Apparently, you guys just LOVE to see recount numbers. So here are a few random screenies of my Frost PvE performance in various 5, 10, and 25-man encounters.
The day the patch came out, <Exiled Legion> hit up Malygos. Take a look at that deep freeze number. 58k max hit. That was with 2 sparks. When I saw it happen, I nearly peed my pants. But also notice the way the addon detects the use of Deep Freeze. For every hit (only 2, as I was still getting used to DF shatters) recorded on recount, there is an immune. I presume that I only used Deep Freeze twice, and for each time the spell is used, it registers as immune initially, then immediately deals damage after checking for immunity, as described by the spell tooltip. Cool stuff. I can’t wait to see DF numbers with other buffs, like Jaraxxus or Icehowl.
Oh, and yes, we wiped on that. I’m a terrible drake rider. We can do everything else except the drakes. There’s a reason why Maly was voted as the least successful Wrath raid encounter at the Pink Pigtail Inn, but that’s best left to another topic.
This is Lord Jaraxxus in ToC-10. The numbers are definitely inflated because of the Nether Power buff, but I wanted to show another Deep Freeze parse. This one had a 38k high, which was probably cast with 5 stacks of spellstolen Nether Power. Sexy. Also, take note that out of the five Deep Freezes I cast, one of them did not crit. Take note that Shatter only increases the critical strike chance of frozen targets by 50%. If your crit chance is less than 50%, there is still a chance for your spells to fail to crit during Fingers of Frost. But at 30-40% crit, raid-buffed, you’ll be seeing more crits than not.
Here we go! 25-man ToC, Northrend Beasts encounter. I was up against 3 or 4 other mages in this group, and I almost beat the other arcane mage. This is still reasonably early on in the patch. I was still decked out mostly in emblem gear. I recall winning roll for the Icehow Cinch in this encounter. So far, it seems that Deep Freeze is taking up somewhere in the vicinity of 9-12% of my individual damage, not including my water elemental. Yet I only cast Deep Freeze 9 times out of the 215 spells cast in this encounter.
Putting it into perspective, that’s 4% of the total spells cast accounting for 9% of individual damage. That just shows how important Deep Freeze is to a Frost Mage’s rotation. At first, I tried incorporating DF into a shatter combo by casting it on the ghost charge of Fingers of Frost. However, latency may affect the rate of successful “shatters” during an encounter. If you miss a deep freeze because the FoF charges were already used, that is essentially a wasted cooldown, as it may take anywhere from 10-30 seconds to get another FoF to proc. Thus, missing Deep Freezes on Fingers of Frost procs are a DPS loss.
To be safe, I would suggest using Deep Freeze on the second charge of Fingers of Frost, if your latency is inconsistent. Losing a near-guaranteed Frostbolt crit is well worth guaranteeing that Deep Freeze hits at all. Because of this, I believe the changes to Fingers of Frost in 3.3 are probably the most under-appreciated change in this patch, since having the effect proc from spell cast rather than spell hit gives you a wider window of opportunity to react and cast accordingly.
Moving on to the next encounter, Sojonir the Ironshaper, the last boss in Heroic Halls of Stone, I am quite obligated to spout this meme.
“Vegeta, what does the scouter say about Bashertin’s Power Level?”
It’s over nine thoouuuuusaaaaaand!!!!!
Damn right. We had a resto shammy healer popping heroism right off the bat, and this monstrosity of a parse occurred. This one is fairly recent, and as such, I’ve picked up a few tricks to utilizing Deep Freeze to its maximum potential.
Firstly, I must stress how important Haste is to a Frost Mage. First, not only does Frostbolt have the shortest base cast out of all the primary nukes, but it also has the largest critical strike damage bonus, thanks to Ice Shards. This means you want to be casting them as often as possible, and critting as often as possible. In addition, more frostbolts cast translates into more Fingers of Frost procs, normalizing the rate at which Deep Freeze is cast. Deep Freeze itself has a 30-second cooldown, so you want to have a Fingers of Frost charge available as soon as possible.
Second, having said that Deep Freeze has a 30-second cooldown, it is a viable and successful tactic to Cold Snap your Deep Freeze during heavy burn stages. Suppose Heroism is cast, and you pop your spellpower trinket and icy veins. With enough haste, you’ll be casting frostbolts at 1.1-1.2 seconds per spell. Even with this rate of spellcasting, I still recommend squeezing in Deep Freezes when they are available, as the 20-25k crit is the same amount of damage as casting approximately two critical strike Frostboltsm and only takes up a global cooldown.
Even moreso, I suggest waiting until you cast your Deep Freeze before Cold Snap, as it will get you your Deep Freeze and Icy Veins back. If you’re lucky, you’ll fish out another Fingers of Frost proc before your trinket wears off, and get another boosted Deep Freeze. If you’re extremely lucky and aware, you might even have this happen.
During Icy Veins/Heroism/Trinket:
Mage casts Frostbolt
Mage gains Fingers of Frost (2 charges)
Mage casts Deep Freeze (1 charge)
Mage casts Cold Snap
Mage casts Deep Freeze (0 charges)
Fingers of Frost fades from Mage.
It takes an extremely fast reaction time and faster trigger finger to do all of these actions at once during Icy Hero without skipping a beat with your global cooldown usage. Note that Cold snap does not trigger a gcd, so the entire sequence would take only two global cooldowns worth of reaction time. One from the frostbolt, one from the first deep freeze. That’s approximately 60k damage within the span of less than 3 seconds, depending on your gear.
Frost is freaking awesome again. For those of you who have yet to see for yourselves, and are curious to try it out, WHY AREN’T YOU? IT’S FREAKING AWESOME.
Now don’t get too excited. Take into consideration that Arcane and Fire are still superior specs on paper and spreadsheets. What I’m saying is that Frost had some very good buffs, and there are both upsides and downsides to raiding as frost compared to the other two trees, three if counting frostfire bolt, which also outperforms frost for some reason. Those upsides and downsides will be discussed in another musings post in the future.
All in all, while Arcane and Fire are the dominant trees, Frost is no slouch either. You just have to know the tricks, know your spell priorities, and to use the proper gear/spec/glyph/enchants. I will be posting a Frost Mage Cheat Sheet soon, so keep your eyes out for that.
Until then, see you on the other side of the internether!