Fire Mage PvP Rotation and Playstyle (Shadowlands / 9.0.2)

Last updated on Dec 10, 2020 at 17:52 by Pherix 9 comments

PvP requires you to perform various actions in the course of a duel, match, or battleground: interrupting/silencing enemies, damaging them, bursting them down, defending yourself, keeping yourself alive, etc.. PvP is a game mode that fully utilises your kit, especially spells that are rarely used in PvE. On this page, we go through all the spells you need to use in PvP as a Fire Mage, how you should use them, and we explain what your playstyle should be.

This page is part of our Fire Mage PvP Guide.

1.

Playstyle for Fire Mages

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 talented 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 Icon Polymorph is in the Arcane school, and because the enemy team already interrupted you, you are free to cast Polymorph Icon Polymorph. If the team also interrupts that, you can cast Ring of Frost Icon Ring of Frost on the healer or melee that might be sitting on you. Ring of Frost Icon 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.

1.1.

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.

Make sure to use Arcane Intellect Icon Arcane Intellect on your teammates. It can be dispelled by abilities like Purge Icon Purge or Spellsteal Icon Spellsteal, so be prepared to apply it often. Use Blazing Barrier Icon Blazing Barrier when the gates open and refresh it often so you can absorb some of the incoming damage.

It is also important to note that you can use Remove Curse Icon Remove Curse to remove spells like Hex Icon Hex or Agony Icon Agony.

2.

Offensive Rotation

There are a few things to keep in mind.

  • We have Tinder Icon Tinder for the fast-cast Fireball Icon Fireballs. Keep this talent in mind, although it works passively.
  • Use Meteor Icon Meteor efficiently. This means making sure to use it when your teammates are prepared to burst with you, and not waste it when they are not. Typically make sure the target is stunned or locked down so they are not able to kite away from the Meteor Icon Meteor.
  • Rotate your critical strikes, Heating Up Icon Heating Up procs, and Hot Streak Icon Hot Streak instant Pyroblast Icon Pyroblast procs with your Fire Blast Icon Fire Blast.
  • Use Fire Blast Icon Fire Blast and Phoenix Flames Icon Phoenix Flames with Fireball Icon Fireballs to get Hot Streak Icon Hot Streak procs.
2.1.

Generating and Spending Heating Up Procs

Understanding how to generate and spend Heating Up Icon Heating Up procs is crucial for maximizing your damage as a Fire Mage. These are generated by getting a critical strike with a fire ability. If you get 2 critical strikes in a row, you get a Hot Streak Icon Hot Streak buff. This makes Pyroblast Icon Pyroblast instant and it deals double damage. Here are a few ways to generate the first heating up proc.:

  • Fire Blast Icon Fire Blast is a guaranteed critical strike. Because it always crits, it is important to save these charges for when you get a Heating Up Icon Heating Up proc, so it will turn into a Hot Streak Icon Hot Streak buff.
  • Phoenix Flames Icon Phoenix Flames is an instant ability that has a chance to critical strike. Use this if you are having a hard time casting and trying to get a Heating Up Icon Heating Up proc. Be careful, as this ability can break CC like Polymorph Icon Polymorph on enemies nearby.
  • Fireball Icon Fireball is a casted ability that is not a guaranteed critical strike, but you will use it often to reduce the cooldown of your Combustion Icon Combustion.
  • Scorch Icon Scorch can be used while moving and does not have a guaranteed critical strike. This can be used to generate the first Heating Up Icon Heating Up proc, but it unreliable and does quite low damage.

So now that you have a Heating Up Icon Heating Up proc, you now need to get a second critical strike to get a Hot Streak Icon Hot Streak buff. This is where Fire Blast Icon Fire Blast is important. This ability is instant and always critically strikes. Use Fire Blast and you will get the Hot Streak buff. Once you get it, use it on an instant Pyroblast Icon Pyroblast. Note: the instant Pyroblast can critically strike, so be ready to use another Fire Blast to get another Hot Streak buff.

2.2.

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 for your team's next setup. 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. Here is what your opener should look like:

  1. Use Invisibility Icon Invisibility in the starting room.
  2. Use Dragon's Breath Icon Dragon's Breath on the enemy healer and start casting Polymorph Icon Polymorph for crowd control.
  3. If an enemy interrupts your Polymorph Icon Polymorph, use Ring of Frost Icon Ring of Frost.
  4. Use Spellsteal Icon Spellsteal to steal any HoTs on your main target.
  5. Start casting Fireball Icon Fireballs to get a Heating Up Icon Heating Up proc.
  6. Use your burst rotation.
  7. After your burst, perform your do sustained damage rotation until your burst cooldowns are available.
2.3.

Burst Damage

Before you start using your burst rotation, keep in mind that your Combustion Icon Combustion and Fire Blast Icon Fire Blast are off the Global Cooldown and instant. This makes Fire Mage's burst very hard to counter. Be careful however, because Combustion Icon Combustion can be Purge Icon Purged, and so maybe CC the enemy that can use Purge Icon Purge or Spellsteal Icon Spellsteal

  1. Start with a Hot Streak Icon Hot Streak proc.
  2. Use any of your on-use damaging trinkets.
  3. Use Blood Fury Icon Blood Fury if you are playing an Orc.
  4. Use Combustion Icon Combustion.
  5. Use Meteor Icon Meteor.
  6. Use Pyroblast Icon Pyroblast.
  7. Use Fire Blast Icon Fire Blast.
  8. Use Pyroblast Icon Pyroblast.
  9. Use Fire Blast Icon Fire Blast
  10. Use Pyroblast Icon Pyroblast.
  11. Use Fire Blast Icon Fire Blast.
  12. Use Pyroblast Icon Pyroblast.
  13. Use Phoenix Flames Icon Phoenix Flames.
  14. Use Pyroblast Icon Pyroblast.
  15. Use Phoenix Flames Icon Phoenix Flames.
  16. Use Pyroblast Icon Pyroblast.
  17. Use Phoenix Flames Icon Phoenix Flames.
  18. Use Pyroblast Icon Pyroblast.
  19. Use Fire Blast Icon Fire Blast.
  20. Use 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 Icon Pyroblast will be a critical strike while Combustion Icon Combustion is active.

2.4.

Sustained damage

Sustained damage is damage you do when your burst cooldowns are not available. Fire Mages do not have strong sustained damage. After using Combustion Icon Combustion, you should focus on reducing its cooldown by casting Fireball Icon Fireballs and keeping your teammates alive with Polymorph Icon Polymorph.

  1. Use Fireball Icon Fireballs when you have the Tinder Icon Tinder buff. This will make your next Fireball Icon Fireball a much quicker cast and can generate a Heating Up Icon Heating Up proc.
  2. When you get a Heating Up Icon Heating Up proc, use Fire Blast Icon Fire Blast to get a Hot Streak Icon Hot Streak buff.
  3. Use Pyroblast Icon Pyroblast when you have a Hot Streak Icon Hot Streak buff.
  4. Use Phoenix Flames Icon Phoenix Flames if you cannot cast and are trying to generate a Heating Up Icon Heating Up proc.
  5. Use Polymorph Icon Polymorph on any DPS that are being disruptive to you or your teammates.
  6. Use Flamestrike Icon Flamestrike if the enemies are running behind a pillar.
  7. If you get kicked on a Fire or Arcane spell, you can use Frostbolt Icon Frostbolt and Frost Nova Icon Frost Nova to slow and root the enemies.
  8. Use Scorch Icon Scorch to move around and get in a better position to cast those Polymorph Icon Polymorphs. There is also the potential to get a Heating Up Icon Heating Up proc.

The overall goal is to always have consistent damage. When you get a Heating Up Icon Heating Up proc, you want to use follow it up with a Fire Blast Icon Fire Blast. This will result in getting a Hot Streak Icon Hot Streak proc. There is a chance for Pyroblast Icon Pyroblast to deal critical damage, which means you can again use Fire Blast Icon Fire Blast to generate another Hot Streak Icon Hot Streak proc. This is the power of Fire Mage — instant, sustained damage that cannot be stopped.

3.

Defensive Techniques

Ice Block Icon Ice Block is your main defensive ability. If you have run out of Shimmer Icon Shimmers and have no other ways to kite or survive, use this spell. This will protect you from all damage.

Cauterize Icon Cauterize is a passive ability that gives Fire Mages a "second life", preventing you from dying on a 5-minute cooldown and instead burning your health for 6 seconds. It also increases your movement speed. This is very useful when you are about to die and it helps you get away from enemies.

Blazing Barrier Icon Blazing Barrier is a slightly weaker form of Ice Barrier Icon Ice Barrier. However, it deals damage when you are strike by melee attacks. It is best used right before being stunned or when enemies are using cooldowns.

Alter Time Icon Alter Time may seem like a confusing ability at first, but it is really straight forward. The first time you press this ability, it remembers how much health you have and your location. The second time you press it, it will return to the same location with the exact health you had when you first pressed it. This should be used when you feel like you are about to take damage or about to be stunned. This ability can be Purge Icon Purged so be mindful.

Although Mirror Image Icon Mirror Image deals damage and slows enemies, it should primarily be used a defensive cooldown. While the images active, you take 20% less damage. Taking direct damage will break 1 of the 3 mirrors. If the images stay alive for the entire duration, you will get this damage reduction for 40 seconds! Use this when you do not have Alter Time and you see the enemy using their burst cooldowns.

4.

Macros

It is advised to use Macros to use abilities on enemies or allies without having to target them. For this reason, we have a page dedicated to them.

5.

Changelog

  • 10 Dec. 2020: Updated for Shadowlands Season 1.
  • 14 Oct. 2020: Updated for Shadowlands pre-patch.
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