Binkenstein’s Condensed Caster Compendium: Arcane Mage
by, 11-01-2013 at 03:24 AM (14909 Views)
Welcome to the first of what will hopefully be many short & concise guides for PvE Casters. These guides will cover gearing & rotation basics, but won’t go into the sort of detail that results in gear or trinket lists.
This guide will cover Arcane Mages, who balance consuming more mana against a damage bonus based on how full their mana bar is.
I will try to refrain from using abbreviations, but there are some terms that should be specified.
Unless otherwise mentioned, any reference to “stacks” refers to the number of charges of Arcane Charge.
Spells, Buffs & Passives
Alter Time Short duration cooldown
Arcane Barrage Charge consumer & cleave damage
Arcane Blast Basic damage spell
Arcane Charge One of three resources for Arcane Mages to manage
Arcane Missiles Zero cost damage spell, only castable when the Arcane Missiles! proc is up, consuming one stack per cast.
Evocation Mana restore ability. Can be modified by Tier 6 talents
Mage Armor The recommended armor spell for Arcane, increasing mastery by 3000
Mastery: Mana Adept Increases damage up to 16% (plus 1% per 300 mastery) based on current mana levels.
Nether Attunement Increases mana regen based on haste.
Slow Reduces target movement speed, and increases cast time by 50%
Stats & Gearing
Note: These are some rough numbers taken from Simulationcraft, using the T14H profile. Your individual stat ways may be different.
The priority goes as follows: Intellect > Spellpower > Hit > Mastery = Haste > Crit. Ideally Haste & Mastery should be treated the same when it comes to evaluating gear, but for gems, enchants, etc choose Mastery over Haste.
- Intellect: 4.6
- Spell Power: 3.7
- Crit Rating: 2.0
- Haste Rating: 2.4
- Hit Rating: 3.2
- Mastery Rating: 2.4
Single Target Rotation
There are two reasons why Arcane Missiles is used when under 5 Arcane Charges with two stacks of Arcane Missiles!: there is a 30% chance that another Arcane Missiles buff will be generated on the last Arcane Blast, and using Arcane Missiles before 6 stacks allows for more mana to be restored, improving both your Mastery: Mana Adept bonus and how long you can continue to cast Arcane Blast while at 6 stacks before using Arcane Barrage . This results in a ~2% DPS increase over saving all Arcane Missiles! buffs for use at 6 stacks.
- Arcane Missiles IF Arcane Missiles! = 2 AND Arcane Charge <5
- Nether Tempest (or Mage Bomb of your choice)
- Arcane Missiles IF Arcane Missiles! > 0 AND Arcane Charge = 6
- Mana Gem IF Mana < 83%
- Arcane Barrage IF Mana < 83%
- Arcane Blast
Multi Target Rotation (2-4 targets)
The goal here is to get as many Arcane Barrages cast as possible, which means never saving Arcane Missiles! buffs. Since it casts copies of the spell at additional targets for 50% damage, you only need to get a charge stack one less than the number of targets.
- Cast Nether Tempest on all targets
- Arcane Missiles IF Arcane Missiles! > 0
- Arcane Barrage IF Arcane Charge > # Targets - 1 OR Mana <83%
- Arcane Blast
Most of your damage here will come from Arcane Explosion, which has a 30% chance to generate an Arcane Charge. We can use Arcane Missiles to speed up the charge acquisition, and thus Arcane Barrage use, increasing overall damage.
- Mage Bomb IF you have Frost Bomb
- Arcane Missiles IF Arcane Missiles! > 0 AND # Targets < # Arcane Charge + 3
- Arcane Barrage IF Arcane Charge = 6
- Arcane Explosion
Note: The AoE damage from Nether Tempest & Living Bomb is less than Arcane Explosion, which keeps these two spells for single target & cleave damage only. Frost Bomb deals more (which is offset by the cooldown), but don’t use Fire Blast to trigger the explosion early.
There are few options for Arcane when it comes to mobile DPS. The important thing is to minimise time spent moving.
- Use Presence of Mind or Ice Floes if talented
- Refresh your Mage Bomb
- Cast Arcane Barrage
- Cast Scorch if talented
Arcane Power Use prior to activating Alter Time, or when Arcane Charge >3. Can be glyphed to double the duration & cooldown. This will increase the mana drain when it is up but with proper use it will be available to sync with Alter Time without the glyph.
Alter Time: use if Arcane Missiles! =2 AND Arcane Charge = 6.
It is important to avoid casting Arcane Barrage just after Alter Time expires. To this end, it may be useful cancelling Alter Time early to cast the second pair of Arcane Missiles.
Mirror Image: use on cooldown.
Is not affected by damage buffs, but uses the casters character sheet for stats which means that temporary stat buffs like potions & trinkets will affect it.
The talents taken for these tiers are largely dependant on personal choices and particular encounter requirements.
Tier 5: Mage Bombs - Living Bomb vs Nether Tempest
While Living Bomb has a slightly higher DPET (damage per execute time), Nether Tempest is the better option to take as it results in higher DPS overall. This is because both spells cost the same mana, but with Living Bomb having a 1 second GCD, it consumes mana faster.
Tier 6: Evocation Modifiers
Invocation & Rune of Power are the two possible choices for this tier. Note Invocation is being modified slightly in 5.2, but this should not change the recommendations.
5.1 Invocation lowers the Evocation cooldown to 10 seconds but halves your passive regen. Each completed Evocation gives you a 25% damage buff for 40 seconds.
5.2 Invocation removes the Evocation cooldown & halves the channelling time. Each completed Evocation gives you a 15% damage buff for 1 minute, during which your passive mana regen is halved.
Rune of Power goes completely to passive regen, removing Evocation completely and replacing it with a castable Rune which lasts for one minute. When you stand in it, you gain 15% damage and your mana regen is increased by 75%. Mana management with Rune of Power is all about using Arcane Barrage to clear your Arcane Charge stack. This allows for the passive regen to refill your mana, as it is greater than your mana consumption with 0-2 stacks of Arcane Charge.
Invocation heads in the other direction, pushing mostly towards active regen. This means you need to balance your mana burn with the time spent casting Evocation, especially as a full cast is required for the damage buff.
Of the two I would recommend Rune of Power, especially as your Mastery levels increase, as it keeps your mana levels higher, and thusly keeps your Mastery: Mana Adept bonus higher.
Glyph of Arcane Explosion Only useful for AoE situations where the targets are loosely stacked in an area more than 20 yards across. Situational
Glyph of Arcane Power Doubles cooldown & duration. Only useful to sync with Alter Time, but it should sync anyway if you use it on time. Optional
Glyph of Evocation Adds health regen to Evocation and Rune of Power. Recommended
Glyph of Mana Gem Increases Mana Gem from 3 to 10 charges. Useful both for fights longer than 6 minutes. Recommended
Glyph of Polymorph Handy for crowd control situations where your target may be affected by DoTs. Optional
Glyph of Slow Mostly useful when solo. Optional
Glyph of Discreet Magic Useful for reducing the chance other targets will be hit by Arcane Barrage or Nether Tempest Optional
Glyph of Loose Mana Reduces the chance for losing mana when using Gems. Also means they can be used sooner. Recommended
Nether Attunement increases your regen by your haste value, eg: 15% haste = 1.15 multiplier. This applies to passive regen (which has a base of 15,000 every 5 seconds), Evocation and Mana Gem.
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