Frost Mage Quick-Start Guide For WoW Patch 5.2 – Stats, talents and spec, glyphs, rotation, reforging and gems, and ability priorities

by on August 28, 2012

It’s the time we’ve all been waiting for: the time to turn Garrosh Hellscream into an ice lolly. Yep, in WoW Patch 5.4 we finally get to kill him. 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 17th September 2013 to World of Warcraft Patch 5.4

Frost Mage changes in WoW Patch 5.4

Some changes to our talents and glyphs.

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:

Single-target DPS

  • Top Priority: If the +25% damage buff is about to drop, cast Evocation. Otherwise, cast Living Bomb if it’s not on your target.
  • Second Priority: Cast Frozen Orb if it’s available. If it’s available, cast Freeze from your elemental.
  • Third Priority: If you have the Brain Freeze buff active, cast Frostfire Bolt. 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 Cone of Cold on cooldown.
  • Third Priority Use your single-target rotation on one enemy.

If enemies are scattered, keep Living Bomb applied on as many of them as possible and perform your usual single-target rotation on one of them.


  • 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. With Greater Invisibility (see talents) also becomes a powerful damage-avoidance CD.


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: Ice Floes – provides you with a spell to use during movement.
  • Tier 2: Ice Barrier – a solid cooldown to reduce damage to you.
  • Tier 3: Frostjaw
  • Tier 4: Greater Invisibility
  • 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 Reckless gems in red slots, Quick gems in yellow slots and Lightning gems in blue slots.
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 Splitting Ice, Glyph of Icy Veins, Glyph of Cone of Cold
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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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Whit September 28, 2012 at 9:54 am

I have been searching for EXACTLY this – thank you!


Pandorajade March 3, 2013 at 11:04 pm

This info is excactly what I was looking for! I will share this with my guild for sure.


Emberglow May 9, 2013 at 4:41 am

Reckless gems are int/haste you have it as crit :P


Hugh Hancock May 13, 2013 at 12:49 pm

Derp! Thanks very much – fixed.


Kaldromage November 29, 2013 at 6:13 am

Your rotations mention living bomb. That’s a firemage spell. Using your talent builds and glyphs, living bomb does not appear to be an option.


Kaldromage November 29, 2013 at 6:25 am

I think you meant nether tempest, not living bomb, as your talent build calls for nether tempest, not living bomb.


What February 13, 2014 at 7:30 am

Ok… this obviously hasn’t been updated. It’s saying to use Rune of Power as tier 6 Talent but then to cast Evocation when needed….. Rune of Power replaces Evocation – you can’t have both. I’ve found several little errors like this across classes. Time to find another website for advice….


Lawlilawk February 13, 2014 at 10:49 pm

Yea cause there’s no way to figure out what he meant……….


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