- "Pop quiz! You've got a bomb attached to your soul. What do you do?"
Living Bomb is a talented mage ability, available at level 75. It debuffs the target with a DoT, dealing damage over 12 seconds. After 12 seconds, the target explodes, instantly dealing damage to all enemies within 10 yards. Can only affect 3 targets at a time. Living Bomb only deals 70% of its damage when used against other players.
Living Bomb's instant cast, damage on the move and delayed boom effects are considerably useful effects that make the Fire Mage vastly more mobile and versatile.
Living Bomb can only be applied to 3 targets at a time. Applying Living Bomb to a fourth target will cause the first Living Bomb to dissipate, removing the effect from the target without exploding. If applied to a target already affected by Living Bomb, the debuff timer is reset to 12 seconds, delaying the detonation of the bomb effect. To prevent clipping, Mages should be careful to apply this to only three targets, and verify their targets are not already affected by Living Bomb.
As with all DoTs, haste will increase the speed of Living Bomb's ticks. Sufficient Haste will add an extra tick, and may extend the total duration beyond 12 seconds.
Each tick of Living Bomb's damage over time is capable of achieving a crit.
Living Bomb's explosion is only triggered when the spell reaches its full duration; dispelling the debuff will not cause it to explode. Refreshing the effect (thus reseting its timer) can be used to delay or prevent the spell's explosion.
It is possible for the spell's explosion to strike the original target.
In raid situations, Living Bomb can provide a considerable DPS increase.
During the beta of Wrath of the Lich King, the original effect of the spell was to make the caster themselves the Living Bomb, doing AOE damage to enemies within 10 yards, with a final explosion doing more damage. The spell was criticized as the damage was very low. The spell was then changed to be a castable debuff, but again was criticized for its low damage. A mana-burn was added to the final explosion, burning off an amount of mana equal to the damage to the target, but the spell was still criticized. Eventually the damage was increased, the mana-burn was removed, and a knock-up effect was added to the final explosion, which knocked the target up into the air. This effect was removed before the spell was released.
In Mists of Pandaria, the "mage bomb" category was expanded as a gameplay concept by the addition of and , which along with Living Bomb were made level 75 talents available to all specializations to provide more variety to mages' casting rotations. Nether Tempest is the mid-range of the three, best used against 3-6 targets with powerful direct damage and a random target splash effect. (Living Bomb, conversely, is more powerful against 1-2 targets, while Frost Bomb is better against 7 or more targets.)
Warlords of Draenor
While the mage bombs were highly successful in their task of changing the mage style of gameplay, they brought with them the opportunity to "multidot" (placing the effect on multiple targets simultaneously). Extensive tracking of DoT effects across multiple targets has not made for the intended style of mage gameplay. Because of this, the mage bomb talents are planned to be reworked into a single, spec-specific talent for Warlords of Draenor, of which the redesigned Living Bomb will be the Fire version.
Patches and hotfixes
- Patch 5.4.0 (2013-09-10): Now deals 85% damage to players (up from 70%).
- Patch 5.3.0 (2013-05-21): Periodic damage has been increased by 121%. Its explosion damage has been reduced by 78%, but now scales with additional periodic ticks added by haste, and hits all nearby targets (up from 3).
- Hotfix (2013-03-15): "Living Bomb now deals 70% of its damage when used against other players, down from 100%."
- Hotfix (2013-03-12): "Living Bomb now deals 40% more damage."
- Patch 5.0.4 (2012-08-28): Now available to all specializations as a talent.
- Patch 4.3.0 (2011-11-29): Damage over time has been increased by approximately 10%, and explosion damage has been increased by approximately 120%.
- Patch 4.2.0 (2011-06-28): When spreads Living Bomb, it will only be spread to two additional targets. The net effect is that if the mage's most recent Living Bomb target is the same as their Impact target, that target will no longer lose the Living Bomb effect. If Living Bomb is active on multiple targets when the Impact effect is cast, Living Bomb will remain active on the most recent Living Bomb target, and will be added to two other nearby targets.
- Patch 4.0.6 (2011-02-08): Mana cost has been reduced by 22%.
- Patch 4.0.1 (2010-10-12):
- Limited to 3 targets.
- Explosions affect up to 3 targets.
- Does more damage.
- No longer explodes when dispelled.
- As a periodic fire effect, can be spread and multiplied by . If spread in this way, the timers are not reset, however the number of affected targets is still limited to 3.
- Since was changed, can no longer trigger a Hot Streak with its explosion.
- Hotfix (2009-08-06): "Hot Streak triggers exactly as stated in its tooltip: “2 non-periodic spell criticals in a row using Fireball, Fire Blast, Scorch, Living Bomb, or Frostfire Bolt”. Only non-periodic damage interacts with it, and only those spells listed. Periodics do not affect the streak in any way. Direct damage from the listed spells always count, for or against the streak."
- Patch 3.2.0 (2009-08-04):
- Can now be cast on multiple targets at the same time.
- Periodic critical strikes from this ability can now trigger Ignite and Hot Streak.
- Patch 3.0.8 (2009-01-20): is now also affected by Living Bomb.
- Patch 3.0.2 (2008-10-14): Added.