We’re back! Yes, the scuttlebutt is that in WoW Patch 5.3 (Mists of Pandaria) we’re challenging for the top of the DPS heap. And the Melting Pot is here to help. Here’s a quick-start guide to get you into the action in MoP with solid talent choices, glyph choices, your ability rotation and stat priorities, and reforging, gems and enchants all sorted. Read on – we promise it’s not a wall of text!
Updated 22nd May 2013 to World of Warcraft Patch 5.3
Frost Mage changes in WoW Patch 5.3
Bombs have changed both our single- and multi- target rotations.
Frost “Rotation” and Priorities
The new Frost rotation is pretty simple, at least at level 90. These rotations assume you’re using our recommended talent builds:
- Top Priority: If the +25% damage buff is about to drop, cast Evocation. Otherwise, cast Nether Tempest if it’s about to drop.
- Second Priority: If you have the Brain Freeze buff active, cast Frostfire Bolt. If it’s available, cast Freeze from your elemental.
- Third Priority: If you have charges of Fingers of Frost, cast Ice Lance.
- Fourth Priority: Cast Frostbolt.
- Top Priority Keep Nether Tempest up on as many enemies as possible
- Second Priority Use Flamestrike and Cone of Cold on cooldown.
- Third Priority Use your single-target rotation on one enemy.
- Icy Veins: Cast this whenever it’s available (and you’re in combat, obviously).
- Evocation: In addition to using it in your rotation, in the unlikely event you’re running low on mana, use it!
- Alter Time: Use this during Icy Veins to get an extra 6 seconds out of it.
- Mirror Image: Cast whenever it’s available unless they won’t be able to attack the boss in the next 30 seconds.
- Time Warp: If you’re raiding, ask your raid leader when to cast it. Otherwise, cast on boss fights.
- Invisiblity: Use to drop threat if you have it.
Use Frost Armor (appropriately enough), cast Arcane Brilliance, and remember to create a Mana Gem.
Frost Mage Talent Choices
In 5.0, you’ll eventually end up switching talents per-fight. However, to get started, here’s a good general-purpose selection:
- Tier 1: Presence of Mind.
- Tier 2: Ice Barrier – a solid cooldown to reduce damage to you.
- Tier 3: Frostjaw
- Tier 4: Cauterise
- Tier 5: Nether Tempest
- Tier 6: Rune of Power
If you know you need to do maximum damage to a single target and nothing else, switch to Living Bomb in Tier 5, and use it like Nether Tempest.
Stats, reforging and gemming for Frost Mage
Intellect is the most important stat for all Mages. For Frost, this is followed by Hit to the 15% Spell Hit Cap, then Haste.
Reforging: Reforge to Hit until 15% hit (5100 rating), then reforge to Haste. Reforge from Hit above the cap first, then Mastery.
Gems: Use Brilliant (Intellect) gems in all slots, unless the socket bonus is +10 Int or more, in which case use Reckless (Int/Haste) gems in yellow sockets and Veiled (Int/Hit) gems in blue sockets.
Meta Gem: Burning meta gem, whichever you can afford.
Note on Expertise: Expertise counts toward the Hit Cap, so if you can’t reforge to Hit, reforge to Expertise to reach the cap.
Frost Mage Glyphs
As you get more expert with Patch 5.x, you’ll probably end up changing Glyphs frequently, but for now, here’s a no-downside build that will get you started quickly:
Major: Glyph of Arcane Explosion, Glyph of Ice Lance, Glyph of Water Elemental
Minor: Glyph of Momentum, two others of your choice.
Frost Mage enchants and item enhancements
You should almost always use a profession enhancement item if it provides appropriate stats instead of a general enchant.
- Shoulders – Greater Crane Wing Inscription
- Back – Enchant Cloak – Superior Intellect
- Chest – Enchant Chest – Glorious Stats
- Wrist – Enchant Bracer – Super Intellect
- Hands – Enchant Gloves – Greater Haste or Superior Expertise
- Belt – Living Steel Belt Buckle
- Legs – Greater Cerulean Spellthread
- Feet – Enchant Boots – Pandaren’s Step
- Weapon – Enchant Weapon – Jade Spirit
- Off-Hand Weapon – Enchant Weapon – Major Intellect
If you want to get more in-depth with your Frost Mage play, here are some great resources:
- If you want a super-in-depth guide – the kind of thing that Elitist Jerks used to be famous for – Icy Veins are the place to go
- Christian Belt at WoW Insider writes their Mage column.
- Finally, as a WoW player, you should really check out the latest and greatest from the blogosphere on World of Warcraft, here at the Melting Pot.
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