I have noticed there arent really that many guides for frost mages, or mages in general, thats directed to PvP that are updated at the moment. With the break between S14-15 I was pretty bored since you couldnt do any rated PvP, and therefore I thought I could spend some time doing a guide directed to the community. Im not the best mage thats WoW have seen but being gladiator and 2.4k+ I feel like I have atleast some understanding of the class and therefore I think I can help atleast new mages with some directives on how to spec, gem, glyph etc. This guide is mostly aimed towards people thats new to the mage class but my hope is that everyone might learn something new. Without further delay:
3. Stats, gems and enchants
5. General gameplay and tips
Level 15: Against most comps you will be running with PoM. PoM + Alter combo is really powerful and a well timed poly on the healer - alter back - RoF on the dps can put up alot of pressure on the enemy team. PoM have a big range of usage, you can use it to get a clutch PoM poly on the healer or you could use it to tripple RoF the whole enemy team.Sometimes I play Blazing Speed against heavy melee comps that will train you all game or certain melee/caster setups. Normally I go with PoM against melee teams as well cause of the simple reason that it can give your team alot of momentum. Its abit harder to use PoM correctly so if you are feeling you just getting roflstomped I would suggest to try using Blazing cause of the good opportunity to create distance.
Level 30: Temporal Shield is an obvious choice in 3s. Its not only a damage reduction but it will also heal back a certain amount when it expires. Its able to use it while you are stunned, slept, feared, frozen and incapacitated and this combined with the fact that its NOT on GCD makes it a really powerful tool. However, cause of its short duration and how it works its alot harder to use it than Ice Barrier. It requires some practice to get really good with it, a perfectly timed Temporal Shield could save your team from a block, link, guardian or w/e - so its definitely a talent worth using! The only time I go with Ice Barrier is when I duel, doing bgs or queing 2s (in other words where I dont have a healer).
Level 45: Ring of Frost is the best choice here and its what I use as my standard spec against most comps. Its a very powerful spell especially combined with PoM and I would recommend it in most situations. Ice Ward is also a good talent and even if I go with RoF most of the times there are some situations where Ice Ward comes to use. If you are facing a melee team that will cleave you down for example it could be wise to use Ice Ward if you feel it will create some distance. Normally I just use it in duels or 2s.
Level 60: Cold Snap is the obvious winner. Heals you for 30% of your HP and resets the CD of your block. It can be used in any CC as well as in your current block. It will also reset the lockout on frost for Ice Block. Now, if you happen to get into this situation you have done something terrible wrong, getting kicked on frost on low HP and die before you can block is really !@#$ing bad. However, if you do for some reason get into this situation you should know that Cold Snap will "reset" the lockout. So if you have block but get kicked on frost while your healer is in some CC or whatnot and you judge you are going to die before the lockout expires you could, as a final solution, use Cold Snap to reset block and use it. But as I said, this is a situation you shouldnt get into, if you play correctly, keeping track of enemy CDs and atleast have some small knowledge about your enemy you could easily anticipate things like this. But if you get into a worst case scenario you should know there is a way out.
Level 75: Best choice for arena is Living Bomb. It doesnt brake CC as easy as NT and it will deal good damage. Remember to use frost nova before you apply Living Bomb since LB will benefit from it even when nova expires/breaks. And when you are going ham you should always use nova, icy veins + on use (ideally with procs), THEN Living Bomb. The only time I go Nether Tempest is when Im doing rbgs.
Level 90: Incanter's Ward is the best. It gives you not only passive damage increase but after the shield is broken it gives you up to 15% damage increase. This is obviously one of your biggest offensive CDs you have. I see alot of mages that uses this quite randomly and/or mages that will alter before they have Incanter's Ward up. I used to do this myself but when I learned how to use it correctly I gained alot, so simply by learning how to use Incanter's Ward properly you can increase your gameplay alot. Since the CD is only 25 sec its really good to use it when you are doing swaps combined with Deep/Silence combo. So make sure you are utilizing it to the fullest!
Glyph of Armors, Glyph of Polymorph and Glyph of Deep Freeze are normally what most mages use as the standard spec in 3s. Glyph of Armors is a must in all matchups as well as Glyph of Polymorph (most of the time atleast). The only glyph spot that you really can choose from and experiment with is the Glyph of Deep Freeze. Running with this glyph gives you the most damage compared to if you would not have the glyph, its not that huge of a difference but it gives you a slightly higher burst. Its also really good to get quick deeps off, especially against druids since they will have time to shift the novas if you have a GCD on it.
Glyph of Deep Freeze: Even if its the best overall to go with Glyph of Deep Freeze there are situations and comps where it could be more beneficial to go with some other glyph. If you play a comp that relies on the mages damage to land kills or a comp where you just wanna pump out as much damage as possibly, then you should play with Glyph of Deep Freeze since with the GCD removed you will be able to do slightly more damage. If you play a comp that requires you to coordinate damage with your teammate in order to score kills then it could be wise to go with another glyph, cause even if you will do slightly worse damage the 5 sec Deep Freeze stun will buy your teammate 1 more sec to do damage, which obviously is really good - especially if you swap to the healer. A good example of this would be Godcomp, the comp still works if you play with the glyph but I find that you will have more success in scoring kills without the glyph since 1 additional sec will be very beneficial to your shadowpriest.
Its also a very good idea to not have the Glyph of Deep Freeze if you play a comp where you will use deep mostly as a CC. If you play RMP or RMD you mostly kill someone in a kidney/cheap shot anyway, and since Prey on the Weak will be beneficial to you as well its very common to use Deep as a CC on the healer, which of course will be best without the glyph since the longer the stun is the better it will be as a CC. Its also based alot on personal preference, I have played with and without the glyph alot and there are pros and cons with both ways, if you play a comp where you can choose its mostly what you like playing with.
Glyph of Ice Block: Except for the above mentioned glyphs you could also choose between Glyph of Evocation and Glyph of Ice Block. The rest of the glyphs doesnt really have any place in the arenas, maybe Glyph of Ice Lance could be used in rbgs but I would 99% of the time use any of the 5 mentioned glyphs above. Glyph of Ice Block is obviously really good if you face a spellcleave sicne the 3 sec immunity will allow you to freecast whatever you want, set up some damage or just buy your healer some time to top you up without you having to worry about getting killed or interrupted. You can use this glyph in many ways, the immunity will also be more forgiving to offensive blocks. If you have all your procs up while you are in the block you could alter with the immunity buff up while you are unleashing your damage, and then altering back with all the procs again + immunity buff. Doing this will practically make you an unstoppable killing machine for 6 sec. You could also alter with the immunity buff up if your healer is in a CC without trinket and you judge you will die before he gets out. Obviously its best to use alter when you are going ham with all procs up but it could be used defensively as well, and this is one way of doing it.
Glyph of Evocation: I normally just use Glyph of Evocation in duels and 2s but it has its place in 3s as well, provided you dont run with the Glyph of Deep Freeze or Glyph of Ice Block. There isnt really much to say about it, its nice to have as an extra backup if you feel you need it. But I think Glyph of Ice Block is best in most cases if you want a defensive glyph, going up against melee/caster it will do some good and even against double melee sometimes cause of the free frost nova. If its a ret or DK it could also save you from some small amount of damage. I guess this choice is also based on personal preference to some point.
3. Stats, gems and enchants
Stat priority goes 6% hit > Int > haste > mastery > crit.Mastery used to be really good but after the change its not really that great anymore. Icicles is decent but faster polys, rings etc is more valuable which is the reason to why you wanna go with haste. Also, the more haste you have the faster frostbolts which will make it able to stack icicles faster which will give more damage. A little farfetched but you get the point.
For gems you wanna use:
Yellow: +80 Int and + 160 Haste
Red: + 160 Int
Blue: +80 Int and +80 PvP Power
Meta: +216 Int and +3% Crit
As far as enchants go you want:
Shoulder: +200 Int and +100 Crit
Cloak: +180 Int
Chest: +80 All stats
Bracer: +180 Int
Gloves: + 170 Haste
Legs: +285 Int and +165 Crit
Boots: +140 mastery and speed boost
Wep: Jade Spirit
OH: +165 Int
Arena target and focus macros:
Target and Focus arena 1-2-3 is essential for a mage. Its really important for all classes but its especially vital for a mage because you will be swapping target and focus alot in arenas when you are double CC and spellstealing stuff etc.
/target arena1 /target arena2 /target arena3 /focus arena1 /focus arena2 /focus arena3
Polymorph + Counterspell Arena 1-2-3:
This is something extremely important. Its really good not only for the simple reason to poly someone without having them as target/focus, but also because it allows you to peel effectively. Macros like these allows you to spam poly on the whole enemy team, and playing a mage you will abuse poly alot. Its also vital to have CS bound to arena 1-2-3 so you could instantly interrupt a mages opener for example.When the game starts you wont be able to have time to focus him first and then cast CS, its easier to just spam CS 2 or CS 3 (depending on which spot he is on) and when he comes out of invis trying to poly your healer or something you could just instantly interrupt his cast.
This is good for all kinds of fast reactions, if a priest spectral guise in order to fear you could spam CS 1 and as soon as he comes out he will be silenced. The same goes for every thing that requires fast interrupts, if you are having a hunter as target and the healer on focus and you see the third player is about to CC your healer you could just press CS 3 instead of first focusing him and then CS him. This macro is not only good for being fast but also for the reason that you sometimes dont wanna change focus cause you are keeping track of debuffs/buffs so by having Arena 1-2-3 macros you could increase your awareness since you wont have to change focus all the time for a CC.
#showtooltip /cast [@arena1] polymorph #showtooltip /cast [@arena2] polymorph #showtooltip /cast [@arena3] polymorph #showtooltip /stopcasting /cast [@arena1] counterspell #showtooltip /stopcasting /cast [@arena2] counterspell #showtooltip /stopcasting /cast [@arena3] counterspell
CS and Focus CS, just as the above:
#showtooltip /stopcasting /cast counterspell #showtooltip /stopcasting /cast [@focus] counterspell
Focus deep and focus poly:
#showtooltip /cast [@focus] deep freeze #showtooltip /cast [@focus] polymorph
Spellsteal macro with cancelaura. If you are facing a fire mage and spellsteals pyro proc you wanna dispel it so he doesnt steal it back from you, and you also want cancelaura for sac since even if you take it away from your target it will still have the same effect on you, so if you steal it from a hunter and they deal damage to you the pala will come out of poly even though the hunter doesnt have sac:
#showtooltip /cast Spellsteal /cancelaura Hand of Sacrifice /cancelaura Pyroblast! #showtooltip /cast [@focus] Spellsteal /cancelaura Hand of Sacrifice /cancelaura Pyroblast!
Living bomb macro:
LB macro for target and focus, good for taking down groundings etc:
#showtooltip /cast [modifier:alt, @focus] living bomb; living bomb
#showtooltip /cast presence of mind /cast ring of frost
Orb with on use macroed into it:
#showtooltip frozen orb /use 13 /cast frozen orb
Pet Freeze + Summon Water Elemental:
This macro will allow you to cast pet nova if its alive, but if your pet is dead it will cast Summon Water Elemental:
#showtooltip freeze /cast [nopet][@pet,dead]Summon Water Elemental;Freeze
Ice Block macro + cancelaura:
Allows you to spam block without being able to cancel it:
#showtooltip /stopcasting /cast !ice block
Since you have a spammable block you need to put cancelaura for it in some other spell, myself I use it on ice lance:
#showtooltip /cast ice lance /cancelaura ice block /dismount
I recommend macro marking in your buffs. When you use mirror image you will lose your mark, therefore its good to be able to reapply it:
#showtooltip /cast dalaran brilliance /script SetRaidTarget("Foxztar",6) /script SetRaidTarget("HEALER",5) /script SetRaidTarget("DPS",7)
Decurse macro for healer + DPS. Definitely a must:
#showtooltip /cast [@DPS] remove curse #showtooltip /cast [@HEALER] remove curse
Alter Time macro + cancelaura:
Allows you to spam Alter Time without cancel its effect. You could set "reset" to 10 if you want which makes it completely spammable, but then you need another bind for activating it. My macro will allow you to spam it but also using it for activating Alter. You wanna put /use 1 in order to stop flamestrike AoE circle:
#showtooltip /castsequence reset=1 alter time, flamestrike /use 1
Cancelaura for Alter Time. If you get topped off or if you will get into a really bad spot it might be a good idea to cancel it:
#showtooltip /cancelaura alter time
Pet dismiss + control macros:
You can use this to unsummon your pet. Its nothing you really have to use, but I think its nice to have. Long ago you could resummon your pet to reset the CD of freeze. You are obviously not able to do that now but its a handy macro in case your pet gets stuck in a bad spot:
Last but not least, the pet control macros. This is something very useful to have. I see alot of mages that macros /petattack into frostbolt etc, and while this might be a convenient solution its best to have separate binds for that. You will have better DPS by controlling your pet alongside with your own spells, also pet move to is crucial to have as a mage. If you are low on HP and are kiting around a pillar you could control your pet to the other side and nova your follower and evo/getting topped off. You could also use it the other way around, if your enemy with low HP is kiting you just send pet the other way around and nova him so you can come around and finnish him off:
"Pet move to" /click PetActionButton3LeftButton "Petattack" /petattack" Petpassive" /petpassive /petfollow
5. General gameplay and tips
Mirror Image is more of an utility spell rather than a burst CD. While it does increase your damage its not by that much for you to start playing around it, especially with the long CD. Its better to use it as an utility spell to get snares on the enemy team, keep people in combat, drop target and focus or just to dodge CC.
As I mentioned above you always wanna apply your Living Bomb while your target is frozen. You could achieve this through pet nova, frost nova or RoF. Even after the frost nova breaks your LB will benefit from the damage increase.
Playing as a mage you have a really high burst, but you are very dependent on your CDs to achieve anything. As most already know you wont do that much damage if you dont have any CDs or procs, but having orb, deep and full procs you will deal a !@#$ ton of damage. Thats why its very important not only to use your CDs wisely, but learn how to play around them.
I guess you could say that you have two big phases or conditions as a mage in arena. The first one is the damage phase where you will pump out as much damage as you can using orb, deep, blanket, and procs etc. Most of your damage will come every 1 minute when you have orb + deep up but you could also deal good damage every 30 sec with deep/pet nova/incanter's.
The second phase is when you dont have any damage going, when you dont have any procs and your pet nova, deep etc is on CD. This is where alot of mages dont do that much of use. Its really easy to deal damage as a mage with all your CDs, but playing good and keeping pressure and momentum without any procs/CDs is abit harder. You could probably say that the second phase is more of an controlling phase where you wanna aim to control your enemy team with CC and setting up for your next burst. One way to do this is spellstealing, using this spell is really important as a mage. Inbetween your burst windows its really good utilizing this spell in order to make it easier to score a kill next time you have your burst. Its also vital to spellsteal things like fear ward, sac and big buffs. When you are going ham you obviosuly dont want to spend your precious time spellstealing stuff, but you need to learn how and when to use it. You must judge if the globals and time spent on spellstealing is worth it.
Using polymorph is really important, not only as a CC on the healer. As a mage you should literally spam poly on the whole enemy team, especially when you are inbetween your bursts. You should always try to have one target in sheep at all times, and if you play with a druid you could cycle your poly/clones on the healer and DPS so that you try to cross CC the enemy team as much as possible, 1 target in clone and the other in sheep, and when dr strikes you just shift it etc... Spamming poly is also good when you wanna peel for your team since dispel is on a CD, and in some cases you could force trinkets when abusing poly. You could also use poly solely for the reason to force a dispel.
While fakecasting is important you shouldnt get obsessed by it. As a mage you have plenty of tools to deal instant CC/damage but since our change to mastery we need to stack icicles, which comes from FFB and casting FB. Its good to fakecast, but due to it being like 2k interrupts in the game along with all the instant CC its not worth spending a huge amount of time trying to fake cast something thats always gonna have a back up interrupt. Fakecast maybe once or twice and if he doesnt kick you just go for it, dont try and juke for an eternity - it just takes time and you lose momentum. And if you do get kicked you can always cast from the other school. If you juke poly and he doesnt kick you and you decide to go for it and get kicked you can just cast frostbolt or a ring, provided you have juked atleast 1 of his interrupts. Getting kicked on frost will allow you to cast poly or spellsteal.
While Frost Armor will give you most damage you rarely use it in arenas. Sometimes you could switch to it but overall you will go with the following armors:
Double melee: Molten Armor
Melee/Caster: Molten Armor
Double Caster: Mage Armor
Those are probably the best mages atm that streams pretty often, if you wanna improve you could learn alot from them.
I think this sums up the guide, I might add more later but I think this cover the basics pretty well. If you have any questions or so feel free to ask.