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Frost Mage in Battle for Azeroth (BfA)

Last updated on May 29, 2018 at 09:01 by Kuni 312 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

On this page, you will find information on how to play your Frost Mage in Battle for Azeroth. Because the new expansion is still in beta, this guide is simply here to help you perform better in the beta or to give you a sneak peek into what the new expansion has in store for your class.

The other pages of our Frost Mage guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

About Our Author

This guide has been written by Kuni, one of the best Frost Mages in the world, who raids in Midnight Sanctuary.

1. Foreword

This page will be an introduction to Frost Mage in Battle for Azeroth. It will cover changes to mechanics, baseline abilities, talents, and Azerite traits. Keep in mind that Battle for Azeroth is still in beta, and things are subject to change.

Frost has largely remained the same in Battle for Azeroth, with a number of small tweaks and relative talent power changes resulting from the loss of the Artifact weapon. The core gameplay is functionally the same as Legion with one key difference: Glacial Spike Icon Glacial Spike is the top play-style on beta.

2. Basic Mechanic Changes for Frost Mage in BfA

  • Brain Freeze Icon Brain Freeze's proc chance has been increased from 15% to 25%.
  • Fingers of Frost Icon Fingers of Frost's proc chances have been shuffled, from 12% on both Frostbolt Icon Frostbolt and Frozen Orb Icon Frozen Orb, to 15% on Frostbolt, and 10% on Frozen Orb.
  • Water Jet Icon Water Jet has been removed.
  • Freeze Icon Freeze no longer generates Fingers of Frost Icon Fingers of Frost.
  • Ice Barrier Icon Ice Barrier is now based on maximum health, rather than spell power.
  • Mastery: Icicles Icon Mastery: Icicles now also generates an Icicle on Flurry Icon Flurry cast, and Mastery increases Frozen Orb Icon Frozen Orb's damage. In addition Icicles themselves are now a normal spell. This means they have their own Spell Power coefficient rather than being dependent on Frostbolt Icon Frostbolt's damage. They can also Crit like a normal spell.
  • Arcane Intellect Icon Arcane Intellect has been added, giving the Mage a raid-wide buff.
  • Remove Curse Icon Remove Curse has been added, giving the Mage additional utility by being able to dispel Curses.

3. Changes to Frost Mage Talents in BfA

BfA Frost Talent Tree

3.1. Level 15

  • Bone Chilling Icon Bone Chilling was reduced to 10 stacks from 12, for a total of 5% at full stacks.
  • Lonely Winter Icon Lonely Winter was reduced to 20% from 25%, and no longer increases Frozen Orb Icon Frozen Orb's damage.
  • Ice Nova Icon Ice Nova now deals 4 times the damage to primary target, up from 2 times.

3.2. Level 30

  • Shimmer Icon Shimmer's recharge was increased to 20 seconds from 15.

3.3. Level 60

3.4. Level 90

  • Freezing Rain Icon Freezing Rain also returns from the Artifact weapon, while also buffing Blizzard's damage while it is instant cast.
  • Splitting Ice Icon Splitting Ice has added Ebonbolt Icon Ebonbolt to the list of spells that cleave.

3.5. Level 100

  • Ray of Frost Icon Ray of Frost now generates Fingers of Frost Icon Fingers of Frost charges during its channel. It now acts as a normal channeled spell, with a 6-second base duration that is reduced by Haste.

4. Azerite Traits for Frost Mage

Azerite traits are what will be replacing the Artifact weapon's traits, as well as tier set bonuses. They are mostly small damage boosts and defensive utility bonuses. So far very little theoretical work has been done on them, and Blizzard is still changing them around. In most cases, there is one trait for each spec, and a generic trait. The spec-specific one most likely will be the best, but until we have simulations on them, that is a rough guideline at best.

5. Single Target Rotation for Frost Mage in BfA

The baseline rotation for Frost is largely unchanged from Legion, and if you understand the basic ideas of the old rotation, Battle for Azeroth's changes will come fairly naturally.

  1. Cast Icy Veins Icon Icy Veins on cooldown. Mirror Image Icon Mirror Image as well, if talented.
  2. React to your Brain Freeze Icon Brain Freeze procs by performing a Shatter Icon Shatter combo; when you gain Brain Freeze, cast Frostbolt Icon Frostbolt > Flurry Icon Flurry > Ice Lance Icon Ice Lance. The Frostbolt can be replaced by any cast time spell, such as Ebonbolt Icon Ebonbolt to cause it to Shatter. The trailing Ice Lance should reach the target in time to also benefit from Shatter. You can also follow the Ice Lance with Ice Nova Icon Ice Nova, which should Shatter as well.
  3. Cast Frozen Orb Icon Frozen Orb on cooldown.
  4. React to your Fingers of Frost Icon Fingers of Frost procs by casting Ice Lance Icon Ice Lance.
  5. Cast Frostbolt Icon Frostbolt as filler.

Glacial Spike Icon Glacial Spike imposes some additional constraints on the above. You need to hold your Brain Freeze Icon Brain Freeze procs if you are at 4 or 5 Mastery: Icicles Icon Mastery: Icicles, and instead use it as part of the Glacial Spike Shatter Icon Shatter combo: Glacial Spike > Flurry Icon Flurry > Ice Lance Icon Ice Lance. Additionally, if you have taken Ebonbolt Icon Ebonbolt, you now only cast it when you hit 5 Icicles and you do not have a Brain Freeze proc ready for Glacial Spike. Use the generated Brain Freeze with Glacial Spike rather than Ebonbolt.

Rune of Power Icon Rune of Power also has some special rules. Without Glacial Spike Icon Glacial Spike talented, you want to use it whenever any of the following are true:

  • after casting Frozen Orb Icon Frozen Orb;
  • Comet Storm Icon Comet Storm, Ray of Frost Icon Ray of Frost, or Ebonbolt Icon Ebonbolt are off cooldown;
  • there are 5 seconds or less left before you are going to cap out both charges;
  • the boss is about to die, and none of the above will matter in the next 40 seconds.

With Glacial Spike Icon Glacial Spike talented, cast Rune of Power Icon Rune of Power when you have 5 Icicles and the following is true.

6. Multi-Target Rotation and Considerations for Frost Mage in BfA

Generally, you start adding Blizzard Icon Blizzard to the above rotation at 3 targets, just below Frozen Orb Icon Frozen Orb in priority. This changes a bit with Freezing Rain Icon Freezing Rain, which wants you to start prioritizing Frozen Orb Icon Frozen Orb and Blizzard over the rest of your rotation at 3 targets. Without Freezing Rain, it seems to start doing the same at 4 targets.

Due to Frost's AoE being entirely cooldowns, once you start adding Blizzard Icon Blizzard to the rotation, it is functionally the single target rotation aside from more Frozen Orb Icon Frozen Orb casts. Cone of Cold Icon Cone of Cold seems to be worth using during the 3 or 4+ target windows, just above Frostbolt Icon Frostbolt in priority, if being close enough is an option.

Rune of Power Icon Rune of Power should be used directly after casting Frozen Orb Icon Frozen Orb if there are multiple targets, regardless of the single target conditions, but does not supersede them. If Glacial Spike Icon Glacial Spike is not ready to cast, but you have just cast Frozen Orb, cast Rune of Power regardless.

7. ChangeLog

  • 29 May 2018: Rune of Power added.
  • 29 May 2018: Page added.
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