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Fire Mage PvP Guide (Legion 7.0.3)

Last updated on Sep 19, 2016 at 17:43 by Mysticall 15 comments

Table of Contents

Introduction

This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to play a Fire Mage in a PvP environment. The guide will cover everything from talent choices, artifacts, gameplay and rotation, and useful racial bonuses. It is most applicable to Arena content, but most talents and racial bonuses will work in Rated Battlegrounds and skirmishes.

About The Author

This guide has been written by Mysticall, a seasoned PvP player who has repeatedly achieved Arena Master and 2300 rating. You can watch his stream on Twitch, and you can also check out his YouTube channel.

1. Spec Overview / Place in the Current Meta

Fire Mages are in a great place in terms of PvP. It is by far the strongest of the three Mage specs. The main class a Mage should be looking to pair with is a Rogue. With coordinated stuns into Polymorphs and a strong healer (Resto Druid or Holy Paladin), Rogue/Mage/Druid is a force to be reckoned with on the PvP ladder.

2. Gear

With regards to gear, the biggest change in Legion is that there is no more PvP gear. Your strength in PvP will be determined based on the average item level of your gear (as displayed on your character sheet). For example, the base item level at level 110 is 800, so your stats in PvP will be adjusted accordingly. For every 10 item levels you gain, your stats are increased by 1%.

The implication is that it does not matter where your gear comes from, and all that matters is its item level. Gear from quests or PvE content is just as good as gear you get as a reward from PvP (which, in fact, will be very similar to PvE gear; there are no more PvP stats on gear).

Practically, you will simply look to collect gear with the highest item levels possible, and the stat distribution on the gear will not matter.

3. Artifact Traits

Below, we will explain what the recommended order for artifact traits is, if you wish to maximise your PvP potential. It is quite possible that your artifact path (at the time of reading this guide) differs from our suggestions. If this is the case, do not worry, and use the information below to help you understand your traits and guide your future choices.

If you have suddenly decided that you want to turn to PvP, the best thing to do in your artifact progression is continue to your closest Golden trait, and then follow the recommendations below. Picking up the most useful traits ( Icon Cauterizing Blink,  Icon Pyroclasmic Paranoia,  Icon Fire at Will,  Icon Big Mouth, or  Icon Great Balls of Fire) along the way is a great way to boost your potential.

3.1. First Golden Trait

The first Golden trait you want to reach is  Icon Pyretic Incantation.

  1. Take  Icon Wings of Flame.
  2. Take  Icon Cauterizing Blink. This talent creates a HoT on you every time you Blink Icon Blink, which helps with survivability.
  3. Take  Icon Pyroclasmic Paranoia. This helps with damage output as most of your sustained and burst damage is based around Heating Up Icon Heating Up procs for instant Pyroblast Icon Pyroblasts.
  4. Take  Icon Fire at Will, which will help with casting Fireball Icon Fireballs.
  5. Take  Icon Pyretic Incantation is the best Golden trait to get first. This will increase damage output and stacks up to 5 times.

3.2. Second Golden Trait

The second Golden trait to go for is  Icon Phoenix Reborn.

  1. Backtrack and take  Icon Great Balls of Fire. This helps with Fireball Icon Fireball damage for sustainable damage.
  2. Take  Icon Big Mouth. With an increased range on Dragon's Breath Icon Dragon's Breath, it helps with getting crowd control off and peeling for your team.
  3. Take  Icon Everburning Consumption. With this talent increasing the damage of Ignite Icon Ignite, it helps when enemy teams are stacked for AoE damage.
  4. Take  Icon Phoenix Reborn. This is important to have as the next Golden trait because it helps with cleaving enemy teams and their pets.

3.3. Remaining Traits

After this, you should head for your last Golden trait,  Icon Aftershocks, picking up any remaining traits after that. There is no particular order that we recommend here.

4. Relics

Relics are disabled in PvP, so they are not a concern to you.

5. Talent Choices

Regular talents work in both PvP and PvE content (although they may sometimes work differently in the two environments, which is indicated by their tooltips). In other words, they are always active.

On the other hand, Honor talents are inactive outside of a PvP environment.

5.1. Regular Talents

5.1.1. Tier 1 (Level 15) Talents

The choice comes down to either Pyromaniac Icon Pyromaniac or Firestarter Icon Firestarter. Take Firestarter if you are planning on hard swapping a lot, since it is a good way to start landing critical strikes and getting initial burst on the target. Pyromaniac is better for more consistent Hot Streak Icon Hot Streak procs.

5.1.2. Tier 2 (Level 30) Talents

Shimmer Icon Shimmer is the best choice in this tier. This allows us to Blink Icon Blink while casting (without interrupting the cast). This is important, not only for damage, but also for crowd control. If we are casting a Polymorph Icon Polymorph and the target breaks line of sight, we can Blink while still casting and get it off.

5.1.3. Tier 3 (Level 45) Talents

Incanter's Flow Icon Incanter's Flow is the best choice in this tier. Try to perform your burst damage rotation when you have 5 stacks of Incanter's Flow, for maximum damage.

5.1.4. Tier 4 (Level 60) Talents

Flame On Icon Flame On is the best choice in this tier. This should be used during your burst damage rotation when you run out of Fire Blast Icon Fire Blast charges. It helps with dealing continuous damage without downtime.

5.1.5. Tier 5 (Level 75) Talents

When playing against Resto Druids, choose Ring of Frost Icon Ring of Frost. This is because Druids can be a tough target to Polymorph Icon Polymorph, and using Dragon's Breath Icon Dragon's Breath into Ring of Frost is a strong crowd-control chain against them.

When playing against any other team, choose Ice Floes Icon Ice Floes. Matched with Shimmer Icon Shimmer, Fire Mages have some of the best mobility. This allows you to cast while moving, which can help in kiting or running down your opponent.

5.1.6. Tier 6 (Level 90) Talents

Unstable Magic Icon Unstable Magic is the best choice in this tier. Fire Mage gameplay is all about getting Fireball Icon Fireballs off. With this talent, Fireballs have a 25% chance to explode for 50% additional damage. The only downside to this talent is that it can break crowd-control, so make sure crowd-controlled targets are away from your main target.

5.1.7. Tier 7 (Level 100) Talents

Meteor Icon Meteor is the best choice in this tier, providing good single target and AoE burst. Set it up by having a teammate stun the kill target. If there is no stun, you can use Dragon's Breath Icon Dragon's Breath and then cast Meteor on the target.

5.2. Honor Talents

5.2.1. Tier 1 Talents

Gladiator's Medallion Icon Gladiator's Medallion is the best choice in this tier. It is the standard PvP trinket effect with a 2-minute cooldown.

5.2.2. Tier 2 Talents

Mind Quickness Icon Mind Quickness is the best choice in this tier. It helps get Polymorph Icon Polymorphs and Fireball Icon Fireballs off more.

5.2.3. Tier 3 Talents

When playing against casters, Prismatic Cloak Icon Prismatic Cloak is the best choice. This ability causes all spells to miss you for 1.5 seconds after using Blink Icon Blink, and it helps significantly when trying to get crowd control off.

When playing against melee, Burning Determination Icon Burning Determination is the best choice. This helps in a few different scenarios against melee. If you are interrupted while casting Polymorph Icon Polymorph, you can spam Fireball Icon Fireballs; if are interrupted while casting Fireball, you can spam Polymorphs.

5.2.4. Tier 4 Talents

When playing against Resto Druid teams, the best choice is Kleptomania Icon Kleptomania. You can remove every single buff or HoT when the Resto Druid is crowd-controlled.

When playing against other teams, the best choice is Temporal Shield Icon Temporal Shield. Use this when your healer is crowd-controlled and the team is bursting you. Once the shield expires, you will be healed for all the damage it has absorbed. This helps your survivability and your healer.

5.2.5. Tier 5 Talents

Tinder Icon Tinder is the best choice in this tier. It helps create quick-to-cast Fireball Icon Fireballs that deal additional damage.

5.2.6. Tier 6 Talents

Flamecannon Icon Flamecannon is the best choice in this tier. It is a really useful talent to have. You can stand still and get increased health and damage. If you need to move, you can Blink Icon Blink and stand still again and re-apply the buff.

6. Racial Bonuses

Racial bonuses can provide interesting PvP benefits. Here are the best races to choose for each faction.

6.1. Horde

The passive Orc racial bonus (Hardiness Icon Hardiness) is great if you find yourself being stunned a lot and having a hard time against melee classes.

The Blood Elf Silence (Arcane Torrent Icon Arcane Torrent) is really strong as well. This adds more crowd control Fire Mages can bring to the table.

6.2. Alliance

The Human racial bonus (Every Man for Himself Icon Every Man for Himself) is a great way to get out of stuns.

7. Playstyle

The main role for a Fire Mage is simple: use your large crowd control toolkit and mobility to lock down healers. When they are crowd controlled, use your explosive damage to burst your target down.

There are two "roles" a Fire Mage has in arena.

The first role is locking down the healer. You will push in and get crowd control on the healer (Dragon's Breath Icon Dragon's Breath into Polymorph Icon Polymorph). The second role is bursting on the main target. When the enemy healer is in crowd control, and you have burst cooldowns, Fire Mages have a burst rotation that requires almost no casting, thanks to instant Pyroblast Icon Pyroblast from Heating Up Icon Heating Up procs.

Fire, when specced into Ring of Frost Icon Ring of Frost, has 3 different spell schools. Why is this important? If you are interrupted when casting Fireball Icon Fireball (Fire school) you can start casting Polymorph Icon Polymorph to crowd control the healer. Polymorph is in the Arcane school, and because the enemy team already interrupted you, you are free to cast Polymorph. If the team also interrupts that, you can cast Ring of Frost on the healer or melee that might be sitting on you. Ring of Frost is in the Frost school. It is the combination of this toolkit and the explosive damage Fire has that makes it so viable.

7.1. Before Gates Open

Set a table for your team. Mage food actually restores health and Mana faster than normal food and water from vendors. Use Invisibility Icon Invisibility to guarantee your opener without any interruptions.

7.2. Offensive Rotation

There are a few things to keep in mind.

7.2.1. The Opener

The opener refers to your team's opening crowd control chain and damage done as soon as you get out of the gates. The main goal in the opener is to force your enemies to use their cooldowns. If the enemy healer uses their trinket in the opener, they are in trouble. When the diminishing returns on your Polymorph Icon Polymorph have faded, they will have little to no outs for the incoming crowd control you and your teammates have for them.

Likewise, if an enemy DPS uses their trinket, you can crowd control the healer and stun the DPS without a trinket. This means they can be burst down in a stun and possibly killed.

When opening, if playing against a Resto Druid, do the following:

  1. Dragon's Breath Icon Dragon's Breath into Polymorph Icon Polymorph for crowd control.
  2. Spellsteal Icon Spellsteal the HoTs the Druid puts on your main target.
  3. Use your burst rotation.
  4. After your burst, perform your do sustained damage rotation until your burst cooldowns are available.

Against other healers who do not have strong HoTs, simply omit the Spellsteal Icon Spellsteal step, since you will most likely not have specced into Kleptomania Icon Kleptomania anyway.

7.2.2. Burst Damage

When you have the enemy healer in crowd control and you are trying to kill an enemy, you use your burst damage.

  1. Start with a Hot Streak Icon Hot Streak proc.
  2. Cast Meteor Icon Meteor.
  3. Cast Fireball Icon Fireball (and cast Combustion Icon Combustion during this cast).
  4. Cast Pyroblast Icon Pyroblast.
  5. Cast Fire Blast Icon Fire Blast.
  6. Cast Pyroblast Icon Pyroblast.
  7. Cast Flame On Icon Flame On.
  8. Cast Fire Blast Icon Fire Blast.
  9. Cast Pyroblast Icon Pyroblast.
  10. Cast  Icon Phoenix's Flames.
  11. Cast Pyroblast Icon Pyroblast.
  12. Cast  Icon Phoenix's Flames.
  13. Cast Pyroblast Icon Pyroblast.

Make sure to use Pyroblast Icon Pyroblast when you have Combustion Icon Combustion active, to ensure that it is a critical strike. A common mistake is to assume it will not be a critical strike, and instead waste the Heating Up Icon Heating Up proc on a different spell. Always assume your Pyroblast will be a critical strike while Combustion is active.

7.2.3. Sustained damage

Sustained damage is damage you do when your burst cooldowns are not available.

  1. Use Fireball Icon Fireballs until you get a critical strike.
  2. When you get a Heating Up Icon Heating Up proc, use Fire Blast Icon Fire Blast to get an instant Pyroblast Icon Pyroblast proc.
  3. Use Pyroblast Icon Pyroblast.
  4. Use  Icon Phoenix's Flames if you want to put out another Pyroblast Icon Pyroblast.

7.3. Defensive Techniques

Temporal Shield Icon Temporal Shield should be used when the other team is popping cooldowns. At the end of the shield, you will get healed for as much damage as they have done. This ability is crucial for Fire Mage survivability.

Prismatic Cloak Icon Prismatic Cloak together with the Shimmer Icon Shimmer talent causes you to be healed when you Blink Icon Blink and also be immune to spells for 1.5 seconds afterwards. If a caster is casting a hard-hitting spell, you can Blink at the end of the cast and be immune to it to be able to use Dragon's Breath Icon Dragon's Breath. You can take advantage of this to crowd control healers by following Dragon's Breath up with Ring of Frost Icon Ring of Frost or Polymorph Icon Polymorph. It can also be good for peeling for you or your teammates: use Dragon's Breath to keep DPS off you, cast your crowd control and Blink away. Then cast Frost Nova Icon Frost Nova against the melee on top of you and push in to crowd control the healer with Dragon's Breath.

8. ChangeLog

  • 19 Sep. 2016: Updated the burst damage rotation to fix an error.
  • 08 Sep. 2016: Guide added.
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