- Author: Amery
- Date: July 8, 2022
- Expansion: WotLK Classic
As Fire Mages, we want to focus on a balance of Haste and Critical Strike, while maximizing Spell Power and taking care to remain hit capped.
- Hit rating
- Spell Power
- Crit rating
- Haste rating
Hit rating is your most important stat. If you can’t hit your targets, you’re not dealing damage. You gain a 1% increased chance to hit with your spells for every 26.232 hit rating that you have.
In WotLK, you have a 17% chance to miss bosses (level 83 targets) with spells, meaning you need 446 hit rating in order to never miss. In raids, you will likely have either a Shadow Priest for the Misery debuff, or Balance Druid for the Improved Faerie Fire debuff, increasing your chance to hit with spells by 3% — they don’t stack. This will push down the amount of hit rating you need to 368 (14%).
Fire has no talents to help with hit, unfortunately. If you’re a Draenei, or expect to have one in your PARTY (their aura is party-wide, NOT raid-wide!), you require 342 rating (13%) so you never miss with spells.
It’s a good idea to have some items with hit rating as backup to increase your hit chance to 17% if you know that your raid’s mind melters or owlkins cannot attend the raid that night.
Spell power is the most straightforward stat, as it simply increases the damage of your spells. Each spell gains a different amount of bonus damage based on your spell power stat.
Fireball, Frostfire Bolt and Pyroblast get 15% increased spell power bonus, meaning they get a lot of extra damage from your spell power stat. Living Bomb, Scorch and Fire Blast and other spells do not get any special increases, unfortunately.
Crit Rating is amongst your most important stats as a Fire Mage, increasing the frequency of your Hot Streak procs; therefore it’s your most valued stat after hit, competing with spell power. You gain 1% increased critical strike chance for every 45.91 crit rating that you have.
Your DPS increases exponentially the higher your critical strike chance is. You’ll want to aim for about 50% crit chance to begin with, so you’ll need another ~30% from your gear, after the ~22% crit chance increase you have on Fireball from talents & raid buffs. In later tiers, you’ll ideally want to have 70-80% Fireball crit chance, at which point you should focus on increasing your haste instead — this will typically be when you’re using BiS T9 or T10 gear.
As a fresh level 80 Fire Mage, getting that 30% crit from gear will be your top priority — Arcane will be out-DPSing you until you manage to get your crit that high.
Haste increases your casting speed. You gain 1% increased cast speed for every 32.79 haste rating you have.
Haste is a very strong stat for fire, reducing Fireball‘s massive 2.85 second cast time (after talents). However, as Fire, we rely on repeated crits above anything else, so we cannot focus on haste until we have enough crit. Each tier has a different “ideal” balance of crit and haste.
Ideal haste pre-T9 heroic gear is ~12% (+8% from raid = 20%).
Spirit increases your mana regeneration when not casting. For a Fire Mage in particular, it also increases your crit rating when using Molten Armor: 35% of your Spirit gets converted to crit rating baseline, 55% of your Spirit if you’re using Glyph of Molten Armor, and 70% of your Spirit if you have the 2-piece set bonus of the Tier 9 set, Khadgar’s Regalia. Greater Blessing of Kings increases your Spirit by a further 10%, improving the value of Spirit even more.
Spirit is an okay stat as a result of this, but even at a 70% conversion rate, it’d be better if Spirit on your gear was any other stat instead. For that reason, you’ll probably not want to use items with Spirit, swapping them for items with any other stat instead.
Intellect increases your maximum mana, and more importantly for us, your spell critical strike chance. You gain 1% increased spell critical strike chance for every 166.67 Intellect you have. Greater Blessing of Kings increases this by a further 10%, giving you 1.1% spell crit chance for the same amount of Intellect.
This conversion rate might not seem great, but a lot of items have upwards of 100+ Intellect, meaning they end up giving you a very nice amount of crit, on top of the crit rating they already have. However, it’s significantly worse than raw crit rating’s 45.91:1 ratio, meaning you will almost never want to socket or enchant this over pure crit rating, when they come at comparable rates.