- Author: Amery
- Date: July 19, 2022
- Expansion: WotLK Classic
As Arcane Mages, We will want to focus on Spell power then haste with other stats being secondary while taking care to remain hit capped.
- Hit rating
- Cap: 368 rating / 289 if your raid has a Shadow Priest or Balance Druid / 263 if there’s also a Draenei in your party
- Spell Power
- Haste Rating
- Critical Strike Rating
Hit rating is your most important stat. If you can’t hit your targets, you’re not dealing damage. You gain a 1% increased chance to hit with your spells for every 26.232 hit rating that you have. In WotLK, you have a 17% chance to miss bosses (level 83 targets) with spells, meaning you need 446 hit rating in order to never miss. That’s a lot of hit rating, but thankfully, there are ways to reduce the amount of hit you actually need — as Arcane Mages, we are blessed with 2 different talent that increases our chance to hit.
The main one, that every single Arcane Mage will have, is Arcane Focus, which increases our chance to hit by 3%. Right off the bat, we only need 14% bonus hit chance, or 368 hit rating. Furthermore, nearly every raid will include a Shadow Priest or Balance Druid, who provide a non-stacking debuff (Misery / Improved Faerie Fire) which gives us a further 3% hit chance, meaning we need 11% bonus hit chance, or 289 hit rating. Finally, having a Draenei in your party (their aura is PARTY-WIDE, not raid-wide) gives you their Heroic Presence aura, increasing your chance to hit by 1%, so in total you need 10% bonus hit chance, or 263 hit rating.
Furthermore, we can also take the Precision talent in the Frost tree, for a further 3% hit chance, which reduces the previously mentioned hit requirements to 289 / 210 (Misery / Improved Faerie Fire) / 184 (Misery / Improved Faerie Fire + Heroic Presence).
Given that the amount of hit rating you need is so variable, it’s a good idea to have some items with hit rating as backup to increase your hit chance to 17% if you know that your raid’s mind melters or owlkins cannot attend the raid that night.
Spell power is the most straightforward stat, as it simply increases the damage of your spells. Each spell gains a different amount of bonus damage based on your spell power stat. This will be your go-to stat after you have reached your hit cap.
After spell power, haste rating will be our strongest stat as Arcane Mages. Haste increases your casting speed. You gain 1% increased cast speed for every 32.79 haste rating you have. The reason why haste is so strong for us is because Arcane Blast no longer gets a faster cast speed for every stack it has. As a result, we can stack haste to increase our Arcane Blast damage, without getting limited by the GCD cap of 1 spell cast / second.
There is one thing to consider with haste, however: you WILL eventually reach the GCD cap the more of it you have, which ends up wasting some of your haste value. This will be particularly true when you have multiple haste-boosting effects active, such as Heroism / Bloodlust. As a result, you will want to be careful with how you use your haste-boosting abilities like Icy Veins, saving them such that you don’t waste your haste rating.
Below you will find your haste rating caps for different buff configurations. These caps are calculated with Bloodlust / Heroism (30% haste), Netherwind Presence (6% haste) and Wrath of Air Totem (5% haste). If your current amount of haste would push you over the haste cap during a specific combination of haste effects, you will want to avoid using those haste effects at the same time.
For example, let’s say your gear has 350 haste rating. This means that using Icy Veins, Berserking and Hyperspeed Accelerators at the same time during Bloodlust / Heroism would cause you to go over the cap of 316 haste rating, effectively wasting 34 haste rating. That loss is pretty small, so it’s okay to do that. However, if you had 450 haste rating on your gear, you’d be wasting 134 haste rating under that scenario, which is a bit too much — you should delay your Hyperspeed Accelerators until one of the other haste effects have faded, so you don’t waste that haste rating.
Crit rating is an incredibly straight-forward stat, increasing your chance to get a critical strike with your spells by 1% for each 45.91 crit rating you have. Crit rating isn’t as valuable to us as Arcane Mages as spell power or haste, but it’s still a decent stat.
Intellect increases your maximum mana, and more importantly for us, your spell critical strike chance. You gain 1% increased spell critical strike chance for every 166.67 Intellect you have. Greater Blessing of Kings increases this by a further 10%, giving you 1.1% spell crit chance for the same amount of Intellect.
This conversion rate might not seem great, but a lot of items have upwards of 100+ Intellect, meaning they end up giving you a very nice amount of crit, on top of the crit rating they already have. However, it’s significantly worse than raw crit rating’s 45.91:1 ratio, meaning you will almost never want to socket or enchant this over pure crit rating, when they come at comparable rates.
As Arcane Mages, we also get 15% of our Intellect as bonus spell power, thanks to the Mind Mastery talent. Unfortunately, it isn’t as strong as it was back in TBC, so we won’t be stacking Intellect like we did then — we’ll instead stack spell power and haste, like other casters.
Spirit increases your mana regeneration when not casting. For a Fire Mage in particular, it also increases your crit rating when using Molten Armor: 35% of your Spirit gets converted to crit rating baseline, 55% of your Spirit if you’re using Glyph of Molten Armor, and 70% of your Spirit if you have the 2-piece set bonus of the Tier 9 set, Khadgar’s Regalia. Greater Blessing of Kings increases your Spirit by a further 10%, improving the value of Spirit even more.
Spirit is an okay stat as a result of this, but even at a 70% conversion rate, it’d be better if Spirit on your gear was any other stat instead. For that reason, you’ll probably not want to use items with Spirit, swapping them for items with any other stat instead.