Frost Mage DPS Spec, Builds, and Talents — Dragonflight 10.1
On this page, you will find out the best talents for each tier for your Frost Mage in World of Warcraft — Dragonflight 10.1. We also have default talent lists for various types of content, such as raiding or Mythic+. If you play with Warmode on, we have your PvP talents covered as well.
If you were looking for WotLK Classic content, please refer to our WotLK Classic Frost Mage talents.
Talent Builds for Frost Mage
Talent calculator has an export build button that will give you a text string to import in-game. You can use either the class or spec tree export buttons; they will cover both sides.
The vast majority of the class tree side is a personal opinion. Making it to the 20-point limit to access the final talents, you can take functionally anything you want as long as you grab both Tome of Rhonin and Tome of Antonidas, as they are disproportionately powerful and, between the two of them, open access to the entire bottom section of talents. Almost everyone will want either Shimmer or Ice Floes, and how you access that node is up to you. The above is a suggestion that offers all of your utility spells in case they are needed.
Moving a point from Deep Shatter to Freezing Winds is a minor DPS loss in exchange for some great mobility during Frozen Orb.
The spec tree is fairly straightforward. You get Thermal Void and Hailstones.
The only important difference from the single target tree is Ice Caller and Freezing Rain over Frozen Touch and Deep Shatter. This variant should be taken on any fight you encounter significant cleave.
This variant also picks up Time Manipulation for Ice Nova cooldown reduction, although this is only a minor gain on 4+ targets.
More information about M+'s talent tree can be found on the M+ page:
This and the next sections will go over some of the more important talents and certain talents that are notable to avoid at all costs. For a full list of descriptions, please see the Spell List page:
Right out of the gate, Overflowing Energy, and Rune of Power are mandatory. They are simply DPS increases, something most of the tree is not.
You need 6 talents from this point. Given that Mirror Image and Alter Time are both ridiculously good defensives; you will be going down both sides of the tree. If you take the center path down each side and simply take Spellsteal and Remove Curse, you will have opened up the second section of the talent tree.
Alternatively, you can path around both Spellsteal and Remove Curse if you wish. The second section has so many optional talents that if there are no curses or magic debuffs to steal, or dispels are handled by others in your groups, you have the spare points to pick up one of the two-pointer talents on each side of the tree to get to Mirror Image and Alter Time. There are enough points around to pick every talent in this section and very few in the next, and still have the mandatory build components by the end of the tree. This is an incredibly flexible tree; adjust it as you feel.
This section has a lot of leeway in what you can do and what you could potentially take. Of this section, you want Tome of Antonidas and Tome of Rhonin. These are the only true throughput talents in the section. To get them, the easiest and most common path is through Shimmer/ Ice Floes, as it links to both. You need to pick a utility point here. Mass Polymorph is usually not a great pick in raiding, as crowd control is rarely needed. Slow is similarly fairly useless, although it does allow you access to a slow that lasts longer than Frost's spells. Quick Witted is always nice whenever interrupts are needed.
The rest of the points can honestly be assigned as you see fit. Incantation of Swiftness turns Invisibility into an 80% sprint button. Master of Time gives a shorter cooldown to Alter Time. This is going to be heavily personal preference, so take whatever you think feels right. Defensives are never a bad thing either, so Arcane Warding or Tempest Barrier are fantastic options.
Energized Barriers can remove many effects that slow you down and is a strangely powerful talent because of it. Depending on the effect, it may just remove the slow component, or it may remove the debuff entirely, with seemingly no logic between which it will do. Potentially a mandatory talent in that it seems worth trying on every mechanic that can slow you.
Special note for Volatile Detonation. Blast Wave's default behavior will move a target to 8 yards away from you. For instance, if you were to hit them from 6 yards away, it moves them 2 yards further. Volatile Detonation changes that, and will blast any targets hit, at any range, 20 yards away from their initial location, assuming a flat ground. This is a significant knockback; beware.
Reduplication/ Reabsorption should likely be avoided. They only trigger when you take direct damage and an image fades out, and not when they die. Given that, almost all mechanics are coded as non-direct damage and do not trigger this specific mechanic; this is a very niche node. Likewise, both Rigid Ice and Improved Frost Nova are fairly useless, as most group PVE either has mobs immune to their root effects or you are using them for their ability to Shatter, neither of which warrant taking them.
The optimal play is going straight down the middle to the Time Anomaly/ Temporal Warp choice node. Which of these you pick will depend on which encounter you are doing and when Time Warp is popped. If it gets popped on the pull, Temporal Warp is the winner in most cases. Else, Time Anomaly.
Meteor is poorly tuned and never taken, so Shifting Power is the default choice.
Time Manipulation has the special distinction of being a potential AoE DPS increase through lowering the cooldown of Ice Nova and Frost Nova for Shatter purposes.
Accumulative Shielding is particularly bad. If you have cast Ice Barrier, and it did not get consumed; why did you waste the GCD? This, at best, will drop Ice Barrier from a 25-second cooldown to 20. Freezing Cold is also a bit of a bad talent, in particular, because it is missing Mage's root break protection mechanics, so it is nearly impossible to Shatter off of in a group environment.
Mandatory talents everywhere! Take everything except for Frostbite. These are your primary spells and procs and the only access points through to the rest of the three tree branches, which all have things you want.
The exception to this is Everlasting Frost, being neither a proc, primary spell, or unique branch access. It is simply a deceptively strong talent. The extra 2 seconds is a 20% damage increase to Frozen Orb by itself, and adding 30% to the entire thing on top of it. The extra 4 ticks also are 4 extra chances to proc Fingers of Frost. This is an important talent, and you should not skip it.
You want Icy Veins, so this leads you down one of two sides. Left is single target, right is AoE.
Beyond that, Perpetual Winter is a surprising DPS increase by allowing you a second charge of Flurry and reducing the proc munching involved significantly. Bone Chilling is simply a 5% DPS gain for one point, an easy pick. For this guide, we are aiming at Hailstones, so grabbing both Flash Freeze and Splintering Cold will drastically increase Mastery's value.
Ice Caller is a mandatory talent in multi-target and is your go-to build for any fight that has an extra add.
You want Thermal Void and Hailstones. Take Splitting Ice on your way to Hailstones, as the extra Icicle and Ice Lance damage will benefit more than Ray of Frost even in a single target.
Slick Ice is a fairly nice boost to your primary target's damage. Freezing Winds is the best of a bad set of options, so it is usually taken in most builds.
Freezing Rain is also a mandatory multi-target talent and should be taken in the cleave build.
Freezing Winds is a good cleave and single-target mobility talent. However, technically the second point in Deep Shatter is better for single target. This might be the better option depending on how mobile any fight is.
Frost Mage PvP Talents
If you opt into War Mode, you are given the ability to use the Honour Talents out in the world. Defensive talents will depend on how comfortable you are with your base kit and if you expect to get attacked by other players. Given that PvP is outside the scope of this guide, only the offensive talents will be listed here. The PvP guide itself can be found here:
- Concentrated Coolness is pretty great with no downsides.
- Ice Form is a fairly short cooldown, useful if you find yourself never actually hitting Icy Veins while out in the world due to wanting to "save" it for any reason. It has some good synergy with Deep Shatter, but requires you to have multiple freeze cooldowns lined up. This will also drop Rune of Power if talented into it, making the lowered cooldown very useful.
- Ring of Fire is not a great pick for PVE. Against NPCs, it is capped at 24% of your max health in damage. For the cast time and the awkward aiming, this is not a great pick.
- Frost Bomb is a great choice. A nice delayed burst AoE hit, which can be Shattered.
- Snowdrift works as a decent short-term stun, but the damage is underwhelming and requires targets to be extremely close to you. There are better options. Does not work with Ice Floes.
Ice Wall is going to get a special mention. Having the ability to force line of sight, or wall an enemy player either in with you or away from you, is a pretty powerful utility. This feels like one of those things you should have with you just in case you are in War Mode. It is deceptively strong for the area denial utility.
There are some interesting Honour Talents, but since they are restricted to the open-world and unusable in instances, they generally are not simulated. Thus, the above are simply the thoughts and feelings of the author.
- 01 May 2023: Updated Honour Talents and removed a handful of bugged interaction notes.
- 20 Mar. 2023: Updated default talent trees.
- 24 Jan. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.0.5.
- 11 Dec. 2022: Reviewed for Dragonflight Season 1.
- 28 Nov. 2022: Updated for Dragonflight launch.
- 24 Oct. 2022: Updated for Dragonflight pre-patch.
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- Twitch Revises Branded Content Guidelines After Backlash
- Welcome Back Gear Gift for Unplayed Characters in 10.1.5
- Dragonflight Patch 10.1 Hotfixes, June 6th
- Mythic+ Now Has Extra Affixes (Bug)
- Dragonflight 10.1.5 PTR Notes: June 6th
- Blizzard on Catalyst Quest Becoming Available Earlier Than Expected
- Mythic+ Dungeons Re-Enabled on Live Servers