Arcane Mage PvP Guide for WotLK Classic
Viability of Arcane Mages in WotLK Classic PvP
Arcane Mages are a bursty specialization, which relies on high burst damage from procs and abilities to win matches. They have great burst damage, but these are tied to cooldowns, so wins usually have to be fast or a loss is inevitable, especially against teams with a healer. They fit into no-healer Arena compositions and are also great in Battlegrounds and World PvP.
Arcane PvP Mage Talent Build
This is the standard PoM Pyro build, which gets all pieces of the combo, as well as Slow, which can be important to gain damage through Torment the Weak, buy you a little bit of time, and add some crowd control until you can Polymorph someone. The iconic combo of Arcane Power, Icy Veins, and Presence of Mind, coupled with Arcane Blast, Missile Barrage, Arcane Missiles, and the instant-cast Arcane Barrage will end the game in your favor quickly.
Arcane PvP Mage Glyphs
Recommended glyphs are Glyph of Arcane Missiles, Glyph of Evocation, and Glyph of Polymorph as Major glyphs. For Minor glyphs, Arcane Mages use Glyph of Arcane Intellect, Glyph of Frost Ward, and Glyph of Fire Ward.
Arcane PvP Mage Rotation
Rather than a fixed rotation, Mage gameplay is about setting up crowd control chains, followed by bursting down a target with all of your cooldowns at once.
Use your spells accordingly to keep enemies under control, and try to find the best timing to burst them down:
- Keep yourself alive with Frost Nova, Mana Shield, Frost Ward, Fire Ward, Evocation, and Blink.
- Stay in control of the match with Polymorph, Counterspell, Slow, and Spellsteal.
- Burst someone down with Arcane Power, Icy Veins, and Presence of Mind, coupled with Arcane Blast, Missile Barraged Arcane Missiles and the instant-cast Arcane Barrage. If you fail to kill the enemy within the Arcane Power timing, it is likely that you will run out of Mana and / or Health before getting a second chance.
Gearing a PvP Arcane Mage in Wrath of the Lich King
The list linked below includes the best possible gear setup for a Arcane Mage in PvP.
Arcane Mage PvP Arena Teams and Compositions
Arcane Mages need to go into bursty compositions, where quick kills with their IV/AP/POM combo can be achieved. Here are some suggestions:
In 5v5, Arcane Mage can work with most compositions, and is a strong specialization to help burst someone down in the opener. Ideally, you would pair up with an Elemental Shaman which can do similar levels of on-demand burst and also brings the incredibly useful Bloodlust ability.
Arcane Mage PvP Tricks and Tips
In order to become the best Mage possible, you should understand what your talents and spells are for. The amount of details that can go into this section of the guide is endless, but we will try to keep things brief in order to give you a general idea, which you can use to jumpstart your PvP experience.
Magic Attunement amplifies Amplify Magic and Dampen Magic by up to 50% and increases your spells' range by 6 yards. This is typically very useful to lower the damage you take from enemy casters, but will also reduce your healing taken, making it mostly useful in all-DPS compositions.
Improved Counterspell makes your Counterspell silence its target for 4 seconds. This guarantees that you can stop your target's casting, even if they do not actually try to cast anything in the first place. It also guarantees full silence, rather than the school silence of baseline Counterspell.
Presence of Mind makes your next spell be instantly cast, but only once every 3 minutes. This can be used to burst very hard with Arcane Blast, to instantly crowd control an enemy with Polymorph, and other, more niche uses.
Arcane Power increases your damage by 20%, but makes your spells also cost 20% more Mana and only lasts 15 seconds, with an 84s cooldown. This is a very powerful boost to your damage.
Arcane Barrage launches an several missiles at the enemy; this can also be used to proc Missile Barrage or and benefit from the damage-increasing Arcane Blast debuff to give you a powerful instant cast.
Torment the Weak increases the damage of your main Arcane single target spells by 12%, if the target is slowed. This is perfect when you play with a Rogue who uses slow poisons or if you have Slow on your target.
Spellsteal is expensive to cast, but when used at the right time, can turn a match around by stealing enemy buffs such as Ice Barrier, Power Infusion, and Icy Veins, or heals-over-time such as Lifebloom!
Against casters, Molten Armor is great in short, burst-oriented matches, while Mage Armor can give you an edge in prolonged matches. Ice Armor is the armor of choice against melee comps, as its slow reduces their damage and makes you a hard target to focus.
Burning Determination gives you a 20-seconds Interrupt and Silence immunity after you got interrupted. This is extremely potent as it will make you nuke non-stop.
- 18 Jan. 2023: Reviewed for Phase 2 release ahead of Ulduar raid release.
- 26 Sep. 2022: Page added.
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