Frost Mage PvP Guide, Stay Frosty
Updated for Mists of Pandaria 5.4.7
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 even if you are reforging out of Mastery. It also provides that addition freeze, giving you more Shatter opportunities. In patch 5.4.7 your Resilience is now a base of 77%.
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Frost Mage PvP Contents
|Other Mage Guides|
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:
- Presence of Mind – Allows an insta-cast of any one spell every 1.5 min except Ring of Frost, which greatly knocks down POM’s utility (with 5.2 R of F has a 2 second “arming” time.) Still, not at all bad talent. Tie it up with FrostJaw in a macro and get an instant freeze and silence.
- 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.
- Ice Floes – Not so hot when compared to the others.
- Temporal Shield – Usable while stunned and heals incoming damage over the next 6 seconds. As of 5.4 the shield also reduces damage. This is the best of the three for most situations, but does require reacting well to incoming damage while Ice Barrier is more of a “put it up and forget about it” ability.
- 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 than Temporal Shield.
- Ring of Frost – the old, the tested, the immensely useful in all kinds of places. Has a cast time and even with Presence of Mind has 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 before your Frost Bomb Shatter goes off…
- Ice Ward – Melee gets in your face and gets frozen, 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.
- Frostjaw – Single target ranged freeze and silence. Has its uses, especially when followed up with a shatter.
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.
- Nether Tempest – Nice Vs single targets, but with patch 5.3 Living Bomb is better.
- Living Bomb – Nice burn, explodes for decent damage. The DOT was nicely buffed in 5.3 and it won’t break CC on nearby enemies, until it explodes, unlike Nether Tempest.
- Frost Bomb – Delivers all damage when it explodes. If your target just happens to be frozen when it goes off it can hit pretty hard.
- Invocation – Evocate and get more damage for a minute. Nice when you have the time to do that. If glyphed you gain 10% of your health when the Invocation ends.
- 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. Plus mana just isn’t really an issue for Mages.
- Incanter’s Ward. It’s PvP, you will take lots of damage. Might as well get a really nice damage boost out of the deal. In 5.3 it does less of a boost than before, but lasts longer. Since it lasts 25 seconds and has a 25 second cooldown you should be able to have this up full time.
Glyphs for the PvPing Frost Mage:
Videos, forums, ask questions
- Glyph of Deep Freeze: Take DF off the GCD, allowing for immediate follow up with Ice Lance or whatever.
- Glyph of Polymorph: Removes DOTs from the target.
- Glyph of Water Elemental – A more effective Water Elemental. More health and more efficient casting.
- Glyph of Armors: More defense from your armors.
- Glyph of Icy Veins: More damage from your various bolts.
- Glyph of Evocation: Regain health when you Evo. Mana is not an issue as of the 5.0.4 patch, but health might be. Getting the time to use it might also be an issue, but you will get some healing, even if youi have to interrupt it.
- Glyph of Spellsteal – adds a small heal when you steal a spell.
- Glyph of Momentum: Lets you strafe using Blink.
- Pick any two.
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. Your Mastery completely changed in patch 5.4, notes are below.
|Frost Spec Level|
|Frostbolt – Damages and slows the target. Generates one Icicle. Heals your Water Elemental.||7|
|Summon Water Elemental – A nice add to your overall DFPS (waterbol was buffed in 5.4 and gets a boost from your Mastery) and adds another Freeze. Also, while the opposition is killing your pet they’re not attacking you.||10|
|Fingers of Frost – Spells can trigger F of F which treats targets as frozen (for ice lance and deep freeze, and increases ice lance damage (for one cast.) Clearly you will want to get as many of these procs as you can. Frostbolts, Frostfire Bolts and Frozen Orb hits have a chance to trigger the F of F procs.||24|
|Icy Veins – accelerates spell-casting (20% Haste, and you like Haste,) reduces pushback. 3 min CD.||36|
|Frozen Orb – Orb attacks targets doing damage and slowing them briefly. Grants one Fingers of Frost proc when it reaches its target, might grant another as it continues.||62|
|Brain Freeze – Your bombs (Nether Tempest, Living Bomb, Frost Bomb) have a chance to proc Brain Freeze, which will cause your next Frostfire bolt to be free and instant and to treat the opponent as frozen.||77|
|Mastery: Icicles – Your Frostbolt and Frostfire Bolts will store a portion of their damage as one “Icicle” (max of five can be stored.) Icicles are unleashed when you use your Ice Lance. Your Mastery also increases the damage of your pet’s Waterbolt.||80|
Frost Stats for PvP
Patch 5.4 buffed Resilience to 72% and changed your Mastery completely. (See Abilities, just above.)
- Priorities: 6% Spell Hit > Int > Haste > Crit to 25% > Mastery > PvP Power & Resilience
- Less useful: Crit over 25% > Hit over 6%
More about Stats
- Hit: Can’t kill what you can’t hit. Expertise and some racials add to your Spell Hit. Draenai start out with a +1% Hit. Basically, getting 6% hit will be easy. Also, any Expertise on gear adds to your Spell Hit. (Hit and Exp. are going away in the next Expansion, Warlords of Draenor.) Excess Hit is useless to you (unless you’re raiding in your PvP gear,) but your elemental gets 50% of yours, so excess Hit isn’t a total waste.
- Int improves Spell Power and Crit. It’s your #1 stats (after Spell Hit) since it adds damage to everything you do.
- Haste provides for faster casting and shaves precious fractions off of cast times. At 12.5% Haste you also get an extra tick on your Nether Tempest of Living Bomb DOT.
- Crit – Your Shatter ability doubles your crit chance against frozen targets and adds another 50%. With a 25% crit chance this means that you have a 100% chance for a Shatter crit. Crit over 25% will have no effect on Shatters, so is less useful (though far from bad.)
- 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.
- Resilience: Base resilience, naked, is 72% for level 90s, as of patch 5.4. Any Resilience on your gear, from gems and enchants, adds to that. (Res is a straight up damage reduction for damage thrown at you by other players.)
- PvP power is a straight up damage add. It does not interact directly with Resilience. This stat took a big hit in 5.3 though it is far from worthless. More on PvP power and Resilience.
Reforge to your strongest stats first.
- Once you have your 6% Hit then reforge everything into Haste, and then Crit.
Frost Mage Gems
You should try to match Int socket bonuses. 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. PvP Power and Resilience gems have the same values as Int gems. “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.
Offense (Slot the appropriate epic gems if they’re available:)
- 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 Blacksmithing sockets:Brilliant Primordial Ruby
Defense: With 77% Resilience your gemming for defense is not recommended. After all, you have to punch through the other guy’s defenses. But if you’re so inclined (eg; you’re getting too much pressure:)
- Red: Willful Vermilion Onyx
- Yellow: Mystic Sun’s Radiance
- Blue: Vivid Wild Jade
- Prismatic (belt buckle, blacksmithing socket:) Mystic Sun’s Radiance
A couple of gems with Hit are shown, in case you still need that stat.
|Meta||Tyrannical Primal Diamond: +665 PVP Power and +775 Resilience, requires 27k earned conquest points and iLevel 476, cost 1k conquest points.
Burning Primal Diamond: +216 Int & 3% Increased Crit Effect.
Sinister Primal Diamond: +324 Critical Strike, and chance on spell damage to gain 30% spell haste. Does not proc in BGs or Arena
Capacitive Primal Diamond: +324 Critical Strike, and chance on melee or ranged hit to gain Capacitance. Does not proc in BGs or Arena
|Red||Brilliant Serpent’s Eye: 320 Int, self-only Jewelcrafting gem
Brilliant Primordial Ruby: 160 Int
|Yellow||Mystic Sun’s Radiance: 160 Resilience
Quick Sun’s Radiance: +320 Haste
|Blue||Stormy River’s Heart: +160 PvP power
Rigid River’s Heart: +320 Hit
|Orange||Willful Vermilion Onyx: +80 Int & +80 Resilience
Reckless Vermilion Onyx: 80 Int, 160 Haste
|Green||Vivid Wild Jade: +80 Res, +80 PvP Power|
|Purple||Mysterious Imperial Amethyst: +80 Int, +80 PvP Power
Veiled Imperial Amethyst: 80 Int and 160 Hit
|Prismatic||Brilliant Primordial Ruby: 160 Int|
|Cogwheel||requires an engie helm, such as this.
Quick Tinker’s Gear: 600 Haste
Smooth Tinker’s Gear: 600 Crit
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.
There are no general PvP Power enchants, the chest enchant is the only one that offers resilience. There is a weapon enchant, requiring conquest points, that offers PvP power.
|Weapon||Enchant Weapon – Jade Spirit: Sometimes increases Int by 1650, might increase Spirit by 750 if mana is low.
Enchant Weapon – Glorious Tyranny: 600 PvP Power, 50% Disarm reduction, cost is 1,000 Conquest points. Does not stack if you get it on both weapons.
Off Hand: Enchant Off-Hand – Major Intellect: +165 Int
|Shoulders||Secret Crane Wing Inscription: 520 Int and 100 Crit rating, Requires Inscription 550.
Greater Crane Wing Inscription: +200 Int and 100 Crit
|Cloak||Enchant Cloak – Superior Intellect: +180 Int
Lightweave Embroidery – attacks can give 2k Int for 15 sec, requires tailoring
|Chest||Enchant Chest – Glorious Stats: +80 to all stats
Enchant Chest – Super Resilience: +200 Resilience
|Bracers||Enchant Bracer – Super Intellect: +180 Int
Fur Lining increases Int by 500, requires leatherworking.
Socket Bracer – Pop in a gem, requires Blacksmithing 400
|Gloves||Enchant Gloves – Greater Haste: +170-Haste
Socket Gloves – Pop in a gem, requires Blacksmithing 400
|Belt||Livingsteel Belt Buckle: Gem slot for a nice Int gem|
|Leggings||Greater Cerulean Spellthread: +285 Int and +165 Crit|
|Boots||Enchant Boots – Pandaren’s Step: +140 Mastery, slight run speed increase.
Enchant Boots – Greater Haste: +170 Haste
|Rings||Enchant Ring – Greater Intellect: +160 Int, Requires Enchanting 550|
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 youi an added 10% to your Resilience as a set bonus.
See above for stat priorities. You will want to reforge gear into Haste and then Crit. Some people feel that Mastery is “completely useless” in 5.4, all say the you should reforge it all away into better stats.
See above for Gems and Enchants. Gem and enchant for offense, you won’t need the added Resilience or PvP Power. Some people feel that going for PvP Power socket bonuses is not worth it and only socket match where there is an Int bonus. This will be noted below.
If you are not yet 90 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 your best upgrade after questing.
When you first hit 90 but the Crafted Malevolent Gladiator’s set from a guidie or off the Auction House. And alternative is to open a bunch of chests on the Timeless Isle and get the 496 gear that’s there. This will get you set up right for the Battle Grounds.
- If you don’t already have an escape trinket 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.
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: Consider using ReforgeLite (get it from Curse) to help with reforging and keeping as close to 6% hit as possible as you gear up.
Season 14 Conquest gear is “Grievous Gladiator,” Season 15 is “Prideful Gladiator.”
- The Cowl:
- Insignia of Dominance
- Mainhand: Mageblade (or dagger or wand, the stats are the same)
- Off-hand: Endgame
- Consider using two Int Gems and skipping the socket bonus.
- Consider using two Int Gems and skipping the socket bonus.
- Accuracy Cord
- Cruelty Boots
- Consider using Int Gem in the socket and skipping the socket bonus.
- Alacrity Pendant
- Prowess Cuffs
- Band of Accuracy
- Band of Cruelty
- Cruelty cloak
- Medallion of Cruelty – if you don’t already have an escape trinket then this should be your #1 choice. Also note that this gives you the two piece set bonus for added Resilience.
The Elite Conquest gear is just a color change and provides no additional benefit.
Professions for the Frost Mage
All of the professions provide some benefit for Mages, though clearly some are better than others. Even the gathering professions have some value, though you might be better served by building a larger gold stash through other means.
If you’re just talking about pure efficiency then Engineering, for the Synapse Springs and other gadgets, and Blacksmithing, for the extra gem slots, might be the best professions to take.
Alchemy proves better effect and duration from your own potions (about 30% for stats and an extra hour in duration for elixirs and flasks) and has a lot of useful potions.
Herbalism comes with a big Haste cooldown and you will also be able to gather some very nice Spirits.
- Engineering has lots of interesting toys, some of which have situational use, and Synapse Springs, which increases Int by 1,940r 10 seconds. If you take this use a macro to activate it, along with other short term buffs, before you cast your favorite nuke.
- Blacksmithing gives two extra gems slots for the nicest gems. Since gems with secondary stats have twice the vale of gems with primary stats, eg PvP power gem for 320 points Vs Int gem for 160) this may be the best profession to take.
- Tailoring – Lightweave Embroidery sometimes increases Int by 2,000 for 15 seconds. The only problem is that you can’t activate it on call, so it has less PvP value than PvE value. You will also be able to make your own starter gear for PvP, perhaps saving some gold over Auction House prices.
- Leatherworking provides a 500 Int wrist enchant.
- Jewelcrafting allows creating two 320 Int, self-only, gems. You can also create many other self-only gems, of course, if you’d rather use those.
- Enchanting will allow you to enchant both rings, for a total +320 Int total.
- Inscription has a nice shoulder enchant which is 520 Int and 100 Crit.
- Alchemy has a variety of useful potions and the Mixology bonus is worth 320 Int and extra duration.
- Skinning provides 480 crit rating, which is far below the other profs in value. If you have to take skinning do it for the cash flow then work it hard and do a lot of it.
- Herbalism provides a small self heal and a pretty sweet 2880 Haste rating for 20 seconds, plus you can find spirits. Make gold, get Haste and Heals, what’s not to like?
- Mining provides 480 Stam and has little benefit for Mages.
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.
- 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
- Expertise with swords adds to your Spell Hit if you equip a sword.
- Decent escape,
- Slightly bigger mana pool than the bigger folk get
- Expertise with Swords & Daggers adds to your Spell Hit if you use a Sword or Dagger.
- 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.
- Stoneform washes away bleeds and take less damage.
- Ranged weapon expertise is useless.
- +1 Hit (partially inherited by your elemental) is quite nice
- 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.
- Berserk increases casting speed (stick it in a macro,) and
- Trolls are less affected by roots and slows.
- Ranged weapon expertise is useless.
- 1% Haste is nice,
- Rocket Jump is a nice escape.
- Blood Elves:
- Arcane Torrent restores some mana and silences casters who are too close.
- Tauren don’t believe in Magery.
Frost PvP Tips
Counterspell – Consider using this as a silence with a situational interrupt. Instead of nippng his spell as he casts it, use it to silence him in important situations or to break his chain of spells. For example, Silencing a priest/paladin to break a CC chain.
Evocation – When used with the glyph this heals for 60% of your health. The first tick is instant, so even if you don’t have time to do the whole thing you can get a bit of health back. Maybe enough to count. Your level 90 talent pick will change how this works.
Invisibility & Greater Invisbility – 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 – 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.) See our macro post if you need help getting started. Check out Impulse if you want some more heavy duty macro and keybind assistance.
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. Also see our post on How to do Damage as Frost.
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.
Tired of the grind? Want to level up yet another alt quickly? Brand new to the World of Warcraft or decked head to toe in heirloom gear and want to be “up there?” Then get leveled the easy way.
With thousands of quests and a few bazillion mobs to mash the trip to the level cap can take a while. A long while. And longer when Warlords of Draenor comes, with its level 100 cap. 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 and is never out of date. Grab your copy here and cruise to max level quickly and easily.