4.3 Frost Mage PvP Guide
I wanted to give a up-to-date guide to a few friends that were trying to learn the class, and I couldn't find one that was dedicated to frost, so I figured I'd make one. While it’s not a *very* difficult class to play, it can still be confusing to jump into if you’re used to another spec or haven’t played your mage in a while. All of this guide is intended for general PvP use, though I might make a few references to BGs/Arena.
I’m no gladiator, and I haven’t ever played 2500 arena. However, I’ve played enough to know this class inside and out. If you disagree with anything, let me know and I’ll change it as I see fit. Also keep in mind that the purpose of this guide is to help beginning frost mages grasp the concept, not to train you to immediately become the greatest mage on the planet.
Your spec/glyphs should look something like this.
There isn’t much room for variation with the frost tree. Mana gems, evocate, mage armor, and our endless supply of food pretty much nullify the purpose of our mana saving talents. Shattered barrier isn’t a great talent, given that we can just use frost nova or cone of cold. Reactive barrier is totally useless, it just saves a button press at the cost of a talent point.
You have to go into the fire tree to get Impact, which is infinitely better than anything in the arcane tree. While we're in the fire tree, blazing speed is a nice little proc.
Prime glyphs should not vary from the three I’ve provided. Major glyphs can vary based on preference. Glyph of icy veins and glyph of invisibility are both useful at times. Minor glyphs will save you from carrying reagents, but otherwise those provide no benefit.
A frost mage’s stat priority is as follows.
Spell pen cap > Hit cap > Intellect > Mastery > Crit > Haste
240 spell pen is considered cap. You can easily get this from using a spell pen cape or neck, gemming/enchanting for spell pen is a waste of slots that could be used for intellect.
Hit cap is at 4%.
Intellect is your best friend. Take it when available, all the time.
Frost mage mastery = bigger shatters. Frost mages like big shatters, therefore frost mages like mastery.
The shatter talent multiplies your crit chance by 3. If you’re running at 16% crit, then with a shatter you’ll still only be at 48% chance of critting. Just get enough crit for your preferences, without sacrificing too much mastery.
Haste is dang near worthless right now for frost.
Resilience depends on your preferences, your comp in arenas, and your availability of PvE gear. Mastery gear is key to determine the viability of PvE. Ideal items are: Foul gift, soul casket, valor belt, valor cape, moonwell chalice. Soulshifter vortex and theralions mirror look good on paper, but they have enormous ICDs. Run with as little resilience as you can manage while still surviving.
BiS enchants are as follows:
Head - Hyjal revered: 60 int, 35 crit
PvP enchant; 60 int, 35 resil
Shoulder - PvP enchant; 50 int, 25 resil (scribes excluded)
Cape - 50 int (tailors excluded)
Chest - 20 stats or 40 resil
Wrist - 50 int (LWs excluded)
Gloves - 65 mastery
Legs - 95 int, 85 stam
Feet - 35 mastery, movement speed increase. Earthen vitality is decent if you're cheap
MH weapon (or staff) - Power torrent
OH weapon - 40 int
When gemming, gem for straight intellect. If a socket bonus is worth getting in your opinion, use int/hit for blue sockets and int/mastery for yellows.