Arcane Leveling Part 1: 10-19
So as I mentioned in my last post, I’d be doing an overview of leveling a Mage as Arcane. For the first installment, I’m going to be looking at leveling from 10 to 19 and talking specifically about which talents I chose, which abilities become available, how they’re used in combat and what your rotation and approach should be, some glyph options and professions.
As I mentioned last time, I’ve been using the Tour Guide addon to help with the questing side of things, specifically with the WoWPro plug-in. Once again I’ve found it to be extremely useful and time saving. Early on it does require a lot of running around in order to get flight paths and what not, but when has levelling ever not required that? Ultimately, the true power is stacking quests, completing quests when they are green to give max xp and have them be conducted with ease.
As far as actually levelling it a second time around, I found it to be much easier to go from 10-19 having already played a Mage. I only died a few times when adds became too much of an issue. But that was by far the minority. So far, survivability hasn’t been an issue, while killing mobs is no trouble at all.
Arcane Stability: 5 pts. This will reduce pushback suffered while casting Arcane Missiles and Arcane Blast by 100%. Less interrupts means more damage gets through, less wasted mana, and mobs die faster.
Arcane Concentration: 5 pts. This will give you a 10% chance to enter a clearcasting state, making your next spell cost no mana. Up until you start getting this proc, you’ll likely find that being a Mage means, drink, drink drink.
Some of the new abilties you’ll get are:
Level 10: Frost Nova
Level 12: Dampen Magic / Slow Fall
Level 14: Arcane Explosion
Level 15: Major Glyph / Minor Glyph
Level 16: Flamestrike
Level 18: Amplify Magic / Remove Curse
You’ll also get new ranks of spells, but I’m focusing on new spells and how they get worked into your actions. None of the new spells you get from 12-18 are going to be all that valuable to you as far as including them into your rotations. Dampen/Amplify Magic are situational. If the mobs you’re attacking are gonna do magic damage, use dampen. If they don’t use magic and you want your Life Blood to heal for more, use Amplify. Slow Fall, is very situational. Use when falling. Arcane Explosion and Flamestrike are two of your AoE spells. At this level, they cost way too much mana for the amount of damage they put out to be useful in any real sense. Remove Curse is once again situational. Use it when you’
Starting at level 10, you have Frostbolt, Fireball, Arcane Missiles, Fire Blast, Polymorph and Frost Nova. For the first little while, your strategy when taking on a mob should be to cast Frostbolt from max range, then Fireball x 2 (x3 if the mob takes a bit longer to get to you). If it isn’t dead yet, Frost Nova and run to range. At this point, what you use next is up to you. I generally wand the mob to allow for mana regen to start and minimize downtime. It’s still pretty horrible for the first five levels until you start getting Clearcasting procs. Using a wand helps.
The first wand I believe is the enchanting crafted wand equipable at level 5. Mats can be purchased at the Enchanting supplier. Enchanters can also make another one requiring level 13. At this level the wands put out a serious amount of damage to mobs and should not be discounted. As you get higher in levels, they become less and less usefull except when you’re OoM.
At level 14 you should have a full five points into the pushback resistance for arcane missiles. After this point, you’re going to want to use arcane missiles if you have a mob within melee range of you, like when you’re Frost Nova is on cooldown. The reason is because you’re spells won’t get any pushback, meaning you won’t waste any cast time and you’ll put out max damage.
After level 17, you’ll start to notice clearcasting proc’ing much more frequently. Once it does, use the Arcane Missiles as they will provide the most bang for your free buck.
As for mana. By level 17 and 18 I had just under and just over a 1k mana pool. This allowed for killing several single pulls in a row (about 4 or 5) before require a mana break, or one multi-mob pull (around 3 or 4). None of the gear was purchased off the AH, but all drops while questing.
At level 15, you have two glyph slots available, a major and a minor. For the major glyph, I recommend Glyph of Arcane Missiles. This increases the crit chance bonus damage of your AM spell, which is going to become one of the mainstays of your rotations for quite a lot of levels. In my opinion this is the best pay off to equip at low level and keep until end game for an arcane mage. An alternative to improve your up-time would be the Glyph of Evocation, which restores health along with mana. Great for after a really long fight where you took some splash damage. (As a side note, did you know that mages are so squishy that if you splash them, they take damage? Fun fact).
For the minor glyph, you have a couple options. Glyph of Frost Armor will increase the duration of your Frost / Ice armor spells by 30 min. Until you get to level 30-something, I believe, you’re only available armor spells are the Frost ones. Having this just saves you one little headache of having to recast it half as much. An alternative and the one I went with is Glyph of Slow Fall, to remove the reagent requirement for Slow Fall, freeing up bag space and allowing you to jump off of stuffs.
Professions aren’t exactly critical to leveling as a Mage in general, or as Arcane specifically. You’d probably be hard pressed to find a benefit for blacksmithing as a Mage, but other than that, all the other ones would bring some value. For my Mage I chose Skinning and Herbalism. There are a couple reasons. They are both gathering professions, allowing my Mage to generally maintain some self-sufficiency, money wise. Also, they both have specific benefits. The crit strike bonus from skinning, while not really all that much, I think will help, as Mages generally are very crit-centric. For herbalism, the Lifeblood ability that you get after skill of 75 can be invaluable. I know that I’ve found it’s helped me out when I’ve got unexpected adds. Especially if you are low on mana and want to use your only potion allowed for mana.
All in all it was fun to get back out there on a Mage. The power of their dps can be pretty astonishing, almost as much as the laughability of their squishyness. So that’s it for this segment. In the next part I’ll be looking at levels 20-29.
May the Horde be with you