Fire mage PvP guide

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Fire mage PvP guide

Post by GamingNews on Sun 27 Apr 2014, 7:40 pm



Warning! Huge wall of text below! For easier reading, please press CTRL + F and search for the chapter abbreviations listed below (e.g. INTRD or MCRS) to skip ahead, instead of scrolling down!

Table of contents 
I. INTRD Introduction
II. TLNTS Talents and glyphs
III. GRNG Gearing up (Gems, enchants and profs. included) 
IV. TRX Tips and tricks
IV.1. GNRL General
IV.2. CLS Versus various classes
V. MCRS Macros
VI. VDS Videos
VII. CRD Credits

I. INTRD
 

Greetings, friends. My name is - as you may have already guessed - Miltonius and I have been playing Fire mage for 5 or so years now. Some of you may know me from Bebep’s forum (which appears to have been taken down), where I had yet another guide - now lost, because I didn’t save a copy of it - for WotLK.
I believe the title is fairly straight-forward and easy to understand: in the next sections, we will be learning Fire mage, haste Fire mage in particular, a very strong build but apparently a very unpopular one, as well.
Regarding the spec itself, it has really come a long way since the last expansion. Essentially, Fire went from being the underdog to being an excellent all-around spec, even in arenas, which is arguably a great thing for us, mages, since it offers us variety, in terms of playstyle.
Regarding the haste build, there has been a lot of debate around whether or not it’s better than going for straight up crit., which we will be covering in the Gearing Up section of this guide.
Now, let’s get to it!


II. TLNTS 

The preferred spec and glyphs tend to vary from one playstyle to another. Generally speaking, this is the “base” spec:


If you do the maths, you will notice that there is one point left to spend. Now, you have three possible choices here:

This is a decent offensive choice. 1% damage tends to add up when you have multiple DoTs set up. 

Good choice for boosting survivability and getting quicker Shatters.

Extremely useful for the haste build; note that it adds slightly more than 1% haste (roughly 1.205% per rank, if I’m not mistaken).

Let’s explain the rest of the talent choices here, with an emphasis on why we didn’t get certain talents:
Master of Elements is of no use in PvP, because you essentially don’t go oom. (out of mana) unless you sit in Molten/ Frost Armor or unless you get Mana Burned.
Improved Flamestrike also a fairly useless talent, because of how little damage Flamestrike does (just a little over 1k on resil. targets). It may provide situational usefulness (i.e. when you’re against stealth classes), but there are much cheaper means to get targets out of stealth than putting 2 points into this talent.
Pyromaniac the haste buff seems fairly tempting, but it’s an unreliable talent because it requires you to spread your DoTs constantly, to keep it up all the time, which isn’t always possible and which costs time. Additionally, it’s mostly useful in BGs and maybe world PvP. You will hardly ever manage to spread DoTs to 3 targets in arenas and even more rarely in 1v1s.
Fire Power falls into the “1 point left” category.
On top of all of this, there is one other thing worth noting about the above: you would have to sacrifice other, more important talents to get them.

In terms of glyphs:
Prime:
Glyph of Pyroblast is a must, for obvious reasons.
Glyph of Fireball is also highly desirable. At this point, it comes down to a Fireball vs. Frostfire Bolt argument. After doing some testing, I have come to the conclusion that Fireball does more damage than glyphed Frostfire Bolt (there was a 2-3k damage difference between the two, on training dummies). Consequently, Glyph of Fireball is better than Glyph of Frostfire because FfB does less overall damage than it (and has its slow removed if glyphed, rendering it nearly useless). Long story short, prioritize Fireball.
Glyph of Molten Armor or Glyph of Living Bomb; Glyph of Molten Armor is the one you want to be going for if you’re going to be armor swapping - which we will be discussing in the Tips and Tricks section -; if you don’t plan on doing it, then go for the Living Bomb glyph.
Major:
Glyph of Polymorph and [url=http://Glyph of Evocation]Glyph of Evocation[/url], both are mandatory, for obvious reasons.
Glyph of Frost Armor or Glyph of Dragon’s Breath or Glyph of Blast Wave. Although it comes down to personal preference, I daresay the Frost Armor glyph is much more useful, because it allows you to sit in Frost Armor when getting trained by melees much longer than when you don’t have it; the Dragon’s Breath glyph would be a very strong candidate, but the lower cooldown causes DB to be on DR (diminishing return) when it comes up (meaning it lasts half of its usual duration if you cast it as soon as it is ready, due to the glyph); the Blast Wave one is sort of useful, but not as useful as FA.
Minor glyphs are personal choices, with the exception of 
Glyph of Slow Fall, which is required, unless you want to spend most of your free time farming Light Feathers.

III. GRNG 

Before we get started on the actual gearing process, let’s elaborate why you would want to go for haste instead of crit.:
First of all, as you know, Fire is an RNG-reliant spec, meaning you rely on getting procs (primarily Hot Streak and Impact) to do consistent damage. With crit. builds, what you are basically doing is you’re trying to reduce that handicap by increasing the chance to get Hot Streaks. Not a bad approach per se, but you are still very much vulnerable to bad luck. With a haste build, you would have less crit. chance (and implicitly you’d have less of a chance to get Hot Streaks outside of Shatters), yes, but you would gain a significantly higher burst potential, because haste affects DoT (damage over time) tick speed and after certain breakpoints, it also adds ticks to your Pyroblast DoT, Living Bomb and Combustion.
For more information on haste breakpoints, please refer to 
this link. To sum it all up, you need 5% haste for one extra Combustion tick, 12.5% for one extra Pyroblast/ Living Bomb tick, 15% for a second Combustion tick and 25% for a third (and final, for unbuffed scenarios) Combustion tick.
Still not convinced about the build? Check 
this discussion thread on Arena Junkies; Razghul (world first gladiator Fire mage, pre-Cata and 2x glad.) makes some very strong points regarding haste Fire.
Now, onto actual gearing: the haste build is a little bit more demanding in terms of acquiring PvE items, in that PvP gears don’t offer you the right balance between haste and crit. I haven’t yet found an ideal itemization for it, but what you are essentially looking for is haste; get the PvP haste boots, along with the necklace and reforge mastery and crit to haste. Read the end of this section for precise values.

Items you should consider getting:
Time Lord’s Hood, a really good item for Fire mages, because it allows us to replace the Cata. helmet - which gives mastery - with something better suited to our needs. You gain ~3% haste and ~2.50% crit. just from that one item, not to mention the Int. increase. Well worth the resilience loss, if you ask me.
Seal of the Grand Architect a very useful replacement for the hit ring; offers roughly 1.40% haste and one extra gem slot at the expense of 191 resilience.
Bottled Wishes, an insanely good item. You get ~4% extra haste from just this one trinket! Not only that, but the cooldown of its on-use effect is 30 seconds lower (and gives more spellpower) than the PvP trinkets’, meaning you get to burst faster with it. I definitely recommend getting this as a priority item for haste Fire.
Cataclysmic Gladiator’s Medallion of Cruelty, useful for when you can’t get your hands on some PvE items. It’s a fairly big resilience loss, though, so avoid it if possible.
Bracers of Unconquered Power, really good item, especially because it comes in the bracer item slot; this is really good because first of all, you lose less than 200 resil. when equipping this item and you gain 100-120 Int. from sockets alone along with a decent amount of mastery (which can be reforged to hit or crit.) and haste. I definitely recommend getting this over the trinket linked right above.
Janglespur Boots, good item for when you’re struggling with keeping an optimal amount of critical chance. You don’t gain a whole lot of haste from it, however (compared to Cata. boots) so your best bet is to avoid it.
Kavan's Forsaken Treads, same story as above, except it’s hit instead of crit.
One other noteworthy item is 
Ti’Tahk, the Steps of Time, because of its proc. (around 2.1k haste), which is on a low internal cooldown (45s.) and procs fairly often. The downside to it is that you lose out on passive crit. (and implicitly, haste), which can make a difference if it causes you to lose one DoT tick.

Gems
You can get away with stacking all Int. gems, but if you need to get a bit more of your primary stat, you can go for hybrid Intellect/ haste gems; put them in yellow sockets, for socket bonuses. Blues are irrelevant.

Noteworthy enchants
Enchant Bracer – Greater Speed
Enchant Boots – Haste
Greater Inscription of Charged Lodestone
Enchant Gloves – Haste

Professions
Your common profession choices are Blacksmithing (for the extra sockets), Jewelcrafting (for Chimera’s Eyes), Engineering (very useful for world PvP, BGs and duelling), Tailoring (cloak enchant + nets) and a slightly obscure profession which is quite useful for haste builds, Herbalism (due to 
Lifeblood, which has the same cooldown as Combustion, meaning you can almost always have it up when you need to Combust someone, thus allowing you to focus on secondary passive stats in your build). Mix them as you wish.

Long story short, your stat priority is as following:
400 hit rating (4% hit);
190 Spell Penetration (note that spells don’t get resisted on Molten, but damage does; get the Spell Pene. Cloak so you can get the haste necklace);
15% haste (if no PvE items) or 25% haste (if you can get PvE parts);
18%+ crit.;
Mastery can be neglected.

IV. TRX 

IV.1. GNRL General
Before anything else, you should know that rotations are for PvE; unpredictability is what you need in PvP. The tips and tricks I am about to show you are things you COULD try to win fights, but you should be aware that if you know them, then so do other players and they can counteract them. Becoming unpredictable is key to success here, because if you have the element of surprise on your side, you can set the fighting terms and thus have a higher chance of winning. 
The haste mage playstyle isn’t that different from the crit. one; the main difference is you should be more wary when setting up Combustions. What I mean by that is that you should always try to use Hot Streaks in Shatters, to get more Ignite damage, which implies more Combustion damage. Simple maths will show you why: at 25% haste, your Combustion ticks 13 times. In an endgame scenario, after a Hot Streak crit., each Comb. tick does about 13k damage. 13x13k = 169k damage in a single Combustion. This essentially translates to guaranteed death, if the target does not dispel the debuff or reduce its damage via shields/ damage reduction abilities.
Which leads me to my next point: dispel protection. One fairly frustrating downside to Fire is its dependency on buffs (procs) and debuffs (DoTs). Good old WotLK talents that increased your chance to resist dispels are now gone, which means you have to improvise to keep your buffs up; to prevent your Hot Streaks and Impacts from being instantly removed, you should try to always have Arcane/ Dalaran Brilliance up, along with Slow Fall, Mana Shield and Mage Ward (note that Mage Ward is generally better used to stop damage, rather than being a mere trash buff). Slow Fall is an especially useful trash buff (a buff that you don’t necessarily need, but which the enemy will have to dispel). As for debuff dispel protection, there are a number of things you could do to prevent them, all of which revolve around CCing your enemies; one way to make sure you get a solid amount of damage out via Combustion is to instantly silence your target (or the target that is able to dispel) with Counterspell. Follow up the CS with Dragon’s Breath and you now have 9 seconds (out of the 10.4 you need for all 13 ticks to hit) of dispel protection and crowd control; toss an Impact stun into the equation and you have a full Combustion and (most likely) a dead target, or two, or more.
Speaking of 
Impact, this talent is amazing for applying pressure in just about any scenario, because it spreads your DoTs - note: this includes Combustion - to all nearby targets. If you get a perfectly set up Comb. (see above), you can essentially wipe out entire groups of enemies with your AoE ticks. It is absolutely insane in Battlegrounds; in arenas, spreading your DoTs to the entire enemy group essentially means you will force quite a few cooldowns. The stun, as well, is useful for short-term crowd control andinterrupting spells!
Next up is 
Dragon’s Breath. This spell provides great AoE control and is really good for dispel protection because it doesn’t break from DoT damage. Additionally, its decently long duration allows you to hardcast (this means casting normally, without procs) Pyroblast, Fireball or Frostfire Bolt. This is particularly useful for when you’re struggling to get a Shatter off; you can use Frost Nova and then cast Dragon’s Breath and hardcast Pyro. to get a guaranteed crit. One thing you should look out for on most private servers is the Living Bomb explosion bug; unfortunately, this old bug seems to be sticking around on Molten; what it does is if Living Bomb explodes while your target is affected by DB, it will break it, even though it shouldn’t.
Living Bomb is one other important spell in your toolkit; the most obvious reason to why it’s important is the fact that it counts towards Combustion. Not only that, but it is an instant cast, meaning you can apply it immediately to keep targets in combat (so that they can’t eat or so they can’t re-stealth). Note that Living Bomb can crit., but its crits do not proc Ignite, since it is a periodic-damage spell.
Regarding 
Improved Cone of Cold, a lot of people seem to be improperly taking advantage of the freeze’s duration; it lasts 4 seconds, which is just enough time for you to get a Shatter off not by casting Scorch + Fire Blast, but by casting Fireball and Fire Blast. Fireball does substantially more damage than Scorch so if you can get a safe Shatter off with Fireball, take advantage of it! 

Advanced/ misc. general tips
Armor swapping - what this is, is essentially switching between armors during combat, to maximize damage output. For example, say a warrior just Charged you and has no Heroic Leap; this means he has no means to get back to you immediately, which allows you to switch from Frost Armor to Molten Armor to go offensive; when his Charge is about to come off cooldown (in about 15 seconds), you switch back to Frost Armor, to mitigate his damage. Rinse and repeat. Note that while this is an excellent way to increase your offensive capabilities, it may also make you more vulnerable in 1vX situations, where some other enemy might pop out of nowhere and start attacking you as well. Also, bear in mind that changing armors triggers global cooldown, which implies that you won’t be immediately able to resume your bursting phase. Practice is required to get it right.
Invising spells - using 
Invisibility to negate the effects and damage of spells. This is even trickier to pull off, because it requires equal parts precision and luck. You essentially have to predict when an opponent will use a certain ability (such as Warlocks’ Death Coil) and cast Invis. in anticipation of the cast. In some scenarios, you can use crowd control to set it up; for example, if a mage gets a Hot Streak proc, you can silence him and then cast Invis. (you may or may not have to delay the cast by a second, depending on how long the silence is). Most mages will panic and spam the keybind until it goes off, working in your advantage while doing so. Note that Invisibility has a 3s. fading time. Also note that this tactic will most likely fail against decent opponents.
Fake casting – casting a spell and almost immediately interrupting the cast, in an attempt to bait the enemy’s interrupt. Particularly useful vs. classes with long cooldowns on their interrupts. You should try to fake cast whenever the enemy is able to interrupt you; it’s a lot better to lose a global cooldown or two than it is to get your main school silenced for 8s. For maximum disrespect, you can try to fake cast your Hearthstone (trust me, it works sometimes).
Spell Reflecting Polymorph for self healing - Casting Polymorph on a warrior with Spell Reflection up, to heal yourself. Can backfire if the warrior is decent and knows he can remove his SR buff.
Hardcast Fireball in grenade stun - R.I.P. 2010-2013. This was possible before grenades and Fireball started sharing cooldowns, as a result of a bug. I mentioned it here just in case it gets fixed, in which case I will edit this part. However, bear in mind that this is still doable with Frostfire Bolt.

IV.2. CLS Versus various classes

Death Knights
Death Knights are a little tricky to deal with, due in no small part to their anti-caster abilities (i.e. Anti-Magic Shell, Anti-Magic Zone and Strangulate). Additionally, they can render Cauterize useless by stacking Necrotic Strike. Your best bet is to clean the DK of his buffs while he’s under the effects of AMS/ AMZ, with the addition that you should try to keep him slowed while he’s in AMZ, so that he can’t just walk up to you once its duration is over (redundant if he uses it while on top of you). What’s really important here is timing Counterspell. The silence makes him unable to use spells such as AMS, Death Pact, Death Coil etc.. Particularly useful for preventing him from either bursting you down with Coils or going defensive/ healing himself up via Pact/ Lichbourne + self Death Coils. Essentially, it’s a burst race. Kill him before he kills you. If he pops offensive cooldowns (Dark Transformation, Gargoyle, Unholy Frenzy) you should try to get some range or LoS the pets (get out of their line of sight). Trying to take him head on at this point is suicide, unless you land a really good Combustion and have Ice Block up. 
Warning: save Blink for after he uses Death Grip on you, or else he will instantly Death Grip you back after you Blink. If you really need to get away, make sure your Counterspell is up; Blink then immediately CS him. That will buy you a little bit of time to prepare for the DG.
Notes: Mage Armor is recommended over any other one vs. DKs, because they deal Shadow/ Frost Damage, so the resistances from the buff are useful; on top of that, the spell duration reduction works against DK spells, like Chains of Ice.
Use Mage Ward whenever you can. Not only does it absorb the Frost damage, but when it dissipates, you’ll gain Blazing Speed, which will help you gain some range.

Druids
Druids are a bit annoying to deal with, because they essentially can’t be slowed. Ferals are the ones you really need to look out for, because they are much more versatile than Balance druids or Restos.
Vs. Ferals, you should almost always try to save your trinket for the instant Cyclones, because that is when they will start healing themselves up; not only that, but they can get a re-stealth off during a full duration Cyclone. Apart from that, be wary of their Skull Bash, which works in melee range; also, note that they have two charges, Feral Charge and SB, so be careful when you choose to Blink. Speaking of Blinking, you can use it more loosely, to gain range, because they only have two stuns, apart from Pounce - which requires stealth -, one of which is Bash, which you will always see coming because they need to get in Bear Form for it. The other stun is Maim, which requires combo points and lasts 1-5s., depending on how many CPs they have on you. You should try to get a good shatter off to Combust; that will cause them to go defensive (Barkskin, Bear Form, Frenzied Regeneration, HoTs). You can prevent them from using Barkskin by blanket Counterspelling (silencing) them. Take care when they go in Bear Form; they can still pack a punch while playing defensive. If you aren’t careful, they can and they will steadily drop you low.
Warning: Watch out when you’re low health; they will attempt to finish you off with Ferocious Bite, which can easily do over 30k damage.
Balance Druids are a little easier to deal with. You mainly need to watch out for their Solar Beam, because it both interrupts and silences you for as long as you stand in it. Be careful not to get rooted inside it. Apart from that, one other thing you should be careful around is Starfall. It deals quite a bit of damage and can chunk you down if you don’t stop it; you can stop it by stunning (note: silence doesn’t work) the druid. It interrupts the cast for the duration of the stun. The rest is straight forward. Whoever’s manlier wins.
Restos are less complicated. Force trinket, get Combustion, silence, burst down. If it doesn’t work, repeat.

Hunters
They are a real pain to deal with, especially Marksmanship hunters, because of the sheer amount of damage they put out. Be careful when you try to cast instant Pyros or when trying to set up Combustions; most hunters will try to use Deterrence on either one of those cases. It’s usually worth waiting a bit after getting a Hot Streak, or instantly casting the Pyros as soon as you get them (after the first crit. you get, be ready to immediately press your Pyro keybind while casting a second Fire spell). In the case of Marksmanship hunters, you really shouldn’t be out in the open; if you are forced into staying in his line of sight, then you should keep close. Blinking to get close is recommended, since they don’t have any CC that you can Blink, apart from trap roots. Beast Mastery hunters are the ones you should try to save your Blinks for, because their pets have a 2s. stun.
Warning: If they use offensive cooldowns, get out of there as soon as possible, because you won’t live through it!
Notes: Vs. BMs, if Bestial Wrath is not up, you should try to keep his pet CCd. Most of their damage comes from their pets, so keeping them Poly’d or rooted renders their owners nearly useless. Also, Master’s Call makes them immune to roots and slows, so be careful when they use it. Additionally, when they use Disengage, they gain a speed buff; spellsteal it to make getting in range easier.
Armor swapping is recommended vs. MM, because having Mage Armor up when they cast Silencing Shot (yes, it reduces its duration) helps quite a bit. Be careful with the global cooldowns and the Silencing Shot cooldown resets, though.

Mages
Mirror fights are generally annoying to deal with and even more so when it comes to mages. Most fights come down to spellstealing buffs and getting that one good Combustion off. A good rule of thumb when spellstealing is to simply remove every buff that you get from the enemy (apart from Hot Streaks, Brain Freezes and maybe Impacts, of course), so that they can’t get them back. It’s a risky tactic, but it levels the fight down. It is also a good idea to try to Invis. instant Pyros or Shatters. One neat trick you could try is Blinking when you see the enemy mage coming close; Fire mages usually get close to their targets to use Dragon’s Breath, so noticing when he’s trying to cast it can be helpful to avoid it; Frost mages will want to use Frost Nova on you, to get an Ice Lance or two off. Deny them free Shatters and strip them of their buffs and you’re good to go.
Notes: unless you are ahead on health, you should save your Ice Block for Cauterize. If you’re feeling confident, you can use it to block Shatters, instant casts or Combustions, too.
Use Mage Armor; switching armors is not a very good idea in this case.

Paladins
They’re a bit harder to tackle, because every spec has self healing. It’s not too difficult to beat Rets or Prots, but you need to be careful not to let them get close to you, especially when against Rets. The reason is that they only need to hit you a few times with Templar’s Verdict to make you drop low. Kite them as much as possible - kiting means keeping a safe distance from your target and slowing it down, so it can’t reach you -; spellstealing is highly recommended, to get their Hand of Freedom, which renders them immune to slows and roots. Save trinket for Repentance and Blink for Hammer of Justice (HoJ has a 60s. cooldown as Ret., so you can use Blink more loosely after getting stunned by it). One useful trick when trying to get a Shatter off is to root them and immediately (note that Counterspell does not trigger global cooldown) silence them, thus allowing you to safely cast a Fireball + Fire Blast combo without worrying that they’ll break free. Be careful with your Combustion. Most Paladins will instantly use Divine Shield (or bubble, as it is more commonly referred to in-game), to prevent the damage from going through. When bubble is used, run; kite as much as you can until it’s over. It all comes down to whether or not you can outdamage the self healing.
Vs. Rets/ Prots., I advise swapping between all 3 armors; Mage Armor when HoJ isn’t on cooldown, Frost Armor when he’s in melee range, Molten Armor when you’ve gained some distance. If you don’t want to swap, Frost Armor is most likely a good choice, because the slow procs from their ranged abilities as well.
Vs. Holy Palas, Molten Armor is recommended, because they only have their HoJ to stun you, which can be Blinked, and they do almost no damage.

Priests
Dispel protection (read the beginning of this section) is highly recommended, because you will undoubtedly get your buffs cleaned up. While you get dispelled, you can dish out some damage, or you can try to CC them via Poly. or DB to get a good opener. Word of advice: fake cast your first few Polymorphs, because decent priests will try to use Shadow Word: Death (deals delayed damage to you as well as the priest) to break it. Spellstealing is recommended, because their shields can absorb quite a bit of damage and Shadow procs increase priests’ damage significantly. Additionally, you can spellsteal Renew to heal yourself up a bit. Dispersion reduces the damage Shadow Priests take significantly, so when they use it, either take advantage of the pause in combat to either heal yourself up, reposition or throw down some CC (Polymorphing the priest when he’s in Dispersion and nearly full health is a fairly efficient tactic; it will either make them stop Dispersion to interrupt you, or it’ll allow you to get free CC off). When to use your trinket/ racial is up to you, here; if you have good pressure going and you get silenced or disarmed, you may want to consider trinketing. If not, save it for Psychic Scream (their fear).
Warning: Dark Archangel procs should be spellstolen asap. If you can’t get them, then get out of priest’s line of sight until it fades; they will most likely try to oneshot you with Mind Blast.
Also, when Discipline Priests (Discs) use Power Infusion, you should try to spellsteal it, because the haste buff is really useful.
Tip 1: Less skilful priests will try to cast full duration Penances. That is your best chance to silence their healing school.
Tip 2: When priests try to get close to you, most of the times they are doing it to use Psychic Scream on you. Blink away and you might just make them waste it. 

Rogues
A pain in the backside is what they are. You won’t really get much of an opportunity to burst a rogue down until his Cloak of Shadows (Cloak; CoS) is on cooldown. Most rogues will save Cloak for Combustion, so unless you manage to get a lot of damage off before casting it (such as getting lots of critical hits), you will have to work around it. What I mean by that is you should force the rogue’s trinket, then set up for Combustion, use it and immediately CC him (i.e. with Ring of Frost, Dragon’s Breath or even Impact). This will prevent him from using Cloak to break the damage. Another, very desperate approach (for when you really need to get CoS out of the picture) is to use Combustion with only Living Bomb and Ignite on the rogue; if they don’t remove it, it’s free damage; if they do remove it, you’ll have a free pass to do damage. Choosing when to Blink sort of depends on the fight, because they have two ways of stunning you, which can be chained (talking about Cheap Shot and Kidney Shot); Kidney Shot lasts longer, but it requires Combo Points and it shares DR with Cheap Shot (meaning a 5CP Kidney lasts 3 seconds when it’s on DR). In terms of mitigating stun time, Blinking Cheap Shot is a little better, because it lasts 1 second more than DR’d Kidney; again, this is for when the stuns are on DR. A really strong opener from rogues is Garrote into immediate Kidney, which forces you to sit through the duration of the silence effect while stunned, allowing them to do free damage on you. At this point, it’s a good idea to discuss when you should use your PvP trinket; ideally, you want to save it for Blind, because they can re-stealth and open on you if you sit in its full duration. There are, however, scenarios when you need to trinket to prevent masses of damage from going through; let’s say the rogue opens with Garrote, uses Shadow Dance (ShD) and Kidney Shots you immediately. In this scenario, you should really consider trinketing to stop the damage, or else you will have a solid chance of dropping low on health. The principle can apply to Ice Block as well. If you can avoid going from 80% to 10% by blocking, you should consider it, because it’s more worth it to stop the damage with block than to sit through it and use it on the Cauterize proc. (80% HP from blocking a ShD > 40% HP from blocking a Cauterize, in most scenarios).
Tip 1: To prevent a rogue from re-stealthing while in Smoke Bomb, you can use Blizzard on top of his Bomb, to keep him in combat. Additionally, you can use Fire Orb and it WILL hit through Bomb.
Tip 2: You can use Dragon’s Breath to break Vanish.
Tip 3: To avoid some damage from a Garrote opener, you can try to turn around as soon as you get silenced, so that you face him and so that he can’t immediately Backstab you.

Warlocks
Personally, I don’t think Warlocks are a very tough match-up, simply because their burst isn’t exactly amazing if you don’t let them freely cast. Spellstealing their buffs helps a lot, because their offensive procs - such as Demon Soul, Backdraft, Eradication or Improved Soul Fire - add quite a bit of burst potential to them; not only that, but a lot of their buffs are beneficial to you as well! There are two main things you should watch out for: the pet and Death Coils. Pets are important parts of Warlock burst and survivability, because they provide useful abilities (such as Felhunter Spell Lock), buffs (for example Voidwalker Sacrifice, which can be spellstolen) and damage reduction (via Soul Link); if you can take their pets out of the picture, you will be able to burst them down a lot faster. The fact that they have Death Coil is one reason to why you should consider trying to Invis. their spells; it’s a little trickier, since you need to try to predict it, but if you can Invis Death Coils, then hats down to you, my sir! It is also useful vs. Destros, because Chaos Bolt/ Incinerate/ Soul Fire have casting and traveling time. If you’re ahead on health and have good reaction time, you can also try to Ice Block Death Coils/ Soul Fires. Pretty straightforward fight. Just be careful not to get Fear spammed; use line of sight to your advantage.
Use Mage Armor; swapping armors is inadvisable, but you can try if you’re feeling confident.

Warriors
Used to be a lot tougher back in Wrath of the Lich King days, not so much now. Once they use Heroic Leap and Throwdown, they are almost helpless. Be mindful of your global cooldowns; most good Warriors will wait until you start casting something before Charging, so they can get a few hits off before your Blink. Speaking of which, save it for Charge; they have roughly the same cooldown, so you should be able to avoid the Charge by Blinking, most of the time. Bear in mind that they have Spell Reflection, which can reflect multiple spells if cast within the same global cooldown; you should get it on cooldown before attempting to Shatter, or get him stunned. One thing to watch out for is Shield Wall; SW reduces the damage they take by 40% which, if paired with Enraged Regeneration and other defensive cooldowns, can ensure that they live through your Combustion. One other thing to be wary of is Bladestorm. If you can Blink to avoid its damage, you may want to consider it, because if the Warr. has offensive cooldowns used, it does a hefty amount of damage.
I suggest armor swapping, once Heroic Leap has been used. Not much else to add here.

V. MCRS 

Most of the macros I use are for focus/ arena123/ party123 casting, which you should be able to create on your own. Therefore, I’m going to stick to showing other macros:

Code:
#showtooltip
/cast [nomod:shift, nomod:ctrl]molten armor; [mod: shift] mage armor; [mod: ctrl] frost armor

All-in-one armors macro; it’s particularly helpful for armor swapping. Normal keybind = Molten Armor, Shift + keybind = Mage armor, Ctrl + keybind = Frost Armor.


Code:
#showtooltip
/cast [mod:shift] frostfire bolt; [nomod:shift, target=mouseover, harm, nodead] fireball; fireball
/startattack

This macro helps make your action bars more compact, by combining Fireball and Frostfire Bolt in one macro. If you’re mainly casting Fireball, then the main purpose of Frostfire Bolt is to kite, so you can keep it off to the side, so to speak. The /startattack command makes you start auto attacking; it’s so you don’t have to right click to begin attacking players or totems.


Code:
#showtooltip ice lance
/cast [target=mouseover, harm,nodead] ice lance; ice lance
/stopcasting

Great macro for killing totems, which also incorporates a /stopcasting command for fake casting.


Code:
#showtooltip ice block
/stopcasting
/cast !ice block

Safe Ice Block macro; will interrupt your cast and immediately use Ice Block. Especially useful for clutch Blocking spells. Note that even if you spam it, it won’t remove IB (so you can’t instantly remove it by accident); this implies that you add the /cancelaura ice block line (for removing the buff) in a separate macro, like the one below.


Code:
#showtooltip blink
/cancelaura ice block
/cast blink

Good for gaining range right out of Ice Block.


Code:
#showtooltip
/cast !Blizzard

Same as the !Ice Block macro, this one makes it so you can mash your Blizzard keybind without worrying that one too many casts will cancel it.


Code:
#showtooltip 18
/castsequence !Shoot, !Shoot

This is a wand macro, used - yet again - for the same reasons as above; it lets you mash the keybind, without worrying that it will get cancelled. It can get fairly frustrating if you don’t use this, because you need to wait about a second before the wand actually starts shooting. Every time.

VI. VDS 

There are a number of Cataclysm Fire mage video makers that you could watch. I will show you some of my personal favorites.
First video maker is Razghul, which I’ve mentioned earlier. He is a really good mage and his videos do not disappoint, when it comes to showcasing skill. He has a number of videos available for watching, ranging from WotLK to MoP. I strongly recommend watching
Razghul - Random Clips; it contains WotLK and Cata footage, 1vX and duelling in particular.

Second video maker is Mitzter, yet another amazing Fire mage; he’s not that popular for whatever reason. Still, you should watch his videos. He has a 
4.3 video that I especially recommend watching because it shows the haste build in action. Disregard its random title.

Next up is Castorcato, who has a couple of cameos in Razghul’s videos (vice versa, too), if I’m not mistaken. If it’s of any relevance, he played with Hydra back in 4.3.4. From his rather lengthy list of videos, I suggest watching 
Castorcato 2 and 3.

Other names include Hansol (gladiator), Bebep, Sephisto, Healingproof and a number of others. You can find them by searching for them on 
Warcraft Movies.

VII. CRD

I would like to thank a number of people for helping, guiding and inspiring me to write this guide:
- Razghul and Mitz, for their awesome guidance;
- Jim, for helping with theorycrafting and optimizing the build;
- Foss, for motivating me to write this guide;
- Keldion or whoever it is that made the haste breakpoints chart. I could never memorize the exact values until I found the chart;
- everyone on the forum, for being awesome!

If you have any sort of feedback or questions, don't hesitate to send me a message!
Hope this guide helped. Thanks for reading and have a great day!
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