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The Frost Mage Guide for Cataclysm 4.3

Important Notes:

  • Patch 5 (Mists of Pandaria) is live.
  • Please see the following pages for up to date info. All further updates will be on these pages:
  • This page has been updated for Cata 4.3, but will not be updated further. If you have links to this page please update them to the new pages. The builds on this page will be obsolete in M of P.
  • Eventually this page will be redirected to one of the newer pages, but until then will remain as is.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled guide:

Contents

Frost Mage Guide

Other Mage Guides

 

The Frost Mage

Updated for patch 4.3

Frost mages represent a very nice mixture of mana efficiency, high damage, control, and survivability. They might not do quite as much damage as a well-played Fire or Arcane mage, but their other talents more than make up for that, especially in PvP.

Buffs and the Nerf Bat

This week perhaps the Frost Mage is tops in PvP and pretty high up in PvE. Next week? Next Patch? We'll just have to wait and see. So this page will focus on solid basics and leave the Flavor of the Minute arguments for the forums.

If you're not yet 85 you might find that the builds here don't entirely apply to you. Use what you can and grab a leveling guide to get to 85 ASAP.

 

The Frost Mage, in Brief

Role: Instance/Raid damage (DPS) or PvP pwnage

Race: Orc or Human (more races)

Builds & Glyphs

Stats

  • PvE: Int > Hit to 17% > Crit > Haste > Mastery
  • PvP: Int > Resilience > Hit to 4% > Crit > Haste > Mastery
  • More info

Gems

  • Brilliant Gems (Red, Int)
  • Mystic gems (Yellow, Resilience) for PvP
  • Burning Shadowspirit Diamond
  • More gems

Professions

  • Blacksmithing for two +50 gem slots
  • Engineering for Synapse Springs and useful gadgets.
  • more profs.

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 Go to => Top - Short Guide - Race - DPS Build - PvP Build - Stats - Profs & Macros - Leveling

 

Race choices

These days just almost any class can become a mage. The one exception being the Tauren, through an obvious act of conspiracy amoung the other races.

The racial abilities for any given race aren't huge, but having an extra escape is always nice. Trolls and Orcs have abilities that can add something to the Frost Mage's bursts. When it all chills out just play the race that you are most comfortable with, as the racials aren't that cool.

For PvP & PvE:

Humans have an escape, which allows your Frost mage to use two DPS trinkets in PvP.

  • Humans have no DPS talents for Frost Mages
  • The increased rep gain is nice for faction grinding.

Gnomes have a weaker escape than Humans, and their small size makes them harder to target (for clickers.)

  • They also have an increased mana pool.

Night Elves have their Shadowmeld which will allow you to lurk in wait before popping out and blasting away.

  • Increased dodge also makes you a bit harder to hit.

Dwarves have Stone Form, which washes away bleeds and reduces damage by 10%. Not a bad thing to have right before you show that Rogue the error of his ways.

Draenei have a small self-heal and a +1 to hit, which helps for min-maxing at the end-game.

Worgen have a "Sprint" type ability, which only adds to a Frost mage's movement capabilities. They also have an increased crit chance, which is nice in all situations.

Orcs can use Blood Fury to increase Spell damage, which is certainly useful.

  • They also have some resistance to stuns.
  • Their pets can do more damage.

Undead can remove Fear, Sleep, and Charm which might give you time to shatter that Warlock.

  • Underwater breathing has its uses in a number of quests and lurking in wait for (or hiding from) other players.
  • Cannibalize is a nice "in your face" ability.

Trolls can increase their casting speed, via Berserk, and

  • have reduced duration of movement impairing effects, which has some small use.
  • Extra damage Vs. Beasts is nice while leveling and has some PvE use. Worgen and Draenei aren't beasts, so it has no PvP use.

Blood Elves have their Arcane Torrent, which would be nice except that it's a melee range effect and you don't really want to be in melee range of anyone.

Goblins can Rocket jump, which is a nice escape (much like a cheap Blink.)

  • They also have a bit of Haste and an increased effect from their own potions.

Tauren consider magery to be a waste of time, so they don't participate.

  Go to => Top - Short Guide - Race - DPS Build - PvP Build - Stats - Profs & Macros - Leveling

 

Frost Mage Talents

At level 10 you pick Frost and then you will spend 31 points in that spec before you can move out into Fire and/or Arcane. By picking Front you gain certain special abilities:

  • Summon Water Elemental
  • Frost Specialization: +25% damage to frost spells, and addition 15% to Frostbolt
  • Mastery: Frostburn - Increased damage Vs frozen targets.

 

Level 85 Cataclysm Frost Mage DPS Build (2/8/31)

(view this build)

Frost (31 Points)

  1. Early Frost - Rank 2/2 - Reduces the cast time of your Frostbolt spell by 0.6 secs. This effect becomes inactive for 15 sec after use.
  2. Piercing Ice - Rank 3/3 - Increases the critical strike chance of your spells by 3%.
  3. Shatter - Rank 2/2 - Multiplies the critical strike chance of all your spells against frozen targets by 3, and increases the damage done by Frostbolt against frozen targets by 20%.

  4. Ice Floes - Rank 3/3 - Reduces the cooldown of your Frost Nova, Cone of Cold, Ice Block, Cold Snap, Ice Barrier, and Icy Veins spells by 20%.
  5. Piercing Chill - Rank 2/2 - Your Frostbolt criticals apply the chill effect to 2 additional nearby targets.
  6. Permafrost - Rank 1/3 - Your Chill effects reduce the target's speed by an additional 4%, and the target's healing received by 3%. In addition, whenever you deal spell damage, your Water Elemental is healed for 5% of the amount dealt.

  7. Icy Veins - Rank 1/1 - Hastens your spellcasting, increasing spell casting speed by 20% and reduces the pushback suffered from damaging attacks while casting by 100%. Lasts 20 sec.
  8. Fingers of Frost - Rank 3/3 - Gives your Chill effects a 20% chance to grant you the Fingers of Frost effect, which causes your next Ice Lance or Deep Freeze spell to act as if your target were frozen. Fingers of Frost can accumulate up to 2 charges and lasts 15 sec.
  9. Improved Freeze - Rank 3/3 - Gives your Water Elemental's Freeze spell a 100% chance to grant 2 charges of Fingers of Frost.

  10. Enduring Winter - Rank 1/3 - Reduces the mana cost of all spells by 3%. In addition, your Frostbolt spell has a 33% chance to grant up to 10 party or raid members mana regeneration equal to 1% of their maximum mana over 10 sec.
  11. Cold Snap - Rank 1/1 - When activated, this spell finishes the cooldown on all Frost spells you recently cast.
  12. Brain Freeze - Rank 3/3
    Your spells no longer trigger Arcane Missiles. Instead, your Frost damage spells with chilling effects have a 15% chance to cause your next Fireball or Frostfire Bolt spell to be instant cast and cost no mana. When Frostfire Bolt is instant, it can benefit from Fingers of Frost. Brain Freeze cannot be triggered by Frostfire Bolt.

  13. Ice Barrier - Rank 1/1 - Instantly shields you, absorbing damage. Lasts 1 min. While the shield holds, spellcasting will not be delayed by damage.
  14. Reactive Barrier - Rank 2/2 - Gives the caster a 100% chance for the Ice Barrier spell to automatically cast with no mana cost upon taking damage that lowers the caster's life below 50%. This effect obeys Ice Barrier's cooldown, and will trigger the cooldown when activated.

  15. Frostfire Orb - Rank 2/2 - Your Frostfire Orb gains a chill effect, slowing targets damaged by the Frostfire Orb by 40% for 4 sec. In addition, reduces the speed of targets slowed by your Frostfire Bolt's chill effect by an additional 20%.

  16. Deep Freeze - Rank 1/1
    Stuns the target for 5 sec. Only usable on Frozen targets. Deals ( 1429 * 1) to ( 1791 * 1) damage to targets that are permanently immune to stuns.

Arcane (2 Points)

  1. Netherwind Presence - Rank 2/3
    Increases your spell haste by 2%.

Fire (8 Points)

  1. Master of Elements - Rank 2/2 - Your spell criticals will refund 30% of their base mana cost.
  2. Burning Soul - Rank 3/3 - Reduces the casting time lost from taking damaging attacks by 70%.
  3. Ignite - Rank 3/3 - Your critical strikes from Fire damage spells cause the target to burn for an additional 40% of your spell's damage over 4 sec.

Glyphs

  1. Glyph of Deep Freeze (Prime Glyph) - Your Deep Freeze deals 20% additional damage.
  2. Glyph of Frostfire (Prime Glyph) - Increases the damage done by your Frostfire Bolt by 15% and your Frostfire Bolt now deals 3% additional damage over 12 sec, stacking up to 3 times, but no longer reduces the victim's movement speed.
  3. Glyph of Frostbolt (Prime Glyph) - Increases the critical strike chance of your Frostbolt spell by 5%.

  4. Glyph of Icy Veins (Major Glyph) - Your Icy Veins ability also removes all movement slowing and cast time slowing effects.
  5. Glyph of Polymorph (Major Glyph) - Your Polymorph spell also removes all damage over time effects from the target. Perfect those those times that you need your sheep to stick.
  6. Glyph of Evocation (Major Glyph) - Your Evocation ability also causes you to regain 40% of your health over its duration. You will take damage and this takes a load off the healers.

  7. Glyph of Arcane Brilliance (Minor Glyph) - Reduces the mana cost of your Arcane Brilliance spell by 50%.
  8. Glyph of Slow Fall (Minor Glyph) - Your Slow Fall spell no longer requires a reagent.
  9. Glyph of the Monkey (Minor Glyph) - Your Polymorph: Sheep spell polymorphs the target into a monkey instead.

Notes:

  • Reactive Barrier: adds to survivability and helps the healers out.
  • Ignite: Fire Blast is an instant fire spell and this adds to its damage, when it crits. It's not a big DPS loss to drop this in favor of something else. If you're using Fire Blast then consider dropping two points from Burning Soul and putting them into Improved Fire Blast.
  • Early Frost: Depending on this and that it might be useful to drop this talent in favor or something else, such as two more points in Enduring Winter, given the mana issues in Cataclysm.


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 Go to => Top - Short Guide - Race - DPS Build - PvP Build - Stats - Profs & Macros - Leveling

 

Level 85 Cataclysm Frost Mage PvP Build (2/7/32)

Depending on your game and option is to drop a couple of points in somethng to get the Frostfire Orb talent. It's left out of this build due to glitchiness.

Frost (32 Points)

  1. Early Frost - Rank 2/2 - Reduces the cast time of your Frostbolt spell by 0.6 secs. This effect becomes inactive for 15 sec after use.
  2. Piercing Ice - Rank 3/3 - Increases the critical strike chance of your spells by 3%.
  3. Shatter - Rank 2/2 - Multiplies the critical strike chance of all your spells against frozen targets by 3, and increases the damage done by Frostbolt against frozen targets by 20%.

  4. Ice Floes - Rank 3/3 - Reduces the cooldown of your Frost Nova, Cone of Cold, Ice Block, Cold Snap, Ice Barrier, and Icy Veins spells by 20%.
  5. Improved Cone of Cold - Rank 2/2 - Your Cone of Cold also freezes targets for 4 sec.
  6. Piercing Chill - Rank 1/2 - Your Frostbolt criticals apply the chill effect to 1 additional nearby targets.
  7. Permafrost - Rank 3/3 - Your Chill effects reduce the target's speed by an additional 10%, and the target's healing received by 10%. In addition, whenever you deal spell damage, your Water Elemental is healed for 15% of the amount dealt.

  8. Icy Veins - Rank 1/1 - Hastens your spellcasting, increasing spell casting speed by 20% and reduces the pushback suffered from damaging attacks while casting by 100%. Lasts 20 sec.
  9. Fingers of Frost - Rank 3/3 - Gives your Chill effects a 20% chance to grant you the Fingers of Frost effect, which causes your next Ice Lance or Deep Freeze spell to act as if your target were frozen. Fingers of Frost can accumulate up to 2 charges and lasts 15 sec.
  10. Improved Freeze - Rank 3/3 - Gives your Water Elemental's Freeze spell a 100% chance to grant 2 charges of Fingers of Frost.

  11. Enduring Winter - Rank 1/3 - Reduces the mana cost of all spells by 3%. In addition, your Frostbolt spell has a 33% chance to grant up to 10 party or raid members mana regeneration equal to 1% of their maximum mana over 10 sec.
  12. Cold Snap - Rank 1/1 - When activated, this spell finishes the cooldown on all Frost spells you recently cast.
  13. Brain Freeze - Rank 3/3 - Your spells no longer trigger Arcane Missiles. Instead, your Frost damage spells with chilling effects have a 15% chance to cause your next Fireball or Frostfire Bolt spell to be instant cast and cost no mana. When Frostfire Bolt is instant, it can benefit from Fingers of Frost. Brain Freeze cannot be triggered by Frostfire Bolt.

  14. Shattered Barrier - Rank 2/2 - Gives your Ice Barrier spell a 100% chance to freeze all enemies within 10 yds for 4 sec when it is destroyed.
  15. Ice Barrier - Rank 1/1 - Instantly shields you, absorbing damage. Lasts 1 min. While the shield holds, spellcasting will not be delayed by damage.

  16. Deep Freeze - Rank 1/1
    Stuns the target for 5 sec. Only usable on Frozen targets. Deals ( 1429 * 1) to ( 1791 * 1) damage to targets that are permanently immune to stuns.

Arcane (2 Points)

  1. Improved Counterspell - Rank 2/2 - Your Counterspell also silences the target for 4 sec.
Fire (7 Points)
  1. Burning Soul - Rank 3/3 - Reduces the casting time lost from taking damaging attacks by 70%.
  2. Improved Fire Blast - Rank 2/2 - Increases the critical strike chance of your Fire Blast spell by 8% and increases its range by 10 yards.
  3. Impact - Rank 2/2 - Gives your damaging spells a 10% chance to reset the cooldown on Fire Blast and to cause the next Fire Blast you cast to stun the target for 2 sec and spread any Fire damage over time effects to nearby enemy targets within 12 yards.
Glyphs
  1. Glyph of Frostbolt (Prime Glyph) - Increases the critical strike chance of your Frostbolt spell by 5%.
  2. Glyph of Ice Lance (Prime Glyph) - Increases the damage of your Ice Lance spell by 5%.
  3. Glyph of Frostfire (Prime Glyph) - Increases the damage done by your Frostfire Bolt by 15% and your Frostfire Bolt now deals 3% additional damage over 12 sec, stacking up to 3 times, but no longer reduces the victim's movement speed.
  4. Optional Glyph of Deep Freeze to replace Frostfire, depending on how important the loss of the slow from the Frostfire glyph is to your game.

  5. Glyph of Evocation (Major Glyph) - Your Evocation ability also causes you to regain 40% of your health over its duration.
  6. Glyph of Polymorph (Major Glyph) - Your Polymorph spell also removes all damage over time effects from the target.
  7. Glyph of Icy Veins (Major Glyph) - Your Icy Veins ability also removes all movement slowing and cast time slowing effects.

  8. Glyph of Slow Fall (Minor Glyph) - Your Slow Fall spell no longer requires a reagent.
  9. Glyph of Arcane Brilliance (Minor Glyph) - Reduces the mana cost of your Arcane Brilliance spell by 50%.


Get better - ArenaPwnage

 

 Go to => Top - Short Guide - Race - DPS Build - PvP Build - Stats - Profs & Macros - Leveling

 

Stats and Stuff

With 4.0 & Cataclysm Frost Mages are in much better shape the before in regards to their raid DPS potential. They might not be quite up to Fire or Arcane, but they won't embarrass themselves by any means

As far as gear goes, if you have a ton of gold you can gear up quickly off the Auction House. There is some very nice purple gear appearing, but it ain't cheap. If you don't have the cash you can either earn it or do the standard dungeon > heroic > raid progression and gradually acquire it.

PvP hear (honor gear) might be a good way to go if certain pieces aren't dropping off the mobs.

 

The Basic Stats

  1. Int - Int is all powers. It adds directly to your Spellpower (this is new with 4.0,) adds directly to your mana pool , and adds a tiny amount to your crit. It is, by far, your most important stat.
  2. Spirit - Completely useless
  3. Strength - Completely useless
  4. Agility - Completely useless
  5. Stamina - It depends...
    1. If you're pulling mobs off the tank you might want to have some extra
    2. If you're a good player and you let the tank keep the mobs then you don't need as much.
    3. For leveling you want enough to stay alive.
    4. For PvP you'll want a lot. Plan on having enough to survive the opener of that Rogue who's just popped in behind you and landed her opener.

Other Stats - more or less in order, depending on how close you are to any caps.

Use reforging to change mastery and haste into hit and crit, saving the gems and enchants for Int (as much as you can. )

  1. Hit, to the 17% cap (4% for PvP.) You can't do damge to what you can't hit.
  2. Spellpower - found on some trinkets and enchants. Since it's direct damage this is a powerful stat.
  3. Crit - Frost has Shatter which triples your Crit against frozen targets., so the more you can get, the better.
  4. Haste - Reforge into Hit (to the cap,) then crit
  5. Mastery - Reforge into Hit (to the cap,) then crit

  6. PvP: Spell Penetration - Aim for around 200 points.
  7. PvP: Resilience
    1. For PvP you'll want as much as you can get without gimping yourself.
    2. OUtside of PvP this stat is useless.

 

Gems

Use red gems in all slots unless the socket bonus, per socket, is juicy. At least 13 or 14 points of Intelligence each. PvPers can use Mystic gems (resilience) depending on needs.

 

Enchants for the Frost Mage

These are pretty much the same enchants that any caster would want. Crit enchants are included in this list, even though Int is better.

  Go to => Top - Short Guide - Race - DPS Build - PvP Build - Stats - Profs & Macros - Leveling

Professions

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.

  • Tailoring - Lightweave Embroidery sometimes increases Int by 580 for 15 seconds. The problem is that you can't count on that proc at any given instant, much less activate it on call. Still, the average Int increase over time makes this the best of the DPS professions. You will also be able to make your own Emberfire/Fireweave gear for PvP, as well as some nice PvE items.
  • Leatherworking provides the best increase with its 130 Int enchant compared to the next best, which is 65 Haste
  • Jewelcrafting is a thin hair better than the others, being able to create three +67 Int, self-only, gems for a mighty 81 point total Int gain.
  • Enchanting will allow you to enchant both rings, for a total +80 Int gain.
  • Inscription has a +130 Int shoulder enchant which is an 80 Int gain over the next best item.
  • Alchemy has a variety of useful potions and the Mixology bonus is worth 80 Int.
  • Engineering has lots of interesting toys, some of which have situational use, and Synapse Springs, which increases Int by 480 for 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 +40 Int gems, 80 Int total. If you can afford it, then slot two of the +50 Int gems.

  • Skinning provides 80 crit rating, which is far below 80 Int in value. If you have to take skinning for the cash flow then work it hard and do a lot of it.
  • Herbalism provides a small self heal and 240 Haste rating for 20 seconds.
  • Mining provides 80 Stam and so has little benefit for Mages since Int is so much superior.

 

 

Macros

  • 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

  • Cancels your current cast and casts Counterspell on your focus target if SHIFT is held, otherwise on your regular target.
    #showtooltip Counterspell
    /stopcasting
    /cast [mod:shift, target=focus] Counterspell; Counterspell

 

 

1-90 Frost Mage Leveling Guide

Tired of the grind? Want to level up yet another alt quickly? Just starting out?

Get leveled the easy way. With thousands of quests and a few bazillion mobs to mash the trip to max level can take a while. A long while. 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 neatly taken care of. You probably won't ever have to open you quest log, much less consult some website for quest info.

It doesn't matter whether you're decked head to toe in heirlooms and are using Recruit a Friend or if you're brand new to the game. Dugi's has you covered.

Grab your copy here and cruise to the level cap.

 

 

 



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