[BFA 8.0] Frost Mage M+ Guide

Guides and discussions of all things specific to the Ice Lancers of Azeroth.
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Herux
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[BFA 8.0] Frost Mage M+ Guide

Unread postby Herux Mon Jul 24, 2017 10:03 am

Frost Mage in BFA for M+
Up to date as of Oct 3rd, check spoilers for list of changes Table of Contents
Gear

Stat Priority
Frost mage stats for M+ will essentially be the same as for raid, but as usual Always SIM yourself.
Check out the post here to learn how to sim yourself. There is also a well maintained website that makes simming yourself really simple and easy. Azerite Traits
Azerite traits are the new relics/legendary effects for BFA and just like in Legion there are clear winners and clear losers. In this section I'll highlight the best traits for ST, AOE, and Defensive traits. As well as giving my suggestions on potential combinations of traits.

Single Target Traits
The best single target traits for M+ aren't as clear cut and easy to follow as it is for raid. Some traits can gain or lose value depending on things such as fight length, how often you're in combat, and even the traits value on BOTH single target and AoE. In this section I'll highlight the top 5 most useful traits to have for M+. Remember Azerite gear is limited, you won't always have the best options available to you. So make sure you sim yourself and use what you have available. AOE Traits
AOE traits for Frost are largely dominated by stat proc based traits such as https://www.wowhead.com/spell=280555/ar ... the-titans and https://www.wowhead.com/spell=273823/bl ... e-infusion. Just like with the single target traits, I'll list the top 5 most useful traits for AoE, that you might have glanced over on simming websites. Defensive Traits
With a dedicated slot for defensive traits, Azerite gear can largely make up for the lack of survivability that Mage's tend to have in M+. There are 12 defensive traits available and I'll list the ones that I find useful and where its useful.

Trinkets
Unlike in Legion we can't swap gear in M+ in BFA, because of that you have to decide what trinkets you want to take for the entirety of the dungeon. Luckily there are some trinkets that excel in both ST and in AOE. Just like traits, trinkets that have secondary stat procs tend to perform better than those with damage procs. More so because damage trinkets now split evenly between all targets hit.
-note that high titanforged WQ trinkets, PvP trinkets, and Raid trinkets can be just as valuable. Remember to always sim what you got.

ST Trinkets
Just like in Raid your ST trinkets will remain almost identical, but I'll put some specific trinkets. Here's a quick rundown of some of the top trinkets for ST:


AOE Trinkets
With the removal of high burst AOE trinkets like https://www.wowhead.com/item=151962/pro ... =3612:1502 and https://www.wowhead.com/item=151969/ter ... =3612:1502, much of your AOE damage is going to come from your own spells. With trinkets boosting your secondary stats. Here's a quick rundown of the top trinkets for AOE:

Talents
The go-to talent setup as of now focuses on strong priority target burst damage with http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=199786/glacial-spike and strong burst AOE with http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=153595/comet-storm. Talent builds are not set in stone, being able to change to a different talent depending on the dungeon will provide better damage output.

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Per Dungeon Talents
The argument of https://www.wowhead.com/spell=56377/splitting-ice vs https://www.wowhead.com/spell=153595/comet-storm vs https://www.wowhead.com/spell=270233/freezing-rain as well as https://www.wowhead.com/spell=235224/frigid-winds vs https://www.wowhead.com/spell=205036/ice-ward in m+ will largely come down to the group comp you run, the types of pulls you do, and dungeon specific/affix specific situations. That being said in this section I'll list what talent is most suitable for dungeon specific and affix specific situations.
Affix Specific
Dungeon Specific
Racials
Racials in M+ make a huge difference compared to its counterpart. Apart from DPS gains with races like Troll http://www.wowhead.com/spell=26297/berserking or Dwarf http://www.wowhead.com/spell=59224/migh ... e-mountain, the utility certain races provide make up for certain aspects Frost lacks in. Get accustomed to your racial, you never know how useful it might be! The top 3 racials to have in M+ are:


Spells and Cooldowns
This part of the guide isn't going to map out each button press to the dot. It's going to give you general guidelines to take advantage of the weird timings that come with M+. Along with Utility spells most people don't even have binded!

Main Cooldowns Utility Spells
  • Lastly, DO NOT FORGET ABOUT http://www.wowhead.com/spell=2139/counterspell. Kicking casts in M+ is more important than most people realize. A lot of mobs have spells that can easily kill you or your entire group. Now obviously knowing what to kick and what to let by comes with practice and experience, but just keep in mind to kick casts. If you're lucky you might be with a good group that can guide you to interrupt casts. Otherwise trial and error!
Minor Defensive Spells
We have one minor defensive, http://www.wowhead.com/spell=11426/ice-barrier. It is arguably the best minor absorb in the game. With a 25 sec CD and 60 sec duration, it'll help you get through A LOT of mechanics without having to use http://www.wowhead.com/spell=45438/ice-block. Use it religiously it'll save your healer some mana and ultimately make the run go quicker. Less time wasted on healing in between packs means a quicker run.

Tips and Tricks
Here are some tips and tricks that can either improve QoL or even provide big DPS increases that you might not have known about.

The biggest tip I can give you in M+ is keybind http://www.wowhead.com/spell=30449/spellsteal. It is in my opinion one of the most useful aspects of being a mage in M+. There is a huge range of mob abilities that can be spellstolen as well as purged, here's some of the most notable:

The best way to keep an eye out for these buffs is to either download an addon that displays the spellstealable buffs clearly or through Elvui, which gives an option to highlight spellstealable buffs with a yellow border. There may be other ways to track it that I'm not aware of but I personally go about it through Elvui.

Apart from http://www.wowhead.com/spell=30449/spellsteal there are plenty of innovative and cool ways to use our spell kit to either mitigate or negate entire mechanics. Spells like http://www.wowhead.com/spell=236645/shimmer and http://www.wowhead.com/spell=45438/ice-block.


Weakauras
Apart from the standard spell cooldown and buff trackers there are a couple of weakauras I use specifically to help me with M+.


Addons
I personally do not use a lot of addons specific to M+ and don't find any of them to be particularly useful. There are however a few general addons that are a must if you're serious about pushing keys.

  • DBM
  • LittleWigs
    • just like in raid, its your biggest tool for M+ bosses.
  • Weakauras
    • To take advantage of those awesome weakauras I listed.
  • Details!
    • or any other damage meter. However I recommend getting one that shows damage taken and death recounts accurately so that you can learn what abilities are killing you.

Consumables and Miscellaneous Items
With every dungeon you should be prepared to come in with at least:


So what's your role as a Frost Mage?
I'll split this up into two categories one for Farming either for the gear or the weekly and the other for Pushing Keys.

Farming
Your role as a Frost mage will predominately be high burst AoE dps and slows, but that doesn't mean you should slack on your ST DPS. Although Frost ST dps isn't the highest simming dps, the shorter fight lengths should allow you to keep up with most dps. We also provide great Utility for some of the trickier Affixes. If its http://www.wowhead.com/affix=2/skittish, http://www.wowhead.com/affix=4 week kite the adds and help your tank. Frost is also amazing at killing http://www.wowhead.com/affix=13/explosive and managing trash health during http://www.wowhead.com/affix=7/bolstering weeks with http://www.wowhead.com/spell=56377/splitting-ice. Don't be afraid to soak mechanics with http://www.wowhead.com/spell=45438/ice-block and control adds with http://www.wowhead.com/spell=30449/spellsteal and http://www.wowhead.com/spell=219407/polymorph. Just like in Raid we're not just a reliable source of damage, we also have great utility for all sorts of mechanics.

Pushing Keys
When it comes to pushing keys your main role will be to provide constant slows, high AoE burst, and strong priority target damage. As a mage you should be aware of what mobs are CC'able with http://www.wowhead.com/spell=219407/polymorph and what mobs to https://www.wowhead.com/spell=30449/spellsteal. Track your party's https://www.wowhead.com/spell=57723/exhaustion debuff. Know what mechanics you can immune with http://www.wowhead.com/spell=45438/ice-block and avoid with http://www.wowhead.com/spell=236645/shimmer. As far as damage is concerned you should be doing the standard rotation for ST. On AoE maintain high uptime on http://www.wowhead.com/spell=190356/blizzard and hit as many targets as you can with http://www.wowhead.com/spell=84714/frozen-orb.

Weakaura Links
I've made my own Frost mage weakaura set, as well as one for Arcane, that are tailored more for M+ than for raid.

Aside from Frost specific things regarding M+, a lot of your success in pushing keys comes with a lot of practice. Being knowledgeable with all the dungeons takes time. Min/Maxing every little thing you can takes a lot of practice and execution. Remember that M+ is a race against a timer, every little thing adds up.


Feel free to add your insight, I'm more then welcome to new ideas and strategies. Also if you think I'm wrong feel free to correct it I'm more than willing to admit fault.

If you see me on discord feel free to ask questions, currently going by Herusx
Have fun pushing keys :D
Last edited by Herux on Sun Oct 07, 2018 2:40 am, edited 128 times in total.
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Herux
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Re: Frost Mage M+ Guide for 7.2.5

Unread postby Herux Mon Jul 24, 2017 10:08 am

Reserving for further dungeon specific tips and tricks
nirdana
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Re: Frost Mage M+ Guide for 7.2.5

Unread postby nirdana Mon Jul 24, 2017 11:00 am

In arcway if it happens and http://www.wowhead.com/npc=105617/eredar-chaosbringerr finish the cast called http://www.wowhead.com/spell=226285/demonic-ascension you can also spellsteal it and kill the mob without facing transformed deadly creature.
Merlinuz
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Re: Frost Mage M+ Guide for 7.2.5

Unread postby Merlinuz Mon Jul 24, 2017 11:06 am

Nice frost M+ guide here.
Sth to point out:
KJ/Active isnt bad in M+, they can both activate when M+ begins so you can equip KJ/pharamere and fire KJ/orb for the first big pack of trash mobs. Then you swap with other trinkets.
Better have different gear set, so you can fully use legos like sephuz in trash/shard right after boss/soul when sephuz is on CD. Btw if you are going to use shard just check your M+ mates have lust/heroism to avoid waste of lust.
Active trinket have 30s CD when equipped, so better check/estimate how your tank pull the mobs before you equip it.
Spellsteal can be used as purge like Demonic Ascension
Invis can be used as threat clear. For example in EoA King Deepbeard, you can aggro the two giants at the gate and tell your teamates going in, then press invis. If you time well then you can go in right after the giants going back to their position. Or told your healer to res you,
SI may not be very optimal choice in some dungeons. For example in EoA Serpentrix you prob will aggro seagull or crabs which most likely disorient your tanks and lead to your melee's death. I guess you may do so if you need to settle the score.
pidgeyqt
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Re: Frost Mage M+ Guide for 7.2.5

Unread postby pidgeyqt Mon Jul 24, 2017 11:25 am

Don't forget that you can use spellsteal like a purge, for example the demonic ascension from chaosbringers in arcway.
Katsumi
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Re: Frost Mage M+ Guide for 7.2.5

Unread postby Katsumi Mon Jul 24, 2017 2:11 pm

Sticky please, this is outstanding work.
Pio
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Re: Frost Mage M+ Guide for 7.2.5

Unread postby Pio Tue Jul 25, 2017 10:27 am

Thank you for the great write up !!
Katsumi
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Re: Frost Mage M+ Guide for 7.2.5

Unread postby Katsumi Tue Jul 25, 2017 11:40 am

Herux,

thank you again for this guide. I was intrigued by your recommendations for AOE legendaries and have since tried both of the Rings with some success. While you could theoretically proc Sephuz on cooldown, interrupting a particular spell always takes priority. In some occasions that can also mean interrupting on cooldown, which makes you lose out on the proc. Therefore, I also prefer the other ring as well.

What I was wondering is whether that combination would make Frost Bomb the better choice compared to Arctic Gale (I'll try that tonight). You have procs for days and you could line it up nicely. Frost Bomb > Orb > Blizzard > IL would give you a Frost Bomb for the full duration of the T20 2pc while still getting the Orb CD reduction. Napkin math is pretty convincing for it as well.

I'd also be curious what you think about running Sephuz & Ice Time on Trash. Proccing Sephuz on cooldown is guaranteed with this due to the Nova / Sephuz interaction. Since it can crit for almost a million it might overcompensate the DPS loss from the bracers (which take some time to ramp up) on larger packs. While you'd lose T19 2pc you'd gain good stats on the shoulders and Sephuz, higher ilvl on your other T19 item and a reliable high Sephuz uptime. You just have to be careful sometimes not to use your Orb too early if the pack doesn't have a caster in it.

Another combination I was curious about would be Sephuz & Soul, paired with Ice Nova and Frost Bomb. Nova also triggers Sephuz reliably, which could be used to make sure it overlaps with everything else. That would certainly cost you some boss damage, but during fortified weeks it could well be worth it.
Artë
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Re: Frost Mage M+ Guide for 7.2.5

Unread postby Artë Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:55 pm

Great guide Herux !

Another tips for the Ice Block soak part:

In KZ Upper, on the Wyrm boss, your group need to soak many balls in order to prevent the boss AoE. And mage is really strong on this one if you got a rat as a mount for this boss.

So just climb on your rat, and Iceblock during the spawning balls phase. The rat allow you to moove during your IceBlock and thanks to this, you can soak two spwan during the fight. (Cold Snap)

Not really usefull on small key, but for 20+key or tyrannical one it's a nice advantage.

Like you said, switch gear is primordial in high MM+ and sometimes, i use IceTime legendary for big packs of adds with less pv (Imp in CoS, Rats in Arcway, Crab in EoA...)
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ezekielyo
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Re: Frost Mage M+ Guide for 7.2.5

Unread postby ezekielyo Tue Jul 25, 2017 6:24 pm


In KZ Upper, on the Wyrm boss, your group need to soak many balls in order to prevent the boss AoE. And mage is really strong on this one if you got a rat as a mount for this boss.

So just climb on your rat, and Iceblock during the spawning balls phase. The rat allow you to moove during your IceBlock and thanks to this, you can soak two spwan during the fight. (Cold Snap)
I've only ever tried frost once in upper kara but there was a bug with the rat making my orb fly off into the sky and do absolutely 0. Ever encounter such a think? Also, it's not possible to blink on the rats either afaik?
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Herux
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Re: Frost Mage M+ Guide for 7.2.5

Unread postby Herux Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:27 pm

I've only ever tried frost once in upper kara but there was a bug with the rat making my orb fly off into the sky and do absolutely 0. Ever encounter such a think? Also, it's not possible to blink on the rats either afaik?
Haha yea the rat makes for some interesting interactions, but there's ways around it! For frozen orb all you need to do is get in melee range of the boss for the orb to actually path into hit range. Which isn't a problem cause you can cast while moving.

Also you can in fact blink while using the rat and even move around with ice block. Tested to the fullest this week and it works like a charm!
freemage
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Re: Frost Mage M+ Guide for 7.2.5

Unread postby freemage Tue Jul 25, 2017 11:11 pm

hi thx for the guide
how can I displays the spellstealable yellow border using elvui ?
i have been looking in my elvui configuration for an hour and cant find it .
Artë
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Re: Frost Mage M+ Guide for 7.2.5

Unread postby Artë Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:07 am

Yes, you cant blink with the rat. But you can double IL during your burst with it thanks to the move speed.
And like Herux said, you need to be in melee range for your orb.
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Herux
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Re: Frost Mage M+ Guide for 7.2.5

Unread postby Herux Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:17 am

hi thx for the guide
how can I displays the spellstealable yellow border using elvui ?
i have been looking in my elvui configuration for an hour and cant find it .
Sorry to say but even I can't remember how to get the yellow border on the spellstealable buffs. If I do figure it out again I'll make sure to update this guide. Sorry :(
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Dutchmagoz
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Re: [7.2.5] Frost Mage M+ Guide

Unread postby Dutchmagoz Thu Jul 27, 2017 1:36 pm

Stickied the thread! Very useful guide, thanks for writing it.
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skeletonpoop
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Re: [7.2.5] Frost Mage M+ Guide

Unread postby skeletonpoop Thu Jul 27, 2017 9:13 pm

Will polymorph always put you in combat with the thing you polymorph? I feel like I often poly something out of combat, skip that mob and a minute later that thing comes back to me angry as hell
Zulandia
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Re: [7.2.5] Frost Mage M+ Guide

Unread postby Zulandia Thu Jul 27, 2017 9:16 pm

It does not put you in combat but it also does not remove the aggro radius of the mob. If you walk past a sheep you can still aggro the mob which will then chase you once free.
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Herux
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Re: [7.2.5] Frost Mage M+ Guide

Unread postby Herux Thu Jul 27, 2017 11:10 pm

Will polymorph always put you in combat with the thing you polymorph? I feel like I often poly something out of combat, skip that mob and a minute later that thing comes back to me angry as hell
Yea basically what Zul said, and each mob has its own aggro radius in M+ so you gotta be careful what you poly to skip packs. Make sure your group knows too.
Katsumi
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Re: [7.2.5] Frost Mage M+ Guide

Unread postby Katsumi Fri Jul 28, 2017 10:29 am

Will polymorph always put you in combat with the thing you polymorph? I feel like I often poly something out of combat, skip that mob and a minute later that thing comes back to me angry as hell
Hahaha that made my day. :D
does not put you in combat but it also does not remove the aggro radius of the mob. If you walk past a sheep you can still aggro the mob which will then chase you once free.
Thanks for the clarification, I was wondering how this mechanic actually worked for the longest time.
Katsumi
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Re: [7.2.5] Frost Mage M+ Guide

Unread postby Katsumi Fri Jul 28, 2017 10:58 am

A quick note on Frost Bomb: I've been running this for the last week (Bracers with Soul of the Archmage, thanks to op) and found it to vastly outperform Arctic Gale. My overall DPS throughout the dungeons went up considerably, maybe someone could confirm my findings.

The sequence Frost Bomb>Frozen Orb>Blizzard>IL does crazy amounts of AOE damage, helps to focus down the priority target and gives you the same orb reset time. Frost Bomb will be up for the entire duration of T20 2pc and Soul of the Archmage will give you more than enough procs to pull ahead of Arctic Gale.

Plus, and that's what I like most I think, you get to press an extra button! :)

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