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Frost Mage PvP Rotation and Playstyle (BfA / Patch 8.3)

Last updated on Feb 11, 2020 at 07:52 by Mysticall 3 comments

PvP requires you to perform various actions in the course of a duel, match, or battleground: interrupting/silencing enemies, damaging them, bursting them down, defending yourself, keeping yourself alive, etc.. It is a game mode that fully utilizes your kit, especially spells that are rarely used in PvE. On this page, we go through all the spells you need to use in PvP as a Frost Mage, how you should use them, and we explain what your playstyle should be.

This page is part of our Frost Mage PvP Guide.

1.

Playstyle for Frost Mages

Frost Mages have two important roles in a 3v3 environment.

  • The first role that Frost Mages have is crowd control. They not only have strong kiting tools for getting away from enemies, but they have strong tools to also cast and get crowd control on enemy players. Polymorph Icon Polymorph, the major Frost Mage crowd control, can be used offensively (when trying to get a kill) or defensively (when trying to keep a teammate alive).
  • The second role a Frost Mage has is having strong burst cooldowns. With relatively short major cooldowns, Frost Mages can apply a lot of pressure on a team in a short amount of time.

For more information about team compositions, see our Arena compositions page for Frost Mages.

1.1.

Before Gates Open

Be prepared to be the focus of many teams. This can be frustrating and make people shy away from Frost. That said, Frost Mages have a lot of utility to get away from enemy teams, so make sure to use this to your advantage. Make sure to use Arcane Intellect Icon Arcane Intellect on your teammates. It can be dispelled by abilities like Purge Icon Purge or Spellsteal Icon Spellsteal, so be prepared to apply it often.

1.2.

Crowd Control

This is where the Frost Mage has always shined in PvP. There is no other class/spec that can crowd control a team as well as a Frost Mage can, not to mention the large amount of utility at their disposal.

At the beginning of a match, you can use Invisibility Icon Invisibility and open with a Polymorph Icon Polymorph on the enemy healer. If they manage to get behind a pillar, you can Shimmer Icon Shimmer to their location and still get your Polymorph off.

2.

Offensive Rotation

Before we talk about rotation, it is relevant to quickly go over how Icicles work, since this is integral to the Frost Mage offensive playstyle.

The Frost Mage Mastery (Mastery: Icicles Icon Mastery: Icicles) causes each Frostbolt Icon Frostbolt or Flurry Icon Flurry you cast to generate an Icicle, which is effectively a buff on you. Each Icicle "stores up" a part of the damage of the Frostbolt Icon Frostbolt or Flurry Icon Flurry that created it, and you can have up to 5 Icicles at any given time.

When you use Ice Lance Icon Ice Lance, all the stored up Icicles will be fired at the target, resulting in a burst of damage.

2.1.

The Opener

The opener refers to your team's opening crowd control chain and damage done as soon as you get out of the gates. The main goal in the opener is to force your enemies to use their cooldowns. If the enemy healer uses their trinket in the opener, they are in trouble. With the amount of crowd control and damage that Mages have, you can force cooldowns (trinkets and defensives) without having to use any cooldowns.

  1. Start the arena by using Invisibility Icon Invisibility.
  2. Cast Polymorph Icon Polymorph on the enemy healer (if you are focusing the enemy healer, Polymorph a DPS that can heal/peel for the healer).
  3. Build up Icicles by casting Frostbolt Icon Frostbolt.
  4. When you have 5 Icicles built up, use your burst rotation (see below).
2.2.

Burst Damage

When you have the enemy healer in crowd control and you are trying to kill an enemy, you should use your burst damage.

To guarantee the most damaging Icicles, you want to make sure that the Icicles you have stored up were created by Frostbolt Icon Frostbolts against frozen targets. Also make sure that if you are swapping or attacking someone with more than 80% health and using the Breath of the Dying Icon Breath of the Dying Major essence, you should use that first to get the cooldown reduction on it.

2.3.

Sustained damage

Sustained damage is damage you do when your burst cooldowns are not available. When they are on cooldown, you want to be doing a combination of crowd control and generating icicles. Use Cone of Cold Icon Cone of Cold and Polymorph Icon Polymorphs to control the enemy team. At the same time, you want to generate icicles by casting Frostbolt Icon Frostbolts. Use Ray of Frost Icon Ray of Frost if an enemy overextends or is trying to kite your team's damage. If you do get a full Polymorph Icon Polymorph on the enemy healer and you have no burst cooldowns, start casting Ebonbolt Icon Ebonbolt. This will give you a free Brain Freeze Icon Brain Freeze and will deal a large amount of damage. Use Memory of Lucid Dreams Icon Memory of Lucid Dreams if you are using the Major Essence and do not have many Icicles before using your next Ice Lance Icon Ice Lance. Use Reaping Flames Icon Reaping Flames if you are using this Major essence and the enemy is above 80% health or below 20% health.

2.4.

Shatter Combinations

A crucial part of Frost Mage damage is dealing damage to targets that are Frozen. The reason you want to deal damage to targets that are Frozen is because of your passive, Shatter Icon Shatter. Aside from Fingers of Frost Icon Fingers of Frost, you have three abilities that can freeze a target: Freeze Icon Freeze, Ice Nova Icon Ice Nova, and Frost Nova Icon Frost Nova. Additionally, Flurry Icon Flurry can apply Winter's Chill Icon Winter's Chill. Below are a few examples of how to use your Shatter Icon Shatter passive to maximize your damage.

2.5.

Defensive Techniques

Ice Block Icon Ice Block is your main defensive ability. If you have run out of Shimmer Icon Shimmers and have no other ways to kite or survive, use this spell. This will protect you from all damage.

A Mage's crowd control is effectively a defensive technique for them. If the enemy team is using their offensive cooldowns, you can kite them by using Cone of Cold Icon Cone of Cold or by casting Polymorph Icon Polymorph and Shimmer Icon Shimmering away. Moreover, you can use Frost Nova Icon Frost Nova to root the target, which is very effective when playing against melee.

Cold Snap Icon Cold Snap is a very important defensive ability. It resets the cooldown on several Frost Mage abilities, the most important one to note being Ice Block Icon Ice Block. This means the enemy team will have to go through two of your Ice Blocks to kill you, which makes you very hard to kill.

Ice Barrier Icon Ice Barrier is best used when the enemy team is focusing you down. If you use it preemptively, it runs the risk of being dispelled by an enemy (such as an Enhancement Shaman), or of being the target of Spellsteal Icon Spellsteal.

Temporal Shield Icon Temporal Shield is one of the best defensive cooldowns Mages have. Use this when you are being focused and when at high health; the reason for using it at high health is that a great part of this spell is the 6-second buff it applies to you to heal back the damage you have sustained — if you are at low health, you will probably die before you are able to benefit from the HoT.

3.

Macros

It is advised to use Macros to use abilities on enemies or allies without having to target them. For this reason, we have a page dedicated to them.

4.

Changelog

  • 11 Feb. 2020: Updated Burst and Sustained damage rotations.
  • 20 Jan. 2020: This page was checked for Patch 8.3 and no update was deemed necessary.
  • 26 Dec. 2019: Page added.
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