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The Frost Mage guide is confusing me

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Right, so let me just preface this by saying that I like to take the priority system listed in the guides and input them into a row of TMW's so that I can follow them left to right, I've done this on all of my characters and have always had good results, I'm then able to adjust them or change them around to fit around anything else I learn, but there's something in the Frost Mage guide that is really getting to me.

It lists as Priority #1 to cast Ice Lance directly after a Flurry. Great, awesome. Makes total sense.
Priority #6 says to use your Brain Freeze procs with some special considerations. Alright cool.
Then later on in the priority it says to use your Fingers of Frost procs if you're at 3 charges, or as a filler spell. Makes sense.

But the three points don't work together, at least not with how I'm looking it, so am I looking at it wrong?
Because from what I know about the spec, you don't want to cast a Fingers of Frost proc into a Winter's Chill because the buff/debuff effectively do the same thing and so cancel each other out. Winter's Chill acts as a free Fingers of Frost proc after your Flurry.

The way the guide is written it sounds like it's saying that this doesn't matter? That it's okay to use your Brain Freeze procs before using your Fingers of Frost, so if you're sat at 2 Fingers of Frost and a Brain Freeze you should Flurry > Ice Lance, using one of your charges and consuming your Brain Freeze. This seems.. wrong to me.

Furthermore from doing some research of my own, I've read it said that it's generally accepted that you should dump your Fingers of Frost before using your Brain Freeze procs, this isn't mentioned anywhere in the Frost Mage guide and it feels like a huge omission if this is the case. And if that is correct, where in the priority do I dump the Fingers of Frost? Push Brain Freeze down to #7 and have dump Fingers of Frost at #6?

Additionally it mentions briefly in the section on Brain Freeze about casting Frostbolt > Flurry > Ice Lance without properly explaining why you'd do that.. I know why, it's so that your Frostbolt will benefit from Winter's Chill due to Flurry's missile speed and Ice Lance will also, leading to you proccing Shatter on two spells during Winter's Chill as opposed to one. Again, where is this mentioned or clarified in the guide? At the very least it feels like this should be explained in the Advanced Section of the guide, which feels really bare for Frost.

I love this spec and want to get good at it but I'm getting conflicting information and I don't want to do things wrong. Is the guide wrong or am I missing something?

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Hey, I can't speak for the icy-veins guide as I haven't really read it, but I can answer some of your questions from my experience.

Brain Freeze proc has a very small delay after Frostbolt to allow you to not munch another BF proc when chaining Frostbolts.

So you'll be doing this: Frostbolt(BF procs) -> Frostbolt -> Flurry(BF procs here from the second frostbolt due to delay) -> Ice Lance -> Frostbolt -> Flurry -> Ice Lance -> Frostbolt and so on.

Your Frostbolts will always either chain into:

1. Flurry if you have a BF proc while casting the Frostbolt, which then goes into a Lance due to the shatter. (and if you do have FoF charges also, you would just have to waste one, as you don't want to wait around and potentially munch another BF proc from the second FB)

2. Ice Lance(s) if you only have FoF procs and no BF proc while casting the Frostbolt.

3. Just another Frostbolt if you're unlucky enough to not have any procs (happens more than you'd like).

So the reason consuming BF takes priority over FoF in general is because you're chaining them into Frostbolts, and you don't want to munch another BF proc. Sacrificing the FoF instead of the protential BF proc is less of a dps loss than starting to dump your FoFs first and potentially lose out on a BF proc.

However, let me give you an example of a situation where you would use FoF charges before your BF proc. So you're shooting at a big add on Aggramar. It's about to die and you shoot one last frostbolt into it.  This Frostbolt procs into a BF and a FoF. Now the add died so you won't be casting another FB right after. You switch targets back to Aggramar who is about to become active again. You're sitting with 1 FoF charge and 1 BF charge, so in this situation you're better off dumping the FoF charge before resuming with frostbolt -> flurry -> ice lance. This kind of situation could also happen due to having to dodge mechanics, but for the most part you want to do that with shimmer as much as possible so you never have to stop casting.

I'm just speaking from my experience and what I've read on the mage discord, so if any of this is incorrect please feel free to correct me.

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Okay, I get what you're saying.. I actually considered something last night after I wrote the post which may answer my confusion and actually make the guide correct. Frostbolt only actually generates the proc after it hits, not after it's cast if I'm correct? So I'm Frostbolting and whilst it's in the air, I'm prepping another Frostbolt, the first one then hits, procs BF, but the one I'm casting also has a chance to generate it too.. and since FoF affects one spell, BF if used correctly affects 3, the FoF loss from losing a proc of FoF is much lower than losing a BF. So whilst I'm prepping the second Frostbolt, I need to follow that with a Flurry (which hits before the Frostbolt), just in case the second Frostbolt also procs.

Have I got the right of it here? It's weird how one little consideration makes it somewhat click.

So whilst if I'm target switching like you say, and I just happen to have both FoF's and BF's and I'm not already Frostbolting, then I may as well just dump the charges before casting the Frostbolt to set up the BF combo.

Thankyou for the reply by the way!

Edited by millerwolf

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That's about correct, but the BF proc is actually from the frosbolt cast itself and not hitting the target, it just has a small delay added to it. It was added in a hotfix to make the frost mage experience feel a bit better since before that mages would munch all the procs when the new one would instantly overwrite the old one.

Here's the actual hotfix if you want to read it:

  • Hotfix (2017-01-31): "Brain Freeze procs gained while you already have a Brain Freeze active and unused will now be delayed slightly."
Developers' notes: The delay on the second Brain Freeze will give the Mage time to use the first Brain Freeze proc. For example, the Mage might cast 16px-Spell_frost_frostbolt02.png?version[Frostbolt] (proc Brain Freeze), then Frostbolt (proc Brain Freeze again), then instant 16px-Ability_warlock_burningembersblue.p[Flurry], then 16px-Spell_frost_frostblast.png?version=[Ice Lance], then Instant Flurry again, then Ice Lance.

They give that example of FB -> Flurry -> Ice Lance -> Flurry -> Ice Lance, but you shouldn't really ever go from Lance into another Flurry because you gain more dps by casting another FB first so it can shatter from the second Flurry's Winter's Chill.

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Ah, I understand :) okay, that makes a little bit more sense, I didn't know about the Hotfix, I just assumed with what I was experiencing it was on hit, but yeah, I guess that somewhat removes my objection to what's written in the guide.

I do think a little clarification would be good though. For example the Frostbolt > Flurry > isn't explained very well.

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