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    Berlinia's Arcane Mage Guide for T17 (Highmaul Update)

    Table of Contents

    I - Introduction
    II - Changes from Mop
    III - Core Mechanics
    III-C - Cooldowns
    IV - Base Rotation
    IV-B - Burn Phase
    V - Stat Analysis
    VI - Gearing
    VII - Talents
    VIII - Prismatic Crystal Gameplay
    IX - Arcane Mage: Extended Knowledge
    X - Not Quite The End

    I - Introduction
    Good day fellow Arcane mages, or those that aspire to become one. This is my Arcane Mage PvE Guide for the Warlords of Draenor expansion and the 6.0 patch. This guide will cover everything from the basics till some more complicated techniques you should know if you want to play your mage to its fullest.

    II - Changes from Mop
    If you have played the Arcane Mage in Mists of Pandaria, there are some changes that might be of interest to you. These changes are mostly talent related, but they do significantly affect your play style. There are other changes as well, more related to the type of content Warlords of Draenor has to offer and the "across-the-board" ability pruning that Blizzard has enforced to reduce button bloat.

    The first quite noticable change is the one related to ability pruning. Blizzard decided players started to have a bit too manykeybinds on their action bars. There are a number of abilities Arcane Mages have lost that are now either spec specific or talents.
    •Fire Blast is now specific to Fire and Ice Lance is specific to Frost. They are both replaced on your bars by Arcane Barrage.
    •Flamestrike and Blizzard are now no longer available to Arcane Mages.
    • Shatter is no longer beneficial to Arcane mages and is now a Frost specific passive.
    • Mages no longer have the ability to select which armor they are using. Arcane mages are now tied to using Mage Armor.
    The talent system has also been overhauled, and the new level 100 Talents have joined the party. The essence of these changes are that we no longer have the Mage Bomb Tier, and our mana regeneration is no longer forcing us to choose Rune of Power.

    There are some changes to the game, which affect the way Arcane Mages handle their gear. Most importantly reforging, which once allowed you to stack Mastery to your hearts content, is now gone. Additionally Blizzard has now added something called an attunement: Arcane Mind which increases all Mastery gained from all sources by an additional 5%.
    The perk system introduced in Warlords of Draenor also changes how certain abilities work. This is the compiled list of the Arcane perks and passive changes.
    •Improved Arcane Power which makes our burst less punishing mana-wise. The big change is that you can now cast more Arcane Blasts at high Arcane Charge stacks during your burst.
    •Enhanced Arcane Blast which slightly increases the damage per execute time and damage per second of your Arcane Blast, while additionally increasing it's relative mana cost on higher stacks of Arcane Charge.
    •Improved Blink just gives you a bit more mobility.
    •Improved Evocation and the fact that Evocation is now an Arcane only mage spell, which turns the spec more into its original Burn/Conserve play style.
    •Arcane Missiles can now stack up to three charges, giving you more room to play with your mana.
    •Arcane Charges now affect the mana regeneration provided by Evocation and now only increase the mana cost of Arcane Blast by 150% per stack, down from 200%.

    The final change is the one which drastically changes the burst of Arcane Mages. This is the removal of the offensive power of Alter Time which once made you wait for procs and tie spell cycles together. Alter Time no longer snapshots your buffs, debuffs, and mana, but rather only your health and position. It's now a defensive talent located on the tier 30 Talent Row.

    III - Core Mechanics
    The core idea and mechanics of the Arcane Mage is the same as it has been ever since the introduction of our mastery: Mastery: Mana Adept. Our main objective is still to stay at the highest mana level possible to benefit from said mastery. Our main mechanics are the following:

    Single Target
    Mastery: Mana Adept provides an incentive to remain at high mana levels.
    •Arcane Blast is our main filler spell and our main Arcane Charge builder.
    • Arcane Missiles is a spell we can cast whenever the buff Arcane Missiles! procs. It does more damage than Arcane Blast and costs 0 mana.
    • Arcane Charges besides boosting your the damage of your spells, also increase the mana cost of Arcane Blast and therefore need to be managed properly in order to be able to properly use our mastery.
    • Arcane Barrage is the spell we press to reset our dps cycle when we drop too low on mana.
    • Evocation is a channeled spell which restores your mana. The mana gained is increased by your Arcane Charges.

    Multiple Targets
    The Arcane mage has three baseline spells that deal damage to multiple targets. The rest of the damage you can do to multiple targets is provided by talents. These baseline spells are:
    • Arcane Explosion creates an explosion around your character which deals damage to all enemies it hits. It is your spamable AoE and furthermore resets the duration of your Arcane Charges whilst costing very little mana.
    • Cone of Cold does damage in a cone in front of you so minor positioning adjustments might need to be made.
    • Arcane Barrage also deals damage to nearby targets. The number of targets depends on the amount of Arcane Charges that Arcane Barrage consumes.

    Cooldowns
    Arcane mages have three offensive cooldowns in their arsenal. These cooldowns differ in power and effect.
    • Presence of Mind is a minor dps cooldown that makes one spell instant cast. You can essentially only use it on Arcane Blast , as it is the only non-instant and non-channeled spell that Arcane Mages ever cast.
    • Arcane Power is our major dps cooldown. It is influenced by the leveling perk Improved Arcane Power. This spell is generally used on cooldown, except in certain encounters when its damage is needed later on in the fight.
    • Time Warp is a very powerful raid cooldown. It should be used when your raid leader tells you to use it, as you can only receive its buff once every 10 minutes. This cooldown is shared with Heroism/Bloodlust.

    IV - Base Rotation
    The Arcane Mage constantly rotates around two phases, the Conserve Phase and the Burn Phase. The Conserve Phase is what you will be doing most of the time, and is a playstyle that you employ when you want to remain on high mana levels. The Burn Phase on the other hand is the practice of using the 400% increase to Arcane Blast's mana cost at 4 Arcane Charges to your advantage, in order to burn through your mana as fast as possible. This phase might seem contradictory to what I just wrote about benefiting from Mastery, but is done because Arcane Blast does a very high amount of damage during this phase. In order to start your Burn Phase you need to keep an eye to your Evocation cooldown, because when you finish burning your mana you want to get it right back up and continue with the Conserve Phase. The Arcane playstyle is a constant rotation between Burn and Conserve cycles.

    Conserve Phase
    There is no set rotation for Arcane Mages, just a priority list. This is the priority list for the Mana Conservation Phase which is the phase you will mostly be executing.

    1. Cast Arcane Missiles when you have 3 stacks of Arcane Missiles!.
    2. Cast Arcane Blast when you have more than 93% Mana at the start of your cast, and you have 4 stacks of Arcane Charge.
    3. Cast Arcane Missiles when you are at 4 stacks of Arcane Charge
    4. Cast Arcane Barrage at 4 stacks of Arcane Charge
    5. Cast Arcane Blast
    This is the very basis of the Conserve Phase. Essentially what you do at this phase is that you:
    a. Build Arcane Charge stacks with Arcane Blast or Arcane Missiles to prevent capping,
    b. Use your Arcane Missiles at 4 stacks of Arcane Charge, except if over 93% Mana; then you cast Arcane Blast ,
    c. Use Arcane Barrage to reset your Arcane Charges.

    Burn Phase
    Just like with the Conserve Phase, the Burn phase does not follow a strict rotation but rather a priority list. This phase is heavily tied to the cooldown of your Evocation and can only be started when you are at 4 Arcane Charges.
    1. Cast Arcane Power.
    2. Cast Arcane Missiles.
    3. Cast Arcane Blast if you have more than 50% mana.
    4. Cast Evocation if you have less than 50% mana and 4 stacks of Arcane Charge.
    This is the priority list tied to the Burn Phase. What this list essentially tells you is that you should cast Arcane Missiles as they proc, and then burn your mana until you have less than 50% mana. Due to the high mana costs of Arcane Blast at 4 stacks of Arcane Charges, you will need to know the mana costs of your spells of your spells so you know when to execute the third step of the priority list. These mana costs are as follows:

    Burn/Conserve Cycles
    Now that we have defined the two phases, you need to understand how and when to rotate around the two. The Conserve Phase is your rest phase, and is executed whenever your cooldowns are down. The Burn Phase is tied to the cooldown of Evocation which with the leveling perk Improved Evocation has its cooldown reduced to 1.5 minutes. With this cooldown, you can tie every Burn Phase with an unglyphed Arcane Power or you can tie every second Burn Phase with a glyphed Arcane Power

    Keeping in mind that before starting a Burn Phase you want to reach 4 stacks of Arcane Charges; the cycle looks as follows:



    This flowchart describes the constant cycling between Conserve Phases and Burn Phases. Keep in mind that to execute a Burn Phase you have to be in a state when you are at high mana levels and more essentially have 4 stacks of Arcane Charge.

    V - Stat Analysis

    Stats
    The release of Warlords of Draenor and the 6.0 Patch introduces the removal of Hit and Expertise rating and caps. This means that striving to reach a hit-cap is no longer necessary, so you have to pay more attention to what Gear you wear.

    Intellect
    Intellect is a primary stat that increases our Spellpower and essentially the damage our spells do. Each spell has a spellpower coefficient which means the spell does a % of your total Spellpower. For every 1 point of Intellect, you get 1 point of spellpower. The value of intellect is the highest of all stats for Arcane Mages.

    Critical Strike
    Critical Strike Rating, or Crit, is a secondary stat that gives you a percentage chance for your spells to deal 200% damage. Every spell cast or dot tick has a chance to be a critical strike. Mages begin with a base 5% critical strike chance. Arcane Mages have no mechanic that requires you to Crit, so Critical Strike is just a %chance for your spells to deal additional damage.

    Haste
    Haste Rating increases the speed in which your casts happen. The formula for calculating the cast time of a spell is BaseCastTime/(1+Haste) with Haste being a decimal number. Haste also affects our Global Cooldown, where the BaseCastTime = 1.5seconds. Haste has an effect on Arcane Mages due to Nether Attunement. The more haste you have, the more mana you will regenerate every second. This is counter weighted by the reduced cast time of your mana consuming spells, but it still provides extra mana regen when you are casting non-mana consuming spells.

    Mastery
    As mentioned before, our mastery is [wowicon=spell_arcane_manatap][wdbbetaspell=76547]Mastery: Mana Adept[/wdbbetaspell][/wowicon]. It is our main stat, and the more mastery we have, the less relative damage our spells do at lower mana levels.

    Multistrike
    Multistrike is a new stat in 6.0 that gives you a percentage chance to deal either 1 or 2 extra strikes that deal 30% of the original spell. Each spell cast has two chances to Multistrike based on your Multistrike%. This means that a 1000 damage spell can either deal 1000 damage, 1300 damage, or 1600 damage.
    There is a special correlation between Critical Strike Chance and Multistrike Chance. If a spell crits, the game calculates what the original damage would be, and then calculates if that spell will trigger a multistrike which on its own can crit. So using the previous example, a 1000 damage spell that crits, will do 2000 damage. If it multistrikes, each multistrike will have a personal chance to crit as well. So a 2000 damage spell will trigger two multistrikes of 300 damage each, with each multistrike having a chance equal to your critical strike chance to crit.

    Versatility
    Versatility is a flat %gain on damage done and a flat %reduction on damage taken. It is mostly a healing stat and you should avoid versatility gear.

    In general your stat priorities are:
    Int>>Mastery>Haste >Rest>Versatility. What this means is that you general you want to take the highest int giving item, as long as you don't lose twice the intellect value in mastery.
    Ex: If you gain 20 int and lose 40 mastery, replace the item. If you gain 20 int and lose 50 mastery don't replace the item.
    Update(1/17/2015): Changes to Haste pushed haste to our second best secondary stat, after Mastery.

    VI - Gearing
    With the assistance of Ratok(Trolltok) and Chevchelious(Chev) we have developed a tool to compare your gear. You can find this tool here:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/teuysxy21c...blic.xlsm?dl=0

    However on this tool we haven't analysed trinkets. This is for the simple reason that a fellow colleague here on Icy Veins (Zagam) has done an excellent trinket analysis which can be found here:
    http://www.icy-veins.com/forums/topi...onology-guide/
    It's the 6th tab named: Trinket Breakdown
    However you can use this analysis only in a vacuum, it doesn't help calculate what the potential best trinkets are. Chevcelious here on AT has done an excellent post on it.
    http://altered-time.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=787

    In Warlords of Draenor, gear doesn't have sockets. However each piece of gear has a small chance of being either Warforged (having extra stats) or having a socket. These sockets can be equiped with any of the available gems. These gems only give 1 secondary stat each. This means that for Arcane you want to be geming Mastery Gems, as this is our best stat.


    VII - Talents

    As mentioned before, our talents have been greatly revised and now different talent choices will give us different playstyles. This diversity ensures that we will have different combinations to pick in order to handle the different situations. This means that there no longer is one cookie-cutter build that everyone has to play in order to perform.

    Due to the numerous different combinations of offensive talents (27 to be exact) I will try to explain how each choice interacts with the base rotation. There are a few cases that some special interactions can be used when choosing a specific talent combination so I will elaborate on those as well.

    I will also briefly discuss the non-offensive talent choices, but more elaborate analysis of them is going to be done when our Encounter Specific Tips and Tricks come out.

    Level 15: The Movement Tier
    At level 15 we are given three choices, Evanesce, Blazing Speed, and Ice Floes.
    Evanesce offers a small 3 second defensive cooldown which replaces Ice Block. It can only block physical damage and thus is not as valuable as the other two. Blazing Speed works as it always has providing a huge movement speed increase for a very short duration. This is very handy for dodging spells that surprised you. Ice Floes is most probably the best of the three talents. It works on a charge system, has a lower cooldown than Blazing Speed, and allows you to deal damage while moving, something most other classes were stripped of.

    Ice Flows >= Blazing Speed > > > > > > > > > > > > Evanesce
    Highmaul Talent uses
    A common question people have, is when should I use what talent? In the Highmaul raid from our level 15 talents Ice Floes is the most powerful one to have. It has excellent uses like helping with kiting Kargath or his kitties, allowing you to cast while being knocked back by The Butcher, letting you cast whilst running away with mists on Tectus, allowing you to dodge Fires on Twin Ogron, dodge Suppression Fields on Ko’ragh and the overall clusterfuck that Margok is.
    The only two uses I have found for Blazing Speed is when you do moss on Brackenspore (which you shouldn’t be doing) and reaching the falling balls on Ko’ragh. I haven't found any uses for Evanesce that are going to be overly beneficial to you, as it is often awfully buggy.

    Level 30: The Defensive Tier
    Our level 30 Talents are Alter Time, Ice Barrier and Flameglow. Alter Time is a very powerful defensive cooldown now, which can effectively negate any damage you take within its duration. It's going to be a great progress talent for bosses that require soaking damage which does not kill you. Ice Barrier is an absorb shield on a GCD. It is not that strong, but does extend your health pool a tiny bit. Flameglow is a passive damage reduction effect. In the new WoD Healing Model it might be a viable choice, but we just have to wait to see that.
    Alter Time >= Ice Barrier > Flameglow
    Highmaul Talent uses
    A common question people have, is when should I use what talent? In the Highmaul raid Alter Time is the most powerful spell to have when you know the damage patterns. Some ingenious uses of Alter Time are:
    -Reposition yourself within the raid after clearing moss on Brackenspore
    -Reposition yourself with the raid after going off to kite mists away on Tectus (Mythic)
    -Help soak butcher bounding cleave damage
    -Negates all damage done by Koragh’s falling balls.
    -Negates all damage done by Imperator’s Margok adds during the Intermisions.
    Level 45: The PvP Tier

    'NONE CARES'


    Level 75: The Rotation Changing Tier

    Nether Tempest
    Nether Tempest is going to be an Arcane Mage's only damage over time effect, if you decide to pick it. With the removal of stat snapshotting, the removal of haste breakpoints, the addition of the Pandemic effect and the part of Nether Tempest that snapshots Arcane Charges and that it can only be applied on 1 target (woah that’s a lot of changes isn’t it?), the way you handle your Nether Tempest will be completely different than what you have done in Mists of Pandaria (a.k.a no more multidotting).
    First of all you have to understand how Pandemic works. Pandemic extends the duration of a DoT effect on an enemy when you recast it on them. What this means in practice, is that due to your Nether Tempest having a 12 second duration, you can reapply it anywhere between the last 3.6 seconds and the new dot will now have a duration that equals the remaining time at the instant of reapplication, plus the 12 seconds of the original dot. However Nether Tempest can never have a duration higher than 15.6 seconds.

    When you pick Nether Tempest, your priority lists slightly change in order to incorporate this extra button. Due to the snapshotting of Arcane Charges, you want to always apply Nether Tempest at 4 stacks of Arcane Charges and always reapply when there are less than 3.6 seconds or less remaining on the DoT. Your highest priority however is still to never cap your Arcane Missiles! buff! The above practice should take place regardless of which phase you are on your rotation.
    Nether Tempest is a good talent choice, both for single target and multi target situations and probably the best for sustained AoE/cleave.

    Unstable Magic
    Unstable Magic is a passive ability that increases the damage of your Arcane Blast over the course of an encounter by roughly
    0.30 * 0.50 = 0.15 = 15% on single target and slightly more on multi-target. This is a simple fire and forget ability and will not affect your playstyle.
    Unstable Magic is not a choice you should be making considering the other two choices are just superior.
    Supernova
    Supernova is an instant cast spell that deals a lot of damage and works on a charge/cooldown system. It deals 400% of your spellpower on your target and 200% on all surrounding targets, putting it on top of your priority lists, even above the capping of Arcane Missiles!
    Due to its charge system you have a 25 second window every time when you can delay casting Supernova to wait for a higher mana level or if the encounter has that, until there are adds that spawn. What you generally should avoid doing is using your Supernova right after your Burn Phase and before you have casted Evocation and you should never let Supernova cap at 2 charges. If you follow these two main checkboxes you can use Supernova optimally.
    Supernova is a good single target option and a very strong choice when you have to handle waves of adds that need to die fast.

    Conclusions
    Our level 75 tier is quite interesting as each pick completely changes our playstyles. Nether Tempest adds a DoT that needs to be maintained together with a snapshotting mechanic and a small time window to refresh this DoT. Unstable Magic is a passive that simply provides an increase of damage on your main filler and Supernova a high damage spell on a short cooldown.
    Overall our Tier 75 Talent row seems to be fairly balanced on single target, with Supernova and Nether Tempest pulling slightly ahead in specific situations of multiple targets. Honestly this is an excellent place to be in. You can select practically any talent for a single target encounter and swap around for specific AoE situations. However due to it's interactions with Prismatic Crystal, supernova does pull ahead on single target assuming you did select Prismatic Crystal as your level 100 talent.
    Highmaul Talent uses
    A common question people have, is when should I use what talent? In the Highmaul raid different bosses require the use of different choices of this tier. In general you will be swapping between Nether Tempest and Supernova. Nether Tempest for Tectus and Imperator Mar’gok, whereas Supernova is more appropriate for Kargath, The Butcher, Twin Ogron, Brackenspore, and Koragh.

    Level 90: The Damage Increasing Tier
    Mirror Images
    Mirror Image has become far more powerful than its previous iterations and deals a lot of damage. The copies deal a lot of damage and the spell itself is on a 2 minute cooldown, providing a very powerful on-demand burst. However, it scales with Haste, Intellect and Crit and Multistrike, but is unaffected by Mastery which is the stat that Arcane Mages stack the most.
    Mirror Images is a talent you will want to take only if there is a certain on demand burst in an encounter, otherwise due to the way it doesn't scale with mastery, its an inferior choice. Just use it onCD.
    Rune of Power
    Rune of Power is a maintain buff that works in a rather unique way, as it marks an area on the ground, and if you stand on that area you receive the damage bonus. This will make you care more about movement and knowledge of an encounter will greatly help you pre-plan the positioning of your Runes. Due to Rune of Power giving a flat out 15% increase on all damage, it can give an enormous damage gain on multiple targets.
    Rune of Power is currently the best choice on low movement fights. Maintain high uptime on it.

    Incanter’s Flow
    Incanter’s Flow has quite a complicated tooltip, but the crux of the matter is that it gives a 12% damage increase on average. Even though one might want to make use of the peaks of this talent to cast highly damaging spells, in most cases doing so might make you cap on Arcane Missiles! or delay important spells. If you are however familiar with the encounter, you can move during an IF low point in order to cast your spells at a high point. The gain you will have by doing this however, is not that big.
    Incanter's Flow is the best choice on high movement fights, and especially when there are a lot of enemies to hit.
    There is one specific case when you should keep track of your Incanter’s Flow stacks. If you have selected the level 75 Supernova you should always cast that at max stacks of Incanter’s Flow. Due to Supernova being your most powerful spell, it working on a charge system, and it having a 25 second recharge timer you have all the room in the world to cast it both at high Incanter’s Flow and casting it at high mana level's in order for Supernova to benefit the most out of your mastery.

    Conclusion
    The level 90 row gives us three different options which flatly just boost our damage, in the form of a passive, a cooldown and a unique buff. The better option for Arcane Mages is Rune of Power, due to it providing the most %damage increase, however that is not true in all situations and is encounter dependent. On a pure single target fight with a low duration, or a fight that requires you to blow up an enemy really fast, Mirror Images is going to provide a very useful tool. Furthermore, on a high movement fight, when it is going to be feasibly impossible to remain on your Runes for extended periods of time, Incanter’s Flow is going to be a very powerful passive effect boosting your damage and not taking up any of your Global Cooldowns.
    Highmaul Talent uses
    A common question people have, is when should I use what talent? In the Highmaul raid you will generally be swapping between Incanter Flows and Rune of Power except if you are progressing on a boss where you really need the 2minute burst provided by Mirror Images. On a boss by boss basis:
    Incanters Flow: Twin Ogron, Imperator Margok
    Rune of Power: The rest.

    Level 100: The Power Tier

    Overpowered
    Overpowered is a powerful passive effect that extends your Arcane Power by 2 seconds for every Arcane Missiles you cast during its duration. This makes your Arcane Missiles even more important, and capping them is something that can cost you a lot of damage. It isn't a hard spell to manage, and neither does it change your rotation that much. The only small difference is that you should cast Arcane Missiles at lower stacks of Arcane Charge if your Arcane Power is close to falling off. You do this with the hope that Arcane Missiles reproc's itself so that you can extend Arcane Power's duration even more!
    Overpowered is a strong choice for both single target and multi-target damage and benefits hugely by our 2set and 4set bonuses. Overpowered also significantly boosts the value of Unstable Magic. However it seems to be an inferior choice than the other two.

    Prismatic Crystal
    Prismatic Crystal is a powerful cooldown that places a crystal on the ground which takes 30% increased damage from all your spells. It then instantly releases that damage spreading it among all enemy targets within 8 yards. This means that no matter the amount of targets, the damage you will gain is going to be the same. Prismatic Crystal's 1.5 minute cooldown make it perfectly align with Arcane Power. There is an issue though when picking Prismatic Crystal, which is that you are completely dependent on the tanks not moving your targets out of its range. So knowledge of the fight is essential for the correct usage of this choice.
    For Prismatic Crystal gameplay, read on.

    Arcane Orb
    Arcane Orb is just an Arcane Charge builder with a relatively low damage coefficient. You use Arcane Orb as an Arcane Charge builder during your conserve and burn phase. Arcane Orb is a relatively good choice when there are lots of adds, due to giving you a lot of Arcane Charges which you can then spend on using a 5 target-cleave Arcane Barrage. It is well balanced with the other two talents, falling only a tiny bit behind on single target.

    Conclusions
    Our tier 100 talents are all very different and quite balanced. Each of the talents has its uses and strengths, and it’s thus quite important you know how to play with them properly. Prismatic Crystal is a bit intricate so the following section describes that. Out of Arcane Orb and Overpowered, Arcane Orb seems to be the best choice for multiple target/cleave fights.
    Highmaul Talent uses
    A common question people have, is when should I use what talent? In the Highmaul raid you will generally be swapping between Prismatic Crystal and Arcane Orb. You will be taking Prismatic Crystal on Kargath Bladefist and The Butcher, whereas you will be taking Arcane Orb for the remainder of the fights.

    VIII - Prismatic Crystal Gameplay
    Prismatic Crystal & Single Target
    Prismatic Crystal should be used only in a certain way for Single Target damage. That is that it should correspond with your Burn Phase (more specifically marking the beginning of it). The way you handle this slightly changes on encounter by encounter basis, but the basis is the following
    1. During your conserve phase reach 4 stacks of Arcane Charges.
    2. Use Prismatic Crystal.
    3. Use Arcane Power.
    4. Use Supernova twice or Nether Tempest once. This depends on which talent you picked for your level 75 Tier.
    5. Use Presence of Mind followed by Arcane Blast
    5. Proceed with following the Burn Rotation.
    There is something to be said about how to use Supernova and Prismatic Crystal. Considering the Crystal has a 12 second duration, when you pop the crystal you want to be with 1 charge of Supernova and another 10 seconds remaining on the second charge. That way you ensure you can throw both SN’s on the Crystal.
    Concerning Nether Tempest, the Crystal remains for 12 seconds which is equal to the duration of Nether Tempest. So applying it is worth the trouble, however Prismatic Crystal does not boost the AoE component of Nether Tempest, and Supernova is just far too powerful when combined with PC.
    Prismatic Crystal & AoE
    Prismatic Crystal is a controversial subject of the mage community. Here I shall try to elaborate on what happens when you pick the Prismatic Crystal.
    On single target dps it appears to be balanced with Overpowered, but what happens on multitarget damage? On the following table you can see how much damage your AoE spells do multiple targets, compared to your highest hitting single target spell on the Prismatic Crystal.



    So using Arcane Missiles, our hardest hitting damage spell, on the Prismatic Crystal is only going to fall behind on overall damage when Cone of Cold can hit more than 6 targets, and Arcane Explosion more than 9 targets. Taking in consideration that you Arcane Missiles is a channeled spell and not an instant, and that you are casting more than just Arcane Missiles during the 12 second duration of the Crystal, we can lower the thresholds down to 8 targets for Arcane Explosion, and 6 targets for Cone of Cold. However, if you do decide to take PC, then the value of casting Arcane Explosion or Cone of Cold over Arcane Missiles becomes higher when there are more than 8 enemies for Arcane Explosion and enemies for Cone of Cold. These numbers are estimates, and can be a little bit different in practice.
    These values will change when we get our 4set, as that greatly boosts the damage of Arcane Missiles.
    However one value will probably never Change, and that is the power of Supernova when combined with Prismatic Crystal. Here you can see its power:



    Supernova when combined with Prismatic Crystal is just too powerful. This is both the case for single target and Multi Target situations. This is why you want to ensure you have two of your Supernova charges for your Prismatic Crystal Phase.
    Also people please keep this in mind: Prismatic Crystal does NOT boost your AoE damage. The 110% damage is SPLIT amongst all enemies so it means absolutely nothing if you hit 1, 2, 3 or 500 targets with it.

    IX - Arcane Mage: Extended Knowledge
    So, you have now read an entire essay on Arcane Mage spells. I am checking my word file right now and it is 5620 words/14 pages long. If you read them all, you should have a very decent understanding of how the spells of an Arcane Mage work. But now it’s time to put them next to each other and form a more extended priority list, including all talents that we can possibly have selected. To organize this I did something I really dislike, but it also makes the whole process far easier. I translated the Simcraft APL into a priority list.
    As you should already know, the arcane rotation/priority list resolves around the Burn Phase and Conserve phase. The first question is: When do I burn? A good explanation is given here: http://altered-time.com/forum/viewto...start=40#p6338 but as mentioned before in this guide, the main factor of you deciding to Burn is your Evocation cooldown. You need to know how long it will take until your mana is at the evocating point (which is 50%) and this only comes with practice.

    Conserve Phase
    • Remain within your Rune of Power if you selected it as your level 90 talent.
    • Cast Mirror Images
    • Cast Nether Tempest at 4 Arcane Charges if you selected it as your level 75 talent.
    • Cast Supernova if you selected it as your level 75 talent. Keep in mind to cast it at high stacks of Incanter Flows if that was your level 90 talent choice and to pool 1 charge if the cooldown of Prismatic Crystal + 10 seconds is smaller than 25 seconds.
    • Cast Arcane Missiles when you have 3 stacks of Arcane Missiles!.
    • Cast Arcane Orb if you have less than 2 stacks of Arcane Charges.
    (In general you will never find yourself in a situation with 3 Arcane Missiles! Stacks and you being under 2 stacks of Arcane Charge. If that happens it’s because of a mistake. Then you still do NOT want to sit at 3 Arcane Missiles! Stacks.)
    • Cast Arcane Missiles when you have 3 stacks of Arcane Missiles!.
    • Cast Arcane Blast when you are over 93% mana and you do NOT have 3 stacks of Arcane Missiles!.
    • Cast Arcane Missiles at 4 stacks of Arcane Charges.
    • Cast Arcane Barrage if you have 4 stacks of Arcane Charges and no Arcane Missiles! Procs, and your mana is under 93%. This resets the cycle.
    • Cast Arcane Blast to build up Arcane Charges.

    Burn Phase
    • Remain within your Rune of Power if you selected it as your level 90 talent.
    • Cast Mirror Images
    • Cast Arcane Power
    • Cast Arcane Missiles when you have 3 stacks of Arcane Missiles!.
    • Cast Nether Tempest at 4 Arcane Charges if you selected it as your level 75 talent.
    • Cast Supernova if you selected it as your level 75 talent. Keep in mind to cast it at high stacks of Incanter Flows if that was your level 90 talent choice and to pool 1 charge if the cooldown of Prismatic Crystal + 10 seconds is smaller than 25 seconds. Make sure you are never at 2 stacks of the charge.
    • Cast Arcane Orb if you have under 4 stacks of Arcane Charge.
    • Cast Arcane Missiles at 4 Stacks of Arcane Charge.
    • Cast Arcane Blast at 4 stacks of Arcane Charge and when you have more than 50% mana.
    • Cast Arcane Blast to build up charges as you are burning.
    As mentioned before you terminate the Burn Phase by evocating. Make sure to Evocate at 4 Arcane Charges and Interrupt your evocation when you reach 93% mana. The reason for this point is that then you can proceed by conserving and casting Arcane Blast at 93% mana.
    As you might have noticed Prismatic Crystal misses from this priority list. That is because Prismatic Crystal holds a very special place. It is part of the Burn Phase but you slightly alter your Actions to fit it in.
    When you select your prismatic Crystal your Burn Phases are starting with it and you being at 4 Arcane Charges and having just activated Arcane Power.
    Prismatic Crystal Phase
    • Cast Nether Tempest at 4 Arcane Charges (1st cast)
    • Cast Supernova once (twice if possible which is generally only on the opener)
    • Cast Presence of Mind followed by Arcane Blast.
    • Cast Arcane Missiles
    • Cast Arcane Blast
    Never, ever, ever Arcane Barrage on a Prismatic Crystal as your crystal is used during the Burn Phase. Bad idea to do that.
    And finally: The opener!
    Opener
    Pre-pull:
    • Precast Rune of Power
    • Prepot and begin casting Arcane Blast.
    Pull:
    • Cast Arcane Orb if you selected it as your level 100 talent.
    • Build up to 4 Arcane Charges using Arcane Blast.
    • Start your Prismatic Crystal Phase if you selected it as your level 100 talent.
    • End the burn phase that follows.
    • Conserve

    Rinse and repeat.

    X - Not Quite The End
    After having read this guide, you now know how each of your spells work and what the combinations of your spells are. I tried to be quite detailed, however I cannot go into every single different aspect of the spec. If you have any questions about a specific situation, feel free to ask! Due to the sheer enormity of choice that there is, I might have forgotten certain parts that are important.
    I have now updated it with Highmaul specific knowledge. However due to a broken arm most of my guide is a result of Simulationcraft and logic/asking people. So there might be a few mistakes here and there. If there are feel free to point them out.
    Changelog:
    13/10/14 - added a line recommending gems.
    1/11/15 – Update.
    Last edited by Berlinia; 2015-01-17 at 12:29 AM.
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    Mages are amazing. Always.

  2. #2
    Very pleasant read, thank you Berlinia.

  3. #3
    You're welcome Knupzz
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    Mages are amazing. Always.

  4. #4
    Indeed, thank you very much for the work, I plan to switch to arcane and this will help a lot

  5. #5
    After reading this guide, i was like: "HELL! Im gonna be an Arcane Mage" ... after i noticed that there is no reforging and im sitting here in full 588ilvl Crit/haste gear after the patch ... i was more like... fuck Blizz...

    Nice guide... i think ill switch to arcane for the first tiers in WoD

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Mûe View Post
    After reading this guide, i was like: "HELL! Im gonna be an Arcane Mage" ... after i noticed that there is no reforging and im sitting here in full 588ilvl Crit/haste gear after the patch ... i was more like... fuck Blizz...

    Nice guide... i think ill switch to arcane for the first tiers in WoD
    I am here after all to convert all of you into "real" mages
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    Mages are amazing. Always.

  7. #7
    On beta arcane barrage has no SP scaling, why is that? Is it going to be fixed? It seems better to stay full stacks and spam arcane blast, than spend them on barrage, which crits like non crit ice lance without shatter.

    And what is with prysmatic crystal/supernova? In pvp prysmatic crystal > supernova > supernova can do crtis for 2x 200+k dmg within two globals. and barrage seems to be least damaging spell.

  8. #8
    I am not sure if Arcane Barrage has 0 SP scaling, but if that's the case it will be hotfixed asap.
    How is Prismatic Crystal > supernova when they are on different talent rows?
    Or do you mean that castinc PC followed by double SN deals 2x 200k damage? If that's the case then I doubt it is true. prolly a bug if you have experienced it.
    Barrage is indeed a low damaging spell in comparison to AB or AM, but it's main function isn't to deal damage but to reset the Burn/Conserve cycle.
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    Mages are amazing. Always.

  9. #9
    Yes, casting PC, followed by double SN deals 2x 200+k damage to players in pvp, that is considered to be one shot rotation in WoD as arcane, which is kind of OP and at the same time very boring.

    "Barrage is indeed a low damaging spell in comparison to AB or AM, but it's main function isn't to deal damage but to reset the Burn/Conserve cycle."
    Awkward to hear. During MoP it was pretty much chaos bolt for mages, which dealt 170-250k damage in pvp.

    Off-topic. Chaos bolt deals ~45k damage, so considering players have 300k hp pools, you need 7-8 chaos bolts to kill someone(up from 2-3)
    Last edited by Neurocist; 2014-10-13 at 01:10 PM.

  10. #10
    Very, very good and detailed guide. I've been playing arcane for most of this expansion and been having a blast most of the time. WoD changes to the spec looks very promising and will likely add to an already fun and challenging playstyle.

    Thanks to your early guide you clarified a number of issues I was uncertain of. See you in Draenor.

  11. #11

  12. #12
    I know how Arcane Barrage was in MoP .... Oh these 2.5 million Arcane Barrage crits! But yea they have changed it's function in WoD.
    Interesting video's. To be honest with you, I don't do PvP, but these crits do not happen in PvE ever! I suspect it's a bug concernign the hitting low level targets damage increase and polymorph!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Trylldom View Post
    Very, very good and detailed guide. I've been playing arcane for most of this expansion and been having a blast most of the time. WoD changes to the spec looks very promising and will likely add to an already fun and challenging playstyle.

    Thanks to your early guide you clarified a number of issues I was uncertain of. See you in Draenor.
    Thank you sir! And see you in Draenor indeed!
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    Mages are amazing. Always.

  13. #13
    Regarding rotation and mana, you recommend clearing at 93% mana but in 660 gear I am finding that my mana is capped and "wasting" regen if I do 2 or more AM! casts in a row before clearing. I feel like casting another AB after AM! or in-between AM! casts is clunky and usually brings me down to <90% mana.

    What I have been testing is dipping down to 85% mana before clearing if I have more 2 or more AM! to cast and this brings me up to 97/98% mana by the time I finish the GCD on AB and start casting the first AB.

    My question is: should I even be worried about "wasted" mana regen during multiple AM! casts?

    When consuming 3x AM! I have started casting an AB after the second one followed by the third and a clear - I believe this is the ideal way to handle 3x AM! situations, but am curious about 2x AM! situations.


    Does anyone have access to a mastery chart for bonus damage = mana percentage%? Pref broken down by percentage (95%=x, 94%=y, 90%=z).
    Last edited by Phovos; 2014-10-13 at 06:13 PM. Reason: I meant 660 gear.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aerias View Post
    Go play spam-tard Glad spec if you want to act like your keyboard is a piano. Arms finally has its soul back.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Phovos View Post
    Does anyone have access to a mastery chart for bonus damage = mana percentage%? Pref broken down by percentage (95%=x, 94%=y, 90%=z). Pardon me if this is now simplified - I haven't played arcane since ulduar.
    That's simple: Mastery/mana% = extra damage.

    Keep in mind this guide is for T17, not T16! aka level 100
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  15. #15
    So do you feel that it is going to be necessary to do the burn/conserve phase for SOO in 6.0? With our 2 and 4 sets, it seems more beneficial to stay at 4 stacks as long as possible like we do now. Now that we can bank 3 missile procs as well, it makes it much easier to stay at a higher percentage.I know it will be near impossible to stay at 4 stacks the entire fight, but is this playstyle still recommended for SOO?

  16. #16
    In your guide you recommend evocating once you drop under 50% mana. But evocation with 4 stacks restores 80% mana, so why not go lower into the 20% - 25% range ?

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by bobkin View Post
    So do you feel that it is going to be necessary to do the burn/conserve phase for SOO in 6.0? With our 2 and 4 sets, it seems more beneficial to stay at 4 stacks as long as possible like we do now. Now that we can bank 3 missile procs as well, it makes it much easier to stay at a higher percentage.I know it will be near impossible to stay at 4 stacks the entire fight, but is this playstyle still recommended for SOO?
    Not sure, I assume burning will have it's benefits.

    In your guide you recommend evocating once you drop under 50% mana. But evocation with 4 stacks restores 80% mana, so why not go lower into the 20% - 25% range ?
    Because then you spend too many casts on low mana. And you can always interrupt evocation midway!
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  18. #18
    @Phovos, I'm glad you brought up "wasting regen" since this is a common misconception based on energy classes. Capping mana while using AM at 4 stacks isn't a bad thing, it just means your AM will hit for full potential, you want this to happen. The only time that mana capping is an issue is if it happens at 3 stacks or less, even then it isn't huge if you mana cap at the tail end of a 3 charge cast, since you are gaining 100% benefit from your mastery. It's when you mana cap at the beginning of a cast that you start losing dps potential for it.

    @Bobkin, burn conserve will be an increase in 6.0 under the right conditions. How realistic those conditions are at the moment is unknown but I will be doing testing on it extensively the first week of the patch. For now we know for sure that pure conserve is a safe bet and can safely be used as the rotation to maintain high dps.
    Last edited by voltaa; 2014-10-13 at 07:35 PM.
    [CENTER]

  19. #19
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    Im sure its been posted / asked for 100 times, but I cannot for the life of me find weighted stats for 6.0 to save my life ( At level 90 ). Can someone either post them here or link me to them? I've tried running my own sims but my results seem insanely off ( 1 int being worth less than 1 Crit/Mastery/Haste etc ). Sorry!

  20. #20
    We don't have accurate stat weights for 90 and it's not likely that we will get them.
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