Frost Mage Best Covenants, Soulbinds, and Conduits — Shadowlands 9.1.5

Last updated on Nov 02, 2021 at 08:07 by Kuni 88 comments
General Information

Covenants, Soulbinds, and Conduits are the most important character customization options in Shadowlands. They have a substantial impact on your toolkit and performance as Frost Mage. This page's purpose is to help you pick the right options according to the content you intend to do in Shadowlands.

1.

Introduction: Prerequisites

This page assumes that you are already familiar with Covenants, Soulbinds, and Conduits. If that is not the case, we have a number of pages that can help you get up to speed:

  • Covenants Guide, which explains what Covenants are, what perks they bring, and how you can join one;
  • Mage Covenant Abilities, which lists all the abilities that Mages gain by joining each Covenant;
  • How To Change Covenant?, which tells you how you can switch Covenant (rejoining a former Covenant will require you to perform a number of tasks to regain their trusts);
  • General Soulbind Guide, which explains what Soulbinds are and how you can pledge yourself to them to open up their Soulbind tree;
  • Mage Conduits, which lists all of the Conduits available to Mages.
2.

Summary of the Best Covenants, Soulbinds, and Conduits

Focus Covenant Soulbind Advised Tree
Single-target Venthyr Theotar the Mad Duke Frost Mage Venthyr single-target tree
AoE Venthyr Nadjia the Mistblade Frost Mage Venthyr AoE tree
Single-target Kyrian Forgelite Prime Mikanikos Frost Mage Kyrian single-target tree
AoE Kyrian Pelagos Frost Mage Kyrian AoE tree
Single target Night Fae Dreamweaver Frost Mage Night Fae single-target tree
AoE Night Fae Korayn Frost Mage Night Fae AoE tree
Single target Necrolord Plague Deviser Marileth Frost Mage Necrolord single-target tree
AoE Necrolord Bonesmith Heirmir Frost Mage Necrolord AoE tree
2.1.

Best Conduits for Frost Mage

In the list below, you will find the best Conduits of each type. Please see the Conduits section of this page for more information.

  • Best Potency Conduits: Icy Propulsion Icon Icy Propulsion by a wide margin, in all scenarios. Ice Bite Icon Ice Bite is a distant second, but it is useful in all content.
  • Best Finesse Conduits: Grounding Surge Icon Grounding Surge can be particularly powerful as it lowers Counterspell Icon Counterspell's cooldown to 18 seconds at max rank, which is nearly on par with most melee interrupts, but of course relies on your interrupt being useful. Flow of Time Icon Flow of Time is also a nice bonus, and by increasing your mobility it indirectly increases your DPS. Other than that, anything that seems useful to you is a great choice here.
  • Best Endurance Conduits: Diverted Energy Icon Diverted Energy is powerful, but it requires you to have taken damage already, and to cast Ice Barrier Icon Ice Barrier in the middle of some damage pulses rather than the beginning.
3.

Frost Mage Covenant Choice

Venthyr is Frost's absolute best pick for single-target sustained damage. The issue comes in that Mirrors of Torment Icon Mirrors of Torment is pure single-target damage, procs Brain Freeze Icon Brain Freeze which is also single-target damage, and needs the target to survive at least 12 seconds to get the full benefit of the spell. This does not lend itself to being a great pick any time you have short-lived targets, such as Torghast, lower M+ keys, or even casual outdoor content.

Night Fae, on the other hand, is functionally the opposite. Shifting Power Icon Shifting Power is all but useless for single-target damage, reduces cooldowns on a spec that does not have amazing cooldowns, and is limited by an 18-yard range for the damage component. However, it is decent in AoE.

Necrolord is a great middle ground. Deathborne Icon Deathborne is a nice bonus on a 3-minute cooldown, and solidly above the other picks in sustained multi-target scenarios. This comes paired with an incredible defensive cooldown in Fleshcraft Icon Fleshcraft.

Kyrian is mediocre in all scenarios. Radiant Spark Icon Radiant Spark is a rather boring ability that functionally wants you to buff a Flurry Icon Flurry and Ice Lance Icon Ice Lance combo with it. Kyrian Soulbinds, while incredibly powerful for other classes, do not beat out the other Covenant choices for Frost.

4.

Frost Mage Abilities and Soulbinds

4.1.

Venthyr

Mirrors of Torment Icon Mirrors of Torment is absurdly strong single-target damage. While the cast speed reduction and silence are very rarely nice, generally a caster mob is the preferred kill target in Mythic+, making the silence at the end of the chain of long cooldowns problematic to actually proc. Consider throwing it on an off-target in Mythic+ to get the full benefit out of it.

Venthyr has extremely powerful soulbinds, even in AoE. This is very likely the best option for both raid and Mythic+, if only due to the single-target gain on a boss. Even better, as Nadjia the Mistblade and Theotar the Mad Duke use different Conduits for each of the single-target and AoE trees, you can set up both and swap between them without having to go back to Sinfall.

4.2.

Night Fae

Shifting Power Icon Shifting Power is just useless in almost all scenarios. It is a stronger Arcane Explosion Icon Arcane Explosion that reduces your cooldowns slightly. The issue is that the important cooldowns for Frost are already greatly reduced or entirely eliminated depending on target count in AoE. There is no redeeming quality to this spell other than style.

4.3.

Necrolord

Deathborne Icon Deathborne is a good cooldown, but it desyncs from Icy Veins Icon Icy Veins' cooldown due to Icy Propulsion Icon Icy Propulsion. However, it is a strong ability in general, and extremely strong for sustained 3-target cleave.

Necrolord's Soulbinds are not particularly interesting from a DPS standpoint, although they are fairly nice from a defensive point of view. Combined with Fleshcraft Icon Fleshcraft, Necrolord is a very sturdy choice.

4.4.

Kyrian

Radiant Spark Icon Radiant Spark wants to always buff a Flurry Icon Flurry and Ice Lance Icon Ice Lance combo. It is a fairly boring ability outside of that. With Ire of the Ascended Icon Ire of the Ascended the damage boost can be fairly significant, but it is fairly middle of the road in all scenarios.

5.

Frost Mage Conduits

This section explains potential uses for the various Conduits. For detailed explanations on what all of the Mage Conduits do, check out our Mage Conduits Page below.

5.1.

Potency

Icy Propulsion Icon Icy Propulsion is the best option in all cases, for all Soulbinds. The cooldown reduction during Icy Veins Icon Icy Veins, combined with Thermal Void Icon Thermal Void's extension of Icy Veins, means you can get a pretty hefty cooldown reduction out of it. This is increased significantly when in an AoE scenario, as the cooldown reduction is applied on a per-target basis.

Ice Bite Icon Ice Bite is the usual for your second Potency Conduit. Ice Lance Icon Ice Lance damage is always good, and useful in both single-target and cleave.

Unrelenting Cold Icon Unrelenting Cold has the potential to be good on AoE, but generally sustained AoE isn't a thing that people build for. It does beat out Ice Bite Icon Ice Bite on 3 or higher target counts, however, and may potentially be useful on Fortified M+ weeks. This is your third Potency conduit pick on the Soulbinds that take three.

Shivering Core Icon Shivering Core is not worth using. AoE scenarios are covered by Unrelenting Cold Icon Unrelenting Cold, and Icy Propulsion Icon Icy Propulsion is too powerful to drop.

The four Covenant-specific Potency Conduits are generally not worth using. None of them are powerful enough to even consider, unless you end up in a strangely uneven Conduit level scenario.

5.2.

Finesse

None of these are DPS-related. That said, both Flow of Time Icon Flow of Time and Grounding Surge Icon Grounding Surge are situationally very powerful. Winter's Protection Icon Winter's Protection could also be useful if immunities turn out to be a large part of most strategies.

5.3.

Endurance

Like Finesse, these are not DPS-related. Most players can pick which one they like the best.

Diverted Energy Icon Diverted Energy is very strong, as it would heal you for up to 13.2% of your maximum health if you were hurt before casting Ice Barrier Icon Ice Barrier.

Cryo-Freeze Icon Cryo-Freeze is powerful, although since the goal is to not sit inside Ice Block Icon Ice Block for an extended period of time, this may not be the ridiculously powerful heal it seems to be.

Tempest Barrier Icon Tempest Barrier is likely the weakest of the three, as it costs your Blink Icon Blink cooldown for an incredibly minor barrier, for a short duration.

6.

Changelog

  • 02 Nov. 2021: Removed superfluous note about shared spec Covenant choice.
  • 01 Nov. 2021: Updated with options for each Covenant due to 9.1.5's change on swapping.
  • 28 Jun. 2021: Updated for Patch 9.1.
  • 09 Mar. 2021: Updated AoE recommendation to Necrolord due to 9.0.5 buffs.
  • 20 Nov. 2020: Page added.
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