First introduced in Cataclysm, mages learn Flame Orb at level 81. When cast, an orb appears in front of the mage and moves forward until a nearby enemy is in range to deal Fire damage in short intervals.
In-Game Description: Launches a Flame Orb forward from the Mage’s position, dealing Fire damage every second to the closest enemy target for 15 secs.
Mana Cost: 6% of base mana
Casting Time: Instant
Casting Range: 40 yd
Spell Cooldown: 1 minute
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Fire Power: The Flame Orb explodes when it either reaches its 15-sec duration or cannot find a target.
Frostfire Orb: Exclusive to frost mages, the orb will instead deal Frostfire damage and slow targets further by 10% when chilled by Frostfire Bolt.
The orb travels fast at first and will unfortunately disappear when cast where no enemy is reachable. When it manages to target someone, however, its movement becomes slower albeit continuous until the end of its duration.
Any polymorphed characters are ignored by the orb, although other types of crowd-control are reportedly still damaged upon.
In many situations where the mage is constantly on the move (such as in PvP), the Flame Orb is a great way to deal damage if casting non-instant spells is impractical. The attack range of the orb is rather short, so – especially when combating melee classes – keeping close distance with it is important.