So, I was doing heroic UB last night with some guildies, it was going real easy so I decided to try to get an efficient spell rotation nailed down, since I could afford to drop a little DPS - Its been so long since I properly played my mage that I was out of practise.
Anyway, my mage - Velkairiwyth - is an Arcane fire mage (Arcane mage with PomPyro. 48/13/0)
My primary attacks come from either Arcane blast, Arcane Missiles, scorch and fire blast.
My normal attack rotation is Arcane Blast (by the time its cast the aggro is secured to the tank.) Arcane missiles, fire blast, arcane missiles - and carry on fireblasting when it has cooled down. This is a pretty good rotation for DPS but when it comes to Mana - it rapidly deminishes.
I modified it slightly - once i start arcane missiling - i stick to arcane missiles and occasionally chuck out an arcane blast or scorch or ice lance for a low mana, decent damage shot at proccing clearcast. When I get a clearcast proc - I use Arcane Missiles - by the time this has finished casting the 5 second rule timer is up and you are racking mana up. If Clearcast procs on an arcane missiles this means that your about to start gaining mana before you even start casting the free arcane missiles - giving you longer mana regen time. Follow the free spell up with an arcane blast or some other spell that consumes the mana AFTER being cast, this gives a couple more seconds regen.
Abusing clearcast like this resulted in me finishing a lot of fights with 90% mana. (I had mana stream totem + mage armour on - as well as the arcane hybernation talent for 30% mana regen whilst casting.)
Keys to mana regen that I find work boil down to these:
* Cast Arcane Missiles on a clearcast. (Or Blizzard if you like - this is an even longer spell, and is even more free mana expenditure for your clearcast.)
* Follow the arcane missiles with a timed spell (Arcane blast, scorch, fireball etc.)
* Use Mage armour - if you can afford to drop the dps of molten armour - (ice armour is pointless... you go splat if your careless enough to pull aggro) and considering your going for a mana efficient approach - you clearly aint short on dps in the group.
My DPS was not fantastic - 670 when fighting normally, and 630 when i go for the mana efficient approach. Being a 3-minute mage I can get some good burst damage (easily hitting 2k/sec dps when i burn the cooldowns) for this drop in DPS the sustainability is great :)
And of course - this technique works even when doing burst DPS - get a clearcast? cast a big-mana spell and follow it up with a spell with a cast time.
It is a bit fernickety though... if you have talents and mage armour on then your already getting 60% mana regen in combat anyway... but that extra 40% for 4-10 seconds is quite a chunk of mana...
Thanks to this idea goes to... one of the contributors to either Epic Dolls or Elunes Grace podcast - the host or guest was talking about priest abilities that when combined can result in a nice free-spell duration where your regenerating your mana. I must dig it out and post it for a priest tips post...