I forgot how much I loved Triune Ward. Such a cool effect.
Fractured Frost is only a problem because Cold Front exists. On its own Fractured Frost is fine. Cold Front is just begging players to Frostbolt spam to fish for CF stacks, and as IL does not contribute towards CF, then it is encouraging players to ignore IL.
Either Cold Front needs to include IL so that IL can also build stacks, or Fractured Frost needs to be revised in some way to stop unhealthy gameplay. The easiest solution is the former.
I still strongly believe Cold Front should just be scrapped for a better and more interesting AoE ability that players have greater agency over and provides interesting changes to the rotation, such as Frost Bomb. It would seriously make the spec feel more fresh cause at the moment Frost is looking to be just SL 2.0 and some variety and spice is key every expansion to stop it feeling boring.
I am fine with the deathborn changes. But I rather shifting power go away altogether. I think some bigger changes need to be made with how rune of power works as compared to incanters flow. Rune of power should be instant and the rune should follow you no matter where you go. I am ok with them making adjustments to how much it increases spell damage and cd.
Also there needs to be more pruning of the mage trees. Some of these talents are still just not needed in its current. One example is presence of mind. It needs to be removed and just allow the empowered arc blasts from clear casting to be instant.
well you really wouldn’t be losing invisibility since we still have the greater version. Getting away is not a big issue. It is being able to stand up toe to toe with mobs that have a very high life pool when you can’t get any support from other players.
Plus there is way too many useless talents in the trees. I think Naxeema covered that.
We def need more connections between talents. What they gave so far is fine and doable. But more would be great.
You can use [Invisibility] and [Greater Invisibility] separately. [Invisibility] can be used entirely for utility and [Greater Invisibility] can be used for either that or defensively.
They don’t even know we got new patch notes.
- Overflowing Energy has been reworked and implemented – Your spell critical strike damage is increased by 10%. When your direct damage spells fail to critically strike a target, your spell critical strike chance is increased by 2%, up to 10% for 8 seconds.
- Improved Arcane Barrage – Renamed to Arcing Cleave.
- Conjure Mana Gem – Cooldown reduced to 90 seconds (was 120 seconds).
- Impetus now has added functionality – If you were to gain an Arcane Charge while at maximum charges instead 10% Arcane damage for 10 seconds.
- Flamestrike – Position swapped with Fervent Flickering.
- Improved Flamestrike – Reduces Flamestrike’s cooldown by 1 second (was 0.5 seconds).
- Phoenix Reborn – Now directly available after Improved Phoenix Flames (+1 Charge to Phoenix Flames). No longer has a connection from Firemind.
- Pyroclasm – No longer has a connection from Phoenix Reborn or Tinder. Now has a connection from Firemind or Improved Phoenix Flames. Now has a leading connection to Controlled Destruction.
- Master of Flame – Now directly available after Conflagration. No longer has a connection from Blaster Master.
- Pyromaniac and Molten Skyfall selection node – Now has a connection from Blaster Master and Conflagration. Now has a leading connection to Fevered Incantation.
- Everlasting Frost – No longer a choice node with Improved Blizzard. Now available directly below Flurry and has an added connection going to Ebonbolt and Frozen Touch.
- Frostbite – Now has an added connection going to Bonechilling
- Improved Blizzard – No longer a choice node with Everlasting Frost. Damaging an enemy with Blizzard reduces the cooldown of Frozen Orb by 0.5 seconds (was 0.3 seconds).
- Arctic Piercing has been redesigned and renamed to Piercing Cold – Now increases Frostbolt, Icicle, and Glacial Spike (if talented) critical strike damage by 20%.
- Icy Veins – Base duration increased to 25 seconds (was 20 seconds).
- Improved Icy Veins – Removed.
- Slick Ice – No longer a choice node with Freezing Winds and now available directly after Icy Propulsion.
- Freezing Winds – No longer a choice node with Slick Ice.
- Perpetual Winter – Swapped positions with the Ebonbolt/Frozen Touch node.
- Glacial Assault – Swapped positions with Deep Shatter.
- Class Tree
thanks for this update Rubb. I really didn’t know they were making changes. gotta go test them out.
Just a tip. but I recommend all mages to take up icy floes over shimmer. I feell ike it is really undervalued. Especially when mages have long casts like pyroblast, arcane surge, and glacial spike. Losing an extra blink did not really feel bad. Unless you died and running through a long dungeon to catch up to the rest of the group. On that statement. we need more portals in dungeons. lol
I actually never take Shimmer. Not just because as Arcane on live I value Slipstream more, but specifically because Shimmer removes the stun and root break from Blink. When I first tried out Shimmer way back in the day I really felt the loss of the stun/root break and never looked back.
My big take away between this and the extra datamined changes on the PTR: I’m not expecting any more impactful redesigns here.
Overflowing Energy is an excellent change, and the change to Freezing Cold to add a diminishing snare after the effect ends is nice.
But a lot of these Conduit talents continue to be unattractive or feel as if they have so little impact, I don’t need to deliberate any of my decisions in the class tree; I just cruise around and grab all the active buttons with zero compromises.
Improved Frost Nova is still here. Mirror Image’s choice talents still require some redesign work. There’s nothing to improve Arcane Explosion or Fire Blast which I think would be very exciting. I wish Quick Witted had another minor effect on either throughput/Proc/GCD reduction, which other classes commonly enjoy, instead of just being the Shadowlands Counterspell conduit it currently is.
Also, I don’t like Meteor as a Capstone and instead wish the two fire/ice themed capstones would be Shifting Power and Mirrors of Torment respectively.
On the fire side making Fervent Flickering switch with Flamestrike is excellent, but making Phoenix Reborn and Master of Flame harder to hit because you have to spend an extra point to path towards each of them is kind of brutal. UNLESS…
And this is why we need some developer dialogue to figure out what they’re shooting for.
UNLESS. If the intent is that we should be able to build into strong Mythic+ Cleave/low-target AOE damage without Flamestrike (I.E. hitting Phoenix Reborn + Master of Flame + Living Bomb + Fiery Rush + Hyperthermia)… I think I’d be mostly OK with this tree as it stands.
Just make “Feel the Burn” into a choice node against Infernal Cascade for both extra Combustion rotational nuance + better support for Phoenix Flames and to free up a point so that I could do 2/2 Firemind, 2/2 Controlled Destruction, or Cauterize + Skyfall Choice Nodes to round out a Flamestrike-less Cleave/AOE build.
A lot of good and requested changes for Frost in particular. There are some bandaids to Glacial Spike with Piercing Cold, but the underlying core issues with the rest of the tree persist.
Fire tree position changes are fine but largely inconsequential. Core issues, like Blaster Master duration and everything about Fire Frenzy basically, persist.
Mana Gem as a 90-second cooldown is a great and expected change. The change to Impetus is disappointing, as it only procs if Impetus procs at 3 or more Arcane Charges. The wording suggests it should proc whenever you gain a charge from any source at 4 Arcane Charges. I think that would have been more interesting as a pay-off in exchange for the mana required to cast a 4 Arcane Charge Arcane Blast.
Overflowing Energy is good just because the previous version was bad, to be frank. All the issues with the class tree persist, in particular at the capstone level. Most core issues still need to be addressed.
I really think Blaster Master needs to last longer than three seconds. It feels bad and hard to keep stacks right now because of how slow Phoenix Flames is. Five seconds would be ideal, four might be enough though.
We finally got some changes, yay! Here are some initial thoughts:
- First, Improved Blizzard is changed back to 0.5s! This is just great not only for M+ AoE but also for 2-3 target cleave. Very happy.
- Everlasting Frost not being a choice with Improved Blizzard is a great change. I like its pathing as well. If you want to take it, you can. If you want to skip it – you can too because it doesn’t collide with other talents. Good change.
- Piercing Cold (previously Arctic Piercing) – I think this is a good change. Really nice damage boost for 1 point that does not require any degeneracy to keep its uptime etc. I also like the fact that they included Glacial Spike in this one.
- Improved Icy Veins removed, and base duration increased to 25 sec. Pretty self-explanatory. Not a lot to talk about here except for a GREAT change!
- Slick Ice/Freezing Winds no longer a choice node is good. Full disclosure, neither of them feel like a powerful capstone to me but at least now we can take both, one of them, or neither depending of your build. I think it is good to have a choice.
- Redesigned Overflowing Energy feels so much better than what it used to be. It is pretty simple, but it also has built-in bad luck protection, which is great!
Now the bad stuff:
- We still have not received any words from Blizzard regarding their design goals/philosophy. This is kind of concerning but there is nothing we can do about it.
- Icy Propulsion CDR is still 1 sec., and it was supposed to be 2sec weeks ago. Also, nothing on Glacial Spike and its Icicles benefiting from Icy Propulsion as 6 separate damage instances instead of just 1.
- Snowstorm seems to finally give 20% damage per stack (up to 30 stacks) but it still takes waaaay too long to actually get to 30 stacks.
- Glacial Assault – this feels so terrible to have a 30% chance per Flurry hit to TICKLE an enemy. Because it doesn’t actually do damage, it tickles as it currently does 1/14th of our 2-set bonus damage.
- Ray of Frost needs Jesus. Give it some love. Maybe make it benefit from Splitting Ice? Or maybe simply remove it altogether and be done with it.
- Full disclosure, today’s changes are all nice, but they are VERY minor. They are mostly just separating choice nodes and pathing stuff. And it took Blizzard like a month to implement them. I think that this is troubling because a month is a really long time considering that pre-patch could go live as soon as 5 weeks from now (end of October-ish). AND we have not received any major changes like redesigned capstones (Shifting Power, Meteor, etc.) or choice nodes with Cauterize like a lot of us here talked about. This makes me feel like they are kind of done with mages. (I hope not tho.)
In addition, we wanted to avoid awkward positioning where it was mandatory to take a specific, unrelated talent to reach a desired, potentially gameplay altering, talent.
This is from the Balance druid post.
Frost mage has to take Blizzard (a spell never cast on Single Target) in order to reach Cold Snap (A defensive tool that you might want entirely separate unrelated to when you want blizzard, but is also skippable in and high risk to potentially choose alternative utility or throughput, but that choice is not available because:
Both are required to reach Icy Veins. A spell you always want. Why should mages only get 28 points to spend of choice? Both Cold Snap and Blizzard should be situationally not chosen options for Frost Mages, and currently that is never the case.
AOE Icy Propulsion (biggest issue with frost’s fun atm)
The main problem with this not existing is it removes build variety from Frost in dungeons. It forces you into a Thermal Void playstyle with the loop that Icy Veins has with blizzard - lower cd, faster ticks - more frozen orbs - more freezing winds and more freezing rain.
Additionally, you might think this being single target only wouldn’t really effect the uptime in single target, but it has major implications for our single target uptime as well. A lot of the cooldown reduction you get on live comes from the tier set, talented comet storm, and frozen orb passively giving cdr. Not only do you no longer have that in Dragonflight, you also have half the value of Shadowlands Icy Propulsion. This version of Icy Propulsion reduces agency over your Icy Veins cooldown in both single target and aoe. In single target you can not do a flurry → comet storm → 2 ice lances or ice lance frostbolt ice lance for massive cdr. You can not flurry → ray of frost. In AOE shattering your spells is no longer rewarded and is deterred as you could be getting Icy Veins CDR back removing a fun gameplay minigame at a time where we have more roots than ever before, Shifting power is likely not worth it to press the majority of the time in AOE during Icy Veins since you are spending 4s doing nothing. You don’t like suggestions, but this is a massive QoL hit to Frosts gameplay in dungeons. The best way to fix this is to give Rune of Power an ICD when procced from Icy Veins, add that to the sentence on Rune of Powers description that says Icy Veins drops it, and then add AOE Icy Propulsion back. Or make AOE spells proc a smaller Icy Propulsion stack, like 0.5s per hit.
Also cold front is too weak outside of icy veins to work and you have very low uptime on icy veins with cold front in DF compared to always being in it in SL.
Freezing Winds as the only viable AOE capstone
That leaves us with only freezing winds as the viable capstone with thermal void in aoe (which thermal void isnt really a capstone as it changes nothing about your gameplay except feeding into the ice lance loop). Freezing winds got much stronger with the blizzard change being reverted, which lowers the potential of the other capstones. Freezing winds has a gameplay style that is exceptionally punishing outside of icy veins. You do not have the haste to do anything but press ice lance if you are not in icy veins during frozen orb. This is even more true with flash freeze and hailstones feeding into the resource generation during this period. This also has by far the most synergy with Thermal Void and ST Icy Propulsion and will likely completely dominate in dungeons.
Glacial Spikes Anti-synergy in the 3rd Gate
You can take 3 capstones as Frost (4 if you count slick ice). For Glacial spike (or GS) those are Slick Ice, Freezing Winds, and Thermal Void. Slick Ice is bad for Glacial Spike as you cast very few frostbolts, potentially add GS to its list and make that effect stronger. Freezing Winds has high anti-synergy with Glacial Spike as you need to be in Icy Veins and lust essentially to not overcap fingers of frost procs casting Glacial Spike. And that doesnt even include the fact that GS necessitates using flurry after its cast which would just proc munch. Thereby losing you 3 ice lances worth of value (1 from overcapping, 2 from proc munching). And it still doesn’t proc multiple instances of Icy Propulsion to make up for losing the 5 individual icicle hits.
Bug: Currently queuing a frozen ice lance after GS will not generate an icicle but will show the visual regardless. (assuming you have hailstones talented). Also its been reported Ice Nines never triggers at max icicles.
Everlasting Frost and Frostbite
The added connection does nothing as the talents to the direct side of them are vastly superior. Everlasting Frost is weak compared to brainfreeze and same with Frostbite to Piercing Cold. The connection should be the nodes below them so you have the option to skip Cold Snap and Blizzard because of what I just said in the first sentence and as it opens up more pathing options as opposed to the entire tree being forced down all 3 paths linearly.
Ray of Frost
These changes have actually prevented you from ever talenting Ray of Frost in single target. Because Ray of Frost is not strong enough to compete with getting Freezing Winds and Slick Ice together. Before this you would ignore Improved Icy Veins and take Ray of Frost. Highly unlikely to be the case now that it competes with the aforementioned talents. I mentioned in prior posts ways that Ray of Frost could be improved, mainly through having a increasing amount of ticks with haste.
Overabundance of Frostbolt Multipliers
Frostbolt has multipliers from - Lonely Winter, Piercing Cold, Deep Shatter, Winter Tide, and Slick Ice. This adds up to 120% base increased Frostbolt damage.
Still weak, putting the unity directly after it like the warrior talent tree has with spear is a 2s fix to make this ability worth it. Which would result in Improved Frost Nova being rolled back into Frost Nova (since it was nerfed in Dragonflight for this), shifting Frigid Winds to that place and moving Ice Ward to where Frigid Winds is.
Still feels horrible to press in AOE.
This still isn’t worthy of its capstone place, the freeze lasting an extra second doesn’t matter, it instantly breaks. And the additional slow only holds value in PvP.
Someone recently made a very good general tree mockup. It was exactly what mages need. It would fix the problem with Fractured Frost and Cold Front as well - being that right now it does not have a cooldown to sync with icy veins and fractured frost being always on is very difficult to deal with without creating a no ice lance, low uptime icy veins situation.
Slick Ice and Thermal Void are not gameplay changing so you only have 3 options for Frost’s gameplay - Cold Front vs Freezing Winds vs Glacial Spike. Glacial Spike and Cold Front are horrendous compared to Freezing Winds in aoe. Glacial Spike has high anti-synergy with Freezing Winds. Cold Front likely needs to be replaced by something else.
Ray of Frost should be worth pressing given its spot in the third gate.
Put Cauterize on the general tree. The lack of it is a major blocker to Frost and Arcane in all high end modes (pvp, raids, and dungeons), and is currently an optional choice for the Fire tree so you could remove it with no impact on their build. Arcane lost its spec specific defensive for no reason. Other classes with cheat death like Rogue have it on the general tree. And Fire has historically been the strongest mage spec with the best niche of execute and burst. So having the strongest defensive as well is a bit unfair to the other specs viabilities.
Frost: I’m tentatively happy. The removal of Arctic Piercing, the improved pathing, and the unnerfing of Improved Blizzard have made the tree a lot nicer to navigate.
I want to see the following:
EITHER: Glacial Spike procs 6s CDR off Icy Propulsion (cast+5 Icicles), or Icicles removed from Icy Propulsion entirely, with the talent re-tuned appropriately.
Snowstorm to lose the proc chance per wave OR the cooldown on proc generation. I’d favour removing the chance to not penalize lower tier M+ groups who don’t pull massive pulls and to prevent any Time Manipulation bullcrap on huge packs. Potentially change it to only proc when hitting 2+ targets to prevent Blizzard/Cone creeping into single target rotations, although I heavily doubt it will.
Ray of Frost to do something. It has no interaction with Icy Propulsion, and it’s branching into the GS side of the tree with only 2 FoF to show for it. Generate Icicles on tick, if removing Icicles from Icy Propulsion?
Brain Freeze to lose its damage modifier. You gave us the ability to bank a charge of Flurry and kinda penalize us for using it outside of the Brain Freeze proc.
- Lonely Winter is a bit high vs what the Elemental brings, especially for raid. I miss my buddy.
- Ebonbolt to be a worthy competitor to Frozen Touch. 20% more procs vs a 45s single proc and a med-tier damage impact. I would love to see the damage return to Legion’s era. Give me a reason to take the active talent.
- Recheck the math on Incanter’s Flow vs Rune of Power, especially since we’ve dropped out of the era of 3 minute cooldowns on Mage. Rune should still win, but Incanter’s shouldn’t just be an absolutely dead talent.
That said, I think this is the first time I’ve been able to sit down and build out TV/GS/AoE trees and not feel like I’m missing a third of the build. Thank you.
ETA: Disagreeing with the above and below posters. AoE IP was unbalanced. I would much rather see a shift to base damage rather than “have enough mobs to insta-reset IV so you can be in RoP the entire dungeon”. Also disagreeing that Frostbolt has too many damage modifiers. As long as DPCT doesn’t overtake Ice Lance, it’s fine now that Ice Lance scales with Mastery. From my testing, it doesn’t, so it should be fine as-is. Lanceless is an abomination, but we don’t seem to be at that point. Also a number of the damage increases listed are conditional.
[Bone Chilling] somewhat because it’s a general increase to all damage but a boring modifier nonetheless and even
[Frigid Shattering] [Subzero] is another modifier. We have waaaaay too many of them.
And [Cold Snap], please.
after testing out the new build. Love the new overflowing energy talent. buffs fire and frost damage more than arcane. but still all three specs benefit from it. Still the general concerns I had are not addressed
Now that overwhelming energy does what it does now. makes it more difficult to decide on fireball build vs pyroblast. Pyroblast still has more damage, and the cast time is not that big of a difference especially since we get a 10 percent crit damage bonus to it from the new talent listed above. there needs to be a definitive answer as to what to use.
Frost: is much better because of the changes. More testing to be done.
Arcane: Still needs a tree pruning. so many useless talents. Presence of mind still debatable as needed. Rather have the effect merged into empowered arc blasts after a clear casting proc. Arcan harmony is now debatable as to use. all of our dps is behind missiles right now. it is not really worth casting a barrage since mana regen is great. but that does not mean I want a nerf to it. Leave it alone.
I would prefer if blizzard is baseline for frost.
I like the new Overflowing Energy… and that’s about it.
I think some adjustments still need to be made on the class tree and I think Arcane is awful for anyone who dislikes Arcane Orb like I do and/or doesn’t want to play Spark/Harmony. If I am being honest, I also really don’t even like Arcane Surge.
Is Surge cool? Yea, but I liked the simplicity of retail’s Arcane Power + Overpowered. I don’t even get the option to keep old style Arcane Power as a choice node with Surge. It’s just… gone, and my only other option is to just not take it and not have the damage buff.
And considering the lack of real change with this patch I’m resigned, to that fact that this is essentially the heaping pile we’re gonna be stuck with when Dragonflight launches and that I’ll be giving up main-ing my Mage for first time ever.
That class tree having problems I can deal with but I just plain don’t like how Arcane plays on the beta/ptr and I don’t want to be Fire or Frost. This honestly killed a lot of my enthusiasm for Dragonflight.