Jump to content

Large Mage Class Updates in 10.1.5: Fractures in Time

Recommended Posts


Blizzard have detailed the large changes coming to Mages, especially Arcane, in the next patch which hit the PTR today.

Blizzard LogoMage (Source)

Hello fellow Mages!

In the 10.1.5 PTR, we have some updates coming to both the Class and Arcane talent trees. We’re also working on changes for Fire and Frost in future 10.1.5 PTR builds. Below, we’ll cover some high-level changes as well as our plans moving forward.


The current Mage class tree has a variety of talents which offer a variety of utility and survivability talents options, but with its current layout, a lot of that choice feels difficult to navigate. This is due to the nature of their current capstones and how impactful and important they are to the overall rotation for each of the specs. In 10.1.5, we’re making a few changes such as making some abilities baseline, removing Rune of Power, a slightly new tree layout, and adding 3 new capstone abilities to replace Shifting Power and Meteor. We’ll highlight some of those larger changes below.

Rune of Power

We’re removing Rune of Power from the class tree and shifting some of its loss power directly into all Mage abilities that deal damage. While the decision to remove Rune of Power wasn’t easy, we feel it is best for the long-term health of the class. Fighting within a Rune of Power is almost mandatory to maximize your damage as a Mage and any sort of mechanic that forces you out of it for a prolonged period of time ends up feeling incredibly punishing to your overall throughput.

In Raid, Mythic+, and PvP, having a player commit to a small space for 12 seconds is a large ask and one that just doesn’t feel fun to play around, as frequent as Rune of Power is. By removing Rune of Power we’re able to shift more of the Mage’s damage into their abilities baseline while also leaving us room to further amplify their big cooldowns (Arcane Surge, Combustion, and Icy Veins) if necessary. While we expect it to be a large adjustment at first, we’re confident that this will be an overall boon for Mages in the future.

Tree Layout

While the overall structure of the class tree has changed, we’ve made a few key adjustments that should allow for a little more customization when spec’ing into your class tree. The total number of capstones has been reduced from 5 to 3. At the moment, Mage’s capstones have a wide variety of power that offer different levels of throughput or survivability and utility. The difference in damage throughput and utility/survivability at the capstone level has proven to be somewhat problematic for Mage and their ability to feel free to customize their tree as they see fit. The tree is now structured to offer 3 capstones with the center capstone (Time Anomaly/Temporal Warp) offering the only throughput and the left and right capstones offering different utility or survivability for you to consider based on the content you might be running. The goal here with the new structure is to offer a little more flexibility within the class tree and feeling less mandatory to pick up both Shifting Power and Time Anomaly/Temporal Warp choice node.

New capstones

We have 3 new capstones available which offer a different variety of gameplay choices based on the content you might be running. Ice Cold is a talent that modifies your Ice Block so you are able to cast while it is active, but you are no longer immune to damage and instead take greatly reduced damage for a shorter duration. The other two talents are a choice node for Mass Invisibility and Mass Barrier which as the names imply allow you to cast Invisibility on your nearby allies or cast your Specialization’s Barrier on up to 3 nearby allies.


Going into 10.1.5, we want to focus on giving Arcane Mages a more consistent way to deal AoE damage without having to rely on Touch of the Magi or Radiant Spark windows where quick mob deaths or movement can greatly hinder their performance. Arcane also has a few talents that offer a variety of utility but felt inaccessible based on their position on the tree, pathing in the tree, or lack of points after filling out their chosen build. To combat this, we’ve shifted a few things baseline most notably Arcane Barrage and Clearcasting and updated the pathing on a few talents.


We’ve reworked Orb Barrage capstone talent into something a little more consistent and likely familiar to Legion Arcane players. Orb Barrage now gives your Arcane Barrage a chance per Arcane Charge spent to hurl an Arcane Orb at your target. This talent should give a much-needed way to both send out some consistent AoE damage while also giving a steady stream of Arcane Charge generation when fighting large packs. We’ve also added a new talent “Concentrated Power” which gives more purpose to your Clearcasting and Arcane Explosion while in AoE heavy fights. This talent causes your Arcane Explosion to echo an additional time for a % of its original damage.

Tree Layout

We’ve also updated Arcane’s tree to be a little more flexible when trying to pick up unique nodes that aren’t always directly throughput. We’ve shifted Arcane Barrage and Clearcasting baseline, untied Reverberate from Nether Tempest, added new connections from Nether Tempest, and removed the Arcane Power talent and folded its power into Arcane Surge. The goal with these changes is to give you a couple extra points to play with and create a more positive experience as you navigate through the tree enabling you to create a spec tree that fits your needs.

Fire and Frost

While this round of 10.1.5 PTR only includes Class and Arcane updates, aside from the damage re-distribution from the Rune of Power change, we have not forgotten about Fire or Frost. We have plans for them in upcoming PTR builds.


At the moment, Fire suffers from a one-build-fits-all talent tree. Which is problematic for a couple of reasons: the lack of choice/variety gets stale after a while, Ignite dealing large portions of damage in single target, and AoE makes it incredibly difficult for us to separately tune Single Target or AoE damage for Fire during tuning passes. Moving forward, we want to explore ways we can create alternative AoE builds that aren’t just Ignite stacking, reduce the amount of 2-point nodes to free up a few points, and shift some abilities baseline such as Flamestrike and Cauterize. These aren’t final or comprehensive changes, but hopefully give a good idea of our goals for Fire moving forward.


Moving forward with Frost we’re looking into the lesser picked talents that offer a different gameplay style compared to the “meta” builds but generally underperform. Talents like Ray of Frost and Glacial Spike offer unique alternatives to the standard rotation but given their current impact and lack of synergy within the tree they become a hard thing to opt into. Additionally, we’re taking a look into the “minimal Ice Lance” builds, as this shouldn’t be the correct way to play Frost. Ice Lance should be an impactful button that is played around rather than minimally cast due to the amount of modifiers of other talents and damage sources preventing it from being so. There are also some talents we want to reassess in the talent tree and instead move baseline such as Blizzard and Cold Snap. Lastly, the amount of talents required to make Icy Veins feel like a high impact cooldown is relatively high, we would like to take this opportunity to see if we can make it stand on its own a little more.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. This is just the start of Mage changes for 10.1.5, and we have plenty planned for the future. As we navigate our way through the 10.1.5 PTR, we look forward to your feedback.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder when ele shaman will get some love on their class and spec tree? Most likely never, I’am almost certain that shaman was a mistake when they was making the game and they left it in for the memes. Ele has like 3 or 4 worthless 2 point talents that keep it from being able to make meaningful choices in the spec tree. I don’t even want to talk about the class tree, the last changes moved stuff around to accommodate enhance and resto and totally cucked ele on the tree.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By Stan
      We're looking at how many raid bosses each World of Warcraft expansion has introduced.
      This chart, created by Reddit user throwaway4201251315, lays out the count of raid bosses across all WoW expansions, including Dragonflight.

      The chart's fine details are hard to make out, but it's clear that the original Vanilla version launched with the highest number of raid bosses (about 55-60), whereas Dragonflight had the fewest (around 25-30), a figure similar to what we saw in Cataclysm. Notably, Blizzard's decision to skip .3 patches and the introduction of Fated Raids have contributed to a declining trend in the number of raid bosses in both Shadowlands and Dragonflight.
      It seems that players generally prefer raids with 8-9 bosses, finding larger raids like Ny'alotha and Sepulcher to be exhausting.
      Source: Reddit
    • By Starym
      Collecting mounts really has become as much of a part of WoW as raiding, dungeons, questing and PvP at this point, as players constantly want more and more. Today we're taking a look at another hirumaredx video, this time focusing on the 10 rarest mounts players can still obtain today!
      While I'm sure this list will be disputed, it's still fun to see what could be considered some of the most rare rides on Azeroth, especially if you happen to own one already! The list is based off of both drop chances and actual difficulty to obtain, as the first one is basically a 100% "drop", but will take a long time to get.
    • By Stan
      It's time to check out the most popular specializations for Mythic+ during the third week of Season 3!

      The following post is based on data taken from u.gg, which has combined thousands of parses from live servers.
      The Most Popular Specializations for Mythic+ in Season 3 Week 3
      This week's affixes are Fortified, Volcanic, Spiteful.
      The Most Popular DPS Specializations
      Augmentation Evoker - 15.5% Havoc Demon Hunter - 14.2% Beast Mastery Hunter - 8.9% Retribution Paladin - 6.3% Outlaw Rogue 5.7% Demonology Warlock - 5.6% Balance Druid - 5.1% Fury Warrior - 3.7% Enhancement Shaman - 3.7% Assassination Rogue - 3.1% Frost Mage - 3.1% Fire Mage - 2.3% Arcane Mage - 2.2% Arms Warrior - 2.2% Feral Druid - 2.0% Unholy Death Knight - 1.8% Shadow Priest - 1.7% Windwalker Monk - 1.6% Survival Hunter - 1.6% Marksmanship Hunter - 1.6% Elemental Shaman - 1.6% Frost Death Knight - 1.4% Devastation Evoker - 1.4% Destruction Warlock - 1.3% Subtlety Rogue - 1.3% Affliction Warlock - 1.1%
      The Most Popular Tanks
      Vengeance Demon Hunter - 35.9% Blood Death Knight - 24.1% Protection Paladin - 16.5% Guardian Druid - 8.2% Brewmaster Monk 7.7% Protection Warrior - 7.5%
      The Most Popular Healers
      Discipline Priest 28.0% Mistweaver Monk - 18.4% Restoration Druid - 18.0% Holy Paladin - 13.7% Restoration Shaman - 9.0% Holy Priest - 6.6% Preservation Evoker - 6.4%
    • By Stan
      One of the Trading Post activities this month requires players to kill the Lich King for Tender and one lucky player went to Icecrown Citadel and looted Invincible's Reins!
      Title Description Travel Points Defeat the Lich King   Kill the Lich King in the Icecrown Citadel.   50 50 Tender convinced naturzaros to visit Icecrown Citadel and kill the Lich King who was very generous in return and dropped Invincible's Reins.

      Source: Reddit
    • By Starym
      The axe-wielding, tree-burning dragon has a sense of humor, as he will laugh at anyone that dies to his fire during the raid encounter (and you get an achievement if you didn't get it before!
      The Still Standing in the Fire achievement came along with patch 10.1 and Fyrakk Assaults. It was a little tricky to get as you had to find where to stand and die to the fire, which didn't really 1-shot you. Luckily with 10.2, it got a whole lot easier (well, for raiders anyway). The achievement is named after the original, where Deathwing had to kill you either during the Dragon Soul raid or when he was breathing all over Azeroth.
      As spotted by ah_kooky_kat, dying to Fyrakk in the raid also triggers the achievement, and he still laughs at you!

      The very old-school WeakAura in the screenshot also got a lot of attention the the thread below.
  • Create New...