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Arcane Mage Class Guide
The Gotwarcraft Arcane Mage Guide
for Cataclysm

 

Important Update:

  1. This page has been updated for Cataclysm 4.3, but will not be updated further.
  2. For more up to date guides, including into Mists of Pandaria and beyond, see the followng pages:
  3. This page has been updated for Cata 4.3, but will not be updated further. If you have links to this page please update them to the new pages. The builds on this page will be obsolete in M of P.
  4. Eventually this page will be redirected to one of the newer pages, but until then will remain as is.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled guide:

 

Contents

Arcane Mage

Mage Guides

 

This guide is simply intended to provide a general overview of the Arcane Mage spec.

For a more in-depth and highly detailed resource on everything Mage related, from leveling to PvP to Raiding to earning gold, check out the Killer Guides Mage guide.

 

The Arcane Mage

Arcane Mages represent massive and continued burst DPS so far as mages go, even surpassing that of the much vaunted Ffire Mage once you obtain the proper gear.

All is not lost, with proper control, skills, and of course gear, Arcane can still succeed quite nicely at brining the pain in PvP, earlier raid instances, and much more so on into the later end raiding game.

Nerfage and Buffage

With new expansions, patches, hotfixes, etc., the exact capability of any particular class or spec if going to vary. One day you're God Mode, the next... We'll put up solid info on this page and let others fight about the Flavor of the Minute.

 

If you like this guide how about sharing it?

Thanks!

 

 

Arcane Mage Class Guide

Arcane Mage Talent Builds

With WoW 4.0 you pick your spec and spend 31 points in that spec before moving into the other specs. Your starting abilities, when you choose Arcane, are:

  • Arcane Barrage - Lob bolts of arcane energy at the opponent
  • Arcane Specialization - 25% increased arcane damage
  • Mastery: Mana Adept - Increased spell damage based on unspent mana.

 

Cataclysm Arcane Mage PVE Build (33/5/3)

Arcane (33 Points)
  1. Arcane Concentration - Rank 3/3 - Gives you a 10% chance of entering a Clearcasting state after any damage spell hits a target. The Clearcasting state reduces the mana cost of your next damage spell by 100%.
  2. Netherwind Presence - Rank 3/3 - Increases your spell haste by 3%.

  3. Torment the Weak - Rank 3/3 - Your Arcane damage spells deal 6% more damage to snared or slowed targets.
  4. Improved Arcane Missiles - Rank 2/2 - Increases the number of missiles fired by your Arcane Missiles spell by 2.
  5. Improved Blink - Rank 2/2 - Increases your speed by 70% for 3 sec after casting the Blink spell. This is a nice increase in mobility.

  6. Arcane Flows - Rank 2/2 - Reduces the cooldown of your Presence of Mind, Arcane Power and Invisibility spells by 25% and the cooldown of your Evocation spell by 2 min.
  7. Presence of Mind - Rank 1/1 - When activated, your next Mage spell with a casting time less than 10 sec becomes an instant cast spell.
  8. Missile Barrage - Rank 2/2 - Your Arcane Missiles spell will fire its missiles every 0.5 sec.
  9. Prismatic Cloak - Rank 3/3 - Reduces all damage taken by 6% and reduces the fade time of your Invisibility spell by 3 sec. With this talent your Invis. now works much like a Rogue's "Vanish."

  10. Arcane Tactics - Rank 1/1 - Increases the damage of all party and raid members within 100 yards by 3%.
  11. Incanter's Absorption - Rank 2/2 - When your Mana Shield or Mage Ward absorbs damage your spell damage is increased by 20% of the amount absorbed for 10 sec. In addition, when your Mana Shield is destroyed, all enemies within 6 yards are knocked back 12 yards.

  12. Arcane Potency - Rank 2/2 - Increases the critical strike chance of your next two damaging spells by 15% after gaining Clearcasting or Presence of Mind.
  13. Slow - Rank 1/1 - Reduces target's movement speed by 60%, increases the time between ranged attacks by 60% and increases casting time by 30%. Lasts 15 sec. Slow can only affect one target at a time.
  14. Nether Vortex - Rank 2/2 - Gives your Arcane Blast spell a 100% chance to apply the Slow spell to any target it damages if no target is currently affected by Slow.

  15. Focus Magic - Rank 1/1 - Increases the target's chance to critically hit with spells by 3% for 30 min. When the target critically hits your chance to critically hit with spells is increased by 3% for 10 sec. Cannot be cast on self. Limit 1 target.
  16. Improved Mana Gem - Rank 2/2 - Mana gained from your Mana Gem also increases your spell power by 2% of your maximum mana for 10 seconds.

  17. Arcane Power - Rank 1/1 - When activated, you deal 20% more spell damage but spells cost 10% more mana to cast. This effect lasts 15 sec.
Fire (5 Points)
  1. Master of Elements - Rank 2/2 - Your spell criticals will refund 30% of their base mana cost.
  2. Burning Soul - Rank 3/3 - Reduces the casting time lost from taking damaging attacks by 70%.
Frost (3 Points)
  1. Piercing Ice - Rank 3/3 - Increases the critical strike chance of your spells by 3%.
Glyphs
  1. Glyph of Mage Armor (Prime Glyph) - Your Mage Armor regenerates 20% more mana.
  2. Glyph of Arcane Blast (Prime Glyph) - Increases the damage from your Arcane Blast buff by 3%.
  3. Glyph of Arcane Missiles (Prime Glyph) - Increases the critical strike chance of your Arcane Missiles spell by 5%.

  4. Glyph of Arcane Power (Major Glyph) - While Arcane Power is active the global cooldown of your Blink, Mana Shield, and Mirror Image is reduced to zero.
  5. Glyph of Evocation (Major Glyph) - Your Evocation ability also causes you to regain 40% of your health over its duration.
  6. Glyph of Polymorph (Major Glyph) - Your Polymorph spell also removes all damage over time effects from the target.

  7. Glyph of Mirror Image (Minor Glyph) - Your Mirror Images cast Arcane Blast or Fireball instead of Frostbolt depending on your primary talent tree.
  8. Glyph of Conjuring (Minor Glyph) - Reduces the mana cost of your Conjuring spells by 50%.
  9. Glyph of Armors (Minor Glyph) - Increases the duration of your Armor spells by 30 min.

 

 

 

Arcane Mage Class Guide

Cataclysm Arcane Mage PvP Build

For PvP Frost is the way to go, Arcane (Fire, too) is "hard mode." Some people like hard mode. Do you? If you do, then here's a build for you.

 

Arcane (31 Points)
  1. Arcane Concentration - Rank 3/3 - Gives you a 10% chance of entering a Clearcasting state after any damage spell hits a target. The Clearcasting state reduces the mana cost of your next damage spell by 100%.
  2. Improved Counterspell - Rank 2/2 - Your Counterspell also silences the target for 4 sec.
  3. Netherwind Presence - Rank 3/3 - Increases your spell haste by 3%.

  4. Torment the Weak - Rank 3/3 - Your Arcane damage spells deal 6% more damage to snared or slowed targets.
  5. Invocation - Rank 2/2 - You gain a 10% damage bonus for 8 sec after successfully interrupting a spell.
  6. Improved Blink - Rank 2/2 - Increases your speed by 70% for 3 sec after casting the Blink spell.

  7. Arcane Flows - Rank 2/2 - Reduces the cooldown of your Presence of Mind, Arcane Power and Invisibility spells by 25% and the cooldown of your Evocation spell by 2 min.
  8. Presence of Mind - Rank 1/1 - When activated, your next Mage spell with a casting time less than 10 sec becomes an instant cast spell.
  9. Prismatic Cloak - Rank 3/3 - Reduces all damage taken by 6% and reduces the fade time of your Invisibility spell by 3 sec.

  10. Improved Polymorph - Rank 2/2 - When a target you've polymorphed is damaged, that target is stunned for 3 sec. This effect cannot occur more often than once every 10 sec.
  11. Incanter's Absorption - Rank 2/2 - When your Mana Shield or Mage Ward absorbs damage your spell damage is increased by 20% of the amount absorbed for 10 sec. In addition, when your Mana Shield is destroyed, all enemies within 6 yards are knocked back 12 yards.

  12. Arcane Potency - Rank 2/2 - Increases the critical strike chance of your next two damaging spells by 15% after gaining Clearcasting or Presence of Mind.
  13. Slow - Rank 1/1 - Reduces target's movement speed by 60%, increases the time between ranged attacks by 60% and increases casting time by 30%. Lasts 15 sec. Slow can only affect one target at a time.
  14. Nether Vortex - Rank 2/2 - Gives your Arcane Blast spell a 100% chance to apply the Slow spell to any target it damages if no target is currently affected by Slow.

  15. Arcane Power - Rank 1/1 - When activated, you deal 20% more spell damage but spells cost 10% more mana to cast. This effect lasts 15 sec.
Fire (7 Points)
  1. Master of Elements - Rank 2/2 - Your spell criticals will refund 30% of their base mana cost.
  2. Burning Soul - Rank 3/3 - Reduces the casting time lost from taking damaging attacks by 70%.

  3. Blazing Speed - Rank 2/2 - Gives you a 10% chance when hit by a melee or ranged attack to increase your movement speed by 50% and dispel all effects that prevent movement. This effect lasts 8 sec.
Frost (3 Points)
  1. Piercing Ice - Rank 3/3 - Increases the critical strike chance of your spells by 3%.
  2. Option: drop Piercing Ice and get...
    1. 2/2 Shatter for those frequent crits against your frozen opponents.
    2. 1/2 Impact, if you're throwing enough Fire spells to make it worthwhile.
Glyphs
  1. Glyph of Mage Armor (Prime Glyph) - Your Mage Armor regenerates 20% more mana.
  2. Glyph of Arcane Blast (Prime Glyph) - Increases the damage from your Arcane Blast buff by 3%.
  3. Glyph of Arcane Missiles (Prime Glyph) - Increases the critical strike chance of your Arcane Missiles spell by 5%.

  4. Glyph of Invisibility (Major Glyph) - Increases your movement speed while Invisible by 40%.
  5. Glyph of Evocation (Major Glyph) - Your Evocation ability also causes you to regain 40% of your health over its duration.
  6. Glyph of Polymorph (Major Glyph) - Your Polymorph spell also removes all damage over time effects from the target.

  7. Glyph of Mirror Image (Minor Glyph) - Your Mirror Images cast Arcane Blast or Fireball instead of Frostbolt depending on your primary talent tree.
  8. Glyph of Conjuring (Minor Glyph) - Reduces the mana cost of your Conjuring spells by 50%.
  9. Glyph of Armors (Minor Glyph) - Increases the duration of your Armor spells by 30 min.
 

Patch 4.1 Arcane Mage PvP Videos, Parts 1 & 2

This is a video guide to Arcane PvP for patch 4.1, covering stats, gear, talents, glyphs, etc.

Part 1

Part 2

Master PvP - Instructional articles, forums, videos
Questions answered, more. Click here to get better.

 

 

Arcane Mage Class Guide

NOTE:
The below section is nearly identical for all three specializations of mage, this is due to the usage of almost entirely the same stats for any mage no matter the talent build/elemental specialization.

If you are leveling and still in Northrend and not yet in top gear then start looking to get into Cataclysm greens at level 77, the stats are far better then the Wrath greens of the same level.

Number Crunching

The Basic Stats

  1. Int - Int is all powers. It adds directly to your Spellpower (this is new with 4.0,) adds directly to your mana pool , and adds a tiny amount to your crit. It is, by far, your most important stat.
  2. Spirit - Completely useless
  3. Strength - Completely useless
  4. Agility - Completely useless
  5. Stamina - It depends...
    1. If you're pulling mobs off the tank you might want to have some extra
    2. If youi're a good player and you let the tank keep the mobs then you don't need as much.
    3. For leveling you want enough to stay alive.
    4. For PvP you'll want a lot. Plan on having enough to survive the opener of that Rogue who's just popped in behind you and landed her Ambush.

Other Stats - more or less in order, depending on how close you are to any caps.

  1. Crit
  2. Hit
  3. Haste
  4. Mastery
  5. Spell Penetration (more for PvP)
  6. Spellpower
  7. Resilience
    1. For PvP you'll want as much as you can get without gimping yourself.
    2. OUtside of PvP this stat is useless.

Ratings

This is the number of rating points you will need to achieve +1% in a given stat. Numbers are rounded off to the nearest 10th.

Level
60
70
80
85
Spell Hit
Crit
Haste
Mastery
Resilience
8
14
10
14
21.6
12.6
22.1
15.8
22.1
34.0
26.2
45.9
32.8
45.9
70.7
102.4
179.3
128.1
179.3
276.1

 


Gems for the Arcane Mage

The basic rule here, for Arcane PvE, is Int > Hit > Crit > Haste

Int is far enough ahead of any other stat that you should just put the red Int gems into all slots, unless the socket bonus is at least 20 Int or 30 of some other stat. (Since you'll lose 20 Int by not putting an Int gem into that slot.)

Gems sockets fouind on gear while leveling are prety uncommon. You might consider skipping gems while leveling, since you'll level out of your gear fast enough to make it an unnecessary expense. Gems will, however, give you a small edge.

If you can easily afford it, then go for it. Our gold tips are here.

The only difference for PvP and PvE is the your choice of Resilience gems for PvP.

Enchantments

If you have enough gold then go ahead and enchant your gear as you level, it'll speed things up by just that much and will certainly help in PvP or Dungeon leveling.

 

PvE Gear Guide

Note: this is the level 70 gear list for those interested in doing that conent. A higher level gear list may appear at some point. Much of this gear may become unavailable when Cataclysm arrives.

As this is a PvE gear guide I'll only list the PvP rewards capable of being obtained via Honor, arena rewards are however viable alternatives to many pieces of gear.

Many pieces of gear will be equally useful to both fire, frost, and arcane mages, the only few pieces that really differ are Spellfire Vs. Frozen Shadowweave and a couple little rings.

Head:

[Annihilator Holo-Gogs] - Crafted
[Spellstrike Hood] - Crafted
[Hood of Oblivion] - Arcatraz
[Incanter's Cowl] - Mechanar

Neck:

[Vindicator's Pendant of Subjugation] - PvP Reward
[Brooch of Heightened Potential] - Shadow Laybrinth
[Hydra-fang Necklace] - Heroic Underbog
[Torc of the Sethekk Prophet]- Quest Reward

Shoulders:

[Mantle of Nimble Thought] - Crafted
[Fel-tinged Mantle] - Heroic Magister's Terrace
[Duskhallow Mantle] - Normal Magister's Terrace
[Gladiator's Silk Amice] - PvP Reward

Back:

[Cloak of the Betrayed] - Normal Magister's Terrace
[Cloak of Arcane Alacrity] - (60) Badges of Justice
[Sethekk Oracle Cloak] - Sethekk Halls
[Cloak of the Black Void] - Crafted

Chest:

[Spellfire Robe] - Crafted
[Scarlet Sin'dorei Robes] - Heroic Magister's Terrace
[Robe of the Crimson Order]
- World Drop BoE
[Warp Infused Drape] - Botanica

Wrist:

[Bracers of Nimble Thought] - Crafted BoE
[Bindings of Raging Fire] - Magister's Terrace
[Vindicator's Silk Cuffs] - PvP Reward

Hands:

[Spellfire Gloves] - Crafted
[Gloves of Arcane Acuity] - Normal Magister's Terrace
[Studious Wraps] - (60) Badges of justice
[Manaspark Gloves] - Normal Underbog

Belt:

[Belt of Blasting] - Crafted BoE
[Spellfire Belt] - Crafted
[Girdle of Ruination] - Crafted BoE
[Vindicator's Silk Belt] - PvP Reward

Legs:

[Spellstrike Pants] - Crafted
[Legwraps of Sweltering Flame] - (100) Badges of Justice
[Breeches of the Occultist] - Heroic Black Morass
[Battlecast Pants] - Crafted BoE

Boots:

[Boots of Incantations] - (75) Badges of Justice
[Vindicator's Silk Footguards]
- PvP Reward
[Sigil-Laced Boots] - Arcatraz
[Shattrath Jumpers] - Quest Reward

Rings:

[Ashyen's Gift] - Reputation Reward
[Sparking Arcanite Ring] - Heroic Old Hillsbrad
[Band of Arcane Alacrity] - Normal Magister's Terrace
[Seal of the Exorcist] - (50) Spirit Shards
[Seer's Signet] - Reputation Reward
[Band of Dominion] - BoE World Drop

Trinkets:

[Darkmoon Card: Crusade] - Darkmoon Card Deck
[Icon of the Silver Crescent] - (41) Badges of Justice
[Scryer's Bloodgem] - Reputation Reward
[Sorcerer's Alchemist Stone] - Crafted
[Arcanist's Stone] - Heroic Old Hillsbrad

Two-Handed Weapons:

[Gladiator's War Staff] - PvP Reward
[Terokk's Shadowstaff] - Heroic Sethekk Halls
[Sun-infused Focus Staff] - Normal Magister's Terrace

Main-Hand:

[Scryer's Blade of Focus] - (150) Badges of Justice
[Jaded Crystal Dagger]
- Heroic Magister's Terrace
[Gladiator's Spellblade] - PvP Reward
[Blade of Wizardry] - BoE World Drop
[Blade of the Archmage] OR [Stormcaller] - Reputation Reward

Off-Hand:

[Fetish of the Primal Gods] - (35) Badges of Justice
[Flametongue Seal] - (25) Badges of Justice
[Lamp of Peaceful Radiance] - Arcatraz
[Star-Heart Lamp] - Black Morass

Wand:

[Carved Witch Doctor's Stick] - (25) Badges of Justice
[Nether Core's Control Rod] - Arcatraz
[Voidfire Wand] - Normal Mana-tombs
[Gladiator's Touch of Defeat] - PvP Reward

 

 

1-80 (85) Mage Leveling Guide

Arcane mages have all the powers to level very quickly, but they will do it even faster with a full blown 1-80 leveling guide, such as Zygor's. Every step of the way, what to do, where to go, is right there on your main screen at all times. Quests automatically update as you complete them and waypoints are also set, automatically. You may never have to look at your quest log again. Not even in Cataclysm, when you're adding those five new levels.

It's much like having an expert friend looking over your shoulder as you level, giving you constant pointers on what to do next.

Zygor's is also fully 4.0 ready, including its nifty Talent Advisor, and will be ready to go when Cataclysm hits. Check it out here (and grab your copy) or read the review of Zygor's Guide first.

 

 


 

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