Fire: Something along the lines of 18/53/0.
You need 18 points in the arcane tree (deep enough for 3/3 Torment the Weak) and 51 points in the fire tree (for Living Bomb). The details are largely up to you. Some mages skip Imp. Scorch, some mages get 2/3 in Arcane Meditation for a 20/51/0 build.
Frostfire: Something along the lines of 0/53/18.
Again, the details are largely up to you. Living Bomb is needed, and you also need to get Ice Shards from the frost tree. Getting Piercing Ice, Icy Veins and Frost Channeling is also highly recommended.
For both specs, Combustion is a very useless cooldown. Highly recommended to not take it.
FFB – Frostfire Bolt, compare FB for Fireball.
HS – Hot Streak, that proc that gives you an instant Pyroblast.
LB – Living Bomb, the end tree talent for fire.
Fire and Frostfire mages have essentially identical spell rotations. Just replace the word “nuke” with Fireball for Fire mages, and Frostfire Bolt for Frostfire mages.
As with most casters in today’s world… of warcraft, fire/frostfire mages do not have a proper spell rotation, merely spell priorities. These are those:
Scorch as necessary to keep the debuff up at 5 stacks. Try to refresh as little as possible. Casting Scorch will reduce your effective damage; the less you can cast it the better. Refresh no more often than every 27 seconds.
If you are using the Glyph, you can afford to refresh as close as you can get to the thirty second mark. The glyph will immediately put up all five stacks of the debuff, so letting it fall off is not nearly as bad as it has ever been in the past.
If you have a Warlock or frost mage to keep the debuff up, thus absolving you of the need to cast Scorch yourself, so much the better.
If there are multiple fire/frostfire mages, the one with the lowest DPS should be relegated to keeping up the debuff.
The second thing you need to continually refresh is Living Bomb. LB is a serious source of damage, it needs to have as high an uptime as you can give it. The debuff itself lasts for 12 seconds, try and put a new one up exactly as the old one explodes.
Thirdly, you should be hitting Pyroblast every time Hot Streak lights up. Don’t cancel your current cast to throw off a Pyroblast, just make sure you use it next cast.
With those three requirements met, just spam your nuke at all other times.
You should never, EVER interrupt a nuke cast in order to do any of the above.
For greater DPS on trash mobs, don’t use your boss rotation. You need to treat trash a different way, depending on how fast your raid can take trash down.
If you’re using AoE, just spamming Blizzard will yield very good results. Fireball specs can produce strong numbers by rotating Flame Strikes and Blizzards, though it’s usually better to not bother with Flame Strike. Frostfire mages should never use an AoE other than Blizzard.
Of course, you could always just put Living Bomb on everything… Pick your targets wisely for LB. In order for it to be worth the GCD, the target needs to live at least 12 seconds to explode. Don’t choose the initial kill target in a pack, for instance, it won’t live long enough to explode.
Note that Blizzard benefits from Burnout!
If dealing with single targets, you need to remember one key fact: your nuke has a travel time. If mobs are dropping very quickly, bear in mind that you do have two spells you can use to get damage from you to the mob very quickly.
Scorch can be used; while it does deal less damage than your main nuke, it casts faster and has an instant travel time. If a mob is going to be dead in the next two seconds, it’s better to cast a Scorch that will deal some damage rather than a FFB that will deal no damage.
By the same token, Fireblast is a very strong spell for these situations too. Use it as a sort of final spell on a trash mob to get off that last burst of damage.
The fire tree has far less long term cooldowns to manage than the other two trees. But there are still some, and thanks to Molten Fury are just as important.
Really, all you need to manage in addition to universal cooldowns (trinket, Mirror Image) is Icy Veins. As with all cooldowns, you want to use it as often as you can.
With just one caveat.
Molten Fury kicks in when your target is below 35% health. At that point, all the damage you deal is amplified by a further 12%. You want to make absolutely sure every cooldown you have is ready to go at some point when the boss is below 35% health.
If the boss fight is only going to be two minutes long, wait for the boss to get low before blowing your cooldowns. Don’t use them early, as you can only use them once. Make it count.
On the other hand, of course, if a boss fight is long enough to allow you to use your cooldowns multiple times, use ’em! Just make sure you use them early enough that they’ll be ready to go again when Molten Fury becomes active.
In the same vein, if you are going to Evocate in a fight, make sure you’ve done so before the 35% mark. Evocating at the tail end of the fight will cripple your DPS.
There’s really not much to learn here, due to fire’s inherent lack of cooldowns.
There are four glyphs you should be interested in are as follows: Glyph of Fireball/Frostfire, Molten Armor, Living Bomb, and Improved Scorch. Ideally, you should be using the first three, and not Imp. Scorch.
Living Bomb is the most important glyph. Never, ever drop it in favor of something else.
Avoid Glyph of Scorch if you can. If you simply must be on Scorch duty, replace either Glyph of Molten Armor or your core nuke, whichever is giving you the least benefit. (If you have low spirit values, drop the Molten Armor glyph.)
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