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Frost Mage DPS Spec, Builds, and Talents (Legion 7.0.3)

Last updated on Jul 18, 2016 at 10:08 by Furty 40 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

On this page, we present the viable talent choices for Frost Mages in World of Warcraft Legion 7.0.3. We detail what each of the talents do and in which situations they should be taken.

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

About Our Author and Reviewer

This guide has been written by Furty who raids in Serenity, one of the top World of Warcraft guilds. He plays most classes at the highest level. You can follow him on Twitter and watch him play on Twitch.

This guide has been reviewed and approved by Kuni, one of the best Frost Mages in the world, who raids in Midnight Sanctuary.

1. Talent Choices

Level Choices
15 Ray of Frost Ray of Frost Lonely Winter ? Lonely Winter Bone Chilling ? Bone Chilling
30 Shimmer Shimmer Cauterize Cauterize Cold Snap Cold Snap
45 Mirror Image ? Mirror Image Rune of Power Rune of Power Incanter's Flow ? Incanter's Flow
60 Ice Nova ? Ice Nova Frozen Touch Frozen Touch Splitting Ice ? Splitting Ice
75 Ice Floes Ice Floes Ring of Frost Ring of Frost Ice Ward Ice Ward
90 Frost Bomb ? Frost Bomb Unstable Magic Unstable Magic Arctic Gale Arctic Gale
100 Thermal Void ? Thermal Void Glacial Spike Glacial Spike Comet Storm Comet Storm

Talents can be freely changed when out of combat and in a rested XP area (such as an inn or a capital city).

2. Talent Cheat Sheets

While optimizing talents on a contextual basis is the highly recommended method of setting up your build, the talent builds listed below work great for specific purposes.

2.1. For General Use

This build is an excellent starting point for questing and general purpose usage.

3. For Raid Encounters

This build is an excellent starting point as a standard raid setup.

4. Tier 1 (Level 15) Talents

Ray of Frost Ray of Frost Lonely Winter ? Lonely Winter Bone Chilling ? Bone Chilling

Tier 1 talents offer some passive damage and a powerful channel.

Ray of Frost Icon Ray of Frost can be difficult to fully maximize, as the point of maximum potency is near the end of the channel. Targeted mechanics, high movement, or interrupts can force you to cancel this earlier, which causes a high loss in damage. When paired with Rune of Power Icon Rune of Power, however, this ability can deal respectable burst damage, provided you can channel for the full duration.

Lonely Winter Icon Lonely Winter is good for solo content. The Water Elemental has a little bit of ramp up on short lived targets, and Water Jet Icon Water Jet and Freeze Icon Freeze are a little underwhelming while leveling, making this an excellent choice for bursting down world content quickly. This also scales much better than the other options on the tree.

Bone Chilling Icon Bone Chilling takes a while to fully stack, and can quickly fall off if you stop casting for even a few moments. Generally, this talent is to be avoided.

5. Tier 2 (Level 30) Talents

Shimmer Shimmer Cauterize Cauterize Cold Snap Cold Snap

Tier 2 talents offer a boost in defensive utility.

  • Shimmer Icon Shimmer replaces your Blink Icon Blink ability. It functions exactly the same as Blink Icon Blink except it is off the Global Cooldown and does not interrupt spellcasting.
  • Cauterize Icon Cauterize causes fatal damage to instead bring you to 35% of your maximum health, then burn you for 28% of your maximum health over 6 seconds and reducing movement speed while burning by 150%. This ability has a 2-minute internal cooldown.
  • Cold Snap Icon Cold Snap gives Ice Block Icon Ice Block a second charge and causes Ice Block Icon Ice Block to heal you for 3% max health per second while blocked.

Shimmer Icon Shimmer should be your go-to talent in most situations, as it gives you more mobility and the ability to Blink Icon Blink without triggering a Global Cooldown. Not only does this result in a noticeable damage gain, but should also allow for better survivability on high movement fights and put less reliance on your Ice Floes Icon Ice Floes.

Cauterize Icon Cauterize is an extremely useful alternative for soaking mechanics that would otherwise instantly kill you. Cauterize Icon Cauterize can also be useful for farm kills where you want to maximize DPS without moving out of mechanics. If you are not used to a new encounter yet, Cauterize Icon Cauterize will also be your best choice as it will reduce the amount of random deaths as you learn the fight.

Cold Snap Icon Cold Snap is not really useful unless you require two charges of Ice Block Icon Ice Block to deal with a specific mechanic.

6. Tier 3 (Level 45) Talents

Mirror Image ? Mirror Image Rune of Power Rune of Power Incanter's Flow ? Incanter's Flow

Tier 3 talents are focused on providing the player a consistent damage increase.

  • Mirror Image Icon Mirror Image creates 3 copies of yourself which damage enemies and last 40 seconds.
  • Rune of Power Icon Rune of Power places a small zone which increases the damage you do by 50% for 10 seconds. This ability has a 45 second cooldown, with 2 charges.
  • Incanter's Flow Icon Incanter's Flow increases your damage between 4% and 20%, cycling every 10 seconds.

Rune of Power Icon Rune of Power should be your go-to talent any time you are confident you will be able to take full advantage of the full 10-second buff reliably. It provides enormous burst potential and the predictable cooldown makes it easy to line up with cooldowns, procs, and fight mechanics.

Incanter's Flow Icon Incanter's Flow is great for situations where you want a stable and sustained damage increase. Encounters with sustained cleave are also perfect for Incanter's Flow Icon Incanter's Flow, such as High Botanist Tel'arn. This talent is especially strong for questing and dungeons.

Mirror Image Icon Mirror Image can be useful for situations where maximizing your burst inside of Time Warp Icon Time Warp is important, such as very tight DPS checks.

7. Tier 4 (Level 60) Talents

Tier 4 talents are focused on providing unique damage utility.

Ice Nova ? Ice Nova Frozen Touch Frozen Touch Splitting Ice ? Splitting Ice

Frozen Touch Icon Frozen Touch should be your go-to choice on raid bosses, as it has great synergy with Rune of Power Icon Rune of Power and Thermal Void Icon Thermal Void, giving you the freedom to fire away with Ice Lance Icon Ice Lance just when you need to. Given its relatively short cooldown, this talent excels on most boss fights and is equally strong in dungeons and while working through world content.

Ice Nova Icon Ice Nova is a solid choice for leveling if you feel the additional kiting utility will be beneficial to you. It can also be useful if you need a little extra burst AoE, like dealing with imps on Mannoroth.

Splitting Ice Icon Splitting Ice is great in dungeons and on raid bosses with sustained cleave.

8. Tier 5 (Level 75) Talents

Ice Floes Ice Floes Ring of Frost Ring of Frost Ice Ward Ice Ward

Tier 5 talents focus primarily on providing utility.

  • Ice Floes Icon Ice Floes has 3 charges and each usage allows a spell to be cast while moving.
  • Ring of Frost Icon Ring of Frost places a ring that can freeze up to 10 targets for 10 seconds at the targeted location, broken by damage.
  • Ice Ward Icon Ice Ward gives Frost Nova Icon Frost Nova 2 charges.

Ice Floes Icon Ice Floes is your go-to talent for all situations. Ring of Frost Icon Ring of Frost may have extreme situational use, such as the strength it displayed on the Will of the Emperor encounter in Mists of Pandaria, however, it currently has no known usage in PvE. Ice Ward Icon Ice Ward should not be used.

9. Tier 6 (Level 90) Talents

Frost Bomb ? Frost Bomb Unstable Magic Unstable Magic Arctic Gale Arctic Gale

Tier 6 talents add various cleave and AoE utility to your kit.

  • Frost Bomb Icon Frost Bomb applies a bomb to the target that explodes every time an Ice Lance Icon Ice Lance empowered with Fingers of Frost Icon Fingers of Frost strikes the target, dealing full damage to the target and ~62.5% damage to surrounding targets within 10uyards.
  • Unstable Magic Icon Unstable Magic grants Frostbolt Icon Frostbolt a 20% chance to explode for 50% additional damage to nearby targets.
  • Arctic Gale Icon Arctic Gale causes Blizzard Icon Blizzard to deal 30% additional damage, and increases its area of effect by 20%.

Unstable Magic Icon Unstable Magic should be your standard choice for questing and world content. It is also a solid choice in raids. Frost Bomb Icon Frost Bomb is great when encounters involve a lot of cleave and AoE, and pairs very well with Rune of Power Icon Rune of Power and Frozen Touch Icon Frozen Touch for dealing large bursts of damage. It is also a fantastic choice for dungeons and Mythic content, as well as encounters with cleave. Arctic Gale Icon Arctic Gale is situational, providing a little more sustained AoE damage, and also putting Blizzard Icon Blizzard into your single target rotation. It is currently weaker than the other choices.

10. Tier 7 (Level 100) Talents

Thermal Void ? Thermal Void Glacial Spike Glacial Spike Comet Storm Comet Storm

Tier 7 talents add new abilities and major playstyle shifts to your kit.

  • Thermal Void Icon Thermal Void extends your Icy Veins Icon Icy Veins by 2 seconds every time you cast a frozen Ice Lance Icon Ice Lance while it is active.
  • Glacial Spike Icon Glacial Spike is an active ability that requires and consumes all 5 of your Mastery: Icicles Icon Mastery: Icicles to cast. It deals a powerful damage nuke, plus all the damage from your stored Icicles, however, Ice Lance Icon Ice Lance no longer passively triggers the Icicles effect. Glacial Spike Icon Glacial Spike also freezes the target in place for 4 seconds, but damage caused will break the effect.
  • Comet Storm Icon Comet Storm calls down 7 comets that deal each minor damage to all enemies within 4 yards of the impact. This ability has a 30-second cooldown.

Glacial Spike Icon Glacial Spike is the best choice for 1-2 targets, as it has no cooldown and is only limited by Mastery: Icicles Icon Mastery: Icicles. It deals powerful burst damage and freezes your enemy in place, which is very helpful while leveling.

Thermal Void Icon Thermal Void is a great choice for fights where you can get a lot of uninterrupted damage during Icy Veins Icon Icy Veins. Even on high mobility fights, this talent will always offer a noticeable increase to your cooldown duration, especially when paired with talents such as Frozen Touch Icon Frozen Touch, as it will always allow you to extend your Icy Veins Icon Icy Veins by a minimum of an additional 14 seconds if planned properly (and paired with Frozen Orb Icon Frozen Orb). You will often be able to double your Icy Veins Icon Icy Veins duration, allowing for a powerful and extended period of burst damage. This talent pulls ahead on 3+ targets.

Comet Storm Icon Comet Storm does not have an applicable use in PvE, currently.

11. ChangeLog

  • 18 Jul. 2016: Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
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