Arcane Mage Gear and Best in Slot - Shadowlands 9.0.5
Gear is one of the most important elements in WoW to strengthen your Arcane Mage, providing massive amounts of stats as well as armor, procs, and set bonuses.
In this guide, we will explain how to obtain the best gear for your Arcane Mage in and how to check if a piece is BiS, an upgrade or just bad. This guide will help you select the best pieces of gear from Dungeons and Raids in Shadowlands, whether they be weapons, trinkets, or armor.
Should you wish to learn about all the various sources for gear in the expansion, check out our
Gearing Up in Shadowlands Overview
. We have also prepared several other Arcane Mage guides on other gear topics, including best enchants for your new gear, best stats to aim for on gear, and simulation data to make informed choices.
Arcane Mage StatsArcane Mage Enchants
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About the Author
Malon has been throwing spells at bad guys since 2005. He raids with <Emerald Omen> on Stormscale-EU, and dreams of having a Mage trainer named after him. He would also like to get the Warlock class renamed to 'Fuzzy Cuddlebears'. He's not sure which is more realistic.
Malon is a moderator on the Mage Discord server,
Recommended Gear for Arcane Mages in Shadowlands
What is the BiS Arcane Mage gear?
With many different sources of gearing and loot scarcity in Shadowlands, targeting your absolute Best in Slot gear isn't entirely realistic; instead, we've created a Best in Slot list from the ideal Arcane Mage raid drops found in Shadowlands, from Mythic Dungeons, to help you decide what to prioritize.
While raid drops are generally the most reliable way of getting high item level gear, many other items can be just as good if not better, so you should reference the stat priorities listed on the
to help determine your own BiS gear based on what is available to you.
This is not a best-in-slot, but a list of gear that is
best for that slot, ignoring other pieces. It also assumes that all items are of the same item level; if you loot a piece of a much higher level, it will usually be worth using regardless of stats.
Castle Nathria Best in Slot Gear for Arcane Mages
only includes raid drops
. Items found elsewhere, especially for the neck slot and legendaries, are likely to perform better.
for a Haste/Mastery Covenant weapon, i.e
BoE trash drop
Mythic+ Best in Slot Gear for Arcane Mage
The Necrotic Wake
Spires of Ascension
Theater of Pain
The Necrotic Wake
The Necrotic Wake
De Other Side
Theater of Pain
Theater of Pain
Spires of Ascension
Theater of Pain
Why they're good
This trinket enables a double on-use setup, though the cooldown doesn't align with
Strong on-use effect that scales with boss health and lines up with
Strong passive effect that is useful in single-target and AoE.
Very strong damage, though has no interaction with spec mechanics.
Great cleave and AoE effect on a short cooldown. See below for notes on use.
is strong on-use trinket, but requires a bit of precision to hit the target you want to focus since the damage is split. It can be used to help focus down any target that needs damage, and is especially useful on the Sludgefist fight, as it won't split damage on any additional targets and its cooldown matches the boss's vulnerability phases.
Proper use of the Soul Igniter is a bit strange: It causes a 30-second shared cooldown to your other trinkets on use,
other shared cooldowns don't effect it. This means you want to use it after your other trinket, like
. Proper use of this trinket involves using it then immediately canceling it, since the cooldown only begins once the buff is removed.
Use this macro:
/use Soul Igniter
/cancelaura Soul Ignition
The weapon choice for Mages basically comes down to whatever is the highest item level; there's not a lot to think about here. Intellect is so strong and our secondary stats are so balanced that the secondary choices really don't matter. A few example items are
from dungeons, or your Covenant staff from Castle Nathria, i.e.
craft legendary items
in Shadowlands, choosing an effect as well as the secondary stats the items will possess. To do so they will need the base item, crafted by a profession such as Tailoring (for example,
); two stat scrolls, created by players with Inscription, such as
; a certain amount of the new
currency; and a Memory of the Runecarver.
to see a list of all the Mage legendary powers.
Arcane's best legendary powers are
(source: Torghast, The Upper Reaches) for single target fights and
for AoE (source: Torghast, Skoldus Halls).
Items to Upgrade with Valor for Arcane Mages
Points is a returning currency brought back with Patch 9.0.5. With this new currency, players are able to upgrade items from Mythic+ Dungeon, either from running Mythic Keystones or from the Great Vault, up to item level 220. Similarly to
, Valor has a cap that is increased every week during the Season.
You can obtain Valor by completing Mythic+ dungeons or completing daily callings. You can learn more about Valor in our in-depth guide.
Earning and Spending Valor Points
As is the case for most specs, Arcane Mages get the most bang for the buck from trinkets and weapons, so these should be the priority for upgrades.
Although somewhat irritating to use (it only lines up with every other
and needs to be activated well before starting the burn phase), Empyreal Ordnance is a high priority for Arcane Mages as it enables us to use two on-use trinkets. It's commonly paired with the
Lines up perfectly with
and is relatively easy to get, making it a common choice for Mythic+ Arcane Mages.
Less universally useful than either of the other trinkets, this item still has a very powerful on-use effect. It's especially valuable in dungeons, where you can consistently avoid its alternative effects like returning mana to healers or healing a party member; I recommend using a WeakAura like
to show the effect it will activate.
This is Arcane's most well-itemized weapon from dungeons, but does need an off-hand to go with it.
This is Arcane's most well-optimized two-handed weapon from dungeons. However, our secondary stats tend to be extremely close in value so alternative options with other combinations, like the more common Crit/Haste or those that lean towards more Versatility instead of Mastery, are also fine.
Items to Prioritize in the Great Vault for Arcane Mages in Shadowlands
Generally you'll want to prioritize your lowest item level slots, although trinkets, weapons, necklaces and rings will normally give the biggest DPS upgrades. That said, you should always sim using Raidbots to see what will be your best upgrade choice. The most obvious item to be looking out for in the Vault is
, as it is one of our strongest trinkets, and your first priority for upgrades if you don't already have it at a higher item level than 220.
For more information on how the Great Vaults works, please see our Great Vault Guide.
Best PvP Gear for Arcane Mages in PvE
One of the most popular ways of gearing in Shadowlands is PvP. Unlike raiding and Mythic+, PvP provides players with a deterministic way of obtaining gear, making it more streamlined and less random than the other two high-end gearing options.
There are two main currencies for PvP gearing:
is used exclusively to purchase the base items at ilvl 200, while
is used to upgrade those base items to higher item levels based on your highest current rating in Rated PvP.
has a cap on how much you can obtain, similar to
, which increased every week during the Season, while
has no cap.
Learn more about PvP gearing in our in-depth guide, including ilvl brackets and item upgrade costs.
Conquest and PvP Gearing
Generally Arcane Mages don't need to prioritise PvP gear for PvE, as we have plenty of choices in what we can use thanks to the good balance of our secondary stats. However, there are a few notable items.
One of the few simple stat trinkets available in Shadowlands, this has everything we want: passive Crit, a strong on-use effect, and a low cooldown, which is very useful for Night Fae Mages using
. Unfortunately, Blizzard insists on gating these perfect PvE trinkets behind PvP.
With PvP’s unique ability to offer a max of 233 item level weapons without defeating the end boss of a tier on Mythic, those weapons are always going to be worth acquiring if you can earn the rating. Below 226 ilvl, however, there are better itemized options from both the Valor System and Castle Nathria.
As with the Staff, Arcane’s one-hand options are better from Dungeons and Raids unless you have access to them at a high item level.
Best Legendary Items for Arcane Mage
In Shadowlands, players are able to craft customizable Legendary Items. In order to craft these items, players must collect tradeskill materials and
from Torghast and bring them to the Runecarver.
Learn more about how to craft legendaries for your Arcane Mage in our in-depth guide.
How to Craft Legendary ItemsArcane Mage Legendary Guide
Sources of Gear for Arcane Mage in Shadowlands
There are many ways to gear in Shadowlands, each with its own item level range. Below we give a detailed list of possible sources of gear and their related item level.
In addition to the occasional weekend quests, reputation vendors, and other semi-unique sources of gear, the common repeatable sources of gear are:
Gear and Item Levels Available at Launch
PvP Honor Gear (1-3)
Honored to Exalted
PvP Honor Gear (4-5)
Legendary (Rank 1)
Legendary (Rank 2)
Gear and Item Levels Available with Season 1
LFR Castle Nathria
PvP Honor Gear(6-7)
Mythic+ (End of Dungeon)
Normal Castle Nathria
Heroic Castle Nathria
Legendary (Rank 3)
Mythic Castle Nathria
Legendary (Rank 4)
Additionally, Mythic+ dungeons offer their own scaling rewards. Each completion awards gear from that dungeon upon completion, plus credit for your
. The item level of your rewards in the great vault is based on your highest keys for the week.
Learn More About Great Vault Loot
Note that completing higher keys beyond +15 doesn't increase the item level of the rewards.
End of Dungeon
Numbers above are for Shadowlands Season 1
Finding Your Best Upgrades - Presenting the Droptimizer
is a tool that uses current information from your character to calculate which bosses in a certain raid and in certain difficulty provide the largest immediate upgrades for you.
it uses the most recent information about your character and the latest theorycraft available to see how big of an upgrade is each piece of loot in a certain raid in a given difficulty.
It is the perfect tool to help you plan your bonus rolls, or check if you need loot from a certain boss or not.
Learn more about the Droptimizer in our
in-depth review of the tool
Stat Priorities for Arcane Mages in Shadowlands
Arcane has no breakpoints to hit or caps to reach in terms of stats, and its priorities change drastically depending on talent choices and the number of enemies. Check the
for more information, and remember to sim yourself using
to find your own priorities.
You can follow these generic guidelines to help ascertain the value of a piece of gear (remembering that it will vary depending on your own character):
Mastery >= Crit > Versatility >= Haste
Our Arcane Mage guides are always updated with the latest information from in-game experience, simulations, and logs; make sure to check our changelog to this page, by clicking on
at the top of the page. If you are interested in more in-depth Arcane Mage guides for , make sure to browse the
below, and our list of
just beneath the
Table of Contents
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You say that
gives my Arcane Mage
, but it gives me
atm. Is that changing in 8.0?
Might want to update Cord of Infinity's new effect
Why do I want versatility?
Any chance for an update, please?
Any chance for updated guide - the gear BiS list should be updated, maybe azerite traits, essences and corruptions too...
The "Arcane Mage Simulations" link takes you to Demonology Warlock Simulations.
Correct link here
In the Conquest and PvP gearing section you cite "Sinful Gladiator's Scepter", as an option for mages. Mages cannot and never have been able to use Maces. Incorrect weapon mentioned or error?
[Screenshots containing UI elements are generally declined on sight, the same goes for screenshots from the modelviewer or character selection screen.]
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