TBC Classic Frost Mage Spec, Builds, and Talents
On this page, you will find out the best PvE talent choices and builds for your Frost Mage in TBC Classic.
Talent Builds for Frost Mages
Frost Mage talents aim to maximize single target and AoE damage, as well as survivability.
If you were looking for a leveling oriented build please refer to our Mage leveling guide.
For raiding, we recommended Frost Mages to focus on a Arcane Concentration based build with slow talents for Blizzard. We skip the Shatter talent because, although it works on many trash mobs in raids, freezing effects, such as Frostbite or Frost Nova, often break from damage other players do before you can cast your next Frostbolt cast. The improved slow on your AoE spell Blizzard can further help especially Protection Paladins to mitigate damage while a bunch of clumped up mobs run after him through is Consecration, and further can buy time on or even save unsuccessful pulls. The improved slow on Blizzard is also useful for solo AoE farming outside of raids. Further, with this spec the Arcane tree offers your Arcane Explosion a higher crit chance, which is your most used AoE.
If you are absolutely sure that you will never need the improved slow on Blizzard, and want to benefit slightly from Shatter and Frostbite, you can take away the talent points from Arcane Impact, Permafrost, Improved Blizzard, and one point from Ice Floes and put them into Frostbite, Improved Frost Nova and Shatter, however this is not recommended for raiding.
Important Frost Mage Talents
As almost all Frost talents are very important, here is a brief explanation of what the most important talents do.
Elemental Precision increases your chance to Hit with Frost spells by 3%. Frostbolt gains 6% Hit from this talent, even though it is not stated in the tooltip.
Improved Frostbolt makes your main nuke Frostbolt cast 0.5 seconds faster. While this does not sound like much, this cast time increase equals about 20% more damage for Frostbolt.
Ice Shards makes your Frost Spell Critical Strikes deal 200% damage, 209% with Chaotic Skyfire Diamond.
Frostbite gives your Frost spells a 15% chance to freeze enemies for 5 seconds. This also works on many trash mobs, however attacks of other players can break this freezing effect.
Permafrost and Improved Blizzard are responsible for a 75% slow on Blizzard that lasts for 4.5 seconds. In addition, all your slow effects last 3 seconds longer and give a 10% increased slow effect.
Icy Veins increases your casting speed by 20% and gives you a 100% spell pushback protection for 20 seconds. Does not protect from interupt effects or stuns.
Piercing Ice increases all Frost damage done by 6%.
Arctic Reach gives Frostbolt, Ice Lance and Blizzard a 20% higher range and increases the radius of Blizzard and Cone of Cold by 20%. This allows to outrange some enemies' abilities.
Frost Channeling reduces your Frost spells' Mana cost by 15% and their threat caused by 10%, so your Frost spells do only 90% (90% = 100%-10%) threat. A 1000 damage Frost spell would do 900 instead of 1000 threat with this talent. This talent allows for 10% more damage to be done before becoming threat-capped.
Shatter is the mightiest of all Frost talents if you look only at what it does, however it is impractical in raids, as most of your Frost Nova and Frostbite effects will be broken by other players. This talent increases the Critical Strike chance of all spells against frozen targets by 50%. While not all enemies can and will be frozen, the effect of this talent is still absurdly strong and also allows for the so-called "Shatter Combo". A Shatter combo is if you cast a spell with a cast time, followed by an instant spell on a frozen target and both spells benefit from the 50% crit chance increase. An examples for this are casting Frostbolt followed by Ice Lance or Flamestrike followed by Cone of Cold on frozen targets.
Cold Snap resets the cooldown of all Frost abilities, allowing for using cooldowns Icy Veins and Summon Water Elemental or absorbing damage with Ice Barrier twice in a row. This ability comes with a 8 minutes (6.4 minutes talented) cooldown.
Ice Floes reduces the cooldown of Cone of Cold (10s -> 8s), Cold Snap (8min -> 6.4 min), Ice Barrier (30s -> 24s) and Ice Block (5min -> 4min) by 20%.
Winter's Chill each Frost damage spell applies a debuff on the target that increases the Critical Strike chance of Frost spells against that enemy by 2%, up to a total of 10%, for 15 seconds. That means after 5 successful Frost attacks, your target has a 10% higher chance to be crit by anybody's Frost spells. This effect can already be stacked or be refreshed with Ice Lance while positioning for an enemy.
Ice Barrier absorbs all but falling damage for one minute and gives your protection against spell pushback. This is very useful, if you take small but very frequent portions of damage and even better if that damage is magical and can be reduced with Dampen Magic. This ability comes with a 30 seconds (24 talented) cooldown.
Arctic Winds increases all your Frost damage by 5% and reduces the chance physical attacks will hit you by 5%.
Empowered Frostbolt gives your Frostbolt a 10% higher spell damage coefficient and a 5% higher Critical Strike chance.
Summon Water Elemental summons a Water Elemental with the Waterbolt and Freeze abilities to fight for for 45 seconds. This pet will benefit from Bloodlust/ Heroism, if cast after the Elemental has been summoned.
Arcane Subtlety makes your Arcane Explosion spell the safest AoE spell in the whole game and decrease the target's resistance to all schools of magic by 10. This talent is key for doing maximum AoE damage without dying to pulling aggro.
Arcane Concentration gives you a 10% chance of entering a Clearcasting state after any attack goes off. This gives you an average 10% reduced Mana cost on your damaging spells.
Arcane Impact gives your Arcane Blast and most importantly your Arcane Explosion a 6% increased Critical Strike chance.
- 30 May 2021: Guide added.
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