Feedback: Mages

In this thread, we’ll be testing and talking about Mages in The War Within. Look here for posts from the development team as adjustments and bugfixes are made throughout the testing period.

Please note that off-topic or inappropriate posts will be strictly removed.

The War Within Beta

All classes’ Hero Talent trees are available for testing. Please keep in mind that this is a Beta environment:

  • There may be UI elements on the talent panel that are placeholder, including things like talent icons, text, or final UI art.
  • Some talents may not be functioning yet, or may be marked as not yet implemented (NYI).
  • Some new spell visuals and audio may still be a work in progress.
  • There are some talents that are not fully tuned yet. This is expected, and we will implement tuning adjustments throughout testing.

The combat design team has two big areas of focus at this time:

  • Finish work on changes to talents, especially wherever Hero Talents still need adjustments.
  • Fix bugs that are blocking testing of new talents.

Working from Feedback

Alpha feedback thus far has been of great benefit to us.

Now that we are entering Beta, our focus on Hero Talent trees is shifting away from reworks and design changes and towards tuning and refining. We want to thank you so much for all the forum posts, videos, and discussions all over the internet. Your feedback and impressions have been invaluable for bringing their identities to life and making them fit into what you love about the classes you play.

We are looking forward to hearing from more of you as you get a chance to try Hero Talents for yourself. We are specifically interested in feedback or impressions on these topics:

  • Hero Talents that you feel are “required” for your spec in a type of content, such as raiding or Mythic+, or that push you towards picking a specific tree. This could be due to damage profile, utility, defensives, or something else.
  • Hero Talent trees that you feel are either too strong or too weak in power level compared to other options.
  • Hero Talents whose functionality is confusing, unclear, or difficult to track during gameplay.
  • Hero Talent choice nodes that you feel could offer more meaningful choices.

Again, Thank You

Feedback throughout the Alpha test was highly impactful on our design of the game, and we look forward to refining every class with you in the Beta. Thank you!

The World of Warcraft Combat Design Team


Coming from the point of view of fire addressing these directly from my experience. I’ve spent a good 20-30 hours on training dummies with most of the possible ways to play fire.

Honestly fire feels like it’s in a good design space in terms of flexibility. I can see sunfury and frostfire both being used in raid and m+ depending on what profile you desire. There’s really four combinations.

1. Sunfury +Unleashed Inferno
This to me was the top combination for enjoyability. Unleashed inferno and Sunfury fit hand in hand in every way. I felt powerful and effective with pyroblast and flamestrike. I felt that this combination had a very wide range of options at the bottom of the tree. I felt it using living bomb a little less than other builds, but it was still picked and desired. I find myself leaning heavily to the left side of gate 3 for single target and heavily to the right side of gate 3 for aoe. It was a healthy balance. The biggest thing for this tree is the tuning of Unleashed Inferno relative to Sun King’s Blessing…This balance between the two talents is the foundation of all choice and creativity for fire mage and cannot be understated how important the balance between these two talent is. That balance is EVERYTHING.

2. Sunfury + Sun King’s Blessing
This combination felt functional and satisfying, but it was definitely less satisfying than with unleashed inferno due to the confusing nature of when the arcane phoenix would despawn in your combustion window relative to your combustion buff icon. I know you guys added an “arcane phoenix is fighting for you” buff timer, and this is a great addition. I found it really difficult to track this in conjunction with also tracking all of the other buffs on the native buff bar. It gives something for weak auras to latch on to though. A frustrating collision with this spec was getting hyperthermia after the phoenix despawn while still combusted or trying to convert an SKB with a hard casted pyro. It’s not the end of the world, but that was frustrating. I felt living bomb was more effective in this build, but not dominantly so. Pyromaniac and hyperthermia were feels bad talents for me with SKB due to the uptime of combustion really suppressing hyperthermia value. I could see this build played in all content.

3. Unleashed Inferno and Frostfire
I really severely disliked this combination. I didn’t feel like it was non functional, but unleashed inferno feels like the ultimate burst talent where you want to pack EVERYTHING in to combustion while frostfire is an uptime spec. Frostfire will push you strongly to take the meteor talents, but I found that I liked the left gate 3 more with unleashed inferno than the right gate 3 area. Nothing here is functioning poorly, but there is anti synergy between the uptime nature of frostfire and the burst nature of unlashed inferno. I may not like this combo, but it’s not fundamentally broken in any way for people who want to play it.

4. Sun King’s Blessing and Frostfire
This to me is the other extremely strong combination. The uptime nature of frostfire met up with the uptime nature of sun king’s blessing and the result is a lot of fun. I do feel that there are way too many frostfire empowerment procs, but the result is a fast paced proc heavy build. There is a problem with talent choice however as the meteor talents are pushed strongly on you. The meteor comet storm combo is the literal bread and butter of this hero tree. I found that when I invested HEAVILY in to meteor to fit the hero tree, I had excellent damage in aoe but really really really weak damage in single target. If I divested from meteor in favor of more single target, the tree lost the luster of the meteor comet storm combo. I could see this tree played mostly in m+, but in raiding I think it may be avoided do to its inherent weakness in single target being forced so heavily in to meteor. It also felt very difficult to incorporate flamestrike in to this build due to firefall.


I think the only build that may simply struggle is frostfire in single target situations. This is a small nitpick though as there is a lot of variety in choice., Choice was a stated goal of the fire rework, and choice we have. I would like to repeat this point though. All of the choice we have is predicated on the balance between sun king’s blessing and unleashed inferno. The talents should produce results within a smaller margin than they did in dragonflight. If they are within a few percent of each other in the most prevalent damage profiles (single target, 5-8 target cleave) then this spec design is near perfection to me.

Covered above, but frostfire sun king’s blessing in single target may be too weak. On the other side of the coin, comet storm is currently uncapped target damage so frostfire skb may be extremely overpowered at high target counts of 10-15+.

The hero talent that is the most confusing to me is sunfury rondurmancy vs Ignite the future. I’ve played this spec a TON on alpha and I still don’t get why you would pick one over the other.

As for difficult to track, I don’t think anything will be impossible once we have weak auras. The design of fire allows for skill expression in tracking but also kind of plays itself passively if you don’t track explicitly. You can mostly press the glowing buttons in your rotation and you get value.

Rondurmancy and Ignite the future as I stated above. Also, Savor the moment vs Sunfury execution seems wildly unbalanced for fire. Longer combustion should dominate this.


Frost Mage Feedback

Going into The War Within, Frost Mage is the best it has been in many years. The specialization is fun to play, it has distinct playstles in single target and AoE, and everything that sees use is properly tuned and designed such that the core rotational gameplay of the specialization doesn’t break down and stop working.

Frost Mage Changes in The War Within

So far in The War Within, Frost Mage has received just a few changes as seen below.

The changes to the class tree listed here are mostly very good. The one change that is problematic for Frost Mages is the merging of Ice Nova and Ring of Frost into a single node. In a lot of cases, Frost Mages must select Ice Nova for DPS reasons, which makes this a DPS vs Utility choice node and that isn’t good. It would be better to break the visual symmetry with the tree or even delete one of Improved Frost Nova and Rigid Ice so that these two talents do not need to share a node.

Overall, some these changes are disappointing. The stated design goal of adding Death’s Chill and redesigning Fractured Frost was to provide an additional playstyle for the specialization. There are two major problems with this.

  1. Right now, tuning forces Frost Mages into one of two builds depending on the situation: (a) for single target, a build that selects Glacial Spike and Cryopathy; or (b) for many targets, a build that selects Glacial Spike and Coldest Snap. Most complaints I have seen in the community come from players that do not enjoy playing with Glacial Spike, especially in single target situations. In this single target case, these additions will definitely not create an alternative to selecting Glacial Spike.

  2. Death’s Chill, Fractured Frost, and Cold Front are very similar to the hugely problematic build at the end of Shadowlands with Deathborne, Death’s Fathom, and Cold Front. In AoE situations with this build, it was optimal to ignore Ice Lance, Blizzard, and Flurry. This left the best rotation during Deathborne to consist of Frostbolt and Frozen Orb only, which is not a compelling rotation. The main problem here is that the new combination of talents adds significant power to only the Frostbolt spell and nothing else. If they were changed to benefit from spells other than just Frostbolt, this issue would be addressed.

Reducing Hailstones and Fractured Frost to a 1-point talents is a great change. These 2-point nodes heavily limited the ability to select certain capstones and the added flexibility is appreciated.

Remaining Problems with Frost Mage

Weak Talents

Prior to The War Within, the three nodes in the Frost tree that really needed attention were Snowstorm, Fractured Frost, and Cold Front. These changes help with Fractured Frost and Cold Front, but Snowstorm is still overshadowed by and has poor synergy with Coldest Snap. Ideally, this node should be replaced with something new

Lack of Choice Early in the Tree

Frost Mages do not have a lot of choice in their specialization tree. The only notable variation for the last point of the first 20 occurs with Frozen Touch, Ice Caller, and sometimes Deep Shatter. Frostbite and Subzero are also situationally good, but they are rarely used. Adding at least one new node to add some choices would be very nice. Another option would even be moving Ice Nova into the specialization tree, since as mentioned above Frost Mages are already treating this as a DPS node in the class tree.


Mage Class Tree Feedback:

Please consider changing the Shimmer/Ice Floes and Supernova/Dragon’s Breath nodes with each other.

As currently taking Shimmer/Ice Floes is required to take Supernova/Dragon’s Breath this will likely be an issue for Fire Mages. I and others have never been fond of either Shimmer for PvE and PvP scenarios as Blink offers great Root/Stun removal utility and Ice Floes as Fire Mage is not really useful since most of the time we are using instant cast spells.

As it stands as a Fire Mage, I would either not take Dragon’s Breath at all or I would take Ice Floes and not even add it to my keybinds.

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Frost Feedback:

Great to see so many revisions to the Mage specs and general tree. I am excited to try the new Arcane and Fire reworks.

However, the lack of attention to Frost’s issues that have existed since DF alpha is continuously concerning. Lots of valuable feedback was already given in alpha and no adjustments to these areas have been made.

This feedback focuses on the Frost tree, will do Hero talents later once I test them more.


With Coldest Snap being a strong capstone for AoE limiting Cone of Cold to 45 seconds, investing 2 points into Snowstorm just does not provide the dps output to warrant the cost even when Snowstorm reaches max stacks.

It takes 15-20 seconds to reach max stacks of Snowstorm, and given we’re always taking Coldest Snap in AoE, this leaves players waiting between 25-30 seconds of holding onto max stacks Snowstorm before CoC even comes off cd. The only talents that alter CoC are both anti-synergistic with each other.

A fully maxed Snowstorm CoC averages around 2% of total damage output, while a no-Snowstorm CoC is around 0.4-0.5%. Not only is Wintertide currently a larger dps gain over Snowstorm, but when taking Spellslinger into account where there is so much Winter’s Chill and FoF procs this is adding additional strength to Wintertide.

Snowstorm doesn’t synergise with Coldest Snap, has no real impact on overall dps output, and does not interact with Frost’s toolkit at all. Please replace Snowstorm.

The return of Deathborne (Fractured Frost, Death’s Chill, and Cold Front):

I’m disappointed and concerned that this was brought back from Shadowlands. This Frostbolt-centric spam playstyle is so problematic, where Frostbolt becomes so strong that it pushes most of Frost’s core spells out of the rotation entirely. When playing, it creates a cognitive conflict where the game is telling us to use our highlighted procs and other core spells that have come off cd, but we know it would be a dps loss to do so or are unable to do the mental math in our head to know whether it will be a dps gain to continue casting Frostbolt or switch to our specs. It is leading us back towards the no-Ice Lance builds that have continued to plague Frost despite dev feedback historically stating that future design would combat this. The spamming of Frostbolt and not using any other spells also devalues and nullifies a very large portion of our talents and hero talents that are based on our other spells.

Frostbolt-centric spam is unfun gameplay and completely devalues the purpose of our procs and toolkit entirely. Why even give us other spells if Frostbolt just does everything better.

Please revise this playstyle option and preferably remove it entirely. Cold Front has been a dead, weak, and unused talent since DF alpha so it will not be missed. Better to replace it with something more interesting and engaging with the spec’s toolkit.

Cold Front:

This has been a problematic talent since DF alpha and extensive feedback has been provided historically explaining this. The ramp up time of CF takes far too long and very often when the Frozen Orb procs it’s at an inconvenient time to provide very little benefit (or no benefit if it auto-launches when enemies die, completely wasting it), or automatically launches in a direction we don’t want because our character is not facing the proper direction at that exact moment.

Additionally, in AoE fights with Ice Caller we already have more than sufficient Blizzard and Frozen Orb uptime where we’re rarely casting Frostbolt and Flurry in AoE anyway, further reducing Cold Front’s AoE viability and making the Frozen Orb is generates to be of much lesser value.

It would be preferable to remove Cold Front entirely and replace it with a new talent that is not problematic.

However, if you must keep it then a suggestion would be to not make Cold Front proc a Frozen Orb at all, either a Comet Storm or a new proc of something else that feels more impactful. To reduce the problematic aspect of only requiring Frostbolt and Flurry to generate CF stacks, Ice Lance should also be included so that it also generates CF stacks. This would give CF more value in AoE where we’re not casting Frostbolt and Flurry at all, and also give more incentive to keep Ice Lance in the rotation in combination with Fractured Frost and Death’s Chill.

Splintering Ray:

Quick note, dead talent is just far too weak to compete with Cryopathy. While it can just be tuned up, I personally would prefer it not to be and instead removed and replaced with something else if possible. Our AoE rotation is already VERY full of things to do and we very frequently have to ignore FoF and munch FoF procs from Freezing Winds because we are needing to cast so many other AoE spells that are higher priority that IL, which already feels bad to have to ignore our core proc. I really don’t want to have to add in Ray of Frost into this already full rotation and be channelling for 5sec in AoE. It feels disruptive to the existing fast paced AoE rotation that is primarily instant cast spells.

No choice and low variety:

The recent revisions to Fire have given an abundance of choice to builds and talents, which is fantastic. Frost has barely any choice and others have previously explained the near mandatory 20 points in the first two tiers of the tree.

Out of every spec in the game, Frost has the lowest number of total talent points (44) that exist in the tree including its choice node and 2-point nodes. Frost has nearly the lowest number of total unique talents (39) that exist in the tree including choice nodes, only just beaten out by BM and Survival (38 each) but the upcoming Hunter rework will likely push Frost to last place.

Frost has only 1 choice node in the entire tree (Cryopathy/Splintering Ray), which is the lowest number of choice nodes (tied with Outlaw) out of every spec in the game. Given that Splintering Ray is not competitive and never taken, Frost essentially has zero choice nodes. The lack of choice nodes and the near lowest number of total unique talents makes it on track to be the worst spec in the game for talent variety. This is very disappointing when comparing to trees like Retribution (16 choice nodes), and others like Mistweaver/Resto Druid/Holy Pal/Elemental/Enhance (>10 choice nodes each).

Frost is in dire need of variety and choice to provide more QoL improvements and fresher ways to engage with the spec.

Some examples of things to consider:

  • A choice node with Glacial Spike to give players an alternative option to opt out of GS.
  • An ability to not freeze enemies (Frost Nova/Ice Nova/Freeze) as this impacts M+ knock effects and for bosses that are freeze-immune, and instead for those spells to apply Winter’s Chill for a short duration.
  • A choice node where we can cast Blizzard on our target without a reticule. The experimental change for Shadow Crash firing at the target instead of using a reticule is extremely exciting and given that Frost must cast Blizzard so frequently in AoE, having the choice to detaching such frequent casts from the mouse and @cursor macros so it would cast automatically on our target would be a huge QoL improvement to many players and make it more accessible.

Flamestrike – side note on Fire:

Following on from mentioning the reticule for Blizzard, the reticule is one of the main reasons why I avoid Fire so much, because Flamestrike is very frustrating to use and adjust the location of the reticule so frequently. When packs are moving so quickly within very fast Combustion burst windows my fingers/old age struggle too much with that extra reticule management step and I physically can’t do the rotation properly unless everything is standing still for the entire window. So also consider Flamestrike without a reticule too like you’re doing with Shadowcrash.

Plus let’s be real, without an @cursor macro Flamestrike is actually unplayable to properly do a full Combustion burst rotation if you physically need to use the reticule. Which begs the question of the benefit of forcing a reticule onto players for both Flamestrike and Blizzard; just give us the choice to cast it at our target without a reticule.


Arcane Talent Tree Feedback

There was still a lot of issues with how the Arcane talent tree is currently structured.

Slipstream/Chrono Shift: Most of the utility/QoL has either been pruned or made baseline in the first wave of Arcane changes. However, Slipstream and Chrono shift are still stuck in the talent tree, and these abilities urgently need to receive the same treatment.

  • Slipstream: It is much harder now to justify taking Slipstream because it now competes against more throughput nodes in Gate 2 and is no longer a required node to get to Impetus. I think Slipstream is core to Arcane and should be baseline, or at the very least be a required node to access another core spell like Touch of the Magi.
  • Chrono Shift: This spell has been unselectable all of Dragonflight, and this will continue in The War Within as long as it is a node in the tree. Unlike Slipstream, I do not consider Chrono Shift core, so I would not mind if it got pruned. Pruning it would also not change anything since it is a node that leads nowhere as it is. Optionally, it can be added as an additional effect on Arcing Cleave.

In general, there are now way more universal throughput talents in Gate 2 that make utility/QoL nodes not make sense to have unless they are required for pathing. These new throughout nodes in Gate 2 include Eureka, Illuminated Thoughts, Energized Familiar, Arcane Bombardment, Surging Urge, and also the very heavy 2-point nodes Prodigious Savant (previously Gate 3) and Arcane Debilitation.

Wizened Wit/Presence of Mind: The intention was to offer a less complex but weaker option to Presence of Mind, but as it stands Wizened Wit is just way stronger than Presence of Mind.

Presence of Mind is mostly used as a utility/QoL spell, not as a throughput spell, and in Dragonflight it was always picked because it was the only way to path to the universially strong Evocation/Siphon Storm nodes. Even if Wizened Wit was removed, it would still leave Presence of Mind dead on arrival since it is now no longer the only way to access the Evocation nodes.

I consider Presence of Mind core and iconic to Arcane so this have to be fixed. Either Presence of Mind is made baseline (I would prefer this), or it is made into a more relevant throughput spell. For example, the instant Arcane Blasts also deals X% more damage. Wizened Wit is boring so in any scenario I would not mind if it just got removed.

Lastly, on Presence of Mind, it is very frustrating that the cooldown of Presence of Mind does not start until after you have consumed the effect completely. This means that Presence of Mind will always slowly misalign from Touch of the Magi over time, which is the window in which you want the instant Arcane Blasts to ensure uptime. This can unintuitively be fixed by using a macro to cancel the buff after casting one of the instant Arcane Blasts, if you only need one of them. Please make the cooldown start immediately.

It saddens me that Presence of Mind, a spell that has been iconic for Arcane ever since 2004 when it was the capstone talent for Arcane, will no longer be a part of the Arcane kit moving forward.

Crackling Energy/Improved Arcane Missiles: These talents are boring and mandatory throughput talents. But more importantly, they take up pseudo-mandatory node slots thats are required to path to other important nodes. This is strange to do with boring throughput talents like Crackiling Energy/Improved Arcane Missiles when these slots could be dedicated to more fun utility/QoL iconic spells like Slipstream or Presence of Mind.

As it stands, both Slipstream and Presence of Mind are both dead on arrival for Arcane in The War Within. For all the strides that have been made to Arcane, these represent significant steps in the wrong direction.

Arcing Cleave: It is very disappointing that this talent is now in Gate 3 and forced to compete with capstone talents. With this change pretty much all of Arcane AoE is locked into Gate 3. This is also one of the effects that I would consider core to Arcane. It would be preferable if Arcing Cleave had a choice that it competes against less impactful nodes in Gate 2, which was the case in Dragonflight.

My suggestion would be to put Charged Orb in the spot where Arcing Cleave is right now and move Arcing Cleave elsewhere (or make it baseline). Charged Orb would also be a fitting required node for Orb Barrage, as they naturally synergize.

Arcane Debilitation/Prodigious Savant: I like these abilities, but I do not like that they are 2-point nodes. It is disappointing that the lesson that has been made with many other talent trees cannot be applied to Arcane, that heavy point investments like this suffocates the build variety.

Would it be that egregious if these talents were 1-point nodes? It would really open up the tree and make it possible to pick more situational talents like Slipstream, Charged Orb, and Arcane Tempo. If only one change were to happen, then this is the one I want the most.

Furthermore, the second point invested into Prodigious Savanat still does not do anything.

Unsorted Comments.

  • It would be nice if Arcane Harmony changed to work with Arcane Explosion. For example, if Arcane Explosion consumes Clearcasting it adds X stacks of Arcane Harmony.
  • Leydrinker is way too random for how weak the proc is. Either it should proc way more often, or the proc should be stronger.
  • Nether Tempest was a significant contributor to procing Arcane Echo. This was the only reason Nether Tempest was a competitive talent in Dragonflight. It would be nice if Arcane Echo was tuned up to compensate for not having Nether Tempest.
  • How can the developers be happy with Time Anomaly and in the same sentence also call it a frustrating effect?

Playing an SKB + Sunfury build makes me go out of mana on every single pull within 3 minutes, sometimes as early as 2 minutes. In general fire has had mana issues throughout S4 DF and its exacerbated by Spellsteal’s mana cost, but the mana cost of Fire’s spells is too high in general relative to its casting speed.

There is no particular spell that stands out as mana consuming but I think the spec as a whole could just use a global mana cost reduction.

Edit: Upon further testing, it takes about 7.5-8mins once Pyromaniac is untalented. So pyromaniac is definitely making this problem worse but mana concerns shouldnt even be a thing regardless of fight length for having casting 0 utility


Some QoL improvements and general talent tree thoughts;

  • Arcane missiles aura should display how many banked missiles you have like it did in Legion.

  • Evocation is still mandatory capstone pick, limiting choice and i also dislike a mana generator tied to power and adding the clearcasting generation too it further solidifies this.

  • Nether precision makes banking missiles or trying to build up arcane debilitation feel bad as you are munching nether precision trying to build it up, perhaps some interaction with arcane missiles like making it fire faster or more missiles?

  • An aura for tracking aether attunement

  • Spark of the magi, perhaps i am using it incorrectly but from how i read the tooltip it should allow me to use any of those three spells across the duration of ToTM to get the benefits but it appears to not trigger the echo or explosion when left to the end of the duration for arcane barrage.


Firstly i love the thematics of sunfury. But as an arcane main, jumping between the two specs it is night and day with how they flow, fire is very fluid and interacts well with all the sunfury mechanics, the randomness of arcane makes it very stressful as well as adding more mechanics to keep track of.

  • Clearcasting vs fireblast - you have two low cooldown spells with fire to actively trigger hot streak, whereas there is only two long cooldown spells for arcane one of which is a capstone making it even more mandatory in evocation and arcane surge.
    So talents like rondurmancy are almost impossible to achieve for arcane in turn affecting savour the moment.
    Along with trying to keep of how many arcane missiles you have fired for aether attunement and spellfire spheres which become out of sync with each other both tracking 4 lots of clearcasting.

  • GLORIOUS INCANDESCENCE - fire triggers this as part of their rotation with fire blast an off GCD but arcane has to use a separate cooldown which is used as a charge generator to trigger it. It feels bad to throw out when you are at max charges and might need it soon after to generate more.

Arcane needs an easier way to make spellfire spheres. Either a far lower clearcasting count to make them easier to manage, or a more consistent way to gain them, possibly “X number of arcane blasts at max arcane charges”?


Since it does not appear that any of the previous comments were saved or transferred over I will be reposting this so that it can be said that feedback was given in all stages of development.

  • Frost Feedback

The spec itself has seen significant redesign during the Dragonflight expansion which was widely successful. Though there are still some notable issues within it that could be tweaked to make it feel even better. The lack of choice, as well as variance from builds is very underwhelming. This stems from bad pathing as well as some talents that are mandatory needing more points than others, as well as some talents just being DoA or too niche to really warrant their location. This could be resolved by lowering the cost of a couple or making certain things baseline. As well as shifting some talents around with the addition of 1 or 2 new talents in their place.


  • Frostbite and Subzero

Let’s start with some very niche talents first.Frostbite and Subzero. Fortunately Subzero and Frostbite are in spots where they don’t really impede on the pathing that much with where they are, but it’s worth noting that they are very niche, only some situations in which its useful but overall not great points and hard to pick them over a lot of the other choices.

  • Snowstorm and Deep Shatter

These two talents though are in horrible spots in the tree, Not only do they outright block pathing, their effects are very situational and not strong at all ESPECIALLY for being 2 point talents. These talents outright block pathing and provide weak power gains that they are often skipped resulting in poor pathing.

I would personally see these two talents outright removed. Their situations are too niche and they don’t really work well for what they do. Moving freezing winds to Deep Shatters place continues the build fantasy of building procs and allows access to more aoe talents near it. And shiftingFreezing Rain to where Snowstorm is allows the 2 talent combo of lowering orbs cd and increasing blizzard damage near each other so it feels like it flows together more naturally.

  • Cold Front

This talent has been problematic for a while. It just doesn’t feel very strong especially given the count that is needed for it to proc. It is a talent that works against your rotation as it mostly will gain its stacks through your filler spam which you want to avoid using. This is especially true in AOE situations. I believe simply adding icelance to be an additional spell to build stacks would resolve this issue. It will allow most of the base kit to build stacks onto it so that they feel meaningful. I would also move this talent over to where Freezing rain currently is. It will build off of the connection pathing from Freezing wind (Currently Deep Shatter), and helps cement this talent in the aoe part of the tree. Though it is close enough to TV that it could be taken without really deviating.

  • Splintering Ray

This one is just Dead, I don’t really know how I would go about fixing it other than just a significant boost to its damage. By not taking Cryopathy you already lose out on a massive boost to ray of frost damage. To take that 50% lower damage and say now… Only 50% of this 50% lower damage will hit other targets, just doesn’t make it feel worth it in an AoE situation. Luckily it’s a capstone talent so it causes no pathing issues or eats up points.

  • Death’s Chill

This talent I genuinely worry about. When this was in the game in Shadowlands it was mostly used because of how frost worked back then and was successful for that. But with the new changes made to the spec it simply doesn’t work very well. This is before we even take into account the new Hero Talents. Once we factor those in, this talent becomes even more problematic. As building the stacks works against the hero talents that is all about consuming winterchill procs and using flurries and ice lances. Since none of those build stacks you feel like you are doing something wrong. And given how time in Icy Veins is precious, feeling like things are wasted is not great. I would adjust this at first by allowing both Flurry and Icelance to build stacks. This will immediately address the issue of it working against the new hero talents that were added to the game and you can continue your rotation while gaining stacks.

  • New Additional Talent

With the removal of some talents based on these changes, I would add back into the game Glacial Fragments at the bottom of the left side of the tree where Freezing Winds currently is. This talent would continue the pathing of the proc generation from orb and continues the AOE build that is currently going over there. The ice lances inside the blizzard would offer nice aoe options while also building more orbs up so that they work in sync with one another.

Hero Talents

  • FrostFire

The fantasy is there and the visual is nice, it’s just hard to tell how well it will compete number wise. The fire stack does at times feel hard to build up to the point of it working. Unsure if that is the intended goal, But once you add things like GS in there which eats up a lot of time, I think frost will struggle to get that 8 stack of excessive fire without procs from the tree (though they seem to be quite common so maybe this is a non issue unless the proc amount is bugged)

  • Spellslinger

Visually this one is probably the weakest. Having tiny little icicles shoot off to hit the target for weak damage just feels kind of lackluster for a splinter storm (Visually and numerically). The rapid bombardment is front and center though with the build which is respectable. Again damage is hard to evaluate on if it will be competitive with other options.

My hope is that with this it will spark a dialog or conversation with the class and balance developers on what elements of the spec can still be enhanced. My hopes it to hopefully avoid a situation were the spec ends up feeling unfinished or clunky because no time was given to it despite feedback occurring and thus having to wait till iterations on live servers for it to finally get fixed.

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Please change this…

  • [Mage Arcane 11.0 Class Set 4pc (New)]
    Casting Arcane Blast or Arcane Explosion has a 10% chance to make your next Arcane Barrage deal 10% increased damage and generate 4 Arcane Charges.

Overall, the mage changes for TWW have been solid. I’ll be focusing my initial feedback on Frost.

Glacial Spike and Ray of Frost

These two have long occupied a very awkward spot in the kit of Frost. During the partial rework it received at the end of s2, they were giga buffed into a sort of “always picked” status, presumably largely as a counterpoint to their “never picked” status (the meme of Glacial Spike being a DPS loss was alive and well). However, their inherent identities of a huge chunk of damage that slows down the rotation have a bit of overlap, and the two together feel rather needless.

I’d recommend making GS and RoF a choice node, with the subsequent node granting the effect of splitting ice or cryopathy depending on which is picked.

Death’s Chill (and Slick Ice)

Given that Slick Ice exists, this talent feels rather… pointless? I had assumed that when DC was added, slick ice was getting some sort of revamp or that DC was simply replacing SI. However both have stuck around so it appears intentional to some extent. I’d give another look at once or potentially even both of these talents. While the Hero Talents do a good job of adding more incentive to press ice lance, I think the multiplicative nature of these two talents could lead to another dangerous situation for the dreaded frostbolt only/vanilla mage build.

Possible Suggestions for Replacement:
Not necessarily the most exciting, but a simple base cast reduction to frostbolt could make sense, or a slight boost to Critical Strike Damage Bonus.

Something a little more involved is a more workable frozen orb talent. Say something like “Tundra”, increasing the damage of frozen orb (and potentially blizzard too, for freezing rain synergy) against a single target. This could lead to a decision playstyle of more orbs/blizzards vs glacial spike/ray of frost.

Orb Talents

Given that the tier set focuses on Frozen Orb, it seems odd that the orb talents have largely been unchanged from their “you only really use freezing rain” status. I think it’d make sense to swap fractured frost and cold front, and then drop the 30 frostbolts down to 15. Or alternatively change it to ‘damaging’ instead of casting, to allow for multi triggers from the multiple hits of Flurry and the theoretical combination of frostbolt cleave.


As others have mentioned and surely will mentioned, there’s still some awkwardness in the tree. Snowstorm’s damage bonus really cold be baked into coldest snap for one. Or even simply dropping snowstorm’s talent required to 1 and adding a range increase.

Frostbite and subzero float somewhere between niche and problematic. I believe they’ve historically caused a couple of frost mage nerfs. I don’t think it’d be out of line to speculate frostbite could be a pvp talent. Honestly, if way out there suggestions are being pitched making Ice Bomb the replacement capstone in Death’s Chill and tossing frostbite as a pvp talent could make sense.


Frost is seemingly in a good spot, with two solid hero talents from which to choose. I do hope the problematic nature of GS and RoF are looked at in some capacity. Given the current cleanup of talents going around to a lot of specs, I hope frost receives some QoL for the unseemly 2/2s.

Frost Mage oriented feedback post. I have no commentary on how these issues are against Fire or Arcane.

Frostfire feels fine. It’s boring, but flashy. I think that barriers need updated graphics, as Imbued Warding looks like trash, but the spec does what it says on the tin. I imagine this to be fairly popular. It is slightly frustrating to lose the Fire Mastery proc when talented into anything active, would like to see a slightly increased proc rate on Infusion to tide it over. Passive Frost plays a lot of Frostfire Bolt spam, so it is irrelevant there.

Spellslinger went from being completely passive to having an active proc that drastically changes how the spec plays while inside cooldowns, and this feels absolutely fantastic. This suddenly became my favourite hero tree by far. It has one singular issue in Controlled Instincts will be an absolute pain to maintain uptime for due to not lingering after the final tick.

Unlike some here, I actually quite enjoy Ray+GS as a combo. Ray feels like an actual burst cooldown, something this spec has historically been missing, and has welcomed with open arms. Glacial Spike is more akin to a playstyle pick, but has one of the best animations in the kit. After finally getting them to a non-meme status, it would be a shame to lose them from the kit again. While I believe they should be the optimal play, as complexity should likely be rewarded, keeping at least GS mostly in line with non-GS should likely be a tuning goal. Having neither hero tree interact with either spell is dangerous territory.

  • Time Anomaly - Frost: Brain Freeze generation is granting the proc, but not actually resetting the spell cooldown as the proc should.
  • Time Anomaly - Frost: Icy Veins is not exactly a beneficial spell in the level of Surge/Combustion since it is lacking the Water Elemental. Given that the Water Elemental generates Brain Freeze, it would probably be more appropriate to spawn this instance of Icy Veins with the full 5 stack of Frigid Empowerment instead, which is where a large chunk of the cooldown’s power lies.
  • Splinters on Frost overlap greatly with Icicles/Glacial Spike. Consider moving their origin points randomized left/right of the caster, or even just offset left/right of their current position, closer to Icicles 3+4 instead of 5.
  • Would like to see some movement while they’re generating. They’re eerily static before launch. The same could be said for Sunfury’s orbs.
  • Spellslinger: Shifting Shards hitting targets not in combat with you is horrific and shouldn’t happen. We’ve seen what this does in dungeon content with Balance Druid.
  • Spellslinger: Splintering Orbs likewise is firing Splinters at anything in range, rather than what it is hitting as the talent text implies.

The Death’s Chill/Slick Ice/Fractured Frost/Cold Front quartet are problematic. Frostfire especially is loading a lot of damage into your filler, and this seems to encourage spamming Frostfire Bolt to stack Death’s Chill/Cold Front proc while doing so. Additionally, they are locked behind Thermal Void, and the rest of the tree that heavily leans on Ice Lance. Putting four Frostbolt/Frostfire Bolt-centric talents there is an odd choice. Tuning obviously plays a huge role here, but consider knock on effects with regards to these.

While having an option for non-complex play is a stated goal of Frost, I am of the belief that it should not be optimal, only close enough to not particularly matter at the level of play that the average player is at. That said, I am not of the belief that “non-complex” should stray into “spam filler”.

  • Frostfire: Excess Fire is absurdly weak, at least on Frost. The damage added by the Living Bomb is on the order of 1.2% in single target, where Excess Frost’s Ice Nova is around 4.5%. Consider damage multiplier around 500% instead of 150%, at least for Frost. Brain Freeze is valuable, but given that Frostfire is weak just in general, I feel this is an easy location for a buff.
  • Spellslinger: Spellfrost Teachings is quite possibly too good. Unsure of direction required, would like insight into design intent. It feels extremely fun to play, and I am wary of actually posting this piece of feedback. You definitely nailed the feel of “slinging spells”. It is powerful, it is impactful, and it is fun. I hope we just do not pay for this with severe nerfs down the line, and if we do, for it to be on the Orb damage increase rather than the proc rate.
  • Spellslinger: Controlled Instincts should probably linger after last Blizzard tick. Unlike Arcane’s version, Frost’s duration scales inversely with haste while the animation and firing delay of Splinters do not. I would like to see 6 seconds after last Blizzard damage, or at least tied to the Blizzard chill effect itself. This is going to cause the relative value of the talent to be fairly poor compared to Arcane’s until addressed.
  • Frostfire: Excess Frost/Fire should not light their button up. This is extremely confusing when considering that both Fingers of Frost and Brain Freeze do this already. Given that they do not provide their associated proc, there are times you are sitting on them for a significant amount of time, button glowing, but (Lance) suboptimal or (Flurry) impossible to hit.
  • Spellslinger: Spellfrost Teachings Orb reset should probably flash the Orb button. To be clear, not the damage buff, just when the Orb has reset and stop flashing on used.
  • Frostfire: Flame and Frost is just not an actual choice. Cold Snap is almost exclusively used for a second Ice Block/Ice Cold and is considered Frost’s major defensive benefit, like Cauterize and Improved Prismatic Barrier. When the only fire spells we have access to are simple AoE stops, this is never going to be used when compared to Elemental Affinity’s flat CDR.
  • Frostfire: Thermal Conditioning is problematic, and a major component of the fear that Frost will devolve to Frostfire Bolt spam. For Frost at least, there is almost no case to take Severe Temperatures. You are simply casting Bolt too much.
  • Spellslinger: Look Again is an extremely odd choice given that Displacement is functionally impossible to take in most PVE sets. While the alternative is a sprint on Alter Time, this is another single pick choice node, no matter how inconsequential it is. If it gave you access to Displacement as a first/second charge, there would be actual talent contention here.
  • Spellslinger: Unerring Proficiency feels like it is likely a single target-only pick, and even then, this is a fairly weak button. Would like to see this be a significant boon if intended to be the single target pick.

As cool as the visual for Sunfury Spheres are, it’d be great if we could have a toggle to only show it in combat


Frost Feedback

Frost is now in the best place it’s been in a long time when it comes to gameplay, but that being said, the tree shows a severe lack of build diversity with 26/30 points being absolutely locked in for every possible build at the very least:

You’d swap Frozen Touch for Ice Caller so you can get access to the 3rd gate and capstone talents if you want AoE, but then you’d lock in two more in Freezing Rain and Coldest Snap.

But don’t get me wrong, I actually love the current Frost playstyle and want to see it remain as an option, but we absolutely need more talents in order to have different playstyles and build diversity.

Frost Mage Talents

There are few talents that I’d say are a bit problematic, like:

  • Flurry
    – Why do we need to pick 3 separate talents back to back just to make it a good spell? It feels kind of wasteful. Maybe having it as 2 charges baseline would be a good change.
  • Fingers of Frost (or Brainfreeze)
    – Why is it not baseline when Clearcasting and Hot Streak are? Either this or Brain Freeze are supposed to be the main mechanic of the spec and be baseline like its counterparts.
  • Lonely Winter
    – When the water elemental was removed as a permanent pet and made part of Icy Veins’ functionality, I found it extremely weird that this talent remained. Even its name was supposed to allude to not having a pet by our side akin to Lone Wolf for Marksmanship Hunters. I guess now it’s just a filler talent that adds damage to a few spells, but the name is still weird.
  • Wintertide
    – This talent tried to address proc munching with Winter’s Chill and Fingers of Frost, but it honestly feels wrong that it gatekeeps Icy Veins and costs 2 points. Does it properly solve the problem? I don’t think so, but I also don’t know what else can be done to solve it without making it mandatory to spend Fingers of Frost into Winter’s Chill.
  • Snowstorm
    – The idea was cool before we had our rework, but even then the tuning just wasn’t on this talent’s side. Now that we have a vastly superior option that interacts with the same spell and have both of them anti-synergize with one another, this one feels extra obsolete. It also costs 2 points, making its shortcomings even worse.
  • Subzero
    – We’ve seen what happened when this one was mandatory prior to its nerfs. It skewed Frost’s damage on freezable vs unfreezable enemies way too much for comfort and it was a good thing it was nerfed. But then again, now it’s so weak that we don’t ever pick it anymore AND it costs 2 points, which does it no favors.
  • Deep Shatter
    – Similar to Subzero, we saw what happened when this was too strong before. A “no Ice Lance” playstyle with focus on Frostbolt spam that we all hate. Why this talent is still in our tree is anyone’s guess since it promotes a playstyle that even the devs themselves said they are against, and with a few other problematic ones further down the line, I fear there might be a build where this is picked again. And once again, it costs 2 points.
  • Fractured Frost
    – Same as the one above, it promotes Frostbolt spam, and we really don’t want to see Frostbolt spam.
  • Cold Front
    – Frostbolt spam again. Along with Fractured Frost, this promotes some degenerate playstyle where we ignore other core abilites in favor of spamming our filler in cleave/AoE.
  • Death’s Chill
    I fear no man, but this thing… it scares me. This is the one that I’m most apprehensive about. It’ll most likely either be undertuned and never picked or so strong that it’s pretty much always going to be picked and is the one that promotes the degen Frostbolt spam playstyle the most. And at the same time it introduces heavy ramp, which I also really don’t want to see ever again after playing it for 2 seasons of Shadowlands.
  • Splintering Ray
    – I mean, it’s just undertuned? But at the same time, it feels very disruptive to be channeling a primarily single target spell for 5 seconds in AoE where our AoE rotation is already plenty busy as it is.

Glacial Spike

Going back to build diversity, Glacial Spike is a very build-defining capstone talent by making us actively interact with our mastery by introducing a heavy hitting but long cast time spell that’s our top priority in most situations. This is a talent that, if I recall correctly, hasn’t seen play since BfA where it was part of one of the many “no Ice Lance” builds we’ve seen over the years.

I love Glacial Spike and would probably rather play it in most situations, and for that matter, would also love if our current Dragonflight 2pc set bonus made it into the talent tree, giving more incentive to cast Glacial Spike in AoE when we step into The War Within. But as much as I love Glacial Spike, I’m in agreement that there should be an alternative build without it. And also like Kuni posted before, they should be close in performance with Glacial Spike pulling a bit ahead due to higher complexity.

Spell Effects and Visuals

OK, this isn’t as urgent as the other topics, but it’s also important in an MMORPG. Some of our visuals look very outdated, with examples like Cone of Cold and Ice Barrier still carrying their 2004 spell effects and Ray of Frost being just a blue line on my screen that looks like a visual glitch more than an actual spell.

There are already some NPCs that have incredible spell effects for abilities extremely similar to ours, like Jaina’s Glacial Ray, a few mobs in the Dragonflight dungeons and even Mists of Pandaria Remix with a few tinkers like Frost Armor. Jaina even has one visually incredible spell named Frozen Blast that I wish was part of our kit ever since I first saw it being cast.


Arcane mage is classically my favorite of the 3 specs even though I’m not the best at it. Loving the changes overall.

Spellslinger (as arcane): I was surprised by how much I liked it. It’s a lot more fun than it looks. Its primary dependency on Nether Precision keeps the splinter count pretty low though. I’m not sure if it’s a skill issue that I’m not maximizing splinters. Maybe a better mage could get away with some massive dps by handling their splinters well.
Personally I’d like to see a little more synergy between splinters and arcane orb. Maybe orb could conjure more splinters or something, dunno if that would create problems.

Sunfury (as arcane): Also cool, but I feel like it favors fire mages because of the extra cooldown reduction talents for Combustion. That’s fine though, nothing against fire mages.

Frostfire (as frost): Seemed to outperform my arcane Spellslinger on damage by a large margin, although tough to tell exactly how much without a damage meter. Had more crowd control too, being frost and all. Gonna be running that one in pvp for now.


Bug, maybe: Imbued Warding is not interacting with Mass Barrier.


Excess Frost/Fire: I would make them proc into Fire Blast/Comet Storm, reset the CD and adjust the numbers.

  • Give us some other baseline fire spell, like Scorch, which we used to have, to interact with.
    We only have Fire Blast baseline which kinda kills the whole fantasy of frostfire.

  • Maybe make FFB replace Flurry, since Flurry replaced FFB in the first place.

The complete lack of a “thermal shock” mechanic for Frostfire Mage, Fire or Frost based, is disheartening.

Some Frost PvP points (the same as 10.2, really):

  • Stop trying to push Cold Snap as anything else when it’s main benefit is double Ice Block. It’s too important for that single usage to be used for anything else. Give us 2 Ice Block charges if you must and remove it from Cold Snap, then you’re free to rework it as you please.

  • Give us the ranged frost nova (Pet Freeze), which was the main reason we even used it in PvP/PvE.

I have always used Ray, Spike (and even Meteor) as frost, even before the DF mage rework, so it’s disheartening to hear you messing with talents due to “popularity” instead of tuning them to be useful before removing it altogether, unless they clash with the rest of the spec’s toolkit, like you’ve done with Slick Ice+Death’s Chill, which makes it a FB spam spec.

P.S.: Give me my Deep Freeze back. That was the best burst spell in frost’s history.

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Eh… careful what you wish for… the new spell effect for Frostfire Bolt looks worse than the original. Often times, the new versions don’t feel as good

They’ve shown they can do it right. Shadow Priests on Beta make me so envious of their spell effects.

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Just starting to test somethings out and the interaction between Spellfrost Teachings orb reset and Freezing Winds is overwhelming. With Freezing Winds having us more or less spam Ice Lance, the rate at which we reset orbs is over flooding us with this proc. This without going into Coldest Snap, Fractured Frost, and Cold Front. This might be due to there not being an actual single target dummy anywhere(none that I’ve found or know of anyway) so, it could just be that the extra dummies getting hit are causing the abnormal proc rate for orbs, but I feel like something has to change.

Not a big fan of Arcane Missiles needing clearcasting to use now… when they can currently be cast without it in the first talent.