Feedback: Spellslinger Mage

Please check out our new Hero Talents preview and let us know what you think in this thread.

As Frost: Seems fine. I have some mechanical and tuning related questions but those can wait for the Alpha. If it’s at least flashy, there’s something to look forward to here.

The one thing that I kind of don’t like, is that Splinterstorm procs Winter’s Chill directly. That’s going to fire randomly and with the delay, it’ll feel really weird. Would prefer if it were just a Brain Freeze, akin to it granting Clearcasting instead of Nether Precision directly.

Tuning/mechanics questions:

  • Operating under the assumption that Splinters are generated per stack of WC consumed? So a Flurry is 4, 3 of which will explode?
  • Relatedly, do Splinters and their DoT benefit from Shatter?
  • Look Again generates an Image, how long does it last and does it grant the MI damage reduction?
  • Related to Look Again, Displacement is in a real terrible spot to get to for PVE, so this might be a dead choice just by default.
  • Splintering Orb’s tooltip is vague, but I am assuming that it’s 8 per Orb cast, and not 8/target/cast? It can be read both ways.
  • Does Spellfrost Teachings stack with Glacial Assault’s debuff?
  • Splinterstorm’s delay timing would be nice to know for purposes of debuff/buff timing.

Fatal Flaws:

Splintering Sorcery

Arcane doesn’t consume nether precision in AOE, frost consumes winters chill in AOE.

  • Ideally barrage can consume nether precision which makes this work in AOE and doesnt impact Arcane’s ST at all really.

Controlled Instincts

Frost generates splinters when it consumes winters chill, yet they have to hit to cleave. This will mean only half the splinters you generate via winters chill benefit from this effect (flurry does not consume them if you are wondering).

This further exacerbates frost’s issue with range. As is frost can generate 3 splinters per flurry, but at high ranges frost loses its precast, and also loses that splinter.


Solves arcane’s problem of barely generating clearcasting in AOE, hope its current 4 set makes it into the base talent tree so we can benefit from that.

Weird that this directly procs winters chill - this will likely alter flurry usage in an unintuitive way needing to be very cognizant of your current splinter count and the delay this talent may have. Since the arcane version procs clearcasting, might make sense to just make this proc brainfreeze. Though I can see that making the effect feel homogenous to the frostfire procs.

Impactful Visuals

This spec will live or die by its visuals: splinterstorm, the splinters, and volatile magic need to look and feel impactful for this tree to be a success. Otherwise its a relatively boring passive tree, but the visuals can give it that extra impact. Especially frost needs these splinters to be distinct since they already have icicles flying around.


Hey! The new tree looks interesting. I have a few mechanical questions, that could significantly impact how the tree plays, that I would love a blue response for if possible.

  1. For arcane, do arcane splinters during touch of the magi trigger our regular arcane echoes talent? Not the hero talent on this tree, the one in our main tree that exists now.
  2. For frost, does the hero talent “Splintering Orbs” trigger each time the frozen orb ticks? So on a single target,a frozen orb would generate all 8 splinters by ticking 8 times, while an arcane orb only triggered a single splinter while passing through it?
  3. While the rate of splinter generation for both specs will be decently fast, frost definitely can generate them faster. The need to generate 8 splinters in 16 seconds to cause a splinterstorm seems pretty possible for frost outside of its cooldowns/shifting power, but a lot less possible for arcane. Is there a possibility for an arcane specific tuning variable here to make it need less splinters to trigger one, or to have more time to do it?
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Spellslinger is great for PvP and PvE, don’t change a thing. Very happy with the tree.


Overall Feedback

Overall I’m sad that we’re not getting an Arcane Laser, but this isn’t too bad. I would give this talent a B+. It looks cool, but I think I’m biased because I really wanted an Arcane Laser. (If I didn’t care about Arcane laser I think I would have ranked this as an A tree)

Overlooked Problems

  • Splintering Sorceries (Arcane): Nether Precision cannot be consumed in AoE since you don’t use Arcane Blast. Instead, I would recommend making this proc on Clearcasting consumption (which has 1/2 the proc rate of Nether Precision d/t NP coming from CC)
    • Another thing you could consider is making the Splinters proc after, say, 8 or 16 Arcane Missiles are fired. This would give some strong favoritism w/ CC AM, prevent clipping of AM and have some great synergy with the T31 4-pce (if you plan on putting it in the spec tree)
  • Unerring Proficiency (Arcane): If you use this for damage, you won’t be able to have Supernova up for when you actually need it (i.e. for knock-up/interrupting spells/casts). An easy fix for this would be to have this reset its cooldown when used at 30 stacks.
  • Reactive Barrier: This is barely stronger than the Frostfire tree’s version of this (Imbued Warding) since most of the time you will have to cast Barrier BEFORE damage comes out (just to survive the upfront damage). Given that Fire + Frost have more defensives than Arcane, I’m in favor of this talent being significantly stronger than Imbued Warding (or nerf Imbued Warding to the ground). It’s very obvious that Fire doesn’t need more defensives than Arcane; see death logs in raid.


  1. Splintering Sorceries: Does the DoT from Arcane Splinter proc Arcane Echo?
  2. Splintering Orbs (Arcane): Does this mean if we fire an Arcane Orb at 8 targets it’ll throw out 1 splinter (at the main target) or 8 splinters (1 per target?)
  3. Splintering Orbs (Arcane): Is does this proc for the first 8 targets hit per combat or per orb? I ask because there’s a huge different in splinter proc rate (and thus funnel from Splinterstorm) between once per combat (in AoE) and once per Arcane Orb (especially with Orb Barrage)
  1. Augury Abounds (Arcane/Frost): Do the 8 Splinters fired from Arcane Surge/Icy Veins benefit from the +100% proc rate of this talent (i.e. Are we firing 16 Splinters instead of 8?). Also, do the Splinters all go on the target we are currently targeting or other targets in AoE setting?

Positive Feedback

  1. Picturing what this would look like, I think in mass AoE Splinterstorm is going to look crazy. Obviously we don’t know what the visuals are going to look like, but feels like it’s going to be great to look at.
  2. Some people are malding at turning Shifting Power into a DPS cooldown that will have to be used during Arcane Surge (d/t Augury Abounds grants +100% Splinter proc rate); I actually like it. I also think this will allow you to create some tier sets that increase the duration of Shifting Power from 4 to 6 seconds (as an example) for massive gains (Splinters + CDR). Great design overall.
  3. I think a lot of feedback malding at the whole tree being passive are missing the intricate interactions and rotational changes this tree brings (some of which have already been mentioned here). I think it’s a great tree; just needs a tiny bit of fix-up (quite literally a miniscule amount of changes; listed above).

EDIT: What I mean by Arcane Laser:


I’m trying to think how this fits into Arcane and I’m kinda of two minds.

Nodes like spellfrost teachings feels way out of place because random damage doesn’t really fit into arcane’s kit.

However, the combination of splinter storm / augury abounds could be interesting for big burn windows and help ensure you always have clearcasting.

On a technical side - I hope none of these have any interaction with Radiant Spark.

Maybe it’s because I’ve been burned too many times, but worried that you could lead to some degenerate play style where you try to force splinter storm during small burns or repeat ones on larger ones.

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Compared to Frostfire, this hero specialization seems creatively underwhelming. Pretty much all of its offensive nodes are “passively fire an icicle at the enemy when you cast X spell”, “generate more icicles” or “your icicles passively cleave when Y condition is met”. Please, Blizzard, while there is still time - create a more creative tree that is actually worth being a “hero specialization”. Frostfire is worth and Splintslinger is not.

Now review of separate nodes:

Splintering Sorcery: When you consume Nether Precision (Arcane) or Winter’s Chill (Frost), conjure a Splinter that fires at your target.

  • Splinter: Conjure raw magic into a sharp projectile that deals damage. Splinters embed themselves into their target, dealing additional damage over 16 seconds. This effect stacks.

If Splinter mechanic is to stay, its damage over time component should be / become undispellable. Healers negating whole mechanic of this hero specialization via just pressing 1 button of dispel (especially before you stack 8 splinters outside of Augury Abounds) would be way too easy.

Augury Abounds: Casting Arcane Surge (Arcane) or Icy Veins (Frost) conjures 8 Splinters . During Arcane Surge (Arcane) and Icy Veins (Frost), whenever you conjure a Splinter , you have a 100% chance to conjure an additional Splinter .

Decent effect, but is pretty much equivalent to “get more procced icicles during your major CD”. Nothing exciting.

Controlled Instincts: While a target is under the effects of
Nether Tempest (Arcane) or Winter’s Chill (Frost), 20% of the direct damage dealt by a Splinter is also dealt to nearby enemies. Damage reduced beyond 5 targets. (Arcane) Direct damage from Arcane Splinters resets the duration of Nether Tempest .

Will have much lower uptime for Frost than for Arcane, especially with its auto-reset of Nether Tempest for Arcane.

Splintering Orbs: The first 8 times an enemy is damaged by your Arcane Orb (Arcane) or Frozen Orb [Frost], conjure a Splinter that fires at the damaged target. Arcane Orb (Arcane) and Frozen Orb (Frost) damage is increased by 10%.

Opposite - would have much more triggers for Frost than for Arcane, especially if there are less than 8 targets present.

Choice Node: Slippery Slinging and Look Again

  • Slippery Slinging: You have 40% increased movement speed during Alter Time.
  • Look Again: Displacement has a 50% longer duration, 25% longer range, and leaves behind a Mirror Image.

Curious, but feels niche and underwhelming, especially compared to generally useful utility / defensive boosts suggested by Frostfire. Alter Time movement speed boost would have close to zero value against ranged enemies (with whom Mages have the most issues). Longer Displacement does not matter much, since it is usually used within its current duration. Mirror Image would be insta-destroyed in PVE by aggro and in PVP via immediately dissipating from damage taken by the Mage.

Choice Node: Reactive Barrier and Phantasmal Image

  • Reactive Barrier: Your Prismatic Barrier (Arcane) and Ice Barrier (Frost) can absorb up to 50% more damage based on your missing Health. Max effectiveness when under 50% health.
  • Phantasmal Image: Your Mirror Image summons one extra clone. Mirror Image now reduces all damage taken by an additional 5%.

Decent effects and choice node here.

Choice Node: Volatile Magic and Unerring Proficiency

  • Volatile Magic: Whenever a Splinter is removed or recalled, it explodes, dealing damage to nearby enemies. Deals reduced damage beyond 5 targets.
  • Unerring Proficiency: Each time you conjure a Splinter, increase the damage of your next Supernova by 18% (Arcane) or Ice Nova by 6% (Frost). Stacks up to 30 times.

A cleave choice node, but has implications. One - will explosion from it break breakable CC nearby? If yes - it should not, or it will be just harmful in PVP. Two - Unerring Proficiency requires taking a utility talent (Supernova) and using it for damage instead of its main utility purpose. That does not feel right. Maybe bonus for Arcane should be switched to other AoE talent, for example Arcane Orb.

Shifting Shards: Shifting Power fires a barrage of 8 Splinters at random enemies within 40 yards over its duration.

In a similar manner - should not attack enemies affected by breakable CC effects, otherwise using Shifting Power in PVP would be a ruin to all CC setups / peels of your party.

Spellfrost Teachings: Direct damage from a Splinter has a 5% chance to summon an Arcane Echo (Arcane) or Icy Comet (Frost) that deals damage to all nearby enemies and increases the damage enemies take from you for by 6% for 6 seconds.

Feels like another Glacial Assault. Maybe decent.

Force of Will: Gain 2% increased critical strike chance. Gain 5% increased critical strike damage.

Useful, but is literally just a stat node. Nothing exciting.

Splinterstorm: Whenever you have 8 or more active Embedded Splinters, you automatically cast a Splinterstorm at your target.

  • Splinterstorm: Recall all Embedded Splinters to you, dealing their remaining periodic damage instantly. After a brief delay, unleash a devastating barrage of Splinters, dealing damage to your target for each Splinter in the Splinterstorm. Splinterstorm grants you Clearcasting (Arcane) or applies Winter’s Chill to its target (Frost).

Curious mechanic, but just as mentioned in review of talent 1 - Splinter damage over time effect should be undispellable, otherwise competent healers would not allow you to benefit from its effect most of the time.


Profoundly disappointed. I was wondering how y’all would handle Arcane having to share hero talent trees with two very elementally themed specs in Frost and Fire, and based on what y’all have proposed here it looks like the answer is going to be “you get a purple version of a Frost Mage talent tree and a purple version of a Fire Mage talent tree”.

I’m not usually very negative but purple icicles are not compelling. When I saw the name I had imagined chaining multiple spells together in rapid succession, maybe replacing Incanter’s Flow with some kind of scaling haste buff or attaching rider spells to Arcane Blast and Arcane Missiles (and Frostbolt and Flurry for Frost).

But no, it’s really starting to look like y’all threw your hands up and decided to just design a Frost tree, a Fire tree, and decided making them purple would suffice.


Kinda underwhelming compared to Frostfire tree. Pretty boring all passive tree that barely changes gameplay, so I hope there’s possibility for some major changes.

I guess that it’s pretty hard to come up with hero trees that have synergy between Mage specs considering how different they are from one another, but the Frostfire tree, although it still has problems, at least had some very cool ideas. Spellslinger might be strong depending on tuning, but it really just looks pretty bland overall.


Like Frostfire. Goin through each set.
Before we start. Honestly splinters sounds just like icicles. Making the visuals for it sounds like a mess.

Splintering Sorcery: Nether precision rarely gets consumed as quickly as winters chill does, so the amount of splinters fired at a single target is heavily in frost favor, especially with stacking effect. Instead of consuming nether tempest, maybe every time it procs damage could generate a splinter.

Controlled Instincts: This is fine for Arcane, but consuming a winters chill, and then trying to get as many splinters as possible via Icy Veins, Frozen Orb, or any other ways to generate splinters sounds like it will feel like bad gameplay. When using glacial spike will the 20% proc because it will likely use up the winters chill? I would probably change it to something like while Frozen orb is active or while Icy veins is active. I’m sure mages don’t want more veins conditions.

Augury Abounds: I don’t know that we want to add more conditions to veins use. Do the generated splinters automatically fire and get embedded, so it will proc a splinter storm? I would be careful, because this could turn into a splinter counting problem, just like frost issue today, where we count icicles. not really exciting.

Splintering orbs: This is a fine passive w/e.

Reactive barrier: I don’t really like this talent. We use barrier to prevent damage, and would rather our health not be low, and we use it to help healers. I would rather this talent kind of be like triun ward If we are Arcane: Whenever we use Prismatic barrier give us Frost barrier at 50% effectiveness, and vice versa for frost. This will allow frost to get the Prismatic Barrier magic reduction by 15%.

Phantasmal Image: additional damage reduction is fine

Slippery slinging. I don’t like this talent. It may prove some use in Raid, not really in M+, and if you need the 40% during alter time, you are probably out of position, with few exceptions like nymue where you can go to the back of the room to drop puddles.

Look again: The interesting part of this is the mirror image it leaves behind. Does the mirror image give you the DR like your ability, and does it last the 40 secs? If so Its fine. If not idk if this is even good. Just depends if we can take displacement in the tree without losing something imperative.

Volatile Magic: This seems fine, I wonder besides splinterstorm if there will be other ways to recall a splinter.

Unerring Proficiency: I don’t like tying offensive power to Crowd Control. In my Opinion this is never good. I would rather you use arcane barrage or missiles, and then comet storm or ray of frost for the stacking damage. This ability honestly should just be changed to something else. There is nothing wrong with making a couple of non splinter abilities.

Shifting Shards: I kind of like this, but may be weird interactions where I would need to use shifting power as an offensive ability and not to reduce the CD of spells. depends on tuning.

Spell frost Teachings: This is pretty cool, and look forward to see it in action before I give more of an opinion.

Force of Will: Nothing exciting about this, just may change how we gear.

Splinter storm: Giving a clear casting and a winters chill is not the same. With all the possible weird interactions on splinters, this winters chill could be munched or munch a proc. I Make winters chill unable to be consumed when applied by splinter storm would be cool or Maybe reset the CD of ray of frost would be a lot more interesting.

Spell that would be creative

Wild Magic: After casting Arcane Surge(Arcane) or Icy Veins(Frost) you magic goes while and you cast one of 3 spells at random: Arcane- Comet Storm-Frozen Orb-Cone of Cold/Frost- Radiant Spark- Touch of the Magi-Supernova.

Frost Bomb/Arcane Bomb: After 8 splinters are embedded into the opponent- Arcane The next Nether tempest you apply after 6 seconds explodes and applies nether tempest to all enemies within 15 yards/Frost- When the next frost bomb is applied it explodes dealing damage to all enemies within 15 yards and applies winters chill.

Icy Feet/Celestial Path: During Icy Veins/Arcane Surge Arcane gains celestial path/Frost Icy feet, giving them the ability to cast while moving.

Just a few of my own suggestions. Thanks for reading. This is all my opinion and is not intended to offend others.

I think that this is a good design for a mostly-passive tree, which suits Frost and Arcane well since their base gameplay is interesting enough already. Positive feelings about it overall.

Shifting Shards is really cool, adding a more punchy damage component to Shifting Power will feel great.

Also, the name “Frost/Arcane Shards” sounds a lot better and more thematic than “Frost/Arcane Splinters” to me. Reading the word “splinter” makes my finger prick, bad memories from shop class maybe.

Ideally Volatile Magic also causes splinters to detonate when the target dies, otherwise it might be tough to get value out of the lengthy 16s DoT during big AoE pulls.

Controlled Instincts for Frost might lead to some weird gameplay. Winter’s Chill is normally a very short-duration debuff that you consume instantly, but this talent incentives you to let it sit without consuming it while you e.g. channel Shifting Power or let your Frozen Orb tick. Maybe the 6% damage-taken debuff from Comet Storm / Icy Comets would be a better enabler for this effect than Winter’s Chill?

I am not thrilled about this. The way in which these “splinters” will deal damage, by attaching to targets and dealing damage over time, will lead to a lot of potential problems. Neither Arcane or Frost are DoT specs and forcing this playstyle on them will clash with the rest of each spec’s toolkit and seems to come from the blue.

I would reconsider this entire concept and instead opt for missiles that deal direct damage on impact like Arcane Bolts for Arcane and Ice Lance-like projectiles for Frost. That would obviously mean that the capstone Splinterstorm will also need to be redesigned.

As others have pointed out there are some very obvious problem areas related to tying two completely different specs to the same tree and trying to shoehorn vastly different types of procs to fit for the same purpose. Examples like equating Nether Precision and Winter’s Chill or Arcane Echo and Comet Storm are particularly galling.

I also really want to see what these “splinters” will look like. If the Arcane one will resemble the arcane bolts that many NPCs and the Balance Druid faerie dragons spawned by Denizens of the Dream use that would be a major win in my book. Arcane desperately needs something like that to improve its visuals.

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I feel like Consuming Nether Precision for consuming clearcasting would be better term. I mean its almost a mandatory talent its just comfusing when you read it. I was like what is that then I checked and was like oh ok its just that

These are great points and need to be considered. In addition I’d like to point out that while damage tuning will be great I’m sure, it is important that the hero specs are equal in defensive/utility options as well.

Reactive Barrier and Phantasmal Image:

  • Reactive Barrier: Your Prismatic Barrier (Arcane) and Ice Barrier (Frost) can absorb up to 50% more damage based on your missing Health. Max effectiveness when under 50% health.

  • Phantasmal Image: Your Mirror Image summons one extra clone. Mirror Image now reduces all damage taken by an additional 5%.

Frankly, these are very underwhelming compared to Imbued Warding on Frostfire which gives 25% more barrier. At least in m+, barrier is best used at max hp to avoid a one-shot mechanic. Reactive barrier does absolutely nothing in this very common case, and the mirror image talent is simply underwhelming relative to a 25% bigger shield.

Slippery Slinging and Look Again

  • Slippery Slinging: You have 40% increased movement speed during Alter Time.

  • Look Again: Displacement has a 50% longer duration, 25% longer range, and leaves behind a Mirror Image.

Alter is most commonly used to either 1. Get a blink charge back via the talent 2. Reset your health to a prior state. The MS given is very niche.

Displacement is never taken due to it’s relative position on the class tree/what you have to give up for it. When you compare both of these to the sister utility talent in FF which gives frost 30% cdr on blast wave/dragon’s breath, it is incredibly underwhelming.

I am coming from an m+ perspective with these thoughts. However please take into account that if tuned similarly, the spec which provides better utility and defensives will be always taken. And in current state, FF is miles better than SS in both.


I don’t see how this hero tree ties in with Mage fantasy and lore at all. Splinters appear to be some brand new random concept that has been created out of nowhere and has no ties to anything that’s related to existing Mage fantasy, lore, or prior gameplay.

Without playing it and seeing the visuals and gameplay, I don’t know whether I’ll still feel like the Mage I have always known when the entire Splinter gameplay is based around a brand-new concept that doesn’t come from anything Mage-related in the last 20 years of WoW that I’m aware of.

As Spellslinger is Frost’s only option to retain a pure-specialisation identity, it really needs to be done right.

I’ll absorb the individual talents more and provide feedback on them later.


Its passive dots that you dont have to deal with. And explose each time they reach 8 stack. So it doesnt really break anything.

And using Volatile Magic with Splinterstorm has way go make huge dmg.

Arcane surge add 8 Splinter (8splinter = 1 storm + all their HoT consumed) Then you add Volatime Magic 8Splinter who each explode for AoE. Added to Touch of Magi is has the option to turn into a really huge amount of dmg

One thing about Splinterstorm that I find awkward is the generation of Clearcasting and Winter’s Chill on a target.

  • Marking the target with Winter’s Chill instead of granting Brain Freeze feels bad, especially compared with Arcane’s Clearcasting generation.

  • The synergy with Augury Abounds feels like it’s wasted sometimes, especially on the opening where Frost starts with spending a Flurry charge before casting Icy Veins because the Water Elemental instantly generates a charge as well, so either marking with Winter’s Chill or generating a Brain Freeze would be redundant here. I believe the same goes for Arcane with Arcane Surge if it were to generate 3 Clearcasting charges, the one from Splinterstorm would be wasted.

I hope something is done especially about Frost’s proc munching problem to work better with this tree.

From an arcane mage, this feels like it was designed by someone who once saw a purple shield and that’s most of their understanding of how arcane works. If I wanted frost’s icicles, I’d just play frost.

A completely passive tree based around consuming procs being given to a spec whose damage is significantly weighted towards their burst doesn’t feel great. I do recognize that Augury Abounds will synergize with Splinterstorm, but other than that it doesn’t feel synergistic with Arcane’s kit.

Using the hero tree to attempt to improve underwhelming talents (Nether Tempest and Supernova) doesn’t sit well with me. I would’ve rather seen these two removed altogether than buffed up in a hero tree. If they have some improvements in the main arcane tree, that’s a different story, but I don’t have high hopes at the moment.

Speaking of Nether Tempest, I was going to complain that it’s now a maintenance buff (which players absolutely love to have), but because it has no cooldown and Splinters aren’t random (we know which spells will proc them, just not necessarily which targets they’re going to hit), the only change I can see this talent tree making to our rotation is that we’re going to have to maintain or cast Nether Tempest more - but only in cleave fights. Not even in AoE fights because we’ll barely be proccing the splinters in full AoE (as mentioned by others above).

So basically, out of 10 talents, only 1 provides any gameplay - and that’s only if there are multiple targets.

I’m sure Blizzard is more than capable of tuning the numbers to make this tree competitive, but it’s flat out not interesting. No active abilities. No rotation changers. Just literally a set of passive talents that only impact that meters. We were asked what we think, and I think one word: Disappointment.


It’s still a DoT, the fact that you don’t have to manually cast it doesn’t change that. DoTs are problematic in number of way especially if applying them will be somewhat randomized as appears to be the case here.