WotLK Classic Frost Mage Spec, Builds, Talents, and Glyphs
On this page, you will find out the best PvE talent choices and builds for your Frost Mage in WotLK Classic, as well as advised glyphs.
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 Frost talent build. You will go deep enough into the Arcane tree to reach Focus Magic and Torment the Weak, so you get the 3% crit and 12% damage for Frostbolt and Frostfire Bolt. The 3 points in Spell Impact could also be invested into Student of the Mind and Magic Attunement, as Spell Impact only affects Arcane Explosion (you Blizzard whenever possible) and the rarely-used spell Cone of Cold (it is rarely used because the frontal cone sometimes makes hitting all enemies hard). These changes would net more Spirit and therefore more Critical strike rating from Molten Armor, increased range on Counterspell, Remove Curse, and Polymorph, and boost the effect of the sometimes useful Amplify Magic buff.
In the Frost tree you will go for the main damage improving talents, some important general Frost talents, and the new interaction talents Fingers of Frost and Brain Freeze. You can read a detailed breakdown of all these talents in the Frost Tree section below.
However, it needs to be said here, that going for 3 points in Improved Blizzard and Permafrost would definitely take away very important and impactful talent points, which would impact your DPS by a lot. If your raid leader asks you to go for these talents, try to have someone else slow, such as Hunters with Frost Trap, as the slow of Improved Blizzard in WotLK is also heavily nerfed in comparison to TBC.
Important Frost Mage Talents
As almost all Frost talents are very important, here is a brief explanation of what the most important talents do.
Precision increases your chance to Hit with all spells by 3%.
Piercing Ice increases all Frost damage done by 6%.
Icy Veins increases your casting speed by 20% and gives you a 100% spell pushback protection for 20 seconds. Does not protect from interrupt effects or stuns.
Improved Blizzard gives your Blizzard a chilling effect that adds a 35% slow (25% from this talent and 10% from Chilled to the Bone) for 1.5 seconds. This slow is not important for actually slowing enemies, but to proc the Fingers of Frost and Brain Freeze talents, which can proc from chilling effects.
Arctic Reach gives Frostbolt, Ice Lance, Deep Freeze, and Blizzard a 10% higher range and increases the radius of Blizzard and Cone of Cold by 10%. This allows you to outrange some enemies' abilities and to participate earlier in combat after movement phases. This talent gets only one point to allow one free point for Improved Blizzard.
Frost Channeling reduces all spells' Mana cost and the Frost spells' threat caused by 10%, so your Frost spells do only 90% threat. A 1,000 damage Frost spell would do 900 instead of 1,000 threat with this talent. This talent allows for 10% more damage to be done before becoming threat-capped.
Shatter is one of the mightiest of all Frost talents, as it increases the Critical Strike chance of all spells against frozen targets by 50%. Fingers of Frost treats targets (even bosses which are usually immune to freezing effects) as if they were frozen. This means that each time you proc Fingers of Frost, all 3 spells of your Frostbolt -> Frostbolt -> Deep Freeze combo gain a 50% higher Critical Strike chance, as Deep Freeze is cast in the same batch as your second Frostbolt finishes. Further, as Improved Blizzard also triggers Fingers of Frost, your Blizzard basically permanently has a 50% increased Critical Strike chance from Shatter, as long as there are enough enemies to proc it. While not only useful for bosses, this talent is also absurdly strong for farming 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. Examples for this are casting Frostbolt followed by Ice Lance, or Flamestrike followed by Cone of Cold on targets frozen with Frost Nova.
Cold Snap resets the cooldown of all Frost abilities, allowing for using Icy Veins or absorbing damage with Ice Barrier twice in a row. This ability comes with a 8-minute (6.4 minutes when talented) cooldown.
Winter's Chill causes each Frost damage spell to apply a debuff on the target that increases the enemy's chance to take a Critical Strike from spells by 1%, for 15 seconds. Stacks up to 5 times. That means after 5 successful Frost attacks, your target has a 5% higher chance to be crit by any spells. This effect can already be stacked or be refreshed with Ice Lance while positioning for an enemy. Blizzard will also trigger this spell and make your team's AoE stronger. Further, this talent also increases the Critical Strike chance of Frostbolt by 3%.
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-second (24 when talented) cooldown.
Arctic Winds increases all your Frost damage by 5% and reduces the chance Physical attacks will hit you by 5%.
Fingers of Frost gives your chill effects a 15% chance to grant you the Fingers of Frost effect, treating your next 2 spells cast as if the targets were frozen. This means all 3 spells of your Frostbolt -> Frostbolt -> Deep Freeze combo gain a 50% higher Critical Strike chance, as Deep Freeze is cast in the same batch as your second Frostbolt finishes. Further, as Improved Blizzard also triggers Fingers of Frost, your Blizzard basically permanently has a 50% increased Critical Strike chance from Shatter, as long as there are enough enemies to proc it. While not only useful for bosses, this talent is also absurdly strong for farming 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. Examples for this are casting Frostbolt followed by Ice Lance, or Flamestrike followed by Cone of Cold on targets frozen with Frost Nova.
Summon Water Elemental summons a Water Elemental with the Waterbolt and Freeze abilities to fight for 45 seconds. With Glyph of Eternal Water, your pet loses its Freeze ability but stays summoned until it dies.
Arcane Subtlety decreases the threat you do with your Arcane spells by 40% and decreases the chance your helpful spells will be dispelled by 30%. This talent is key, as it will make it very hard for you to pull aggro, be it with Arcane Blast, Arcane Missiles, or Arcane Explosion.
Arcane Focus increases your chance to hit with Arcane spells by 3%.
Arcane Concentration gives you a 10% chance of entering a Clearcasting state after any attack goes off. This gives you an average of 10% reduced Mana cost on your damaging spells.
Spell Impact gives your main DPS spells a 6% damage bonus.
Focus Magic is a powerful buff to be cast on a friendly target. It increases their Critical Strike chance with spells by 3%. If they score a Critical Strike, your Critical Strike chance is also increased by 3% for 10 seconds.
Torment the Weak gives your main DPS spells a 12% damage bonus if your target is slowed in any way (physical/spell/movement slow), which they usually are from a Death Knight's Icy Touch or a Warrior's Thunder Clap.
Best Glyphs for Frost Mages
The best Frost Mage Glyphs are Glyph of Frostbolt, Glyph of Eternal Water, and Glyph of Molten Armor (Major), and Glyph of Arcane Intellect and Glyph of Slow Fall (Minor). The third glyph is your personal choice. Further, one could argue that Glyph of Fire Ward and Glyph of Frost Ward are better minor glyphs than any other, but the use of these is very, very niche, so this guide will stick to the quality of life glyphs. Below you will find a complete list of glyphs, in case you would like to experiment with them, e.g. for farming purposes.
- Glyph of Arcane Intellect
- Glyph of Blast Wave
- Glyph of Fire Ward
- Glyph of Frost Armor
- Glyph of Frost Ward
- Glyph of Slow Fall
- Glyph of the Penguin
- 18 Jan. 2023: Reviewed for Phase 2 release ahead of Ulduar raid release.
- 14 Sep. 2022: Page added.
- Season of Discovery XP Buff Is Live Now!
- WoW Classic Era Maintenance Notes: February 6th
- Blizzard Teases Cozy Sleeping Bag for SoD Phase 2
- Timeline of Blizzard Presidents
- New World Buff Coming in Season of Discovery Phase 2
- A List of All Runes Coming in Season of Discovery Phase 2
- Blizzard Bans GDKP Runs in Season of Discovery Starting February 8
- NO GDKP Runs in Season of Discovery Phase 2