Below are my talent recommendations for various situations along with an in depth look into each talent choice.
Recommended Single Target Build:
Recommended Mythic+ & Cleave Build:
Recommended Leveling Build:
Tier 1 - Level 15:
Pyromaniac gives an 8% chance that your Hot Streak proc will not be consumed after using it. Unfortunately there is no visible indication for when this procs, making it hard to react to. Regardless, this talent is the best choice for single target fights, pulling just slightly ahead of Conflagration if used efficiently.
Conflagration is a passive damage increase that causes Fireball to leave behind an additional DoT which deals damage and AoE's nearby targets. This talent is the best choice for all situations other than single target as it provides high consistent cleave damage.
Firestarter causes Fireball and Pyroblast to always Crit on targets above 90% health. Somewhat niche talent, though it actually has a decent DPS value on bosses where the 100-90% phase lasts longer than a couple of seconds and the remainder of the fight is not overly long. If you pick this talent, you will want to delay combustion until after 90%.
Tier 2 - Level 30:
Shimmer replaces Blink, giving you an extra charge as well as removing the GCD cost and allowing you to use it while casting other spells. This is the only talent in the tier that potentially increases your DPS, since you can use it to get out of void zones while still casting, while normally you might have to interrupt your cast.
Blast Wave deals small damage around you and slows nearby enemies, only really useful if you require crowd control.
Blazing Soul could be useful on encounters that require you to stack close for additional survivability, however the mobility you gain from Shimmer should outweigh the survivability in most cases. Also the small amount that Blazing Barrier absorbs makes this talent worthless, since almost anything will break it in one hit.
Tier 3 - Level 45:
Mirror Image is a burst DPS cooldown that summons 3 clones to attack your target. This talent is the go to choice for single target encounters but falls behind greatly in cleave and AoE scenarios.
Rune of Power increases our damage by 40% for 10 seconds as long as we stay in or slightly outside of the rune. This talent offers incredible burst damage possibilities in cleave situations, making it the best choice in all situations where multiple enemies will be present. Rune of Power is best combined with our other high impact spells such as Combustion, Living Bomb or Meteor.
Incanter's Flow is a passive damage increase that cycles up and down repeatedly. This talent can't compete with the other two options in this tier making it only viable for questing and world content.
Tier 4 - Level 60:
Alexstrasza's Fury causes Dragon's Breath to always Crit and provide Hot Streak. This talent is the best option for cleave and AoE situations if you pair it with the legendary, Darckli's Dragonfire Diadem.
Flame On has recently been reworked to be a passive that gives us 3 charges of Fire Blast as well as reducing its cooldown. This should be your default talent option for single target as well as in cleave situations, unless you use Darckli's Dragonfire Diadem.
Controlled Burn provides a 20% chance that your Heating Up proc will instantly turn into Hot Streak. Although this sounds like a strong talent, the other options are simply much stronger. If you are using Soul of the Archmage you will want to pick this talent, unless you also use Darckli's Dragonfire Diadem.
Tier 5 - Level 75:
Frenetic Speed is the only talent on this tier worth taking as it gives us slightly higher mobility to increase our DPS uptime.
Ring of Frost incapacitates targets that enter the ring for 10 seconds. While this provides some utility it isn't useful in many situations.
Tier 6 - Level 90:
Living Bomb is a DoT that explodes after a few seconds, dealing massive AoE damage and spreading to nearby targets. This talent should be taken if the encounter has consistent cleave and/or AoE. Note that Living Bomb is not worth casting if it will only hit one target - make sure there are at least 3 targets in total!
Unstable Magic is a passive damage increase that causes Fireball to sometimes deal 50% additional splash damage to the target and nearby enemies. This talent is the best choice for encounters where you can't consistently cleave multiple targets with Living Bomb.
Flame Patch causes Flamestrike to leave behind a void zone which deals damage to all enemies within it for 8 seconds. This talent can be competitive if the fight isn't single target and you are struggling to make good use of Living Bomb. It will provide more DPS than Living Bomb if the target count is rather low, up to 5 targets.
Tier 7 - Level 100:
Kindling passively reduces our Combustion cooldown when we Crit with certain spells. Due to recent changes to Fire Mage this talent is now a lot weaker, although it can be good on fights where the cooldown reduction causes Combustion to be ready for add or damage increase phases.
Cinderstorm deals very high single target and AoE damage but needs to be aimed correctly to get the most benefit. Note that Cinderstorm deals 30% more damage on targets that are already affected by Mastery: Ignite, meaning you should try to apply Mastery: Ignite to mobs before using Cinderstorm. This talent is currently the best choice in heavy cleave and AoE situations.
Meteor is a hard hitting damage spell that should be synced up with our other cooldowns where possible, it is our best talent choice for encounters that are single target or have little cleave opportunity.
In most situations a higher ilvl Relic will always be better as it increases the ilvl and stats of your Artifact, however replacing something like Molten Skin for Pyroclasmic Paranoia can be worth more than the ilvl increase. For most situations, the list below should be followed.