Arcane Mage Leveling Guide From 1 to 70 for TBC Classic
Arcane Mage Level-by-Level Rotation, Talents, and Trainer Skills
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Talent Tree for Leveling as Arcane Mage
From Level 10 on you get one talent point per level, which you can use to build your talent tree. The talent menu can be accessed via the default keybind "N" in game.
Your talents should look like the trees below. However, for the Arcane tree you can swap some points around based on personal preference. The suggested order is optimized for Mana efficiency and damage.
- Levels 10 to 14 — 5 points in Improved Arcane Missiles
- Levels 15 & 16 — 2 points in Wand Specialization
- Levels 17 to 19 — 3 points in Arcane Focus
Improved Arcane Missiles is one of the strongest Arcane talents and available right at the start. It reduces Arcane Missiles' chance to suffer spell pushback from any attack by 20% per talent point. After spending 5 talent points, this means that no ranged, melee or spell attack can cause spell pushback while channeling Arcane Missiles. However, Arcane Missiles can still be interrupted by abilities like Silence, Kick, Earth Shock, or simply by stun effects. Keep an eye out for Rogue, Mage, Shaman, or Warrior-type NPCs, as some of these possess such interrupting abilities.
Wand Specialization is extremely useful early on, as wands do very high DPS in the beginning of the game and wanding can save you Mana. Typically you cast one or two Arcane Missiles and then finish off enemies with your wand to save a lot of Mana. With three talent points in Arcane Focus, you will be hit-cap against enemies up to two levels above you, making quests with higher-level enemies much easier to complete.
- Levels 20 to 24 — 5 points in Arcane Concentration
- Levels 25 to 27 — 3 points in Arcane Meditation
- Levels 28 & 29 — 2 points in Improved Mana Shield
For incredible Mana efficiency, and later on for more damage from the Arcane Potency talent, we choose to place 5 talent points into Arcane Concentration. The Mana efficiency of Arcane gets even better with the Arcane Meditation talent, which lets 30% of your Mana regeneration continue during combat. Later on, this will add up to 60% with Mage Armor and increase your regeneration even further, making Intellect and Spirit more valuable for leveling. It has to be noted though, that this effect only works while casting and not while traveling. Nevertheless, this it is still a great talent, as you will only ever struggle with Mana when fighting and not while traveling.
As Frost Nova is your only efficient way of keeping enemies away from you, you will be using Mana Shield more often, thus making Improved Mana Shield a good talent. Mana Shield will use up 20% less Mana per damage absorbed after spending these two talent points.
- Level 30 — 1 point in Presence of Mind
- Level 31 — 1 point in Arcane Fortitude
- Levels 32 & 33 — 2 points in Magic Attunement
- Level 34 — 1 point in Arcane Mind
- Levels 35 to 37 — 3 points in Arcane Instability
- Levels 38 & 39 — 2 points in Arcane Potency
At Level 30, Presence of Mind will become available, which makes your next spell with a cast time less than 10 seconds an instant spell. You can use this while traveling to cast Conjure Water or Conjure Food, instantly sheep an enemy while running away, or simply make any damage spell an instant cast such as Frostbolt for slowing enemies. Portal spells are not affected by this.
Arcane Fortitude will increase your Armor by an amount equal to your Intellect, which is a very strong defensive talent for only one talent point. Dampen Magic will also become a better defensive spell to use after spending your 2 points into Magic Attunement, further decreasing your magic damage taken. At this stage, you also have the option to put the two talent points of Magic Attunement into Arcane Subtlety instead. This is recommended if you plan on doing lots of group and dungeon content, as it reduces the threat of your Arcane spells by 40%, making it easier for tanks to keep aggro.
Arcane Mind increases your Intellect and, thanks to Arcane Fortitude, also your Armor from Intellect by 3% per talent point up to a total of 15%. Arcane Instability will give 3% more damage and a 3% higher crit chance, which is also a prequisite to your Level 40 cooldown talent Arcane Power. After spending your points in Arcane Potency, each time you get the clearcasting effect from Arcane Concentration you will have an increased Critical Strike chance, up to 30% in the end, for your next spell cast while clearcasting is active.
- Level 40 — 1 points in Arcane Power
- Level 41 — 1 point in Arcane Potency
- Levels 42 & 43 — 2 points in Spell Power
- Level 44 — 1 point in Arcane Mind
- Levels 45 to 49 — 5 points in Mind Mastery
At Level 40, Arcane Power, the big cooldown ability of the Arcane tree becomes available. When used, it allows you to deal 30% more damage for 15 seconds, but your spells cost 30% more Mana. This is particularly useful when you need to kill a strong enemy or many enemies in a short amount of time and can also be used in conjunction with Arcane Explosion to finish off enemies quickly. The Spell Power talent makes your critical strikes deal 175% normal damage instead of 150% normal damage, which is also very good. Mind Mastery is one of the strongest Arcane talents, turning 25% of your Intellect into Spell Damage. Together with Arcane Mind, one point of Intellect gives you 0,2875 Spell Damage or in other words you get 1 Spell Damage per 3.5 Intellect, making Intellect a very valuable stat from now on.
- Level 50 — 1 point in Slow
- Levels 51 to 53 — 3 points in Empowered Arcane Missiles
- Levels 54 to 56 — 3 points in Arcane Mind
- Levels 57 & 58 — 2 points in Arcane Subtlety
- Level 59 — 1 point in Arcane Focus
Arcane's main control spell, Slow, comes with Level 50. It reduces the target's movement speed by 50%, makes them take 50% more time between ranged attacks and increases their casting time by 50% for 15 seconds. This can be used defensively to delay enemies from reaching you and cause them to deal ranged or magic damage 50% more slowly to you. If you need to flee from an enemy, simply Slow. This ability works like Polymorph: only on one target at a time. Arcane Missiles become stronger with the Empowered Arcane Missiles talent, increasing its Spell Damage coefficient from 142% to 188%. This makes each point of Spell Damage worth 1.88 damage instead of 1.42 and makes Arcane Mind, Mind Mastery, and the Spell Damage stat itself take off in value. By the mid-50s, you should also have gotten some Spell Damage gear. A little downside of this talent is that it will make your Arcane Missiles cost 6% more Mana, however that is neglible given that you now should have some Spell Damage and Intellect gear. With two points in Arcane Subtlety, your Arcane spells will do 40% less threat which is the best threat-reducing talent of Mages; your enemies' spell resistances are also reduced by 10. If you do any dungeon content, you can now be sure that it will be very hard for you to pull threat from tanked mobs. If you took Arcane Subtlety earlier, now is the time to instead place your talent points into Magic Attunement.
- Level 60 — 1 point in Arcane Focus
- Levels 61 to 63 — 3 points in Arcane Impact
- Levels 64 & 65 — 2 points in Prismatic Cloak
- Levels 66 to 70 — 5 points in Magic Absorption
Arcane Impact will give Arcane Explosion and Arcane Blast, a novel spell learned at Level 64, a 6% higher chance to crit. After spending 2 talent points on Prismatic Cloak, all damage done against you will be reduced by 4% and the 5 talent points in Magic Absorption will restore 5% of your maximum Mana if you fully-resist enemy spells. To resist more spells, this talent gives you an additional 10 resistance versus spells, which works hand-in-hand with the resistance-increasing effect of Mage Armor and Outland zones generally having more caster mobs than Azeroth. This effect can only occur once per second. With this spec, you can go into Outland dungeons as well. For raid content or PvP it is highly recommended to respec into a proper PvP or PvE spec.
Rotation for leveling up as a Arcane Mage
- Cast Arcane Intellect and Frost Armor if you are missing their buffs.
- Cast Arcane Intellect and Frost Armor if you are missing their buffs. Use Mana Shield in any situation where you could die.
- Cast Arcane Intellect and Ice Armor if you are missing their buffs. Use Mana Shield in any situation where you could die.
- Cast Arcane Intellect and Mage Armor if you are missing their buffs. Use Mana Shield in any situation where you could die.
- Cast Arcane Intellect and Molten Armor if you are missing their buffs. If you feel that your Mana regeneration is lacking, use Mage Armor instead. Use Mana Shield in any situation where you could die.
- Cast Fireball as your main attack.
- Cast Frostbolt as your main attack.
- Always use a Wand and your Shoot ability. From Level 5 on, you can use Lesser Magic Wand and quest zones gradually offer you upgrades on your Wand.
- Cast Fireball as your main attack.
- It is recommended to open with Frostbolt and then go into Arcane Missiles, as upon channeling Arcane missiles the enemy will immediately start running toward you. Therefore we will keep learning Frostbolt as an opener and to have a spell available to cast when we get locked out on the Arcane spell school.
- It is recommended to open with Frostbolt and then go into Arcane Missiles, as upon channeling Arcane missiles the enemy will immediately start running toward you. Therefore we will keep learning Frostbolt as an opener and to have a spell available to cast when we get locked out on the Arcane spell school. In order to kill strong enemies fast or speed up the killing process, you may also cast Arcane Blast, but be aware of the high Mana cost and spell pushback that can come with this spell.
Mana Shield, can be kept up during battle in order to minimize health lost. However, Mana Shield also takes Mana from you, so you might have to spend more time drinking. Generally it is recommended to use Mana Shield only as an emergency tool for survival or if you notice that you spend more time regenerating Health than regenerating Mana.
Utility skills, such as Frost Nova, should be used to keep enemies away from you or to freeze and finish them off.
Utility skills, such as Frost Nova, and AoE skills such as Cone of Cold should be used to keep enemies away from you or finish off packs of enemies as required.
Utility skills, such as Frost Nova, and AoE skills such as Cone of Cold or Slow should be used to keep enemies away from you or finish off packs of enemies as required.
You can make your own food and water with Conjure Food and Conjure Water. These spells should definitely be learned, as water and food from vendors will cost you far more gold than these spells do. Sometimes other players even want to buy conjured water and you can gain a little extra gold. Conjured items disappear after 15 minutes of being logged out.
Summary of Trainer Skills for Arcane Mage
- At Level 1, buy Arcane Intellect as soon as you can afford it. It provides a significant boost to your Intellect which lasts for 30 minutes.
- At Level 4, buy Conjure Water and Frostbolt. Conjure Water creates free water you can use while leveling and to sell to others. Frostbolt deals strong single-target damage and slows the target by 40%.
- At Level 6, buy Conjure Food and Fire Blast. Conjure Food creates free food you can use while leveling and to sell to others while Fire Blast is usually used as a finisher or to deal damage while moving.
- Also buy Fireball at level 6, as it does more damage than a Frostbolt without talents.
- At Level 8, buy Polymorph, Arcane Missiles and Frostbolt. Polymorph Rank 1 allows you to take one humanoid or beast enemy out of combat for 20 seconds, which is very useful for looting quest items guarded by a single enemy or when dealing with several enemies. Only one enemy at a time can be Polymorphed and, in TBC, crowd control effects can break at any time with an increasingly-higher chance to break toward the end of the effect. Arcane Missiles is your main nuke as they do not suffer from cast time pushback.
- At Level 10, buy Conjure Water, Frost Armor and Frost Nova. Frost Nova freezes nearby enemies for 8 seconds, allowing you to regain distance on them before re-engaging. In these low levels, the damage component of Frost Nova can also be used to finish one enemy off and freeze another enemy to engage him with Arcane Missiles if you are fighting multiple enemies.
- At Level 12, buy Dampen Magic, Conjure Food and Slow Fall. Slow Fall slows your falling speed at the cost of a Light Feather. This comes in handy to avoid fall damage and enable shortcuts that would otherwise lead to death.
- At Level 14, buy Arcane Explosion, Arcane Intellect, and Frostbolt. Arcane Explosion is your main AoE spell with the single-target spec. It is an instant-cast ability and can also be used to finish off low-health enemies. It has a high Mana cost but lower threat than the Fire AoE spells you will encounter later.
- At Level 16, buy Arcane Missiles.
- At Level 18, buy Remove Lesser Curse. Remove Lesser Curse is a bit niche for leveling since you will only rarely get cursed. However, the ability of this spell to remove curses from yourself or friends is very valuable later on in the game and you will definitely use it.
- At Level 20, buy Blink, Frost Armor, Frostbolt, Conjure Water, Evocation, Polymorph, and Mana Shield.
- In Stormwind, Ironforge, Exodar (Alliance) and
Orgrimmar, Undercity, Silvermoon (Horde) you can now buy the teleport spells
for each city.
- Alliance: Teleport: Stormwind, Teleport: Ironforge, Teleport: Exodar
- Horde: Teleport: Orgrimmar, Teleport: Undercity, Teleport: Silvermoon
- Each Teleport spell requires you to use one Rune of Teleportation, which can be bought at any reagent vendor. You can find reagent vendors by clicking the magnifier button on the mini map and they will be automatically displayed there when you are close to one. The Teleport spells can save a lot of travel time and makes learning new spells from your Mage trainers very convenient. Evocation is another great spell you will never want to miss. It restores 60% of your total Mana within 8 seconds. Use this ability as often as you can, as this will also increase your leveling speed by not having to drink. Blink is a utility spell that allows you to travel 20 yards instantly. It removes rooting effects and most stuns from you; you can use it together with Frost Nova to get away from enemies and you can use it as a tactical spell in dungeons to move out of aoe effects or to reposition yourself instead of walking to a new position for several seconds. Other applications of Blink are to skip enemies and to prevent death from falling — when falling down from somewhere, Blink can be used shortly before hitting the ground to avoid fall damage. Mana Shield will avoid cast time pushback and will absorb damage in dangerous situations. However, it costs Mana, so it is advised to be used only when needed as you will have to regenerate that Mana again.
- At Level 22, buy Arcane Explosion and Conjure Food.
- At Level 24, buy Arcane Missiles, Dampen Magic, and Counterspell. Counterspell instantly interrupts enemy casts and prevents spells of the interrupted school from being cast for 10 seconds. This ability has a 30-second cooldown and finds a variety of applications in PvP and PvE.
- At Level 26, buy Cone of Cold and Frostbolt. Cone of Cold slows enemies in front of you with a frontal cone. It can be used to deal damage to groups of enemies or finish them off. It can also be used defensively to flee from dangerous situations since it is instant-cast and slows enemies for 8 seconds. If you use it as a defensive ability, always use Rank 1 to save mana.
- At Level 28, buy Arcane Intellect, Mana Shield, and Conjure Mana Agate. Conjure Mana Agate is the first out of five spells that create Mana Gems, which can be used in and out of combat to instantly restore Mana. These gems do not share a cooldown with Mana Potions, have a 2-minute cooldown, and are consumed on use. Except for the last rank of this spell, these gems cost more Mana to make than they restore, so only use the first four ranks if really needed. As any conjured item, these are destroyed when logging out for more than 15 minutes.
- At Level 30, buy Ice Armor, Ice Block, Arcane Explosion, Conjure Water, and Teleport: Darnassus (Alliance) or Teleport: Thunder Bluff (Horde) at the respective city's portal trainers. You now stop using Frost Armor and use the slightly-better Ice Armor instead. Ice Block is very useful if you get into hairy situations and can be used to remove debuffs on you, avoid any kind of damage, and to buy time when you are waiting for another cooldown or a healing spell to land on you in group content. This spell is very versatile and it is recommended to get a feeling of when to use it.
- At Level 32, buy Conjure Food, Arcane Missiles, and Frostbolt.
- At Level 34, buy Mage Armor. With Mage Armor, 30% of your Mana regeneration continues while casting. This may not sound like much, but it makes a significant difference for leveling speed. Further, it gives a small amount of magic resistance. At this point, should you get hit by physical attacks, you have talents to compensate for the extra damage which allows you to use Mage Armor over Ice Armor.
- At Level 35 Portal: Theramore and Teleport: Theramore is available to learn for Alliance players in Theramore while Horde players can learn Portal: Stonard/ Teleport: Stonard in Stonard. The Stonard portal is useful later on to get to Karazhan fast.
- At Level 36, buy Dampen Magic and Mana Shield.
- At Level 38, buy Arcane Explosion, Conjure Mana Jade, and Frostbolt.
- At Level 40, buy Arcane Missiles, Conjure Water and Polymorph. At Level 40, you can also start to buy the portal spells for each major city, except for Darnassus and Thunder Bluff which become trainable at level 50. Portals use a Rune of Portals from a reagent vendor and can be used by anyone in your group.
- At Level 42, buy Arcane Intellect and Conjure Food.
- At Level 44, buy Mana Shield and Frostbolt.
- At Level 46, buy Mage Armor and Arcane Explosion.
- At Level 48, buy Arcane Missiles, Dampen Magic and Conjure Mana Citrine.
- At Level 50, buy Frostbolt, Conjure Water and Portal: Darnassus (Alliance) or Portal: Thunder Bluff (Horde) at each respective city's portal trainers.
- At Level 52, buy Conjure Food and Mana Shield.
- At Level 54, buy Arcane Explosion.
- At Level 56, buy Frostbolt, Arcane Missiles, Arcane Intellect, and Arcane Brilliance. Arcane Brilliance buffs your whole group with Arcane Intellect for one hour and requires one charge of Arcane Powder from reagent vendors per cast.
- At Level 58, buy Conjure Mana Ruby and Mage Armor.
- At Level 60, buy Conjure Food, Conjure Water, Frostbolt, Polymorph, Mana Shield, Arcane Missiles, Dampen Magic and Teleport: Shattrath in the middle of Shattrath (Alliance and Horde). In Outland you can buy better Filtered Draenic Water at level 60 and Purified Draenic Water at Level 65, which are both better than the conjured Level 60 water. The Level 65 food Clefthoof Ribs is also better than the conjured Level 60 food.
- At Level 62, buy Molten Armor and Arcane Explosion. If you feel that you take too much damage and Mana is not a concern, Molten Armor is the new suggested Armor type. It adds 3% crit chance and damages mobs when they hit you. It also decreases the chance to be critically hit with Physical melee attacks. If incoming damage is no problem and/or Mana is a problem, stick to Mage Armor. At this point, you can decide which armor type you prefer, based on your own experience.
- At Level 63, buy Frostbolt and Arcane Missiles.
- At Level 63, buy Arcane Blast. This spell is the Mage's highest DPS spell in TBC, but also the most Mana-intensive. Use this spell in conjunction with your Mana Shield, Frost Nova, Slow, and Arcane Power to finish off strong enemies fast. The Mana consumption of this spell is so high that we recommend to avoid it while leveling unless its burst damage is needed. Each time you cast Arcane Blast, you gain one stack of a debuff, stacking up to a maximum of 3. This debuff makes your Arcane Blast cast faster, but also cost much more Mana. On top of its Mana inefficiency, Arcane Blast is, contrary to your talented Arcane Missiles, also subject to spell pushback.
- At Level 65, buy Conjure Water, and Portal: Shattrath in the middle of Shattrath (Alliance and Horde).
- At Level 66, buy Dampen Magic.
- At Level 68, buy Invisibility, Mana Shield, and Conjure Mana Emerald. Invisibility is a new spell that takes 5 seconds to make you invisible. During that time, you fade, which is useful in dungeon groups, as it reduces your threat against all targets by 20% per second until you finally become invisible and drop combat. This spell can also be used to sneak by enemies and reach a quest spot earlier, or to flee and avoid death. The new Mana Emerald contains 3 charges and restores more Mana than it takes to conjure, so you can both use it like the old gems and also use it in between too for a net Mana regeneration.
- At Level 69, buy Mage Armor, Frostbolt and Arcane Missiles.
- At Level 70, buy Arcane Intellect, Arcane Explosion, and Spellsteal. Arcane Brilliance, Conjure Food, and Conjure Water are learned from the books Tome of Arcane Brilliance 2, Tome of Conjure Food VIII, and Tome of Conjure Water IX, which are all Level 70 dungeon drops. Learning Rank 9 of Conjure Water and Rank 8 of Conjure Food is most important, because these two spells unlock Ritual of Refreshment at your trainer. Ritual of Refreshment uses two Arcane Powders per cast and summons a table which gives everyone who uses it up to 80 Conjured Mana Biscuits. Spellsteal steals one beneficial magic effect from your target, which you can benefit from for a maximum of two minutes. There are a few, but not too many good spells you can steal. However, this ability is required to defeat High King Maulgar in the Gruul's Lair raid.
Additional Arcane Mage Information After Reaching Level 70
After you reached level 70, there is still a lot to learn. Our Arcane Mage PvE Guide covers the most relevant and up-to-date information about your Arcane Mage spells, talents, rotation, gear, and many more.
- 02 Jun. 2021: Added link to Level 70 class guide for this spec.
- 28 May 2021: Fixed typos and spell ranks.
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