PvE Frost Mage DPS Guide

PvE Frost Mage DPS Guide
  • Author: Luxrah
  • Date: June 11, 2024
  • Updated: June 11, 2024
  • Expansion: Cataclysm

Mages are one of four pure DPS classes in Cataclysm Classic, with three different talent trees offering different approaches to dealing damage. The Frost specialization is unfortunately the weakest of the three Mage builds in a raid setting, offering significantly lower damage than its more powerful siblings in exchange for its higher survivability and crowd control.

Frost Mage DPS in Cataclysm

Frost Mages are known to be one of the strongest builds for solo play and PvP in World of Warcraft, but their crowd control and survivability aren’t as useful in a raid environment, and they don’t have great damage output to help them compete with other damage dealers.

What the build does offer is a straightforward and satisfying playstyle. If there is kiting that needs to be done or a target that needs to be quickly burst down, the Frost Mage can even be the hero.

Not much has changed for Frost Mages since Wrath of the Lich King. Your Summon Water Elemental is now a permanent summon (as long as it stays alive), so you get to be a full pet class in Cataclysm. You’ll do a bit more than spam Frostbolt now, but the rotation remains fairly simple.

Frost Mage Strengths & Weaknesses


  • Strong Burst Damage
    As a specialization that’s built for PvP, Frost is capable of doing big damage in a short window of time. You’ll crit more often than other builds, though that means your damage can be a bit unpredictable.
  • Solid Crowd Control
    If there are mobs that need to be slowed, rooted, or kited, you’re the one to call.


  • Low Sustained Damage
    Crit-based damage is unpredictable, and you won’t be able to keep up with other damage dealers over the duration of a boss fight. Frost Mages are by far the lowest parsing DPS build in Cataclysm raids.
  • No Unique Raid Utility
    Enduring Winter is the only buff that Frost brings that can’t be obtained from other Mages, and this buff is far from unique, with 4 other specs able to provide it. There’s just no reason to bring a Frost Mage to a raid over any other character.

Best Races for Frost Mage in Cataclysm

Wow Horde Crest Horde


The Berserking racial is really strong for most casters, and the Frost Mage is no exception. That alone makes this race the best choice for Frost Mages, but Trolls also have some other useful racial abilities for the build.

  • Berserking gives you a 10 second Haste buff every 3 minutes, giving you an extra cooldown to use when you want to blast.
  • Regeneration gives you a little extra survivability.
  • Beast Slaying is free bonus damage any time you’re fighting a Beast type enemy. That includes two bosses in the Blackwing Descent raid.
  • Da Voodoo Shuffle is nice to have, although you have Blink.


The new Horde race is also a very good option for a Frost Mage. Where the Troll’s Berserking cooldown will usually prove better for damage, Goblins get a steady 1% increase to casting speed that is nothing to scoff at. They also get another option for their already strong mobility. Their non-combat racials are very useful as well.

Wow Alliance Crest Alliance


Viciousness edges out the Draenei racial due to the fact that it multiplies your Crit stat rather than just offering a flat increase. The more Crit you stack, the more you will get from this racial.

  • Viciousness increases your Crit by 1%, making every point you get from gear or consumables worth a little more.
  • Darkflight gives you an extra option for moving fast when Blink is on cooldown.
  • Aberration increases both your Nature and Shadow Resistance by 64 at level 85, which is a nice little boost to your survivabilty.
  • Flayer is nice if you want Skinning. Unlike most other profession racials, this one remains useful even once you’ve reached the skill cap.


Heroic Presence only affects the Draenei now and not their group, but it’s still a great racial for a Frost Mage. You also get a heal, which is something you don’t normally have as a Mage.

  • Heroic Presence gives you a flat 1% Hit toward the 17% cap you need to reach. This will let you Reforge some of your gear for other stats which will increase your DPS.
  • Gift of the Naaru lets you heal yourself (or another target) every few minutes, something you can’t really do otherwise.
  • Shadow Resistance will five you 85 points of Shadow Resistance at level 85. This will help you take a bit less damage as a squishy mage.
  • Gemcutting can help if you plan to level Jewelcrafting.


About the Author


I've been playing World of Warcraft on and off since vanilla, usually as a healer or caster and often as a guild leader. I play both retail and classic. I also love RPGs, sandboxes, and sims.
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