[guide]Darnn Hot! Fire PvE, roast right or don't roast!

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Greetings fellow mages,

please bear with me while I run the calculations and write the guide you're looking for, much appreciated.


Update: in progress....
Greetings fellow mages! This guide shall teach you the basics and also the advanced tricks up your sleeves.

This guide addresses gameplay as of patch 5.1.x

The basics:

Mage armor types:

Mage preferential attributes on gear:

Hit Rating
Expertise Rating
Critical Strike Rating
Haste Rating
Mastery Rating

Stats that signalize gear NOT meant for mage class:


Mage Weapons:

One-handed Swords
Mainhanded Swords

NOTE: you can equip an off-hand item with one-handed weapons!

Your spells and what they do:

[Living Bomb]
This spell deals half of its damage over 12 seconds and then hits again for its second half of damage upon expiring - this last damage can hit up to 3 targets in total, including the target the bomb was on. Living Bomb also applies [Pyromaniac] which lasts also for 12 seconds and increases your damage from [Fireball], [Frostfire Bolt], [Scorch] and [Inferno Blast] by 10%, this includes the damage over time effect applied by your [Pyroblast] spell.

NOTE: There are two other mage bomb spells to choose from if you so desire.

This spell deals significant damage up-front and then applies a damage over time effect on the target it hit which lasts for 18-20 seconds and deals a similar amount of damage over its duration.
This spell receives additional 25% bonus damage on both of its damage components when used in conjunction with the [Heating Up] mechanic. To activate this effect you need to score two consecutive fire direct damage spell hits, your screen will indicate the readiness of this effect with bright visuals around the center of your screen. When used unter the effect of [Pyroblast!] this spell also costs no mana and is instant cast.

[Fireball] or [Frostfire Bolt]
This spell is the backbone of your arsenal, it deals good damage up-front and is used whenever your other single-target spells cannot be used.

[Inferno Blast]
This spell does two things, first it spreads all your fire damage over time effects onto up to two additional targets within 10 yards around the target hit by it, secondly it will always score a critical hit which is important for your [Heating Up] mechanic. Use this spell after scoring a critical hit with another fire direct damage spell to benefit from the [Pyroblast!] buff provided by the [Heating Up] mechanic. This spell does mediocre damage and is always instant cast.

[Arcane Explosion]
This spell affects all targets within 10 yards around you and is your most powerful direct area of effect spell.
Beware that the total damage dealt to all targets hit by this spell cannot exceed the total damage normally dealt to 10 targets, so, if there are more targets, the damage per target will be reduced to stay inside that boundary.

This spell is your only ranged area of effect spell, besides damaging all targets in its 10 yards radius area of effect it also slows their movement speed by 40%.
Beware that the total damage dealt to all targets hit by this spell cannot exceed the total damage normally dealt to 10 targets, so, if there are more targets, the damage per target will be reduced to stay inside that boundary.

This spell is a suportive area of effect spell which deals mediocre damage up-front and then ticks for 10 seconds on all targets it’s ground effect touches.
Beware that the total damage dealt to all targets hit by this spell cannot exceed the total damage normally dealt to 10 targets, so, if there are more targets, the damage per target will be reduced to stay inside that boundary.

How to use your spells in your basic “rotation”:

You will be casting [Fireball] or [Frostfire Bolt] on your primary target while it is affected by [Pyromaniac] from your [Mage Bomb] [Living Bomb] (or other version of mage bomb).

Whenever you score a singular critical strike with your [Fireball] or [Frostfire Bolt] spells, you use your [Inferno Blast] to turn your [Heating Up] buff into [Pyroblast!].

When the [Pyroblast!] buff is active on you, you cast [Pyroblast] at your target and then repeat the process indefinitely.

On top of this very basic process you will need to put a new [Mage Bomb] on your target once it expires in order to keep up the [Pyromaniac] debuff on your target.

You also use your [Combustion] on your primary target when it becomes available and both the [Pyroblast] damage over time effect and your [Ignite] damage over time effect are up on your target.

Advanced Mage-Craft

This section will be extensive and contain some math, if you for some reason cannot follow the math, please ask someone you know for help on understanding the equations. However, I shall keep the maths to a minimum and always provide non-math explanations of how a particular mechanic works in human-readable form.
If you really want to get into your mage you may want to consider getting into the maths stuff as well as it allows you insights otherwise unobtainable through sheer experience or “gut feeling”.

Issue (1) - The Pyroblast Clipping

As you may have noticed, your [Inferno Blast] has a 8 seconds cooldown, so, as to get the most out of this cooldown, we’d want to have at least one crit every 8 seconds - statistically.

To achieve this, you need a certain relation between haste and crit which is as follows:

You add the probabilty of a critical effect of your [Fireball] or [Frostfire Bolt] up, and you do so for as many times you can squeeze these spells into 8 seconds.

Both spells have a 2.25 seconds cast time, that makes

3.5p chances for a crit to occur within 8 seconds.

You now multiply your effective critical strike chance, which includes every possible buff you can have, and multiply it by that 3.555555555555555, if it’s 100 or higher you have reached the Pyroblast Clipping cap == you will, statistically, score at least one crit within any 8 seconds interval.

We know that haste affects the cast-time of our spells, so, you can use that on the 2.25 seconds base casting time. Luckily you do not need to calculate your casting time as it is shown in your spell’s tooltip taking all active haste effects into account you currently sport.

To check if you’re meeting the cap, use the equation given in the next quote. In this equation you put your values in according to the letters:

c = your effective crit chance in percent (only the number, do not input the percent sign!)

t = your effective casting time for [Fireball] or [Frostfire Bolt] depending on which one you want to use. (only the numbers, do not input the seconds word or sign!)


if you want to check on how great a crit-chance or how much haste you need to meet this cap, use your values in one of the next two equations. The first one requires you to put your cast time in and gives you the required critical strike chance as the solution, the seconds requires you to put in your effective critical strike chance and will give you the required cast time as the result.

12.5*t=(the crit you need)

0.08*c=(the cast time you need)

to calculate how much haste you need to match a specific cast time, you first need to understand how haste affects your cast time.

Haste does NOT reduce your cast time by the percentage shown on your character sheet, instead it increases the number of casts you can fit into any one timeframe by that percentage.

An easy way to calculate this is by using this equation:

New Casting Time = Base Casting Time / (1 + (% Spell Haste / 100))

Again, only enter the numbers, not the seconds, percent signs or whatever.

Issue (2) - How’s the Secondary Stats Scaling?

First, take these numbers into consideration:

1 Mastery Rating = +0,0025 % Ignite
1 haste Rating = +0,0024 % Haste
1 crit Rating = +0.0017 % Crit

Now, let us discuss what these stats actually do for us:


Mastery increases the percentage of damage from the direct damage components of [Fireball], [Frostfire Bolt], [Scorch], [Inferno Blast] and [Pyroblast] that is used to generate the [Ignite] damage over time effect.
Mastery does NOT affect the damage of [Combustion] directly, nor does it increase the damage over time effect of our [Mage Bomb] or [Pyroblast] in any way, it really only increases ignite overall damage.


Haste reduces the cast time of all cast time spells.
Haste reduces the tick intervals for the damage over time effects of [Living Bomb] and [Pyroblast] as well as [Combustion], it also reduces the duration of the damage over time effect of [Pyroblast] while it does not reduce the duration of the other two.
Haste does not reduce the general global cooldown of 1.1 seconds nor does it affect the 1.0 seconds global cooldown triggered by [Inferno Blast].

Crit increases the probability for all our spells to cause critical effects, including damage over time effects. The effect [Ignite] however, cannot score critical effects and the spell [Inferno Blast] has a 100% chance to critically hit already thus won’t benefit from critical strike rating either.
Critical hits hit for 206% (including the effects of Burning Primal Diamond) of their noncritical damage, also, each time we score two consecutive critical strikes we get one charge of the [Pyroblast!] effect through the [Heating Up] mechanic. But by how much does this increase our dps? Can it compensate for the inferior scaling of critical strike rating?

This is how it works:

The chance for a [Pyroblast!] through scoring two consecutive critical strikes without the use of [Inferno Blast] is the critical strike chance squared. That sounds huge but it actually means that you multiply fractions of 1 with one another, meaning the outcome is always smaller than the initial critical strike chance.

As an example of how it works let us assume 50% critical strike chance, at that rate the chance for a double-crit to occur is 0.5²=0.25, if it were a 30% critical strike chance it’d be 0.3²=0.09

So, to make it clear, every direct spell hit other than [inferno Blast] has a (critical strike chance) times (critical strike chance) chance to produce an instant cast [Pyroblast] that costs no mana and gets a 25% damage bonus on top which, ofc, can also score a critical hit itself.

Let’s explore what kind of dps increase that really means in addition to the primary effect of getting more 206% hits (crits)!

1 [Pyroblast] under the effects of [Pyroblast!] deals ~3k + 275% of spellpower as direct damage, which is all we need to consider as we expect the damage over time effect to be present at all times independently from this consideration. We now compare that to a [Fireball] or [Frostfire Bolt] which both deal ~2k + 150% of spellpower as direct damage.

So, we get an additional 1k dmg +125% of spellpower from each [Pyroblast!] we achive this way over just casting another [Fireball] or [Frostfire Bolt].
Further more, our normal nukes do have a cast time! So, the aforementioned 1k dmg + 125% of spellpower would be the benefit if we had a cast time of 1.1 seconds for [Fireball] or [Frostfire Bolt] which isn’t going to happen under normal circumstances. So, we can add the difference in cast time to the mix and that is Base Casting Time / (1 + (% Spell Haste / 100))/1.1

The total benefit of a [Pyroblast!] proc w/o the use of [Inferno Blast] lies between
256% and 125%

So, this means the actual scaling from crit is not
1 crit Rating = +0.0017 % damage

but instead is more dynamic and like inbetween

1 crit Rating = +0.0017 + (0.0017)²*1.25


1 crit Rating = +0.0017 + (0.0017)²*2.56

As you may already have noticed this bonus scaling increases with the amount of rating you already have and diminishes with the amount of haste you already have.

Now, what does this mean for our secondary stats priorities?

It means that unless we can’t help but have incredible amounts of haste, bringing our cast time close to the global cooldown, crit scales higher than haste at 30% already.
Considering 5% crit from our [Arcane Brilliance] and 9-13% from intellect plus a *1.25 multiplicator from [Critical Mass], getting 30% crit is not so far fetched, and again, even before that, crit scales better than haste unless crazy amounts of haste are present which is highly unlikely.

[quote]EDIT: I might add exact turning points later, keep your eyes peeled as I may put a complete dps model equation on this post at some point (much like we use in RAWR).[quote]


for now this leads us to a secondary stats hierarchy that looks something like this:


Still, we did not dabble into haste-caps yet, these caps are when haste becomes effective for [Combustion] and [Living Bomb] as well as where it enable partial [Ignite] clipping (Cast time below 2 seconds at 12.5% (use 13%).
How does Ignite work you ask? Well take a look over here:

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Are you really planning on posting up to 70.000 characters about fire pve?
06/03/2012 22:38Posted by Dutícyaa
Are you really planning on posting up to 70.000 characters about fire pve?

Maybe he has a lot to say about making Rogues cry?
06/03/2012 22:38Posted by Dutícyaa
Are you really planning on posting up to 70.000 characters about fire pve?

More like 50.000 but who knows^^ better save the space if you can, right?^^

and ofc, huge wall of text inc to make legendary rogues cry ^_^
Allright I'll be continueing this tomorrow... tired now, good night fellow mages!
Looking good, man.
WT? the forums duplicated one post and deleted another? WTF? srly? I have to rewrite this §$%& ?
nice effort
06/03/2012 22:00Posted by Fonkeydude
Issue 1) - "Ignite Clipping"

What's the point of this section?
You want clipping ignites for combustion, that's its point.

it works much like DoT plateaus except this works on a statistical level. there are integer caps as well but they don't really matter as haste plateaus are more important as their effect is not of statistical nature - still it is wise to keep your crit balanced around your haste and this section tells you why.

Remember, although for us the first convergence spot comes naturally, lesser geared mages (lfr gear i.e.) may want to knwo where they're aiming at and want an explanation as to why they don't seem to get decent critlines and thus no decent combustions, hence, why they suck at DPS.

BTW: This guide is still under construction, so, if you want to make any additions, go ahead and tell me.
I think you'll need to explain that further. And if you have to explain something about Ignite to me, it probably means a fresh mage is going to need a full day to understand it.

I assume the general idea is, that with 25% haste your Fireball casts in exactly 2 seconds. If so, isn't it enough to just say to get 25% (raid buffed) haste and the rest crit, as the guideline pretty much already stands?

Also that would be assuming all you do is cast Fireballs, surely the 1.2 sec Scorch/Pyroblast/Living Bomb add complexity.

I don't think the 25% haste is that difficult to reach even with LFR gear, so again, I don't see why the advice simply can't be to get that and then all the crit you can get.
Cinonda, ofc, regarding only this one guideline a simple statement citing it would be sufficient, however, there is a seconds crit/haste frame where these calculations gain a certain importance, also, I just noticed I'd need to show it's correlation with the pyroblast sustainability relation too.

Everything I post here comes from stuff I'm frequently being asked about.
Remember when ppl said haste>crit ? a lot of mages still believe that's universially true and come to me asking why I'm reforging haste to crit... see, ignite clipping is the answer to that question. You may be right tho, maybe I need to explain that more detailled in the guide indeed - I shall do so then.
Bumping for the lovely information on ignite clipping
ntellect = 2
Hit Rating = 1.8
Haste Rating = 1.4
Critical Strike Rating = 1.35
Mastery Rating = 1

or in other words:


Change this, its wrong information

Haste is not that highly valued! u need the cap: 2005 > crit>mastery>haste over cap.

U can check stats weight at http://elitistjerks.com/f75/t129638-4_3_3_fire_mage_compendium/ (EJ Thread) Altho i dont like pure math and prefer self improving most of trolls here dont listen any 1 else than their EGO, so i had to find this.

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