PvE Frost Mage Stat Priority & Reforging

PvE Frost Mage Stat Priority & Reforging
  • Author: Luxrah
  • Date: June 11, 2024
  • Updated: June 11, 2024
  • Expansion: Cataclysm

Before you can start kitting out your character you’ll need to know what your stat priority is so you can select the appropriate gear, gems, enchants, and consumables. Frost Mages have a couple of stat caps to worry about as well, with the value of those stats dropping significantly once the caps are reached.

Stat Priority

  1. Intellect
  2. Hit to cap
  3. Critical Strike to cap
  4. Haste
  5. Mastery
  6. Critical Strike beyond cap

Intellect is your primary stat and will always be the most important stat for a Frost Mage as the main source of your Spell Power and mana pool. Intellect also increases your Critical Strike.

Hit is vital until you reach the cap, which is 17%. After that it is completely useless, but until then it is just as valuable as Intellect. Not being Hit capped means that your attacks may not land, which means any stats that would improve their damage are wasted. To reach the 17% Hit cap, you’ll need 1742 Hit Rating, or 1640 Hit Rating if you’re a Draenei (thanks to their Heroic Presence racial).

Critical Strike is your most powerful secondary stat until you reach the soft cap. That cap is 33.33% due to Shatter multiplying your Critical Strike chance by three. So 33.33% Critical Strike is actually 99.9% for you as a Frost Mage. When calculating your Critical Strike, be sure to remember the following buffs:

Haste is the next most valuable throughput stat for a Frost Mage after Critical Strike. Every point of Haste will give you a tiny increase to your casting speed as well as increasing the number of ticks you can get from your DoTs. Frost Mage DoTs aren’t significant enough to give the build any sort of soft cap for Haste. You don’t need to do any fancy calculations for it like you would as a Fire Mage. Feel free to stack as much of it as you can get once you reach your other secondary stat caps.

Mastery is an underwhelming stat for a Frost Mage when compared to your other options, so you’ll generally want to replace or Reforge it with something better. If there are no better options it’s still an increase to your damage through Frostburn.

Spirit is not at all useful to caster DPS in Cataclysm and is now purely a healer stat, so you should avoid it if possible.


Reforging is a new feature in Cataclysm that allows you to trade out part of one secondary stat for another on any piece of gear. You won’t be able to get Intellect this way (or get rid of another stat like Agility or Stamina), but you can fine-tune your secondary stats to your heart’s content.

Frost Mages will want to Reforge any Mastery on their gear to a more useful stat. At low gear levels, you may even want to reforge Haste to Hit or Crit in order to reach the caps. Once those caps are reached, you can Reforge excess of any secondary stat to Haste.


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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