16 October 2008

3.0.2 Fire Mage Build

I didn't do much productive last night — still playing around with all the new stuff. I need to get Alamein out into the battlegrounds, but last night I needed sleep more.

For the first part of the night, we were bugged. All of Outlands was down for Shandris, so we were limited to any toons that logged out in old Azeroth. I took the time to respec my lower-level toons. The most advanced is Gazala, who's a level 43 rogue; everyone else is a lot lower level than that. So the respecs weren't very informative — though it is interesting to see what talents have moved in each tree.

Once Outlands were back, I logged on to Sali and respeced her too. I know much less about the mage talents — either old or new — than I do about druids. So I'm much less confident that I've chosen a useful spec in any sense. Still, I wanted to share my thoughts.

I don't have my exact spec available, but I chose something pretty close to this: Level 70 Deep Fire Mage: 0/61/0. As with Alamein's talents, I consciously focused on a deep Fire build so that I could understand the available abilities. Based on about 10 minutes of testing, here are my initial impressions:

Firestarter is awesome. It gives you a natural combo of Blast Wave -> Flamestrike, limited only by the GCD. This will be great for AoE farming or damage as a fire mage, providing you can survive a few hits. The knockback on Blast Wave is fun too, and a bit more useful as a mage (compared to Typhoon on a Moonkin druid).

On the other hand, I couldn't really use Living Bomb, because I was testing on lower-level mobs. They would just die before the bomb went off. I suspect this spell will be rather situational, so I'll have to understand more about when to use it. Similarly, I never had a chance for Hot Streak to proc, so I'll have to test with that some more.

Burnout is a weird talent, particularly when you combine it with Master of Elements. Spell crits refund 30% of their cost due to Master of Elements but then lose 5% of that back to Burnout. It works out in the end, which is all that matters I suppose.

Burning Soul is a nice addition. Fire mages never had a lot of pushback protection, so this is a big help. I was also very tempted to take Burning Determination but ended spending the points elsewhere; this is probably more useful in PvP than PvE but still could be nice.

I think in a real build, I will be inclined to take some points in Arcane. Unfortunately none of the Tier 1 arcane talents are very appealing for a fire build, but beyond that there's some nice stuff. Arcane Concentration is a good talent, and Magic Absorbtion looks like it will be powerful. Spell Impact is a nice chunky damage boost on a lot of bread-and-butter spells. Focus Magic looks interesting, but unfortunately only works if you're partied with someone. No benefit for soloing.

So that's a quick look at fire-based mage talents. I'll test them out a bit more and report back!

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