"The Mess of the Mage":

EDIT: Found an accurate source of DPS rankings for M+. Raiding is also included:

From this, Fire and Frost are looking pathetic right now.

So with the upcoming class tuning of the mage:

This really proves to me that, when the devs decided to nerf fire mage, they didn’t think things through. In fact, I don’t think they play tested this out.

The result? This “buff”.

And now I’m here shaking my head for a couple of reasons that I’m going to list here. A TL;DR will be at the end of this thread. As you may have guessed, there are only two cloth-wearing pure DPS classes in this game: the Warlock and the Mage. I don’t consider Priests to be “pure DPS” because they can heal. Obviously.

But for real. While I love to play my mage for days on end, having to screw up its DPS capabilities make this class a CC bot. And NOBODY wants that. No raiding groups, no mythic groups, not even questing groups. They will be considered a waste of space by the elitist. And we all know how much we love elitists.

I’m getting ahead of myself. Here are the reasons – be warned that these complains are aimed towards the fire mage spec, but could very well apply to frost in some cases:

Reason 1: Pyroblast

In the beginning of the expansion, there are two noticeable nerfs that made heavy impact on our beloved Pyromancer. The first being that Pyroblast lost its DoT mechanic and increased base cast time. This resulted in slower delivery of our “instant” casts along with creating a shorter window of time during our combustion procs.

Reason 2: Dragon's Breath

Dragon Breath’s CD was increased from 15-20s… to 45. Believe it or not, DB was used last season in Shadowlands’s Mythic mage rotation that made the Fire mage spank so hard. Well… I don’t think this nerf is the way to go. All you needed to do is nerf its damage and keep the CD the same.

Reason 3: Ignite damage

Blizzard decided to nerf ignite damage at the beginning of the expansion. I forgot how much was nerfed, I believe it was 17% (citation needed), but then they turned around and reverted that as we go along in the expansion. Which proves to me, again, that they hardly play tested the mage.

Reason 4: AoE "Buff"

They decided to buff Living Bomb and Flamestrike, along with reverting some ignite damage. Unfortunately, most of our talents are aligned with Pyroblast, making the buff a mere band aid on an open wound. Some talents include Pyroclasm, Controlled Destruction, and Sun King’s Blessing.

Reason 5: Talent: Mastery of Flame

Mastery of Flame increases our ignite damage by 15% while Combustion is not active. Fire Blast spreads to four additional targets when Combustion is active. If you think about it, this is arguably a way to nerf ourselves. Phoenix Flames was responsible for spread, not Fire Blast. Also, pulling more than five mobs in any dungeon (UNLESS YOU ARE SUPER GEARED AND OP) doesn’t seem to reasonable. I move for this talent to be changed, but I’m already asking for too much here.

There are more reasons to note and hopefully more turning as we go along in this expansion, but overall I don’t find any means of playing fire or frost in mythic dungeons or raids. They’re puke right now. Arcane is preferred.

I can’t speak so much for frost but I’ve given it a few shots. I still think its garbage ever since we lost our Deep Freeze and Frostfire bolt abilities. Not only that, but our Mastery was reworked. It used to be Deep Shatter (?). Now its Icicles.

If you know what those are, nice. You’re probably a BC or WotLK baby like I am.

Glacial Spike is pretty neat, but only because of its animation. Damage is puke – Arcane missiles or Arcane Blast (while four charges) outputs more. And I mean WAY more, since Arcane Blast is buffed via damage AND haste.

Proposed Solution

I’m having my doubts on this. But I think the Fire Mage spec needs to have a new mechanical rotation. The current common rotation is involving the fire mage to score two critical hits in a row, causing Pyroblast to be instant cast. This have been this way ever since the Cataclysm expansion or earlier. Its very old at most. Your casual user is to think that, if they want to proc Pyroblast, they would focus in on their Critical Strike secondary stat, right?
Wrong. Right now, the stat priority for fire mage is actually Haste. Then Mastery, Versatility, then Critical Strike.

TL;DR – Two specs of the mage are just now recovering from being CC bots. What we’re getting is band aids on open wounds, and this could further cause mage mains to go “missing”, let alone hurt sub numbers. Warlocks and Mages are the only cloth-wearing pure DPS class that need further tuning, and the buff shown above should be proof enough that they were not play tested.

Bottom line, I know that this is only my two cents, and I may be missing a few things here and there, but please consider that mages are the very epitome and vanilla class to DnD enthusiasts without having to play it. I absolutely LOVE my mage. And having to see it in this condition reduces my playtime on WoW.


Both classes have one spec that is doing extremely well right now.

Can’t say I feel bad for two of the classes that have repeatedly thrived throughout wows history while many others suffered for extended periods of time compared to this one small wrinkle in time for mages and warlocks, all while they each still have one spec doing very well.


This is true, but I would hold the notion that the reason why we do so well is because we’re pure DPS classes. We’re incredibly squishy in terms of defense, having to rely on spells. Once those spells have been nerfed or taken away, disaster is around the corner. In a really, REALLY quick flash.


Fire Mage for life here: I have posted this elsewhere a few times but I want to go back to Crit stacking with Haste secondary. I want our DoTs back. I want Combustion reverted to be a DoT-spreader. I think there used to be something about also compiling all current DoTs on the target to be combined as a separate DoT in and of itself but it’s been too long.

I also want Frostfire Bolt back but that’s entirely separate from the main issues.

I find Haste/Mastery with a weird niche talent spread into things that DON’T focus on Hot Streak procs to be really awkward/unintuitive.

I also hate that Flamestrike is still, after all these years, a comparatively long cast, barring a Hot Streak proc. I wish it was a channelled ability like Blizzard or an instant AoE that emanates from you like Arcane Explosion. Either change would help IMMENSELY for tight areas where the camera wants to freak out (especially for people like myself that always use max camera distance).


I remember those days. Run two fire mages in 2v2 arenas and watch one of your opponents burn to the ground.

So satisfying. Alas, my PvP days are far over.

just because arcane has big numbers - doesn’t mean spec is fine. Honestly acrane is even worse than other two specs gameplay wise. It’s overly complicated uncomfortable to play spec that rely heavily on stacking 6 cooldowns at the same time while the talent tree allows no choice, since main talents are so powerful that it’s not even competitive to pick something else.


I actually didn’t consider this would be unfriendly towards the casuals. But yeah. If they wouldn’t know how to operate Arcane mage, DPS loss kicks in, in which becomes worse.

I leveled my mage precisely long enough to hit max level with Arcane. I think i spent less than 30 minutes as Frost or Fire, so I dont have the expertise to comment constructiely.

However, as a Feral druid, I sympathize with the complete letdown that is flat damage aura buffs. We’ve had…a lot of those over the years. Hopefully some work can be done on your talent tree soon.

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Appreciate it. I’m already asking for a lot here.

its rather rough in M+ especially on fortified weeks.
arcane is -great- for single target, so it does okay in raid/tyrannical.
but for aoe, we are reliant on a ~2 minute cooldown window to do ‘okay’ cleave damage. and a 1 minute window to do ‘slightly better than the healer’ cleave.

maybe it gets better when you hit 15 and up keys, but in 10 and under, there just isn’t enough time spent on packs to reliably do any meaningful damage.

i’m lucky enough to run with a guild group, and they are okay with the other 2 dps specing heavily into aoe on fortified weeks, and dragging me along for my single target dps to nuke bosses with. but even then it doesn’t feel great to not be able to meaningfully contribue on trash packs 50%+ of the time. especially when many other classes can still do reasonably well on ST even when they aren’t specced for it.

currently arcane is so heavily focused towards ST damage and is effectively worthless in AOE (again, outside that 2 minute cooldown window) and even then only manages to be ‘competitive’ (we are ranked 5th for raid dps, and 14th for M+ which shows the flaw in the spec pretty conclusively, since M+ is where the ability to reliably dps trash actually matters.)

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Was this from raider.io?

Arcane sucks to play though for most people. In fact, if you’re not a hardcore mythic raider it’s considered a dead spec.

Now, I don’t expect frost or fire to be equal with arcane, but it’d be nice to be better than middle to bottom of the ranking pile

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I don’t want to spam it since I’ve posted about it in other threads, but if you check my post history, I have hard data that mages are in a freefall right now in terms of heroic raiding representation.

Mages are the least represented class in the game right now in heroic raiding by a large margin. They’re down to 5.51% representation, with the next lowest being monk at 6.07%

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Thank you for the data Mumrit.

So, the spec thats harder to play shouldn’t be rewarded with better damage? Arcane does well in M+ and Raids. Theres classes that go entire expansions with 1 or 2 dps specs being awful. I think you’ll be ok. Frost isn’t bad right now either especially with all the buffs they’ve gotten. Can’t speak for fire because I don’t like the playstyle but I seem to do just fine with arcane or frost.

What buffs? You mean the one posted in my OP?

That’s not a buff. That’s a band aid. Glacial Spike and associated spells are horrible right now.


This is like what, the third or fourth round of buffs frost has gotten though? I’ve seen plenty of frost mages in M+ do just fine.

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just bumping the thread, it’s a very good one, blizzard’s class tuning in this expansion is quite lacking

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Look you went through all that writing and effort and I applaud you, But as someone that has been a career tank since burning crusade, And a Competitive DPS player, If Fire never returns after the absolute crap show of 8.2/8.3 where Fire mages made literally EVERYONE irrelevent, I will be for-ever happy.

Fire needs to be given the arcane treatment of being dogwater for MANY expansions.


They were probably “doing just fine” because they found a good team composition. AKA, they got carried by friends, family, or got really lucky with a pug. And besides that, I see you’re an enhancement shaman – you guys are on top of the DPS charts. They’re doing exceptionally well this season. I have no doubts that you were part of the carry.

Until I actually see footage of you with associated frost mage, I’m sticking to what I’ve said because again:
We’re receiving all these buffs because the devs did not play test the mage. And now we’re in a bad spot, except for Arcane.

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