Just dinged 90 on mage which spec would be best for dungeons/lfr gearing up?
I see there is quite a lot of variance between specs eg. arcane going full haste or full mastery. I have tried rawr.mage but it seems outdated with so many options. ie. not being able to choose ice armor as arcane to see how a full haste would perform in the gear I have available.
I think I would prefer to go arcane as I have been leveling as frost so it is kind of old however if frost is quite far ahead in starter gear I will have to bite my tongue and see how it goes.
Any help is greatly appreciated, I have tried looking over the stickies for frost/arcane but they don't appear to have clear cut answers and the typical sites I have looked at in the past EJ etc don't either.
Both frost and arcane are strong. Arcane being better for raiding, especially in LFR (almost no movement required) and frost being better for dungeons and trash clearing (timed frost bombs + freeze + frozen orb = fun)
Heroics I prefer frost by far. Strong AoE burst, and arcane is lacking AoE wise, so in the end, its faster. Mobs in heroics die too fast for arcane to be top, it only works on bosses, and not all of em.
As for LFR, I would go arcane either Haste or Mastery (+ 6 stacks camping / scorch weaving) thats for you to pick as the dps difference isnt noticeable, pick what suits you better .
If you are just gearing up, I would do frost. I dislike doing dailies as arcane, even invoc arcane. You just have more control with frost, more burst. Fire is not bad for gearing up either, its just that the window for it to really shine doesn't start to open up until you get some gear, so this can make questing somewhat frustrating.
This is of course just my opinion, having been fire/frost arcane this expac, doing all the content with all three specs (with the exception of CM).
Really, if you aren't doing any normal raiding, just play what you enjoy. In fact, I encourage it if you have only levelled as frost to spec over to the other two for at least a couple days and do various content with each to see how you like them. While any given one may not have the sun shining on it today, it might down the road, so it is best to be a well rounded and knowledgable mage.
If you're not the super duper hardcore min maxing player type pick which ever spec you prefer most. On the level the most players play it's just the best to play the spec that suits you most to do the best DPS. I'm currently playing Frost (6/6 HM) and I'm totally competetive to my guild mates. It also depends on the fight which spec is more viable.
Gearwise if you go for haste you have the option to play Frost and Arcane in parallel because both prefer a haste heavy setup. I would not play Fire at the moment if starting from the beginning because it is the spec that does least DPS (though it's actually like place 20 from 30 DPS specs in total).
All jokes aside, if you want to get better acquainted with your Mage use sides like this one, Icy-Veins.com, and Noxxic.com they all have some great info. Read up, try what you have, and play what you like.
Frost is definitely the best spec for running dungeons/heroic dungeons, because of the AoE damage (you'll find arcane to be slower, less fun and by no means better dps). For LFR and raids, go Arcane if you're looking for the best dps - whether or not you want to stack haste or mastery probably depends more on what gear you have, but I think most people go for full mastery.