Frost Mage DPS Azerite Traits/Powers and Armor — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1.5

Last updated on Apr 14, 2019 at 00:00 by Kuni 114 comments

The rankings and information on this page show the top Azerite traits to choose when playing a Frost Mage in World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth, Patch 8.1.5. If you have not already done so, you will need to collect the Heart of Azeroth Icon Heart of Azeroth before unlocking the traits. There is more information on this in our Heart of Azeroth guide.

1. Choosing Azerite Gear as a Frost Mage

Choice is dependent mostly on item level. While there are not really any traits you should aim for as a globally good option, there are certain traits that may be preferred for certain situations. Mythic Zul, for instance, really appreciates at least one Packed Ice Icon Packed Ice, as ideally you will have an incredibly high uptime on Frozen Orb Icon Frozen Orb due to how the fight works. But as an overall rule, item level is usually king.

As always, sim the options you have available to yourself. You may be surprised that a trait that is low rated may actually be better than what you have due to a better Middle Ring trait, or perhaps some odd, unforeseen interaction. We would recommend using Raidbots as a quick and easy way to determine the difference. If the difference is incredibly small, generally you should opt for the higher item level piece, if only for the extra Stamina to help keep you alive in difficult encounters.

2. Choosing Azerite Traits as a Frost Mage

2.1. Reorigination Array

If you are raiding Uldir, it is mandatory that you have at least one of either Archive of the Titans Icon Archive of the Titans or Laser Matrix Icon Laser Matrix selected and equipped on your gear. Having one of either trait grants Reorigination Array Icon Reorigination Array, a buff that grants 75 of your highest secondary stat that increases every week you have killed 3 bosses, stacking up to 10 times. Which one you have is not particularly important, but you should have at least one. Reorigination Array's benefit dwarfs any given trait's benefit in any scenario for Frost Mages, and is absolutely mandatory to have if you are raiding Uldir regularly.

2.2. Outer Rings

Aside from having Reorigination Array Icon Reorigination Array inside Uldir, you are aiming for Flash Freeze Icon Flash Freeze for most scenarios. Treacherous Covenant Icon Treacherous Covenant is also incredibly powerful, although relies on you staying above 50% health, which may not be ideal for progression. Packed Ice Icon Packed Ice is also very powerful in AoE scenarios, where you have high uptime on Frozen Orb Icon Frozen Orb due to resets. The full power comparisons are listed below.

None of our traits change the rotation. This section will simply detail any oddities involved and what part of the bonus increases when using multiple of the same trait.

  • Frigid Grasp Icon Frigid Grasp is not extended by Thermal Void Icon Thermal Void. Multiple traits will only increase the Intellect proc, not the number of Fingers of Frost Icon Fingers of Frost procs.
  • Glacial Assault Icon Glacial Assault's comets act the same as an individual comet from Comet Storm Icon Comet Storm, in that they are AoE damage in a 6-yard radius. Multiple instances of the trait will only increase the comet's damage, not the proc chance.
  • Packed Ice Icon Packed Ice's debuff applies per-tick of Frozen Orb Icon Frozen Orb and does not Pandemic, meaning that it is always set to 4 seconds upon taking damage from Frozen Orb. Multiple instances will increase the damage of Ice Lance Icon Ice Lance, not duration of the debuff.
  • Tunnel of Ice Icon Tunnel of Ice applies a buff to the Mage when a Frostbolt Icon Frostbolt impacts a target. It has an infinite duration and stacks to 3. It will fade upon a Frostbolt impacting a different target, allowing the Mage to continue casting Frostbolt at the primary target while throwing other spells, such as Ice Lance Icon Ice Lance, at a secondary target without losing the buff. The damage buff applies to subsequent casts, meaning the first Frostbolt cast will not gain any benefit from the first stack. Multiple instances of the trait will only add damage to the stacks, not increase the total cap of the stack.
  • Whiteout Icon Whiteout works on any Ice Lance Icon Ice Lance, but it is not worth casting unempowered Ice Lances for the cooldown reduction. The Ice Lance damage applies at all times, unlike Packed Ice Icon Packed Ice. Multiple instances of the trait will only increase the Ice Lance damage, not the cooldown reduction amount.
  • Flash Freeze Icon Flash Freeze works exactly as it says outside of Glacial Spike Icon Glacial Spike. With Glacial Spike, casting Glacial Spike adds all the bonus damage properly, and then rolls 5% 5 times for Fingers of Frost Icon Fingers of Frost. This means that you can in theory get 2 procs from one cast, and one will always be munched due to Shattering Glacial Spike with Flurry Icon Flurry. Despite the munching, it is still higher DPS to hold Glacial Spike for Brain Freeze Icon Brain Freeze procs. Multiple traits stack the bonus Icicle damage, not the proc chance.

2.3. Middle Ring

The Middle Ring traits are all very close, and will only rarely impact your gearing choices when picking between two similarly ranked Outer Ring traits.

Overwhelming Power Icon Overwhelming Power is the best on paper, but loses potential when you are taking damage, dropping it down in-line with the other traits.

Gutripper Icon Gutripper and Heed My Call Icon Heed My Call are both incredibly close to each other, and do not lose power when taking damage. In certain encounters where execute damage matters most, Gutripper will be slightly better.

AoE and cleave simulations will favour Heed My Call Icon Heed My Call and Azerite Globules Icon Azerite Globules. However, Heed My Call's AoE range is only 3 yards, meaning in most situations it will not hit more than one or two extra targets. In addition, Azerite Globlues requires the target with the debuff actually survives to 3 stacks. Neither of these are particularly realistic, and should not be trusted to be reliable, or even usable, in practical AoE scenarios.

2.4. Inner Ring

All Inner Ring traits are defensive in nature. They will be entirely dependent on personal preference. Here are a few suggestions across the more powerful options:

Resounding Protection Icon Resounding Protection is an automatic absorb shield every 30 seconds. This is one of the better Inner Ring traits simply due to it being completely passive and useful in every scenario. As a bonus, absorbed damage will not daze you off your mount out in the world, making this of particular interest to people who primarily do open world content.

Cauterizing Blink Icon Cauterizing Blink is a great choice, especially on mobile fights with lots of raid damage going out. It is especially powerful with Shimmer Icon Shimmer, as it has no internal cooldown between procs. Simply Shimmer twice in 4 seconds for two heals.

Eldritch Warding Icon Eldritch Warding increases the effect of Ice Barrier Icon Ice Barrier by a significant amount. This is a great contender if you're in the habit of using Ice Barrier often.

Impassive Visage Icon Impassive Visage is a nice passive healing effect, and fairly nice to have on encounters with consistent but low raid damage.

Quick Thinking Icon Quick Thinking is a very nice heal to have, healing you every time you cast an instant cast spell that deals damage. Given Frost's procs are all instant cast, this can be particularly nice for us.

3. Relative Strength of Azerite Traits for Frost Mage

Below we have listed the relative strength of the Azerite Traits available to Frost Mages. The list below is purely a guideline, the best way to choose your traits and what pieces of gear to use is by simming your own individual character. The traits jump around a bit depending on item level of the gear, so this will be based on 415.

3.1. Single Target Azerite Traits Comparison for Frost Mage

3.1.1. Outer Rings

Here we have listed the order for the Outer Ring Traits in terms of DPS. Because of the sheer amount of Azerite Traits, we have only listed the best 10. The traits jump around a bit depending on item level of the gear, so this will be based on 415.

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For the complete simulation results, check out Bloodmallet.com

3.1.2. Middle Ring

Here we have listed the order for Middle Ring Traits in terms of DPS.

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For the complete simulation results, check out Bloodmallet.com

3.2. AoE/Cleave Azerite Traits comparison for Frost Mage

3.2.1. Outer Rings

Here we have listed the order for the Outer Ring Traits in terms of DPS for AoE/cleave situations. Because of the sheer amount of Azerite Traits, we have only listed the best 10. The traits jump around a bit depending on item level of the gear, so this will be based on 415.

Keep in mind a simulation has all targets stacked on top of each other perfectly, and thus certain AoE effects will be shown to be better than they are in practice.

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For the complete simulation results, check out Bloodmallet.com

3.2.2. Middle Ring

Here we have listed the order for Middle Ring Traits in terms of DPS for AoE/Cleave situations.

Keep in mind a simulation has all targets stacked on top of each other perfectly, and thus certain AoE effects will be shown to be better than they are in practice.

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For the complete simulation results, check out Bloodmallet.com

4. Find Azerite Armor By Trait/Power

In the table below, you can see all of the Azerite gear available to your Frost Mage. By using the + button located next to each item, you can expand the list of Azerite powers that this item possesses (to collapse the list, simply click the - button).

If you want to filter items according to the powers that they offer, you can use the filters below.

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