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Leekzy's Frost Mage Guide for 6.0.3

mage wod pvp guide frost ice

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#1 leek

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 11:07 AM

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Hi there, I am Leekzy - a swedish guy with a (very) swedish accent who has played Mage since season 2, achieving Rank 1 and Gladiator multiple times with my highest rating ever being 3114 in Season 15. This is the first guide I've written for AJ, and it's aimed at a bit more inexperienced and newer players - although you may find that you can take something from this as an advanced player aswell!

Shoutout to Vanguards, whos Retribution guide served as an excellent template!

So what is actually different in Warlords of Draenor as a Frost Mage?

1.) Tons of abilities have been removed from the game (R.I.P. Evocation, Fire Blast and Mana Gem) and a lot of the mechanics of the spells/talents/specializations which weren't removed has changed. I recommend reading this summary if you haven't checked it out already for a lot of solid info.

2.) M-M-M-MULTISTRIKE. New stats have been added to the game which change the way we gear drastically due to the changes to some of our core mechanics (i.e. Brain Freeze).

3.) Removal of Improved Counterspell and other "blanket" silences! This is a change which affects us immensely - and although it might seem bad at first this is actually (imho) a buff to mages - more on that later!

4.) Der..Deep* Freeze now breaks on damage.

...

Oh well! This might seem bad at first glance (and it's definitely a nerf), but it plays out pretty well in the actual gameplay. Let's delve into the world of Crowd Control (CC) and getting creative with Deep Freeze later on in the guide!

5.) Diminishing Returns (DR)! A lot of changes have been made to DR's in WoD, most of which you can read here.
This changes the way a lot of Mage comps play and it's something that should be kept in mind going into WoD as a Frost Mage!

Important to note is that if you play with Ice Nova it also DR's Polymorph.

6.) WHERE THE F**K IS MY FROST NOVA???+++

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(If you're spec'd into Ice Nova, which yes, you probably are, join in)

Why... should you play a Mage in WoD?

First of all - the class is actually really fun to play in arenas at the moment! A lot of changes in WoD makes it an overall smoother and much more enjoyable experience to play a Mage in the arena. I feel like we still have a really high skill-cap and can play with every class that's in the game currently.


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Talents

Below is my default arena spec - but this is something that can and will change depending on what composition (comp) that you play and play versus.

Remember that nothing is set in stone guys, experiment, have fun - if you see something and think "hey this might make me kick that huntards ass" then by all means go for it.

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What's following is my personal approach - I feel like these are really stable choices with the most arguable one being the level 45 and 100 tier.

**CHECK MY POST ON PAGE 3**

Level 15:
I recommend: Posted Image

This talent is amazing to have as a Mage - it really opens up for a lot of "plays" to be made both defensively and offensively and is just solid mobility in general. Practically a baby Rocket Boots. With 25 sec cooldown (CD). Go figure.

Level 30
I recommend: Posted Image

I feel like this just is the most solid choice here, sure a lot of classes have some form of purging ability which can get rid of Ice Barrier but use it with good timing and it's still a really solid defensive out and CD. Alter Time was changed and no longer resets your buffs (only HP and position), from my testing it's highly situational in its current state.

Level 45

I recommend: Posted Image

Ayay, everything is viable???

RoF is just a solid choice which enables us to get CC rolling easier, something that is useful vs every comp you can face.

All of these talents have really good specific uses, however since Ice Ward now DR's with our other novas and RoF is a better CC to peel with Ice Ward will mostly see use versus comps that sit on the Mage from start to finish.

Frostjaw can actually be AMAZING as a peel/setup vs certain spellcleaves since it's actually a Silence - be aware Dwarfs' can remove this with Stoneform though!

Level 60
I recommend: Posted Image

Amazing talent, pretty self-explanatory.

Can be used if you are locked out on your Frost-tree to enable Ice Block anyway.

Level 75
I recommend: Posted Image

Although Frost Bomb does alright damage the utility and on demand burst that Ice Nova offers is in my opinion too good to pass up.

There are so many uses for this outside of just doing damage as it acts as a mini-stun (interrupts casts momentarily for example) that hits Area-of-Effect (AoE).

Level 90
I recommend: Posted Image
Incanter's Flow is a rather awkward talent to understand at first but once you get the hang of it it's pretty simple: you deal more damage, and if you time it well you deal A LOT more damage.
Mirror Images does a lot of damage aswell and can definitely be the way to go vs some comps, I predict that it mostly will see use in 1v1 and 2v2.


Level 100
I recommend: Posted Image
This talent is awkward to use, awkward to understand and it covers the screen in lazer beams. Fear not though - once you lose your Crystal virginity I doubt that you will want to go back to Comet Storm!

Although the CD of Prismatic Crystal is rather long (1,5 minutes) its definitely worth it over the underwhelming damage that Comet Storm offers in my opinion, and with some solid placement and CD usage (Lance with Icicles, 2x Frost Novas with Frozen Orb ticking is insane damage) you can actually close to slay an entire team with this talent!
Comet Storm also went down in "value" for me after they changed it so that you can't use it while being locked out on your Frost-tree.

Glyphs

A lot of choices here.
I change around my glyphs a lot depending on what I am playing vs. Most of these are pure preference!

Primary Glyphs:
Glyph of Polymorph - Highly recommended if you play with any class that might put a DoT on anything.

Glyph of Icy Veins - Now gives you 45% Multistrike instead of spell haste. Click, clack boom. Loss of the utility the haste gives though, I swap around this glyph from time to time.

Glyph of Ice Block - Makes you immune to all spells for 3 seconds after using Ice Block and unleashes a Frost Nova around you. This glyph can both save lives and act as an offensive tool, however it lost some of its value offensively for me due to the blanket silence change.

Glyph of Spellsteal - Spellsteal also heals you for 4% of your maximum health when you use it.
Really good glyph for surviving in 2v2/3v3, watch your mana however as it's very mana intensive to spam!

Glyph of Splitting Ice - Your Ice Lance and Icicles hit an additional target for 50% damage. This glyph feels really good with Prismatic Crystal, test it out for yourself.

Glyph of Deep Freeze - takes Deep Freeze of the Global Cooldown (GCD). Doesn't feel as mandatory anymore due to Deep changes.

Glyph of Regenerative Ice - You heal 4% of your maximum HP every second while in Ice Block. Really situational for 3v3, has uses in 2v2 though!

Enchants/Stat-priority

**CHECK MY POST ON PAGE 3** - the info below no longer holds true!

My opinion on stats comes from discussing gear with other top level Mages and testing different gear pieces out - if you got any input please reply to the thread and I'll consider editing the post!

Int > Multistrike > Haste >= Crit > Versatility = Mastery

Recommended Gems:

Multistrike.

Recommended Enchants:

Neck: Multistrike, 50-75
Cloak: 100 Multistrike and 10% Movement Speed
Rings: 30-50 Multistrike
Weapon: Mark of the Frostwolf (Multistrike), currently it costs a round 10-15k on most servers though so Mark of the Shattered Hand works just fine.

Which comps can I play in WoD as a Frost Mage?

So far it feels like you can play with pretty much every class!

If I were to predict our strongest comps based on my current experience in wargames and skirmishes I would say that these comps all will be viable:

Warrior/Mage/Healer

Rogue/Mage/Healer

Feral/Mage/Healer


Moonkin/Mage/Healer

SP/Mage/Healer

Lock/Mage/Healer


DK/Mage/Healer
might make a truly solid appearance aswell, although I haven't gotten around to trying the comp out!

Macros:

These are the macros I personally use, I recommend checking out previous Mage guides on AJ for more input since not a lot has changed macro-wise!
CLICK HERE FOR MACROS


Gearing your Mage for Arenas
Gear according to stat priorities and get 4 piece for the set bonus (serves as dispel protection mainly!) with the legs for maximum multistrike.

MY ARMORY LINK

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Gameplay!

Great, you got your Mage setup and ready to play!
... and now what?

Whether you come from TBC, WotLK, Cata or MoP into WoD one thing is certain - Mage now plays differently from any other expansion.

While I am sure the removal of Deep-Blanket for kills confuses and annoys a lot of Mages (how am I even able to kill something on my own anymore?) it's important to remember that adapting to the metagame is the single most important going into a new expansion. There is light at the end of the tunnel guys, it's just a different tunnel we're in!

Mages now rely on getting solid CC rolling on the enemy team and ramping up your damage to be able to unleash at the moment you want to burst - for examples stacking up a few icicles so that you know that when that CC lands on the enemy healer you are ready to do massive damage.

A lot comes down to managing your Ice Novas, if you are able to stack up 2 or even just 1 with some solid Fingers of Frost (FoF) or Brain Freeze (BF) procs you can do insane amounts of burst damage! Mashing the abilities right as they pop up on cooldown might make you do overall more damage but gimp your potential burst, something which is important to understand to be able to land kills.

The removal of blanket silences has really helped us land CC - fake casting is now better than ever and this change lets you do something you rarely could do since the end of WotLK - actually Deep Freeze someone, fake a Counterspell (CS) or interrupt and then actually get a Polymorph or Ring of Frost cast off straight afterwards!

A neat little trick you can use is to simply Deep Freeze the enemy healer, start casting RoF and tank the interrupt while spamming your Polymorph binding - this guarantees that you will land either the RoF or the Poly on the healer. This was not a possibility before simply due to the fact that you got blanket silenced even though you managed to fake the CS.

Another tip is to track the Dispel Cooldown of enemy healers - this was incredibly important in MoP and it still is, maybe even more so in WoD! This truly allows us to start abusing the beauty of Polymorph and our other CC's. I personally use Gladius to track it, I'm sure there are other addons which does this aswell.

Last but not least I want to share a simple yet very effective trick that I wish I knew of when I started playing mage for getting cross-CC (Crowd-Controlling multiple opponents in the arena) rolling.

Say you're looking to CC a healer, but you need to prevent a Shadow Priest from Mass Dispelling him out of your Polymorph and you do not have your CS off cooldown. What you can do is that you Polymorph the SP, while spamming your focus Deep Freeze macro on the enemy healer - these two spells should land at the same time, basically starting the double-CC. You can then cast a RoF on top of the Deep Freeze and voila, you just controlled two players by yourself without having to mess with dispels and whatnot.

Mage Streams:

Venruki
Jahmilli
Hynnix
Xaryu
Daisyduke
Proffset
Leekzy
Nolifer
Friedkitteh
Watchmeblink

Thanks a lot for reading, hopefully this gave you some form of help going into Warlords of Draenor as a Frost Mage - if you got any questions feel free to PM me on AJ or Twitch.TV - I'll try my best to reply to everyone.

In frost we trust,
Leek

<3
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#2 Jonatan

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 11:36 AM

Great guide! I hope for FMP comeback s16
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#3 abolishedtehe

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 11:40 AM

the creativity of that RIP frost nova blew my mind. 10/10 would read again.
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#4 Deathrund

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 11:51 AM

Clean and well made guide, gives a good view on mages in 6.0.3, and is probably helpful for mages in need. Props to you Leekzy! (rip frost nova)
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#5 AlcaMage

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 12:01 PM

well good guide,
apart from Deep Glyph not being mandatory, its just way to good being off GCD, especially to juke interrupts during the deep, since people have to be way faster actually react to a glyphed deep poly for example


also if you have actually a kill chance on a target being low and you ice nova by accident the healer with it you can still deep the second ice nova because deep not being on the DR
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#6 snugglebunny

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 12:04 PM

does anyone else agree that this patch has just trashed mage pvp? Ice nova is so stupid
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#7 Tsx

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 12:22 PM

nice guide +1
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#8 Dizzeeyo

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 12:27 PM

decent guide, only a few things i would consider adding:

t2 talents, you don't mention flameglow - its very strong vs dot teams and vs any team that spam trains the mage with dispels, and you only need to get hit 17 times in 25 seconds for it to absorb more damage then an undispelled icebarrier would have, which shouldn't be too hard as a mage these days vs melee cleave xD

i also disagree with your gearing and stat prio - multistrike is useful but only really shines during frostbolt spam for extra brainfreeze procs - the extra damage from multistrikes themselves is not massively noticeable, especially since they halved the amount of procs everyone gets from the stat. for gaining brainfreeze procs, haste has pretty much the same effect as multistrike, and also taking haste items over multistrike items lets you avoid quite a lot of the useless mastery stat in exchange for haste/crit which are both more useful

i recommend haste > crit = multistrike > > > > > mastery > > > versatility, with haste enchants on gear and on weapon - changes from the gear you have are the haste crit neck, the haste chest, haste crit legs, and a haste crit ring over the multistrike crit one :)

Edit: should probably also mention somewhere that brainfreeze stacks twice now, a lot of people still seem confused by that :)

Edited by Dizzeeyo, 21 November 2014 - 12:45 PM.

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No because the difference is when I play a comp i play it close to skill cap

if anyone needs to be banned, it's you. You do nothing but sit on AJ being a passive aggressive idiot that nobody likes, sorry you stink of washing up liquid.

Feel free to call me an idiot because I'm a hunter or some stupid ass remark but I've actually written all this down on paper

I actually made an appearance at DH2014 and I met up with people from twitch who were involved with the dota 2 / cs tournies that where there, I talked about the game from my perspective as a professional player and we actually shared a lot of opinions. All I'm saying is a lot of people will be VERY surprised about the future of this game in the esport world :)


#9 leek

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 12:59 PM

[quote name='Dizzeeyo' timestamp='1416572836' post='4271626']
decent guide, only a few things i would consider adding:

t2 talents, you don't mention flameglow - its very strong vs dot teams and vs any team that spam trains the mage with dispels, and you only need to get hit 17 times in 25 seconds for it to absorb more damage then an undispelled icebarrier would have, which shouldn't be too hard as a mage these days vs melee cleave xD

i also disagree with your gearing and stat prio - multistrike is useful but only really shines during frostbolt spam for extra brainfreeze procs - the extra damage from multistrikes themselves is not massively noticeable, especially since they halved the amount of procs everyone gets from the stat. for gaining brainfreeze procs, haste has pretty much the same effect as multistrike, and also taking haste items over multistrike items lets you avoid quite a lot of the useless mastery stat in exchange for haste/crit which are both more useful

i recommend haste > crit = multistrike > > > > > mastery > > > versatility, with haste enchants on gear and on weapon - changes from the gear you have are the haste crit neck, the haste chest, haste crit legs, and a haste crit ring over the multistrike crit one :)

Edit: should probably also mention somewhere that brainfreeze stacks twice now, a lot of people still seem confused by that :)
[/quote]

I agree that flameglow looks tasty on paper, but Ice Barrier just feels more useful during actual gameplay? Don't know how else I can put it, solid ice barrier management just feels like it saves your ass more than flameglow does, if someone has a solid 17 sec uptime it feels like I would already have been dead 3 times over. Adding a segment about it in a bit nevertheless!

I agree with you on some points however after testing both it doesn't feel like you can't currently in honor gear get enough haste for it to make that big of a difference, and being a Dwarf actually allows me to gear a bit more "freely" due to having a crit insignia on! I feel like haste doesnt help my RNG damage as much as Multi does, but I might be wrong of course :), gna add a discussion section to the guide in a bit!
tonx4feedback
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#10 leek

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 01:01 PM

[quote name='AlcaMage' timestamp='1416571298' post='4271608']
well good guide,
apart from Deep Glyph not being mandatory, its just way to good being off GCD, especially to juke interrupts during the deep, since people have to be way faster actually react to a glyphed deep poly for example


also if you have actually a kill chance on a target being low and you ice nova by accident the healer with it you can still deep the second ice nova because deep not being on the DR
[/quote]

Yeah I hadn't thought about the deeping off of the 2nd Ice Nova thing, but then again i dont feel like I would Ice Nova twice without Deep already used to initiate CC/having a plan of when to use it as a follow up (saving a FoF for it). It's a strong glyph, but in the end I think the others will win you more games! My 2c
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#11 Krigoz

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 01:17 PM

Really nice guide and well written! +rep
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Posted Image

#12 Dizzeeyo

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 01:20 PM

[quote name='leek' timestamp='1416574784' post='4271665']
after testing both it doesn't feel like you can't currently in honor gear get enough haste for it to make that big of a difference
[/quote]
20.5% haste when playing with a sp or a rogue! :D
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No because the difference is when I play a comp i play it close to skill cap

if anyone needs to be banned, it's you. You do nothing but sit on AJ being a passive aggressive idiot that nobody likes, sorry you stink of washing up liquid.

Feel free to call me an idiot because I'm a hunter or some stupid ass remark but I've actually written all this down on paper

I actually made an appearance at DH2014 and I met up with people from twitch who were involved with the dota 2 / cs tournies that where there, I talked about the game from my perspective as a professional player and we actually shared a lot of opinions. All I'm saying is a lot of people will be VERY surprised about the future of this game in the esport world :)


#13 leek

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 01:27 PM

[quote name='Dizzeeyo' timestamp='1416576004' post='4271686']
20.5% haste when playing with a sp or a rogue! :D
[/quote]

That's actually pretty damn solid, whats your MS in that setup?
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#14 Dizzeeyo

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 01:31 PM

[quote name='leek' timestamp='1416576433' post='4271692']
That's actually pretty damn solid, whats your MS in that setup?
[/quote]
26.3%, again when playing with a rogue or sp :)

you also end up with mastery only on 3 items, which gives you a lot of non wasted stats to put into the three core stats (haste multistrike crit)

Edited by Dizzeeyo, 21 November 2014 - 01:34 PM.

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No because the difference is when I play a comp i play it close to skill cap

if anyone needs to be banned, it's you. You do nothing but sit on AJ being a passive aggressive idiot that nobody likes, sorry you stink of washing up liquid.

Feel free to call me an idiot because I'm a hunter or some stupid ass remark but I've actually written all this down on paper

I actually made an appearance at DH2014 and I met up with people from twitch who were involved with the dota 2 / cs tournies that where there, I talked about the game from my perspective as a professional player and we actually shared a lot of opinions. All I'm saying is a lot of people will be VERY surprised about the future of this game in the esport world :)


#15 Nammlol

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 03:02 PM

[quote name='Dizzeeyo' timestamp='1416576676' post='4271701']
26.3%[/quote]

i'm at 24.14% (not in pvp zone), is your 26.3% in or outside pvp zone?
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#16 Dizzeeyo

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 03:20 PM

[quote name='Nammlol' timestamp='1416582151' post='4271761']
i'm at 24.14% (not in pvp zone), is your 26.3% in or outside pvp zone?
[/quote]
in pvp zone, who cares what your stats are without the buff when any sort of pvp combat whatsoever activates it?
  • 0

No because the difference is when I play a comp i play it close to skill cap

if anyone needs to be banned, it's you. You do nothing but sit on AJ being a passive aggressive idiot that nobody likes, sorry you stink of washing up liquid.

Feel free to call me an idiot because I'm a hunter or some stupid ass remark but I've actually written all this down on paper

I actually made an appearance at DH2014 and I met up with people from twitch who were involved with the dota 2 / cs tournies that where there, I talked about the game from my perspective as a professional player and we actually shared a lot of opinions. All I'm saying is a lot of people will be VERY surprised about the future of this game in the esport world :)


#17 Zorthur

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 03:22 PM

Hey there! I am trying out mage for the first time this and this guide has helped me out tremendously.

However, I was wondering if maybe you could go over all the situational ways we can do damage? For instance, how useful is deep freeze for damage anymore, or, what should I have up when bursting into crystal to maximize damage output?That seems to be the most confusing part for me, especially with the changes to deep freeze.

Then again, I'm a frost noob :P

Thanks!
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#18 Shawir

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 03:46 PM

bigboss

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#19 Friedkitteh

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 04:00 PM

Good post!

:mage: 4 lyf
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Just be friends pls <3

#20 Wayreth

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 04:01 PM

[quote name='Zorthur' timestamp='1416583364' post='4271782']
Hey there! I am trying out mage for the first time this and this guide has helped me out tremendously.

However, I was wondering if maybe you could go over all the situational ways we can do damage? For instance, how useful is deep freeze for damage anymore, or, what should I have up when bursting into crystal to maximize damage output?That seems to be the most confusing part for me, especially with the changes to deep freeze.

Then again, I'm a frost noob :P

Thanks!
[/quote]

Deep freeze will very rarely be used for damage. It literally breaks if you sneeze in its direction. The only time I would use deep freeze on a kill target would be in 1v1 situations or in a situation where you have no other damage going in to the target. In this case, you can setup a shatter(FB->Icelance) into the deep freeze before it breaks.

Using Crystal will take some getting used to. Ideally you want to play with a teammate that can keep your target in place(basically anything with a good stun). The best-case damage scenario is a stationary target -> Orb/Icy Veins/on-use trinket -> Crystal on top of the target -> Ice lance/Ice nova into the Crystal while the target is inside the blast radius. If you are playing with Incanter's ward, if possible, pop this when incanters is at max stacks and/or you have a proc trinket rolling.

If you AREN'T playing with a stun class, your personal options for keeping a target near a crystal are Ice Nova, Pet Nova, and Deep Freeze. As mentioned above, you most likely won't be using deep offensively on the kill target, but in some cases, you can use Deep to setup the orb/crystal combo. If you are relying entirely on yourself to do damage with a Crystal, what I've found to work best is Pet Nova target -> Deep Freeze -> Drop Crystal -> IV/Orb -> Ice Nova (for the stun ideally with the target still rooted/deep'd) -> Lance -> Ice Nova again -> lance.

Again, these are very situational and it will take practice and depend on what you are playing with/against, but hopefully that helps a little.
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