Fire Mage Pre-Patch Guide for WotLK Classic

Last updated on Aug 27, 2022 at 02:15 by Wrdlbrmpft 3 comments

The Pre-Patch period of Wrath of the Lich King Classic is a time to allow players to level or gear up characters while experiencing some of the class changes of the coming expansion before its official launch. Here you will find recommended talents, gear, and some rotation tips for a Fire Mage when you can only reach a maximum level of 70.


Fire Mage in Wrath of the Lich King Pre-Patch

Fire Mages got a nice overall buff in Wrath of the Lich King. However, at the start of the expansion and during pre-patch, they are not as strong as Arcane Mages. This is because until Northrend Fire Mages do not have access to their good Major Glyphs and Sunwell Plateau gear has a lot of Haste instead of Critical Strike rating. However, the spec is now a lot more engaging than it was in Vanilla and TBC, because it relies a lot on abilities interacting with each other, such as with the Hot Streak IconHot Streak and Firestarter IconFirestarter talents. Finally, bear in mind that because there is no simulation for Level 70 WoTLK, this guide is based on Osthyvel's Level 80 Mage Simulation.


Stats, Gear, Glyphs and Enchants



As written above, this guide is based on Level 80 simulations. For Fire Mages, the major stat change in WotLK is the value of Critical Strike Rating, because of the Hot Streak IconHot Streak talent (more info below).

Suggested stat prio: Hit (until cap) > Critical Strike Rating >= Haste >= Spell Damage > Intellect > Spirit.

  • Critical Strike Rating — A very good stat due to Hot Streak IconHot Streak.
  • Haste Rating — Probably our most powerful stat after Hit Rating until cap. However, Haste loses a lot of its value when you go below the global cooldown.
  • Hit Rating — Effectively, your Hit cap increased from 16% Hit in TBC to 17% in WotLK. The talent Precision IconPrecision still gives 3% Hit. However, a Druid's Improved Faerie Fire IconImproved Faerie Fire and a Priest's Misery IconMisery give another total of 3% Hit (you only need one of these debuffs on your target) and Alliance players gain another 1% hit from Heroic Presence IconHeroic Presence if a Draenei is in their group. That means without Draenei, Faerie Fire, or Misery, you need 14% Hit (177 rating), or 11% hit (139 rating) with one of these debuffs present. Note that all Hit rating values mentioned here are for Level 70, but Spicy Hot Talbuk Icon Spicy Hot Talbuk offers you another 20 Hit Rating, allowing Fire Mages to go even lower with Hit rating.
  • Intellect — Provides more maximum Mana and a very slightly increased Critical Strike chance.
  • Spell Power — Together with Critical Strike and Haste Rating, this is likely your strongest stat. In WotLK, Spell Damage and Healing have been changed into the stat Spell Power.
  • Spirit — With Molten Armor IconMolten Armor, 35% (or 55% with the Glyph of Molten Armor Icon Glyph of Molten Armor) of your Spirit will be converted into Critical Strike Rating. Further, Spirit still increases your Mana regeneration, but it is not the greatest of all stats.
  • Stamina — While not adding DPS, Stamina provides health and you can only DPS if you are alive.


Basically, most of the TBC Phase 5 BiS below is still valid, but with the above changes to Hit rating and the buff food mentioned above, it is possible to wield less pieces with Hit rating. Further, some healing items get more value:



Wrath of the Lich King introduces the new profession Inscription, adding glyphs for each class. Glyphs enhance or change class-specific abilities and can be very powerful. Each class can use each 3 major and minor glyphs. A big chunk of glyphs will only be available with WotLK's full launch, which sadly includes all of your good Fire Mage glyphs, namely Glyph of Fireball Icon Glyph of Fireball, Glyph of Living Bomb Icon Glyph of Living Bomb, and Glyph of Molten Armor Icon Glyph of Molten Armor only become available in Northrend. Therefore you need to resort to other major glyphs, such as Glyph of Evocation Icon Glyph of Evocation or Glyph of Mana Gem Icon Glyph of Mana Gem. The minor glyphs available during pre-patch, meanwhile, are mostly underwhelming, but Glyph of Arcane Intellect Icon Glyph of Arcane Intellect and Glyph of Slow Fall Icon Glyph of Slow Fall are decent quality of life glyphs.



The enchants list of TBC stays valid, except for the Gem change above.


Talents and Rotation



Due to missing talent points from not being Level 80, the talent build below is considered to be the best for Fire Mages at Level 70. It has some of the core abilities such as Hot Streak IconHot Streak, Firestarter IconFirestarter, and Living Bomb IconLiving Bomb.



Make sure to keep up Molten Armor IconMolten Armor. It is the armor you want to use, as it turns 35% of your Spirit into Critical Strike rating.


Single-Target Rotation

The first part of the single-target rotation will be to apply the Improved Scorch IconImproved Scorch debuff and keep it on your target during the fight by casting Scorch IconScorch. You can skip this step if you have a Destruction Warlock with Improved Shadow Bolt IconImproved Shadow Bolt or a Frost Mage with Winter's Chill IconWinter's Chill in your raid.

Apply and keep up Living Bomb IconLiving Bomb, then cast Fireball IconFireballs. Each time you score two critical strikes in a row, your Hot Streak IconHot Streak talent becomes active and gives you an instant Pyroblast IconPyroblast. However, you need a macro for Pyroblast IconPyroblast, in order to avoid Ignite IconIgnite munching:

  • #showtooltip
  • /cast Pyroblast
  • /cqs

Ignite IconIgnite munching basically means that you lose Ignite IconIgnite damage from a Hot Streak IconHot Streaked Pyroblast IconPyroblast hitting at the same time as a Fireball IconFireball, because one Ignite gets overwritten. The /cqs adds a small delay to your Pyroblast and will avoid the munching most of the time, resulting in a net DPS gain.

Finally, whenever you need to move, Fire Blast IconFire Blast is your preferred spell.


AoE Rotation

The AoE rotation at first seems complicated, but once you get the hang of it becomes fairly logical. In theory, stacking the two highest ranks of Flamestrike IconFlamestrike followed by Blizzard IconBlizzard is the highest AoE damage rotation, but in practice your targets often move out of the Flamestrike ground effect and Blizzard radius or even get kited toward the next pack. Therefore we will use a clever combination of spells and talents.

During the pull you can already DoT up a few targets with Living Bomb IconLiving Bomb, while running toward them. Once threat is established and it is safe to AoE, cast Blast Wave IconBlast Wave in order to proc the Firestarter IconFirestarter talent, which will allow you to cast an instant Flamestrike IconFlamestrike (Rank 7). Repeat the same process with Dragon's Breath IconDragon's Breath, as it also procs Firestarter IconFirestarter and apply Flamestrike IconFlamestrike (Rank 6). Move out of melee range during the global cooldown to increase your threat threshold and cast Blizzard IconBlizzard. If mobs last long enough and do not move a lot, reapply the two highest ranks of Flamestrike IconFlamestrike. Whenever possible, use the Dragon's Breath and Blast Wave rotation explained above again. For Flamestrike there are two reasonable macros you can use:

  • #showtooltip
  • /cast [@cursor] Flamestrike(Rank 7)


  • #showtooltip
  • /cast [@player] Flamestrike(Rank 7)

The first macro places the Rank 7 Flamestrike IconFlamestrike at your cursor's position while the second macro places it on top of you, which is ok if you are in melee range of the mobs. Use whichever you can handle better in a raid and change Rank 7 to Rank 6 to also have a Flamestrike macro for your second-highest rank of the spell.

Whenever you are going OOM (out of Mana), use Evocation IconEvocation. A Druid's Innervate IconInnervate is not based on your own Spirit and Intellect anymore in WotLK, but is instead based on the Druid's base Mana. Therefore it will restore a small and fixed amount of Mana. Another small tip is that the Tier 3 2-set bonus (Frostfire Regalia) reduces the cooldown of Evocation by a minute. With this in mind, you can swap to the 2 pieces, wait for a second (the bonus needs a bit to activate), Evocate, and swap back to your normal gear. Be sure to only use this strategy out of combat, as you can only switch back to your normal gear out of combat and Tier 3 is terrible to wear during an encounter.



The best times to use cooldowns for Fire Mages are when the boss health is below 35% (activating the Molten Fury IconMolten Fury talent) and during Bloodlust IconBloodlust/ Heroism IconHeroism. As Bloodlust/Heroism gives you 30% increased cast speed, it is better than Molten Fury. Therefore you want to use your potion (see below) and your Flame Cap Icon Flame Cap with Combustion IconCombustion during Bloodlust. If your raid leader is really good, they will give you Bloodlust during the 35% phase. In that case hold your potion and Flame Cap. Use Combustion IconCombustion twice if the fight is long enough for it. To learn how to build the correct macros for cooldown stacking, check out the link below.



There is good news: In WotLK Weapon Oils get removed and food and drinks are in one category. In practice that means that you do not need Brilliant Wizard Oil Icon Brilliant Wizard Oil and Kreeg's Stout Beatdown Icon Kreeg's Stout Beatdown any more. Further, only one potion can be used in fight, which is good for your wallet. Typically you "pre pot", which means you use a potion right before the pull and then are able to use another potion in fight. Between trash pulls, you can still chug Mana Potions, as their cooldown is only one minute in WotLK.

The consumables you will be using are:

Another niche and rather expensive consumable is Greater Rune of Warding Icon Greater Rune of Warding. If you have the gold for it, using it will not hurt you and can potentially be a life-saver.


Boosted Characters

Of course, boosted characters also want to be geared. Since the time period until the actual Wrath of the Lich King launch is so short and since many item options outside of Sunwell Plateau BiS gear can be replaced rather quickly by WotLK quest rewards, it is not recommended to invest hefty amounts of gold and time into gearing. If you want to gear up regardless, feel free to visit the TBC gear pages below:



  • 23 Aug. 2022: Page added.
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