Arcane Mage DPS Guide — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.2.5

Last updated on Sep 28, 2019 at 08:57 by Dutchmagoz 68 comments
General Information

Welcome to our Arcane Mage guide for World of Warcraft — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.2.5. Here, you will learn how to play as an Arcane Mage in both raids and Mythic+ dungeons: from the very beginning to maximizing your DPS.

If you were looking for WoW Classic content, please refer to our Classic DPS Mage guide.

1.

Arcane Mage Overview

The Arcane specialization is very singular in the current state of World of Warcraft. The core gameplay revolves around Mana expenditure, presenting the player with two distinct "phases" of the rotation; "Burn" and "Conserve". During the "Conserve" phase, the player aims to remain Mana neutral until the Evocation Icon Evocation cooldown is available. During the "Burn" phase, the player expends all their available Mana while their cooldowns are active, restoring their Mana to full with Evocation when they run dry and re-entering the "Conserve" phase. This dichotomy offers the player a unique experience that is both challenging and rewarding.

Arcane provides impressive AoE, and decent Cleave, making it a strong candidate in dungeons and raid encounters with multiple targets. It also provides some of the strongest instant pressure and burst damage out of all classes, making Arcane perfectly suited to nuking down high priority targets. As with other Mage specializations, Arcane is exceptional at doing encounter specific jobs like soaking mechanics. Between Shimmer Icon Shimmer (or Slipstream Icon Slipstream) and Displacement Icon Displacement high movement encounters have less impact on Arcane's overall output than many other casters. Arcane is also the only Mage specialization with access to Greater Invisibility Icon Greater Invisibility, making it a very strong Mage specialization to deal with heavy incoming damage.

2.

Hotfixes Post-Patch 8.2 for Arcane Mages

  • After the reset of October 1st (NA) / October 2nd (EU): Damage of all abilities increased by 8%.
  • After the reset of July 16th (NA) / July 17th (EU): Damage aura for all spells and abilities increased by 6% (7.06% spell damage buff).
3.

Patch 8.2 Changes for Arcane Mage

There are no Arcane Mage specific changes in Patch 8.2. However, we gained access to the following:

4.

Arcane Mage Strengths

  • High burst damage
  • Strong AoE
  • Exceptional mobility
  • Excels at doing encounter-specific jobs, such as kiting or baiting mechanics
5.

Arcane Mage Weaknesses

  • Reliant on cooldowns for single-target damage
  • Quite bad on 2-target fights
  • Gets punished hard by mechanics
6.

Arcane Mage Viability in the Current Patch

The new Essences launched in 8.2 are not as strong for Arcane as it is for some other specs, however, Arcane got multiple relatively big numerical buffs (~7% spell damage), and again 8% damage later, which keeps its relative strength roughly even from before Patch 8.2.

Arcane excels at pure single-target fights, where it can keep up with almost every class. It still, however, does not perform well on cleave fights or fights with a lot of movement.

In Eternal Palace, Arcane Mages can do competitive single-target DPS, but suffer from some of the movement required on a lot of the fights. Arcane also does not really have a way to deal with the adds on most fights, since most adds are cleaved down. Arcane Mages however are very good at specific encounters, where bursting a specific target in a short window of time is important, for example, Lady Ashvane and Za'qul, Harbinger of Ny'alotha.

In Mythic+, Arcane can opt into very competitive AoE DPS or decent single-target DPS. Additionally, it is very good at bursting down high priority targets, which can make Arcane Mages a very valuable asset to have for specific dungeons, where quickly killing a specific target is key.

7.

Changelog

  • 28 Sep. 2019 (this page): Added hotfixes from October 1st and updated viability section.
  • 20 Jul. 2019 (The Eternal Palace page): Added Azshara tips.
  • 16 Jul. 2019 (gear page): Updated and clarified Azerite gear section.
  • 16 Jul. 2019 (Essences page): Changed format of essences to guide in picking essences better.
  • 16 Jul. 2019 (stats page): Rephrased wording of Intellect description.
  • 16 Jul. 2019 (The Eternal Palace page): Removed disclaimer.
  • 16 Jul. 2019 (this page): Added hotfixes from July 16th and updated viability section.
  • 14 Jul. 2019 (The Eternal Palace page): Added boss tips.
  • 14 Jul. 2019 (gear page): Added Mechagon items.
  • 13 Jul. 2019 (simulations page): Added essence simulations.
  • 13 Jul. 2019 (gear page): Changed benthic belt to a belt which works on every boss.
  • 12 Jul. 2019 (azerite traits and gear page): Added caveat to eternal palace trait.
  • 11 Jul. 2019 (gear page): Updated Azerite suggestions and added gear from The Eternal Palace.
  • 11 Jul. 2019 (talents page): Added note about PvP talent essence.
  • 11 Jul. 2019 (azerite traits and gear page): Added Eternal Palace traits and updated rankings slightly.
  • 11 Jul. 2019 (easy mode page): Added Azerite and Essence choices.
  • 11 Jul. 2019 (Essences page): Updated Essence priority list to be clearer.
  • 11 Jul. 2019 (stats page): Changed priority of Intellect.
  • 11 Jul. 2019 (this page): Expanded on the Patch 8.2 changes and updated viability section.
  • 10 Jul. 2019 (The Eternal Palace page): Added initial talent suggestions.
  • 09 Jul. 2019 (gear page): Added Benthic gear info.
  • 09 Jul. 2019 (mythic+ page): Added season 3 affix descriptions.
  • 08 Jul. 2019 (rotation page): Updated opener to use the new potion.
  • 08 Jul. 2019 (Essences page): Added simulations for Essences.
  • 07 Jul. 2019 (The Eternal Palace page): Page added.
  • 26 Jun. 2019 (Essences page): Updated essences after hotfixes and confirming strengths on live servers.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (spells page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (rotation page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (simulations page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (Essences page): Page added.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (azerite traits and gear page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (gear page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (how to improve page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (talents page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (stats page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (this page): Added Patch 8.2 changes.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (mythic+ page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (Uldir page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (enchants page): Updated for Patch 8.2.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (easy mode page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (Crucible of Storms page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (FAQ page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 12 May 2019 (Crucible of Storms page): Added more tips.
  • 26 Apr. 2019 (talents page): Added note to Shimmer talent description.
  • 15 Apr. 2019 (FAQ page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 15 Apr. 2019 (how to improve page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 15 Apr. 2019 (simulations page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 15 Apr. 2019 (gear page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 15 Apr. 2019 (enchants page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 15 Apr. 2019 (stats page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 15 Apr. 2019 (Uldir page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 15 Apr. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 15 Apr. 2019 (Crucible of Storms page): Guide added.
  • 15 Apr. 2019 (mythic+ page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 15 Apr. 2019 (rotation page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 15 Apr. 2019 (azerite traits and gear page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 15 Apr. 2019 (talents page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 15 Apr. 2019 (spells page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 15 Apr. 2019 (easy mode page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 15 Apr. 2019 (this page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 15 Apr. 2019 (addons page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 17 Mar. 2019 (gear page): Updated the Azerite BiS pieces.
  • 03 Mar. 2019 (rotation page): Updated the rotation to mention Equipoise trait for clarity.
  • 03 Feb. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Added tips for Opulence.
  • 03 Feb. 2019 (mythic+ page): Slightly tweaked Reaping affix recommendation.
  • 01 Feb. 2019 (mythic+ page): Updated for Season 2.
  • 30 Jan. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Updated for Jaina stun hotfixes.
  • 28 Jan. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Added more Jaina info and suggestions.
  • 21 Jan. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Added Battle of Dazar'alor guide for Arcane Mages.
  • 21 Jan. 2019 (azerite traits and gear page): Added information about Battle of Dazal'alor traits.
  • 26 Dec. 2018 (simulations page): Added some default simulations.
  • 26 Dec. 2018 (this page): Minor changes to viability section.
  • 26 Dec. 2018 (FAQ page): Added questions about haste caps, viability and race choices.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (this page): Added Patch 8.1 changes.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (addons page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (rotation page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (mythic+ page): Updated for 8.1.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (gear page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (enchants page): Updated for Patch 8.1.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (simulations page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (easy mode page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (FAQ page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (spells page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (stats page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated for 8.1.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (how to improve page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (talents page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (Uldir page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 30 Sep. 2018 (rotation page): Made the rotation slightly clearer based on what checkboxes are selected.
  • 29 Sep. 2018 (rotation page): Added checkboxes to show rotation based on talents.
  • 27 Sep. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Changed page layout and added more information on how to pick your traits.
  • 26 Sep. 2018 (addons page): Added Decursive to the addon list.
  • 18 Sep. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Removed Brainstorm rotation due to nerfs.
  • 17 Sep. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Added Brainstorm rotation.
  • 02 Sep. 2018 (rotation page): Optimized Rune of Power usage in rotation.
  • 30 Aug. 2018 (this page): Updated for Uldir launch.
  • 30 Aug. 2018 (rotation page): Changed rotation to make use of the free Arcane Blast from Rule of Threes in specific situations.
  • 30 Aug. 2018 (Uldir page): Added guides and talent recommedations for Heroic and Normal modes.
  • 30 Aug. 2018 (how to improve page): Updated for Uldir launch.
  • 28 Aug. 2018 (mythic+ page): Added Overpowered as a viable talent choices for Tyrannical weeks.
  • 28 Aug. 2018 (rotation page): Changed rotation for more optimal Presence of Mind usage.
  • 25 Aug. 2018 (rotation page): Changed opening sequence to ignore Clearcasting during Arcane Power.
  • 23 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated traits for latest hotfixes, and added a section on suggested traits, over just linking them in order of DPS.
  • 21 Aug. 2018 (rotation page): Updated rotation to also ignore Clearcasting procs during Arcane Power.
  • 20 Aug. 2018 (mythic+ page): Changed talent suggestions based on more in-game experience and simulations.
  • 20 Aug. 2018 (rotation page): Updated rotation to conserve at 60% mana because it is better at pre-raid gear levels.
  • 19 Aug. 2018 (easy mode page): Updated with latest expected stat weights for a pre-raid geared player.
  • 19 Aug. 2018 (gear page): Updated for hotfixed traits.
  • 18 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Removed Arcane Pressure rotation changes following hotfix nerfs, and changed Trait priority.
  • 18 Aug. 2018 (rotation page): Optimize the rotation for new findings.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (rotation page): Remove mention for a Legion tier bonus.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (talents page): Removed mention to a bug that was fixed.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Changed Arcane Pressure rotation slightly for new findings.
  • 12 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 12 Aug. 2018 (how to improve page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 12 Aug. 2018 (FAQ page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 12 Aug. 2018 (gear page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 12 Aug. 2018 (this page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 12 Aug. 2018 (rotation page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 12 Aug. 2018 (enchants page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 12 Aug. 2018 (stats page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 12 Aug. 2018 (simulations page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 12 Aug. 2018 (talents page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 10 Aug. 2018 (mythic+ page): Added Arcane Mage Mythic+ page.
  • 10 Aug. 2018 (Uldir page): Added Arcane Mage Boss by Boss page (empty for now).
  • 06 Aug. 2018 (FAQ page): Page added.
  • 04 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated trait descriptions, relative strength, and rotation changes for latest hotfixes.
  • 31 Jul. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Added a disclaimer.
  • 29 Jul. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Added rotation section for Azerite Traits.
  • 28 Jul. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Added initial Azerite Traits page.
  • 23 Jul. 2018 (rotation page): Update rotation to not wait for Evocation to start burn for slightly better DPS.
  • 19 Jul. 2018 (simulations page): Added a picture of legendary + talent combinations.
  • 19 Jul. 2018 (talents page): Updated for legendary and talent hotfixes.
  • 19 Jul. 2018 (gear page): Updated trinket list for latest hotfixes and findings.
  • 19 Jul. 2018 (gear page): Updated legendaries and Best in Slot for nerfed Archmage.
  • 16 Jul. 2018 (how to improve page): Updated for the Battle for Azeroth pre-patch.
  • 16 Jul. 2018 (this page): Updated for the Battle for Azeroth pre-patch.
  • 29 Jan. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Added notes about Equipoise after the buffs of today.
  • 29 Jan. 2018 (this page): Added pre-Mythic Battle of Dazar'alor tuning notes.
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