Frost Mage DPS Spec, Builds, and Talents — Dragonflight 10.0.2

Last updated Yesterday at 12:20 by Kuni 100 comments
General Information

On this page, you will find out the best talents for each tier for your Frost Mage in World of Warcraft — Dragonflight 10.0.2. 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.

1.

Talent Builds for Frost Mage

1.1.

Single Target

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 Icon Tome of Rhonin and Tome of Antonidas Icon 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 Icon Shimmer or Ice Floes Icon 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.

Meteor Icon Meteor is marginally better than Shifting Power Icon Shifting Power on a single target so we take the middle and right paths at the bottom.

The spec tree is fairly straightforward. You get Thermal Void Icon Thermal Void and Hailstones Icon Hailstones.

1.2.

Cleave

The only difference from the single target tree is Ice Caller Icon Ice Caller and Freezing Rain Icon Freezing Rain over Frozen Touch Icon Frozen Touch and Deep Shatter Icon Deep Shatter. This variant should be taken on any fight you encounter significant cleave.

1.3.

Mythic+

More information about M+'s talent tree can be found on the M+ page:

2.

Mage Talents

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:

2.1.

Rows 1-4

Right out of the gate, Overflowing Energy Icon Overflowing Energy, and Rune of Power Icon 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 Icon Mirror Image and Alter Time Icon 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 Icon Spellsteal and Remove Curse Icon Remove Curse, you will have opened up the second section of the talent tree.

Alternatively, you can path around both Spellsteal Icon Spellsteal and Remove Curse Icon 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 Icon Mirror Image and Alter Time Icon 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.

2.2.

Rows 5-7

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 Icon Tome of Antonidas and Tome of Rhonin Icon 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 Icon Shimmer/Ice Floes Icon Ice Floes, as it links to both. You need to pick a utility point here. Mass Polymorph Icon Mass Polymorph is usually not a great pick in raiding, as crowd control is rarely needed. Slow Icon Slow is similarly fairly useless, although it does allow you access to a slow that lasts longer than Frost's spells. Quick Witted Icon 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 Icon Incantation of Swiftness turns Invisibility Icon Invisibility into an 80% sprint button. Master of Time Icon Master of Time gives a shorter cooldown to Alter Time Icon 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 Icon Arcane Warding or Tempest Barrier Icon Tempest Barrier are fantastic options.

Special note for Volatile Detonation Icon Volatile Detonation. Blast Wave Icon 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 Icon Reduplication/Reabsorption Icon 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 Icon Rigid Ice and Improved Frost Nova Icon 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 Icon Shatter, neither of which warrant taking them.

2.3.

Rows 8-10

The optimal play is going straight down the middle to the Time Anomaly Icon Time Anomaly/Temporal Warp Icon Temporal Warp choice node. Which of these you pick will depend on which encounter you are doing, and when Time Warp Icon Time Warp is popped. If it gets popped on the pull, Temporal Warp is the winner in most cases. Else, Time Anomaly.

Meteor Icon Meteor is taken in pure single target scenarios, and Shifting Power Icon Shifting Power in any multi-target scenarios. Displacement Icon Displacement is a nice mobility booster, but not required by any means.

Time Manipulation Icon Time Manipulation has the special distinction of being a potential AoE DPS increase, through lowering the cooldown of Ice Nova Icon Ice Nova, and Frost Nova Icon Frost Nova for Shatter Icon Shatter purposes.

Accumulative Shielding Icon Accumulative Shielding is particularly bad. If you have cast Ice Barrier Icon 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 Icon 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 Icon Shatter off of in a group environment.

3.

Frost Talents

3.1.

Rows 1-4

Mandatory talents everywhere! Take everything except for Frostbite Icon 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 Icon 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 Icon 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 Icon Fingers of Frost. This is an important talent, and you should not skip it.

3.2.

Rows 5-7

You want Icy Veins Icon Icy Veins, so this leads you down one of two sides. Left is single target, right is AoE.

Beyond that, Perpetual Winter Icon Perpetual Winter is a surprising DPS increase by allowing you a second charge of Flurry Icon Flurry and reducing the proc munching involved significantly. Bone Chilling Icon Bone Chilling is simply a 5% DPS gain for one point, an easy pick. For this guide, we are aiming at Hailstones Icon Hailstones, so grabbing both Flash Freeze Icon Flash Freeze and Splintering Cold Icon Splintering Cold will drastically increase Mastery's value.

Ice Caller Icon Ice Caller is a mandatory talent in multi-target and is your go-to build for any fight that has an extra add.

3.3.

Rows 8-10

You want Thermal Void Icon Thermal Void and Hailstones Icon Hailstones. Take Splitting Ice Icon Splitting Ice on your way to Hailstones, as the extra Icicle and Ice Lance Icon Ice Lance damage will benefit more than Ray of Frost Icon Ray of Frost even in single target.

Slick Ice Icon Slick Ice is a fairly nice boost to your primary target's damage. Freezing Winds Icon Freezing Winds is the best of a bad set of options, so it is usually taken in most builds.

Freezing Rain Icon Freezing Rain is also a mandatory multi-target talent and should be taken in the cleave build.

4.

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:

  • 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.
  • Concentrated Coolness Icon Concentrated Coolness is pretty great in theory but bugged at the time of writing. Increasing Frozen Orb Icon Frozen Orb by 10% and allowing precise placement of the spell, so that it is a stationary object rather than a moving one. However, it does not add the extra 2 seconds from Everlasting Frost Icon Everlasting Frost, losing 20% of your overall damage from the spell. Great if the bug gets fixed, awful otherwise.
  • 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. This will also drop Rune of Power Icon Rune of Power if talented into it, making the lowered cooldown very useful.
  • Ring of Fire Icon 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 Icon Frost Bomb is a great choice. A nice delayed burst AoE hit which can be Shatter Icon Shattered. However, it does not work with Subzero Icon Subzero at this time. Does not work with Ice Floes Icon Ice Floes.
  • Snowdrift Icon 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 Icon Ice Floes.

Ice Wall Icon 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.

5.

Changelog

  • 28 Nov. 2022: Updated for Dragonflight launch.
  • 24 Oct. 2022: Updated for Dragonflight pre-patch.
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