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Frost Mage DPS Spec, Builds, Talents, and Glyphs (WoW 4.3.4)

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In this article, we present you with various talent trees for Frost Mages (WoW 4.3) that you can use in specific situations. We also explain in detail what the talents do, how they work together, and how you can customise your talent tree in order to adapt it to a particular boss. The other articles of our Frost Mage guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the left.

1. Common Talent Builds↑top

The following build is the default choice for Frost Mages.

If a fight consists of a main target close to additional targets, then you can spend two points in Piercing Chill Icon Piercing Chill for more frequent procs of Fingers of Frost Icon Fingers of Frost. In such a situation, however, you might prefer using a Fire specialisation and benefit from Living Bomb Icon Living Bomb being up on multiple targets.

If a fight requires you to control adds that are close enough to be all affected by a cast of Cone of Cold Icon Cone of Cold, then you can spend two points in Improved Cone of Cold Icon Improved Cone of Cold.

If a fight requires you to slow down a large pack of adds, then you can spend two points in Ice Shards Icon Ice Shards.

2. Customising Your Build↑top

First, we will present and explain the fixed talents that a Frost Mage should always take. Then, we detail the optional talents with which you can customise your talent build. Finally, we list the various mandatory and optional glyphs.

2.1. Talents

In the following image, the fixed talents have been hightlighted in green, while the optional talents have been hightlighted in red:

Talents for Frost Mages

2.1.1. Fixed Talents

  • 2/2 Early Frost Icon Early Frost: every 15 seconds, you get a shorter Frostbolt Icon Frostbolt cast. When it is up, you will notice that the border of the Frostbolt spell on your castbar changes.
  • 3/3 Piercing Ice Icon Piercing Ice: this talent gives an additional 3% critical strike chance with all spells.
  • 2/2 Shatter Icon Shatter: this talent is one of the most important as almost all your main nukes will be cast on frozen targets.
  • 3/3 Ice Floes Icon Ice Floes: this enables you to use Icy Veins Icon Icy Veins more often.
  • 1/3 Permafrost Icon Permafrost: your Summon Water Elemental Icon Summon Water Elemental will very scarcely take damage during encounters and when it does (Magmaw, Nefarian, or Al'Akir), one point is enough to ensure it survives throughout the fight.
  • 1/1 Icy Veins Icon Icy Veins: an important DPS boost that can be used regularly.
  • 3/3 Fingers of Frost Icon Fingers of Frost: this talent enables the main mechanic of the Frost specialisation. Fingers of Frost Icon Fingers of Frost is a proc that has two charges, is consumed by your next spell cast (with the exception of Frostbolt) and makes that next spell cast behave as if it were cast on a frozen target. This talent is necessary as bosses are normally immune to root and snares.
  • 3/3 Improved Freeze Icon Improved Freeze: this talent gives you some control over the procs of Fingers of Frost. Your most powerful attacks are either on cooldown (Deep Freeze Icon Deep Freeze) or proc randomly (Frostfire Bolt Icon Frostfire Bolt), so it is important to have a way to cast them as soon as they are up.
  • 3/3 Enduring Winter Icon Enduring Winter: the buff provided by this talent is extremely useful to your raid. Even if someone else in your raid group already provides a raid-wise mana regeneration ability (Restoration Druids, Retribution Paladins, Shadow Priests, and Destruction Warlocks), you should still take this talent for the mana cost reduction.
  • 1/1 Cold Snap Icon Cold Snap: mainly, this allows you to cast your main nuke (Deep Freeze) twice in a row. It also resets the cooldown of Icy Veins.
  • 3/3 Brain Freeze Icon Brain Freeze: this important ability gives you a chance to get a free Frostfire Bolt with an instant cast that benefits from Fingers of Frost.
  • 1/1 Ice Barrier Icon Ice Barrier: choosing this talent is necessary to progress further down the talent tree.
  • 2/2 Frostfire Orb Icon Frostfire Orb: Your Flame Orb Icon Flame Orb is transformed into a Frostfire Orb. Aside from the visual effect, the periodic damage the orb deals has a chance to proc Fingers of Frost.
  • 1/1 Deep Freeze Icon Deep Freeze: the main nuke of a Frost Mage. Do not be misled by the tooltip: as bosses are immune to stuns, this spell deals damage to them instead (and a lot of it, ofter over 100k damage).
  • 2/2 Master of Elements Icon Master of Elements: this talent is necessary to gain access to Ignite Icon Ignite. It also makes mana management easier.
  • 3/3 Burning Soul Icon Burning Soul: this talent is necessary to gain access to Ignite Icon Ignite. It also provides a useful pushback reduction.
  • 3/3 Ignite Icon Ignite: that particular talent, for which we spend 8 points in the Fire tree, gives a nice boost to your Frostfire Bolt. Indeed, you will most of the time cast it when Brain Freeze Icon Brain Freeze and Fingers of Frost Icon Fingers of Frost are up, which means that your critical strike chance will be multiplied by 3 (thanks to Shatter Icon Shatter) and that almost all your casts of Frostfire Bolt will end up triggering Ignite Icon Ignite.
  • 2/3 Netherwind Presence Icon Netherwind Presence: the last two points remaining should be spent on this haste improving talent as it is the best alternative left.

2.1.2. Optional Talents

The variations of the Frost specialisation stem from four two-point talents you can choose: Reactive Barrier Icon Reactive Barrier, Piercing Chill Icon Piercing Chill, Improved Cone of Cold Icon Improved Cone of Cold, and Ice Shards Icon Ice Shards.

  • 2/2 Reactive Barrier Icon Reactive Barrier: if unsure or if you cannot find any use for the three other optional talents, you should go for Reactive Barrier. It provides some survivability.
  • 2/2 Piercing Chill Icon Piercing Chill: this talent is most useful when you are fighting a boss that summons adds that are tanked next to him. This gives you more chances to proc Fingers of Frost Icon Fingers of Frost, about 30% (up from 20%). Bear in mind that in this sort of fights, you might want to play a Fire Mage and benefit from Living Bomb Icon Living Bomb.
  • 2/2 Improved Cone of Cold Icon Improved Cone of Cold: this talent is useful when you are required to control a rather dense pack of adds during a fight. Thanks to Ice Floes Icon Ice Floes, the cooldown on Cone of Cold Icon Cone of Cold is only 8 seconds, which means that spending two points in Improved Cone of Cold will enable you to keep the adds frozen half the time, and slowed down by 64% (Permafrost Icon Permafrost gives you the additional 4%) the other half of the time.
  • 2/2 Ice Shards Icon Ice Shards: Cone of Cold works great against dense pack of adds. If you have to slow down a rather spread out group of adds, Blizzard Icon Blizzard can do a better job with its 8-yard radius.

In some extreme cases where you need absolute add control, you can even go as far as dropping 2/3 Netherwind Presence Icon Netherwind Presence in order to take both 2/2 Improved Cone of Cold Icon Improved Cone of Cold and 2/2 Ice Shards Icon Ice Shards.

2.2. Glyphs

Choosing the correct glyphs as a Frost Mage is very straightforward. The only choices you have to make are more based on convenience than utility.

2.2.1. Prime Glyphs

Your prime glyphs should be chosen as follows (best damage upgrades):

Even if Ice Lance Icon Ice Lance will usually contribute more to your damage done than Frostfire Bolt Icon Frostfire Bolt, Glyph of Frostfire is a better damage increase than Glyph of Ice Lance.

2.2.2. Major Glyphs

The only mandatory major glyph is Glyph of Evocation because it allows you to relieve some stress from your healers while regenerating your mana.

The optional major glyphs should be chosen from among the following, either because you like what they offer or because they can be of use to you during an encounter on which you are are currently progressing:

  • Glyph of Blink (recommended): this glyph increases the travel distance of Blink by 5 yards. In fights where you need to move out of stuff quickly, it can be very useful.
  • Glyph of Invisibility (recommended): this glyph allows you to cover a longer distance during the 20 seconds that Invisibility Icon Invisibility lasts. It is very useful for surviving a wipe.
  • Glyph of Ice Barrier (situational): if your healers are really struggling in a fight and you want to lend them a hand with Ice Barrier Icon Ice Barrier, you can always increase the efficiency of that spell with the associate glyph. This glyph is widely used while leveling up or questing, because of the increased survivability it provides.
  • Glyph of Icy Veins (very situational): this glyph should only be used in encounters where removing slowing effects is mandatory for a kill.

2.2.3. Minor Glyphs

We recommand you the following minor glyphs:

  • Glyph of Arcane Brilliance: the mana cost reduction is very useful during an encounter, should you have to rebuff someone, or yourself, having just been resurrected with little mana.
  • Glyph of Conjuring: the mana cost reduction can prove useful if you have just been resurrected with little mana after a wipe and need to re-conjure mana food.
  • Glyph of Slow Fall because always keeping reagents in your bags can become quite annoying.

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