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Question: Cleaving with Arcane Barrage

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So I've read through the IV Arcane Mage guide and have wondered about the multi target rotation suggestions.  

 

Have people actually seen a dps increase with 2 stack Barrages on 3 targets and 3 stack Barrages on 4?

 

 And with 5-6 targets is it better dps to dump a 4 stack Barrage right away, burning AM on the 2 & 3 stacks?  Or does AM hit so hard that hitting them at 4 stacks still yields more single target damage over maxing out your 5 target 4 charge Barrages's?

 

And finally AM usage in all this.  Since they'll go to waste anyways, have the same cast time but more damage as AB, should we burn them on the way to the desired AB stack just to not let them go to waste?

Edited by synkronized

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So I've read through the IV Arcane Mage guide and have wondered about the multi target rotation suggestions.  

 

Have people actually seen a dps increase with 2 stack Barrages on 3 targets and 3 stack Barrages on 4?

 

 And with 5-6 targets is it better dps to dump a 4 stack Barrage right away, burning AM on the 2 & 3 stacks?  Or does AM hit so hard that hitting them at 4 stacks still yields more single target damage over maxing out your 5 target 4 charge Barrages's?

 

And finally AM usage in all this.  Since they'll go to waste anyways, have the same cast time but more damage as AB, should we burn them on the way to the desired AB stack just to not let them go to waste?

I talked to Blatty, and his opinion is that there aren't really situations with exactly 2, 3, or 4 targets, so the advice on the guide is a bit "theoretical". In practical situations, Blatty said he always ends up using Arcane Barrage with 4 stacks.

For Arcane Missiles, he uses it solely for mana regeneration purposes.

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Ahhh nice, thanks for asking.  I was raiding earlier and it seemed saving for a 4 stack of Barrage worked best since with even 2 or 3 targets your cleave hits its hardest.

 

Interesting use of Arcane Missiles though.  It feels like  a waste to treat them as mana regen procs since they hit as hard as a Barrage in a single target and add a charge to your stack.

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As far as I understood arcane mages:

 

Ie.: You have 2 arcane charges, and 2 AM procs and you are on 90% mana.

 

You will most likely want to use 1 AM proc, regenerate 5-6-7% mana (I'm not talking about exact numbers). This will get you to 1 AM proc, 95-6-7% mana, 3 arcane charges. Casting AM early, allows you now to cast an arcane blase, maybe even one extra (depending on your mana %) That one ABlast, can again, trigger one more AM proc. Even a bomb refresh can trigger AM, that you can use up with 4 charges. If you are so lucky, that you get AMs in streak, you can also choose to cast even one more ABlast, then consume the last AM proc, and then ABarrage.

 

I'm not sure at all taht this was understandable, but this how Blatty meant mana management, in my opinion. If not, I'm sure Damien will correct me, and I can tremble in fear.

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I understood.  That's a interesting call on AM + AB usage.  I've typically not had problems dipping lower than 90% on most fights so burning too much mana's not been.  That said, I probably could get away with casting more 4 stack ABs.  

 

What I normally do at 4 stacks is burn 2 AM, then AB w/ a 50% cheaper AB, then use additional AM procs.  I refresh the bomb immediately after it falls off or when I can snapshot procs.   I could probably stand to dip below 100% for longer periods.

Edited by synkronized

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So you're advocating stacking past 4? Not a criticism, a question. I get kind of twitchy if my stacks get past 4, I feel like I'm wasting potential by not clearing them, rebombing and starting the rotation again, regularly burning two AM procs in a row. It also helps me to remember to keep my IB up since the healers always seem to obsess on the tanks >.>

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So you're advocating stacking past 4? Not a criticism, a question. I get kind of twitchy if my stacks get past 4, I feel like I'm wasting potential by not clearing them, rebombing and starting the rotation again, regularly burning two AM procs in a row. It also helps me to remember to keep my IB up since the healers always seem to obsess on the tanks >.>

You cannot go past 4. :) You should try to stay at 4 stacks, but close to 100% as long as possible. That is the time when your damage is the highest. If you can think back to 5.0, what did Arcane mages do? Pick Scorch! Stack arcan charge up to max, spam mana-free scorch if you get to X%, of AMs if you get to X percent. You'll get back to 100%mana after a few casts. Cast ABlast again, keep up the max number of ACharges, repeat.

Having 4 charges is good for you, as long as you can stay close to 100-95% mana. If you can no longer, do ABarrage.

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So you're advocating stacking past 4? Not a criticism, a question. I get kind of twitchy if my stacks get past 4, I feel like I'm wasting potential by not clearing them, rebombing and starting the rotation again, regularly burning two AM procs in a row. It also helps me to remember to keep my IB up since the healers always seem to obsess on the tanks >.>

Here's what I've gathered.  Anyone feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

 

Once you get the T16 set bonuses things get interesting.  The -25% mana cost to AB for every AM cast means two AMs will net you a half price AB.  With the 4 set bonus, you can hold an AM charge for several casts.  

 

Instead of straight dumping the AM until it fizzles, it helps to weave in cheaper ABs. Not only do you get cheap high damage AB casts, but you also get to fish for more AM procs.  Doing cheap ABs and refreshing your bomb while at four stacks gives you more chances to proc more AM to continue the cycle. Which can let you sit on a 4 stack of AB with +90% mana for a surprisingly long time.  I'm not saying clip your bomb randomly, but if you have several AB + AM casts at 4 stack, you'll naturally start seeing the Bomb fall off which gives you a chance to refresh it AND fish for a free AM proc.  Sometimes you won't get any procs for a while, but being familiar with what to do when the AM procs line up can help quite a bit on those single target fights. 

 

Good luck deciphering that, I'm not good at describing spell priority / rotations.  

 

That said if there's 3 targets or more, I'd dump the 4 stack immediately since the cleave effect for AB provides an immense dmg boost.  I usually dump AM at 2 and 3 stacks to get the 4 stack since they do hit harder than an AB and would otherwise just go to waste.

 

I'm still hazy on when to dump a 4 stack in cleave scenarios, which brings me back to one of the original questions.  Does Blatty have any info on when it's wise to just burn 4 stack Barrages immediately?  Is it better to save it for 4 targets? or 5?  or are 2 targets enough of a payoff for spamming 4 stack Barrage damage?

Edited by synkronized

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Well, by "past 4" I meant not clearing and restacking. But wait, what, scorch? Um, not in my spellbook unless it used to be there and they removed it. Never really trusted "cheap tricks" anyway...

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Scorch was a tier 1 talent in 5.0, but it was removed in 5.2 (correct me if I'm off), and made into a fire only spell.

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It was removed before 5.1 I believe, but it doesn't matter :) It was just an example to show it is the best for an arcane mage to stay on 4 stacks of debuff, but at around 90-100% mana :)

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