Longtime Mage Arcane MT Frustration

My fellow mages,

I’m not throwing the “nerf the MT” pitch, but rather want to constructively express some degree of my frustration in the hopes of getting some ideas how to best proceed.

As some background, I’m a proud mage. This was the first character I rolled, 17 years ago this month, and has been my main that entire time. I’ve played various iterations of all the mage specs over the years. This expansion, I’m Arcane.

I don’t account myself a great player, but at least a competent one with a good deal of experience. Through sheer stubbornness (repeated attempts), I’ve managed to do the old Challenge Modes, Endless Proving Grounds, and 6 out of 36 versions of Legion Mage Tower. Again, I attribute this more to pure OCD completionist stubbornness in beating my head against a goal until I can get it, rather than innate skill.

However, this technique doesn’t seem to be working for me with the 9.1.5 MT as Arcane.

I’ve made just over 70 attempts thus far, and unfortunately I cannot progress past about 60-70% health.

I’ve watched the guides and read-up on the strats. I’ve tried the single-target technique as well as the AoE method. I’m using the SL raid gear that I have because… well… that’s what I have.

Unfortunately what it seems to be boiling down to is that I cannot process information quickly enough to react consistently for the length of the fight, despite knowledge of the mechanics and practice. I’m becoming increasingly frustrated by those who have completed this goal saying, “It’s easy, you should be able to do it in only a few attempts.”

I find myself wondering if I’m just slower than I used to be (I started playing this game when I was 24–17 years ago). I’ve noticed that a lot of the streamers who have made these guides all seem to be in their 20s. I know age alone shouldn’t be an excuse, but I really find myself wondering if this particular challenge has hit me at my skill cap, and my brain and physical reaction speed just won’t go any faster. Physical limits are a real thing, after all.

I do know that my better attempts (at around 60%) are on tries where I do the single-target method, because I can keep Sigryn CCed, mostly ignore the caster, and focus on Jarl, switching to the caster only for the shield and interrupt. The problem here, as I’m sure those who have done this will attest, is that I don’t pull enough single-target damage quickly enough before the mechanics become too much. AB spam just doesn’t do it.

For the AoE method, sure, the AEx4,ABarr method pulls more damage, but things spiral out of control quickly after the initial burst. I can’t keep the mobs together and stay out of Jarl’s enrage radius, all while tracking the other lethal mechanics.

What you do you guys think? Is my frustration justified? Shall I just keep beating my head against the wall for another 50 or 100 tries? When does one give-up and accept their limits, and when does one keep burning hours making no progress?

I’m aware some other trinkets may help my damage output some, but the advice from folks is so varied that I have no consistent ideas for what to aim for, or if it will really make a difference when I get overwhelmed my mechanics so quickly. I’m all for admitting my gear isn’t optimal, but if it won’t make a difference, then it hardly justifies farming it.

Regarding add-ons to help, I am an add-on minimalist and prefer the default UI, but I have started using DBM with the module for this encounter. Unfortunately the mechanics alerts seem to only underscore my frustration in that I can get a big giant alarm something is coming, but can’t process it fast enough while doing other things. I seem to be doing about the same with or without DBM (indeed, one of the reasons I’ve stopped using DBM while raiding is that the alerts become overwhelming and I prefer using only the tools the game gives me).

Anyway, that’s about all I had. I didn’t want to just rant, but see if any one else out there shares my frustration or has perhaps some constructive insights on how this challenge might be made more attainable, or perhaps even suggest that it simply takes yet more practice.



Some challenges are definitely more difficult than others. Unfortunately, all 3 specs of mage are considered some of the easier challenges. Are you using flasks? Pots? are you able to spend any gold on timewalking gear? food? there are a ton of ways to up your dps. For example, flask of unbridled fury is a massive DPS increase.

From what I remember doing the arcane challenge in SL gear after watching one vid of it in Legion then trying it out myself two weeks ago is popping all CDs then CC Sigryn when AP is over in which Jarl and Faljar are around 70%. You can CS Faljar early on so he stops casting shadowbolt and follows you. This allows you to pull him away from Sigryn in poly and you can keep damaging him and Jarl at the same time with arcane explosion and arcane barrage. Keep Sigryn on focus and reapply poly when she is about to get out.

I shared these in the other thread but here are the same and other other tips…

-The damage from Jarl and Faljar is mostly negligible until Jarl goes berzerk in which you have to run away. You can go really low HP cause of the orbs that drop to heal you.

-Keep slow debuff on Jarl especially when he is coming at you.

-Without DBM just use the audio cues in the encounter that your three opponents give to clue you in for the mechanic that is about to occur. Like when Sigryn calls for the angels find out which side they are coming from so you can find the open spot and blink to it at the last second if you can’t run to it.

-Use speed boost via chrono shift to soak the circles faster.

-Personally I prefer arcane missles over arcane blast for anything single target related like breaking Faljar shield or damaging Jarl while dancing in his axes throws. This fight can get hectic with constant movement so I can have at least a couple ticks of AM before cancelling out of it plus having a chance to proc clearcasting whereas AB you have to fully commit to the cast standing there. Still the majority of the damage from the fight should come from AE and Abarr.

I just completed attempt 100. The closest I’ve gotten is Sigryn down to 47%, and I think Jarl down to 27% (not sure on the caster).

I wanted to give a little more details on the stats and numbers on my more recent attempts to maybe figure-out where I’m so short. I’ve really got the mechanics down now, but after 3 minutes and 30 seconds, they start overlapping and I start running into trouble.

So, my stats (scaled-down) are as follows (with SL flask and weapon oil):

Int 395
Sta 374

Crit 23%
Haste 9%
Mastery 21%
Vers 11%
Avoidance 3%
Speed 4%

I’m in all SL raid gear, trinkets included. They probably aren’t the best trinkets, but they’re what I’ve got: Inscrutable Quantum Device, Titanic Ocular Gland.

I’m primarily using the AoE method where I try to keep them together as much as possible, spamming AEx4,ABarr. I’m running into several key challenges:

  • Even during the burst AoE phase at the start and popping all CDs, my damage seems low. I get Sigryn to maybe 70-75% if I’m lucky. I stand in place spamming AEx4,Abarr until Jarl starts his berserk, then I begin kiting.

  • I’m running into the choice of getting clipped by Jarl and getting my health whittled down (but hitting 2-3 targets), or keeping well away and only hitting 1-2 targets, lowering my DPS a lot and drawing out the fight. Right now, my average DPS over 3 to 3.5 minutes is under 1K, due largely to being unable to keep them all close together without getting clipped.

So, after 100 attempts, and using a flask and oil, I’m running out of ideas for new things to try. My latency is about 80ms for what it’s worth. I can’t really say there’s a huge delay on abilities, but it’s certainly noticeable when I need to immediately stop moving start casting sheep on Sigryn.

I’ll probably keep giving it perhaps an hour of attempts each day for the rest of the Legion timewalking period. Not sure what else to do differently other than more practice.

I hate to say this, but for almost all of the classes you need to put together a specific set of gear for the MT. It makes a HUGE difference.

I just wanted to cap this off with good news!

On attempt 170, I beat Sigryn! I did it using SL gear and zero add-ons of any kind. I was using a flask and weapon oil.

Some have said it’s relatively easy and that it only took a few attempts for many. Even so, what is difficult for some may come easily for others. So, I’m taking this victory!

I’m not much of an adrenaline junkie. Challenges like this (similar to the Endless 30 Proving Grounds back in MoP) really get my heart rate up, and sometimes just overcoming my own adrenaline rush and maintaining focus is a challenge in and of itself.

I do have some thoughts and feedback after doing it, though. I don’t know if others will find this helpful or not, but here it goes.

First and perhaps most obvious is that you want to do this challenge, don’t give up, but I’d suggest limiting attempts or time per day to something reasonable for you. I decided one hour / flask per day (perhaps two on weekends).

Regarding Sigryn, while I messed up various mechanics plenty of times, most of the mechanics are very clear when you miss them and what happened. However, in retrospect, I believe the most difficult deathtrap the entire time was Jarl and his axes.

Most of the videos you watch using the AoE strategy just glaze over this mechanic and call it insignificant damage. The trouble is that the axes themselves really add-up if you get hit by multiple before getting a health orb, and their curved trajectory can be difficult to predict and dodge while doing more critical mechanics, like the runes or dodging the Dark Wings wall.

If I had one piece of actual tuning feedback for this fight, it’d probably be to nerf the damage on the axes. There are other really solid lethal mechanics in this fight, and the axes just wear your health down if you get unlucky or are unable to dodge them for any reason.

I can’t tell you how many of my 170 tries were just my overall health being seemingly randomly whittled down, not by getting hit by Jarl’s berserk, or the wall, or rune explosions, but by the axes.

The only real advice I can give to counter this is to keep moving (which you’ll be doing kiting Jarl, anyway), and try to stay in a circular pattern around the bosses that hopefully avoids the axes while you’re doing other things, and obviously dodge them when you can. I do feel that the axes add an unnecessarily chaotic and unpredictable element to this fight, however.

Anyway, that’s it for me. If I can do it, I’m sure many more can! Happy Winter Veil, all!


Hello arcane mages!

I’m trying to do my 6th tower as Arcane, watched synybuns’ video and got the opener pretty good now, doing huge deeps on my mage and managing to nuke siggy to well under 70% just in the opener.

But, hitting a wall after that, I’m dying wayyy too fast. Get her to like 55ish% and I just can’t live past it haha.

Has anyone got any tips for survivability in this one? Seems like an easy enough tower if I can just stay alive

Just to double check, you watched his video where he stacks all 3 at the start and bursts with arcane echo?

Yep. Great strategy, but I think its the axes that are chunking me after reviewing. Still not sure though, I’m dropping HP way harder than he is in his vid.

Like, the DPS is not an issue at all, or the mechanics (except maybe I’m just bad at dodging the axes lol), just the incoming damage :frowning:

For me (and you can read about my struggle with exactly this just above), the keys to survivability was establishing control of Jarl right after that initial burn when they’re all stacked-up.

So, when Jarl is about ready to do his berserk, throw a Slow on him. I like to have him targeted from the start (after setting Sigyrn as my CC focus and quickly targeting the caster to interrupt him). This way I can get a Slow up on him well before he starts berserking at me.

Once that’s done, start moving away from the stacked mobs and start your kite. Now, as I mentioned above, the axes are just some RNG trickiness. In theory, yes, just avoid them. In reality, you’ll get hit by axes. The key (for me) was to just keep moving in a circular kiting pattern around the arena while handling the really deadly mechanics–always be spamming Arcane Explosion and Arcane Barrage at four charges. That latter is critical to keep you fast and Jarl slower. Don’t forget to be refreshing Slow on him, as well.

I feel that there are two stages to learning this fight:

1.) Make sure you’re following the insta-death mechanics:

  • CC before Father’s Blood if you at all can, but CC during the cast if you must. If the latter, make sure not to accidentally cleave Sigyrn until the debuff is gone, or she’ll do massive damage. I died quite a few times to just sloppily breaking my own CC on her before realizing the debuff was still on.

  • Those Dark Wings are never to be underestimated. Always have an escape route for them, or iceblock if you’re really stuck and can’t get to the gap. They’ve ended quite a few tries when I was getting close.

  • The runes on the floor, while easy to catch by themselves, can surprise you when things get hectic. Try to get the smallest one first if you can. If this overlaps with Dark Wings, you may consider using your Iceblock here until the wings pass, but note that if you do that, be sure to resume getting the rest of the runes before they explode. I made the mistake of just sitting in my Iceblock waiting for all the runes to explode. It takes too long, doesn’t work.

2.) Once you feel pretty good about those critical mechanics and are surviving them but getting whittled down (probably by axes) or just occasional mishaps (they happen, nobody is perfect), then conrgrats, you’re making progress!

  • The next step is just mitigating what you can, grabbing those health orbs as quickly as you can, and using Alter Time when your health is looking good and you don’t have any critical move mechanics coming up. (You don’t want Alter Time to mess-up your positioning on Dark Wings or runes, after all.)

I know all this sounds like a lot, but there are definitely markers of progress as you live longer until you start getting overwhelmed by mechanics or whittled down. I do personally feel that there is a little bit of luck factor with those axes (hence my feedback above), but if you keep everything else under control and your health as high as you can, it’s definitely possible!

It doesn’t take any kind of world-first DPS where you don’t miss a single cooldown, and even most of those videos show that mistakes can and do happen. The key with this whole deal is to keep frustration and bay and be as analytical as possible after each attempt. Chances are that it’s either going to be just a stupid mistake to one of the major mechanics, or getting whittled down (the latter just takes more attempts and patience, keeping control of the situation as best as possible).

Lastly, just remember that it doesn’t matter how many or few attempts others have made. This is a personal challenge, and everyone is different. Focus on you own challenge. When you get it, your tmog and feeling of pride will be just as valid if you made hundreds of attempts or just five.

Hope this helps! Good luck in there!

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Best advice I can give you is to do it on a Ret Pally instead. Then the survivability won’t be nearly as much of an issue and you get much better cleave as Ret too.

Remember that the MT is still designed with Legion toolkits in mind and the only thing that’s changed is that all players are now handicapped when they go in the Timewalking version because all borrowed powers are disabled. So specs like Ret which retained a good deal of their artifact perks as baseline abilities and talents will have a much easier time. On the other hand, spec like Arcane which were absolutely gutted post Legion and rely on borrowed powers as crutches to make up for a lackluster baseline toolkit and badly designed talents will struggle.

If you don’t care about the individual class transmog and just want the mount that’s the best and easiest way. If you want the mage transmog the Fire challenge is much easier and while survivability might also be an issue it’s more of an endurance fight and doesn’t have the ramp-up pseudo enrage mechanics that the Arcane challenge does. Honestly, even the Frost challenge might be easier on the whole even though it’s a much more complex and mechanic heavy fight because the Frost toolkit is perfectly suited to the task.

Arcane has long been a neglected spec and things like this really shine the spotlight on how broken the spec is. The only reason it’s viable at all in most circumstances is because of dedicated long time Arcane players who always find a way to use borrowed power gimmicks to make it work. Of course you can’t do that in the Timewalking MT and there in lies the problem.

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