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Arcane vs fire

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Hey there !

I recently dinged 85 on my mage and directly went fire. But I noticed that without a certain amount of crit rating it isn't worth it, I couldn't cast Combustion because there were no crits to make it effective. So I went back to arcane. Here's my question : at what point is it worth going fire ? More precisely what would you advise as minimum crit rating to be able to play the spec effectively ?

Thank's for any help ! Posted Image

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You can always cast spell_fire_sealoffire.jpgCombustion with a big spell_fire_flamebolt.jpgFireball crit (which you will get even with a low critical strike chance).

To get back to your question, it's a bit hard to give a decisive answer. As a Fire Mage, you will always have a relatively high amount of critical strike chance. You have the spell_frost_frostbolt.jpgPiercing Ice talent. You use ability_mage_moltenarmor.jpgMolten Armor (improved with inv_glyph_primemage.jpgGlyph of Molten Armor). You also use inv_glyph_primemage.jpgGlyph of Fireball and inv_glyph_primemage.jpgGlyph of Pyroblast.

This gives you +13% critical strike chance with both spell_fire_flamebolt.jpgFireball and spell_fire_fireball02.jpgPyroblast!. This is enough to do the rotation properly and have crits for spell_fire_sealoffire.jpgCombustion.

It looks to me as if the real question is your first question: "at what point is it worth going fire ?". Fire became better than Arcane when Patch 4.3 was released. At this point, most players (and therefore most mages) were in item level 378+ gear. Fire is known to scale better with gear than Arcane, so it is no surprise that Fire eventually outranked Arcane. My advice is to stick with Arcane until you get gear from the Hour of Twilight heroic dungeons, LFR, normal Dragon Soul, and Valor Point vendors.

Another thing to consider is that Arcane is good for short bursts of damage and is easier to play than Fire. If you find yourself doing heroic dungeons (where bosses are killed too quickly for Fire to really shine) or LFR (where your DPS won't really matter), you will be better off playing Arcane.

I'd say that at 20% crit rating unbuffed, the spec becomes easier to play.

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Thank's for your quick and detailed answer !

I probably waited to much for a pyroblast crit whereas i should have casted combustion with a big fireball crit, explaining my question about minimum crit rating.

I will follow that advice and go back to fire with appropriate gear.

By the way, you have my compliments for the development of the site ! It has become my reference for anything related to WoW :)

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Carsten, I think that Damien's answer is valid and good. Just be aware that Crit stacking isn't necessarily the only thing you should be doing gear-wise. This is because the internal mechanics of Ignite make extremely high levels of Crit less useful (known as "Ignite Munching"). I don't know exactly what level you should be looking for, but if you're ever at the point where you're going to start min/maxing you should check out the Elitist Jerks Fire Mage guide for more information.

Good luck and have fun! Posted Image

Edited by Stoove

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Thanks for helping out Stoove !

I'm following the stat priority of the Icy Veins's Fire Mage guide. If I ever find the time to do some serious raiding on my mage i will definitely check out Elitist Jerks for the more detailed theorycrafting. But for the moment I think that Icy Veins's guide is perfect.

You have fun too :)

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It is worth going Fire when you realize throwing sparklebombs at things isn't nearly as cool as throwing fireballs and making things explode.

I play fire for the spell effects. I don't even know what DPS is. Hah!

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Hi Carsten,

I too found Arcane to be very boring and as a result switched to Fire for Pve and Frost for PvP. With regards to maximising dps via the Fire spec, I use the 'CombustionHelper' and 'Spellflash' Addons. Don't forget to use macros (stop casting) for pyro and combustion spells.

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I totally agree with you LCSscallywag ! That's why I'm trying going back to fire this weekend now that I have 378 ilvl. Although I have always been a min-maxer so I will be using everything I can to do that extra 100 dps :P

Hi Damian ! If one spec in WoW can be boring it is arcane, though I really enjoy the huge burst power ! Once I get back to fire I will definitely check out CombustionHelper and Spellflash, thanks for your advice. Although I plan on playing without CombustionHelper with experience. I use all macros from IV's guide, should be good enough (yours is in them !) :)

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