Mage Guide for 4.3 Normal Modes

For starters: Mages again have two competitive specs for raiding through upcoming buffs for the Fire tree, which makes Fire viable once again. I found Arcane’s single target DPS a tad superior yet I would recommend using Fire at almost all of the bosses throughout the instance because of many movement intensive fights, but let’s see if we can find some room for Arcane also (other than bringing 3% damage).

-    Fire 3/35/3
You will be using this spec at every boss since there is no need for extra mana gains through Arcane Concentration and there are some bosses where you can get great benefit from Pyromaniac.

-    Arcane 33/5/3
Arcane spec will be the same old. There are some fights where you can get some benefit from your Incanter’s Absorption so I would take this over Improved Arcane Explosion. Arcane’s AOE is still bad but if it feels like your guild needs every bit of AOE out of the setup you have, then you might consider going to respec, otherwise there is no need.

Glyphs: There is no need for fight specific glyph swapping so you will be using Fireball, Molten Armor, Pyroblast for Fire and Arcane Blast, Arcane Missiles, Mage Armor for Arcane. You can use whichever Major glyphs you feel like suiting you best but I would recommend at least Blink and Evocation.

Tier pieces: If you have 4x391 tier 12 pieces you should go for 2x384 t13 + 2x391 t12 only if you play Arcane, it will be around 400 DPS upgrade (400 downgrade for Fire). 4 piece bonus with only 384 pieces will be around 800 upgrade for Arcane and about same as 4x391 t12 for Fire. 397 tiers will replace the old tiers for Fire of course.

Introduction: Mages are fine on this boss. Only weakness here is the lack of passive or short cooldown damage reduction, which might be needed in soaking the constant incoming damage, but it will be compensated with Cauterize. There is some movement in this fight depending on your duties, so both specs are fine. Cauterize might become handy though.

Spec: Arcane/Fire

The fight and tips: The key thing here is to stay at Morchok’s Stomp range so you soak the damage with your raid (30 yards from boss), but watch out your position so you won’t be one of the closest targets, which shouldn’t be a problem if you look what’s happening around you. Adjust your position accordingly.

 There are also these Resonating Crystals which spawn randomly to different locations around the boss for 12 seconds duration and they need to be soaked. Blink inside the Crystal and you will take almost no damage. The longer the beam the more damage you will take when it disappears. Get back to the Stomp range afterwards.
Lastly there is this phase 2 where everyone gets pulled to the middle, some spikes appear and ground gets covered in black stuff. Blink behind one of the spikes and adjust yourself near its side and continue DPSing the boss without taking damage meanwhile all the melee are hiding behind doing nothing.

When the second phase ends the fight basically starts from the beginning again. There is some kind of enrage at 20% but just keep shooting and Morchok should fall.

Arcane could do well here if you can ignore the crystals and the boss stays at one place. The distance between a spike and the boss can be dealt with Blink so you won’t lose that much DPS as Arcane there, but soaking the crystals really hurts your DPS, so I would recommend playing as Fire if you are on soaking duty.

Introduction: You will play Fire here period. Lots of movement and AOE topped off with mana drain for short period of time. This is Arcane mage’s nightmare.

Spec: Fire

The fight and tips: The boss has many different kinds of abilities that he gains through absorbing the blood globules creeping from the sides. Players can however limit some of these by destroying one of the three every time they spawn, but many inconvenient ones will remain.

 When Yor'sahj summons the globules Blink and move close enough to the globule your raid decides to take down and kill it. After that’s done you will most likely either stack up on boss or spread around depending on what his abilities are.

Often times there will be this dark globule which summons lots of Forgotten One adds that need to be killed. AOE them down with all your might and continue with the boss. One of the more annoying ones is the cobalt globule that will summon a Mana Void that will suck all your mana and it has to be DPSed down to get it back. Start casting on the Void before it even lands from the roof and switch to Scorch spamming when your mana goes to zero. Remember to get close to the Void before it dies so you get your mana back.

Other abilities will be some kind of AOE damage to the raid where you have to either clump up near the boss or spread out, nothing special there. The boss should die after couple of Combustions.

Introduction: This fight is really all about bouncing a ball correctly between ranged and melee group so I guess both specs could do well here but since the bouncing rarely goes as planned, there will be some movement involved so once again I would recommend playing Fire here.

Spec: Arcane/Fire

The fight and tips: Zon'ozz is pretty simple fight. He will periodically summon a Void of the Unmaking which is basically a ball that needs to be bounced around with players as many times as possible and finally land on to the boss after which he will take extra damage depending on the number of bounces.

Move to the right position with your ranged group and keep stacked up so the damage from the Void gets split properly. Best case scenario you shouldn’t have to move at all but since the ball will bounce off to wrong way often, you will have to adjust your position many times during the battle which makes Arcane suffer here a little.

After the ball lands the boss he will take extra damage and black goo covers the ground dealing some damage. Use your cooldowns here to burn some damage and after the black goo recedes the fight will reset.

If you think your group is doing well at the bouncing department you could play Arcane here also. Arcane’s burn damage is more reliable and better so you will catch up with your Fire counterparts on the damage meters during the burn phase.


Introduction: I would say Fire mages are probably one of the best DPS classes for this boss. Heavily movement intensive fight with burst AOE phases where you can make great use of your Combustion. Arcane doesn’t stand a chance here.

Spec: Fire

The fight and tips: At the start you will be going in between the beams that target random people near Hagara (mainly melee) and soak couple of Ice Lances so they won’t spam melee to death and after some time she will put several people in Ice Tombs, which need to be DPSed down fast and this is where Fire will shine with its huge burst AOE.

Next comes either frost phase or lightning phase. Lightning phase is all about activating all the lightning rods on the ground which happens by killing the 2 adds that spawn up and as they die, they activate the nearest rods from their position and players have to act as conductors between the powered- and unpowered rods and activate all of them. Nothing fancy here.

The frost phase is the one where Fire mages really show their superiority with their mobility. The raid has to destroy 4 Binding Crystals to complete the phase so keep strafe Scorching and Living Bombing the Crystals as you move in between the Ice Waves and they should go down in a round or two.

After each frost phase or lightning phase ends there will be a small period of time when Hagara takes 100% extra damage before going back to starting phase so try to get back to boss as soon as possible. Just remember to keep Scorching and casting those Living Bombs on multiple targets when you are surfing around.

Introduction: This will be a patchwerk fight with a special button you need to press at a correct time. Both mage specs will be good here for different reasons. Arcane through its superior firepower and Fire for its utility through Cauterize.

Spec: Arcane/Fire

The fight and tips: Ultraxion is pretty straightforward DPS check fight. He occasionally casts Hour of Twilight which needs to be avoided with your fight specific skill Heroic Will or tanked with Ice Block or Cauterize (if you are on the duty). After first Hour of Twilight he will also randomly cast Fading Light debuff on players that needs to be dodged by pressing Heroic Will when the debuff is about to fade.

DPS the boss to the best of your abilities and press Heroic Will as late as possible to maximize your DPS. There isn’t really anything else I could add here. Arcane mage’s single target DPS is one of the best so play Fire only if you are on soaking duty.

Introduction: This fight is one big clusterfuck so you probably want to play Fire here. Lots of movement, possibility of multi-Living Bombing and utilizing your Cauterize once again.

Spec: Fire

The fight and tips: Your mission is to protect the ship from all the minions the Warmaster is sending at you. Bombs landing, sappers trying to get into your ship’s cabin, drakes flying around and some charging Elite soldiers wrecking havoc on your deck.

You need to soak the bombs landing on your ship’s deck by catching them with your friends (or alone and Cauterize will save you). Surf around Scorching and soaking the bombs, Living Bomb everything and kill the drakes that get harpooned at the sides. When all the drakes are dead Warmaster will come himself and has to be killed. Just stay behind him and dodge the Shockwave.

Introduction: We didn’t see this fight to the end during our testing but seems like this will be Arcane fight. You don’t want any kind of passive AOE like Living Bomb and good burn damage is essential to finish this fight.

Spec: Arcane

The fight and tips: Our heroes land on Deathwing’s back and need to blow his armor platings off. Basically you need one Hideous Amalgamation which spawns after you kill a Corrupted Tentacle and stack it with 9 Corrupted Bloods so he will start exploding, then kill him as soon as possible to blow the plating away.

When Deathwing is about to do a barrel roll, go 2-3 seconds after the emote on top of one of the Corrupted Tentacle holes so you won’t fall down.

The fight is mostly about single target DPSing the enemy at hand without doing AOE when you don’t need to so the Corrupted Bloods won’t die and do splash damage to raid. Kill the tentacles, kill the Amalgamation and burn the heck out of the Burning Tendon when the plating is about to come off.

Since we didn’t see the whole fight I can’t comment any further. Arcane’s burn DPS is the best in the game which will help you to get rid of the platings. There is also lot of incoming fire damage so Mage Armor and Mage Ward will help.


I've noticed that for some bosses you mention that Fire is optimal, and for others you mention that Arcane is optimal. I'd like to be able to switch between the two at will, but they have different stat priorities making optimal gear, reforges, and enchants for Fire suboptimal for Arcane and vice versa. Do you switch between the specs based on the fight and, if so, how do you address the issue?

  • Do you have two sets of gear?
  • Do you go back to town in order to reforge?
  • Do you simply not change specs but just mention it here in case we are curious which spec is better?
  • Or do you just gear for one spec and use the oter spec with the same, suboptimal gear?

As a side note, it's very difficult to leave a comment here since the arrows keys (even while the textarea is active) change the page. :(

By the way, great guide! I'd love to see more specific strategies, too, if you're willing to share. :)