Frost Mage Guide for The War Within

Last updated on Jun 17, 2024 at 10:00 by Dutchmagoz 113 comments

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on the Frost Mage changes in World of Warcraft's latest expansion, "The War Within." This page is designed to help you navigate the new changes, optimize your gameplay, and get the most out of your Frost Mage in PvE environments.

In this guide, you'll find detailed breakdowns of the new Hero Talent Trees for Frost Mage. We'll explore the most significant updates, and offer insights into how these changes will impact your overall playstyle. Whether you're a veteran Frost Mage or new to the class, our goal is to equip you with the knowledge and tools needed to excel in "The War Within."


Frost Mage: The War Within Expansion Preview

Welcome to our War Within expansion guide for Frost Mage. Ahead of launch, this page will contain everything you need to know about the Frost Mage spec in the forthcoming The War Within expansion, including changes, Hero Talent Trees, and some light predictions on the state of the spec going into the expansion.

This page is a constantly evolving work in progress, with regular changes expected as updates hit the War Within beta. This is not meant to be a launch guide for Frost Mage, but instead serves as a resource for you to keep up to date with how the spec is evolving on Beta, and what you can expect from its playstyle and feel on launch.


The War Within Changes for Frost Mage


Core Changes

Frost Mage has gotten minimal changes. Ring of Frost Icon Ring of Frost and Ice Nova Icon Ice Nova are now a choice node, which is slightly annoying for the times you wished to have Ring. Dragon's Breath Icon Dragon's Breath has been moved to a more accessible location. Temporal Warp Icon Temporal Warp has finally been removed, with a passive 3% Intellect replacing it as the choice node against Time Anomaly Icon Time Anomaly.

On the Frost side of the tree, we have a few talents that are supposed to align with a non-Glacial Spike Icon Glacial Spike style of gameplay, but in practice try and force a Frostbolt Icon Frostbolt-centric playstyle. While the new tier set tries to prevent Frostbolt spam specifically, tuning will dictate if that is possible. Otherwise, the gameplay is the same as it is on live.


Systems Changes

While very little has changed for Frost Mage's core features, The War Within still has major implications for all specs thanks to the Hero Talent Tree system.

Frost Mage gets to choose between the Frostfire and Spellslinger Hero Talent Trees. In sections below, we will talk more deeply about the implications of these Hero Talent Trees for the spec.


Hero Talent Trees for Frost Mage in The War Within


Frostfire Hero Talents for Frost Mage

Frostfire Bolt Icon Frostfire Bolt returns after having been removed in Legion, as a replacement for Frostbolt Icon Frostbolt. The spec itself revolves around 14-second windows, in which you need to have 6 frost spells, and 6 fire spells cast within them to buff Ice Lance Icon Ice Lance and Flurry Icon Flurry. The fire spells are primarily handled by both Frostfire Bolt itself, which counts as both elements, and a small damage proc on a high RPPM that also counts as both elements.

Gameplay-wise, expect a mostly passive kit. This is a very flashy tree, but the gameplay is very similar to how Frost has played in the past. Most components of it do not need to be reacted to, and the procs that are attached to it are primarily passive improvements to your procs.

Power-wise, Frostfire has a fair bit of burst in the opener due to Comet Storm Icon Comet Storm dropping a Meteor Icon Meteor, and some Comet Storm Icon Comet Storm cooldown reduction on the Excess Frost Icon Excess Frost proc.

Defensively, you get the option of either another 5% health on your Ice Barrier Icon Ice Barrier, or to cast a full strength Blazing Barrier Icon Blazing Barrier at the end of your Ice Block Icon Ice Block/Ice Cold Icon Ice Cold. There is also a 30% cooldown reduction to Blast Wave Icon Blast Wave and Dragon's Breath Icon Dragon's Breath, which is a minor buff to our M+ kit.


Spellslinger Hero Talents for Frost Mage

Spellslinger, while passive seeming, adds an extra proc to the rotation. The entire tree revolves around Frost Splinter Icon Frost Splinters that are procced primarily from consuming Winter's Chill on any target. Once 8 are active, across all targets, they recall and fire at your current target, and apply Winter's Chill again.

Gameplay-wise, there are a lot more Winter's Chill windows. Additionally, each Frost Splinter Icon Frost Splinter from both the primary impact and the Splinterstorm Icon Splinterstorm effect have an ~1.6% chance to reset Frozen Orb Icon Frozen Orb.

Power-wise, this spec is going to depend greatly on future tuning. The current iteration seems to have been over-nerfed slightly due to a number of bugs involved with the current implementation, resulting in significantly more Frost Splinter Icon Frost Splinters and Winter's Chill procs than should be expected if working properly. However, the Frozen Orb Icon Frozen Orb reset is coupled with a Frozen Orb damage buff, that applies to all Orb ticks that happen while it is active. This is looking to be an amazing funnel tree.

Defensively, Spellslinger has a choice of either 5% more damage reduction attached to Mirror Image Icon Mirror Image, which is significant for how long a duration the spell lasts. It additionally adds a fourth image spawn, which in the rare situations where Reduplication Icon Reduplication actually works, adds another 10-second cooldown reduction to Mirror Image. The alternative is linear scaling on Ice Barrier Icon Ice Barrier, increasing in power another 50%, based on your health lost, with the most benefit when you are sub-50%. For any multi-hit or extended damage events, this is a fantastic boon that takes Ice Barrier up to 36% of your max health.


Frost Mage Tier Set in The War Within

Below are the Tier Set Bonuses for Frost Mage in The War Within. After the wording of the bonus, you will find a brief note/commentary that is italicized.

  • Mage Frost 11.0 Class Set 2pc Icon Mage Frost 11.0 Class Set 2pcIce Lance Icon Ice Lance damage increased by 8%.This is a nice passive buff that keeps Ice Lance in play for the current season.
  • Mage Frost 11.0 Class Set 4pc Icon Mage Frost 11.0 Class Set 4pcFingers of Frost Icon Fingers of Frost empowered Ice Lance Icon Ice Lance procs a small AoE effect. Entirely passive and extremely undertuned. We are talking less than 1% in single target contribution, and only about 8% in sustained AoE.

Both set bonuses are completely passive and will not have any gameplay impact.

How Good is the Frost Mage Tier Bonus in The War Within?

The 2p is fine, and in line with what a set bonus should provide throughput-wise. The 4p is tuned horrifically poorly, and unless it gets a buff, there is a large chance that we simply take better-optimized offpieces instead.


Frost Mage Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths icon Strengths
  • +Fair defensive additions via the Hero Talents.
  • +Some pretty nice funnel potential via Spellslinger.
  • +Core gameplay preserved for the most part, with the potential for GS-less options.
  • +No longer eating a huge DPS loss if a fight does not want Time Warp on pull.
Weaknesses icon Weaknesses
  • -Spellslinger's AoE talent is extremely difficult to optimize around.
  • -Forcing us to pick between Ring of Frost and Ice Nova is painful for the few scenarios Ring was desired.
  • -Frost-side talents are extremely locked in.
  • -Frost-side talents that got changed are rewarding Frostbolt spam, which means that most builds actually run out of things to spend points on that are useful.


  • 17 Jun. 2024: Page added.
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