WotLK Classic Arcane Mage Stat Priority
On this page, you will find out the optimal PvE stat priority for your Arcane Mage in WotLK Classic. We first present the stat priority, before delving into more complex explanations.
Stat Priority for Arcane Mage
Stat values for Arcane Mages depend on your playstyle, boss kill times, raid setup, and support, so it is not easy to give a definite answer on this topic. The best way to find out your stat weights for a specific fight is to use Osthyvel's Mage Sim. If you do not want to go through the trouble of simming, the stat priority below has been proven to be correct for most scenarios.
- Spell Hit rating to cap
- Spell power ≥ Haste rating;
- Critical Strike rating;
Stats explained for Arcane Mage
Arcane Mages have the most complex interaction with their stats and raiding environment of all Mage specs. The benefit of each stat hugely varies with fight length, Mana support, and cooldown usage. Learn more about that below.
In TBC, the Hit cap was 16%, but you always had a 1% chance to miss spells that could not be avoided. The Hit cap in WotLK is 17% and once you have reached it, you will not miss spells on bosses any more. All your spells except Arcane spells, will not gain any Hit bonus in the meta Fire spec. Arcane Spells, such as Arcane Explosion gain 3% from Arcane Focus. The Elemental Precision talent from the Frost tree would still give you 3% Hit for all spells, but the meta Fire spec does not go into the Frost tree. However, in any standard raid composition you gain 3% either from a Balance Druid's Improved Faerie Fire or from a Shadow Priest's Misery. This puts you at 3 out of 17% hit in the default case, which means you need 14% more Hit from gear. Alliance Mages can benefit from the Draenei Racial Heroic Presence, gaining 1% more Hit, but only if that Draenei is in their group, as the buff is not raid-wide. In this case you would be at 4 out of 17% Hit, requiring you to get 13% more Hit. In any case, should you lack either the Druid's or the Priest's hit debuff, you need 3% more Hit from gear. The lack of hit gear is also what makes Fire Mages in particular scale rather poorly in the beginning of the expansion. In later phases, the best gear automatically has some hit added to it, but in the beginning it is mostly either hit or another offensive stat, not both.
At Level 80, for each 1% hit, you need 26.23 hit rating. The table below shows you how much hit % and hit rating you need at Level 80 with our recommended Arcane Mage PvE Talents, depending on your debuff situation.
|Enemy Level||80||81||82||83 (Boss)|
|Hit %||Rating||Hit %||Rating||Hit %||Rating||Hit %||Rating|
|Improved Faerie Fire/Misery||0||0||0||0||0||0||8||209.84|
|Improved Faerie Fire/Misery+Heroic Presence||0||0||0||0||0||0||7||183.61|
Spell Power ≥ Haste Rating
Any increase in Spell Power increases the damage all your spells do. For the Arcane spec both your main nukes Arcane Blast and Arcane Missiles gain a Spell Power bonus from Arcane Empowerment. How a spell scales off Spell Power depends on the cast time. The rule of thumb is that the faster a spell is cast, the less it benefits from Spell Power, whilst slow casts benefit more from it.
At Level 80, a Mage needs 32.79 haste rating for 1% increased casting speed. The reason why Haste is so valuable is that it helps to boost instant-cast spells such as Arcane Explosion more than the Spell power stat, as you can simply cast Arcane Explosion more often rather than slightly empowering it.
Critical Strike rating
The value of Crit rating is an often hotly-discussed topic. At Level 80 45.91 Critical Strike rating is needed to get a 1% higher crit chance. While crits produce effectively free (in terms of no additional Mana cost compared to Haste) damage, the Critical Strike bonus is not as high as the extra bonus from Haste and you need more rating for a 1% increase. However, Arcane Missiles gets its Critical Strike damage bonus increased by 25% from Glyph of Arcane Missiles, Spell Power and Chaotic Skyflare Diamond and Blizzard from Chaotic Skyflare Diamond, Ice Shards and Spell Power. This means that the value of Critical Strike rating also depends on how you AoE (mainly with Blizzard or mainly with Arcane Explosion) and on your Arcane Missiles usage. However, in general, Critical Strike rating comes out weaker than Haste Rating and therefore is ranked lower.
Spirit increases your Mana regeneration and with Arcane Meditation + Mage Armor you can have 100% of your out of combat-regeneration while casting. In Wrath of the Lich King, Molten Armor also turns 35% of your total Spirit into Critical Strike rating. This effect can be increased by 20% with Glyph of Molten Armor and by another 15% with the 2-set bonus of the Tier 9 set later in the expansion. It does not matter if in longer fights with no downtimes, where the Mana regeneration from Mage Armor and Arcane Meditation can restore significant amounts of Mana, or if in shorter fights where the Critical Strike rating bonus from Molten Armor comes out on top, Spirit is a decent passive stat.
While in TBC Spirit massively boosted a Druid's Innervate, the Mana restored from Innervate is now based on the Druid's base Mana, and Spirit also does nothing for your Evocation.
Intellect increases your Mana pool even further with the Arcane Mind talent, which is important as Arcane spells burn Mana very fast, and gives you Spell power with the Mind Mastery talent (15% of your Intellect = Spell Power). Further, Evocation restores 60% of your maximum Mana, and having a bigger Mana pool also means that you restore more Mana. The same rule applies to Mana Tide Totem of Restoration Shamans, which you may get if your healers are good on Mana.
The Arcane Mind talent also makes Intellect stronger through the increased Critical Strike gained from Intellect. At Level 80, you need 166.667 Intellect for 1% Critical Strike chance. Paired with Blessing of Kings (BoK) for any Mage race, and Expansive Mind for Gnomes, the amount of Intellect needed for a 1% increased Critical Strike goes down.
This all sounds very good, but with increased Mana regeneration effects, such as Replenishment, the lower cooldown on Evocation, and the decreased scaling from Mind Mastery, Intellect just has less value than it had in The Burning Crusade.
1 Stamina increases your Health by 10, which makes you more likely to survive, if you get damaged. The rule is simple: Stamina is no stat you should actively gear for, but it never hurts to have some. Arcane Mages typically have enough Stamina on their gear anyways.
MP5 — Mana per 5 Seconds
This stat regenerates a fixed amount of Mana every 5 seconds. As Arcane Mages are always hungry for more Mana, this stat is not bad, but since it is rare to get without dropping more important stats, it is rather insignificant.
- 06 Jan. 2023: Added link to the Mage Sim guide.
- 06 Oct. 2022: Fixed hit tables not displaying information depending on spec.
- 14 Sep. 2022: Page added.
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