Updated for Mists of Pandaria patch 5.2
Also see our Mages on M of P post for info on the new skills, talents, glyphs, etc.
- The Build
- “How to Fire” Videos
- Mists of Pandaria changes and patch 5.2 notes
Fire’s survivability and control are greater than that of Arcane, but less than Frost. Fire relies on DoT’s and Pyroblast procs to do the majority of its damage, making it capable of putting out damage on multiple targets, and at the same boasts greater mobility than that of the other specs.
Fire can do very well in battlegrounds PvP, but the lack of survivability and control makes arena a bit more… interesting.
When everything aligns properely Fire can do immense burst damage, but is also quite vulnerable to dispel magic and RNG (Random Number Generation,) which means that if you’re facing a good dispeller or are simply unlucky you’ll find yourself doing far less damage than otherwise.
Fire excels at battlegrounds, both random and rated, although that is not to say it is bad at Arena combat, jst a bot more of a challenge. For some people it’s that challenge that makes Fire a lot more interesting than Frost.
Fire Mage PvP Build
Let’s see… you can do ganking, world PvP (solo or group,) duels, arena (2, 3, 5s,) and various BGs. Your talent picks will vary depending on your PvP of choice and your group. Our picks for general PvP are checked , but other talents might be the best for particular situations.
- Presence of Mind is optimal for fights where you just sort of stand around while hitting keys. It will give you a free Pyroblast (or other spell with a cast time) every 90 seconds. Since 5.2 your Ring of Frost is no longer insta-cast with POM, but now has a 2 second “arming time.” This make POM a bit less useful.
- Blazing Speed does nothing for your DPS, but gives you a nice “break free from snares,” which saves your Blinks. It’s also a good gap closer or space maker. Much more generally useful in PvP than POM.
- Ice Floes is the snooze. Either of the other picks are much more generally useful.
Combine any of these with Incanter’s Ward. Might as well get some casting buffage out of that massive damage you’re about to take.
- Temporal Shield is a solid choice if you can anticipate, or react quickly to, large incoming damage. Along with Cauterize this can be a solid choice. Nice if you know that Warrior is just about to unload on you. It the having to anticipate and time things just right than knock this one down.
- Flameglow constantly mitigates some damage. It’s a great choice for fights where you anticipate taking constant damage. It won’t make you a tank, but it will make the healer’s (and your) lives easier.
- Ice Barrier is the “fire and forget” shield. Put it up and forget about it for a minute. Blocks a fair amount of damage. Especially useful in fights where you are suffering from “pushback” or there’s a big chunk of damage coming in.
As this tier is composed solely of CC, take whichever appeals to you most/suits an encounter best.
- Ring of Frost is an AoE CC. Freeze several opponents and Shatter them. Nice for grabbing a group or blocking pathways (eg: tunnels to bases in the BGs.) Takes 2 seconds to cast or arm, even with POM. Can do some nice numbers if it arms right before your Frost Bomb detonates (taking advantage of Shatter on several opponents.)
- Ice Ward is another form of AoE CC with different usage. Useful if you or another is being attacked. Best for kiting players in PvP. Does not share Diminishing Returns with your other freezes, so it can be followed right up with a full length Frost Nova.
- Frostjaw is a very nice single target CC/Silence and will set up a Shatter, esp if you have a Pyro! proc handy. Also useful as an additional Silence.
- Greater Invisibility is an interesting choice for survivability. It removes effects, massively reduces damage, and drops threat, so can be very nice in bad situations.
- Cauterize lets you avoid death, but also sets you on fire, which is actually a much better tradeoff than it might sound. Ice Block removes the burning and Temporal Shield will help heal it. Some put this into an “I’m Cauterizing, Heal me Now!” macro. Follow it up with an ice black or Temporal Shield (if you took that talent.) Great if you anticipate the occasional Mage crushing damage to come in.
- Cold Snap is the only one that can add to your DPS, by resetting important cooldowns, and the additional Ice Block + Heal can help survive in some bad situations.
Which bomb depends on which situation.
- Nether Tempest is the optimal choice for single target DPS, which is why it’s the pick here. It’s the easiest to use, fire and forget and do decent damage.
- Living Bomb is possibly better for small groups of enemies. Has a similar 12 second “burn time” as Nether Tempest. Use it if you prefer seeing things burn.
- Frost Bomb does the best damage of the three on larger groups of 6 or more targets. It can hit any number of targets, as long as they’re within range. If you can freeze those targets fight before it goes off (Frost Nova, Ring of Frost) then you should get a few Shatter Crits. It does have a cast time, which hurts it a bit. While you don’t have Frost’s increased damage Vs frozen things, it can still drop some very nice damage if you time it right.
- Invocation is perhaps the most difficult to use talent of this tier, but has the potential to be useful on certain encounters. You have to have enough time to be able to evocate. When glyphed it restore 10% of your health. The extra damage should make up for the time to Invocate. Best used when you have time to “get set up” for your attacks.
- Rune of Power is the simplest to use of this tier, seeing as all you have to do is stand in it. Might be useful in certain BGs when you have are able to just stand in one place and blast away. IW will be more generally useful. When glyphed it restores 1% of your health per second while standing in your own rune.
- Incanter’s Ward is the choice here, hands down. You will be moving, you will be taking damage, and you usually won’t want to stand still and evocate. Passively increases damage and mana regen.
- Glyph of Armors - useful if you need the defensive effects of the armors.
- Glyph of Combustion - More burnination on a longer CD. Can make for brutal compbustions if you can line it up with Pyro! crits and your damage buffs.
- Glyph of Deep Freeze – Removed DF from the global cooldown and reduces duration by 1 second. It allows for immediate follow-up after DF.
- Glyph of Polymorph – removes DOTs from those newly sheeped.
- Glyph of Inferno Blast - Spreads your DoTs to an additional target.
- Glyph of Blink - More range on your Blink.
- Glyph of Evocation - Adds a heal. Note that Evocation is changed by the tier 6 talents.
- Glyph of Arcane Explosion - for large groups.
Minor glyphs are generally just cosmetic, though a few have minor utility.
- Glyph of Mirror Image – A small DPS gain.
- Glyph of Momentum - Let’s you bink in the direction you’re moving rather than facing. Nice for strafing.
- Whatever you like.
Fire Mage Stats
Hit(6%) > PvP Resilience > PvP Power > Intellect > Crit > Haste> Mastery
- Primary: Hit(6%) > PvP Resilience > PvP Power > Intellect
- Secondary: Crit
- Weak: Haste > Mastery
- Useless: Spell Hit over 6%)
Hit is easily your most important stat until it hits 6%. Any Expertise, even from appropriate racials (if you equip the right weapon) adds to your Spell Hit.
Resilience is arguably the #2 stat given the massive burst that people can put out and the fact that you’re squishy.
PvP Power is a direct add too all of your damage to other players. It becomes more valuable, point for point, as gear level increases.
Int also increases everything you do, including adding a bit of Crit. It does not add to mana pool, as it used to do, but mana is the least of your issues.
Haste isn’t bad, but Crit is much better.
Mastery is weak.
Reforge Mastery, Haste, and excess Hit (over 6%) into Crit.
Fire Mage Gems
Gems with secondary stats have twice the value of those with primary stats (eg: 320 Crit Vs 160 Int.) It’s worthwhile to match socket requirements and get the bonuses. You should have plenty of gold to buy these gems from your questing and dailies, but go here if you need more.
Your Mage bonus adds to any Int gem bonuses, making them worth 5% more Int. That bonus does not add to other stats.
Offensive Gem Picks
- Red: Mysterious Imperial Amethyst
- Yellow: Smooth Sun’s Radiance
- Blue: Stormy River’s Heart
- Prismatic: Stormy River’s Heart
Defense Gem Picks
- Red: Willful Vermilion Onyx
- Yellow: Mystic Sun’s Radiance
- Blue: Vivid Wild Jade
- Prismatic: Mystic Sun’s Radiance
|Gems for Fire|
|Meta||Burning Primal Diamond: +216 Int & 3% Increased Crit Effect
Tyrannical Primal Diamond: +665 PVP Power and +775 Resilience, requires 27k earned conquest points and iLevel 476, cost 1k conquest points.
|Red||Brilliant Serpent’s Eye: 320 Int, self-only Jewelcrafting gem
Brilliant Primordial Ruby: 160 Int
|Yellow||Mystic Sun’s Radiance: 320 Resilience
Smooth Sun’s Radiance: +320 Crit
|Blue||Stormy River’s Heart: +320 PvP power
Rigid River’s Heart: +320 Hit
|Orange||Willful Vermilion Onyx: +80 Int & +160 Resilience
|Green||Balanced Adventurine: +200 Hit and +200 PvP Resilience
Turbid Adventurine: +200 Spirit and +200 PvP Resilience
Vivid Adventurine: +200 PvP Power and +200 PvP Resilience
Vivid Wild Jade: +160 Res, +160 PvP Power
|Purple||Mysterious Imperial Amethyst: +80 Int, +160 PvP Power
Veiled Imperial Amethyst: 80 Int and 160 Hit
|Prismatic||Brilliant Primordial Ruby: 160 Int|
|Cogwheel||Requires an engie helm, such as this.
Quick Tinker’s Gear: 600 Haste
Smooth Tinker’s Gear: 600 Crit
Fractured Tinker’s Gear: 600 Mastery
Fire Mage Enchantments
Short on gold? If you want to buy the best enchants, fund all of your alts, donate to the guild, etc., but don’t have the cash, then see what the Tycoon Addon can do about about fixing your poverty.
Helm enchants are gone in Mists of Pandaria, shoulder enchants are handled by the Inscription profession.
|Weapon||Main hand or Staff: Enchant Weapon – Jade Spirit: Sometimes increases Int by 1650, might increase Spirit by 750 if mana is low.
Main hand or Staff: Enchant Weapon – Glorious Tyranny: 400 PvP Power, 200 Resilience, 50% Disarm reduction, cost is 1,000 Conquest points.
Off Hand: Enchant Off-Hand – Major Intellect: +165 Int
|Shoulders||Secret Crane Wing Inscription: 520 Int and 100 Crit rating, Requires Inscription 550.
Greater Crane Wing Inscription: +200 Int and 100 Crit
|Cloak||Enchant Cloak – Superior Intellect: +180 Int
Lightweave Embroidery – attacks can give 2k Int for 15 sec, requires tailoring
|Chest||Enchant Chest – Super Resilience: +200 Resilience
Enchant Chest – Glorious Stats: +80 to all stats
Enchant Chest – Mighty Spirit: +200 Spirit
|Bracers||Enchant Bracer – Super Intellect: +180 Int
Fur Lining increases Int by 500, requires leatherworking.
Socket Bracer – Pop in a gem, requires Blacksmithing 400
|Gloves||Enchant Gloves – Greater Haste: +170-Haste
Socket Gloves – Pop in a gem, requires Blacksmithing 400
|Belt||Livingsteel Belt Buckle: Gem slot for a nice Int gem|
|Leggings||Greater Cerulean Spellthread: +285 Int and +165 Crit|
|Boots||Enchant Boots – Greater Precison: +175 Hit rating
Enchant Boots – Pandaren’s Step: +140 Mastery, slight run speed increase.
|Rings||Enchant Ring – Greater Intellect: +160 Int, Requires Enchanting 550|
Fire Mage PvP Videos
Hansol the Pyromaniac demonstrates BG burnination and why Fire is just plain fun.
More Mage Guides, from Skill-Capped
Unless otherwise noted (ie: Free) a Skill-Capped membership is required to view these
- 5.1 Fire Mage Gearing Guide - Free. Generally useful, even if the gear was bumped up a bit in 5.2.
- Video: How to do the damage - patch 5.1, but still good.
- Video: Keybinding Guide: Arena 1-2-3 Macros
- SC Mage Guides
This is for those who need every last bit of burning power. All of the regular professions offer a self-only buff of some sort (and all of those will be much larger in Mists of Pandaria.) Leveling any of the crafting professions will be expensive, especially at the launch of an expansion. Check out Tycoon if you are short on gold.
The higher end recipes in the profs won’t go grey until 550 or so. If you are leveling one you might want to stock up on the cheaper Cata materials.
|Professions for Fire Mages|
|Tailoring||Cloak enchant sometimes adds 2k Int.|
|Leatherworking||Bracer enchant adds 500 int.|
|Jewelcrafting||Make nicer gems for your own use, they’ll work out to 320 Int over the other gems.|
|Enchanting||Enchant both rings, for a total +320 Int gain.|
|Inscription||Shoulder enchant adds 520 Int and 100 crit.|
|Alchemy||More effect from your own potions. Adds 320 Int and an extra hour to your main flask.|
|Engineering||has lots of interesting toys, some of which have situational use, and Synapse Springs, which increases Int by 1940 for a short time. If you take this use a macro to activate it along with other short term buffs.|
|Blacksmithing||gives two extra gems slots. Since gems with secondary stats have twice the value of gems with primary stats Blacksmithing might be a very valuable profession. For example, you’ll be able to socket he two gems for 640 PvP Power instead of 320 Int.|
|Skinning||provides 480 crit rating|
|Herbalism||Small heal and 2880 Haste for 20 seconds|
Races for the PvP Fire Mage
Not that race is a replacement for skill, but some have certain advantages. Play what you like, as long as it’s Undead.
Only the high points of the racials are covered below.
- take less falling damage,
- have a melee range stun,
- get better buffs from foods,
- and can choose to be either Horde or Alliance.
- Escape ability allows use of two DPS trinkets.
- Expertise with Swords adds to your Spell Hit rating if you equip a sword.
- Decent escape,
- bigger mana pool (not that mages have mana issues.)
- small size helps (really.)
- Expertise with Swords adds to your Spell Hit rating if you equip a sword.
- A bit harder to hit,
- Shadowmeld has definite uses.
- Ability washes away bleeds and reduces damage for a short time.
- +1 to your Spell Hit
- a small heal.
- +1% crit,
- Sprint-like ability.
- Blood Fury for increased burst,
- stun resistance works out to about 1 second off of a 6 second stun. Not bad.
- Remove Fear, Sleep, and Charm.
- Drain life (and heal.)
- Eat your dead opponents.
- Berserk increases casting speed,
- less affected by roots & slows.
- Greater damage Vs beasts doesn’t help Vs Worgen.
- 1% Haste,
- Rocket Jump is a decent escape or gap closer.
- Arcane Torrent restores some mana and silences whatever is within range.
Tauren don’t believe in Magery.
Mists of Pandaria Changes
The talent system as it was in Cataclysm and before has been scrapped. Here’s how it works in Mists.
- Prime glyphs are dead, Major and Minor are left. You will have 6 total glyphs at 75.
- The Druid Symbiosis ability will give you Healing Touch, if you have a Druid on your team casting that spell on you.
- All mages have a common pool of abilities, just as before.
- Each spec of mage has a set of around ten unique abilities, learned from trainers. This is what will differentiate Fire from Frost from Arcane.
- There are six tiers of talents, three per tier (18 total) and any spec of mage can pick any one talent from any one row. Yes, Arcane will be able to get Living Bomb, if they like. Six talents at level 90.
Important patch 5.2 changes.
See all the mage 5.2 updates on our Mage overview page.
Tier 1 talents:
- Scorch is no longer a talent, it is now a Fire specialization.
- Blazing Speed is now a level 15 talent, replacing Scorch.
- Ice Floes now has a 45 second cooldown (was 1 minute) and its duration have been increased to 15 seconds (was 10 seconds.)
Tier 2 talents:
- Flameglow, a new talent, is available at level 30 and replaces Blazing Speed. The passive ability encases the Mage in fiery energy, absorbing damage from each attack made against the Mage equal to 20% of their spellpower, up to a maximum of 30% of the attack. This is probably much more useful than Blazing Speed was.
Tier 3 talents:
- Ring of Frost cast instantly through Presence of Mind now has a 2 second arming period before the Freeze effect is activated against targets in the area of effect. The 2 second arming period can be reduced by Haste.
Tier 6 talents:
- Invocation now removes Evocation’s cooldown, and reduces its channeling time and duration by 50%. A completed Evocation now grants 15% increased damage for 1 minute after an Evocation is completed, instead of 25% increased damage for 40 seconds. Passive mana regeneration is reduced by 50% only while Invoker’s Energy is active.
- Incanter’s Ward can now be removed by magic dispels.
- Deep Freeze now stuns the target for 5 seconds (was 4 seconds.)
- Glyph of Fire Blast has been replaced with Glyph of Inferno Blast. Glyph of Inferno Blast causes damage-over-time effects spread by Inferno Blast to spread to 1 additional target.
- Glyph of Deep Freeze still removes Deep Freeze from the global cooldown, but now also reduces its duration by 1 second.
- Scorch is no longer a talent and is now available to all Fire Mages as a specialization.
- Pyroblast has its direct damage reduced by 10%, this does not apply to the pyro! proc.
How to Get your Mage to the Level Cap, ASAP
Mage leveling is really pretty easy. Once you get a couple of spells under your belt you’ll destroy things quickly and efficiently. If your mage is already at 90 then you have those other alts you want to level though those 90 levels.
With the thousands of quests to the level cap and a bazillion mobs to kill (not to mention other players, but they don’t count here) sorting out which quests are best and which series of quests will get you to 90 the fastest is important, not to mention the “where to go, what to do” part, which is why we highly recommend Zygor’s Guide.
Zygor’s is an in-game guide and it nearly automates the whole leveling process: you just pick your starting point, at any level, and the guide tracks which quest you’re on, tracks the quest objectives, and automatically advances and updates as you complete your tasks and quests. In addition, a waypoint arrow is set automatically, so you never have to wonder where to go. All of the important quest info is included in the guide so you never have to wonder what to do. You’ll find that it’s vastly superior to the in-game questing help.
Playing with Heirlooms and/or Recruit a friend? Gaining a few levels in the dungeons or in PvP? Zygor’s has your back. The guide knows what level you are and will correctly suggest where to go next and will let you dump all of your obsolete quests. You will probably never need to look at your quest log again.
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