4.0 Fire Mage PvE (Guide!!!)

#0 - Oct. 8, 2010, 7:31 p.m.
Blizzard Post
I think a lot of people are stumbling around not knowing what to do coming patch so I thought id make a post with what I think are the key pieces of information. This is all for level 80 only everything will change so much depending on gear encounters and many other things when we get to 85.

Dots work different from how Blizzard described them. Reaching a point in haste will get you an extra tick but being just before that point will make the total duration shorter.

So now the only real concern with haste is GCD caps. Once you cap GCD haste value will be dropped significantly since a number of our spells are instant. (numbers need added here for haste cap with and without heroism)

IMPORTANT - As of writing this netherwind presence may be broken and giving more than 1% haste.

There is no more squid hit nor is there any hit debuffs. You now need 17% hit to be capped.

INT (the new spellpower)
1 INT converts to 1.1 SP (when you get the passive Wizardry skill trainable at low levels). It also gives crit and mana. This is the most powerfull stat. SP was our best stat before the patch and now int is even stronger than SP.

There is some nice graphs plotting hot streak proc chance with various levels of crit. It works out that between 0-20% (roughly) crit your chance ramps up pretty fast. Then from 20% to almost 45% its pretty much constant. Beyond 45% it ramps up again pretty fast.
The basic conclusion of this is you want to get a minimum of 20% crit. Then any extra crit you get from then until 45% is a bonus.

Mastery is better for FFB spam than fireball. At 80 you wont get enough mastery to make FFB better than fireball.

FFB vs Fireball
Like what blizzard said. FFB is meant for high mastery. Dont worry about this until cataclysm as I am fairly certain you will not get to enough mastery to make FFB > Fireball.
Short version use Fireball and see at 85 what is best.

No knockback. Still dazes.
This is now a ranged spell like Flamestrike.

is now the size of Blizzard so its actually usable

Can only be on 3 targets. This limitation is even in place if you spread it using the impact talent. The oldest LB is removed on application of a 4th LB.

Mana shield
This is now usable as it is now a 1:1 ratio of mana per point of dmg absorbed. It is being a little overlooked by people atm. It is also not spamable as it has a 12 second CD so you cant just burn all your mana away by accident. Its now a very good spell that can be used.

Mage ward
Fire and frost ward are combined and now also absorb arcane. So this spell now absorbs x amount of dmg from arcane fire or frost or any combination of the 3. Coupled with mana shield your spell dmg survivability has been improved a ton.

Mage Armour
This now regenerates 3% of your mana. Basically it is the same as replenishment making it very very strong and at the moment highly under rated. This is on top of the already 40 resistance at level 80 and 50% reduction on magic dmg debuffs. That said at 80 as fire you wont need it. This could change by 85 but for now stick with molten.

There is no longer a default (cookie cutter) spec. There is so many options it makes no sense to really put too much effort into trying to find one but rather to spend time thinking about what each talents general use is.

The default spec and most basic encounter in wow is you standing still vs 1 boss where you dont have to worry about mana or survival. With this in mind the talents you will always take are:
Ignite, Fire Power, Hot streak, Improved hot streak (if it gets fixed), combustion, Dragons breath, Molten Fury, Critical mass, Living Bomb, netherwind Presence, piercing Ice.

From here you can split talents into what their purpose is.
Base = the above always have talents
Cleave = 2-4 mobs
AoE = many mobs
survival = defensive things that will keep you alive
Efficiency = talents that will mean you can cast for a very long time.

This is a breakdown of each talent and the role of each in a boss encounter.
Green is strong at that role
Orange is something that can be useful kind of.

So now your spec will basically be constructed on a per boss or per instance way rather than just go default spec

Netherwind presence vs Piercing Ice
I suggest getting 3 in netherwind since it might be giving more than the 1/2/3% haste that it shows.

Notes on some talents
Impact gives you a 5/10% chance to gain a buff the buff is then used when you next fireblast to stun the main target and spread the dots of that target. The buff lasts about 10 seconds.

Cauterize is an all or nothing talent. Either get 2 points or none.

Improved scorch. If you have this and master of elements then you will actually get mana every time you crit with scorch. The mana gained from Master of elements is the base cost of the spell BEFORE talents.

Improved Flamestrike is almost all or nothing. 1 point in this will put your flamestrike under the GCD.

Living Bomb explosion only hits 3 targets.

This is pretty much the same as now except theres now 3 scenarios you have to consider. Single, Cleave, Aoe. I guess you could consider efficiency as another but really its something added on top of these rotations.

Single target will be the prio list.
Scorch Debuff (this will stay up at 80 from crazy amounts of hotstreak procs)
Living Bomb
Filler (Fireball, FFB or Scorch)

Cleave rotation
basically same as single target but when you get all your dots on the main target you use impact to spread the dots. If your really clever get up a maximised combustion dot and then spread for crazy cleave dps.

Not 100% sure on this but I think it will be blastwave on CD then flamestrike spam. I think ill expand on tis sometime soon as there are a number of different things people need to be aware of when AoEing.

5% crit is pretty good

No point at 80 you wont get enough mastery to make FFB your primary.

I dont think this is in game until cataclysm

Molten Armour
Some more crit

Even more crit

For 80 its pretty much pyro fireball and molten armour.

I have found 1 decent mod that is new. Of course scorchio is still pretty good but does not track impact.


For now grab 2 purple hit+int gems getting the highest socket bonus then spam int gems.
the above but use some gems to reach the hit and haste you need to be 17% and 37%

I have spent about 2k gold and a ton of points on gems playing about with what feels right in terms of reforging/gemming. What I have found as the most logical method fore setting up your stats is this:

get your 2 purple gems on the items with the highest +spellpower socket bonus
Then you reforge to get the hit cap or as close to as you can.
Reforge to get to the GCD cap you prefer (with or without heroism)
Gem where needed to get the haste and hit requirements
Gem if required to make sure you have a minimum of 20% crit
Fill the rest of your gems with int

This maximises your intellect while keeping your hit and haste targets. The crit you get over 20% at the end of it is just a nice bonus and helps for cleave dps rotations.

to get round the hot streak bug where you cant cast your instant pyro while moving you can use this macro

/cast Pyroblast!

Be warned however this means you can not actually cast a non hotstreaked pyro (if you ever wanted to)

There are still so many gaps in the general knowledge of stats everything here in this post can change very quickly with new theorycrafting information. I will try keep this as up to date with new info as possible as and when it turns up.

I will add more if people say something important or if i need to change something. I thought it would be nice to give the people not on ptr/beta an idea of whats going on with mages and what to expect.

#78 - Oct. 19, 2010, 11:15 a.m.
Blizzard Post
Nice guide, we'll add it to the Forum Watch this week, and the useful links sticky: