The best Fire Mage talents and build in WoW Shadowlands

Pick these talents, stats, and covenant to maximize your performance.

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Mages are one of the most popular classes in World of Warcraft: Shadowlands in both player-vs-player (PvP) and player-vs-environment (PvE) encounters. While Fire was the best specialization at the beginning of the expansion, it took a couple of steps back after Blizzard buffed both Arcane and Frost. Even after multiple nerfs to Fire, it remains a great spec for mages to pick up and dominate both the PvP and PvE.

In PvP, Fire Mages have one of the deadliest kill windows due to Combustion, which allows them to unleash huge crits one after the other and one-tap enemies with ease. In PvE, they provide a good mix of single-target and area-of-effect damage.

Here are the best Fire Mage talents and build for PvP and PvE.

PvP

Fire Mages are in a decent spot PvP-wise due to Polymorph, a spammable CC spell, as well as their huge mobility and burst damage on a low cooldown via Combustion.

Unlike other specs, if you’re locked out of Fire school, you can easily cast Arcane or Frost spells without a huge impact on your overall rotation. Arcane has a problem since most mobility and CC spells are on that school and if you get interrupted, you’ll be sitting defenseless until you can cast again. Frost is similar to Arcane and won’t be able to Iceblock if it gets locked on the Frost school. As a result, Fire Mages are in a great spot overall and are hard to shut down. Enemies have to choose between kicking your damaging school or locking out Arcane to stop you from spamming Polymorph.

Talents

Screengrab via Blizzard Entertainment

Level 15: Firestarter – This talent gives you a guaranteed critical strike hit against opponents with more than 90 percent health. It’s the perfect opener against enemies since you can set up for a guaranteed Pyroblast proc with it.

Level 25: Shimmer – The best PvP mobility talent, this allows you to two charges of Blink, which can be used to target enemies behind pillars while casting. A good example is casting Polymorph on a target behind a pillar, then using Shimmer to quickly reach the line of sight to land the Polymorph.

Level 30: Incanter’s Flow – Incanter’s Flow is a default talent you should be running, increasing your damage while in combat by up to 20 percent before going down to four percent, cycling every 10 seconds. It’s powerful when combined with your damaging cooldowns.

Level 35: Flame On – Fire Blast is a great spell that enables you to get Hot Streak procs. By picking this talent, you’ll reduce its cooldown while also getting a secondary charge to get a Hot Streak proc on demand. Other picks in the row don’t come close to the power Flame On has for on-demand burst.

Level 40: Ring of Frost – This talent is taken to be able to have two types of CC in different schools. If the enemies use their kick on your Fire school, you can cast a Ring of Frost and trap them in a zone until you’re able to cast with your main school again. You can also try to use a Frost Nova into Ring of Frost to land crowd control if the opposing healer has no Dispel.

Level 45: Living Bomb – Unlike other rows, this one is pretty lacking. Out of the three choices, Living Bomb is the best one. But even if you pick it, you’ll find yourself unable to fit it into your PvP rotation since it’s usually better to just cast an additional Fireball to reduce your Combustion cooldown rather than use it on a Living bomb.

Level 50: Meteor– This is the best talent in the tree and should always be picked up. The damage it does is amazing if no teammates are nearby your priority target to soak it. It’s easy to land, especially if you have a partner who can land some on-demand CC.

Gear

Your stat priority is Haste > Versatility > Critical Strike > Mastery.

With the fast-paced arena meta, you need to able to cast your spells as quickly as possible, and having a lot of haste to do so is a requirement. Afterward, you want to prioritize Versatility for the additional damage and reduce damage taken. With the double PvP trinket bonus, Versatility is the best secondary stat after Haste. Mastery and Critical Strike are lower in priority, but if you have higher item-level gear with these stats, feel free to use them instead.

As for the legendary item, you want to go for Triune Ward because it increases your survivability and eases the burden on the healer. It is the absolute best legendary effect you can get as a Mage regardless of specialization.

Covenant

The optimal covenant for a Fire Mage in PvP is Night Fae. It grants you the ability to have additional blinks via the Soulshape ability and Shifting Power reduces your cooldowns by 10 seconds on a minute cooldown. The biggest benefit of Night Fae is that Shifting Power is on the Nature school, allowing you to use it to force the enemy to use their interrupt before you unleash your main school Fire burst.

Soulshape in PvP should only be used if you’re out of blinks. Save it for when you’ve made a mistake and the enemy caught up to you, then activate it to blink to a safe area and get your cooldowns. Due to its high cooldown, you should avoid using it offensively, unless you get a guaranteed kill.

PvP Talents

The three PvP talents you should use by default are Pyrokinesis, Tinder and Kleptomania. While the first two are required to improve your damage, the third one is taken for survivability by allowing you to steal all buffs from opponents.

PvE

Mages in PvE provide a good source of damage, while also having the tools to deal with plenty of mechanics unharmed, such as Blink, Ice Block, Barrier, and Frost Nova. The explosive playstyle makes them perfect for encounters where you need as much damage as possible in a short timeframe.

The Shadowlands changes compared to the Battle for Azeroth expansion enhanced the damage-over-time playstyle of a Fire Mage. The gameplay is mostly the same and while most dungeons or raids might prefer an Arcane or Frost mage as those get buffed, you should be able to find spots as a Fire Mage as well if you good gear and mechanics.

Talents

Screengrab via Blizzard Entertainment

Level 15: Firestarter– This talent gives you a guaranteed critical strike hit against opponents with more than 90 percent health. It’s the perfect opener against enemies since you can set up for a guaranteed Pyroblast proc with it.

Level 25: Shimmer – The best PvP mobility talent, this allows you to two charges of Blink, which can be used to target enemies behind pillars while casting. A good example is casting Polymorph on a target behind a pillar, then using Shimmer to quickly reach the line of sight to land the Polymorph.

Level 30: Incanter’s Flow – This is a default talent you should be running, increasing your damage while in combat by up to 20 percent before going down to four percent, cycling every 10 seconds. It’s amazing when combined with your damaging cooldowns.

Level 35: Flame On – Fire Blast enables you to get Hot Streak procs. By picking this talent, you’ll reduce its cooldown while also getting a secondary charge to get a Hot Streak proc on demand. This talent works well in PvE since you’ll be in control of your burst phases with this ability, which can be the difference between a wipe and a boss kill.

Level 40: Ice Ward – Having two charges of Frost Nova, especially in high Mythic+ dungeons, can be a lifesaver since you can give your team a couple of seconds to regain their cooldowns. The other two talents are decent as well in some situations.

Level 45: Conflagration – By default, this talent is strong since it doesn’t require you to think about how many enemies to stack up for the other talents to be better in the long run.

Level 50: Kindling – This talent allows you to reduce the cooldown of your Combustion every time you cast one of your main damaging spells. With the ability being your primary catalyst to do damage, it’s one of the best talents in the tier.

Gear

Your stat priority is Haste > Critical Strike > Versatility> Mastery.

Unlike PvP, in PvE, you don’t need to stack up on Versatility. You benefit from all stats quite well, but Haste is supreme in a PvE environment. It allows you to cast spells more often, which in result will reduce the cooldown of Combustion. Afterward, you want to go for Critical Strike to have bigger numbers more often, which will increase your DPS. Fevered Incantation is your go-to legendary since it gives you additional critical strike damage for consecutive critical strike hits, which you can easily stack up during Combustion.

Covenant

The optimal covenant for a Fire Mage in PvE is Night Fae just like in PvP. It grants you the ability to have additional blinks via the Soulshape ability, and Shifting Power reduces your cooldowns by 10 seconds on a minute cooldown. You can get access to your core abilities more often, while also being able to avoid certain encounters where you need the ability to kite by spamming Soulshape.

Venthyr is a close second, but it’s still lackluster when compared to Night Fae. The ability to reduce your main cooldowns is too strong in most PvE encounters.