Game: Wrath of the Lich King
Content Type: Gaming Guides
Finger of Frost gives you the Shatter effect talent (50% more chance to crit) on your next 2 spells. Note that Shatter only increases the damage of Ice Lance, everything else hits for the same when it crit with or without a Finger of Frost proc. Also Finger of Frost can be used on everything that deals damage. This includes Arcane Explosion and Fire Blast, so try not to waste it on those spells.
If your target is high on health you should be spamming Frostbolt for as long as possible, even if it means possibly missing out on a Brain Freeze proc. This is especially true if your target is a healer or receiving heals. Brain Freeze is best used when your target is low on health or frozen. If not you can use it with a Finger of Frost proc for a big burst.
However keep in mind that in this patch resilience reduces your target’s chance to be crit so Finger of Frost / Frost Nova doesn’t guarantee that it will crit. Also you should always follow Frostbolt with Ice Lance or instant Frostfire Bolt when your target is frozen, unless it’s in a Deep Freeze in which case you can cast 2 Frostbolt and then Ice Lance before the Deep Freeze fades if you have enough haste and your target doesn’t have a stun reduction talent.
Ex: You’re not in a position to cast Frostbolt, you want to deal damage and you have 1 Finger of Frost proc and a Brain Freeze proc. Which do you cast first, Frostfire Bolt or Ice Lance? well let’s take a look at what can happen:
- Finger of Frost + Ice Lance > Frostfire Bolt
- 1 Finger of Frost + Ice Lance crit (4k) + 1 Frostfire Bolt crit (8k) = 4k after 1 gcd, 12k after 2
- 1 Finger of Frost + Ice Lance non crit (2k) + 1 Frostfire Bolt crit (8k) = 2k after 1 gcd, 10k after 2
- 1 Finger of Frost + Ice Lance crit (4k) + 1 Frostfire Bolt non crit (4k) = 4k after 1 gcd, 8k after 2
- 1 Finger of Frost + Ice Lance non crit (2k) + 1 Frostfire Bolt non crit (4k) = 2k after 1 gcd, 6k after 2
Max = 12k, Low = 6k, Most likely = 8k
- Finger of Frost + Frostfire Bolt > normal Ice Lance
- 1 Finger of Frost + Frostfire Bolt crit (8k) + 1 normal Ice Lance crit (600) = 8k after 1 gcd, 8.6k after 2
- 1 Finger of Frost + Frostfire Bolt crit (8k) + 1 normal Ice Lance non crit (200) = 8k after 1 gcd, 8.2k after 2
- 1 Finger of Frost + Frostfire Bolt non crit (4k) + 1 normal Ice Lance crit (600) = 4k after 1 gcd, 4.6k after 2
- 1 Finger of Frost + Frostfire Bolt non crit (4k) + 1 normal Ice Lance crit (200) = 4k after 1 gcd, 4.2k after 2
Max = 8.6k, Low = 4.2k, Most likely = 8.2k
Conclusion : As you can see, both options will most likely deal the same amount of damage in the space of 2 gcd, but that the max possible damage that you can get comes from Finger of Frost + Ice Lance crit > Frostfire Bolt crit. However the damage from a non Finger of Frost/Shatter ice lance is negligible so you could use the 2nd gcd to Spellsteal, Polymorph, etc. And if getting a Frostfire Bolt crit can mean getting the kill then you should use your Finger of Frost on it.
Also from a utility point of view, Frostfire Bolt also snare your target, so if your target isn’t snared or is going to get dispelled then you should use Frostfire Bolt first even if it doesn’t mean that you’re going to get the kill with it. A target that’s not in your line of sight or that is constantly on you because you’re not able to keep him snared is a target that you can’t effectively dps. Those are the kinds of calls that you constantly need to make as a mage in WotLK.
Stacking Winter’s Chill
If the damage of your spell is fully absorbed, then Winter’s Chill wont be applied. So make sure to dispel any absorb effect buff (Power Word: Shield, Sacred Shield, etc.) when you want to stack Winter Chill to protect your important debuffs such as your polymorph, novas, etc. Once the shield is off then you can spam rank 1 Frostbolt and Ice Lance to stack it up. Note that you don’t have to go to 5 stacks to effectively protect your debuff but it’s obviously ideal. There’s a lot of RNG involved in the mechanics of dispels in WotLK. I’ve had targets that are in nova with Cone of Cold, Frostbolt and 5 stack of Winter’s Chill get the dispel on my Polymorph on the first try.
Try to predict when you’re going to get hit by a stun and then try to “jump it.” This means that you’re jumping as you get stun and so you end up landing on the ground further away. Try to use this to get behind line-of-sight to avoid following CC or damage (ex: Shadowfury + fear combo). Getting good at this will mitigate a lot of damage and you might be able to save your Blink cooldown.
Fake casting (Juking) & Interrupting
Most good players will try to interrupt you asap because they think that their reaction time is better than yours. This is mostly true for rogues because they’re usually trying to prove that they’re better than everyone else. So those guys often try to “pre Kick” a lot which means using your interrupt when you think that your enemy is going to start his cast and not when you actually realise that he is casting something.
To be fair though, it is true that the only way to kill some healers is to pre Kick otherwise he’ll just keep on trying to juke your Kick and so if you don’t interrupt him then his instant cast heals are going to come back off cooldown and he’ll be able to slowly get back to full health. A good tip to pre Kick is to watch for when your target stops moving because usually you never stop moving unless it’s to hard cast something.
So knowing that your enemy knows this fact, you can try to abuse it by delaying your cast just a little bit when you stop moving and “pre juke” as I like to call it which is interrupting your cast as soon as it starts. Or you can try to not juke at all and use a fire spell like scorch and maybe he’ll Kick that. When you’re able to juke pre kicks that’s when you’ve won the mind game because your enemy will start to hesitate a lot in how and when he should use his interrupts. Then you change your playstyle over and over and you become very hard to predict.
If you want to play safe then it’s best to wait until the very end of the cast because if you do get juked then the time it took for your enemy to get to the end of his cast before juking is sort of like an extra free “stun” on him.
Also, a good trick to make your enemy use spells like Grounding Totem or Spell Reflection is to turn around at the very end of the cast so that you’re no longer facing him when your cast ends and so your cast bar goes all the way up but your spell doesn’t go off.
Secondary Tree Interruption Bait
If you are in a situation in which you simply can’t get away or can’t afford to waste time fake casting then you should try to cast a spell in the tree that you don’t care about if it gets locked. Ex: if a rogue is riding me and I want to get a Polymorph on his teammate. Instead of trying to juke his Kick I might decide to start spamming Frostbolt in his face and make him use his Kick on my frost tree so that I can freely cast my Polymorph and then if he wants to stop that he’ll have to use Gouge.
You can easily avoid it by spinning really fast while you cast or simply Frost Nova him for 1 sec and not face him as you cast or maybe he’ll use Kidney Shot or Vanish/Shadow Dance, Cheap Shot, either way no matter what he chooses to use, it’s me that’s forcing him to use it at a not so desirable time for him and so it’s a win/win for me. And if they don’t interrupt you on your Frostbolt spam then you’ll actually start to do more pressure than them damage wise. This tactic works very well in 2s but not so much in 3s because there’s more interrupts and the pressure on you is usually higher and so you don’t want to take the risk to get locked on your Frost tree and then die because you can’t Ice Block.
Another example is if you’re left in the open to free cast and your goal is to dish out a lot of damage by spamming Frostbolt and you know that spell lock or Counterspell is up then you can cast Polymorph so that they lock your arcane tree and not your frost tree. I use this tactic in mage duels too but no other mage understands it, which combined with a spell steal game means that I will most likely win every time.
So then they’re like mages ”shouldn’t spell steal in duels” but that’s just BS for bad mages because then you’re forced to trinket the first sheep and to Ice Block as soon as your Arcane tree is locked. And if your first Counterspell is juked and you don’t juke him then it’s pretty much auto lose.