[BFA] Battle for Azeroth changes overview

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Julia
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[BFA] Battle for Azeroth changes overview

Unread postby Julia Tue Jun 05, 2018 2:22 pm

Battle for Azeroth Frost changes

Intro

With Battle For Azeroth approaching fast and pre-patch just around the corner I thought it would be a good idea to compile a list of changes coming to the Frost Mage rotation. The purpose of this post is to help you quickly get to grips with the coming rotational changes so you're prepared for the new Tier 22 raid, Uldir.

With that being said, let's go over all the changes.

DISCLAIMER
This overview assumes you are familiar with the basics of Frost Mage in Legion.
This overview is subject to change; as tuning and changes are added weekly to the Beta version of Battle for Azeroth, the things listed in this post might change.
This overview is updated for beta patch: 8.0.1.26734

Table of content

-Talents
-Stat priority
-The new rotation
-Conclusion

Talents Blizzard heard our prayers during the Alpha phase of Battle for Azeroth and shuffled around some talents. They also added in new talents to compensate for the lack of Artifact, Legendaries and Relic traits, and they removed some previous underpowered talents.

The Battle for Azeroth talent tree looks like this:
Image
As you can instantly see, new talents have been introduced such as: http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=278309/chain-reaction, http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=257537/ebonbolt and http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=270233/freezing-rain.

Also several talents have been relocated on the tree: http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=157997/ice-nova is now on the level 15 tier; http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=205021/ray-of-frost has been moved over to the 110 tier; http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=157976/unstable-magic and http://www.wowhead.com/spell=112948/frost-bomb have been removed; and much more.

We'll now go over each tier and discuss their usage and their current standings.

Tier 15

http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=157997/ice-nova is still lacking in its power and considered useless outside of levelling. The real kicker is http://www.wowhead.com/spell=205027/bone-chilling and http://www.wowhead.com/spell=205024/lonely-winter. Whereas on Live you take http://www.wowhead.com/spell=205024/lonely-winter, now it seems the meta has shifted towards http://www.wowhead.com/spell=205027/bone-chilling. This is because the main strength of http://www.wowhead.com/spell=205024/lonely-winter was that it buffed the spells that were already buffed by your artifact. With the removal of the traits in http://bfa.wowhead.com/item=128862/ebonchill, http://www.wowhead.com/spell=205024/lonely-winter's power is greatly reduced. This is why we'll likely be running http://www.wowhead.com/spell=205027/bone-chilling.
Different tier 15 talents compared:
Image
Input: https://pastebin.com/UT5dRmWb

Tier 30

The second tier remains fairly unchanged in terms of power and usage. http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=212653/shimmer will still be your "go to" talent with http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=108839/ice-floes being encounter specific. http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=235297/glacial-insulation got buffed from 100% armor to 200%, and because of this I can see this being used in a very specific Mythic progress encounters; outside of this it will likely remain, just as in Legion, under-picked.

Tier 45

This tier remains unchanged.
http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=1463/incanters-flow is still amazing for Frost. The talent offers the most damage on average and since Frost is not a burst spec, especially in Battle for Azeroth, the talent will always outshine http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=116011/rune-of-power. http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=55342/mirror-image on the other hand is usually better at the start of the expansion due to the increased base damage. The talent doesn't scale as much from the caster as the other two talents do; this means that the talent will be more powerful compared to http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=116011/rune-of-power and http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=1463/incanters-flow when the caster has less gear or stats. Sadly this is not the case right now, and http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=1463/incanters-flow's outshines both http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=116011/rune-of-power and http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=55342/mirror-image by miles!
Different tier 45 talents compared:
Image
Input: https://pastebin.com/kcKXzB1D

Tier 60

Overall, this is one of the most changed tiers.
http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=205030/frozen-touch has received a buff to also increase your http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=190447/brain-freeze proc chance by 20%. However, it no longer increases Frozen Orb’s proc chances.
http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=278309/chain-reaction is a new iteration of the http://bfa.wowhead.com/item=138140/magt ... ed-bracers legendary bracers. The talent works slightly differently to the legendary, as it now only procs on http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=30455/ice-lances that are affected by your http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=231582/shatter passive, unbuffed ice lances should no longer work because of this. Next to that change, it now lasts 2 seconds longer but only stacks to 5, down from 6.
http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=257537/ebonbolt is a straight copy from the artifact ability in Legion.

With all that being said, http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=257537/ebonbolt is considered the most viable talent. The amount of http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=190447/brain-freeze procs gained from http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=257537/ebonbolt (1 BF per 45 sec) and the fact that it is on-demand makes it stronger than the increase from http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=205030/frozen-touch (0,75 BF procs per 45 seconds + 0,45 FoFs). The fact that the proc gain is on-demand makes it even better when running http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=199786/glacial-spike
Different tier 60 talents compared:
Image
Input: https://pastebin.com/Kj3FfGdr

Tier 75

This tier is exactly the same as Legion. You will run what you find most useful or swap if a specific encounter needs the utility from one of the three talents.

Tier 90

The tier 90 talents should be a perfect example of single target vs cleave vs AOE.
Sadly, in the current patch, Freezing Rain is heavily underpowered.
Right off the bat, you can spot a new talent: http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=270233/freezing-rain. This is the old artifact trait and the old talent http://www.wowhead.com/spell=205038/arctic-gale combined! This means that http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=190356/blizzard is instant cast whilst http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=84714/frozen-orb is active, and that its damage is increased by 35% during those 12 seconds! One thing to note is that the size of http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=190356/blizzard is no longer increased.
http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=56377/splitting-ice is still the main contender in this tier. Its value on both cleave and AOE scenarios is huge, especially when running http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=199786/glacial-spike. The talent, going in to Battle for Azeroth, remains unchanged.
http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=153595/comet-storm has skipped down one row from tier 100 to tier 90 and serves as the single target variant of the three. The talent remains unchanged going into Battle for Azeroth.

Different tier 90 talents compared:
1 target:
Image
2 targets:
Image
3 targets:
Image
4 targets:
Image
5 targets:
Image
Input: https://pastebin.com/wbftXawm

Tier 100

Similar to Legion, these talents will define the playstyle or build of your mage;currently the main build seems to be using http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=199786/glacial-spike.
http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=155149/thermal-void remains unchanged from live, however its power and value is greatly decreased with the loss of http://bfa.wowhead.com/item=128862/ebonchill, your artifact weapon. You are no longer able to abuse key traits such as http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=195448/chilled-to-the-core and http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=195345/frozen-veins, which both contributed greatly to the power of the talent. http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=12472/icy-veins no longer serves as great an opportunity for burst; it seems to be turning more into a dull haste increase. Because of these reasons, http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=155149/thermal-void no longer has the power it used to have.
http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=205021/ray-of-frost has been reworked. Its channel time is halved to 5 seconds and it now generates two http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=112965/fingers-of-frost over its duration. The buff to the spell is fairly big, but not large enough to make a difference.
As mentioned earlier, http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=199786/glacial-spike will likely be the way to go in the prepatch, seeing as it was already very close to http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=155149/thermal-void on live and with the big, indirect, nerfs to Icy Veins it now has its time to shine. The talent itself remains unchanged.

The three different builds compared to each other:
Image
Input: https://pastebin.com/tTLA5sr0

Stat priority The talents are not the only things that changed with Frost Mages. The most important change is to mastery, making ita viable stat again!
On live a percentage damage done by Frostbolt is stored into an http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=205473/ici ... frozen-orb! This means in both single target and AOE encounters, mastery will have value again.
Legion mastery: http://wowhead.com/spell=76613/mastery-icicles
Battle for Azeroth mastery: http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=76613/mastery-icicles
One important thing is that your mastery is a percentage of your total intellect. This means that if you have more gear, your mastery will be stronger and therefore have more value.
Because the amount of intellect we have on our gear will drop, due to it being a new expansion, the value of our main stat will increase drastically. This means we’ll likely go intellect > secondary stats, as long as these stats remain somewhat balanced.
Generally this will be your stat priority:
Critical strike (to 33,34%) > Haste > Mastery = Versatility > Critical strike (after 33,34%)
Disclaimer
Do not blindly follow the stat priority. Simulationcraft and Raidbots will support Battle for Azeroth when the prepatch hits. Sim your own character! Use topgear to find your best gear setup and use stat weights to get a rough guess what gear to fish for next!
If you have trouble simming, read the following guide:
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=4973
Glacial Spike build:
Image
Input: https://pastebin.com/4t5VvQ0m


The new rotation Frost's rotation is insanely similar to that in Legion; the main difference is the go-to build is now http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=199786/glacial-spike.
The following priority (based on the sims) will be your rotation:

-Cast your cooldowns
AOE (If 4+ targets):
-http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=84714/frozen-orb
-http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=190356/blizzard
-http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=44614/flurry combos
-http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=112965/fingers-of-frost http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=30455/ice-lances
-http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=199786/glacial-spike (If talented)
-The single target rotation
Single target / cleave (If less than 4 targets):
-http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=157997/ice-nova into http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=12982/shatter (If talented)
-http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=44614/flurry combos
-http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=190356/blizzard(if there's more than 1 target), if http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=270233/freezing-rain is talented)
-http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=112965/fingers-of-frost http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=30455/ice-lances
-http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=205021/ray-of-frost (if talented)
-http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=257537/ebonbolt(If you have http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=199786/glacial-spike talented: only if you have http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=199786/glacial-spike ready and no http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=190447/brain-freeze)
-http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=84714/frozen-orb
-http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=153595/comet-storm (If talented)
-http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=157997/ice-nova without http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=12982/shatter (If talented)
-http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=199786/glacial-spike (If you have http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=190447/brain-freeze (If talented)
-http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=116/frostbolt

Important note
We'll likely be running http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=199786/glacial-spike as our main build for the pre-patch and Uldir.
http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=199786/glacial-spike is very similair to Legion's rotation; in Legion you started holding your http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=190447/brain-freeze procs at 4 http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=205473/icicles, in Battle for Azeroth you keep up with this trend. In the optimal talent build you also run http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=257537/ebonbolt, butyou do not cast it on cooldown like in Legion. You must always save Ebonbolt for that one moment where you havehttp://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=199786/glacial-spike ready but no brain freeze. You would cast in the following sequence: http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=257537/ebonbolt>http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=199786/glacial-spike > http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=44614/flurry> http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=30455/ice-lance
One last thing to keep in mind is that in Legion you used http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=199786/glacial-spike regardless of whether you had a http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=190447/brain-freeze or not. In Battle for Azeroth this has proven to be a dps loss, we'll now be casting Frostbolt until we get http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=190447/brain-freeze even if we have http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=199786/glacial-spike ready.

Conclusion Frost has undergone a few minor changes, the talents have shuffled around, the mastery was reworked and we will now go by a new build; http://bfa.wowhead.com/spell=199786/glacial-spike.
The stat priority remains similar to Legion, with mastery becoming viable at normal raid levels of gear. The recommended talents are:
Single target
Image
Cleave/AOE:
Image
I hope this quick overview of the most important changes to Frost helped you out.If you still have questions or you feel the need to discuss the changes, come join us in the Mage class Discord: here


Special thanks to Malon and Glynny
Wiccan
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Re: [BFA] Battle for Azeroth changes overview

Unread postby Wiccan Fri Jun 08, 2018 8:11 pm

I ve been running RoP/CR/CmS/RoF and it seems slightly better than GS build.
diab802
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Re: [BFA] Battle for Azeroth changes overview

Unread postby diab802 Sat Jun 09, 2018 9:44 pm

I am still without beta, rip. I'm curious what others are finding as well.
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Julia
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Re: [BFA] Battle for Azeroth changes overview

Unread postby Julia Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:22 am

I ve been running RoP/CR/CmS/RoF and it seems slightly better than GS build.
That was the talent setup used to sim the value of the RoF talent. As you can see by the graph, it's almost 6% behind GS and falls off even further on more than 1 target.
Aido
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Re: [BFA] Battle for Azeroth changes overview

Unread postby Aido Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:02 am

Thanks for the guide.
But I can't understand, why should we keep Glacial Spike waiting Brain Freeze ?
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Wiccan
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Re: [BFA] Battle for Azeroth changes overview

Unread postby Wiccan Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:02 am

To crit?
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Julia
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Re: [BFA] Battle for Azeroth changes overview

Unread postby Julia Mon Jun 11, 2018 7:37 am

Thanks for the guide.
But I can't understand, why should we keep Glacial Spike waiting Brain Freeze ?
Yes, to crit. The shattering of your glacial spikes is simply too important.
Aido
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Re: [BFA] Battle for Azeroth changes overview

Unread postby Aido Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:04 pm

sorry but I do not understand very well.
in what way does Brain freeze make the cold spike critical?
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Julia
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Re: [BFA] Battle for Azeroth changes overview

Unread postby Julia Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:40 pm

Your shatter passive and how a brain frozen flurry applies it to the target. Perhaps it's best you read the frost mabe guide first ^^ this is the core mechanic of frost mage, even in Legion.
Aido
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Re: [BFA] Battle for Azeroth changes overview

Unread postby Aido Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:27 pm

I know the mage frost.
I do not understand because winter's chill does not last long enough to cast the glacial spike
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Julia
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Re: [BFA] Battle for Azeroth changes overview

Unread postby Julia Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:42 pm

You cast GS > Flurry > IL, this is listed in the glacial spike guide
hypothermia77
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Re: [BFA] Battle for Azeroth changes overview

Unread postby hypothermia77 Mon Jun 11, 2018 9:11 pm

Great work as usual Julia, thank you!
nickseng
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Re: [BFA] Battle for Azeroth changes overview

Unread postby nickseng Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:08 am

I know the mage frost.
I do not understand because winter's chill does not last long enough to cast the glacial spike
Technically, by that statement you don't really know it. :)

flurry flies faster than Frostbolt/Glacial Spike/Ebon. By casting one of those spells before Flurry, flurry will hit first, and apply the Winter's Chill Debuff allowing the slower spells that hit later to benefit from it (i.e. shatter).

FB/Ebon/GC -> Flurry -> IL is the bread and butter of the frost rotation. It's one of the reasons why BF procs are more valuable than FOF
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Re: [BFA] Battle for Azeroth changes overview

Unread postby Vega2985 Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:14 am

Has anyone done a racial dps SIM with the current BFA builds?
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Julia
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Re: [BFA] Battle for Azeroth changes overview

Unread postby Julia Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:28 am

Has anyone done a racial dps SIM with the current BFA builds?
Yes, I have.
However with the current unstable state of beta tuning wise, I won't post them until in the prepatch. Glynny will likely post them in his sim dumpthreat when more near to or in the prepatch.
Layne66
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Re: [BFA] Battle for Azeroth changes overview

Unread postby Layne66 Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:42 am

If you don't mind me asking, how are you able to use simcraft for bfa? I'm curious to test things now that the pre patch is on the PTR.
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Julia
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Re: [BFA] Battle for Azeroth changes overview

Unread postby Julia Fri Jun 15, 2018 9:34 am

If you don't mind me asking, how are you able to use simcraft for bfa? I'm curious to test things now that the pre patch is on the PTR.
Simc has a bfa build although its still missing a lot. For example the apl profiles to sim anything are not in. Theres also a fair amount of bugs and things not working as its still in full development.
If you want to try things I suggest building it yourself. Keep in mind this build will be in a terminal and not an actual client.
Meesh
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Re: [BFA] Battle for Azeroth changes overview

Unread postby Meesh Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:35 pm

Thank you so much for this! Very helpful as always.
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Re: [BFA] Battle for Azeroth changes overview

Unread postby spud Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:57 am

Does the mage pet have any use?

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