Arcane Mage DPS Azerite Traits/Powers and Armor — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1
On this page, we have included all the necessary information to select the best Azerite traits for an Arcane Mage in World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth, Patch 8.1. Prior to selecting the traits, you will need to have obtained the Heart of Azeroth, which you can find more about in our Heart of Azeroth guide.
1. Choosing Azerite Gear as a Arcane Mage
Your choice of Azerite Gear pieces will almost always come down to the item level first, and the traits that it has second. Note that the traits you will look at when choosing gear are the Outer Ring traits, as these are the ones with the biggest impact on your gameplay.
The general rule is that if an item is a 15+ item level upgrade over another item, you should use it. If the difference between the two items is less than 15 item levels, then you should choose the one with the better Outer Ring trait. As we said, though, this is a general rule and there are exceptions; for example, if you are comparing an extremely bad trait ( Anomalous Impact) to an extremely good one ( Galvanizing Spark). It is nearly impossible to take every single variable into account without using a tool like Raidbots to simulate the difference for yourself.
It is worth noting that if the difference between the traits is very small, then the higher item level pick will be more desirable. Azerite pieces have a high amount of Stamina, increasing your maximum health. A tiny difference in that regard can be the difference between dying and surviving, so item level is almost always king.
2. Choosing Azerite Traits as a Arcane Mage
In the sections that follow, we will look at the best traits to choose. While the traits are ordered by power, this order is not a very strict priority, but more of a guideline.
2.1. Outer Ring
The Outer Ring traits are the first ones you unlock, and they are by far the most important from a DPS perspective. You can see the simulation comparison of these traits below.
Galvanizing Spark is generally the best trait for single target situations. Since an Arcane Mage's damage is often 80% or more from Arcane Blast, amplifying its damage is very important. For AoE situations, Explosive Echo is the strongest choice. However, both of these traits are only good at one thing, Galvanizing Spark only works on single target, and Explosive Echo only in AoE situations. So on fights where you need both single target and AoE DPS, you might want to have a balance of these.
Laser Matrix and Archive of the Titans are essentially mandatory traits to have on your gear when raiding in Uldir on any difficulty. This is because having at least one of these traits will activate Reorigination Array, a passive effect that vastly increases your highest secondary stat each week. Laser Matrix is generally the best one, but it is not very important which one you have, as long as you have at least one in Uldir.
Blightborne Infusion is a powerful Critical Strike buff that lasts for 14 seconds. This is simply a good all-around option, benefiting both your single-target and AoE damage hugely.
A note on Dagger in the Back: it does well in simulations, but the numbers shown in the simulations assume that you are always hitting the boss from behind. This is not always practical, so the trait is actually a bit worse than shown in the simulations on almost every raid encounter.
2.2. Middle Ring
The Middle Ring traits are all fairly close, and they will rarely affect your choice of Azerite Gear. You can see the simulation comparison of these traits below.
Overwhelming Power has the highest DPS potential of the traits in this ring, but it will lose efficiency whenever you take damage, which can be very often in some raid encounters.
Azerite Globules is generally not worth choosing. Its main value comes from AoE damage, but the debuff has to actually stack up 3 times before it does damage. In Mythic+ where AoE is the most prevalent, targets die constantly, meaning that many stacks of this debuff will get lost.
2.3. Inner Ring
Since the Inner Ring Traits are all defensive Traits, they are mostly up to personal preference, and depend a lot on the raid encounter.
Resounding Protection is an absorb shield that automatically gets applied every 30 seconds. This is one of the best defensive traits to have, as you will always be able to benefit from it.
Eldritch Warding increases your shielding significantly. It is a good trait if you find yourself having to use shields a lot.
Impassive Visage is a nice passive heal to have. It will not do enormous amounts of healing, but it is applied automatically and it will help your healers out a bit.
3. Azerite Traits Rotation Changes and Details for Arcane Mage
There are currently no Azerite Traits that change Arcane's playstyle.
4. Single Target Azerite Traits Simulations for Arcane Mage
4.1. Outer Ring Trait Simulations for Arcane Mage on Single Target
4.2. Middle Ring Trait Comparisons for Arcane Mage on Single Target
5. AoE/Cleave Azerite Traits Simulations for Arcane Mage
5.1. Outer Ring Trait Simulations for Arcane Mage on AoE/Cleave
5.2. Middle Ring Trait Simulations for Arcane Mage on AoE/Cleave
6. Outer Ring Traits for Arcane Mage
6.1. Generic Outer Ring Traits
- Anduin's Dedication / Sylvanas' Resolve causes your spells to have a chance to increase your primary stat for 10 seconds. If an ally dies nearby you also instantly gain this effect. Note that this is a PvP trait.
- Archive of the Titans is an Uldir-specific trait. It gives you a small primary stat buff every 5 seconds which stacks up to 20 times. Stacks only decay when out of combat. It also gives the Reorigination Array buff, which you should always aim to have active while raiding in Uldir.
- Barrage Of Many Bombs gives you a chance to fire a clusterbomb at your current target. When the bomb gets close, it explodes into smaller bombs which do AoE damage when they hit the ground.
- Battlefield Focus / Battlefield Precision gives your abilities a chance to apply stacks of a debuff to the target. This debuff causes them to take more damage from all raid members. Note that this is a PvP trait.
- Blightborne Infusion causes your spells to have a chance to increase your Critical Strike for 14 seconds.
- Blood Rite causes your spells to have a chance to increase your Haste for 15 seconds. Killing enemies refreshes this effect.
- Champion of Azeroth gives your abilities a chance to increase all your secondary stats for a minute, stacking up to 4 times. Getting a new proc will refresh the duration, so you will keep this at 4 stacks throughout an entire fight.
- Collective Will / Stand As One causes your spells to have a chance to increase your primary stat and maximum health. This effect is also applied to up to 4 nearby allies. Note that this is a PvP trait.
- Combined Might / Stronger Together gives you and 4 allies a bonus to one of your secondary stats or to your Spellpower / Attackpower (depending on your role), chosen at random, for 10 seconds. Note that this is a PvP trait.
- Dagger in the Back gives your abilities a chance to shoot a dagger at your target, applying a damage over time effect for 12 seconds, stacking up to 4 times. If you shoot this dagger when behind the target, it will apply 2 stacks.
- Filthy Transfusion gives your damaging ability a chance to do damage over 6 seconds to the target, healing you for the damage done.
- Glory in Battle / Liberator's Might causes your spells to have a chance to grant Critical Strike and Haste for 10 seconds. Note that this is a PvP trait, and attacking a member of the opposing faction significantly increases this chance, making these traits are much stronger in PvP content.
- Incite the Pack causes you to occasionally increase your Mastery and that of up to two nearby allies for 20 seconds.
- Laser Matrix causes your spells to have a chance to unleash a barrage of lasers which deal damage and heal injured allies for a small amount which is further split among them. It also gives the Reorigination Array buff, which you should always aim to have active while raiding in Uldir.
- Last Gift / Retaliatory Fury causes your spells and abilities to have a chance to grant Mastery and an absorb shield . Note that this is a PvP trait; also, taking damage from a member of the opposite faction has a chance to activate this effect, making these traits much strong in PvP content.
- Liberator's Might gives your abilities a chance to give you Haste, and even more Critical Strike for 10 seconds.
- Meticulous Scheming causes you to gain a buff for 8 seconds that transforms into a 20-second Haste buff after you cast 3 different spells while it is active.
- Relational Normalization Gizmo causes your spells to have a chance to grant you a primary stat and maximum health buff or Haste and 50% movement speed for 10 seconds. This trait is only obtainable through crafting Engineering goggles.
- Retaliatory Fury gives your abilities a chance to give you a Mastery buff and a shield for 10 seconds.
- Rezan's Fury causes your damaging abilities to have a chance to summon a Child of Rezan, which deals Physical damage to your target and causes them to bleed for additional damage over 12 seconds.
- Ricocheting Inflatable Pyrosaw causes your spells to have a chance to heal up to 4 allies for a large amount. This trait is only obtainable through crafting Engineering goggles.
- Ruinous Bolt gives your abilities a chance to summon a Soul (pet) by your side for 14 seconds. The Soul deals Shadow damage to a random nearby target.
- Secrets of the Deep causes your spells to have a chance to spawn a Surging Droplet nearby, which you can collect to increase your primary stat for 18 seconds. Rarely, a Void Droplet will be created instead, which increases your primary stat for twice as much as Surging Droplet's when collected.
- Swirling Sands causes your spells to have a chance to increase your Critical Strike for 12 seconds. This duration can be extended by landing Critical Strikes up to a maximum of 18 seconds.
- Synaptic Spark Capacitor gives your abilities a chance to put a debuff on your target. This debuff will deal damage to enemies within 8 yards of the target with the debuff, and causes them to do 5% less damage to you. This trait is only obtainable through crafting Engineering goggles.
- Thunderous Blast gives your damaging abilities a chance blast the target for extra Nature damage, and cause the target to take 20% more damage from your next blast. When the bonus damage reaches 100%, the next blast will Critically Strike, and reset the bonus damage back to 0%.
- Tidal Surge gives your damaging abilities a chance to deal some Frost damage to the target and slow it by 20%.
- Tradewinds causes your spells to have a chance to grant you Mastery for 15 seconds. When this buff expires, it jumps once to a nearby ally at half duration and amount.
- Unstable Catalyst causes your spells and abilities to have a chance to create a zone standing in which increases your primary stat.
Note that when using at least 1 Uldir trait inside Uldir, Reorigination Array grants you a buff that increases your highest secondary stat every 5 seconds, stacking up to 10. This power increases over time, in order to make Uldir raiding easier.
6.2. Arcane Mage specific Outer Ring Traits
- Arcane Pummeling simply makes Arcane Missiles do more damage the closer to the end of the channel you get.
- Equipoise makes Arcane Blast do more damage while above 70% Mana, and cost less Mana below 70% Mana.
- Arcane Pressure makes Arcane Barrage effectively an execute ability, by making it do a lot of extra damage to enemies below 35% Health, based on the amount of Arcane Charges you have when using Arcane Barrage.
- Brain Storm gives you a stacking buff, which increases your Intellect for 10 seconds for every second you channel Evocation. The buff gets refreshed to 10 seconds every time you get an additional stack, so at the end of Evocation you will have the full 10 seconds available. It also gives you 2 Arcane Charges when you cast Evocation.
- Explosive Echo makes Arcane Explosion do a tiny bit of extra damage, however, when it hits 3 or more targets, there is a 10% chance to do a bigger amount of extra damage to them.
- Galvanizing Spark makes Arcane Blast deal extra damage and gives it an 8% chance to generate 2 Arcane Charges instead of one.
7. Middle Ring Traits for Arcane Mage
- Azerite Globules gives your damaging abilities a chance to apply a debuff to your target. This debuff stacks up to 3 times, and when it reaches 3, the target explodes, doing AoE damage.
- Blood Siphon passively increases your Mastery and Leech.
- Earthlink increases your primary stat, with the exact amount cycling between a minimum value and maximum value every 6 seconds.
- Elemental Whirl causes your damaging spells to have a chance to increase one of your secondary stats for 10 seconds.
- Gutripper gives your damaging abilities a chance to deal additional Physical damage. This bonus damage occurs more often when the target is below 30% Health.
- Heed My Call gives your damaging abilities a chance to deal additional Nature damage to the target, and a smaller amount of damage to nearby targets.
- Overwhelming Power causes your damaging spells to have a chance to increase your Haste. The amount of Haste granted decreases every second or whenever you take damage.
- Unstable Flames causes your damaging spells to have a chance to grant a Critical Strike buff for 5 seconds, stacking up to 5 times.
8. Inner Ring Traits for Arcane Mage
- Auto-Self-Cauterizer grants you a chance, when taking damage, to self-heal for a large amount and remove most bleed effects as well as slowing nearby enemies by 30% for 5 seconds. This trait is only obtainable through crafting Engineering goggles.
- Azerite Fortification heals you when you are stunned, immobilized, or knocked back.
- Bulwark of the Masses causes you to gain a moderate absorb shield when surrounded by 4 or more enemies, but can only occur once every 15 seconds.
- Cauterizing Blink heals you for a small amount over 4 seconds. Also works with Shimmer when talented.
- Eldritch Warding makes Prismatic Barrier stronger by absorbing more damage before breaking.
- Gemhide causes you to gain Avoidance and Armor for 10 seconds when you take damage that exceeds 10% of your maximum health.
- Impassive Visage heals you when you take damage. It can not occur more often than every 6 seconds.
- Longstrider increases your movement speed by a percentage of your highest secondary stat, with a maximum movement speed gain limit.
- Personal Absorb-o-Tron grants you a chance, when taking damage, to gain a large absorb shield for up to 1 minute. This trait is only obtainable through crafting Engineering goggles.
- Resounding Protection causes you to gain an absorb shield every 30 seconds.
- Self Reliance causes you to be healed every 3 seconds while no enemies are within 12 yards of you.
- Vampiric Speed causes you to self-heal and gain Speed for 6 seconds whenever an enemy you damaged dies.
9. Find Azerite Armor By Trait/Power
In the table below, you can see all of the Azerite gear available to your Arcane Mage. By using the + button located next to each item, you can expand the list of Azerite powers that this item possesses (to collapse the list, simply click the - button).
If you want to filter items according to the powers that they offer, you can use the filters below.
- 10 Dec. 2018: Updated for 8.1.
- 27 Sep. 2018: Changed page layout and added more information on how to pick your traits.
- 18 Sep. 2018: Removed Brainstorm rotation due to nerfs.
- 17 Sep. 2018: Added Brainstorm rotation.
- 23 Aug. 2018: Updated traits for latest hotfixes, and added a section on suggested traits, over just linking them in order of DPS.
- 18 Aug. 2018: Removed Arcane Pressure rotation changes following hotfix nerfs, and changed Trait priority.
- 13 Aug. 2018: Changed Arcane Pressure rotation slightly for new findings.
- 12 Aug. 2018: Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
- 04 Aug. 2018: Updated trait descriptions, relative strength, and rotation changes for latest hotfixes.
- 31 Jul. 2018: Added a disclaimer.
- 29 Jul. 2018: Added rotation section for Azerite Traits.
- 28 Jul. 2018: Added initial Azerite Traits page.
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