Frost Mage Rotational Problems in Shadowlands - Cancel 20% of Frostbolts for Max DPS
In Shadowlands, Blizzard has made changes to Frost Mage's
, reworking it to only apply two stacks of
to the target. In a beta build one month ago, Flurry was changed to only apply Winter's Chill when it first hits the target. This is different from live servers, where each Flurry hit applies the debuff.
When Flurry is cast after
, Frostbolt's travel time will cause it to consume a stack of Winter's Chill because Flurry is faster and hits first. This has been a huge part of Frost's rotation for many years. The change of having only the first hit apply
introduces major problems into Frost's rotation.
Casting Frostbolt and Flurry will now leave only one Winter's Chill stack for
. If you only get two Winter's Chill stacks, you generally want to use both of them for Ice Lance because it does much more damage than Frostbolt. The best way to save both stacks for Ice Lance is to cancel Frostbolt when you see a Brain Freeze proc, which results in canceling around 20% of all Frostbolt casts.
Thanks, Norrinir and
for bringing this issue to us to highlight.
Our Frost Mage writer,
, also added:
Blizzard changed the way Brain Freeze works in the Shadowlands pre-patch - the only change to the spec in the expansion - turning Winter's Chill into a long-lasting stacking debuff, rather than a very short debuff affecting all spells.
The effect was to enable double Ice Lance by default for Frost, and we can be 95% sure this is the intended behaviour as that's how it functions in the live pre-patch. This (presumably) bug either returns Frost to the Shattered Frostbolt/single Ice Lance play of BfA, which seems to totally negate the idea of the change - or to encourage cancelling Frostbolt casts for more Ice Lances, which is more damage but also counter-intuitive and degenerate.
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