Can I call it, or what?
So yeah, in case you haven’t noticed, the nerf bat has swung and arcane was smacked upside the head.
First, as I foretold, the ability to clip Arcane Missiles to sneak in an ABarr (so both benefit from the stacked ABlast buff) has been removed.
Arcane Missiles consumes the charges immediately, rather than at the end of the spell.
Alas, Arcane Shatter. I barely knew thee.
This means, of course, that if an arcane mage gets struck by something while they’re channeling AM, and they don’t have Arcane Stability, they just lost the whole stack for basically nothing. ‘Course, you’ll still lose the whole stack if you get countered or silenced, but that can’t really be prevented.
Losing damage to random AoE crap is, however. Arcane Stability is worth the points. And if there’s a Holy Paladin sporting Concentration Aura that you can count on (even better if they’re specced for it), you can afford to go with four or even three points into Arcane Stability.
Second, Glyph of Arcane Blast was nerfed too. The bonus (stacking) damage has been reduced to 3% from 5%, and thus an extra 9% at maximum stack rather than 15%.
Oh yeah, and it no longer applies to Arcane Missiles.
Ordinarily, the ABlast buff increases the damage of your next arcane spell by 15/30/45%. With Glyph of Arcane Blast, that number becomes 18/36/54%.
UNLESS that spell is Arcane Missiles, in which case it’s still 15/30/45%.
Don’t worry too much about this part, though. It’s a bug caused by the first two nerfs. It should be fixed within a week.
Heaven knows Blizz was pretty fast about nerfing mages, they’ll probably be just as fast about fixing them.
Any sarcasm detected in that last statement may or may not be intended. Let your inner cynic decide.
It makes me wonder. Why wasn’t this fit to go into the patch notes? All they said was, basically, this patch is fixing some bugs.
So, apparently, nerfing arcane is a bug fix.
Ok, clipping Arcane Missiles, fine, I’ll give you that as a bug. It’s a stretch, but ok.
But reducing the ABlast buff? THAT counts as a bug?
It’s either that, or someone simply deemed that the nerfs weren’t important enough to make it into the patch notes. Well, gee, that’s nice, isn’t it?
I wonder how many poor mages logged in, fired up ye olde arcane spec, and boggled. It’s not like the entire spec came crashing down, it’s more like logging in and suddenly discovering that Steady Shot deals 10% less damage.
It isn’t the end of the world, but it’s still the sort of thing one would notice quite readily.
I just wonder how many poor, hapless mages logged in, tried stuff, realized something was broken, and then went exploring on ye olde internet before discovering the “bug fixes”, and asked themselves “why the deuce wasn’t this included in the patch notes?”
Anyway, what’s done is done. On with the show.
The optimal rotation, then, for Arcane is a simple ABlastx3 then ABarr.
Once again, Arcane Missiles should only be used during Missile Barrage procs.
Assuming ABlastx3 / ABarr rotation:
- If Missile Barrage procs on ABarr, immediately cast it and then ABarr again before starting the rotation over
- If Missile Barrage procs on ABlast in time for you to react to it, stack the ABlast buff to 3, cast it, then ABarr and start over
- If Missile Barrage procs on the third ABlast, and it’s too late to react to it as you already pressed ABarr, simply cast AM once the GCD is up, then ABarr again, and then start over
You can wait to use AM until you have ABlast stacked again, but you run the risk of refreshing Missile Barrage. Waiting to cast a fully charged MB proc does not make up for the damage loss of a missed MB proc, even if it’s cast without a single charge of ABlast.
Again, this is all optimally speaking. In a good raid setup, there should be enough mana to go around for an arcane mage to keep up this rotation for the entirety of any given encounter.
If not… well, ABlast stacks to one and two just as well.