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Frost Mage DPS Azerite Traits/Powers and Armor in Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.0.1

Last updated Yesterday at 00:22 by Kuni 50 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

Pick up the Azerite gear with the best traits for your Frost Mage and learn about the Heart of Azeroth. This page is updated for World of Warcraft Battle for Azeroth 8.0.1.

For more information about the Heart of Azeroth Icon Heart of Azeroth, please read our Hearth of Azeroth guide.

The other pages of our Frost Mage guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

About Our Author

This guide has been written by Kuni, one of the best Frost Mages in the world, who raids in Midnight Sanctuary.

1. Disclaimer

This is an early draft of the final page. It reflects the current state of theorycrafting on Azerite traits.

2. Azerite Traits for Frost Mage

Azerite Traits are special effects present on Helm, Shoulder, and Chest slots in Battle For Azeroth. Each Azerite item has either 2 or 3 tiers of Azerite Traits to choose from (items below item level 340 only have 2 tiers, while items above that have 3). In addition to this, every Azerite item also has a +5 item level bonus (Azerite Empowered Icon Azerite Empowered). Each tier, as well as this item level bonus, become unlocked as you gain certain amounts of Azerite Power.

The first tier of Azerite Traits is split between a class-specific choice and a generic choice. Generic choices can be zone-related or content-related (such as PvP traits which are only found on PvP gear but work in PvE content).

The second tier has a multitude of options varying from interesting stat procs to static stat gains. This is the tier that is missing on items lower than item level 340.

The third tier can either be a defensive or healing option.

Azerite gear has fixed traits and stats. Each piece has predetermined Azerite Traits, item level, and can not roll either tertiary stats or sockets. While tuning is always in flux, we will try to list the currently best traits for raiding first. Keep in mind many of these are very raid / dungeon / world / PvP-oriented and do not work well in other types of content.

3. Outer Ring Traits for Frost Mage

3.1. Generic Outer Ring Traits

  • Anduin's Dedication Icon Anduin's Dedication / Sylvanas' Resolve Icon Sylvanas' Resolve causes your spells to have a chance to increase your primary stat for 10 seconds. If an ally dies nearby you also instantly gain this effect. Note that this is a PvP trait.
  • Archive of the Titans Icon Archive of the Titans is an Uldir-specific trait. It gives you a small primary stat buff every 5 seconds which stacks up to 20 times. Stacks only decay when out of combat. It also gives the Reorigination Array Icon Reorigination Array buff, which you should always aim to have active while raiding in Uldir.
  • Barrage Of Many Bombs Icon Barrage Of Many Bombs gives you a chance to fire a clusterbomb at your current target. When the bomb gets close, it explodes into smaller bombs which do AoE damage when they hit the ground.
  • Battlefield Focus Icon Battlefield Focus / Battlefield Precision Icon Battlefield Precision gives your abilities a chance to apply stacks of a debuff to the target. This debuff causes them to take more damage from all raid members. Note that this is a PvP trait.
  • Blightborne Infusion Icon Blightborne Infusion causes your spells to have a chance to increase your Critical Strike for 14 seconds.
  • Blood Rite Icon Blood Rite causes your spells to have a chance to increase your Haste for 15 seconds. Killing enemies refreshes this effect.
  • Champion of Azeroth Icon Champion of Azeroth gives your abilities a chance to increase all your secondary stats for a minute, stacking up to 4 times. Getting a new proc will refresh the duration, so you will keep this at 4 stacks throughout an entire fight.
  • Collective Will Icon Collective Will / Stand As One Icon Stand As One causes your spells to have a chance to increase your primary stat and maximum health. This effect is also applied to up to 4 nearby allies. Note that this is a PvP trait.
  • Combined Might Icon Combined Might / Stronger Together Icon Stronger Together gives you and 4 allies a Spellpower / Attackpower buff for 6 seconds. Note that this is a PvP trait.
  • Dagger in the Back Icon Dagger in the Back gives your abilities a chance to shoot a dagger at your target, applying a damage over time effect for 12 seconds, stacking up to 4 times. If you shoot this dagger when behind the target, it will apply 2 stacks.
  • Filthy Transfusion Icon Filthy Transfusion gives your damaging ability a chance to do damage over 6 seconds to the target, healing you for the damage done.
  • Glory in Battle Icon Glory in Battle / Liberator's Might Icon Liberator's Might causes your spells to have a chance to grant Critical Strike and Haste for 10 seconds. Note that this is a PvP trait, and attacking a member of the opposing faction significantly increases this chance, making these traits are much stronger in PvP content.
  • Incite the Pack Icon Incite the Pack causes you to occasionally increase your Mastery and that of up to two nearby allies for 20 seconds.
  • Laser Matrix Icon Laser Matrix causes your spells to have a chance to unleash a barrage of lasers which deal damage and heal injured allies for a small amount which is further split among them. It also gives the Reorigination Array Icon Reorigination Array buff, which you should always aim to have active while raiding in Uldir.
  • Last Gift Icon Last Gift / Retaliatory Fury Icon Retaliatory Fury causes your spells and abilities to have a chance to grant Mastery and an absorb shield . Note that this is a PvP trait; also, taking damage from a member of the opposite faction has a chance to activate this effect, making these traits much strong in PvP content.
  • Liberator's Might Icon Liberator's Might gives your abilities a chance to give you Haste, and even more Critical Strike for 10 seconds.
  • Meticulous Scheming Icon Meticulous Scheming causes you to gain a buff for 8 seconds that transforms into a 20-second Haste buff after you cast 3 different spells while it is active.
  • Relational Normalization Gizmo Icon Relational Normalization Gizmo causes your spells to have a chance to grant you a primary stat and maximum health buff or Haste and 50% movement speed for 10 seconds. This trait is only obtainable through crafting Engineering goggles (AZ3-R1-T3 Gearspun Goggles Icon AZ3-R1-T3 Gearspun Goggles) that cannot be upgraded past item level 340.
  • Retaliatory Fury Icon Retaliatory Fury gives your abilities a chance to give you a Mastery buff and a shield for 10 seconds.
  • Rezan's Fury Icon Rezan's Fury causes your damaging abilities to have a chance to summon a Child of Rezan, which deals Physical damage to your target and causes them to bleed for additional damage over 12 seconds.
  • Ricocheting Inflatable Pyrosaw Icon Ricocheting Inflatable Pyrosaw causes your spells to have a chance to heal up to 4 allies for a large amount. This trait is only obtainable through crafting Engineering goggles (AZ3-R1-T3 Gearspun Goggles Icon AZ3-R1-T3 Gearspun Goggles) that cannot be upgraded past item level 340.
  • Ruinous Bolt Icon Ruinous Bolt gives your abilities a chance to summon a Soul (pet) by your side for 14 seconds. The Soul deals Shadow damage to a random nearby target.
  • Secrets of the Deep Icon Secrets of the Deep causes your spells to have a chance to spawn a Surging Droplet nearby, which you can collect to increase your primary stat for 18 seconds. Rarely, a Void Droplet will be created instead, which increases your primary stat for twice as much as Surging Droplet's when collected.
  • Swirling Sands Icon Swirling Sands causes your spells to have a chance to increase your Critical Strike for 12 seconds. This duration can be extended by landing Critical Strikes up to a maximum of 18 seconds.
  • Synaptic Spark Capacitor Icon Synaptic Spark Capacitor gives your abilities a chance to put a debuff on your target. This debuff will deal damage to enemies within 8 yards of the target with the debuff, and causes them to do 5% less damage to you. This trait is only obtainable through crafting Engineering goggles (AZ3-R1-T3 Gearspun Goggles Icon AZ3-R1-T3 Gearspun Goggles) that cannot be upgraded past item level 340.
  • Thunderous Blast Icon Thunderous Blast gives your damaging abilities a chance blast the target for extra Nature damage, and cause the target to take 20% more damage from your next blast. When the bonus damage reaches 100%, the next blast will Critically Strike, and reset the bonus damage back to 0%.
  • Tidal Surge Icon Tidal Surge gives your damaging abilities a chance to deal some Frost damage to the target and slow it by 20%.
  • Tradewinds Icon Tradewinds causes your spells to have a chance to grant you Mastery for 15 seconds. When this buff expires, it jumps once to a nearby ally at half duration and amount.
  • Unstable Catalyst Icon Unstable Catalyst causes your spells and abilities to have a chance to create a zone standing in which increases your primary stat.

Note that when using at least 1 Uldir trait inside Uldir, Reorigination Array Icon Reorigination Array grants you a buff that increases your highest secondary stat every 5 seconds, stacking up to 10. This power increases over time, in order to make Uldir raiding easier.

3.2. Frost Mage-specific Outer Ring Traits

  • Frigid Grasp Icon Frigid Grasp grants a charge of Fingers of Frost when you activate Icy Veins Icon Icy Veins and increases your Intellect for 20 seconds.
  • Glacial Assault Icon Glacial Assault grants a chance 10% on each of Flurry Icon Flurry's individual bolts call down a comet, dealing AoE damage.
  • Packed Ice Icon Packed Ice causes your Frozen Orb Icon Frozen Orb to leave a 4-second debuff on targets that increases your Ice Lance Icon Ice Lance damage done to that target.
  • Tunnel of Ice Icon Tunnel of Ice causes your Frostbolt Icon Frostbolt to apply a stacking buff to you that increases the damage of subsequent Frostbolt casts against the same target. It will reset when your Frostbolt damage a new target.
  • Whiteout Icon Whiteout causes your Ice Lance Icon Ice Lances to deal extra damage and reduce the cooldown of Frozen Orb Icon Frozen Orb by 0.5 seconds.
  • Winter's Reach Icon Winter's Reach grants you a 30% chance when consuming Brain Freeze Icon Brain Freeze to gain a buff that will increase the damage of your next hard-cast Flurry Icon Flurry.

4. Middle Ring Traits for Frost Mage

  • Azerite Globules Icon Azerite Globules gives your damaging abilities a chance to apply a debuff to your target. This debuff stacks up to 3 times, and when it reaches 3, the target explodes, doing AoE damage.
  • Blood Siphon Icon Blood Siphon passively increases your Mastery and Leech.
  • Earthlink Icon Earthlink increases your primary stat, with the exact amount cycling between a minimum value and maximum value every 6 seconds.
  • Elemental Whirl Icon Elemental Whirl causes your damaging spells to have a chance to increase one of your secondary stats for 10 seconds.
  • Gutripper Icon Gutripper gives your damaging abilities a chance to deal additional Physical damage. This bonus damage occurs more often when the target is below 30% Health.
  • Heed My Call Icon Heed My Call gives your damaging abilities a chance to deal additional Nature damage to the target, and a smaller amount of damage to nearby targets.
  • Overwhelming Power Icon Overwhelming Power causes your damaging spells to have a chance to increase your Haste. The amount of Haste granted decreases every second or whenever you take damage.
  • Unstable Flames Icon Unstable Flames causes your damaging spells to have a chance to grant a Critical Strike buff for 5 seconds, stacking up to 5 times.

5. Inner Ring Traits for Frost Mage

  • Auto-Self-Cauterizer Icon Auto-Self-Cauterizer grants you a chance, when taking damage, to self-heal for a large amount and remove most bleed effects as well as slowing nearby enemies by 30% for 5 seconds. This trait is only obtainable through crafting Engineering goggles (AZ3-R1-T3 Gearspun Goggles Icon AZ3-R1-T3 Gearspun Goggles)that cannot be upgraded past item level 340 .
  • Azerite Fortification Icon Azerite Fortification heals you when you are stunned, immobilized, or knocked back.
  • Bulwark of the Masses Icon Bulwark of the Masses causes you to gain a moderate absorb shield when surrounded by 4 or more enemies, but can only occur once every 15 seconds.
  • Cauterizing Blink Icon Cauterizing Blink heals you for a small amount over 4 seconds. Also works with Shimmer Icon Shimmer when talented.
  • Eldritch Warding Icon Eldritch Warding makes Ice Barrier Icon Ice Barrier stronger by absorbing more damage before breaking.
  • Gemhide Icon Gemhide causes you to gain Avoidance and Armor for 10 seconds when you take damage that exceeds 10% of your maximum health.
  • Impassive Visage Icon Impassive Visage heals you when you take damage. It can not occur more often than every 6 seconds.
  • Longstrider Icon Longstrider increases your movement speed by a percentage of your highest secondary stat, with a maximum movement speed gain limit.
  • Personal Absorb-o-Tron Icon Personal Absorb-o-Tron grants you a chance, when taking damage, to gain a large absorb shield for up to 1 minute. This trait is only obtainable through crafting Engineering goggles (AZ3-R1-T3 Gearspun Goggles Icon AZ3-R1-T3 Gearspun Goggles) that cannot be upgraded past item level 340.
  • Resounding Protection Icon Resounding Protection causes you to gain an absorb shield every 30 seconds.
  • Self Reliance Icon Self Reliance causes you to be healed every 3 seconds while no enemies are within 20 yards of you.
  • Vampiric Speed Icon Vampiric Speed causes you to self-heal and gain Speed for 6 seconds whenever an enemy you damaged dies.

6. Azerite Traits Rotation Changes and Details for Frost Mages

Only one of our Azerite Traits in Battle for Azeroth have any real impact on our rotation: Winter's Reach Icon Winter's Reach. 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.
  • Winter's Reach Icon Winter's Reach acts exactly like Fire Mage's Pyroclasm Icon Pyroclasm talent. When you consume Brain Freeze Icon Brain Freeze, 30% of the time you will gain a buff that increases your Flurry Icon Flurry by a large amount when hard-cast. This buff lasts 15 seconds and is consumed upon successfully hard-casting Flurry. It will not be consumed on instant-cast Flurries and does not stack. The tooltip shows the additive damage for 3 stacks of the trait. 1 stack will provide 50% of the benefit, while 2 will provide 75% of the listed benefit. Multiple instances will increase the damage bonus, not the proc rate.

None of these, aside from Winter's Reach Icon Winter's Reach, change the rotation, and given Winter's Reach should be avoided, they are functionally all passives. The very slight personal gain by casting Frostbolt Icon Frostbolt at a primary target instead of hard swapping to a secondary target when using Tunnel of Ice Icon Tunnel of Ice is offset by actually dealing that Frostbolt damage to the secondary target, which likely has to die anyway.

7. 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 340.

Because things are still very much in flux, the below rankings should be taken with a huge grain of salt. Things will change before the first raid in BfA is out!

7.1. Single Target Azerite Traits Comparison for Frost Mage

7.1.1. Outer Ring

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 340.

  1. Dagger in the Back Icon Dagger in the Back
  2. Thunderous Blast Icon Thunderous Blast
  3. Laser Matrix Icon Laser Matrix
  4. Rezan's Fury Icon Rezan's Fury
  5. Blightborne Infusion Icon Blightborne Infusion
  6. Filthy Transfusion Icon Filthy Transfusion
  7. Unstable Catalyst Icon Unstable Catalyst
  8. Champion of Azeroth Icon Champion of Azeroth
  9. Swirling Sands Icon Swirling Sands
  10. Tunnel of Ice Icon Tunnel of Ice

7.1.2. Middle Ring

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

  1. Heed My Call Icon Heed My Call
  2. Gutripper Icon Gutripper
  3. Earthlink Icon Earthlink
  4. Unstable Flames Icon Unstable Flames
  5. Azerite Globules Icon Azerite Globules
  6. Elemental Whirl Icon Elemental Whirl
  7. Overwhelming Power Icon Overwhelming Power
  8. Blood Siphon Icon Blood Siphon

7.2. AoE/Cleave Azerite Traits comparison for Frost Mage

7.2.1. Outer Ring

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 340.

  1. Synaptic Spark Capacitor Icon Synaptic Spark Capacitor
  2. Barrage Of Many Bombs Icon Barrage Of Many Bombs
  3. Blightborne Infusion Icon Blightborne Infusion
  4. Unstable Catalyst Icon Unstable Catalyst
  5. Champion of Azeroth Icon Champion of Azeroth
  6. Dagger in the Back Icon Dagger in the Back
  7. Swirling Sands Icon Swirling Sands
  8. Thunderous Blast Icon Thunderous Blast
  9. Laser Matrix Icon Laser Matrix
  10. Sylvanas' Resolve Icon Sylvanas' Resolve

7.2.2. Middle Ring

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

  1. Azerite Globules Icon Azerite Globules
  2. Heed My Call Icon Heed My Call
  3. Earthlink Icon Earthlink
  4. Unstable Flames Icon Unstable Flames
  5. Elemental Whirl Icon Elemental Whirl
  6. Gutripper Icon Gutripper
  7. Blood Siphon Icon Blood Siphon
  8. Overwhelming Power Icon Overwhelming Power

7.3. Inner Ring Trait Comparisons for Frost Mage

Since the Inner Ring Traits are all defensive Traits, they are mostly up to personal preference, and depend a lot on the raid encounter. Below we have listed some traits we consider among the best for raiding.

  1. Cauterizing Blink Icon Cauterizing Blink
  2. Resounding Protection Icon Resounding Protection
  3. Impassive Visage Icon Impassive Visage
  4. Longstrider Icon Longstrider

8. 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.

Filter #1:
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Head Items Shoulders Items Chest Items

9. ChangeLog

  • 13 Aug. 2018: Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 06 Aug. 2018: Updated descriptions for hotfixes.
  • 27 Jul. 2018: Added Azerite page.
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