Hello Mages! I'm going to be re-continuing this thread in anticipation of 4.3's fire.
More in-depth analysis and theorycrafting can be found at Elitist Jerks Fire Mage Compendium.
Stat Scaling and Itemization:
You will primarily want Intellect = Hit >> Haste 2005 (1505 t13) > Crit >> Mastery >> Haste. Tier 13 gear is covered in haste; getting the 2005 haste mark for Combustion's haste plateau is very easy and the rest of your gear should be reforged towards Crit, prioritizing even Mastery over Haste after the 2005 threshold. More information on stat prioritization is TBD, but this is the best we have right now.
Tier 12's 4-piece bonuses increases the chance of Tier 3 Hot Streak proccing, not Tier 4. This set bonus is very valuable to the raiding Fire Mage, DO NOT drop this bonus until you get your 4-piece Tier 13 set of a higher item level.
Haste and Fire DoTs:
Fire has Haste Plateaus where additional DoT ticks are given over the same default duration. Luckily, all of Fire's primary DoTs (except Combustion and Ignite) have the same number of ticks over the same duration, making Haste Plateaus easy to calculate. Living Bomb, Pyroblast and Frostfire Bolt's DoT all tick three times over twelve seconds with +0 Haste. You get one additional tick at 12.5%, then another at 37.5% and 62.5% Haste (12.5+25(n-1)). These haste value scale multiplicatively with all haste modifiers provided by your talents and raid buffs. This includes Netherwind Presence, Bloodlust, Berserking, and any 5% haste modifier provided by Shadow Priests, Moonkins or Shaman. Ignite does not scale with haste.
Here is a calculator for determining haste plateaus for LB/Pyro/FFB and Combustion using differing haste buffs/multipliers.
Optimal Item Sets:
FINALIZED OPTIMAL REFORGING SCHEME: http://img824.imageshack.us/img824/8493/fire410.png
Heroic Raid Gear BiS, 410+:
Helm: Time Lord's Hood
Neck: Opal of the Secret Order
Shoulders: Time Lord's Mantle
Back: Nanoprecise Cape
Chest: Time Lord's Robes
Bracers: Bracers of the Banished
Gloves: Gloves of Liquid Smoke
Belt: Cord of the Slain Champion
Legs: Time Lord's Leggings
Boots: Janglespur Jacboots
Ring 1: Ring of the Riven
Ring 2: Infinite Loop
Trinket 1: Insignia of the Corrupted Mind or Cunning of the Cruel
Trinket 2: Will of Unbinding
Weapon: Dragonwrath, Tarecgosa's Rest
Wand: Finger of Zon'ozz
Talents and Glyphs:
Fire All-Purpose: http://www.wowhead.com/talent#o0hZfchrk0RRsfoc 3/33/3 + 2
Spare points can be used in Improved Fireblast, Blazing Speed, Improved Scorch or Arcane Concentration.
http://db.mmo-champion.com/s/94000/g...f-living-bomb/ instead of Fireball/FFB if Living Bomb's damage is 200% or more of Fireball/FFB.
Spell Selection and the Dynamic Priority System:
Fire is one of the more unique specs that WoW has to offer for any class. Its spell selection priority changes depending on the given scenario, making it dynamic. The basic spell selection priority on a non-movement Patchwerk-style encounter is as follows:
*Read below about when and how to use Combustion.
**If you don't have a warlock in your raid keeping up Critical Mass via Scorch or Pyroblast is priority.
When starting an encounter or switching targets applying Critical Mass is first priority. Some Mages choose to hard-cast Pyroblast during the pull countdown; I cast Scorch first due to the way my guild handles pulls (threat can be unreliable). After Critical Mass is applied Flame Orb is priority, followed by applying Living Bomb. On most fights it's appropriate to cast Mirror Image at this point, but sometimes it's good to save them for high-AoE phases so you don't pull aggro with AoE burst threat (Maloriak and Halfus are good examples of this). After one or two Fireballs your ICD trinkets and enchants should be proc'd and you should consider casting Combustion depending on the situation of your DoTs (more on this later).
In a Patchwerk-style encounter your single-target rotation should be ideal. Refresh Living Bomb ASAP when it falls, cast Flame Orb, Mirror Images and Combustion on cooldown. Fill with Fireball spam and cast Pyroblast! on Hot Streak procs. In the event the encounter is long enough for you to OOM you should plan ahead and Evocate around 35% mana. Ideally you want to have enough mana to cast Fireball when you have internal cooldowns up and/or when the boss is sub-35% for Molten Fury. You should (ideally) end the encounter with 0 mana remaining.
Never feel bad if you have to cast Scorch more than you want to; a Scorch-based rotation is about 80% of a Fireball-based rotation, which is a far better alternative than most specs have. ALWAYS cast Scorch as your primary nuke when you're moving.
How to Combustion:
Combustion does as the tooltip states; it does damage over 10 seconds equal to the current DPS of your DoTs on the target. The contribution of each DoT is approximately as follows:
As you can see, Living Bomb and Ignite are the largest portions of your Combustion's Damage. The nature of Ignite Munching's Mechanic makes it very RNG-oriented and unreliable as to whether you're going to have a successful high-damage Combustion or a weak one. There is no way to determine whether or not your Ignite was munched or not until you've seen it tick. As much as the situation stinks, it's usually worth it to cast Combustion immediately after you see one or two large crits and with Living Bomb on your target (waiting to apply Pyroblast's DoT isn't recommended). The possibility of having a munched Ignite ruin your Combustion's damage is something Mages just have to live with. More information about Ignite munching can be found here.Originally Posted by Elitist Jerks Fire Mage Compendium Discussion
On top of optimizing your Combustion by casting it immediately after one or two large crits, you should be attempting to time it with a cooldown-stack such as trinket/enchant procs and haste cooldowns such as Berserking or Time Warp. The formula for determining Combustion's Haste Plateaus is (5+10(n-1)), meaning that at 5%, 15%, 25%, 35% (etc.) haste your Combustion gains an additional tick. Cooldown-stacking has always played a significant part in Mage DPS optimization and it matters just as much (if not more) for proper optimization of Combustion.
A cool tip about Combustion; it effectively double-dips its damage on targets that take increased damage, such as Halfus, Maloriak during his Green Phase and Magmaw's Exposed Head. With higher damage taken your DoTs will naturally be hitting harder, making Combustion's average tick higher. Combustion also receives its own damage multiplier on targets like this, making it effectively double-dip on the bonus like Ignite used to do in ICC with the damage buff. Using these targets as your Pillar (the target you primarily spread DoTs via Impact from) will always yield higher DPS.
Impact and You:
On Multi-target/AoE-Oriented encounters Impact is your best friend. The vast-majority of Fire Mage AoE comes from our DoTs, similar to Death Knights. One mistake I see Mages making is that they're waiting to use their Impact proc until Living Bomb or Pyroblast are reapplied. You should always use Impact on cooldown during AoE-intensive phases, such as the Vile Swills on Heroic Maloriak (and others), even if it's just spreading an Ignite. When you're constantly hitting multiple targets like this your Impact Procs are primarily going to be from Living Bomb explosion cleaves and Blast Wave + Flamestrike.
My personal strategy to maintain high DoT uptime is to obviously use Blast Wave on cooldown as the first priority and Flamestrike about 7-8 seconds afterwards to keep the ground on fire beneath the targets. If you have 3 Living Bombs out, you're probably going to get an Impact proc once they explode and cleave. I usually delay my Blast Wave / Flamestrike when Living Bomb is falling off in-case I don't get a proc. Keeping Living Bomb active on 3 targets is your #1 priority. Between your AoE's you should be casting your normal rotation on your primary target, which I call the Pillar. It's crucial to use your Impact as soon as possible if you're about to have Living Bomb expire or cast Blast Wave / Flamestrike, even if it's just spreading an Ignite. Losing Pyromaniac isn't an option.
I strongly recommend having a separate Pillar target than the other Mages in your raid, if you have any. When they Impact a target it has a chance to remove your Living Bomb. You WILL lose DPS if multiple Mages are impacting the same target. The only exception I can think of to this is Halfus when whelps are active around him, due to the large multiplier of increased damage he takes.
I also strongly recommend saving your Mirror Image cooldown if you're going to use Combustion in an AoE situation. Displacing your threat is necessary if you get a strong Combustion out on every target. Make sure to clear your threat via Invisibility once your Mirror Image has about 3-5 seconds remaining.
RNG can be a major factor in Fire Mage AoE DPS, but we all have to live with it and try to minimize it's impact as much as possible.
Addons I Recommend:
TidyPlates: Excellent mod for replacing your name plates. It has many different skins, some skins have the ability to show your DoTs above the target. Seeing your debuffs requires your to mouse-over the target.
Mik's Scrolling Battle Text (MSBT): Extremely Customizable mod that displays combat text on your screen. I have mine filtered to show crits and hits in separate locations as well as other functions such as aura gains for myself and my enemy and incoming heals.
Scorchio! 2: Mage-specific mod that tracks all mage buffs and debuffs. What I love about this mod is that it tracks all of your Living Bombs without you having to mouse-over targets to find them! I know immediately if one of my Living Bombs failed to apply after an impact-spread. I also have mine configured to show Polymorph and Critical Mass.
Quartz: My choice for cast-bars. I love using this add-on because it has a Mirror display that the following add-on uses:
Quartz Procs: This is the mod I use to track specific buffs, such as my trinket and enchant procs. It has many customizable features such as the ability to play sound files when a specific buff procs, and you can add your own mp3's too! It also has the ability to track the Cooldowns of abilities and Internal Cooldowns of your procs.
NeedtoKnow: I use this mod to track my internal cooldowns, mainly because I don't like cluttering everything into the Quartz Procs display. It can be used to do many of the same things Quartz Procs does.
Omni-CC: I get asked more about this mod than any other. It shows the cooldown remaining within the tooltip display. It can be seen in the Screenshots below.
Power Auras: Probably the most important add-on for raiding. You can have custom graphics for any aura on you or your target. I use this to track my Mage Procs (such as Hot Streak) instead of the blizzard-UI's defaults, as well as Buffs on my focus that I use for specific encounters. Highly recommended, required for most raiding guilds.
Mods in action:
Fire Mage PoV Videos From Heroic Cataclysm Raiding:
These are videos of my guild's kills from my Youtube Channel. You can see the mods above in action as well as various tactics and ways to approach the various heroic modes that Cataclysm has to offer.
Might not add videos of t13 content here due to computer issues with recording and lack of fun content to capture.
Post any questions or things you want added. I'm completely open to criticism!