Mage – What Spec Should I Run?
The decision for which spec to run is highly dependent on your raid/party composition, kill times, and personal preference.
Shorter fights and additional mana return via raid/party composition will always increase the value of arcane specs. This is accentuated by the T5 set bonus buff to Arcane Blast.
Fire has the consideration of better-sustained damage over longer fights and scorch buffing other sources of fire damage in the raid.
Frost is considered to be lower raid DPS even when accounting for the water elemental. However, it does get nice buffs from +3% bonus hit in elemental precision, 6 % damage increase (no partials), and increased versatility.
It is important to remember that T4 is almost entirely 5/10 man content with two short 25 man raids. All content past T4 is largely dominated by 25 man raids.
With this in mind, Arcane and Fire are both likely to be highly successful in raids T4-T6. Fire may end up edging Arcane out in SWP as encounter length extends.
Please keep in mind: Elemental Precision gives 6% hit to Frost but only 3% to Fire.
Arcane Frost (40/0/21)
Commonly uses 3 x Frostbolt as a filler
Very minimal Flexibility in point allotment (2 points in Magic Absorb could go elsewhere in Tier 1-4 but not a lot to get, can choose points between Frost Channeling and Arctic Reach)
Arcane Fire (40/18/3)
Allows maintenance of Scorch Debuff to improve Fire DPS across the raid
Commonly uses 5 x Scorch as a filler
Very minimal Flexibility in point allotment (2 points in Magic Absorb could go elsewhere in Tier 1-4 but not a lot to get, can choose to max Incineration or Burning Soul)
Fire Icy Veins no Clearcasting (2/45/11)
3 Flex Points -> Can go Incineration, Improved FS, Improved FB, Arcane Focus.
It is worth noting that Arcane Focus impacts Counterspell/Spellsteal
Fire Clearcasting No Icy Veins (10/45/3)
Less DPS, More Mana
3 Flex Points -> Can go Incineration, Improved FS, Improved FB.
Deep Frost (5/0/45)
Very Versatile with Ice Barrier, Ice Block, Cold Snap and Water Ele
11 Flex Points:
– Can pick up Clearcasting if mana is a concern
– Can pick up IFN and Shatter for burst damage on freezable targets
– Can pick up Permafrost/IB for improved kiting/farm