Alas and I were in OS this week as the weekly. I ran frost to see how I felt about the numbers and she ran Arcane. Her numbers were quite impressive, but part of that was probably due to the short time it takes to kill WotLK content (especially tier 7 content) in our current gear sets. Still it got me to want to revisit the viability of arcane after initially being down on it. Being an open minded mage I decided to revisit since it was just the cost of the respec as I have been playing glyph pokemon this week (Gotta catch em all!).
What I found from her run down over vent and what I read on EJ was slightly different. But basically they came to the same conclusion, Arcane is in two different but essential parts of the spec: The Burn Phase and the Conserve Phase. It will require the arcane mage to really understand how the fight is progressing so they can maximize their output. The arcane spec is heavily dependent on coordinating all your cooldowns. So in a fight like Patchwerk it won’t be an issue, but on a fight like Heigan the Unclean you might stay in the conserve phase and wait til you can open up again.
So here is the EJ method distilled to a basic flowchart format.
So there are some key things you need to watch.
First you need to keep an eye on your mana. Remember as Arcane your potency drops as you lose mana, so having a way to know when you hit 40% is key. I set my unit frames to show mana as a % and have been keeping an eye on that, but you can also set up warning mods like Power Auras Classic to warn you as well.
The second thing is to know when you can re-enter a burn phase. This can also be done through various addons like Power Auras to highlight that your key cooldowns are ready to go. Once you have your key cooldowns back all ready to go, you can pull the trigger and go back to a burn phase.