Frost Mage DPS Spell Summary — Shadowlands 9.0.2
On this page, we present you with all spells and procs that you need to understand as a Frost Mage in World of Warcraft — Shadowlands 9.0.2.
If you were looking for WoW Classic content, please refer to our Classic DPS Mage spells.
Frost Mage Spell Summary
If you are new to Frost, it is recommended you read this before proceeding! In this section we will discuss what abilities you have, what they are used for within the specialization, and how they interact with important cooldowns. For extra tips on utilizing certain spells, particularly ground-target effects, check our Macro section:
Main Resource for Frost Mage
Frost Mage does not rely on a primary resource. Like the other Mage specs you have a Mana bar, however, Frost relies more on generating procs through your basic spells to fuel damage output. A notable exception to this is Arcane Explosion. It has a very high Mana cost, and you should take care to not drop too low while utilizing it for AoE, lest you be unable to DPS.
Basic Abilities for Frost Mage
These abilities are available no matter what talents you chose, and form the bread and butter of this specialization.
Frostbolt is your main filler. While Frostbolt does fairly weak damage on its own, it is essential to your overall damage output as it triggers both of your important procs, Brain Freeze and Fingers of Frost, and is also the primary source of Mastery: Icicles.
Ice Lance is an instant cast nuke that deals solid damage when it is empowered by Fingers of Frost. Ice Lance should generally only be cast when the target is considered frozen, aside from as a last-ditch movement spell.
Flurry is a nuke with a lengthy cast time. The Brain Freeze proc allows this cast to be instant while also dealing 50% more damage, and as such Flurry should only be cast while Brain Freeze is active.
Frozen Orb travels forwards in the direction you are facing, slowing drastically when it first deals damage. The orb generates 1 charge of Fingers of Frost on initial impact, and has a 10% chance to generate Fingers of Frost each time it ticks. This ability deals moderate single target damage, where it is primarily used for generating Fingers of Frost procs, and heavy AoE damage.
How all of these fit together in a rotation can be found on the Rotation page, and at what level you obtain them can be found on the Leveling page:
Talented DPS Abilities for Frost Mage
Alongside the basic spells, you can spec into certain extra spells. This section will outline the ones relevant to DPS.
Ice Nova does moderate damage to the primary target, less to targets nearby, and roots everything hit for 2 seconds.
Focus Magic applies a buff to an ally for 30 minutes. During this time, any time they Critically Strike a spell, you gain 5% Critical Strike chance and Intellect for 10 seconds.
Ebonbolt is a hard hitting spell that generates a Brain Freeze proc. This proc should be utilized immediately after the Ebonbolt cast, so that Ebonbolt gains the benefit of Winter's Chill. This will cleave with Splitting Ice.
Comet Storm is a very small radius AoE effect centered on your current target. The comets will drop around the primary target, meaning that secondary targets may be missed if they are slightly too far away, or the primary target's hitbox is too large.
Ray of Frost is a 5 second channel that deals heavy damage, with both damage and slow magnitude increasing each tick. It generates 2 Fingers of Frost procs, one at the half way point and one at the end, over the duration.
Glacial Spike is an ability that combines a heavy hitting spell with your Mastery: Icicles to create an even larger spell. It will root targets for 4 seconds if they can be rooted. This will cleave with Splitting Ice.
The rest of the talents, and more detailed information on their usage can be found on our Talent page:
Important Procs for Frost Mage
Fingers of Frost is your main source of burst damage output. Fingers of Frost has a 15% chance to proc off of Frostbolt and 10% chance off of Frozen Orb. Fingers of Frost causes your next Ice Lance to be considered frozen, granting both the triple damage bonus of Ice Lance and benefit from Shatter.
Brain Freeze has a 30% chance to proc off of a Frostbolt cast, and causes your next Flurry to be an instant, deal 50% extra damage, and apply 2 stacks of Winter's Chill per bolt impact, to a maximum of 2. Winter's Chill causes the target to behave as if it was frozen, allowing you to benefit from Shatter. You should follow up your Brain Freeze-buffed Flurry casts with 2 Ice Lances to exploit this.
DPS Cooldowns for Frost Mage
Icy Veins increases your Haste by 30% for 20 seconds. This is your main DPS cooldown and is generally best used on cooldown.
Time Warp increases Haste by 30% for 40 seconds for all party and raid members within 100 yards. This ability debuffs everyone with a debuff that prevents the possibility of benefiting from Time Warp, Shaman's Heroism and Bloodlust, or Hunter's Primal Rage for the next 10 minutes.
Defensive Cooldowns for Frost Mage
Ice Barrier is a shield that is worth 22% of your maximum Health, increased by Versatility. This is a very low cooldown when compared to other classes that have a functional Health boost, and a very good button to hit if you are moving without procs available.
Ice Block will freeze you solid, making you immune to just about everything. This will also clear most debuffs. Ice Block is best served to either soak a mechanic that would otherwise kill someone, or used as a last-ditch effort to prevent your death.
Mirror Image is an interesting defensive. It temporarily drops your current threat value by -90 million, making it so that you cannot pull threat while active. In addition, while any images remain active, you take 20% reduced damage from everything. Taking direct, single target damage will cause one of your images to fade away, on a 2-second cooldown. At minimum, this means Mirror Image is a 6 second 20% damage reduction if you are being focused down. At best, it is 40 seconds of 20% damage reduction, incredibly strong for a 2-minute cooldown.
Alter Time is a hybrid defensive/mobility ability. When activated, your current location and health amount are snapshotted. For the next 10 seconds, or until you activate the ability again, you can move anywhere within 100 yards, and take as much damage as you can before dying. When it expires or you reactivate it, you are instantly transported to the state you were when you started. This allows for some powerful positional gameplay when you have to take a debuff out of the raid, and also is useful in keeping you alive through large hits that you know are coming. Alter Time is one of the most powerful utility cooldowns in the entire game, so you should find new and interesting ways to abuse it.
- 23 Nov. 2020: Updated for Shadowlands launch. Added information about Alter Time.
- 12 Oct. 2020: Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
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