Arcane Missiles

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Arcane Missiles
Spell nature starfall
  • Arcane Missiles
  • 30 yds.  range
  • None cooldown
  • Free
  • Channeled
  • Launches Arcane Missiles at the enemy, causing X Arcane damage each second for Y sec.
Usable by
Arcane Potency, Arcane Power, Spell Power, Molten Fury, Shatter, Piercing Ice, Improved Arcane Missiles, Invocation, Arcane Specialization
As mage spells go, this one isn't the showiest. Nonetheless, you'll find it quite effective.[1]

Arcane Missiles is a channeled mage spell that shoots a series of missiles at the target, one each second over a period of time, dealing direct arcane damage.

Cataclysm table

Launches three waves of Arcane Missiles at the enemy over X sec, causing Y Arcane damage per wave. Each offensive spell you cast has a 40% chance to Activate Arcane Missiles.

Level Duration Damage per wave
1 - -
2 - -
3 2.25 14
4 2.25 14
5 2.25 15
6 2.25 15
7 2.25 15
8 2.25 15
9 2.25 16
10 2.25 16

Talent improvements

Arcane Missiles' full potential in PvE is only fully achieved when used by an Arcane Mage under the effect of Missile Barrage. The buff triggered by this talent halves AM's cast time, making it the Arcane Mage's highest DPS spell temporarily.

As with all mage spells capable of critical hits Arcane Potency, Arcane Power,Arcane Specialization, Spell Power, Invocation, Improved Arcane Missiles, Molten Fury, Piercing Ice and Shatter can increase the effective damage output of this spell.

Impact from the Fire talent tree now works with Arcane Missiles. Each tick of damage is capable of stunning its target, and with 5 ticks of damage per cast, the proc has a good chance of taking effect on a target who receives all ticks of the spell.


While you stand and channel, Arcane Missiles launches bolts of arcane energy at your target, dealing the given damage each second. Unlike other channeled spells, each second (or "tick") is considered a separate direct damage missile which passes through the normal direct damage checks (crit, resistance). Furthermore, both the initial cast of Arcane Missiles and each Missile are considered spell hits, resulting in a maximum amount of 6 hits per cast when talented.

Like all channeled spells, the mana is deducted before channeling starts, so the full cost is paid regardless of how many missiles are actually launched or needed before the spell is interrupted or the target is dead.

Tips and tactics

The spell happens on a proc and costs 0 mana to use. This makes it useless for leveling and keeping up the damage bonus from the Arcane spec mastery. Another large disadvantage of the spell is that it requires you to stay in one space for the 5 second duration, making you a sitting duck in PvP situations (A sitting duck that happens to be shooting magic missiles at foes, anyways) and keeping you from gaining space between you and your enemies.

With the right talents, however, Arcane Missiles can be somewhat useful. . It also receives 142% of your bonus spelldamage Arcane Missiles' full potential in PvE is only fully achieved when used by an Arcane Mage under the effect of Missile Barrage. The buff triggered by this talent halves AM's cast time, making it the Arcane Mage's highest DPS spell temporarily.

An often overlooked PvP benefit is the rapid speed with which it hits opponents causes regular spell interruption. Between this and Slow, an Arcane mage can make it exceedingly difficult for an enemy player to get off spells with a cast time.

A notable effect of the fact is that "on spell hit" abilities, such as Mark of Defiance, can proc off each missile, similar to "on spell crit" abilities. However, "on spell cast" abilities, such as Mystical Skyfire Diamond, only have a chance to proc on each casting of the spell, not on each bolt.

This spell can also be useful against rare enemies who are immune/resistant to both Fire and Frost damage. One example of those is the Boiling and Scalding elementals in Thousand Needles, immune to Frost and highly resistant to Fire.

Known bugs

There is a bug that prevents base mana regeneration when using the Clearcasting effect for Arcane Missiles.

=Patch changes

  • 0300Wrath-Logo-Small/0400Cataclysm-Logo-Small Patch 4.0.1 (12-Oct-2010): This spell has been changed to proc on a 40% when casting spells. Mana cost removed.
  • 0300Wrath-Logo-Small Patch 3.2.2 (2009-09-22): Casting this spell while both Missile Barrage and Clearcasting are active will cause only Missile Barrage to be consumed.
  • 0200Bc icon Patch 2.2.0 (25-Sep-2007): A bug was fixed where some procs such as the Eye of Magtheridon would not trigger properly.
  • 0200Bc icon Patch 2.1.0 (22-May-2007):
    • Spell haste now affects channeled spells such as Arcane Missiles, reducing the overall channeling time but still doing the same amount of damage, thus increasing the DPS.
    • A bug was fixed where Arcane Missiles would fire an inconsistent number of missiles. This was fixed so that ranks 3-11 would always fire 5 pulses.
  • 0100WoW Icon 16x16 Patch 1.8.0 (10-Oct-2005): Should now properly report the correct "out of range" indicator on the action bar.
  • 0100WoW Icon 16x16 Patch 1.3.0 (07-Mar-2005): Fixed a bug where the spell would not function properly against spell-reflecting targets.


External links

Facts about "Arcane Missiles"RDF feed
Patch date12 October 2010 +, 22 September 2009 +, 25 September 2007 +, 22 May 2007 +, 10 October 2005 + and 7 March 2005 +

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