PvE Fire Mage Stat Priority & Reforging

cataclysm pve fire mage reforge
  • Author: Luxrah
  • Date: May 8, 2024
  • Updated: May 8, 2024
  • Expansion: Cataclysm

Before you can start kitting out your character you’ll need to know what your stat priority is so you can select the appropriate gear, gems, enchants, and consumables. Fire Mages have a couple of stat caps to worry about as well, with the value of those stats dropping significantly once the caps are reached.

Stat Priority

  1. Intellect
  2. Hit to cap
  3. Haste to cap
  4. Critical Strike
  5. Haste beyond cap
  6. Mastery

Intellect is your primary stat and will always be the most important stat for a Fire Mage as the main source of your Spell Power and mana pool. Intellect also increases your Critical Strike.

Hit is vital until you reach the cap, which is 17%. After that it is completely useless, but until then it is just as valuable as Intellect. Not being Hit capped means that your attacks may not land, which means any stats that would improve their damage are wasted. To reach the 17% Hit cap, you’ll need 1742 Hit Rating, or 1640 Hit Rating if you’re a Draenei (thanks to their Heroic Presence racial).

Haste is extremely valuable up to the point where you can reach one of the soft caps, but any extra Haste beyond those caps drops below Critical Strike in value. Every point of Haste will give you a tiny increase to your casting speed, but the soft caps are the points at which you will gain extra ticks from your DoTs over their duration. Here are those caps and the DoTs they affect:

When calculating your Haste, keep in mind that you should have 3/3 in the Netherwind Presence talent, which gives 3% Haste. Goblins get 1% Haste through their Time is Money racial. You can also get 5% Haste from the following raid buffs:

You need about 128 Haste Rating for every 1% increase. It only takes 416 Haste Rating to reach 15% with Netherwind Presence and one of the raid buffs above (285 for Goblins). With the same buffs, it takes 1574 Haste to reach 25% (1431 for Goblins).

Critical Strike becomes your most powerful secondary stat once your Hit and Haste caps have been reached. This stat’s value comes from talents like Ignite and Hot Streak as much as from the fact that critical hits do more damage. Much of the Fire Mage’s scaling comes from Crit, and you may feel a bit underpowered at low gear levels when you are focused on reaching your other stat caps.

Mastery is an underwhelming stat for a Fire Mage when compared to your other options, so you’ll generally want to replace or Reforge it with something better. If there are no better options it’s still an increase to your damage.

Spirit is not at all useful to caster DPS in Cataclysm and is now purely a healer stat, so you should avoid it if possible.


Reforging is a new feature in Cataclysm that allows you to trade out part of one secondary stat for another on any piece of gear. You won’t be able to get Intellect this way (or get rid of another stat like Agility or Stamina), but you can fine-tune your secondary stats to your heart’s content.

Fire Mages will want to Reforge any Mastery on their gear to a more useful stat. At low gear levels, you may even want to reforge Crit to Hit or Haste in order to reach the caps. Once those caps are reached, you can Reforge excess of any secondary stat to Critical Strike.


About the Author


I've been playing World of Warcraft on and off since vanilla, usually as a healer or caster and often as a guild leader. I play both retail and classic. I also love RPGs, sandboxes, and sims.
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