Ten Ton Hammer's Class Guides - Mage

Arcane Talent Guide

This Arcane Talent Guide goes over each of the Arcane Talents in the Arcane Talent Tree. Currently under contstruction this guide covers tiers one through 5.

Return to the Mage Talent Guide. The Mage Talent guide contains the location to the Frost and Fire Talent guides along with resources to better help you understand Talents and the best ways to go about spending your Talent Points.

Tier 1

Tier 1 is available at level ten, when your first talents open up.

Arcane Subtlety

Arcane Subtlety is a talent that gives spell penetration (Rank 1: 5, Rank 2: 10) and Arcane threat reduction (Rank 1: 20%, Rank 2: 40%). As a low level spell it is almost completely useless as there is nothing early on that requires spell penetration. However, the threat reduction is useful if you do group a lot – but still early on its not that important.

However, at higher levels, this is a great talent all around. Arcane mages nearly require this in raids and the spell penetration is very helpful as it can increase DPS as much as 2.5% against some enemies. That becomes a lot of damage over an entire raid.

The threat reduction is useful when Arcane Explosion is used in a situation where a Warrior or Paladin will hold aggro from a large group of enemies and then they will be killed with the Arcane Explosion AoE. However, it shouldn’t be obtained just for that.

Obtain Arcane Subtlety if…

  • You want to go into Arcane as a Fire/Frost Mage as Arcane Focus and Improved Arcane Missiles may be useless to you.
  • You find yourself using a lot of Arcane magic and need less threat.

Arcane Focus

Arcane Focus reduces the chance that Arcane spells will be resisted by 2%, 4%, 6%, 8%, 10% based on rank. This talent is nothing to write home about unless you plan on raiding as a full Arcane Mage or plan on attacking enemies above your level with Arcane spells.

Obtain Arcane Focus if…

  • You are a full Arcane Mage who plans to raid frequently.
  • You are attempting to go into the Arcane tree but don’t use Arcane Missiles.

Improved Arcane Missiles

Improved Arcane Missiles gives you a 20%,40%,60%,80%,100% not to be interrupted by damage while casting Arcane Missiles. This means that while you are casting Arcane Missiles and have a 5 ranks of this skill then you will never be interrupted by damage. Things like Counterspell and Kick will, of course, interrupt this skill still.

Obtain Improved Arcane Missiles if…

  • You plan on going into the Arcane tree early on and need a skill to slay enemies with.
  • You are frequently finding yourself tanking enemies solo and plan to go deep into the Arcane tree.
  • You plan on going into the Arcane tree and do not need the spell penetration provided by Arcane Subtlety.

Avoid Improved Arcane Missiles if…

  • You have other methods of dealing damage, such as a Fire or Frost spec and can get more benefit out of Arcane Subtlety.
  • You do not plan on placing the full 5 ranks into this talent, as it is only useful with the full 5 ranks.

Tier 2

Wand Specialization

Increases your damage with wands by 13/25% based on rank. Do not get this talent. It’s only useful for some of the unique and interesting builds that involve Mages and melee or for the unique and highly powerful wands. Typically it is best to stay away from this talent.

Do not obtain.

Magic Absorption

Increases all resistances by 2/4/6/8/10 and causes all spells you resist to restore 1%/2%/3%/4%/5% of your maximum mana based on rank. This talent used to be more useful back when raid encounters required massive amounts of resists. Low level enemies who you take resists from also count, so if you go to a low level instance with 5 ranks of this talent you will find your mana easily regened.

Obtain Magic Absorption if…

  • You already have Arcane Concentration and you want more filler talents to get deeper into the Arcane tree.
  • You PvP frequently and it seems like a good idea, although be aware that there are more useful talents for PvP.
  • Your guild does frequently runs in low level instances where this talent can give you near infinite mana with all of the resists you can get in the low level instances.

Arcane Concentration

Arcane Concentration gives you a 2%/4%/6%/8%/10% (based on rank) to enter into a “Clearcasting” state after any damage spell hits a target. The next damage spell you cast within the next ten seconds will use no mana. This talent is excellent and one of the reasons for a Frost or Fire mage to dip into the Arcane tree. It’s an extremely good talent and will allow most Mages who obtain it to focus on spell damage and crit instead of mana regen.

Obtain Arcane Concentration if…

  • You are in the second tier of the Arcane tree.
  • You are planning on obtaining Arcane Potency.

Highly Recommended.

Tier 3

Magic Attunement

Magic Attunement is a talent that increases Amplify Magic and Dampen Magic by 25% per rank with a maximum of two ranks. This talent has little uses unless there is something specific you have in mind.

Not Recommended

Arcane Impact

Arcane Impact increases the critical strike chance of Arcane Explosion and Arcane Blast by 2% per rank with 3 ranks. Nothing noteworthy to say, but 6% critical strike is a lot.

Obtain Arcane Impact if…

  • You use Arcane Blast a lot.

Arcane Fortitude

Arcane Fortitude increases your armor by an amount equal to 50% of your Intellect. Just avoid this talent unless you’re going into some kind of battlemage like build.

Not Recommended

Tier 4

Improved Mana Shield

Improved Mana Shield is a talent that will decrease the mana lost when damage is taken in by Mana Shield. Mana use is reduced 10% for the first rank and 20% for the second rank.

Obtained Improved Mana Shield if…

    • You PvP often and Mana Shield is used often.
    • You need a filler talent and want survivability.

Improved Counterspell

Improved Counterspell adds a 50% chance per rank (2 ranks) to add a 4 second silence to Counterspell, whether a spell was interrupted or not. This talent is considered to only be used in PvP situations.

Obtain Improved Counterspell if…

    • You PvP regularly. This talent is extremely useful in PvP as it gives the ability to lock a caster down for a full four seconds even if you don’t successfully hit a spell with Counterspell. Highly useful.

Arcane Meditation

Arcane meditation is a talen that allows for a small percentage (5% per rank, 3 ranks) of mana to continue to regenerate while casting. Nearly useless at lower levels and PvP while really shining in longer endurance fights such as raids. Stacks with Mage Armor meaning you can get some serious regeneration to continue while casting.

Obtain Arcane Meditation if…

  • You raid frequently and are going deep into the Arcane tree.
  • You find yourself low on mana during long fights.
  • You have a decent amount of spirit.

Tier 5

Presence of Mind

Presence of Mind allows you to instantly cast anything with a casting time of less then ten seconds. So you can activate Presence of Mind then cast Pyroblast without waiting on the six second cast time. A common trick is to set PoM (what its short for) to an easily accessable key and press it then something like Pyroblast or Polymorph.

Obtain Presence of Mind if…

    • Are you insane? Get it! If you’ve got this many points in Arcane then you absolutely need to pick this talent up. You may want to go into Arcane just to get this talent. Sure it’s tier 5 but the ability to lead in with an instant cast spell is insane.

Arcane Mind

Arcane Mind is a 5 point talent that will increase your intellect by 3% per rank. This is useful in that it works for ALL of your equipped gear and base intellect.

Obtain Arcane Mind if…

    • You’re heavy into Arcane for PoM and want to go further.
    • You have Mind Mastery or Arcane Fortitude – these talents will benefit from your increased intellect.

Tier 6

Prismatic Cloak

Prismatic Cloak reduces damage by 2% a rank for a maximum of 2 ranks. So at its maximum rank if you were to take 1000 damage it would be reduced by 4% or 40 damage.

Obtain Prismatic Cloak if…

    • You want a little bit more survivability.

Arcane Instability

Arcane Instability increases your spell damage and critical strike chance by 1% per rank for 3 ranks requiring Presence of Mind to activate. This talent affects all three trees while the spell bonus does include your total from gear.

Obtain Arcane Instability if…

    • You should just get this talent if you’re this far in. Seriously, get it.

Arcane Potency

Arcane Potency gives you 10% to get a critical strike with a spell while Clearcasting (Arcane Concentration) per rank for 3 ranks. That’s a 30% chance to get a critical strike with a spell while Clearcasting at its maximum level.

Obtain Arcane Potency if…

    • You like the increased damage at random intervals. You must be Clearcasting for this to work meaning you must already trigger one thing that relies on chance. It’s a risky talent to go for but it can pay off.

Tier 7

Empowered Arcane Missiles

Empowered Arcane Missiles gives you 15% additional spell damage and 2% additional mana cost per rank for 3 ranks. At its maximum rank you’ll get a bonus of 187% Arcane damage.

Obtain Empowered Arcane Missiles if…

    • You use Arcane Missiles a lot. It’s not really that useful, to be honest, but the damage increase is nice if you have a lot of spell damage gear.

Arcane Power

Arcane Power is an ability that allows you to do 30% more damage while spending 30% more mana during a 15 second interval with a cooldown three minutes. Does not stack with Power Infusion, of course, but it does stack with trinkets. So you can get a lot of spell damage buffs plus a spell damage trinket and then Arcane Power combined with say Presence of Mind then cast Pyroblast Instantly for a ton of damage while still getting in some more spells during the 15 seconds. A very good talent.

Obtain Arcane Power if…

  • Your build is focusing on doing as much damage with three minute talents as possible. This is one of the only reasons to go this far into Arcane. You need to consider the fact that with all these damage talents plus PoM you can seriously do some major damage but its only available every three minutes and your other trees won’t be nearly as powerful given how many points you’ve spent in Arcane. It’s a good strategy though.

Spell Power

Spell Power increases the critical strike bonus damage by 25% per rank for 2 ranks. This talent is extremely useful in that your critical strike bonus is applied to a lot of things – including Ignite on Fireball.

Obtain Spell Power if…

    • You’re this deep in Arcane and plan on going to tier eight or nine. The additional damage is very popular and its only two ranks to max out.
    • You’ve gone into Arcane for Arcane Power and you might as well pick up another good all purpose deep talent while you’re there.

Tier 8

Mind Mastery

Mind Mastery increases your spell damage by 5% of your intellect for 5 ranks. This is very significant amount of spell damage at higher levels especially as you gain more Intellect in your gear and you pick up the Arcane Mind talent.

Obtain Mind Mastery if…

    • You’re dedicated to going full Arcane and heading for Slow. The five points are not a waste.
    • You’re not going for Slow, but you’re still wanting this awesome talent and some of the earlier Arcane talents (Spell Power and Arcane Power is only 3 points, so that leaves 2 points left to pick up a few more Arcane talents).

Tier 9


Slow costs 28% of your base mana and will slow the movement speed, casting time, and time between ranged attacks by 50%. It has no cooldown but can only affect one target at a time. It is considered a spell and mage ability meaning that anything that removes snares or magical debuffs will remove Slow. It can be combined with Counterspell to disable any caster with its 50% increased casting time while it is extremely useful for kiting Warriors. Hunters will have a much harder time doing damage, but will still be able to hit you.

Obtain Slow if…

    • You picked up all five ranks of Mind Mastery and are not facing a dilemma between talents. Remember the 28% of your base mana cost to cast Slow.
    • You PvP often and are going full Arcane.

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Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016

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