3.2 PTR Build 10072 Frost Notes

You know what’s awesome?  As of 12:34 pm and 56 seconds today, it will be 12:34:56 on 07/08/09.  You know what’s even more awesome?  Frost mages got some buffs in PvE AND PvP!

As always, here are the proposed changes:

  • Ice Barrier mana cost has been reduced from 25% of base mana to 21% of base mana.
  • Cone of Cold mana cost has been reduced from 29% of base mana to 25% of base mana.
  • Frost Ward mana cost has been reduced from 16% of base mana to 14% of base mana.
  • Frostbolt mana cost has been reduced from 13% of base mana to 11% of base mana.
  • Ice Armor mana cost has been reduced from 28% of base mana to 24% of base mana.
  • Ice Lance mana cost has been reduced from 7% of base mana to 6% of base mana.
  • Frost Nova mana cost has been reduced from 8% of base mana to 7% of base mana.

Obviously a buff, but the traditional thinking is that Frost is already ridiculously mana-efficient as it is in raids.  Take note, however, that the mana cost of Blizzard was not changed.  In AoE-intensive fights, inefficient use of our token spell could actually lead to mana management decisions, such as actually deciding to use Evocation, rather than hide it deep in our spellbooks.

One way of thinking is that this is a huge buff to levelling frost mages.  For a good while, I was RAF’ing a baby frost mage wit my friend who I mentioned in yesterday’s post.  I completely forgot about how often I would be forced to drink.  Without the convenience of heirloom items on a different server, a reduction in base mana is much more meaningful to the levelling process and increased uptime.

I’m no arena expert, but I suppose that mana is important in arenas too, so cryomancers are feeling pretty good about themselves, especially with the resilience scaling granted to their elemental, as announced in the previous notes.

TL;DR – Makes boss AoE more manageable, helps levelling a good bunch, and improves PvP offensive endurance.

  • Empowered Frostbolt now reduces the cast time of your Frostbolt by 0.1/0.2 sec instead of increasing its critical strike chance by 2/4%.

Tuna went ahead and did the math, and he arrived at the conclusion that this change amounts to a gain of approximately 285-ish haste rating (for frostbolt only, of course), compared to a loss of only 180-ish critical strike rating.  At first glance, this appears to be a good trade-off, gaining 100 stat points overall, but looking at the context and potential of this buff, this is a fantastic trade-off.

Firstly, critical strike rating means so much less to frost mages than it does to the other schools.  With Fingers of Frost proccing essentially all the time, frost has an ludicrous source of critical strike percentage as it is, which can range from as low as an additional 10% to as high as 30%, from my experience with test dummies.  The loss of 4% critical strike seems inconsequential when compared to what we have in FoF.

Secondly, this focus on haste allows us to prioritize our gear towards haste rating, with the majority of our gear-enhanced critical strike rating coming from spirit due to scaling with molten armor.  The scaling of molten armor can get quite ridiculous at higher tier levels due to the intense amount of spirit that will probably be available.  So be sure to laugh at your holy priest when he rages at you for outrolling him on those +Haste/+Spi cloth drops.  Just be sure that it doesn’t have MP5 on it, otherwise you’d be the one who needs to be laughed at.

  • Permafrost now also reduces the target’s healing received by 7/13/20%.

A.K.A., Mortal Strike is now a more streamlined mechanic.  Even priests got the ability as well in the Shadow Tree.  Take note that permafrost procs off of ANY snaring effect, which includes frost armor. 

Melee classes will have to think twice before going after a mage with FA on, lest they want to give themselves the MS debuff.  It sounds extremely powerful for a buff, especially considering that Frost Mages are still holding the fort as one of the stronger PvP specs across all classes.

Is it too powerful?  It does when you look at this buff as an isolated one.  But since the mechanic is spreading to more PvP oriented classes, it makes sense that Frost Mages would get it as well.  Maybe if the dev team limited the ability to frostbolt and the like (or beter yet, Deep Freeze), then it wouldn’t sound so OP as it does on paper.

Conclusion

These changes are indeed a step in the right direction for Frost PvE as well as PvP.  What strikes me as odd is that most if not all of my predictions in the beginning of the year have come true.  Let’s take a look at them:

1. Frost will be more of an asset in raids than before.

I was correct in this guess.  Frost now brings replenishment, a feat that other specs are unable to do.  Their dps is also steadily increasing with each patch.

2. AoE will become less viable, but Frost won’t be affected as much as other classes.

I was right in sense that AoE has become completely homogenized and that Mages wouldn’t stand out as much.  Thus, Living Bomb was given the ability to be cast on multiple targets.  Frost hasn’t changed at all, so it hasn’t been negatively affected by any sort of AoE change.

The possibility of tricky pulls that can’t be solved with AoE still hasn’t been realized yet, but there’s still another patch worth of content to be released.

3. Water Elemental immunity in select boss fights will be replaced by AoE damage reduction on all boss fights.

For the most part, this has come true, and on top of that, water elementals have received resilience scaling, which I did not forsee.

4. Frost will once again be rulers of PvP.

If the permafrost change goes live, with the scaling of Water Elemental, I would like to think that this will become true.

Additionally, in a post where I suggested possible ways to make frost fun again, I suggested that haste should be a focused stat for frost mages, which came true with the changes to Empowered Frostbolt in this build.

So there you have it.  Great prediction, or greatest prediction ever?  Regardless, I’m frankly really excited about these changes.

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