Frost Mage PvE guide (WoW Legion 7.3.5)
- Main abilities
- Artifact and Relics
- Netherlight Crucible
- Set bonuses
A Frost Mage is a master of the elemental capable of imprisoning their enemies in ice which easily making them fragile and helpless. Also, may have complete control over the Water Elemental.
Let’s take a closer look at the weakest and the strongest aspects of this specialization:
- Strongest mage spec at single target damage;
- Nice cleave;
- Great at killing prioritized targets;
- High mobility, like with all Mage specs;
- The capaciity to utilize Ice Block more often.
- DPS is very random due to procs
- Quite weak burst damaging;
- Relatively mediocre AoE characteristics.
Basic information on the spec:
Like all Mages, Frost uses Mana as their main resource. This specialization does not have much trouble with it. The only ability that might leave you short on Mana is Spellsteal.
(Area of Effect) is basically the area where this of that effect is actuated regardless of whether its damage or healing. This command is usually used to act in a team/raid on several targets. It is also used to describe any ability of a Boss with the aforementioned effect.
Buff stands for any positive effect. Always reflected to the left of the mini-map, by its upper edge.
Burst is an ability to do – in multiple ways – massive damage within a short period of time.
Gear is what it is.
GCD (Global Cooldown) is the overall ability recovery time.
Debuff stands for negative effect. By default, it’ reflected to the left of the mini-map by its lower edge.
DoT stands for Damage over Time.
DPS (Damage per Second) is a measure that reflects the damage done within one second.
Cleave is an ability to damage secondary targets through damaging the main one with no (or minor) loss in the damage done to the main target.
Cooldown (often CD) primarily refers to the ability recovery time. Can be often applied to bursts and various protective abilities.
Melee and Range. Melee is the close-range combat zone, also used in the titles of all the classes and specs that do effective damage in this zone. Range usually refers to a zone that is not a close-range one and is used, respectfully, in the titles of all classes and specs that do effective damage remotely.
Trait is a name for the ‘talents’ your artifact has.
Frostbolt deals medium Frost damage to the target and reduces their moving speed by 50% for 15 secs.
– Ice Lance reduces your taken damage by 8% for 6 secs, provided 4/4.
Frozen Orb emits an ice ball that flies 40 m ahead until it stumbles against an enemy after which it slows down. Deals major Frost damage to all the enemies. With its first hit, Frozen Orb guarantees a charge of Fingers of Frost. Also, all the enemies hit with the Orb slow down by 50% for 15 secs. CD 1 min.
Flurry allows you to send a series of 3 icicles which altogether deal nice Frost damage. Each icicle hit slows the target down 70% for 1 sec. If Flurry is empowered by Brain Freeze, it also applies the effect Winter’s Chill which allows you to consider the target frozen.
Blizzard allows you to tag a zone within which Frost damage is dealt to all the enemies, and they are all slowed down by 50%. This effect acts for 8 secs, but the cast speed, the duration and the CD can be reduced by increasing Haste rate. Base CD 8 secs.
Cone of Cold deals damage to all the enemies within a cone in front of you reducing their moving speed by 70% for 5 secs. CD 12 secs.
– Water Jet. A channel spell maintained by the Elemental for 3.5 secs on the selected target. During the effect, each Frostbolt hitting the Elemental’s target gives you a charge if Fingers of Frost. CD 25 secs, shared with Freeze.
Icy Veins increases the spell casting speed by 30% for 20 secs; it also prevents casting impairments by any damage taken by the Mage. CD 3 min.
Brain Freeze grants your Frostbolt a 15% chance to empower your next Flurry so that it is cast instantly, the damage is increased by 50%, and your target is tagged by the effect Winter’s Chill. Under this effect, the target is considered frozen.
Mastery: Icicles saves 18% + Mastery rate of the damage dealt by your Frostbolt in the form of an icicle for 1 min. Ice Lance, in its turn, allows you to discharge all the accumulated icicles dealing the target Frostbolt‘s damage. Simultaneously no more than 5 icicles can be stocked. Wheneve the limit is exceeded; the extra icicles are automatically sent into the target. This increases your Water Elemental’s damage dealing by 18% + Mastery rate.
Fingers of Frost – successful hits by Frostbolt or Frozen Orb have a 12% chance to trigger the effect Fingers of Frost. This effect stacks up no more than twice and allows your Ice Lance deal triple damage, i.e. as if the target was frozen.
Shatter increases the probability of delivering a critical strike by the factor 1.5, plus additional 50%.
Ice Barrier surrounds you with a shield that absorbs a minor portion of damage within 1 min. If you are being attacked in the Melee zone, the attacker’s moving speed is reduced by 50%. CD 25 secs.
Ice Block makes you immune to damage of any type for 10 secs, but it also prevents you from taking any actions over that period. It also touches you with the effect Hypothermia which keeps you from entering Ice Block again for the next 30 secs. CD 4 min.
Invisibility makes you gradually disappear within the 3 secs after you cast the spell. After that time, you become invisible for your enemies. The Invisibility effect stays on for 20 secs. Any action on your side, apart from moving, cancels the effect of Invisibility. If you receive any damage within the 3 secs of spell activation period, you won’t enter the state of Invisibility.
Counterspell interrupts spell casting by your enemy and prevents them from using a spell of the same school for 6 more secs. CD 24 secs.
Slow Fall helps you reduce an ally’s falling speed for 30 secs.
Frost Nova makes your enemies within the 12-m range freeze for 8 secs and deal tiny Frost damage. Any damage received by the enemies can cancel the effect.
Portal allows you to open a portal for your group/raid-mates leading into one of your fraction’s major cities or big-scale general Sanctums.
Polymorph turns your enemy into a sheep that wanders near its initial location for 50 secs. In this shape, you enemy can take no actions but does restore Health rapidly. Any received damage cancels the effect on the target. This transformation can only be applied to one enemy at a time. Applicable to humanoids and beasts only.
Blink moves you 20 m forward or to the nearest barrier and cancels any stunning or movement impairing-effects on you. CD 15 secs.
Conjure Refreshment creates food that restores Health and Mana. The generated items disappear from your inventory if you leave the game for over 15 min.
Teleport allows you to teleport into your fraction’s major cities as well as to other key locations.
Spellsteal costs quite a lot Mana, and allows you to steal one positive magic effect off your enemy. The effect’s max duration is 2 min.
General information. On achieving several new levels you’ll get access to new talent ‘Tiers’. Talents may have different effect on abilities: add new features, replace old ones, modify passively different effects and spells. Talents can be changed in Sanctuaries or any recreational zones. However, if you don’t have any of those places nearby you can use the Codex of the Tranquil Mind which allows you to switch channels within a minute. You can’t change talents in combat. You can’t change a talent if the talent you’ve picked in the last Tier is on Cooldown. You’ll have to wait until it’s restored first.
Tier 1. Lvl 15.
- Ray of Frost. A channel spell for 10 secs dealing Frost damage once a second. With each tick, the damage grows by 20%. CD 1 min.
- Lonely Winter. You cannot summon your Water Elemental anymore, but your Frostbolt, Ice Lance, Flurry and Frozen Orb now deal 25% more damage.
- Bone Chilling. Each time you try to freeze your target, you get the effect Bone Chilling which increases the whole Frost damage by 0.5%, stacks up to 12 times
* Lonely Winter is your default choice for any situation. Bone Chilling is a bit behind the Winter. Ray of Frost deal significantly less damage over a combat. However, if you need max burst damage into a specific short-living target, this talent is doctor’s orders.
Tier 2. Lvl 30.
- Shimmer. Replaces the ability Blink. Can be cast during the casting of a different spell, and has no effect on GCD. 2 charges, CD 15 secs.
- Ice Floes. Has 3 charges, can be used during the cast of a different spell, has no effect on the GCD. Allows you to utilize the next or the current spell on the move.
- Glacial Insulation. During active Ice Barrier, your armor rating grows by 100%, and your Ice Block, after it’s over, triggers Ice Barrier.
* Basically, the choice lies between Shimmer and Ice Floes If you need to make large distances, use Shimmer. If your combat involves frequent short runs, pick Ice Floes. Glacial Insulation is not used.
Tier 3. Lvl 45.
- Mirror Image. Summons 3 copies of yours which attack your enemies. Copies live for 40 secs. CD 2 min
- Rune of Power. Within 1.5 secs, you generate a rune of power in the selected area. The rune lives for 10 secs. As long as you’re within an 8-m range of your Rune, your spells deliver 40% more damage. At least 2 charges. CD 40 secs.
- Incanter’s Flow. During combat the damage dealt by you grow by 4 to 20%. The factor increases or decreases in cycles. The duration of a cycle is 10 secs.
* Incanter’s Flow is your best choice by default. Rune of Power is barely aback from Incanter’s Flow in terms of DPS bonus, but it does tie you to a location. That’s why any relocation during active Rune of Power leads to major DPS loss. Mirror Image is not used.
Tier 4. Lvl 60.
- Ice Nova. Applicable to both an ally and an enemy. Deals major Frost damage to all the enemies within the 8-m range and freezes them for 2 secs. The main enemy target receives 100% more damage.
- Frozen Touch. Increases the probability of triggering Fingers of Frost by 40%.
- Splitting Ice. Ice Lance and Icicles deal 5% more damage. They also hit the target next to the main one, and deal 80% of the main target’s damage to it.
* Splitting Ice is the only best talent with no alternatives in this Tier for any situation.
Tier 5. Lvl 75.
- Frigid Winds. All slowing effects reduce your enemies’ moving speed by additional 15%.
- Ring of Frost. Select an area and generate a Ring of Frost there for 10 secs. Enemies to enter its action area get paralyzed for 10 secs. Max target count: 10. CD 45 secs.
- Ice Ward. Frost Nova now has 2 charges.
* The whole Tier is about expanding your capacity to control your enemies. The choice is completely up to you.
Tier 6. Lvl 90.
- Frost Bomb. Apply a Frost Bomb to your target for 12 secs. Only 1 bomb can be active. Ice Lances hitting the target with it make the Bomb deal Frost damage to all the enemies within the 10-m range.
- Unstable Magic. Frostbolt has 20% probability of delivering additional 50% of damage to the main target as well as to every enemy within the 8-m range of it.
- Arctic Gale. The damage dealt by Blizzard grows by 30%, and its active range expands by 20%.
Tier 7. Lvl 100.
- Thermal Void. The action time for your Icy Veins grows by 10 secs. Ice Lance applied to a frozen target prolongs Icy Veins for another 1 sec.
- Glacial Spike. Ice Lance now spends no Icicles. This ability allows you to instantly release the 5 Icicles you’ve accumulated and deal massive Frost damage to your enemy. It also freezes them for 4 secs. The freezing effect can be interrupted by different type of damage. To cast it, you need at least 5 Icicles.
- Comet Storm. Sends down 7 ice comets into the selected area. Altogether, the comets deal massive Frost damage to all the enemies within the 6-m range of the landing site.
* Thermal Void is your best talent by default in most situations. Glacial Spike can be used in a single target combat in case you lack the Legendary bracers. Comet Storm go well for the combats focusing on max AoE.
- Lonely Winter
- Incanter’s Flow
- Splitting Ice
- Unstable Magic / Arctic Gale at 2+ targets
- Thermal Void / Comet Storm for AoE
Unlike talents, in the weapons branch there is no choice of what you can and what you can’t take. With the current Artifact Knowledge, the order of artifact acquisition is insignificant as to open all the traits, you only need to earn 2.23 billion artifact power which is extremely easy to do just over the first few minutes after you’ve reached level 110.
A Frost Mage uses 2 Frost and 1 Arcane relics.
Here are the traits listed with their weapon ilvl equivalent:
- Clarity of Thought 5.4
- Let it Go 3.6
- Obsidian Lance, Ice Age 2.6
- Ice Caress 2.2
- Frozen Veins 1.8
- Orbital Strike 0.5
If you face situations where you’re not sure, we recommend you use the raidbots.com web-site which has a convenient interface for figuring out if it’s worth replacing Relic A with Relic B.
Tier 1 of any relic allows you to increase your weapon’s ilvl by 5 points.
Tier 2. This is where you face the first important choice between Light and Shadow as the result of your choice deprives you of one of the last traits on Tier 3. Your objective: to pick a way of the highest ilvl equivalent sum on Tiers 2 and 3.
- Torment the Weak 4
- Secure in the Light 3.8
- Shadowbind, Infusion of Light 3.7
- Chaotic Darkness 3.4
- Murderous Intent 2.5
- Light Speed 2.3
- Master of Shadows 1.8
- Dark Sorrows 1.7
- Shocklight 1.5
Tier 3. The value of traits coincides completely with the relic rating.
- Clarity of Thought 5.4
- Let it Go 3.6
- Obsidian Lance, Ice Age 2.6
- Ice Caress 2.2
- Frozen Veins 1.8
- Orbital Strike 0.5
Other traits are defensive and provide no dps tha’s why they are not accounted for here. Hece their value is considered equal to 0.
If you are using CrucibleWeight you can import this string into the game:
cruweight^128862^ilvl^1^252799^1.6^252922^1.75^252875^3.74^195315^2.13 6:2.9 7:2.31^195351^5.39 6:5.34 7:5.25^195317^2.67 6:2.77 7:2.81^238056^2.45 6:2.88 7:2.6^195322^3.63 6:3.52 7:3.64^195323^0.49 6:0.33 7:0.54^195345^1.75 6:3.85 7:1.29^253070^3.77^252088^2.19^253093^3.85^252888^3.35^252091^1.75^252191^2.57^252906^4.17^end
A Frost Mage has access to the total of 14 Legendaries.
The best are:
Magtheridon’s Banished Bracers is definitely the best Legendary for both single target and cleave.
Sephuz’s Secret gives you, passively, 2% Haste and 10% moving speed. The proc that is activated with your dispels, stuns and paralysis increases Haste by additional 25%, and the moving speed – by 70%.
Shattered Fragments of Sindragosa is a good Legendary for focusing on AoE. On single target, however, it’s quite mediocre.
Ice Time is rather weak for single target, but it does show really well on AoE.
Lady Vashj’s Grasp is a great single target Legendary.
Zann’esu Journey is a good AoE Legendary.
Prydaz, Xavaric’s Magnum Opus peovides a huge list of stats and grants a damage absorbing shield for 25% of max HP once every 30 secs. In terms of DPS, it’s no worse than other Legendaries; the defensive effect, however, can coume in handy while exploring new bosses or on high Mythic+ when you have Survival > DPS.
Kil’jaeden’s Burning Wish has a huge number of stats; acrive utilizing of this accessory allows you to deal massive AoE damage. A good Legendary.
Norgannon’s Foresight grants you an opportunity to cast spells while moving for 4 secs, provided the previous 6 secs you haven’t moved. The countdown starts once you start moving.
Insignia of the Grand Army empowers the effects of the Netherlight Crucible by 50%.
Celumbra, the Night’s Dichotomy is a craft Legendary. Okay for fresh characters if you’re willing to put in the gold and the agents for creating it. Replaced as soon as you receive the first two Legendaries.
If you’ve got different Legendaries out of the first list, and want to figure out which one of them would be better for you, we recommend you use Simcraft.
Let’s review the damaging model using the recommended talents in the corresponding sections.
- Prepot 23 in 3 secs ;
- Ebonbolt 3 secs prior to the pull;
- Rune of Power, if talented;
- Icy Veins;
- Ice Lance;
- Frozen Orb.
- Spend your Fingers of Frost procs.
- Rune of Power, if talented, when the first one is over.
- Frostbolt during no Fingers of Frost or Brain Freeze procs.
- Glacial Spike, if possible, if talented.
- Ice Lance per the proc Fingers of Frost, or straight after Flurry.
- Rune of Power should be used alongside Icy Veins. If Icy Veins is on CD, make sure you don’t accumulate 2 stacks. The second stack can be discarded in case Icy Veins is sure to not restore before the boss dies.
- Icy Veins per CD;
- Frozen Orb per CD;
- Ray of Frost, if your Icy Veins or Rune of Power are active;
- Flurry per the proc Brain Freeze (before using Flurry, dispose of all the Fingers of Frost procs). If your Ebonbolt is ready, you can play it out combined with Brain Freeze available by then:
– Ice Lance;
– Ice Lance.
If Glacial Spike is talented, and you have 3-5 Icicles stocked at the moment, it’s better if you postpone using the second Brain Freeze proc through Flurry for a little bit. Finish your 5 Icicles so that you can use Glacial Spike, Flurry, Ice Lance.
- With 2+
- If you’ve accumulates 3 stacks of Fingers of Frost, anf there are less than 10 secs before Icy Veins is ready, maintain 2 stacks until your Icy Veins is available.
- Blizzard for 2+ targets, or 3+ target with Glacial Spike talented. If Arctic Gale is talented, use Blizzard per CD. If you have Zann’esu Journey and 5 stacks, use it regardless of the target count.
- If your Glacial Spike is ready, but you lack the Brain Freeze proc, continue using Frostbolt until you get the proc. Once you do get it, use Flurry + Glacial Spike.
- If you have everything prepared for Glacial Spike, but you’re using 2 pieces of t20, and Frozen Orb is due in 10 secs or less, wait up for Frozen Orb.
- Use Frostbolt in any other time.
– When playing with the Water Elemental (hence no Lonely Winter talent), you need to utilize the Elemental’s ability to generate Fingers of Frost for you. Freeze should be used in combats where 2 or more enemies can be immobilized. In any other case, use Water Jet.
– Frost’s AoE is quite mediocre. If you’re playing with Thermal Void talented, use your Blizzard on 2 and more targets; with Glacial Spike – 3 and more. During active Frozen Orb, it’s used on 2 and more targets regardless of what is talented. Cone of Cold is only used on 18+ targets or on AoE during your short runs.
The game mechanics allows you to perform a very interesting stunt which enables you, within one window of Winter’s Chill triggered by Flurry, to use x2 Ice Lance, and each Lance deals as much damage as it would to a frozen target. It is possible due to the fact that Flurry and Ice Lance have a certain flight period before reaching the target which depends on the distance.
There are two ways to perform this. Both are quite demanding of your current Haste rating since the less GCD you have, the easier it is to pull the trick.
1. With Shimmer.
With 20% of your own Haste rating on your gear, during active Icy Veins or some powerful Haste buff you can carry out what you’ve planned:
— Use Flurry on the target from as far as possible;
— Ice Lance once Flurry‘s GCD is over;
— During the GCD after Ice Lance, use Shimmer;
— Once its GCD is over, use the second Ice Lance.
This order would help your two Ice Lances deal damage to a target as it were frozen. If you use Shimmer before your first Ice Lance, it would be over before Flurry so the damage would be regular instead of that on a frozen target.
If you don’t get to Melee after Shimmer and your second Lance can’t reach the target before Winter’s Chill is over, try boosting your run after you’ve used Flurry to your target’s direction.
You can also set your Delay in the interface (only available with the addon AdvancedInterfaceOptions in the section Combat) which may help you deal with Double Lance. By default, it should be between x2 and x3 of your delay.
2. No Shimmer, with running.
The first key parameter is your Haste. This method can only be triggered during active Heroism / Bloodlust / Time Warp + Icy Veins as well as other Haste buffs. The second parameter is the distance with directly depends on your Haste. In general, this method is a lot more complex and occasional. Even with stable Haste rating and a sharp eye, different targets may make the algorithm work differently. It happens because your enemies, particularly Bosses, have different hitboxes which also affects your spells’ flying time. You should also keep in mind that this scheme only works during active BL and Icy Veins which takes out only a small portion of the whole combat. In 90% of cases you are going to be using the first method. You may start trying something similar from 90% Haste, and you’ll have to be 26 m away from your target.
Mage Norrinir provided a useful chart with the dependency between the distance to the target and your Haste rating:
* Don’t forget to take into account all the above listed parameters that can affect the distance to any of the sides! Now, let’s see what you need to do:
— When you are the necessary distance away from your target, use Flurry;
— Ice Lance + start running towards the target;
— Second Ice Lance. * The necessary distance differs depending on your Haste rating described above.
To practice and to figure out whether you managed to trigger Double Ice Lance during one Flurry or not, you can use this widespread WA (WeakAuras2 is a powerful addon that allows you to make various elements of the gameplay more obvious. It is recommended for installation to every player).
You should also understand that even if you learn well technically to perform any of these methods, it can often happen so that your encounter simply doesn’t allow you to spend your Shimmer and start moving towards the target. You should also keep in mind that, once you are in Melee after your Shimmer, there are various mechanics that may need you to be away from the Boss — in range. Anyway, double Ice Lance may bring up a bunch of problems which would keep you from dealing with the combat mechanics adequately leading to a raid wipe, a highly unappreciated event. So, treat this opportunity wisely and act on it only if you are 100% certain it is not leading to any sort of fatal consequence or as simple as makes you run away under Icy Veins with no instant spells in your stock which is a huge loss in DPS.
The basic priority rating for the characteristics is as follows:
Haste = Versatility > Crit up to ~30% > Intellect > Mastery > Crit over ~30%
The current specialization’s Mastery increases the damage delivered by the summoned Elemental. It also encapsulates a portion of your Frostbolt damage in the form of icicles what can be reused via Ice Lance.
Critical strike is tied to the figure 33.34% because of the passive aura of Shatter that increases your Crit rating in relation to the frozen targets by the factor 1.5 and tops it off with additional 50%. With this value, Ice Lance hits on the frozen targets are 100% critical.While stacking Crit, the weigth of it will fall, and at 30% it will be a way worse than Haste or Verastility.
Haste reduces GCD, the casting time (for your Elemental, too) as well as the CD for Ice Storm. It also increases the number of times Ray of Frost delivers damage. One of the best stats as is entitles you to more Frostbolts over the combat which, in its turn, increases your chance of getting Fingers of Frost and Brain Freeze.
Versatility increases the whole damage dealt and reduces the one taken.
It is recommended, once you receive new equipment, you use Simcraft or Raidbots.com. There is no way to get a more precise answer to which stat to focus on first, but through a simulation.
Based on the aforementioned characteristics and results of your character’s own simulation results, you can draw conclusions on Gems, Chants and Raid Chemicals.
– Neck: Enchant Neck – Mark of the Hidden Satyr.
– Rings: Enchant Ring – Binding of Critical Strike or Enchant Ring – Binding of Haste, or Enchant Ring – Binding of Versatility until Crit caps.
– Cloak: Enchant Cloak – Binding of Intellect.
4. Flasks and Potions:
- 2 pieces: The probability of triggering Brain Freeze by using Frostbolt grows by 5%.
- 4 pieces: When Frozen Orb deals damage, the probability of triggering Fingers of Frost grows by additional 5%.
- 2 pieces: Frozen Orb increases the critical strike damage by 20% for 10 secs.
- 4 pieces: Whenever you get the effect Brain Freeze, the restoring time for your Frozen Orb shrinks by 4 secs.
- 2 pieces: Every next frostbolt in Flurry deals 25% more damage.
- 4 pieces: When you spend the effect of Brain Freeze, the damage dealt by your next Frostbolt or Ice Lance grows by 25%.
Kick with a modifier, with the Shift key held, the ability is applied on a remembered target, without – on the current one.
#showtolltip Counterspell /stopcasting /cast [mod:shift,@focus]Counterspell
#showtooltip Ice Block /stopcasting /cancelaura Ice Block /cast Ice Block
If you do spam the buttons, you’d better make two separate macros:
#showtooltip Ice Block /stopcasting /cast Ice Block
/cancelaura Ice Block
To play with Water Elemental – unless you bind its abilities to its panel – you could use separate macros:
#showtoottip /cast Water Jet
#showtoottip /cast Free