Frost Mage DPS Statistics Priority and Reforging (WoW MoP 5.4)

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General Information

On this page, we explain what the best statistics are for Frost Mages in World of Warcraft MoP 5.4, how the class benefits from each of them, and what your reforging strategy should be. We also detail what the various caps are (if any) and why they should be attained.

The statistics priority is important as it influences reforging strategies as well as itemisation choices (gear, enchants, and gems).

Make sure to check our Gear Optimisation Guide, which serves as a support guide for this article.

The other pages of our Frost Mage guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

About Our Reviewers

This guide has been reviewed and approved by Kuni, one of the best Frost Mages in the world, who raids in Midnight Sanctuary and Akraen, a prominent Frost Mage theorycrafter and moderator of our Mage forums.

1. Basics↑top

The stat priority for a Frost Mage is:

  1. Intellect;
  2. Hit Rating (until 15%);
  3. Haste Rating;
  4. Mastery Rating;
  5. Critical Strike Rating.

At lower gear levels (approximately below item level 490), Critical Strike Rating is better than Mastery.

For single-target DPS, the optimal balance between stats seems to be Haste Rating (until 50% haste when raid buffed, which means 14,242 Haste Rating for non-Goblins), then Mastery Rating, then further Haste Rating, then Critical Strike Rating.

For more information about stats, you can read Akraen's Advanced Frost Mage Guide.

These statistics have been obtained by combining common sense, in-game testing, and simulations using Simulation Craft.

If you are unsure what the optimal reforging strategy is for the above priority, you can Ask Mr. Robot for a personalised optimisation of your character's gear, by filling the form below.

2. Getting a Better Understanding↑top

2.1. Statistics Explanations

Intellect is your primary stat. You should look for this stat in all of your upgrades. It provides you with Spell Power, which increases the damage of your spells, and increases your critical strike chance.

Hit Rating decreases the chance that your spells will miss their target (15% against a raid boss). Therefore, your goal is to reach the 15% hit cap (see section below), which will ensure that your attacks never miss.

Haste Rating influences the cast speed of your spells and stacking Haste Rating enables you to make the most of Invocation Icon Invocation, by spending less time casting Evocation Icon Evocation and more time benefiting from the +15% increased damage buff that it provides. Haste Rating also increases the damage dealt by your Water Elemental. Finally, Haste Rating increases the frequency of your procs of Brain Freeze Icon Brain Freeze, because it speeds up ticks of Living Bomb Icon Living Bomb and Nether Tempest Icon Nether Tempest, and decreases the cast time and the cooldown of Frost Bomb Icon Frost Bomb.

Critical Strike Rating increases your chance to critically hit. Remember that your chance to critical hit with Ice Lance Icon Ice Lance (always cast with Fingers of Frost Icon Fingers of Frost up) and Frostfire Bolt Icon Frostfire Bolt (always cast with Brain Freeze Icon Brain Freeze up) is increased by Shatter Icon Shatter, a Frost-specific passive ability.

Mastery Rating increases the damage of your Water Elemental and the damage of your Frostbolt Icon Frostbolt and Frostfire Bolt Icon Frostfire Bolt abilities (through Icicles that store damage and release it when you use Ice Lance Icon Ice Lance).

2.2. How Exactly Mastery: Icicles Work

  • One Icicle is produced for each Frostbolt Icon Frostbolt or Frostfire Bolt Icon Frostfire Bolt damage event. This means you get three per cast while under Glyph of Icy Veins Icon Glyph of Icy Veins.
  • You can have a maximum of five Icicles.
  • Generating a sixth Icicle will automatically fire the oldest one.
  • Ice Lance Icon Ice Lance will rapidly fire all currently held Icicles, and any Icicle generated before that barrage ends, at the target.
  • Icicles themselves cannot crit, but a critical strike with Frostbolt or Frostfire Bolt will generate a larger Icicle.
  • Icicles have their own roll for determining whether they will hit or not.
  • They disappear after 30 seconds, if you do spend them or do not gain new ones.

2.3. Hit Cap

At level 90, most races require 5,100 Hit Rating to reach the spell hit cap. Some races, in some cases, only need 4,760 Hit Rating, thanks to passive racial skills:

Note that, in Mists of Pandaria, 1% expertise counts as 1% hit towards the spell hit cap.

2.4. Critical Strike Cap

Because of Shatter Icon Shatter, it is possible to have more than a 100% chance to critically strike with Ice Lance Icon Ice Lance (when Fingers of Frost Icon Fingers of Frost is up) and Frostfire Bolt Icon Frostfire Bolt (when Brain Freeze Icon Brain Freeze is up). To obtain your critical strike chance against frozen targets, Shatter multiplies your critical strike chance by 2 and adds 50%. At 25%, critical strike chance, your chance to critically hit frozen targets is 100% (25% x 2 + 50%).

Enemies are subject to a mechanic called Crit Depression (or Crit Suppression). Testing has shown that when you attack an enemy that has a higher level than you, you deal 1% less critical strikes for each level between you and the enemy. Raid bosses are 3 levels above you, so -3% critical strike chance is applied before Shatter Icon Shatter, so you need to reach 28% critical strike chance in order for Shatter Icon Shatter to guarantee critical strikes.

This means that stacking Critical Strike Rating beyond 28% (23% with the +5% critical strike chance raid buff) is not very useful.

3. Changelog↑top

  • 03 Mar. 2014: Additional notes on the stat priority.
  • 30 Sep. 2013: Kuni's review: updated stat priority (Master > Crit), added more details about the new Mastery, and improve Critical Strike cap explanations.
  • 10 Sep. 2013: Patch 5.4 update: updated Mastery explanations.
  • 20 May 2013: Patch 5.3 update: nothing changed.
  • 17 Apr. 2013: Added a mention of the fact that Haste Rating increases the damage of your Water Elemental and decreases the cast time and cooldown of Frost Bomb Icon Frost Bomb.