Updated for Warlords of Draenor
Fire is more challenging than Frost and some think that make it more interesting and that Frost is just … dull. Most high level PvPers are Frost, but there are a few who go Fire. If you’re up for the challenge, read on.
Fire Mage PvP Contents
- The Fire Mage PvP Build
- Fire Mage Stats
- Fire PvP Gems
- Fire PvP Enchants
- Rotations and “How to Fire” Videos
- How to Keybind
- Gearing up
- Mage Professions – For a bit more of an edge.
- Mage races for PvP – An additional edge, choose wisely.
- Level to 100, ASAP
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. Fire can do very well in battlegrounds PvP, but the lack of survivability and control makes arena a bit more… interesting.
Some skilled players are competitive though, and Fire Mages can do some pretty impressive burst when things line up. Fire 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.
The guide is oriented towards level 90 PvP. If you’re looking for raiding info then see our page on Fire DPS. If you aren’t yet 100 and want to get there ASAP then see this leveling guide. Also see our Mages on M of P post for info on the new skills, talents, glyphs, etc.
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.
If you’re not yet 100 then go here.
Tier 1, level 15
- Evanesce – 45 second cooldown Vs Ice Block’s 5 minutes. Lets you avoid all attacks for three seconds, which can be useful. It can also be annoying to the enemy if you can time it right.
- 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. More movement capability is always a good thing.
- Ice Floes now comes with three charges, so three spells while moving with that 20 second recharge.
Tier 2, level 30
Three talents for mitigating damage.
- Alter Time lets you rest up to the last ten seconds. It lets you avoid that massive incoming damage. Doesn’t save you if that damage kills you, however. It also does not affect mana, buffs, or debuffs. It’s pretty much a survival talent now, not an “extend damage” talent.
- Flameglow constantly mitigates some damage. It’s a great choice for fights where you anticipate taking constant fairly small damage. It won’t save you from dying in a stun or massive damage, but you also don’t have to remember to use it and it will constantly mitigate some damage.
- 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.With a 25 second cooldown you can have it up most of the time.
Tier 3, level 45
As this tier is composed solely of CC, take whichever appeals to you most/suits an encounter best. Each talent has definite strong points.
- Ring of Frost is an AoE CC. Freeze several opponents and let your team burn them. Nice for grabbing a group or blocking pathways (eg: tunnels to bases in the BGs.) Takes 2 seconds to cast or arm. For small groups and duels Frostjaw might be more useful. For the Battlegrounds, Ring has definite uses.
- Ice Ward is another form of AoE CC with different usage. Useful if you or another is being attacked. Nice for kiting melee as you get three shots every 20 seconds.
- Frostjaw is a very nice single target CC/Silence.
Tier 4, level 60
- Greater Invisibility is an interesting choice for survivability. It removes effects, massively reduces damage, and drops threat (obviously only useful in PvE,) so can be very nice in bad situations or getting into better position before unloading.
- Cauterize lets you avoid death, but also sets you on fire, which is actually a much better tradeoff than it might sound. Ice Block or Evanesce removes the burning. If you have a healer then an “I’m Cauterizing, Heal me Now!” macro is useful.
- Cold Snap resets your Ice Block, Dragon’s Breath, and Frost Nova. The additional Ice Block + 22% Heal can help survive in some bad situations.
Tier 5, level 75
In Warlords you can only access Living Bomb, instead of any the bombs. Which of these talents is “best” depends on the game you’re playing.
- Living Bomb is a solid choice, esp. if you don’t want to break nearby CC. It doesn’t break nearby CCs until it explodes and if you refresh it before it ends then it doesn’t explode and just continues the DOT. In addition, Living Bomb now works well with Haste.
- Unstable Magic is a solid single target choice and decent against groups. It has a 30% chance for your basic Fireball to explode on impact, doing more damage to the primary target and also damages nearby targets.
- Blast Wave does serious damage to the main target and solid damage to all targets within 8 yards, also slowing them. Can be brutal when combined with Incanter’s Flow and Prismatic Crystal. (Expect a nerf to some part of that.) You can also cast it on friendly targets, or yourself, to damage and slow nearby enemies. Replaces Frost Nova.
Tier 6, level 90
- Mirror Image – every two minutes you get three images to blast away at the target. Nice for the burst.
- 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, such as blasting the AV or Isle of C. bosses. Generally you’ll be moving too much to make good use of this talent.
- Incanter’s Flow is constant until turned off and will average out to about 12% increased damage, while moving and doing everything else you do, which aint’ bad. It cycles from 4 to 20% added damage, peak to peak is ten seconds. Try to cast your pyro procs at the peak flow to get that 20%.
Tier 7, level 100
- Kindling: Each of your crits from Fireball, Pyroblast, and Inferno Blast reduces your Combustion cooldown (base 45 seconds) by 1 second. More Combustion looks like a good thing.
- Prismatic Crystal puts a crystal at the targeted location. Only you can attack it and it takes 130% damage from your attacks. Any time it takes damage it instantly releases that damage, splitting it evenly among all enemies within 8 yards. Very nice in some fights where several people will remain at one spot (a flag, for example) for the 12 seconds. Otherwise their moving away from the crystal will be an issue.
- Meteor: Every 45 seconds you can drops a fraggin’ meteor!! Does damage to an 8 yard area, also burning the ground doing continuous damage to all who remain in the fire. Orbital bombardment is always cool. The 3 second delay makes it necessary to be careful with your targeting.
In Warlords you now learn certain glyphs automatically, just as you do your abilities. You still have to instal them, but you don’t have to otherwise acquire them. All mages learn the same set of glyphs. You can still buy the other glyphs the usual way.
- At level 25, the following Glyphs are automatically learned: Frost Nova and Blink
- At level 50, you learn: Polymorph
- At level 75, you will learn: Slow and Frostfire Bolt
As with the talents the glyphs are easily changed to suit the situation.
- Glyph of Combustion – More burnination on a longer CD. Can make for brutal combustions if you can line it up with Pyro! crits, Incanter’s Flow, and your damage buffs.
- Glyph of Inferno Blast - Spreads your DoTs to an additional target.
- Glyph of Polymorh – removes all dots from your target, making your Poly stick better.
- Glyph of Ice Block – When your Ice Block ends you get an immediate Frost Nove and 3 seconds of immunity to all spells.
- Glyph of Remove Curse is a damage buff every time you remove curse. If you are using that ability then you want this glyph.
- Glyph of Blink – More range on your Blink.
Minor glyphs are generally just cosmetic, though a few have minor utility.
- Glyph of Rapid Teleportation – speed boost for 1 min after teleporting.
- Glyph of Momentum – Let’s you bink in the direction you’re moving rather than facing. Nice for strafing.
- Whatever you like.
Fire Mage PvP Stats
Warlords Note: Hit, Expertise, and Resilience are dead and so is Reforging. Yes, some gems and items still have Resilience. Look at your character pane, though. You will not find a “resilience” stat. Int no longer adds to Crit, but you start with a base 5%. Crit is also your “Attuned” stat, meaning that Blizzard feels it’s the best stat for your damage output. An attuned stat gives you an addition 5% to that stat (from all sources) and yours is provided by your new level 90 ability Incineration.
You also have two new stats, Versatility and Multistrike.
- Your Stat Priority: Intellect > Crit > Haste=Multistrike? > Mastery > PvP Power=Versatility?
Explanation of Stats
Int also increases every damaging thing you do.
Crit – your Pyroblast procs, shatter, and Critical Mass make Crit, by far, the most valuable of the rest of the stats. Once you have your 6% Hit reforge everything else into Crit. You should try to get a minimum of 15% Crit rating. Your Molten Armor and Arcane Brilliance will give you another 10%, for 25% total and a 100% chance to Shatter.
Haste is nice, but Crit is better. Haste speeds up your casting and lowers your cooldowns and global cooldowns, as well as speeding up and DOT effects you have up.
Multistrike gives you a chance at one or two additional strikes at 30% effect, for a direct increase to your damage. Your Multitrikes can also crit, which will mean more “Heating Up” and Pyro procs.
Mastery is generally weak and your ignite DOTs can be easily dispelled anyway. You live and die mainly by Pyro! blasts that come from your crits, not your DOT damage.
Versatility increases your damage and your defense.
PvP Power is a direct add to all of your damage to other players. It becomes more valuable, point for point, as gear level increases, but it’s less valuable than the other stats. It also does not seem to appear on Warlords PvP armor.
Fire Mage PVP Gems
There seem to be no gem sockets on the Warlords PvP gear, so this whole section may be moot. Since sockets have a small chance to appear on Raid gear perhaps there will be a similar PvP mechanic? Also, there seem to be no meta gems or gems that have primary stats (such as Int.) There are also no socket bonuses for WoD gear.
Assuming that gems are available on PvP gear in some form…
(You should have plenty of gold to buy these gems from your questing and dailies, but go here if you need more.)
Note your Mage bonus adds to any Int gem bonuses, making them worth 5% more Int and worth that much more than PvP Power. (That bonus does not add to other stats.)
Offensive Gem Picks (recommended)
Warlords note – The stat squish is in. Despite being squished the gems will have about as much value as they always have. The Greater Critical Strike Taladite (+50 Crit) will be worth more to you than any of the Mists of Pandaria gems. They are Prismatic gems and will fit any socket. These gems require item level 600+. Use the gems below until you can access the WoD gems. Again, this assumes the gemming WoD PvP gear is actually possible.
Also note that gems that used to have Hit are now Crit, and the gems that had Expertise are now Haste. HIt, Expertise, and Resilience are all dead.
Meta: Tyrannical Primal Diamond when you can get it, otherwise Burning Primal Diamond (esp. since Fire is so reliant on Crits.) The legendary gem (Capacitive Primal Diamond) is very nice if you raid enough to get them (and do the appropriate quests.) Note that the legendaries do not proc in BGs or Arena and so are less useful than otherwise. They are fine for World PvP.
- Red socket: Potent Vermilion Onyx
- Yellow: Smooth Sun’s Radiance
- Blue: Mysterious Imperial Amethyst – If you need the Hit then use Veiled Imperial Amethyst. If your Spell Hit is good (6%) and the socket bonus is not Int, then Smooth Sun’s Radiance is a good choice.
- Belt and Blacksmithing sockets:Brilliant Primordial Ruby or Smooth Sun’s Radiance
Defensive Gem Picks
If you feel that your damage is fine, but you’re getting too much pressure.
- Red: Willful Vermilion Onyx
- Yellow: Mystic Sun’s Radiance
- Blue: Vivid Wild Jade
- Prismatic (Belt and Blacksmithing sockets:) Mystic Sun’s Radiance
|Meta||Capacitive Primal Diamond: +20 Critical Strike, and chance on melee or ranged hit to gain Capacitance
Burning Primal Diamond: +14 Int & 3% Increased Crit Effect
Forlorn Primal Diamond: +14 Intellect and 10% Silence Reduction
Tyrannical Primal Diamond: +42 PVP Power and +48 Resilience, requires 27k earned conquest points.
|Red||Brilliant Primordial Ruby: 10 Int|
|Yellow||Quick Sun’s Radiance: +20 Haste
Smooth Sun’s Radiance: +20 Crit
|Blue||Rigid River’s Heart: +20 Crit|
|Orange||Potent Vermilion Onyx: +5 Int & +10 Crit
Reckless Vermilion Onyx: 5 Int, 10 Haste
Tenuous Vermilion Onyx: 10 Haste, 5 Resilience
Artful Vermilion Onyx: +5 Int & +10 Mastery
|Green||Sensei’s Wild Jade: +10 Crit and +10 Mastery
Piercing Wild Jade: +10 Critical Strike
|Purple||Veiled Imperial Amethyst: 5 Int and 10 Crit|
|Prismatic||Greater Critical Strike Taladite: +50 Crit
Critical Strike Taladite: +35 Crit
Greater Multistrike Taladite: +50 MultiStrike
Multistrike Taladite: +35 Multistrike
Greater Haste Taladite: +50 Haste
Haste Taladite: +35 Haste
|Cogwheel||Requires an engie helm, such as this.
Quick Tinker’s Gear: 38 Haste
Smooth Tinker’s Gear: 38 Crit
Fractured Tinker’s Gear: 38 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.
In Warlords you can enchants your rings and neck items. The old Hit enchants have been changed to Crit, Expertise enchants are now Haste. The Mists enchants cannot be applied to items higher than ilevel 600, so you will not be able to apply those enchants to your level 100 PvP gear. As of this writing the only warlords enchants are the ones shown below.
|Various Caster Enchantments|
Main & Off-Hand
|Shoulders||Greater Crane Wing Inscription: +15 Int and 5 Crit|
|Chest||Enchant Chest – Glorious Stats: +9 to all Stats|
|Bracers||Enchant Bracer – Super Intellect: +15 Int|
|Gloves||Enchant Gloves – Superior Mastery: +25 Mastery|
|Belt||Livingsteel Belt Buckle: Gem slot for a nice Int gem|
|Leggings||Greater Cerulean Spellthread: +19 Int and +11 Crit|
|Boots||Enchant Boots – Greater Precison: +12 Crit rating|
Fire Mage PvP Rotations and Videos
You will want to have Arcane Brilliance and Molten Armor up at all times. Flask of the Warm Sun is a 114 Int buff. Potion of the Jade Serpent is a nice add to your burst in any situation where you can use potions.
Everything in this video applies to patch 5.4+, except the gems. (See above for Warlords gems.) Basically, though, you’ll be gemming for offense, rather than defense. Living Bomb was buffed after this video was made, it’s now definitely better than Nether Tempest. Esp. since the latter will break your team’s CCs while active, Living Bomb will not do that until it explodes and you can refresh LB before it blows.
Warlords note: You no longer have Shatter or Deep freeze. You DO have an extra 5% chance to Crit, base, and you have a level 92+ perk, Enhanced Pyrotechnics, which grants you a stacking 5% crit buff until you DO crit.
- Pyro! = your Pyroblast! proc.
- Basic method 1: Inferno blast, wait 8 seconds, 2nd Inferno blast = Pyro! proc. DO NOT cast your scorch or other spells while waiting.
- Get a crit > inferno blast > wait for Incanter’s flow to peak > fire away.
- Note that If you just spam scorch and wait for the Pyro proc that way, well, it doesn’t work well.
This video is of a level 90 Hansol burning away before WoD officially launches (pre-patch.)
Hansol the Pyromaniac demonstrates BG burnination and why Fire is just plain fun. Not updated for Warlords, but close enough.
More Mage Guides, from Skill-Capped
Unless otherwise noted (ie: Free) a Skill-Capped membership is required to view these videos, the membership is a grimly expensive $4 a month. Go here if that works for you. They will have a number of Warlords videos coming out.
- Video: How to do the damage – patch 5.1, but still good.
- Video: Keybinding Guide: Arena 1-2-3 Macros
- Skill-Capped Mage Guides (mostly Frost, but there are some for Fire and some of general interest.)
Basics of Keybinding
If you’re not binding your abilities to your keys then you’re gimping yourself. Here’s a good tutorial on the why and how of keybinding. Start with a few bound abilities and work out from there. Memorize them by practicing on the target dummies.
Check out Impulse if you want an addon that will help you with your keybinds and macros.
Can you use PvE Gear for PvP? You can, but note that PvP gear has a lot of PvP power, which is why it’s much better than PvE gear (at the same item level) for PvP. Also see our PvE vs PvP gear post and Mage PvP Gear for more detail. If your PvE gear is a lot higher level than your PvP gear then it will be better.
Note that if both of your trinkets are PvP trinkets that you will get a 10% damage reduction Vs player damage. Which is nice since Resilience is dead. Example: Primal Gladiator’s Badge of Dominance – see the set bonus?
Not yet 100?
Get leveled and run BGs. Try to get the honor cap (4k) by the time you hit 100. This will allow you to immediately pick up a large piece of honor gear (chest, legs, etc.) and a DPS trinket or the gloves (for the 2 piece set bonus and the glove bonus.) Then you save the next 3,500 points for your weapons.
Ok, you’ve got green gear and maybe a couple of PvP pieces (see above.) If you can afford it go ahead and buy the crafted PvP set off the Auction House or from a friendly tailor.
So you have a PvP Escape Trinket? If not then buy one off the AH. Crafted Malevolent Gladiator’s Medallion of Tenacity
Should You Get the Honor Gear?
If you have the previous season’s Conquest gear, then no. If you have a full raid set, then no. That gear will be downrated, but not so much that the honor gear will be greatly superior.
If you’re freshly 100 or the honor gear is otherwise better than your current set, then yes. Grind it out. It will make your arena and/or RBG work much less painful.
The Honor & Conquest Gear
Honor and Conquest gear will be available, as always, during the live PvP seasons and they’ll cost about the same in Honor and Conquest points as they always have. There are a few changes, though:
- There are no gem sockets on the Warlords PvP gear. Apparently there is a small chance that sockets can appear on raid gear, so perhaps a similar mechanic will apply to PvP gear?
- As of this writing there are no enchants for most Warlords gear pieces. (See the enchants section, above.)
- There is no PvP Power on Warlords gear and no enchants or gems for PvP Power.
- There are some nice set bonuses, at least on the Silk conquest gear, plus the bonus (10% PvP damage reduction) that comes with the PvP trinket pair. Example: Primal Gladiator’s Silk Handguards
- Warlords gear has two ratings, a “normal” rating and a PvP rating. If the PvP rating is used in instanced PvP (BGs & Arenas) then the PvP gear will be definitely better than PvE gear in those instances.
- There does not seem to be any point requirement or rating requirement for any of the items, other then the rep requirement on a few items, such as shown in the image below.
If you already have PvP trinkets then save upgrading them to last. Otherwise seriously consider getting them first, for the 10% damage reduction. One of those trinkets will have the “on use” ability, for your Burst, and the other will have your escape.
Go for items with Crit and Multistrike, or Haste if no Crit/Multistrike item is available.
Get your weapon(s) as soon as possible, that will be your biggest gear improvement, by far, since the weapons have a very nice Spellpower bonus.
After that go for the bigger pieces first (Head, Chest, Legs, Shoulder) as they have the biggest stat increases. Try to get your 4 piece set bonus as soon as you can. Finish out with the smaller pieces.
See above for enchants
In Warlords all the profession bonuses are dead. You can use tailoring to craft PvP gear or some starting raid gear and/or make some gold and engineering will burn all your gold, but will let you make some interesting gadgets. The gathering professions will be just for the gold or to supply other professions.
|Professions for Fire Mages|
|Tailoring||Make armor, PvP armor, starting raid items, and a flying carpet.|
|Leatherworking||Not much, if anything, for you here.|
|Jewelcrafting||Make those nice gems, rings and neck items, and gemmed mounts.|
|Enchanting||You can now enchant everyone’s neck items and rings.|
|Inscription||Make glyphs, caster weapons, fortune cards, shoulder enchants, and a few other things.|
|Alchemy||Better living through chemistry and transutation, too bad you can’t make explosives.|
|Engineering||has lots of interesting toys, such as gliders, nitro boosts, bombs, and mounts.|
|Blacksmithing||Nothng much of use here, other than maybe some caster weaopns|
|Skinning||Supply leatherworking (why?) or earn gold.|
|Herbalism||Supply alchemy and Inscription or make gold.|
|Mining||For the gold or to supply Blacksmithing.|
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.
In Warlords all racial ability that had Hit or Expertise are gone. All races now have some DPS ability. Blood Elves and Worgen have 1% crit chance, and Night Elves have it by day only. Draenei have more Int. Orcs and Trolls both have nice cooldowns and useful resistances.
- 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.
- Added Versatility
- Decent escape,
- bigger mana pool (not that mages have mana issues.)
- small size helps (really.)
- +1% Haste
- A bit harder to hit,
- Shadowmeld has definite uses. Ambushing, for one, dodging incoming spells (if you’re good,) for another.
- +2% Movement
- +1% Crit by day, +1% Haste by night.
- Ability washes away bleeds and reduces damage for a short time.
- +2% Critical effect
- + to your Int.
- a small heal.
- +1% crit, is nice
- Sprint-like ability is quite useful.
- 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.) The Drain is automatic and will add (a small amount) to your Damage totals.
- Eat your dead opponents.
- Indefinite underwater breathing might have some use, somewhere.
- 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 (which you won’t need) and silences whatever is within range.
- +1% Crit.
Tauren don’t believe in Magery.
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 100 then you have those other alts you want to level though those 100 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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