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    [Mage] The Ultimate Guide to Frost



    Hi there! My name is Karrok, and allow me to extend a rather frigid greeting to you. This guide will cover everything you need to know as a PvE frost mage, from the basic rotation to gearing advice to talents to even pet management. Whether you're stepping into this spec for the very first time or you've been playing it hardcore for six years, I hope you'll find something useful. Now, what are we waiting for?

    Well, due to frost's rocky history with raid viability (or rather, lack thereof), there's a pretty good chance that you're reading this guide because you want to give it a shot now that with Cataclysm, the spec's damage is up there with fire and arcane. So before you commit to learning the ins and outs of this spec, know what you're getting into!

    Frost is all about...

    • Huge six-digit crits with no ramp-up (think Arcane Blast, without needing to stack it, on steroids...)
    • Lots and lots of instant casts!
    • A pet. It follows you, and makes that bubbling sound.
    • Twitch gameplay. Most of your damage comes from reacting quickly to procs.
    • Cooldowns. Even more than arcane ever had! You'll generally hit seven or eight cooldowns back-to-back at the beginning of every boss.
    • Lame AoE. Really, there's not much to it.
    • Small-time mana management. Your mana won't undulate like arcane, and you won't be scorch weaving like fire, but you do need to keep your blue bar up – more on that later.
    • And last but certainly not least, control. You have an enormous amount of survivability – not just mitigation (Ice Barrier), but also avoidance (more stuff than can legally fit in parentheses). Whether it's making large, dangerous pulls in heroics look like cake or just saving your healer some mana, your control will contribute to your party in a pretty meaningful way.

    Alright, are you pumped yet?! Let's dig into this guide like DKs dig into my backside.


    Contents

    1. Talent Spec
    • Spec template
    • Talent details
    • Glyphs


    2. Rotation
    • Priority List
    • Opener
    • Mana Management


    3. Gear
    • Stat descriptions & values
    • Gems
    • Enchants


    4. Utility
    • New spells
    • AoE
    • Water Elemental


    5. General Tips & FAQs




    Talents

    There is a readily available talent template for frost here:

    http://www.wowhead.com/talent#o0bZfcZffMRsuszMo

    This is the PvE build that most folks run with. Cataclysm's new talent philosophy ensures your damage will remain half-decent even if you make a spec that looks like you vomited all over your keyboard, however, so feel free to tweak your build how you want. If you don't believe me, check out the sim results below; you can see all those different specs are pretty dang close!

    http://manoutoftime.org/misc/frost-variants.html

    In the following section, I'll go over some of the more ambiguous talents so you have an idea what their intended uses are. Maybe you'll wind up creating a spec that's better for you than the one I linked above!

    Early Frost – This talent surfaced from rank 1 frostbolt's departure. Used as a PvP tool often, it still has significant use in a dragonslaying build. It is a small-but-worthy dps increase over the course of a boss fight, and it helps you frontload some damage at the beginning of every pull in a dungeon to get your proc train going.

    Piercing Chill – This is your cleave talent. While single-target nuking amongst a pack of mobs, your frostbolt crits will spread the chill and each additional mob affected will grant you another 20% chance to proc FoF. Really not bad.

    Permafrost – You can make do with only a single point in this talent. Your water elemental has built-in damage protection, so even the small amount of healing it gets from this talent will be enough to keep it alive.

    Ice Shards – The primary function of this talent is to give your Ice Lance range that's on par with your other attacks. The blizzard slow is just...icing on the cake.

    ...sorry, you can hit me. I won't resist.

    Fingers of Frost – This is what grants you most of your power. Don't pass it up. There will be a nice, long, convoluted discussion on this talent later in the guide.

    Improved Freeze – This is really a mandatory talent, but I thought I'd add that you have to actually hit a target with Freeze for it to grant you the two charges. Hitting thin air does not please your water elemental.

    Enduring Winter – Another one-point wonder. The most important part of the talent is the Replenishment effect, and you get plenty of it for just a single point. There really are better places to put talent points, so even if you're having mana issues, the solution is not taking more points in this one.

    Brain Freeze – Also a required talent, but just know that taking this talent causes your Arcane Missiles to stop popping up.

    Shattered Barrier – Almost strictly a PvP talent. Bosses and most important targets aren't affected by roots (or don't stay rooted nearly long enough if they are), so this talent won't save you if you're getting wailed on.

    Reactive Barrer – This appears to be a PvP talent too, but it has its uses in dungeons and raiding. If you forget to keep Ice Barrier up often during healing-intense fights, well...this talent solves that problem for you. Keep in mind for this talent to activate you have to have Barrier off cooldown, be under 50% health, and not be casting anything at the moment.

    Frostfire Orb – A great talent, and also mandatory. This allows your Flame Orb to deal an appropriate amount of damage for being in frost spec, and also have a chance to trigger Fingers of Frost with every hit. A good single-target cooldown gets even better just by taking this talent.

    Deep Freeze – This is your heavy hitter, and has two useful functions. If your target is permanently immune to stuns (bosses and some trash mobs), it'll do a ton of damage. If not, it'll get stunned for 5 seconds. Note that diminishing returns on stuns can reduce the duration of it; if your warrior tank charges a stunnable mob, a warlock shadowfuries it and a rogue decides it's not suffering enough and kidney shots it, your Deep Freeze won't do jack.

    Ignite – Wait, what? Why are we taking Ignite? The answer lies in one of your fattest, most damaging attacks, Frostfire Bolt. Also, the two talents you take before it (Master of Elements and Burning Soul) are pretty decent for frost. And before you ask, yes, that last point in Ignite is worth more than the last point in Netherwind Presence.

    Lower Tier Arcane Talents – These are cool, and they are certainly helpful in some situations. But it's just not worth it, dps-wise, to spec into the lower arcane talents at the expense of Ignite. Feel free to give it a try, though. Admit it, that blink talent looked really fun the first time you saw it.

    Glyphs

    Prime
    • Frostbolt*
    • Deep Freeze
    • Frostfire

    Major
    • Evocation
    • Ice Barrier
    • (optional)

    Minor
    • Conjuring**
    • (optional)***
    • (optional)

    * If you have few mana issues and are running Molten Armor very often during fights, the Molten Armor glyph may be better. Frostbolt's recent damage buff makes this dubious, however.
    ** If you ever need to re-cast a mana gem in combat, this reduces the mana expenditure.
    *** I highly recommend glyph of slow fall. Do you really want to carry around feathers?






    Alright, the first thing you need to know about frost's rotation is that you're not casting spells in a repetitive cycle. You're conforming to a priority list. You'll be spamming the hell out of Frostbolt while keeping an eye out for other attack opportunities, mostly powered by Fingers of Frost. Without further ado, here's the list, in descending priority:

    Cold Snap (when FFO, Icy Veins and DF all have most of their cooldown time left)
    Frostfire Orb
    Deep Freeze (when off cooldown, and you have FoF)
    Frostfire Bolt (when Brain Freeze & FoF are both active)
    Ice Lance (when you have 2 charges of FoF, or if you have only one and it's about to expire)
    Freeze (water elemental ability)
    Frostbolt

    Now let's go into detail so you have an understanding of why you use each of these abilities, starting with the most basic. With this knowledge, you'll be able to modify your own rotation based on fight criteria and other factors. After all, the hallmark of a truly great mage is the ability to adapt!

    Frostbolt: Your bread and butter. You cast this when you have nothing else to do, or everything is on cooldown. Frostbolt makes up the vast majority of your casts, but hardly a proportionate amount of damage. Its primary purpose is to proc Fingers of Frost.

    Freeze: A 25-second cooldown that guarantees you have a FoF proc ready for Deep Freeze, your big guns. You can use this to help control adds in many encounters as well. Just make sure you hit something for it to give you the two FoF charges.

    Ice Lance: This does roughly similar damage to a Frostbolt, but instant. You use this whenever you have FoF charges and no Brain Freeze Frostfire Bolt (BFFFB) or Deep Freeze to use them on. For optimal dps and to make sure you don't hit a dry period of no procs when you need them, don't use Ice Lance when you only have 1 charge unless you have a Freeze ready or that charge is about to expire.

    Frostfire Bolt: You don't use this as your main nuke. Instead, you use it when you have both a Brain Freeze proc (to make it instant and free) and a FoF (to make it benefit from Shatter and your mastery). It hits like a truck – much harder than Ice Lance when you factor in Ignite. If you have a Brain Freeze proc that's about to expire and no FoF, go ahead and use it anyway. BFFFBs don't proc more Brain Freezes, but they can proc FoF. For that reason, they are still valuable.

    Deep Freeze: ...and yet BFFFB is weaksauce compared to Deep Freeze. You want to maximize the damage of this ability as much as possible. Time it with your trinket effects (this spell has a crazy-high damage coefficient) and fight mechanics that increase damage. Make sure you always have 1 FoF waiting for when Deep Freeze comes off cooldown so you're getting the most possible per fight.

    Frostfire Orb: Wait, how come this ability is higher on the list than your giant nuke? Because its damage is good, and every one of its 15 or so hits gives you a chance to proc FoF, fueling your other abilities. For one single global cooldown, this ability offers extreme value. Use it immediately when you can, but be mindful of your target's position; if the tank has to move it soon or if it's going to become immune or otherwise unattackable, hold off.

    Cold Snap: A 6.4 minute cooldown, you'll be able to use this once per boss fight, usually close to the beginning. The optimal time to cast it is when you have all of your major frost cooldowns going – Deep Freeze, Icy Veins, Frostfire Orb, and even Ring of Frost if you're using it.

    Opener

    Alright, so what exactly do you do at the beginning of an encounter? You're going to want all your high-dps abilities on cooldown immediately so they can come back up multiple times later in the fight – standard procedure for any class, really. This is what you'll do as soon as the boss is engaged:

    1. Mirror Image
    2. Volcanic Potion
    3. Frostfire Orb
    4. Pet Freeze
    5. Deep Freeze
    6. Ring of Frost, if you're going to need one early in the fight
    7. Icy Veins
    8. Cold Snap
    9. Frostfire Orb
    10. Deep Freeze
    11. Time Warp
    12. (start your rotation)

    Some pointers on this list...

    • Use Mirror Image and Volcanic Potion the second before combat begins. The reason for this is so you can save a gcd and use a second potion a couple minutes later in the fight. Of course the potion is optional in five-mans and the like
    • Don't forget to use another Icy Veins once your first one is done. Power Auras is great for this.
    • Only use Time Warp if you're sure you can get the most benefit out of it. See the Utility section farther along in the guide.
    • Having to use so many instant abilities back-to-back might seem a little clunky, but you'll get used to it. I'd suggest using a castsequence macro, but on certain fights you won't be able to use all the abilities listed above – for example, the boss might become unattackable shortly after the fight starts, which is okay for Deep Freeze but non-optimal for Frostfire Orb. Keeping your abilities separate will allow you to adapt to new mechanics much faster.





    Mana Management aka "Which armor do I use?"




    You need to pay attention to your blue bar a lot more than in WotLK. Fights are going to be longer, filled with more expensive AoE, and your casts simply cost a bigger percentage of your mana pool. Fortunately, you have options to avoid running totally oom. You'll be switching between Molten Armor and Mage Armor. Now digest the following:

    Molten Armor – This is the armor you use for maximum dps, since it adds a solid 9% crit to your shattered instant casts. On short fights, you'll always use this. On longer single-target encounters, you can still use this, but you'll have to watch your bar; this means using mana gems once you reach a defecit equal to the amount it restores, and also using Evocation once you're at about 35% mana. Keep the fight's duration in mind too – you don't need a full Evo if the boss is going to die in 30 seconds, so one or two ticks would be fine. Now, on any fight with adds that requires you to use Blizzard or other expensive spells, you may need to switch to Mage Armor at 15-20% mana if you've exhausted all your other mana-restoring tools.

    Mage Armor – This armor almost totally trivializes mana. You will practically never run oom, even when spamming your most hideously inefficient spells, as long as you use mana gems and Evocation as necessary (usually never, though). So you can use Mage Armor as a fallback for when you're very close to running oom in Molten, or you can simply spend the whole fight in Mage. If you're new to a fight and you need a few attempts to work out its complexities, you may wish to use Mage Armor for a while so you can put all your attention toward the fight mechanics and not have to worry about mana until you have a firm grasp of things. Then try going back to Molten Armor for higher damage.

    You'll have an even greater incentive to switch armors during combat now that they no longer cost mana.






    Now let's delve into gear, stat weights, caps, gems and other complicated garbage. I'll start off by explaining each stat's worth, what exactly it does, and why you want it (or don't want it). This list is in descending order of value.

    First off is intellect. Each point gives you 1 spell power, about .0015% crit, and 15 mana. Because mana is now a concern for you and you benefit greatly from the spell power anyway, Intellect is by far your best stat. Yes, even better than hit rating before the cap, and between two and three times as good as crit, mastery and haste. You always want more Intellect. Moar.

    Next, you have hit rating. You need 102.4 hit rating for 1%, and you want 6% (615) for five-man heroics and 17% (1742) for raids. It's still a very strong stat, better than anything else except Int. If you're looking to raise your hit in preparation for raids, you have some options. You can reforge your weaker stats (haste & mastery), use hit trinkets like Anhuur's Hymnal or Stump of Time, gem for it if you can use blue gems for good socket bonuses, or use an Elixir (http://www.wowhead.com/item=58094). Keep in mind Blizzard has expressed the interest of raising the hit cap for new raid tiers because any hit rating you have over the caps listed above is totally worthless.

    Let me clarify that while Int is theoretically a higher-scaling stat than hit, it is still not practical to sacrifice hit for Int. Cap your hit first.

    After hit, you've got spell power. It's been mostly removed from gear, but it still appears on trinket procs, weapons and enchants. It's still a great stat, just not one that you see very often anymore.

    So what's left? Your 'combat rating stats' (crit, haste, mastery) are all far weaker than int, hit, and spell power, but you still get them on gear. The strongest of these stats is crit, and it's not hard to see why. Shatter basically triples the value of crit for roughly half of all the damage you do. This means 33.4% is essentially a 'soft cap' for crit – you'll still get a lot of benefit from crit over that value (possibly still more than haste and mastery), just not as much. Keep in mind that Shatter takes each spell's individual crit chance into account – if you have glyph of frost bolt, for example, that's actually +15% crit after Shatter. You must also take into account raid buffs that boost your crit percentage, like critical mass.

    The outcome between haste and mastery as your worst stat is kind of up in the air depending on your gear level, but it's generally accepted that mastery is the better of the two in most cases. It largely affects the same portion of dps as crit rating – your Ice Lances, BFFBs and Deep Freezes. Instead of a chance of double damage though, you simply get more damage across the board.

    So coming in last for most gear setups is haste. While a higher frequency of FoF-proc events (more frostbolts) will increase dps, it doesn't help that half your damage is instant and doesn't get as much benefit. If want to raise your hit or crit, this is the stat you'll want to reforge.

    ...wow, Spirit is such a hideous stat that I actually forgot to put it in until the last minute! Spirit used to always be bad, but now it literally does nothing for you. Nadda. Zero. Zip. No in-combat regen, no crit conversion; the only thing spirit keeps from WotLK is people ragging you on the forums for having any on your gear at all. If you have a piece of gear with spirit, you want to reforge it the hell off. And then mark that piece as a prime candidate for future burning and subsequent replacement. With a grey.

    I'll wrap up this section with a little table you can use to figure out how much rating it takes to gain 1% in a stat.





    Gems


    Sockets are a big part of gear customization. By now you should have firmly drilled into your head that Intellect is your most super awesome sexy stat, and you should gem for it while ignoring crappy socket bonuses like a good little schoolgirl. But what if a socket bonus is int, and the sockets are blue or yellow? Then you'll need to do some napkin math. Some valuable gem varieties that you can use for different situations are as follows:

    Red socket: Brilliant (red, +int)
    Yellow socket: Potent (orange, +int/crit)
    Blue socket: Veiled (purple, +int/hit)

    Meta Gems: There used to be several choices of meta, but now that we have the Burning Shadowspirit diamond on our hands we have an unarguable winner. If for some reason you can't spare the gold to get one (a shame really, since it is -very- good and a solid upgrade over all other metas), then you can use a Chaotic meta instead. Ember is no longer an option.


    Enchants


    I hope you're ready for some rep farming. Having enchants on every piece of gear will noticeably increase your dps and simply make you look more attractive as a potential group/raid member. It shows dedication when you have something on every piece - even 333 blues ought to be enchanted. Use the list below to figure out ideal enchants and get to work.

    Weapon - Hurricane (cheap), Power Torrent (expensive)
    Offhand - Superior Intellect
    Head - Arcanum of Hyjal (Revered @ Guardians of Hyjal)
    Shoulders - Greater Inscription of Charged Lodestone (Exalted @ Therazane)
    Back - Greater Intellect or Lightweave Embroidery
    Chest - Peerless Stats
    Bracer - Precision (50 hit), Greater Speed, Greater Critical Strike
    Glove - Haste, Greater Mastery
    Belt - Ebonsteel Belt Buckle
    Pants - Enchanted Spellthread (cheap), Powerful Enchanted Spellthread (expensive)
    Boots - Mastery, Haste, Precision (cheap), Lavawalker (ideal, also expensive)


    Utility, AoE, & Pet

    I thought I'd add a little section about your new level 81+ abilities. Since they're mostly fresh spell concepts in the hands of players (keyword mostly...I'm eyeballing you, Time Warp), you may not know all their ins and outs yet. So think of each skill with an open mind. Like Faxmonkey. And if you don't know who Faxmonkey is, Warcraftmovies.com called and they said you now have homework.

    Seriously though, that's like paladins not knowing who Tirion is...

    Flame Orb – The first thing you should know about this skill is that it was never meant to be an AoE tool. I know, it would have been cool for it to look like Taldaram's ability, with bolts spraying in every direction like a flaming version of Frozen Orb...but I guess Blizzard decided it would be impossible to balance. It's still a neat little skill, and on such a short cooldown that you can use it on every trash pull and very often during boss fights. Due in part to its short cooldown, its relative power is kind of low; that doesn't mean you can't min/max it like every other part of your rotation, though. It is still one of your highest-value abilities.

    Your Orb has a different side-effect depending on which spec you are. For arcane, you get tons of Arcane Missiles procs. Fire adds an explosion to the end. Frost is possibly the most powerful out of all three because you can have two out at once with Cold Snap and the resulting barrage of FoF procs will make your dps skyrocket. Don't be put off by the low damage of its individual ticks, either. It has one of the highest damage coefficients in the game, so one single GCD spent will net you at least 30k damage over its duration, not including the side-effect.

    To gain the most out of the spell, however, you need to get good at aiming it. It fires in a straight line directly in front of you, the way you're facing. Try to get used to casting it on the move while strafing. The Orb also obeys some "blink rules" – it has a hard time with the Z-axis and certain types of obstacles like low walls, terrain changes and the like. You'll just have to deal with its quirks, but the rewards are worth it.

    Ring of Frost – This one is easy enough to like. A 12-second circular freezing trap that obeys your Shatter talent and has no limit on number of targets affected. You can get some pretty enormous burst aoe damage on large packs by catching them all in the ring, then casting Flamestrike+Cone of Cold immediately back-to-back. Other than the occasional damage opportunity, this skill does have more application in a crowd control environment. For tougher trash pulls, you can lay down the ring, sheep one target, then blink behind line of sight. All the mobs, including ranged ones, will stampede into the ring and get frozen, allowing your tank to easily pick them up. You can also get some use out of Ring of Frost in any boss fight that requires kiting or add control (think Magmaw).

    Time Warp – Perhaps the most controversial of our new spells, this an exact clone of Bloodlust/Heroism. Same cooldown, same type of sated debuff. The only thing you really need to know is the best time to use it.

    The first step to assuring you and your group get maximum benefit from this ability is communicating when you'll do it. If you don't know the fight, ask for details so you don't blow it at the wrong time and waste 15 seconds picking your nose while the boss is immune or something. Telling your group when you'll be popping Time Warp will also let them save their big cooldowns to use in tandem as well. The boss will die faster, which means your personal cooldowns will have an overall higher uptime on the boss, thus increasing your end-of-fight dps. It works for everyone.

    The next bit you should know is how to conform to the fight mechanics. It's pretty obvious that you shouldn't be popping any big cooldowns during downtime, like when the boss is unattackable or changing phases or whatever. But you should also do what you can to Time Warp when you're under the effects of a damage-increasing mechanic like those found in the Rajh, Neptulon and Omnitron Defense System encounters. Keep the duration of your cooldowns in mind as well. Ten seconds of double damage isn't really worth it if you have to move or stop dpsing for thirty seconds immediately afterward.

    Forty seconds of 30% haste is possibly the biggest raid buff anyone could bring to the table, and it can make or break fights. It's your responsibility to use it at the optimal time.


    AoE


    Yeah, I said frost's AoE is lame. I mean that both in output and in...style. Blizzard does horrid damage and isn't really a great tool except for a couple particular cases. Now that Flamestrike doesn't have ranks, you can't stack the dot like you used to. And Cone of Cold, while dealing decent damage if you can guarantee a shatter, has a cooldown. So you'll have to make do with what you have. And what do you have? I'll put your tools here in the form of a list, so you can make the decision of what to do when you're in an AoE situation.

    Your Single-Target Rotation – "Uh...care to explain?" Yeah, you need to realize that unless you have more than three or four targets, you'll be doing more damage simply executing your single-target priority list. Piercing Chill will give you some semi-cleave action, boosting your damage on one target. You'll have to use your judgement on when to actually use AoE skills, but when you do, you have...

    Blizzard – The damage this does has been greatly lowered and doesn't benefit from Fingers of Frost like it used to. It does, however, proc FoF and Brain Freeze. It's mana-expensive, so you won't be doing this in any fight with Molten Armor, but you can carpet a group of targets with Blizzard for a few seconds to "proc-fish" and then let loose a hard-hitting BFFFB or two. Keep in mind you need at least a point in Ice Shards for Blizzard to even remotely become a possibility.

    Cone of Cold – This isn't worth glyphing for unless you're doing some crazy old-world dungeon spelunking or something. But it does pretty good damage if you set up a Pet Freeze right before letting loose, netting a shatter-induced blob of numbers. It also has a chill effect, which makes it good for proc fishing like Blizzard. And if you spec for it, you can follow up the CoC with an Ice Lance to each mob frozen provided they aren't being immediately attacked. The main limiting factor of this spell is its 8-second cooldown. You can Cold Snap it...but that would lead to big fat tears rolling down my face.



    The Water Elemental




    Your elemental isn't exactly the most robust, engaging pet on earth. You have him use one ability every 25 seconds and the rest of the time, he's kind of a glorified dot with health. His simple nature doesn't mean you shouldn't attempt to maximize his damage the way you maximize other parts of your dps, though. Here are some tips whether you've used pets before or you're a total pet beginner (in which case I'd recommend starting with Neopets).


    • Pay attention to what your elemental's standing in. Having him sit in beneficial auras and void zones is cool, but we all know that for every boss with a damage-increasing "stand here" mechanic there's likely ten more with...fire. It has built-in damage protection, but will eventually die to things like stacking dots and other harmful effects that scale up. Resummoning another is not a huge deal, but that's still one precious GCD lost. If you're min/maxing, that's like stopping your cast for a second and a half to dig a knuckle-deep pot o' gold out of your nose.

    • Replace your frostbolt with this macro to have him cast waterbolt in queue, reducing the slight downtime between each cast:
      #showtooltip
      /cast frostbolt
      /petattack
      /cast waterbolt

    • You can put the elemental's Freeze ability on your actionbar by making this macro:
      #showtooltip
      /cast Freeze

    • Freeze won't react well to slopes or pillars because your targeting reticle must obey the water elemental's line of sight or else it won't cast. If he's far away from you, you'll have to awkwardly aim the Freeze based on the elemental's distance.


    ...did I really recommend Neopets?


    General Tips & FAQ


    This last section, like my other guides, will have some pointers on how to generally improve your performance, efficiency, and overall experience while playing. As always, this kind of stuff is helpful for any dps class, not just mages.

    1. Your UI is an important part of how you play. It's personalized and can be built so you have all the info you need right in front of you, so you don't waste a second looking around for stuff. Make sure your UI is unencumbered and has a clean look without a ton of random crap popping up everywhere. If an addon is obstructing your view a lot, get rid of it. If you find your eyes never move to it, it serves no purpose but to take up screen space. You want things like raid frames, buffs & debuffs, and spell alerts to be easily accessible, but do your best to keep your UI pruned of useless clutter.

    2. This nifty command will let you zoom your camera waaaay out. Helpful in many heroics to avoid standing in stuff, great for Al'Akir and Theralion+Valiona if you're the breath spotter.

    “/console cameradistancemaxfactor 5” (remove quotations)

    3. In Cataclysm, all classes have been given more tools to use while on the move. There are hardly any Patchwerks left, and you'll have to get comfortable doing as close to full performance as possible while remaining completely mobile. Always be casting something. If you don't have any procs or big abilities to use on the move, then spam ice lance. It's better than nothing.

    4. Positioning. Before each fight, pick a spot that's close to totems, away from players if need be, and in range of your target with some leeway in case the tank decides to pull him a few yards away from you. While you're going to be doing a lot more movement this expansion, you do want to maximize the time you spend on your ass rolling out your highest damage rotation. Do try to not tunnel vision however. I'm sure you've noticed by now how unforgiving some boss mechanics can be.

    5. What skills do you use on any given fight? What cooldowns, utilities, and items do you use in combat? Keybind all of that. I don't care how fast you can click. The boss certainly doesn't care how fast you can click. Your latency doesn't care how fast you can click. Keybinding is not just for pvp. Putting all of your skills, whether major or minor, at the tip of your fingers will vastly improve your reaction time and efficiency when moving and attacking. You can use a bar mod to help with this (I still use Bartender4), another addon, or the blizzard UI. Create a new keybind every day, get used to it, and before you know it you'll notice a drastic increase in your playing skill. Seriously. Start today.


    FAQ

    Question: "Is there a spec that uses FFB as a main nuke?"
    Answer: There is. It's not far behind "regular" frost, but it's nothing extraordinary. You can switch around some glyphs, drop Brain Freeze (since FFB does not proc it), and simply chain-cast FFB. The only real differences are that you never cast instant FFBs and you're more at the mercy of ignite munching than vanilla frost.

    Question: "How come Deep Freeze never does damage?
    Answer: Because Deep Freeze will only damage targets that are permanently immune to stuns. Meaning bosses, and some trash mobs. Players are never permanently immune to stuns, so you'll never damage them with DF. Only stun. Also, remember DF obeys diminishing return rules.

    Question: How do I get hit capped for raiding? 17 million rating to get there is too high!
    Answer: You can use double hit trinkets (Anhuur's Hymnal and Stump of Time), hit enchants, hit gems if you can work out socket bonuses, or an Elixir of Impossible Accuracy (not really recommended). Other than that, Ramkahen has some pretty good hit-heavy rewards.

    Question: My Arcane Missiles never procs!
    Answer: Taking Brain Freeze will cause your AM to never proc. By the time you get Brain Freeze, AM is fairly worthless for frost anyway.

    Question: Why is my dps so low?
    Answer: Big question. Do you have all the right glyphs, are you timing each cast so there's no lag between them, and is all your gear enchanted? Are you swapping targets before your current one dies so you don't waste a 2-second cast on something that your Frostbolt will never hit? Try practicing your rotation on a target dummy...

    Question: But target dummies aren't stunnable, so DF doesn't work!
    Answer: Yeah, unfortunately there's no real place to test out DF's damage except usually in instances against stunnable mobs or some elites in the world. You can still practice your rotation though. Dummies have never been a good resource to test out actual dps.


    Well, that about wraps it up. Stay tuned for updates, and thanks for reading this guide! I hope it serves you well and helps you become a better player.
    Last edited by Karrok; 2011-02-13 at 08:23 PM.

  2. #2
    Frost is all about...

    * Huge six-digit crits with no ramp-up (think Arcane Blast, without needing to stack it, on steroids...)
    * Lots and lots of instant casts!

    >obviously talking about frost mage pvp, especially ice lance =D

    Apart from that, nice guide

  3. #3
    Phew i thought this was going to one on pvp-frost mages and only be a paragraph long. But no GJ i didn't read it all just scanned through it and looked like it had the right information it it. Well done! deserved.

  4. #4
    lol frost pve
    Clarisè

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by zomgi View Post
    Frost is all about...

    * Huge six-digit crits with no ramp-up (think Arcane Blast, without needing to stack it, on steroids...)
    * Lots and lots of instant casts!

    >obviously talking about frost mage pvp, especially ice lance =D

    Apart from that, nice guide
    I am fairly certain he IS talking about PvE.. as ur DF wont do dmg in a PvP enviroment

    and if you have ever tried playing frost outside PvP you have noticed, I hope, all the instants you cast.


    great guide !

    ---------- Post added 2011-01-02 at 03:07 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Clarise View Post
    lol frost pve
    stuck with an old mindset much

  6. #6
    Bloodsail Admiral Magellanmini's Avatar
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    Cool guide man always loved the idea of Frost PvE it seems to be inbetween Arcane and Fire for DPS at the moment
    Quote Originally Posted by Draenei View Post
    This sound like similar problem I faced on Exodar. You should consult O'ros. O'ros know best for you. Female is tricky subject.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Clarise View Post
    lol frost pve
    I do between 14-18k dps on bosses as frost. While it's certainly not the top dps spec, it's a lot more viable than it used to be. The added utility+raidbuffs it provides makes up for the slighter less dps.

  8. #8
    Elemental Lord MerinPally's Avatar
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    Being the frost mage guru you are, do you know if the command to rename your water elemental still works? I used it previously and haven't logged my mage in about a month, but my friend is after it and we can't rememebr if it's been hotfixed

    Great guide though, shame I can't play frost ever because I play with about 600ms most of the time having a lot of instants is nigh impossible, fire being an exception due to long(er) cast times.

  9. #9
    You sir have made me extremely happy. Ive always wanted to raid with my mage as frost

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Clarise View Post
    lol frost pve
    Frost rocks on magmaw:

    easy controlling the adds and 100k+ hits with deep freeze in the increased damage phase!

    Doing Photoshop requests.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Clarise View Post
    lol frost pve
    Fire is the best mage spec at the moment that only lags a few k behind the best single target classes, like Survival and Frost DK. Frost is mediocre, but still a lot better than arcane.

    Welcome to Cataclysm.
    Quote Originally Posted by Miralynn View Post
    'Hardcore' raiders remind me of my two-year-old. "Yes, I put it down and I'm not playing with it anymore, but YOU CAN'T TOUCH IT MINE MINE MINE MINE!"

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by zomgi View Post
    Frost is all about...

    * Huge six-digit crits with no ramp-up (think Arcane Blast, without needing to stack it, on steroids...)
    * Lots and lots of instant casts!

    >obviously talking about frost mage pvp, especially ice lance =D

    Apart from that, nice guide

    ">obviously talking about frost mage pvp, especially ice lance =D" trolol, you just made me giggle.


    On a serious note:
    Awsome guide!

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by MerinPally View Post
    Being the frost mage guru you are, do you know if the command to rename your water elemental still works? I used it previously and haven't logged my mage in about a month, but my friend is after it and we can't rememebr if it's been hotfixed
    It has been fixed and you can no longer rename your water elemental Yea, it sucks...

    Great guide tho, especially for sucky people like me
    Quote Originally Posted by Grokan View Post
    Yelling at the leaky gas tank is much less effective than patching it up.

  14. #14
    I'd argue that Frost is probably the best PvE spec for Mages, especially while progressing.

    The slightly lower DPS compared to Fire is easily made up by the massive amount of control, mana-efficiency and survivability provided by Frost.

  15. #15
    Bloodsail Admiral Alex86el's Avatar
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    six digit crits? lol what?
    and by lots of instants, u mean ice lance spam?

  16. #16
    Question:
    Why do Frost mages (PvE) have mastery rating (Frostburn, ''All your spells deal 20% increased damage against Frozen targets.'')
    FoF doesn't benefit from mastery. I hope blizzard fix this..

    Nice guide.
    Last edited by Notix; 2011-01-02 at 02:45 PM.

  17. #17
    What i miss is en a list of what the acronyms stand for.
    I am a mage, but i'm having a hard time remembering the acronyms.
    Cataclysm = CTC | Icecrown Citadel = IC | | CLASSIC, not vanilla |

  18. #18
    Ok so to me, atleast, the spec you posted is broken. Speccing into Ice Shards is pointless because you are never going to use Blizzard on trash pulls, since we will do more dmg doing single target, and also because since IL is going to have to same range as all of your other spells you dont need the additional 5 yards. On trash your going to use RoF and FFO to gain FoF procs for IL and FFB spamming. In my personal opinion http://www.wowhead.com/talent#o0hZfM...szMo:aMmMqk0oM is the spec you should be using for raids. Also taking the FFB glyph over IL is a dps loss. You are going to be spamming IL alot more on FoF procs than you will FFB when BF procs. The FFB glyph is a high priority glyph for Fire...not frost.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Alex86el View Post
    six digit crits? lol what?
    and by lots of instants, u mean ice lance spam?
    If you have no idea on how to play Frost then read the guide, it will explain your question.

    If you cba..
    Deep Freeze
    Icelance
    Frostfire Bolt

    | Warrior Moderator | Protection Warrior Weakaura Group |

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Alex86el View Post
    six digit crits? lol what?
    and by lots of instants, u mean ice lance spam?
    u can't be playing a mage..

    hes talking about crits like 80-100k+ (deep freeze)

    when u think mage instants u think of ice lance? lul.. they got deep freeze instant on proc, frostfire bolt and so on..

    sometimes use ur brainz while reading.. :P

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