Frost Mage PvP Guide for WotLK Classic
Welcome to our PvP Frost Mage guide for WotLK Classic. Here you will learn all you need to know to properly play Frost Mage in PvP scenarios.
Viability of Frost Mages in WotLK Classic PvP
Frost Mages are one of the strongest specializations in WotLK 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 Summon Water Elemental, Deep Freeze, Fingers of Frost, and Brain Freeze in the Frost tree, and Improved Counterspell, Magic Attunement, Focus Magic, and most importantly Torment the Weak in the Arcane tree.
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 Glyphs
Recommended glyphs are Glyph of Ice Barrier, Glyph of Evocation, and Glyph of Polymorph as Major glyphs. For Minor glyphs, Frost Mages use Glyph of Arcane Intellect, Glyph of Frost Ward, and Glyph of Fire Ward.
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, Mana Shield, Frost Nova, Frost Ward, Fire Ward, and Blink.
- Stay in control of the match with Polymorph, Counterspell, Improved Blizzard (with Permafrost), Freeze, Deep Freeze, and Spellsteal.
- Apply strong burst damage with Icy Veins and Shatter / Ice Shards / Deep Freeze / Freeze ,which should be combined with Summon Water Elemental, Frostbolt and Ice Lance to create massive instant-cast burst damage on demand.
- Use Brain Freeze procs to fire a Frostfire Bolt and Fingers of Frost procs to either fire a Frostbolt or a Ice Lance.
Gearing a PvP Frost Mage in Wrath of the Lich King
The list linked below includes the best possible gear setup for a Frost Mage in PvP.
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 + Discipline Priest are your best compositions.
In 3v3, Mage + Rogue + Discipline Priest and Mage + Warlock + Discipline 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% and increases your Arcane spells' range by 6 yards. 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 a 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 for 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 45% for 4.5 seconds when combined with Permafrost and Chilled to the Bone. Further, Permafrost reduces the healing taken of the chilled enemy by 20% as long as the slow is up on the target. Note that Blizzard's high Mana cost cannot be bypassed by using the Rank 1 version any more. Blizzard can also be used to destealth Rogues and Druids.
Deep Freeze stuns your target for 5 seconds and turns them into a block of ice for 5 seconds or deals massive damage to targets immune to stun, making this a very strong ability when playing with Rogues. You can also Ice Lance targets affected by Deep Freeze.
Shattered Barrier triggers whenever someone penetrates your Ice Barrier, causing all enemies within 10 yards around you to be frozen for 8 seconds.
Brain Freeze has a 15% chance of proccing an instant and no Mana cost Fireball or Frostfire Bolt whenever you deal Frost damage. This means you can even proc this ability from kiting an enemy with Ice Lance and it will also proc from Blizzard.
Fingers of Frost gives your Chill effects a 15% chance to proc. The Fingers of Frost effect lasts for 15 seconds and treats your next two spells as if the target was frozen (=Shatter = 50% crit on all your spells). The optimal case scenario is that you cast two Frostbolts and follow it up with an Ice Lance, as all three spells will benefit from Fingers of Frost. This talent also procs from Blizzard and is part of the reason why you take Improved Blizzard.
Cold Snap has a lengthy 6.4-minute 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 WotLK 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.
Torment the Weak increases the damage of your main Frost single target spells by 12%, if the target is slowed. This is perfect when you play with a Rogue who uses slow poisons or if you have the Frostbolt slow on your target.
Focus Magic gives you 3% crit for 10 seconds, when the friendly target with this buff scores a critical strike. It also increases the target's spell Critical Strike chance by 3%.
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.
- 18 Jan. 2023: Reviewed for Phase 2 release ahead of Ulduar raid release.
- 26 Sep. 2022: Page added.
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