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2-25-2008 @ 8:56AM
So, Mr. Belt, you want convincing about Frost? Here we go...I specced frost right through to 70, when I went 17/0/44 for arena. First of all, it is THE perfect soloing spec. Spamming frostbolt means that while you kill mobs ever so slightly slower, you take much less damage, especially with melee mobs. I went through 30-42 without dying outside of instances and PvP. Why? Because just about every mob I aggroed died before it could get into melee range. Even with casters, I was able to fire off a frostbolt, counterspell, and then kill them as they wandered slowly towards me. Ranged was harder, but mana shield and ice barrier saved me.The second major bonus for levelling with frost is that of AoE grinding. It’s fun, it’s fairly easy with the right talents, and most importantly it gets you through that killer 42-55. With rested XP you can actually see your XP bar move – as though you were handing in quests. Then you just drink and eat your mana back to full and repeat. I specced into the AoE grinding talents for about ten levels, and then specced back out of them into a real spec within a day or so, having levelled incredibly fast. Also, it’s immensely satisfying to look over a field once full of the undead, and see that it’s empty – as they’re all in a pile at your feet.I will now go through a few “must-have” frost talents, the way you did with fire and arcane:Frostbite: Gives your chill effects a 5/10/15% chance to freeze the target in place for 5 sec. Perfect for soloing and PvP, this is the main reason why a good frost mage will hardly take damage. Especially when combined with Shatter, most mobs die before they get to you. Also, when riding around through mob-infested areas with ice/frost armour up, mobs that aggro on you and manage to get a hit will often freeze in place, allowing you to get away. I found this very useful in Dustwallow Marsh, when following the roads just took too damn long.Ice Shards: Increases the crit damage bonus of all frost spells by 20/40/60/80/100% A lot of extra crit damage – fairly good for a tier two talentIcy Veins: Reduces cast time by 20%, and increasing the chance for the target to freeze by 15%. 20sec duration with a 3min cooldown. When couple with a trinket, this means a LOT of extra damage. Apparently the extra freeze proc is to be changed to make whatever you’re casting uninterruptable in 2.4, which will be gold for PvP.Shatter: Increases the crit chance of ALL spells against frozen targets by 10/20/30/40/50%. The reason why frost mages don’t normally have to worry about crit gear. It makes for easier soloing, insane PvP combos (more about that later) and the fact that this affects ALL your spells makes an elementalist spec with pyro and imp. Fire damage viable.Cold Snap: Resets all frost cooldowns. ALL of them. His means that you can have two water elementals out, one after the other, have an ice block ready as soon as hypothermia wears off, another icy veins ready, a multitude of frost novas (which is what I used cold snap for while levelling at low levels, before it got moved further up the tree), and frost ward and ice barrier out as soon as they get broken through. One of the most useful frost talents there is, and one that has saved me so many times.Ice Floes: Reduces the cooldown time on Cold Snap, Ice Block, and Ice Barrier by 10/20%. This is awesome beyond compare, and makes multiple ice blocks in the arena possible, as well as just generally improving survivability.Winter’s Chill: Gives frost spells a 20/40/60/80/100% chance to apply the winter’s Chill effect, which increases frost crit chance by 2%. Stacks up to 5 times. So this means, effectively, an extra 10% crit chance. When coupled with shatter, empowered frostbolt and a small amount of crit gear, I can get my frost crit chance on a frozen target up to over 85%. 85%! That’s madness! And with a trinket it’ll probably be even higher – I haven’t worked on that yet. It’s why frost can still get out decent damage – through a ridiculous number of crits.Ice Barrier: Instantly shields you, absorbing x amount of damage. Lasts 60 seconds, 30 second cooldown (less with ice floes). This is effectively mana shield, without it draining your mana down to zero. The top rank shields you for just over 1k of damage, and it scales with +spell damage gear. It’s like having an extra k or so of health without your casting being interrupted or pushed back every time you get hit. It’s why frost mages survive while all others are dying, despite crappy stamina. A must have talent.Summon Water Elemental: Summons a Water Elemental to fight for the caster for 45 seconds. 3min cooldown. Ah. This magically animated blob of water has saved my life more times than I care to think. It will win practically any fight for a good frost mage (and don’t send in your stories about how you soloed 4 frost mages with WE’s out at the same time with one hand while doing trigonometric differentiation with the other – no one cares) and in PvE is a massive dps boost at regular intervals. Apart from its ranged attack, which is a frostbolt without the chill, it also can cast a targetable frost nova called freeze at regular intervals. This is a godsend in PvE, where you can remotely freeze the accidentally aggroed pack of 8 mobs and then leave the WE to fight them while you make a quick getaway. However, it is in PvP that this remote freeze truly comes into its own, as I will now explain. Apart from the obvious snaring uses, it can also be used for some awesome damage. You can continue casting while the target symbol is up, so the following move is possible:1) Start casting frostbolt just before the WE begins a waterbolt cast2) Wait till the end of the cast, and then freeze them remotely just before frostbolt finishes casting.3) Ice lance immediately.What will happen then, with shatter and winter’s chill, is that you will almost certainly crit three times – about 2k from the frostbolt, about 1.7k from the ice lance, and about 1.3k from the WE (all of these depend on gear, obviously – or does the WE not scale? Anybody?). This amounts to about 5k within a second or so, and the beauty of it is that a dispelling class such as a priest or paladin won’t have time to dispel the freeze before it hits them. And of course, it’s possible (though unlikely) that they remain frozen, so you can ice lance again. This is a terrifying thing to happen in a battle, and though it isn’t as good as the largest fire crits you can get, it can scare the hell out of someone expecting meh damage from a frost mage.Also, I recommend in the frost tree (for those going deep frost), any of the frost damage increasers, such as Piercing Ice and Arctic Winds; Permafrost (which is useful in PvP and PvE) and Frost Channelling (though you may have to take one out of this for the 17/0/44 build). Also elemental precision (despite the nerf) and of course improved frostbolt. And arctic reach, an invaluable tool in any circumstance. The others are not so useful, and it’s probably worth putting remaining points in impact (for fire blast) or arcane focus and subtlety (for polymorph and counterspell – the two most annoying resists in the game).I think that's about it - if anyone wants to disagree, point out mistakes or insult my mother, then please reply.
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