Today a whole new set of patch notes was dropped. Unlike previous patch notes, where changes to the fire mage play were minimal, today’s patch notes include some interesting changes that will affect our play and hopefully boost our dps.
I’m going to go through these changes in what I think is a logical order. The significant changes are in a chain of sorts, and I’ll start from the beginning of the chain.
Change 1: Scorch will no longer be a talent and will be a standard fire mage spell.
I’ve repeatedly suggested that Scorch is a no-brainer choice for the Level 15 tier talent. Scorch had been a part of the fire mage toolkit, and without it, fire mages would lack a movement spell. While it’s true that you can move while casting Pyroblast! or Living Bomb, many fights require sudden movement and that’s where Scorch really shined. Not having to waste a talent pick on this near-vital spell is a good thing.
Change 2: Blazing Speed will move from the level 30 talent tier to the level 15 talent tier.
There are some changes to Blazing Speed itself, but those don’t concern me because it always struck me as a PvP talent and I’m not interested in or qualified to talk about that. What’s important about this change is that it frees up the level 15 talent tier for something more useful. I predict most fire mages will choose Presence of Mind (if they haven’t already). Its cooldown aligns well with Combustion and adding an instant cast pyroblast to the ignite stack is more likely than not better than anything Ice Floes could do over Scorch while moving.
Change 3: Flameglow, a new talent, will be added to the level 30 talent tier.
Flameglow is described as a damage absorption shield, absorbing 20% of your spell power from each attack, up to a maximum of 30% of the attack. So if your spell power is 30k, this talent will absorb 6k from each hit over 20k, and 30% of each hit under 20k. On its face this is a similar talent to Ice Barrier, and would likely prove superior as damage mitigation in fights with constant raid damage (e.g., Garalon, Tsulong), but not so good in fights with infrequent but large damage spikes.
But that’s just on its face.
Now, if you’re a Blizzard employee or otherwise have some influence over spell design and implementation, I’d ask that you stop reading now. What follows is really just the ramblings of an air-headed bimbo roleplayer who poses for Playelf magazine and is not any serious analysis.
Seriously, nothing more to read here.
For the rest of you, the more important feature of Flameglow is what it’s missing from the tooltip. Specifically, what’s missing are a duration, a cooldown, and a cast time. Flameglow is a passive effect; it’s up all the time. This aspect makes it a no-brainer talent for me.
I’ve used Ice Barrier as my level 30 talent. Up until now, I’ve been conscientious about keeping my shield up, casting it whenever it was down. My healers undoubtedly loved this, but it killed a GCD for me. It also put my ignite stacks in danger of falling off. Replacing Ice Barrier with a passive effect gives me that cooldown to continue to dps and lets me continue to build a good ignite stack for Combustion. For this reason, even if it turns out to be inferior for damage mitigation, I’m likely to use this talent on all fights.
Change 4: Deep Freeze’s duration increased to 5 seconds.
This actually has some real raiding implications on this tier; I use Deep Freeze a lot in Tsulong’s day phase, for instance, and there are other fights where it could be used. A duration of five seconds means that a fireball - Inferno Blast - Pyroblast! sequence will result in all of those spells critting; a duration of four seconds meant the target would be unfrozen when Pyroblast! hit. A minor change, but a good one.
Those are the changes! In total I think there will be a solid boost to fire mage dps as a result. Nothing huge, but I wouldn’t be surprised at something within the 4-7% range.