October 9, 2010

Fire Maging the Ruvi Way (in progress)

Posted in Theorycraft, Theorycraft and Numbers at 12:03 am by Aduial of WrA

Alright, this post is a lot later than I wanted it to be, but here it is. For starters…

A disclaimer: This may not be, and very well probably isn’t, the best spec for a raiding fire mage, or the best information for one. It may not even be the best for a leveling one, but it is what I am doing on my fire mage, and it has served me exceptionally well so far. My mage is currently in his 50s, and with all of this, I have zero mana problems and am usually top DPS by far, AOE or single target. I am definitely not saying this is “the best,” or “the right” way, just that it’s my way, a way that’s proven to work at least for me, and one that’s had multiple people ask me how I did it (in which I had to pretty much say all of this in whispers on the fly).

I will likely be looking all of this over and comparing more closely to the more generally accepted “what works” when I hit 80 on him and get him geared a bit (assuming Cataclysm isn’t out by then and making all of this unnecessary), and possibly tweaking it a bit here and there until then.

I should state for the record: I honestly haven’t looked at any of the cookie-cutter fire specs, and won’t until 80. Part of the way I play is until I hit cap is I “feel out” the character; I assign talents, glyph, and get gear according to what the class seems to call for on my way to 80 (or whatever the cap is) and then start looking around at places like EJ once I’m there. Until then I feel I have a lot more room to make mistakes on my own time, so to speak, and generally get a better feel for the class by experimenting than just being handed down a “This is how you should spec, glyph, this is your rotation, this is how you should move, walk, talk, breathe.” kind of thing.

One more thing before I jump head-first into this: My mage does have heirlooms, and I will get into what he has when I get to gear, but I can’t say for certain that this will all work as well for someone who doesn’t have heirlooms, or, at the very least, one of his trinkets. At one point when I’d played him I’d forgotten his trinkets and staff on another toon, and while he was still top DPS by a mile, he did OOM a lot more than he should’ve, and another spec might’ve solved that more than mine does.


The Spec
The Glyphs
The Stats/The Gear
The Rotation

The Spec

I will be going over every talent in detail to say why it’s in my spec, but if you want to skip all that and just grab it, here it is.

Fire (55 points)

Improved Fireball – To use Fireball without modifications, it’s a whopping 3.5 seconds to cast. Since I assume people leveling won’t be stacking haste, the only ways to bring it lower is by this talent and with a glyph (which is also used in this spec). Together it brings it down to something like 2.85 seconds, which is much more manageable, and in most trash fights I can get at least one off, several more on bosses. The other option here is to get Improved Fireblast and Incineration both maxed out, which I did until about level 30, and spam Scorch in between Fireblast CDs, which does work and takes less mana, but is lower DPS overall after the thirties or so.

Ignite – This early on is just a DoT, which, whoop-de-doo, things die too quick for it to be huge. But later on it becomes glorious. At about level 47, this will be a huge chunk of mana on AOE pulls, for example… or a decent chunk of mana, period, and I’ll get into that more when we get to Empowered Fire. But since almost all of your spells can crit, and crit is your god so you should crit pretty often, this DoT will be up. A lot. And it does work out to be a pretty good boost to DPS even if mobs do die before all four seconds are up.

World in Flames – Oh look, crit again. What’d I say about crit being your god? Yeah, here’s an example. You’ll notice a lot of fire spells mention critting or increasing your chance to crit. Anyway, on AOE pulls this is awesome if you’re doing it right. I’ve been able to lay down a Flamestrike and not have to do anything, between the damage of Flamestrike and Ignite, and still be top DPS. Though if you want to rub it in the other DPS’s faces how much more you can pull, feel free to Flamestrike then Blizzard, or just go wild and hit every AOE you have, since this boosts most of them. (Note, hitting all AOEs you have, especially Blast wave if it’s not glyphed, is not recommended.)

Pyroblast – A staple. This is one of the big spells (any puns not intended). It’s like a Fireball on steroids with a pretty good DoT, but a really long cast (5 seconds). This isn’t something you’ll be using on trash at all, pretty much reserved only for boss fights. The way I do it, that seems to work best, is when the tank’s getting ready to pull a boss, go ahead and start casting this. If the tank doesn’t pull, make sure you jump or press Esc in enough time to not pull yourself. There’s other ways to use this and other situations/reasons, and I’ll go into them more when I talk about your rotation.

Burning Soul – One thing you’ll likely notice early on is that fire is bursty. And the more burst you have, the more likely you are to pull aggro from the tank. This helps that–It reduces your threat by 20%, and on top of that, if you do end up pulling, it reduces the pushback while casting your fire spells by a significant amount. If for nothing else, get it for the pushback reduction; it’s helped me a lot to be able to keep casting even if I have a few mobs hitting me.

Improved Scorch – Pretty much absolutely necessary. Aside from the 3% crit chance on Scorch and Fireball, which is awesome, the biggest reason to get this is for the debuff it causes. At max, it gives your Scorch spells a 100% chance to make the target vulnerable to spell damage, and increases the spell critical strike chance against any targets with the debuff by 5%. You can have this buff on more than one mob, too. And, again, crit is your god, so that 5% increased crit chance with spells is pretty huge (and it’s not just for you, it’s for anyone who casts a damaging spell against that target, so increases the whole group’s DPS!)

Master of Elements – And here’s one of the reasons why crit is your god. With this, not only does your crit increase your DPS (which is sort of, you know, your job as a DPS), it is your mana. Every time you crit with a spell, you instantly get back 30% of that spell’s base mana cost, and trust me, that’s nothing to sneeze at.

Playing with Fire – This one’s a double-edged sword. I went ahead and filled out everything just shy of Burnout before grabbing this. It basically is a flat 3% DPS increase. I know, I know, “A 3% DPS increase? Why didn’t you get it sooner?” but the double-edged sword part of this is that is also makes you take 3% more spell damage. As often as I ended up tanking, casters especially, that works out to a big, fat “Ow.” It is worth it, in the end, but I did shy away from the extra damage to my person as long as I could.

Critical Mass – This is a simple, yet awesome talent. It increases the crit chance by your fire spells by 6%. And we all know what that means.

Blast Wave – Another spell in your arsenal, this one’s AOE. It’s decent-ish DPS, but it’s also a knockback (unless you glyph it, which I haven’t since I do PvP on occasion, and in those cases I want that knockback), and in most cases in PvE, knockbacks are bad. If you’re good enough you can do it to where the mobs will all die from the knockback, or you’ll knock a runner back to the tank, or a caster to them, but unless you’re good enough I recommend not even having this one on your bars for PvE (again, unless it’s glyphed, which removes the knockback).

Fire Power – This is what I picked up instead of Playing with Fire for a long while (since it came down to one or the other to start in). It’s a flat 10% damage increase to your fire spells, which of course is awesome.

Pyromaniac – It’s all about the crits, baby. Well, and the 50% mana regeneration while casting is pretty wicked, too.

Combustion – Hope you still have plenty of room on your bars, because here’s another spell to go on them. This one’s a CD more for boss fights. It increases your critical strike damage by 50% (so your crits do twice the damage), and each of your fire spells increase your chance to crit with fire spells by 10%. It lasts until you’ve landed 3 fire spell crits (DoTs don’t count), and has a 2 minute CD. Pretty awesome, huh?

Molten Fury – Having problems with runners? Not anymore, just target and blast. Okay, with this one, it increases your damage against mobs with less than 35% health by 12%, and that’s with any spell, not just fire ones, too. On boss fights that usually last a while, this can be a rather large DPS increase.

Empowered Fire – This one’s why you’ll be prioritizing Spellpower, too. Well, beyond the increase to DPS that SP gives you anyway. The damage of your Fireballs, Pyroblasts, and frostfire bolts is increased equal to 15% of your spellpower. Later on this is really nice. You also get 2% of your base mana whenever Ignite causes damage, which means if you’re critting like you should, you get even more mana back.

Firestarter – After you’ve got this then your AOE rotation changes up a bit. What it does is whenever you do damage with Blast Wave or Dragon’s Breath, your next Flamestrike is instant and costs no mana. So that’s a free flamestrike. You’ve got two options here, basically: Either run in and Dragon’s Breath immediately, then hit Flamestrike, OR Flamestrike, Dragon’s Breath, then Flamestrike again. I’ve been getting better numbers with the latter, but there isn’t always time on some AOE fights, so it’s a judgement call sometimes.

Dragon’s Breath – As you can probably tell from the last talent, this is kind of huge. It’s another ability in your repertoire, AOE, and calls forth the head of a dragon to smite your enemies. It also has an awesome firecracker sound. Aesthetics aside, it’s decent DPS for me so far, and the instant Flamestrike is priceless. Also could theoretically be used for CC, since it disorients the targets it hits for five seconds or until they’re damaged.

Hot Streak – I’ve been holding out on getting this one like I did Playing with Fire because I’m not satisfied with the size of my epeen my crit chance yet. If you crit two times in a row with Fireball, Fire Blast, Scorch, Living Bomb, or Frostfire bolt, you’ll get an instant Pyroblast for the next 10 seconds. Pyroblast being the long-arsed 5 second CD spell. So this is actually pretty awesome, and more likely than not it’d be useful (especially in combination with Combustion), but personally I’m waiting until after I get Living Bomb.

Burnout – This increases the damage of your crits (all spells, not just fire) by 50%. Remember what your god is? You should be critting enough that this’ll be a significant damage increase. The only downside is your non-periodic crits cost 5% more mana, which basically means every time you crit with a spell, but not with DoTs, your damage is 50% more but it costs 5% more mana (but you shouldn’t be having mana problems, so it shouldn’t be an issue).

Living Bomb – This is the fire end-talent. This is what we’re here for. What happens is the target we cast this on becomes a bomb. They take damage for 12 seconds, or until it’s dispelled, then they explode. Which, of course, does damage to anything nearby. In this case, they do damage to all enemies within 10 yards of them (our enemies, not theirs). Makes it all worth it, doesn’t it?

Arcane (16 points)

Arcane Focus – The first tier is honestly kind of useless for us. You probably aren’t casting many, if any, arcane spells, and since this talent only affects arcane (as does the other mainly-PvE talent in the first tier), it doesn’t particularly matter. I went this route because that is 3% hit for your arcane spells if/when you do cast them, and is conceivably more useful than 5/5 Arcane Stability.

Arcane Stability – I needed two more points to get to the next tier, so here they went. Not really useful for fire.

Arcane Concentration – This, however, is useful. Incredibly, so, really, and by this point if you’re having mana problems, this could help. A lot. Any time you damage an enemy with a spell, there’s a 10% chance you’ll enter a Clearcasting state. If you’ve never played a character that had Clearcasting before, it’s sexy, and you’ll soon learn why. It reduces the cost of your next damage spell by 100%. That means every time you hit an enemy, you have a 10% chance of your next cast to cost you nothing, and that is awesome.

Spell Impact – Where this applies to us, is it’s a DPS increase for some of our spells. Blast Wave, Fireblast, Scorch and Fireball are all boosted by 6%.

Student of the Mind – Probably wondering why I went this route, huh? Well, there isn’t anything in the fire tree that mentions Spirit, so this might seem like an odd choice. This is where we look at two things: 1) Spirit’s function in mana regen, and 2) Our later spells. For the first part, spirit increases our mana regen (duh). But it does this by a percentage of your intellect. I can’t remember the exact equation, but the more spirit you have, the higher the percent of your intellect you’re regenerating, and it’s easier to increase that percent than it is to increase your regen by what it’s a percent of. I’m not sure if that made any sense. Hopefully #2 will make more. Molten Armor is something we get at level 62, which is several levels before we’d be able to get this talent after filling out fire anyway. What it does is increases our chance to crit by 35% of our Spirit. So now you see this talent does increase a stat important to us, afterall!

Focus Magic – And here we have one of the biggest reasons for us to go into Arcane to finish out our spec. This is a 30-minute buff and cannot be cast on ourselves, it must be cast on another friendly target (might be party- or raid-only, I’m not sure on that however). What it does is increase their chance to crit by a flat 3%, and when they crit then we get a buff, which increases our chance to crit by 3% for 10 seconds. I remember getting this buff occasionally from mages in my random groups when I was on my holy pally, and let me tell you, it was absolutely awesome. If your healer is the type that uses crit and you give this to them, they will adore you.



I’ll have to finish this up later, but I wanted to post what I did have now. I should know by now not to give a date on when I’ll have something like this done because then of course life will suddenly get hectic and prevent me from doing much of anything I planned, and so this got neglected so much longer than I’d planned, and for that I’m sorry. So here’s what I have as, eh, a bit of a teaser? I guess? I will be finishing it up ASAP, though I can’t say when that is. Keep checking, though, if this interests you!


%d bloggers like this: