Frost Mage PvP Guide, Stay Frosty
Updated for Warlords of Draenor
This page is for Frost Mage PvP, see the links below for other Mage info.
Of the three mage specs Frost is the only one with a pet and that pet can add quite a bit to your damage. Its Waterbolt damage was linked to your Mastery in 5.4, which is a decent buff. It also provides that addition freeze, giving you more Shatter opportunities.
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Frost Mage PvP Contents
|Other Mage Guides|
Some Warlords Changes for Frost
You can see all of the changes in our Mage Changes in WoD post. Basically, Frost came through the changes just fine.
- Presence of Mind is now Arcane only, as is Evocation.
- Blizzard is now available only to Frost Mages.
- Ice Lance replaces Fire Blast and is now only available to Frost Mages. Ice Lance’s base damage has been increased by 100%, since you no longer have access to Fire Blast, but its damage multiplier against frozen targets has been reduced by 50% (it’s now 2x instead of 4x.)
- Shatter is now available only to Frost Mages (My Fire Mage cries…) and it now multiplies Critical Strike chance by 1.5 (down from 2.)
- Frost Armor is now a passive effect and is available only to Frost Mages. It will increase your Multistrike chance (8% MS instead of 7% Haste) and slows enemies who hit you in melee. You no longer have access to the other armors.
- The Brain Freeze effect now increases Frostfire Bolt‘s damage by 25%, and can now stack up to 2 times. It also no longer triggers from the Bomb Talents, and instead has a 10% chance to trigger from Frostbolt casts. Each Multistrike of Frostbolt increases that cast’s chance by an additional 25%. (Total of 60% on double-Multistrikes).
- Deep Freeze is now available only to Frost Mages, plus it can now be broken by damage (by the same amount as Frost Nova.)
- Glyph of Icy Veins now causes Icy Veins to provide 35% chance to Multistrike instead of 20% Haste.
Frost PvP Talents
Different talents will fit different situations, for example: if you’re on a team or solo. Fortunately talents are easily changed to fit the current situation. Click the new talent, spend one Tome of the Clear Mind, and you’re good. Our picks are checked:
Tier 1, level 15
- Evanesce – replaces your Ice Block. You get 3 seconds of immunity to everything, except that it does not clear debuffs already on you. DoTs already present will continue to deal damage, and Spells that have already been cast will still damage you. 45 second cooldown Vs Ice Block wiping everything that Evanesce does not. Your call.
- Blazing Speed can be used as a short burst of speed every 25 seconds (saving a blink,) an escape from snares (saving a blink,) and a gap closer. If you’re playing against a team that throws enough snares then this is your pick. More mobility is generally a pretty good thing to have.
- Ice Floes – Not so hot when compared to the others, especially given your number of instant spells.
Tier 2, level 30
- Alter Time, now a talent and lasting ten seconds, was nerfed such that it no longer affects the Mage’s mana, buffs, or debuffs. It can be used to avoid damage, snares, etc by resettng the lest (up to) ten seconds. It can no longer be used to extend your DPS.
- Flameglow is best used against opposition that will DOT you up, eg: Affliction ‘locks. That is, situations that provide constant damage, rather than large bursts.
- Ice Barrier just blocks a chunk of damage, such as lots of little stuff or a big chunk of a big hit. It’s the pick here because it’s easier to use Alter Time and blocks more damage than Flameglow.
Tier 3, level 45
- Ring of Frost – the old, the tested, the immensely useful in all kinds of places. Has a cast time and a 2 second “arming time.” Especially useful in the BGs. Works even better when you team has abilities like Gorefiend’s Grasp, which will pull all enemies into your ROF, just in time for your team to unload A of Es on their frozen selves.
- Ice Ward – Melee gets in your face and gets frozen (Frost Nova,) allowing you to get away and/or set up for the kill. With 5.2 this does not share DR with your other freezes. Best choice for kiting melee, duels, etc. This could be a very interesting choice with Ice Nova, which replaces your Frost Nova. Up to three, free, Ice Novas…
- Frostjaw – Single target ranged freeze and your only silence. Has its uses, especially when followed up with a shatter.
Tier 4, level 60
Three good choice. Which one depends on your game.
- Greater Invisbility – Nice for wiping away effects and escaping (repositioning.) Broken/blocked by various effects, such as Faerie Fire or too many DOTs. Can also be used to position yourself to set up for a Ring of Frost or whatever.
- Cauterize – Nice if you anticipate occasional lethal damage. Most useful if you have a healer with you, though Ice Block will stop the DOT and Temporal Shield will heal it.
- Cold Snap – Nice heal and resets important cooldowns, the latter making it the pick here. Usable while stunned, etc.
Tier 5, level 75
- Frost Bomb Is no longer actually a bomb. It has no cooldown, it does not explode, it does not trigger Brain Freeze. You place the bomb and then use your Fingers of Frost empowered Ice Lances to attack the target. Each Lance that hits does damage to the target and lesser damage to all other targets within ten yards. The bomb does no damage by itself and your other attacks do nothing. This talent seems much weaker than the other two.
- Unstable Magic gives your Frost and Frostfire bolts a chance to explode on impact, doing 50% more damage to the target and also doing damage to all targets within 8 yards. It looks like you get all the joy of Frost Bomb with none of the fuss. Less damage than Ice Nova, but you get more casts over 25 seconds.
- Ice Nova has two charges on a 25 second recharge. The main target takes 300% Spellpower damage and all targets within 8 yards are frozen for two seconds, giving you a nice Shatter chance with an immediate second Ice Nova (within that 2 second window.) Try to fire that off at the peak of your Incanter’s Flow. Replaces your Frost Nova.
Tier 6, level 90
- Mirror Image, now a talent. Summon up some copies that start blasting away for you. Nice burst every two min.
- Rune of Power – Nice except for the fact that you have to stand still, which in not what you want to be doing in PvP.
- Incanter’s Flow – stays on until you turn if off or the enemy does. Average of a 12% buff at any given time. Cycles from a low of 4% to a high of 20% buff over 5 seconds, then another 5 to drop to 4%. Ten seconds from peak to peak. You can track the buff and fire your best shots at 20%.
Tier 7, level 100
A longer Icy Veins buff Vs Orbital Bombardment.
- Thermal Void: Casting Ice Lance extends your Icy Veins by 2 seconds.
- Prismatic Crystal puts a crystal at the targeted location. Only you can attack it and it takes 130% damage from your attacks. Any time it takes damage it instantly releases that damage, splitting it evenly among all enemies within 8 yards. The only problem is that your enemies have to stay in one place for the duration.
- Comet Storm: Comets! Orbital Bombardment! 7 icy comets bombard the target area, each one doing damage to all enemies within 4 yards of the impact point.
Glyphs for the PvPing Frost Mage:
More or less in order of interest.
Videos, forums, ask questions
- Glyph of Icy Veins: your Icy Veins now grants 30% Multistrike instead of Haste.
- Glyph of Polymorph: Removes DOTs from the target.
- Glyph of Cone of Cold – Targets take 200% increased damage from C of C.
- Glyph of Ice Block – when IB breaks a Frost Nova goes off and you’re immune to spells for 3 seconds.
- Glyph of Regenerative Ice – heal while in Ice Block.
- Glyph of Deep Freeze: Take DF off the GCD, allowing for immediate follow up with Ice Lance or whatever.
- Glyph of Spellsteal – adds a small heal when you steal a spell.
- Glyph of Momentum: Lets you strafe using Blink.
- Glyph of Rapid Teleportation – 1 minute of faster movement after teleporting
- Glyph of the Unbound Elemental – you now have an unbound water elemental. Major improvement to your elemental’s appearance.
Frost Abilities in Warlords of Draenor
These are the abilities that define you as Frost. You will be generating a fair number of “procs” as you fight (Fingers of Frost, Brain Freeze, and Icicles,) giving you a chance at some pretty major burst damage if you can unload all of them at the same time.
Some abilities that were general to Mages are now uniquely yours, such as Shatter and Ice Lance. You also get perks, instead of a new abilities, once you get past level 90.
|10||Summon Water Elemental|
|16||** Shatter – Higher crit chance vs frozen targets.|
|22||** Ice Lance|
|24||Fingers of Frost – Various abilities, and Blizzard ticks, have a chance to grant “Fingers of Frost.” This increases your Ice Lance damage by 100% and it acts as if the target were frozen.|
|36||Icy Veins – 20% Haste and ignore “pushback” for 20 seconds.|
|54||** Frost Armor – +8% MultiStrike, attackers are slowed.|
|62||Frozen Orb – damages targets in the area and briefly slows them. Grants one Fingers of Frost proc.|
|66||Deep Freeze – Stuns a frozen target.|
|77||Brain Freeze – A chance for your next Frostfire bolt to be free, instant, more powerful, and act as if the target were frozen.|
|80||Mastery: Icicles – Frost and Frostfire bolts creates and stores icicles which are unleashed with your next Ice Lance.|
|90||** Ice Shards – +5% Multistrike from all sources|
|** These abilities are either brand new for Warlords or have been restricted to one spec. For example, “Shatter” is now Frost only.Perks: Unlike previous expansions you will gain no new abilities past level 90. What you will gain, instead, are Perks. These are enhancements of current abilities. For example, one of your perks might provide a reduced cooldown time to some ability. So you get a better ability instead of a new one. All of the Perks are passive, so will add no new buttons to your bars.Also, the perks are learned randomly. You will eventually get four perks, starting at 92, but they will be learned in random order. At level 95 you may well have a different pair of perks than that other level 95 Mage. At level 99 you will have them all.|
Your Water Elemental has:
- Freeze – Root enemies in place and generate two Fingers of Frost charges (on enemies that can be rooted).
- Water Jet – Channelled. Auto-cast by default. Use against enemies that cannot be rooted, such as raid bosses. Youir Frostbolts that that hit the target, while it’s being watered, generate a Fingers of Frost charge.
Frost Stats for PvP
Warlords note: Hit, Expertise, Resilience, and Reforging are all dead. You have two new stats, Multistrike and versatility. The former gives you a chance at one or two additional strikes (30% effect,) and is your “attuned” stat, which means that you get 5% more of it. Versatility adds to offence and defense.
Int no longer adds to Crit, but you now start with a base 5% Crit.
- Priorities: Int > Multistrike > Haste > Crit to 25% > Mastery > Versatility
More about Stats
- Int directly improves Spell Power. It’s your #1 stat since it adds damage to everything you do.
- Haste provides for faster casting and shaves precious fractions off of cast times.
- Crit – Your Shatter ability multiplies your crit chance against frozen targets by 1.5 and adds another 50%. With a 30% crit chance this means that you have a 95% chance for a Shatter crit. The crit cap for your Shatter is 33.33% (100% total chance.) You’re unlikely to see this number with anything short of end-game warlords gear.
- Mastery generates Icicles as you cast other spells and it also increase your Elemental’s Waterbolt damage. More Mastery increases the power of the Icicles, not the chance to generate them, as well as more Pet damage. Most people consider Mastery to be the weakest of the secondary stats, the rest consider it to b essentially useless.
Frost Mage Gems
Warlords note – Gem sockets in Warlords are few and far between. There is a small chance for them to appear on raid gear, perhaps there will be some similar chance for them to appear on PvP gear. As of now there are no gem sockets on Warlords level PvP gear. For gear that does have gem sockets, there are no socket bonuses. Also, no meta gems.
Since Prismatic gems (fit any socket) are going to be available is seems reasonable that sockets will be available at some point. Therefore the following gem info is not deleted. Things will likely change as the expansion progresses.
Assuming the existence of gem sockets…
You should try to match Int socket bonuses (if any.) Gems with secondary stats (eg; Haste) have twice the value of primary stat gems (eg: Int) and socket bonuses are nice enough to make matching them worthwhile. “Perfect” gems have the same values as the regular gems, but one or the other will be much cheaper. Go with the cheap one.
Your Mage bonus adds to any Int gem bonuses, making them worth 5% more Int. That bonus does not add to other stats. This makes Int gems that much more valuable.
Prismatic gems are the only gems new for Warlords, they fit any socket, and they require item level 600+. They also only provide secondary stats, such as Multistrike.
Offensive gems for pre-Warlords gear.
- Meta: Tyrannical Primal Diamond when you can get it, otherwise Burning Primal Diamond. If you do World PvP then the legendary gems, in the table below, are very nice if you raid enough to get them (and do the quests.) They do not Proc in BGs or Arena, so are inferior to the Burning or Tyrranical gems there.
- Red socket: Brilliant Primordial Ruby
- Yellow: Reckless Vermilion Onyx
- Blue: Mysterious Imperial Amethyst
- Belt and other Prismatic sockets: Brilliant Primordial Ruby
|Various Gems for Warlords and pre-level 100 gear.|
|Meta||Sinister Primal Diamond: +20 Critical Strike, and chance on spell damage to gain 30% spell haste
Capacitive Primal Diamond: +20 Critical Strike, and chance on melee or ranged hit to gain Capacitance
Burning Primal Diamond: +14 Int & 3% Increased Crit Effect
Forlorn Primal Diamond: +14 Intellect and 10% Silence Reduction
Tyrannical Primal Diamond: +42 PVP Power and +48 Resilience, requires 27k earned conquest points and iLevel 476, cost 1k conquest points.
|Red||Brilliant Primordial Ruby: 10 Int|
|Yellow||Quick Sun’s Radiance: +20 Haste
Fractured Sun’s Radiance: +20 Mastery
|Blue||Rigid River’s Heart: +20 Crit|
|Orange||Reckless Vermilion Onyx: 5 Int, 10 Haste|
|Green||Sensei’s Wild Jade: +10 Crit and +10 Mastery|
|Purple||Veiled Imperial Amethyst: 5 Int and 10 Crit|
|Prismatic||Greater Multistrike Taladite: +50 MultiStrike
Multistrike Taladite: +35 Multistrike
Greater Haste Taladite: +50 Haste
Haste Taladite: +35 Haste
|Cogwheel||Requires an engie helm, such as this.
Quick Tinker’s Gear: 38 Haste
Smooth Tinker’s Gear: 38 Crit
Fractured Tinker’s Gear: 38 Mastery
Frost Mage Enchants
Short on gold? If you want to buy the best enchants and gems, fund all of your alts, donate to the guild, etc., but don’t have the cash, then see what the Tycoon Addon can do about about fixing your poverty.
Helm enchants are gone in Mists of Pandaria, shoulder enchants are provided by the Inscription profession.
In Warlords your only enchants are for rings, neck items, cloaks, and weapons. They also, as with gems, only provide secondary stats. (Possibly this will change as things progress.) If things remain the same as Mists then you will be able to use these enchants on any lower level gear, where they will scale down appropriately.
|Various Caster Enchantments|
Main & Off-Hand
|Shoulders||Greater Crane Wing Inscription: +15 Int and 5 Crit|
|Chest||Enchant Chest – Glorious Stats: +9 to all Stats|
|Bracers||Enchant Bracer – Super Intellect: +15 Int|
|Gloves||Enchant Gloves – Superior Mastery: +25 Mastery|
|Belt||Livingsteel Belt Buckle: Gem slot for a nice Int gem|
|Leggings||Greater Cerulean Spellthread: +19 Int and +11 Crit|
|Boots||Enchant Boots – Pandaren’s Step: +10 Mastery, slight run speed increase.
Enchant Boots – Greater Haste: +12 Haste
Frost Mage PvP Gearing
See our Mage PvP Gear page for alot more detail, but the basics are below. You will want to get all PvP gear and the PvP trinket pair gives you an added 10% damage reduction (from players) as a set bonus.
See above for stat priorities.
If you are not yet 100 then gain honor to the cap, spend it, and have at least 3,500 Honor ready to go when you hit 90. That will let you get your weapons first, since that will likely be, by far, your best upgrade after questing.
When you first hit 100 buy the Crafted PvP set from a guildie, friendly tailor, or off the Auction House. (Assuming such a set is available.)
In place of PvP Power the PvP gear has two ratings, one for PvP and a lower rating for everything else. This should make the PvP gear much better than PvE gear for any PvP combat and probably weaker than PvE gear in raids.
- If you don’t already have an escape trinket (such as: Primal Combatant’s Medallion of Cruelty) then your #1 priority is to get one.
- If some of your gear is weak, compared to the rest of your gear than that is a priority upgrade. For example, those three green pieces that you hadn’t updated to blues or better.
The Gear, In Order of Acquisition:
Why this order? It will give you the best results and get you into the set bonuses ASAP. this order applies for both Honor and Conquest gear, though only the latter is shown. Also not that while the gear shown is for Horde, the Alliance uses the same item names.
Reforging is dead in Warlords. So are Hit, Expertise, and Resilience. Stacking stats will come from gear choices, enchants, and the few available gem slots.
Assuming that there are set bonuses, similar to season 15, and that there is a requirement for the weapons (such as the 7,250 honor earned in season 15:)
- Your first 4k honor gets you a big piece (head, chest, or legs) and your gloves. That’s the two piece set bonus and the glove bonus (in season 15 that bonus reduced the Blink global cooldown by .5 seconds.) You could also get the “on use” trinket instead of the gloves, for the burst. (example: Primal Combatant’s Badge of Dominance)
- The next 3,500 is for your weapons.
- Gloves or that DPS trinket.
- Take two from Chest, Legs, Head, or Shoulders, for the 4 piece bonus.
- Finish out the “big” pieces.
- Bracers and boots.
- Cloak, neck, and rings.
- Escape trinket.
Conquest gear will follow the same pattern of acquisition. The Elite Conquest Gear, if it becomes available, will likely be a simple color change, as it was in previous seasons.
Professions for the Frost Mage
Professions bonuses in Warlords are gone. All of them. There is no more reason for mages to take Blacksmithing. Use the professions for items or making gold.
- Engineering has lots of interesting toys, some of which have situational use
- Blacksmithing – about the only use will be for the mage weapons.
- Tailoring – You will be able to make your own starter gear for PvP, perhaps saving some gold over Auction House prices.
- Leatherworking has nothing for you.
- Jewelcrafting might let you make some nice gems, rings, and neck pieces before they PvP equivalents are available to you.
- Enchanting offers nothing special.
- Inscription lets you make glyphs, some caster items, and some misc. other stuff.
- Alchemy better living through chemistry, except that you can’t make seaforium or pour acid (or freezing potions) on your enemies.
- Skinning, Herbalism, and Mining provide raw materials for appropriate professions or sell the stuff for more gold.
Races for the PvP Frost Mage
Not that race is a replacement for skill, but some have certain advantages. Orc for the burst or Human for the trinket ability might be “the best.” Play what you like.
In Warlords all racial abilities that had anything to do with Expertise or Hit are now gone. Some races have new abilities, such as the Draenei +Int.
- Gnomes and Goblins have 1% Haste. Night elves also do, but only at night.
- Draenei have more Int.
- Melee range stun, better food buffs, longer lasting rest XP, less falling damage.
- Can be either Horde or Alliance.
- Escape ability allows use of two DPS trinkets.
- Faster rep grinding with Diplomacy
- Human Spirit adds Versatility
- Decent escape,
- Slightly bigger mana pool than the bigger folk get
- +1% Haste
- Small size helps (really.)
- Night Elves:
- A bit harder to hit.
- Shadowmeld has possible ambush potential and can break incoming spells if you time it just right.
- +2% run speed
- +1% Crit by day, +1% Haste by Night.
- Stoneform washes away bleeds and effects and take less damage.
- +2% critical effect.
- + to Int (and Str and Ag.) 65 Int at 90.
- a small heal, both are nice and the Hit makes reforging a bit easier. (6% needed for PvP.)
- +1% crit is Ok,
- Sprint-like ability is always useful.
- Blood Fury is a nice cooldown for increased burst (put it in a macro,)
- Stun resistance helps a bit,
- Increased Pet damage is nice for your elemental.
- Remove Fear, Sleep, and Charm.
- Eat defeated players.
- Drain Life (passive) and be healed for the amount drained.
- Indefinite Underwater Breathing might be of some use somewhere.
- Berserk increases casting speed (stick it in a macro,) and
- Trolls are less affected by roots and slows.
- 1% Haste is nice,
- Rocket Jump is a nice escape.
- Blood Elves:
- Arcane Torrent restores some mana and silences casters who are too close.
- +1% Crit rating.
- Tauren don’t believe in Magery.
Frost PvP Tips
Counterspell – No longer has a silence in Warlords. Interrupts a spell and locks that school for 6 seconds.
The Frostjaw talent is your only silence (and it’s a root.)
Invisibility & Greater Invisbility (talent) – cast this before the gates open or, if in BGs, when you can break line of sight. It’s very important in the current game to get the first shatter, as it can drop someone to 30-40% with it’s ridiculous burst damage. Remember to use the on-use effect Trinket before your first shatter combo.
Mirror Image (talent) – Say if you’re going for an enemy healer and you use Ring of Frost + Mirror Images, it’s going to be very hard for him to escape all the slows/snares and whatnot, I also like the fact that Mirror Images + RoF equals a mess on the enemy screen and it can confuse the enemy, even the advanced players.
The extra slow from the Mirror Images can also act as dispel protection for Ring of Frost.
Frost Macros and Keybinding
Are you clicking your abilities instead of setting them to keybinds? You’re gimping yourself. Here’s a nice tutorial that will show you the why and how of keybinding.
Add /petattck to any damage macro and you won’t have to worry about whether your pet is attacking your target. For example:
- showtooltip Frostbolt
- /cast Frostbolt
In Arenas your targeting macros are crucial, as are your focus macros. You will no longer have to click through an army of pets to get your target(s.) Note that there are no spaces in ‘arena1.’ You can also use higher numbers if you’re doing 3s or 5s. ‘arena4′ for example.
- /target arena1
- /cast whatever
Sets your focus to arena target 1:
- /target arena1
- /focus arena1
Or just as an interrupt (or sheep or…)
- /cast [target=arena1] stormbolt
Heal your water elemental:
- /cast [target=Water Elemental] Frostbolt
This one removes the curse from your mouseover target, otherwise it removes it from you.
- /cast [target=mouseover,help,exists] [target=target,exists] [target=player] Remove Curse
Remove Curse from your team mates, one for each team member, including yourself.
- /cast [target=’your partner’s name’] Remove Curse
Cancels your current cast and casts Counterspell on your focus target if SHIFT is held, otherwise on your regular target.
- #showtooltip Counterspell
- /cast [mod:shift, target=focus] Counterspell; Counterspell
Mash your Ice Block key without worrying about instantly canceling your IB once it pops.
- #showtooltip Ice block
- /cast !Ice block
Drop Ice Block – this will cancel Ice Block so that you can use another ability
- /cancelaura Ice Block
- rest of the macro
Cancel Alter Time – Why? You find yourself in a better position a few seconds into A.T. than you were when you entered it. For example, the other guy died and/or you were healed.
- /cancelaura Alter Time
Stop casting – nice for interrupts or any other “right now” casting. Stops the other spell and allows casting of the new one. Pefect for interrupts.
- rest of the macro (eg: /cast Counterspell)
Vs Fire Mage – Steal his Pyroblast! proc, cancel it, and he can’t steal it back!
- /cast Spellsteal
- /cancelaura Pyroblast!
How to Burst as a Frost Mage
Shows a routine to put down a lot of damage real fast.
Skill-capped also has a bunch of Frost Mage PvP videos (PvP is all they do) as well as forums and such.
Check ‘em out, here.
Fast and Frostie Mage Leveling Guide
With thousands of quests and a few bazillion mobs to mash the trip to the level cap can take a while. A long while. Warlords of Draenor has a level 100 cap. You can boost to 90, at $60 a pop, but you still have to hit those last ten levels. Or save a lot of money, go 1-100, and get the appropriate gold, rep, etc.
Do what the fastest levelers do and grab Dugi’s Guide, an in-game leveling guide that almost “automates” the whole leveling path for your Frost Mage.You still have to play the game, of course, but the “where to go and what to do” part is nicely taken care of. And there’s a LOT of where to go and what to do with 100 levels.
You’ll follow the most effective leveling path all the way and skip the junk quests. You probably won’t ever have to open you quest log, much less consult some website for quest info.
Dugi’s is always updated for the latest patches and expansions, including Warlords of Draenor, and is never out of date. Grab your copy here and cruise to max level quickly and easily.