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im getting mixed replies on water elemental's Freeze. this guide says it still shatters but i keep hearing from others that it doesnt shatter anymore. this is the only place out of about a dozen mage reviews that ive seen that still say Freeze shatters. please verify.

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On 7/22/2018 at 12:44 PM, Guest Greysmith said:

Dear fellow Frost mage,

I've noticed how in rotation you've put brain freeze proc above fingers of frost proc. Is there any reason for this?

As I figure and always have done has been shoot out the procced ice lances, as not to waste one of them on an already guaranteed shatter ice lance /after/ the brain freeze flurry.

Am I missing something?

Yes, you are - 

If you look at the events and follow their priority, you should always be using your FoF procs before using Flurry. Frostbolt is the absolute final cast in the priority, meaning it goes:

Ice Lance after Flurry > Flurry if you have Brain Freeze (and have just cast FB or EB) > Ice Lance if you have FoF > Frostbolt

Frostbolt is below IL with FoF in the priority.

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On 7/21/2018 at 11:47 PM, Guest TheRuin said:

I’m also struggling with the proper understanding of icicles and BF when using Glacial Spike.

From what I see, and correct me if I’m wrong but it reads like this:

After casting a Frostbolt and getting a third icicle along with a Brainfreeze proc, it is better to save the proc and get the five icicles to guarantee a Shatter.

So if you get your proc on your third icicle, then cast two Frostbolts to get the Spike requirement, all the while saving the BF proc. Is that accurate?

 

Also, sometimes, even though the combo is the same, on a dummy it seems like my Flurry doesn’t set up for the Spike to shatter. Is this a distance/travel issue?

Yes. It is more important, at least when playing Glacial, to make certain that you have Flurry proc up for Spike. 

For distance, it depends, are you testing close or far away? Both can have an impact on it.

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23 hours ago, Demonpuke said:

im getting mixed replies on water elemental's Freeze. this guide says it still shatters but i keep hearing from others that it doesnt shatter anymore. this is the only place out of about a dozen mage reviews that ive seen that still say Freeze shatters. please verify.

As long as the target can be frozen and rooted in place, it can be shattered from Freeze - just tested on the dummy in order hall (Lesser), out of 25 Ice Lances that hit while target was affected by Freeze, 100% Crit (I am just above shatter cap).

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On 7/21/2018 at 3:47 PM, Guest TheRuin said:

 

Also, sometimes, even though the combo is the same, on a dummy it seems like my Flurry doesn’t set up for the Spike to shatter. Is this a distance/travel issue?

Distance can be an issue if you're extremely close to the actual impact point on the model you're hitting, but as long as you're about 3-4 yards out it should always Shatter, at least from a travel speed point of view. Most bosses you're stacking up on are fairly large, so it doesn't become an issue in most practical cases so I left it out of the guide.

On 7/22/2018 at 4:44 AM, Guest Greysmith said:

Dear fellow Frost mage,

I've noticed how in rotation you've put brain freeze proc above fingers of frost proc. Is there any reason for this?

As I figure and always have done has been shoot out the procced ice lances, as not to waste one of them on an already guaranteed shatter ice lance /after/ the brain freeze flurry.

Am I missing something?

While true, you would ideally want to get rid of Fingers of Frost before using Brain Freeze, Brain Freeze itself takes priority when you have both procs and you're already casting that Frostbolt leading into you using your Flurry, else you might re-proc Brain Freeze and lose out on more damage than just munching the Fingers of Frost into Winter's Chill would.

It's unfortunate that it's set up this way, and is one of the grievances many have with the spec. Sadly, until Blizzard changes the way the procs interact, we're going to munch them.

On 7/22/2018 at 8:37 AM, Demonpuke said:

im getting mixed replies on water elemental's Freeze. this guide says it still shatters but i keep hearing from others that it doesnt shatter anymore. this is the only place out of about a dozen mage reviews that ive seen that still say Freeze shatters. please verify.

Freeze is still considered frozen for the sake of Shatter and Ice Lance, but it no longer provides Fingers of Frost procs specifically, which is what other sites are likely reporting on.

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Guest TheRuin

To add a follow up, I’m really enjoying the way Ray of Frost plays. From what I’m seeing, it’s not the optimal go to, but it performs well enough on ST dummies. I know the Azerite armor will change this, but I was wondering if I could get some input on my build/burst as the Spike build feels clunky atm, and Thermal Void is alright, but I really like the Ray flow.

Currently I’m using

Lonely Winter, Shimmer (Though Ice Floes helps with Ray movement) Incanters Flow, Ebonbolt, Frigid Winds, Comet Storm, and Ray

Aside from standard rotation, my burst is as follows:

With Icy Veins active I maintain the standard proc priority until around 6 seconds and then I dump any FoF procs, then a Brain Freeze if it’s up, into Comet Storm which is immediately followed by Ray. If timed properly I get the haste benefit ticks and dump the FoF procs just as Icy Veins has ended.

 

without Icy Veins I save EB and Comet Storm and go EB>CS>Flurry from Brain Freeze>Ray.

I know that AoE stuff requires splitting ice/Freezing Rain and for Mythic 5-mans it’s not the go to.

Does anyone care to offer any insight on my single target build and rotation listed above?

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11 hours ago, Nightdragon15 said:

Can you clarify why we should cast glacial spike if we have a brain freeze proc? Brain freeze doesn't impact glacial spike as far as I can tell so why only use it with brain freeze?

Glacial Spike > Brain Freeze empowered Flurry will cause the Glacial Spike to benefit from Shatter due to Winter's Chill. Due to how Icicles calculate their Crit, it's a gain to wait for a Brain Freeze proc versus average Crit chances.

  1. Glacial Spike cast finishes and begins the travel animation.
  2. Flurry leaves your hands at the same time, since the cast time of GS covered the GCD.
  3. Flurry's travel speed is faster than GS due to the wind up animation, and will arrive first, applying Winter's Chill to the target.
5 hours ago, Guest TheRuin said:

Aside from standard rotation, my burst is as follows:

With Icy Veins active I maintain the standard proc priority until around 6 seconds and then I dump any FoF procs, then a Brain Freeze if it’s up, into Comet Storm which is immediately followed by Ray. If timed properly I get the haste benefit ticks and dump the FoF procs just as Icy Veins has ended.

 

without Icy Veins I save EB and Comet Storm and go EB>CS>Flurry from Brain Freeze>Ray.

I know that AoE stuff requires splitting ice/Freezing Rain and for Mythic 5-mans it’s not the go to.

Does anyone care to offer any insight on my single target build and rotation listed above?

Your burst looks fine, since you're already supposed to wait for Orb to finish ticking and dump all Fingers of Frost charges before casting Ray.

It's a loss to do what you're doing with Ebonbolt. Shattering Comet Storm is only a 0.34% gain if you just happen to have the proc when you cast CmS rather than saving any proc for it. Any form of waiting on procs results in an immediate loss for this particular scenario.

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Guest TheRuin
3 hours ago, Kuni said:

Glacial Spike > Brain Freeze empowered Flurry will cause the Glacial Spike to benefit from Shatter due to Winter's Chill. Due to how Icicles calculate their Crit, it's a gain to wait for a Brain Freeze proc versus average Crit chances.

  1. Glacial Spike cast finishes and begins the travel animation.
  2. Flurry leaves your hands at the same time, since the cast time of GS covered the GCD.
  3. Flurry's travel speed is faster than GS due to the wind up animation, and will arrive first, applying Winter's Chill to the target.

Your burst looks fine, since you're already supposed to wait for Orb to finish ticking and dump all Fingers of Frost charges before casting Ray.

It's a loss to do what you're doing with Ebonbolt. Shattering Comet Storm is only a 0.34% gain if you just happen to have the proc when you cast CmS rather than saving any proc for it. Any form of waiting on procs results in an immediate loss for this particular scenario.

Even then, would you say that it really competes single target wise compared to the current builds?

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16 hours ago, Guest TheRuin said:

Even then, would you say that it really competes single target wise compared to the current builds?

What's your definition of competes?

In my gear, against my usual GS setup, it's a 2% loss to go Ray. Is that worthwhile for you? Realistically most Mages didn't bother to swap AG/UM back in Legion for roughly the same amount, that might be worth it if you really enjoy Ray's playstyle.

image.png

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Guest TheRuin
4 hours ago, Kuni said:

What's your definition of competes?

In my gear, against my usual GS setup, it's a 2% loss to go Ray. Is that worthwhile for you? Realistically most Mages didn't bother to swap AG/UM back in Legion for roughly the same amount, that might be worth it if you really enjoy Ray's playstyle.

image.png

 

Thanks for helping me out. I would say a 2 percent margin is competitive enough until you’re doing the higher end stuff. 

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Uncommon Patron

Hello. Thanks Kuni for the work you've put into making this guide.

I'm feeling very uncomfortable about Glacial Spike directly following the 5th Frostbolt. Because the 5th stack of Icicles isn't there until the Frostbolt leaves my hands, so the UI won't let me put Glacial Spike into the spell queue yet. I have to hammer the GS keybind, waiting for the 5th icicle, which doesn't feel like a natural way to play. Any advice?

The question from Greysmith above, about using a FoF Ice Lance before GS-Flurry-Lance, got me thinking. I haven't checked logs to see how many milliseconds I'm losing between gaining 5th Icicles and start-cast GS, but using up the FoF does allow me to use the spell queue for the following GS.

I do enjoy the reactive aspects of this spec, but GS is not really reactive because you know it's coming. And I get annoyed to get a Brain Freeze on the 5th Frostbolt - when I've already started to cast Ebonbolt. I feel like should cancel the EB, because the next Brain Freeze could be more than 45 seconds away.

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15 hours ago, Wizeowel said:

I'm feeling very uncomfortable about Glacial Spike directly following the 5th Frostbolt. Because the 5th stack of Icicles isn't there until the Frostbolt leaves my hands, so the UI won't let me put Glacial Spike into the spell queue yet. I have to hammer the GS keybind, waiting for the 5th icicle, which doesn't feel like a natural way to play. Any advice?

[...]

I do enjoy the reactive aspects of this spec, but GS is not really reactive because you know it's coming. And I get annoyed to get a Brain Freeze on the 5th Frostbolt - when I've already started to cast Ebonbolt. I feel like should cancel the EB, because the next Brain Freeze could be more than 45 seconds away.

Honestly, no, there's nothing you can really do about it other than either mash the key or play with very low spell queuing time. I wouldn't really suggest the latter, since you'll end up having tiny holes in your rotation all around, but it is an option.

As to cancelling Ebonbolts, unknown. There is likely a point if you catch it fast enough it'd be worth doing since a cancelled cast will reset the GCD spent, but I'm unsure of the specifics of that point. I'll see if I can get a real answer regarding that in the next few weeks.

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On 7/27/2018 at 12:53 AM, Wizeowel said:

I feel like should cancel the EB, because the next Brain Freeze could be more than 45 seconds away.

The answer is no. Ebonbolt does decent damage itself. If you've gained a 5th Icicle and it generates BF but you've pre-cast Ebonbolt, just Ebonbolt>Flurry>Ice Lance>GS>Flurry>Ice Lance.

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Guest frustrated mage

I just have 1 question bro, if you manage to get 33.34% crit in BFA,  then clearly you are a genious. Because I cant see that happening. Why write a guide for a pre-patch (4 weeks only) if all what people are looking for is acually how to play in BFA on this stage, I really dont know who has picked you to manage this page.  Your stat weights are bullshit, ur rotations are bullshit, talent choices, etc, seems like you still live in Legion, if you cant keep yourself up to date, then let someone else do that. Thanks and hate me if you want, but thats my point of view

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On 7/25/2018 at 10:42 PM, Kuni said:

What's your definition of competes?

In my gear, against my usual GS setup, it's a 2% loss to go Ray. Is that worthwhile for you? Realistically most Mages didn't bother to swap AG/UM back in Legion for roughly the same amount, that might be worth it if you really enjoy Ray's playstyle.

image.png

Hey Kuni, i wondered if you also run this build in mythic+. It looks like insane ST-Dmg but none of the amazing Stuff cleaving on the Trashpacks makes me a bit worried.

Edited by Vyro

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I have a question about Ebonbolt: when I get lucky with BF procs before GS, I feel that sometimes 45 seconds can pass and I won't have used Ebonbolt. I ponder using it on its own, but I am too afraid to at the same time in case I don't get any procs later on so I hold on to it.

We can thank the proc-based nature of the spec for this dylemma, but is there a correct answer for whether it's worth using Ebonbolt or holding on to it during a streak of lucky BF procs? I used to cancel it at 5th Icicle if I got a BF proc, but I just read Kuni's post saying that this is wrong.

PS: @Blainie, didn't know you mained Mage.

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On 8/11/2018 at 4:53 PM, Guest frustrated mage said:

I just have 1 question bro, if you manage to get 33.34% crit in BFA,  then clearly you are a genious. Because I cant see that happening. Why write a guide for a pre-patch (4 weeks only) if all what people are looking for is acually how to play in BFA on this stage, I really dont know who has picked you to manage this page.  Your stat weights are bullshit, ur rotations are bullshit, talent choices, etc, seems like you still live in Legion, if you cant keep yourself up to date, then let someone else do that. Thanks and hate me if you want, but thats my point of view

Crit cap is not a necessity to play the spec, merely a gear goal. This has been the case for just about every iteration of Frost since Wrath of the Lich King introduced Fingers of Frost as a mechanic. Nothing says you need to have it or you can't play the spec, never has.

A guide for pre-patch is what was requested, a guide for pre-patch is what was written, and posted just before said pre-patch launched. It was also updated a day early for BfA launch; today. Whether you view that as a waste of resources or not is irrelevant, people will want to know how to play their spec after changes happen, no matter how short a span that may be.

The stat weights are admittedly an example, yet they still match the pre-raid BfA sim profile stat weights. The rotation is quite literally the SimC APL made English. The talent choices were indeed made for 8.0.1 Legion at time of your posting, as that was the relevant game version. Again, they have been updated for BfA launch as of today.

I don't hate you for your opinion, in fact I would like to thank you for the laughs you've given me and my friends. It's been a dull week and this was a good laugh!

11 hours ago, Vyro said:

Hey Kuni, i wondered if you also run this build in mythic+. It looks like insane ST-Dmg but none of the amazing Stuff cleaving on the Trashpacks makes me a bit worried.

I personally will be running the top one. As I said, if you deem Ray's loss to be acceptable, then by all means play it if you enjoy it!

Comet Storm is an AoE, and rather large at that. The fact that you can Shatter at least part of it adds to the ridiculous power behind the spell in AoE. But, it mostly shines in burst AoE and single target. Changing up Comet Storm for Splitting Ice is going to depend on how long trash is surviving in your group, with shorter or larger packs favouring Comet Storm, and longer or smaller packs favouring Splitting Ice.

5 hours ago, Zadina said:

I have a question about Ebonbolt: when I get lucky with BF procs before GS, I feel that sometimes 45 seconds can pass and I won't have used Ebonbolt. I ponder using it on its own, but I am too afraid to at the same time in case I don't get any procs later on so I hold on to it.

We can thank the proc-based nature of the spec for this dylemma, but is there a correct answer for whether it's worth using Ebonbolt or holding on to it during a streak of lucky BF procs? I used to cancel it at 5th Icicle if I got a BF proc, but I just read Kuni's post saying that this is wrong.

PS: @Blainie, didn't know you mained Mage.

Its best function is being held for that emergency 5-Icicle/no BF scenario. We've done quite a lot of testing on this, and while the potential is there for it to theoretically not even be used in an encounter, that's still the best use. It feels really weird, but until the math and simulations show otherwise, that's optimal. Unfortunately.

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On 8/12/2018 at 12:53 AM, Guest frustrated mage said:

I just have 1 question bro, if you manage to get 33.34% crit in BFA,  then clearly you are a genious. Because I cant see that happening. Why write a guide for a pre-patch (4 weeks only) if all what people are looking for is acually how to play in BFA on this stage, I really dont know who has picked you to manage this page.  Your stat weights are bullshit, ur rotations are bullshit, talent choices, etc, seems like you still live in Legion, if you cant keep yourself up to date, then let someone else do that. Thanks and hate me if you want, but thats my point of view

I'd just like to weigh in on what Kuni said and address your comment.

Firstly, I think you are in the clear minority of players that want a guide for content that isn't out. I know very few people that, when pre-patch launched, thought to themselves: "I don't want to know how to play my class for 4 weeks. I want to not know how to play it now and study how to play it next month." Kuni was correct in making his guide for pre-patch and did exactly as was asked of him. 

In terms of who picked him, we did. The guide is in excellent shape, has correct information and is exactly what we had hoped for in hiring a writer of his calibre. When something is wrong, it is fixed quickly. 

On the Crit note, it has already been explained to you by Kuni, but I'd like to add. If it was a hard goal, do or die, 33.34% or can't play, is it impossible in Mythic Uldir gear? If I am correct in looking at my calendar, that is about... 4 weeks away? 

I thought it was ideal to learn about your class 4 weeks in advance.

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Guest Ish

Ok, I think I have a good grasp of the glacial spike rotation, but two questions

 - If I end up being at 5 icicles and without brain freeze/ebonbolt, therefore spamming frostbolt, praying for a proc, when brain freeze proc, if I am already casting the next frosbolt (since I have not the reflexes of a jedi), should I cancel it to immediatly to do the GP and "lose" this half second or stick with my frostbolt ?

 - Kinda the same question, the rotation indicate to consume brain freeze after 0-3 icicles frosbolt, so if I understand that correctly, it means that I have to keep the brain freeze triggered (if triggered) by the 3-icicle -frosbolt (hence the one giving me the fourth icicle) ? Am I right ?

 

Thank you.

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Guest Mortimere-KT

Just wanted to say that Ice Nova for dungeons is crazy good. You can use it to shatter Glacial Spike on 2 enemies.

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19 hours ago, Guest Ish said:

Ok, I think I have a good grasp of the glacial spike rotation, but two questions

 - If I end up being at 5 icicles and without brain freeze/ebonbolt, therefore spamming frostbolt, praying for a proc, when brain freeze proc, if I am already casting the next frosbolt (since I have not the reflexes of a jedi), should I cancel it to immediatly to do the GP and "lose" this half second or stick with my frostbolt ?

 - Kinda the same question, the rotation indicate to consume brain freeze after 0-3 icicles frosbolt, so if I understand that correctly, it means that I have to keep the brain freeze triggered (if triggered) by the 3-icicle -frosbolt (hence the one giving me the fourth icicle) ? Am I right ?

 

Thank you.

The first question: technically a gain to cancel if you can do it within 750ms. We're talking a gain of less than a quarter percent, played absolutely perfectly. That said, most people aren't going to react that quickly when combined with paying attention to mechanics or timers. For practical purposes, you'll finish that Frostbolt you queued after you got your Brain Freeze.

Second: correct. Your BF decision making is based on the state of when you cast it. Since you'd be making the choice at 4 Icicles, after the Frostbolt generated, you hold onto it.

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Guest Magedude

Just curious by why is the shatter cap still 33%? If its 1.5 crit +50% Shouldn't it be 20% crit cap for 100% and about 22-23% for elites?

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12 hours ago, Guest Magedude said:

Just curious by why is the shatter cap still 33%? If its 1.5 crit +50% Shouldn't it be 20% crit cap for 100% and about 22-23% for elites?

33.34*1.5=50.01, +50.

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