TBC Classic Arcane Mage Phase 3 / 4 Gear and Best in Slot
On this page, you will find the best PvE gear and best in slot items for your Arcane Mage from TBC Classic Phases 3 and 4.
Arcane Mage Phase 3/4 Best in Slot List
This page contains a list of gear which is considered to be the best in each slot for Phase 3/4.
The list below is following the stat priority of Spell Hit until cap > Spell Haste >= Intellect >= Spell Damage > Spell Crit > Spirit and assumes no Hit chance raid buffs. You can see an explanation for this priority on our stats page for Arcane Mage below. During Black Temple, you may also have need of additional gear devoted to maximizing your Shadow Resistance stat. Should this be the case, we recommend consulting our guide dedicated to acquiring pieces with this stat as necessary.
Other Arcane Mage Best in Slot Lists
If you are starting out as a freshly-leveled Arcane Mage, our pre-raid best in slot list is meant to give you an idea of non-raid items you can chase as a solo / pug player in preparation for raids.
Do note that items from Heroic dungeons or that require Primal Nethers (which are obtained from Heroics) can be harder to get than raid items due to their daily lockout. Some Heroic dungeons are also harder than most of Karazhan.
To check out our recommended Pre-Raid best in slot gear, head over to its list below. If your character is still progressing through the content of older tiers, then you may wish to consult their best in slot lists instead.
Arcane Mage Phase 3/4 Best in Slot Table
The items on the following list come from TBC dungeons, raids, and reputation rewards. It also uses only crafted gems, as these are easier to come by.
Absolute Best in Slot
Just as for previous phases, the following Best in Slot lists were simulated with MageSim TBC by Osthyvel from the Mage Discord. The simulation assumes very basic buffs that every Mage should have, such as 1x Innervate, 1x Bloodlust/Heroism, 1x Mana Tide Totem, a Shadow Priest with at least 1300 single-target DPS and the two buffs from Chain of the Twilight Owl and Eye of the Night. Further, the fight length of the simulation is set to 120 seconds with a variance of ±20s, in order to model realistic in-game behaviour.
If you want to look further into the MageSim TBC, you can use this basic import string and adjust the settings there to your own raid's conditions.
Please note that for different raid support scenarios or fight lengths, these Best in Slot lists presented here might not be best in Slot any more (but still very good). Not all available fight/raid scenarios can be covered by a single Best in Slot list.
With the basic sim configuration above, the BIS gear below is the absolute best you can get in Phase 4 / Zul'Aman. It is built for maximum performance overall on trash and bosses and becomes even better if you have higher support, such as multiple Innervates, Improved Divine Spirit or Moonkin Aura. For an AOE only BIS list, scroll down to the bottom of this page.
For single-target fights, Tempest of Chaos + Chronicle of Dark Secrets and Zhar'doom, Greatstaff of the Devourer sim almost equal to each other, unless you are an Alliance Mage with The Skull of Gul'dan and the Draenei Shaman aura Inspiring Presence. In that case Zhardoom sims for about 20 DPS better. For AOE fights, Zhardoom generally sims a bit better, so overall it is a slightly better weapon.
The best single-target trinkets are The Skull of Gul'dan and Hex Shrunken Head, which generally sims for around 20 DPS higher than Hex Shrunken Head + Sextant of Unstable Currents. The only exception to this rule of thumb is for Alliance Mages with Inspiring Presence and Tempest of Chaos + Chronicle of Dark Secrets, where you want Sextant of Unstable Currents or Ashtongue Talisman of Insight instead of Skull (they sim very close).
If you do not want to go for Skull or do not get Skull in your raid, the best trinket combo is Hex Shrunken Head and Sextant of Unstable Currents >= Mark of the Champion (vs Undead/ Demon) > Dark Iron Smoking Pipe/ Icon of the Silver Crescent >= Serpent-Coil Braid >= Ashtongue Talisman of Insight
Best in Slot Gear For All Races
What really is Best in Slot for you is very specific in Phase 4 and depends mainly on three factors: If you have the Draenei Shaman aura Inspiring Presence or not, if you have Tempest of Chaos + Chronicle of Dark Secrets or Zhar'doom, Greatstaff of the Devourer, and if you are using The Skull of Gul'dan or not. Therefore the following list will contain the gear that is Best in Slot for any Draenei/Weapon/Trinket combination and will be complemented by a smaller, more specific list below this one.
* Red Spell Damage gems sim very, very slightly better than yellow Intellect gems, but the very high price of epic red gems does not justify this very minor upgrade.
When choosing your Head, Legs, and second Ring slot items it is important to stay hit capped. Zul'Aman brings one more very good haste and hit ring, Mana Attuned Band, which makes gearing a bit more complicated than in previous phases.
For your head slot, in most scenarios you will use Cowl of Tirisfal from Lady Vashj in Serpentshrine Cavern, gemmed with 1x Chaotic Skyfire Diamond and 1x Brilliant Lionseye. The only exception to this is if you wear Zhar'doom, Greatstaff of the Devourer and are a Mage without the Draenei Shaman aura Inspiring Presence and The Skull of Gul'dan. Only in this case you will want to use Cowl of the Tempest from Archimonde in Hyjal Summit, gemmed with 1x Chaotic Skyfire Diamond and 1x Veiled Pyrestone.
For Tempest of Chaos + Chronicle of Dark Secrets users, the leggings of choice are Leggings of Channeled Elements from Kaz'rogal in Hyjal Summit. These pants will be gemmed with 3x Brilliant Lionseye. For Tempest of Chaos users, Leggings of the Tempest from The Illidari Council in Black Temple are only slightly worse.
Players with Zhar'doom, Greatstaff of the Devourer and Inspiring Presence want Leggings of the Tempest gemmed with 1x Brilliant Lionseye.
For Zhardoom owners without Inspiring Presence, it depends if you have The Skull of Gul'dan or not. Skull users take Leggings of Channeled Elements, gemmed with 3x Brilliant Lionseye, while non-Skull users take Leggings of Tirisfal, dropped by Fathom-Lord Karathress in Serpentshrine Cavern, with 1x Brilliant Lionseye.
Players with Inspiring Presence use Ring of Ancient Knowledge from Black Temple Trash mobs, unless they have Zhardoom and do not have The Skull of Gul'dan, in which case they need the hit from Mana Attuned Band. This ring drops from the Zul'Aman timed run chests in Zul'Aman.
If you do not have Inspiring Presence, you should always use Mana Attuned Band, except if you are using Tempest of Chaos + Chronicle of Dark Secrets and The Skull of Gul'dan.
AOE Only Best In Slot
For AOE you basically want to stack as much haste as possible, because in most AOE situations with more than 12-14 mobs, you will be AOE capped. Spell Haste and Spell Crit Rating play around the AOE cap, however, Spell Haste has the potential to make you go out of mana earlier due to the faster casting. Spell Crit Rating takes around 7 more rating points to be as effective as Spell Haste Rating. When stacking haste effects, always bear in mind that you do not want to go below the global cooldown cap of 1 second and that you will run out of mana faster than with standard Spell damage/Spirit/Spell Crit gear, so you have to find the sweet spot of how much haste you can bear by yourself.
There are a few noteworthy items where it makes sense to use them. Using the Necklace Brooch of Nature's Mercy from Akil'zon in Zul'Aman makes a lot of sense, as it is also Best in Slot for single-target DPS. The alternative item Loop of Cursed Bones from Zul'jin in Zul'Aman is also really good. For your shoulder slot you may use Mantle of Nimble Thought, but it requires Tailoring and Pattern: Mantle of Nimble Thought to make (it can still be used after unlearning Tailoring) and you should not drop your 4-set bonus of the T5 Set for haste items. Using this item also brings the risk of losing one of your two blue gems required for the Chaotic Skyfire Diamond meta gem, so overall this is a rather impractical piece. The Cloak slot is also pretty straight forward with Shroud of the Highborne from Illidan Stormrage in Black Temple and the alternative item Shadowcaster's Drape from the Zul'Aman timed run chests. Both of these cloaks are part of your standard BIS gear.
In your chest slot, Robe of Departed Spirits from Halazzi in Zul'Aman brings a solid 35 Spell Haste Rating, but it also sacrifices three gem slots you would normally have on your T5 chest, making this item more or less obsolete. Contrary to that rather weak chest slot item, the Wrists Bracers of Nimble Thought are an excellent choice. Experienced Tailors can craft those bracers for you. The haste belt Waistwrap of Infinity from Supremus in Black Temple is a good AOE haste item and should be used.
Two more new items in Phase 4 are Pantaloons of Arcane Annihilation, purchasable for 75 Badge of Justice from G'eras in Shattrath, and Footpads of Madness from Jan'alai in Zul'Aman. They are solid Spell Haste options.
For your ring slots, the ring options in your standard Best in Slot above are solid choices, even though the haste rings are slightly better than Band of the Eternal Sage. The Blade of Twisted Visions from Zul'jin in Zul'Aman is an option if you do not have Zhardoom or Tempest of Chaos yet. Fetish of the Primal Gods is the Zul'Aman Badge of Justice off-hand, which can be bought for 35 Badges from G'eras in Shattrath. It is good if you have a one-handed weapon and even for single-target damage it is only slightly behind Chronicle of Dark Secrets, but it lacks the hit, which makes the Chronicle better for single-target damage.
The best trinkets for AoE are Ashtongue Talisman of Insight, Mind Quickening Gem from Vaelastrasz the Corrupt in Blackwing Lair, and The Skull of Gul'dan. These trinkets' Spell Haste effects make you cast much faster, while additional Spell Damage can AoE cap you. When not in danger of being AOE capped, all the other single-target spell damage trinkets listed above are still strong options.
If you have further questions about gemming and enchanting these items, our Arcane Mage Enchants and Gems page below provides more information.
- 05 May 2022: Guide moved.
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