Arcane Mage Pve Rotation, Cooldowns, And Abilities (wotlk)

Arcane Mage has a fairly simple rotation. However, there are small tricks you can use to maximize your damage, and some generally important things to keep in mind. Moreover, it’s a really fun rotation that produces massive, massive crits!

Single Target Rotation

Arcane Mage DPS is frontloaded — this means that most of your damage will be in the first 30 seconds of a fight, through your cooldowns. Your goal will be to end the fight with 0 mana left; if you had left-over mana when the fight ended, then you could have done more damage. This means you can deviate from the normal rotation depending on the length of the fight.

Your normal rotation will consist of 4 Arcane Blasts to build up our stacks, followed by Arcane Missiles. Our goal is to use Arcane Missiles while we have Missile Barrage up after the 4th Arcane Blast. If you get unlucky with Missile Barrage procs, then you can cast more Arcane Blasts until you get the proc or cast Arcane Missiles.

Your mana conserving rotation will consist of 3 Arcane Blasts followed by Arcane Missiles, or using Arcane Missiles whenever you get a Missile Barrage proc. If you find your mana management to be a massive issue, you can also choose to spec into Arcane Barrage.

During your burst window with the change to Presence of Mind and Arcane Power we’ll now use 3 Arcane Blasts then Presence of Mind into a 4th Arcane Blast, followed by all your other cooldowns (see the Stat Priority section’s Haste subsection for an explanation), and then Arcane Missiles. Afterwards you’ll follow the normal rotation. For our second use of Presence of Mind (if the fight lasts long enough) you’ll use it same as before on either the 4th Arcane Blast or for movement .

You want to use Presence of Mind in the opener because of your cloak & trinket procs — stacking them is generally better than using them separately. You can use the following macro to help with using your cooldowns:

For our potion cooldown, we will want to pre-pot before the encounter begins and then pop another one once the cooldown is over.

Area of Effect Rotation 

For AoE pulls (3+ mobs) the best rotation for an Arcane Mage will be as follows:

Rank 9 Flamestrike -> Rank 8 Flamestrike -> max rank Blizzard, repeat from the start.

Against moving targets that won’t stay in Flamestrike / Blizzard, use max rank Arcane Explosion / Cone of Cold.

If there is a priority target, it comes down to us to focus it down and kill it, as other classes have better AoE than us.

 

About the Author

Amery

Hey guys! My name is Amery and here is a little something about me: I've been playing WoW for about 15 years now. With that experience, I wanted to share all the things I have learned over the years.
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Steve Harvey
Steve Harvey
4 months ago

Thanks for this great guide!

mark adams
mark adams
3 months ago

Thank you, so helpful as I had not played arcane spec since 2006

Jesper
Jesper
2 months ago

Great guide. Thanks!

Kayton
Kayton(@kayton)
2 months ago

So, quick question. Why the double Flamestrike, and why the different ranks? As far as I can tell (haven’t unlocked them yet), they should have the same mana cost (30% base mana, according to wowhead), the same cast time (2 seconds) and the same damage over time duration (8 seconds). However, the rank 8 Flamestrike deals less damage in both the initial burst and the damage over time than the rank 9. So why use it?

Hookedreefer
Hookedreefer
2 months ago

Why do we cast arcane blast as the 4th stack instead of the opener? Because we have the pull timer and can precast?

Hjalfdar
Hjalfdar
Reply to  Hookedreefer
2 months ago

Arcane Potency talent gives your next spell after presence of mind 30% crit, and you want that for the biggest dmg dealing spell 🙂

zedisdeadbby
zedisdeadbby
1 month ago

how is is it witch icy veins do i use it on cd or keep it for ap?

Madouc
Madouc
1 month ago

In burst phases with everything possible up isn’t it much more damage to straight forward cast Arcane Blasts for ~20-45 seconds instead of using the missile-procs?

Griffmage
Griffmage
Reply to  Amery
1 month ago

Is there any adon which say when missile barrage proc?

Snackman
Snackman
Reply to  Griffmage
1 month ago

SpellActivationOverlay

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