Frost Mage DPS Guide — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.3

Last updated on May 23, 2020 at 02:40 by Kuni 134 comments
General Information

Welcome to our Frost Mage guide for World of Warcraft — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.3. 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.

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.

3.

Hotfixes to 8.3 for Frost Mage

  • Damage of all abilities increased by 5%.

This buff, combined with moderate Mastery-based Corruption items, pushes Frost almost on par with Arcane for single target. However, obtaining those in all slots will prove to be difficult for most.

4.

Patch 8.3 Changes for Frost Mage

Frost Mages only received 1 change in Patch 8.3, which buffed their Ice Lance Icon Ice Lance damage by 20%.

This change does not achieve Blizzard's desired goal of putting Ice Lance Icon Ice Lance back in Frost's single-target rotation. It does, however, put it into our cleave rotation.

In addition, we have:

5.

Frost Mage Strengths

  • Strong single target and cleave damage
  • Great mobility and kiting
  • Good at killing fragile targets quickly
  • Fairly steady damage output
  • Great ability to deal with Corruption's negative effects
6.

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
  • No way to deal with spread target damage
7.

Frost Mage Viability in the Current Patch

The Mastery buff of Patch 8.2, and the lack of real changes in Patch 8.3, has led Frost to a point where "No Ice Lance" is Frost's best option. Frost is the weakest of the three Mage specs, by a small margin, when simmed with no Corruption. However, Frost has some of the highest stat scaling right now due to Mastery, and has proven to be formidable with Mastery-based Corruption effects, catching up to Arcane's formidable single target damage.

In Mythic+, Frost's formidable stacked AoE, single target DPS, and AoE slows make us uniquely powerful. Combined with access to Time Warp Icon Time Warp and Arcane Intellect Icon Arcane Intellect, we are very desirable in most groups.

Flash Freeze Icon Flash Freeze was a huge boon given to us in Patch 8.1, being solidly stronger than all other traits for the spec in single target. Packed Ice Icon Packed Ice also allows for an alternative playstyle that is incredibly effective on 2-target sustained cleave.

8.

Changelog

  • 23 May 2020 (Corruption page): Updated information about purchasable Corruption effects.
  • 20 May 2020 (Corruption page): Added information about purchasable Corruption effects.
  • 03 Apr. 2020 (Essences page): Updated for new findings at high Mastery gear.
  • 03 Apr. 2020 (Ny'alotha page): Added additional tips, again. Updated Essences.
  • 03 Apr. 2020 (simulations page): Removed old simulations.
  • 03 Apr. 2020 (Corruption page): Page added.
  • 03 Apr. 2020 (mythic+ page): Updated AoE due to lack of Comet Storm usage, and added a Corruption section.
  • 03 Apr. 2020 (gear page): Added a note on BiS being impossible to compile.
  • 01 Apr. 2020 (gear page): Split Corruption to its own page.
  • 29 Feb. 2020 (Ny'alotha page): Added additional tips.
  • 25 Feb. 2020 (this page): Updated for Feburary 25th hotfix.
  • 28 Jan. 2020 (gear page): Added notes about how Frost can escape Corruption's negative effects.
  • 28 Jan. 2020 (Ny'alotha page): Added initial round of tips.
  • 21 Jan. 2020 (Ny'alotha page): Guide added.
  • 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 (stats 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.
  • 13 Jan. 2020 (FAQ page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 13 Jan. 2020 (spells page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 13 Jan. 2020 (how to improve page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 13 Jan. 2020 (talents page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 13 Jan. 2020 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated for Patch 8.3's new Azerite trait.
  • 13 Jan. 2020 (simulations page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 13 Jan. 2020 (Essences page): Updated for 8.3's new Essences.
  • 13 Jan. 2020 (gear page): Added information about Corrupted effects, as well as the item to add sockets.
  • 13 Jan. 2020 (rotation page): Updated for 8.3 changes.
  • 13 Jan. 2020 (easy mode page): Added a small note about 8.3's Azerite Essence.
  • 13 Jan. 2020 (addons page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 13 Jan. 2020 (mythic+ page): Updated for Season 4 and removed generic affix information.
  • 13 Jan. 2020 (enchants 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.
  • 13 Jan. 2020 (this page): Updated for Patch 8.3.
  • 23 Sep. 2019 (this page): Updated for Patch 8.2.5.
  • 04 Sep. 2019 (The Eternal Palace page): Added clarification that Glacial Spike does not kill melee on Za'qul, and minor tips elsewhere.
  • 09 Aug. 2019 (rotation page): No Ice Lance is now the default due to how far ahead it is.
  • 09 Aug. 2019 (enchants page): Weapon enchant suggestion changed.
  • 09 Aug. 2019 (this page): Added a note about no Ice Lance becoming the default.
  • 09 Aug. 2019 (mythic+ page): Clarified some talent suggestions.
  • 09 Aug. 2019 (azerite traits and gear page): Minor updates with the move to no Ice Lance as default.
  • 09 Aug. 2019 (talents page): No Ice Lance has become the default.
  • 09 Aug. 2019 (FAQ page): Removed a section that has no current relevance.
  • 20 Jul. 2019 (The Eternal Palace page): Updated with tips.
  • 20 Jul. 2019 (Essences page): Added a quick note for which Essence is best.
  • 12 Jul. 2019 (gear page): Added a Benthic belt option.
  • 12 Jul. 2019 (simulations page): Added full talent simulations for T24 for default and no Ice Lance.
  • 11 Jul. 2019 (talents page): Added a note about Temporal Shield/Conflict and Strife.
  • 11 Jul. 2019 (stats page): Patch 8.2 Mastery buff pushed Mastery above Crit for most characters.
  • 11 Jul. 2019 (easy mode page): Added basic Azerite notes.
  • 11 Jul. 2019 (azerite traits and gear page): Added some information for relevant Patch 8.2 traits.
  • 11 Jul. 2019 (this page): Updated viability comments for Patch 8.2.
  • 11 Jul. 2019 (gear page): Punchcards did indeed get nerfed, removed warning about that.
  • 08 Jul. 2019 (azerite traits and gear page): Minor updates for The Eternal Palace launch, removal of older information.
  • 08 Jul. 2019 (gear page): Added Benthic and Mechagon gear due to relevance to raid equipment.
  • 08 Jul. 2019 (enchants page): Updated for The Eternal Palace launch.
  • 08 Jul. 2019 (easy mode page): Added basic Essence notes.
  • 08 Jul. 2019 (Essences page): Updated with simulations and notes on each Essence.
  • 08 Jul. 2019 (mythic+ page): Added Season 3 affix information.
  • 08 Jul. 2019 (rotation page): Added Essence rotation locations.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (FAQ page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (how to improve page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (simulations page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (gear page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (addons page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (enchants page): Updated for Patch 8.2.
  • 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 (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 (mythic+ page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (rotation page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (Essences page): Added page.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (azerite traits and gear page): Minor updates in wording and the removal of Uldir notes.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (talents page): Removed Uldir notes.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (spells page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (easy mode page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (this page): Updated for Patch 8.2.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (stats page): Updated sample stat weights given new character item level expectations.
  • 12 May 2019 (Crucible of Storms page): Updated tips and build recommendations.
  • 12 May 2019 (talents page): Added Frozen Orb build talent information.
  • 12 May 2019 (simulations page): Updated with the new alternative rotation flags in SimC.
  • 12 May 2019 (rotation page): Added Frozen Orb build information.
  • 26 Apr. 2019 (talents page): Added note to Shimmer talent description.
  • 14 Apr. 2019 (enchants page): Removed Intellect gem recommendation due to average player ilvl.
  • 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 (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 (Uldir 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 (mythic+ page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 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 (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 (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 (spells 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 (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 (rotation 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.
  • 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 (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 (Crucible of Storms page): Guide added.
  • 10 Mar. 2019 (simulations page): Added no Ice Lance APL and changed talent permutations to code instead of results.
  • 10 Mar. 2019 (rotation page): Added no Ice Lance rotation information.
  • 10 Mar. 2019 (talents page): Added no Ice Lance rotation talent 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 (this page): Added viability section.
  • 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.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (this page): Updated for Patch 8.1 changes.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (stats page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (enchants page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (mythic+ page): Removed mention of Winter's Reach and added mention of Flash Freeze. Updated for 8.1.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (rotation page): Removed mentions of Winter's Reach. Updated for 8.1.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (addons 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 (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 (spells page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (FAQ 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 (how to improve page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (Uldir 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.
  • 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 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated for Uldir launch and Bloodmallet charts.
  • 03 Sep. 2018 (gear page): Updated for Uldir launch and Bloodmallet charts.
  • 01 Sep. 2018 (Uldir page): Added Uldir advice.
  • 01 Sep. 2018 (enchants page): Updated for Uldir launch.
  • 01 Sep. 2018 (FAQ page): Added Frostbolt cancelling information.
  • 20 Aug. 2018 (FAQ page): Added FAQ page for Frost Mage.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (enchants page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (easy mode page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (spells page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (how to improve page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (talents page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (gear page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (rotation page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (stats page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 06 Aug. 2018 (enchants page): Updated with hotfix to Darkmoon Faire food.
  • 06 Aug. 2018 (stats page): Corrected Glacial Spike mechanic misunderstanding, added stat stacking examples, corrected false information regarding Crit weights.
  • 06 Aug. 2018 (this page): Frost Mage AoE is not a weakness anymore.
  • 06 Aug. 2018 (talents page): Corrected Glacial Spike mechanic misunderstanding, updated Concentrated Coolness.
  • 06 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated descriptions for hotfixes.
  • 06 Aug. 2018 (mythic+ page): Updated with preliminary BfA tips.
  • 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 (rotation page): Added a description to the core of the spec.
  • 19 Jul. 2018 (talents page): Updated for recent hotfix buffs.
  • 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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