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glyphs Fire Mage: Mists of Pandaria Rotation Changes, Talents, and Glyphs (Patch 5.0.4)

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This article is no longer being updated. Please check our Fire Mage guide, which is fully compatible with Mists Pandaria, and is being constantly updated. Thank you.

In preparation for the updates to our guides for Mists of Pandaria Patch 5.0.4, we are releasing articles such as this one, explaining what has changed for a particular class and spec, and what the new rotation is likely to be.

Keep in mind that this is still a work in progress (both from Blizzard's side and from our own) and that this article assumes you are at least somewhat familiar with the Cataclysm version of the Fire Mage rotation and playstyle (such as from reading our guide).

We will first list the most important changes to the Fire Mage Cataclysm abilities, and then we will proceed to explaining the (likely to be) optimal rotation. Keep in mind that we do not document every single change or new ability, only those that impact the rotation.

Finally, we will give you some information about the most useful talents and glyphs you should choose.

Changed Mechanics

The main changes for Fire Mages are related to Ignite, which is now your Mastery, Hot Streak, which has been redesigned to remove Ignite Munching, and Living Bomb, which is now optional.

spell_fire_incinerate.jpgMastery: Ignite is your new Mastery. Increasing Mastery Rating will now increase the amount of damage that Ignite does on your target. As you can read in the tooltip, when the effect is refreshed, it creates a new 4-second DoT and whatever remained on the DoT that was refreshed is added to the new DoT. In theory, this should remove Ignite Munching from the game, especially as it seems, from our tests, that spell_fire_flamebolt.jpgFireball and spell_fire_fireball02.jpgPyroblast can no longer hit the target at the same time. The closest we managed to reach was a 1-millisecond difference, but the lag on the beta could be preventing us from testing this precisely.

The old ability_mage_hotstreak.jpgHot Streak and ability_mage_hotstreak.jpgImproved Hot Streak talents have been removed. The proc that these talents granted is now added to the mechanics of spell_fire_fireball02.jpgPyroblast, as you can read in the tooltip. Scoring a critical strike will cause your character to proc ability_mage_hotstreak.jpgHeating Up. Scoring a second critical strike in a row, will cause Heating Up to be transformed into ability_mage_hotstreak.jpgPyroblast!, the new equivalent of the old Hot Streak proc. This distinction is very important because Heating Up and Pyroblast! can coexist on your character. It means that if you score a third critical strike in a row, it will not be wasted. However, if you score a fourth critical strike in a row, without having used your proc of Pyroblast!, then you will have wasted a proc.

Also, instant-cast spell_fire_fireball02.jpgPyroblasts can now proc ability_mage_hotstreak.jpgHeating Up or transform Heating Up into ability_mage_hotstreak.jpgPyroblast!. It was not the case in Cataclysm.

Finally, ability_mage_livingbomb.jpgLiving Bomb is now a Tier 5 talent, which makes it optional. As a result, it no longer has any meaningful interaction with any of your Fire Mage-specific abilities. It is not spread by spell_mage_infernoblast.jpgInferno Blast (the spell that replaces spell_fire_fireball.jpgFire Blast, see the next section), unless you use a specific glyph, and it is no longer taken into account for spell_fire_sealoffire.jpgCombustion.

New Abilities

You have the following new abilities:

Removed Abilities

Rotation and Spell Usage

The rotation is not greatly changed from what it was in Cataclysm (see our Fire Mage guide). For single-target damage, you will need to choose spell_mage_nethertempest.jpgNether Tempest as a Tier 5 talent and spell_mage_runeofpower.jpgRune of Power as a Tier 6 talent.

The rotation will be as follows:

Also, you will need to keep ability_mage_moltenarmor.jpgMolten Armor up at all times.


  • ability_mage_timewarp.jpgTime Warp and spell_fire_sealoffire.jpgCombustion work in the same way that they used to in Cataclysm, except that ability_mage_livingbomb.jpgLiving Bomb being optional, it no longer interacts with Combustion. Also Combustion now has a 45-second cooldown.
  • spell_mage_altertime.jpgAlter Time is a very interesting cooldown. We see two main ways of using it. If you cast it while you have a powerful trinket proc or while ability_mage_hotstreak.jpgPyroblast! is up, you will either extend the duration of the trinket proc by 6 seconds or benefit from Pyroblast! a second time after 6 seconds. If you cast it before receiving a large amount of damage or a dangerous debuff, then, after 6 seconds, the damage or the debuff will be gone.

AoE Rotation

Your AoE rotation will still consist in performing your single-target rotation on one enemy. spell_mage_infernoblast.jpgInferno Blast will automatically spread your DoTs to nearby enemies. Note that spell_fire_sealoffire.jpgCombustion will always reset the cooldown of spell_mage_infernoblast.jpgInferno Blast. Additionally, you can choose ability_mage_livingbomb.jpgLiving Bomb as your Tier 5 talent and keep it up on 3 enemies (or use inv_glyph_majormage.jpgGlyph of Fire Blast to automatically spread it).

If there is an exceptionally large number of enemies, use a combination of spell_fire_selfdestruct.jpgFlamestrike and spell_nature_wispsplode.jpgArcane Explosion. spell_frost_icestorm.jpgBlizzard can be used when you cannot get close enough to the enemies to cast Arcane Explosion. Also, spell_mage_frostbomb.jpgFrost Bomb can be chosen as a Tier 5 talent, instead of Living Bomb.


Tier 1 talents have been designed with mobility in mind. You have the choice between:
  • spell_nature_enchantarmor.jpgPresence of Mind, which should only be chosen for encounters with no movement or for encounters where the small DPS increase it provides is necessary;
  • spell_fire_soulburn.jpgScorch, which should be the default choice for Fire Mages, because it can proc ability_mage_hotstreak.jpgHeating Up and ability_mage_hotstreak.jpgPyroblast!, and because its critical strike chance is increased by ability_mage_firestarter.jpgCritical Mass;
  • spell_mage_iceflows.jpgIce Floes, which allows you to cast two spells while moving and should be used in encounters where you have to move from time to time.
Tier 2 talents have been designed with survivability in mind. You have the choice between:
  • spell_mage_temporalshield.jpgTemporal Shield, which can be very useful in encounters with a lot of raid damage;
  • spell_fire_burningspeed.jpgBlazing Speed, which might be of use in some encounters, though spell_arcane_blink.jpgBlink should be enough in most cases;
  • spell_ice_lament.jpgIce Barrier, which should be the default choice because the shield it gives you also protects you against pushback, resulting in a slight DPS increase.
Tier 3 talents have been designed with crowd control in mind. Whichever talent you will choose will depend on the encounter, but we think that these talents are mostly for PvP and will be mostly irrelevant in PvE: Tier 4 talents have been designed with survival in mind. You have the choice between: Tier 5 talents are AoE damage talents. We have already discussed them in this article. To sum it up, here is what you should base your choice on:
  • spell_mage_nethertempest.jpgNether Tempest should be used in single-target situations or when you are fighting two enemies and want a bit of collateral damage on one of them.
  • ability_mage_livingbomb.jpgLiving Bomb should be used in multiple-target situations.
  • spell_mage_frostbomb.jpgFrost Bomb should be used when you are fighting a very large number of enemies or when you need the slowing effect that it provides.
Tier 6 talents are mana management talents.
  • spell_arcane_arcane03.jpgInvocation is largely useless for a Fire Mage because it forces you to often cast spell_nature_purge.jpgEvocation (making you lose DPS).
  • spell_mage_runeofpower.jpgRune of Power will be the preferred choice for Fire Mages. The increased mana regeneration that it provides is enough to sustain your rotation without ever running out of mana.
  • spell_shadow_detectlesserinvisibility.jpIncanter's Ward seems to be more of a situational talent. We need to see how it will fare in the raid encounters, but we believe that the use of this talent will require encounters where periods of downtime on the boss and periods of raid damage are distinct.


Most of your major glyphs will give you more utility, but from a DPS standpoint, only a few will matter:
  • inv_glyph_majormage.jpgGlyph of Fire Blast will be mandatory in AoE situations as it enables you to spread ability_mage_livingbomb.jpgLiving Bomb with spell_mage_infernoblast.jpgInferno Blast.
  • inv_glyph_majormage.jpgGlyph of Frostfire Bolt can be very useful if you need to add a slow in your rotation. This glyph will line up the cast time of ability_mage_frostfirebolt.jpgFrostfire Bolt with that of spell_fire_flamebolt.jpgFireball, making it possible to swap Fireball for Frostfire Bolt in your rotation (both spells do the same damage).
  • inv_glyph_majormage.jpgGlyph of Arcane Explosion can be useful in AoE situations with a large number of enemies that are not stacking.
  • inv_glyph_majormage.jpgGlyph of Combustion doubles the cooldown and the duration of spell_fire_sealoffire.jpgCombustion. It can be useful for lining up Combustion with periods of increased damage.
  • inv_glyph_majormage.jpgGlyph of Armors increases the defensive effects of your armors by 10%. It can be useful on fights with a lot of magic damage and on which the other major glyphs are not useful.
Among the minor glyphs, only inv_glyph_minormage.jpgGlyph of Momentum might be of interest. It will allow you to blink in the direction where you are going. It can be very useful if you are moving sideways and want to keep facing the boss.

This concludes our Fire Mage preview for Mists of Pandaria. We hope you have enjoyed reading it and that it proved useful to you. As always, we are looking forward to reading your opinions on the matter!

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