Frost Mage DPS Guide — Shadowlands 9.0.5

Last updated on Mar 09, 2021 at 13:00 by Kuni 83 comments
General Information

Welcome to our Frost Mage guide for World of Warcraft — Shadowlands 9.0.5. Here, you will learn how to play as a Frost Mage in both raids and Mythic+ dungeons: from the very beginning to maximizing your DPS.

If you were looking for WoW Classic content, please refer to our Classic DPS Mage guide.

1.

Frost Mage Overview

Frost has always excelled at limiting enemy movement while dealing reliable and predictable damage. Frost has always been a very potent choice for leveling and world content given you can endlessly kite enemies, with a multitude of snares and roots combined with damage on the move. Frost is great at quickly bursting down priority adds, either by holding onto Mastery: Icicles Icon Mastery: Icicles for Glacial Spike Icon Glacial Spike or by holding procs for a quick burst. Like all Mage specializations, Frost has high mobility and is fantastic at doing encounter-specific jobs and baiting mechanics. Between Ice Floes Icon Ice Floes, Shimmer Icon Shimmer, and a variety of instant cast spells, high movement encounters have minimal impact on Frost's overall output.

2.

Strengths and Weaknesses

V Strengths
  • +Strong single target and cleave damage
  • +Great mobility and kiting ability
  • +Good at killing fragile targets quickly
  • +Fairly steady damage output
  • +Incredible defensive utility
X Weaknesses
  • -Overly reliant on procs
  • -Relatively weak burst single target
  • -Cleave has to be talented for, although the dominant talent option on the line
  • -No way to deal with spread target damage
  • -Incredibly locked-in talent selections
3.

Shadowlands Changes for Mages

We are maintaining a list of changes for Mages, so you can see what changes with every patch of Shadowlands.

4.

Leveling a Frost Mage

If Frost Mage is something that interests you, but you do not yet have one, you should check out the leveling guide for tips and information on spells gained on a per-level basis:

As you level, you will gain procs and cooldowns you will have to keep track of. Our Macros and Addon section has some suggestions that do not completely change the game UI, but will allow you to keep track of things easier. In addition, there are macros listed that will aid in certain things, such as casting Blizzard Icon Blizzard at your mouse cursor location without having to click.

5.

Basics of Frost Mage Gameplay

Frost is all about generating and using procs. The gameplay is incredibly simple to get a basic understanding of.

Everything you do revolves around Fingers of Frost Icon Fingers of Frost and Brain Freeze Icon Brain Freeze. If you are not currently spending the procs, you need to be generating them. Frostbolt Icon Frostbolt generates both, as your filler spell.

If you are brand new to the spec, and do not wish to delve into the details right away, the Easy Mode page is a helpful starting guide that should be fairly easy to understand and execute:

If you are looking for a more in-depth explaination or simply wish to dive into the spec right away, the Talent and Rotation pages are where you should go:

6.

How to Gear Up as a Frost Mage

Due to how Frost works, there is no hard rule for determining which piece of gear is better. The best option is to simulate your character and the accompanying gear options. That said, there are some helpful, generalized simulations on the Gear page:

7.

End-Game as a Frost Mage

End-game looks somewhat different than leveling and casual content. Our Raiding, Mythic+, PvP, and Torghast guides can aid you further once you are ready for end-game content:

8.

Improving your Play as Frost Mage

If you find yourself behind your similarly-geared peers, but unsure as to why, there may be some information to glean from our pages on mistakes, tips, or how to simulate your character to optimize your character:

9.

Changelog

  • 09 Mar. 2021 (easy mode page): Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (spells page): Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (Covenants and Soulbinds): Updated AoE recommendation to Necrolord due to 9.0.5 buffs.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (Torghast): Added some information on strong and interesting Anima Powers added in 9.0.5.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (talents page): Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (mythic+ page): Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (Legendaries): Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (gear page): Added a note about Valor points.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (rotation page): Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (enchants page): Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (stats page): Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 04 Feb. 2021 (enchants page): Changed potion recommendation.
  • 16 Jan. 2021 (talents page): Changed Incanter's Flow to ?.
  • 16 Jan. 2021 (rotation page): Minor clarification added to Glacial Fragments.
  • 16 Jan. 2021 (Castle Nathria page): Changed Incanter's Flow to ?, removed a Denathrius tip that got patched out.
  • 18 Dec. 2020 (rotation page): Updated for Glacial Fragment usage.
  • 16 Dec. 2020 (Torghast): Seeker's Scroll and Runecloth Wrappings nerfed, Resolute Medallion buffed.
  • 12 Dec. 2020 (Torghast): Frostchipper nerfed to 5%.
  • 07 Dec. 2020 (mythic+ page): Page updated for Shadowlands Season 1.
  • 07 Dec. 2020 (Castle Nathria page): Updated Castle Nathria page for release.
  • 03 Dec. 2020 (Legendaries): Grisly Ice has been hotfixed to break on other people's damage.
  • 01 Dec. 2020 (Castle Nathria page): Added placeholder Castle Nathria page.
  • 24 Nov. 2020 (Torghast): Page added.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (FAQ page): Updated for Shadowlands.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (how to improve page): Updated for Shadowlands.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (gear page): Updated for Shadowlands launch. Added information about Ve'nari's ability to add sockets to gear.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (this page): Updated for Shadowlands launch, with links to Torghast, Legendary powers, and Covenants.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (addons page): Updated for Shadowlands launch. Added a useful Soulshape macro.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (enchants page): Updated for Shadowlands launch, added temporary enhancement section.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (stats page): Updated for Shadowlands launch. Updated how many stats SimulationCraft adds when calculating stat weights for level 60.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (easy mode page): Page updated for Shadowlands launch. Blizzard is now cast a 2 targets, and BfA systems mentions removed.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (talents page): Updated for Shadowlands launch with minor tooltip changes for 9.0.2 changes.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (rotation page): Updated for Shadowlands launch, adding information about where to cast Covenant abilities.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (spells page): Updated for Shadowlands launch. Added information about Alter Time.
  • 22 Nov. 2020 (simulations page): Removed alternative APL section and updated full talent comparison names.
  • 21 Nov. 2020 (Legendaries): Page added.
  • 20 Nov. 2020 (Covenants and Soulbinds): Page added.
  • 10 Nov. 2020 (talents page): Changed percentage values for November 10th's hotfix.
  • 05 Nov. 2020 (rotation page): Updated AoE rotation, adding BF-Flurry and removing Cone of Cold.
  • 31 Oct. 2020 (enchants page): Fixed enchant recommendations.
  • 17 Oct. 2020 (rotation page): Fixed a missing note for Blizzard in cleave.
  • 14 Oct. 2020 (rotation page): Added Fingers of Frost Ice Lance to single target rotation.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (FAQ page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (how to improve page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (simulations page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (gear page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (enchants page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (stats page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (Ny'alotha page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (mythic+ page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (rotation page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (talents page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (spells page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (easy mode page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (this page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (addons page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 13 Jan. 2020 (Uldir page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 13 Jan. 2020 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 13 Jan. 2020 (Crucible of Storms page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 13 Jan. 2020 (The Eternal Palace page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 04 Sep. 2019 (The Eternal Palace page): Added clarification that Glacial Spike does not kill melee on Za'qul, and minor tips elsewhere.
  • 20 Jul. 2019 (The Eternal Palace page): Updated with tips.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (Uldir page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (Crucible of Storms page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 12 May 2019 (Crucible of Storms page): Updated tips and build recommendations.
  • 14 Apr. 2019 (Uldir page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 14 Apr. 2019 (Crucible of Storms page): Guide added.
  • 14 Apr. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 29 Jan. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Updated tips, both for hotfix changes and practical experience.
  • 21 Jan. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Added Battle of Dazar'alor guide for Frost Mages.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (Uldir page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 16 Oct. 2018 (Uldir page): Updated a few talent suggestions after having actually done the raid.
  • 01 Sep. 2018 (Uldir page): Added Uldir advice.
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