All talents highlighted above increase your DPS, and are not negotiable. However, you will need a certain amount of points to access the next tiers of a particular talent tree.
You need 1 point in the arcane tree to access Torment the Weak, 1 point to access Winter’s Chill, 2 points access Arctic Winds, 1 point access Summon Water Elemental, and 3 points to access Chilled to the Bone.
Here is a list of Talents you might want to take.
Magic Absorption – A good defensive talent for fights that deal a lot of AoE damage.
Frostbite – No longer a necessary talent to enable Blizzard to proc Fingers of Frost, but still a good defensive talent nonetheless.
Precision – Mandatory if you are not hit-capped. I listed this as optional, since there is a large amount of Hit on higher tier gear. Adjust the number of points on this talent based on the amount of Hit that you get naturally from gear.
Improved Blizzard – Enables Fingers of Frost and Winter’s Chill, thus increasing your AoE damage.
Cold as Ice – Allows you to cast Ice Barrier more frequently, making it useful for fights that are intense on AoE damage. Also lets you summon Water Elemental sooner in the case it gets killed early in the fight.
Brain Freeze – With 3.3.3, this talent actually becomes a DPS gain thanks to the awesome talent-boosted Frostfire Bolt, so it’s just as good as mandatory! I’ll try to update the talent tree picture above.
Glyph of Molten Armor
Glyph of Eternal Water
Glyph of Frostbolt
Glyph of Slow Fall
For major glyphs, these 3 glyphs provides the highest DPS increase, and are non-negotiable. For minor glyphs, there are no glyphs that provide a significant DPS increase. Glyph of Frost Ward and Fire Ward can be useful in Fire and Frost-based AoE damage fights. Glyph of Slow Fall is the most convenient as it frees you from the spell’s reagent requirement.
Frost does not have a rotation per se, but follows more of a simple priority system, which is as follows.
Single-target, standing still:
1.) Deep Freeze when the spell is not on cooldown and if you have an available charge of Fingers of Frost.
2.) Frostfire Bolt when you have a Brain Freeze proc (Fireball! is the name)
If you have the two-piece T10 bonus, casting Frostfire Bolt during Brain Freeze procs will result in a temporary haste buff called Pushing the Limit. If you have another proc during this buff, wait until the buff wears off before casting Frostfire Bolt again, to maximize the uptime of the buff.
Since Frostfire Bolt benefits from Ice Shards and Shatter, it is ideal to use its instant-castability immediately after the second Frostbolt during a Fingers of Frost proc. Since the last Fingers of Frost charge is not consumed until the second spell hits the target, both the Frostbolt and the Frostfire Bolt will benefit from Fingers of Frost, resulting in what is commonly known as a Shatter Combo.
1.) Deep Freeze if it’s off cooldown and an available charge of Fingers of Frost.
2.) Frostfire Bolt if you have a Brain Freeze proc.
3.) An appropriate damage shield (Ice Barrier, Fire/Frost Ward) if you’re anticipating incoming damage (ie, running out of fire and other hazards).
4.) Ice Lance
Multi-target (at least 3 targets):
Your water Elemental is a significant source of damage, and will account for around 10% of your total damage on a particular fight. It is important to make sure that it stays alive, otherwise you will suffer a DPS loss. It takes significantly reduced AoE damage, but will take normal damage from targetted attacks.
Normally, you can simply set it and forget it, but its autocast of waterbolt is affected by your own latency. Manually queuing its waterbolt spell will result in a DPS increase compared to simply leaving it on autocast. See this post for more details.
Flask: Flask of the Frost Wyrm
Food: Fish Feast/Firecracker Salmon/Tender Shoveltusk Steak
Potion: Potion of Speed and Potion of Wild Magic
If you plan on using your potion during Bloodlust/Heroism, you may find your frostbolts drop down to below 1 second casts, depending on your Haste. If this is happening, you may be not be using the potion to its full effect. Alternatively, you may want to switch to Wild Magic. Potion of Speed is still useful when used moments
before the fight starts, as you will be able to use another potion later on in the fight.
Stats to Stack
The stat priority system generally is as follows:
Hit until capped > Spellpower > Haste > Critical Strike
Point for point, Hit provides the most DPS until you are hit capped. Each point beyond the hit cap will not contribute to an increase in DPS. Your hit cap will depend on the Hit % bonuses you receive from talents and raid buffs. You get 1% Hit for each point in Precision. You You get 1% Hit from Heroic Presence by having a Draenei in your party. You get 3% Hit if you have a Balance Druid OR Shadow Priest in your raid applying Improved Faerie Fire or Misery to the
target. Add up the total percentage provided by your particular talent and raid setup, and consult the table below for your Hit Cap.
Haste also has a soft cap, where your spell casts will go below 1 second, the minimum time of your global cooldown. This cap is very difficult to reach through gear, so don’t worry about hitting it. However, there is a soft-soft cap, where your spell casts will go below 1 second when all your Haste abilities are active at once (i.e., Icy Veins, Heroism/Bloodlust, Beserking, Potion of Speed, Black Magic Procs). Be aware of your cast time when you have multiple haste effects active at once, and be sure not to stack all of them at once if you know that your frostbolt cast time will drop below 1 second.
The two best Professions for a Frost Mage, due to their profession-only enhancements are Tailoring and Engineering. However, both professions overlap as they both have cloak-specific enchants. Pick one of the two, then choose for your second profession one of Enchanting, Blacksmithing, Leatherworking, Alchemy, Jewelcrafting.
[EDIT: forgot to mention Inscription! Inscription is fine, too!]
Unless your profession provides an upgrade over each particular slot, use the following enchants:
Head – Arcanum of Burning Soul
Shoulders – Greater Inscription of the Storm
Chest – Powerful Stats
Wrist – Enchant Bracers – Superior Spellpower
Hands – Enchant Gloves – Exceptional Spellpower
Belt – Eternal Belt Buckle + Runed Cardinal Ruby
Legs – Brilliant Spellthread
Feet* – Tuskar’s Vitality or Enchant Boots – Icewalker
Weapon – Enchant Weapon – Black Magic for 1H, Enchant Staff – Greater Spellpower for 2H
* In fights where constant movement is required, Tuskar’s vitality will provide a greater DPS increase over Icewalker, as you spend less time running and more time casting.
Meta: Chaotic Skyflare Diamond
Red: Runed Cardinal Ruby
Blue: Purified Dreadstone
Yellow: Reckless Ameritrine
2 Purified Dreadstones are a must for activating the meta socket. Reckless Ameritrine is used if there is a socket bonus that provides spellpower. Whether or not the socket bonus outweighs the use of an orange gem depends on your gear, and you will have to consult rawr or an equivalent program to determine your gemming choice.