About the author
This guide is written by Kuni, a Frost Mage theorycrafter, and raider in Midnight Santuary. He has been maintaining the Frost guide on MMO-Champion, Altered Time, and Icy Veins. Kuni has been raiding as Frost, against all logic and reason, since 2005 at all levels of PVE from PUG-for-hire to organized hardcore progression.
Frost is a somewhat twitchy spec which essentially boils down to hit what lights up. You have to react to both Fingers of Frost and Brain Freeze. Water Jet takes some getting used to, but it’s fairly easy to get a grasp on.
Frost is fairly competitive as of pre-legendary 6.2. We don’t have enough information to simulate the ring’s proc well, so who knows what will happen then.
Komma over at Altered Time has written up a State of the Specs post which will answer most questions on what spec is best for what, which is outside the scope of this guide’s “what to do” style:
State of the Specs (June 20, pre-6.2)
• 6/22: 6.2 preliminary update
• 5/6: Macros added
• 5/2: A guide is born
The base rotation is fairly simple, only really gaining in complexity with Frost Bomb and Prismatic Crystal chosen together. It’s simply use cooldowns, hit procs, and spam Frostbolt when you have nothing better to do.
- Deal with your level 90 talent. Either place Rune of Power or cast Mirror Image.
- Deal with your level 100 talent. Both Comet Storm and Prismatic Crystal should be used on cooldown, with the exception of the opener.
- Water Jet on cooldown, after dumping all Fingers of Frost procs before, and assuming you’re not currently working on Prismatic Crystal.
- Frozen Orb on cooldown, unless using Prismatic Crystal.
- Ice Lance with Fingers of Frost up.
- Frostfire Bolt with Brain Freeze up.
- Frostbolt until something comes off cooldown or procs.
Icy Veins should generally be used on cooldown, starting with your other cooldowns. There are a handful of exceptions dependent on how your group does any given fight.
Frozen Orb needs to be synchronized with Prismatic Crystal if it’s being used. If not using Prismatic Crystal, delay Frozen Orb to line up with AOE phases assuming it’s not too long. I personally will only wait 10 seconds or so. Timers are wonderful, utilize them. Outside of those two uses, it’s just to be used on cooldown.
Water Jet is a 1 second cast, followed by a 4 second channel. Frostbolts that impact the target while the 4 second channel debuff is on them will grant a Fingers of Frost charge. There’s no catch all point for when to activate Water Jet that will guarantee 2 Fingers of Frost procs. You have to learn what distance and haste do to your timings. 4pT18 increases Water Jet’s channel portion by 10 seconds, to 14 total, as well as increasing your maximum Fingers of Frost stack to 4.
Example Opener and in depth rotation – Ice Nova/Rune of Power/Prismatic Crystal with 4pT18
- Rune of Power
- Frostbolt prepull
- Prismatic Crystal
- Frozen Orb
- Icy Veins
- Ice Lance if 4 Fingers of Frost, or 2 Fingers of Frost while Frozen Orb is actually ticking
- Ice Nova‘s first charge
- Ice Lance with less than 4/2 Fingers of Frost
- Frostfire Bolt with Brain Freeze
- Ice Nova‘s second charge should be the last thing to hit Prismatic Crystal
- Frostbolt if you’re out of things to throw at it and mistimed your last Ice Nova and there’s enough time to get the cast off, else just target the boss
- Water Jet
- If you somehow have any Fingers of Frost of Brain Freeze buffs that are about to fall off, use them immediately
- Ice Nova if you’re about to cap out 2 charges or the target’s going to die
- Ice Lance with 4 Fingers of Frost
- Frostfire Bolt with any stack of Brain Freeze
- Ice Lance with any stack of Fingers of Frost
- Frostbolt filler
Multiple targets (5+)
- Frost Bomb the highest health or highest priority target
- Frozen Orb into the pack of mobs
- Spam Ice Lance at the Frost Bomb
- Use Blizzard to reset Frozen Orb’s cooldown
Every tick of Blizzard will reduce the cooldown of Frozen Orb by half a second for each mob hit, though the perk Improved Blizzard.
There is a chance this will change, but it’s dependant on if a bug on PTR makes it into live, and is left alone. This will be updated at a later date, probably after the first or second round of hotfixes.
Talents Cheat Sheet
Level 30: Flameglow is generally the best simply due to not needing either a GCD or any attention. Ice Barrier is situationally useful for when you need the extra absorb. Alter Time does nothing to actively prevent your death, you have to react to the fight or use it purely as a movement talent.
Level 60: More personal choices. Greater Invisibility allows you to solo a ton of mechanics, and it’ll remove the DoT from just about anything. Cauterize tends to be used when you’re learning a new fight, or when there’s nothing for you to use Greater Invisibility on. Cold Snap is marginally useful in getting either a second Ice Block or Evanesce quickly.
Level 75: Frost Bomb is no longer the king of this talent row due to the loss of 4pT17 and the buffs to Frostbolt and Frostfire Bolt. Unstable Magic is now your go-to for any multi-target. Ice Nova is fantastic single target.
Level 90: Mirror Image is technically the worst of the three, but that doesn’t mean much. They’re all fairly close together. Rune of Power is the best if you can maintain 100% uptime on it. Incanter’s Flow is an acceptable choice for movement or just general Rune of Power hatred.
Level 100: Thermal Void is generally used as an AOE talent, through higher Icy Veins uptime being higher DPS. It’s lowest for single target, but not by much. Prismatic Crystal is the highest single target. Comet Storm is a bit behind most Prismatic Crystal combinations, and one Thermal Void variant for single target. Still an amazing 5 man and solo talent.
6.1 changed it to a 3 second immunity. It doesn’t remove things like Ice Block does, but it’s really useful for fights like Gruul and Flamebender.
I’ve personally never used it in a raid encounter, but some people swear by it. You’ll travel roughly the distance of Blink in those 1.5 seconds.
The ability to cast while moving is incredibly powerful, but I’ve heard a lot of complaints about how hard it is to use. With practice, it’s easily the best talent on the line.
It can be useful if you use it correctly. You can theoretically heal back all your health after a large hit, but you’ll also be put back where you were. It does not do anything to actively prevent your death while active. You have to hit it a second time to get your health back, or wait for the timer to run out.
Generic passive protection. It’s a tiny amount, but it adds up, especially in fights with a lot of small repeated hits.
Grants you a bubble of roughly 10% of your health, but costs a GCD. The question of Ice Barrier and Flameglow comes down to do you need your damage absorb at the start of the damage with nothing for the rest; or do you need to trim the top of the damage slightly, but for the entire duration of the damage events.
Ring of Frost
Hard CC that breaks on damage. There aren’t really any fights where any of these three talents are used this tier.
3 charges of Frost Nova on 20 second cooldown. If you need to be kiting something, this is your talent.
The silence component is tied to the root, which breaks on damage. It actually does give the model you hit with it a frozen jaw, if you look closely.
One of the most absurdly powerful defensive cooldowns. You can solo just about anything while it’s active, but be warned that it will break on AOE damage, and put you into that 3 second window. You can also use it to remove just about any DoT, such as Gruul’s Inferno Slice DoT, and Burning Cinders on Blackhand.
The “I can screw up once every 2 minutes and get away with it” talent. Pretty useful for going into a boss fight you’re not familiar with. Be warned that the protection caps out at 200% of your health, so if you take 299% while at full health, you’ll be fine. 300% and you’re dead.
The heal portion is usually insignificant when compared to the other two talents. Having a second Ice Block or two Evanesces back to back can, rarely, be invaluable.
Frost Bomb has fallen from grace due to the loss of infinite FoF due to the 4pT17. This is now the worst talent on the line, until someone finds an APL that proves that wrong.
Unstable Magic got an indirect buff due to Frostbolt and Frostfire Bolt getting a 20% buff in 6.2. This is now the default multi-target talent.
Due to Frost Bomb’s fall, Ice Nova regains its spot in first place single target.
Worst of the three, generally only used for on-demand burst or the aggro drop.
Rune of Power
The best talent, if you can use it right. Maintaining 100% uptime on Rune of Power is your goal, but rarely will a fight allow it.
Averaged out lower than perfect Rune of Power use, but since no attention is paid to it, there’s nothing to fail, unlike Rune’s usage.
Generally an AOE talent. It’s behind both of the others in single target usage, except for UM/RoP/TV being slightly ahead of the highest Comet Storm variant.
Prismatic Crystal is only worth using if you can cleave with Splitting Ice off of it and the boss. You need to place it precisely, and the boss needs to not move for the duration. All your pets can now hit this, but it’s a poor choice to use Water Jet on it.
Behind Prismatic Crystal for single target, and significantly easier to use. It currently will stop firing if you lose line of sight to the target, and it can be dodged if the boss is moving.
Glyph of Splitting Ice
Generally mandatory. There’s no situtation in which you will not use it, and Prismatic Crystal requires it.
Glyph of Icy Veins
Also mandatory. It becomes 45% multistrike, instead of 30% haste.
Glyph of Momentum
Not mandatory but generally useful, you Blink in the direction you’re moving, instead of the direction you’re facing. Allows for sidestep Blinks.
Glyph of Rapid Displacement
A great glyph, as it lets you move out and back in with Blink alone.
Glyph of Cone of Cold
Rarely used. Cone of Cold generally isn’t worth using in AOE, but it can be a nice addition if you need to kite things.
Glyph of Water Elemental
Makes sure your Elemental is always in range to Water Jet, but that’s about it. It can be replaced with good pre-fight placement of your Elemental.
Intellect > Multistrike >= Crit > Haste > Versatility > Mastery
Intellect is a primary stat that provides 1 Spell Power (SP) per point. A majority of our abilities use a percentage of spell power to the damage they deal.
Mastery: Icicles Increases your Elemental’s Waterbolt, and adds one Icicle stored above your head for each Frostbolt and Frostfire Bolt you cast. You can only have 5 Icicles, but the oldest will be automatically fired when a sixth is generated.
1% = 55 Mastery Rating
Haste increases cast speed and mana regeneration rate.
1% = 90 Haste Rating
Multistrike causes abilities to have a chance to hit a second and a third time, each dealing 30% of the initial damage.
1% = 66 Multistrike Rating, but you gain another .05% from your attunement Ice Shards
Critical Strike increases the chance to critically hit with abilities, dealing double damage.
1% = 110 Critical Strike Rating
Versatility increases all damage and healing done, and decreases all damage taken.
1% Damage/Healing/Absorbs = 130 Versatility Rating
1% Damage Reduction = 260 Versatility Rating
Rings: Enchant Ring – Gift of Multistrike
Cloak: Enchant Cloak – Gift of Multistrike
Neck: Enchant Neck – Gift of Multistrike
Weapon: Enchant Weapon – Mark of the Frostwolf
Gems: Immaculate Multistrike Taladite
|Helmet||Countenance of the Revenant||Xhul’horac|
|Necklace||Choker of Forbidden Indulgence||Gorefiend|
|Shoulder||Mantle of the Arcanic Conclave||Xhul’horac|
|Cloak||Cloak of Hideous Unity||Fel Lord Zakuun|
|Chest||Robe of the Arcanic Conclave||Mannoroth|
|Bracer||Powder-Singed Bracers||Hellfire Assault|
|Gloves||Gloves of the Arcanic Conclave||Socrethar the Eternal|
|Waist||Demonbuckle Sash of Argus||Archimonde|
|Legs||Pantaloons of the Arcanic Conclave||Gorefiend|
|Boots||Bloody Dagger-Heeled Pumps||Fel Lord Zakuun|
|Ring||Loathful Encrusted Band||Tyrant Velhari|
|Weapon||Edict of Argus||Archimonde|
|Trinket||Tome of Shifting Words||Archimonde|
|Trinket||Prophecy of Fear||Mannoroth|
- Prismatic Crystal should only be used if you can get close enough to the boss on pull without messing up your raid’s positioning. Don’t drop Retched Blackrock in the wrong spot for more DPS.
Hans’gar & Franzok
- Prismatic Crystal can be used if you know the movement patterns well enough.
- Comet Storm will miss the boss if it jumps prior to it landing, watch your timers.
- Do not try and Ice Block or Greater Invisibility Smart Stampers phase. Your body still gets launched and will activate every stamper along the way.
- Prismatic Crystal should be used if you’re concentrating on boss damage, Comet Storm if you need more AOE.
- This isn’t a continual AOE fight, it’s just bursts of it. If you’re helping to AOE, you need Frozen Orb for Pack Beasts and not paired with Prismatic Crystal, but maintaining a bit of single target priority in Comet Storm over Thermal Void.
- Reset Frozen Orb with Blizzard on Pack Beasts if it’s not up.
- Evanesce can be used to dodge every Inferno Slice if you wish to avoid damage. Alternatively it can be used to avoid moving for Overhead Smash.
- Both Evanesce and Glyph of Ice Block can be used to avoid Petrifying Slam’s knock up, which subsequently avoids the stun all together. Cold Snap might be a good idea if you go this route.
- Stand close to Gruul so Frozen Orb ticks on Prismatic Crystal.
- Desyncing Frozen Orb and Prismatic Crystal should be worth doing to use Frozen Orb on the dogs. Pool Fingers of Frost and Brain Freeze procs to use on the non-Frozen Orb Prismatic Crystal uses.
- Evanesce and Greater Invisibility can both be used to soak Molten Torrent solo.
- Save Frozen Orb if there’s a train with adds coming in the next few seconds.
- Blizzard the adds if there’s 5 or more and Frozen Orb isn’t out or up.
- Prismatic Crystal and Comet Storm split their damage to enemies in the area, rendering them useless for this fight’s priority target killing.
- Blizzard to reset Frozen Orb for the next Primal Elementalist.
- Primal Elementalists can be debuffed before their shield goes down, throw Frost Bomb twice on them before the shield breaks to maximize DPS against them. Frost Bomb has the Pandemic mechanic, and will last 15 seconds after two applications.
- Splitting Ice can’t cleave off of Prismatic Crystal, and Comet Storm just flat out doesn’t hit Kromog. Both of these will then do half damage against Pillars as Kromog’s hitbox is in the way. Have fun using Thermal Void on a single target fight.
- Frozen Orb’s hitbox is surprisingly large, you’ll hit a fair number of Hands with it. Save Orb on mythic, you’ll need the burst on the Pillars.
- Try not to be max range, as Frostbolt’s travel time is long enough that it’s unlikely you’ll get 2 Fingers of Frost charges off of Water Jet if you are.
- This is without a doubt the worst fight for Frost, I would honestly reccomend swapping specs or asking to be sat.
- Greater Invisibility can break Blood Ritual, Penetrating Shot, and Rapid Fire. Do not use it to break Rapid Fire, it will turn around and hunt someone else but not mark them. You will likely kill people.
- Greater Invisibility will remove Convulsive Shadows. Generally a poor idea, as it can kill you. The removal damage seems to apply before the damage reduction aura can happen.
- I prefer Comet Storm, as it lets Frozen Orb be used for the movement phases in P1, while also being a fair chunk of burst against the Siegemakers. If you have enough Hunters, and your tanks don’t move too much, Prismatic Crystal would be the way to go.
- If you can spare the survivability, Alter Time can be used to a fair DPS gain for getting back from hiding behind debris in P1 Mythic, and Siegemakers in P2.
- Invisibility will drop Siegemaker’s fixate if you’re using a strategy where you tank them with a tank class after someone leads them there.
- Greater Invisibilty will remove Burning Cinders from P2 transition on mythic. It will not remove Impaled, nor drop Marked for Death.
- P3 Mythic: make sure you have both Greater Invisibility and Ice Block available to use. You will most likely be soaking Falling Debris. Glyph of Rapid Displacement is highly recommended for this.
To be completed. Probably have them up before Mythic opens.
Here’s a handful of useful macros that you can bend around to your own liking. I only have a traditional 6 button mouse, so I like to keep the ground target spells (Blizzard, Rune of Power, Ring of Frost, Prismatic Crystal, move pet) on buttons 4 and 5. The first two cover those spells.
Freeze, move pet, Prismatic Crystal
Default behaviour is Freeze and manual pet movement on Ctrl. Prismatic Crystal becomes the primary and moves Freeze to Shift and Alt if specced into.
/use [talent:7/1,nomod]Freeze;[talent:7/3,nomod]Freeze;[talent:7/2,nomod]Prismatic Crystal;[mod:shift/alt]Freeze
Blizzard, L45 talent, Rune of Power.
This defaults to Blizzard with modifier L45 talent choice. If you spec into Rune of Power, it shifts Blizzard to Shift, with L45 to Ctrl and Alt. Freezing Grasp is a cover spell that will call whichever L45 talent choice you have.
/use [talent:6/1,nomod]Blizzard;[talent:6/3,nomod]Blizzard;[talent:6/1,mod]Freezing Grasp;[talent:6/3,mod]Freezing Grasp;[talent:6/2,nomod]Rune of Power;[talent:6/2,mod:shift]Blizzard;[talent:6/2,mod:ctrl/alt]Freezing Grasp
Frost Nova if Unstable Magic, Ice Nova, and Frost Bomb.
Pretty basic, L75 on a single button.
/use [talent:5/1] Mage Bomb; Frost Nova
Cone of Cold and Comet Storm
Cone of Cold unless you spec into Comet Storm, which shifts Cone of Cold to any modifier key.
/use [talent:7/1]Cone of Cold;[talent:7/2]Cone of Cold;[talent:7/3,nomod]Comet Storm;[mod]Cone of Cold
The most important Frostbolt macro ever
Stackable Stag is off the GCD, and confuses the hell out of people. Not truly important, but definitely amusing.
/use Stackable Stag