Arcane Mage needs help in PvP

Arcane mage is currently the least represented DPS spec in arena. There are currently 0 mages within Rank 1 range in either EU or NA.

The biggest challenge facing Arcane Mage is our consistent damage is very low compared to most specializations & our burst is very unreliable.

A couple of challenges we face:

  1. Arcane Missiles & Clearcasting is a huge source of our consistent damage. Unfortunately, Clearcasting is dispellable & has a really short buff duration. Increasing the duration of Clearingcasting to 20 seconds and making it undispellable would go a long way to helping Arcane Mage pools procs and find moments to burst more consistently in PvP.
  2. Arcane’s strength is the fact that it’s a very mobile spec with Chronoshift (Pivotal talent for Arcane in PvP). This doesn’t synergize very well with Rune of Power & having to stand still with only 1 effective school of magic. If a Fire or Frost mage gets kicked on Rune of Power, no big deal, back to spamming damage. If Arcane gets kicked on trying to set up a Rune of Power it’s completely shut down (No rune, no damage, no poly).

Currently, there’s a PvP nerf on Incanter’s Flow, a talent that got a nerfed in BFA. This change may have been justifiable at the time but since the recent changes to Rune of Power, (automatically dropping when you use an offensive CD), Rune of Power has become leaps and bounds better than Incanter’s Flow ever was. I know it might not seem like much but reverting the Incanter’s Flow nerf in PvP would possibly help give Arcane Mages more options that better fit their playstyle and help with their consistent damage.

  1. Overall damage of certain talents is quite low, a PvP damage increase on spells like Arcane Orb & Super Nova (Which do very low damage currently) could go a long way in increasing the consistent damage & fun of the spec.

Arcane Mage has been my favourite spec since Legion and has really gotten little love the past couple of expansions. Going into 9.2 with some positive changes might encourage more players to try it and help the viability of the spec in PvP overall.

Thanks for hearing me out, please help us :frowning:

Posted in the mage forums also


Is that because arcane mage is bad, or is it just less strong than the other mage specs?

Arcane mage is definitely underpowered.
There are plenty of Arcane only mages that can’t make it work.


Love the thoughtful write up, addresses many of Arcane’s issues in shadowlands.


god speed.

many are sick of mages in general due to fire mage as a whole and the fact frost does 80% of it’s dmg with 1 button

actually, can you do a write up on frost next so it does something more than just frost bolt? used to be such an interesting/fun spec.

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Fire nerfs need to happen. There is 0 reason to play Arcane over fire.


Going to respond to this because I see this comment thrown around a lot. Arcane isn’t played JUST because Fire is a strong spec. Even if you nerf fire, arcane still underperforms by a good margin compared to all other specs in the game (not just mage).


True. Even if Fire did receive nerfs, Arcane would still remain:

  • a mostly stationary-to-do-damage class
  • a mostly-one-school spec with lots of casts to interrupt and lock this school
  • without instant CC with long enough duration to actually do anything (don’t count Supernova, which lasts for the same amount of time as GCD it uses)
  • a spec with easily dispellable damage procs (Clearcasts are dispellable) and even its spec-specific defensives (Temporal is dispellable)
  • its sustained damage is not impressive and its burst is easily counterable. Facing a Venthyr Arcane? Just dispel Mirrors. Facing a Kyrian Arcane? Just interrupt either Touch of the Magi or Radiant Spark to shut down almost all the damage he / she can do.

While a spec should have vulnerabilities and possibilities for counterplay, Arcane’s problem is that it has all the mentioned cons and vulnerabilities and more at once resulting with just too many.


This isn’t enough, there’s abilities Arcane has to help set up Poly’s that aren’t working as intended, Greater Invisibility and Mass Invisibility instantly break the moment we take damage and Mass Invisibility takes a whole second to cause enemies to drop target even though it’s an instant invisibility.

It’s amazingly ironic how we have a talent called Master of Escape that doesn’t help us escape but instead gives us a wall back sooner that only lasts 3 seconds after breaking.

Sadly Blizzard decided to nerf Frost Mage damage on non-Frostbolt on the PTR so it will even further be pigeonholed in to being a Frostbolt spambot.

Arcane just fails in every aspect of spec when its not overwhelming s-tier or overtuned to compensate for its inherent design flaw.

*Defense (besides iceblock)
*Crowd Control

All on arcane school. You get kicked and forced into block or die pretty quickly as arcane, besides the obvious vulnerability to purge spam in an expansion where purge has prob never been more prevalent.

Dh can purge every 10, double purge with racial
Hunter every 10
Lock every 10
Shamans/Priests infinite spam.

Anything you rip from arcane is super high value, temp shield, alter time, clearcasting procs, 25 second barrier cd.

Every purge pop on arcane is a huge and vital defensive or its damage thru clearcasting, which just makes arcane struggle even more.

I couldn’t imagine even trying to play arcane into the meta comps right now, would be way too frustrating. You shouldn’t have to be insane at the game to scrape by on a spec.

I’d be curious to see how many people besides venruki would stick out a zero to hero on arcane


What do you call magical sugar?




Agree. please either make nether tempest, orb, and supernova baseline and buff them. or just buff them to be worthwhile taking as well. Id also love to see evanesce back alongside ice block. Especially since frost and fire get 2 major defensive buffs (caut and cold snap)

man that doesn’t sound like gameplay anyone else wants to have to learn, i hope you don’t get this one. proc fishing sucks for the game!

who was it disagreed with me about hypermobility on that other arcane thread? suck this

shameless bump


bring back wod design where spellstealing gave you a missiles proc, oh and evanesce + frostjaw. :hot_face:


Make arcane blast hurt again. Arcane missile spamming is sleeper


I would LOVE to see Arcane get some fixes to make it more viable in PvP.
I like the idea of Arcane as a powerful, mobile/slippery caster and I’d really like to see more damage and mobility-friendly changes come Arcane’s way.

I don’t know anything about how to best balance the game or what would/wouldn’t be fair as far as buffs/changes though. I don’t want to fire off any suggestions for fear of sounding stupid, but I’d be so SO happy if some real time was spent on making the Arcane experience more enjoyable and bringing this woefully underperforming spec out of the shadows and into relevancy.

Yeah, some good ideas. Just give all mage specs dragon’s breath and call it a day. Should be this way.

If arcane mage is going to get more CC, I want improved counter spell - not dragons breath.

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