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WOW: Frost Mage guide (7.1)

Our continuously updated guide to the Frost Mage specialisation in WOW Legion.

Posted in Class guides Tagged with Mage By Luis Magalhães Published

The Frost Mage is one of World of Warcraft’s specialized ranged DPS classes, and in this Frost Mage guide, we’ll show you the best way to customize and pilot it for smooth performance in levelling, world-questing and running dungeons. While this specialisation is weaker than its Fire Mage counterpart when it comes to raw damage output, is is nevertheless very enjoyable to play, and reliable in every kind of combat situation too.

The main strength of the Frost Mage lies in its wide range of survivability options. A bounty of abilities that allow the class to freeze or slow down enemies means that it is very hard to land a hit on a Frost Mage that knows what their doing - a trait that can be a huge boon while questing on the open world or running dungeons - especially Mythic + dungeons with dangerous affixes - that require kiting enemies around.

As an aside, this is also a very fun class to play from a visual perspective, as most Ice spells feature very pretty effects and animations!

In this Frost Mage guide, we’re going to suggest a talent choice that is focused on being both simple to play and easy to learn, while at the same time helping you perform well as a damage-dealing role in dungeons, and enable you to level up and quest with ease. We’ll detail two rotations that are optimal for reaching these goals - one for dealing with a single target, and another for the situations in which you face multiple targets at once.

As the expansion progresses, this guide will be further updated with advice for developing your Artifact Weapon, as well as suggestions for optimal gearing of your Frost Mage.

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Frost Mage talent build

This is our advised Frost build, one that should be easy to pick up and play while performing well in most situations.

LevelTalent OptionReason for Choice
15Bone Chilling - Whenever you attempt to chill a target, you gain Bone Chilling, increasing all Frost damage you deal by 0.5% for 8 sec, stacking up to 12 times.A passive damage increase that will be applied as you perform your normal rotation.
30Shimmer - Takes Blink off the global cooldown and makes it usable while casting.Further adding to your mobility, this allows you to teleport around without sacrificing your casting ability.
45Incanter's Flow - Steadily increases the damage you deal while in combat, up to 20%, and then decreases to 4%. This cycle repeats every 10 seconds.This is a no-maintenance passive damage increase that fits perfectly with the average length of most fights.
60Frozen Touch - Gives you two charges of Fingers of Frost.This is one of your basic rotation tools, and will allow you to maximize the usage of your Frost Bomb / Ice Lance combo.
75Ice Floes - Enables you to cast while moving. This spell has 3 charges.Using this will allow you to move while performing your rotation, which is helpful when fighting stronger enemies.
90Frost Bomb - Places a Frost Bomb on the target for 12 seconds. Limited to 1 target. Your Ice Lances that benefit from Shatter will trigger the release of a wave of freezing ice, dealing high Frost damage to the target, as well as moderate Frost damage to all other enemies within 10 yards.This is a crucial part of our rotation, which is based on setting up combos between this ability and Ice Lance.
100Thermal Void - Your Ice Lances against frozen targets extend your Icy Veins by 2 sec.As our rotation is based on maximising Ice Lance usage, this talent will translate into a good time extension of Icy Veins, our major damage-increasing cooldown.

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Frost Mage rotation

The main goal of our rotation is to maximize the usage of Ice Lance, a cheap and quick spell that is quite weak by itself but can steadily increase in power under the right conditions. The rotation aims to create those conditions as quickly and as often as possible.

The first thing you need to do is generate Fingers of Frost buffs - these are gained randomly from your Frostbolt, or guaranteed if your Frostbolt lands at the same time as your pet Water Elemental’s spells.

You will also have spells at your disposal that instantly grant you charges. You can have up to two of those charges at a time, and casting Ice Lance consumes one, tripling the Lance’s damage. Before you do this, however, you should apply Frost Bomb on your target, as this will further empower Ice Lance.

Finally, your Frostbolt will also randomly generate Brain Freeze, yet another buff that will make one of your powerful damaging spells - Flurry - become an instant cast. More importantly, using Brain Freeze to cast Flurry will empower your next Ice Lance just as a charge of Fingers of Frost would. Act just as if you had one (and don’t use a Brain Freeze-empowered Flurry while you have a Fingers of Frost buff available, or it will be wasted).

Sounds complicated? Fear not! Here’s an easy, table-shaped cheat sheet.

Frost Mage rotation - Single target

ActionCondition / Further Instructions
1Icy VeinsIf you have 2 x Fingers of Frost buff.
2Frost BombIf you have 2 x Fingers of Frost buff or your target has the Winter’s Chill debuff.
3Ice LanceIf you have 2 x Fingers of Frost buff or your target has the Winter’s Chill debuff. (cast Frost Bomb first)
4Ebonbolt (lvl 100 Artifact ability)If you have no Fingers of Frost buffs.
5Frozen TouchIf you have no Fingers of Frost buffs.
6Frozen OrbIf you have 1 or less Fingers of Frost buffs.
7Water Jet (pet ability)If you have 1 or less Fingers of Frost buffs. You should make a key binding so you can tell your pet to use it on demand.
8FrostboltIf you have 1 or less Fingers of Frost buffs and your pet’s Water Jet is hitting your target.
9FlurryIf you have the Brain Freeze buff, and no Fingers of Frost buffs. (Feel free to spend any Fingers on steps 1-3 once you earn the Brain Freeze buff, and then cast this).
10FrostboltAs filler.
11Repeat from Step 1

Frost Mage rotation - Multiple targets

ActionCondition / Further Instructions
1Icy VeinsIf You have 2 x Fingers of Frost buff.
2Frost BombIf You have 2 x Fingers of Frost buff oryour target has the Winter’s Chill debuff.
3Ice LanceIf You have 2x Fingers of Frost buff or your target has the Winter’s Chill debuff. (Cast Frost Bomb first).
4Ebonbolt (lvl 100 Artifact ability)If you have no Fingers of Frost buffs.
5Frozen TouchIf you have no Fingers of Frost buffs.
6Frozen OrbIf you have 1 or less Fingers of Frost buffs.
7Freeze (pet ability)If you have 1 or less Fingers of Frost buffs. You should make a key binding so you can tell your pet to use it on demand.
8FrostboltIf you have 1 or less Fingers of Frost buffs and your target is frozen from your pet’s Freeze.
9FlurryIF you have the Brain Freeze buff, and no Fingers of Frost buffs. (Feel free to spend any Fingers on steps 1-3 once you earn the Brain Freeze buff, and then cast this).
10BlizzardAt 3+ targets.
11FrostboltAs filler.
12Repeat from Step 1

This concludes the first iteration of our Frost Mage guide. Stat / gear recommendations are coming soon with the next guide update. Expect some Artifact levelling suggestions in the near future, as well.

Please take to the comments below and let us know what you would like to see in future iterations of the guide! Your feedback is always appreciated.

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