Fire Mage Guide for The War Within

Last updated on Jun 17, 2024 at 10:00 by Dutchmagoz 64 comments

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on the Fire Mage changes in World of Warcraft's latest expansion, "The War Within." This page is designed to help you navigate the new changes, optimize your gameplay, and get the most out of your Fire Mage in PvE environments.

In this guide, you'll find detailed breakdowns of the new Hero Talent Trees for Fire Mage. We'll explore the most significant updates, and offer insights into how these changes will impact your overall playstyle. Whether you're a veteran Fire Mage or new to the class, our goal is to equip you with the knowledge and tools needed to excel in "The War Within."


Fire Mage: The War Within Expansion Preview

Welcome to our War Within expansion guide for Fire Mage. Ahead of launch, this page will contain everything you need to know about the Fire Mage spec in the forthcoming The War Within expansion, including changes, Hero Talent Trees, and some light predictions on the state of the spec going into the expansion.

This page is a constantly evolving work in progress, with regular changes expected as updates hit the War Within beta. This is not meant to be a launch guide for Fire Mage, but instead serves as a resource for you to keep up to date with how the spec is evolving on Beta, and what you can expect from its playstyle and feel on launch.


The War Within Changes for Fire Mage


Core Changes

Fire Mage has received a pretty large amount of changes, although the core playstyle has not been significantly altered. Ring of Frost Icon Ring of Frost and Ice Nova Icon Ice Nova have been turned into a choice node, reducing the total amount of crowd-control available by a little bit, although neither were picked very often in PvE. Dragon's Breath Icon Dragon's Breath has been moved to a higher location in the tree, making it easier to pick up. Temporal Warp Icon Temporal Warp has been removed, which was a highly devise node, with some players loving it and some hating it. It was replaced for a passive 3% Intellect choice node against Time Anomaly Icon Time Anomaly.

On the Fire side of the tree, there are a lot of changes. The overall structure of the tree is still relatively similar, where the left side of the tree is mostly single-target focused, the middle is mixed, and the right side of the tree is mostly AoE focused. However, many nodes have been repositioned, turned into choice nodes, or split choice nodes into their own individual nodes allowing you to pick both. Additionally, a fair amount of new nodes have been added. Below we will go over a list of the more impactful changes:

  • Scorch Icon Scorch and all of its related talents were changed:
    • Scorch Icon Scorch now has the guaranteed critical strike effect of Searing Touch Icon Searing Touch and the 30% movement speed from Improved Scorch Icon Improved Scorch merged into it, for targets below 30% health.
    • Searing Touch Icon Searing Touch was removed, however, all of its previous effects were put into different nodes into one way or another, in stronger versions. As described above, the guaranteed crit is now baseline on Scorch, and the bonus damage to Scorch was moved to a new node, Down in Flames Icon Down in Flames, which greatly increases the damage of Scorch to targets below 30%. This new node is in a choice node with Improved Scorch Icon Improved Scorch, which was buffed from 4% to 5% per stack, This means, you now have to pick between doing significantly more damage with Scorch, or a bit more damage with all of your spells.
    • Heat Shimmer Icon Heat Shimmer is a new talent, which has a chance to give you a new proc effect, making Scorch instant-cast, and treat the target as if it is below 30% health.
  • Living Bomb Icon Living Bomb has received a bunch of changes, with new talents modifying its behavior, proccing it, or otherwise changing it:
    • Living Bomb itself was removed as an ability you can cast manually. Instead, you can proc it and spread it via other means.
    • Lit Fuse Icon Lit Fuse is a new talent which will be the primary way to proc Living Bomb. It gives you a new proc that makes your next Fire Blast Icon Fire Blast apply Living Bomb to 3 nearby targets, which on explosion can spread up to 5 targets.
    • Sparking Cinders Icon Sparking Cinders is a new talent that gives your Living Bomb explosions a chance to make your next Flamestrike Icon Flamestrike and Pyroblast Icon Pyroblast do more damage.
    • Explosive Ingenuity Icon Explosive Ingenuity is a new talent that increases the Lit Fuse Icon Lit Fuse proc chance and further increase Living Bomb damage.
    • Convection Icon Convection was changed to now reapply Living Bomb to the original target if there are no nearby targets to spread to. This can only happen once per original Lit Fuse proc.
    • Explosivo Icon Explosivo guarantees a Lit Fuse Icon Lit Fuse proc when you cast Combustion Icon Combustion, and significantly increases the Lit Fuse proc chance during Combustion.
    • Blast Zone Icon Blast Zone greatly increases the amount of targets that Lit Fuse Icon Lit Fuse can apply Living Bomb to, by making the initial proc apply it to 5 targets, and any further explosions spread to up to 8 targets.
  • Quickflame Icon Quickflame is a new talent that increases the damage of Flamestrike Icon Flamestrike. This is a choice node with Flame Patch Icon Flame Patch, letting you choose between higher AoE burst via Quick Flame, or lower burst but higher overall damage with Flame Patch if the enemies stay inside the patch.
  • Pyromaniac Icon Pyromaniac and Inflame Icon Inflame are no longer choice nodes.
  • Call of the Sun King Icon Call of the Sun King now provides the guaranteed critical strikes on Phoenix Flames Icon Phoenix Flames that Alexstrasza's Fury Icon Alexstrasza's Fury used to provide, making Alexstrasza's Fury now only apply its effects to Dragon's Breath Icon Dragon's Breath. Additionally, Alexstrasza's Fury is now a choice node with a new talent, Ashen Feather Icon Ashen Feather. This new talent increases Phoenix Flames' effectiveness on single-target.
  • Controlled Destruction Icon Controlled Destruction was changed to increase Ignite damage as you fight the same target longer, up to 50 stacks.
  • Tempered Flames Icon Tempered Flames was replaced for Spontaneous Combustion Icon Spontaneous Combustion. This new talent is a choice node with Improved Combustion Icon Improved Combustion, which immediately sets all your Fire Blast Icon Fire Blast and Phoenix Flames Icon Phoenix Flames charges to the maximum.
  • Kindling Icon Kindling and Unleashed Inferno Icon Unleashed Inferno now also provide cooldown reduction on Combustion Icon Combustion for Flamestrike Icon Flamestrike crits, allowing an overall shorter Combustion cooldown time both on single-target and AoE scenarios.
  • Sun King's Blessing Icon Sun King's Blessing was changed to now require 10 stacks instead of 8 stacks.
  • Molten Fury Icon Molten Fury increases all damage dealt to targets below 35% health.
  • From the Ashes Icon From the Ashes is now no longer a choice node, and was changed to increase Phoenix Flames Icon Phoenix Flames damage and reduce its cooldown on direct damage from other spells.
  • Mark of the Fire Lord Icon Mark of the Fire Lord is a new talent that increases your Ignite damage from Flamestrike Icon Flamestrike and Living Bomb.
  • Many nodes changed position in the tree, were replaced, or had their numbers changed, but these are all minor changes and hard to list as it is basically a new talent tree.

Systems Changes

On top of the relatively large changes in the Fire tree, the Hero Talent Tree system also has a significant impact on the spec.

Fire Mage gets to choose between the Frostfire and Sunfury Hero Talent Trees. In sections below, we will talk more deeply about the implications of these Hero Talent Trees for the spec.


Hero Talent Trees for Fire Mage in The War Within


Frostfire Hero Talents for Fire Mage

Frostfire Bolt returns after having been removed in Legion, as a replacement for Fireball Icon Fireball. The spec revolves around building up stacks to improve your Haste and Mastery, and providing various additional procs.

The Frostfire Hero Talent tree is a visual thing of beauty, with you bombarding your enemies with all kinds of various Frost and Fire-related effects, like Meteor Icon Meteor also dropping down Comet Storm Icon Comet Storms, Phoenix Flames Icon Phoenix Flames sometimes shooting off Ice Nova Icon Ice Novas, and random mini Frostfire Bolts shooting at your targets.

Playstyle-wise, the tree is relatively passive. Most of the effects happen automatically when you cast other parts of your rotation that you already normally cast. The primary rotational change is Frostfire Empowerment Icon Frostfire Empowerment giving you a hard-hitting instant cast Frostfire bolt. You will most likely want to strategically use this proc to maintain your stacks.

Building the various stacks is done mostly passively. The Fire stacks are very quickly procced for obvious reasons, but the Frost procs are a bit slower, especially when the target is below 30%. Frostfire Bolt and its damage over time component are the primary way to proc the Frost effect, however, Fireball is not actually cast that often, especially when the target is below 30%, as Fireball (and thus Frostfire Bolt) is generally not used due to being replaced by Scorch Icon Scorch. This means, most Frost stacks will come from various procs like Frostfire Infusion Icon Frostfire Infusion and Meteor Icon Meteor also dropping a Comet Storm Icon Comet Storm, and Excess Frost Icon Excess Frost. Additionally, during Combustion Icon Combustion, the stacks are automatically maxed out via Flash Freezeburn Icon Flash Freezeburn, meaning that we do benefit from all of the perks of the tree during our most important damage window.

Defensively, you get the option of either another 5% health on your barrier, or to cast a full-strength Blazing Barrier Icon Blazing Barrier at the end of your Ice Block Icon Ice Block/Ice Cold Icon Ice Cold. We can also reduce our non Ice Block Icon Ice Block Frost cooldowns, which is mostly significant for PvP, as it allows more Frost Nova Icon Frost Nova or Ice Nova Icon Ice Nova usage.


Sunfury Hero Talents for Fire Mage

Sunfury provides Fire with a lot different ways to significantly increase the effectiveness of our spells, but it also gives us an Arcane Phoenix that shoots both Arcane and Fire spells at your enemies. You will build up Spellfire Spheres Icon Spellfire Spheres, increasing your damage and providing other benefits, and spawning a powerful Phoenix which does significant damage, while also able to use your Spellfire Spheres to destroy your enemies.

Playstyle-wise, the Sunfury tree goes through an entirely passive phase, into quick bursts of Hyperthermia Icon Hyperthermia. It also provides both a significant amount of passive Haste via Mana Addiction Icon Mana Addiction, and cooldown reduction on Fire Blast Icon Fire Blast via Glorious Incandescence Icon Glorious Incandescence, both speeding up your rotation further. You will build up Spellfire Spheres Icon Spellfire Spheres by consuming multiple Hot Streak Icon Hot Streaks, which both increase your damage and proc Burden of Power Icon Burden of Power providing a powerful boost to your Pyroblast Icon Pyroblast or Flamestrike Icon Flamestrike. Additionally, the tree allows you to move your Scorch execute phase from 30% to 35% via Sunfury Execution Icon Sunfury Execution, aligning it with Molten Fury Icon Molten Fury, or have longer Combustions based on the amount of Spheres you have when you cast it via Savor the Moment Icon Savor the Moment.

Finally, when you cast Combustion Icon Combustion (only when you cast it, so not via Sun King's Blessing Icon Sun King's Blessing) you spawn a strong Phoenix, which will passively attack your enemies with both Arcane and Fire spells. The Phoenix will also consume your Spheres, doing significant extra damage and buffing your own damage via Lingering Embers Icon Lingering Embers from Codex of the Sunstriders Icon Codex of the Sunstriders. Then, when your Combustion ends, you will get Hyperthermia Icon Hyperthermia based upon the amount of Spheres your Phoenix consumed, giving you an additional burst phase by making all Pyroblast Icon Pyroblast and Flamestrike Icon Flamestrike instant and guaranteed critical strikes.

Defensively, the Sunfury tree offers minimal benefits. It proves some avoidance and leech around your Blazing Barrier Icon Blazing Barrier. It does offer some additional crowd-control and utility via your Phoenix casting Spellsteal Icon Spellsteal / Supernova Icon Supernova / Gravity Lapse Icon Gravity Lapse, or replacing your own Supernova for Gravity Lapse.


Fire Mage Tier Set in The War Within

Below are the Tier Set Bonuses for Fire Mage in The War Within. After their description, some opinions on their pros and cons.

  • Mage Fire 11.0 Class Set 2pc Icon Mage Fire 11.0 Class Set 2pcPhoenix Flames Icon Phoenix Flames damage increased by 10%. This amount is increased to 25% on its primary target.
  • Mage Fire 11.0 Class Set 4pc Icon Mage Fire 11.0 Class Set 4pc — After dealing damage, Phoenix Flames Icon Phoenix Flames has a 10% chance to return to you, refunding 1% of the cooldown on Phoenix Flames and granting you 6% increased spell damage for 10 sec.

Both set bonuses are built around Phoenix Flames Icon Phoenix Flames, which has always been a mixed spell in terms of player enjoyment. Some love it, some hate it. The 2-set is a simple, completely passive damage increase, so there is not much to say about it. The 4-set however, gives you a small chance to refund 50% of the cooldown (the 1% shown in-game is incorrect) and increases your damage for 10 seconds.

Phoenix Flames is a pretty large source of Hot Streak Icon Hot Streak generation when talented with Call of the Sun King Icon Call of the Sun King (which will probably be a mandatory pick with this tier set), so this tier set indirectly increases the amount of Hot Streak procs which is always great. From the Ashes Icon From the Ashes gives you flat cooldown reduction on Phoenix Flames, which combined with the 4-set, would give you a lot of additional hard-hitting Phoenix Flames, especially if Ashen Feather Icon Ashen Feather is picked. Whether a build leaning so heavily into Phoenix Flames outperforms more traditional builds is yet to be seen, but it might be a viable or even the strongest possible build.

If you are a big fan of Phoenix Flames, then this tier set is a fun tier set to build around. Many people still find Phoenix Flames relatively awkward to cast due to how it interacts with the rest of our kit when used immediately after Pyroblasts or Fireballs, so those players might prefer a set bonus that is less focused around Phoenix Flames.

How Good is the Fire Mage Tier Bonus in The War Within?

Currently, this is a difficult question to answer. There might be a situation where a fully Phoenix Flames-invested build becomes available and perform very well, in which case, the tier set is very strong. However, for non-Phoenix Flames heavy builds, the 2-set is looking weak, whereas the 4-set is looking to be pretty strong, as you will most likely be able to keep near 100% uptime on the 6% bonus damage, and increase the amount of Hot Streaks generated.


Fire Mage Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths icon Strengths
  • +Strong execute damage.
  • +Free AoE / Cleave damage while doing single-target damage.
  • +Core gameplay perserved, but with more options to invest deeply into specific playstyles.
  • +No longer eating a huge DPS loss if a fight does not want Time Warp on pull.
  • +Less reliant on very high uptime due to more viable alternatives to Sun King's Blessing.
  • +More burst oriented builds available.
  • +Cooldown reduction on Combustion now also available to Flamestrike based builds.
  • +Mastery most likely more viable in both single-target and AoE builds.
Weaknesses icon Weaknesses
  • -Frostfire Bolt replacing Fireball is counter to Fireball being replaced by Scorch below 30/35% health, and Flamestrike on AoE.
  • -Many different procs, cooldowns and buffs/debuffs to track, making playing the spec without a lot of WeakAuras/Addons difficult.
  • -Target swapping causes significant damage loss due to heavier emphasis on Ignite, and Controlled Destruction taking a long time to max out.
  • -Various talents all go together or not at all, like the Phoenix Flames talents or Living Bomb talents, causing large blocks of talent points to be effectively seen as one.
  • -Larger emphasis on Phoenix Flames might not be for everyone.


  • 17 Jun. 2024: Page added.
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