[Guide] Fire mage PvP 4.3.3

Table of content:
1.) Introduction
2.) Specs
3.) Glyphs
4.) Stats, gems, enchants and reforging
5.) Diminishing returns
6.) Dueling (work in progress)

1.) Introduction
My name is Pyrolysis and I've noticed that there are a lot of questions regarding fire PvP. So instead of posting tips in all the spread out threads, I figured it'd be a good idea to just make a fire PvP guide.

To give you an idea of my experience:

I've been playing a fire mage since Wrath of the Lich King. Since then I've played loads of arena, battlegrounds, did a lot of duels, played above 2.2k rating in 3s, and nearly at 2.4k rating in 2s (used to be rank 4# on Cyclone in season 11), and spend hours and hours searching for guides and tips on the internet to improve my gameplay.

2.) Specs
There isn't really a cookie cutter fire build, because there are serveral talents which suit one occasion better then another (more on this later).

I'd advice to take this build as a starting point:

Based on your personal playstyle, arena/battleground setups or just for fun, you could swap around some talent points. Don't just copy another guys spec, but try to find the one that suits you best.

Here is a list of (in my opinion) optional talents:
Master of Elements: You could spec into this talent if you feel like you are running low on mana. Keep in mind that running low on mana could also mean that there's something wrong with your playstyle! If you're spamming spell steal a lot, or are in molten armor/frost armor for to long, you will run out of mana. If you want to spend talent points into mana perseverance, I'd advice to pick up Improved Scorch before you think of picking up Master of Elements.

Fire Power: You could spec into this talent if you want the extra (1,2 or 3%) damage. The explosion on your flame orb is not a good reason to take this talent in my opinion.

Improved Scorch: Since scorch will be one of your main spells, taking this talent, especially if you've got mana issues, will be a good choice.

Molten Fury: This talent is very good for scoring kills on targets with low health. The 12% extra damage can really make a difference in some games! Keep in mind though that the damage of combustion gets calculated when it's released, and if your target is above 35% health when you use combustion, it will not benefit from this talent (not even when the target drops below 35% health).

Netherwind Presence: This talent is pretty straight forward. If you need that extra bit of haste, and can't get it through gear without sacrificing to much stats, pick up this talent.

Improved Flamestrike: It's the best ability to reveal stealthed opponents, and you can keep others in combat around pillars without using Blast Wave. But it has lower or next to no value against opponents without stealth capabilities, and it breaks Crowd Control such as Polymorph, Gouge and Blind if the target is located on top of the Flame Strike location (8s).

To make it a little bit more easy, I made some example builds.


Haste/Mana perseverance:

3.) Glyphs
Prime glyphs:
Living Bomb: Living Bomb contributes to combustion so this is a must have.
Pyroblast: Pyroblast also contributes to combustion (pyro DoT and ignite) and is a must have.
Mage Armor: Since you'll be in mage armor most of the time this is a good choice.
Fireball: A good alternative because it will give your fireball a 100% crit chance aswell (IF at 23,34%).

Major glyphs:
Polymorph: This glyph allows you to control your enemy's with a lot more ease, and is a must have.
Evocation: The only self heal (outside of cauterize) for a fire mage.
Frost armor: Good in general and especially for arena when you're facing double melee teams.
Dragon's Breath: Good for interrupting or ccing multiple targets, but keep in mind that if you choose to pick up this glyph, it will DR with it self if you use it on the same target the second it comes of cooldown. Read the chapter diminishing returns for more information about how this actually works.

Minor glyphs
Arcane Brilliance: Although minor glyphs wont make or break your games, I'd advice to pick this one up since it'll benefit you the most in a PvP environment.
Slow Fall: No more reagents needed, a very solid choice.
Conjuring: In some arena matches you might have to make extra mana gems, and this will help you out with that.
4.) Stats, Gems, enchants and reforging

The main stat priority for fire mages (imo) is:
4% hit > 240 spell pen > int > "23,34%" crit > haste/crit > mastery

Hit, spell pen and intellect are obvious choices, but there's a lot of speculation going on whether haste or crit is better for fire mages.

23,34% crit, unbuffed or buffed, is the number needed to let your pyroblast have a 100% crit chance on a frozen target. Since most kills revolve around setting up a solid combustion (and combustions damage comes from ignite), you'll want to have your pyroblast crit when you need it, and not once every two (or worse) kill attempts.

However, if you are planning to go arena, and play with for example a rogue/elemental/feral, you'll get an extra 5% crit. So keep that in mind if you plan on going for the 23,34% crit chance.

Haste vs. Crit:
After you've obtained enough crit to let your pyroblast crit 100% of the time on a frozen target, you'll be faced with a choice. Keep stacking crit, or stack (some)haste. Both options are good choices, and which one is better is determined by you. Go with what you feel is more most comfortable.

Pros haste:
- More chance to get crits! The more casts/DoT ticks you get of in a smaller period of time, the more chances you create to get a crit off!
- Decreased global cooldowns, allowing for smoother and faster gameplay.
- Decreased cast times, allowing you to get your casts of with more ease.
- Higher chance of successfully using your shatters.
- There are less stat points required to reach 1% haste (Crit 179.28, Haste 128.05701).
- More DoT ticks (combustion, pyroblast DoT and living bomb).
Cons haste:
- Scorch doesn't have a 100% crit chance when you're at 23,34% crit, so your shatters wont always give you a garanteed hot streak.

Pros crit
- Your spells in general will have a higher chance to crit.
Cons crit
- You increase your dependency on luck/rng.

Many Spell DOT's gain additional ticks at specific levels of Haste, so if you choose to go for (some)haste, get to the nearest Haste level. For Fire Mages, the levels of Haste required are:

Living Bomb 12.5% 37.5% 62.5% 87.5%
Pyroblast (Dot) 12.5% 37.5% 62.5% 87.5%
Combustion 5% 15% 25% 35%

5%, and 15% Haste are reachable (with good gear) without dropping below the 23,34% crit cap.

I'd personally never skip a socket bonus, but if you want to go more offensive, you could go all out in for example intellect, ignoring the resilience socket bonuses.

Meta: Burning Shadowspirit Diamond
Red: Brilliant Queen's Garnet
Orange: Potent Lava Coral or Reckless Lava Coral
Blue: Veiled Shadow Spinel

Head: Arcanum of Vicious Intellect or Arcanum of Hyjal
Shoulder: Greater Inscription of Vicious Intellect or Greater Inscription of Charged Lodestone
Back: Enchant Cloak - Greater Intellect
Chest: Enchant Chest - Mighty Resilience or Enchant Chest - Peerless Stats
Wrists: Enchant Bracer - Mighty Intellect
Dagger/Staff: Enchant Weapon - Power Torrent
Off-Hand: Enchant Off-Hand - Superior Intellect
Gloves: Enchant Gloves - Haste
Pants: Powerful Enchanted Spellthread
Boots: Enchant Boots - Lavawalker or Enchant Boots - Earthen Vitality

- Reforge to hit if you're below the 4% hit cap.
- Reforge Mastery to either Crit or Haste.
- Reforge Haste/Crit to either Crit or Haste (read Haste vs. Crit for more information)

5.) Diminishing returns
Al ot of our spells, and the spells from our allies have/share DR, and you should be aware of that (impact, dragon's breath, frost nova, improved cone of cold, polymorph, ring of frost).

"Diminishing returns, abbreviated DR, means that certain spells and abilities are less effective against player characters if they are used frequently within a short period of time. The table below contains a list of abilities that are affected by DR, and under what circumstances. In addition, DR categories are listed. Effects within same category diminish each other.

When a spell with diminishing returns is used against a target in PvP, the first effect has full duration. The effect then diminishes by 50%, then 75%, then the target becomes immune. Spells must be used on the same target within 15 seconds of the *end* of the duration in order to be diminished. In other words, if a target hasn't had a stun effect active on them for more than 15 seconds, the next stun will have full effect."
6.) Dueling
I always apply all my buffs before I engage into combat, this includes: Either Mage/Frost or Molten armor, Arcane Brilliance, 3 Mana Gems, atleast a stack of Mana Cake, Mage Ward, Mana Shield, and Slow Fall (dispell protection).

Warriors: Frost Armor
- Watch out for spell reflects, especially if you gain a hot streak buff.
- If they get close and they can't get hamstring on you, counterspell them so that they can't howl you.

Most warriors will start a duel with a charge, and I start with a counterspell so that they can't howl me. Since counterspell doesn't trigger a global cooldown, I blink as soon as I notice the stun/charge debuff.

After the blink I start kiting and I'll blast wave the warrior. He'll most likely use herioc leap and the blast wave snare will prevent him from getting to you. I useually cone of cold the warrior here, and try to get a poly off. I fake cast the first poly very late, to make sure they'll spell reflect. Remove the buff with an ice lance, and recast your polymorph. They'll most likely bladestorm here to prevent your polymorph.

However, if you do manage to get them caught into a (8 second)polymorph:
Place a ring of frost on top of them, pop your spell power trinket, and start hard casting a pyroblast (if they havn't spell reflect yet, be aware that they might trinket/spell reflect on this point). If you land your pyro succesfully, reapply living bomb and use combustion!

Make sure you get mana shield back up, and apply living bomb on the warrior. There's not to much you can do at this point in time, because you don't want to waste blink or ice block. You could try to go invisible and confuse the warrior, but this will most likely not work.

After the bladestorm is over you can nova the warrior in place, and polymorph him here. Keep track of the spell reflection cooldown so that you know if you should fake cast or not. Polymorph won't bring you into combat, so you could actually eat some cake here to regain some lost health/mana. Repoly if needed and start kiting again. Once you've got this right, the fight will be in your favor.

Movie link: http://youtu.be/AI2jRKx63Tw

Still working on this section.
Reserved for more information.
Reserved for more information.
REquested sticky, First post mwhahaha!
So far so good, waiting for that vids you said:P

Sticky requested as well
So far so good, waiting for that vids you said:P

Sticky requested as well
Thanks! I'm still working on the videos. Need to get some people online to fight against on my low populated server. :)
Requested Sticky and liked
Thanks, doesn't know about haste working on combustion, so I was caped 12.5% haste..

But anyway I'm good as fire, in duels rly rare someone can beat me, on BG same, but in 2s I was reached ax rate 1700 with disc./holy priests... what problem may be? Maybe my mistakes, maybe teammate is not good enough. If you taked your rating with your priest in fire spec. I wanna see vids of some matches against - priest+frost mage, UH DK+pala, frost mage+subtitle.. those teams everytime makes some troubles for us..

Also I tryed mastery-crit spec. Haste for my opinion is best choise for fire.
Also wanna ask, what you doing against UH DK+disc. when priest burning your mana? )) regen from frost armor not enough for playing on full power. Gems, evocation - have huge CDs. And one more question, you playing with hard cc with priest, or DMGing two targets on same time?
So far so good, waiting for that vids you said:P

Sticky requested as well
Thanks! I'm still working on the videos. Need to get some people online to fight against on my low populated server. :)

u should come to outland as alliance :P
08/04/2012 19:57Posted by Hotcake
in 2s I was reached ax rate 1700 with disc./holy priests... what problem may be?
There could be loads of things that go wrong mate. You'll have to be a little bit more specific. When I've the time I'll record some 2s matches.

We mainly go on the dps and cc out the healer, but we chance our tactics depending on the situation we're in.

08/04/2012 20:44Posted by Navhkrin
u should come to outland as alliance :P
I've actually been thinking of racing changing to gnome for a while now.. :)

08/04/2012 13:18Posted by Áshes
So far so good, waiting for that vids you said:P
Warrior video has been added. First video I've made, so the quality might be a bit low.
08/04/2012 22:39Posted by Pyrolysis
We mainly go on the dps and cc out the healer, but we chance our tactics depending on the situation we're in.

With wich teammate? I looked on your arena team - priest wasn't with you on 2200 =)
Posted by Navhkrin
u should come to outland as alliance :P
I've actually been thinking of racing changing to gnome for a while now.. :)

Oh, no you won' t:P

08/04/2012 22:39Posted by Pyrolysis
Warrior video has been added. First video I've made, so the quality might be a bit low.

Well tbh i don' t give a crap about vid quality as long it is distinguishable what is going on. And it is!

Keep up the good work:)
Nice guide Pyrolysis. Liked + stickied. It's good you put emhasis on the fact that it involves a lot of personal play-style whether to go for haste or crit.

Personally I've found:


Rather awesome in BG's. Drop 3 living boms and then just blow things away with Pyromaniac and around 25% haste, without any buffs is serious harm. If you add time-warp you got a serious mean combustion. If your going RBG's I think that would be a good choice, at least to try it out.

I think imp. flameblast is prob. one of the best talents, to lay down a blanket of fire in arena and get stealthers out, but its a matter of playstyle!

I know there is a lot of other guides also talking about it, but perhaps a short section on maximizing AoE and using Impact to maximum effect.
09/04/2012 00:54Posted by Hotcake
With wich teammate? I looked on your arena team - priest wasn't with you on 2200 =)
We kind of stopped playing seriously in 2s, so he left the team. Anesthetic used to be on 2350+ rating with me. Practicing arcane at the moment. :)
Liked + sticky requested as well.
Looking forward to more updates to the dueling tacts section. :)
Awesome !! Keep it up , looking Forward.Requested Sticky
1 more question born... how to kill skilled hunters? MM for example?
good guide!

Hunters are really good magekillers. Try to keep silence and cc's on pet to prevent sacrifice etc. and besides that there isn't really much u can do else then try to stand on top of him and annoy the !@#$ out of him.

Just try to get the hunter to a "sweet" spot where he is corned. and remember to dispell master's call.

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