Frost Mage In War Within: Suggestions Thread

Hello all! Since spring and alpha of War Within are approaching, it could be a fitting time to create a thread that contains list of suggestions for each Mage spec. The reason for that is - even if some people would get access to beta from enhanced edition / selection and provide feedback / suggestions there and then, it would likely be only 2-3 months to expansion release and Blizzard might be too busy with general expansion stuff / dungeons and raids tuning / hero specializations balancing to do meaningful changes to base classes, so the earlier - the better.

I’ll split the post into PVE and PVP subsections, where I would post current issues / possible improvements for Frost Mage and offer solutions / suggestions for them. Many suggestions would have impact on both modes simultaneously, so mention of some PVP in PVE section and vise versa is possible.

PVE issues and suggestions
  1. Freezable vs unfreezable enemies
    Currently, Frost Mage has a massive output difference between enemies that can and can’t be frozen - against latter it loses some damage bonuses entirely (Subzero), lots of potential shatters etc. While such “design” might be intended, it can create balancing issues, where Frost Mage can be too strong against enemies that can be frozen, too weak against CC immune enemies or even both simultaneously. There is a possible solution.
    Suggestion: Make Subzero in addition to current effect cause Glacial Spike and Ice Nova to provide 1 stack of Winter’s Chill to affected CC immune enemies for X / Y seconds. This is a decent solution - it makes Subzero also provide value against CC immune enemies (which it currently doesn’t), reduces the output difference between enemies that can and can’t be frozen and does not provide any increases to cases where Frost Mage is already strong at - against enemies that can be frozen.
    Note: This suggestions intentionally excludes Water Elemental’s Freeze, Frost Nova and Cone of Cold roots - they are mainly CC tools and likely should remain so.

  2. Mandatory Glacial Spike
    After 10.1.5 rework, Glacial Spike is mandatory for optimal damage performance. That is not a big issue, but some people don’t like it and they don’t have an actual choice (which talent trees should provide) - they either play with it or underperform. There is a simple solution.
    Suggestion: Make Glacial Spike a choice node with passive node that just boosts damage of both Frostbolt and Ice Lance by X% (bonus to both is to preserve their initial ratio and avoid no-Ice Lance builds emerging). The increase should be comparable to dps increase from Glacial Spike, but slightly lower on average - this way playing active ability over passive boost is still rewarded and possible mistakes / delays with its management are taken into account, but at the same time people who want to play without Glacial Spike would have an option too. That would also allow to revitalize Frostbolt / Ice Lance builds in PVP for players who don’t want to rely on Glacial Spike, to which most people have addons to track usage of and multiple ways to disrupt.

  3. Limited AoE scaling
    As title suggests, Frost Mage’s AoE has limited scaling with 3 or more targets, since Splitting Ice Lances just deal similar damage no matter how many additional targets are present after initial 2. That could be improved.
    Suggestion: Make Splitting Ice a choice node with modified Glacial Fragments - Ice Lance, Glacial Spike and Icicles explode for X% of their damage to nearby enemies (main target should not be affected by the explosion). That would allow to keep the synergy with Freezing Winds, Hailstones and other talents that boost these abilities, addresses the issue of limited AOE scaling and provides a choice between 2 target cleave and scaling AoE damage. It also allows to avoid potential balancing issues with having Splitting Ice and Glacial Fragments simultaneously, since potential multiple explosions would be harder to balance than just always 1.
    Additionally, Frost Mage still has unresolved issue with Frozen Orb placement in PVE. You said in interview that you see its placement way as a “skill expression”, but actually it is just an additional hindrance and limitation that most other classes don’t have to deal with - their AoE is either placed or radiates from selected target. Even its closest analogues Arcane Orb and Ravager that have different from usual placement rules are better in that department - Arcane Orb moves rapidly and pierces and Ravager simply seeks nearby enemies. As a result, Frozen Orb could use some improvements to its placement too like moving Concentrated Coolness to Frost talent tree or making Frozen Orb move to selected specified area and slow and do its current movement starting from it.

  4. Undertuned and not viable talents
    Frost Mage has several talents that either lost too much value after the rework (like Deep Shatter), are undertuned / underused (like Snowstorm) or haven’t been picked at all (like Fractured Frost and Cold Front). These should be addressed:
    Deep Shatter - could become a 1 point node with 25% increase. That would keep power of Frostbolt vs Ice Lance (aka no-Ice Lance builds threat level) at similar level, but would still make the talent more competitive with the reduced cost.
    Splintering Cold - another low value 2 point investment talent. In a similar manner and for pathing / tree symmetry, it could become a 1 point investment with 25% value too to make it more competitive on its own.
    Snowstorm - still needs a boost to become competitive enough. For example, it could have higher chance to proc (like 50%) to make it more reliable, longer or unlimited stacks duration and potentially a bigger damage bonus. Additionally, it is badly compatible with Coldest Snap and that should be addressed. For example, it could just provide X% damage increase to Cone of Cold if Coldest Snap is taken without requiring any stacks - that would allow to use a boosted Cone of Cold when you need the CD reset without necessity to wait for stacks to gather.
    Splintering Ray - does not provide enough value to justify taking both it and initial Ray of Frost node in AoE situations, could use a boost.
    Fractured Frost and Cold Front - 3 target cleave being chance based is not reliable enough and if both talents are tuned to competitive level, they would promote the no-Ice Lance gameplay that should be avoided. It could be better to just replace both.
    Suggestion: Replace them both with active CD based ability with limited uptime (and an upgrade node to it) that would provide 3 target cleave for Frostbolt / Frostfire Bolt and Flurry (to provide shatter capabilities for them) for its duration. For example, it could be an ice themed version of Deathborne that would provide only 3 target cleave without any damage boosts (so it is not required for 1 target situations) and with lower duration and CD than it (to both make it available more frequently in PVE and less oppressive in PVP).

PVP issues and suggestions
  1. Design contradictions
    Frost Mage is presented as a kiting based and slippery spec that should keep enemies at range with roots and snares. At the same time, many of its potentially offensive tools require getting into melee range or even staying in it for some time - Dragon’s Breath, Snowdrift and so on. That both creates a visible design contradiction and is one of the reasons why Snowdrift is underplayed. If Mage is supposed to stay kiting based and slippery, it should have according tools and range.
  1. Consider increasing base range of Dragon’s Breath and Cone of Cold to 15-20 yards (since they are cone abilities, that would actually bring their area in line with standard 8-10 yds circular radius abilities and can benefit PVE players too).
  2. Replace Snowdrift or make it a choice node / shared cooldown with Deep Freeze - a proper ranged stun for a ranged spec. If Deep Freeze is reintroduced though, it should be brought in line with other existing ranged stuns - at least 45s cooldown instead of 30s from earlier expansions and be on GCD and still require frozen target, so that enemies can counterplay it via breaking out of freeze or dispelling it before GCD expires to avoid getting stunned. That would provide fair counterplay measures for it.
  1. Overreliance on Frost Bomb and Ray of Frost to do meaningful damage
    Especially after the latest Stamina buffs in PVP, Frost almost entirely relies on these two abilities for kill windows. That means that if healer properly dispels Frost Bomb and enemy negates Ray of Frost with any defensive / target drop / disruption ability, Frost has little to no pressure most of game and is restricted to dampening comps or supportive role. That is not very good and could be improved.
    Suggestion: Give Frost more damage for its usual abilities with PVP modifiers and if needed reduce damage of Frost Bomb to compensate. That would allow them to be less dependant on enemy mistakes (like healers not dispelling Frost Bomb) and more impactful in general, as well as make Frost Bomb less mandatory and oppressive when it does go off.

  2. No longer necessary PVP reduction modifiers
    Frost still has a lot of PVP modifiers from earlier cycles that might no longer be neeeded - Piercing Cold (Glacial Spike and especially Frostbolt no longer do that much damage to justify it), Glacial Assault (no longer needed and makes talent have too low value for PVP), Frigid Empowerment (no longer needed), Winter’s Blessing (it is a compensation for removal of Icy Propulsion and likely does not need a PVP nerf), Freezing Winds (might be overnerfed in PVP, 4 seconds interval would be more reasonable) and so on. Many of them should be reconsidered and potentially removed.

  3. Underplayed PVP talents
    Frost still has several PVP talents that either provide too low / niche value or are too easy to negate to take them over the common ones. These could be looked at:
    Ice Form - damage bonus for Frostbolt is not valuable enough, since Frostbolt itself does not do that much damage. Additionally, Ice Form is easily dispellable, so if there is even 1 dispel class in enemy composition (and there usually is), it can be negated very easily.
    Suggestion: Replace its damage bonus to Frostbolt with general Frost damage increase and make it undispellable, but remove its stun immunity to compensate. That would turn it into a more valuable and reliable talent - alternative to Icy Veins offensive CD that for example would fit for 1 min CD based comps.
    Icy Feet - very niche and not even needed much, since snares can be removed by Energized Barrier already or get diminished by using traversal abilities.
    Suggestion: Consider reverting it to dealing damage when Mage’s freeze effects expire or are broken out of and increased damage if they are dispelled, but make it affect all freeze effects and deal more meaningful damage. That could make this talent useful as a form of dispel protection or a way to get value from freeze effects even against classes with multiple root breaks that can negate a lot of your potential shatters.

This sums up the list of suggestions. Feel free to add your own (to keep them in one thread that Blizzard could easily track) and thank you for reading!


I’d add that Lonely Winter does not make sense as a talent in the current game. Firstly, the name just doesn’t make sense now that it doesn’t share a choice node with a water elemental. Secondly, it feels like something that could just be baked into the class and replaced with a more interesting choice that interacts with Frost Mage mechanics.


I agree - it could just be renamed to something like Enhanced Frost or even made baseline and replaced with some other node.

Also added suggestions to Frozen Orb placement issues in PVE to starting post.

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I think pvpwise arcane is more than fine, frost is fine but i would like to have back the 2s procs of fof when my orb is active. Fire needs to change the pvp talent “glass canon” to something like “iron canon” and give us the bonuses without losing hp and buff blz barrier again, since is nerfed since shadowlands, also, cauterize would give us a blz barrier automatically

I would definitely enjoy if they made some of the other talents better. I’m fine with Glacial Spike, but I’d rather go for the Comet Storm build I had in Season Two because it was faster and had more cleave damage spreading.

Yes, several competitive builds with different pros or preferred situations for them could be good.

For example, in addition to current Glacial Spike builds there could be a Frostbolt / Frostfire Bolt oriented build with its own CDs and niche (like suggested Iceborne / Deathborne return and specializing in 3+ target cleave).

I really, really, really want Deep Freeze back.

Some additional small suggestions to make Frost Mages more compatible with Frostfire spec in TWW:

  • Mastery should also increase damage of Ice Nova (which is procced by Excess Frost and is affected by all other secondary stats) and Fire Blast (to make it scale will all secondary stats as well and more useful in rotation and not just a button for 1 stack of Fire Mastery).
  • Ice Lance might need a separate damage buff to keep Ice Lance / Fingers of Frost procs relevant over just using Frostfire Bolt to consume Winter’s Chill (since it would stack both Masteries and might be more beneficial to use).

Besides all the great points you have already, here are some items on my wish list:

  1. Simplify rotations: with the rework, frost mage feels like a combination of “builder-spender” (generating icicles for GS) and “procs” (finger of frost and brainfreeze) types of gameplay. while it adds a lot of flavors to the rotation, it is a very busy rotation to manage. With the new hero talents to be introduced in the new expansion, the intricacy and interaction between spells are getting more complicated. This presents a very big barrier of entry to new players. People can be easily overwhelmed when procs and icicles are all ready the same time. So it is definitely a good idea to consolidate procs and major spells. For example, currently one common rotation is to cast GS followed by flurry or Brain freeze proc. The idea is to make GS crit and do big damage. How about making GS auto consume a brain freeze or even a finger of frost proc to make it crit and do damage? It can also be applied to Ray of Frost as well. Make it auto consume a proc. put this idea in one of existing talent would work: lonely winter or piercing cold.

  2. Passive defensive ability: I am not asking for another button for defensives. Please re-work some talent to make some of our existing defensive ability to passive. for example, auto trigger barrier or ice block or ice cold when HP is below 10% or when receive fatal attack.

  3. Mobility: Glacial spike and ray of frost brought much needed burst for frost mages in the re-work. But it comes in a huge trade-off which is the big decrease of mobility. Compared to fire mages, while in combust, almost all spells used are instant cast or have very short cast time. Even for arcane mages, slipstream enables clearcasting to allow missiles to be channeled while moving. Maybe some talent rework is warranted to bring frost on a comparable level: for example, when cryopathy stacks reach to 10, ray of frost can be channeled while moving. or brainfreeze procs allow GS to be casted while moving. or maybe just during icy veins, GS and Ray can be casted while moving.

  4. Please allow us to be a range DPS in AOE situation: there seems to be a contradiction between some of the spells being so short ranged and frost mage being a range DPS. To name a few: dragon’s breath, frost nova, cone of cold. For the first two, since they are mostly used as crowd control ability, it is much more tolerable with a short range. But cone of cold has evolved into our core AOE rotation with the talent: Coldest Snap. With its extremely limited range, it basically requires frost mage to be in melee a lot of times. It is time for a change. My suggestion is 1. to switch cone of cold and ice nova. Put cone of cold in the general talent tree. make ice nova baseline for mages. 2. make ice nova the spell that triggers coldest snap, instead of cone of cold. 3. adjust cooldowns for both spells accordingly.

Just my two cents. Hope some devs see this.


I agree with many your suggestions, some notes:

  1. I think there should just be choice nodes between active and passive abilities like suggested choice node between Glacial Spike and boost to Frostbolt / Ice Lance, so that each Mage can pick the style or rotation he likes more. Active abilities should provide slightly bigger average dps output (to justify taking and using them in the first place), but this difference should be minor and not matter too much, so that picking passive in choice node is viable too.
  1. This could be implemented as a choice too - for example a choice node between an active defensive and a passive damage reduction / prevention akin to Flameglow from earlier expansions.
  2. While I agree that Mage has too many close to melee range abilities in both PVE and PVP, I think a better option would be to just extend range on some of existing abilities to both make them more fitting for “ranged” gameplay and keep people used to their rotations. It is not even something new, since for example Dragon’s Breath already had extended range in earlier expansion via legendary.

I know its a bit delicated topic here, but i rly wish that we could have a small part of the talent /hero tree for our perma-pet.
It must not be super OP or so, but give us frostmages finally a rly different playstyle :slight_smile:

And it would be also a nice gimmick for openworld content, if we could have a pet that hold aggro too.

I would love it if Fingers of Frost would make Frost bolt instant and extra damage then Ice Lance. I love frost as a none stop bolts of ice barraging the targets. When it just turns into me pressing Ice Lance over and over nonstop is not fun, but when I do I lose so much dps. That or bringing back the old glyph that made Frost bolt shoot 3 bolts out in 3 second channel where each bolt built up icicles. I know this is a bit crazy but I would love it, and would like to know if anyone else would too.

Just quoting so it hopefully gets seen:

Arcane Battery (Chronomancers 4p Set) needs to be a talent. It’s extremely visually pleasing and, in terms of gameplay, makes Arcane much more enjoyable in AoE scenarios.

Frost could use some new visuals, ice barrier, frostbolt, and blizzard needs some work. Would also like to see blizzards duration increased and always instant cast. Basically RoF :stuck_out_tongue:

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Yeah you had my only real problem listed im part of what seems to be about 25% of mages that don’t like Glacial Spike. Im also in the camp that Glacial should always do more damage i just want the gap to be smaller and not forced with set bonuses as it literally killed the spec for me personally for season 3 and 4.

Now if they do give a choice node option against glacial please learn from Sun kings VS Unleashed inferno they added in the rework as ive never seen a choice node have such a massive difference in output(~20%) and just stay that way.


Seeing that they are finally working on Mage specs and maybe even draw some ideas from these threads, here are some additions:

  1. This is definitely a time to return Deep Freeze for Frost and either make Snowdrift a choice node / shared cooldown with it or replace it entirely. It would be mega level of trolling to give Arcane and Fire specs access to a ranged and instant stun, but leave Frost with a stun that requires getting into and staying in melee range and also has a delay that just lets people get out of it.
  2. New Icy Veins based Deathborne playstyle (from the datamined info) is interesting, but it should affect Frostfire Bolt and Flurry too - first for synergy with Frostfire tree and second to provide shatter capabilities for cleaved spells against CC immune targets (who cannot be freeze shattered).
  3. They said that they want to free some talent points for Frost Mages. Best candidates for that in the tree are Deep Shatter (should become 1 point with full current effect), Splintering Cold (should become 1 point with full current effect), Subzero (should become 1 point with full current effect) and maybe even Hailstones or Wintertide or Snowstorm turned into a 1 point investment talent with full current effect.

The issue in doing this, particularly if it’s to Deep Shatter, Subzero, Splintering Cold, Wintertide, and Snowstorm is that it essentially means you can talent into almost every talent in tier 1 and 2 of the tree.

This leads to a situation where you need to spend 20 points to access tier 3 of the tree and are forced to talent into up to 1-2 talents that don’t actually do anything for the content you are doing. E.g You’d need to dump at least 2 points into two of Deep Shatter, Frostbite, Ice Caller, Subzero, or Snowstorm; which mostly do nothing in a raid ST boss fight.

Freeing up talents points is good if the alternative options are useful and provide meaningful gameplay. But when they’re mostly useless for the content you’re doing or actually do nothing (i.e. Subzero on raid bosses) then it’s just an illusion of choice.

Frost could do with some more choice nodes to offer different options. Fun fact: Frost and Arcane are the only specs that have 1 choice node, while Ret for example has 15 choice nodes.


Fractured Frost needs to be able to proc twice in a row. Currently it cannot. It’s good it won’t break poly/fear/blind or any CC. Let’s keep that. Because it can’t proc twice in a row, it’s true proc chance is less than 50%.

Deathborne-esk build does not need ray, frostbomb or comet storm, but we need 48sec-1min burst windows not 1:48-2min burst windows. Ice form is a great option for this. The fact developers are bringing back a death borne build style is huge. It will be very challenging to balance though. Hats off to them.

If frost mage gains no more dispel protection this expansion, then ice form should return to 30 seconds not 17 seconds. This will open up dispel protection comps with ice form - RDruid+frost mage. Also, FFB should not do more damage than frostbolt currently does unless ray+frostbomb and comet are lost by playing FFB. Frostbolts damage is almost perfectly tuned right now. Though I would take an extra 5% :wink: probably needs it if you wanna be #1 2s ladder as frost. Currently frost taps out at 2400cr~ as glacial. #1 ladder all classes is 2.6 or 2.7 right now iirc. I’ve not looked at the ladder in over a week.

Frostbolt PvP modifiers should transfer to FFB.

Frostfire hero talents should have non cleaving/non aoe choices.

Orb & blizzard could be 1 button for frostbolt build, when orb is on cooldown, it’s blizzard. Not ideal in PvP but it helps, but not a big deal since one doesn’t really pump big orb damage as frostbolt build since you are not stacking mastery for glacial and mastery affects orb.

Frost needs deep if sunfury gets a stun. 45 seconds on or off GCD and affected by coldsnap is fine. I’m also out of binds as frost, so unless they reduce our buttons, I can’t easily bind deep123. I have poly,
cs,focus,decurse,ss 123 and slow, poly, ss, cs, ice nova as focus and regular versions. Plus all spells including regular non @arena/focus/party versions. I’m tapped. This is with my capslock set to alt. It’s so bad, I’ve thought about moving with wer instead of qwe so I can bind yhb with modifiers.

Aside from fractured frost bug, no burst outside of ray/frostbomb/comet, frost is mostly fine. Though not having a ranged stun like sunfury does seem a bit unfair, maybe they can make up for it with a little more frost damage, more tankiness like the +armor glacial insulation had coupled with dispel protection for our barriers/ice form?

Great idea. Frostbolt does about 10-15% more damage than icelance in PvP so there must be a way to make it work? Maybe it casts without the slow or casts at 80% effectiveness?

When I hear freeing up talents, I always think they are removing abilities to reduce button bloat, but providing additional talent points does the opposite and creates more button bloat. :cry:

I hate glacial. I feel like icicles stored from icelance should be 50% power and those stored from flurry should be 25%. Frostbolt would be 125%-150%. Not affected by mastery of course. Mastery as frost feels bad when compared to haste. This would be very rewarding in PvP and provide incentive to those who don’t like glacial that much but do like frostbolt. Even then, glacial is still not a fun spell. Also creates a problem in PvP where they would just train the mage and mage would never get off a big glacial because he would not be able to get a frostbolt off. Also fractured frost does not provide 3 icicles when it splits into 3.

From datamined info, Deathborne playstyle would be tied to Icy Veins. If so, your wish is already granted - you can either play it with Icy Veins (1:48-2 min window) or Ice Form that would replace it (48-60s window). They still could work on Ice Form though to make it more reliable and less easily removed - make it undispellable (while if needed removing some of its components to compensate) and potentially make it buff all Frost damage instead of just Frostbolt / Frostfire Bolt.

FFB should definitely do more damage than Frostbolt for the mere fact that if kicked it locks you on 2 schools instead of 1, so there should be a reward for playing it over just playing Spellslinger with Frostbolt. However, since PVE has issue where buffing Frostbolt / Frostfire Bolt too much can lead to no-Ice Lance builds again, the best solution is tuning it with PVP modifiers that don’t affect PVE.

I agree about Frost getting Deep Freeze back. There might be people who like Snowdrift, so they could just become a choice node in Frost tree (since Gravity Lapse is available in PVE, a choice node between Snowdrift and Deep Freeze might be available there too). If they don’t want to make it accessible in PVE, they could make Deep Freeze a PVP talent that either shares cooldown with Snowdrift or just instead of it.

I don’t think they can make Frost competitive with Fire / Arcane in PVP in TWW without giving them their own stun (and not Snowdrift). Stun’s potential to both setup CC on healers, create kill windows and even stop enemy’s assault on you is just too good. Frost has plenty of roots, but most melee have plenty of root breaks and will have even more in TWW, so roots don’t work that well for that.