Arcane Mage DPS Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities — Shadowlands 9.1

Last updated on Jun 28, 2021 at 15:28 by Dutchmagoz 44 comments
General Information

On this page, you will learn how to optimize the rotation of your Arcane Mage in both single-target and multiple-target situations. We also have advanced sections about cooldowns, procs, etc. in order to minmax your DPS. All our content is updated for World of Warcraft — Shadowlands 9.1.

If you were looking for TBC Classic content, please refer to our TBC Classic Arcane Mage rotation.

1.

Arcane Mage Rotation

Welcome to our Rotation page for Arcane Mages. On this page you will find everything you need to know about actually playing the spec in Raiding scenarios.

1.1.

Mythic+

The primary focus on this page is on raiding scenarios. Although the rotation is going to give pretty good results in Mythic+ as well, for a more Mythic+ oriented rotation, see our Mythic+ page.

1.2.

Easy Mode

If the rotations below seem overwhelming to you, or you would simply like to read a more simplified version of the rotation, you might benefit from visiting our Easy Mode page which outlines a close-to-optimal rotation in simpler terms.

1.3.

PvP

The content on this page is purely PvE-related. If you are looking for PvP Rotation Tips, please visit our PvP page below.

2.

Single-Target Rotation for Arcane Mage

Use the switches below to tailor the rotation to the talents you are using or situations you expect to be facing, and it will populate the rotation priority list appropriately:

The rotation of an Arcane Mage is outlined in the following priority list. The concept is to maintain a high and stable Mana pool during your Conserve Phase, biding time until your cooldowns are available. As soon as your cooldowns are ready, you enter the Burn Phase where you siphon all your Mana into damage. After the Burn phase concludes, you recoup your entire Mana pool using Evocation Icon Evocation, and the cycle begins anew.

When running Kyrian together with Arcane Harmony Icon Arcane Harmony, your rotation changes quite significantly. Make sure to read our Kyrian Harmony section below if you run this combination.

2.1.

The Burn Phase

The Burn phase commences at the start of the encounter, and whenever Arcane Power Icon Arcane Power is off cooldown thereafter. It is important to ensure you will not be interrupted during the Burn phase, so avoid entering this part of the rotating during heavy movement or when volatile mechanics are active.

You can enter the Burn Phase when the following is all true:

Below we have listed the order in which you should perform your spells during the Burn Phase.

  1. Use Arcane Barrage Icon Arcane Barrage if you have 4 Arcane Charges and Touch of the Magi Icon Touch of the Magi is ready.
  2. Cast Touch of the Magi Icon Touch of the Magi.
  3. Cast Arcane Power Icon Arcane Power.
  4. Cast Presence of Mind Icon Presence of Mind if Arcane Power Icon Arcane Power would run out before you can finish your next Arcane Blast Icon Arcane Blast.
  5. Use Mana Gem Icon Mana Gem when you are at 85% Mana or lower.
  6. Cast Arcane Missiles Icon Arcane Missiles when Clearcasting Icon Clearcasting is up.
  7. Cast Arcane Blast Icon Arcane Blast.
  8. Cast Evocation Icon Evocation when out of Mana.
  9. If you run out of Mana before Evocation Icon Evocation is available, simply use Arcane Barrage Icon Arcane Barrage to reset your Arcane Charges, and continue like normal until Evocation is available.

See our Opening Sequence for instructions on what to cast when the fight starts, especially if you have Arcane Echo Icon Arcane Echo talented, as the opener is more advanced than a normal burn phase with this talent.

2.2.

Conserve Phase

The Conserve Phase is deceptively straightforward, but it mercilessly punishes mistakes. Once Evocation Icon Evocation is on cooldown, the only way to regain your Mana is by waiting for it to slowly regenerate or by using Arcane Barrage Icon Arcane Barrage. Therefore, paying close attention to your Mana and your available spells is of crucial importance. During the Conserve Phase you should try to maximize the amount of time spent casting Arcane Blast Icon Arcane Blast with 4 Arcane Charges, while keeping your Mana high enough during the Conserve Phase, so that when your Arcane Power Icon Arcane Power comes off cooldown you are able to Burn as much Mana as possible within that window for optimal output.

  1. Cast Touch of the Magi Icon Touch of the Magi if you have 0 Arcane Charges and Arcane Power Icon Arcane Power is not ready for at least 30 more seconds.
  2. Cast Arcane Missiles Icon Arcane Missiles when Clearcasting Icon Clearcasting procs, unless you plan to go into the burn phase within the next 10 seconds, or plan to use Touch of the Magi Icon Touch of the Magi within 10 seconds.
  3. Cast Arcane Barrage Icon Arcane Barrage if you have 4 Arcane Charges , Touch of the Magi Icon Touch of the Magi is ready and Arcane Power Icon Arcane Power is not ready for at least 30 more seconds.
  4. Cast Arcane Barrage Icon Arcane Barrage if you have 4 Arcane Charges and you are below 90% Mana.
  5. Cast Arcane Blast Icon Arcane Blast.
  6. Cast Arcane Barrage Icon Arcane Barrage if you do not have enough Mana for Arcane Blast Icon Arcane Blast.
3.

How to use Covenant Abilities in the Arcane Mage Rotation

3.1.

Kyrian and Arcane Harmony rotation changes

3.1.1.

Cooldown usage as a Kyrian, Arcane Harmony User

When you are both a member of the Kyrian Covenant and are using the Arcane Harmony Icon Arcane Harmony Legendary, there are some important changes to the rotation.

Your goal will be to maximize the amount of Arcane Barrage Icon Arcane Barrage casts into a 4-stack Radiant Spark Icon Radiant Spark with as many Arcane Harmony Icon Arcane Harmony stacks as possible.

To achieve this, you will have to plan your cooldowns in such a way that you get the most amount of usages out of them, while trying to maximize the amount of overlaps. This ends up being a 2-minute cycle (or a 1.30-minute cycle with Arcane Prodigy Icon Arcane Prodigy). Keep in mind, this cycle begins after you have reached 18 stacks of Arcane Harmony Icon Arcane Harmony, not at the start of the fight.

Without the Arcane Prodigy Icon Arcane Prodigy Conduit:

  1. 0:00 — Arcane Power Icon Arcane Power + Touch of the Magi Icon Touch of the Magi + Radiant Spark Icon Radiant Spark + any Racial abilities (like Berserking Icon Berserking) + any on-use trinkets (like Sinful Gladiator's Badge of Ferocity Icon Sinful Gladiator's Badge of Ferocity);
  2. 0:15 — Rune of Power Icon Rune of Power;
  3. 0:30 — Radiant Spark Icon Radiant Spark;
  4. ~1:00 — Rune of Power Icon Rune of Power + Touch of the Magi Icon Touch of the Magi + Radiant Spark Icon Radiant Spark (you can delay this a couple of seconds, if needed);
  5. 1:30 — Radiant Spark Icon Radiant Spark; (this can be skipped if you delayed the previous one)
  6. 2:00 — repeat from 0:00.

With the Arcane Prodigy Icon Arcane Prodigy Conduit:

  1. 0:00 — Arcane Power Icon Arcane Power + Touch of the Magi Icon Touch of the Magi + Radiant Spark Icon Radiant Spark + any Racial abilities (like Berserking Icon Berserking) + any on-use trinkets (like Sinful Gladiator's Badge of Ferocity Icon Sinful Gladiator's Badge of Ferocity);
  2. 0:15 — Rune of Power Icon Rune of Power;
  3. 0:45 — Touch of the Magi Icon Touch of the Magi + Radiant Spark Icon Radiant Spark;
  4. 1:30 — repeat from 0:00.

Although it might look like a lot to remember, it is actually very straightforward, as you simply use everything when it becomes available. The important part is not losing track of the "schedule" while dealing with fight mechanics. If something gets delayed due to having to deal with fight mechanics, it is important you do not desync the cycle above, but instead stick to it, albeit delayed.

Outside of that cooldown rotation, your standard conserve phase also has a slightly different priority list:

  1. Cast Arcane Barrage Icon Arcane Barrage with more than 15 stacks of Arcane Harmony Icon Arcane Harmony, and 4 OR 0 Arcane Charges (not 1-3)
  2. Cast Arcane Orb Icon Arcane Orb when you are on 0 or 1 Arcane Charges
  3. Cast Arcane Blast Icon Arcane Blast when you have 1 or more Arcane Charges (generally only happens after using Arcane Orb Icon Arcane Orb)
  4. Cast Arcane Missiles Icon Arcane Missiles as your filler to generate Arcane Harmony Icon Arcane Harmony stacks
3.1.2.

Radiant Spark usage

As you can see in the 2-minute cycle above, you are using Radiant Spark Icon Radiant Spark exactly on cooldown, as delaying it will delay your entire 2-minute cycle. However, the goal is to get an as hard-hitting as possible Arcane Barrage Icon Arcane Barrage into Radiant Spark. To achieve this, you must start preparing for Radiant Spark before it comes off cooldown:

  • Around 5 seconds before Radiant Spark Icon Radiant Spark comes off cooldown, you will want to start casting Arcane Missiles Icon Arcane Missiles regardless of whether or not you have Clearcasting Icon Clearcasting procs to generate Arcane Harmony Icon Arcane Harmony stacks. For the big Radiant Sparks (the ones every 2 minutes), you should have 18 stacks, whereas for the smaller ones aim for at least 12 stacks but more is better.
  • Ensure you have at least 40% Mana as Radiant Spark Icon Radiant Spark comes off cooldown. Keep in mind, you absolutely should not use Arcane Barrage Icon Arcane Barrage after you have built up Arcane Harmony stacks. So to fill the time and conserve Mana, you can use Fire Blast Icon Fire Blast and Frostbolt Icon Frostbolt or use this time to move to a safe area or handle a certain boss mechanic.

Then, when Radiant Spark Icon Radiant Spark is ready, cast the following sequence of spells:

  1. If Arcane Power Icon Arcane Power is not available, cast Rune of Power Icon Rune of Power, if available;
  2. Cast Radiant Spark Icon Radiant Spark;
  3. Cast Touch of the Magi Icon Touch of the Magi, if available;
  4. Cast Arcane Power Icon Arcane Power and any other cooldowns, like Racial abilities and on-use trinket, if available;
  5. Cast Arcane Blast Icon Arcane Blast 5 times
  6. Cast Arcane Barrage Icon Arcane Barrage immediately after finishing the 5th Arcane Blast Icon Arcane Blast. As long as you ensure you cast Arcane Barrage together with the 5th Arcane Blast, both will fire at the same time and both will benefit from the final charge of Radiant Spark Icon Radiant Spark.

Being able to cast the above sequence of spells without any interruption is extremely important, as failing to land that final max-stack Radiant Spark Icon Radiant Spark + Arcane Harmony Icon Arcane Harmony Arcane Barrage Icon Arcane Barrage inside the Touch of the Magi Icon Touch of the Magi / Rune of Power Icon Rune of Power / Arcane Power Icon Arcane Power window is a huge loss of damage. So, make sure you watch your boss mod timers and your surroundings before starting this sequence. It is better to delay the sequence than to have to move or handle mechanics during it.

Summed up: Every 30 seconds, you execute a very rigid Radiant Spark Icon Radiant Spark sequence where you do immense amounts of damage in a short period of time. Outside of this sequence you are constantly preparing for the next sequence, either by building up Arcane Harmony Icon Arcane Harmony stacks, or by ensuring your Mana is at a high enough level and you are in a good place to execute the rigid Radiant Spark sequence without risk of interruption.

3.2.

Other Covenant abilities

The other Covenant abilities are simply used on cooldown, with some optimizations:

  • Cast Shifting Power Icon Shifting Power as close to on cooldown as possible, but only during your conserve phase. Whenever you use Shifting Power, make sure you are in melee range so it hits your target.
  • Cast Mirrors of Torment Icon Mirrors of Torment around 10 seconds before you plan to use Arcane Power Icon Arcane Power. Make sure you are not above 95% Mana while Mirrors of Torment is on the target, to avoid having the free Mana go to waste.
  • Cast Radiant Spark Icon Radiant Spark on cooldown (when not using Arcane Harmony Icon Arcane Harmony).
  • Cast Deathborne Icon Deathborne on cooldown, but try to sync it with Arcane Power Icon Arcane Power. Do not delay Deathborne for more than 30 seconds when trying to sync it with Arcane Power, unless you are certain you will only get 1 more Deathborne usage maximum on the fight.
4.

Multi-Target Rotation for Arcane Mage

The way you switch between burn and conserve phases remains the same in Multi-Target scenarios, but there are some spell usage changes to the rotation depending on target counts.

On 3 targets or more, you cast Arcane Explosion Icon Arcane Explosion instead of Arcane Blast Icon Arcane Blast and Arcane Missiles Icon Arcane Missiles. Additionally, whenever you reach 4 Arcane Charges, cast Arcane Barrage Icon Arcane Barrage, even in the burn phase. This effectively means that in 3+ target situations, you cast Arcane Explosion 4 times, followed by Arcane Barrage.

If you are Kyrian with Arcane Harmony Icon Arcane Harmony, you still use Clearcasting Icon Clearcasting on Arcane Missiles Icon Arcane Missiles when fighting less than 8 targets.

4.1.

High Burst AoE Combo

Below we have listed a very high burst damage AoE combo that can be used to do extreme amounts of AoE damage very quickly to a group of enemies. If you are talented into Resonance Icon Resonance this combo will be one of the highest AoE burst combos in the game from all classes and specs.

Before starting the combo, you can use Rune of Power Icon Rune of Power or Arcane Power Icon Arcane Power to further increase the damage of this combo.

  1. Make sure you are on 4 Arcane Charges before starting the combo (or skip to step 3)
  2. Cast Arcane Barrage Icon Arcane Barrage
  3. Cast Arcane Orb Icon Arcane Orb
  4. Cast Arcane Barrage Icon Arcane Barrage
  5. Cast Touch of the Magi Icon Touch of the Magi
  6. Cast Arcane Barrage Icon Arcane Barrage
  7. Cast Shifting Power Icon Shifting Power (if Night Fae, otherwise the combo ends here)
  8. Cast Arcane Orb Icon Arcane Orb (in some cases, especially with high haste, Arcane Orb will not be back up here, in which case, you should Arcane Explosion Icon Arcane Explosion 4x -> Arcane Barrage Icon Arcane Barrage, and then Arcane Orb)
  9. Cast Arcane Barrage Icon Arcane Barrage
5.

Important Notes for Arcane Mage

5.1.

Managing "Mini-Burns" with Touch of the Magi and Rune of Power

Since Touch of the Magi Icon Touch of the Magi and Rune of Power Icon Rune of Power share a relatively similar cooldown, it is important to combine these two cooldowns. Especially with Arcane Echo Icon Arcane Echo talented (which is suggested), the damage you can do during one of these mini-burns is very high. To maximize these mini-burns, ensure the following:

  1. 10 seconds before Touch of the Magi Icon Touch of the Magi and Rune of Power Icon Rune of Power are ready, do not cast any Arcane Missiles Icon Arcane Missiles when Clearcasting Icon Clearcasting procs, to save them for the mini burn.
  2. Wait for Touch of the Magi Icon Touch of the Magi and Rune of Power Icon Rune of Power to both be ready.
  3. Cast Touch of the Magi Icon Touch of the Magi first, and then Rune of Power Icon Rune of Power, unless you have a Magi's Brand Icon Magi's Brand conduit.
  4. Cast Arcane Missiles Icon Arcane Missiles while Touch of the Magi Icon Touch of the Magi is up, if you have Arcane Echo Icon Arcane Echo talented.
  5. Cast Arcane Missiles Icon Arcane Missiles when you have Clearcasting Icon Clearcasting.
  6. Cast Arcane Blast Icon Arcane Blast until Rune of Power only has one second left.
  7. When Rune of Power is about to run out, cast Arcane Barrage Icon Arcane Barrage.
5.2.

Arcane Charges: Understanding Your Mana Pool

If you are unfamiliar with Arcane, managing your Arcane Charges can be a bit confusing at first. Arcane as a specialization is fundamentally very straightforward, but also stands apart from many specializations in the respect that you have full control over your damage output and resources at all times. Ultimately, the only wild card in the Arcane rotation is Clearcasting Icon Clearcasting, and it alters the specialization in a unique way. Since Arcane Missiles Icon Arcane Missiles does not cost any Mana to cast when used during Clearcasting, it functions as a way to regenerate Mana without having to cast Arcane Barrage Icon Arcane Barrage. Every time you do a new pull on a boss, you will reorganize your abilities into a different sequence due to the randomness of Clearcasting procs. Ultimately this results in a reactive playstyle revolving around your Mana pool.

For each Arcane Charge you have, you deal more damage with Arcane Blast Icon Arcane Blast, however, the Mana cost is also increased by 100% per charge. It is not possible to maintain a stable Mana pool by only casting Arcane Blast at 4 Arcane Charges, and therefore you will have to sometimes clear your charges with Arcane Barrage Icon Arcane Barrage.

In conclusion, your Mana pool and Arcane Charges have inverse synergy. The longer you remain at higher stacks of Arcane Charges, the faster your Mana bar will deplete, but the more burst damage you will deal. The shorter you remain at higher stacks of Arcane Charges, the easier it will be to maintain a stable Mana pool (or possibly regenerate Mana), though you will deal less burst damage. Clearcasting Icon Clearcasting serves as a tool to allow you to remain at high stacks for an increased period without penalty, but occurs randomly, keeping you on your toes. Finally, during the Burn phase the intent is to permanently remain at maximum Arcane Charges until your Mana pool is entirely depleted.

5.3.

Spells That Benefit From Arcane Charges

Evocation Icon Evocation is not affected by Arcane Charges, but it is still preferable to ensure you do not clear your charges with Arcane Barrage Icon Arcane Barrage before casting Evocation. The reason for this is that you will finish Evocation with 100% Mana and 4 Arcane Charges, allowing you to immediately cast a 4 charge Arcane Blast Icon Arcane Blast instead of Mana capping for a few seconds.

5.4.

Truncating Arcane Missiles

When chaining Arcane Missiles Icon Arcane Missiles with another Arcane Missiles, you can chain anywhere between the last 2 ticks without losing any ticks. However, in a lot of cases, Arcane Missiles will be followed up by a non channeling spell, which does not allow you to "transfer" the final tick to the next cast. Due to this, you will want to make sure you fully finish the Arcane Missiles channel if you are following it up with a non channelled spell. (Arcane Blast Icon Arcane Blast for example) Many players will accidentally clip the last tick of the channel, cancelling the final missile and robbing them of a noticeable amount of damage.

This can be solved by using !nochannel macros, which prevents you from interrupting a channeled spell with another cast. This induces slight input lag, causing a slight delay between the end of your channel and the beginning of a new cast, so it is not recommended. For players that want maximum results, the best solution is AddOns. The easiest way to avoid missile clipping is by installing Quartz, a cast bar AddOn specifically designed to make channeled ticks easily identifiable. Unlike the in-game castbar or most other AddOns, it updates dynamically with latency so your true tick rate is always displayed.

5.5.

Effectively Handling AoE

As a specialization that is typically known for single target damage, AoE is a bit of a foreign concept to some Arcane Mages. It is possible, however, to deal very effective AoE damage as Arcane. Arcane Power Icon Arcane Power does technically affect your AoE spells, however, it is often inefficient to dedicate your Burn phase to AoE damage (generally speaking), however, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, in a dungeon environment where you know your cooldowns will be up in time for the boss, it makes sense to use your cooldowns to help clear the trash in a more timely fashion.

There are 2 main spells that are the reason Arcane Mages can do good AoE damage, namely Arcane Explosion Icon Arcane Explosion and Arcane Barrage Icon Arcane Barrage. The idea is to cast Arcane Explosion from 0 to 4 Arcane Charges, doing significant damage, and then following it up with a very hard hitting Arcane Barrage, especially with Resonance Icon Resonance. It is important to realize, that this is not Mana neutral, so you will eventually run out of Mana when keeping this rotation up for prolonged periods of time. So make sure you keep an eye on your Mana bar, to ensure you keep enough Mana for the rest of the fight.

If you need to continue doing AoE damage for prolonged periods of time, there is a Mana neutral rotation that can be used via the use of Rule of Threes Icon Rule of Threes. Instead of using Arcane Explosion Icon Arcane Explosion when on 3 Arcane Charges, you instead use Arcane Blast Icon Arcane Blast to go from 3 Arcane Charges to 4. Because of Rule of Threes Icon Rule of Threes, the Arcane Blast going from 3 to 4 Arcane Charges will not cost any Mana, saving a good portion of your Mana by casting less Arcane Explosions, and regaining Mana during the cast time of the free Arcane Blast. This is only suggested when it is very important to be able to keep up AoE damage for a long period of time, as Rule of Threes is otherwise not the best talent.

If you are playing with Arcane Orb Icon Arcane Orb, you should drop your stacks with Arcane Barrage Icon Arcane Barrage and instantly rebuild them via the above talent. Additionally, the same should be done with Touch of the Magi Icon Touch of the Magi.

5.6.

Prismatic Barrier

Do not forget to cast this any time you have to slightly reposition and Blink Icon Blink/Shimmer Icon Shimmer is either unavailable or would move you too far to be useful. It lasts for 60 seconds, and has a 25-second cooldown, so be careful not to cast it, if it is still active. You can and should cast it before the start of every engagement.

6.

Core Concepts for Arcane Mage

Arcane Mage is an elementary enough specialization to perform on a target dummy, but there are a few key factors that will separate the good from the great. Learning to focus on what is important and master the core concepts of a specialization is what leads to strong overall performance on the damage charts. There are 3 major concepts that form the central trinity of optimizing for success:

  1. Mana management during the Conserve phase;
  2. flawless execution during the Burn phase;
  3. movement management.

Managing movement is a fundamental skill shared by all the caster classes in World of Warcraft. The highly mobile nature of the Mage class allows flexible and creative ways to move during combat, making it of supreme importance that you give this the proper respect.

6.1.

Mana Management During Conserve Phase

It is highly recommended you develop an instinct for your Mana regeneration rate by practicing on a target dummy or in LFR. The more Mastery you have, the faster you will regenerate Mana in combat, whereas the more Haste you have, the faster you will spend your Mana, making this regeneration highly variable depending on your level of gear.

It is important to have a good sense of the interplay between your Arcane Charges and your current Mana pool. On encounters with cleave and AoE, pay close attention to your timers if you plan on capitalizing on the extra targets. If you need to unleash a little extra burst in the Conserve phase for an important add, AoE opportunities, or to push a damage check, ensure you correctly budget Mana and Rune of Power Icon Rune of Power + Touch of the Magi Icon Touch of the Magi in advance.

Arcane Familiar does not increase base Mana regeneration. Evocation however, does benefit from the extra 10% Mana from Arcane Familiar. This is further increased through stacking Mastery, which will increase your maximum Mana and Mana regeneration and thus lower the number of Arcane Barrage Icon Arcane Barrage casts per fight, allowing you to stay at 4 Arcane Charges longer.

If you have an AddOn that allows you detach your Mana bar, it is highly recommended you put it somewhere near the lower centre of your screen so you can easily keep track of your current resource level. Newer players tend to overburn during the Conserve phase and are unable to execute a complete Burn phase because of this.

Although the Burn Phase is often seen as the most important part of the Arcane rotation, this does not mean that you should not try to maximize the amount of Mana you use during the Conserve phase, especially since you spend a long portion of the fight in this phase. You should absolutely never sit on 100% Mana, because every second spent at a 100% Mana is Mana wasted. Especially with high Mastery levels, you can cast a surprising amount of Arcane Blast Icon Arcane Blasts during the Conserve phase before you need to start using Arcane Barrage Icon Arcane Barrage actively.

6.2.

Executing the Burn Phase Consistently

Although the Burn Phase is only a small portion in terms of time spent, it is not a small portion of your total damage at all. During your Burn Phase, you can do enormous amounts of damage in this short time window. Therefore, it is very important to consistently perform your Burn Phase correctly. Arcane Power Icon Arcane Power should be used on cooldown wherever possible, though you do want it to overlap with any other major damage buffs (such as Rune of Power Icon Rune of Power or raid mechanics that increase your damage). You should cast Evocation Icon Evocation immediately upon hitting 0 Mana, so the cooldown becomes available as quickly as possible.

Pay close attention to the Burn Phase priority list posted at the top of this page. This seems very straightforward on the surface, but a surprising number of players will stutter in the execution. Make sure you are prepared before entering the Burn phase!

6.3.

Movement Management

While it is difficult to describe the best ways to position and move during a dungeon or raid encounter, it is essential to your success as an Arcane Mage.

Try and use Blink Icon Blink for "urgent" movement — when you need to travel from one place to another as quickly as possible. Prismatic Barrier Icon Prismatic Barrier is a good choice when you only need to take a few steps, as it only costs a single GCD. Shimmer Icon Shimmer is a great talent as it is off GCD and does not interrupt your current cast, allowing you to continue casting when a damaging raid mechanic spawns under you, by shimmering out of it.

Alter Time Icon Alter Time is underutilized by a lot of players, but is an essential part of your mobility kit. This spell is fantastic for mechanics that force you to run out of the raid and return moments later. It is also great for dealing with dance mechanics — after the "dance" ends you can return to your original location without delay. Do not underestimate Alter Time and do not be afraid to get creative with how you use it!

Always try to position yourself in a location central to fight movement. For example, if the boss is being moved in a circle, try to stay on the inside of the kite path to ensure minimal movement.

6.3.1.

Quiet Movement

Many players will unconsciously move during fights, despite it being unnecessary. For example, sometimes the boss or adds will be moved by the tank a couple yards, and though you are still in range to cast, you subconsciously mirror that movement, costing you global cooldowns. Consciously work to "quiet" your movement, and reduce unnecessary movement to a minimum. The best way to see this in action is to take a video of your raid, then watch yourself play. Most players will be surprised by the amount of wasted movement they commit. When you are forced to move, make use of the tips above, and make your path as direct and decisive as possible.

7.

Arcane Mage: Opening Sequence

7.1.

Kyrian and Arcane Harmony Arcane Mage Opening Sequence

This opening sequence is only relevant when you are running both Arcane Harmony Icon Arcane Harmony and are a Kyrian. If this is not the case, check the standard opening sequence further below.

  1. Cast Arcane Blast Icon Arcane Blast 2 seconds before the pull.
  2. Cast Arcane Missiles Icon Arcane Missiles 4 times to get 18 Arcane Harmony Icon Arcane Harmony stacks. Do not interrupt the final Missiles cast just because you hit 18 stacks before it ends
  3. Use Mana Gem Icon Mana Gem.
  4. Cast Radiant Spark Icon Radiant Spark.
  5. Cast Touch of the Magi Icon Touch of the Magi.
  6. Cast Arcane Power Icon Arcane Power and any racial cooldowns or on-use trinkets.
  7. Cast Arcane Blast Icon Arcane Blast 5 times.
  8. Cast Arcane Barrage Icon Arcane Barrage immediately after finishing the 5th Arcane Blast Icon Arcane Blast.
7.2.

Standard Arcane Mage Opening Sequence

The below opening sequence assumes a standard talent setup that has Arcane Echo Icon Arcane Echo, Rune of Power Icon Rune of Power and Arcane Orb Icon Arcane Orb. If you do not have Arcane Echo, start at the line called "Start here without Arcane Echo".

  1. Cast Empyreal Ordnance Icon Empyreal Ordnance (if equipped) 2 seconds before the pull, while max distance from the boss.
  2. Cast Arcane Blast Icon Arcane Blast 2 seconds before the pull.
  3. If running Temporal Warp Icon Temporal Warp, cast Time Warp Icon Time Warp. (make sure the group used their Time Warp or similar effect before activating your own or you will not get the additional effect)
  4. Cast Arcane Orb Icon Arcane Orb, if talented, or 2 times Arcane Blast instead.
  5. Cast Arcane Blast.
  6. Cast Rune of Power Icon Rune of Power, if talented.
  7. Cast Arcane Missiles Icon Arcane Missiles if you have 3 stacks of Clearcasting Icon Clearcasting.
  8. Cast Arcane Blast until there is 1 second left on Rune of Power.
  9. If you are running Temporal Warp Icon Temporal Warp with both a Time Warp Icon Time Warp (or similar) effect active along with your own Time Warp effect active, you are most likely out of Mana here. If so, cast Evocation Icon Evocation.
  10. Cast Arcane Barrage Icon Arcane Barrage.
  11. Start here without Arcane Echo.
  12. Cast Touch of the Magi Icon Touch of the Magi.
  13. Activate Arcane Power Icon Arcane Power and any racial cooldowns or on-use trinkets.
  14. Cast Arcane Missiles Icon Arcane Missiles with Clearcasting Icon Clearcasting.
  15. Cast Arcane Missiles Icon Arcane Missiles while Touch of the Magi Icon Touch of the Magi is up if you have Arcane Echo Icon Arcane Echo talented.
  16. Place Rune of Power Icon Rune of Power when Arcane Power Icon Arcane Power ends, if you do not have Arcane Echo talented.
  17. Cast Arcane Blast Icon Arcane Blast as a filler.
  18. Cast Presence of Mind Icon Presence of Mind if Rune of Power Icon Rune of Power or Arcane Power Icon Arcane Power would run out before you can finish your next Arcane Blast Icon Arcane Blast.
  19. Use Mana Gem Icon Mana Gem when you are at 85% Mana or lower.
  20. Cast Evocation Icon Evocation when your Mana is empty and commence Conserve phase.

The opener is mostly similar to a standard Burn Phase, but the main difference comes when you have Arcane Echo Icon Arcane Echo talented. In this case, we delay Touch of the Magi Icon Touch of the Magi and Arcane Power Icon Arcane Power until after an initial Rune of Power Icon Rune of Power usage. We do this to fish for Clearcasting Icon Clearcasting procs to greatly increase the damage of the Burn Phase.

8.

Changelog

  • 13 Jun. 2021: Added Arcane Harmony Kyrian rotation.
  • 09 Mar. 2021: Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 04 Mar. 2021: Added Empyreal Ordnance usage to the rotation and fixed a typo.
  • 18 Jan. 2021: Updated Prismatic Barrier description.
  • 04 Dec. 2020: Simplified Shifting Power usage and expanded opener for Temporal Warp Legendary.
  • 03 Dec. 2020: Added a section for a very strong AoE combo.
  • 01 Dec. 2020: Added Siphon Storm section to rotation and fixed incorrect checkbox functionality.
  • 23 Nov. 2020: Updated rotation to include Arcane Missiles during Touch of the Magi.
  • 21 Nov. 2020: Updated for Shadowlands launch. Changed the single target rotation to the new optimal rotation for Shadowlands, added covenant and legendary usage to the rotation, removed Essence usage, updated opener for Arcane Echo.
  • 11 Nov. 2020: Updated Arcane Missiles information to more clearly explain when to chain and when not to chain.
  • 21 Oct. 2020: Added a section for the Arcane Missiles Spam rotation.
  • 12 Oct. 2020: Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
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