PvE Arcane Mage Rotation & Cooldowns

PvE Arcane Mage Rotation & Cooldowns
  • Author: Luxrah
  • Date: May 9, 2024
  • Updated: May 9, 2024
  • Expansion: Cataclysm

Once your gear is accounted for and you’re all prepped and ready to go, it all comes down to how well you push your buttons! The most important thing to remember is ABC: Always Be Casting. As far as what you should be casting, I’ll cover that below with the optimal Arcane Mage rotations for both single-target and AoE encounters.

Single-Target Rotation

The optimal Arcane Mage rotation cycles between two phases: a burn phase, in which you pop cooldowns and burn through your mana, and a conservation phase, in which you focus on allowing your mana to recover and dealing steady damage while you wait for your cooldowns to return.

Most of the time you’ll want to start with a burn phase in order to get as many uses out of your cooldowns as possible over the course of the encounter. The exception will be when there’s a designated burn phase built into the fight, such as a period when a boss becomes vulnerable.

Burn Phase

  1. Cast Arcane Power and use your other cooldowns (Mana Gem, Volcanic Potion, trinkets, Synapse Springs)
  2. Cast Flame Orb whenever it’s off cooldown
  3. Spam Arcane Blast
  4. When you drop below 30% mana, move to the conservation phase

Conservation Phase

  1. Cast Evocation to refill your mana bar
  2. Cast Flame Orb whenever it’s off cooldown
  3. Cast Arcane Blast 2-4 times, trying to stay above 90% mana
  4. Cast Arcane Missiles if it procs
  5. Cast Arcane Barrage if you don’t proc Arcane Missiles
  6. Continue 2-5 until your Evocation cooldown is almost up, then start another burn phase

AoE Rotation

  1. Cast Arcane Blast to apply/maintain its buff
  2. Cast Arcane Explosion otherwise

This rotation only works if you are close enough to your enemies to hit them with Arcane Explosion. If they’re too far away, drop this rotation and alternate casting Blizzard and Flamestrike.


About the Author


I've been playing World of Warcraft on and off since vanilla, usually as a healer or caster and often as a guild leader. I play both retail and classic. I also love RPGs, sandboxes, and sims.
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