Fire Mage PvP Guide for WotLK Classic
Viability of Fire Mages in WotLK Classic PvP
Fire Mages are an unconventional specialization, which relies on steady and high damage. They have less single-target burst damage than Arcane Mages, while the Fire Mage AoE is really strong. Their single-target damage is more sustained and not as tied towards long cooldowns, and their burst is tied mostly to procs. They fit better into Arena compositions with a healer and are also great in Battlegrounds and World PvP.
Pyro Fire PvP Mage Talent Build
This is the standard Living Bomb+Imp CS build, which gets a decent DoT that deals damage after 12s or when dispelled, instant Pyros from Hot Streak after critting twice in a row, and the small damage cooldown Combustion. This spec also comes with a little better crowd control, as Blast Wave has a knockback and daze, while Dragon's Breath has a disorient effect.
Focus Magic is only viable if you play with another caster that crits a lot.
Fire PvP Mage Rotation
Rather than a fixed rotation, Mage gameplay is about setting up crowd control chains, followed by bursting down a target with all of your cooldowns at once, hoping for many Hot Streak procs. DoTting up multiple enemies with Living Bomb can be fatal for them and can even be used as a tactical way to keep them spread, which makes focusing one person a little easier.
Use your spells accordingly to keep enemies under control, and try to find the best timing to burst them down:
- Keep yourself alive with Frost Nova, Mana Shield, Blast Wave, Dragon's Breath, and Blink.
- Stay in control of the match with Polymorph, Counterspell, and Spellsteal.
- Burst someone down with Combustion, Frostfire Bolt, and Hot Streak or Fiery Payback Pyroblasts. Use Scorch or Fire Blast to finish off and stun enemies (Impact) and use Pyroblast Procs. If you fail to kill the enemy within the burst window, it is very likely that you will not deal enough damage to kill the enemy team in 2v2s or 3v3s, while in 5v5s your sustained damage will be more beneficial.
- Depending on the enemy team's comp, it can be beneficial to DoT up your enemies with Living Bomb, to prevent dispels or to force them to spread.
Fire PvP Mage Glyphs
Recommended glyphs are Glyph of Living Bomb, Glyph of Scorch and Glyph of Polymorph as Major glyphs. For Minor glyphs, Fire Mages use Glyph of Arcane Intellect, Glyph of Frost Ward and Glyph of Fire Ward.
Gearing a PvP Fire Mage in Wrath of the Lich King
The list linked below includes the best possible gear setup for a Fire Mage in PvP.
Fire Mage PvP Arena Teams and Compositions
Fire Mages need to go into compositions where tactical play is relevant and controlled burst damage is not required. Here are some suggestions:
In 2v2, Mage + Mage is your best composition, as an extra Mage can deal extra burst damage and crowd control to make a kill in the opener much more likely.
In 3v3, Mage + Warlock + Any Healer is a good composition with the huge sustained damage potential and excellent crowd-control abilities both Warlock and Mage bring.
In 5v5, Fire Mage can work with most compositions, and is a strong specialization to help burst someone down in the opener or control enemies. Ideally, you would pair up with an Elemental Shaman which can do high levels of on-demand burst and also brings the incredibly useful Bloodlust ability.
Fire Mage PvP Tricks and Tips
In order to become the best Mage possible, you should understand what your talents and spells are for. The amount of details that can go into this section of the guide is endless, but we will try to keep things brief in order to give you a general idea, which you can use to jumpstart your PvP experience.
Magic Attunement amplifies Amplify Magic and Dampen Magic by up to 50%. This is typically very useful to lower the damage you take from enemy casters, but will also reduce your healing taken, making it mostly useful in all-DPS compositions.
Improved Counterspell makes your Counterspell silence its target for 4 seconds. This guarantees that you can stop your target's casting, even if they do not actually try to cast anything in the first place. It also guarantees full silence, rather than the school silence of baseline Counterspell.
Combustion increases the Critical Strike chance by 10% per spell until 3 non-periodical Critical Strikes have been made, and increases your Critical Strike damage bonus by 50% while active. This can be used to burst hard and to proc Hot Streak Pyroblasts.
Improved Scorch increases your Fireball Critical Strike chance by 3% and Scorch adds a debuff to the target that increases its chance to be critically hit with spells by 5%. Lasts 30 seconds.
Impact gives your damaging spells a 10% chance to cause the next Fire Blast to stun the target for 2 seconds. Needless to say that this is very useful to, for example, "silence" an enemy healer for 2 seconds.
Ignite allows your Critical Strikes to finish enemies off by themselves, as they will take up to 40% extra damage from your Critical Strikes over 4 seconds. It can also be useful to keep Rogues out of stealth.
Living Bomb does periodic damage and after 12 seconds, or when the target is dispelled, explodes, dealing damage to all enemies within 10 yards. This can be useful to keep Rogues out of stealth or to keep enemies spread from each other so they do not take the explosion. Very strong against melee compositions.
Pyroblast does huge damage, but also requires 5 seconds to be cast. This means it is usually used alongside Hot Streak and Fiery Payback, or as an opener, before enemy players can react to your presence or while they are Polymorphed.
Spellsteal is expensive to cast, but when used at the right time, can turn a match around by stealing enemy buffs such as Ice Barrier, Power Infusion, and Icy Veins, or heals-over-time such as Lifebloom!
Focus Magic gives you 3% crit for 10 seconds, when the friendly target with this buff scores a critical strike. Increases the target's spell critical strike chance by 3%.
Blast Wave and Dragon's Breath deal damage and can act as crowd control spells, as Blast Wave has a knockback and a 6-seconds daze, while Dragon's Breath has a 5-second disorient effect.
Against casters, Molten Armor is great in short, burst-oriented matches, while Mage Armor can give you an edge in prolonged matches. Ice Armor is the armor of choice against melee comps, as its slow reduces their damage and makes you a hard target to focus.
Finally, it is important to note that Polymorph shares diminishing returns with Gouge, Sap, Repentance, Freezing Trap, and Wyvern Sting.
Frost Nova shares diminishing returns with Entangling Roots.
- 18 Jan. 2023: Reviewed for Phase 2 release ahead of Ulduar raid release.
- 18 Oct. 2022: Updated talent tree and rotation.
- 26 Sep. 2022: Page added.
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