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.