Hi, everyone. Gnev here. Fire mage is one of the easiest classes in the game to pick up and play decently. However, if you want to go from an average mage to forgetting how it feels like not to be first on Skada, I made this guide for you. I hope you’ll enjoy it.
As for my credentials, I’ve been maining a mage for the last 2 years playing in some of the strongest guilds on the server and never losing in a mage off.
I will be dividing the video in segments. So feel free to click around to the area that interests you. I’ll start with the basics and go over the most advanced tips later.
Fire is simply put, the best late game spec for mages. We do incredible single target and AOE damage and are widely thought of as one of the best DPS’s in the game. That isn’t without reason.
Glyph of Molten Armor
Glyph of Living Bomb
Glyph of Fireball
There really isn’t too much philosophy with the glyphs. These are the best ones and there are no alternatives.
The main stat you should aim for is hit. You’ll need 13% if you’re Alliance with a Draenei in your party and 14% if you’re Horde. After that, you should be focusing on spell power, crit, haste, and spirit respectively. This is how the stats look on my mage without any buffs.
I used the following talent build for years and there is not a thing I would change about it. The spec is called TTW mage for the Torment the Weak talent in the arcane tree.
The best PVE races for mages are Troll for the Horde and the Gnome for the Alliance. Draenei also works great if you don’t want to be selfish with the buff. And there are some new situations for the Human racial in ICC, such as removing Vile Gas on the Festergut and Rotface fights.
Engineering is a must-have in my opinion, especially in the earlier patches of Wrath. The haste gloves and rocket boots are life savers. The other professions can be debated but I personally went with tailoring because it’s cheap.
Generally, you should fill the following gems in the respective color sockets. However, if the spell power bonus is only 5, such as in the rings, it’s smarter to go for a red spell power gem instead of a Purified Dreadstone.
There really isn’t much debate with the best in slot gear and dungeons as people have been theorycrafting the game for 12 years. If you need a reminder, I’ll make a cheat sheet on my Discord which you can join in the description.
Now we finally get to the fun part which is the gameplay.
Mages' basic rotation is very simple. We keep Living Bomb on the target, spam Fireballs, and pop our instant Pyroblast when Hot Streak procs. The addon that shows the circles around me when I have an instant Pyroblast is called Cheese and you can find the link to it in my most needed addons video.
Our first priority is dishing out the instant Pyroblasts. It’s best to try to pair them up with a Fireball but I throw them out immediately if my Living Bomb is soon to explode. After that, it’s important to keep our Living Bombs on the target.
You always let it explode as it can give you an instant Pyroblast proc and refresh it the first time when you have a free cast without an instant Pyroblast. Our main spell is Fireball. We use it whenever we don’t have instant Pyroblasts and when our Living Bomb is already ticking on the target.
What I mostly do in AOE situations is I spam Living Bombs on all the adds while they’re getting gathered by the tanks. After that, I use Flame Strike rank 9 followed by Flame Strike rank 8 and then I channel Blizzard on them.
Why I use 2 different ranks of Flames Strikes is because they both leave a patch of flames on the ground which burns the adds that stand on them. These 2 don’t cancel each out on Warmane at least.
The addon that allows me to see the duration of Livng Bombs on the targets is called ElvUI. You can find the link to it in my addons video.
Our main cooldowns are Combustion which has a 2 minute cooldown and Mirror Images with 4 tier 10 set parts which has a 3 minute cooldown.
Combustion is best used together with our trinkets because it also gives 50% bonus critical damage. Using it at the start of the fight is sup optimal most of the time.
The best consumables for fire mages are Potions of Wild Magic which can be bought from the Auction House or made with the alchemy profession. And Flame Caps which can be found in Zangarmarsh by herbalists.
These two are best used once before the fight as a pre-pot and once during the fight with our second cast of Mirror Images if the fight lasts long enough. Or with our second cast of Combustion if the fight doesn’t last long enough.
Your mana gems can also be considered consumables and it’s important that you keep them in your bags always. They are necessary for longer fights, especially on the Lich King fight. If the encounter goes on for long enough, then you can even make more while in the Lich King Chamber.
Most people recommend with a hard cast of Pyroblast and this might be optimal in the ideal world. But where I play, ninja pulls are very common which is why I usually pop my consumables at the 2 second mark followed with casting a Fireball and the Living Bomb at the end of the cast.
I then used my engineering gloves in the global and pop my Mirror Images after. I then use Combustion only when my trinkets proc. I tested using Combustion this way versus popping it on start and I had 4% more DPS just with this little change.
This is the part that distinguishes good mages from average ones. After casting your instant Pyroblast or after casting your Living Bomb, you’ll always have a second in which you can’t cast anything.
This is called the global cooldown and is best used by moving. The Lich King fight is a great example for this where you can go in the middle group and still catch up with your group without wasting any time moving. Blink should only be used when necessary as you lose two globals by using it.
Multi-dotting is also a big part of playing a mage if you truly want to excel at every fight. A great example for this can be found on the Princes fight.
Even though only one of them takes damage, keeping a Living Bomb on all three can still boost your single target damage because you’ll have more instant Pyro procs. The ideal scenario in these cases is having one explode while you have 4 seconds on the other one and 8 on the last one.
This should give you enough time to use all your procs and refresh the Living Bombs before the next ones explode. The same tactic should be used on the Lich King Valkyrs. If you want to practice this method, Ironforge dummies are your place to go.
Ice Block is an excellent tool as it removes almost every debuff in the game. A great use for this is with the unchained magic debuff from Sindragosa and the flames on the Blood Queen. It can also be used to avoid the damage of the Festergut explosion completely.
Ignite is the strongest talent in our arsenal so it’s important that we understand it well. Ignite does 40% of your crit damage over 4 seconds in 2 ticks of damage. The first tick goes after 2 seconds and the second one after 4.
This effect can stack, adding the damage from your crit to your Ignite that was already on the target. This addition can still happen after the first tick goes off. So in order to maximize your damage, it’s important not to get too close to your target.
If your Fireball cast lasts a second and a half and it takes the projectile a second to reach the target, then you’re in the sweet spot for maximizing the damage of your Ignite. Another way of boosting Ignite’s damage is the usage of Combustion.
If you can hold off Combustion and save it for when your Living Bomb is close to exploding, you can dish out incredible crits in a small time frame which can boost your damage significantly. Just be careful when using this method not to munch and lose some of your procs.
TIPS AND TRICKS
One trick that will truly differentiate you from the other mages is just how many fireballs you cast. True DPS comes from the number of spells you actually throw out. So be sure to always be casting something and don’t waste your globals.
Hot Streak will save your last crit so if you truly want to optimize, you can attack mobs until you get the crit and save it for the boss.
Evocation can be an extremely strong tool in longer fights. It’s almost necessary on the Lich King fight.
That’s it for my guide. I hope I helped you out so please consider helping me out as well by subscribing and liking the video. Thank you for watching and I’ll see you in the next one.