PTR Patch 3.3 – Permanent Water Elemental

In the latest Build (10571) on the Public Test Realms, Blizzard made a few changes to the Mage class- all good ones. It looks like they have the Fire and Arcane tree right where they want them in terms of PvE DPS, and are working towards making the Frost tree more viable. Once again, you can find the complete list of changes from MMO-Champion here, and like always, I’ll be focusing on the Mage changes.

Improved Scorch


While playing as PvE Fire, the most annoying part was stacking up the Scorches to five stacks. It wasn’t too bad when you can coordinate with other Fire Mages, but without the [Glyph of Improved Scorch], it was a waste of DPS time. Especially if none of the Mages remember to reapply the debuff and let it fall off. Waste of more precious DPS time re-stacking the debuff again.

The new changes makes it so that you only need to apply the debuff once, and reapply it once it is about to fall off. The new Glyph for Scorch would now just increase the damage of your Scorch by 20%.

Frozen Core


What used to be a PvP only talent that is rarely used, now a must have for both PvP and PvE. Not only does it reduce the Spell Damage you take by 6%, your Ice Lance crits will reduce the cast time of your next Frostbolt by 1 second.

In PvP, you already cast a lot of Ice Lances. To randomly stack Winter’s Chill on your target, to take out totems, or to do damage on frozen targets. You will cast a lot of Ice Lances. With the new talent change, you would now do some more damage after you catch your opponent with a Frost Nova, Deep Freeze, or when Fingers of Frost procs.

In PvE, you will no longer be just chain casting Frostbolts. With the new 2 piece bonus of the upcoming Tier 10 Mage set, we’ll be casting more reactive- much like the Fire spec. We will have be on the lookout for Brain Freeze procs, and be ready to use our Fingers of Frost procs to throw in the last second Ice Lance crit.

Brain Freeze procs will give use 15% Haste for 5 seconds, and Ice Lance crits will give us a 1.3 second Frostbolt (if you have absolutely zero Haste w/ 2 points in Empowered Frostbolt). DPS increase? I think so.

Glyph of Eternal Water


Now this is a huge change for the Frost Mage. This Glyph will essentially make the Frost Mage, a pet class. From a PvP standpoint, this will seem overpowered, but disabling the pet’s Freeze ability makes it so that this Glyph won’t be used in PvP. No pet assisted Shatter combos is a no-no for a PvP Frost Mage.

As for PvE, not having the Freeze ability won’t be a problem, and having the Water Elemental’s DPS up for 100% of the time, will be a big upgrade to the Frost Mage DPS. In a group/raid setting, the Water Elemental shouldn’t have any Mana problems with Replenishment buffs, and with the Pet scaling with the player’s stats, Squirtle shouldn’t be missing if the player isn’t.

PvE Mage Spec – 18/0/53

Major Glyphs:

I chose the Ice Lance Glyph over the Molten Armor Glyph since Ice Lance will be more used much much more now. Eternal Water Glyph will give you a permanent Water Elemental, and of course- you will have the Frostbolt Glyph.

Arcane Talents:

For the new Frost spec, I took 3 points of Spell Impact and 1 point Student of the Mind, since Ice Lance and Fireball has become more important in the Spell rotation. Since I will be using the Ice Lance Glyph over the Molten Armor Glyph, Spirit won’t be as important anymore.

Frost Talents:

Since you have a permanent Water Elemental now, Cold as Ice won’t be needed anymore, and the reduced cooldown to Cold Snap and Ice Barrier aren’t as important in PvE.

As I stated before, with the new 2 piece bonus for the Tier 10, Brain Freeze will be an important talent to pick up, and the more procs, the better. So I put 3 points into the talent.

Enduring Winter isn’t as important anymore since increasing the duration of your Water Elemental won’t be necessary when your pet lasts indefinitely now. 1 point into the talent just for the Replenishment buff is enough just in case you are in a group/raid without it.


It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything, but these new upcoming changes really sparked my interest for the next patch. Hopefully this will motivate me to start posting regularly again.

Krizzlybear beat me to it and gave his thoughts on the new changes already, so stop on by and read what he has to say on the changes too!

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  • jorani said:

    love the blog. Just having a look at your build. From a pure aoe dps situation, if you take the point from ice barrier, and put in improved blizzard. Then blizzard can proc fingers of frost and your crit rate goes through the roof. Nice post.


  • Mindolf the Mighty Minimage said:

    Nice post! I think you are right PVE is the way to go with the Water Elemental. If you look at it it could seem abit unfair not having the Freeze for PVP. What other pets in the other classes have one of their abilites taken away? That would be like a charge taken away from a Fel Guard or Pounce taken away from Hunter pet. I really would not see a problem with the WE keeping Freeze because it would still have it without the glyph right? Why not make it a longer cooldown time rather than eliminate it? But I guess they have to sacrifice something somewhere. :)
    Killer site Tuna. I look forward to reading it everyday.


    Realm: Trollbane
    Spec:: Frost/Arcane
    Secondary Spec: Frostfire Bolt

  • Bludreaver said:

    It will be very interesting to see what becomes of the frost tree. With only 53 points to spend, there will be some tough choices to make, where before you had some spare points to play with. You have to come up with 7 points (if you have the Tier 10 set bonus), or 4 points without. Of the 7 points, 3 would to go Frozen Core, 1 to Deep Freeze, and 3 to Brain Freeze. Dropping Cold as Ice won’t really affect DPS since Cold Snap is on an 8 minute cooldown, which frees up 2 points, and there were already 2 points to spare. However dropping Enduring Winter will be next on the chopping block, and if you want to get the full 7 points you have to lose replenishment entirely. Since my guild stopped needing me to provide replenishment a long time ago, it isn’t such a big deal for me, but it would have been nice to keep. I’m also sad to see I have to lose my point in Improved Blizzard. The speed debuff was very helpful for adds on certain bosses. I’m really happy Blizzard is finally addressing frost damage, and will be so happy to be able to raid as frost again.

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