Arcane Mage Playstyle and Rotation Guide

Patch 10.2.7 Last Updated: 28th May, 2024
Tamir Author Avatar

Playstyle & Rotation

The Arcane Mage rotation and gameplay changes when you get the new 4-set bonus from the Tier Set. As such, I will outline both in this section of the guide.

General Rotation

Going forward with Arcane for Patch 10.2 we will go back to our old Patch 10.0 rotation and I will give a small breakdown for the reasoning behind it in this section.

The general idea of the opener will remain the same, but the order for Arcane Surge, Radiant Spark, and Touch of the Magi has changed.

I will break the opener down in the following steps:

  1. 15 seconds before the pull, start fishing for Arcane Missiles procs by using Arcane Explosion, or Frost Nova
  2. At 5 seconds before the pull, start channeling Evocation for Siphon Storm
  3. At 1 second before the pull, pre pot and precast Arcane Blast, followed by Arcane Orb and Nether Tempest (can’t be prepull since you will lose the Arcane Charges)
  4. Cast Radiant Spark followed by Touch of the Magi and Arcane Barrage immediately after
  5. Continue building Radiant Spark stacks (during Radiant Spark window we don’t want to use Arcane Missiles, even with clearcasting or 4p procs)
  6. After our 4th Radiant Spark goes off, we can continue weaving 2x Arcane Blast and Arcane Missiles procs according to procs
  7. After our burst window, when mana fades from Arcane Surge and Evocation, use Shifting Power
  8. Continue to fill with Arcane Blast, Nether Tempest at 4 Arcane Charges and Arcane Barrage if below 60% mana
  9. Once our mini burn is ready, which contains Radiant Spark and Touch of the Magi (45 seconds before Arcane Surge is ready) we use our mini burn
  10. Cast Radiant Spark, then cast Nether Tempest followed by Touch of the Magi and Arcane Barrage immediately after Touch of the Magi
  11. Continue to build 4 stacks of Radiant Spark and proceed with step 4 onwards until Evocation is available, to get ready for our big burn phase (step 2 onwards)

Multi Target

The arcane multi-target rotation inside both burn phases is generally the same because most of our AoE damage will come from the Touch of the Magi splash, Arcane Surge, Nether Tempest, and our Arcane Barrage cleave.

With the introduction of the new Orb Barrage talent from the mage rework, the Arcane mage AoE Rotation has become very simple and straightforward.

We want to emphasize our gameplay on as many Orb Barrage procs as possible. In order to achieve that we will always cast Arcane Barrage at 4 Arcane Charges since we have 40% chance to proc a free Arcane Orb. With a bit of luck we can enter that Arcane Barrage > Arcane Orb > Arcane Barrage > Arcane Orb loop and it’s not only extremely satisfying, it’s also very strong.

Mini Burn

For our Mini Burn phase, not much has changed from our opener.

Generally speaking, with the loss of rune of power the mini-burn phase became significantly easier now that you don’t have to think about syncing or de-syncing Rune of Power with touch of the magi and radiant spark.

Now, as soon as touch of the magi and radiant spark are ready outside of Arcane Surge, you just press them to get them on CD.

That means that outside of Arcane Surge, you will always get a use of touch of the magi and radiant spark, assuming you will press shifting power at a logical time after Arcane Surge fades.

Mini Burn Rotation:

  1. Cast radiant spark and nether tempest
  2. Cast touch of the magi followed by arcane barrage to make sure our Arcane Barrage is going to hit the target with Touch of the Magi applied to it and continue to build Radiant Spark stacks inside the Touch of the Magi window
  3. Continue with filler rotation, cast Arcane Blast with Nether Precision, don’t over-cap Arcane Missiles procs, use Arcane Orb below 2 arcane charges, and use Arcane Barrage if you struggle with mana at 4 charges.

I made a video of me performing the opener with the new tier set into the mini-burn, so it can help you to understand it a little bit more.

Keep in mind that video was made in 10.1 when rune of power was still in the game, however the rotation is still accurate and relevant just ignore Rune of Power for the sake of the video!

I’d recommend using an addon called DeleteManaGem. It makes it so you can easily delete and create new mana gems during the fight while using a macro. Check the addon description for more information. Full credit to Dorovon from Alter Time Discord.

Defensive Usage

As an Arcane Mage you have excellent survivability and mobility at your disposal with Slipstream, Mirror Images, Alter Time, 2x Shimmer, Ice Block, Greater Invis (which also increases your movement speed if talented), and Prismatic Barrier. You also have our new talent, Mass Barrier.

Rotating our defensives properly can significantly increase our chance of living through high sources of incoming damage!

Note: Don’t be afraid to be aggressive with your defensive cooldowns since shifting power reduces all our CDs by 10 Seconds, while on 1 minute CD.

For example, using Ice block, then shifting power on CD every time it’s available will bring Ice Block to roughly a 3 minutes CD instead of 4 minutes.