This thread will be a consolidated resource for Cataclysm Arcane Mages. The current comparative thread is not being actively maintained and as such, will not be updated with the changes that are coming to the Arcane tree. It should be noted that the details in this post will be expanded in time as more details of the upcoming Arcane changes are known, which means some sections may appear sparse at this time.
This compilation is the combined work of the EJ Mage community, I am simply collating and updating the information as necessary.
[TABLE]Abbreviation | Definition
AB | Arcane Blast
ABar | Arcane Barrage
AM | Arcane Missiles
NP | Netherwind Presence
TtW | Torment the Weak
CS | Counterspell
PoM | Presence of Mind
MI | Mirror Image
Arcane has evolved a particular nomenclature over time to better describe spell rotations and sequences. They are typically in the form AB[x]ABar[a][c]AM and can be explained as follows. The basic premise is derived from that you will always cast AB to a certain stack level and clear that stack either by using ABar or AM. The actual stack level itself can vary although it is often stacked to a specific value and then cleared, or AB is cast until an AM proc occurs. Take the following cycle as an example:
AB4ABar234AM : Cast AB to a maximum of a 4 stack, use ABar to clear the stack and restart if no AM proc occurred. If during the AB stacking you gain an AM proc, clear the AB stack with AM on either 2,3 or 4 stacks dependant on when it occurs and your current AB cast has completed.
There are a large number of potential cycles although in practice you will not use so many, but there is still a reactive element as you may need to adjust your cycles to compensate for the RNG of AM procs as well as raid or item effects.
Talent Calculator|Cataclysm Talent Calculator: Mage
chardev Character planner|chardev 8 - Cataclysm Beta
EJ Mage Resources|http://elitistjerks....mage_resources/
Former Arcane Thread|http://elitistjerks....updated_4_01_a/
Mage Simulators and Formulators|http://elitistjerks....rs_formulators/
=Rawr and SimulationCraft: Where to Start=
Rawr and SimulationCraft (SimC) are very popular tools used by many players to help get the best performance out of their characters. Learning how to use them is easy, quick, rewarding - and is therefore an excellent investment of your time. Here are the basics to get these tools up and running to look at Relative Stat Values for your character. Don't be afraid to play around with these tools to discover more of the information they are capable of providing. There is a vast wealth of further information on their respective websites and/or the Links provided below, this is just a very brief guide to start people off on the right track.
[table=head]Tool|Website|Download Instructions|Quick Notes|For More Information
Rawr| Rawr |Rawr can be run online via this location: http://elitistjerks.com/rawr.php . You may be prompted to install appropriate software first. Alternatively, you can download Rawr for offline use via Rawr|To import your character: Click "File" then "Load from Battle.net" and fill in your Character Server/Realm/Name particularsTo see the "Relative Stat Values" for your character, Click on "Gear -> Slot" then "Stat Values" then "Relative Stat Values".Rawr has an impressive amount of incredibly useful features, too many to even list here, useful for beginners and advanced users alike. It's a good idea to simply spend time playing around with Rawr, experimenting with the available features.|http://elitistjerks....7825-rawr_mage/
SimulationCraft|Welcome to SimulationCraft|Via the SimulationCraft website, follow the central link and navigate to "Downloads" (Which will take you here: Downloads - simulationcraft - Project Hosting on Google Code). Download/extract the appropriate .zip file to your computer and simply run it afterwards.|To Import your Character into SimulationCraft and find out Relative Stat Values:1: Via the "Import" tab, navigate to your character on the armoury and click Import.2: Go to 'Options' then 'Scaling' and check all 6 stats relevant to Mages (Int, Spell Power, Haste, Crit, Hit, Mastery).3: Click "Simulate". Results will be populated and appear in the Results section. Your Relative Stat values (ie "Scale Factors") will be viewable here.Another example: Let's say you're currently a ~359 Fire Mage, but want to see what the Relative Stat Values are for a ~372 geared mage in BIS gear. Doing this will let you compare results - and see how values change depending on current levels of gear. Click "Import" - but instead of using your character on the armory - choose "BIS" then navigate to Mage Tier 11 and choose the Fire 372 Profile. Click simulate to populate results using this profile. In the "Results" section, the "Origin" link provided will show you the actual gear used for the BIS profile you just simulated. Information regarding which Glyphs and Talents were used is displayed as well.|http://elitistjerks....el_development/
1|Improved Counterspell|Skip, PvP talent.
2|Torment the Weak|Mandatory.
2|Invocation|Optional. Even though a ranged interrupt, CS still has a 24 second CD.
2|Improved Arcane Missiles|Mandatory and a prerequisite.
2|Improved Blink|Optional, can assist in high mobility encounters.
3|Presence of Mind|Mandatory and a prerequisite.
3|Prismatic Cloak|Optional, reduced raid damage can help in progression encounters.
4|Improved Polymorph|Optional, can help if CC is typically chaotic.
4|Arcane Tactics|Optional, the 3% damage buff is only also brought by Retribution Paladins and BM Hunters, which may be a factor dependant on your raid size or composition.
4|Incanter's Absorption|Optional, dependant on repeated raid damage of the appropriate magic type.
4|Improved Arcane Explosion|Optional, can be dangerous to be in melee range.
5|Slow|Mandatory and a prerequisite.
5|Nether Vortex|Optional, useful for untanked targets. Now correctly applies the Slow effect even if the target is beyond unglyphed Slow range.
6|Improved Mana Gem|Mandatory.
=Fire and Frost Subspec Talents=
Not much in the way of choice here currently with the points available and their Arcane synergies.
1|Master of Elements|Recommended, though mana returns from this are derived from base mana which does not benefit AB by a significant amount.
1|Burning Soul|Recommended, a lot of pushback mechanics exist in raids.
An example talent spec is here (33/5/3) which focuses on mobility and reduced raid damage. There are a number of optional talents dependant on your specific raid or role requirements and these are covered in the table above.
The Arcane Barrage glyph may become viable, dependant on further mana changes and analysis.
Major and Minor glyphs are typically driven by raid requirements and personal choice, though some potentially suitable ones are detailed below.
Arcane Power - Useful when combined in a macro with MI.
Evocation - Situationally useful, particularly as it is used every CD.
Mirror Image - Increased damage for the burn phase.
Conjuring - Reduces the mana cost of creating a new Mana Gem if needed.
The basic premise behind Arcane DPS is divided into two main phases, the Burn Phase and the Conservation Phase.
As the name suggests, this is the primary DPS phase of the Arcane spec and is initiated when Evocation will be off CD when the burn phase is completed and ideally, when at full mana with a 4 stack AB present. A typical scenario would be to AB spam until your mana level is such that a Mana Gem will take you to 100% mana, then pop all CDs and continue to spam AB until you reach 35% mana. This phase ends with an Evocation.
Dependant on encounter mechanics, the burn phase need not necessarily be initiated at the start of the encounter as was somewhat traditional with Arcane. If periods exist were a specific high RDPS is needed, or the boss enters a phase were they take vastly increased damage, then the burn phase can be aligned to that. Flame Orb can also be used to regenerate mana as in some cases it can initiate a high number of AM procs. This could allow for a secondary limited burn phase after Evocation using every available AM proc to regenerate mana. PoM can also be introduced into the burn phase once AP fades as with the Arcane Potency proc being active, a 4 stack AB is preferable. PoM can also be used at a suitable point prior to the pull, such as conjuring a mana gem and the two Arcane Potency buff charges will be present for the pull itself.
This is a mana-neutral rotation designed to keep your mana near 100% until such time as Evocation will soon be off CD. The exact rotation is heavily dependant on gear and raid buffs and is probably the phase affected the most by the coming Arcane changes. The primary focus of this phase is maintaining as close to 100% mana as possible whilst ensuring that no mana is wasted. There will be some variation in your chosen mana neutral cycle as you take advantage of procs such as Clearcasting and Arcane Potency.
The current optimal cycles can be found here with an explanation of the cycle palette here.
=Enchants and Item Enhancements=
To view the full list of available Enchants, including Profession Specific enchants, visit Cataclysm Mage Resources
[table="head"]Slot | Enhancement | Notes
Source: Cataclysm Mage Resources||
Head | | Guardians of Hyjal: Revered
Neck | |
Shoulders | | Therazane: Exalted
Back | 50 Int|
Chest | 20 All Stats|
Wrists | 50 Int|
Hands | 50 Haste OR 65 Mastery |
Waist | 1 Socket | Made by Blacksmithing
Legs | 95 Int & 80 Stamina | Made by Tailoring
Feet | Runspeed & 35 Mastery| Non-Runspeed options are: 50 Mastery OR 50 Haste OR 50 Hit
Rings | |
Mainhand Weapon | Power Torrent|
Offhand Weapon | 40 Int|
Intellect is by far the strongest stat and you should prioritise gemming for Intellect on gear. As Intellect is a primary stat and not available for reforging, as a general rule you will gem for Int and reforge as necessary for your secondary stat requirements such as hit.
The following gems are at our disposal:
20 Intellect + 20 Haste|
20 Intellect + 20 Mastery|
20 Intellect + 20 Hit|
For your Metagem use a Burning Shadowspirit Diamond newly introduced in Patch 4.06. The activation requirement is simply to have a minimum of 3 Red gems in gear. In the meantime, you can temporarily use the Ember Shadowspirit Diamond Metagem instead. If that is too rare/expensive currently on your server, the WOTLK version may suffice: Ember Skyflare Diamond
=Relative Stat Values=
Intellect is by far the strongest stat, followed by hit although you still have to be mindful of the hit cap. The relative values of Crit, Haste and Mastery can vary a great deal, dependant on gear and raid buffs. The problem with a table of relative stat values is they are typically treated as a mantra set in stone rather than a guide. Tools such as Rawr and SimC are ideal for determining your relative stat values better than any static table.
With the Patch 4.1 reduction in the AB cast time and given the levels of Haste present on current raid gear, it is now once again feasible to encounter the game mechanic of the Haste Cap; where under stacked spell haste conditions (such as Heroism/Bloodlust/Berserking) your AB cast time hits the 1 second GCD hard limit. Current analysis indicates that excess Haste be reforged to Hit or Mastery as required. Tools such as Rawr can calculate this for you if your appropriate raid buffs and spell haste effects are set correctly.
These will not be included within this compendium as the http://elitistjerks....rs_formulators/ thread already covers this, since all the simulations are run with specific gear sets.
The following addons may be of use to Arcane Mages, though this is by no means an exhaustive list.
Mage Mana Bar - Addons - Curse : Has multiple features to help optimise the play of an Arcane Mage.
TellMeWhen - Addons - Curse : This can be useful for tracking AB stacks as well as Arcane Potency, Clearcasting and other procs.
Mage Nuggets - Addons - Curse : A useful addon incorporating a wide variety of Mage functionality and proc tracking.
This section is for general notes and observations that do not cleanly fit within the above sections.
Mana Tide affects Spirit and as only Healing specs can access the necessary talents to convert Spirit into in-combat mana regeneration, it's of no real use to DPS casters.Regarding Focus Magic priority targets, Silverwind did some SimCraft runs that can be seen here.
[b]If you have any requests, corrections or updates then please PM them to me directly, to help keep the thread clear for discussion and analysis.
My thanks to Logix, Tyrian and Kavan.
=Patch 4.1 Notes=
- Arcane Blast cast time has been reduced to 2.0 seconds, down from 2.35 seconds. In addition, the stacking effect of Arcane Blast now increases the damage done by Arcane Explosion, and Arcane Explosion does not consume that effect.
- Arcane Explosion damage has been increased by 30%.
- Improved Arcane Explosion now also reduces the mana cost of Arcane Explosion by 25/50%.
- Arcane Missiles damage has been increased by 13%.
- Arcane Barrage damage has been increased by 13%.
=Patch 4.2 Note=
- Arcane Blast damage done has been reduced by 5%.