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Fire Mage DPS Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities (Legion 7.3.5)

Last updated on Nov 28, 2017 at 16:42 by Furty 346 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

On this page, we list your Fire Mage core abilities and how they should be used together (rotation) in World of Warcraft Legion 7.3.5. We also explain when to use your various cooldowns. Then, we go deeper and present all the subtleties that you will need to know if you want to excel at playing a Fire Mage.

The other pages of our Fire Mage guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

About Our Author and Reviewer

This guide has been written by Furty, who has an illustrious history in the World of Warcraft raiding scene and race for World First. He has been a member of guilds such as Serenity, Midwinter, and many more, and is currently raiding in Future. He plays most classes at the highest level. You can follow him on Twitter and watch him play on Twitch.

This guide has been reviewed and approved by Rinoa, a Fire Mage theorycrafter for Altered Time who is also a raider for Pieces.

1. Ability Priority List for Fire Mage

  • Show AoE lines
  1. Use Rune of Power Icon Rune of Power when Combustion Icon Combustion is off cooldown.
  2. Cast Meteor Icon Meteor, if talented.
  3. Use Combustion Icon Combustion when it is off cooldown. Ensure you have at least 2 charges of  Icon Phoenix's Flames available.
  4. Use Rune of Power Icon Rune of Power if it has 2 charges.
  5. Cast  Icon Phoenix's Flames if it has 2 charges.
  6. Cast Pyroblast Icon Pyroblast when you are on a Hot Streak Icon Hot Streak.
  7. Cast Fire Blast Icon Fire Blast when you are Heating Up Icon Heating Up.
  8. Cast Fireball Icon Fireball to generate Heating Up Icon Heating Up.
  9. Cast Scorch Icon Scorch if you have to move and have no instant casts to burn.

If you are using Darckli's Dragonfire Diadem Icon Darckli's Dragonfire Diadem, or are talented into Alexstrasza's Fury Icon Alexstrasza's Fury, you should be using Dragon's Breath Icon Dragon's Breath on cooldown regardless of the number of targets present.

The core component of this specialization is chaining as many Critical Strikes together as possible to maintain large Ignite Icon Ignites. Fire is an extremely reactive specialization, meaning that most of your optimizations will occur moment to moment, rather than planning a large damage dump minutes in advance.

It is highly recommended you read the "Combustion Usage" section as it is of crucial importance to the Fire specialization.

For more information on your opening sequence, please refer to our dedicated section.

2. Important Notes for Fire Mages

2.1. Effectively Creating Crit Trains

Understanding how to generate Critical Strikes as efficiently as possible is key to utilizing Fire effectively. This is a specialization that is designed to crit more often than not, so it is easy to understand why learning to execute the right combos to create a chain of crits is of paramount importance.

Whenever you get a Heating Up Icon Heating Up proc, you should convert it to a Hot Streak Icon Hot Streak using Fire Blast Icon Fire Blast. Generally, you will then want to cast a Fireball Icon Fireball, and immediately spend your Hot Streak Icon Hot Streak on a Pyroblast Icon Pyroblast as your Fireball Icon Fireball cast finishes. Both of these spells will strike at the same time, generating the largest possible ignite and the chance at an immediate follow up Hot Streak Icon Hot Streak if both of them critically strike. If only one of the spells critically strikes, Heating Up Icon Heating Up will proc and you can immediately Fire Blast Icon Fire Blast and repeat this process.

There is a 0.2-second grace period where Heating Up Icon Heating Up will not be cancelled if two spells impact simultaneously and only one of them critically strikes.

This is known as "Pyroblast Fishing" and is the best way to create a large chain of crits. The exception to this rule is during Combustion Icon Combustion, where spells will crit, allowing you to chain together a variety of combos that will be covered in more detail later in the guide.

2.1.1. Spells That Do Not Trigger or Cancel Heating Up

2.2. Phoenix's Flames

 Icon Phoenix's Flames is a fantastic tool for both single target and AoE burst. It does slightly less damage than a Pyroblast Icon Pyroblast, is instant cast, is a guaranteed Critical Strike, and splashes to everything nearby for 33% of the damage.

Generally speaking you can use this ability at your discretion. It is best used for AoE burst and to enable priority damage when Fire Blast Icon Fire Blast is not available. Remember that Pyroblast Icon Pyroblast does about 25% more damage, so on pure single target and during Combustion Icon Combustion you should always prioritize Pyroblast Icon Pyroblast and Fire Blast Icon Fire Blast first. You should still try and save at least 2 charges for Combustion Icon Combustion to use after your charges of Fire Blast Icon Fire Blast run dry.

2.3. Flamestrike Usage

Flamestrike Icon Flamestrike has been reworked to now function as an alternative spell to spend Hot Streak Icon Hot Streak on. Similar to Pyroblast Icon Pyroblast, it has an extremely long cast time, and you should never hard cast it during an encounter, regardless of the number of enemies present. Rather, when a certain number of targets are present (4 or more, with a fully completed Artifact), you will switch from spending your Hot Streak Icon Hot Streak procs on Pyroblast Icon Pyroblast to Flamestrike Icon Flamestrike. Ignite Icon Ignite is also applied by Flamestrike Icon Flamestrike. You should treat Flamestrike Icon Flamestrike the same way you would treat Pyroblast Icon Pyroblast rotationally, and follow the same spell priority you would on a single target. The main difference between Pyroblast Icon Pyroblast and Flamestrike Icon Flamestrike is that Flamestrike Icon Flamestrike cannot generate Heating Up Icon Heating Up or Hot Streak Icon Hot Streak, making crit chains less likely. Flamestrike Icon Flamestrike is a targeted ability, so it can be helpful to already have the reticle placed during your Fireball Icon Fireball cast, allowing you to instantly Flamestrike Icon Flamestrike.

It is important to note that casting Flamestrike Icon Flamestrike when 4 targets are present may not be the best choice if the targets do not have equal kill priority. Though it will result in higher DPS, it can often be a wiser choice to Pyroblast Icon Pyroblast the most important targets first (on raid encounters) to give your group the greatest chance of success.

2.4. Rune of Power

Rune of Power Icon Rune of Power is a medium length cooldown that is best used to apply significant pressure during its duration. You should always overlap Rune of Power Icon Rune of Power and Combustion Icon Combustion, as they both last 10 seconds. Start by casting Rune of Power Icon Rune of Power, and immediately activating Combustion Icon Combustion at the end of the cast, so they will both end at the same time. Rune of Power Icon Rune of Power does have 2 charges, allowing you to save the second for a usage of your choice. Good times to use your second rune charge:

  • to push a damage check;
  • when several advantageous procs overlap;
  • during a period of zero movement;
  • on AoE.

Remember that Kindling Icon Kindling can dramatically change the timing of your Combustion Icon Combustion, and you will have to plan your Rune of Power Icon Rune of Power usage accordingly to ensure you always have a charge available.

2.5. Blazing Barrier

This can be cast any time you have to slightly reposition. It lasts for 60 seconds, but only has a 25-second cooldown. You can and should cast it before the start of every engagement.

2.6. Scorch

Scorch Icon Scorch should be used in place of Fireball Icon Fireball while Combustion Icon Combustion is active. The reasoning is fairly straightforward:

  • Faster cast time
  • Guaranteed Critical Strike
  • No travel time

In contrast, Scorch Icon Scorch is very weak outside of Combustion Icon Combustion for the same reasons. Because it has no travel time, you cannot efficiently fish for Pyroblast Icon Pyroblasts.

Scorch Icon Scorch can be cast while moving, and will also grant you a speed buff when talented into Frenetic Speed Icon Frenetic Speed. Wherever possible, try to instead rely on Shimmer Icon Shimmer and/or Blazing Barrier Icon Blazing Barrier before relying on Scorch Icon Scorch. This spell, when combined with Frenetic Speed Icon Frenetic Speed, can be very useful for extended movement if your charges of Shimmer Icon Shimmer are unavailable. Try not to lean too heavily on this spell as a movement crutch, however, as it will deflate your damage due to its lack of potency.

3. Core Concepts for Fire Mage

Fire Mage is an elementary enough specialization to perform on a target dummy, but there are a few key factors that will separate the good from the great. Learning to focus on what is important and master the core concepts of a specialization is what leads to strong overall performance on the damage charts. There are 3 major concepts that form the central trinity of optimizing for success:

  1. proper use of Combustion Icon Combustion;
  2. critical Strike chains;
  3. movement management.

Managing movement is a fundamental skill shared by all the caster classes in World of Warcraft. The highly mobile nature of the Mage class allows flexible and creative ways to move during combat, making it of supreme importance that you give this the proper respect.

3.1. Combustion Usage

Combustion Icon Combustion should be used on cooldown whenever possible. You should always overlap Combustion Icon Combustion with other damage boosts that allow for a large overall Ignite Icon Ignite, such as Rune of Power Icon Rune of Power and Meteor Icon Meteor.

Before activating Combustion Icon Combustion you should generate a Hot Streak Icon Hot Streak. You should also try and save at least one charge of Fire Blast Icon Fire Blast, though preferably both charges will be available. Then follow this list of actions.

  1. Place your Rune of Power Icon Rune of Power (if talented) and immediately activate Combustion Icon Combustion as this cast finishes.
  2. Consume your Hot Streak Icon Hot Streak with a Pyroblast Icon Pyroblast cast.
  3. Immediately cast Fire Blast Icon Fire Blast and Pyroblast Icon Pyroblast again.
  4. Cast  Icon Phoenix's Flames.
  5. Cast Pyroblast Icon Pyroblast and Fire Blast Icon Fire Blast.
  6. Cast Pyroblast Icon Pyroblast.
  7. Cast  Icon Phoenix's Flames.
  8. Cast Pyroblast Icon Pyroblast.
  9. Cast  Icon Phoenix's Flames.
  10. Cast Pyroblast Icon Pyroblast.

If you have a fraction of a second left on Combustion Icon Combustion and no Hot Streak Icon Hot Streak, you should cast Dragon's Breath Icon Dragon's Breath if you are in range.

3.2. Critical Strike Chains

We talked about "Pyro Fishing" earlier in the guide, so there is no need to go over it in detail again here. It should not be understated, however, how important properly chaining together your abilities is, and the overall impact it has on your DPS. This is especially true on cleave, as building a smooth and powerful Ignite Icon Ignite will determine how much cleave and AoE you are able to output. Get used to properly chaining your spells by practicing on target dummies or in LFR.

3.3. Movement Management

While it is difficult to describe the best ways to position and move during a dungeon or raid encounter, it is essential to your success as a Fire Mage.

Try and use Blink Icon Blink for "urgent" movement — when you need to travel from one place to another as quickly as possible. Blazing Barrier Icon Blazing Barrier is a good choice when you only need to take a few steps, as it only costs a single GCD.

If you are playing with Shimmer Icon Shimmer talented you should be using this to move large distances when possible, as it does not interrupt your cast when used.

The combination of Scorch Icon Scorch and Frenetic Speed Icon Frenetic Speed can also be useful for extended movement if Shimmer Icon Shimmer is unavailable.

Always try to position yourself in a location central to fight movement. For example, if the boss is being moved in a circle, try to stay on the inside of the kite path to ensure minimal movement.

3.3.1. Quiet Movement

Many players will unconsciously move during fights, despite it being unnecessary. For example, sometimes the boss or adds will be moved by the tank a couple yards, and though you are still in range to cast, you subconsciously mirror that movement, costing you global cooldowns. Consciously work to "quiet" your movement, and reduce unnecessary movement to a minimum. The best way to see this in action is to take a video of your raid, then watch yourself play. Most players will be surprised by the amount of wasted movement they commit. When you are forced to move, make use of the tips above, and make your path as direct and decisive as possible.

4. Opening Sequence for Fire Mage

  1. Use Potion of Prolonged Power Icon Potion of Prolonged Power.
  2. Pre-cast Fireball Icon Fireball at 2.0 seconds on the countdown.
  3. Place Rune of Power Icon Rune of Power.
  4. Activate Combustion Icon Combustion.
  5. Activate any on-use trinkets or racials you have.
  6. Cast Fire Blast Icon Fire Blast if Heating Up Icon Heating Up activates. If Heating Up Icon Heating Up did not activate from your precast, instead cast Fire Blast Icon Fire Blast and  Icon Phoenix's Flames.
  7. Cast Pyroblast Icon Pyroblast.
  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.
  14. Cast Fire Blast Icon Fire Blast.
  15. Cast Pyroblast Icon Pyroblast.
  16. Cast  Icon Phoenix's Flames.
  17. Cast Pyroblast Icon Pyroblast.

If you get any procs from Pyromaniac Icon Pyromaniac, simply use them immediately. The opener is of paramount importance. It is recommended you practice in LFR or on a target dummy to build enough muscle memory to consistently execute it without flaws. If you are playing with Firestarter Icon Firestarter the opener is eased somewhat as your pre-cast crit is guaranteed.

5. ChangeLog

  • 28 Nov. 2017: Updated rotation.
  • 29 Aug. 2017: Updated opener.
  • 12 Jun. 2017: Updated number of targets for Flamestrike, Flamestrike Usage section, and replaced Deadly Grace with Prolonged Power.
  • 27 Mar. 2017: No changes needed for Patch 7.2.
  • 09 Jan. 2017: Slight updates for 7.1.5 (mostly Blazing Barrier, Ice Floes and Dragon's Breath).
  • 29 Nov. 2016: Updated Opening Sequence.
  • 05 Sep. 2016: Simplified rotation by adding checkboxes to hide or reveal specific lines (cooldown, talents, AoE, etc.).
  • 29 Aug. 2016: Updated for Legion's launch.
  • 18 Jul. 2016: Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
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