Guide to Frost PvE: Talents

With the release of the latest Patch 3.3 – Fall of the Lich King, many Mages are going the trying out the new changes to Frost PvE. Permanent Water Elemental and using Deep Freeze on bosses were reason enough to give Frost a shot again in a raiding environment. Is it enough to hang with Fire and Arcane yet? We’ll see.

This guide will cover the essential Talents of going the way of the Frost Mage. If you missed what the new changes are to the Frost Talents, you can catch up on them here:

Frost Talents

The “Cookie Cutter” Frost PvE Spec is: 17(+1)/0/51(+2) with variations depending on how the Mage likes to play. There are essential talents, and there are option talents- depending on your flavor.


Essential Arcane:

Arcane Subtlety and Arcane Focus are pretty useless for a Frost Mage, but is a tad bit more useful than Arcane Stability. You have to spend the points somewhere, might as well make your Polymorph a bit better.

Who knows, you might have to do some up-close and personal AoEing with Arcane Explosions in the new dungeons and raids.

Optional Arcane:

You will need to invest one talent point into one of these three talents in order to gain access to the Tier 4 Talents to pick up Torment the Weak- the most important talent in the Arcane Tree. That will differ depending on the person and situation.

Fighting a lot off bosses which requires some resistance? Get Magic Absorption. Do you need the extra range for Sheeping? Get Magic Attunement. Do you like to throw in the occasional Cone of Cold or Ice Lance when you PvE? Get Spell Impact.

I personally got Spell Impact because I use Ice Lances and Cone of Cold a lot.

Essential Frost:

Why no Brain Freeze? Casting an Instant Fireball is a waste of a GCD, and would be a DPS loss compared to just casting another Frostbolt. Not worth it. Yet. We’ll have to wait until our Tier 10 Mage Set come into play. Until then, we’re leaving it off our Talent Tree.

Optional Frost:

You will need to spend at least three points into these talents in order to access the Tier 10 Talent for Chilled to the Bone, and Tier 11 Talent Deep Freeze. I would suggest putting at least 2 points into Frostbite, and 1 point into Improved Blizzard. This will make AoEing with Frost exponentially better. See Here for why.

You will have 2 remaining points to do whatever you want. Some players finish up Frostbite, and put the remaining point into Imp Blizz to make it 2/3. Some players put the two points into Frost Warding to have a chance to return Mana whenever absorb damage with Frost and Fire Ward.

Some players do a mixture of both. Again, it will depend on the player and the situations.

Next on Frost PvE: Glyphs >>

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  • krizzlybear said:

    I think Cold as Ice is worth mentioning. I really like the shortened cooldown on Ice Barrier for extra survivability, as well as Cold Snap on longer fights.

  • Bludreaver said:


    I think that with the amount of hit on tier 9 gear and above that Precision becomes an optional talent instead of a requirement. The 3% reduction in mana cost is negligible, as mana has never been an issue with the frost tree. Without having to take precision it frees up some points to spread around into more interesting talents, like Frostbite, Permafrost, Improved Blizzard, Cold as Ice, or Enduring Winter. I also missed out on 3/3 Student of the Mind in my build, which I think is a superior choice to 3/3 Spell Impact, given that 35% of your spirit is turned into spell crit by Molten Armor. I’ll have to run the build through rawr and see what comes back.
    .-= Bludreaver´s last blog ..Achievements – Personal and Guild =-.

  • Tuna (Author) said:

    @ krizzly

    Good call. I completely wrote off Cold as Ice since it was no longer necessary to use Cold Snap to call out an extra Water Elemental anymore. I shall add that to the list.

    @ Bluedreaver

    Good point on the Precision, though with the amount of Blizzarding I’ve been doing lately in the new dungeons/raid, the reduced mana cost of Blizzard is nice to have. But if I did have those extra 3 points… hmm… I might get Cold as Ice like krizzly suggested, and Frost Warding for good measure.

    With the amount of Frost damage you’ll be taking in the new Ice Crown dungeons/raids, having Frostward give you back mana is nice to have.

  • Pajero said:

    And the rotation is?

  • Bludreaver said:

    I’ve found some interesting things play with rawr. First off that Brain Freeze can be used to actually increase DPS, but you can only use it with the ghost charge of Fingers of Frost, and if you do go down that road then Spell Impact is actually better to take than Student of the Mind. Overall Student of the Mind has very little impact on my DPS. The improvement on my crit rating is less than 1%, while Spell Impacts gives 6% extra fireball damage, stacked with a 75%+ crit chance (remember with shatter ALL your spells get +50% crit chance), means a whole heck of a lot more DPS than an Ice Lance shatter combo.

    As for mana, I’ve had 0 mana issues with frost. After having gotten used to using my Mana Gem and Evocation with Arcane Spec, going back to frost feels almost like I have an endless mana pool. Stack that with replenishment and it just goes on and on.
    .-= Bludreaver´s last blog ..Achievements – Personal and Guild =-.

  • Bludreaver said:

    I also like Cold as Ice for the reduced cooldown on the Water Elemental. It’s not as easy as it looks to always keep him (her?) alive, so I find myself summoning him as far in advance as I can so that the cooldown is up in case he bites it during a boss fight. Cold Snap is my second emergency button, so during the course of a fight I can lose him twice and still bring him back in.
    .-= Bludreaver´s last blog ..Achievements – Personal and Guild =-.

  • Marcos said:

    Spell rotation plz!!

  • DarthRegis said:

    @ Marcos.

    For something like Patchwerk, I suspect it’s something like this:

    Spam Frostbolt. Use Deep Freeze when Fingers of Frost procs.
    Should DF still be on cooldown, spam FrB.

    For something that requires some movement, probably toss in a CoC or Ice Lance while on the run. Unless, of course, you have a FoF proc to use – then lay the smackdown with a running DF.

    Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong. I know, I know… it’s hard to believe I’m wrong about anything, but it has happened once or twice. ;)
    .-= DarthRegis´s last blog ..What About BOB? (aka: The Measure of Influence) =-.