Frost Mage DPS Easy Mode — Shadowlands 9.1
On this page, we explain how to easily play Frost Mage in World of Warcraft — Shadowlands 9.1, using the simplest rotation, talent tree, stat priority, gear setup, etc., without sacrificing performance.
This section is intended for players who are new to the game or class, have no intentions of raiding Mythic difficulty, or simply want a more straightforward way to play their specialization without being overwhelmed by the numerous priorities and active abilities that need to be taken into consideration for optimal play.
The Basics for Frost Mage
Frost is a very versatile specialization, with a high degree of talent customization. Talents depending, your bars may be either rather empty or overflowing. In this section we will be focusing on a setup that minimizes the amount of buttons necessary without compromising the output too much.
When Playing Without Lonely Winter
When playing Frost without the Lonely Winter talent selected, you want to make sure that your Summon Water Elemental is always present. It is recommended that you keep it on "Assist", so that it will automatically attack your target when you engage in combat. The Water Elemental has a Freeze ability that you need to either keybind the pet button for, or place on your normal bars. It can be found in the Pet tab of the Spellbook, and placed on your bars like any other spell. It is fairly useful out in the world, allowing you to keep mobs off of you at range. It can also be utilized for Shatter.
If you have further questions about how specific spells work, please check out the Spell Summary page:
Talent Choice for Frost Mage
These choices are optimized for ease of use. Although other talents will offer higher gains when played perfectly, these same talents often result in damage losses when utilized by many players compared to simpler options. The talents recommended here aim to present the best setup that has very little punishment for unfamiliarity or mistakes.
- Level 15: Either Bone Chilling or Lonely Winter
- Level 25: Shimmer
- Level 30: Incanter's Flow
- Level 35: Frozen Touch
- Level 40: Frigid Winds
- Level 45: Splitting Ice
- Level 50: Thermal Void
Further optimized talent selection, and explanations as to why talents are picked, can be found on our Talent page:
Stat Choice for Frost Mage
You should simulate your own character to get stat weights, but a decent guideline to start out should be as follows:
- Critical Strike to 33.34%;
- Versatility >= Haste;
- Critical Strike beyond 33.34%.
It is important to understand that this is not an instruction to stack Critical Strike to 33%. It is simply (usually) the most valuable stat by a small amount until it hits 33.34%, where it will become the worst. Haste can and will overtake it at certain gear points, as will Versatility. A simulation is the only way to be sure if any given piece of gear is an upgrade.
Critical Strike will fall off after you hit 33.34% Shatter cap. This is the point where all your spells that are considered frozen, such as Ice Lance with Fingers of Frost, will always Critically Strike.
Please note, this is not an absolute ordering, it is not required to get anywhere near the Shatter cap to play Frost, and it is absolutely not required, or optimal, to stack Critical Strike to the exclusion of all else. For more information, please refer to the Stats page:
Basic Rotation for Frost Mage
- Use your Icy Veins cooldown when possible for more damage. Keep in mind any fight mechanics that would either cause you to lose valuable casting time, or a vulnerability to take advantage of. Perhaps you do not want to pop it the second it comes up if the boss will take extra damage in a few seconds!
- Cast Frozen Orb when available to generate Fingers of Frost.
- Cast Flurry only when you have Brain Freeze.
- Cast Ice Lance to spend your Fingers of Frost charges, or twice directly after casting a Flurry.
- Cast Blizzard when there are 2+ targets to help your AoE damage.
- Cast Frostbolt as a filler, and to generate Fingers of Frost and Brain Freeze.
For more detailed information about how to play Frost, please refer to the Rotation page:
Covenant Choice for Frost Mage
Venthyr. Nothing else comes remotely close for single target, and Venthyr is still really high on AoE, only being single-digit percentage behind the others.
Mirrors of Torment will functionally grant you three Brain Freeze procs over six seconds. Contrary to most cases, you need to not preface each of them with a Frostbolt, instead just using Flurry> Ice Lance>Ice Lance while the debuff is active on the target, to avoid munching the Brain Freezes generated.
For more detailed information about Covenants for Frost, please refer to the Covenant page:
- 28 Jun. 2021: Updated for Patch 9.1.
- 09 Mar. 2021: Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
- 23 Nov. 2020: Page updated for Shadowlands launch. Blizzard is now cast a 2 targets, and BfA systems mentions removed.
- 12 Oct. 2020: Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
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