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The Best Frost Mage PvE DPS build

The Best Frost Mage PvE DPS build

Check out one of the best Mages DPS builds in WoW based on the Frost specialization

Frost Mage PvE DPS Build
Odealo's Pocket Guide
Updated for Patch 8.2.0

You can find all our Pocket Guides for other World of Warcraft classes right here: Best WoW Builds

Spec Overview

Frost Mages specialize themselves in freezing their targets and then shattering them with a deadly barrage of Ice Magic. They are able to deal high amounts of Single-Target and Cleave Damage and are ideal for taking down priority Targets because of that. Thanks to their unmatched Crowd Control abilities, Frost's excel at fulfilling the encounter-specific tasks and kiting. They also possess enviable mobility toolkit which lets them relocate and escape mechanics easily; they also do not lose much DPS in high-mobility situations.

 Pros  Cons
 Highly Mobile  Weak AoE Damage
 Excellent Crowd Control abilities  Loses Damage output quickly when Bursting down High Health Targets
 Solid Single-Target and Cleave Damage  
 Great at killing low-health priority Targets  
 Very strong Utility toolkit  

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Statistics Priority

  1. Intellect - This is Frost Mage's primary statistic. It provides you with Spell Power and increases Damage done by your spells and abilities.
  1. Critical Strike - Increases your chance to deal Double (critical) Damage with spells and abilities. Be aware that there is a 33.33% Critical Strike Cap for spells that benefit from ShatterShatter, and increasing your Crit over this number is not very effective.
  1. Haste - Decreases your Global Cooldowns, and increases the speed of your Casts. This stat greatly improves the effectiveness of your FrostboltFrostbolt ability, because it lets you cast more of them in a shorter time which translates to more potential procs per minute. Haste also affects the Casting Speed of your Mirror ImageMirror Images and Summon Water ElementalWater Elemental and decreases the Cooldown of your BlizzardBlizzard Ability.
  1. Versatility - Straight up Incoming Damage Decrease and Damage Done Increase.
  1. Mastery - Frost Mage's Mastery: IciclesMastery: Icicles makes your FrostboltFrostbolt and FlurryFlurry abilities generate 1 Icicle per cast. Any Icicles stored are launched at your Target when you cast the Ice LanceIce Lance ability or added to your Glacial SpikeGlacial Spike ability in a form of Damage Bonus. You can have up to 5 Icicles stored, and any excess ones will be launched at your current Target immediately. Mastery: IciclesMastery: Icicles also increases the Damage Done by your Frozen OrbFrozen Orb ability.


The Best Talent Choices

Bone Chilling
Level 15: 
Recommended choice - Bone Chilling
Bone ChillingBone Chilling - Whenever you cast a Spell that Chills your Target, you gain the Bone ChillingBone Chilling effect, which increases your Damage Done by 0.5% for 8s; this effect stacks up to 10 times. You will naturally stack this up to maximum and maintain it without any problems, so it is basically a flat 5% Damage Done increase. This is great for both Single-Target and AoE Damage and is a bit above the Lonely WinterLonely Winter in terms of the overall output.

Lonely WinterLonely Winter takes away your Summon Water ElementalSummon Water Elemental Ability but increases your Damage Done with FlurryFlurry, Ice LanceIce Lance, and FrostboltFrostbolt by 25% in return. This Talent is perfectly suited for use, but it has some minor problems, the main of them being the loss of the Water Elly's FreezeFreeze ability, which lowers both AoE Damage and AoE CC potential slightly.

Ice NovaIce Nova is an AoE ability which deals High Damage to your primary Target and Moderate Damage to all other Targets within the 8yd radius, and freezes them in place for 2 seconds; it has a 25-second Cooldown. It provides you with the least benefits, and should not be considered.

Level 30: 
Recommended choice - Shimmer
ShimmerShimmer - It is a great upgrade over the BlinkBlink ability; Shimmer Shimmer has 1 more charge, can be cast off the global cooldown, and does not interrupt your spellcasting, but it has 5s more cooldown (the 20s instead of 15s) and does not break stuns. This Talent will improve your mobility greatly and will allow you to dodge Raid mechanics quickly, without losing DPS.

Glacial InsulationGlacial Insulation causes your Ice BarrierIce Barrier to increase your Armor by 200%, and your Ice BlockIce Block to apply an Ice BarrierIce Barrier on you when it fades. The main problem of this Talent is the fact that it lowers Physical Damage, and the majority of Damage that you take during Boss Encounters is Magical, which makes it pretty much Useless in PvE.

The Ice FloesIce Floes makes your next Spell with a cast-time shorter than 10 seconds to be castable while moving; it has 3 charges and 20 seconds recharge time. This is a good alternative, which enables short-range movement without losing Damage output at the cost of the long-range mobility provided by ShimmerShimmer, and the choice between these two Talents largely depends on preference.

Incanter's Flow
Level 45: 
Recommended choice - Incanter's Flow
Incanter's FlowIncanter's Flow -  Gives you a sustained damage bonus that starts at 4%, builds up to 20% over 10s, and then resets back to 4% just to start building up again. This is the best Talent in this row because it offers a stable Damage increase, doesn't restrain your mobility, and does not have the cooldown-alignment problems that the Rune of PowerRune of Power and the Mirror ImageMirror Image have.

The Rune of PowerRune of Power is an Active Ability that lets you place said Rune of PowerRune of Power on the ground which increases your spell damage done by 40% for 10s  if you stay within 8yd from it; has two charges and 40s recharge timer. Frost Mage doesn't have powerful Burst that would let him fully capitalize on the Damage Boost offered by the Rune, and the Cooldowns that he has do not line up too well with the Rune of PowerRune of Power's Cooldown. 

Mirror ImageMirror Image summons 3 copies of you, which cast spells at your Target and gain Enemy's attention; Copies last for 40 seconds. This, while "classic" gives the worst overall damage boost, and should not be picked.

Level 60: 
Recommended choice - Ebonbolt
EbonboltEbonbolt - Ranged spell that deals High Frost Damage, and grants you the Brain FreezeBrain Freeze (your next Flurry does 50% more Damage, has 100% reduced Cast time and applies the Winter's ChillWinter's Chill to your Target) effect; it has 45 seconds Cooldown. This Talent provides high Damage increase and the Brain FreezeBrain Freeze effect on demand is generally very beneficial.

Frozen TouchFrozen Touch increases the proc chance of your Brain FreezeBrain Freeze and Fingers of FrostFingers of Frost from your FrostboltFrostbolt by 20%. This is also a solid choice, as it offers Damage Boost similar to the EbonboltEbonbolt, but with slightly less added utility.

Chain ReactionChain Reaction makes your Ice LanceIce Lances, used against Frozen Targets, increase the Damage of your next Ice LanceIce Lance by 3% for 10s; this effect stacks up to 5 times. It is a poor choice for Single-Target, provides a slight boost to Cleave Damage, and should not be considered.

Frigid Winds
Level 75: 
Recommended choice - Frigid Winds
Frigid WindsFrigid Winds -  Your Chilling Effects now reduce Target's movement speed by an additional 15%. Selecting this Talent will help you Control engaged Targets slightly better; it also makes your the Cone of ColdCone of Cold slow Enemies by 85%.

Ice Ward Ice Ward grants a second charge to your Frost NovaFrost Nova ability.

Ring of FrostRing of Frost lets you summon a Ring on the target location; up to 10 enemies entering the Ring will be incapacitated for 10 seconds.

All three of these Talents are rather underwhelming when it comes to Raid utility, and the choice is up to the Player (and doesn't matter much, really).

Comet Storm
Level 90: 
Recommended choice - Comet Storm
Comet StormComet Storm -  You call down 7 Icy Comets on top and around your primary Target, each Comet deals High Frost Damage to all enemies within 6yd of impact; it has a 30-second Cooldown. This is the best choice for Single Target Damage, which also offers some nice AoE Burst every 30 seconds.

Freezing RainFreezing Rain makes your Frozen OrbFrozen Orb casts improve your next BlizzardBlizzard used within 12s by making it instant cast and increasing its Damage by 50%. This is the best choice for AoE heavy encounters and should be swapped with the Comet StormComet Storm when needed.

Splitting IceSplitting Ice causes your Mastery: IciclesIcicles, EbonboltEbonbolts, Ice LanceIce Lances, and Glacial SpikeGlacial Spikes to hit an additional nearby Enemy for 80% of the base Damage. This talent provides the highest Cleave Damage boost and should be chosen for encounters with two high Health Targets that are close to each other.

Glacial Spike
Level 100: 
Recommended choice - Glacial Spike
Glacial SpikeGlacial Spike - an active ability that creates a Spike of Ice which merges with your Mastery: IciclesIcicles in order to Deal Very High Frost Damage, further increased by the Damage stored in Mastery: IciclesIcicles, to your Target, and freezes it in place for 4 seconds; it requires 5 Mastery: IciclesIcicles to use, and stops your Ice LanceIce Lance from launching Mastery: IciclesIcicles when you reach maximum stacks. This is the best option for Single Target DPS, it forces a rotation change, however.

Thermal VoidThermal Void increases the duration of your Icy VeinsIcy Veins by 10 seconds and by an additional 1 second every time you use an Ice LanceIce Lance against a Frozen Target. This Talent falls slightly behind the Glacial SpikeGlacial Spike when it comes to Damage output, but has the benefit of being passive, which simplifies the rotation.

Ray of FrostRay of Frost is a channeled ability that inflicts Frost Damage, slows the Target, and generates 2 Fingers of FrostFingers of Frost. It lasts 5 seconds, and deals Damage every second; each Damage tick increases its Damage Done and Slow effect by 10%. This is a simple choice, but it can't compete with the other two options in terms of Damage.


The Basic Rotation

At its base, Frost Mage's rotation revolves around spamming FrostboltFrostbolt in order to get a proc of Fingers of FrostFingers of Frost or Brain FreezeBrain Freeze. Gained proc determines the next step of your rotation: Brain FreezeBrain Freeze is followed by the Glacial SpikeGlacial Spike or the FrostboltFrostbolt going into FlurryFlurry which in turn is followed by the Ice LanceIce Lance. The Fingers of FrostFingers of Frost should be utilized by casting an Ice LanceIce Lance immediately.

Use the following priority list to maximize your Single Target Damage output:
  1. Icy Veins on Cooldown
Icy Veins
  1. Flurry with Brain Freeze and < 3 Icicles stacked, followed by the Ice Lance
Brain Freeze + (< 3 Mastery: Icicles) ⇒ Flurry ⇒ Ice Lance
  1. Ice Lance with Fingers of Frost
Fingers of Frost  Ice Lance
  1. Ebonbolt on Cooldown (it should be Shattered if Cast at < 4 Mastery: IciclesIcicles)
  1. Frozen Orb
  1. Comet Storm
  1. Glacial Spike with Brain Freeze active
  1. Frostbolt for proc generation
Use the following priority list to maximize your AoE Damage output:
  1. Frozen Orb on Cooldown
  1. Comet Storm on Cooldown
  1. Blizzard on Cooldown
  1. Use the Single-Target rotation to avoid downtime when your AoE spells are on Cooldown


Tips and Tricks for Improving your Gameplay

  1. Master the Shatter Combo! (Cast Brain FreezeBrain Freeze-empowered instant FlurryFlurry immediately at the end of the Glacial SpikeGlacial Spike or Frostbolt Frostbolt cast and follow it quickly with the Ice LanceIce Lance. All these spells will benefit from the Winter's ChillWinter's Chill effect if you are quick enough).
  1. Avoid Downtime to maximize your Damage output. Remember to use your Instant Cast spells when relocating, and take advantage of the fact that Shimmer Shimmer does not interrupt your spellcasting.
  1. Always analyze and try to improve upon your mistakes, because practice makes perfect.

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This is an early version of our guide, we plan to upgrade upon it, and add further sections. So please leave your suggestions in the comments section below. We would also like to state that this is meant as a pocket guide and therefore we will not go into too much detail (however, if we are missing some information that is important to you, please let us know, and we will gladly add it).

Pictures used in this article are the intellectual property of Blizzard Entertainment Inc.