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

It’s the time we’ve all been waiting for: the time to turn Garrosh Hellscream into an ice lolly. Yep, in WoW Patch [patchnumber] 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 [guideupdated] to World of Warcraft Patch [patchnumber]

Frost Mage changes in WoW Patch [patchnumber]

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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Patch 4.3 Frost Mage Quick Start Guide – Stats, talent spec, glyphs, reforging and gems, priorities and rotation

Well, we’re all glad all that nasty Fire has gone away. Now it’s time for – wait, what? – slime, tentacles and lots of apostrophes, apparently. Well, hell, slime and tentacles freeze. So, if you want a guide to freezing Deathwing’s bits off as a Frost Mage, read on for all the info on talent specs, glyphs, gems and reforging, stats and rotation / priority systems for Frost Mages in Patch 4.3.

Updated Nov 29th for Patch 4.3

Frost Mage changes in Patch 4.3

Nada. Nothing. Nil. Notting. It’s all quiet on the Frozen front.

Our Tier 13 Set Bonuses are interesting – and damn complicated. Check out Arcane Brilliance on the subject if you want more information there – as of yet there are no firm guidelines to give.

Frost Mage Rotation / Priorities

Like most DPS classes in Cataclysm, frost Mages don’t have a rotation. Instead, they have a fairly simple and flexible priority system – cast the highest-priority spell you can at any time.

Keep Molten Armor and Arcane Brilliance up at all times.

Try to keep one stack of Fingers of Frost up at all times.

  • Top Priority: If it’s off cooldown and you have Fingers of Frost, cast Deep Freeze.
  • Second Priority: Cast Flame Orb and Freeze (from your elemental) whenever they are off cooldown.
  • Third Priority: Cast Frostfire Bolt if Brain Freeze is up. If you have Fingers of Frost, Brain Freeze is not up and Deep Freeze is on cooldown, cast Ice Lance.
  • Fourth Priority: If you have nothing else to do, cast Frostbolt.

Use Icy Veins whenever it’s off cooldown for maximum DPS, or save for burn phases if needed.

If you need to do a lot of damage in a very short space of time, use your Cold Snap ability to reset all your cooldowns after you’ve cast Flame Orb, Freeze, Deep Freeze, and Icy Veins.

Advanced DPS: Much of Frost DPS revolves around Fingers of Frost maintainance. See the Icy Veins guide linked below for more details on this.

AOE: Alternate using Flamestrike and Blizzard.


Frost Talent Spec

This is the standard frost talent spec for 4.3

For slightly increased damage in dungeons and other multi-target situations, you can take 2 points in Piercing Chill, 2nd tier in the Frost Tree, instead of Reactive Barrier in the second-to-top tier. Ice Shards, third tier in Frost, may be useful if you need to slow a large pack of adds for a specific fight.

Stats, reforging and gemming for frost

Intellect is the most important stat for frost followed by Hit, then Crit, then Haste. Mastery is your worst stat. Crit becomes worse than Haste after you hit 33% Critical Chance.

Reforging: Reforge to the Hit Cap (1,742). If you hit this, then reforge to Crit until 33%, then Haste. Reforge from Mastery (and Spirit if you have any) first. After that, reforge Crit or Haste depending on if you’ve hit 33% Crit.

Gems: Use a Brilliant Inferno Ruby unless the socket bonus provides 10 or more Intellect or 20 or more of another stat. In that case, use Veiled Demonseye for blue sockets and Reckless Ember Topaz / Potent Ember Topaz for yellow sockets.

Frost Mage enchants

Several professions can provide better enhancements than these – Inscription, Tailoring, Engineering all have potential buffs. Check the stat priorities above.

Head Arcanum of Hyjal
Shoulders   Greater Inscription of Charged Lodestone
Back Enchant Cloak – Greater Intellect
Chest Enchant Chest – Peerless Stats
Wrist Enchant Bracer – Mighty Intellect
Hands Enchant Gloves – Greater Mastery
Belt Ebonsteel Belt Buckle
Legs Powerful Ghostly Spellthread
Feet Enchant Boots – Lavawalker
Weapon Enchant Weapon – Power Torrent
Off-Hand Weapon Enchant Weapon – Superior Intellect


Prime: Frostbolt, Deep Freeze, Frostfire.

Major: Evocation, Polymorph, Blink or Invisibility.

Minor: Slow Fall – others are your preference.

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Tips On Levelling a Mage (part 2)

Welcome back to our tips on mage levelling! Hopefully after the last article you’ve been out there frying – or freezing – your character’s mortal enemies. But maybe you, like any good mage, need more knowledge. Let’s face it – knowledge means power, and power means an unstoppable mage levelling towards saving the world.

  1. Restore health and mana regularly. Sounds silly but it’s another “don’t get taken by surprise” moment. It’s inconvenient if you’re low on either health or mana and another player or monster starts fighting you.
  2. Low mana. If you’re out of mana and in combat, don’t panic. Consider using a mixture of utility spells like frost nova and sheep to keep monsters managed and not damaging you. While you’re doing this, use your wand to slowly damage them down (remember to place the ‘shoot’ button from your spellbook on your toolbars). Survival is your priority.
  3. Be aware of your surroundings. Can you stand on a hill and fire at an enemy below you, making them run all the way round to the path before they can get to you? Can you blink or slow fall off the hill when they’re halfway up it so they have to run all the way down again? Can you attack a caster monster then hide round a corner so he can’t see you and will follow you round the corner so you can kill him safely?
  4. Experiment. Pull too many monsters and you’ll probably die. But you don’t always need to kill one at a time either. Experiment with different numbers of monsters at once. Remember that some monsters may be higher level than you or have special abilities. Remember mages have tricks up their sleeve, like the ability to polymorph an extra monster so it can’t hurt you for a bit. Experiment with the abilities you get as you level your mage and find a pace you find comfortable to level.
  5. Get some addons. Getting some mage addons will make mage levelling smoother. I’d suggest …
  • Quartz, customizeable to make castbars easier to see (see point #4)
  • SheepMonitor, which has various ways of telling you when your sheep is no longer a sheep
  • Mage fever, for a little later in levels when you have some procs and cooldowns to keep an eye on.

_Did you find this useful? Maybe you’ll also find the first half of the mage levelling tips useful if you haven’t seen them already! If it’s whetted your appetite for mage-knowledge and you want further reading on mage levelling, just ask in the comments!


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Mage Levelling Tips (part 1)

So you’re levelling a mage but want some tips on the basics? No worries. We’ve got you covered in a two-part series taking you through ten tips on how to level mages in WoW. The second post even has a further reading section. We’ll have you up and running as the next archmage before you know it.

  1. Organisation. Decide which of the mage talent trees you’re taking. Then lay spells that you will use as part of that talent tree out in casting order in your toolbar. Put the spells you’ll use most in slots 1-5 so you know where to find them in a pinch. As your mage levels you’ll become so accustomed to where your spells are that casting them is automatic. You may get more spells you’ll use frequently, later.
  2. Blink is your friend. It’ll remove stun and snare effects from you. It will also transport you a safe distance from enemies in melee range. Be careful to check the direction you’re blinking (you will move in the direction you’re facing) – you don’t want to blink into extra enemies.
  3. Keep your enemy at maximum range. This is important if you’re questing or in a dungeon because it’s important to minimise the damage you take: the nearer the monster you are, the more things that might go wrong. Some monsters, for example, may do aoe damage to everything near it even if you’re not its target. Frost nova will help enemies stay away while you’re questing.
  4. Recognise healing monsters. Monsters who can cast spells will have a castbar below their picture. Watch it. Over time you’ll start recognising that when the monster casts certain spells their health replenishes. Look out for those spells (and others that sound similar) and when it casts, stop whatever you’re casting and use Counterspell to stop it. This is a useful mage levelling tip for dungeons as well as questing.
  5. Don’t get taken by surprise. If you’re questing to level your mage, watch out for extra monsters wandering close. Watch out for players from the opposite faction who may try to engage in fights with you. Remember that players can fly everywhere now so watch the sky.

_L__ike this? Want more tips on mage levelling? See the second part here. Or if you want more in depth further reading on mage levelling just let me know in the comments!



_You also might find the rest of MMO Melting Pot interesting – we look for the best articles about WoW and other MMOs and deliver them straight to you, all in one place. Check out MMO Melting Pot today._

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