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Mage PvP Changed

Author: inwowgold Source:

Mage PvP Changed

This is the build I've had the most hands-on time with, and I have to say I'm impressed. At first, I was worried about the low survivability I was seeing. Aside from incredibly high spell resistances via Magic Absorption and the minor mitigation of talents like Arcane Fortitude, Improved Blink, and Prismatic Cloak, there just isn't much here to keep you from dying like the clothie you are. I soon discovered that the problem lay not with the tree itself, but with my play-style.

I was going into battle with the old, stand-in-one-place-and-unload mentality that the Arcane tree used to require. That idea is gone now. The Arcane tree is now designed for mobility. Spells like Arcane Blast and Arcane Missiles that require you to stand still and cast are relics of the past. The primary PvP spell for Arcane Mages is now Arcane Barrage. An Arcane Mage should now be constantly moving in PvP, running and Blinking from cover to cover, launching out Arcane Barrages every three seconds, applying Slow when needed, squeezing in the occasional Fire Blast or Arcane Explosion as the situation dictates, and pausing only to rattle off a truncated Arcane Missiles whenever Missile Barrage procs, or to throw out a Polymorph when control is needed.

Arcane Barrage provides strong, consistent damage while on the move, and burst damage comes with decent frequency whenever Missile Barrage procs. Presence of Mind can be coupled with Frostbolt for snare purposes, or Arcane Blast when raw damage is more useful. Arcane Missiles is still useful in the same situations it was pre-patch, as a way to ensure damage when the target is about to duck out of line-of-sight.

Survivability is low if caught in the open, but this spec provides a surprising sense of slipperiness. Use the mobility provided by Arcane Barrage to pillar-dance, ducking back and forth behind cover between casts. Blink and Frost Nova provide escape mechanisms, as well as instant-fade Invisibility (as long as you don't have any nasty DoTs on you that would break it). The key here is to remain constantly mobile, and constantly casting. Ice Block is even more helpful in this situation, as it can be coupled with Invisibility to provide an almost Rogue-like getaway mechanic. Ice Block removes the DoTs, and instant-Invis lets you flee unseen to wherever you please (unless you're fighting a Warlock, of course).
Slow is powerful control option, allows you to stay mobile, and increases your damage when coupled with Torment the Weak. Focus Magic keeps your crits high if used on a teammate who casts and crits frequently. Improved Counterspell is still the powerful tool it always was, and hasn't lost any of its luster among all of the changes. Arcane Flows lowers the cooldown on your two single biggest DPS boosts (Presence of Mind and Arcane Power) to a very agreeable two minutes, and does the same for your new most useful escape spell, Invisibility.

Overall, this tree is possibly the most mobile of the three, provides high DPS, decent burst capability, very nice control mechanics, and a pleasant amount of escape options to offset an otherwise low survivability. I have very few complaints with the Arcane tree as it relates to PvP.

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