Playstyle & Rotation
When talented, do your best to maintain 3 stacks of Feel the Burn at all times. Outside of combustion, the 3 stack will inevitably drop, which is ok. Conserve some fire blast charges going into any new combustion, so you can get a new 3 stack rolling easily.
Try to keep any pyroclasm procs from expiring by spending them immediately. However, if you have 1 pyroclasm and are only 1-2 hot streaks away from generating a sun king’s proc, it may be worth it to generate the sun king’s first so that you can guarantee your pyroclasm crits.
If you did not pick the Alextrasza’s Fury talent, you should only use Phoenix Flames in combustion. However, if you picked the talent, you want to use it outside of combustion to benefit more from kindling.
Single Target & Cleave
Fire is fairly punished for target swapping so in general you want to find the priority mob in any pack and tunnel into that hard.
- Pyroblast prepull and fire blast twice during the cast to give yourself a hot streak combust before the end of the cast to ensure it crits. Que up a 2nd pyro to dump the hot streak immediately. Be aware that the mid-cast fire blast will pull the boss, so time this accordingly
- Instant cast Pyro again to dump your new hot streak
- Cast Phoenix Flames
- Instant cast Pyro again and Fire Blast to maintain Feel the Burn stacks
- Continue to alternate between Fire Blast, Phoenix Flames, and Scorch to continue to generate Hot Streaks and Instant Pyroblast while maximizing your uptime on Feel the Burn at 3 stacks
- If there is less than 1 GCD left in combustion and you do not have a fire blast available to fit another Pyro in, cast Ice Nova (NOT FROST NOVA. Ice Nova is a talent in the general class tree)
- If you get a Pyroclasm proc be sure to spend it before it expires
- Shifting power to recover charges of Fire Blast
- If you have a sun King’s Blessing at this point use Rune of Power and begin your miniburst with the same steps as #5 above
On extremely large target counts, you’ll only find in Mythic+ you can replace most pyroblast usage with flamestrike. You’ll no longer have to worry about Feel the Burn with a mass AoE setup, so you can dump charges to your heart’s content to max out your damage in a particular window.
- Hardcast Flamestrike pre pull, Combust before the cast ends, and que up a Phoenix Flames
- Alternate between Fire Blast, Phoenix flames, and Dragon’s breath if you have it talented to generate hot streaks for instant cast Flame Strikes
- When out of instants use Shifting Power to recover them and continue your spam
- When you run out again, if you still have any time left on combustion you can Arcane Explosion a couple of times
- Go back to hard casting flamestrike once combustion is over (It’s boring, I know)
In general, your playstyle and especially cooldown use should be molded on a fight-by-fight basis. This has historically been one of the best strengths of Mage in cutting-edge content. Our CD timing is variable, and the damage we do in short bursts can overcome difficult parts of an encounter. In general, do your best to time your combustion and rune usage to increased boss damage windows, add spawn or just some point in the fight that allows you to stand in place for 12 seconds at a time.
Get used to stutter stepping between your GCDs. You want to only use your blink charges for large movements. If you only have to move 10 yards and you have a few seconds to get there do it by stutter stepping in your rotational down time.
Lastly, Mage is one of the tankiest DPS classes in the game, but nearly all of our defensives are proactive buttons and not reactive. Blazing Barrier, Alter Time, Mirror Images, and Ice Block all do no good if you haven’t pressed them before a damage event happens. Get used to studying damage patterns of encounters and knowing ahead of time when you are about to take a big hit. Your healers will be able to feel the difference if you are playing well defensively, and they will thank you for it.