Arcane Mage PvP in Warlords of Draenor
Updated for Warlords of Draenor
Also see our post on the Mage Changes in Warlords of Draenor for all the new, removed, and changed stuff.
Arcane used to be the glass cannon spec of mages, capable of putting out extreme amounts of damage in a very short period of time, but also the most susceptible to being killed in a swift burst due to a lack of survivability tools or escape mechanisms.
Arcane’s greatest strength is in a battleground when it’s allowed to cast uninterrupted. Stay in groups and pick your fights. Battlegrounds will be “Hard Mode” for you, for when you’re bored with Frost. In the Arenas you will need to be very good, very lucky, or have a high tolerance for pain.
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Some Warlords Changes for Arcane
For all of the changes to Mage sin Warlords see this post. What’s below is just a few selected items.
- Alter Time and Mirror Image are now talents.
- Presence of Mind and Evocation are now exclusively Arcane.
- Temporal Shield, Incanter’s Ward, and Invocation are replaced and dead.
- Arcane Barrage replaces Fire Blast for Arcane Mages. You never used FB anyway, right?
- Arcane Blast now replaces Frostfire Bolt for Arcane Mages.
- Arcane Explosion is now available only to Arcane Mages, making it a bit harder for other Mages to slaughter mass quantities of lower level dungeon trash.
- Mage Armor is now a passive effect and is available only to Arcane Mages. Other armors are not available to you.
Arcane Mage PvP Build
Tier 1 Talents:
- Evanesce – Avoid all incoming attacks for three seconds. It does nothing for DOTs, debuffs, or any other effects already on you (unlike Ice Block.) The 45 seconds cooldown isn’t bad, though.
- Blazing Speed: A nice escape from snares and movement buff (even if it’s a brief one.) It’ll save your Blink for other uses. Added mobility.
- Ice Floes – Cast up to three spells while moving. 20 second recharge.
Tier 2 Talents
- Alter TIme – Walk back up to ten seconds of time. Nice for avoiding traps, situations, damage, etc.
- Flameglow: Deflects some of any incoming damage. Best use if you’re talking a lot of small hits, such as from DOTs.
- Ice Barrier – A nice basic shield. Throw it up and forget about it for a minute.
Tier 3 Talents
This one really depends on your game. Fighting groups? Then Ring. Duels Vs casters? Frostjaw. Melee? Iceward.
- Ring of Frost – nice for blocking pathways or freezing groups.
- Ice Ward – We’re not healers and aren’t usually in charge of protecting allies, nice for kiting opponents, though.
- Frostjaw – Silence, root, and Freeze all in one. Very useful. better for 1 vs 1 than Ring.
Tier 4 Talents
So how do you want to avoid your damage, today?
- Greater Invisibility – Fade away, remove two DoTs, and escape.This has definite use. A nice “get out of Dodge” talent.
- Cauterize – Nice if a healer is keeping an eye on you or you remember to ice block right away (to remove the burn.)
- Coldsnap – nice for the smallish emergency heal and/or refreshing cooldowns, such as your Presence of Mind. 3 min cooldown, though.
Tier 5 Talents
You only have access to the one Bomb in Warlords, but the other two talents are pretty cool.
- Nether Tempest – Does added damage per Arcane Charge. Damages the main target over 12 seconds and other targets within ten yards.
- Unstable Magic gives your Arcane blast a 30% chance to explode on impact, doing more damage to the main target and also damaging all other targets within 8 yards. A nice passive effect that you don’t have to set up.
- Supernova – 300% (of your spellpower) damage to the main target and 200% to all other targets within 8 yards. It also knocks your opponents skywards. Two charges with a 25 second recharge and it replaces your Frost Nova.
Tier 6 Talents
- Mirror Images – Three copies of you start blasting away, which is pretty nice for some added burst every two min.
- Rune of Power: Cast a Rune, stand on it, blast away with increased power. Not so hot for PvP where a lot of movement is required.
- Incanter’s Flow gives you a buff which cycles from 4% to 20% increased damage in 5 seconds, then back to 4% in 5 seconds and so on. Ten seconds peak to peak or min to min. Time it with your “burn phase” for added destruction.
Tier 7 Talents
Longer Arcane power or more arcane charges?
- Overpowered: Casting your Arcane Missiles extends your Arcane Power by 2 seconds.
- Prismatic Crystal puts a crystal at the targeted location. Only you can attack it and it takes 130% damage from your attacks. Any time it takes damage it instantly releases that damage, splitting it evenly among all enemies within 8 yards. The only problem is that your enemies have to stay in one place for the duration. This will happen is some BGs (such as on flags in AB or the center in Eye of the Storm,) but in duelas or arenas or other BGs? Not so much.
- Arcane Orb: Your Arcane Orb travels up to 40 yards doing damage to everything it passes through and it generates an Arcane Charge every time it does damage.
Arcane Mage PvP Glyphs
These are changed like talents. Drag a new glyph onto your glyph slot, pay the Tome, and you’re set. This makes it easy to set up your glyphs for the situation you’re facing.
More or less in order of interest.
- Glyph of Arcane Power – double the power and double the cooldown time (to 3 min.)
- Glyph of Slow – Your Arcane Blast now slows targets.
- Glyph of Ice Block – Nice to have when people are camping your Ice Block, waiting for it to break.
- Glyph of Cone of Cold – A lot more C of C damage.
- Glyph of Counterspell – Use it while moving or casting, but you get a 4 second longer cooldown.
- Glyph of Polymorph – removes all DOTs from the target, allowing your Poly to stick.
- Glyph of Remove Curse – Gives you an excuse to remove more curses, since you get a damage boost after doing so.
- Glyph of Arcane Explosion – larger area of effect radius.
- Glyph of Momentum – Blink in the direction that you’re moving, rather than facing. Makes kiting and positioning a bit easier.
- Glyph of Rapid Teleportation – Quality of life, move quickly after teleporting.
Arcane Stats for PvP
Warlords note: Hit, Expertise, Resilience, PvP Power, and Reforging are all dead. Int does not add to Crit, but you start out with a base of 5% to make up for that. You have two new stats, Multistrike and Versatility.
- Primary stats: Int > Mastery > Haste = Multistrike > Critical > Versatility
Mastery helps to pump out even more damage. Anything that can help you quickly regain mana, such as potions, will help take advantage of your Mastery.
Haste speeds up everything you do, including cast times. Pile it on, after Mastery.
Multistrike gives you a chance at one or two additional copies of your attack, at 30% power. These strikes can crit.
Crit is hardly a bad stat, it’s just that the others are better. You have nothing that procs off of crit.
Versatility adds to your damage and to your defense. Again, it’s not bad but the others are better.
Stacking stats will be done mainly through gear choices and enchanting. Gem slots are rare. Reforging is gone.
Arcane Mage Gems
Some warlords Notes:
- Gems sockets are actually few and far between, especiallu on PvP gear. Currently none are actually available, but perhaps they will be as the expansion progresses. They have a (small) random chance to appear on Raid gear, so perhaps they’ll also appear on PvP gear.
- The gem themselves are actually available. They are all prismatic, meaning they fit into any socket. None have Int, they all have secondary stats (Mastery, etc.) Apparently there are no Meta sockets or gems.
- Older (Mists of Pandaria) gems work until item level 600, but the item squish cut them down a bit. What used to be 160 Int is now 10, for example. The new Prismatic gems are 50 points of Mastery or whatever.
- Older gems (Mists of Pandaria and lower) that used to code for Hit now do Crit, gems that had Expertise are now Haste.
So, Assuming the gems actually become available for level 100 PvP…
Visit our gold guide for tips on how you can afford to gem up if gold is a bit short.
Gems for offensive use on gear under iLevel 600.
- Meta: Burning Primal Diamond – Some like the gem with the reduction to silence duration: Forlorn Primal Diamond
- Red socket: Brilliant Primordial Ruby
- Yellow: Artful Vermilion Onyx
- Blue: Mysterious Imperial Amethyst or Sensei’s Wild Jade
- Belt and Blacksmithing sockets:Brilliant Primordial Ruby
|Various Gems for Arcane PvP Use.|
|Meta||Burning Primal Diamond: +14 Int & 3% Increased Crit Effect
Forlorn Primal Diamond: +14 Intellect and 10% Silence Reduction
|Red||Brilliant Primordial Ruby: 10 Int|
|Yellow||Quick Sun’s Radiance: +20 Haste
Fractured Sun’s Radiance: +20 Mastery
|Blue||Rigid River’s Heart: +20 Crit|
|Orange||Reckless Vermilion Onyx: 5 Int, 10 Haste
Artful Vermilion Onyx: +5 Int & +10 Mastery
|Green||Sensei’s Wild Jade: +10 Crit and +10 Mastery|
|Purple||Veiled Imperial Amethyst: 5 Int and 10 Crit|
|Prismatic||Greater Multistrike Taladite: +50 MultiStrike
Multistrike Taladite: +35 Multistrike
Greater Mastery Taladite: +50 Mastery
Mastery Taladite: +35 Mastery
Greater Haste Taladite: +50 Haste
Haste Taladite: +35 Haste
|Cogwheel||Requires an engie helm, such as this.
Quick Tinker’s Gear: 38 Haste
Smooth Tinker’s Gear: 38 Crit
Fractured Tinker’s Gear: 38 Mastery
Warlords Notes: There are no head enchants, all shoulder enchants come from the Inscription profession and are only for items under items level 600. There are new enchants for Neck, Cloak, Weapons, and your Rings. Not for any other pieces. (Not yet, anyway.)
As with the gems, the new enchants only carry the secondary stats: Mastery, etc.
Short on gold? If you want to buy the best enchants, fund all of your alts, donate to the guild, etc., but don’t have the cash, then see what the Tycoon Addon can do about about fixing your poverty.
|Various Caster Enchantments|
Main & Off-Hand
|Shoulders||Greater Crane Wing Inscription: +15 Int and 5 Crit|
|Chest||Enchant Chest – Glorious Stats: +9 to all Stats|
|Bracers||Enchant Bracer – Super Intellect: +15 Int
Enchant Bracer – Mastery: +25 Mastery
|Gloves||Enchant Gloves – Superior Mastery: +25 Mastery|
|Belt||Livingsteel Belt Buckle: Gem slot for a nice Int gem|
|Leggings||Greater Cerulean Spellthread: +19 Int and +11 Crit|
|Boots||Enchant Boots – Pandaren’s Step: +10 Mastery, slight run speed increase.
Enchant Boots – Greater Haste: +12 Haste
Professions for Arcane Mages
Warlords Notes: The BIG change to professions in Warlords? No more profession bonuses. No more extra gem sockets, not more Int enchants to cloaks, etc. You will not have to go to a trainer to get your skill cap raised to 700, as you’ll find it on a scroll while questing. You willstill have to learn recipes and actually raise your skill.
Best professions now? Tailoring for the high level gear, Inscription for starter end-game weapons, Engineering for useful toys (most of which don’t work in Arena or RBGs.)
|Tailoring||Make your gear.|
|Leatherworking||Noting here, move along.|
|Jewelcrafting||Make pretty things, neck items, rings, mounts, etc.|
|Enchanting||Make things glow.|
|Inscription||Glyphs, caster items, darkmoon cards, fortune cards, some other stuff.|
|Alchemy||Nothing interest here, move along. Well, Ok, you can make useful potions & chemicals.|
|Engineering||Blow things up, glide, run faster. Make a small fortune, if you start with a large one.|
|Blacksmithing||Nothing here except for maybe a couple of weapons.|
|Skinning||For the gold and leatherworking|
|Herbalism||For the gold or Inscription or Alchemy.|
|Mining||For the Gold or for Blacksmithing.|
Races for the PvP Arcane Mage
Note that race is not a replacement for skill, but some races have certain advantages. Less so in Warlords, now that racials with Hit or Expertise are gone.
Best race? Draenei for the +Int, Humans for Versatility & Escape, Orcs and Trolls for the burst.
- Humans: Escape ability allows use of two DPS trinkets. Added Versatility.
- Gnome: Decent escape, bigger mana pool, small size helps (really.) +1% Haste.
- Night Elves: A bit harder to hit. Shadowmeld can be very useful for either lurking in ambush or breaking incoming spells (if you time it right.) Slightly faster running, +1% Crit by day which becomes +1% Haste at night.
- Dwarves: Ability washes away bleeds and take less damage, +2% extra crit damage.
- Draenei: + to your Int and a small heal.
- Worgen: +1% crit is just Ok, Sprint-like ability is useful.
- Orcs: Blood Fury for increased burst, stun resistance.
- Undead: Remove Fear, Sleep, and Charm. Drain life (and heal for the amount drained.) Eat slain players. Underwater breathing.
- Trolls: Berserk increases casting speed, less affected by roots & slows. Extra XP from beast slaying.
- Goblins: 1% Haste is nice, Rocket Jump is a nice escape (like a cheap “Blink.”
- Blood Elves: Arcane Torrent restores some mana, but you hardly have mana issues. It also briefly silences casters. +1% Crit.
- Tauren don’t believe in Magery.
- Pandaren can join either side, take less falling damage, have a melee range stun, and get better food buffs.
Note that Pandarens get twice the food buff. All food buffs last one hour.
- Mogu Fish Stew: 34 Int
- Steamed Crab Surprise: 34 Spirit
- Braised Turtle: 31 Int
- Fire Spirit Salmon: 31 Spirit
- Flask of the Warm Sun: 114 Int for an hour.
- Potion of the Jade Serpent: 456 Int for 25 seconds. If you pop one immediately before combat you will be able to pop another during combat.
- Master Healing Potion: Heals 12k HP
- Master Mana Potion: About 6k Mana
How to: Arcane PvP Videos
Arcane Mage in BGs. Some comments on talents, abilities, and diatribes against Feral Druids, along with lots of random blather. He gets some kills, though.
Arcane Mage in Arena
No commentary, but it’s fairly clear what’s going on.
The Burst macro:
- #showtooltip Arcane Power
- /cast Arcane Power
- /use Malevolent Gladiator’s Badge of Dominance
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