The Furry Orange Monster’s guide to Pyromancy…
So it’s me, Ditto, and now that I am level 28 and have made it to Marleybone and I think I’m doing a pretty good job, so I wanted to share some of my thoughts and strategies relating to the Fire School, also known as Pyromancy.
I will start off by telling you that if you want a REAL guide to fire school, try something like this Wizard101 Central guide – though I must admit I’m having a hard time finding other guides to playing Pyromancers, so I’ll work at making this a good one. Also, you can get a good list of fire spells at the Wizard 101 Wiki site, among other places…
So to start off with, Pyromancers are all about damage. According to many official guides they are all about damage over time, but that really hasn’t been my experience. In fact, at level 28 I have no damage over time spells with me unless I’m fighting ice creatures, which are a special case that I’ll discuss later.
Pyromancer spells do lots of damage for lower pips compared to most other schools (Storm is a notable exception), but they have a drawback – accuracy. Standard damage spell accuracy of fire spells is 75% base, which means you’ve got a 1 in 4 chance of a fizzle, which is more like a 3 in 4 chance to fizzle if this is the spell you need to stay alive in a duel. Seems like that anyway.
Your early game spells consist of some good single shot spells – namely Firecat at level 1 and the much more impressive Sunbird at level 10. For damage over time you’ve got your fire elf at level 2, link (which also gives you a small heal over time) at level 12, and finally Heck Hound at level 18. None of these are particularly impressive, to be honest, and with the exception of Heck Hound I never got much use out of them. Heck Hound does have one impressive feature, however – it boosts damage based on how many pips you put into it, so you get 120 damage PER PIP over a 3 round period.
A good strategy I used with Heck Hound for a short time was this – If you’ve got a big fight that’s going to last a while (like a boss fight), I would cast 0 pip shields and fire blades until round 5 or 6 at least, take minimal damage, and then unleash a Heck Hound. 6 pips = 720 damage over 3 rounds, which is NOT bad… of course it uses 100% of your pips when you cast it, so you’re pretty weak after you cast it – make sure you pay attention there… if you’re low on health try to go for a heal BEFORE you cast Heck Hound.
So I think the most simple and easy to use tactics for fire are buff, buff, shoot. You cast your buffs (Fire Trap, Fire Blade, etc…) in the first two to three turns, then unleash your biggest, baddest damage spell. I haven’t come across many foes that could withstand that kind of damage in the early game. If you’ve got an appropriate shield and think the fight might go on for a while, then by all means shield up, but my strategy has always been focused on a quick fight – the less turns it lasts, the less damage I take. If you’re good with numbers you can figure out pretty easily what combination of buffs and damage spells are needed to take the enemy out quickly, so don’t worry about throwing every damage buff in your deck out there for a regular street fight – if you can take the evil snowmen out with a fire blade and a meteor strike then that’s all you need, fights over turn 3 or 4, move on to the next.
The Big Guns
I think the game changed completely for me at level 22 – that’s when I got Meteor Strike. Meteor Strike is a direct damage spell that hits ALL enemies in the dueling circle, so that if you’ve got it stacked right, you can take out up to 4 enemies in one shot. And it’s only 4 pips, so you can get it out early in a fight and end things quick – this is awesome for those ‘Go kill 8 Spiders’ type quests, you can make quick work of your enemies.
Of course I recently got another ‘big gun’ – I’m not sure what I think of it yet, though it did win me a boss fight in Krokotopia. This spell is ‘Immolate’ – it does 600 base damage, which is awesome, but it has the teensy drawback of also dealing 250 damage to YOU. AND if you’ve buffed the damage, that % buff applies not only to the 600 damage for your enemy, but also the 250 done to you. Yes – I’ve done over 300 damage to MYSELF with this spell – though you should have seen the other guy!
I DID find that you can go to the fairegrounds in Wizard City, where all the mini-games are, you can learn fire shield from Sabrina Greenstar. If you put fire shield on yourself before casting immolate you’ll do much less damage to yourself, while still doing maximum damage to your opponent. It seems a bit more advanced than other tactics, but so far it’s doing some pretty significant damage. You just really need to pay attention to your health before attempting it!
Buffing for Success
Once I had Meteor Strike things certainly went much quicker for me, but I found that at a base damage of only 305-345, it just didn’t have enough ‘oomph’ for my later Krokotpian adventures. Thankfully, a Pyromacers’ arsenal is augmented by a number of handy damage buff spells. In pure fire school buffs you get a fire blade (+35% damage, get at enrollment I think), a fire trap (+25% damage, get it from Professor Falmea at level 18) and WyldFire (+25% to ALL fire spells for the duration of the battle). In addition to these, in Krokotopia I was able to train at the Balance Tree on Krokosphynx Island and learned an elemental blade and an elemental trap, which give additional boosts to fire spells (as well as ice and storm), but cost one pip to cast. In this way, with the right deck and the right cards coming up, you can add a pretty significant damage boost to your meteor strike (or make Immolate do a massive amount of damage – be careful though!!) and take out most bosses; at least most that I’ve encountered so far, anyway.
The ‘what’s the best secondary school’ discussion is one that has gone of for so long that I don’t really feel like I have anything significant to add – but that won’t stop me from talking about it! I’ve done a lot of research on this and used a lot of treasure cards and here is what I’ve found: The best Pyromancer secondary school depends heavily on your playstyle. If you’re a more conservative player, then Life gives you good heals and a nice absorb shield, while ice has the ‘Swiss Army Knife’ of defense, the tower shield. If you’re a more aggressive player interested in maximizing damage, then death school has the amazing Feint (+70% damage!!) and it has vampiric damage spells that grant you health equal to half the damage you do. The death school damage isn’t nearly as high as fire school, but being able to do damage AND heal simultaneously is nothing to sneeze at, especially when that base damage is boosted by 70% or more!
So there are some situations I’ve come across where the standard tactics and spells just didn’t work. The first of these was the dreaded Ice Spiders battle, but applies to any time you are fighting against Ice opponents. Not only do they have tower shields, but they ALSO have fire shields, and they know how to use them. I’ve been in a fight where my opponents cast a shield about every other turn, which makes for a very long, drawn out fight.
To combat this I got a great tip from a reader and ended up putting some fire elf cards back in my ‘fighting against ice creatures’ deck. One pip to cast and three shield-free turns to blast away at your opponent makes these fights much shorter, but you don’t really have time for building up for that ‘one big hit’ that I normally employ before the elf ends it run and the shields start to go back up. I just hit them with smaller damage spells more often and get through it pretty quickly – even fire cats can take out a boss if you’re tossing enough of them.
Another special situation is fighting against another fire school opponent. The reason for this, for anyone who doesn’t know, is that fire school gets a pretty healthy resist to other fire damage (probably why I don’t singe my fur all the time) and therefore any fire spells you cast at your fire opponent will do less damage – sometimes significantly less damage – than it’s base damage values. Thankfully, in the well trained Pyromancer’s arsenal there is another valuable weapon – the fire prism!
Fire Prism is a simple little spell that you get at level 7. It does one thing, but it does it very well – it converts fire damage to ice damage. This means that when you cast your fire spell, once it gets to your opponent is’ actually doing ICE damage! Woohoo!! Since ice damage gets a healthy BOOST against fire creatures, you’ll do even more damage than your base fire damage numbers.
A special note on this – since buffs/boosts are applied in the reverse order they were cast (first in last out) you should cast the prism BEFORE you cast your fire traps. If you do that, you’ll boost the fire damage, THEN convert all that boosted damage to ice. If you prism first, the fire trap won’t get tripped because the damage type at that time is actually ice.
Well this article took on a life of it’s own, but I think it’s got some good info. Certainly not the be-all end-all of Pyromancer guides, but my own spin on the class, with my own opinions. All these things have worked for me in some way, and I think it’s a good overview of the class as I have experienced it, but these are all my observations – other pyromnacers will certainly have their own, and I’m sure there are a few Grandmaster pyros out there who could teach me a lot. But in the end, this is all about having fun, and I don’t think that how you play is nearly as important as making sure you’re having FUN while you’re playing!! So go out there any have a good time!!!
See you in the Spiral!