WotLK Classic Fire Mage Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities

Last updated on Sep 24, 2023 at 02:27 by Wrdlbrmpft 3 comments

On this page, you will learn how to optimize the rotation of your Fire Mage in both single-target and multiple-target PvE situations in WotLK Classic. We also have advanced sections about cooldowns, procs, etc. in order to minmax your DPS.


General Knowledge

If you are not familiar already with all the Fire Mage spells, take a look at our Spell Summary page. It is also an interesting read, if you want to refresh your memory. Knowing how all your important spells work helps you understand your class better. This will improve your performance, as you will not have to think about spells any longer, but simply know them and can focus on what happens around you in PvE and PvP situations. Fire Mages come with a very high damage potential in long fights due to the "execute phase" from Molten Fury IconMolten Fury and with end-game gear they can even out-DPS Arcane Mages. Knowing when to use your cooldowns optimally will elevate your damage even more.

This guide assumes you are running one of the Fire Mage PvE builds and that you are playing a Level 80 character.




Important DPS-Enhancing Spells

There are a few spells you always need to have active if you want to maximize your performance:

  • Arcane Intellect IconArcane Intellect/Arcane Brilliance IconArcane Brilliance — This boosts your Intellect stat and therefore your Mana pool and Critical Strike chance.
  • Molten Armor IconMolten Armor — Boosts your Critical Strike chance by 35% of your total Spirit (55% with Glyph of Molten Armor Icon Glyph of Molten Armor) and deals damage to enemies that hit you. This is the better choice, unless you face extreme Mana problems all the time.
  • Mage Armor IconMage Armor — Boosts your Magic resistance by 40 and allows 50% of your Mana regeneration (70% with Glyph of Mage Armor Icon Glyph of Mage Armor) to continue while casting. Only use this armor if you really need the Magic resistance or Mana regeneration.
  • Focus Magic IconFocus Magic — Cast on another caster who does a lot of crits to boost theirs and your Critical Strike chance by 3%.

AoE Damage and Threat

Fire Mages have it a bit harder than Arcane Mages when it comes to AoE damage, as their threat modifiers are generally worse and the top Fire spec comes with a lot of burst damage, especially when AoEing with a Blast Wave IconBlast Wave -> Flamestrike IconFlamestrike -> Dragon's Breath IconDragon's Breath -> Flamestrike IconFlamestrike combination through the Firestarter IconFirestarter talent, and several Living Bomb IconLiving Bombs going off at the same time. Blizzard IconBlizzard (for FFB Mages) also has a high threat potential. This can lead to overaggro situations very quickly. If Mirror Image IconMirror Images are not available for a full blast rotation, Fire Mages need to be careful when they AoE to not pull aggro and die from enemies beating them. If your tanks are doing low threat or you are simply generating too much threat, it is always better to hold back for a few seconds. The alternative is continuing with AoE and dying to threat. Therefore, the massive AoE threat potential can also decrease a Fire Mage's AoE viability.

However, there is no need to worry: The standard Fire spec that goes into the Arcane tree for Torment the Weak IconTorment the Weak also takes 2 points in Arcane Subtlety IconArcane Subtlety, which allows you to do low-threat Arcane Explosion IconArcane Explosions in threat-capped situations.

Mirror Image IconMirror Image can be used on AoE to disappear from the threat list while doing heavy burst AoE damage. Simply use them while engaging the next pack of mobs and enjoy doing no threat until the Mirror Images disappear.

This WeakAura by Hildigunnur shows you a list of targets you have threat on and displays your threat relative to your tank. There are several such modifications on wago.io, just search there for 'aoe threat'. Another way to survive high AoE threat is to use Ice Block IconIce Block or Invisibility IconInvisibility when in danger. Ice Block is no threat wipe, but it gives your tank more time to build threat during its duration. Invisibility takes you out of combat after 3 seconds and completely resets your threat.


Highest DPS AoE Rotation

The Living Bomb IconLiving Bomb DoT takes 12 seconds to explode, so it is best used directly on pull while mobs are still running toward the tank. DoT up as many mobs as possible (Flame Throwing IconFlame Throwing can help to DoT earlier), but make sure to only use this technique if you know that the mobs will survive long enough for the detonation to go off. Cast Dragon's Breath IconDragon's Breath in melee range of the mobs. This will trigger Firestarter IconFirestarter which allows you to cast Flamestrike IconFlamestrike (Rank 9). Cast Blast Wave IconBlast Wave and hit the mobs in front of you, and follow it up with a Firestarter IconFirestarter Flamestrike IconFlamestrike (Rank 8). If your mobs are stationary, it is better (damage-wise but not threat-wise) to cast Blizzard IconBlizzard. If the mobs move, cast Arcane Explosion IconArcane Explosions. Should the enemies live long enough, you can cast Living Bomb IconLiving Bombs and Dragon's Breath IconDragon's Breath/Blast Wave IconBlast Wave (followed by instant Flamestrike IconFlamestrike) again. If any of these spells causes you to overaggro, reconsider using them. Frostfire Mages can find great damage potential in Living Bomb IconLiving Bombing high health enemies early, casting Flamestrike IconFlamestrike (Rank 9) and Flamestrike IconFlamestrike (Rank 8) where mobs are gathered and use a Blizzard IconBlizzard. This rotation does very high DPS on range, while Torment the Weak IconTorment the Weak Fire Mages have their highest damage potential in melee based AoE. Regardless of your spec, you will always do more damage being alive (and for Fire TTW: spamming Arcane Explosion IconArcane Explosion) than being dead and doing 0 damage. If you go into melee for the Blast Wave, Dragon's Breath and Flamestrike, using a macro that automatically casts Flamestrike on your position can be helpful:

  • #showtooltip
  • /cast [@player] Flamestrike(Rank 9)

You can exchange the [@player] with [@cursor] to cast it on your cursor's position position. Further, you can also exchange the spell name or even the rank (e.g. Rank 9 to Rank 8), but do not add a space between the spell's name and the (Rank x) or the macro will not work. Not adding a rank at all will automatically cast the highest rank of a spell.


Tips and Tricks for Using AoE Spells

All AoE spells can be combined with Global Thermal Sapper Charge Icon Global Thermal Sapper Charges and Saronite Bomb Icon Saronite Bombs by using a macro, and of course with all kinds of trinkets, cooldowns, and consumables. You can, for example, macro your trinket, Potion of Speed Icon Potion of Speed, the Troll racial Berserking IconBerserking, and a Saronite Bomb Icon Saronite Bomb into a macro that puts down a Flamestrike IconFlamestrike at your cursor's position:

Flamestrike IconFlamestrike Macro:

  • /use 13
  • /use Potion of Speed
  • /cast Berserking
  • /use [@cursor] Saronite Bomb
  • /cast [@cursor] Flamestrike(Rank 9)
  • /cqs

Frostfire Bolt Mages can add a /cast Icy Veins line to the macro.

Arcane Explosion IconArcane Explosion Macro:

  • /use 13
  • /use Potion of Speed
  • /cast Berserking
  • /use Global Thermal Sapper Charge
  • /use [@player] Saronite Bomb
  • /cast Arcane Explosion
  • /cqs

The trinket in the upper trinket slot is accessed via /use 13, and the trinket in the lower trinket slot via /use 14. You can only use one activation trinket at a time. If you wish to not include any trinket, potion, buff, or bomb in your macro, simply leave these lines out. The tag [@cursor] casts the Saronite Bomb Icon Saronite Bomb and Flamestrike IconFlamestrike at your cursor position, while [@player] casts the Saronite Bomb Icon Saronite Bomb at your player position. If you wish to use another spell, such as Blast Wave IconBlast Wave, simply write Blast Wave instead of Arcane Explosion IconArcane Explosion in the macro.


Single-Target Damage

Fire Mages are capable of doing huge amounts of single-target damage, especially in long fights during Molten Fury IconMolten Fury. Your main rotation will be to keep up Living Bomb IconLiving Bomb (prioritize refreshing Living Bomb over using a Pyroblast IconPyroblast Hot Streak IconHot Streak proc). If no Destruction Warlock with Improved Shadow Bolt IconImproved Shadow Bolt or no Frost Mage with Winter's Chill IconWinter's Chill is around, you need to keep up the Improved Scorch IconImproved Scorch debuff by casting Scorch IconScorch every 30 seconds. Cast Fireball IconFireballs and, when you score two crits in a row and Hot Streak IconHot Streak activates, cast an instant Pyroblast IconPyroblast. As of Phase 3, Mages will no longer need to deal with the 'Ignite Munching' problem, which was previously solved with addons and macros. Ignite IconIgnite munching basically meant that you lost Ignite IconIgnite damage from a Hot Streak IconHot Streaked Pyroblast IconPyroblast hitting at the same time as a Fireball IconFireball, because one Ignite got (partially) overwritten.

When you face Mana problems, cast Evocation IconEvocation when you are OOM (out of mana) and make sure to use your Mana Sapphire Icon Mana Sapphire on cooldown. A good macro for using Mana Sapphire is the following (this macro can also be used with potions, simply replace Mana Sapphire with the potion name):

  • #showtooltip Fireball
  • /use Mana Sapphire
  • /cast Fireball
  • /cqs

A good way to pump your DPS from stacking cooldowns is to use your Mirror Image IconMirror Image on cooldown and to use Combustion IconCombustion together with Fireball IconFireball in the following macro:

  • /use 13
  • /use Potion of Speed
  • /cast Berserking
  • /cast Combustion
  • /use [@cursor] Saronite Bomb
  • /cast Fireball
  • /cqs

(Frostfire Bolt Mages can add a /cast Icy Veins line to the macro.)

This way you will use your top trinket (13 is the top trinket slot, 14 is the bottom trinket slot), a Potion of Speed Icon Potion of Speed (or a Flame Cap Icon Flame Cap, if you adjust the macro accordingly), Berserking IconBerserking (only relevant for Trolls), Combustion IconCombustion, throw a Saronite Bomb Icon Saronite Bomb at your cursor position, and cast Fireball IconFireball on your target.


Other Important Fire Mage Spells to Have Keybound

Mirror Image IconMirror Image — Should be used for additional damage, as the Mirror Images attack your enemy and do additional damage, or to disappear from the threat list while doing heavy burst (AoE) damage. Mirror Images benefit from Bloodlust IconBloodlust/Heroism IconHeroism if cast beforehand and only attack if an enemy is nearby and you are already in combat with them.

Fire Blast IconFire Blast — Will be cast while moving or to finish off an enemy with a last cast. Fire Blast has no travel time. When you have a Hot Streak IconHot Streak proc and know you will need to move before the buff expires, keep it until you need to move and cast Fire Blast IconFire Blast -> Pyroblast IconPyroblast -> Fire Blast IconFire Blast.

Combustion IconCombustion — Increases your Critical Strike damage bonus with Fire damage spells by 50%, and causes each of your Fire damage spell hits to increase your Critical Strike chance with Fire damage spells by 10%. This effect lasts until you have caused 3 non-periodic Critical Strikes with Fire spells. Keep this spell for when you have as many damage increasing buffs as possible, as the Critical Strike damage bonus will scale with those damage increasing buffs.

Remove Curse IconRemove Curse — While this is no damage spell, it is of high importance to decurse on some fights, and doing so is part of being a good Mage.

Spellsteal IconSpellsteal — In some fights you either help your team to survive or you gain a massive buff when spell stealing from enemies.

Polymorph IconPolymorph — Turning your enemies into a sheep for 50 seconds is sometimes required in PvE encounters and you should always be ready to use this spell.

Blink IconBlink — This can either be used to travel a large distance within one GCD and continue casting or to move out of dangerous boss mechanics. Blink can be seen as a passive DPS increase, as you travel forward 20 yards and then have 1.5s global cooldown to position before you can cast again. Moving the same distance would take significantly longer and would reduce your overall casting time. If you are a good Mage, using this spell to avoid movement is a sign of quality.

Ice Block IconIce Block — Makes you immune to most kinds of damage. If you pulled aggro from a mob, they return to the 2nd-highest threat target (which usually is the tank). It can also be used to remove deadly debuffs from you.

Mana Shield IconMana Shield, Frost Ward IconFrost Ward, and Fire Ward IconFire Ward — absorb damage and can be useful in some PvE situations.


Other Useful Combat Abilities

Playing a Mage does not only mean to press the Fireball IconFireball/ Frostfire Bolt IconFrostfire Bolt and Pyroblast IconPyroblast buttons, but also managing your Mana, using crowd control spells, and making sure you survive.

Please consider taking a look at the Fire Mage spells section if you want to refresh your memory.



  • 16 Jun. 2023: Updated Ignite Munching information for P3.
  • 06 Jan. 2023: Updated for Frostfire spec.
  • 30 Dec. 2022: Added more detailed info about Mirror Images.
  • 03 Oct. 2022: Fixed some macro errors.
  • 14 Sep. 2022: Page added.
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