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Arcane Mage DPS Spec, Builds, and Talents (Legion 7.0.3)

Last updated on Jul 19, 2016 at 22:12 by Furty 28 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

On this page, we present the viable talent choices for Arcane Mages in World of Warcraft Legion 7.0.3. We detail what each of the talents do and in which situations they should be taken.

The other pages of our Arcane Mage guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

About Our Author

This guide has been written by Furty who raids in Serenity, one of the top World of Warcraft guilds. He plays most classes at the highest level. You can follow him on Twitter and watch him play on Twitch.

1. Talent Choices

Level Choices
15 Arcane Familiar Arcane Familiar Presence of Mind ? Presence of Mind Words of Power Words of Power
30 Shimmer Shimmer Cauterize ? Cauterize Cold Snap Cold Snap
45 Mirror Image ? Mirror Image Rune of Power Rune of Power Incanter's Flow ? Incanter's Flow
60 Supernova ? Supernova Charged Up ? Charged Up Resonance ? Resonance
75 Ice Floes Ice Floes Ring of Frost Ring of Frost Ice Ward Ice Ward
90 Nether Tempest ? Nether Tempest Unstable Magic Unstable Magic Erosion Erosion
100 Overpowered Overpowered Quickening Quickening Arcane Orb ? Arcane Orb

Talents can be freely changed when out of combat and in a rested XP area (such as an inn or a capital city).

2. Talent Cheat Sheets

While optimizing talents on a contextual basis is the highly recommended method of setting up your build, the talent builds listed below work great for specific purposes.

2.1. For General Use

This build is an excellent starting point for questing, dungeons, or general purpose usage.

2.2. For Raid Encounters

This build is an excellent starting point as a standard raid setup.

3. Tier 1 (Level 15) Talents

Arcane Familiar Arcane Familiar Presence of Mind ? Presence of Mind Words of Power Words of Power

Tier 1 talents offer a minor boost to sustained damage.

Words of Power Icon Words of Power does offer extremely minor benefits, but results in the highest overall damage on a sustained encounter due to the extra mana return from increased casts of Arcane Missiles Icon Arcane Missiles.

Presence of Mind Icon Presence of Mind is viable for quickly bursting down priority targets, but has no use for dealing sustained damage (as it does not affect Mana cost, which is the limiting factor).

Arcane Familiar Icon Arcane Familiar does scale with Spellpower, so it is possible this could be a competitive option in the future. Currently it falls a little short, however, so stick to the other options for now.

4. Tier 2 (Level 30) Talents

Shimmer Shimmer Cauterize ? Cauterize Cold Snap Cold Snap

Tier 2 talents offer a boost in defensive utility.

  • Shimmer Icon Shimmer replaces your Blink Icon Blink ability. It functions exactly the same as Blink Icon Blink except it is off the Global Cooldown and does not interrupt spellcasting.
  • Cauterize Icon Cauterize causes fatal damage to instead bring you to 35% of your maximum health, then burn you for 28% of your maximum health over 6 seconds and reducing movement speed while burning by 150%. This ability has a 2-minute internal cooldown.
  • Cold Snap Icon Cold Snap gives Ice Block Icon Ice Block a second charge and causes Ice Block Icon Ice Block to heal you for 3% max health per second while blocked.

Shimmer Icon Shimmer should be your go-to talent in most situations, as it gives you more mobility and the ability to Blink Icon Blink without triggering a Global Cooldown. Not only does this result in a noticeable damage gain, but should also allow for better survivability on high movement fights and put less reliance on your Ice Floes Icon Ice Floes.

Cauterize Icon Cauterize is an extremely useful alternative for soaking mechanics that would otherwise instantly kill you. Cauterize Icon Cauterize can also be useful for farm kills where you want to maximize DPS without moving out of mechanics. If you are not used to a new encounter yet, Cauterize Icon Cauterize will also be your best choice as it will reduce the amount of random deaths as you learn the fight.

Cold Snap Icon Cold Snap is not really useful unless you require two charges of Ice Block Icon Ice Block to deal with a specific mechanic.

5. Tier 3 (Level 45) Talents

Mirror Image ? Mirror Image Rune of Power Rune of Power Incanter's Flow ? Incanter's Flow

Tier 3 talents are focused on providing the player a consistent damage increase.

  • Mirror Image Icon Mirror Image creates 3 copies of yourself which damage enemies and last 40 seconds.
  • Rune of Power Icon Rune of Power places a small zone which increases the damage you do by 50% for 10 seconds. This ability has a 45 second cooldown, with 2 charges.
  • Incanter's Flow Icon Incanter's Flow increases your damage between 4% and 20%, cycling every 10 seconds.

Rune of Power Icon Rune of Power should be your go-to talent any time you are confident you will be able to take full advantage of the full 10-second buff reliably. It provides enormous burst potential and the predictable cooldown makes it easy to line up with cooldowns, procs, and fight mechanics.

Incanter's Flow Icon Incanter's Flow is great for situations where you want a stable and sustained damage increase. Encounters with sustained cleave are also perfect for Incanter's Flow Icon Incanter's Flow, such as High Botanist Tel'arn. This talent is especially strong for questing and dungeons.

Mirror Image Icon Mirror Image can be useful for situations where maximizing your burst inside of Time Warp Icon Time Warp is important, such as very tight DPS checks.

6. Tier 4 (Level 60) Talents

Supernova ? Supernova Charged Up ? Charged Up Resonance ? Resonance

Tier 4 talents are focused on providing unique damage utility.

  • Supernova Icon Supernova gives you a new spell that deals solid damage that cleaves everything within 8 yards of the target, and knocks them in the air.
  • Charged Up Icon Charged Up instantly grants 4 Arcane Charge Icon Arcane Charges.
  • Resonance Icon Resonance empowers Arcane Barrage Icon Arcane Barrage to deal 25% extra damage for each additional target struck.

While none of these talents are particularly strong in their own right, they all offer different utility to chose between.

Charged Up Icon Charged Up allows some flexibility with Arcane Charge Icon Arcane Charges and improves your opening burst, but it has discord with Quickening Icon Quickening, one of the staple end tier talents. It can also chew through your Mana pool very quickly if you are not careful with usage.

Resonance Icon Resonance is the best option for situations where your Arcane Barrage Icon Arcane Barrage will reliably hit secondary targets for an extended period.

Supernova Icon Supernova can be useful in niche situations, as it provides a pseudo stun in the form of a knockup, however, the damage is far too low for it to currently be considered for damage alone. It also does not scale with Arcane Charge Icon Arcane Charges.

7. Tier 5 (Level 75) Talents

Ice Floes Ice Floes Ring of Frost Ring of Frost Ice Ward Ice Ward

Tier 5 talents focus primarily on providing utility.

  • Ice Floes Icon Ice Floes has 3 charges and each usage allows a spell to be cast while moving.
  • Ring of Frost Icon Ring of Frost places a ring that can freeze up to 10 targets for 10 seconds at the targeted location, broken by damage.
  • Ice Ward Icon Ice Ward gives Frost Nova Icon Frost Nova 2 charges.

Ice Floes Icon Ice Floes is your go-to talent for all situations. Ring of Frost Icon Ring of Frost may have extreme situational use, such as the strength it displayed on the Will of the Emperor encounter in Mists of Pandaria, however, it currently has no known usage in PvE. Ice Ward Icon Ice Ward should not be used.

8. Tier 6 (Level 90) Talents

Nether Tempest ? Nether Tempest Unstable Magic Unstable Magic Erosion Erosion

Tier 6 talents add extra cleave and sustained damage options to your kit.

  • Nether Tempest Icon Nether Tempest can be applied to one target, and deals damage over time to the target and all other targets within 10-yards.
  • Unstable Magic Icon Unstable Magic grants Arcane Blast Icon Arcane Blast a 15% chance to splash for 50% additional damage to all targets within 8-yards of the target.
  • Erosion Icon Erosion stacks a debuff on the target that increases damage taken from your Arcane spells by 1% per stack (maximum 8 stacks). If your target does not take damage from your spells for 3-seconds, stacks will expire at a rate of 1% per second.

Erosion Icon Erosion is the default choice for situations where you can maintain the stacks on your target for an extended period, such as a raid boss. Nether Tempest Icon Nether Tempest is the best choice for sustained cleave and AoE (3 targets or more).

Unstable Magic Icon Unstable Magic is not very useful for raids or dungeons, but usable while leveling as you likely won't get the full benefit of either previous talent.

9. Tier 7 (Level 100) Talents

Overpowered Overpowered Quickening Quickening Arcane Orb ? Arcane Orb

Tier 7 talents add new abilities and additional damage to your kit.

Quickening Icon Quickening is the best choice for extended single target encounters, as it grants a moderate amount of passive haste for free. Arcane Orb Icon Arcane Orb is the best choice for sustained cleave and AoE (2 or more targets) as it provides significantly increased Arcane Missiles Icon Arcane Missiles generation, costs very low mana, and generates Arcane Charge Icon Arcane Charges quickly. Overpowered Icon Overpowered is currently too lacklustre to be considered in any situation.

10. ChangeLog

  • 19 Jul. 2016: Improved the explanations for Arcane Familiar.
  • 18 Jul. 2016: Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
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