This guide will cover everything you need to know about playing Frost in PvE content. Frost is an extremely flexible spec providing good sustained damage on both single target, cleave, and AOE. As well as providing the great mobility of all mage specs through spells like https://www.wowhead.com/spell=212653/shimmer and https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=108978/alter-time.
To see the raw sim data driving the information in this guide, please check out my sim dump.
1 - Major Changes
2 - Overview
3 - Abilities
4 - Talents
5 - Rotation 6 - Gearing 7 - Covenants 8 - Racials
9 - Macros and Add-ons
10 - Advanced
11 - FAQ
12 - Sim Dump
If you are returning to mage after one or more expansions, here's some important fundamental changes that you should be aware of since last time you played.
Battle for Azeroth
- Damage buffs such as https://www.wowhead.com/spell=116011/rune-of-power and https://www.wowhead.com/spell=1463/incanters-flow only affect spell damage. Other sources of damage, such as trinkets, are unaffected.
- Mages once again have https://www.wowhead.com/spell=475/remove-curse and https://www.wowhead.com/spell=1459/arcane-intellect.
- https://www.wowhead.com/spell=1459/arcane-intellect now only increases intellect by 5%, but can no longer be replaced by a scroll.
- https://www.wowhead.com/spell=116011/rune-of-power has been reworked.
- Mages once again have https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=108978/alter-time and https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=3 ... ocus-magic (the later being a talent).
- https://www.wowhead.com/spell=55342/mirror-image is now baseline, but as a defensive utility cooldown rather than a damage one.
The core mechanic of the spec is https://www.wowhead.com/spell=12982/shatter. Spells against enemies who are Frozen benefit from https://www.wowhead.com/spell=12982/shatter, and have a greater chance of being struck a critical strike. Your critical strike chance against frozen enemies is:
(Critical Strike chance * 1.5) + 50%
The main way of gaining https://www.wowhead.com/spell=12982/shatter in PvE is through your main procs https://www.wowhead.com/spell=190447/brain-freeze and https://www.wowhead.com/spell=112965/fingers-of-frost, with most rotational decisions involving maximising the number and effectiveness of both these procs. During this guide I will refer to you causing a spell to gain the https://www.wowhead.com/spell=12982/shatter effect as ‘shattering’ that spell.
- https://www.wowhead.com/spell=116/frostbolt is our filler ability, it does low damage but has a chance to generate https://www.wowhead.com/spell=112965/fingers-of-frost and/or https://www.wowhead.com/spell=190447/brain-freeze.
- https://www.wowhead.com/spell=30455/ice-lance is a high damage instant cast ability, deals triple damage if the target is frozen.
- https://www.wowhead.com/spell=228354/flurry is a high damage spell that launches 3 bolts of ice at the target. Becomes instant cast and applies https://www.wowhead.com/spell=228358/winters-chill with https://www.wowhead.com/spell=190447/brain-freeze.
- https://www.wowhead.com/spell=84714/frozen-orb launches an orb that travels forwards up to 40 yards away that slows down significantly once it hits a target. Grants https://www.wowhead.com/spell=112965/fingers-of-frost when it first deals damage and has a chance to generate more each time it deals damage. This chance does not increase from hitting more targets.
- https://www.wowhead.com/spell=190356/blizzard is a ground targeted AOE that does low damage, slows, and reduces the cooldown of https://www.wowhead.com/spell=84714/frozen-orb each time it deals damage
- https://www.wowhead.com/spell=12472/icy-veins is our major cooldown and increases haste by 30% for 23 seconds.
- https://www.wowhead.com/spell=120/cone-of-cold is a low damage frontal AOE that applies a very large slow to all enemies hit
- https://www.wowhead.com/spell=190447/brain-freeze is a proc that causes your next https://www.wowhead.com/spell=228354/flurry to be instant cast and apply https://www.wowhead.com/spell=228358/winters-chill to the target - causing your next 2 spells to deal damage as if the target were frozen.
- https://www.wowhead.com/spell=112965/fingers-of-frost is a proc that causes your next https://www.wowhead.com/spell=30455/ice-lance to deal damage as if the target were frozen.
- https://www.wowhead.com/spell=1953/blink teleports us 20 yards forwards and is our main mobility tool.
- https://www.wowhead.com/spell=1459/arcane-intellect is a castable buff that increases your groups Intellect by 5% for 1 hour.
- https://www.wowhead.com/spell=198094/ice-barrier gives us a small shield for 60 seconds; useful for periods of high damage.
- https://www.wowhead.com/spell=45438/ice-block is an immunity that prevents all damage, but we cannot move or cast spells for the duration. Can be cancelled by pressing https://www.wowhead.com/spell=45438/ice-block again.
- https://www.wowhead.com/spell=235219/cold-snap resets the cooldown of our https://www.wowhead.com/spell=198094/ice-barrier, https://www.wowhead.com/spell=65792/frost-nova, https://www.wowhead.com/spell=120/cone-of-cold, and https://www.wowhead.com/spell=45438/ice-block.
- https://www.wowhead.com/spell=475/remove-curse dispels all curses from a friendly target.
- https://www.wowhead.com/spell=66/invisibility turns us invisible after a short delay. Can be used to fizzle several targeted boss abilities.
- https://www.wowhead.com/spell=30449/spellsteal steals 1 beneficial magic buff from the target. Note some incredibly powerful buffs cannot be stolen and will simply be purged.
- https://www.wowhead.com/spell=55342/mirror-image creates 3 copies of our character that cast https://www.wowhead.com/spell=116/frostbolt for 40 seconds. While an image is active your direct damage taken is reduced by 20%, and taking direct damage causes an image to dissipate. This is not a DPS cooldown.
- https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=108978/alter-time snapshots our current location and health. The spell can be reactivated again within 10 seconds to return us to said location and health.
Example Talent setup:
- https://www.wowhead.com/spell=205027/bone-chilling gives us a 0.5% damage increase any time we attempt to chill a target, stacking up to 10 (5%).
- https://www.wowhead.com/spell=205024/lonely-winter removes our Water Elemental in favour of 25% increased damage to https://www.wowhead.com/spell=116/frostbolt, https://www.wowhead.com/spell=30455/ice-lance, and https://www.wowhead.com/spell=228354/flurry.
- https://www.wowhead.com/spell=157997/ice-nova freezes and deals damage to a target and all surrounding enemies.
- https://www.wowhead.com/spell=235297/glacial-insulation adds an armor bonus to https://www.wowhead.com/spell=198094/ice-barrier, and gives us the effect of https://www.wowhead.com/spell=198094/ice-barrier once https://www.wowhead.com/spell=45438/ice-block ends.
- https://www.wowhead.com/spell=212653/shimmer replaces https://www.wowhead.com/spell=1953/blink, https://www.wowhead.com/spell=212653/shimmer functions similar to https://www.wowhead.com/spell=1953/blink, but has an additional charge, can be cast while casting, is not on the global cooldown and has increased cooldown.
- https://www.wowhead.com/spell=108839/ice-floes is a 3 charge ability that allows us to consume a charge to cast one spell while moving.
https://www.wowhead.com/spell=108839/ice-floes has niche uses when you can’t really use https://www.wowhead.com/spell=212653/shimmer properly due to a boss mechanic or strategy. For example Sludgefist.
https://www.wowhead.com/spell=235297/glacial-insulation provides close to no value in current raid encounters.
- https://www.wowhead.com/spell=1463/incanters-flow is a passive damage buff that fluctuates between 4% and 20%
- https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=3 ... ocus-magic is a buff that can be placed on a party or raid member increasing their critical strike by 5%, if that ally critically strikes with an ability our critical strike chance and intellect are increased by 5% for 10 seconds.
- https://www.wowhead.com/spell=116011/rune-of-power is an active ability that places a rune on the ground for 12 seconds. Standing near the rune increases our spell damage by 40%. https://www.wowhead.com/spell=116011/rune-of-power is automatically cast when using https://www.wowhead.com/spell=12472/icy-veins.
- https://www.wowhead.com/spell=205030/frozen-touch increases the rate at which https://www.wowhead.com/spell=116/frostbolt generates https://www.wowhead.com/spell=190447/brain-freeze and https://www.wowhead.com/spell=112965/fingers-of-frost. This increased chance is multiplicative, not additive.
- https://www.wowhead.com/spell=278309/chain-reaction causes https://www.wowhead.com/spell=30455/ice-lances that benefit from https://www.wowhead.com/spell=12982/shatter to increase the damage of https://www.wowhead.com/spell=30455/ice-lance by 3% for 10 seconds. Stacking up to 5 (15%).
- https://www.wowhead.com/spell=257537/ebonbolt is an active ability that deals high damage to a single target and grants us https://www.wowhead.com/spell=190447/brain-freeze.
- https://www.wowhead.com/spell=235224/frigid-winds increases the effectiveness of all slow effects by 10%.
- https://www.wowhead.com/spell=205036/ice-ward gives https://www.wowhead.com/spell=65792/frost-nova 2 charges.
- https://www.wowhead.com/spell=113724/ring-of-frost creates a Ring that incapacitates up to 10 enemies that touch it for 10 seconds.
Generally I would default to https://www.wowhead.com/spell=235224/frigid-winds as it's passive and slows can still be useful against adds on some raid fights.
If an encounter requires you to control adds, consider which talent gives more benefit to your raid. https://www.wowhead.com/spell=65792/frost-nova is faster and more forgiving, but https://www.wowhead.com/spell=113724/ring-of-frost can be used from range.
- https://www.wowhead.com/spell=270232/freezing-rain causes https://www.wowhead.com/spell=190356/blizzard to be instant cast and deal 50% additional damage while you have an active https://www.wowhead.com/spell=84714/frozen-orb.
- https://www.wowhead.com/spell=56377/splitting-ice increases https://www.wowhead.com/spell=30455/ice-lance and https://www.wowhead.com/spell=76613/mastery-icicles damage by 5% and causes https://www.wowhead.com/spell=76613/mastery-icicles, https://www.wowhead.com/spell=257537/ebonbolt and https://www.wowhead.com/spell=199786/glacial-spike, to cleave another nearby target for 80% of the original damage; and https://www.wowhead.com/spell=30455/ice-lance to cleave for 65% of the original damage.
- https://www.wowhead.com/spell=153595/comet-storm causes a rain of comets in an area around your target, dealing damage to each target hit.
https://www.wowhead.com/spell=270232/freezing-rain has niche uses for long sustained AOE.
https://www.wowhead.com/spell=153595/comet-storm has niche uses where burst AOE is needed.
- https://www.wowhead.com/spell=155149/thermal-void increases the duration of https://www.wowhead.com/spell=12472/icy-veins by 10 seconds. In addition, while https://www.wowhead.com/spell=12472/icy-veins is active, each https://www.wowhead.com/spell=30455/ice-lance that benefits from https://www.wowhead.com/spell=12982/shatter will extend its duration by an additional 1 second.
- https://www.wowhead.com/spell=205021/ray-of-frost is a channelled single target ability that deals increasing Frost damage.
- https://www.wowhead.com/spell=199786/glacial-spike deals a high amount of damage, also consuming the damage stored in your https://www.wowhead.com/spell=76613/mastery-icicles. Requires 5 icicles to cast.
https://www.wowhead.com/spell=199786/glacial-spike is a DPS loss to both talent in to and cast.
https://www.wowhead.com/spell=205021/ray-of-frost currently provides no value in PvE.
The frost mage rotation revolves around maximising the impact of your two procs, https://www.wowhead.com/spell=190447/brain-freeze and https://www.wowhead.com/spell=112965/fingers-of-frost, while maximizing the number of these procs through casting https://www.wowhead.com/spell=116/frostbolt and https://www.wowhead.com/spell=84714/frozen-orb.
https://www.wowhead.com/spell=190447/brain-freeze causes your next https://www.wowhead.com/spell=228354/flurry to be instant cast and apply https://www.wowhead.com/spell=228358/winters-chill to the target - causing your next 2 spells to deal damage as if the target were frozen. Each https://www.wowhead.com/spell=228354/flurry bolt refreshes the duration and stacks of https://www.wowhead.com/spell=228358/winters-chill. Note: should a https://www.wowhead.com/spell=116/frostbolt or https://www.wowhead.com/spell=257537/ebonbolt give you a https://www.wowhead.com/spell=190447/brain-freeze when you already have one, there is a small grace window that allows you to spend the old https://www.wowhead.com/spell=190447/brain-freeze and still gain the new one. In additional we should always try to cast https://www.wowhead.com/spell=116/frostbolt before https://www.wowhead.com/spell=228354/flurry, as due to the travel time on https://www.wowhead.com/spell=228354/flurry it will hit first allowing the https://www.wowhead.com/spell=116/frostbolt to benefit from https://www.wowhead.com/spell=228358/winters-chill.
https://www.wowhead.com/spell=112965/fingers-of-frost causes your next https://www.wowhead.com/spell=30455/ice-lance to deal damage as if the target were frozen.
Because a target is either frozen or not frozen, there is no additional benefit to casting a https://www.wowhead.com/spell=112965/fingers-of-frost https://www.wowhead.com/spell=30455/ice-lance into a https://www.wowhead.com/spell=228358/winters-chill. This situation should be avoided if possible. This means that should you find yourself with both https://www.wowhead.com/spell=112965/fingers-of-frost and https://www.wowhead.com/spell=190447/brain-freeze, you want to get rid of your https://www.wowhead.com/spell=112965/fingers-of-frost procs before casting https://www.wowhead.com/spell=116/frostbolt -> https://www.wowhead.com/spell=228354/flurry. However sometimes you will find a https://www.wowhead.com/spell=116/frostbolt gives you both procs, or a https://www.wowhead.com/spell=84714/frozen-orb gives you https://www.wowhead.com/spell=112965/fingers-of-frost while you already have https://www.wowhead.com/spell=190447/brain-freeze. In the event that you are casting a https://www.wowhead.com/spell=116/frostbolt with both https://www.wowhead.com/spell=112965/fingers-of-frost and https://www.wowhead.com/spell=190447/brain-freeze, you should cast https://www.wowhead.com/spell=228354/flurry at the end and simply waste the https://www.wowhead.com/spell=112965/fingers-of-frost proc. This is because https://www.wowhead.com/spell=190447/brain-freeze provides significantly more damage than https://www.wowhead.com/spell=112965/fingers-of-frost, and you don’t want to risk gaining another https://www.wowhead.com/spell=190447/brain-freeze and wasting one of them.
1. Cast https://www.wowhead.com/spell=12472/icy-veins
2. Cast https://www.wowhead.com/spell=116011/rune-of-power (if you don’t already have one from https://www.wowhead.com/spell=12472/icy-veins)
3. Cast https://www.wowhead.com/spell=228354/flurry with https://www.wowhead.com/spell=190447/brain-freeze if the last spell you cast was https://www.wowhead.com/spell=116/frostbolt or https://www.wowhead.com/spell=257537/ebonbolt, or you are moving.
4. Cast https://www.wowhead.com/spell=84714/frozen-orb
5. Cast https://www.wowhead.com/spell=199786/glacial-spike if the target is affected by https://www.wowhead.com/spell=228358/winters-chill
6. Cast https://www.wowhead.com/spell=190356/blizzard with https://www.wowhead.com/spell=327492/glacial-fragments equipped if the target is affected by https://www.wowhead.com/spell=228358/winters-chill
7. Cast https://www.wowhead.com/spell=30455/ice-lance with https://www.wowhead.com/spell=112965/fingers-of-frost or if the target is affected by https://www.wowhead.com/spell=228358/winters-chill
8. Cast your other talented abilities such as https://www.wowhead.com/spell=153595/comet-storm, https://www.wowhead.com/spell=157997/ice-nova and https://www.wowhead.com/spell=257537/ebonbolt
9. Cast https://www.wowhead.com/spell=116/frostbolt
Because a large amount of your damage comes from https://www.wowhead.com/spell=30455/ice-lance even on multiple targets, your rotation does not change a huge amount on AOE. However there are still a few small changes:
- Begin casting https://www.wowhead.com/spell=190356/blizzard at 2 targets.
- At 5 targets https://www.wowhead.com/spell=84714/frozen-orb becomes your #1 priority, with https://www.wowhead.com/spell=190356/blizzard #2; and you should no longer spend time shattering https://www.wowhead.com/spell=116/frostbolt.
Generally mage covenant abilities should be used on cooldown with some optimisations:
- https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=3 ... iant-spark should ideally be followed by as many https://www.wowhead.com/spell=30455/ice-lance as possible either via https://www.wowhead.com/spell=228354/flurry or https://www.wowhead.com/spell=84714/frozen-orb. (Note that each https://www.wowhead.com/spell=228354/flurry hit will consume a stack)
- During https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=3 ... of-torment do not shatter https://www.wowhead.com/spell=116/frostbolt before your https://www.wowhead.com/spell=228354/flurry. You don't have time. Whenever you get a https://www.wowhead.com/spell=190447/brain-freeze simply cast https://www.wowhead.com/spell=228354/flurry https://www.wowhead.com/spell=30455/ice-lance https://www.wowhead.com/spell=30455/ice-lance.
- https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=3 ... ting-power should not be cast on single target. With the https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=3 ... f-blossoms trait you can cast https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=3 ... ting-power and immediately cancel it for the buff.
- https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=324220/deathborne should be used on cooldown.
Frost has no special requirements in the opener. Generally you just want to get your spells on cooldown as fast as possible and it tends not to matter in which order. Just ensure that https://www.wowhead.com/spell=12472/icy-veins, https://www.wowhead.com/spell=84714/frozen-orb, and your covenant ability are your first 3 casts.
- Pre-cast https://www.wowhead.com/spell=116/frostbolt
- Enter the priority explained above.
With all gearing related decisions you should trust your own sims over any generic lists or advice you see on the internet.
- Critical Strike increases the critical strike rate of our abilities and therefore the effectiveness of https://www.wowhead.com/spell=12982/shatter.
- Haste reduces the cast time of our spells, our global cooldown, and the cooldown and duration of https://www.wowhead.com/spell=190356/blizzard.
- Versatility provides a flat damage increase and damage taken reduction.
- https://www.wowhead.com/spell=76613/mastery-icicles cause our https://www.wowhead.com/spell=116/frostbolts to store an icicle. We can store up to 5 icicles at once and they are consumed to deal damage when we cast https://www.wowhead.com/spell=30455/ice-lance or https://www.wowhead.com/spell=199786/glacial-spike. Gaining an icicle at 5 stacks automatically causes the oldest icicle to deal its damage
Generally prioritise stats like so:
2. Critical Strike / Haste
3. Mastery / Versatility
As explained earlier in the guide https://www.wowhead.com/spell=12982/shatter increases our Critical Strike chance against frozen targets:
(Critical Strike chance * 1.5) + 50%
This means that at 33.34% Critical Strike will see a significant drop in value, as our spells now have 100% chance to critically strike when they are affected by https://www.wowhead.com/spell=12982/shatter. This is referred to as the ‘Shatter cap’. However just because this cap exists does not mean it is some kind of holy grail or mandatory goal that must be reached, it is simply a point at which critical strike value plateaus. As shown below stats are fairly linear up until the shatter cap, there is no magical DPS increase at 33.34% critical strike:
For full trinket data, please check out my sim dump
Legendaries should be crafted using https://www.wowhead.com/item=173160/missive-of-haste and https://www.wowhead.com/item=173161/mis ... cal-strike. Whenever upgrading legendaries keep in mind that higher level legendaries do not have a stronger effect, only better stats. You should also aim to craft legendaries in the slots that have the most stats.
Prioritise slots as follows:
- For raids I recommend you craft https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=327508/slick-ice, https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=3 ... -fragments and https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=3 ... poral-warp.
- For dungeons I recommend you craft https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=3 ... -fragments.
- https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=327284/cold-front - Casting 60 https://www.wowhead.com/spell=116/frostbolts or https://www.wowhead.com/spell=228354/flurry launches a https://www.wowhead.com/spell=84714/frozen-orb towards your target.
- Slots: Chest, Back
- Source: Necrotic Wake - Nalthor, the Rimebinder
- https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=3 ... zing-winds - While https://www.wowhead.com/spell=84714/frozen-orb is active, you gain https://www.wowhead.com/spell=112965/fingers-of-frost every 3 seconds.
- Slots: Head, Hands
- Source: Castle Nathria - Sire Denathrius
- https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=3 ... -fragments - https://www.wowhead.com/spell=30455/ice-lance has a 20% chance to explode into shards of ice when it hits a target, dealing Frost damage to up to 5 enemies near your target. This chance is increased to 100% if your target is standing in a https://www.wowhead.com/spell=190356/blizzard.
- Slots: Legs, Back
- Source: Torghast
- https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=327508/slick-ice - While https://www.wowhead.com/spell=12472/icy-veins is active, each https://www.wowhead.com/spell=116/frostbolt you cast reduces the cast time of https://www.wowhead.com/spell=116/frostbolt by 2%, and increases the damage of https://www.wowhead.com/spell=116/frostbolt by 3%, stacking up to 10 times.
- Slots: Waist, Legs
- Source: Torghast
- https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=3 ... ry-command - Casting a Frost, Fire and Arcane spell within 10 sec of each other increases your Critical Strike damage of all your spells by 15%. 30 second cooldown.
- Slots: Wrist, Ring
- Source: Mists of Tirna Scithe - Mistcaller
- https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=3 ... -potential - Your https://www.wowhead.com/spell=116/frostbolt has a chance to give you Expanded Potential, which causes your next https://www.wowhead.com/spell=190447/brain-freeze to not be consumed.
- Slots: Waist, Feet
- Source: Castle Nathria - Stone Legion Generals
- https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=3 ... sly-icicle - Your Fire, and Arcane damage against enemies affected by https://www.wowhead.com/spell=65792/frost-nova is increased by 15%. https://www.wowhead.com/spell=65792/frost-nova no longer breaks on your damage.
- Slots: Head, Shoulder
- Source: Honor Vendor
- https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=3 ... riune-ward - Casting any Barrier spell grants the effects of https://www.wowhead.com/spell=235313/blazing-barrier, https://www.wowhead.com/spell=198094/ice-barrier, and https://www.wowhead.com/spell=235450/prismatic-barrier. Each absorb shield has 40% effectiveness.
- Slots: Neck, Chest
- Source: The Great Vault
- https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=3 ... poral-warp - Casting https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=80353/time-warp with https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=8 ... splacement or similar effects grants 30% haste for 40 seconds.
- Slots: Chest, Ring
- Source: Torghast
Remember that the level of your conduit can impact which conduit pulls ahead, as always I recommend you sim yourself; but assuming equal item levels you should be able to follow these rankings.
Single Target Conduit Ranking:
3. https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=3 ... ned-malice / https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=3 ... e-ascended
4. https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=3 ... nting-cold
5. https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=3 ... -the-grove / https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=3 ... f-the-lich
AOE Conduit Ranking:
2. https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=3 ... nting-cold
3. https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=3 ... ned-malice / https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=3 ... -the-grove / https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=3 ... f-the-lich
5. https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=3 ... e-ascended
Gem and Enchants:
- Gems: https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/item=17 ... el-cluster or https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/item=17 ... el-cluster
- Weapon Enchant: https://www.wowhead.com/item=172368/sinful-revelation
- Bracer Enchant: https://www.wowhead.com/item=172415/enc ... -intellect
- Chest Enchant: https://www.wowhead.com/item=183738/enc ... al-insight
- Ring Enchants: https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/item=17 ... cal-strike or https://www.wowhead.com/item=172362/enc ... t-of-haste
- Cloak Enchant: https://www.wowhead.com/item=172411/enc ... -avoidance
- Oil: https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/item=17 ... owcore-oil
- Food: https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/item=17 ... s-hedonism, https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/item=17 ... -and-fries, or https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/item=17 ... oast-aspic
- Flask: https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/item=17 ... k-of-power
- Potion: https://www.wowhead.com/item=171349/pot ... antom-fire
When evaluating covenants it’s important not to tunnel vision on the signature ability. Covenants are a package deal of 2 abilities, a covenant specific conduit, and 3 soulbinds. Below I’ve outlined the major selling points of each Covenant and soulbind.
Note: Soulbind abilities that are denoted with an (x) require you to sacrifice a potency conduit.
- https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=3 ... iant-spark: Damage over time ability that increases the damage of your next 5 spells against the target by 0/10/20/30/40%
- https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=3 ... on-steward: Utility ability that provides you with 3 https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/item=17 ... f-serenity every 5 minutes.
- https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=3 ... e-ascended: https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=3 ... iant-spark increases the damage your target takes by an additional 5% - 12%
For Kyrian, you should always choose Pelagos.
- https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=3 ... meditation: Radiant Spark increases your mastery for 10 seconds and causes you to expel Sorrowful Memories. Picking up a Sorrowful Memory extends this effect by 3 seconds. 1 Minute cooldown.
- https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=3 ... f-the-past: Provides 1% versatility after casting a different spell on the target, stacking up to 3%.
- https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=3 ... of-torment: Apply 3 mirrors to the target. Whenever the target casts a spell or attacks a mirror is consumed to deal damage, slow the target’s casting speed, and grants you https://www.wowhead.com/spell=190447/brain-freeze. The final mirror deals additional damage and silences the target. Mirrors can only be consumed once every 6 seconds.
- https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=3 ... of-shadows: Utility ability that teleports you up to 35 yards away.
- https://www.wowhead.com/spell=337090/siphoned-malice: Each time a https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=3 ... of-torment is consumed, your spell damage is increased by 2% - 4.8%. Stacking up to 3 times for 10 seconds.
For Venthyr Nadija and Theotar provide fairly similar DPS.
Nadjia the Mistblade:
- https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=3 ... ill-seeker: While in Combat you gain a stack of Thrill Seeker every 2 seconds, and gain 4 stacks upon killing an enemy. At 40 stacks they are consumed to grant you 20% haste for 10 seconds.
- https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=3 ... ss-duelist (x): You deal increased damage, and take reduced damage from the first enemy you deal damage to in Combat.
- https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=3 ... hing-shade: Your spells and abilities have a chance to create a shaded area for 12 seconds. Standing in this area grants you 525 Mastery.and 3% versatility to 4 nearby allies.
- https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=3 ... ting-power: Channel for 4 seconds, dealing damage to enemies within 15 yards and reducing the cooldown of your mage abilities by 12 seconds over the duration.
- https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=310143/soulshape: Teleports you 15 yards forward and increases movement speed by 50%. Can be reactivated to teleport again. Lasts 12 seconds.
- https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=3 ... -the-grove: https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=3 ... ting-power provides additional cooldown reduction.
For Night Fae Niya, Dreamweaver and Korayn are all competitive options.
- https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=3 ... vigoration: Healing or damage has a chance to grant you a stack of Redirected Anima, which grants 1% maximum health and 31 mastery per stack for 30 seconds. Activating https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=3 ... ting-power grants 8 stacks.
- https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=3 ... f-blossoms: Activating https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=3 ... ting-power places blossoms at your feet for 15 seconds. Standing in the blossoms increases your haste by 12%.
- https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=3 ... -butterfly (x): When at least 2 allies are within 8 yds, you gain 3% versatility for 5 seconds. When this expires, 2 nearby allies gain this a third of this bonus for 5 seconds before passing it back to you.
- https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=3 ... nt-tactics: Your damage to targets above 75% health is increased by 10%. When your spells and abilities are enhanced this way, you gain 10% increased movement speed for 5 sec.
- https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=3 ... rst-strike (x): Damaging an enemy before they damage you increases your chance to critical strike by 25% for 5 sec.
- https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=324220/deathborne: Increases spell damage by 10% and causes https://www.wowhead.com/spell=188764/frostbolt to hit an additional 2 nearby targets for 20 seconds.
- https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=324631/fleshcraft: Channel for 4 seconds, creating a shield up to 20% of your maximum health. Channeling near corpses increases the power of the shield up to 50% of your maximum health.
- https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=3 ... f-the-lich: https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=324220/deathborne duration is increased by 6 - 14.4 seconds.
For Necrolord Emeni and Heirmir are fairly close, though Emeni will edge out most of the time.
- https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=3 ... by-example: Activating https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=324220/deathborne grants you 5% primary stat and grants nearby allies 2% primary stat for 30 seconds. You gain 5% additional primary stat for each ally affected up to 15%.
- https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=3 ... d-gemstone (x): After landing 10 critical strikes, you gain 18% increased chance to critical strike for 20 sec. 1 minute cooldown.
Frost Covenant Ranking:
2. Night Fae
Venthyr is easily the best covenant for Frost, but that doesn't mean its the best covenant for Mage. If you are picking covenant with the intention of multispecing, the performance oriented choice for Mage is very clearly between Night Fae and Venthyr.
Right now Venthyr is the absolute clear winner for raiding. https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=3 ... of-torment is the most powerful ability for Frost by quite a margin, and the soulbinds are very competitive. The covenant performs by far the best in both single target and cleave for Frost which is your primary focus in raiding. On AOE the covenant provides similar overall damage to Night Fae but provides significantly better priority target funnel damage. I highly recommend Venthyr if your main focus is Frost.
The other 3 covenants fall quite far behind Venthyr for Frost. Night Fae gets #2 on the list due to being the most competitive Covenant for Fire and Arcane. In raids Night Fae’s power mainly comes from it’s soulbinds, which are okay for Frost but the covenant still falls behind as https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=3 ... ting-power is simply awful and in many cases is not even a DPS increase. If you find yourself playing Fire or Arcane more, Night Fae’s value increases. If you only play Frost, I recommend you still pick Venthyr.
Necrolords falls behind as the covenant ability https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=324220/deathborne is generally un-synergistic/niche and while the soulbinds are now decent they don't really save the covenant.
Despite having an okay ability in https://www.wowhead.com/spell=307443/radiant-spark, Kyrian's only real strength comes from the fact that Pelagos is the first Soulbind with a starting DPS ability to get 2 potency conduits. This is a fairly niche advantage though and won't matter for a large majority of players.
To see the data driving these decisions, please check out my sim dump where I have provided the DPS of each ability and soulbind at various Renown levels on both single target and AOE.
- Troll - https://www.wowhead.com/spell=26297/berserking is a competitive option for Frost while being by far the best for Fire and Arcane if you find yourself multi-specing.
- Goblin - https://www.wowhead.com/spell=69070/rocket-jump is one of the few useful utility racials while https://www.wowhead.com/spell=69042/time-is-money keeps the race competitive for DPS.
- Dwarf - https://www.wowhead.com/spell=59224/mig ... e-mountain is an incredibly powerful DPS ability for both Frost and Fire.
- Void Elf - https://www.wowhead.com/spell=256948/spatial-rift is one of the few useful utility racials while https://www.wowhead.com/spell=255669/entropic-embrace keeps the race competitive for DPS.
Raidbots combined with the Simulationcraft Add-on now make simming your character incredibly easy. There is no longer an excuse to not be simming if you want to find upgrades and accurate stat weights.
Weak Auras is the only add-on that I consider mandatory for World of Warcraft raiding. It is incredibly powerful and incredibly customisable. If you don't want to go through the effort of creating your own, there are a few I recommend:
Wago.io to find other premade Weak Aura's for both mages and boss encounters.
BigWigs or Deadly Boss Mods provide boss timers and notifications. Deadly Boss Mods is a bit more "in your face" with notifications and warnings whereas BigWigs is slightly quieter. Personal preference between the two.
Details! is by far the best damage meter out there. Makes it easier to analyse wipes and DPS while being easy on your CPU.
There are also some small optimizations that can be made through macros in order to master your frost mage.
Macro all cooldowns, racials, and items into one key.
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#showtooltip /cast Icy Veins /cast Blood Fury /cast Berserking /use 11 /use 12 /use 13 /use 14 /use 2
@cursor macros automatically cast ground targeted abilities wherever your mouse cursor is, saving you a click.
Example with https://www.wowhead.com/spell=190356/blizzard, works for all other ground targeted spells.
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#showtooltip /cast [@cursor] Blizzard
Can be used to cancel http://www.wowhead.com/spell=45438/ice-block and immediately http://www.wowhead.com/spell=236645/shimmer. Useful when Ice Blocked in a void zone as you'll http://www.wowhead.com/spell=236645/shimmer out and take no damage.
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#showtooltip /cancelaura Ice Block /cast Blink
The macro below can be used to automatically cancel http://www.wowhead.com/spell=45438/ice-block if you try to cast a spell while blocked; and automatically targets something if you try to cast a spell with no target.
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#showtooltip /cancelaura Ice Block /cast Frostbolt /targetenemy [noexists][dead]
Uses whatever you have in the tier 3 talent row. Defaults to https://www.wowhead.com/spell=30455/ice-lance with http://www.wowhead.com/spell=1463/incanters-flow or no talent.
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#showtooltip /use [talent:3/2]Focus Magic; [talent:3/3]Rune of Power; Ice Lance
http://www.wowhead.com/spell=2139/counterspell macro. Prioritizes Mouseover > Focus > Target.
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#showtooltip Counterspell /cast [@mouseover,harm][@Focus,harm][harm] Counterspell
The same macro but for http://www.wowhead.com/spell=30449/spellsteal
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#showtooltip Spellsteal /cast [@mouseover,harm][@Focus,harm][harm] Spellsteal
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#showtooltip Remove Curse /cast [@cursor]Remove Curse
https://www.wowhead.com/spell=108839/ice-floes makes our next cast castable while moving. This effect stacks. This means we can press https://www.wowhead.com/spell=108839/ice-floes twice without casting a spell, and have our next 2 spells be castable while moving.
https://www.wowhead.com/spell=108839/ice-floes can also be cast while casting, in case you decide you need to move while in the middle of a cast. However, this effect has a small grace window. If https://www.wowhead.com/spell=108839/ice-floes is activated within the last 0.5 seconds of a cast, it will NOT consume a stack of the buff.
This means that we can abuse https://www.wowhead.com/spell=108839/ice-floes to gain multiple consecutive casts while casting without consuming any stacks of the buff, as long as we refresh the buff in the last 0.5 seconds of the cast.
- You activate https://www.wowhead.com/spell=108839/ice-floes
- You cast a https://www.wowhead.com/spell=116/frostbolt while moving, with a single stack of https://www.wowhead.com/spell=108839/ice-floes, and with 0.5 seconds left on the cast you activate https://www.wowhead.com/spell=108839/ice-floes again
- You still have 2 stacks of https://www.wowhead.com/spell=108839/ice-floes
- Optionally repeat step 2 again
https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=108978/alter-time snapshots our current location and health. The spell can then be reactivated within 10 seconds to return us to said location and health. However if the buff expires we will be returned regardless, which sometimes we may not want to do.
If we cancel the https://shadowlands.wowhead.com/spell=108978/alter-time buff, it will not automatically be activated at the end of the duration, allowing us to stay where we are.
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/cancelaura Alter Time
An often overlooked property of mage is how big the radius of https://www.wowhead.com/spell=116011/rune-of-power is. A lot of players express frustration with this talent but by properly tracking the buff you can frequently move quite far and still benefit from https://www.wowhead.com/spell=116011/rune-of-power. I recommend you have a weak aura to track the buff (Here is mine ).
Here is an example showing how far you can be while still benefiting from rune:
Frost mage abilities have a somewhat unique property in that the calculation for how much damage they do happens on impact; whereas most other spells calculate their damage on cast. For example this is what allows us to cast a https://www.wowhead.com/spell=228354/flurry after a https://www.wowhead.com/spell=116/frostbolt and still have the https://www.wowhead.com/spell=116/frostbolt benefit from https://www.wowhead.com/spell=228358/winters-chill. There’s not a huge amount of things you can do to abuse this (except maybe shatter spells with pet https://www.wowhead.com/spell=231596/freeze), but it's something you should be aware of regardless.
Q: How Do I spend my procs?
A: Because a target is either frozen or not frozen, there is no additional benefit to casting a https://www.wowhead.com/spell=112965/fingers-of-frost https://www.wowhead.com/spell=30455/ice-lance into a https://www.wowhead.com/spell=228358/winters-chill. This situation should be avoided if possible. This means that should you find yourself with both https://www.wowhead.com/spell=112965/fingers-of-frost and https://www.wowhead.com/spell=190447/brain-freeze, you want to get rid of your https://www.wowhead.com/spell=112965/fingers-of-frost procs before casting https://www.wowhead.com/spell=116/frostbolt -> https://www.wowhead.com/spell=228354/flurry. However sometimes you will find a https://www.wowhead.com/spell=116/frostbolt gives you both procs, or a https://www.wowhead.com/spell=84714/frozen-orb gives you https://www.wowhead.com/spell=112965/fingers-of-frost while you already have https://www.wowhead.com/spell=190447/brain-freeze. In the event that you are casting a https://www.wowhead.com/spell=116/frostbolt with both https://www.wowhead.com/spell=112965/fingers-of-frost and https://www.wowhead.com/spell=190447/brain-freeze, you should cast https://www.wowhead.com/spell=228354/flurry at the end and simply waste the https://www.wowhead.com/spell=112965/fingers-of-frost proc. This is because https://www.wowhead.com/spell=190447/brain-freeze provides significantly more damage than https://www.wowhead.com/spell=112965/fingers-of-frost, and you don’t want to risk gaining another https://www.wowhead.com/spell=190447/brain-freeze and wasting one of them.
Q: Should I use Ice Lance at 5 icicles even without a proc?
A: No, in fact whenever you are playing without https://www.wowhead.com/spell=199786/glacial-spike talented, https://www.wowhead.com/spell=76613/mastery-icicles should not factor into a single one of your decisions. At 5 Icicles gaining a new Icicle with simply launch the oldest one. Meaning that they should be functionally ignored.
Q: Should I use Ice Lance without a proc to maintain Chain Reaction?
A: No, https://www.wowhead.com/spell=278309/chain-reaction is completely passive and should be ignored.
Q: Why do your guides not have BIS lists?
A: A few reasons. First off BIS setups are only BIS once the entire set has been complete, which is likely long after your gear is actually relevant. Changing one item could mean that another item is no longer BIS. Second, with the current gearing system in World of Warcraft gear acquisition is incredibly random; it is far more productive to figure out how to sim and seek short term upgrades than it is to spend months chasing an ideal setup.
Q: Should I use Arcane Momentum?
A: Person preference. Generally I would advise against it as its more error prone and you should be able to do everything you need with proper camera control and default blink.
Q: How do I sim Focus Magic trade?
Q: How do I sim Shifting Power without the damage?
Q: What stat percentages should I aim for?
A: Nothing, you don't aim for specific percentages of stats. The thought process behind this question is simply a misunderstanding of how stats work. There are very few stat breakpoints in the game that are of utmost importance, and stats generally complement each other. You equip the gear that gives you the most DPS with almost no thought on what stat percentages that leaves you at (hint: it doesn't matter).
Q: Should I use pawn?
A: No, it's an outdated addon, based on an outdated way of thinking about the game. It relies too heavily on stat weights being an accurate method of comparing gear, which they aren't.
Q: What professions should I use?
A: In Shadowlands professions don't really matter. Almost nothing requires you to actually have the profession to use except for a few niche items in Engineering.
Thanks to Norrinir, Frosted, Dorovon and many more for their work on simulationcraft.
Check out the Altered Time Mage Discord - https://discord.gg/8huqAW5. Please ask questions here instead of PMing me or any of the other contributors/staff members. (and check the pins/resources!)
Toegrinder's Fire Mage Compendium - https://www.altered-time.com/forum/view ... f=4&t=6917
Mage Sim Dump, contains all information you need to know about stats, racials, and talents - https://cteer458.github.io/mage-sims/
- 12/11/20- Created