Frost Mage DPS Spec, Builds, and Talents — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.2.5

Last updated on Aug 09, 2019 at 03:50 by Kuni 127 comments
General Information

On this page, you will find out the best talents for each tier for your Frost Mage in World of Warcraft — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.2.5. 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.

1.

Talent Choices for Frost Mage

Level Choices
15 Bone Chilling Bone Chilling Lonely Winter Lonely Winter Ice Nova Ice Nova
30 Glacial Insulation Glacial Insulation Shimmer Shimmer Ice Floes Ice Floes
45 Incanter's Flow Incanter's Flow Mirror Image Mirror Image Rune of Power Rune of Power
60 Frozen Touch Frozen Touch Chain Reaction ? Chain Reaction Ebonbolt Ebonbolt
75 Frigid Winds ? Frigid Winds Ice Ward ? Ice Ward Ring of Frost ? Ring of Frost
90 Freezing Rain ? Freezing Rain Splitting Ice Splitting Ice Comet Storm ? Comet Storm
100 Thermal Void Thermal Void Ray of Frost Ray of Frost Glacial Spike Glacial Spike

Talents can be freely changed when out of combat and in a rested XP area (such as an inn or a capital city). Moreover, Tome of the Tranquil Mind Icon Tome of the Tranquil Mind and Codex of the Tranquil Mind Icon Codex of the Tranquil Mind can be used to temporarily allow players to change talents anywhere, as long as they are out of combat.

2.

Talent Cheat Sheets for Frost Mage

While optimizing talents on a contextual basis is the highly recommended method of setting up your build, the talent builds listed below work great for specific purposes.

2.1.

Single Target

2.2.

Heavy Cleave/AOE

3.

Tier 1 (Level 15) Talents for Frost Mage

Bone Chilling Bone Chilling Lonely Winter Lonely Winter Ice Nova Ice Nova
  • Bone Chilling Icon Bone Chilling causes all chill effects to stack a buff on you, increasing all spell damage dealt by 0.5% per stack for 8 seconds, stacking up to 10 times. Functionally it is a flat 5% boost to all spells.
  • Lonely Winter Icon Lonely Winter removes your ability to cast Summon Water Elemental Icon Summon Water Elemental, but your basic single target spells (Frostbolt Icon Frostbolt, Ice Lance Icon Ice Lance, and Flurry Icon Flurry) are empowered to deal 25% increased damage.
  • Ice Nova Icon Ice Nova is a short AoE burst cooldown, dealing higher damage to the primary target. Also freezes everything hit for 2 seconds.

Bone Chilling Icon Bone Chilling is one of the go-to options for single target and improving for AoE due to it increasing all our damage. This is the optimal talent between the two. Most of the benefit is that it buffs Glacial Spike Icon Glacial Spike, where Lonely Winter Icon Lonely Winter does not. Keeping the Water Elemental allows Freeze Icon Freeze usage, further increasing our AoE potential by Shatter Icon Shattering trash packs.

Lonely Winter Icon Lonely Winter simply does not increase Glacial Spike Icon Glacial Spike's damage, and thus is not currently competitive.

Ice Nova Icon Ice Nova is currently too weak to be considered for anything, including AoE.

4.

Tier 2 (Level 30) Talents for Frost Mage

Glacial Insulation Glacial Insulation Shimmer Shimmer Ice Floes Ice Floes
  • Glacial Insulation Icon Glacial Insulation causes Ice Barrier Icon Ice Barrier to increase armour by 200%. Ice Block Icon Ice Block also applies Ice Barrier Icon Ice Barrier to you when it fades.
  • Shimmer Icon Shimmer replaces your Blink Icon Blink ability. It functions exactly the same as Blink Icon Blink, except it is off the Global Cooldown, is a 20-second cooldown instead of 15, does not interrupt spellcasting, and it does not break stuns. This spell has 2 charges.
  • Ice Floes Icon Ice Floes has 3 charges and each charge allows a spell to be cast while moving.

Glacial Insulation Icon Glacial Insulation in theory fits on this row by allowing you to take more damage before moving, but this does not pan out in practice. If there were ever a mechanic that dealt physical damage, was unavoidable, and extra armour value would be the difference between life and death, then this talent might see usage. Being that almost all unavoidable damage is magical in nature, this is an incredibly unlikely event and thus it is a dead talent.

The choice here is between Shimmer Icon Shimmer and Ice Floes Icon Ice Floes. Both functionally provide one spell's worth of movement every 20 seconds; the difference being do you need to move 20 yards, or do you need to move a couple of steps? The choice is ultimately up to the player's comfort with each talent.

Shimmer Icon Shimmer simply lets you Blink Icon Blink without interrupting a cast, or incurring a Global Cooldown. This is incredibly powerful, but you trade a longer cooldown and the ability to break stuns and roots for this power.It is also worth noting that Shimmer has 2 charges, as opposed to Blink's single charge, but trades a slightly longer cooldown for this.

Ice Floes Icon Ice Floes is not all that great on talent sets that take Thermal Void Icon Thermal Void, or do not take Ebonbolt Icon Ebonbolt, due to no cast being longer than 2 seconds before Haste. On Ray of Frost Icon Ray of Frost and Glacial Spike Icon Glacial Spike sets however, the ability to cast while moving can be invaluable, especially when an encounter requires you stay with the group but dodge abilities. Due to charge protection code, a charge will not actually be consumed if Ice Floes is cast in the last 500 milliseconds of a spell's cast time.

5.

Tier 3 (Level 45) Talents for Frost Mage

Incanter's Flow Incanter's Flow Mirror Image Mirror Image Rune of Power Rune of Power

Tier 3 talents are focused on providing the player a consistent damage increase.

  • Incanter's Flow Icon Incanter's Flow increases your damage between 4% and 20%, cycling every 10 seconds.
  • Mirror Image Icon Mirror Image creates 3 copies of yourself which damage enemies and last 40 seconds.
  • Rune of Power Icon Rune of Power places a small zone which increases the damage you do by 40% for 10 seconds. This ability has a 40-second cooldown, with 2 charges.

Incanter's Flow Icon Incanter's Flow is the best talent in virtually all situations. There is a DPS gain if you can time Glacial Spike Icon Glacial Spike impacts at 5 stacks, and is functionally DPS-neutral to holding for Brain Freeze Icon Brain Freeze, if it impacts at 4 stacks. Otherwise, there is no use in trying to game it for proc usage.

Mirror Image Icon Mirror Image should not be used in most cases. There is a potentially rare use case involving the threat fade effect on it that can be useful for soloing hard hitting mobs, or extremely low tank DPS making threat actually matter.

Rune of Power Icon Rune of Power offers superior burst but worse average output than Incanter's Flow Icon Incanter's Flow.

6.

Tier 4 (Level 60) Talents for Frost Mage

Frozen Touch Frozen Touch Chain Reaction ? Chain Reaction Ebonbolt Ebonbolt

Frozen Touch Icon Frozen Touch is a multiplicative increase to the proc rates on Frostbolt Icon Frostbolt, not additive. That is to say, Fingers of Frost Icon Fingers of Frost becomes 18% from 15%, not 35%. Brain Freeze Icon Brain Freeze similarly goes to 30% from 25%, rather than 45%. Almost exactly the same DPS as Ebonbolt Icon Ebonbolt, so pick whichever feels better personally.

Chain Reaction Icon Chain Reaction is functionally Magtheridon's Banished Bracers Icon Magtheridon's Banished Bracers that only works on frozen impacts. The worst option of the three for single target, but not a bad choice for cleave.

Ebonbolt Icon Ebonbolt works either as a self-contained Shatter Icon Shatter combo talent, or an emergency Brain Freeze Icon Brain Freeze proc when talented for Glacial Spike Icon Glacial Spike. It cleaves when talented for Splitting Ice Icon Splitting Ice. Almost exactly the same DPS as Frozen Touch Icon Frozen Touch, so pick whichever feels better personally.

7.

Tier 5 (Level 75) Talents for Frost Mage

Frigid Winds ? Frigid Winds Ice Ward ? Ice Ward Ring of Frost ? Ring of Frost
  • Frigid Winds Icon Frigid Winds causes all your chilling effects to reduce the target's movement speed by an additional 15%.
  • Ice Ward Icon Ice Ward gives Frost Nova Icon Frost Nova 2 charges.
  • Ring of Frost Icon Ring of Frost places a ring that can freeze up to 10 targets for 10 seconds at the targeted location, broken by damage.

None of these talents have use for raiding in most situations. There are rare times where a well timed and placed Ring of Frost Icon Ring of Frost can be used as a pseudo-interrupt, much like a stun can be. Beyond that, Frigid Winds Icon Frigid Winds can be of use on Necrotic Mythic+ weeks, allowing your tanks to get away to drop stacks easier. With Frigid Winds, Frost commands the most powerful AoE slow in the game through Cone of Cold Icon Cone of Cold. Keep in mind some encounters or Mythic+ affixes will not want you to slow as much, such as Sanguine.

8.

Tier 6 (Level 90) Talents for Frost Mage

Freezing Rain ? Freezing Rain Splitting Ice Splitting Ice Comet Storm ? Comet Storm
  • Freezing Rain Icon Freezing Rain makes any Blizzard Icon Blizzard casts in the 12 seconds following a Frozen Orb Icon Frozen Orb cast instant, while increasing the damage of those instant Blizzards by 50%.
  • Splitting Ice Icon Splitting Ice causes Ice Lance Icon Ice Lance, Glacial Spike Icon Glacial Spike, Ebonbolt Icon Ebonbolt, and Mastery: Icicles Icon Mastery: Icicles to cleave a target within 8 yards of the center of the primary target's hitbox for 80% of the primary damage. This copied spell has its own Critical Strike rolls.
  • Comet Storm Icon Comet Storm drops 7 comets around the cast target after 1 second. Each has a 6 yard radius splash, dealing full damage to all enemies in range.

Freezing Rain Icon Freezing Rain is best utilized in heavy, consistent AoE situations. This talent will be the go-to for 5+ target situations.

Splitting Ice Icon Splitting Ice is incredibly strong in all situations, due to how Flash Freeze Icon Flash Freeze calculates its damage bonus. Keep in mind that Flurry Icon Flurry will only hit 1 target, so if the mobs are able to be rooted, Freeze Icon Freeze can be utilized to grant Shatter Icon Shatter to both primary and cleave targets when talented for Glacial Spike Icon Glacial Spike and Ebonbolt Icon Ebonbolt.

Comet Storm Icon Comet Storm has fallen out of use due to lack of Mastery scaling, although it retains a niche in scenarios you do not want cleave, such as any boss with a mind control or universal hostility mechanic. It produces some impressive AoE burst, but generally falls behind Splitting Ice Icon Splitting Ice in multi-target sustained damage. If you need to kill a large AoE pack quickly, it is possible to drop Comet Storm and then Freeze Icon Freeze everything as the comets impact. This should allow most of them to benefit from Shatter Icon Shatter, producing even higher burst.

9.

Tier 7 (Level 100) Talents for Frost Mage

Thermal Void Thermal Void Ray of Frost Ray of Frost Glacial Spike Glacial Spike
  • Thermal Void Icon Thermal Void extends your Icy Veins Icon Icy Veins by 10 seconds and an additional 1 second every time you cast a frozen Ice Lance Icon Ice Lance while it is active.
  • Ray of Frost Icon Ray of Frost is a 5 second channeled ability that ramps up in damage and slowing power by 10% every tick. Generates 2 Fingers of Frost Icon Fingers of Frost over the course of the channel.
  • Glacial Spike Icon Glacial Spike is an active ability that requires and consumes all 5 of your Mastery: Icicles Icon Mastery: Icicles to cast. It deals large amount of damage, plus all the damage from your stored Icicles. However, Ice Lance Icon Ice Lance no longer launches Icicles. Glacial Spike Icon Glacial Spike also freezes the target in place for 4 seconds. Will cleave if talented into Splitting Ice Icon Splitting Ice.

Thermal Void Icon Thermal Void is a passive that is not competitive currently. Being passive, there is not much you can do to influence it.

Ray of Frost Icon Ray of Frost is simply a button you press on cooldown with the sole condition of do not hit it while Frozen Orb Icon Frozen Orb is ticking, so the Fingers of Frost Icon Fingers of Frost it generates do not go to waste.

Glacial Spike Icon Glacial Spike is the optimal talent for all realistic DPS scenarios. Due to Glacial Spike functionally allowing you to force-Critical Strike a batch of Icicles, you want every cast to Shatter Icon Shatter, or impact the target at 5 stacks of Incanter's Flow Icon Incanter's Flow. The former is achieved by never casting it without a Brain Freeze Icon Brain Freeze ready and casting, in order: Glacial Spike, then Flurry Icon Flurry.

10.

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 PvP is outside the scope of this guide, only the offensive talents will be listed here.

  • Chilled to the Bone Icon Chilled to the Bone does not proc upon breaking Frost Nova Icon Frost Nova and Freeze Icon Freeze with damage, only upon expiration or dispel. Avoid unless you have a habit of letting freezes expire without hitting them, and even then, that is leaving Shatter Icon Shatter openings empty.
  • Frostbite Icon Frostbite is a good general purpose contender. It allows you to Shatter Icon Shatter more often.
  • Deep Shatter Icon Deep Shatter is also a good general purpose contender, especially paired with Frostbite Icon Frostbite, simply through occasionally stronger Frostbolt Icon Frostbolts.
  • Concentrated Coolness Icon Concentrated Coolness is amazing and could be argued the only mandatory Honour Talent. Increasing Frozen Orb Icon Frozen Orb by 10% and allowing precise placement, this will destroy entire packs of mobs.
  • Burst of Cold Icon Burst of Cold can be situationally useful if you are playing close to mobs or prefer to pull large amounts of mobs. It turns Cone of Cold Icon Cone of Cold into a pretty deadly AoE burst.
  • Ice Form Icon Ice Form is a fairly short cooldown, useful if you find yourself never actually hitting Icy Veins Icon Icy Veins while out in the world due to wanting to "save" it for any reason. Has some good synergy with Deep Shatter Icon Deep Shatter, but requires you to have multiple freeze cooldowns lined up.

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.

The exception to this is Temporal Shield Icon Temporal Shield, which can be used in instanced PvE via the Essence Conflict and Strife Icon Conflict and Strife. However, since this is a defensive ability rather than DPS one, it is almost never used in PvE.

11.

Frozen Orb Build Talents

This talent set is for the Frozen Orb build.

11.1.

Frozen Orb Talent Cheat Sheet

The goal of the talents are to optimize Ice Lance Icon Ice Lance damage in the 14-second window provided by Packed Ice Icon Packed Ice. The practical differences between Freezing Rain Icon Freezing Rain, Splitting Ice Icon Splitting Ice, Thermal Void Icon Thermal Void, and Ray of Frost Icon Ray of Frost are sub-1% on single target, and change around depending on an obscene amount of variables. Pick whichever feels best to you, as long as Splitting Ice Icon Splitting Ice is taken on multi-target.

Incanter's Flow Icon Incanter's Flow can be substituted for Rune of Power Icon Rune of Power, but at about a 3% loss on both single and multi-target. It is a valid option if you cannot play Rune of Power, but something that should be avoided in most cases.

12.

Changelog

  • 09 Aug. 2019: No Ice Lance has become the default.
  • 11 Jul. 2019: Added a note about Temporal Shield/Conflict and Strife.
  • 24 Jun. 2019: Removed Uldir notes.
  • 12 May 2019: Added Frozen Orb build talent information.
  • 26 Apr. 2019: Added note to Shimmer talent description.
  • 14 Apr. 2019: This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 10 Mar. 2019: Added no Ice Lance rotation talent information.
  • 10 Dec. 2018: Corrected Concentrated Coolness' damage bonus, updated for Patch 8.1.
  • 13 Aug. 2018: Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 06 Aug. 2018: Corrected Glacial Spike mechanic misunderstanding, updated Concentrated Coolness.
  • 19 Jul. 2018: Updated for recent hotfix buffs.
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