Frost Mage PvP Rotation and Playstyle (Dragonflight 10.2.7)

Last updated on May 07, 2024 at 11:20 by Pherix 17 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.


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). You can utilize your Frost Nova Icon Frost Novas and other roots to maximize kiting potential during matches.
  • The second role of a Frost Mage is to apply pressure. With relatively long major cooldowns, Frost Mages can apply a lot of pressure on a team in a short amount of time.
  • As at the writing of this guide for Dragonflight, it is highly speculated Frost Mage will continue to have very strong casted sustained damage through Frostbolt Icon Frostbolts. There are many new modifiers in the talent tree that grant it very large damage; however, with some new changes, Frost Mage will likely also focus more on Shatter Icon Shatter and Fingers of Frost Icon Fingers of Frost to deal some reliable damage to the enemy.

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


Before Gates Open

Set a table for your team. Mage food actually restores health and Mana faster than normal food and water from vendors. Use Invisibility Icon Invisibility to guarantee your opener without any interruptions.

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.

It is also important to note that you can use Remove Curse Icon Remove Curse to remove spells like Hex Icon Hex or Agony Icon Agony.

One of the strongest utilizations of the Frost Mage toolkit is the slows and roots that it offers. Using these offensively or defensively, Frost Mages can control the battlefield, rooting enemies who are retreating in the middle of the map or using slows such as Cone of Cold Icon Cone of Cold or Frost Nova Icon Frost Nova as a strong root to escape enemies with offensive cooldowns up. It is often the goal for Frost Mages to play 30 to 40 yards in max casting range, ensuring there is significant amounts of space to LoS or kite.


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. Being able to rotate Polymorph Icon Polymorphs and your roots, Frost Mage does very well at controlling the enemy team and slowing their attacks. Also added for Frost Mage in Dragonflight is the infamous Dragon's Breath Icon Dragon's Breath allowing for Frost Mages to chain Dragon's Breath Icon Dragon's Breath into Polymorph Icon Polymorph or Ring of Frost Icon Ring of Frost.

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. You can use your Frost Nova Icon Frost Nova and other roots to slow down the enemy team. Your main damage spell, Frostbolt Icon Frostbolt, also applies a slow to enemies, same with Cone of Cold Icon Cone of Cold, Blizzard Icon Blizzard and Frozen Orb Icon Frozen Orb. With some of the new talents coming in Dragonflight, such as Slow Icon Slow, you are also able to have an instant-cast AoE slow to all enemies, allowing for strong kiting potential throughout matches.


Offensive Rotation


Shatter Combinations

Before going into the damage rotation, understanding how to maximize your "Shatters" and how to create space and pressure for your team.

A crucial part of Frost Mage damage is dealing damage to targets that are Frozen. This is because of your passive, Shatter Icon Shatter, which makes it so your Frost spells will critically strike versus frozen targets. 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. Frostbite Icon Frostbite can also randomly root enemies, making them susceptible to being shattered. With new talents such as Freezing Cold Icon Freezing Cold, Cone of Cold Icon Cone of Cold also becomes a shatter effect that you can use offensively or defensively.

  1. Using Frost Nova Icon Frost Nova. Frost Nova is an easy way to secure early shatters on enemies.
    • Cast Frostbolt Icon Frostbolt on them if you are far from their range.
  2. Using Freeze Icon Freeze. If you are not playing the Lonely Winter Icon Lonely Winter regular talent, you will have access to your Water Elemental. This will also give you the ability to use your pet's Freeze ability.
    • Start casting Frostbolt Icon Frostbolt. Right when the cast is about to end, you want to use Freeze Icon Freeze on the enemy you are casting Frostbolt on.
  3. Using Ice Nova Icon Ice Nova. If you are using the Ice Nova regular talent, the technique is similar to what you would do with your Water Elemental's Freeze ability.
    • Start casting Frostbolt Icon Frostbolt. Right when the cast ends, use Ice Nova Icon Ice Nova on the enemy you are casting Frostbolt on.
  4. Using Winter's Chill Icon Winter's Chill. Winter's Chill gets placed on a target after you use an instant Flurry with a Brain Freeze Icon Brain Freeze proc. This makes it so your target takes damage as if they were Frozen, even if they are not Frozen.
    • Cast Frostbolt Icon Frostbolts until you get a Brain Freeze Icon Brain Freeze proc.
    • Use Flurry Icon Flurry. This will place Winter's Chill Icon Winter's Chill on your target. Winter's Chill puts 2 charges of it on the enemy.
    • Cast Frostbolt Icon Frostbolt (or Ice Lance Icon Ice Lance if you do not want to spend time casting).
    • Use Fingers of Frost Icon Fingers of Frost procs often for instant-cast Ice Lance Icon Ice Lances to combo damage quickly.

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. Use Arcane Explosion Icon Arcane Explosion to try to get an enemy out of stealth if they still have not opened after your Invisibility has expired.
  3. Cast Polymorph Icon Polymorph on the enemy healer (if you are focusing on the enemy healer, Polymorph a DPS that can heal/peel for the healer).
  4. When you have Fingers of Frost Icon Fingers of Frost procs, use your burst rotation (see below).

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.

  • Place Frozen Orb Icon Frozen Orb on the group to cleave and begin acquiring Fingers of Frost Icon Fingers of Frost procs.
  • Place Blizzard Icon Blizzard over it to reset the cooldown of your Orb.
  • Use Icy Veins Icon Icy Veins
  • Use the procs from Freezing Cold Icon Freezing Cold to chain Ice Lance Icon Ice Lance to deal heavy sustained instant cast damage.
  • Outside of your Frozen Orb Icon Frozen Orb damage every minute, utilize the Glacial Spike combo, or weave in Ring of Fire Icon Ring of Fire for high, consistent damage.
  • If running Ray of Frost Icon Ray of Frost, you can shatter this via Freeze Icon Freeze, or Flurry Icon Flurry, to ensure the ticks of Ray of Frost critical strike and deal significant damage.
  • Combo Glacial Spike Icon Glacial Spike with Ice Nova Icon Ice Nova, cast directly after the Glacial is in the air to shatter a large portion of damage
  • Use Blizzard Icon Blizzard if the enemy team is completely behind the pillar. Every time Blizzard deals damage, it reduces the cooldown of Frozen Orb.
  • Use Fire Blast Icon Fire Blast if you get locked out on Frost and want to deal instant damage.
  • As of Patch 10.2, it will be very important to line up windows to cast Glacial Spike Icon Glacial Spike, often attempt to use this ability when you are far away and the enemy cannot stop the cast. Combine this cast with one of the Mage's Shatters such as Ice Nova Icon Ice Nova or applying a Flurry Icon Flurry.
  • If you are playing the strong Frostbolt Icon Frostbolt build, this is how to set it up.
  • Start by obtaining a Brain Freeze Icon Brain Freeze proc to cast with your Frostbolt Icon Frostbolts.
  • Use Blood Fury Icon Blood Fury (if you are an Orc).
  • Use Frozen Orb Icon Frozen Orb.
  • Begin casting Frostbolt Icon Frostbolt, and as soon as the cast finishes, use Flurry Icon Flurry with the Brain Freeze Icon Brain Freeze proc to shatter the Frostbolt Icon Frostbolt.
  • Continue to cast Frostbolt Icon Frostbolts with as many Brain Freeze Icon Brain Freeze procs until Ice Form Icon Ice Form ends. With this build of Frost,you are able to consistently cast and shatter large Frostbolt Icon Frostbolts for large quantities of the enemy's health.

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 kiting. There will often be a lot of downtime during matches where you are using your CC like Polymorph Icon Polymorph and slows to stop the enemy team.

  • Often utilize hard roots such as Frost Nova Icon Frost Nova, Freeze Icon Freeze, Cone of Cold Icon Cone of Cold when talented into Freezing Cold Icon Freezing Cold to get quick shatters on the enemy. If you are at range and can shatter a Frostbolt Icon Frostbolt it will deal more damage than a shattered Ice Lance Icon Ice Lance, but Ice Lance is very nice for instant strong damage.
  • Use Cone of Cold Icon Cone of Cold, Frost Nova Icon Frost Nova, and Polymorph Icon Polymorph to control the enemy team.
  • Use Blizzard Icon Blizzard if the enemy team is completely behind the pillar. Every time Blizzard deals damage, it reduces the cooldown of Frozen Orb.
  • Use Fire Blast Icon Fire Blast if you get locked out on Frost and want to deal instant damage.
    • Something to note is that Fire Blast can be used to "Totem Stomp." What this means is that you can use it to kill Shaman totems that are placed down. For example, if you see a Skyfury Totem Icon Skyfury Totem, you can instantly kill it with Fire Blast.

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.

Alter Time Icon Alter Time may seem like a confusing ability at first, but it is really straightforward. The first time you press this ability, it remembers how much health you have and your location. The second time you press it, it will return to the same location with the exact health you had when you first pressed it. This should be used when you feel like you are about to take damage or about to be stunned.

Although Mirror Image Icon Mirror Image deals damage and slows enemies, it should primarily be used as a defensive cooldown. While the images are active, you take 20% less damage. Taking direct damage will break 1 of the 3 mirrors. If the images stay alive for the entire duration, you will get this damage reduction for 40 seconds! Use this when you do not have Alter Time, and you see the enemy using their burst cooldowns.

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. Do not forget to use Shimmer Icon Shimmer as well to kite away from enemies and LoS.

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 a Shaman or Priest) or of being the target of Spellsteal Icon Spellsteal. Often attempt to use this off cooldown, however, to maximize mitigating incoming damage.

Blast Wave Icon Blast Wave returns in Dragonflight, allowing for Mages to receive a knockback. Use this when melee has connected you with heavy damage cooldowns , or you need to kite and run. Talented into the Volatile Detonation Icon Volatile Detonation talent allows Blast Wave Icon Blast Wave to send enemies extremely far away and can even be used to knock off maps like Blade's Edge or Mugambala.



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.



  • 07 May 2024: Reviewed for 10.2.7.
  • 22 Apr. 2024: Reviewed for Season 4.
  • 18 Mar. 2024: Reviewed for Patch 10.2.6.
  • 15 Jan. 2024: Reviewed for Patch 10.2.5.
  • 06 Nov. 2023: Updated for Patch 10.2
  • 04 Sep. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.1.7
  • 10 Jul. 2023: Updated for Patch 10.1.5
  • 09 May 2023: Updated for Dragonflight Patch 10.1.
  • 21 Mar. 2023: Updated for Patch 10.0.7.
  • 30 Jan. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.0.5.
  • 11 Dec. 2022: Updated for Dragonflight Season 1.
  • 22 Nov. 2022: Updated for Dragonflight Pre-patch.
  • 31 May 2022: Reviewed for Patch 9.2.5.
  • 28 Feb. 2022: Page reviewed and approved for Patch 9.2.
  • 17 Nov. 2021: Page reviewed for Patch 9.1.5.
  • 04 Jul. 2021: Updated for Patch 9.1 of Shadowlands.
  • 19 Mar. 2021: Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 23 Dec. 2020: Updated for Shadowlands.
  • 14 Oct. 2020: Updated for Shadowlands pre-patch.
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