Introduction:Welcome to my Fire Mage for Mists of Pandaria! Mages have had a lot of changes since Cataclysm, however, we are still a class that is able to pump out incredible damage and with the recent changes we have more survivability and self-healing than ever before. Although our single target damage is slightly higher, we have lost a lot of our burst AoE potential, our area damage is now a ramp up and we should be considered to be more of a cleave class than AoE.
Recent Patch Changes:NOTE: All recent changes from patch 5.3 will be indicated by this color.
- Flamestrike's initial damage has been increased by 100%, Blizzard and Arcane Explosion now deal 40% more damage. A small AoE buff making it worth using these spells more often in certain situations instead of spamming NT.
- Living Bomb has had an overhaul, the ticks now deal considerably more damage, but the explosion has had it's damage greatly reduced and can now hit all targets. Living Bomb will now be the best single target/multi-target (separated) option, Nether Tempest will still be the best choice for cleave.
- Incanter's Ward now allows the Mage to gain up to a maximum of 15% increase to spell damage, down from 30%, but the effect now lasts 25 seconds, up from 15 seconds. PvP change, we still won't use IW.
- Flameglow now absorbs damage from each attack made against the Mage equal to 15% of their spellpower (down from 20%). Another PvP change, Flameglow is still pretty weak in most PvE situations.
A lot of our spells have changed for Mists of Pandaria, I have noted all of the changes below in Alphabetical order.
Alter Time - Our brand new spell at Level 87!
Arcane Brilliance - Now gives 10% Spell Power and 5% Crit Chance.
Burning Soul - We now have this as a baseline passive.
Combustion - No longer takes Mage Bombs or Pyroblast into account and is solely 50% of your current Ignite.
Conjure Refreshment Table - No longer requires reagents.
Counterspell - We now have Improved Counterspell as a baseline ability.
Critical Mass - Now multiplies our crit chance with main spells by 1.30x.
Deep Freeze - Is available to all specs and no longer does damage.
Flamestrike - Now has a cooldown and cast time.
Heating Up - We now get a visual when we have crit once, another crit will proc Pyroblast.
Ignite - No longer requires a crit and is now our Mastery.
Fire Blast - Now known as Inferno Blast, will always spread DoTs to nearby targets and is a guaranteed crit.
Living Bomb - Can be refreshed during the last tick and it will still explode and refresh.
Molten Armor - Now reduces physical damage taken by 6%.
Nether Attunement - Our new passive which increases our mana regeneration via Haste.
Portal Teleport - No longer requires reagents.
Pyromaniac - Now increases the damage done by most of our spells and is applied by our Mage Bomb.
Shatter - Is available to all specs.
Time Warp - Is now off the global cooldown.
Race plays a key factor in squeezing out that extra DPS from your Mage, here are my recommended races for each faction:
Horde - Troll:
Berserking - An amazing cooldown that lines up with Alter Time to add aditional ticks to your DoTs.
Beast Slaying - Provides you with an amazing edge against bosses classified as Beasts, around a third of 5.2 bosses are beasts.
Alliance - Worgen:
Viciousness - A straight up 1% crit gain to help us gain more Heating Up procs!
Darkflight - A nifty spell to get you out of trouble!
Epicurean - Doubles the stat bonus from food buffs from +300 to +600.
The Talent Tree System has changed dramatically for Mists of Pandaria, you should find yourself changing most of your talents depending on the encounter.
Tier 1 - Presence of Mind:
Presence of Mind works just as it did before, it allows you to cast your next cast time spell instantly and is off the global cooldown. PoM should now be your go to choice for Fire in every situation, lining this cooldown up with Combustion and Alter Time allows you to burst for a lot more due to an extra instant Pyroblast. See macros below for correct usage.
Blazing Speed gives you a large speed increase for an extremely brief duration, it now has a static cooldown instead of requiring activation.
Ice Floes is definitely the weakest option out of the bunch, it works in a similar way to a Shaman's Spirit Walker's grace, Ice Floes allows you to cast your next two spells with a cast time of less than 4 seconds on the move, it also isn't on the global cooldown. Now useless for Fire since we have Scorch baseline.
Tier 2 - Temporal Shield:
Temporal Shield is my favorite spell out of the three, after activating the spell, it will take note of any damage that you take for the next four seconds and then proceed to heal ALL of that damage back over the next six seconds. TS is off the global cooldown and can be used during loss of control of your character. This spell becomes very strong when you can predict incoming damage, a great example would be Megaera's Rampage, Twin Consort's Barrage or even Cauterize, TS is an amazing survivability cooldown with no DPS loss on a crazy low 25 second cooldown!
Flameglow, a brand new talent added in 5.2, Flameglow will mitigate around 6,000 damage from each hit you take, up to a maximum of 30% of the attack. While this sounds nice to have a passive that you don't have to worry about, it is not a great deal of damage mitigation since most raid damage is usually in the hundreds of thousands, absorbing 6k of a 300k hit is nothing when you can use Temporal Shield to heal 300k back as a HoT. This talent should only be considered on fights will constant low ticking AoE damage, such as Will of the Emperor Heroic.
Ice Barrier, the old frost talent, works exactly the same as it did in Cataclysm, however, unlike TS, it is on the global cooldown. Nice for Heroic progression when burst damage is incoming.
Tier 3 - Ring of Frost:
Ring of Frost, RoF works well for handling some trash mobs, although it will be of little use on most MoP bosses.
Ice Ward can be placed on friendly targets, when the target is hit, all enemies within 10 yards will be frozen in place for five seconds, again very little use in most PvE situations, but an interesting crowd control method.
Frostjaw locks a mob in place for eight seconds and also silences them, essentially another Deep Freeze and probably only useful for trash mobs.
Tier 4 - Greater Invisibility:
Greater Invisibility vastly improves Invisibility, not only does it make it an instant effect but it also reduces all damage taken by 90% whilst invisible and for three seconds after being visible again, although it uses a global cooldown, the damage reduction is going to be great for when high raid damage is incoming or even to mitigate damage to avoid movement.
Cauterize, our trusty old lifesaver, works exactly the same, but we now can survive it easily without heals with the new talents, pop Temporal Shield or Ice Barrier and we are good to go again! Cauterize is best used when learning new encounters.
Cold Snap, the old Frost talent, now resets your Iceblock, Frost Nova and Cone of Cold cooldowns, providing you with a second immunity via Ice Block and also an extra Frost Nova for getting Shatters on targets.
Tier 5 - Nether Tempest:
Nether Tempest is a new DoT that ticks on the primary target, but also does a secondary tick for half the damage to a target nearby. It can be cast on as many targets as you wish, making it a decent AoE attack in certain situations, Nether Tempest also scales amazingly with Haste. Best choice for cleave or 4+ targets.
Living Bomb can now be refreshed during the last tick and it will still explode as well as refreshing. In 5.3 Living Bomb now deals more damage over time, but way less damage in the explosion. Best choice for single/multi-target (separated).
Frost Bomb is the oddball of the mage bombs, not only does it have a short cast time, but it also does no damage for four seconds until it explodes and does huge damage to the main target and all targets around it, as well as slowing all movement speed by 70%. Best choice for 6+ stacked targets.
Tier 6 - Invocation:
Invocation forces us to cast Evocation every 60 seconds to maintain the damage increase (as well as maintain our mana). Invocation should be the obvious choice as it grants us full mobility.
Rune of Power forces us to stand still on top of our runes to maintain the damage increase (and our mana), the cast time is pretty short and should be used over Invocation on a fight with zero movement required.
Incanter's Ward is the weakest PvE option, the passive damage increase is too low and it relies too heavily on us taking damage while it is up.
Glyph of Combustion should be taken in most situations, with this glyph you should focus on getting quality Combustions and not quantity, only unglyph on fights with short damage increasing windows or immunities, etc.
Glyph of Inferno Blast allows you to spread Ignite, Pyroblast and Combustion to an additional target.
Glyph of Cone of Cold increases the damage of Cone of Cold, making this spell your highest DPET AoE.
Glyph of Armors is a strong survivability glyph that you can use on fights that have a large amount of Physical damage abilities (used in conjunction with Molten Armor).
Glyph of Counterspell is a good option if you are assigned to interrupt.
Glyph of Frostfire Bolt is something to consider if you are in need of a slow, simply swap out Fireball for FFB and with this glyph they will do identical damage.
I recommend the following just for fun!
Glyph of Mirror Image
Glyph of Illusion
Glyph of Arcane Language
BELOW 525 Item Level: Intellect > 15% Hit/Expertise > Crit > Haste > Mastery
ABOVE 525 Item Level: Intellect > 15% Hit/Expertise > Crit > 5036 Haste > Mastery > Haste
Expertise now grants Spell Hit Rating, we need 15% Spell Hit in total, which is 5100 rating (4760 for Draenei). After reaching the Hit cap, we want to stack as much Crit as possible so that we can have a significantly higher chance to proc Heating Up and Pyroblast. Haste offers faster Fireball casts leading to more Pyroblast procs as well as more RPPM procs and extra DoT ticks where as Mastery will increase your Ignites leading to bigger Combustions. In lower gear Haste is better than Mastery, however once you start progressing into Heroic gear from the Throne of Thunder Mastery becomes better after reaching the 5036 Haste cap (extra Glyphed Combustion tick).
Mage Haste Breakpoints for MoP: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/...ZmFYa0E#gid=39
If you are under the hit cap, do the following reforges:
Mastery & Haste: Mastery -> Hit
Crit & Mastery or Haste: Mastery or Haste -> Hit
Hit & Mastery or Haste: Mastery or Haste -> Expertise
It is fine to reforge out of Crit to gain the hit cap if you must, but try to avoid doing so, if you are over the hit cap, reforge the hit into the best stat available, and proceed to follow the stat priority listed above.
BiS Gear (Tier 15 - Throne of Thunder):
Note that all of these items have Thunderforged versions except for the four tier pieces.
BiS Gear (Tier 14 - MSV, HoF, ToES):
Note that the Tier 14 4set is completely useless for Fire, simply take the best stat pieces while maintaining 2set.
Gemming may look a little strange to you at first, however, secondary stat gems now have double the stats, which makes them worth more than +160 main stat.
Blacksmithing and Engineering are the best professions for a Mage's DPS, Blacksmithing allows us to add two extra sockets to our gear, giving us +640 Crit and we can use our new ability Alter Time to gain extra duration on our Synapse Springs tinker. Tailoring is an alternative to Engineering, we can also get extra seconds out of this proc, however it gives us less benefit via Alter Time and it is harder to time after the first use.
You should always use the following consumables to maximize your damage:
Flask: Flask of the Warm Sun
Food: Mogu Fish Stew
Potion: Potion of the Jade Serpent
To start off with you should always ensure that you have Molten Armor and Arcane Brilliance buffed and that you have Flask and Food.
During the pull you should use Alter Time when all of your procs are present, such as Bloodlust, Berserking and trinkets, along with a Pyroblast and Heating Up proc (and PoM if you picked it in the first tier of talents). You should spam through these pyros, then manually end Alter Time and spend them again, before hopefully getting off a huge Combustion.
Single Target Priority List:
Refresh Invoker's Energy buff or re-place Rune of Power
Use Combustion with a high Ignite DoT present
Use Pyroblast! if both Pyroblast! and Heating Up are present
Refresh Mage Bomb
Use Inferno Blast when Heating Up procs (if Inferno Blast is off cd)
In certain situations you should not cast Inferno Blast if you are under heavy haste effects, such as Bloodlust and Berserking simultaneously, it will be hard to get Inferno Blast to hit before your next projectile hits and remember that Inferno Blast will yield a slightly lower Ignite than if you got a crit with Fireball. You should play around with Inferno Blast under different haste effects to see what I mean and to understand what you can and can't do with it.
Note that a Pyroblast that was cast from a proc will do more damage than one that was hardcasted, you should almost never manually cast a Pyroblast.
For multiple targets it is very situational and depends on the amount of mobs as well as their health. Nether Tempest will do the most damage with 2-5 targets present and Frost Bomb will pull ahead when there are 6 or more. You should use Cone of Cold and Flamestrike off cooldown. If the mobs have a small amount of HP and your other AoE abilities are on cooldown you should spam Arcane Explosion, or if being close isn't an option, consider channeling Blizzard. For mobs which have significantly higher HP you should keep your Mage Bomb rolling on them if possible and nuke the main target while spreading your DoTs to the adds with Inferno Blast.
Your opener should ideally look something like this:
-Potion + Pyroblast
-Fireball (First Pyro Critted)
-Inferno Blast (First Fireball Critted)
-Fireball (You have 1 Pyroblast and a Heating Up proc present while casting this)
--If all trinkets/icds are up, use Alter Time macro
--Spam Pyroblast instants until you run out (remember to use the PoM Pyroblast)
--Cancel Alter Time early
--Spam Pyroblast instants
--While your PoM Pyroblast is in the air, you should cast Combustion (if you got decent crits you should have a very high ignite).
In general gameplay when you have a Pyroblast proc, you shouldn't use it instantly, instead you should wait until you also get a Heating Up proc, and launch a Fireball with an Instant Pyroblast at the same time.
Information is key for fire mage, you should be at least tracking your current Ignite value, Mage Bomb as well as buffs/debuffs and procs.
CombustionHelper - A great addon for Mages that tracks everything you need to know, Mage Bomb, Ignite, Pyroblast and even estimated Combustion ticks.
TellMeWhen - A simple and easy to use addon that you can use to track your level 90 ability as well as other cooldowns/buffs/debuffs.
My UI Screenshot
My TellMeWhen Profile
My CombustionHelper (Ignite Only)
/cast Presence of Mind
/cast Alter Time
#showtooltip Ice Block
/cancelaura Ice Block
/cast Ice Block
1 - ToT - Jin'rokh:
2 - ToT - Horridon:
3 - ToT - Council of Elders:
4 - ToT - Tortos: