Frost Mage Review - Battle for Azeroth Community Opinions
Throughout the pre-patch, we'll be launching a community opinions article for every class and spec. We're continuing our Battle for Azeroth Class Reviews and in this post, we'll be taking a look at the state of Frost Mage. See if this spec appeals to you in Battle for Azeroth!
We reached out to the Frost Mage community to give their thoughts and opinions on the changes and current state of the spec.
If this spec appeals to you after reading this article, check out our
Battle for Azeroth Frost Mage Guide
- SimulationCraft developer, Mage theorycrafter and moderator in the Mage Discord
- Mage guide writer/theorycrafter and moderator in the Mage Discord
- SimulationCraft developer, Mage theorycrafter and admin of the Mage Discord
- Mage theorycrafter and contributor in the Mage Discord
- Raider and officer in Limit (US-Illidan)
Frost Mages didn’t see many changes coming from Legion into Battle for Azeroth. Most focus went into fixing unfun or underperforming talents, with only minor adjustments to the baseline abilities. The spec plays almost exactly like its Legion version.
are now generated by
as well as
and they no longer depend on the damage of those spells. In addition, Frost’s Mastery also increases the damage of
. As a result, it is now competitive with other stats in most situations. However, Mastery doesn’t affect
, which means that at some point
becomes more powerful than
. Compared to Legion, this situation is far less likely to occur, but the underlying problem is still present and might resurface at some point.
Water Elemental lost Water Jet and
no longer generates charges of
. Loss of those spells has been partially covered by increasing
’s chance to grant a charge of
is far less powerful compared to Legion, it is still a very useful tool for open world and dungeons, where it enables
for big hitting spells such as
. Overall, the Water Elemental is now mostly a passive source of damage rather than an active source of
Utility and defensives have also seen some changes.
no longer scales with your Intellect, but instead uses a percentage of your maximum Health.
make a return, giving Mages access to the Intellect raid buff and curse removal.
The lack of changes to
is surprising. These two procs still fight against each other. Using
effect as the target is already considered frozen because of
. If the Mage prioritizes using
first, some of the
charges will be wasted as the buff doesn’t stack; if the Mage prioritizes using
will be wasted as a result of the previously mentioned interaction.
remains unpredictable and mostly outside of control of the Mage. The instant
thus cannot be delayed without the risk of wasting further
charges. This worsens the conflict between
, but it is especially problematic with spells such as
that can hugely benefit from
can be a fun minigame, but the Mage has to waste up to one quarter of all
charges to do this consistently.
The disconnect here is that
allows you to apply
to any spell (even when the target is immune to being Frozen), but the game punishes you for trying to use it with anything other than
The end result is that the Mage is discouraged from planning ahead and adapting to external events such as additional enemies, extra damage phases or movement, as any such attempt will result in damage loss in the long run. The rotation is still mostly dictated by the random number generator, the Mage has little control over it and the parts the Mage has some control over can be summarized as “choosing the lesser evil.”
Talents saw a huge improvement compared to Legion. Arctic Gale, Unstable Magic, and Frost Bomb have been removed in favor of some of the Artifact traits and Legion legendaries.
are reasonably competitive and mostly come down to whether the Mage wants to play with a pet. Ray of Frost has been replaced with
, which is however undertuned and the extra utility isn’t enough to make up for it.
had its recharge time increased from 15 to 20 seconds. This might make the choice between it and
sadly only saw an increase to armor percentage, and is still useless in most situations.
This talent row received zero changes.
is still slightly weaker than
due to Frost’s lower burst damage.
lacks in damage, but it does offer some utility as the pets can tank and absorb some damage in the open world.
Splitting Ice and Ice Nova have been removed and replaced with
is tailored more towards fights with two or more enemies, while
are more focused towards single target fights.
on demand, which is very useful with
might see more play as an extra way to Shatter
is amazing utility whenever enemies need to be kited around, such as in Mythic+ dungeons.
is extra crowd control on top of
, but its uses are rather specific as the frozen enemies break out after any damage is done to them.
This talent row now focuses purely on AoE and each talent has its niche.
excels when burst AoE damage is required,
shines in sustained AoE situations and
is the cleave choice, especially now that it affects
has been replaced with
, which now channels much faster and grants two charges of
could be an interesting burst option on this tier, but sadly the damage isn’t there yet. Both
are competitive options.
excels for cleave fights with
takes over for sustained AoE where the Mage produces very high number of
The talent rework is the highlight of all the changes that came to Frost Mages. Interesting active talents that were previously overshadowed by the passive choices give a much needed breath of fresh air. Items that have Mastery are once again useful, making the item choices more varied and interesting.
However, the some of the most important core issues remain unaddressed. As long as
fight against each other, the rotation will involve awkward and unfun decisions that lead to wasted procs.
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