- Author: Nevermore
- Date: September 29, 2022
- Expansion: WotLK Classic
Player versus Player requires a bit of a different mindset compared to the PvE content. It necessitates fast thinking, fast reactions, and adaptability. This guide will go over all of your useful spells and cover how to use them as effectively as possible.
Click a section of the guide to expand it!
“Kiting” — running away while casting spells — is the name of the game! Our kit is loaded with spells that can slow or stun our enemies, impairing their attempts to reach us. Our spells also have a very high range, allowing us to destroy targets from afar. As a Frost Mage, you will generally want to isolate a target and quickly burst it down through huge critical strikes.
Your range and continuous slow effects are your most valuable assets, so take advantage of them — positioning is vital! Luckily, we have access to extreme mobility through the use of Blink, meaning that even if we do not have a good initial position, we can shift it quickly.
Depending on the class you are fighting, you may either want to restrict yourself to instant cast abilities while continuously kiting your opponent or simply become a turret and ravage them with continuous casts of Frostbolt. It all really depends on the matchup — naturally, you’ll want to do your best to stay away from melee classes like Warriors, while against a fellow mage doing as much damage as possible is the path to victory.
Keep in mind that while you have a plethora of crowd control and defensive abilities, at the end of the day you are a vulnerable wizard that has never fared well against heavy physical damage, meaning that you will always want to practice caution against heavy physical damage dealers.
One important trick to know is the “Fake Cast” tactic. This entails using a different school of magic to bait out an interrupt effect from your enemies. For example, you could cast Scorch to bait out an interrupt on your Fire Magic, allowing you to freely cast Frost or Arcane Magic. Alternatively, you can cast Frost Magic or Fire Magic to ensure that you will land an Arcane spell such as Polymorph. Of course, this won’t always work. Fortunately, your kit such that even if you get interrupted, you will have access to other schools of magic that will do the trick until Frost Magic recovers.
Fake casting also has a different meaning! You can achieve a “Fake Cast” by casting a spell and immediately moving afterward, canceling the spell. If an enemy takes the bait, they will attempt interrupting the spell, only to be surprised by the fact that the interrupt failed as soon as you moved and canceled the spell yourself. However, “Fake Casting” is hard to achieve against experienced players, as they’ll expect it. This means you will probably need to fake multiple casts in a row to bait out an interrupt effect.
General Spell Priority
In WotLK Classic, Frost Mage is a spec that focuses on proc effects. This means that you will not have a specific priority of spells that you will always follow, but rather a priority based on your procs. Since we are a burst class that heavily relies on Shatter to destroy our enemies, we will need to utilize two particular proc effects to ensure we can fully benefit from Shatter.
The first proc effect we’re going to examine is Fingers of Frost. This passive ability has a 15% chance (at max rank) to trigger when you inflict chill effects on your target, and since our kit is stacked with such effects, you will proc it fairly often. The proc itself causes your next two spells to act as if they are cast against a frozen target. This means that you can achieve some interesting effects with the proc, especially since thanks to Shatter we have a 50% increased critical strike chance against frozen targets.
The most powerful spell you can trigger with the Fingers of Frost is Deep Freeze, meaning that you will not need to waste Frost Nova or your Water Elemental’s Freeze in order to cast Deep Freeze on your target. If you choose not to use one of the procs on Deep Freeze, you can instead use it on two Ice Lance casts.
The second proc that we will talk about is Brain Freeze, which grants you a chance to gain a free (no mana cost), instant cast of Fireball or Frostfire Bolt whenever you cast an ability that inflicts Chilled (this has a 15% chance of occurring with max rank Brain Freeze). Before acquiring Frostfire Bolt, this proc can only be used on Fireball. However, after acquiring it, you will only want to use it in combination with Frostfire Bolt.
You will want to use this proc on every possible occasion, considering that Frostfire Bolt is a hard-hitting ability. Keep in mind that a Brain Freeze can trigger during a Fingers of Frost, meaning that Frostfire Bolt will be empowered by Shatter.
Now that we have talked about our procs, we will give you an example of what your spell priority should look like. Keep in mind, however, that the priority of your spells will depend entirely on the situation you find yourself in and the matchup you are facing!
- Fully buff yourself: (Ice Armor + Mana Shield + Ice Barrier + Dampen Magic+ Arcane Intellect)
- Beginning of the fight: Summon Water Elemental ->Freeze ->Icy Veins ->Deep Freeze -> Frostbolt->Ice Lance (x2)
- During the fight: Mirror Image -> Frostbolt (If you have the opportunity to free cast) ->Ice Lance (on the move/right after Frostbolt if the target is moving towards you) -> Frostfire Bolt (on every Brain Freeze) -> Fire Blast/Arcane Explosion (If on the move or locked out of the Frost Magic School) ->Frost Nova (Defensive/Offensive tool) -> Blink (Chasing/Gaining Distance) -> Ice Block (Against Burst/Removing DoTs)
- Burst: Counterspell (Silence) -> Icy Veins -> Deep Freeze -> Frostbolt followed up by Ice Lance immediately after the cast finishes -> Frostfire Bolt (On proc) -> Cold Snap -> Deep Freeze (If available through Fingers of Frost)/Frost Nova(If Fingers of Frost is not available) -> Deep Freeze -> Ice Lance (Spam)
Matchup & Mode-Specific Strategies
When talking about caster fights, it all really depends on what you are fighting. While Hunters are classified as casters, we will mention them here as they generally function more like casters than melees. Additionally, it is the only matchup in which there is a clear bias against you.
Aside from our Hunter nemeses, fights with caster specializations are all similar. Caster fights usually revolve around who manages to crowd control (CC) their enemy first; this CC tends to be hard CC (Stun , Silence, Fear, Interrupt, or Polymorph). Effects such as snares or slows (soft CC) typically do not impact casters as much as a melee class, since they can continue casting. The only beneficial aspect of slows and snares in caster fights revolve around “Line-of-Sighting” your opponent or simply outranging them.
Luckily, as a Frost Mage, you have access to multiple forms of crowd control, including snares, a silence, an interrupt, a stun, a polymorph, and slow effects. The main objective against a caster is to first crowd control it, and then burst it as fast as possible. Since a lot of casters have access to dispel magic, you can choose to first Polymorph the target and steal a beneficial effect with Spellsteal, to discourage them from dispelling your beneficial effects. However, if they begin to dispel you, you should just focus on bursting them as soon as possible while they waste their global cooldowns on dispelling all your beneficial effects.
If you are fighting a DoT class, you can choose to let them place their DoTs on you — blasting them with Frostbolts all the while — and then trigger Ice Block once they’ve finished, removing all the effects. Keep in mind that you will have to instantly remove the Ice Block afterward, easily done with a Cancelaura Macro.
Mirror Image and Summon Water Elemental can continuously pressure your enemy, either helping you burst your target or allowing you the chance to create an opportunity to outrange your enemy and begin bursting it down. Your burst tactics generally stay the same whatever spec you’re facing, however, you may want to focus on Frostbolt spamming against casters. This is because there will be no close combat danger that will force you to use instant cast abilities.
You should always consider the use of Counterspell carefully! Fights against classes like Balance Druids or Shadow Priests will require you to cast it as fast as possible, while fights against other mages or warlocks will require more consideration when it comes to Counterspell timing.
Fighting a melee character is very different from facing a caster. Most melee classes have access to gap-closing abilities and a hefty amount of interrupt effects; they also have abilities that help them stick to their target.
As a Frost Mage, your main objective against melee fighters is to survive the initial opener, whether it’s Death Grip, Charge, Garrote, or Pounce. The only effect that can not be trinketed is the “Silence” effect — any other effect can be removed with a trinket. Fortunately, we can remove any stun or snare effect with our trusty Blink.
Once you survive the initial opener, you should immediately seek to create distance between you and your target. Afterward, you can attempt to Polymorph the target to reset the fight and gain the opener advantage, or start damaging your foe with instant cast abilities while continuously moving. The goal is to slow your target as much as possible with the help of Mirror Image and Cone of Cold. After surviving their initial burst, you will want to damage your target as much as possible while continuously kiting it. Continue to use instant cast abilities such as Cone of Cold, Fire Blast, Arcane Explosion, and Ice Lance while your target is still relatively close. Only resume casting Frostbolt when your target is either frozen or under the effect of Deep Freeze.
When it comes to battlegrounds, you may want to use a separate specialization specifically built for it. This is because Battlegrounds usually contain clusters of people fighting in the same area, and so Improved Blizzard will have significantly more value than usual. You will mostly want to keep to the backline and select frail targets that you can kill quickly.
Keep in mind that it is extremely easy to be outnumbered in a battleground; stick with your teammates or utilize the environment to keep out of harms way. Particularly in battlegrounds such as Arathi Basin or Alterac Valley, you will most definitely want to stick with your team. You also have the choice of protecting different objectives, however, as a Frost Mage, it will be quite difficult to do so as a lone defender; if you want to play defense, you’ll want to have a healer around.
Your overall strategy and mentality must be very different in Arenas compared to Battlegrounds or Duels. In other situations, you’ll usually attempt to burst your target as soon as possible. However, in the Arena, your mentality must shift depending on your partner. If you choose to partner up with a Rogue or Feral Druid, focus less on dealing damage and more on crowd controlling one of your opponents. If you partner up with a healer or another caster, your gameplay will shift towards an attrition war, in which you will want to pressure your enemies as much as possible while dividing them.
Whichever partner you choose, your success will depend on successfully crowd controlling your targets and utilizing LoS; Polymorph is your best friend in arenas. Depending on what comp you are fighting, an arena can last a few seconds or drag on for as long as 10 minutes.
Perfectly timing your crowd control abilities and choosing the best moment to burst your target down will be the key to success, especially when partnered with a Rogue. In arenas, you will encounter skilled opponents who can correctly time their silence and interrupting effects. This means you will want to make use of fake casting as much as possible, while also utilizing spells such as Blizzard to zone your foes.
Spells such as Scorch, Arcane Blast, Arcane Explosion, and Arcane Missiles can be used to trick your enemies into interrupting something other than a Frost spell. However, note that getting locked out of the Arcane Magic School will leave you vulnerable, as access to Polymorph and Blink is very important.
Examples of permanent crowd control combos: