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4.3.3 Fire Mage Compendium

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Have a Question? Read the FAQ Section first to see if it's answered there.

Recent OP Updates

Tyrian has retired from updating the Fire mage Compendium and I have volunteered to take over. I have updated the thread for 4.3.3. If you notice any errors or fallacies please send me a private message and I will fix it. Additionally if you have any insight to provide as to improvement that could be made to the thread please send me a PM. As put by Tyrion, the goal is to encourage people to better educate themselves via using these amazing tools - and not need to come to EJ to ask redundant questions or make posts that just get deleted.


This thread is a consolidated resource for Cataclysm Fire Mages. It will address all key points Fire Mages need to understand or be aware of. Many generous members of the EJ Mage community lend their time, knowledge and skills to make it possible to present this information to you. At various points in this post we'll make reference to "Patchwerk Style Fights". This refers to fights which have little-to-no movement, no adds, and nothing else of note other than to simply "Stand still and DPS the boss". Argaloth is a good example of a Patchwerk-style fight for Cataclysm.

Firstly, why play a Fire Mage? Lets answer that by taking a quick look at the strengths and weaknesses of the spec itself:



  • Excellent DPS Mobility. You can cast Scorch, Living Bomb, Pyroblast!, Blastwave and Flamestrike all on the run. Make sure you take maximum advantage of this, it's a key strength of a Fire Mage on movement heavy encounters. Always cast something while moving: while moving to position, while grouping up or spreading out, while avoiding boss mechanics, while kiting - even while mid-air after being knocked back. Just don't stop casting something!
  • Strong AOE Power. Impact, Impact-Combustion, Blastwave, Improved Flamestrike, Pyromaniac: They all work together to make you a powerful AOE caster. Even while nuking a single target, Impact will allow you to splash your DOTs to nearby targets. Take advantage of this whenever possible.

  • Ability to cast even while OOM. Improved Scorch makes the spell totally free, so you can always cast it regardless of your mana level. A Scorch rotation isn't optimal DPS, but it's much better DPS than an OOM caster who can't cast anything.

  • Crit Dependancy: Crit is the heart of the Fire spec: Hot Streak Pyroblasts are the result of crits, Master of Elements restores mana after Crits, Flashburn mastery is more useful when spells Crit and leave an Ignite, Combustion is a more powerful/easily used cooldown when you crit. Crits make Fire Mages strong, but it's also our Achilles Heel. Without many Crits, especially in Cataclysm when Combat Ratings are much lower across the board, the Fire spec suffers.

  • Vulernable to RNG and a higher DPS Variance: Due to the aforementioned notes regarding Crit Dependancy, Fire can have a high DPS variance. It can be greatly affected by strings of bad RNG, especially when getting unlucky with Crits.

Speccing a Fire Mage

Here's a good starting build for a Level 85 Fire Mage: Widely Accepted Cookie Cutter Build: 3 / 35 / 3

- Improved Scorch was picked up, though be mindful that the talent is now classified as "Situationally Recommended" instead of "Essential". The value of this talent now largely depends on the type of content you're doing: Longer heroic encounters, encounters with heavy AOE-mana demands, or encounters where Evocation can't be used or is difficult to use - will render Improved Scorch still desirable. For other encounters or content, this talent could be safely skipped.
- Arcane Concentration is Situationally beneficial. Most fights will not require any kind of mana concervation, however, in terms of mana saved Arcane Concentration surpasses Improved Scorch on fights with little to no movement. Madness of Deathwing is an example of where Arcane Concentration is better than Improved Scorch.
- No points in Improved Fire Blast were taken. This means you'll need to be within 30 yards to use Impact, which is the base Fire Blast range. Whether players deem this range to be unacceptably low for AOE fights is highly subjective.
- Blazing Speed is skipped. PvP talent.
- Molten Shields is skipped, but you may wish to allocate spare points to it. Situational, minor talent. Might seem some very limited use in specific encounters, but nothing of note.
- Cauterize is picked up. During new Heroic and Progression content, this an Essential talent for any mage working on Heroic Zon'ozz or Heroic Ultraxion. Cauterize is highly recommended for any other fight. Cauterize is not only passive, but on a 1 minute cooldown.
- Pyromaniac is picked up, but be mindful that it's still a very situational talent.

Fire Talents

1|Master of Elements|Recommended.
1|Burning Soul| Highly Recommended. There are too many Cataclysm fights where pushback is an issue. This is not a talent you want to skip.
1|Improved Fire Blast| Optional. Impact can only be spread via Fire Blast, which has a base 30 yard range. Other Fire spells have a 40 yard range. Whether you feel more range is needed for Impact, to being it closer in line to the range on other Fire spells, is subjective. Some players will skip this talent completely, others will put a single point in.
2|Ignite|Essential. Cornerstone talent of the Fire tree.
2|Fire Power|Recommended.
2|Blazing Speed|Skip. PvP talent.
2|Impact|Highly recommended. Impact (DOT spreading) is a strength of the Fire tree.
3|Cauterize|Highly Recommended. This talent can be extremely useful for DPS and survival, especially during Heroic and Progression content. Read the section below for more details.
3|Blastwave| Highly Recommended. Blastwave is only ~1k mana at 85. Very cheap, and coupled with Improved Flamestrike, provides good DPS for a single GCD.
3|Hot Streak|Essential. Cornerstone talent of the Fire tree.
3|Improved Scorch| Situationally Recommended. Mana is no longer as much of a concern as it used to be and this talent is only useful in situations where scorch is used often, or the caster must play with no mana for a period of time (Yor'sahj the Unsleeping).
4|Molten Shields|Optional. This talent could situationally see some use during encounters where Mage Ward is used. It won't be included in most standard builds, but is something you may wish to consider picking up for specific fights. (Note: The Molten Shields talent will still proc the Blazing Speed effect, even if you have no points in the actual "Blazing Speed" talent)
4|Combustion|Essential. Fires 2 minute cooldown. For more details regarding how Combustion actually works, read the section below.
4|Improved Hot Streak|Essential. Cornerstone talent of the Fire tree.
4|Firestarter| Highly Recommended. Many fights require lots of movement. This talent lets you DPS on the run, and the mobility it gives is a strength of the Fire tree.
5|Improved Flamestrike|Highly Recommended. An Instant Flamestrike is great for AOE. Having Blastwave also give a free Flamestrike is another bonus.
5|Dragon's Breath| Essential. You need this talent to reach Living Bomb
5|Molten Fury| Essential.
6|Pyromaniac| Recommended, but this talent is highly situational. Read the section below for more details
6|Critical Mass|Highly Recommended. Crit is what makes the Fire tree function, and is an important raid debuff to bring. Buffing Living Bomb and Flame Orb is also a strong bonus.
7|Living Bomb|Essential. Cornerstone talent of the Fire tree.[/table]

Arcane and Frost Subspec Talents

1|Piercing Ice|Recommended.
1|Netherwind Presence|Recommended.
1|Arcane Concentration| Optional. After recent Fire spell mana cost reductions, Fire Mages don't need the mana efficiency this talent provides anymore.
1|Improved Counterspell|Optional / Situational. Using Counterspell as a spellock interrupt is sufficient for Raids. However, if you're terrible with catching interrupts, and you're doing a fight where interrupts are crucial - you could consider temporarily speccing into this talent as a crutch to assist you.
2|Invocation|Highly Situational. This is a talent you'll skip from standard builds, but may consider using for very specific fights.[/table]

Additional Notes on Specific Talents

  • Hot Streak VS Improved Hot Streak: What's the difference?
    How does Tier 3 Hot Streak work? The non-mathy answer: It 'smooths' Hot Streak out, by making sure it's not too rare at low levels of crit, but isn't too common at high levels of crit. The bonus from T3 Hot Streak scales inversely with your crit. For example, if you have a low 10% crit chance, "Hot Streak" may have an 80% chance to proc on a single crit. But if you have a high 30% crit chance, "Hot Streak" might only have a 5% chance to proc on a single crit.

    As your Crit rate increases (Via gear upgrades, raid buffs etc) the bonus from Tier 3 Hot Streak is steadily reduced. This is a hidden mechanic, neither the game nor talent pane tells you "Hot Streak" scales dynamically like this.

    Although the T3 Hot Streak bonus scales down with increasing crit, the chance of a T4 Hot Streak scales upward with increasing crit. The two talents complement each other, working together to "smooth" Hot Streak out for all levels of crit. For more information regarding Hot Streak, click the spoiler tag below.

    Note: You always want to pickup BOTH the Hot Streak and Improved Hot Streak talents. What we're talking about here is how their relative values change depending on your level of crit - but they're still always worth taking. It doesn't matter how low or high your crit rating is, pickup both talents regardless.

    - For a more mathy answer, i'll quote the excellent work of Maje and Shaewyn who posted their findings in this thread here: . Their obvservations and conclusions were as follows:

  • T3 Hot Streak gives no benefit above ~45% Crit

  • T3 and T4 cross over at about ~34% crit chance. That is, below ~34% crit, T3 is more valuable. Above that point T4 is more valuable. This does not mean you should ever skip picking up the T4 talent if your Crit level is below ~34%. Just take note that there's a crossover threshold, where one talent becomes more valuable than the other. They're still both talents you need to pick up regardless.

  • Below ~19% crit, T4 HS gives you less than ~1% chance per cast for a HS proc, if you have T3 HS.

  • Below ~9% crit, T4 HS gives you less than ~0.1% chance per cast for a HS proc, if you have T3 HS.

  • Several diagrams explaining the above points were made by Shaewyn. Click the spoiler tag below to see them. For his full analysis and commentary, visit the link above.

    For Shaewyn's commentary and analysis regarding these diagrams, visit this link:



  • Pyroblast VS Pyroblast! - What's the difference?
    Pyroblast! (With the "!" at the end) is another version of the spell with the same name. Pyroblast! is what you cast when under the effects of the the Hot Streak or Improved Hot Streak talents. Pyroblast! has a 0 mana base cost and is instant cast. Two important points to note:

    1: Because Pyroblast! has a 0 mana base cost, it gives no mana back via Master of Elements.
    2: Pyroblast! does not consume Clearcasting (via Arcane Concentration)

    If you attempt to hard cast the 3.5 second version of this spell, you're casting "Pyroblast" instead.

  • Pyromaniac
    Pyromaniac is a highly situational talent. It's potentially excellent for encounters where you have 3+ mobs present, and completely useless on encounters with 1 or 2 mobs only. This is why you'll sometimes see builds or players suggesting Pyromaniac be skipped from the standard talent build. Those builds essentially state the talent is too situational for 'standard build' consideration. For any fight where Pyromaniac gets compelling use, however, those builds will respec to include it again.

  • Cauterize
    Cauterize can be extremely useful. The first use is obvious: It can save you from Death, like Guardian Angel. A one minute cooldown is very short for this type of effect, and useful during difficult heroic and raid progression encounters. Being passive makes it even more powerful.

    The other, perhaps surprising use of Cauterize, is for DPS. You can use the talent aggressively for a surprisingly large DPS gain. Three examples of where this is possible are Algalon, Festergut and Sapphiron. All of these fights have 'Big Bomb' type mechanics which will instantly kill you, unless you perform various mechanics (Enter Black Holes on Algalon, get Spores on Festergut, LOS behind Tombs on Sapphiron). However you can use Cauterize to ignore all of these mechanics completely. On Festergut, there are 2 Pungent Blights, and you could Iceblock one and use Cauterize for the other. On Algalon, there are several Big Bangs and you can ignore them all and just let Cauterize save you while you continue to DPS. Even fights such as Sapphiron (Back in Naxx) you can ignore every Frost Bomb and let Cauterize handle your survival, and continue to happily DPS while everyone can't - because they must perform survival mechanics dictated by the encounter. On Kel'thuzad, don't bother moving from Void Fissures - let Cauterize handle it. You'll still want to use Mage Ward and/or a Healthstone to help survive afterwards, as Cauterize will take you to low levels of health as you burn.

  • Impact and Improved Fire Blast
    Impact spreads DOTs with their current remaining duration. If you have 1 second left on your Ignite and Impact Fire Blast spread it, all affected targets will also receive an ignite with 1 second left.
    Most Fire Spells in Cataclysm have a 40 yard base range, except Fire Blast, which is 30 yards
    Impact relies on Fire Blast to spread DOTs

  • You need to be mindful of what range you deem is acceptable for Impact usage. If you place 0/1/2 points in Improved Fire Blast, you'll need to be within 30/35/40 yards to take advantage of Impact. Both points in Improved Fire Blast are required if you wish to bring Impact use range in line with other Fire spells.

  • You'll notice that some talent builds will place any of 0, 1 or both points in Improved Fire Blast. When talking about range talents: what players deem necessary will be very subjective.

Gearing a Fire Mage

The most important initial step to correctly gearing a Fire Mage is to understand how we value various Combat Ratings. Our understanding of Combat Ratings will influence the gear we choose to wear, enchants, gems, meta-gems... everything.

Combat Ratings


Important||Combat Rating relative values shuffle depending on a given character's current stats and gear. Therefore, instead of offering precise numbers here for a hypothetically geared player, we're offering general guidelines instead.

Important||Specific Combat Rating relative values applicable to YOU can be found by using Simulationcraft and Rawr - and importing YOUR character. For details on how to do this, read the section entitled, "Rawr and SimulationCraft: Where to start"

||Last Table Update: 2/27/2012


1|Intellect|Intellect is the strongest stat by far. Intellect increases our Spell Power, Critical Strike Chance and our Mana. Fire Mages aggressively Gem, Enchant and Gear towards maximising the amount of Intellect present on their gear.

2|Hit|Hit is a very strong stat, but still weaker than intellect. You'll need 17% hit (1742 rating) for Tier 11 boss mobs. Capping Hit rating is a high priority, but avoid doing so at the expense of Intellect. The value of Hit falls off once Hit capped.

3|Spell Power|Spell Power can be found on weapons and trinkets. Spell Power is a very strong stat.

4|Crit|Crit rating is the most powerful secondary stat for Fire Mages and good dps is dependent on it.

5|Haste| When reforging it is important to be aware of haste tick marks . Above all else you should aim to have 2005 haste if possible (1505 haste with the T13 2 set active).

6|Mastery|Mastery is commonly considered the weakest stat.


At level 85, the following values reflect how much of a given rating is required for +1%:

[table=head]Stat|Rating Required for +1% @ Level 85

Spell Hit|102.446




Int|648.91 (Gives 1% Crit)

Source|Combat Ratings at 85[/table]

Enchants and Item Enhancements

To view the full list of available Enchants, including Profession Specific enchants, visit Cataclysm Mage Resources

[table=head]Slot | Enhancement | Notes

Source: Cataclysm Mage Resources|| *Up to date for 4.3.3

Head | [item]62367[/item] | Guardians of Hyjal: Revered

Neck | |

Shoulders | [item]62343[/item] | Therazane: Exalted

Back | 50 Int|

Chest | 20 All Stats|

Wrists | 50 Int|

Hands | 50 Haste OR 65 Mastery |

Waist | 1 Socket | Made by Blacksmithing

Legs | 95 Int & 80 Stamina | Made by Tailoring

Feet | Runspeed & 35 Mastery| Non-Runspeed options are: 50 Mastery OR 50 Haste OR 50 Hit

Rings | |

Trinkets |

Mainhand Weapon | Power Torrent|

Offhand Weapon | 40 Int|

Wand |


Note on the Runspeed Enchant - Time spent moving is effectively lost or lower DPS. Although you can still cast Scorch while moving, it's still lower DPS then a Burn rotation. Runspeed enchants therefore can be considered a DPS enchant for many encounters, and a strong one at that, with the actual value varying depending on the unique movement requirements of each encounter. In a Patchwerk style fight, however, where there's no movement at all - there are 50 Hit / Mastery enchants available which would strictly be superior for DPS. Generally speaking however, the vast majority of encounters require sufficient movement to make Runspeed the best enchant for boots by far.


Intellect is always at the forefront of our mind when it comes to Gemming: Fire Mages aggressively prioritise gemming for Intellect on gear. The following gems are at our disposal:


50 Intellect| [item]71881[/item]

25 Intellect + 25 Crit| [item]71842[/item]

25 Intellect + 25 Haste| [item]71850[/item]

25 Intellect + 25 Hit| [item] 71864[/item]

40 Intellect| [item]52207[/item]

20 Intellect + 20 Haste|[item]52208[/item]

20 Intellect + 20 Crit|[item]52239[/item]

20 Intellect + 20 Hit|[item]52217[/item]


So, should we always just gem for pure +50 Intellect? Not necessarily. Sometimes the socket bonus will indeed be strong enough such that +25/20 gem combinations will be superior. Let's look at three examples. Please not these examples are outdated, but still make a valid point.

[table=head]Item|Socket & Bonus|Solution

[item]65212[/item]|1 x Red Socket, 1 x Blue Socket, +20 Intellect socket bonus|We have two options:

  • Option A: 2 x Brilliant Inferno Ruby = 80 Int
  • Option B: 1 x Brilliant Inferno Ruby + 1 x Veiled Demonseye + Socket Bonus = 80 Int + 20 Hit

Conclusion: 80 Int + 20 Hit >>> 80 Int. For this item, we want the socket bonus and gem accordingly.

[item]65209[/item]|1 x Yellow socket, +10 Mastery socket bonus|We have two options:

  • Option A: 1 x Brilliant Inferno Ruby = 40 Int
  • Option B: 1 x Potent Ember Topaz + Socket Bonus = 20 Int + 20 Crit + 10 Mastery

Conclusion: 40 Int >>> 20 Int + 20 Crit + 10 Mastery. For this item, we skip the socket bonus and gem for pure Int.

[item]65210[/item]|1 x Blue Socket, +30 Crit Socket Bonus| We have two options:

  • Option A: 1 x Brilliant Inferno Ruby = 40 Int
  • Option B: 1 x Veiled Demonseye + Socket Bonus = 20 Int + 20 Hit + 30 Crit

Conclusion: 20 Int + 20 Hit + 30 Crit >> 40 Int. For this item, we want the socket bonus and use a blue gem.


In every example above, notice how Intellect is always present. Intellect is always at the forefront of a Fire Mage's mind when it comes to Gemming. No non-intellect gems are even considered. The "Relative Stat Values" table above will help players ascertain whether any given combinations of X stats will beat Y Intellect. Sometimes they will, sometimes they won't.


Reforging is a powerful tool in optimizing your character. In general, your reforging pattern should follow your combat ratings. If you do not know your combat ratings please refer to that section for details. Below is a general reforging scheme for a character in Dragon Soul normal or heroic gear. Again, these values can and will change depending on your gear, so make sure you calculate them yourself with Simulationcraft if you are unsure.

Hit to 1742 (or 17%) > Haste to 2005 (1505 with t13 2 set) > Crit > Haste > Mastery

Reforging by hand is difficult, time consuming and will cost a lot of gold in trial and error so I do not advice is. There are a plethora of tools available on the internet that calculate reforging for you based on your combat ratings. Here are a few of my favorites:

Wow Reforge:

To use this website, import your character, double check to make sure that the gear shown is up to date, and enter in your combat ratings near the bottom of the screen.

Ask Mr. Robot

Ask Mr. Robot is a do-it-all gear optimizer. It will inform you of correct enchants, gems, reforging and even give you a semi-accurate BiS list. Ask Mr. Robot is incredibly user friendly and provides accurate results.



Prime|Glyph of Molten Armor|Essential. The strongest Prime Glyph. This provides +2% Crit on all your spells

Prime|Glyph of Pyroblast|Recommended. Pyroblast comprises a large portion of your total damage output

Prime|Glyph of Fireball|Recommended. Fireball comprises a large portion of your total damage output

|| |

Prime|Glyph of Living Bomb|Situationally Recommended. For single target: Living Bomb is not as strong as the other Prime Glyphs. For AOE fights however, or encounters where you can apply multiple Living Bomb's simultaneously, Living Bomb will comprise a much larger proportion of your total damage. For these scenarios you can use this Glyph in place of the Fireball one.



Major|Glyph of Evocation|Highly Recommended. You'll always prefer to cast Evocation for mana, even if you're full health at the time. However, this Glyph gives you a powerful self heal for times where you might desperately need it

Major|Glyph of Polymorph|Situational. Great Glyph to ensure that when you want to Polymorph something, it won't be broken immediately by careless players.

Major|Glyph of Invisibility|Situational. If you ever need an additional run speed increase during a period where there are no targets to hit this glyph can be very helpful. I have also found it convenient when running back to a boss after a wipe.

Major|Glyph of Blink|Optional. This Glyph increases the range travelled by 5 yards. Be mindful that Glyph of Blink could work for you or against you, you'll need to anticipate travelling the extra distance.



Minor|Glyph of Conjuring|Recommended. This also reduces the cost of conjuring Mana Gems. For any Cataclysm fights over 6 minutes, where you'll need to conjure a new Mana Gem, this seemingly innocent minor Glyph will save you a chunk of mana.

Minor|Glyph of Arcane Brilliance.|Recommended. The is recommended because people will frequently die on new fights in Cataclysm. After receiving a Combat Res, you may need to rebuff them with Arcane Brilliance. This Glyph will save you a chunk of mana.

Misc||All other Glyphs not listed here are too situational to mention. Pick and choose from them as necessary.


Glyph of Mirror Image is a dps loss for Fire. With the glyph Mirror Images only cast Fireball. However, without the glyph Mirror Images cast Frostbolts and Fireblast. For whatever reason using the glyph prevents Mirror Images from casting Fireblast.

In addition, the fireblast is a 6-8 second CD that does not consume a GCD for the Mirror Images. Because the Mirror Images cast several fireblasts the damage from frostbolt and fireblast is greater than the damage of fireballs with the glyph.

As a side note, the glyph is a dps increase for Arcane mages because the glyph causes them to chain cast Arcane Blast (and no Fireblasts) which is more dps than frostbolt and fireblasts. The reason behind this is that the Mirror Images casting Arcane Blast benefit from your stacks of the Arcane Blast debuff.

Thanks to Logoz for information on the Mirror Image Glyph.

BiS List: Tier 13

[table=head]Slot | Item | ilvl | Gemming | Reforging | Source

Head | [iTEM]78701[/iTEM] | 410 | 1 x 50 int | 148 Haste -> Hit | Heroic Warmaster Blackhorn

Neck | [iTEM]71472[/iTEM] | 391 | 1 x 50 int | 65 Haste -> Crit | Majordomo (Heroic Firelands)

Shoulders | [iTEM]78748[/iTEM] | 410 | 2 x 50 int | 107 Mastery -> Hit | Heroic Hagara the Stormbinder

Back | [iTEM]77098[/iTEM] | 397 | 1 x 50 int | 69 Mastery -> Crit | Vendor - 1250 Valor

Chest | [iTEM]78729[/iTEM] | 410 | 2 x 50 int + 25int/25crit| 144 Haste -> Crit | Heroic Ultraxion

Wrists | [iTEM]78417[/iTEM] | 410 |1 x 50 int | 73 Mastery -> Hit | Hagara the Stormbinder

Hands | [iTEM]78461[/iTEM] | 416 | 2 x 50 int | 116 Haste -> Hit| Heroic Spine of Deathwing

Waist | [iTEM]78391[/iTEM] | 410 | 3 x 50 int | 102 Haste -> Hit | Heroic Zon'ozz

Legs | [iTEM]78720[/iTEM] | 410 | 1 x 50 int + 1 x 25int/25crit |132 Mastery -> Hit | Heroic Yor'sahj the Unsleeping

Feet | [iTEM]78449[/iTEM] | 410 | 2 x 50 int | 102 Haste -> Hit| Heroic Warmaster Blackhorn

Ring | [iTEM]78419[/iTEM] | 410 | 1 x 50 int | 78 Haste -> Hit| Heroic Hagara the Stormbinder

Ring | [iTEM]78490[/iTEM] | 410 | 1 x 50 int | 65 Hit -> Haste| Random drop from any of the first 6 bosses in Dragon Soul Heroic

Trinket | [iTEM]77995[/iTEM] | 416 | | | Heroic Spine of Deathwing

Trinket | [iTEM]77991[/iTEM] | 410 | | | Heroic Yor'sahj the Unsleeping

Mainhand Weapon | [iTEM]71086[/iTEM] | 397 | 3 x 50 int | 108 Haste -> Crit | Firelands Quest Line

Wand | [iTEM]78392[/iTEM] | 410 | | 48 Mastery -> Crit | Heroic Zon'ozz [/table]

There has been some discussion recently in regards to which neck item is better [item]77088[/item] or [iTEM]71472[/iTEM]. In terms of raw stats the extra 35 intellect on the Flowform Choker makes it better than Opal of the Secret Order, however, that goes without accounting other gear into the equation. Depending on your charicters current gear, Opal of the Secret Order could be better if it moves enough mastery to crit and/or haste. Use a gear optimizing website to compare to benefits of using Opal of the Secret Order such as Wow Reforge or Ask Mr Rorbot. If the results are not clear on which is better SimulationCraft or Rawr can be used determine the more optimal set up.

Advanced Gearing Notes

The following sections provide additional detail on the finer details of gearing a fire mage.

Haste: Additional DOT Ticks

Thanks to Roywyn for writing much of the section below.

Many Spell DOT's gain additional ticks at specific levels of Haste. For Fire Mages, the levels of Haste required are:

[table=head]Spell|+1 Tick|+2 Tick|+3 Tick|+4 Tick|Notes

Living Bomb|12.5%|37.5%|62.5%|87.5%||

Pyroblast (Dot)|12.5%|37.5%|62.5%|87.5%||

Frostfire Bolt (Dot from Glyph)|12.5%|37.5%|62.5%|87.5%||


Ignite|||||Ignite does not gain any additional ticks from Haste

Flame Orb|||||Flame Orb is not considered a DOT. It does not gain any additional ticks from Haste


DoT spells get their first extra tick when you have an amount of haste that would theoretically grant you only half an extra tick. For every extra tick after the first, you need the additional amount of haste which would grant you an extra DoT tick. As an example: Living Bomb and Pyroblast each tick 4 times. That means they require 12.5% for their first additional tick. For the 2nd, 3rd and 4th additional ticks they require: 37.5%, 62.5% and 87.5% haste respectively.

The first additional tick of Living Bomb, Pyroblast (Dot) and Frostfire Bolt (Dot) requires 516 Haste Rating. This is only ~4.022% from gear. You might be thinking, "You just said we need 12.5% Raid Buffed. So why do we only need ~4.022% from gear?" The answer is two-fold:

1: Haste Raid Buffs and Haste Talents: During raids, you'll have 5% extra haste from any caster hybrid and 3% haste from the Netherwind Presence talent.

2: Haste is Multiplicative: You might be thinking, "The numbers don't add up. If you need 12.5% Haste Raid Buffed for an additional tick - why isn't the calculation simply 5% from Raid Buffs + 3% from Talents + 4.5% from Gear = 12.5% Raid Buffed?" The answer is: You cant simply add Haste together liks this, because Haste is not additive. This is how the value for Haste Required from Gear is derived:

Haste is is multiplicative. To solve for how much Haste Rating is needed from Gear to reach 12.5% Raid Buffed:

1.03 (Netherwind Presence Talent) x 1.05 (Hybrid Haste Raid Buff) x 1.xx (Haste Required from Gear) = 1.125

Gear = 1.040221914008322

1% Haste = 128.057 Rating required

4.0221914008322 x 128.057 = 515.06976 or 516 rating required

Due to Haste being multiplicative, we indeed only need ~4.022% from gear after factoring in Raid Buffs and Talents, not 4.5% (such as if it were additive).

The table below displays the Haste values required for additional ticks of Living Bomb, Frostfire Bolt (Glyphed) and Pyroblast (Dot) in a variety of Scenarios:

[table=head]LB, Pyro, FFB Dot|Notes|||||

Additional Ticks|+1 Tick|+2 Ticks|+3 Ticks| + 4 Ticks||Notes:

Default Haste %|12.5%|37.5%|62.5%|87.5%||NP = Netherwind Presence (3/3)

+Nothing|1602 Haste|4805 Haste|8000 Haste| 11198 Haste||Troll BS = Troll Berseking Racial

+NP|1182 Haste|4292 Haste|7394 Haste|10499 Haste||Goblin = Goblin 1% Haste Racial

+NP + Raid|516 Haste|3478 Haste|6432 Haste|9389 Haste||Raid = Standard 5% Haste Buff

+NP + Raid + Heroism|-|-|1993 Haste|4267 Haste|| Heroism = Heroism / Timewarp / Bloodlust


+Goblin|1459 Haste | 4631 Haste|7794 Haste|10960 Haste|

+Goblin + NP|1044 Haste|4123 Haste| 7194 Haste|10268 Haste|

+Goblin + NP + Raid|385 Haste|3317 Haste|6242 Haste|9169 Haste|

+Goblin + NP + Heroism|-|-|1846 Haste|4098 Haste|


+Troll BS|-|1870 Haste|4533 Haste|7197 Haste|

+Troll BS + NP|-|1443 Haste|4028 Haste| 6615 Haste|

+Troll BS + NP + Raid|-|764 Haste|3226 Haste|5690 Haste|

+Troll BS + NP + Raid + Heroism|-|-|-|1422 Haste|


For a complete list of haste tick marks visit this document.

The table below displays the Haste values required for additional ticks of Combustion using the most common scenario only:

[table=head]Combustion|+1 tick|+2 tick|+3 tick|+4 tick

+3/3 Netherwind Presence and 5% Raid Buff|-|813|2005|3185[/table]

The "Soft Haste Cap" is a term thrown around often that Fire Mages should be aware of. The term "Soft Cap" itself has been taken out of context by many players and is now a source of misinformation. It refers to the specific level of Haste required such that a given fire DOT gains one additional tick over its duration. However, Haste still has a similar value before and after the 'soft cap'. It's just that reaching the soft cap itself results in an additional free tick - and thus a small increase in DPS. The % of Haste required varies, depending on the DOT in question and the amount of additional ticks being referred to.

When players use the term "Soft Haste Cap" - they most commonly are referring to the amount of Haste rating required from gear to reach +12.5% Haste raid buffed in the most common scenario: With 3/3 Netherwind Presence and the 5% Raid Haste Buff. This value is 516, when LB / Pyroblast (Dot) and FFB (Dot) gain one additional tick.

Players may also use the "Haste Cap" term for a variety of other applications. For example, the term "Second Combustion Soft Cap" would refer to 15% Haste - which is the Haste value needed to gain a second additional tick of Combustion. Due to higher gear levels and buffs to fire mage damage, this is no longer a "Haste Cap".

Haste VS. Mastery

There's been some discussion recently in regards to mastery and haste after reaching the haste plateau of 1505 haste (or 2005 without T13 2 set or better).

Anyone who runs a simulationcraft test on their character will likely notice that haste and mastery are very close in weight, and it's true. There isn't yet a right or wrong answer as to which you should reforge to, but here are the arguements for each:

Haste to haste plateau > Crit >Haste > Mastery

Almost all simulationcraft tests will show that haste is better than mastery for a single target, Patchwerk style encounter. One reason for why haste provides a larger increase to damage is because haste is multiplicative. The benefit from acquire additional haste percentage buffs is greater than that of mastery. Haste is not multiplicative with itself, however, a simulationcraft run excluding Blood Lust will result in the value of haste being decreased. This demonstrates the additional bonus haste percent increases provide. Mastery, on the other hand, doesn't provide as large of a bonus to damage during increased periods of haste because it gives a linear increase to damage. No matter how fast you cast or how many ticks there are of a spell it will always increase their damage by the same amount. Because of this haste is especially good on fights like Madness of Deathwing and Sindragosa from T11. On single target fights the benefit from haste is greater than the benefit of mastery.

Haste to haste plateau > Crit > Mastery > Haste

The logic behind reforging to mastery over crit past the haste cap is that most fights in Dragon Soul contain AoE or multiple targets to dot at some point and since Mastery is so close in value to haste the loss on other fights is barely noticeable. Depending on your raids strategy there are 5 fights in Dragon Soul that contain multiple targets (out of 7 because Arcane is better on Spine) where the value of mastery is better than or even closer to the value of haste. On progression fights where higher single target damage is needed it's easy to simply switch to reforging that favors haste, but while content is on farm this reforging benefits the greater number of fights (deepening on your raids size and strategy).

There is a right answer on each fight, but as a whole you can reforge either way for Dragon Soul farm bosses.


Dragonwrath can be acquired from a quest chain that requires the repeated defeat of Firelands bosses. For information on how to acquire the legendary staff refer to Icy Vein's Guide

A few notes about Dragonwrath:

Dragonwrath has a 10% change to duplicate any harmful effect and has no ICD.

Dragonwrath's duplicated effect can crit even if the original did not. Additionally, it can hit, but not crit even if the original did crit.

Dragonwrath's effect is affected by all buffs, debuffs, and talents. Anything that effects the original spell will also affect dragonwrath.

Critical hits from Dragonwrath will return mana via Master of Elements even though the duplicated effect does not cost mana.

Damage over time effects will be duplicated as Arcane Damage and appear as damage by "Wrath of Tarecgosa".

Channeled spells will gain an additional tick instead of the entire effect being duplicated. Every tick has a change to be duplicated.

[table=head]Ability|Dragonwrath Effect|

Fireball | Like any other direct damaging spell, the effect will be duplicated.

Ignite | Dragonwrath has a chance to duplicate a tick of ignite, but does not create a new dot on the target.

Living Bomb | Dragonwrath will put a new dot on the target as arcane damage called "Wrath of Tarecgosa"

Combustion | Even though combustion is a dot, it's individual ticks have a chance to be duplicated, but the dot itself cannot be duplicated as a whole.

Flame Strike | The entire effect can be duplicated and the effect will occur in the exact location as the first.

Variable Lightning Pulse Capacitor | This and other similar trinket's direct damaging effects have a chance to be duplicated as well.


Playing a Fire Mage: The Basics

Parts of the section below were originally written by Vontre here:


Fire Armor Choice|Fire Mages should use Molten Armor at all times.

Single Target Fire DPS|Use Hot Streak whenever possible, recast Living Bomb after every explosion, use Flame Orb whenever possible, and spam your filler nuke in between. Filler nuke can be Scorch, Fireball, or Frostfire Bolt. Fireball is the highest dps. Scorch is used during periods of movement or knockbacks. Frostfire Bolt is an alternative to Fireball, but is lower DPS.

Debuffs|Make sure the Critical Mass debuff is always present on your target (Unless another Mage/Warlock is applying an equivalent buff).

Mana Management|After Patch 4.06 - there isn't much 'Mana Management' required to playing the Fire spec anymore. However, make sure you have enough mana to cast Fireball during Molten Fury range (-35% Health), Boss weakened phases and during powerful trinket on-use or passive proc periods.

Combustion|Recognise that "Ignite" is by far the most important contributor to a strong Combustion. Don't use Combustion without Ignite present. Ideally, use Combustion when Ignite, Pyroblast (Dot), and Living Bomb are on your target. The biggest Ignites will stem from Pyroblast and Fireball crits, resulting in bigger Combustions. You can, however, fish for Ignites via Scorch if you have no time to wait. Download CombustionHelper to assist you in managing this cooldown more easily

Multiple Target Fire DPS|Put Living Bomb on 3 targets, use Blastwave on cooldown and spam Flamestrike. Mana management is also an essential part of multi-target dps. You will not have enough mana to continually spam AoE for an extended period. Fortunately Fire specs have easy ways to dramatically improve efficiency. Use Blast Wave whenever possible as this is a very mana efficient spell. Even if you are in maximum efficiency mode Blast Wave is still good. Only using Flamestrike only when its dot is expired will greatly increase its dpm. You can further increase dpm by skipping Flamestrike and spamming Scorch with Living Bomb on a single target to fish for Impact procs. Impact procs are unreliable, but do MASSIVE AoE damage with very high efficiency.

Fire Mobility|Fire can use every spell in its arsenal while moving except for Fireball. While moving continue casting as normal, but use Scorch in place of any Fireball casts. Never stop casting![/table]


Fire mages do not have a sequence of buttons to press; instead fire mage's rotation is based on a spell priority list. Spells at the top of the list are more important to cast than ones at the bottom.

1. Combustion (with optimal conditions)

2. Living Bomb

3. Flame Orb/Mirror Image

4. Pyroblast! (from Hot Streak Proc)

5. Fireball

Flame Orb and Mirror Image do more damage per executed time, but refreshing Living Bomb soon after the explosion is more important because maximizing the up time on Living Bomb is a dps gain. Casting Living Bomb as soon as the explosion goes off can result in more total ticks and explosions in a given fight. Using Flame Orb immediately after the cool down is up is unlikely to result in additional Flame Orb uses.

While moving the priority list changes to:

1. Living Bomb

2. Flame Orb/Mirror Image

3. Scorch

Playing a Fire Mage: Finer Details

The following sections include details that provide additional information that will help to prefect the art of playing a fire mage.


Thanks to Angayelle for writing the following section.

Managing Combustion well is an important part of optimal play for a Fire Mage.

How does Combustion actually work?

The tooltip states, "Instantly deals X to Y Fire damage and creates a new periodic fire effect on the target, lasting 10 sec and dealing the same damage per time as all your existing periodic fire effects".

Combustion take in account the power of your four possibles DOTs (Living Bomb, Pyroblast dot, glyphed FrostFire Bolt dot and Ignite) on your target and create a new powerful DOT which will burn for 10 seconds ticking a number of time depending on your haste at the moment of cast. Usually the FrostFire part is not used as its DOT is very low dps and it require to waste a Prime Glyph slot.

Some important information often overlooked :

- This is not exactly the DPS of the DOTs which matter, only their potential power.

- Duration remaining on either DOT doesn't matter.

- Size of the LB, Pyro and FFB DOTs doesn't matter.

- Combustion can be spread via Impact. Impact-Combustion can be incredibly powerful.

- Combustion damage is NOT directly modified by the Flashburn Mastery but other DOTs are when taken in account for damage calculation.

- The damage-over-time portion of Flamestrike does not leave a debuff on affected targets, therefore it does not interact with Combustion.

The formula :

Tick damage = PyroDotPower/3 + LbDotPower/3 + IgniteTickDamage/2

The Ignite tick damage is self explanatory, it's the value you see happening on your combat log, nothing else. The power of the living bomb DOT and the pyro DOT on the hand are much complicated to calculate. Keep in mind that Combustion only check for the presence of the LB and pyro dot as it will recalculate their power with your current stats at the time of casting Combustion, not the ones you had when casting the DOTs.

LbDotPower = (234 + (0.258*SpellBonusDamage))*(FirePowerTalentRank)*(1.25)*(CriticalMassTalent)*((0.00015618*MasteryRating) + 1.224)

PyroDotPower = (164 + (0.180*SpellBonusDamage))*(FirePowerTalentRank)*(1.25)*((0.00015618*MasteryRating) + 1.224)

Multiply this Tick damage by the number of ticks you can expect depending of your haste, add in a critical chance for each dot, add the front damage from the Combustion spell and you'll have your potential total Combustion damage.

When should you use Combustion?

Firstly, be mindful that a strong Ignite is the most important contributor to a strong Combustion.

Use Combustion when an Ignite is on the target - at the very least. The ideal Combustion, however, will have all Fire Dot's present: Living Bomb, Pyroblast (Dot), Frostfire Bolt DOT (only if FFB is your primary nuke) in addition to a strong Ignite from Pyroblast or Fireball crits. At level 85 with lower crit ratings, however, it can be difficult to get all these stars to align: Sometimes those spells just won't Crit when you need them to. And you might not have the luxury of being able to wait, either.

With this in mind: Avoid using Combustion without Ignite present, even if it means you cast fewer Combustions over the course of the fight. The preferred Ignite is one from a big Pyroblast or Fireball crit. However - if you're desperate for an Ignite and running out of available time to wait - you can even try to fish for one via Scorch. Ignite is what make Combustion worth casting, even if you need to wait a while after each 2 minute cooldown(modified by 4t13 bonus) to get it up. How long should you wait? Should you hardcast Pyroblast, Fireball? Should you fish for Ignites via Scorch? All of that is dependant on the unique needs of the given encounter you're referring to. Some encounters give you plenty of time to set up optimal conditions for AOE (Heroic Halfus Wyrmbreaker). Other encounters give you very little time to set up optimal conditions for necessary AOE (Heroic Maloriak: Green Phase).

Be mindful that Combustion can be susceptible to "Ignite Munching". Read the Ignite Munching section carefully for more details on why and how this happens. Simply getting a big Crit and using Combustion shortly thereafter - might not give the Combustion results you expected - if said Crit has been munched.

How to get the most effective Combustion?

Players benefit from using a mod to assist in tracking and managing Combustion, Fire's Procs and Fire DOTs in general. The solution is Combustionhelper. Combustionhelper was created by Angayelle , who's also an EJ member. He/she also reads and contributes to this thread, taking onboard feedback and suggestions pertaining to the mod.

Combustionhelper is a small mod that makes it easier to manage and track everything a Fire Mage needs to know (FS/BW timers, multiple LB, Impact, Cauterize, Ignite munching and more…). You can download Combustionhelper here. The first picture shows the ideal time to use Combustion: When all DOT's are present on the target, the Combustionhelper window turns green and you can check the potential damage of your Combustion ticks. The second picture show that you lack your pyro DOT.


As an alternative, My Big Ignite will also show the value ignite ticks for, however, it does not predict the value of ignite. It takes 2 seconds before ignite to tick before the value is revealed.

Crit: Ignite Munching and Ignite Stacking

Thanks to mysteltainn for writing this section below.

The oft-referred to "Ignite Munching" is a phenomenon that results in less (or in rare cases, more) Ignite damage than would be otherwise predicted.

There are three reasons for its occurance: simultaneous criticals, criticals that occur shortly before an ignite tick, and criticals that occur when the ignite debuff's remaining duration is greater than four seconds. The two former causes are caused by old, nigh-unfixable limitations within the game engine, and the latter is to do with a recent change in how DoT effects are refreshed.

As the name states, simultaneous criticals is when two spells crit simultaneously on a given target - usually, these times are logged as the same to a thousanth of a second. Most commonly, the spells responsible are either a fireball with a queued hot streak, or a scorch with a queued fire blast. The result is that only the second logged spell's damage being considered for ignite - the first spell's damage is completely ignored with respect to ignite. In a log, this might look like:

[00:16.414] Spell Crit #1 on Target

[00:16.414] Spell Crit #2 on Target
Here, ignite would be calculated only considering Spell Crit #2's damage. An obvious solution would be to prefer against queuing spells with identical travel times, but since a fire mage's myriad or DoTs can crit, it will still happen. Indeed, with relatively low crit rates (compared to late-WotLK where this munching was the majority of lost ignite damage) this is not as prominent as it was - but it is still a hefty chunk of damage lost. As long as simultaneous events are problematic in the game as a whole, this type of munching will always occur. However, it could be alleviated by changing the travel time on certain spells - if pyroblast was slightly slower or faster than a fireball, for example. The next cause of munching is based on ignite's 'talent delay' - a small delay between a given spell critical and the actual ignite application. In a log, ignite applying might look something like this:
[00:23.409] Spell Crit on Target

[00:24.158] Ignite Refreshed on Target
The time between the actual crit and the ignite applying is the server verifying that, yes, your character has the talent necessary before actually applying the debuff. Proc-based talents from all classes suffer this ~0.5s delay. This delay isn't a huge problem for other class-based procs, but strange things with ignite happen with certain sequences of events:
[00:13.872] Spell Crit on Target

[00:14.381] Ignite Tick

[00:14.461] Ignite refreshed on Target
In this situation, the Ignite Tick is a 'free' tick - since it falls between a valid crit refreshing the ignite (verifying that the mage has the ignite talent and then calculating its damage pool) and the actual refresh event, the damage it deals isn't subtracted from the total - or, more accurately, the total is 'rolled back' to when the crit occured. There is a rarer variation of this where the following happens:
[00:30.064] Spell Crit #1 on Target

[00:30.097] Spell Crit #2 on Target

[00:30.512] Ignite refreshed on Target (from Spell Crit #1)

[00:30.902] Ignite Tick

[00:30.902] Ignite refreshed on Target (from Spell Crit #2)
The difference in this situation is that there's a crit and refresh sandwiching the crit in the last example. The result is that the Ignite Tick does damage as calculated considering Spell Crit #1 - then 'rolls back' the total to before either crit occured, and adds Spell Crit #2 instead. Both of these scenarios are unavoidable, especially with DoTs ticking. I believe the first bug adds a non-trivial amount of damage, but I can't say much for the second - it is quite rare, and a favorable outcome when the alternative would be the next type of munching. The last type of munching is a side-effect of the new Cataclysm DoT system. Ignite extends past four seconds because of the new DoT refresh mechanic. This mechanic is present on other player-cast DoTs like living bomb and corruption, and was implemented to make clipping the DoT impossible. For example, if, before 4.0.1, if you were to refresh living bomb right before it was about to tick, perhaps at 3.1s, living bomb would refresh to 12s, and would tick 3s later at 9s - the time between those two ticks was effectively 5.9s; after 4.0.1, the duration of living bomb would refresh to 12.1s, tick at 12s, and continue to tick as normal. Following this new system, ignite's behavior is as follows: - Ignite's initial application will be 4s in duration: 2 ticks, one at 2s, one at 0s. Ignite's total damage pool is divided between these two ticks. - Any refreshes at any time will refresh ignite to 6s in (max) duration (current duration is ignite's current duration mod 2 plus 4s): 3 ticks, one at 4s, one at 2s, one at 0s. Ignite's damage pool is divided evenly between these three ticks. - Ignite must be below 4s in current duration to accept any new refresh events. To Illustrate:
[00:54.436] Spell Crit #1 on Target

[00:54.819] Ignite Refreshed on Target

[00:55.163] Spell Crit #2 on Target

[00:56.354] Ignite Tick on Target
Spell Crit #2 is munched in this situation. This means that ignite will, on average, accept only one crit every two seconds. This is the other major source of ignite munching - DoTs critting at inopportune times and multiple crits in a small time-frame. It is possible to diminish this effect by attempting to space spells out, but DoTs will make this form of munching inevitable. This 'limitation,' while seemingly arbitrary, is more about how ignite evenly splits its damage between its ticks and how the new system requires a DoT tick every period without interruption. To further refresh ignite would require that either the duration be set to 6s or the duration to arbitrarily lengthen as crits occured. Two possible solutions might be to only add the new damage to ignite without affecting its duration when the current duration is over 4s, or to have its ticks not spread evenly, but each one representing only crits that happened in the past four seconds. As most other systematic problems in WoW, I'm keen to believe this is either old and hard-to-update, or not a high priority (or more likely, both). There is one final anomaly. When spells simultaneously crit on a target without ignite present:
[00:16.414] Spell Crit #1 on Target

[00:16.414] Spell Crit #2 on Target

[00:16.938] Ignite #1 Applied to Target

[00:16.938] Ignite #2 Applied to Target
The resulting ignite, as expected, only considers Spell Crit #2. However, because of the simultaneous ignite application events, it ticks as hard as a 4s ignite would (damage pool/2) over 6s - an extra tick - 50% more damage than expected. Do note that this is still a damage loss so long as Spell Crit #1 is more than 50% of Spell Crit #2.

How do Rawr and SimC account for Ignite Munching?

How does Rawr account for Ignite Munching? Kavan's response to this question is below:
Rawr accounts for Ignite Munching by reducing all Ignite damage by a static percentage that can be specified in the spells and buffs section of the options.
How does SimulationCraft account for Ignite Munching? dedmonwakeen's response to this question is below:
When a crit occurs, the new Ignite pool is calculated immediately, but not applied for AuraDelay ms +/- some rng, where AuraDelay defaults to 150ms. If a subsequent crit occurs before the first one is applied then the Ignite pool is calculated using stale data. When this second crit is applied it effectively "munches" the previous crit. When an Ignite is initially applied where it did not previously exist, it will have a duration of exactly 4sec. When an Ignite is applied where it already existed, the event time of the next tick is not changed. The duration of Ignite becomes time_to_next_tick plus 4sec and the stack size becomes 3. At the time of Ignite application (AuraDelay ms after crit), if the stack size is still 3 (duration remaining is greater than 4sec) then the application will fail, effectively "munching" the crit. If Ignite ticks AFTER the crit and BEFORE the application of an Ignite refresh, you get a "rolled" Ignite. This is because the new Ignite pool damage is calculated before it is drained by the next tick.

Primary Nuke: Fireball VS Frostfire Bolt

Fireball does more damage than Frostfire bolt. In 4.1 the difference was minor, but in 4.3 Mages received a 17% buff to Fireballs damage and no increase to Frostfire Bolts damage. Even after the 6% Fireball damage reduction Fireball is far better than Frostfire Bolt.

Hot Streak Proc or Refresh Living Bomb?

Thanks to Logoz for permission to reuse this information from one of his posts The situation: You have a HS proc alrdy up, you are mid-cast in a Fireball and your LB falls off during your current Fireball cast. Short answer: The general rule is refresh LB first. It is higher DPS to get LB back on the boss as soon as possible. Long answer: It depends on several variables, such as distance from boss, last spell cast (crit or no crit), and pyro dot presence. Distance from boss: Standing close to boss (0-20yds): If you are standing close to the boss (very little travel time), you will most likely want to throw the insta-pyro out after your current fireball cast, THEN refresh living bomb (especially if you have 4pc T12). The reason is, because if you LB right when your fireball goes out, it causes a GCD, and the fireball will likely land during that GCD. If the fireball happens to crit, it has a chance to trigger another HS, refreshing the HS you HAD and you never got a chance to use the old HS before it got refreshed, b/c you used LB first. This is a waste of an insta-pyro and is highly annoying. #firstworldmageproblems Standing far from boss (21yds-40yds): If you are far enough away from the boss (or have a lot of haste for a fast GCD), when your current fireball finishes casting, you might have time to LB, and THEN throw out the insta-pyro before the fireball even lands. This situation will be the highest DPS, b/c you get LB up first, and use the HS before the fireball lands (avoiding the chance HS gets refreshed without being used). Last spell cast: If you're paying attention to your casts, and the last spell you cast was a crit (which means HS will guarantee proc if your current fireball crits also), it might be better to throw insta-pyro out after the current fireball, then refresh LB. This is the same reason as the "close to boss" situation. There is a chance you will proc another HS when your current fireball lands, it is a waste and dps loss if your HS gets refreshed without you using it b/c you were refreshing LB first (using HS before the HS gets refreshed is more dps than refreshing LB first and losing a HS proc).

Flame Orb

Flame Orb is a new Cataclysm Mage Fire spell. All mages learn Flame Orb at level 81. The Tooltip reads, "Launches a Flame Orb forward from the Mage's position, dealing X Fire damage every second to the closest enemy target for 15 secs. 1 minute cooldown, 40 yard range." Flame Orb has a high spell coefficient, which makes it a powerful 1 minute cooldown, usable while moving. Flame Orb does not AOE as it travels, instead it attacks the single closest target. At the end of its travel path, it can be talented to explode via Fire Power. The Flame Orb spell is more accurately described as a single target DPS cooldown which can provide a single AOE pulse at the end of its duration. When cast, Flame Orb travels directly forward 40 yards then disappears if no target was in range to attack. The Flame Orb travels forward very fast initially, but slows down greatly when it begins to attack a target in range. Flame Orb takes roughly 5 seconds to travel 40 yards. If cast with an object in the way, such as a wall, Flame Orb will still exist for the same 5 second duration, but will still disappear afterwards if no target was in range to attack. Although Flame Orb does steady damage per second, it's not considered a DOT. Therefore, it does not directly interact with Flashburn or Combustion. Flame Orb does not cause ignite.

Helpful Macros

#showtooltip Living Bomb

 /cast [modifier:alt, target=focus] Living Bomb/cast [nomodifier:shift] Living Bomb 
#showtooltip Fireball

/cast [modifier:alt, target=focus] Fireball/cast [nomodifier:shift] Fireball
Holding alt and the button assigned for the spell will cause it hit your current focus target. If alt is not held down it will hit your current target. Note that holding alt does not change your current target, it simply causes the spell to hit your focus.
#showtooltip Combustion


/cast Combustion 
Essential Macro for fire mages. The ability to use Combustion in a heartbeat is exceptionally beneficial, especially since Combustion is not on the GCD.
#showtooltip Counterspell


/cast [target=mouseover,exists] Counterspell; Counterspell
#showtooltip Spellsteal


/cast Spellsteal

/cast [target=mouseover,exists] Spellsteal; Spellsteal
This macro will stop your cast and cast Spellsteal at your mouseover. If your mouse is not hovering over an enemy the macro will cast Spellsteal at your current target. I found this macro especially helpful on Heroic Omnitron in t11. No fights in t13 require the use of Spellsteal.
#showtooltip Ice Block


/cancelaura Ice Block

/cast Ice Block

This macro will stop what your casting and cast Ice Block. When you click it again it will cancel Ice Block.

Current Fire Problems and Concerns


Ignite Munching|The biggest ongoing issue for Fire Mages. Ignite Munching has been around for many years. Ignite Munching is more prevalent than ever in Cataclysm. It devalues the Crit and Mastery stats - and result in considerable lost DPS. Players would love this to be fixed - somehow - even though it's been in the game so long and we're told limitations of the game engine itself might make it difficult/impossible to do so.


High DPS Variance|Fire can have a large swing in potential DPS, more so than other classes/specs, with Crit being the big offender. You can get lucky and perform well above normal, or be unlucky and perform poorly. Other classes and specs don't swing this much. Raid leaders expect a degree of consistency from raid members, but the Fire spec itself puts this somewhat out of your control at times. Is Fire's DPS variance simply too high?

Lack of Rotation Complexity|Fire's level 85 rotation isn't exactly complex. Keep up Living Bomb and use Fireball as your main nuke. Use Hot Streak when it procs. |

Crit Dependancy: General|Fire mages love Crit. The problem is that Fire relies very heavily on crit to function. Getting crits equates to getting lucky or RNG. A little luck here and there is fine, and fun. But there's a line between appreciating crit, and relying on it so badly because it's not only makes the tree function, but fun to play.

Crit Dependancy: Fun Factor|Although "Fun" is subjective, many mages will agree that Hot Streak Pyroblasts are a hallmark fun element in the Fire tree. Hot Streaks are much rarer at 85. Many players feel this makes the playstle relatively bland and boring in their absence.

Living Bomb: Refresh|Refreshing Living Bomb on a target will remove the current Living Bomb without an explosion. If you clip your Living Bomb reapplication, even if by only by a split second, you lose the explosion completely. This is very frustrating to players.

Living Bomb: Target Cap| Living Bomb was given a cap of 3 targets during Cataclysm Beta. This was due to how Overpowered Impact could be when used with an uncapped Living Bomb. However, the cap now causes frustration when Living Bomb interacts with Impact, as outlined in the point below. Simply increasing the Living Bomb cap to 4 or 5 would alleviate this from occurring in most realistic circumstances. This is because pulls with 4-5 mobs are common, but 6 and above aren't. Having the Cap set at three just seems a little too low. 4-5 would make much more practical sense.


Number of Fire AOE Talents|Fire has a few AOE orientated talents. These range between mildly to very situational. Improved Flamestrike, Blastwave, Pyromaniac, Impact. There's concern these AOE talents take up too many points in the Fire tree. If AOE is getting pushed somewhat into a niche role in Cataclysm, where we simply don't AOE as often, why are so many Fire talent points dedicated to improving it?[/table]

FAQ: Common Questions Answered

This section is intended to quickly answer the most common questions regarding Fire in simple terms. For full, thorough explanations of each point and further details - read this entire post.


Help! I want to learn how to use Rawr / SimulationCraft - but i'm not sure where to start!| Follow this link and you'll be moving in the right direction: Cataclysm Fire Mage Compendium: Rawr and SimulationCraft|

Haste VS Mastery VS Crit: What's best for me?| Combat Rating relative values shuffle depending on a given character's current stats and gear. Therefore, the most accurate relative values applicable to YOU can be found by using SimulationCraft and Rawr - and importing YOUR character. General guidlines for review have been provided in the "Combat Ratings: Relative Values" section. In general the reforging pattern should prioritize haste over mastery in single target circumstances.

Why has "Crit Rating" dropped in value according to X?| Ignite Munching: Various tools such as SimC/Rawr are introducing support for more accurately modelling or accounting for Ignite Munching. Please note that Ignite Munching itself has always been there, it just hasn't always been accounted for until now. Ignite Munching results in considerable amounts of lost damage, which in turn devalues the stat itself. Read the Ignite Munching section for more details as to why and how this happens. To better see the effects of Ignite Munching download the Skada Ignite Munching addon. Please note that you must have Skada installed and running for this addon to work.

Is Frostfire Bolt viable now that Fireball has been nurfed 6%?| No. Fireball was buffed significantly when 4.3 came out, but Frostfire Bolt was not. Even with the 6% nurf Fireball is significantly better.

I got a Hot Streak proc right before Living Bomb's duration is up. Which do I cast first? | As a rule of thumb, it's better to cast Living Bomb first because keeping a higher up time on Living Bomb is a dps increase, however, there are exceptions to this rule. While attempting to stack ignite it's best to launch the Pyroblast! first so that ignite is not munched. See Combustion section for more details.


The numbers given to reach the Haste Cap don't add up. I calculate you need +X% from Gear, but the EJ Fire Guide says you need less. Is the information provided wrong?| No, it's correct. The reason is because Haste is multiplicative, not additive. The numbers are not meant to add up because Haste is not additive! Read the "Advanced Gearing: Haste" section for more details

What is "Ignite Munching?"|Ignite Munching is a phenomenon that results in Ignite doing less damage than would otherwise be predicted. This results in a DPS loss, and negatively impacts the value of specific stats such as Crit and Mastery. Read the "Advanced Gearing: Crit and Ignite Munching" section for more details

What's the most powerful stat?| Intellect by far. Intellect is much stronger than Hit, even when you're below the Hit Cap. Intellect is a very strong primary stat. Don't confuse Intellect with strong secondary stats such as Hit. Reaching the Hit Cap is still very important, but the goal is to avoid sacrificing Intellect in the process.

Which Armor should I use?| Molten Armor at all times


What is the "Soft Haste Cap"?|The term "Soft Cap" has been taken out of context by many players and is now a source of misinformation. The "soft cap" refers to the specific level of Haste required such that a given fire DOT gains one additional tick over its duration. However, Haste still has a similar value before and after the 'soft cap'. It's just that reaching the soft cap itself results in an additional free tick - and thus a small increase in DPS. The % of Haste required varies, depending on the DOT in question and the amount of additional ticks being referred to. See the "Advanced Gearing: Haste" section for more details.

Why can't Combustionhelper tell me the exact amount of damage the current Ignite on a target is doing?| Response from Angayelle: An Ignite on a target is essentially a kind of bank, which stores a portion of your Critical Fire spell hits. Every 2 seconds it will release a part of this bank as a dot (a half or a third of the bank, depending on when the last critical happened). We don't have a way to query the game for the current value of that bank. We have a few techniques to try and guess the Bank value, but they are not always accurate due to factors such as Ignite Munching.

Why can't Combustionhelper tell me what spell the current Ignite on my target was caused by? (Eg Pyroblast, Fireball, Living Bomb etc)|Response from Angayelle: The Ignite bank is filled with critical hits from Fire spells. Within this bank there's no difference between whether the damage came from, say, a Scorch or a Pyroblast. As an analogy, take a bucket, fill it with sand using different kind of spoons. Now can you tell me which sand belonged to which spoon? This is exactly the same. However, we can track crits and tell you which spell Crits and for how much - but that's something completely different.[/table]

Resource Links


Talent Calculator|Cataclysm Talent Calculator: Mage

chardev Character planner|chardev 8 - Cataclysm Beta

Fire Mage Guide (Official Forums)|Mage - Forums - World of Warcraft

Fire Mage Guide (MMO-Champion Forums)|Mage

Vontre's Cataclysm Mage PvE Guide|

EJ Mage Resources|

Mage Simulators and Formulators|

Combustion Helper|CombustionHelper: Small Addon used to track Fire Dots, Procs and manage Combustion

My Big Ignite|My Big Ignite tracks and displays the current tick value of ignite on the target.

Haste Tick Chart| This spreadsheet is very accurate and contains a plethora of buff combinations.

Paragon 4.3 Normal Mode Guide|Iiris from Paragon created a guide for Mages on Normal Mode Dragon Soul Fights[/table]

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Thanks for the update. You seem to be linking the wrong haste threshold table however; here is the correct version:

Nice catch. I have updated the haste chart to account for rounding and I double checked the document linked bellow the previously inaccurate haste chart for accuracy. The document is correct and does account for rounding.

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A small error, the link of MyBigIgnite at the bottom direct to the CombustionHelper page on Curse.

Broken bold tag at LB vs Pyro Section

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Where was the data for combustion formula taken from? The last post on it here on EJ is which is the basis for both simulationcraft and rawr implementation at the moment. Specifically the part about mastery double dipping seems to be in contradiction with the formula posted here. Also the information on ignite munching isn't completely accurate anymore based on current understanding.

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Where was the data for combustion formula taken from? The last post on it here on EJ is which is the basis for both simulationcraft and rawr implementation at the moment. Specifically the part about mastery double dipping seems to be in contradiction with the formula posted here. Also the information on ignite munching isn't completely accurate anymore based on current understanding.

I haven't posted the formula in the formulator thread, this have been suggested by Aantu on the MMO-C forums, I converted it into LUA code, tested it and concluded it was correct so Included it into the current CombustionHelper beta version (2.10).

Indeed the mastery behave differently from what we took for granted, it only apply when calculating the Ignite damage when crit happen and in the LB/Pyro formula when the dots are present on target.

I'm gonna post it fully in the formulator thread now.

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Ignite Dragonwrath cannot duplicate ignite, however, a duplicated fireball that crits will cause ignite.

I'm pretty sure that this is wrong

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Is there any information on whether you should recast Living Bomb with certain stacks? I am particularly interested in how this plays in with recasting on procs with the Will of Unbinding trinket, and similar procs such as the Insignia and Lightweave.

The general rule is to never refresh Living Bomb. Always wait until the current buff has fallen off and the explosion damage that accounts for one third of Living Bomb's total damage has been accounted for. The bonus damage from having intellect procs available doesn't make recasting it a dps gain over waiting until it falls of to refresh it. About the only time I will ever refresh Living Bomb on a target is when that target is going to be immune, untargetable or incapable of taking any damage other than dot ticks for a period of time. For example, it's helpful to refresh Living Bomb on the Drakes on Warmaster Blackhorn right before they fly away so that they continue to take damage from Living Bomb. Hagara and Alizabal are both bosses that take damage from dots, but are immune to all other damage for a period of time, so refreshing Living Bomb on these targets just before they are immune turns out to be a dps again, especially if there is nothing else to damage while the boss is immune.

In regards to the 2 set, having full stacks of it will not give you an additional tick on Living Bomb (or Pyroblast) so don't worry about matching Living Bomb with stacks. Having the trinket active will give Living Bomb an additional tick, however, one tick is not enough to merit refreshing Living Bomb. If you do have the ability to time intellect CD's with the initial use of Living Bomb for additional damage the damage gain will be greater than the benefit to other spells that do less damage per second. Refer to SimulationCraft for damage per second each individual spell.

In regards to Dragonwrath and ignite, I have never seen Dragonwrath duplicate ignite itself and I haven't read anywhere that it can. If you can find an example of Dragonwrath duplicating Ignite post it.

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I have received a high volume of questions about obtaining a large ignite for combustion. I've been experimenting with a tactic to ensure more frequent and larger ignites. I would like others to provide some insight as to the feasibility of this method. The method is usable by characters with high haste (about 2000), Berserking (troll racial) and Heroic Insignia of the Corrupted Mind.

The idea is that, while all buffs are active, Blood Lust and hopefully some intellect procs you switch from casting Fireball to casting Pyroblast for the duration of Berserking. During this time period while all buffs are active the cast time ends up being around 1.3-1.6 seconds. Casting them this quickly with all the active buffs significantly increases the chance that two of them will crit in row and yield an ignite over 30k. Of course, there will be instant casts in there as well to add to the damage. On my best and most successful attempt (on Heroic Ultraxion) I was able to achieve a 90k ignite. Additionally, I almost always see a 40k ignite or higher and have had consistently higher burst as a result.

Please provide any feedback or additional insight. If it's just a quick comment rather than a discussion please PM it to me to keep the thread clear.

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I apologize if this is in the wrong section, but this didn't seem like the simplest of questions. Can anybody verify the quality of this guide? It contains ideas that I haven't seen posted here, such as starting off fights with pyroblast, and hardcasting pyroblast if needed in order to force a use of combustion off cooldown.

Here is the link.

If this is in the wrong spot please feel free to remove this post.

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