Frost Mage DPS Guide — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1.5

Last updated on Apr 14, 2019 at 00:00 by Kuni 112 comments

Welcome to our Frost Mage guide for World of Warcraft — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1.5. 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.

1. Frost Mage Overview

Frost has always excelled at limiting enemy movement while dealing reliable and predictable damage output. 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. Patch 8.1.5 Changes for Frost Mage

  • Frozen Orb Icon Frozen Orb's radius reduced to 8.5 yards, down from 10.

3. Patch 8.1 Changes for Frost Mage

Our AoE slows and burst damage were reduced in effectiveness, and our single target increased to make up for the loss in Frozen Orb Icon Frozen Orb and Comet Storm Icon Comet Storm damage.

  • All damage has been increased by ~2%.
  • Blizzard Icon Blizzard was changed to have an initial tick and adjusted in damage to maintain it where it was, and the slow was reduced to 3-second duration, down from 15.
  • Frostbolt Icon Frostbolt's chilll duration was nerfed to 8 seconds, from 15.
  • Frozen Orb Icon Frozen Orb was nerfed by ~11%, and the slow reduced to 30% for 3 seconds, instead of 50% for 15 seconds.
  • Comet Storm Icon Comet Storm was nerfed by ~12%.
  • Winter's Reach has been replaced by Flash Freeze Icon Flash Freeze.

4. Frost Mage Strengths

  • Strong single target and cleave damage
  • Great mobility and kiting
  • Good at killing fragile targets quickly
  • Fairly steady damage output

5. Frost Mage Weaknesses

  • Overly reliant on procs outside of Glacial Spike Icon Glacial Spike sets
  • Relatively weak burst single target, despite high single spell impacts
  • Cleave has to be talented for

6. Frost Mage Viability in the Current Patch

Frost is not the best, nor the worst option in any scenario. Flash Freeze Icon Flash Freeze was a huge boon given to us in Patch 8.1, being solidly stronger than most other traits for the spec. Finding gear with it is difficult, but it alone is what is keeping Frost slightly above Fire. Without it, Frost is a bit behind. It is a fairly middle-of-the-road option, with powerful utility in Mythic+ through our slows.

7. Changelog

  • 14 Apr. 2019 (gear page): This page has been reviewed and no major changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 14 Apr. 2019 (rotation page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 14 Apr. 2019 (mythic+ 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 (FAQ 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 (Uldir page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 14 Apr. 2019 (how to improve page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 14 Apr. 2019 (stats page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 14 Apr. 2019 (azerite traits and gear page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 14 Apr. 2019 (enchants page): Removed Intellect gem recommendation due to average player ilvl.
  • 14 Apr. 2019 (this page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 14 Apr. 2019 (simulations page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 14 Apr. 2019 (easy mode page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 14 Apr. 2019 (talents page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 14 Apr. 2019 (spells page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 14 Apr. 2019 (addons page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 10 Mar. 2019 (simulations page): Added no Ice Lance APL and changed talent permutations to code instead of results.
  • 10 Mar. 2019 (talents page): Added no Ice Lance rotation talent information.
  • 10 Mar. 2019 (rotation page): Added no Ice Lance rotation information.
  • 10 Mar. 2019 (this page): Updated for Patch 8.1.5 changes.
  • 03 Feb. 2019 (mythic+ page): Updated for the Season 2 affix, Reaping.
  • 29 Jan. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Updated tips, both for hotfix changes and practical experience.
  • 22 Jan. 2019 (rotation page): Added a link for more information regarding Winter's Chill/Glacial Spike details.
  • 21 Jan. 2019 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated for Battle of Dazar'alor.
  • 21 Jan. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Added Battle of Dazar'alor guide for Frost Mages.
  • 26 Dec. 2018 (enchants page): Expanded on food recommendations.
  • 21 Dec. 2018 (simulations page): Changed race listings from Raidbots to Bloodmallet.
  • 21 Dec. 2018 (FAQ page): Added questions about stat caps, viability, and races.
  • 21 Dec. 2018 (this page): Added viability section.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (how to improve page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (gear page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (easy mode page): Added a disclaimer to the stat priority, updated for Patch 8.1.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (rotation page): Removed mentions of Winter's Reach. Updated for 8.1.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (enchants page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (talents page): Corrected Concentrated Coolness' damage bonus, updated for Patch 8.1.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (simulations page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (stats page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated for Patch 8.1 changes.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (Uldir page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (this page): Updated for Patch 8.1 changes.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (mythic+ page): Removed mention of Winter's Reach and added mention of Flash Freeze. Updated for 8.1.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (FAQ page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (addons page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (spells page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 27 Nov. 2018 (simulations page): Added racial and talent simulation comparisons.
  • 16 Oct. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated Winter's Reach details with multiple traits.
  • 16 Oct. 2018 (mythic+ page): Updated with some notes on Splitting Ice vs Comet Storm, and details on Frost vs Spawn of G'huun.
  • 16 Oct. 2018 (rotation page): Updated Rune of Power, Glacial Spike's Ebonbolt logic.
  • 16 Oct. 2018 (Uldir page): Updated a few talent suggestions after having actually done the raid.
  • 15 Oct. 2018 (stats page): Attempt to clarify Shatter cap weight oddity, and clean up misconception of ignoring sims.
  • 26 Sep. 2018 (addons page): Added Decursive to suggested addons, and a Blizzard macro.
  • 20 Sep. 2018 (enchants page): Expanded upon Battle Potion of Intellect use.
  • 18 Sep. 2018 (rotation page): Updated with talent selection tick boxes.
  • 03 Sep. 2018 (gear page): Updated for Uldir launch and Bloodmallet charts.
  • 03 Sep. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated for Uldir launch and Bloodmallet charts.
  • 01 Sep. 2018 (FAQ page): Added Frostbolt cancelling information.
  • 01 Sep. 2018 (Uldir page): Added Uldir advice.
  • 01 Sep. 2018 (enchants page): Updated for Uldir launch.
  • 20 Aug. 2018 (FAQ page): Added FAQ page for Frost Mage.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (rotation page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (stats page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (talents page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (how to improve page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (enchants page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (spells page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (easy mode page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (gear page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 06 Aug. 2018 (this page): Frost Mage AoE is not a weakness anymore.
  • 06 Aug. 2018 (stats page): Corrected Glacial Spike mechanic misunderstanding, added stat stacking examples, corrected false information regarding Crit weights.
  • 06 Aug. 2018 (mythic+ page): Updated with preliminary BfA tips.
  • 06 Aug. 2018 (talents page): Corrected Glacial Spike mechanic misunderstanding, updated Concentrated Coolness.
  • 06 Aug. 2018 (enchants page): Updated with hotfix to Darkmoon Faire food.
  • 06 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated descriptions for hotfixes.
  • 27 Jul. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Added Azerite page.
  • 20 Jul. 2018 (rotation page): Clarified an edge case with Brain Freeze/Glacial Spike interaction.
  • 19 Jul. 2018 (stats page): Updated for recent hotfix buffs.
  • 19 Jul. 2018 (talents page): Updated for recent hotfix buffs.
  • 19 Jul. 2018 (rotation page): Added a description to the core of the spec.
  • 16 Jul. 2018 (enchants page): Updated for the Battle for Azeroth pre-patch.
  • 16 Jul. 2018 (this page): Updated for the Battle for Azeroth pre-patch.
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