[PvE] Frost Mage Guide - 4.1

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85 Gnome Mage
7110
Where would you put the points if you did not put them in reactive barrier or piercing chill? Those are the only talents that actually have a direct impact on our survivability or dps. If not put into piercing chills or reactive barrier you do not have enough points to get to deep freeze.


Edit: I suppose you could take Ice Shards but i would personally rather have piercing chill. Both are situational to an extent but I think it is much more rare that Ice shards would come into play.


Yeah sorry, I actually noticed that and cleared it up, but not before you quoted it <.< still though, there are MUCH better places to put those talents. 2/2 in Piercing Chill is a complete waste. Honestly, I see no use for that talent in any situation... In AoE youll be using Blizzard, in single target there will be no one to take charges, and in PvP... well maybe in arenas. but definitely not in PvE. And FFO Ignite crits ARE much more important than Switch makes it out to be... he seems to describe it as "optional". You should ALWAYS have 3/3 Ignite.


Any experienced mage understands the importance of ignite and the dps you gain from it; however, a newly fresh geared mage not experienced with frost will gain more dps with a spec that has 3/3 arc concentration until he/she has mastered managing their mana. Obviously done right ignite>arcane concentration but you cannot assume everyone who wants to start up frost knows how to manage their mana. Also to your other point, piercing chills provides charges of FoF on fights like Halfus, or Omnitron. I do not see ANY reason that Ice Shards would provide a higher dps on ANY fight.
85 Troll Mage
5090
Yeah sorry, I actually noticed that and cleared it up, but not before you quoted it <.< still though, there are MUCH better places to put those talents. 2/2 in Piercing Chill is a complete waste. Honestly, I see no use for that talent in any situation... In AoE youll be using Blizzard, in single target there will be no one to take charges, and in PvP... well maybe in arenas. but definitely not in PvE. And FFO Ignite crits ARE much more important than Switch makes it out to be... he seems to describe it as "optional". You should ALWAYS have 3/3 Ignite.


Piercing chill is great for heroics. You don't too much use out of in raids, but there are still situations where it's utilized...BoT especially has a number of trash packs where the amount CC'd makes blizzard a weak choice, but you still get a cleave on 1-2 targets. It's not a great option, but really there aren't any "great" options with those two points. Ice Shards, Reactive Barrier, Piercing Chill, 3/3 EW....they're all pretty weak/situational.
85 Troll Mage
5090
Decent guide, but a good part of the guide is hard to read due to sentence structure as Catperson pointed out.

Two questions


1. If deep freeze has just been used is it good to just use up all your FOF procs? then perhaps wait until 10 or 5 secs before saving up a proc?

2. "Use Cold Snap only after Icy Veins/FFO/DF have been recently used for maximum dps gain."
Do you mean kinda like how a marksman hunter uses his readiness( hunter permafrost)
right after he uses his rapid fire( hunter icy veins)? so he can use them back to back?

and what is the priority for permafrost? deep freeze over say icy veins?

Thank you for your effort to help the mage community.


1. You're primarily saving that charge for a BF proc if DF is on CD. Really the only time you want to use up all your charges is during FFO, since it'd be very easy to lose a charge if you didn't, during a movement phase, or for Deep Freeze.

2. I don't know about hunters, but it sounds like you have the right idea. Basically Cold Snap reset three major dps cooldowns: FFO, DF, and IV. To get the most use out of it, you want those as far away from coming off cooldown as possible.

I don't understand your permafrost question. It doesn't have anything to do with the priority of those abilities. I thought maybe you meant Fingers of Frost, but you don't need a charge of that for Icy Veins...so I'll just stop guessing and say I'm confused.
Edited by Ellyngton on 5/15/2011 1:25 AM PDT
85 Blood Elf Mage
9710
Wait I thought the sims showed the best glyphs to be DF FB FFB


Patchwork | DPS DIFFERENCE %mage armor| %molten armor

FB/FFB/DF 27223 | 0,00%| 66% | 34%

FB/IL/DF 26883 |-1,25%| 65% | 35%

FB/MA/DF 26731| -1,81%| 65% | 35%

MA/FFB/DF 26857| -1,34%| 67% | 33%

MA/IL/DF 26515| -2,60%| 67% | 33%

FB/FFB/MA 26777 |-1,64%| 65% | 35%

FB/IL/MA 26431| -2,91%| 65% | 35%
Edited by Ceratisa on 5/15/2011 2:09 AM PDT
85 Troll Mage
8335
Firstly, pretty good guide. I approve. I learned a couple things while reading it and will update my own raiding guide that is already stickied with some of this more useful information that I didn't know about 4.1. Now on to suggestions/replies.

TALENTS

You should clarify ice shards allowing blizzard to proc FoF (I didn't even know this!) so that this "optional" talent isn't passed over, that is quite a nifty bonus to Blizzard. On that note, I would use the following spec, which as far as I'm concerned only has one optional talent, but no other place to put it in, so I would make the claim that every raiding frost mage should use the exact spec:

http://www.wowhead.com/talent#o0bZfcZffMksuszRo

Piercing chill is amazing whenever any adds/etc get near the boss. Procs galore.I would never pass this up, especially considering the distinct lack of other talents to put it in. I would always put and only ever put 1 point into Permafrost, Ice Shards, Enduring Water and Reactive Barrier. No healer is going to heal your WE, and it can take damage, so a little heal going in on it is quite useful. Ice Shards proccing FoF during blizzard is amazing for one talent. 1/3 enduring water is enough for a good uptime on replinishment, anything more is not necessary. Reactive Barrier is, IMO, the only truly optional talent, but I would always take it for the following reason: as a frost mage, you want to absorb as much damage with IB as possible, but wasting a GCD on it when it's not really necessary is going to cost you damage. You also don't just want to cast in case you take damage, again a potentially 100% wasted IBar. Reactive Barrier procs when you take damage while under 50% health as well, so if your IBar is off CD and you are below 50% health and take more damage, you will have a significant chance at proccing your IB for free with no GCD. You can just let this talent worry about IB for you, and for only 1 talent point! Quite useful. And as always you can still cast IB when you want to/need to.

Besides your base spec, your sub specs are kind of odd. I would say it's better DPS to keep ignite and use Mage Armor instead if you ever have mana issues.

And your last spec is even odder, whats the point of dropping perma/EW to get 2/2 ice shards? Refer to my above paragraph for my complete thoughts on this.

GLYPHS->PROFS

As for your glyphs, the final note I'm not too sure about. If you were above 33% crit without the MA glyph, you should drop some crit into haste/mastery instead of dropping Molten Armor/it's glyph for the frostbolt glyph. I could be wrong though, do you have any numbers for this?

Your stat priorities/enchants are good. In your gems however, you only list Potent. If you were crit capped being chosing a gem for your piece of gear, you would want to use reckless/artful(or whatever the mastery one is). Or are you saying that if you were to go above the crit cap with that one gem you should swap crit out elsewhere? The crazy thing about this expac is that between enchants, gems and reforging we can get almost exact amount of each stat that we want to get. I wouldn't limit any one of those areas, besides that enchants sometimes offer more of one stat than the other, for some annoying reason.

...stupid 5000 character limit....
85 Troll Mage
8335
ROTATION

Now for the rotation. It's spot on, except for you seem to have forgotten about Bloodlust. In a given fight, it's much better to use your double IV craziness for a 100% IV uptime during Bloodlust, than randomly at the beginning of a fight. Also, following your 'first strike' rotation will cause you to pull agro quite often I would say, making MI something you will want to press pre pull often too.

Knowing that BL will never be used right at the start of a fight, CS should also not be used at the start of the fight. IV/FFO/trinkets/prepot are all perfectly great to get going at the start of the fight, you just need to make sure you are going to have IV off CD for your bloodlust burn phase. Something a little crazy about the BL+IV burn phase, is that you will be GCD capped on your insta cast spells with zero haste rating. Because of this, I recommend not using FFB and wasting all those awesome procs when you are wasting a good 1/5 of your GCD every cast, effectively lowering the DPS of your uber CD'ed IL/BF by about 25% (1/.8=1.25).

Now after typing all that out about the rotation, I realized it's a give and take, and it's possible that your method could beat out my method, it's a numbers game. With your method you never hit the GCD cap, but miss out on significant haste multiplication during BL, you also gain two FFO's, where as I recommend not using FFO during BL, which would mean that CS resetting it's CD is unecessary generally. I would really like Lhivera's thoughts on this topic.

Getting past the BL issue for now. Does double FFO ever cause you lose a proc? How about when you don't get a proc, cast a Frostbolt then get three procs? Is potentially wasting a proc (as I'm sure you must every once in a while) worth the DPS you gain from getting FFB on CD 25% faster? I'm not sure it is, and currently I will FFO->PF/IV->DF->CS->DF->rotation and wait for either affect to end to use it next. (precasting FFO a little earlier for the travel time or if the boss moves)

Random note: most people say "use/keep XX on cooldown." I assume you mean "use XX if it's off cooldown," because otherwise you are literally telling us to not put the spell on cooldown, or something. IDK, it just sounds/is weird, IMO haha. Also I've never seen someone say "expel Ice Lance" when what they are trying to say is "use a FoF charge," again, it just sounds weird, but this one makes perfect sense, it's just different.

SAVING A CHARGE

Your notes on saving a charge are kind of odd. You always want one charge up for if/when BF procs and/or DF comes off cooldown. This lets you use PF on cooldown instead of every 30 seconds for DF, getting you an extra PF or two per fight, this might be worth noting. The first sentence of your specifics doesn't make sense. Why would you not be spamming IL when two FFO's are out? You will be spamming tons of them, you'll also be getting BF along with em too though. I also don't understand the second paragraph. What scenario are you referring to? Are you saying that during a normal rotation, if you have a proc about to end you should use your saved FoF charge on IL instead of saving it for future BF/DF procs? This seems like an over complication that will actually reduce your overall damage done. I can explain further once you respond to my question.

AOE

As a final note to your guide itself, I would say you should clarify that FS+Blizzard is always better DPS, but using FS is harder to deal with due to the ground dot (which is most of it's damage) being immobile. However, a single cast of blizzard can't be moved either, so if you feel you can cast blizzard, you should feel pretty confident that the mobs aren't moving very far and you can cast FS too, of course this isn't always true, but worth noting IMO.

I always spend way too much time critiquing new guides that pop up lol. Hope you learned something!

INC replies to replies. Again, stupid character limit hahhaha. And wow, a lot of replies as I was typing all this.
85 Troll Mage
8335
@catperson
I prefer swift's paragraph over yours, but I do see what you are saying. Something inbetween the two would be best.

Piercing chill is amazing.

Reactive barrier is alright, you don't want to be wasting GCD's casting IB during a boss fight, and RB helps with this substantially.

I also agree with you that you should always have 3/3 ignite. The only reason swift claimed otherwise was for a weird mana saving spec, which I don't agree with. You should jsut use mage armor if you run out of mana.

@spellsong
You always want 1 fof charge for a BF proc or DF coming off cooldown.

And yes, that's exactly what he means.

Priority for permafrost? What does that mean? Perma doesn't do jack really.
85 Troll Mage
8335
Wait I thought the sims showed the best glyphs to be DF FB FFB


Patchwork | DPS DIFFERENCE %mage armor| %molten armor

FB/FFB/DF 27223 | 0,00%| 66% | 34%

FB/IL/DF 26883 |-1,25%| 65% | 35%

FB/MA/DF 26731| -1,81%| 65% | 35%

MA/FFB/DF 26857| -1,34%| 67% | 33%

MA/IL/DF 26515| -2,60%| 67% | 33%

FB/FFB/MA 26777 |-1,64%| 65% | 35%

FB/IL/MA 26431| -2,91%| 65% | 35%


If you can use MA for most of a fight, use MA glyph, otherwise use FB. I haven't raided as frost, so I don't really know how it does on mana and which armor is used more often. The above table seems to say that MA is only use 1/3 a time, so FB will be better. Last I heard IL glyph was pretty terrible always, maybe that change somehow over the last couple months though.
100 Gnome Mage
14905
Cool... thanks. Nice to know I haven't gone too far off the deep end experimenting
90 Human Mage
10015
05/15/2011 02:01 AMPosted by Ceratisa
Wait I thought the sims showed the best glyphs to be DF FB FFB


Yes.
100 Draenei Mage
10005
A few things though. First, you should really go into more detail about the pull. the hardest part of the Frost Mage rotation is the pull, and you only gave a couple sentences to it.

Also, the whole tone of your guide seems to be as if youre directing it at a semi-experienced Frost Mage. For instance:


Well that was a problem going into this guide. Since the population of frost is so low and no one gives it a chance, i couldn't really appeal to the very limited advanced section of frost without just utterly confusing people going into it, which the majority of them would be. It's aimed to be introductory yet somewhat in-depth.


Decent guide, but a good part of the guide is hard to read due to sentence structure as Catperson pointed out.


I'll be fixing it up to eliminate all the abbreviations.

05/15/2011 12:47 AMPosted by Spellsong
1. If deep freeze has just been used is it good to just use up all your FOF procs? then perhaps wait until 10 or 5 secs before saving up a proc?


I wouldn't say so. You want to have that 1 FoF charge always there unless Frostfire Orb is out, or maybe if Icy veins is up.


2. "Use Cold Snap only after Icy Veins/FFO/DF have been recently used for maximum dps gain."
Do you mean kinda like how a marksman hunter uses his readiness( hunter permafrost)
right after he uses his rapid fire( hunter icy veins)? so he can use them back to back?


Yes the entire purpose of that "first strike" is to put out the most damage while making the cooldowns the same as they would be without Cold Snap (aside from a few seconds).

but the priority would be for icy veins for sure.

Yeah sorry, I actually noticed that and cleared it up, but not before you quoted it <.< still though, there are MUCH better places to put those talents. 2/2 in Piercing Chill is a complete waste. Honestly, I see no use for that talent in any situation... In AoE youll be using Blizzard, in single target there will be no one to take charges, and in PvP... well maybe in arenas. but definitely not in PvE. And FFO Ignite crits ARE much more important than Switch makes it out to be... he seems to describe it as "optional". You should ALWAYS have 3/3 Ignite.


I'll be fixing it up (especially with ignite). To any who are curious (since i've seen a lot of posts over it), they weird "mana spec" was really a shot out to very new frost mages who would find the switch to mage armor really weird and confusing and to really kind of "feel" their way into the rotation and spec (because you do need to get a feel for it). I'll be keeping it there, but i'll explain it more in-depth.

But i disagree with Piercing chill. You won't be using blizzard on 1-4 or even 5 mobs. Single Target still wins out on 5 mobs. Shooting a crit frostbolt into 3-5 mobs triples your chances of getting procs. Combined with that, and the lack of other important talents, this is a must.

Wait I thought the sims showed the best glyphs to be DF FB FFB


Patchwork | DPS DIFFERENCE %mage armor| %molten armor

FB/FFB/DF 27223 | 0,00%| 66% | 34%

FB/IL/DF 26883 |-1,25%| 65% | 35%

FB/MA/DF 26731| -1,81%| 65% | 35%

MA/FFB/DF 26857| -1,34%| 67% | 33%

MA/IL/DF 26515| -2,60%| 67% | 33%

FB/FFB/MA 26777 |-1,64%| 65% | 35%

FB/IL/MA 26431| -2,91%| 65% | 35%


Yes, but i do believe that this only applies once you are crit capped. The extra 6% on frozen targets when you're under cap is better than the 5% on frostbolt (it's really only a 3% on frostbolt since MA applies to that as well). But yes, after crit cap, FB is better than MA.



100 Draenei Mage
10005
05/15/2011 02:10 AMPosted by Larcix
Piercing chill is amazing whenever any adds/etc get near the boss. Procs galore.I would never pass this up, especially considering the distinct lack of other talents to put it in. I would always put and only ever put 1 point into Permafrost, Ice Shards, Enduring Water and Reactive Barrier. No healer is going to heal your WE, and it can take damage, so a little heal going in on it is quite useful. Ice Shards proccing FoF during blizzard is amazing for one talent. 1/3 enduring water is enough for a good uptime on replinishment, anything more is not necessary


Thanks for the info, i'll change the spec options around. But i do disagree with permafrost. My WE never takes damage, and in a raiding scenario if it dies i'm probably dead first. I would suggest putting that point into 2/2 Icy Shards. The 1/2 does give you awesome procs, but at the same time the 40% is priceless on Cho'gall (at least, i've found it to be. The 25% really doesn't do anything considering how long it takes to apply the slow).
I agree with you on the 1/2 Reactive. The chance of it activating beneath 50% is significant enough to make it relatively necessary. Although on Chim i could see this screwing you over for feud xD.

05/15/2011 02:10 AMPosted by Larcix
Besides your base spec, your sub specs are kind of odd. I would say it's better DPS to keep ignite and use Mage Armor instead if you ever have mana issues.


All @ Larcix
Again i'll keep it. It was an attempt to appeal to people who have never played the spec and would find the armor switching quite odd. But yes, for experienced frost mages, i agree. I'll include that.

The reasons for the gems/FB-MA glyph suggestion is because it's currently pretty hard to get crit capped unless you have both the crit buff and debuff in your raid. I'll add information on it for those who do.

For everything you've said regarding the "first strike" and CS, i have found it to be very convenient. I easily have 3 IV's if not 4 in a given fight. Whereas starting without doing "first strike", you will have a maximum of two or three (depending on how fast the boss goes down). But yes, i will include that it does have aggro issues, and you might want to wait a few seconds before doing it. But in the end i do believe that it's a dps increase overall.

And yes, that "specific scenario" rarely happens outside of "first strike". What i'm saying is, if you have some trinkets about to run out with one FoF charge, it is better to use it on ice lance than use the future BF/FoF without trinkets. It probably is an over complication, i might remove it in the future.
85 Human Mage
4330
Anyone have any frost tips for heroic maloriak 10? Guild wants me to play frost for it. This guide was helpful, thanks for the read!
85 Troll Mage
4585
05/14/2011 07:22 PMPosted by Switch
This is mainly due to the fact that for the entire duration of wow, frost has been terrible. You cannot expect people to jump on it right away. In reality, frost is doing very well in raiding right now.


What do you think of these very good & well-geared mages trying frost and getting poor results?

Edit: The first quote is Zythian.

I completely agree that the difference in performance could largely be based on a lack of experience with the spec, but I also find the complexity of the frost rotation to be one of the reasons it falls so far behind in general. I'm also not sure the difference between my performance in the 2 specs could be made up by experience playing one. I feel like on certain fights I played the spec to virtual perfection and still fell pretty far short.


05/11/2011 08:49 AMPosted by Zuir
This was my experience as well (I tried frost last week). For instance, I thought I played magmaw almost perfectly, and I got the #1 parse, yet when I was arcane (and screwing up a fair amount) I did almost 4k DPS higher, on a longer fight (5:38 vs 5:18). The extra survivability is nice via Ice Barrier, but having to give up DPS to get Reactive Barrier, as well as the lower DPS in general, doesn't make it worth it to me.
Edited by Brindlegum on 5/15/2011 10:49 AM PDT
90 Human Mage
10015
All due respect to their skill, I really don't feel that someone can play a spec for the first time for a week and expect to do as well with it as they do with a spec they've been playing long-term. I don't care how good you are - practice, habit, and muscle memory all count for something.
85 Troll Mage
4585
That's true, and they said similar things, but they also said in those quotes that the minor mistakes they made would not have brought their dps up close to arcane. "Virtual perfection and still fell pretty far short" and "(I played frost) almost perfectly...yet...arcane did almost 4k DPS higher, on a longer fight" are their exact quotes.

4k DPS is a lot. I think there is a technical disconnect somewhere between your theory-crafting and their experiences.
100 Draenei Mage
10005
It's also important to put it in the context of the fight. For instance, of course on fights like Chim arcane will win. That's what it's designed for. But on fights like atramedes or valiona, frost should come out on top. If it isn't, then we have a problem. But for some reason i think it's just because arcane might have been over-buffed
90 Human Mage
10015
Let's just say that I don't trust people to assess their own "virtual perfection." One of the things that practice, habit, and muscle-memory all give you as you use a spec long-term is a much better handle on the number and severity of the mistakes you've made. A person playing a new spec is simply not going to be able to tell what they did wrong nearly as well as they can with a spec they're very accustomed to. It may not even be a question of wrong choices much of the time, so much as more hesitation between casts because the decisions aren't yet automatic.

The sim plays every spec to similar quality. A human being can't.

Now that's not to say it's impossible that the sim is doing some math wrong...but if it is, nobody's found the error so far, and folks at EJ have been looking for them.

ETA: Note that this isn't an either-or situation, either. The truth may be somewhere in-between. It could be that they aren't playing Frost quite as well as they play Arcane and Fire...but also that no human being can play Frost as well as the sim can.

The only thing we know for certain is that the numbers you see for Frost at Raidbots are worthless. It may not be possible for a human to play Frost and achieve the kind of results relative to Fire and Arcane that the sim does, but it's certainly not as low relative to Fire and Arcane as Raidbots indicates it is. There simply isn't sufficient data in Raidbots to draw any useful conclusions about Frost.
Edited by Lhivera on 5/15/2011 11:26 AM PDT
100 Draenei Mage
10005
But yeah, if anyone has any questions or something to add/edit to the guide, feel free to post it.
100 Draenei Mage
10005
That's true, and they said similar things, but they also said in those quotes that the minor mistakes they made would not have brought their dps up close to arcane. "Virtual perfection and still fell pretty far short" and "(I played frost) almost perfectly...yet...arcane did almost 4k DPS higher, on a longer fight" are their exact quotes.

4k DPS is a lot. I think there is a technical disconnect somewhere between your theory-crafting and their experiences.


Again, it depends on the fight. Of course it'll be a 4k difference on a patchwerk style fight, but those don't really exist in Cata yet..
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