A Guide to Being a Fire Mage- 4.0.6

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90 Human Mage
6930
4.0.6

Table of Contents:
Spec
Glyphs
Gear
Enchanting
Gemming
Professions
Single Target Rotation
AoE Rotation
Fireball Vs. Frostfire Bolt
External Links
Q&A



Spec

In the fire tree, there really isn't a "cookie cutter" spec. Specs can change to be more viable in different situations. However, I feel as if this is a good spec for a mage to begin with: http://www.wowhead.com/talent#o0hZfchbkbRRscoc

The fire tree has a lot of optional talents. These are talents that can be chosen based off of a players play-style. They are listed below:

Improved Scorch: With the overall mana-reduction done in the fire tree during patch 4.0.6, Improved Scorch can be considered situational.

Pyromaniac: This talent is very situational. During single target fights, this is completely useless. During multi target fights, this is one of the strongest talents in our tree.

Improved Fireblast: All fire spells have a 40 yard range EXCEPT Fireblast. With two points, this talent will put Fireblast at a 40 yard range. Some mages decide to put 1 or 2 points into this talent.

Arcane Concentration (Arcane Tree)- A few fire mages decide to spec into this talent. Much like arcane, the more mana you have as a fire mage, the more damage you do. I'll talk about this more later.

Glyphs

As a fresh 85 fire mage, these are the glyphs you should use.

Prime:
Glyph of Pyroblast
Glyph of Molten Armor
Glyph of Fireball

Major: These glyphs are in no particular order. Each glyph has it's uses in specific situations.
Glyph of Evocation- This glyph is strongly suggested
Glyph of Polymorph
Glyph of Blink
Glyph of Dragon's Breath
Glyph of Blastwave

Minor:
Glyph of Conjuring
Glyph of Arcane Brilliance
The third glyph is your choice. I use Glyph of Slowfall so I don't have to worry about reagents.


Gear

As a Mage, your stuck with cloth gear. That's the gear that no one else wants because it's less protective than a Kleenex at an emo convention (also known as the Warlock Q&A at Blizzcon. Zinga!)

The primary stat for all casters is Intellect. This is the stat that mages live and die for.

Next in line is Hit until the Hit cap. Hit increases your chance to... well.. hit. At level 85, 17% (16% for Draenei) hit will cap you against raid bosses. Thankfully, only 6% hit is required to be capped on Heroic Dungeon bosses. Being hit capped means that you will not miss a boss (unless some fight mechanic forces you to do so.) The interesting thing about hit, however, is that as soon as you're hit cappped, it becomes worthless. As a side note, it will be extremely difficult to become hit capped before raids.

After hit, it gets very fuzzy. Rawr and Simulationcraft give different results, though the general consensus is this:

Haste

Crit

Mastery: Mastery is considered MUCH worse than Haste and Crit. Unless you are over hit cap, reforge mastery to one of the other two stats.

However, keep in mind that the value of these stats shuffle A LOT based off of your current gear. Simulationcraft and Rawr are the best ways to get an idea of what stats are best for YOU.

So, a recap:
Intellect>Hit to Cap>Haste>Crit>Mastery

As for spirit: Spirit has NO value to a mage. It no longer provides us with in-combat mana regen. Unlike some other classes, it does NOT convert to hit, either.


Enchanting

Head:
Arcanum of Hyjal
Arcanum of Burning Mysteries If you're still working torwards revered with the Guardians of Hyjal, you can get this Wrath head enchant instead.

Shoulders: Questing most of Deepholm will be enough to become Honored with Therazane for the Lesser enchant.
Greater Inscription of Charged Lodestone
Lesser Inscription of Charged Lodestone

Chest:
Enchant Chest - Peerless Stats
Enchant Chest - Mighty Stats

Belt:
Ebonsteel Belt Buckle

Legs:
Powerful Enchanted Spellthread
Enchanted Spellthread

Feet:
Enchant Boots - Lavawalker Though this may not be the biggest dps boost, all the movement required in Cata encounters make this enchant a MUST.

Bracers:
Enchant Bracer - Mighty Intellect
Enchant Bracer - Precision Only use this enchant, and other hit enchants in general, if you will use the FULL hit value of the enchant. In other words, don't use this enchant if only 25 hit is needed to be capped.
Enchant Bracer - Greater Critical Strike
Enchant Bracer - Critical Strike

Gloves:
Enchant Gloves - Haste
Enchant Gloves - Greater Mastery
Scroll of Enchant Gloves - Exceptional Spellpower

Cape:
Enchant Cloak - Greater Intellect
Enchant Cloak - Intellect

Weapon:
Enchant Weapon - Power Torrent
Enchant Weapon - Hurricane : Not as good, but much cheaper
Scroll of Enchant Weapon - Mighty Spellpower

Offhand:
Enchant Off-Hand - Superior Intellect


Gemming

Meta: Design: Burning Shadowspirit Diamond

Red: Brilliant Inferno Ruby

Yellow: Reckless Ember Topaz

Blue: Veiled Demonseye
Edited by Frostedblaze on 3/11/2011 10:54 PM PST
90 Human Mage
6930
Professions

Blizzard has done a great job balancing out professions for Cata. The benefits between each profession are fairly minimal. However, if you are a true min/maxer, we'll break down the professions here.

Alchemy: +80 Int (Mixology with Flask of Draconic Mind)
Blacksmith: +80 Int (two extra gem sockets with Brilliant Infernos)
Enchanting: +80 Int (two Intellect ring enchants)
Engineering: +96 Int (the average Int received from Synapse Springs)
Herbalism: +480 Haste and roughly a 3K heal to self on a 2 min CD (Lifeblood)
Inscription: +80 Int (Felfire Inscription vs. Greater Inscription of Charged Lodestone)
Jewelcrafting: +81 Int (3 Brilliant Chimera's Eye vs. Brilliant Infernos)
Leatherworking: +130 Int; -50 Crit (Replacing Greater Crit with Embossment-Int)
Mining: +120 Stam (Toughness)
Skinning: +80 Crit (Master of Anatomy)
Tailoring: +143 Int (Replacing Greater Int with Lightweave average)


Single Target Rotation

In my opinion, Fire mages have one of the greatest rotations in the game.

You'll want to start your fights with Scorch. This will put Critical Mass on the target, which increases your chance to crit by 5%. Next, throw out your Flame Orb. Followed by Living Bomb. Keep both Living Bomb and Critical Mass up on the target at all times. (Remember: Pyroblast! will also put Critical Mass on your target) Now you will basically Fireball your brains out. If movement occurs, use Scorch.

Scorch Weaving: Though this was a big deal back before patch 4.0.6, now Scorch Weaving is pretty much unnecessary. Unless you find yourself low on mana, don't worry about using the Scorch Weaving technique. Our Scorches cost us 0(!) mana. It makes Scorch our most mana efficient spell by far.

Fireball to 80ish % mana, Mana Gem, Fireball to 30% mana, Evocate, Fireball some more, while using Scorch if your mana happens to start to run low. All of this while keeping Living Bomb and Critical Mass on the target and using Combustion (see below for more details on Combustion)

Combustion: Finally, I'll talk about Combustion. Combustion is the Fire mages 2 minute cooldown. It has a very interesting mechanic. Let me explain it with an example:

Example:
Your Living Bomb is ticking for 300 ever 3 seconds on the target. =100 DPS
You just got a Pyroblast! You cast it on the target and its DoT is ticking for 75 every 3 seconds. = 25 DPS
The Pyroblast crit, and the Ignite from the crit is ticking for 150 every 2 seconds. =75 DPS

This would be the ideal time to use Combustion. The Combustion would tick for 200 damage per second (Please Note: these numbers are completely made up)

AoE Rotation

Fire mages have the ability to put out large amounts of AoE damage. A lot of our talents are designed torwards AoE.

There are a TON of different ways you can AoE DPS

Here are some tips to help out:

  • Keep Living Bomb up

  • Blastwave+Flamestrike= Impact (Most of the time, a Blastwave cast will net you an Impact proc)

  • Try to save Impact until you have the most DoTs on your target, but don't let it wear off

  • If you're running low on Mana, use Scorch

  • Laugh at all the other classes puny AoE DPS
  • Edited by Frostedblaze on 4/6/2011 3:44 PM PDT
    90 Human Mage
    6930
    EXTERNAL LINKS

    http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/1648728060
    This is a link to Larcix's stickied guide to all three mage specs. If you're looking for a guide to your arcane/frost offspecs, or just want a second take on the fire tree, this guide should have what you're looking for.

    http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/2140188044
    Sweetrëvënge's Pre-Raid gear guide for Mages

    http://elitistjerks.com/f75/t110326-cataclysm_fire_mage_compendium/
    Elitist Jerks is THE spot for up-to-date information. However, if you're not a fan of number crunching, beware.

    http://wow.joystiq.com/category/mage/
    This is WoW-Insiders Arcane Brilliance thread written by Christian Belt. It's a great read. It's updated once a week (ish).

    http://www.zalambar.com/warcraft_calculators
    This website will convert percentages to ratings, and rating to percentages. Wanna know how much rating is needed for 5% haste? It'll tell ya!
    Edited by Frostedblaze on 4/6/2011 3:47 PM PDT
    90 Human Mage
    6930
    Q&A

    12/19/2010 4:45 AMPosted by Manwê
    I only use scorch to apply the debuff. Why bother speccing into the free scroch and moving scroch talents?


    Improved Scorch: While running heroics, this talent could be considered optional. However, once you get into longer raid fights, you will run OOM if you cast only Fireball, forcing us to Scorch Weave. (see above for more about Scorch Weaving) This is why we spec into Improved Scorch.

    Firestarter: I would not even consider Firestarter an optional Heroics talent. It is a must have. Firestarter allows us to run and cast scorch. Because of this, it is possible to go through high movement fights without completely gimping our damage done. A mage should ALWAYS be casting.



    12/20/2010 8:25 AMPosted by Mirkerr
    do I really need so much hit if I'm not going up against raid bosses, only 5 man heroics.


    No, you do not need to be at the outrageous 17% hit cap if you are only running 5 man dungeons. The Heroic Dungeon hit cap is 6%. If you know it will be a while before you start raiding, you can sit at the 6% cap. Just keep the 17% hit cap in mind, so it doesn't sneak up on you when you begin raiding.



    On Glyph of Conjuring:



    Alright, I hate to bring this up when it's old, but it's really bugging me. Am I to understand that when everyone raids, the mage buffs, conjures food, and then without any downtime at all the trash pulls begin and the 2-3k mana that the mage saved with his glyphed spells are the difference between success and a wipe? Unless this is true, minor glyphs don't have any significant impact on raiding. That's why they're minor. I could walk into a heroic or a raid without any minor glyphs at all, and odds are you wouldn't notice unless you inspected me. In fact, I'm pretty sure one of my slots is empty right now because I haven't bothered to go fill it yet.


    Mana Gem has a 2 minute cooldown. Many of the fights last over 6-8 minutes, especially in entry level gear and content. The DPS increase of the glyph comes from the ability to re-conjure a gem mid-fight and not offset the mana gained by the gem in conjuring it.
    Edited by Frostedblaze on 12/22/2010 3:35 PM PST
    85 Troll Mage
    8335
    Pretty good write up for fire altho there are a lot of issues that I noticed reading through it. I would recommend not giving numbers and percents etc unless that number is set in stone; example being, saying that you should always do 2 socrches to one fireball is complete rubbish. There were quite a few other issues I spotted throughout the post concerning flow, readability and usefulness of information. I could go through an tell you everything that I feel is off for a guide-quality post (take it or leave it), but that sounds really annoying right now so naw :/ haha

    EDIT: And it would take so long that I don't find it worth it, props on a nice try tho.

    EDIT2: I realized the first reply of this now great guide was pretty lacking, lol. Props on getting it together.
    Edited by Larcix on 2/5/2011 2:19 AM PST
    85 Troll Mage
    7115
    I would like to add that haste value will be more than crit until you reach 12.5% haste (talented and raid buffed) for the first extra tick. This is easily obtainable with the current gears (516 rating from gears = 4.5% haste, plus 3% from talent and 5% from spriest/boomkin).
    Edited by Psychs on 12/19/2010 3:08 AM PST
    2 Worgen Warlock
    0
    Glyph of Conjuring is a pretty important minor glyph for raiding, and arguably arcane brilliance, it's not 'choose whatever.'
    85 Night Elf Mage
    3160
    I have a few questions.

    First off. Fireball versus Frostfire bolt. Their casting time and mana is identicle. The only difference between the two is there glyphs. Fire ball gives bonus crit, and frost fire aplies a dot that stacks up to 3 times.

    Can I get someone's opinion who tried this out to tell me which one is better.

    Also, I only use scorch to apply the debuff. Why bother speccing into the free scroch and moving scroch talents?

    90 Human Mage
    6930
    Thank you. I edited the post to fix some clarity issues. My original write up was at 3 A.M. so I was a little out of it =P

    I also adjusted some things and added the info you guys provided.

    Please keep suggestions and questions coming.
    As a Mage, your stuck with cloth gear. That's the gear that no one else wants because it's less protective than a Kleenex at a emo convention (also known as the Warlock Q&A at Blizzcon. Zinga!)


    <3
    85 Human Mage
    10360
    The stat weight you posted is slightly different from what I've read on EJ. They claim Haste is at the bottom of the barrel, and you should focus on Hit/Crit exclusively. Ideally, the best pieces of gear for fire are ones with hit/crit, while avoiding ones with haste/mastery. From what's left (hit/haste, hit/mastery, crit/haste, crit/mastery), I tend to reforge the former two into crit, the latter into hit.
    90 Human Mage
    6930
    12/19/2010 10:59 AMPosted by Ofecks
    The stat weight you posted is slightly different from what I've read on EJ. They claim Haste is at the bottom of the barrel, and you should focus on Hit/Crit exclusively. Ideally, the best pieces of gear for fire are ones with hit/crit, while avoiding ones with haste/mastery. From what's left (hit/haste, hit/mastery, crit/haste, crit/mastery), I tend to reforge the former two into crit, the latter into hit.


    That's normally what I do as well. I'll change the stat wait back (as that is what I had before) but add an additional note about haste.
    90 Undead Mage
    8125
    Great guide. /sticky
    85 Gnome Mage
    2445
    http://www.wowhead.com/talent#o0hZfchrzbRosfoc


    Improved Flamestrike and Blastwave are not optional talents. They are essential for AoE. A Flamestrike from Blastwave is significantly more mana efficient than a regular Flamestrike, not to mention more damaging.

    This is all assuming that you consider AoE damage to be essential, which I think it is at this point...

    In addition, taking one point out of Netherwind Presence and putting it in Arcane Concentration instead is an option. However, going beyond that one point is a definite DPS loss.
    Edited by Wenry on 12/19/2010 11:30 AM PST
    85 Gnome Mage
    3580
    Thanks, this really helped a lot! :D
    85 Undead Mage
    4320
    i would recomend mage armor instead of MA like wise with glyphs 20% extra mana regen is nice to have. wht i have seen thus far with other fire mages is they burn threw there mana far faster then arcane now. scorch dance is ok to maintain ur mana up but reduces your overall dps greatly. I would recomend Mage armor as u learn ur rotations and as u refine ur stlye/ gear availability. These boss fights in heroics thus far are long fights and nothing worse then to stand there kitting out a lance till ur cd's expire for evo and or MG
    90 Undead Mage
    8125
    Improved Flamestrike and Blastwave are not optional talents.

    ...

    This is all assuming that you consider AoE damage to be essential


    It's not necessarily essential, especially for raiding. As long as you can complete X encounter while optioning to not take the aoe talents, then it's optional.

    Believe me, aoe is the probably one of the only things that attracts me to fire and I certainly wouldn't go without those talents. But you can't call them mandatory.


    12/19/2010 1:16 PMPosted by Badbreath
    i would recomend mage armor instead of MA like wise with glyphs 20% extra mana regen is nice to have. wht i have seen thus far with other fire mages is they burn threw there mana far faster then arcane now. scorch dance is ok to maintain ur mana up but reduces your overall dps greatly. I would recomend Mage armor as u learn ur rotations and as u refine ur stlye/ gear availability. These boss fights in heroics thus far are long fights and nothing worse then to stand there kitting out a lance till ur cd's expire for evo and or MG


    You look a little lost. First, scorch is not a massive dps decrease like you think it is. Second, without molten armor you cannot scorch while moving, and there is a lot of movement in fights these days. Third,

    http://elitistjerks.com/f75/t110326-cataclysm_fire_mage_compendium/

    Read it.
    90 Human Mage
    6930
    12/19/2010 11:29 AMPosted by Wenry
    Improved Flamestrike and Blastwave are not optional talents. They are essential for AoE. A Flamestrike from Blastwave is significantly more mana efficient than a regular Flamestrike, not to mention more damaging.

    This is all assuming that you consider AoE damage to be essential, which I think it is at this point...


    I'm not sure why you think that. With the amount of CC necessary in Cata, AoE has been fairly dead. Especially in Heroic Dungeons.



    i would recomend mage armor instead of MA like wise with glyphs 20% extra mana regen is nice to have. wht i have seen thus far with other fire mages is they burn threw there mana far faster then arcane now. scorch dance is ok to maintain ur mana up but reduces your overall dps greatly. I would recomend Mage armor as u learn ur rotations and as u refine ur stlye/ gear availability. These boss fights in heroics thus far are long fights and nothing worse then to stand there kitting out a lance till ur cd's expire for evo and or MG


    I have heard this a lot. I would absolutely love it if someone could run a simulation, so we could figure out at exactly what Crit levels Mage armor becomes better than Molten.
    85 Undead Mage
    4320
    im not certain about that but from wht i have been hearing its around 21% unbuffed crit but that was then not certain if it sticks>>>> and i would rather discuss it here karrok then sifting threw 10+ pages of information on EJ for one point
    90 Undead Mage
    8125
    @badbreath

    EJ does have a search feature. If you're not convinced by my previous points that mage armor is simply not viable and all you can come up with to defend yourself with is conjecture, then the burden of proof is on you. The people at EJ are far better at simulating wow than you or I (after all, this game is just a giant math problem) and the implications of MA have been discussed to death.

    If I were you I'd just accept that mage armor as fire is simply clunky and not viable.
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