Frost Mage Essences — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.2
On this page, we go over the new Essence system in Patch 8.2 of World of Warcraft — Battle for Azeroth, and we tell you which are the best essences to use as Frost Mage, both for minor and major powers. Please refer to our Patch 8.2 Guide to Essences for more information about the Essence system and where Essences can be obtained from.
1. Azerite Essences for Frost Mages
Introduced in Patch 8.2, Essences are unique items that drop from various forms of content. They are activated through your Heart of Azeroth, and they buff your character in various ways, depending on the Essences that are currently active.
Our Essence Guide has a full list of all the Essences, together with their descriptions and explanations on how they work.
What follows on this page will relate directly to how Essences affect this spec, since generic information is beyond the scope of this guide.
Disclaimer: Please note that at the moment, simulations and general theorycrafting around Essences is a work in progress, and as a result, most of the recommendations made here are subject to change.
2. Essence Choices for Frost Mage
Condensed Life-Force is by far the best Major trait and you should be using this at Rank 3 as soon as possible. There is not really any room to argue this, as it has a good 50% lead on the next Major trait. Even in AoE, this trait is still in the top rankings.
Minor traits can be pretty flexible, although without PVPing to get Conflict and Strife, you are basically locked into some combination of The Crucible of Flame, Memory of Lucid Dreams, and Essence of the Focusing Iris. See below for all minor combinations with each Major selection.
Worldvein Resonance deserves special mention. The Major version is nigh-useless. Yet, with even just a few members of your raid using it as a Minor trait, there is an incredibly high uptime on all four Lifeblood Shards. At five stacked members of your raid, it surpasses most other Minor options, and it only gets better with more members providing more coverage area for fights where you do not want to be stacked.
3. Essence Simulations and Notes
The simulations in this section are all Minor variants for each given Major. The top 3 will be displayed, though clicking through to the full link will show all combinations available.
It should be noted that this is using the base T24 simulation profile, which is no-Ice Lance and using all Rank 3 Essences. These will not be accurate for all characters and should only be used as a guideline. Using a Rank 1 or Rank 2 Essence will, sometimes drastically, change the outcome of any given comparison.
Simulate your own character for accurate results.
3.1. Condensed Life-Force
This is by far the best Major trait. Unlike the others, it should be used as a top priority, even above Icy Veins. You want the Elemental to put the 5% damage buff and begin stacking the Haste buff on you before your cooldown GCD begins.
3.2. Worldvein Resonance
This trait is in a strange spot. While the Major component is vastly out-stripped by most others, the Minor component is actually fairly good if most of your raid is also running it. Having multiple Lifeblood Shards active at all times is great value, easily the best option for Frost, but depends on your teammates being willing to help. Otherwise, it is not worth using.
3.3. Essence of the Focusing Iris
A fairly strong AoE Major, although it requires you to be fairly close to your targets. Due to this, it is generally unsuited for raid combat. The Minor, on the other hand, is fantastically powerful in single-target combat, or multi-target as long as you can continue AoEing the primary target.
3.4. Purification Protocol
Another fairly strong AoE Major, but usable from range. Has a low chance to instantly kill a "specimen deemed unworthy by MOTHER", which can seemingly proc on trash mobs in Mythic+, making it a fairly powerful dungeon running Essence.
3.5. The Crucible of Flames
A solid option in both Major and Minor slots and the first Essence you obtain. Try and utilize the double charge as a large burst for vulnerability windows when you do not have, or are not running, Glacial Spike or Frozen Orb is down.
3.6. Ripple in Space
Largely a utility trait, it is not useful for a caster in most combat scenarios, due to forced movement breaking your casts. The Minor power is 25 yards, farther than a single Blink will take you. You also need to move 25 yards away from your original position, so you cannot simply Shimmer out and back to trigger it. Best avoided unless you really like the utility more than the potential DPS.
3.7. Visions of Perfection
3.8. Blood of the Enemy
While in melee range, this is another great AoE Major. The Critical Strike chance will only be applied to targets actually in range of the damage component. The Critical Strike damage bonus will be applied to the player instead. While seemingly a ridiculously strong option with how much Frost Critically Strikes, 5 seconds means you are only going to get one Glacial Spike into it.
3.9. Memory of Lucid Dreams
The extra Mastery: Icicles make this a fairly strong option at first glance, but considering that Glacial Spike is only cast with Brain Freeze up, this in effect means you need to gain Brain Freeze in 2 casts, rather than 4.
3.10. The Unbound Force
A low-average single-target Essence. The Major is out-shined by easier to obtain Essences, and the Minor's duration is not long enough to really matter to Frost in most scenarios outside of AoE.
3.11. Conflict and Strife
The Major allows the use of Temporal Shield, which automatically disqualifies it for almost all PVE scenarios. As a Minor, stacking Versatility is actually rather good, and you can see it ranks highly as a Minor on other trait simulations.
- 08 Jul. 2019: Updated with simulations and notes on each Essence.
- 24 Jun. 2019: Added page.
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