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Arcane Mage DPS Statistics Priority and Reforging (WoW 4.3.4)

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In this article, we explain what the best statistics are for Arcane Mages (WoW 4.3), how the class benefits from each of them, and what your reforging strategy should be. We also detail what the various caps are and why they should be attained. The statistics priority is important as it influences reforging strategies as well as itemisation choices (gear, enchants, and gems).

Make sure to check our Gear Optimisation Guide, which serves as a support guide for this article. The other articles of our Arcane Mage guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

1. Basics↑top

The stat priority for an Arcane Mage is:

  1. Intellect;
  2. Hit Rating (until 17%);
  3. Haste Rating (until soft haste cap, see dedicated section below);
  4. Mastery Rating;
  5. Haste Rating (after soft haste cap);
  6. Critical Strike Rating.

If you are unsure what the optimal reforging strategy is for this priority, please refer to the reforging section of our Gear Optimisation Guide.

2. Getting a Better Understanding↑top

2.1. Statistics Explanations

Intellect is your most important stat, which provides the most benefit; you should look for this stat in all of your upgrades, as point for point it surpasses any other stat. It provides you with Spell Power and a higher mana pool, and increases your critical strike chance.

Hit Rating is your second most important stat as it determines your chances to miss a target when casting a spell. Once you have reached the spell hit cap, at 17%, it is no longer necessary to increase your Hit Rating.

Haste Rating influences the cast speed of your spells. After Intellect and Hit Rating, this is your best stat, point for point, although it makes you spend your mana faster (by casting spells in quicker succession).

Mastery Rating is almost as good a stat as Haste Rating when you are at 100% mana. Then, its value decreases as your mana decreases, but it still remains over Critical Strike Rating overall.

Critical Strike Rating is the worst stat for an Arcane Mage.

2.2. Caps

As for all caster classes, after 17% hit chance, additional Hit Rating becomes useless. Draenei require 1640 Hit Rating to reach the hit cap, while other races need 1742 Hit Rating.

2.2.1. Soft Haste Cap

We consider that you have reached the soft haste cap when it takes you exactly 1 second to cast Arcane Blast when using all the casting speed buffs at your disposal (with the exception of Berserking Icon Berserking, the Troll racial, which we advise to use outside of Time Warp Icon Time Warp, as an Arcane Mage). To determine your soft haste cap, follow these steps:

  1. Get in front of a testing dummy and take off all your gear.
  2. Pop up Time Warp Icon Time Warp and cast Arcane Blast Icon Arcane Blast 4 times. Write down the cast time given by Arcane Blast tooltip.
  3. Divide that value by 1.05 if your raid will provide you with the +5% spell haste buff.
  4. Divide the result by 1.1 if you have the 4 piece bonus of the Mage T11 set.
  5. Subtract 1 from the result.
  6. Multiply the result by 12806 to obtain the Haste Rating that constitutes the soft haste cap.
  7. If you have the 2 piece bonus of the Mage T13 set, then you need to subtract 500 from the value you obtained.

To sum it up:

T11 4-piece bonus?+5% Spell Haste Raid BuffT13 2-piece bonus?Goblin?Haste Rating Needed

2.2.2. More Subtleties on the Soft Haste Cap

In World of Warcraft, the global cooldown prevents you from spamming your abilities several times a second. By default, you must wait 1.5 second after casting an ability before using another one. Of course, the time you spend casting is subtracted from the global cooldown, which is why you usually only notice it on instant spells. Talents and buffs that increase your spell casting speed, as well as your Haste Rating, also decrease the value of the global cooldown, to a minimum of 1 second. This means that even if you had enough Haste Rating to cast a spell in 0.1 second, you would still need to wait 0.9 second before using another ability.

The main concern of an Arcane Mage, regarding the global cooldown, is to cast Arcane Blast Icon Arcane Blast in less than 1 second because it means that part of the Haste Rating you stacked is going to waste, and you would have probably preferred to have reforged this part into Mastery Rating. This usually happens when Time Warp Icon Time Warp is active and you have 4 stacks of Arcane Blast (because each stack decreases the cast time by 0.1 second).

At the same time, it is important to take into account that Time Warp only lasts 40 seconds and will only represent a small fraction of the encounter. Any Haste Rating wasted while Time Warp is active will still benefit you for the rest of the encounter more than if you had reforged it as Mastery Rating.

In order to perform optimally, you need to figure out the soft haste cap, after which Mastery Rating becomes more beneficial. Unfortunately, this will depend on the encounter, the speed at which your raid will execute it (ratio Time Warp off / Time Warp on), and your gear. If you want to precisely know what your soft haste cap is, then you have to study precisely each encounter and indulge in theorycrafting. If you intend to do that, we wish you the best of luck. Otherwise, you can simply follow the simple steps we presented above.

At 100% mana, Mastery Rating is only slightly (3%) less desirable than Haste Rating. Therefore, you can opt to have a slightly-below-optimal-but-never-changing reforging strategy where you first reach the hit cap, then a soft haste cap, before reforging everything into Mastery Rating.

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