Frost Mage PvP Guide for TBC Classic
Welcome to our PvP Frost Mage guide for TBC Classic. Here you will learn all you need to know to properly play Frost Mage in PvP scenarios.
Viability of Frost Mages in TBC Classic PvP
Frost Mages are one of the strongest specializations in TBC Classic PvP, having high control, survivability, and burst. They fit into all sorts of compositions and are great in all Arena brackets, Battlegrounds, and World PvP.
Deep Frost PvP Mage Talent Build
This is the standard deep Frost build, which gets both Summon Water Elemental and Improved Counterspell. If you are not playing with a healer, get Magic Attunement at the cost of two points in Magic Absorption, as Dampen Magic is a huge survivability increase.
The Frost tree provides everything you need in PvP: burst damage with Icy Veins, control with Improved Blizzard and Permafrost, and survivability with Ice Barrier and Cold Snap.
Frost PvP Mage Rotation
Rather than a fixed rotation, Mage gameplay is about setting up crowd control chains, followed by bursting down a target with cooldowns. Use your spells accordingly to keep enemies under control, and eventually burst them down:
- Keep yourself alive with Ice Barrier, Frost Nova, and Blink.
- Stay in control of the match with Polymorph, Counterspell, Improved Blizzard (with Permafrost), Summon Water Elemental, and Spellsteal.
- Apply strong burst damage with Icy Veins and Shatter / Ice Shards, which should be combined with Frostbolt and Ice Lance to create massive instant-cast burst damage on demand.
Frost Mage PvP Best in Slot Gear, Gems, and Enchants
You can find our recommended gear, gems, and Enchants for PvPing as a Frost Mage in the link below.
Frost Mage PvP Arena Teams and Compositions
While Mages fit into just about any composition, these are some of the strongest Mage compositions in each Arena bracket:
In 2v2, Mage + Rogue and Mage + Disc Priest are your best compositions.
In 3v3, Mage + Rogue + Disc Priest and Mage + Warlock + Disc Priest are your best compositions.
In 5v5, Mage is a staple of just about any team composition, but performs best alongside the ranged Mortal Strike effect of a Marksmanship Hunter and/or the burst damage of an Elemental Shaman.
Frost Mage PvP Tricks and Tips
In order to become the best Mage possible, you should understand what your talents and spells are for. The amount of details that can go into this section of the guide is endless, but we will try to keep things brief in order to give you a general idea, which you can use to jumpstart your PvP experience.
Magic Attunement amplifies Amplify Magic and Dampen Magic by up to 50%. This is typically very useful to lower the damage you take from enemy casters, but will also reduce your healing taken, making it mostly useful in all-dps compositions.
Improved Counterspell makes your Counterspell silence its target for 4 seconds. This guarantees that you can stop your target's casting, even if they do not actually try to cast anything in the first place. It also guarantees full silence, rather than the school silence of baseline Counterspell.
Spellsteal is expensive to cast, but when used at the right time, can turn a match around by stealing enemy buffs such as Ice Barrier, Power Infusion, and Icy Veins, or heals-over-time such as Lifebloom!
Against casters, Molten Armor is great in short, burst-oriented matches, while Mage Armor can give you an edge in prolonged matches. Ice Armor is the armor of choice against melee comps, as its slow reduces their damage and makes you a hard target to focus.
Frostbite makes your slowing effects have up to 15% chance to freeze the target. This has great synergy with Shatter and Ice Shards for burst damage purposes, but is reliant on RNG.
Permafrost increases the duration of your slowing effects by up to 3 seconds and makes them slow for 10% more. This allows lower duration slows, such as Improved Blizzard to be much more annoying and impactful on opponents, and makes Cone of Cold have a longer slow duration than its cooldown.
Improved Blizzard causes your Blizzard spell to slow hit targets by up to 65% for 2 seconds. When combined with Permafrost, the duration and slow effects are increased to 5 and 75%, respectively, which is extremely strong for controlling enemies. Blizzard's high Mana cost can be bypassed by using the Rank 1 version.
Cold Snap has a lengthy 10-minutes cooldown, but instantly resets all of your Frost spell cooldowns when used. This makes it an incredibly flexible tool, for damage in the form of back-to-back Cone of Colds, for control in the form of extra Frost Novas, and for survivability with multiple Ice Blocks.
Shatter increases your Critical Strike chance against frozen enemies by up to 50%. This is especially deadly when combined with Frostbite procs or Frost Nova and the Water Elemental's version. You can do a Shatter Combo by using Frostbolt on a frozen enemy and instantly using Ice Lance once the cast finishes, ensuring both casts get the talent's benefit.
Ice Block literally turns you into an ice block, immune to all enemy attacks for 10 seconds, but also incapable of performing any action while it is active. It also removes all debuffs on you, which is extremely useful against Warlocks, but its main use is to allow you to survive overwhelming odds while planning your next move and waiting for cooldowns to reset. In TBC Classic, it can be dispelled with Mass Dispel.
Ice Barrier creates a barrier of ice around you, absorbing damage for 1 minute. This is very useful for the extra survivability, and also for the immunity to spell interruption from damage while it lasts.
Finally, it is important to note that Polymorph shares diminishing returns with Gouge, Sap, Repentance, Freezing Trap, and Wyvern Sting.
Frost Nova (and your Water Elemental's one) shares diminishing returns with Entangling Roots, but not with Frostbite-related freezes.
- 13 Jan. 2022: Added a note on Mage Armor usage.
- 02 Aug. 2021: Guide created.
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