Thursday, 14 February 2008
Fuzzbip's Foray into Frost
I said I was thinking of respeccing while I was unguilded to try out something new, and I did. I have no intention of PvPing at this time, so I went for a PvE frost build. Undoubtedly it isn't perfect, I didn't pick it up from someone or somewhere else, I just went with the talents that I thought were best, including some points in Arcane for mana efficiency.
The build is nice for soloing, unleashing a Frostbolt and Ice Lance crit combo on a frozen target is especially satisfying. Frost spec seems to be more suitable for soloing, as effects such as Shatter are more often than not negated in group situations, as damage from others in your party usually breaks freezing before your next Frostbolt can hit. I think the talents I have taken are fairly self explanatory and the ones I have missed are ones that are more useful in soloing, PvP or maybe AoE grinding.
The new abilities I have from frost are Cold Snap, Ice Barrier and Summon Water Elemental. Ice barrier is good to have up before a boss fight to avoid some damage, depending on the fight I refresh it if I know I will be taking a lot of damage, it's basically a mana efficient Mana Shield. The water elemental is nice as well, but I tend to have a real problem using anything with a cooldown outside of boss fights, I certainly don't make the most out of it, but when I do use the elemental it does reasonable damage. Make sure to try and use it when it's least likely to get destroyed, you don't want to waste it. On boss fights I tend to summon the elemental at the start and use Ice Block if I need to, I can then use Cold Snap for another elemental and I am able to Ice Block again if needed.
So far on my mage I have done minimal soloing with this spec (I took up the chance to grind some Primal Fires which I normally have a terrible time doing) and have been to 3 or 4 heroics. Luckily I have a regular heroic group to do the daily quest with most days and sometimes another one or two after that. Heroics are easy with the people I run with, we managed to do the heroic Shattered Halls quest with 25 minutes to spare. My damage was acceptable, certainly not as high as with fire, I would usually top damage or come close, but with frost I was beaten by a few percent by a hunter, I could keep up with our fury warrior and came out above a feral druid, but she was tanking at times, I also didn't have any mana problems. My gear isn't completly suited for frost, I'm still running with Sunfire on my weapon and it would be nice to have Sapphiron's Wing Bone (Purple! I'm going to try and remember to put in item quality colours from now on) for an off-hand but I am saving my badges for possible future badge rewards at the moment. These were all well geared people and I'd be happy bringing the amount of damage I do to a PuG. I know I'll be respeccing back to fire when I decide to raid again.
The numbers are lower than with Fireballs, but the crits are very nice. When people talk about Frost dps they tend to be of the opinion that crit is not very important, I'm not really sure why, I feel once you are hit capped which is easy for heroics, then after damage you still want items with spell crit or haste if it is available. If anyone wants to tell me why I may be wrong, then I'd like to see the reasoning behind some people largely ignoring crit for a frost build. With full Winter's Chill bonus on a mob and a few buffs I was able to run at about 38% crit chance, not sacrificing any hit or damage for it.
With the correct gear for the spec and proper management of cool downs and your elemental, frost dps can be perfectly viable for 5 mans and heroics. I have yet to try it out in a raid environment and I likely won't any time soon, if I'm asked to help out on a kara run or something I'll try it out, but that's unlikely to happen. I may find a pug and I am good friends with the raid leader of my old guild 'The Scarlet Knights' he asked me to help out in Karazhan the other day but the raid was cancelled, I'd like to go for the chance at more enchanting recipes and lots of badges.
So there it is, my opinion on frost (as well as a good amount of rambling), it's enjoyable to try out something new and I now know a little bit more about the mage class as a whole. Maybe I will spec an Arcane hybrid spec sometime soon, who knows?