cast Arcane Power -> Alter Time – Cast Arcane Missiles -> Arcane Missiles -> Arcane Barrage -> Mage Bomb. Your Alter Time will then automatically return you to what you were 6 seconds ago, meaning that you will again have 6 Arcane Charges and 2 Arcane Missile! procs. At this point you refer back to the basic rotation.
NOTE: The Mage Bomb cast in the low haste rotation is because you do not have time to fit in an extra Arcane Blast, so instead you may as well at this time cast your mage bomb to refresh it. Never do this with so many seconds left on it in anything else but this rotation.
Cooldowns Throughout Fight:
• It is a great DPS boost if you can monitor when your Trinket / Enchant procs etc are going to not be on cooldown and are waiting to be procced. If Alter Time + Arcane Power are ready to be used, and you know that your procs have not been triggered for a while, then it is optimal to wait for these procs (do not delay longer than 6 seconds left on proc buffs). In order to wait for these procs (Because you will be sitting at 2 Arcane Missiles Procs + 6 Arcane Charges), you need to make sure that your AM! Procs do not fall off and that you weave Scorches so that you stay above 92% mana.
• With the glyph of Arcane Power – Your Alter Time will always line up with Arcane Power. This means that after your opener, 3 minutes later you will have this combination to use again. At his point you follow Steps 6 + 7 and the Note: in the Perfect Opener section.
• Try to combine your second Potion of the Jade Serpent with this Cooldown combination for increased damage output.
• Save your mana gem for the period of time after your Alter Time (Roughly 30 seconds) for when you have your Arcane Power buff still and you are trying to avoid casting Scorch. Use the mana gem around 83% mana as it restores 17% mana.
• Arcane Power + Alter Time Macro.
#showtooltip Arcane Power
/cast Arcane Power
/cast Alter Time
/cast Arcane Missiles
Mage Bomb Notes:
On a single target, use Nether Tempest.
On 2 targets, use 2 Nether tempest.
On 3 targets, use Living Bomb - Spread with Fire Blast glyph.
On 4+ targets, use Living Bomb - Spread with Fire Blast glyph.
Living Bomb: You can refresh living bomb with less than 3 seconds left on the debuff as this will trigger the explosion and not lose a tick of damage.