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World of Warcraft: Legion: Fire Mage guide (7.1)

Our growing guide to mastering the Fire Mage in WOW Legion.

The Fire Mage is one of World of Warcraft’s specialized ranged DPS classes, and over the course of this Fire Mage guide we’ll take you through all of the tools the hero has to help it dispense fiery wrath upon its enemies. This specialisation is currently the better-performing Mage specialisation overall, and shines in just about every kind of combat situation.

In Legion, Blizzard has updated and overhauled many classes and specialisations, but the Fire Mage has been left mostly untouched. The mechanics were, after all, already seen as performing well and were quite satisfying to play with. What the Fire Mage did gain though was an update to its cosmetic styling - most spells are now quite flashy, and it’s impressive to see a Fire Mage at work.

In this Fire Mage guide, we’re going to take you through the talent choice for a very efficient levelling build, one that will also prove a good starting point for a damage-dealing role once you hit the level cap. In addition, we’ll detail two rotations that will make up the bulk of your playstyle - one for dealing with a single target, and another for dealing with multiple targets.

We also have a section dedicated entirely to helping you upgrade your Artifact Weapon (the elven spellblade Felo'melorn), which you earn at Level 100 and will grant you the Phoenix's Flames ability. There are several Relics that you can equip onto it to boost its power as well, and we’ll advise you on which ones to pick.

As the expansion progresses this guide will be further updated with advice for more specific end-game builds, along with suggestions for optimal gearing of your Fire Mage.

Editor’s note: Update #1 - The recently launched patch 7.1 barely touched our beloved Fire Mage. For some reason though, Blizzard decided to tweak Pyroblast’s damage, lowering it by 6%, while at the same time giving a 15% boost to Flamestrike and the Aftershocks trait. Changes barely worth mentioning really, and certainly not worth changing your playstyle over.

With all this said, we've taken the opportunity to add a section detailing the loot and stat priority you should take into account when picking up new pieces of equipment for your Fire Mage. (Spoiler Alert: Critical Strike is good).

All articles in this series

Fire Mage talents

As a Fire Mage you've many talents to choose from as you work your way through the levelling ranks. Before we go into our personal preferences for levelling up, here's a snapshot of all the talents available to you.

LevelOption 1Option 2Option 3
15Pyromaniac - Casting Pyroblast or Flamestrike while Hot Streak is active has a 8% chance to instantly reactivate Hot Streak.Conflagration - Targets with Ignite have a chance to deal fire damage to nearby enemies.Firestarter - Your Fireball will always critically strike targets above 85% health.
30Shimmer - Gives Blink two charges, takes it off the global cooldown and makes its usable while casting.Cauterize - Damage that would otherwise kill you will take you to 35% health and then burn you for 28% of your health over six seconds, while making you move at 150% speed.Cold Snap - Gives Ice Block two charges and makes it heal for you 3% of your health per second.
45Mirror Image - Creates copies of you which will attack your enemies for 40 seconds. Enemies will prefer to attack them instead of you. They are affected by the Combustion ability if active.Rune of Power - Places a Rune on the ground for 10 seconds. All damage you deal while standing inside is increased by 50%. Two charges.Incanter's Flow - Steadily increases the damage you deal while in combat, up to 20%, and then decreases to 4%. This cycle repeats every 10 seconds.
60Blast Wave - Creates an explosion around your target, dealing damage to all enemies and double damage to the primary target, while slowing their movement speed by 70%.Flame On - Gives you two charges of Fire Blast. Controlled Burn - Gives Heating Up a 10% change to instantly turn into Hot Streak.
75Ice Floes - Enables you to cast while moving. This spell has charges.Ring of Frost - Stuns enemies in a target area, for 10 seconds.Ice Ward - Gives Frost Nova two charges.
90Living Bomb - A damage-over-time effect, lasting for four seconds. When it expires or the target dies, the Living Bomb will explode and spread to any nearby targets. These will also explode, but the Bomb will not spread.Unstable Magic - Grants your Fireball a 25% chance to explode and deal 50% extra damage to the target and all nearby enemies.Flame Patch - Flamestrikes leaves a damaging area on the ground when cast.
100Kindling - Fireball, Pyroblast and Fire Blast critical strikes lower the cooldown of Combustion by one second.Cinderstorm - A fan-like AoE attack with a big range.Meteor - Deals high damage in an area after three seconds; this damage is split between all targets hit.

Fire Mage talent build

If you want to level up quickly and efficiently as a Fire Mage, we recommend choosing the following talents.

LevelTalentReason
15Firestarter - Your Fireball will always critically strike targets above 85% health.A Fireball crit takes a good chunk of health from most regular questing mobs, and it will help you easily start up your optimal rotation.
30Shimmer - Gives Blink two charges, takes it off the global cooldown and makes its usable while casting.This is mostly a quality-of-life improvement, allowing you to quickly jump between groups of mobs and quest objectives. Consider taking Cold Snap instead if you feel the need for extra survivability.
45Incanter's Flow - Steadily increases the damage you deal while in combat, up to 20%, and then decreases to 4%. This cycle repeats every 10 seconds.This is a no-maintenance passive damage increase that fits perfectly with the average length of leveling fights.
60Flame On - Gives you two charges of Fire Blast.This is one of your basic rotation tools, and will allow you to keep your critical streaks up when used properly.
75Ice Floes - Enables you to cast while moving. This spell has 3 charges.Using this will allow you to move while doing your rotation, which is helpful when fighting stronger mobs.
90Living Bomb - A damage-over-time effect, lasting for four seconds. When it expires or the target dies, the Living Bomb will explode and spread to any nearby targets. These will also explode, but the Bomb will not spread.This is the most reliably useful of the three talents in this tier.
100Kindling - Fireball, Pyroblast and Fire Blast critical strikes lower the cooldown of Combustion by one second.Combustion is your big damage boost and you’ll be using it as often as possible. This makes it a bit more often, especially as your playstyle revolves around criticals.

Fire Mage rotation

Fire is, fittingly enough, a very volatile specialization. You will rarely, if ever, follow the rotation list in strict order from one end to the other, as conditions will often change midway through that will allow you to go back to a previous step for optimal performance. This is all intended and fine, so don’t stress over it too much. All rotation lists are essentially priority lists, and nowhere is that truer than with the Fire Mage.

The main gist of the specialization is to score as many critical hits in sequence as possible, as this will activate the abilities Ignite and Hot Streak, both of which greatly empower your damaging spells. To achieve that, you have to judiciously use your Combustion spell, which turns all your main spells into assured criticals, as well as Fire Blast, a spell that always crits, and Phoenix’s Flames which is your artifact-enabled skill that also always crits.

While there is some benefit to using either Phoenix’s Flames or Fire Blast depending on the number of targets, while levelling you can mostly use them interchangeably, as their true value is not in the damage they deal, but rather as activators for Hot Streak.

Fire Mage - Single target rotation

The following casting rotation is optimised for finishing single targets as rapidly as possible.

ActionConditions / Further Instructions
1.Flamestrike (optional)While not an efficient spell to use without a Hot Streak and on a single-target, it will slow down the target - useful for minimising the need for movement if you don’t think you can kill the target before it reaches you.
2.FireballDue to the Firestarter Talent, when you begin fights with this you will crit and immediately apply Heating Up.
3.Phoenix's Flames (Lvl 100 Artifact abilityIf Fireball didn’t trigger Heating Up or if Heating Up is active and you have no Fire Blast charges.
4.Fire BlastIf Heating Up is active. This will activate Hot Streak.
5.CombustionIf Hot Streak is active.
6.PyroblastIf Hot Streak is active. Always cast Pyroblast whenever Hot Streak is active.
7.Flame OnIf Heating Up is active and you have no Fire Blast and Phoenix's Flames charges.
8.Dragon’s Breath
9.ScorchIf you have to move and have no charges of Ice Flow to activate and continue your rotation.
10.Repeat from Step 2

Fire Mage - Multiple target rotation

This rotation is ideal for two or more targets. For two targets, simply use the previous rotation.

ActionConditions / Further Instructions
1.Flamestrike (optional)While not an efficient spell to use without a Hot Streak and on a single-target, it will slow down the target, useful to minimize the need for movement if you don’t think you can kill it before it reaches you.
2.FireballIf Phoenix's Flames is not available. Cast until it triggers Heating Up.
3.Phoenix's Flames (Lvl 100 Artifact abilityThis will trigger Heating Up.
4.Fire BlastIf Heating Up is active. This will activate Hot Streak.
5.CombustionIf Hot Streak is active.
6.FlamestrikeIf Hot Streak is active. Always cast Flamestrike whenever Hot Streak is active.
7.Living Bomb
8.Flame OnIf Heating Up is active and you have no Fire Blast charges.
9.Dragon's Breath
10.ScorchIf you have to move and have no charges of Ice Flow to activate and continue your rotation.
10.Repeat from Step 2

More WOW Legion class guides:

Death KnightDemon HunterDruid
Blood Death Knight guideHavoc Demon Hunter guideBalance Druid guide
Frost Death Knight guideVengeance Demon Hunter guideFeral Druid guide
Unholy Death Knight guide-Guardian Druid guide
--Restoration Druid guide
HunterMageMonk
Beast Mastery Hunter guideArcane Mage guideBrewmaster Monk guide
Marksmanship Hunter guideFire Mage guideMistweaver Monk guide
Survival Hunter guideFrost Mage guideWindwalker Monk guide
PaladinPriestRogue
Holy Paladin guideHoly Priest guideAssassination Rogue guide
Protection Paladin guideDiscipline Priest guideOutlaw Rogue guide
Retribution Paladin guideShadow Priest guideSubtlety Rogue guide
ShamanWarlockWarrior
Elemental Shaman guideAffliction Warlock guideArms Warrior guide
Enhancement Shaman guideDemonology Warlock guideFury Warrior guide
Restoration Shaman guideDestruction Warlock guideProtection Warrior guide

Other WOW Legion guides:

Fire Mage Artifact, Relics and Stat Priority

Fire Mages get the Legendary High Elven blade Felo'melorn as their Artifact Weapon. This fiery artifact grants them the Phoenix's Flames ability, an active ability that deals critical damage to all targets in range, heavily interacting with the specialisation's other mechanics.

Felo'melorn is very flexible as far as your trait options go, and as such is one of the most complex artifacts to customize. The good news is that the vast majority of its traits are high-quality upgrades to useful abilities, so while we have provided what we believe is the optimal path to increasing your damage-dealing potential, feel free to tailor it to suit your preference.

It's also worth mentioning that its impact on our recommended rotations is minimal. If you've been following the rotation we outlined for you above, you won't have to make any adjustments to your playstyle whatsoever.

As far as Relics go, the most important thing to keep in mind is to use them to increase your Artifact’s item level above all else. If two relics have the same item level, prioritise them depending on the traits that offer a greater increase to ability damage, in this order:

  • Burning Gaze
  • Fire at Will
  • Great Balls of Fire
  • Pyroclasmic Paranoia
Recommended Order Trait Reason
1 Cauterizing Blink We'll start with a reasonable, if rather un-sexy, increase to your overall survivability.
2 Pyroclasmic Paranoia Your entire rotation revolves around powering up for Pyroblast, so it's great to be able to increase its damage this soon into the tree.
3 Fire at Will Fireball is your rotation's starting point, and this 9% reduction in casting time will get those Heating Up procs flowing faster.
4 Pyretic Incantation Your first major trait is a huge boost, when you consider that your whole spec is built around chaining critical hits. Do note that this 5% damage increase per crit caps at 25%.
5 Great Balls of Fire A flat 9% increase to your Fireball's damage.
6 Big Mouth Dragon's Breath is far from being your most utilised spell, but the range increase isn't bad, and it's just one point spent in moving towards your next major trait.
7 Everburning Consumption A great passive increase to your damage output.
8 Phoenix Reborn Yet another passive damage increase, but what makes this major trait great is the way it allows you to cast your Artifact's ability more often.
9 Burning Gaze A flat damage increase to your criticals, and the last trait between you and your final major.
10 Aftershocks This final major trait will effectively make your Flamestrike deal 20% more damage, greatly boosting your multiple target rotation, and your overall contribution in dungeons.
11 Reignition Overdrive Now that we have all of our majors, it's time to use this trait and the next to boost Fire Blast, a small but important step in our rotation.
12 Blast Furnace With this, Fire Blast ends up nicely rounded, even if it remains a facilitator for powering up Pyroblast.
13 Blue Flame Special A good damage increase to your Flamestrike.
14 Scorched Earth A really good mobility upgrade, especially if you consider that you only really want to cast Scorch while moving. You have better options when you're stationary.
15 Molten Skin This is an OK survivability boost, but we've left it for last as it's outmatched by every other trait.

Stat Priority and Gearing Up

Fire Mages are currently a bit broken when it comes to secondary stat - specifically Critical Strike - but in a good way. You should focus on this stat above all others, as it directly powers the core of your rotation. Critical Strike is so much better than anything else at the moment that you shouldn't hesitate to replace a piece without crit for one with it - even if it has a lower item level. Apart from that, follow the following table when deciding on one piece of gear over another:

1. Critical Strike More free Pyroblasts! This is at the centre of your playstyle and you should have some in every piece of gear.
2. Intellect As your primary stat, this will increase your Spell Power and so boost all of the damage from your spells.
3. Mastery Mastery increases your Ignite damage ie the damage-over-time component of your main spells. This is more relevant as you get into more multiple-target situations, such as those in Mythic+ dungeons.
4. Versatility A good “dump” stat, will increase everything a bit.
5. Haste The more Haste you have, the faster you cast, so this helps with mobility. Crucially though, it also reduces the cooldown of your all-important Fire Blast. More free Criticals!

When choosing trinkets, you should look for stats above all else, but when deciding between trinkets that have a main stat and then a random effect instead of secondary stats, prioritize trinkets that give you a chance to give extra damage on each spell cast. This will help you perform more consistently and be a little less crit reliant.

This concludes the second edition of our Fire Mage guide. The Fire Mage is an incredibly solid and fun spec to play, although it can be heavily gear dependant so prepare to invest some time into getting prepared.

In the meantime, please let us know in the comments what you would like to see in future iterations of our Fire Mage guide.

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