Mage Madness – Quick Fixes

“One-button class” is a common term for the Arcane Mage, and mages often take offense and try to insist we use more buttons.   Seriously, mages…stopping hitting other buttons!  While it is true that I occasionally click the other buttons, the debate is screwing up potentially good arcane mages.

Quick Fixes for an Arcane Mage

In the last week I’ve helped two arcane mages with some basics related to our spec/class.  The first indication that a mage needs help is consistent dps at or below 9K.  There are several possible reasons for this that are really easy to fix:

  1. Not using Mage Armor and/or Glyph of Mage Armor.  I don’t see this as a personal preference for arcane mages.  You are choosing the arcane spec;and therefore, you must use Mage Armor if you want any hope of decent dps.  I’ve met 4 arcane mages in the last month not using Mage Armor. Fix: Use Glyph of Mage Armor and always have your Mage Armor buff up.
  2. Not using a Burn Phase. I can quickly look at the % of damage done by Arcane Blast to see if a burn phase is being skipped.  On short trash fights, the mage will never leave the burn phase.  Arcane Blast % should be close to 100%.  On Short Boss fights (regular heroics possibly), You can get by with Burn – Evocation – Burn.  Still 100% damage done by Arcane Blast.  For longer boss fights, using a Burn – Evocate – Maintain – Burn sequence, you will start to see percentages closer to 85% – 95% for Arcane Blast.  Fix: Always start with a burn phase followed by Evocation at 30 – 40% mana.  If the encounter is over 1/2 over, then just burn til the end.  If it will take longer, move into a maintain phase mixing in Arcane Missiles when it procs.  Shoot for using it every 3rd, 4th or 5th Arcane Blast depending on your mana pool.
  3. Touching other buttons when not needed.  During the maintain phase, the second button (Arcane Missiles) is used for one purpose only – to clear the stacks of the Arcane Blast buff.  It’s this buff that drains our mana.  All other spells are a dps loss, but they need to be used periodically to clear the buff.  If you are able to maintain high mana while continuing to only use Arcane Blast, don’t ever use another spell.  This happens sometimes on fights with lots of movement or when dps only comes in waves.  In these cases, the AB stacks often fall off on their own and there is no need to use another spell.  Fix: Seriously, stop touching other buttons!
  4. Not spamming our one button.  If you are watching your cast bar and waiting for it to finish (or get close to finishing) before casting your next spell, you are wrong.  Nothing is more fun than pounding your chosen Arcane Blast button on your keyboard as fast (and hard) as possible.   Fix: Don’t wait for anything, hit the button as fast as you can so your next spell goes off as fast as possible.

The Next Steps

OK, now that I’m done with that rant, you might still be insisting that there is more to playing an Arcane Mage than just spamming Arcane Blast.  The truth is that there is, but if you can’t master the Arcane Blast spam, then you don’t have the base of high burst DPS to start from.  I will be reviving some old posts from my previous web site (for my old guild) with more information on Arcane mages and how to better understand what’s going on with our “rotation” and how to take our base of high burst DPS to the next level.  Look for additional Mage Madness posts in the near future.

NOTE: I’m writing this information from the perspective of my learning process on my alt Mojjee.  I consider myself a mediocre mage from a raiding perspective, but I enjoy trying to make myself better and also helping other mages with some of the basics.

Happy Raiding!

~Daff/Mojjee

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