Frost Mage DPS Guide — Shadowlands 9.0.2

Last updated on Nov 24, 2020 at 23:31 by Kuni 19 comments
General Information

Welcome to our Frost Mage guide for World of Warcraft — Shadowlands 9.0.2. 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 for Shadowlands, the upcoming World of Warcraft expansion, which you can access using the link below. We also have pages for the new Covenant abilities and Anima Powers.

Frost, while receiving just one spec-specific change in Shadowlands, has changed how the spec plays to nearly the complete opposite of BfA's predominant playstyle almost entirely because of that single change.

Winter's Chill Icon Winter's Chill now instead of being a small window of opportunity, generates 2 charges of Winter's Chill, each consumed upon spell impact. While this does not sound like much, it increased the amount of Ice Lance Icon Ice Lances cast into each window by double, meaning that Thermal Void Icon Thermal Void gained significantly over Glacial Spike Icon Glacial Spike. Combined with the removal of Corruption, this means Frost has pivoted entirely towards an Ice Lance-centric playstyle.

Shadowlands itself has brought many new systems to all players. Torghast is a randomly generated dungeon that can be attempted with 1-5 people, and will have a variety of powers available to earn and play with. It rewards the currency to craft legendary items. Legendary Powers are the newly craftable legendary items. Covenants are a new expansion-level system that allows you to improve your character's power outside of the constraints of your spec.

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

  • 24 Nov. 2020 (Torghast): Page added.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (FAQ page): Updated for Shadowlands.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (this page): Updated for Shadowlands launch, with links to Torghast, Legendary powers, and Covenants.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (gear page): Updated for Shadowlands launch. Added information about Ve'nari's ability to add sockets to gear.
  • 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 (rotation page): Updated for Shadowlands launch, adding information about where to cast Covenant abilities.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (talents page): Updated for Shadowlands launch with minor tooltip changes for 9.0.2 changes.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (spells page): Updated for Shadowlands launch. Added information about Alter Time.
  • 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 (how to improve page): Updated for Shadowlands.
  • 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 (enchants page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (easy mode page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (stats page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (spells 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 (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 (this 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 (talents page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (addons page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 13 Jan. 2020 (The Eternal Palace 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 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 13 Jan. 2020 (Uldir 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 (Crucible of Storms 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.
  • 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 (Battle of Dazar'alor 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.
  • 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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