Frost Mage DPS Spec, Builds, Talents, and Glyphs (WoD 6.0.3)

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General Information

On this page, we present the viable talent and glyph choices for Frost Mages in World of Warcraft WoD 6.0.3. We detail what each of the talents and glyphs 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 Reviewer

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

6.0.2 Transition Guide

If you want to read all about the Patch 6.0.2 changes and learn how they affect your character, make sure to read our Mage Transition Guide!

1. Talent Choices↑top

Level Choices
15 Evanesce Blazing Speed Ice Floes
30 Alter Time Flameglow Ice Barrier
45 Ring of Frost Ice Ward Frostjaw
60 Greater Invisibility Cauterize Cold Snap
75 Frost Bomb Unstable Magic Ice Nova
90 Mirror Image Rune of Power Incanter's Flow
100 Thermal Void Prismatic Crystal Comet Storm
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  • Performance-enhancing
  • Survival
  • Crowd Control
  • Movement
  • Utility
  • Situational

Talents can easily be changed, thanks to Tome of the Clear Mind Icon Tomes of the Clear Mind. You will frequently find yourself changing talents and glyphs between encounters, in order to adapt your play style to different mechanics. Therefore, it is important to understand what each of your talents does and how they affect your play style.

2. Tier 1 Talents↑top

Tier 1 talents have been designed with mobility and survival in mind. You have the choice between:

  • Evanesce Icon Evanesce, which replaces Ice Block Icon Ice Block and causes you to avoid all attacks against you (on a 45-second cooldown);
  • Blazing Speed Icon Blazing Speed, which suppresses slowing effects and increases your movement speed by 150% for 1.5 seconds (on a 25-second cooldown);
  • Ice Floes Icon Ice Floes, which allows you to cast a spell while moving (the spell has 3 charges, with a recharge time of 20 seconds).

Evanesce Icon Evanesce works in a similar way to Deterrence Icon Deterrence. You should use it for boss fights where there are attacks that need to be avoided by players (such as AoE attacks from the boss). You can also use it to help your healers, if they have problems dealing with particularly damaging boss abilities. This talent should also protect you from most environment damage (void zones, fire walls, etc.). It only has a 45-second cooldown, which means that you can use it very often, and you can even reset its cooldown with Cold Snap Icon Cold Snap (one of the possible Tier 4 talents). The main downside is that choosing Evanesce replaces Ice Block Icon Ice Block, because Ice Block works on everything that Evanesce works on, but the opposite is not true.

If you decide to go for a movement-enhancing talent, the choice between Blazing Speed Icon Blazing Speed and Ice Floes Icon Ice Floes depends on the type of movement during the encounter. Blazing Speed provides you with emergency movement, for when you need to move really fast for a short period of time. Blazing Speed is a good complement to Blink Icon Blink. So, if you think Blink is not enough to handle all the emergency movement, then use Blazing Speed. Otherwise, use Ice Floes (which is much better from a DPS perspective).

3. Tier 2 Talents↑top

Tier 2 talents have been designed with survivability in mind.

  • Alter Time Icon Alter Time returns you to your current location with your current health after 10 seconds or when you cast Alter Time for a second time.
  • Flameglow Icon Flameglow grants you a passive shield that always absorbs a bit of the damage you receive.
  • Ice Barrier Icon Ice Barrier absorbs a quantity of damage (the absorption effect scales with Spell Power) and prevents spellcasting from being delayed, while active.

Alter Time Icon Alter Time is the default choice here. You can use it to heal yourself back to full health after a particularly damaging attack, saving your healers' Mana. It is off the global cooldown, which means that casting Alter Time does not result in a DPS loss. Also, you can use Alter Time for mobility (which directly translates into more DPS), for example when you need to go a certain location to hit something or dodge an ability, before coming back to your original location. Finally, unlike in Mists of Pandaria, Alter Time does not affect Mana, which means that Arcane Mages can no longer take advantage of it to restore Mana.

Ice Barrier Icon Ice Barrier is useful when you need the extra life it provides to survive an attack that would otherwise kill you.

Flameglow Icon Flameglow is not as powerful as Alter Time or Ice Barrier, but it provides its shield passively and you only need 16 damage events in 25 seconds for it to beat Ice Barrier in terms of overall damage reduction.

4. Tier 3 Talents↑top

Tier 3 talents have been designed with crowd control in mind. Whichever talent you choose depends on the encounter, but we think that these talents are mostly for PvP and are most often irrelevant in PvE. You have the choice between:

  • Ring of Frost Icon Ring of Frost, which summons a 10-yard ring that lasts for 10 seconds and that freezes, for 10 seconds, enemies entering it (up to a maximum of 10 enemies);
  • Ice Ward Icon Ice Ward, which causes all enemies within 10 yards of a friendly target to become frozen for 5 seconds when the target is struck;
  • Frostjaw Icon Frostjaw, which silences and freezes the target in place for 8 seconds.

5. Tier 4 Talents↑top

Tier 4 talents have been designed with survival in mind. You have the choice between:

  • Greater Invisibility Icon Greater Invisibility, which improves and replaces Invisibility Icon Invisibility, giving it an instant effect and making you take 90% less damage while Invisibility is active (and for 3 seconds after coming out of Invisibility);
  • Cauterize Icon Cauterize, which causes an attack that would otherwise kill you to instead bring you to 35% of your maximum health, after which you will burn for 28% of your maximum health over 6 seconds (effect cannot occur more than once every 2 minutes);
  • Cold Snap Icon Cold Snap, which finishes the cooldown of your Ice Block Icon Ice Block (or Evanesce Icon Evanesce, if you chose it as your Tier 1 talent), Cone of Cold Icon Cone of Cold, and Frost Nova Icon Frost Nova while also restoring 22% of your maximum health.

Greater Invisibility Icon Greater Invisibility and Cauterize Icon Cauterize are your two options, here. Whichever you will choose mostly comes down to personal preferences, but Cauterize is easier to use, as it triggers its effect passively, unlike Greater Invisibility, which requires a bit of planning to use effectively.

Greater Invisibility Icon Greater Invisibility is a great damage mitigation tool, which you can also use to remove DoTs and effects.

Cauterize Icon Cauterize can be used to maximise your DPS by standing still instead of moving away to avoid a damaging boss ability. You can also simply consider it as an extra life for whenever you mess up. Remember to follow it up with Ice Block Icon Ice Block or Evanesce Icon Evanesce (which does not remove the DoT, but helps avoiding a few ticks), if you feel that your healers will not manage to heal the DoT that Cauterize leaves on you (it hits pretty hard).

Cold Snap Icon Cold Snap can be a small DPS gain, because it can reset the cooldown of Cone of Cold Icon Cone of Cold, allowing you to use it twice in a row for a short burst of AoE damage. You can also consider for its ability to reset Ice Block Icon Ice Block's cooldown, allowing you to use it twice in a row or a lot more often than its 6-minute cooldown would otherwise let you. This is very situational (especially if you use Evanesce Icon Evanesce as your Tier 1 talent) and rarely useful.

6. Tier 5 Talents↑top

Tier 5 talents provide you with abilities that focus on multiple-target damage.

  • Frost Bomb Icon Frost Bomb debuffs your target for 12 seconds. The debuff causes your Ice Lance Icon Ice Lances that benefit from Shatter Icon Shatter (because the target is frozen or you have a charge of Fingers of Frost Icon Fingers of Frost) to deal additional damage to the target and some damage to all enemies within 10 yards.
  • Unstable Magic Icon Unstable Magic gives your Frostbolt Icon Frostbolt and Frostfire Bolt Icon Frostfire Bolt a 20% chance to explode on impact, dealing an additional 50% damage to the target and to all other enemies within 8 yards.
  • Ice Nova Icon Ice Nova can be cast on an ally or an enemy target. In both cases, it deals damage to all enemies within 8 yards, also freezing them for 2 seconds. If cast on an enemy, this enemy will take 100% increased damage from Ice Nova (compared to the nearby enemies). Ice Nova replaces Frost Nova Icon Frost Nova and has 2 charges, with a recharge time of 25 seconds.

For single-target damage, all talents are close, with Frost Bomb Icon Frost Bomb pulling slightly ahead.

For multiple-target damage, Frost Bomb Icon Frost Bomb is a clear winner and is the default choice. Unstable Magic Icon Unstable Magic should be taken when you want to do collateral damage to enemies, without having to worry about setting up Frost Bomb. Ice Nova Icon Ice Nova can be used if you really need the freeze, or if burst damage is required (the damage it does when you use both charges consecutively is amazing).

7. Tier 6 Talents↑top

Tier 6 talents are damage-increasing talents.

  • Mirror Image Icon Mirror Image creates 3 copies of your Mage that cast Frostbolt Icon Frostbolt at your target. The copies disappear after 40 seconds.
  • Rune of Power Icon Rune of Power summons a rune that causes you, when standing within 8 yards of it, to deal 15% increased spell damage. The rune lasts for 3 minutes and you can have 2 runes up at one time.
  • Incanter's Flow Icon Incanter's Flow passively increases your damage done. It follows a 10-second cycle, during which the damage increase changes every second: 4%, 8%, 12%, 16%, 20%, 20%, 16%, 12%, 8%, 4%.

For single-target damage, Mirror Image Icon Mirror Image is by far the best option.

For multiple-target damage, you should use Rune of Power Icon Rune of Power, if the encounter does not require you to move often, or Incanter's Flow Icon Incanter's Flow, if the encounter requires you to move often.

8. Tier 7 Talents↑top

Tier 7 talents give you performance enhancing abilities or effects.

  • Thermal Void Icon Thermal Void causes Ice Lance Icon Ice Lance to extend the duration of Icy Veins Icon Icy Veins by 2 seconds.
  • Prismatic Crystal Icon Prismatic Crystal conjures a crystal at your location that only you can attack. The crystal lasts for 12 seconds. Every time it takes damage from you, it amplifies that damage by 10% before spreading it evenly between all enemies within 8 yards.
  • Comet Storm Icon Comet Storm calls down a series of 7 comets on and around your target in rapid succession. Each comet deals damage spread between all enemies between 4 yards.

Prismatic Crystal Icon Prismatic Crystal is the best talent when paired with Frost Bomb Icon Frost Bomb, but you need to be able to cleave off of it reliably. If you cannot (tanks need to move away, targets are not stationary, etc.), then the value of Prismatic Crystal drops significantly and you are better off using Thermal Void Icon Thermal Void. If, for any reason, you do not take Frost Bomb, then Thermal Void is the talent of choice in all situations. Comet Storm Icon Comet Storm is currently never worth taking.

Both Prismatic Crystal Icon Prismatic Crystal and Thermal Void Icon Thermal Void influence your rotation. We detail these changes in the rotation page.

9. Major Glyphs↑top

None of your major glyphs will be mandatory. Some will increase your DPS in very specific situations, others will improve your survivability or make some spells more useful.

DPS-increasing glyphs are listed below.

  • Glyph of Icy Veins Icon Glyph of Icy Veins causes Icy Veins Icon Icy Veins to now grant you +30% Multistrike instead of +20% Haste. Multistrike being your best stat, this glyph is very beneficial.
  • Glyph of Cone of Cold Icon Glyph of Cone of Cold increases the damage of Cone of Cold Icon Cone of Cold by 200%. This can be extremely useful for dealing with adds that will live for a very short time.
  • Glyph of Splitting Ice Icon Glyph of Splitting Ice causes your Ice Lance Icon Ice Lance and Icicles from your Mastery: Icicles Icon Mastery: Icicles to hit a second target for 50% of the damage. This will be useful in fights with adds.
  • Glyph of Water Elemental Icon Glyph of Water Elemental grants more health to your Water Elemental and enables it to cast while moving. Also, this glyph makes your Water Elemental smarter. Indeed, you can set it to automatically follow you during fights.

For Tier 17 encounters, Glyph of Icy Veins Icon Glyph of Icy Veins, Glyph of Cone of Cold Icon Glyph of Cone of Cold, and Glyph of Water Elemental Icon Glyph of Water Elemental (single-target fights) / Glyph of Splitting Ice Icon Glyph of Splitting Ice (multiple-target fights) are advised.

The other potentially useful major glyphs are listed below.

  • Glyph of Blink Icon Glyph of Blink increases the distance you travel with Blink Icon Blink by 8 yards. It is mutually exclusive with Glyph of Rapid Displacement Icon Glyph of Rapid Displacement.
  • Glyph of Counterspell Icon Glyph of Counterspell grants the ability to cast Counterspell Icon Counterspell while channeling or casting another spell, at the expense of increasing its cooldown by 4 seconds. This glyph will be beneficial every time you will be on interrupt duty.
  • Glyph of Ice Block Icon Glyph of Ice Block causes Frost Nova Icon Frost Nova to be automatically cast, at no Mana cost, when Ice Block Icon Ice Block terminates, after which time you are granted a 3-second immunity against all spells. This is the best defensive ability you can get as a mage, because the 3-second immunity works on practically everything in the game. Note that Glyph of Ice Block does not trigger Ice Nova Icon Ice Nova.
  • Glyph of Rapid Displacement Icon Glyph of Rapid Displacement causes Blink Icon Blink to now have two charges, on a 15-second recharge time. This is an extremely beneficial glyph, because it basically allows you to use Blink Icon Blink twice in a row. The downside is that Blink Icon Blink no longer frees you from stuns and bonds. This glyph is mutually exclusive with Glyph of Blink Icon Glyph of Blink.
  • Glyph of Regenerative Ice Icon Glyph of Regenerative Ice provides a nice heal during Ice Block Icon Ice Block, up to 40% of your maximum health if you remain encased for the whole duration.
  • Glyph of Remove Curse Icon Glyph of Remove Curse is a nice glyph to have in a fight where you must use Remove Curse Icon Remove Curse. That said, the temporary damage boost it provides does not compensate for the global cooldown it costs to cast Remove Curse.

10. Minor Glyphs↑top

Among the minor glyphs, only Glyph of Momentum Icon Glyph of Momentum is of interest. It allows you to blink in the direction where you are going. It can be very useful if you are moving sideways and want to keep facing the boss.

11. Changelog↑top

  • 16 Nov. 2014: Added Level 100 talents.