Guide to Thermally Voiding your Enemies in 7.2.5

Guides and discussions of all things specific to the Ice Lancers of Azeroth.
thingy
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Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2014 5:10 pm

Guide to Thermally Voiding your Enemies in 7.2.5

Unread postby thingy Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:56 pm

Here's a quick and dirty startup guide for the spec post-7.2.5. Hopefully this is a good starting point for some people.

Changelog
- Updated opener, stats, sim links, and common questions a bit. (July 11th, 2017)
- Updated IV, Cone of Cold, talents, stats, relics, legendaries, double ice lance removal, and other common questions in order to update for 7.2.5. Waiting on official sims to update links. (June 16th, 2017)
- Check towards the bottom for updated new questions and answers (March 13th, 2017)
- Updated for 7.2 and general fixing/adding clarifications (March 30th, 2017)

For a video guide check out my long in-depth one with Q&A at the end here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BFJKWLOKrI.
I also created a very short and to the point one for the opener and "rotation" here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTNeRQPvK6g.

These were done in 7.2 and are still mostly applicable.

What is TV?
Thermal Void is a level 100 talent that increases the base duration of our major cooldown (Icy Veins) by 10 seconds and enables us to extend it by 1 second every time we hit a frozen target with ice lance. A target is considered frozen if they are hit by a Fingers of Frost ice lance as well as if they are suffering from the Winter's Chill debuff from a Brain Freeze proc used on them - or are rooted with frost nova/freeze. The last one isn't really considered when we're raiding since bosses can't be frozen that way, but it's something to keep in mind with rootable adds during fights and mobs out in the world or when facing dungeon trash.

Much like before 7.1.5, patch 7.2 showed experienced TV frost mages could keep icy veins rolling from 70-100% of boss fights and Blizzard again wasn't too cool with that. Having Icy Veins up is a great bonus and can now be considered a DPS cooldown instead of a buff that's up for the majority of a fight. We're of course still trying to extend it as much as possible, but given the 7.2.5 changes extremely high uptimes are a thing of the past.

Ok, so how do I play it?
Here are the main abilities we use:

Icy Veins - Our main cooldown that our build revolves around. It gives us 30% haste and makes it so our casts can't be pushed back from damage. With Thermal Void it lasts 30 seconds and is on a 3 minute cooldown. Since we're playing with Thermal Void our frozen ice lances that hit during Icy Veins extend it by 1 second. Our Frostbolts that crit reduce the cooldown of Icy Veins thanks to the artifact trait Frozen Veins and we gain a 20% damage bonus for the first 20 seconds of Icy Veins thanks to the artifact trait Chilled to the Core. You will normally want to line up this cooldown with other things such as DPS potions or time warp, but under normal circumstances you want as much uptime as you can so you shouldn't delay casting it if it's off cooldown unless it's beneficial to on a certain fight.

Ebonbolt - Our Artifact Ability. Ebonbolt does high damage and generates a Brain Freeze proc. A Brain Freeze proc makes Flurry an instant cast and applies Winter's Chill to the mob it hits. Winter's Chill treats the mob as frozen for a very short period of time. You can cast the BF proc Ebonbolt generates directly after casting Ebonbolt and it will land first causing Ebonbolt to take advantage of Winter's Chill (if you're 15+ yards away from your target). It's OK to cast Ebonbolt if you have a BF proc already - just make sure you cast Flurry right after the Ebonbolt so you get your BF proc from Ebonbolt directly after that.

The new 7.2 trait Glacial Eruption creates a small 3-yard radius AOE at the target's location when you finish casting Ebonbolt. This will not hit many mobs as 3 yards is very small and may not even hit the primary target if they move right after you cast it. This is because the AOE location is determined on the target's position on cast and not when it hits. It's just a bonus that will be a small single target dps increase providing the target doesn't move as soon as you cast it. This could be a nice AOE bonus if all of the targets are stacked very tightly.

Ice Lance - Use this to consume Fingers of Frost (FoF) procs AND ALWAYS directly after consuming a Brain Freeze proc. It shoots out whatever icicles (mastery) you have stored up. FoF procs make the target be considered frozen for that ice lance cast which greatly increases the critical strike percentage of ice lance. We call this "shatter." You can hold up to 3 FoF charges. I recommend getting the WeakAuras addon and find a WeakAura string to track your 3rd charge because it's not in the UI by default. Here's a good start: https://wago.io/weakauras/classes/mage/frost. I also have a link to my WeakAuras at the bottom of this guide.

Flurry - Only cast this when consuming a Brain Freeze proc. Follow it up instantly with an ice lance for a free shattered ice lance. A flurry cast using a Brain Freeze proc is instant cast and applies Winter's Chill which treats the target as frozen for a very short period of time so in essence it's an extra FoF proc as well. It's been generally accepted to always dump your FoF procs when you get a BF proc. Then you would go Frostbolt -> Flurry -> Ice Lance.

Frozen Orb - Generates 1 FoF proc on the first hit and a chance per tick to generate more. Casting Blizzard decreases its cooldown by .5/sec per tick per mob blizzard hits. It doesn't do a ton of damage, but it has the chance to give you lots of FoF procs.

Blizzard - Our main AOE spell with a slow component. It does fair damage in a fixed area (it uses a spell targeting reticle) and decreases the cooldown of Frozen Orb by .5/sec per tick per mob it hits. Blizzard's duration and cooldown scale with haste. You want to use Blizzard any time you can hit 2+ targets with it and most likely using the talent Arctic Gale to increase its damage and area of effect.

Cone of Cold - This is an instant cast that deals low to moderate damage to targets in a close range cone and slows them by 70%. After 7.2.5 cone of cold received a damage buff. Previously it was only best used as a melee range aoe slow, but now it's worth it to cast for damage on a large number of targets (15-20+) or while moving near melee and with 0 procs. Regardless of damage, it's still a great utility spell that can help in dungeons if kiting is needed.

The new 7.2 trait Freezing Rain makes it so Blizzard is instant cast while Frozen Orb is active. This doesn't really change much aside from letting you gain the casting time of Blizzard back to use on something else. You still won't be casting it single target unless you're using the legendary belt at full stacks.

Water Jet - This is your pet water elemental's ability that I recommend making a macro for and binding it like your own ability. It's really finicky as it depends on your position, your pet's position, and casting speed. Try to cast it 2/3 of the way into your frostbolt cast and follow it up with a 2nd frostbolt. It generates a FoF proc for every frostbolt that hits the mob while it's channeling water jet into it. If you get 2 procs you're doing good.

As of 7.2 you should be able to drag the spell from your spellbook to your bars, but here's the old macro anyways:

#showtooltip
/cast Water Jet

Freeze - This is another spell from your water elemental and it shares a cooldown with Water Jet. Not typically useful for bosses, but if adds can be rooted in a fight (or in a dungeon) it generates 1 FoF per mob it roots up to 3. Extremely helpful in dungeons, but it can make your tank/healer/melee mad at you because rooted mobs attack the closest target if the top threat isn't in range.

As of 7.2 you should be able to drag the spell from your spellbook to your bars, but here's the old macro anyways:

#showtooltip
/cast Freeze

Frostbolt - Our filler spell. Frostbolt procs FoF, procs Brain Freeze, contributes to Bone Chilling (+frost dmg if talented), and when it crits it stacks Chain Reaction (artifact trait that increases damage to ice lance) and also reduces the cooldown of Icy Veins (artifact trait called Frozen Veins). You can "game" chain reaction by trying to stack it and casting saved FoF procs for higher damage, but it's a little advanced and often risky because you can lose procs in the process. If you think you can manage tracking it and playing it correctly go for it.

So there's our main dps abilities. There's no set rotation. You want to use your short cooldowns (Ebonbolt, Frozen Orb, Water Jet) as they come off cooldown. However, you want to keep this in mind while playing TV:

Do not munch procs. Losing procs is lost dps. Don't cast water jet or frozen orb when you have 2+ FoF procs. Play it safe and use your procs before you generate more. It's generally ok to sit on 1 FoF proc for a short period while you do this, but just be careful. You can lose procs and/or icy veins uptime doing so.

What should my opener be?

The great thing with TV is that as long as you are getting your abilities on cooldown and not munching procs it doesn't really matter what your opener looks like because they are all very close. Some people argue for casting frostbolts earlier to get chain reaction going, but that's relying on RNG. I say go with the smoothest feeling one. For me, I go with:

Pre-cast Ebonbolt -> Icy Veins -> Brain Freeze -> Ice Lance -> Frostbolt x2 w/ Water Jet -> Ice Lance(s) -> Frozen Orb -> Ice Lance(s).

You can ignore the Frostbolt x2 w/ Water Jet -> Ice Lance(s) if you are LW - just go straight into Frozen Orb after the Brain Freeze -> Ice Lance.

Traditionally when pre-casting you always want to try to take advantage of the long cast time spell being pre-casted so that way you don't have to do it during the fight. The fight starts with the damage from it and not the long cast time. It's important to note that the damage bonus gained from Chilled to the Core when IV is activated will buff spells in flight. IV is off the GCD so that's why we cast it directly after Ebonbolt and before BF on pull. The above opener is also still applicable when dealing with T20 bonuses.

What talents should I choose?

A good compromise between not having to play like a robot and high dps on single target is going to include:

Lonely Winter
Incanter's Flow
Frozen Touch/Splitting Ice
Unstable Magic
Thermal Void (duh)

For the time being these talents are generally very good and cookie-cutter on single target. Use your judgement on a fight-to-fight basis. 2+ targets? Pick Arctic Gale for strong blizzard damage. 2-3 target cleave? Pick Splitting Ice to hit a 2nd target for 80% of your main target's ice lance. Yes, you lose IV uptime not taking Frozen Touch, but the cleave damage and 5% to ice lance is very good (and better for some people on single target). SI+AG is very good on most fights that have 2+ targets.

For a more in-depth look at gearing and talent choices I'm going to direct you to Glynny's sim thread here: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=4546

What about for M+

Arctic Gale + Splitting Ice are great in M+ because blizzard reduces the cooldown on frozen orb. Thermal Void is great on bosses and you can even take advantage of it on trash packs if you plan it right to have it come off CD before a boss. Comet Storm can be good on trash as well especially since it covers a bit more area than it used to. Frost bomb has always been decent but not many people enjoy playing with it since it's a cast that doesn't really do anything until you hit it with frozen ice lances.

What should my stats look like?

Unfortunately, this one is going to be harder to answer. Our stats aside from mastery tend to shift up and down between each other based on our current stats. This is why it's very important to sim yourself on each gear change in order to be optimal. If you want to be optimal you NEED to sim yourself. Check this post out for a beginner's guide to SimulationCraft: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=620. You can also sim yourself using SimulationCraft on the web via http://www.raidbots.com.

- Crit is very good until 30-33%. This is because at 33.34% most frost spells vs a frozen target will have 100% crit. This is called the shatter cap. I would avoid going all-out crit just to get to this cap.

- Haste is very good most of the time. You're going to want to push for around 20% haste to start. At a certain point of gearing Versatility starts to become worth more than Haste.

- Intellect is a very good stat, but it can of course fluctuate. This normally makes ilvl upgrades more desirable.

- Versatility is a flat damage increase. It's great once you are near the shatter cap and have a good amount of haste.

- Mastery is our passive damage that builds up from casting frostbolts. These are called icicles. This is by far our worst stat as TV mages. Icicles auto-cast any that are stored (up to 5) when you ice lance. If you would get 6 it shoots off the oldest icicle at your current target.

Again, stat weights can shift based on your gear upgrades. You must sim yourself to get a better picture.

What about those damn legendaries? Oh, and relics for my weapon too?

I can tell you though that currently for Thermal Void single target the 3 best legendaries are going to be Shattered Fragments of Sindragosa, Magtheridon's Banished Bracers, and Shard of the Exodar. The new ring (Soul of the Archmage) that gives you the Frozen Touch talent isn't bad, but it's slightly below the top 3. I wouldn't worry too much about legendaries as it's completely RNG and the source of frustration to many mages. You'll get them all eventually...maybe? :)

For relics you can check Glynny's sim thread here: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=4546. Obsidian Lance, Frozen Veins, Let it Go, Clarity of Thought and Ice Age are all very good traits, but most of the time a higher ilvl relic should be an upgrade unless it's a non-dps trait. Be sure to check that link for exact details.

Common Questions! (3/30/17)

What do I cast next if I'm casting frostbolt and I have a FoF+BF proc at the same time?
If the opportunity presents itself where you are not chain casting frostbolt make sure you dump FoF procs before going into Frostbolt -> BF -> IL. Otherwise you want to make sure you continue casting the combo while disregarding that you have a FoF proc at all. Ignore it and keep doing Frostbolt -> BF -> IL. Yes, you waste a FoF proc into winter's chill, but it's better than losing a BF proc in case that frostbolt procs another BF. The above scenario can happen frequently during your Frozen Orb duration. You can try to prevent this situation during frozen orb by dumping any FoF procs you have and then casting BF -> IL (no frostbolt) to try and minimize the chance of getting an unpredictable FoF proc during that time.

What is double ice lancing?
Double ice lancing is dead! Before 7.2.5 you could land 2 non-FoF ice lances into the Winter's Chill debuff for a decent DPS gain, but that was unintended and now fixed. You can, however, still do it while running forward towards your target at high haste (and most likely a running speed buff), but it's not very beneficial anymore. You can also "shimmerlance." Shimmerlancing means at high haste you would go BF -> Ice Lance -> Shimmer towards your target -> Ice lance. Again, it's a very small gain and could hurt your positioning or raid if done incorrectly or not carefully.

Everyone I see uses LW! Should I be BC or LW?
This greatly depends on your individual character's sims. As people started farming heroic/mythic NH gear it became apparent that LW started to scale better than BC. It's not a huge difference, but it's still better and you don't have to micromanage a pet.

Should I delay my Frozen Orb for Icy Veins to come back up?
After a bunch of simming it was determined that as long as you are not losing an orb cast over the course of the fight it's either neutral or a very slight gain (less than 1%) on average to delay your frozen orb with icy veins. I wouldn't delay it more than 20-25 seconds and it depends on your boss kill times as well. When you get T20 2pc bonus it will be important to line up your IV with frozen orb so you get the critical damage bonus during your DPS cooldown. It will get interesting with the T20 4pc bonus since your frozen orb should be coming up much quicker than your IV. You won't want to delay your Frozen Orb for more than a few seconds with the T20 4pc.

Should I track Incanter's Flow and hold off on procs until it gets high?
This is sort of like trying to game Chain Reaction - it can be a very minor gain, but also risky enough where you can alter your gameplay and lose procs because of it. I personally treat it as a passive and forget it even exists.

If I have the legendary bracers should I use non-FoF ice lances to keep the stacks going?
No. It's been simmed as a slight dps loss. Don't bother with it and treat it as a nice passive bonus to ice lance.

I have the legendary belt. Should I be casting blizzard on single target?
Spec into Arctic Gale and cast blizzard at 5 stacks on single target.

Speaking of Blizzard, when exactly do I blizzard?
You should try to blizzard as a priority just above Frostbolt as filler on 2 targets. At 3+ targets you should try to cast it on cooldown. If you're going to blizzard make sure to take Arctic Gale for the extra wide area and increased damage. Remember - blizzard reduces the CD on frozen orb so if you can get any extra orbs during the fight it can be a good increase. The new 7.2 trait Freezing Rain does not change any of this.


Who are you?

I play the character Thingy on US-Blackhand. I'm currently 7/7M, 3/3M, 10/10M, and 9/9M. I've played every mage spec since BC, but Frost is my favorite. My logs are decent, but I'm far from perfect. I'm just writing this to help answer some frequently asked questions in the Altered-Time Discord. I know this isn't an exact science guide, but I hope this helps people get their feet wet!

Feel free to look me up on the Altered-Time Discord (thingy), YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/c/thingmabobby) or Twitch (http://twitch.tv/thingmabobby). Please don't whisper me in-game as the above ways are much easier for me to talk to you!

Edit: A lot of people saw my WeakAuras in action on my YouTube so here's the link to them: http://pastebin.com/JqfUdswW
Last edited by thingy on Fri Oct 27, 2017 4:24 pm, edited 23 times in total.
Drozzy
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Re: Guide to Thermally Voiding your Enemies in 7.1.5

Unread postby Drozzy Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:37 pm

Hey, I'm Drozzy-Mal'ganis, also 7/7, 2/3M. I've noticed how significant the activity differences are between the spec forums. As a high-ranking frost mage on most fights, I felt the urge to try to draw more mages to the frost spec, so here I am. Since the new patch has devalued thermal void so much, I figured I would share some of my own experiences with the new patch, to help people learn how to get the best results out of their frost spec. Personally, I have Vashj gloves and Mag bracers, so I'll be trying to give input on talent choices depending on your legendaries. Vashj gloves or shard of exodar make you significantly more capable of maintaining icy veins, but if you can, find a way to track the gloves so you don't accidently waste an ice lance by gaining the proc right after you use brain freeze. With vashj, I would almost always recommend bonechilling because having water jet gets extra value since longer icy veins is especially beneficial if you get an extra FoF out of vashj.

But, a major flaw with TV 7.1.5 is our reliance on good frozen orb rng. Logs weren't running yet, but with good procs on a 4 minute mythic Ursoc fight, i pulled 640k dps(note, I'm 893 with possibly optimal legendaries). I managed to get a nearly 2 minute icy veins(with lust) on 7.1.5 because of good frozen orbs on 1-2 targets on the Ursoc fight. Getting good FoF procs with your frozen orb is extremely impactful on the duration of your icy veins, and the biggest breakpoint in your dps will be whether or not you can get use your second frozen orb before icy veins falls off. Even with vashj bracers, this is very difficult now. If you can't ever reach this breakpoint, I would consider testing out lonely winter to smooth out the rotation and give more reliable results. Tier sets should make reaching this breakpoint far more reliable. I believe that tier for frost mages will be extremely strong, both 2 piece and 4 piece are very significant buffs to thermal void.

Personally, I always run splitting ice now. Frozen touch just feels extremely lackluster now, whereas splitting ice is incredibly strong. Splitting ice is most likely even stronger than it used to be, because of the ice lance damage buffs, and frozen touch being nerfed just makes it very clear to me. getting an extra ~5% chance per instance to get FoF versus having splitting ice is a pretty easy comparison to me. As per my previous example with Ursoc, I used splitting ice on Ursoc and I feel it easily gave me atleast a 50k dps gain. Big payoff for very little dps loss in pure single target fights.

The last thing I think is important to mention, is frost mage's very competitive aoe now. with frost bomb(or arctic gale, they're fairly close), splitting ice, and thermal void, we can perform very well. We can easily maintain thermal void if we have a decent number of mobs, by using ice lance almost every global, except for when we recast blizzard. On many large trash groups while I cleared this week (5+), I was able to compete with fire mages who had the DD helm. We don't have bursty aoe, but once there are enough targets, we can aoe for very long (sometimes infinite) periods of time with thermal void, frozen orb, and blizzard almost always running. This could very well also apply in M+'s if you have a tank who can survive while chainpulling, helping you maintain your icy veins.

Hope I either helped someone improve their frost spec, or helped someone decide which of the 3 specs they're going to aim to main. I'm always open to answering questions, so feel free to ask me anything. We gotta work together to show those arcane mages who's boss!
Venno
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Re: Guide to Thermally Voiding your Enemies in 7.1.5

Unread postby Venno Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:51 pm

Great guide.

Just for people without the gloves, you can hit frozen orb just before icy veins for a slightly better chance of a having it back up in time.

Otherwise everything here matches how I play.
topsu
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Re: Guide to Thermally Voiding your Enemies in 7.1.5

Unread postby topsu Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:58 pm

Isn't mirror image better than IF?
thingy
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Re: Guide to Thermally Voiding your Enemies in 7.1.5

Unread postby thingy Fri Jan 13, 2017 12:04 am

Thanks for the input Drozzy - it's always good to see another Frost mage doing well. I agree with you in that your uptime really depends on how lucky you get with frozen orb. It's unfortunate, but that's the way it is. It does seem to be more normalized this patch so far as I haven't cast one without getting less than 2 procs, but who knows. As far as Frozen Touch vs Splitting Ice goes well...more RNG. I loved having the on demand procs from the old Frozen Touch, but the new one isn't too shabby to be honest. Spliting Ice does very good damage, but if you can't cleave with it Frozen Touch ends up beating it out. I have the gloves and bracers as well and I would expect the +5% ice lance damage from Splitting Ice in combination with the bracers to boost it up (and it probably does), but it's not quite enough on single target. I forgot to swap to splitting ice for mythic ursoc this week and still did 643k on a sloppy 2:47 kill with frozen touch. Here's my latest sims if you're interested:

Image

I do believe you're spot on about Frost's new AoE. I'm looking forward to testing it out more in the future.
Just for people without the gloves, you can hit frozen orb just before icy veins for a slightly better chance of a having it back up in time.
Thanks for your non-glove comparison, Venno! :) I choose to delay frozen orb a bit in order to avoid munching at all costs. Sometimes if you're lucky enough it just floods you with them.
Isn't mirror image better than IF?
All of my personal sims show IF higher than MI by ~8k, but that could change. I'd swap to it if an encounter required on demand burst for sure.
Venno
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Re: Guide to Thermally Voiding your Enemies in 7.1.5

Unread postby Venno Fri Jan 13, 2017 1:59 am

Hey just saw the weakauras, will give them a shot. I'm using powered's WA's now but they feel too busy.

Many thanks!!

Oh and question: has anyone tried adding blizzard into the ST rotation to bring down the frozen orb CD? I got a second frozen orb in IV off with this on a target dummy, but the overall damage didn't feel like an increase. Although that was just one test so not the best sample size :P
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Norrinir
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Re: Guide to Thermally Voiding your Enemies in 7.1.5

Unread postby Norrinir Fri Jan 13, 2017 2:04 am

Blizzard is only worth it on 2+ enemies. Against a single enemy, the reduction is not strong enough to make up for the lost Frostbolt casts.

Not sure about Arctic Gale and single enemy, probably depends on your particular stats/talent build.
Venno
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Re: Guide to Thermally Voiding your Enemies in 7.1.5

Unread postby Venno Fri Jan 13, 2017 2:44 am

Blizzard is only worth it on 2+ enemies. Against a single enemy, the reduction is not strong enough to make up for the lost Frostbolt casts.

Not sure about Arctic Gale and single enemy, probably depends on your particular stats/talent build.
Yeah my instinct says the same thing. Even with Arctic Gale, you'd lose UM so doesn't feel worth (unless you already have the talent selected i.e. m+ run or something).
Padde
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Re: Guide to Thermally Voiding your Enemies in 7.1.5

Unread postby Padde Fri Jan 13, 2017 2:59 am

Thanks a lot for this =) been learning from your YouTube videos and I'm finding a lot of success with the TV build (also got the legendary gloves+shard of the exodar). Managed to get within top 50 recently for M Ursoc, which may not seem like a lot but its a first for me so just thanks for making your videos =).
Been running a lot of m+ this week and for fortified packs splitting ice+frost bomb is extremely good. Like Drozzy mentioned we are very viable with it.
I do however find it very sad to see that the barrier to entry for the spec are the gloves and I feel that a lot of people would be frustrated playing the build. I've seen IV uptimes ranging from 34% to 60% which seems way too much variance in my eyes at least. Finally I'd like to ask how LW can sim higher than BC. It seems counter intutive as Water Jet is one of our secure ways of getting FoF. Perhaps its the NH set that compensates for it. Either way I'm sure its something I'm missing.
Last edited by Padde on Fri Jan 13, 2017 2:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
kzn
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Re: Guide to Thermally Voiding your Enemies in 7.1.5

Unread postby kzn Fri Jan 13, 2017 3:57 am

A couple questions I've been unable to find an answer for:

1) I have Zann'esu Journey. At what point does Blizzard become worth casting on ST? I'm currently using it when I have 2+ stacks of the buff, but I don't even remember where I got that from now.

[edit] Current APL says only when you have 5 stacks, so I guess that's what I'll go with.

2) What do I do if I'm casting Ebonbolt and the Frostbolt that I just cast procs BF? Do I cancel Ebon to avoid munching a BF, or do I munch it and save the cast time?

[edit] Also, Frost can do serious burst AoE with Ice Nova/CmS as long as you abuse shatter correctly. The burst doesn't last as long as a fire mage who's blowing cds, but it bursts much higher for much less time.
Lammer
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Re: Guide to Thermally Voiding your Enemies in 7.1.5

Unread postby Lammer Fri Jan 13, 2017 9:08 am

Could you please write the AoE opening sequence for SI/FB/TV and IN/FB/CS builds (including Freeze from pet) with RoP and the priority list during the fight: what to cast first, what next etc.


1 more question: why should we exclude FB from the shatter combo after 7.1.5 came out? Did FB flight time change or?

and 1 more question: if I am casting FB, having on BF proc, and mid-cast I get FoF proc, what proc should I dump first?
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Norrinir
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Re: Guide to Thermally Voiding your Enemies in 7.1.5

Unread postby Norrinir Fri Jan 13, 2017 1:10 pm

AoE opening sequence looks roughly like this: Blizzard, Frozen Orb, apply Frost Bomb, cast Rune of Power if talented, dump FoF, Freeze at 0 FoF, dump some more. If you have IN and CS, you dump FoF, cast CS, wait ~1 sec, cast Freeze and follow it up with IN, then dump more FoF.

The reason to do this is that Freeze has 0.5 sec grace period where it cannot break and so does Ice Nova. If you cast Ice Nova near the end of the grace period, you have almost 1 sec worth of Shatter applying to Blizzard, Frozen Orb and Comet Storm.

Frostbolt-Flurry-Ice Lance combo still works, but with the nerfs to Chain Reaction, it is not as impactful. The gain you get from munching less Brain Freeze procs is bigger than the gain from better Chain Reaction uptime (and all that other stuff you get from Frostbolt crits).

If you're casting Frostbolt and have both procs, you want to use FoF first.
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Norrinir
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Re: Guide to Thermally Voiding your Enemies in 7.1.5

Unread postby Norrinir Fri Jan 13, 2017 1:14 pm

2) What do I do if I'm casting Ebonbolt and the Frostbolt that I just cast procs BF? Do I cancel Ebon to avoid munching a BF, or do I munch it and save the cast time?
When I tried simming this, both options produced pretty much the same DPS. You can try cancelling the Ebonbolt, but only if you notice the Brain Freeze quick enough (< 0.5 sec).
Drozzy
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Re: Guide to Thermally Voiding your Enemies in 7.1.5

Unread postby Drozzy Fri Jan 13, 2017 6:55 pm

Thingy, what version of simcraft are you using, as well as what fight duration are you using? I'm using nightly builds as well as 5 minute fight durations and my max sims are only up at 577k dps. And i certainly don't think that's because of a gear discrepancy, we're almost identically geared.
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Re: Guide to Thermally Voiding your Enemies in 7.1.5

Unread postby thingy Fri Jan 13, 2017 7:10 pm

The latest nightly was bugged with travel distances resulting in lower simmed dps. I'm not sure if it's fixed in the current nightly yet.
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Re: Guide to Thermally Voiding your Enemies in 7.1.5

Unread postby Zulandia Fri Jan 13, 2017 7:19 pm

The latest nightly was bugged with travel distances resulting in lower simmed dps. I'm not sure if it's fixed in the current nightly yet.
It should be but if you continue finding issues after commit a0a9385 use this issue report: https://github.com/simulationcraft/simc/issues/3367" target="_blank
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Re: Guide to Thermally Voiding your Enemies in 7.1.5

Unread postby Samj Fri Jan 13, 2017 8:08 pm

Thanks so much for putting this guide together Thingy et al.

I have a couple of questions WRT things that I'm encountering that seem kinda tricky.

1. Should I begin casting a frostbolt after I launch my frozen orb? It feels a bit unnatural to stand there doing nothing while I wait for the orb to fly, so for that reason I've been casting a frostbolt as it travels.

The alternative is to let my frozen orb travel the full distance and give me my initial ice lance (plus potentially more). The fear is, of course, that during the cast of the frostbolt, I might get up to 3 FoF and potentially a 4th, 5th, etc... and when the frostbolt lands, I may get a FoF as well.

2. I'm a bit confused by this in the guide:
Then you would go Frostbolt -> Flurry -> Ice Lance. The sim APL changed this to munch less procs when we get our T19 2pc! You should get in the habit of NOT casting that frostbolt first now.
Is the TLDR here basically "continue doing Frostbolt prior to flurry every time you get a flurry proc, until you have the nighthold 2pc, then stop doing that"?

Additionally, as a new frost mage, it's not been entirely clear to me why I would want to cast frostbolt prior to flurry? Is the idea here that the flurry will hit before my frostbolt, making the frostbolt-casted-beforehand hit during Winter's Chill?

3. I'm never quite sure of the DPS loss implications of *cancelling a cast when I get a proc*. Specifically these two examples:
  • I cast a frostbolt and while it's in-flight, I cast an ebonbolt. Partawy through casting said ebonbolt, my FF has procced a brain freeze.
  • I cast frozen orb, and am partway through casting a subsequent frostbolt and I, due to a very lucky frozen orb, immediately get up to 3 FoF.
Do I cancel casts in either of those scenarios to prevent wasting a proc?
Last edited by Samj on Fri Jan 13, 2017 8:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Norrinir
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Re: Guide to Thermally Voiding your Enemies in 7.1.5

Unread postby Norrinir Fri Jan 13, 2017 8:26 pm

If you are not sure, just ABC - Always Be Casting. Overcapping on FoF by casting Frostbolt is not a concern - you lose out more by not doing anything while Orb travels than by potentially risking wasting FoF in very rare cases. Overcapping on BF because of Ebonbolt can be a concern but as I stated above, it doesn't matter if you cancel Ebonbolt or not.

To answer your second question: we were doing Frostbolt -> Flurry -> Ice Lance because if you stand far enough, both Ice Lance and Frostbolt get the Shatter bonus. With the changes in 7.1.5, this combo became DPS neutral (or very slightly DPS negative), with 2set is becomes DPS negative.
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Re: Guide to Thermally Voiding your Enemies in 7.1.5

Unread postby Drozzy Fri Jan 13, 2017 8:57 pm

1. Should I begin casting a frostbolt after I launch my frozen orb? It feels a bit unnatural to stand there doing nothing while I wait for the orb to fly, so for that reason I've been casting a frostbolt as it travels.
If you cast frozen orb while you have 0 FoF, the most it can give you on contact is 2 FoF. One guaranteed and one from a good roll. Since Orb can only give you a FoF every time it deals damage, if there's only 1 target and you're using ice lance every global, its unlikely that the orb would generate more FoF than you can hold, but that would require at least like 5 ticks of frozen orb in a row all granting FoF, which is just very very unlikely to ever happen. Because of that, I've been using 2 frostbolts before i start spamming ice lances on opener, because I still advocate fishing for chain reaction when you can afford to.
a new frost mage, it's not been entirely clear to me why I would want to cast frostbolt prior to flurry? Is the idea here that the flurry will hit before my frostbolt, making the frostbolt-casted-beforehand hit during Winter's Chill?
This is a tricky thing, because it's very annoying. if flurry hits before your frostbolt, it will make the frostbolt always crit, which A) means it does crit damage and B) it gives chain reaction. Because of how flurry's travel time works, it won't ALWAYS hit before frostbolt. flurry moves faster the longer it has been airborne. It's not an exact science (well it probably is, but I don't know it), but on normal size mobs (same size as you), I generally aim to be atleast 25-30 yards away. If you ever cast frostbolt->flurry and the frostbolt doesn't crit (monitoring chain reaction is a good way to tell), you know you're too close. Large enemies like dragons or xavius mess with this timing since the spells also have a vertical travel component. When possible, always err on the side of farther away. BUT, because of the chain reaction and frostbolt nerfs, getting your frostbolts to crit means less, and because of buffs to ice lance, flurry, (and brain freeze proc rate with tier), munching procs is even worse than before. If sims are showing higher dps by opting on the side of not risking munching procs, that is probably the safer bet. Which is great, because it's simpler, easier and it takes away the distance-positional requirement we have to use with flurry right now.
3. I'm never quite sure of the DPS loss implications of *cancelling a cast when I get a proc*. Specifically these two examples:
  • I am part way through casting an ebonbolt and I get a brain freeze proc from the frostbolt I casted that was in-flight prior to starting to cast ebonbolt
  • I cast frozen orb, and am partway through casting a subsequent frostbolt and I, due to a very lucky frozen orb, immediately get up to 3 FoF
Do I cancel casts in either of those scenarios?
So, an important thing to make note of is that frostbolt generates brain freeze or FoF ON CAST. as in when the cast finishes, NOT when it deals damage. Frozen orb generates on damage, but frostbolt does not. So for the first case, optimally, you would see that you got brain freeze just as you started casting ebonbolt, and you could cancel the ebonbolt and brain freeze immediately, into ice lance, and then cast your ebonbolt. If you're fast enough, you could maybe even get the frostbolt to crit still. Brain freeze flurries do an extremely high amount of damage (because flurry is very high damage, as well as it basically being a FoF proc because of the ice lance after it). So I would do everything you can to NEVER munch a brain freeze. I would probably even cancel an ebonbolt that was more than halfway done casting so as to not munch a brain freeze proc.
But in the second case, It depends on how many targets you're fighting. Against one target, since frozen orb can only generate on each instance of damage, you can probably finish the frostbolt. Yes you could then possibly munch a FoF proc from the frostbolt, but if you stopped casting it, you wouldn't get it either. So I would just ignore that possibility. The frostbolt has a chance to give you a brain freeze, which is great, and you will probably finish the frostbolt and cast an ice lance before the frozen orb manages to generate another proc. Against 2+ targets, I would definitely cancel the frostbolt. Not only because each tick of the frozen orb would be at least twice as likely to generate FoF (because it hits each target each tick), but also because ice lance does far more damage at 2+ targets, because of splitting ice, and to a lesser extent, frost bomb if you're using it. however, on single target, I would mostly just advise practicing until you don't put yourself in the situation. While you have frozen orb out, never sit on 2+ FoF if you can help it. if you ever have more than 1 FoF after your frozen orb has started dealing damage, I would burn down to atleast 1. If you do that, the only real situation where you'd be casting frostbolt while you have 3 FoF from the orb would be your first frostbolt casts while your orb is moving to the boss. Since the orb's travel time varies based on your distance and the size of the target's hitbox, it's hard to give an exact answer. but in general, if the orb is only hitting 1 target, I'd say it's fine to finish your frostbolt cast (especially if its at least halfway done casting already). I'm speaking purely from experience, I'm not certain of how sims would respond.
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Re: Guide to Thermally Voiding your Enemies in 7.1.5

Unread postby Samj Fri Jan 13, 2017 9:04 pm

Wow thank you so much Norrinir & Drozzy. Hugely helpful and detailed responses :)

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