Arcane Mage DPS Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities — Dragonflight 10.2.7

Last updated on May 07, 2024 at 11:20 by Dutchmagoz 52 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 — Dragonflight 10.2.7.

If you were looking for WotLK Classic content, please refer to our WotLK 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 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.

Keep in mind, some talents are so critical to the spec to function correctly, or you must take them to be able to navigate the tree properly, in which case they will not have a checkbox below and will be assumed picked. Talents that are substantial DPS boosts and often picked are pre-checked below, but if you are not running them, you can uncheck them.

  • Show Mage Arcane 10.2 Class Set 4pc Icon Mage Arcane 10.2 Class Set 4pc
  • Show Siphon Storm Icon Siphon Storm
  • Show Radiant Spark Icon Radiant Spark
  • Show Nether Precision Icon Nether Precision
  • Show Temporal Warp Icon Temporal Warp
  • Show Nether Tempest Icon Nether Tempest
  • Show Arcane Bombardment Icon Arcane Bombardment
  • Show Conjure Mana Gem Icon Conjure Mana Gem
  • Show Belor'relos, the Suncaller Icon Belor'relos, the Suncaller
  • Show Arcane Harmony Icon Arcane Harmony

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.

2.1.

The Burn Phase

There are 2 types of burn phases for Arcane Mages. A "mini burn" and a "full burn". The difference is whether or not Evocation Icon Evocation and Arcane Surge Icon Arcane Surge are ready. If both are ready, it is considered a full burn; otherwise a mini burn. You apply the burn rotation below any time Touch of the Magi Icon Touch of the Magi and Radiant Spark Icon Radiant Spark are ready.

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

  • Touch of the Magi Icon Touch of the Magi is ready within 5 seconds;
  • Radiant Spark Icon Radiant Spark is ready;
  • You have 4 Arcane Charges, or 2+ Arcane Charges and Arcane Orb Icon Arcane Orb is ready;
  1. Cast Evocation Icon Evocation for Siphon Storm Icon Siphon Storm.
  2. Double cast Time Warp Icon Time Warp;
  3. Cast Arcane Orb Icon Arcane Orb, if ready;
  4. Burn as much Mana as possible on Arcane Blast Icon Arcane Blast, using Arcane Missiles Icon Arcane Missiles when Clearcasting Icon Clearcasting procs, until you are out of Mana, or Siphon Storm Icon Siphon Storm has less than 17 seconds remaining;
  5. Cast Radiant Spark Icon Radiant Spark, and any other cooldowns, like Racial abilities and on-use trinkets, if ready;
  6. Cast Nether Tempest Icon Nether Tempest, this will not consume a Radiant Spark charge;
  7. Cast Arcane Surge Icon Arcane Surge;
  8. Use Mana Gem Icon Mana Gem right after casting Arcane Surge Icon Arcane Surge, and any on-use trinkets or racials;
  9. Cast Arcane Barrage Icon Arcane Barrage;
  10. Shortly after Arcane Barrage, while it is traveling toward the target, cast Touch of the Magi Icon Touch of the Magi. Due to Touch of the Magi being off the global cooldown, it should apply before Arcane Barrage reaches the target;
  11. Cast Arcane Blast Icon Arcane Blast 3 times to consume Radiant Spark Icon Radiant Spark charges;
  12. While Touch of the Magi is active, cast Arcane Blast Icon Arcane Blast when Nether Precision Icon Nether Precision is up;
  13. Cast Arcane Missiles Icon Arcane Missiles while Clearcasting Icon Clearcasting is up. ;
  14. If the target is below 35% health (for Arcane Bombardment Icon Arcane Bombardment), cast Arcane Barrage Icon Arcane Barrage shortly before Touch of the Magi Icon Touch of the Magi ends. The goal is to land Arcane Barrage before Touch of the Magi expires, so keep in mind travel time if you are far away;
  15. Cast Arcane Blast Icon Arcane Blast as filler;
  16. When Siphon Storm Icon Siphon Storm ends, cast Shifting Power Icon Shifting Power. Radiant Spark Icon Radiant Spark and Touch of the Magi Icon Touch of the Magi should be almost up again, allowing you to immediately go into a mini-burn;

At the start of the fight, simply pre-cast Evocation Icon Evocation (with Siphon Storm Icon Siphon Storm) and then immediately go into the Burn phase.

2.2.

Conserve Phase

The Conserve Phase is deceptively straightforward but mercilessly punishes mistakes. Once Evocation Icon Evocation is on cooldown, the only way to regain your Mana is by waiting for it to regenerate slowly or by using Arcane Barrage Icon Arcane Barrage if Mana Adept Icon Mana Adept is talented. Therefore, paying close attention to your Mana and available spells is crucial. 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 for mini-burns. You can spend all your Mana if your next burn phase is a full burn phase (so including Evocation Icon Evocation and Arcane Surge Icon Arcane Surge, otherwise, make sure you stay above 60% Mana, unless the boss is very close to dying.

  1. Go into the burn phase above when you meet the burn phase conditions above. (Even without Arcane Surge Icon Arcane Surge and Evocation Icon Evocation, you can do a mini-burn without them)
  2. Cast Arcane Orb Icon Arcane Orb when available and you do not have 4 Arcane Charges;
  3. Cast Shifting Power Icon Shifting Power when available;
  4. Cast Arcane Missiles Icon Arcane Missiles with 3 stacks of Clearcasting Icon Clearcasting;
  5. Use Belor'relos, the Suncaller Icon Belor'relos, the Suncaller whenever it is ready, and Arcane Surge Icon Arcane Surge is not becoming available in the next 20 seconds. The goal is to maximize the amount of usages, but it is important you do not put your other on-use trinket on cooldown right before you need to use it during Arcane Surge;
  6. Cast Arcane Blast Icon Arcane Blast with Nether Precision Icon Nether Precision;
  7. Cast Arcane Missiles Icon Arcane Missiles with Clearcasting Icon Clearcasting;
  8. Cast Arcane Barrage Icon Arcane Barrage when on 4 Arcane Charges, and you are below 60% Mana. You can skip Arcane Barrage if your next burn is a full burn phase (so including Evocation Icon Evocation);
  9. Cast Arcane Blast Icon Arcane Blast as your filler.
3.

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.

3.1.

AoE Burn Phase

Below, we list the burn phase for AoE situations. Keep in mind the below rotation uses the talent toggles selected at the top of the page. All of the burn phase conditions from the single target also apply to the AoE burn phase, like having Touch of the Magi Icon Touch of the Magi, Radiant Spark Icon Radiant Spark, etc. ready.

Additionally, you should either have a charge of Arcane Orb Icon Arcane Orb ready, or have 3+ Arcane Charges.

  1. Get into melee range, if possible.
  2. If you do not have a charge of Arcane Orb Icon Arcane Orb ready, and do not have 3+ stacks of Arcane Charges, cast Arcane Explosion Icon Arcane Explosion (or Arcane Blast Icon Arcane Blast if not in melee) until 3 Arcane Charges.
  3. Cast Evocation Icon Evocation for Siphon Storm Icon Siphon Storm.
  4. Cast Time Warp Icon Time Warp if you have Temporal Warp Icon Temporal Warp equipped and a Time Warp (or similar) effect is already active or has been used earlier in the fight. If no one else is around to use a Time Warp or similar effect, cast Time Warp twice.
  5. Cast Arcane Orb Icon Arcane Orb, if ready and not already on 3+ Arcane Charges. If you have 3+ Arcane Charges, cast Arcane Explosion Icon Arcane Explosion (or Arcane Blast Icon Arcane Blast if not in melee) instead;
  6. Cast Radiant Spark Icon Radiant Spark;
  7. Cast Nether Tempest Icon Nether Tempest.
  8. Cast Arcane Surge Icon Arcane Surge, and any other cooldowns, like Racial abilities and on-use trinkets, if ready. Your target should now have 1 charge of Radiant Spark Icon Radiant Spark;
  9. Use Mana Gem Icon Mana Gem right after casting Arcane Surge Icon Arcane Surge;
  10. Cast Arcane Barrage Icon Arcane Barrage after Arcane Surge Icon Arcane Surge, applying the second charge of Radiant Spark Icon Radiant Spark.
  11. Shortly after Arcane Barrage, while it is traveling toward the target, cast Touch of the Magi Icon Touch of the Magi. Due to Touch of the Magi being off the global cooldown, it should apply before Arcane Barrage reaches the target;
  12. If you do have Orb Barrage Icon Orb Barrage talented and it procs (applying the third stack of Radiant Spark Icon Radiant Spark), cast a single Arcane Blast Icon Arcane Blast (applying the fourth stack of Radiant Spark). If Orb Barrage did not proc, cast Arcane Barrage Icon Arcane Barrage (applying the third stack of Radiant Spark) followed by Arcane Orb Icon Arcane Orb (applying the fourth stack), unless Orb Barrage proceed off the latest Arcane Barrage (which would apply the fourth stack).
  13. If you do not have Orb Barrage Icon Orb Barrage talented: Cast Presence of Mind Icon Presence of Mind followed by Arcane Blast Icon Arcane Blast twice, applying the third and fourth stack of Radiant Spark Icon Radiant Spark;
  14. Cast Arcane Barrage Icon Arcane Barrage to consume the fourth stack of Radiant Spark Icon Radiant Spark;
  15. Use Arcane Barrage Icon Arcane Barrage whenever you have 4 Arcane Charges. If you have Orb Barrage Icon Orb Barrage talented, keep an eye out on when it procs. If it procs, immediately cast Arcane Barrage again. If you are lucky, you can end up chain-casting Arcane Barrages through most of Touch of the Magi;
  16. If you have Arcane Battery Icon Arcane Battery (the Mage Arcane 10.2 Class Set 4pc Icon Mage Arcane 10.2 Class Set 4pc proc) cast Arcane Missiles Icon Arcane Missiles.
  17. Build Arcane Charges by casting Arcane Orb Icon Arcane Orbs and Arcane Explosion Icon Arcane Explosions. Keep an eye out on extra Arcane Charges due to Reverberate Icon Reverberate;
  18. After Arcane Surge Icon Arcane Surge ends, cast Shifting Power Icon Shifting Power and go into the Conserve Phase;
3.2.

AoE Conserve Phase

The AoE conserve rotation is practically the same as the single target conserve rotation. The only difference is that you should cast Arcane Explosion Icon Arcane Explosion instead of Arcane Blast Icon Arcane Blast and no longer use consume Clearcasting Icon Clearcasting with Arcane Missiles Icon Arcane Missiles, unless you are talented into Arcane Harmony Icon Arcane Harmony. Additionally, whenever you reach 4 Arcane Charges, cast Arcane Barrage Icon Arcane Barrage. Keep an eye out of Reverberate Icon Reverberate and Orb Barrage Icon Orb Barrage procs giving you Arcane Charges. Lastly, if you have Arcane Battery Icon Arcane Battery (the Mage Arcane 10.2 Class Set 4pc Icon Mage Arcane 10.2 Class Set 4pc proc) cast Arcane Missiles Icon Arcane Missiles.

4.

Important Notes for Arcane Mage

4.1.

Arcane Charges: Understanding Your Mana Pool

If you are unfamiliar with Arcane, managing your Arcane Charges can initially be a bit confusing. Arcane as a specialization is fundamentally very straightforward but also stands apart from many specializations in that you have full control over your damage output and resources. Ultimately, the only wild card in the Arcane rotation is Clearcasting Icon Clearcasting, and it uniquely alters the specialization. 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). However, 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 remain at maximum permanently Arcane Charges until your Mana pool is entirely depleted.

4.2.

Spells That Benefit From Arcane Charges

  • Arcane Barrage Icon Arcane Barrage
  • Arcane Blast Icon Arcane Blast
  • Nether Tempest Icon Nether Tempest

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. This is because 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.

4.3.

Effectively Handling AoE

As a specialization 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 Surge Icon Arcane Surge 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.

2 main spells 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.

Depending on your Orb Barrage Icon Orb Barrage procs, this rotation can be close to or even fully mana neutral. Keep an eye on your Mana bar and adapt as needed.

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, you should do the same Touch of the Magi Icon Touch of the Magi.

4.4.

Prismatic Barrier

Do not forget to cast this any time you have to reposition and slightly Blink Icon Blink/Shimmer Icon Shimmer is either unavailable or would move you too far to be helpful. 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.

5.

Core Concepts for Arcane Mage

Arcane Mage is an elementary enough specialization to perform on a target dummy. Still, a few key factors will separate the good from the great. Learning to focus on what is essential and master the core concepts of specialization leads to overall solid performance on the damage charts. 3 major concepts 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.

5.1.

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 regenerate Mana in combat. In contrast, the more Haste you have, the quicker you will spend your Mana, making this regeneration highly variable depending on your gear level.

It is important to have a good sense of the interplay between your Arcane Charges and your current Mana pool. Pay close attention to your timers on encounters with cleave and AoE 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 + Touch of the Magi Icon Touch of the Magi and Radiant Spark Icon Radiant Spark 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 to detach your Mana bar, it is highly recommended you put it somewhere near the lower center of your screen so you can easily keep track of your current resource level. Newer players tend to overburn during the Conserve phase and cannot execute a complete Burn phase.

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 never sit on 100% Mana, because every second spent at 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.

5.2.

Executing the Burn Phase Consistently

Although the Burn Phase is only a tiny portion in terms of time spent, it is not a small portion of your total damage. During your Burn Phase, you can do enormous amounts of damage in this short time window. Therefore, it is essential to perform your Burn Phase correctly and consistently. Arcane Surge Icon Arcane Surge should be used on cooldown wherever possible, though you do want it to overlap with any other major damage buffs (such as Touch of the Magi Icon Touch of the Magi 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!

5.3.

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 many 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 position yourself in a central location 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.

Arcane Mage: Opening Sequence

At the start of the fight, simply pre-cast Evocation Icon Evocation (with Siphon Storm Icon Siphon Storm and then immediately go into the Burn phase).

7.

Changelog

  • 07 May 2024: Reviewed for 10.2.7.
  • 22 Apr. 2024: Reviewed for Season 4.
  • 19 Mar. 2024: Reviewed for Patch 10.2.6. and fixed some typos and removed the "quiet movement" section as it was rather duplicate with other sections.
  • 15 Mar. 2024: Remove no longer relevant Arcane Missiles clipping section.
  • 15 Jan. 2024: Updated rotation with optimisations found.
  • 06 Nov. 2023: Updated base rotation for 10.2, added season 3 tier set rotation, season 3 trinkets and other items to the rotation.
  • 04 Sep. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.1.7
  • 10 Jul. 2023: Updated rotation for the reworked Arcane.
  • 09 May 2023: Updated rotation to include further 4-set optimisations.
  • 01 May 2023: Updated rotation to include Season 2 tier optimisations.
  • 20 Mar. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.0.7.
  • 24 Jan. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.0.5.
  • 18 Jan. 2022: Updated burst rotation based on latest theorycrafting and expanded on the AoE rotation.
  • 13 Jan. 2022: Improve mana gem rotation and added talon usage.
  • 13 Dec. 2022: Improve burn rotation slightly and add more clarity to end of the burn phase.
  • 11 Dec. 2022: Added section explaining rotational changes due to the tier set.
  • 30 Nov. 2022: Updated burst rotation slightly based on new theorycrafting.
  • 28 Nov. 2022: Updated for Dragonflight launch.
  • 24 Oct. 2022: Updated for Dragonflight pre-patch.
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