Updated for Warlords of Draenor
Warlords, like all expansions and most big patches changes things up for mages, but not in a huge way. You get ten more levels, a new talent row, some perks, you’ve lost a few abilities and gained a couple others. All in all Fire looks to be in good shape in Warlords of Draenor, you won’t even have to change your rotation much.
|This Fire Mage guide is primarily intended for use at level 100. However, the principals will still apply during the leveling process. If you’re looking for advice on leveling your Mage, check out our Mage Leveling Guide.
If you want the same in-game step by step leveling guide that we use to get to level 100 as fast as possible, take a look at our favorite, updated for Warlords, in-game leveling guide.
Other Mage Guides:
Fire Mage DPS Talents
There have been a few talent changes in Warlords, plus some talents are only available to you and not the other specs (and the reverse is also true.)
At certain times you might value one talent over another. Keep a stack of Tome of the Clear Mind handy for easy talent switches.
Tier 1, level 15
- Evanesce is nice for emergencies. Fade away and, briefly, avoid all attacks. It replaces your Ice Block and is on a much shorter cooldown. Nice for fights where you have to avoid large incoming damage. If that’s what you’re facing then this is your #1 pick. Note that it does not wipe existing effects, which Ice Block does.
- Blazing Speed is useful for those times where you need a quick dash.
- Ice Floes for when you really need to cast spells while on the move (which can happen often enough.) Definitely has more DPS value than the others.
Tier 2, level 50
Which one depends one how often damage is coming in and what type it is.
- Alter Time lets you replay the last ten seconds, by returning you to the “time” and place you were when you cast it ten seconds ago. Or sooner if you recast it sooner. No longer let’s your replay your buffs and procs. It’s simply for moving back to where you were and avoiding that big hit you just took (or will take in just a moment.)
- 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 a bit easier. It’s also one less button to think about.
- 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 you know there’s a big chunk of damage coming in.
Tier 3, level 45
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 burn them. Nice for patrols or to grab a group. Takes 2 seconds to cast or arm. Can block passageways.
- Ice Ward is pretty useless in raiding situations. In other situations where you have to kite something then it’s pretty nice.
- Frostjaw is a very nice single target CC/Silence. Use it on that incoming add or tough trash mob casting away. If you need to freeze groups then take Ring of Frost. As it’s your only silence these days you might find some use for it against cast trash.
Tier 4, level 60
- 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, esp. if you know what’s happening before it happens.
- 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. Some put this into an “I’m Cauterizing, Heal me Now!” macro and let a healer take care of the damage.
- Cold Snap is the only one that can add to your DPS, by resetting cooldowns, and the additional Ice Block, Dragon’s Breath, and the Heal can help survive in some bad situations.
Tier 5, level 75
- Living Bomb is best for groups and decent for single targets. It burns the target for 12 seconds and it then explodes and damages the target and nearby mobs.
- Unstable Magic causes your Fireball to have a chance to explode on impact, doing extra damage to your target and also to any nearby enemies. Does a bit less overall damage than the others, but it’s also one less item on your bar. Nice for singles or for groups.
- Blast Wave is an old ability brought back from the dead. Two charges. Blasts the target for solid damage and the wave blasts all targets nearby for partial damage and also slows them. Nice for fighting groups, #1 for single targets. It comes with two charges so yous can fire a pair back to back, right at the peak of your Incanter’s flow.
Tier 6, level 90
- Mirror Image was an ability in Mists and is now a talent. Create three copies of yourself which start blasting away at the target. Massively buffed from its pre-WoD form, especially handy in long fights where you can use it more than once. A nice “burst” cooldown.
- Rune of Power is the simplest to use of this tier, seeing as all you have to do is stand in it. Best used on fights with little or no movement. Place the rune(s) and blast away. When glyphed it restore 1% of your health per second while standing in your own rune. This is the choice if you’re able to stay in one place and blast away. If you are not, and you often aren’t, then go with one of the others.
- Incanter’s Flow causes your boost to ebb and flow, from a minimum 4% boost to a 20% max, cycling from peak to peak over ten seconds. Try to line up Pyroblast! procs with the peak flow. Stays up until cancelled. This averages out to a 12% damage increase over the entire fight, which isn’t bad. Especially if you’re moving a lot.
Tier 7, level 100
- Kindling: Crits from Fireball, Pyroblast, and Inferno Blast reduce your Combustion cooldown by 1 second each. And easy talent to use if youi don’t want more buttons. Less DPS than the others.
- Prismatic Crystal: All specs. Puts a stationary crystal at the targeted location. You 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. The only issue is if the targets are moving, otherwise it’s very nice. Very close to “Orbital Bombardment” in overall DPS. If you have the Tier 17 4-piece bonus, which gives you instant Pyroblasts and crits, then you need to take this talent.
- Orbital Bombardment, er… Meteor: Drops a fraggin’ meteor!! Doing damage to an 8 yard area, also burning the ground doing continuous damage to all who remain in the fire. 3 seconds delay so make sure your targets are stationary when you call for the bombardment.
Glyphs are easily changed, one at a time, with a Tome of the Clear Mind. Swap ’em as necessary for different fights or to better suit your game.
- Glyph of Combustion – More burnination on a longer CD. Increases the duration of your combustion.
- Glyph of Dragon’s Breath increases DB’s damage by 100%
- Glyph of Counterspell – can use Counterspell while using other spells (eg: Fireball) if you need that interrupt right now.
- Glyph of Inferno Blast – Spreads your DoTs to an additional target.
Minor glyphs are generally just cosmetic, though a few have minor utility.
- Glyph of Momentum – Let’s you bink in the direction you’re moving rather than facing. Nice for strafing.
- Whatever you like.
Fire Mage Stat Priorities
In Warlords Hit, Expertise, and Reforging are all dead. You will now hit most things all the time, with the exception of the Boss having a small chance to dodge. You cannot reduce that chance.
You also have two new stats, Multistrike and Versatility.
- Your Stats: Int > Crit > Mastery > Haste=Multistrike >= Versatility
Crit: You have one big reason to pile up the Crit: Pyroblast! procs. That’s where a lot of your damage will come from.
Mastery: Your target burns from all of your various attacks, including Multistrikes, so it’s a definite damage add.
Haste is nice, but a lot of your damage comes from those Pyro! procs, so Crit is better. Still, Haste does reduce cooldown and cast times and increases how quickly your DOTs tick.
Multistrike gives you a chance to fire off one or two additional strikes at 30% effectiveness. A Pyro proc at the peak (20%) of your Incanter’s Flow that Multistrikes could be interesting.
Versatility adds to your offensive damage and your defense. It’s a straight up damage add, but how valuable it is remains to be seen.
Reforging is dead, so to add stats you will have to make good gear choices, enchant and gem properly, and get those specials that people bring to the raid.
In-Depth Fire Mage Rotation Guide
If you still need to get leveled to 100, go here.
The Combustion Helper addon will help with keeping track of your bomb and your Combustion.
- Molten Armor should be active at all times along with Arcane Brilliance.
- Flask of the Warm Sun: 113Int.
- Mogu Fish Stew: 34 Int
- Potion of the Jade Serpent 456 Int, right before the fight, then again at some point during the fight.
Rotation and spells
Heating Up (HU) is triggered by critical strikes with any of the following spells: Fireball, Pyroblast, Frostfire Bolt, Scorch and the guaranteed critical Inferno Blast. Use IB right after you get an HU proc.
(See the notes below about your bombs.)
The ideal time to use Combustion is after a critical hit with either Pyroblast or Fireball for maximum effect as the damage of Combustion is increased by the damage of the DoT effect caused by Pyroblast and Ignite.
- Combining trinkets and other forms of damage increase prior to triggering a Combustion will optimize your damage output.
- Use Inferno Blast right after Combustion to spread that Combustion DOT to up to three adjacent targets.
- Cast your Incanter’s Flow.
- Bomb, and refresh just before it expires.
- Fireball or Scorch as main damage
- Alter time on Pyro! Procs or right before an important buff expires.
- Use Inferno Blast when Heating Up procs to get a Pyro! proc.
- Same priorities
- Cast Bomb on multiple targets
- Inferno Blast to spread dots.
Large groups (6+)
- Add Blizzard, Arcane Explosion, or glyphed Cone of Cold, depending on position.
- Bombs away (whichever bomb you’re specced into)
- Pyro! when it procs
- Inferno Blast when Heating Up procs
- Presense of Mind to insta cast Pyroblast or other cast-time spell.
- Combustion, 45 seconds (1.5 min if glyphed,) Takes the Ignite DoT on a target and creates a new, additional 10 second DoT. Resets Inferno Blast, so use IB right after Combustion to spread effects.
- Alter Time, 1.5 min, Returns you exactly as you were when recast or after 10 seconds, including buffs and CDs. Don’t use with CDs longer than the AT duration or you will lose them. Casting it right after a Pyro! proc is a good idea.
- Mirror Image, (if you took this instead of Incanter’s Flow) 2 min, dumps aggro and increases DPS. Images inherit crit, haste, and any spellpower that you have. .
- Time Warp, 5 min, The mage version of Bloodlust/Heroism and the Core Hound’s Ancient Hysteria. Duplicates them, but does not stack with them. Coordinate with anyone else in your group who has a similar ability.
- Ice Block, 5 min, Emergency damage mitigation. Ice Block will make you immune to all damage for 10 sec.
- Invisibility, 5 min, Another aggro dump, but takes a bit to fully activate. Greater Invisibility is instant and has a 1.5 min CD.
- Polymorph, 1.7 sec. cast, turns the target into a critter. If glyphed then DOTs will be removed, allowing it to stick. Breaks on damage.
Gems for Fire Mages
Unless a socket bonus offers a nice Intellect or Crit bonus, it’s more effective to gem for pure Intellect/Crit and ignore the bonus. (If your gold stash is feeling a bit inadequate to buy all the gems you need then you should check out our 10 step gold guide.)
Gems with secondary stats have twice the value of gems with primary stats, so your Crit gems are 320 points and your Int gems are 160. This does give some reason to match socket bonuses, though we recommend only doing it if it’s for a nice Int or Crit bonus.
Suggested Fire Gems:
- Meta: Burning Primal Diamond until you can get one of the legendaries: Sinister or Capacitive
- Red: Brilliant Primordial Ruby or Brilliant Serpent’s Eye if you have Jewelcrafting
- Yellow: Smooth Sun’s Radiance
- Blue: Piercing Wild Jade or Veiled Imperial Amethyst.
- Belt buckle or Blacksmithing slot: Smooth Sun’s Radiance
Your Mage bonus adds to any Int gem bonuses, making them worth 5% more Int, that bonus does not add to other stats.
|Meta||Sinister Primal Diamond: +324 Critical Strike, and chance on spell damage to gain 30% spell haste
Capacitive Primal Diamond: +324 Critical Strike, and chance on melee or ranged hit to gain Capacitance
Burning Primal Diamond: +216 Int & 3% Increased Crit Effect
|Red||Brilliant Serpent’s Eye: 320 Int, self-only Jewelcrafting gem
Brilliant Primordial Ruby: 160 Int
|Yellow||Smooth Sun’s Radiance: +320 Crit|
|Blue||Rigid River’s Heart: +320 Hit|
|Orange||Potent Vermilion Onyx: +80 Int & +160 Crit|
|Green||Piercing Wild Jade: +160 Critical Strike and +160 Hit|
|Purple||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
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 all come from the Inscription profession.
In Warlords you can enchant your rings and neck items, but all profession enchants are gone. No more tailoring cloak enchants or any others.
|Various Caster Enchantments|
Main & Off-Hand
Consumables for Fire Mages
Note that Pandarens get twice the food buff (eg: 600 Int from the Stew.). All food buffs last one hour and go away when you die.
Your flask is better than any two of the elixirs, which is why the elixirs are not shown.
As with gems, Your Mage bonus adds 5% to any Int bonuses from food or flask.
- Mogu Fish Stew: 34 Int
- Braised Turtle: 31 Int
- Flask of the Warm Sun: 114 Int for an hour, Alchemists get 1,320 and 2 hours.
- Potion of the Jade Serpent: 456 Int for 25 seconds. If you pop one immediately before combat you will be able to pop another during combat.
- Master Healing Potion: Heals 12k HP
- Master Mana Potion: Around 6k Mana
Professions for Fire Mages
In Warlords all of the professions bonuses (cloak enchants, synapse springs, etc.) are dead, so you might be better served by using the professions to build a larger gold stash.
Blacksmithing will have a few weapons and keys to open locks (so you can kick that Rogue.) Engineering has cool toys and funky mounts. Tailoring, naturally, makes your armor, including pieces to start raiding with.
|Tailoring||Make your own armor as you level and some starting raid items.|
|Leatherworking||Nothing much here for you.|
|Jewelcrafting||Nice gems, rings and neck items, gemmed mounts.|
|Enchanting||While you can’t add a special enchant to your own rings anymore, you can now do everyone’s ring enchants.|
|Inscription||Make glyphs, shoulder enchants for everyone, caster items, and fortune cards.|
|Alchemy||Better living through chemistry. Unfortunately, none explode. Can also transmute things, which is about as close as you will get to transforming lead into gold.|
|Engineering||has lots of interesting toys, some of which have situational use, and some funky mounts.|
|Blacksmithing||Can make a few useful weapons and those keys.|
|Skinning||Use this to supply leatherworking and to make gold.|
|Herbalism||Use this to supply Alchemy and Inscription and to make gold.|
|Mining||Use this to supply Blacksmithing and to make gold.|
In Mists of Pandaria the Tauren are the only race that cannot become mages. Even the Pandarens can be Mages. This does not change in Warlords.
In Warlords all racial abilities that do Hit or Expertise are now dead. Some have been replaced.
While no race is wildly better than any other for burnination, some do have certain advantages.
- Alliance DPS: Draenei (hit rating,) Worgen (Crit chance & sprint,) Humans and Gnomes for the 1% spell hit, if they equip the right weapons.
- Horde DPS: Orc (Blood Fury) and +5% pet damage ; Trolls gets Berserking; Goblins get a Haste effect and Rocket Jump (a useful escape ability.) Undead drain life and heal.
- Bonus Crit – being as Crit happy as you are consider Worgens, Night Elves (by day,) and Blood Elves as they all get a +1% crit bonus. Dwarves get a 2% crit damage bonus.
Pandarens (Mists of Pandaria) can be either Alliance or Horde, they choose when they leave their starting area.
- They can put enemies to sleep (stun) with a touch of the paw, but you don’t want to be in melee range. Still, it can help with escapes.
- Increased benefits from food buffs will be quite nice while raiding. This will be about 300 Int over what non-Pandaren’s get.
- Take less falling damage from being “bouncy.”
- Faster leveling due to longer lasting Rest XP.
Alliance Races, in order of DPS gain:
Draenei – Int bonus adds to any damage you do.
- A minor heal (heal) is always handy for a class that has no heals. Also usable on others.
- Heroic Presence adds to your Int (and Str & Ag) for more overall damage.
- Draenei are good with gemcutting.
Worgen – +Crit is a DPS add, movement helps.
- Can periodically move quickly, which is a generally nice ability.
- Crit chance increased, which is nice, especially for Fire.
- Worgen are good (flayer) with Skinning
- As is true for Humans, Gnomes have an Escape Artist skill. It’s not as inclusive as the Human skill, but can still get you out of trouble at times.
- Gnomes have an increased mana pool (mana pool,) which is certainly of interest to any caster.
- Engineering skill doesn’t help casting, but that skill can help make some nice gadgets which will help.
- +1% to your Haste
Human – More Versatility
- Their Escape ability will have occasional use in PvE and leveling, as well.
- Diplomacy is nice if you are going to be gaining faction at any point and since so much past level 60 is a faction grind… Mists of Pandaria introduced even more factions to grind favor with.
- Increased Versatility adds to both your offense and defense.
Night Elves – No DPS abilities
- In instances and raids Shadowmeld will drop the aggro you picked up until you unmeld. Hopefully the tank has picked the mob(s) up by then.
- Quickness is pretty useless in PvE.
- Faster movement while dead is an interesting perk… Hopefully you don’t have to use it very often.
- +2% Movement speed
- +1% Crit by day and +1% Haste by night. They do not overlap.
Dwarves – No DPS abilities.
- Stone form is nice in PvP and of occasional use PvE. It washes away bleeds and other effects and reduces damage by 10%, which is of some benefit in those “Oh Rats!” situations.
- +2% Crit damage.
- Dwarves are good with Archeology
Horde Races, in order of DPS gain:
Trolls – Berserking and Beast slaying can boost DPS numbers.
- Berserking increases casting speed by 15% for a few seconds. Very nice, drop it into a macro.
- Beast Slaying is a nice little bonus for leveling as it adds +25% XP gained form slain beasts.
- Voodoo shuffle is a help in PvP, but situational elsewhere.
Orcs – Blood Fury is a very nice DPS cooldown.
- They get the benefit of Blood Fury, a great burst DPS increaser. Put into a macro.
- 15% resistance to all stuns with Hardiness, useful in PvP situations and helpful in rare PvE content. This works out to a 1 second decrease from a 6 second stun.
Undead – Small DPS boost from Drain Life.
- “Will of the Forsaken” can wipe off sleeps, charms, etc., a nice ability to have, especially in PvP.
- Being able to eat the brains of those you kill frees up a blag slot (which would otherwise carry food.)
- Undead passively use drain life which drains life from opponents and heals you for the same amount. This is a passive effect and happens occasionally with your damaging attacks and actually adds something to your overall DPS.
- Indefinite Underwater Breathing might have some use somewhere.
Goblin – More DPS with Haste.
- Rocket Jump has definite uses at times, especially as “gain range” ability when Blink is on cooldown.
- A 1% increase to Haste is nice, and…
- An increase in Alchemy skill, along with a greater effect from your own healing potions, is also nice.
- Goblins also receive vendor discounts and can summon a personal bank.
Blood Elves – Now with more crit!
- Of the Horde races the Blood Elves, are unique in that they have no DPS abilities, as far as Magery is concerned. Their big ability is Arcane Torrent, which can be used to regain some mana and silence nearby casters, though they shouldn’t be nearby anyway. The mana gain is likely to be less useful than it might seem at first glance, due to already high mana recovery.
- Blood elves are good with Enchanting.
- +1% to crit ratng.
Fire Mage Videos
Fire Mage “How To” – This has not been updated for 5.2, despite the title, but still has lots of good stuff.
More about Fire, updated for 5.2.
The Fast Fire Mage Leveling Guide
Leveling a Mage or some other class? It’s pretty easy these days, especially with the Mists of Pandaria changes and since Mages excel at destroying things. Still, there are a lot of quests and a incredible number of things to kill. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a bit of expert help in the “where to go and what to do” department?
Zygor’s guide gives you that help, whether you”re Horde or Alliance and regardless of your level, at all times. It’s like having an expert showing you exactly where to go and what to do. It doesn’t matter if you stop your questing to gain a few levels in PvP or the dungeons, you’re brand new to the game, or you’re decked head to toe in heirlooms. Come back to the quests and Zygor will figure out where you should be, based on your new level, and update the guide accordingly. It’ll even let you zap your obsolete quests.
You’re not even locked into any particular build. Zygor’s guide has a talent advisor which will recommend talents regardless of your class or spec. All in all you’ll blast to 90 faster than ever before.
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