My name is Tamir, also known as tam1h.
I've been pushing high mythic+ keys since Legion as a mage and raiding since Warlords of Draenor. I have been raiding in the top 30 scene throughout most of Shadowlands and Dragonflight.
What has changed
Arcane Mage tuning and tier set changes in 10.1:
- Radiant Spark duration is increased to 12 seconds (was 10 seconds)
- Touch of the Magi duration increased to 12 seconds (was 10 seconds)
- Arcane Blast damage is increased by 10%
- Arcane Missiles damage is increased by 8%
- Arcane Barrage damage is increased by 8%
Thoughts on Arcane tuning in 10.1
Early on in Dragonflight, Arcane was a popular spec due to its frontloaded damage and the introduction of the Arcane Surge talent. However, later on in the tier, other classes and even other mage specs scaled better and Arcane fell behind in tuning. The recent buffs to Arcane are well deserved, but it still lags behind Frost and Fire in single target and AoE damage after the 10.1 tuning, with Frost having better funnel damage compared to Arcane. Arcane may still see play in the new raid if fights require a frontload damage profile, like on Razsageth in Vault of the Incarnates.
As for Harmony vs Mana gem, it's up to the theory crafters to decide which is better. Both builds are close and can be played, but Harmony gameplay may see a resurgence with the new tuning, as everything feeds into the Touch of the Magi window with full Harmony stacks and the new Arcane Missiles/Barrage/Blast Damage modifiers.Increasing the Touch of the Magi window can be a double-edged sword, as early on, it can result in a bigger Touch, but later on, bosses/mobs may die before the Touch can be used, which is something to keep in mind.
Here are some of my first impressions of the spec.
- The class has serious frontload damage inside our cooldowns
- It's much easier to manage mana compared to shadowlands
- We got Greater invis as a talent (which we already had) on the class try but didnt gain anything else in return like the other specs in the defensive department (fire caut + Greater invis/Frost Greater Invis 2x Ice Blocks)
- Very CD depended, and the damage outside of Arcane Surge is very lackluster
- Very strong on 5-8 Target cleave with Arcane Surge / Touch / Arcane Echo Splash
- If you want to do proper damage as an Arcane Mage it will take some time to set it up properly
- Very immobile in Ramp (our damage setup)
- You are heavily affected by mechanics. If you need to do something during your burst or setup window, you will get heavily punished.
- Requires some preparation and encounter familiarity to achieve proper damage
- More punishing than the other 2 specs in terms of damage ramp / setup, but it can be gratifying if targets are stacked
- Requires your Touch Target to be alive for a long time to do proper cleave.
Changes worth mentioning:
Touch of the Magi is now an instant cast and off the GCD.
Arcane Surge is a new talent. It's dumping all of our mana into the target, doing massive damage based on our mana spent and regenerates 425% of our mana pool + 10% Spell Power Buff after using Arcane Surge.
Siphon storm is the old azerite trait and it's making a return in Dragonflight. It's essentially using Evocation as a DPS CD for big intellect buff.
Arcane Harmony is the old Arcane Barrage Legendary we’ve been playing throughout most of shadowlands.
Radiant Spark is our kyrian covenant ability we’ve been using throughout shadowlands.