Is anyone effectively running Fire Spec?

90 Human Mage
8770
For end-game raiding, is anyone effectively running fire spec and finding it to be competitive with frost/arc?

I'm just trying to figure out what Item level I need before it becomes viable again.

I know the mechanics of fire spec very well, but I simply don't think I've got the iLvl to pull it off anymore.

Any info would be appreciated.
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90 Troll Mage
15740
It generally seems to start outpacing frost around 35-40%ish crit.
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If you want to switch, do it around 515-520 if you can get above 38-40%.
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90 Worgen Mage
12585
I'm getting fairly good results with fire now. Typically averaging around 150k dps in raid boss fights (with peak burst dps during initial combustion in the 300-400k range). This with 45% crit when fully buffed.

Crit rating is now high enough that I can often cast 2 or 3 instant pyroblasts in a row with nothing in between.

Is that higher than I'd do with frost spec? Not sure. No way to tell unless I regem and reforge everything, which I don't particular wish to do.

Fire is all about crit:
  • 35% crit chance - long strings of no crits. Instant pyroblasts happen rarely, and only when you fire an inferno blast right after getting a crit. DPS is very spikey and not dependable. Occasionally get 8 or 10 non-crits in a row which is very frustrating especially if it happens when combustion is off cooldown and trinkets have procced. At this level of crit, frost will be much more dependable.
  • 40% crit chance - Pretty much every other cast is a crit. Rotation becomes fireball --> fireblast --> pyroblast. Pyroblasts are very common. Rarely, will get strings of 4 or 5 casts in a row without crits. DPS flattens out and becomes much more predictable.
  • 45% crit chance - multiple crits in a row are very common. Can do fireball --> fireblast --> pyroblast --> and then have a very high chance to cast multiple additional pyroblasts without needing to insert fireballs or fireblast. DPS is very predictable and can get extremely high during combustion with combustion ticks sometimes over 100k each.
  • Edited by Mistwynd on 6/4/2013 3:53 PM PDT
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    90 Human Mage
    6800
    Mistwynd, for the record, is at 526 with an unbuffed crit of ~35%.
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    90 Gnome Mage
    7185
    Fire is *the* RNG spec though. Our guild runs LFRs for Titan Runestones and higher ilvl Fire Mages sometimes completely obliterate me on fights but fall behind on other fights.

    Point being, no matter when you switch to Fire, be prepared to occasional disappointments. Fire does slightly better than Frost on movement heavy fights, but Frost isn't terrible on movement as long it has procs up. You can always Frozen Orb on movement if it's ready and your Elemental keeps spamming Waterbolt on the move if glyphed to give you some damage.

    Fire will probably only pull ahead once Frost hits both the crit and haste soft caps, which will never happen for the overwhelming majority of players as they don't raid heroic. And assuming you farm 13/13 heroic ToT, Arcane would probably be better then.

    To take Mistwynd's example (who has a really nice crit rating), I'm a 526 Frost mage and I manage just about the same DPS. Better on some fights, worse on others. But I do average around ~150k

    Just as an example, both of us on Consorts

    http://worldoflogs.com/reports/dzeyb5fcvlzy1bjp/sum/damageDone/?s=8400&e=8913
    http://worldoflogs.com/reports/rt-bh8ktg47glz73h8v/sum/damageDone/?s=7382&e=7782

    I'm sure he/she beats me on some fights too, and I wasn't showing this to show off. I'm sure many Fire mages obliterate me on damage all the time.

    My point is it goes past the point of ilvl and crit. You always juggle with RNG with Fire and Frost will keep up till it runs into its scaling issues (which doesn't happen till you gear heroic)
    Edited by Breaktheice on 6/5/2013 11:33 AM PDT
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    90 Blood Elf Mage
    0
    I'm pushing 530 ilvl and fire still can't pull ahead of frost. They're both pretty close, but fire has a bunch of annoying RNG involved whereas frost doesn't.

    I got my crit up to around ~44.5%, but fire still parses around 10-15k behind frost.

    I consistently rank top 100 in WoL as frost, which may not mean much considering mages tend to go fire by the time they're at my gear level, but I can say for sure that even if fire does pull ahead at some point, it isn't by much. Not enough to justify the frustrating RNG that fire brings anyway.
    Edited by Kaikou on 6/5/2013 11:56 AM PDT
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    90 Troll Mage
    18020
    06/05/2013 11:20 AMPosted by Breaktheice
    Fire is *the* RNG spec though. Our guild runs LFRs for Titan Runestones and higher ilvl Fire Mages sometimes completely obliterate me on fights but fall behind on other fights.


    Slightly off topic, have you had better luck in LFR? I have heard a few people mention it but I figured it was just luck and coincidence. I am 3/18 on them while I know a few people who completed theirs around 12/24.

    On topic however, I really think it just comes down to preference between the two and they are close enough together to play the one you prefer. I honestly hate frost and arcane, arcane because I have had to play it too much in the past when it was the only viable spec, and frost just reminds me of pvp, which I hate. If one of the two were to pull out ahead significgantly like arcane has in the past I would switch for the sake of the guild, but since it really just seems to depend on the fight and of course, some of fires rng I have been fire for all of mop. Even when everyone flocked from fire and went arcane in 5.1 and I never was never beaten by an arcane mage who had anything short of nearly full heroic gear in lfrs and pugs.

    One thing I would have to make sure is people are utilizing the trick to saving your pyro and heating up procs so you can go fireball pyro back to back giving you a better chance of another pyro proc. Thus keeping you from using inferno blast more often in the fight which would be a dps loss. I have seen a surprising amount of people in lfr trying fire and complaining about it being RNG based at the start of an lfr change their minds after I share that by the end. Maybe I just get all of the bad ones in my lfr. *shrug*
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    90 Troll Mage
    13620
    I think I waited till about 43-44% before I made the final switch back to fire <was frost>where I noticed a pretty big improvement in my damage. It seems to me once you get to 530 item level or so, frost gets left behind. At the item level I'm at now<536>I can safely say rng doesn't seem like a huge factor anymore. So in my opinion play what you like until 535 or so, then fire will take over.
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    90 Worgen Mage
    10885
    06/05/2013 11:20 AMPosted by Breaktheice
    Fire is *the* RNG spec though. Our guild runs LFRs for Titan Runestones and higher ilvl Fire Mages sometimes completely obliterate me on fights but fall behind on other fights.

    My point is it goes past the point of ilvl and crit. You always juggle with RNG with Fire and Frost will keep up till it runs into its scaling issues (which doesn't happen till you gear heroic)

    I'm pushing 530 ilvl and fire still can't pull ahead of frost. They're both pretty close, but fire has a bunch of annoying RNG involved whereas frost doesn't.

    Fire's RNG is so overblown on this board it's insane. At my crit level, I've got an 80%~ chance to crit between a fireball and pyroblast, so 8/10 Heating Ups provide a Hot Streak. That's only when IB isn't available. There's not wild swings if you're playing correctly any longer, it just requires 4 piece.

    06/05/2013 11:52 AMPosted by Kaikou
    I consistently rank top 100 in WoL as frost, which may not mean much considering mages tend to go fire by the time they're at my gear level, but I can say for sure that even if fire does pull ahead at some point, it isn't by much.
    Kaikou, you're consistently parsing in the 95%+ percentile as Frost, and the week's worth of logs you have as fire are under the 90th percentile. The exceptions being Horridon, which was your best parse of Horridon to that point, and Ji-Kun. On Ji-Kun your median percentile as Frost is 99%. That sounds to me like you're simply playing better as Frost than you are as Fire, especially considering that aside from that one week, the last parse raidbots is showing for you as fire is from November.

    I don't think there's a significant difference between Frost and Fire once you've got 4 piece at all, and I think most people here who are upset about RNG either a) don't have 4 piece, or b) don't play fire to the level it's capable of being played to. I'm only in Normal gear, and I don't feel like there's a significant swing on anything except possibly your opening combust, if you get exceptionally unlucky.
    Edited by Aethereal on 6/5/2013 1:12 PM PDT
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    90 Blood Elf Mage
    0
    The annoying RNG I speak of has less to do with infrequent crits, and a lot more to do with trying (by which I mean praying to the RNG gods) to line up as many as 4 random procs with every combustion (jade spirit, meta, 2 trinkets), which already has its own element of RNG tied to it with the crit streaks.

    Basically I don't like the nature of combustion and its interaction with the ever increasing number of procs from gear.

    I know you don't have to try to min/max combustion to that extreme to get decent results, but if I intend to beat my numbers as frost by any meaningful margin, that's pretty much what has to happen.

    There are some fights where fire will beat frost pretty much no matter what though. Jin'Rokh, Horridon, Council, and Ji-Kun are all very "fire friendly" fights due to the damage modifiers you get during the fights (or in Council's case, the potency of combustion spreading).
    Edited by Kaikou on 6/5/2013 4:28 PM PDT
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    90 Blood Elf Mage
    11190
    Fire has the most risk/reward, when the stars align and you get the 8 pyro string off the pull and combust with the meta active you will pass everyone.

    Then there are the times when, even with 45% crit raid buffed, you pop all your cd's and get no crits.

    There is alot of feast and famine, but the more crit you can stack, the smoother your RNG gets.

    It really started to feel better around the 524ish area for me, but it all depends on what loot you're been aquiring. If you picked up everything for a spec other than arcane, it may take more.
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    90 Worgen Mage
    15160
    On the subject of Fire, we ran simulations today on myself and another fire Mage in guild, both of us with substantial differences in DPS as Fire, trying work out why. The first this we noted was that the combination of Lightweave + one trinket (Megaera) over mine, has a 10% or real world 20k dps increase over what I am currently using:

    Average DPS
    Virtutis
    DPS: 202,834

    Frozenflarex
    DPS: 226,236.2

    Most of that difference being the trinket itself. Which means that I would recommend having that to start with as a good dps increase for switching to Fire.

    The second, more baffling results of the sims, and it occuring both of us, was the stat weightings:

    Frozen - Scale Factors
    Int: 6.91
    SP: 5.16
    Crit: 5.37
    Haste: 4.80
    Mastery: 6.09

    Virtutis - Scale Factors
    Int: 6.74
    SP: 4.98
    Crit: 3.45
    Haste: 4.80
    Mastery: 5.40

    Which is not only putting Mastery in front of every other stat except int, it is quite a significant difference. To date, my understanding was that Mastery was still considered the worst stat to stack, but according to stat weightings for my own character, I should be dropping crit which is lowest and stacking more mastery.

    If someone has an inkling of an idea as to why this has suddenly gone !@#$ about face, I would be interested to hear it.
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    90 Human Mage
    17945
    its because mastery is not weighted at zero, which it looks like thats what your giving it, the mod is telling you mastery is the best right now because you will see the biggest dps increase if you get more of it, but do not reforge crit to mastery. this is quite common as the last secondary stat for fire, most will just ignore it, and thats the mistake.
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    90 Human Mage
    17945
    this is what you do, cap your hit (duh) max your crit then bring haste to a reasonable lvl (usually 5036) then add mastery. wait until you can get mastery up a bit from gear then drop it down some for the next haste mark (7k something) just dont drop it down to nothing to reach that haste mark.

    remember those scale factors are saying what to add from now on, not what to reforge to now. and they usually are wrong about haste, ignore that and just reach a threshold of 5036 haste rating and spill the rest into mastery that you cant turn to crit. reaching higher haste marks is only worth it if you dont drop your mastery to nothing(higher gear)
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    90 Human Mage
    17945
    also dont gem for intellect, gem for crit, look at my gems and forges and you will see.

    you get double the crit from a gem than you do int/SP and int and SP are not double the stat weight. besides the fact that it doesnt matter how hard you hit if you dont crit, you cant do your actual rotation.
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    90 Gnome Mage
    7185
    ^He is right. Any secondary stat, when stacked too much, begins yielding diminishing returns. The math will begin to weigh other secondary stats more, but what you should probably look for is the actual DPS with a given gemming strat and not the stat weights alone, because simcraft tells you how to gem given your current setup onwards.
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    90 Worgen Mage
    20350
    Fire is all about crit:
  • 35% crit chance - long strings of no crits. Instant pyroblasts happen rarely, and only when you fire an inferno blast right after getting a crit. DPS is very spikey and not dependable. Occasionally get 8 or 10 non-crits in a row which is very frustrating especially if it happens when combustion is off cooldown and trinkets have procced. At this level of crit, frost will be much more dependable.
  • 40% crit chance - Pretty much every other cast is a crit. Rotation becomes fireball --> fireblast --> pyroblast. Pyroblasts are very common. Rarely, will get strings of 4 or 5 casts in a row without crits. DPS flattens out and becomes much more predictable.
  • 45% crit chance - multiple crits in a row are very common. Can do fireball --> fireblast --> pyroblast --> and then have a very high chance to cast multiple additional pyroblasts without needing to insert fireballs or fireblast. DPS is very predictable and can get extremely high during combustion with combustion ticks sometimes over 100k each.


  • Yeah closer to the 50% range I'm not casting Inferno all that often because with HS+HU banking I'm getting a new HS when I use my Pyro. The playstyles definitely really fun and Combust isn't a chore. Unless Inferno Blast has a really good spellpower coefficient I'd imagine that spell isn't scaling very well so it's also good I'm not having to use it as much. Here's hoping 5.4 doesn't nerf our crit too much because I'm enjoying Fire more every week with each item level upgrade (guaranteed 600 cloak next week w/ the hotfix too)
    Edited by Digerati on 6/6/2013 1:22 AM PDT
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    90 Draenei Mage
    13735
    40% crit chance - Pretty much every other cast is a crit. Rotation becomes fireball --> fireblast --> pyroblast. Pyroblasts are very common. Rarely, will get strings of 4 or 5 casts in a row without crits. DPS flattens out and becomes much more predictable.


    Standing at 41% crit, yup, that is a really accurate description of what I am experiencing.

    Theorycrafters will debate whether fire or frost is better at this leve, let me tell you this:

    Fire at this level is fun, very fun. Dry Spells are rare. I'm more surprised when a pyro DOESNT crit than when it DOES crit. It feels as it did the beginning of the expansion pre-nerf when it was so much fun. Throwing out a pyro, 2, 3, or 4, feels so awesome. You KNOW it's going to do good damage and you just relish in it. Much more exiciting than ILs and BF procs.
    Also, Considering the only other things to really worry about is LB and Combustion, the spec feels SO much simpler than frost's array of CDs and procs.

    The one thing I miss is the awesome aoe abilities of frost. I'm still playing it in challenge modes (began doing gold runs last night) and I was reminded how great a FO + IL spam is. Ice Lance cleave also feels cooler and more fun than spreading dots for AOE.
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    90 Worgen Mage
    15160
    also dont gem for intellect, gem for crit, look at my gems and forges and you will see.

    you get double the crit from a gem than you do int/SP and int and SP are not double the stat weight. besides the fact that it doesnt matter how hard you hit if you dont crit, you cant do your actual rotation.


    The reason I have right now more int gems then straight crit is because the other fire mage is consistently getting average higher hits that I am, and not by a small amount either. In fact the difference is so substantial that it caused me to attempt to adjust for more SP hence more int.

    For example, my stats during a raid are equal with him in terms of Crit (~41.7%) so other than the obvious RNG this causes he and I are neck and neck at crit. He however started as a frost mage and most of the gear he had was haste related, so he was building items for crit to make up for it. I originally had about 2% more crit, and can do so again if I gem back for it. Consequently he has 4% more haste than I do. On the flip side, I have almost 1k more SP than him.

    In one of our raids this week, this was the damage breakdown of the FB and Pyro direct damage:

    Frozen: 16 129643.2 2074292 37 285360.4 10558333
    Virtutis: 18 113685.2 2046333 31 248976.5 7718270

    The above is the Pyros of on of our attempts on Megaera Heroic. We have almost identical uptimes on Livimg Bomb so it is not a 10% damage debuff issue. This is also happening on every fight so it is not a RNG issue, or bad luck.

    You will note that in total we had 53 and 49 Pyros respectively, which can be explained from RNG and crit, particularly as we have the same crit levels. The important and critical aspect is the damage difference for the average hits. He is averaging almost 10% harder hits with the Crits. This log was also actually closer than others. At this damage difference, spread over a much longer boss, the damage differences becomes more and more pronounced.

    Consequently I attempted to gain some SP and lose a bit of crit because gaining crit was doing nothing to increase the damage done. While crit is important and the primary stat, there is more to it than that.

    We were looking at our two characters:

    http://us.battle.net/wow/en/character/nagrand/Virtutis/simple
    http://us.battle.net/wow/en/character/nagrand/Frozenflarex/simple

    And overall, the primary differences was the Lightweave Proc and The trinket so we believe that the combination of Lightweave, plus both trinkets over my single trinket proc is resulting in starting the fight with a combust capable of far exceeding mine, plus the proccing of both the second trinket and lightweave throughout the fight which I do not have also meaning that he is consistently getting higher SP than me, and in some cases by significant margins which is resulting in big differences in damage.

    For example, at the beginning of that fight, all of the trinkets and procs were up, he had
    18,097 (base) + 4232 (Mastermind) + 4232 (Breath of Many Minds) + 2000 (Lightweave) = 28,561 INT during which to use CD's and pop combustion. Mine on the other hand is 20,870 (base) + 4232 (Mastermind) = 25,102 INT.

    What the above means is that the Critical Pyro hits during this time of CD's and needed for good combust, end up significantly higher resulting in much higher combusts. Also, by there being three procs, higher chance of a proc being up at any time meaning overal higher SP by several thousand + easier to align procs to second and thrid combust etc.

    The point in the end, is that while crit is important, procs right now, particularly SP ones, are almost OP for a fire mage, and conversely if you do not have them, there is a significant difference in damage output which so far has been averaging out to be between 10% and 20% total damage done just because of the SP procs.

    So if you are planning on going Fire, I think there is more to it than simple stat distribution for good damage output.
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