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Arcane Magearcane iconvsfrost iconFrost Mage

What’s the best spec for Mages, Frost or Arcane? Below breaks down their current DPS potential and compares the two.

This page analyzes multiple simulations for both Frost Mages and Arcane Mages using profiles and settings intended to achieve their maximum DPS. Multiple sim environments are used to test how they perform in various conditions. Is one the AoE king? Does one scale better with gear upgrades? Is one more bursty, and more reliant on big cooldowns? Below analyzes the data to find the strengths of each.

Simulation results were created with SimulationCraft
Using game data from Patch 9.2.5 WoW ShadowlandsSeason 4

  • Arcane Magearcane icon
  • Least affected by movement (AoE)Arcane Mage’s AoE DPS was -11.65% less affected by increased movement compared to Frost Mages.
  • frost iconFrost Mage
  • Best boss DPS (in perfect settings)Frost Mage achieved 4.45% more maximum boss DPS than Arcane Mage when there was no movement or lag.
  • Best boss DPS (in realistic settings)Frost Mage achieved 23.79% more maximum boss DPS than Arcane Mage when dealing with occasional movement, lag and crowd-control.
  • Best AoE DPS (in perfect settings)Frost Mage achieved 21.22% more AoE DPS than Arcane Mage when there was no movement or lag.
  • Best AoE DPS (in realistic settings)Frost Mage achieved 32% more maximum AoE DPS than Arcane Mage when dealing with occasional movement, lag and crowd-control.
  • Least affected by movement (single-target)Frost Mage’s single-target DPS was -47.07% less affected by increased movement compared to Arcane Mages.
  • Best gear scalingFrost Mage scaled better with increased item-levels, single-target DPS benefited 0.11% more from 282 ilvl to 308 compared to Arcane Mages.
  • Simplest GameplayFrost Mage has fewer damaging abilities which could indicate a simpler rotation.
  • DPS less dependant on big cooldownsFrost Mage’s DPS is less bursty, meaning it had more consistent damage. With 68.18% less difference in lowest and peak DPS during a fight when compared to Arcane Mages.

While the above highlights the DPS advantages between Arcane and Frost Mages, the DPS potential should not be the only factor in your decision. Ultimately, you should also consider the playstyle that you enjoy most while crushing it in Mythics+ and Raids!


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