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DZN

PvE Frost, Fire or Arcane?

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Hey Icy Veins,

First off I'd like to say Hi! I've played a lot of WoW in my days, but I havent played since the days of ICC 25, some of my friends started playing again and I decided to join them a few weeks back. Now that my mage is about to hit 90, we're all getting serious for raiding, I've been doing tons of research, I've also noticed that WoWhead and EJ are kind of dead (how come?). Anyway, that brings me here, this community is very promising. I've looked into it, Noxxic tells me that Arcane is the way to go, Frost and Fire are decent too, but for some reason the website doesn't feel like it's made for the hardcore End-game raiding.
My question is: What mage spec yields to most DPS? My personal preference is frost, is it a big deal in the late-late 530+ iLvl raids when you play frost? Any website that properly tracks top DPS specs?

Thanks in advance

Edited by DZN

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Hey Icy Veins,

First off I'd like to say Hi! I've played a lot of WoW in my days, but I havent played since the days of ICC 25, some of my friends started playing again and I decided to join them a few weeks back. Now that my mage is about to hit 90, we're all getting serious for raiding, I've been doing tons of research, I've also noticed that WoWhead and EJ are kind of dead (how come?). Anyway, that brings me here, this community is very promising. I've looked into it, Noxxic tells me that Arcane is the way to go, Frost and Fire are decent too, but for some reason the website doesn't feel like it's made for the hardcore End-game raiding.

My question is: What mage spec yields to most DPS? My personal preference is frost, is it a big deal in the late-late 530+ iLvl raids when you play frost? Any website that properly tracks top DPS specs?

Thanks in advance

Welcome back to the game and thanks for asking for our advice. I'm afraid I don't know what happened to EJ and Wowhead. :

Well, what the highest DPS is, really depends.. Theoretically if you don't have to do anything else, then just DPS yes arcane is a way to go. However, in the current tears the fights are not like this, so I will summerize the specs for you.

Arcane

Pros

Very good DPS if you can stand in your Rune of Power (Which is the only viable talent choice for arcane)

The overall gear scaling is good. You can do decent DPS with lower ilevel as well as with higher one

Very easy rotation

Cons

YOU HAVE TO STAND IN A RUNE! You are very very immobile. If you get a fire underneath you, you have to move, and recast your rune... Then, if you get another fire after 5 seconds, you have to move again and AGAIN cast the rune. This can get very annoying.

While the rotation is easy, it is rather boring.

Fire

Pros

Very-very good DPS at higher ilevels (around 40% crit) Like, even OP atm. and will be more OP in 5.4 if Critical Mass doesn't get nerfed.

Very mobile spec. This is the only spec atm with Scorch, taht you can cast on move.

Very-very good AoE damage. (possible 2 million burst DPS on council with spread combustion.)

Cons

Very RNG dependant on lower item levels that mostly result in bad DPS.

You need good reflexes with procs and you have to decide quickly when it's worth casting Combustion.

Frost

Pros

Very easy rotation

Very-very good DPS on lower item levels.

Very stable DPS. (Not big damage spikes, but no low damage spikes as well)

strong Aoe burst thanks to frozen orb with Ice lance spam.

Cons

Not the most mobile caster spec ever, but still better than arcane

Very bad gear scaling. After you reached about 520-530 item level, the other 2 specs clearly perform better. (Our best secondary stat, Haste, goes to waste after 50%)

All in all, I would suggest you to stick to frost for now at lower item level. Once you can reach 35-40% crit rating, switch to fire. Although, you could also try out arcane with higher itemlevels. You might love the playstyle, but I'd prefer fire more, personally.

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Any website that properly tracks top DPS specs?

I use Raidbots to see the damage output of different specs. If you look at the top 100 25H damage dealers, you'll see that fire is clearly on top, but if you look at all logs for 25H, Arcane is better. Fire has the potential to do the most damage, but you have to get lucky to get that much damage output. Arcane will do steady, good, dependable high damage.

But listen to Oltier, go Frost in the beginning, and then switch to either Arcane when you have the tier 15 4-set bonus, or to Fire when you can get at least 10,000 crit from gear and gems.

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Welcome back to the game and thanks for asking for our advice. I'm afraid I don't know what happened to EJ and Wowhead. :

Well, what the highest DPS is, really depends.. Theoretically if you don't have to do anything else, then just DPS yes arcane is a way to go. However, in the current tears the fights are not like this, so I will summerize the specs for you.

Arcane

Pros

Very good DPS if you can stand in your Rune of Power (Which is the only viable talent choice for arcane)

The overall gear scaling is good. You can do decent DPS with lower ilevel as well as with higher one

Very easy rotation

Cons

YOU HAVE TO STAND IN A RUNE! You are very very immobile. If you get a fire underneath you, you have to move, and recast your rune... Then, if you get another fire after 5 seconds, you have to move again and AGAIN cast the rune. This can get very annoying.

While the rotation is easy, it is rather boring.

Fire

Pros

Very-very good DPS at higher ilevels (around 40% crit) Like, even OP atm. and will be more OP in 5.4 if Critical Mass doesn't get nerfed.

Very mobile spec. This is the only spec atm with Scorch, taht you can cast on move.

Very-very good AoE damage. (possible 2 million burst DPS on council with spread combustion.)

Cons

Very RNG dependant on lower item levels that mostly result in bad DPS.

You need good reflexes with procs and you have to decide quickly when it's worth casting Combustion.

Frost

Pros

Very easy rotation

Very-very good DPS on lower item levels.

Very stable DPS. (Not big damage spikes, but no low damage spikes as well)

strong Aoe burst thanks to frozen orb with Ice lance spam.

Cons

Not the most mobile caster spec ever, but still better than arcane

Very bad gear scaling. After you reached about 520-530 item level, the other 2 specs clearly perform better. (Our best secondary stat, Haste, goes to waste after 50%)

All in all, I would suggest you to stick to frost for now at lower item level. Once you can reach 35-40% crit rating, switch to fire. Although, you could also try out arcane with higher itemlevels. You might love the playstyle, but I'd prefer fire more, personally.

I want to thank you for taking your time to read my post and then type such an elaborate answer, it really restores my faith in the WoW community (I was afraid it was a dead one). I have to agree that Arcane looks incredibly boring, I only needed like half the keybinding I need for frost and it was just boring! I'll stick to frost indeed and switch the fire later, that's a great idea Posted Image Frost is still the way to go in PVP right?

Thanks again!

Edited by DZN
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You are always welcome. ;)

If you have any more questions, don't hold yourself back!

Yes, Frost is currently the most PvPish spec. :)

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Frost is still the go-to spec for PvP, however fire can still be tons of fun and provide great damage. When I get bored of frost in arenas and rbgs I'll switch to fire and queue up for normal bg's. It's quite amusing to find a suitable target and hit you're one shot macro, combusting them and standing back to watch them burn!

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Thank you for the best summary on mage specs I've seen in a long long time.

 

-------------------------------------------------------------

 

I played WoW on and off but I've always played a mage. Fire from beta to WoTLK, arcane through out Cata, and now frost in Pandaria.

 

Imo, arcane mage is hardest to master, but once you do you will excel in dps. Fire mage can deal great damage easily, and in many situations are superior to arcane mage, so there really is no point sticking to fire or arcane all the way, you can always switch between the two according to your need (or how you want to play on that day).

 

People always say frost is the best in PVP and they are absolutely right. But one can not think other mages can't pvp well. I have great success in all kinds of world pvp, battlegrounds, and even arena fights as arcane and fire mage; and I have also seen enough frost mage out-DPS fire/arcane mages in raids. In the end I think it comes down to how you want to play and which style would give you the most joy in game.

 

So keep an open mind. Keep trying out new rotations and specs on dummies and them bosses and maybe you can agree that while dishing out high dps is important, the journey you take to achieve such goal is equally fun and rewarding.

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Thank you for the best summary on mage specs I've seen in a long long time.

 

-------------------------------------------------------------

 

I played WoW on and off but I've always played a mage. Fire from beta to WoTLK, arcane through out Cata, and now frost in Pandaria.

 

Imo, arcane mage is hardest to master, but once you do you will excel in dps. Fire mage can deal great damage easily, and in many situations are superior to arcane mage, so there really is no point sticking to fire or arcane all the way, you can always switch between the two according to your need (or how you want to play on that day).

 

People always say frost is the best in PVP and they are absolutely right. But one can not think other mages can't pvp well. I have great success in all kinds of world pvp, battlegrounds, and even arena fights as arcane and fire mage; and I have also seen enough frost mage out-DPS fire/arcane mages in raids. In the end I think it comes down to how you want to play and which style would give you the most joy in game.

 

So keep an open mind. Keep trying out new rotations and specs on dummies and them bosses and maybe you can agree that while dishing out high dps is important, the journey you take to achieve such goal is equally fun and rewarding.

Please note that, the post you have quoted from me is outdated, and things changed. :)

 

That being said, I aggree with you partly, but I would definitely argue that

 

Frost is only PvP. It is very good in pve as well competing with the other 2 specs.

 

You are right tho about other specs in PvP :) I really enjoyed combustion spread on players in BGs.. :D

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Heh the information in this thread frustrates me greatly :P

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Heh the information in this thread frustrates me greatly tongue.png

You know I was right before the mastery change. more-or-less! :D

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Cons

 

YOU HAVE TO STAND IN A RUNE! You are very very immobile. If you get a fire underneath you, you have to move, and recast your rune... Then, if you get another fire after 5 seconds, you have to move again and AGAIN cast the rune. This can get very annoying.

 

Cons
YOU HAVE TO STAND IN A RUNE! You are very very immobile. If you get a fire underneath you, you have to move, and recast your rune... Then, if you get another fire after 5 seconds, you have to move again and AGAIN cast the rune. This can get very annoying.

With the increase in rune diameter, I can move 8 times without recasting (on Immersius at least). And while the Invoker bubble is a bit of a dps decrease, it keeps you mobile and has a bonus of adding some mitigation to IB. Between that and rotating from AT and LB depending on the fight, I got through at least half a stack of tomes on a successful run. Very happy with the tomes.

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I am closing this thread, because it is out of date and it misleads new players visiting the forum. Please do not refer to what I have written above, as those circumstances have changed signifficantly in 5.4.

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