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Arcane Mage DPS Spec, Builds, Talents, and Glyphs (WoW 4.3.4)

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In this article, we present you with various talent trees for Arcane Mages (WoW 4.3) that you can use in specific situations. We also explain in detail what the talents do, how they work together, and how you can customise your talent tree in order to adapt it to a particular boss. The other articles of our Arcane Mage guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the left.

1. Common Talent Builds↑top

The following build is the default choice for Arcane Mages.

If you do not need the AoE damage increase from Improved Arcane Explosion Icon Improved Arcane Explosion, then you can instead invest points in Improved Blink Icon Improved Blink.

If you do not need the AoE damage increase from Improved Arcane Explosion Icon Improved Arcane Explosion or the survivability from Improved Blink Icon Improved Blink, then you can invest 3 points in Fire Power Icon Fire Power for increased damage with Flame Orb Icon Flame Orb.

If you are certain that your targets will already have a slow or snare effect on them, then you can skip Nether Vortex Icon Nether Vortex and invest the 2 points in Improved Blink Icon Improved Blink.

If the fights you will be faced with contain no Arcane, Fire, or Frost damage, then you can safely skip Incanter's Absorption Icon Incanter's Absorption and invest the 2 points in Improved Blink Icon Improved Blink.

2. Customising Your Build↑top

First, we will present and explain the fixed talents that an Arcane Mage should always take. Then, we detail the optional talents with which you can customise your talent build. Finally, we list the various mandatory and optional glyphs.

2.1. Talents

In the following image, the fixed talents have been hightlighted in green, while the optional talents have been hightlighted in red:

Talents for Arcane Mages

2.1.1. Fixed Talents

  • 3/3 Arcane Concentration Icon Arcane Concentration: this talent gives you a chance to cast a mana-free spell (through Clearcasting Icon Clearcasting) which is very beneficial since the play style of an Arcane Mage will require you, at times, to preserve your mana.
  • 3/3 Netherwind Presence Icon Netherwind Presence: this talent increases your spell haste, with every spell, by 3%. Spell haste is very beneficial to Arcane Mages.
  • 3/3 Torment the Weak Icon Torment the Weak: even if raid bosses do not suffer from the effect of snares or slows (i.e., they are not slowed or rooted), the game engine considers nevertheless that they are snared or slowed, by such types of spells. That causes Torment the Weak to be active on basically every boss since we will take Nether Vortex Icon Nether Vortex further down the talent tree.
  • 2/2 Improved Arcane Missiles Icon Improved Arcane Missiles: this is a nice DPS boost when combined with Missile Barrage Icon Missile Barrage, the talent it unlocks.
  • 2/2 Arcane Flows Icon Arcane Flows: the much reduced cooldown on Evocation Icon Evocation enables Arcane Mages to use their high damage rotation twice more often, greatly increasing overall damage dealt.
  • 1/1 Presence of Mind Icon Presence of Mind: this ability should be used on cooldown for an optimal DPS boost.
  • 2/2 Missile Barrage Icon Missile Barrage: the reduced time between each missile of Arcane Missiles Icon Arcane Missiles is a necessary damage boost.
  • 3/3 Prismatic Cloak Icon Prismatic Cloak: the damage reduction will be greatly appreciated by your healers.
  • 1/1 Arcane Tactics Icon Arcane Tactics: this cannot be skipped unless there is someone already provided an equivalent buff to your raid (another Arcane Mage or a Beast Mastery Hunter).
  • 2/2 Arcane Potency Icon Arcane Potency: this talent provides a DPS boost in the form of increased critical strike chance after using Presence of Mind Icon Presence of Mind or proccing Clearcasting Icon Clearcasting.
  • 1/1 Slow Icon Slow: this talent is required to gain access to the last Arcane talent, as well as to benefit from Torment the Weak Icon Torment the Weak through Nether Vortex Icon Nether Vortex.
  • 1/1 Focus Magic Icon Focus Magic: this talent provides a unique buff to the Arcane Mage and one other raid member.
  • 2/2 Improved Mana Gem Icon Improved Mana Gem: as an Arcane Mage, you will have a burn phase during which you will do a lot of damage at the expense of burning most of your mana. The benefit of that talent are twofold, you can extend that burn phase by using a Mana Gem, and this will increase your subsequent damage done.
  • 1/1 Arcane Power Icon Arcane Power: this is your main DPS cooldown.
  • 2/2 Master of Elements Icon Master of Elements: as mana management is crucial to an Arcane Mage, this talent from the Fire tree helps.
  • 3/3 Burning Soul Icon Burning Soul: Arcane Mages are sensitive to pushback mechanics because all their damage is from non instant cast spells or channeled spells. Having a pushback reduction is very beneficial.
  • 3/3 Piercing Ice Icon Piercing Ice: this talent from the Frost tree gives an additional 3% critical strike chance with all spells.

2.1.2. Optional Talents

2.2. Glyphs

Choosing the correct glyphs as an Arcane Mage is very straightforward.

2.2.1. Prime Glyphs

2.2.2. Major Glyphs

  • Glyph of Arcane Power: this glyph removes the Global Cooldown on Mirror Image Icon Mirror Image, which represents a small DPS gain. You will need a macro to make use of this glyph properly (see our Arcane Power/Mirror Image macro).
  • Glyph of Blink: this glyph increases the travel distance of Blink by 5 yards. In fights where you need to move out of stuff quickly, it can be very useful.
  • Glyph of Evocation: this glyph contributes to the raid by helping the healers preserve a bit of their mana (since they will heal you slightly less at times).

2.2.3. Minor Glyphs

The two following Minor Glyphs are mandatory:

For the remaining two glyphs, we advise you one of the following:

  • Glyph of Slow Fall because always keeping reagents in your bags can become quite annoying.
  • Glyph of Arcane Brilliance: the mana cost reduction is very useful during an encounter, should you have to rebuff someone, or yourself, having just been resurrected with little mana.

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