[PvE] Frost Mage Guide - 4.1

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85 Blood Elf Mage
8285
Well, they sort of answered a question about Frost PvE. By telling us that in MoP the only difference between the three specs will be the spells we cast, not the damage we do. That's reassuring at least.
2 Human Mage
0
What's annoying is they basically agreed with the asker that Frost is 10% behind and lowest DPS (grr stupid stereotypes) or at least didn't care to correct him/her. And then they completely ignored the questions asking about Frost AoE that were actually on point.
85 Blood Elf Mage
8285
True. But they also mentioned later on down that some specs have an undeserved bad reputation. Of course, it would have been nice if they had added frost mage to that particular statement. *sighs* Oh well.
- World of Warcraft
90 Human Mage
10015
In the spirit of yesterday's Q&A statement that sometimes the problem is that players aren't exploring outside the "standard" spec to find improvements to their performance, here's a suggestion an EU player sent me for improving Frost AOE performance. Some of you may want to give it a try and see how it works out for you.

One common theme is that frost mages say that the AOE isn't up to par. Sure, if you use the cookie cutter spec and spam blizzard, you will not do well. A few weeks before I got my T12 4-set, I changed my spec and took ignite and one point in impact. I have the same spec on both my mages even though the other one doesn't even have 4-set. For certain types of AOE, this spec is downright overpowered. For some situations, it's just "in line" with other classes. I'm generally #1 on damage or very close on Firelands trash in our raids and we use a lot of AOE there. I also solo one spiderling spawn spot on Beth'tilac, although the impact spec isn't really needed for that and the spiderlings have barely enough health for it to work.

The cost of speccing 1/2 impact is one point in netherwind presence, so it does have a single target penalty. I'm not happy with that, but I can live with it. The added utility of an extra stun is also worth something (especially on Ragnaros' Sons of Flame).

As you probably know, the ignite/impact spec relies on getting a FoF+BF proc and then critting with frostfire bolt. This results in a roughly 40k-45k hit on the main target and then a 16k ignite (two ticks). I have a power aura that light up when ignite is active and impact is available, so I hit fire blast when it lights up. I can easily do 100k DPS on the small fire elemental trash on the hill leading up to Rhyolith. I do 40-60k dps on many other types of trash. While frost impact/ignite isn't quite as potent as the full fire version, the nearly guaranteed crit chance on FoF+BF frostfire bolts makes it more reliable. In that sense, it may actually be better than fire AOE?

The scorpid packs don't work that well because they have been made immune to snares. Piercing chill is bugged in fingers of frost and brain freeze do not proc from targets that are immune to that snare. You either have to use frostfire orb during that pull or be within cone of cold range (and hope that it procs FoF & BF - blizzard will proc impact, so impact isn't a problem).
2 Human Mage
0
Lhiv, at certain points I have actually made a second Frost PVE spec just for that purpose (I actually went 2/2 Impact.. 10% is already pretty low, 5% would just be abysmal IMO). It is actually a pretty fun AoE mechanic that I wouldn't mind them building off of for MoP, and fits well with Frost's proc heavy playstyle. The problem is giving up 2% haste, no other DPS spec has to actively choose between more AoE damage at the expense of single target and vice versa. Plus the fact it's just not feasible nowadays to keep 2 specs of the same/nearly the same talent tree.. Fire is pretty much required for Alys.

I suggested many times allowing Fire Blast to spread DoTs baseline, and having Impact just provide the RNG stun. Not only would that allow Frost to vastly improve its AoE w/o losing single target damage, it would greatly alleviate the RNG headache of Fire AoE to boot. Of course, with how much Haste we're going to be getting through t13 2pc and near constant uptime of IV in 4.3, NWP may be unneccessary for Frost anyway.

The other problem is some Frost mages (I know Switch has expressed this feeling when I suggested the FBlast DoT spread baseline idea) already feel like we borrow quite heavily from Fire spells/mechanics, and this would just be the final straw so to speak. There's certainly an argument that Frost should have its own unique AoE rotation/synergies instead of being a cheapened version of Fire's AoE, some Frost mages don't even like being forced to take Ignite, much less spreading it just to have competitive AoE.

Personally, I don't mind playing as a FROST/fire hybrid (FIRE/frost is a different story). Though I still feel like a better solution would be Piercing Chill dealing a portion of the original Frostbolt crit's damage to nearby enemies instead of (or in addition to) chilling them. One would think the word 'Piercing' would imply some kind of bodily harm at least. It'd basically be like allowing Frostbolt to benefit from a static Mastery value in PVE but spread across multiple targets, and would increase Crit's value past the softcap.
Edited by Incéndiary on 11/10/2011 8:34 AM PST
I agree with Incendiary. I've tried a Frost Impact spec too, on the same trash as in the post you quoted, Lhiv. It's definitely good, but why should I have to have such a trade off as abandoning 1-2% haste and/or even having a secondary spec dedicated to AoE, when every other spec in the game does not have to abandon single target damage in it's spec to do even better AoE?
Instead of having this trade off, I'd be much better off keeping and using my current Fire offspec for the same and even better AoE damage.

While I like Ignite/Impact + Blizzard, can't we, Frost Mages, have our own AoE?
Even Arcane spamming Blizzard does more damage than Frost spamming Blizzard, at least for the first few channels because of Mastery. >.>
90 Draenei Mage
8290
That sounds like something that will only really be viable with either the t12 4 piece or the t13 4piece. The t12 because you get BF a lot, and the t13 because we won't really need that haste from netherwind (especially with the secondary stats on BiS items in t13).

Still i like the idea and will try it out.
90 Tauren Druid
6985
In the spirit of yesterday's Q&A statement that sometimes the problem is that players aren't exploring outside the "standard" spec to find improvements to their performance, here's a suggestion an EU player sent me for improving Frost AOE performance. Some of you may want to give it a try and see how it works out for you.


It's an interesting idea, but most of the application examples are against trash packs (and nobody honestly cares about that). Now, if it did appreciable damage on the Molten Elementals on H Ragnaros (I actually think of my Ignite very little already), that would be a game changer since it's much easier to line up in Frost than in Fire.

I've already done everything up to Ragnaros this week so I can't test any of the proposed applications on Rhyolith or Beth'tilac.
Grats on the sticky!

Oops, apparently it was stickied a while ago. Belated grats!
Edited by Judg on 11/10/2011 3:34 PM PST
85 Troll Mage
9365
Taking the two points out of Netherwind Presence and putting them in impact will probably be necessary for Frost with all the haste there will be in 4.3.

Though I do admit it's a rather unfun way to AoE. It's a painfully low proc unless you're blizzard spamming to fish it out, then you have to FFB, hope for it to crit (since chances are the mob won't have a 5% crit debuff up), and Impact just to do your AoE.
85 Troll Mage
9885
New blog post. Blizzard's on a roll with getting WTF reactions. For example:

The problem is that Frost has a lot of control and survivability, and if their damage were also identical, there would be no reason to choose Arcane or Fire.

Because a 30 second cooldown absorb and having CC you can hardly ever use matters, right!

... Right? :<
90 Gnome Mage
13880
Well, my raid leader just politely suggested that I go arcane. I hated arcane from the beginning and fought that crap from random heroics and pugs all through wrath and cata.

After two years of fighting tooth and nail, that was the straw that broke the camels' back. I used to love this game. Now it makes me cry. Why should I pay to play a game that makes me cry? So I don't let my friends down. Okay, but now I hate myself and hope.... well, I guess hope that MOP fixes everything. Just shoot me now! /cry
2 Human Mage
0
11/11/2011 11:30 AMPosted by Eyezap
Because a 30 second cooldown absorb and having CC you can hardly ever use matters, right!


Frost having more survivability and CC in PVE has to be one of the biggest shams/myths ever perpetrated.

All mages have:

Polymorph
Frost Nova
Cone of Cold
Ring of Frost

Frost has pet Freeze
Fire has Blast Wave
Frost has Deep Freeze (using it for control in PVE is a huge damage loss too)
Fire has Dragon's Breath
Frost has Ice Barrier
Fire has Cauterize (many would say is even better than IB in PVE)
Arcane has Improved Invis

Not to mention, the vast majority of PVE encounters, high HP adds are immune to your single target control effects, and low HP adds aren't worth the time CC-ing them when your fellow raidmembers AoE them all down in 5 seconds (don't even bother AoE-ing yourself as Frost, you'll do better DPS just single targeting the boss)

and if their damage were also identical, there would be no reason to choose Arcane or Fire.


Having AoE that's 1000x better than Frost's, or better mobility, or better on-demand burst are all obviously inferior options to Frost's control in PVE. /facepalm. Blizzard, are you really this stupid??
Edited by Incéndiary on 11/11/2011 5:57 PM PST
90 Gnome Mage
13880
11/11/2011 05:49 PMPosted by Incéndiary
Having AoE that's 1000x better than Frost's, or better mobility, or better on-demand burst are all obviously inferior options to Frost's control in PVE. /facepalm. Blizzard, are you really this stupid??


Either they are or are politely telling us to pound sand because they don't give a tinkers crap about us.
- World of Warcraft
90 Human Mage
10015
Taking the two points out of Netherwind Presence and putting them in impact will probably be necessary for Frost with all the haste there will be in 4.3.

Though I do admit it's a rather unfun way to AoE. It's a painfully low proc unless you're blizzard spamming to fish it out, then you have to FFB, hope for it to crit (since chances are the mob won't have a 5% crit debuff up), and Impact just to do your AoE.


Yeah, even if it does work (and I really don't know if it will), it's kludgy as hell to AOE like that as a Frost Mage. I'm just passing it along in case it's helpful to people until some proper work is done on the spec's AOE capabilities.
90 Tauren Druid
6985
11/12/2011 04:21 AMPosted by Lhivera
Yeah, even if it does work (and I really don't know if it will), it's kludgy as hell to AOE like that as a Frost Mage. I'm just passing it along in case it's helpful to people until some proper work is done on the spec's AOE capabilities.


Tried this on H Ragnaros. It actually takes too long to set this up even though I could consistently get FoF, Brain Freeze, and Impact up at the same time. The Molten Elementals always are about to run past me by the time I Impact them.
90 Draenei Mage
8290
Well it's sad to say but at this point we can call off any bets that frost will receive some changes for 4.3.
85 Blood Elf Mage
8285
Yup. :-( I'm sticking with frost until I get 2 pieces of T13 though. I'm going to hold on for dear life until I absolutely have to.
90 Tauren Druid
6985
Since the reset this week I've had more time to use the Impact Frost spec. As mentioned earlier it gives out a ridiculous amount of damage on the trash pack before Rhyolith (but who honestly cares about that?). For the purposes of my own sanity I reforged my Mastery back into Haste to make up for losing Netherwind Presence (so I could get my extra dot tick back, actually-- this spec I would think favors Haste over Mastery for that reason).

In the few times I managed to pull it off on the Fragments (as I'm primarily on Spark duty) it put an appreciable dent in the Fragments, provided I managed to get my Impact off in time before it died. Damage probably could've been inflated by having more of the black oozes nearby or even having Rhyolith on top of the Fragments, things that would normally start making your Blizzard suck.

Didn't and won't get any opportunities to use it on Beth'tilac, as I'm still on Invis rotation.

Overall, though, I'm not entirely convinced that it's superior to just vanilla Blizzard in every situation, but there's not a lot of variety in how multi target situations come up. In my case many times the setup itself involves casting Blizzard to fish for an Impact and maybe even a FoF charge. With that in mind you may be better off with just plain Blizzard and getting Netherwind Presence back.
Edited by Seiryu on 11/17/2011 4:45 PM PST
2 Human Mage
0
11/17/2011 04:43 PMPosted by Seiryu
In my case many times the setup itself involves casting Blizzard to fish for an Impact and maybe even a FoF charge.


I really don't see how the spec would work without casting Blizzard. It's pretty rare that you don't get all the necessary procs within the first 3-5 ticks of Blizzard; I just cut it short and start Igniting crap. Bad for mana of course though.

11/17/2011 04:43 PMPosted by Seiryu
For the purposes of my own sanity I reforged my Mastery back into Haste to make up for losing Netherwind Presence (so I could get my extra dot tick back, actually-- this spec I would think favors Haste over Mastery for that reason).


11/17/2011 04:43 PMPosted by Seiryu
With that in mind you may be better off with just plain Blizzard and getting Netherwind Presence back.


With t13 bonuses, losing NWP's haste will be a drop in the bucket. It'll probably actually start being a detriment as Frostbolt nears GCD.
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