Orb Build Guide

Guides and discussions of all things specific to the Ice Lancers of Azeroth.
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Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2019 10:52 am

Orb Build Guide

Unread postby Kolarin Mon Apr 29, 2019 8:45 am

Orb Build Guide – by Kolarin

Table of Contents
1. Overview
2. Talents
3. Rotation
4. Strengths and Weaknesses
5. Advanced
6. Gear
7. Simming
8. Essences
9. FAQ


The Orb build focuses on utilizing https://www.wowhead.com/spell=272968/packed-ice to turn https://www.wowhead.com/spell=84714/frozen-orb into a large damage CD. It relies heavily on synergy between talents and gear, and should be simmed to see if it is worth using for you.

While https://www.wowhead.com/spell=199786/glacial-spike builds for frost rely heavily on being far enough away from the target to shatter https://www.wowhead.com/spell=199786/glacial-spike, Orb build runs into different positional issues. Mainly keeping targets within your https://www.wowhead.com/spell=84714/frozen-orb. Thinking ahead to when/where the boss will be moved is vital to ensuring you get maximum effectiveness from your https://www.wowhead.com/spell=84714/frozen-orb usage.


- Base
- Standard talents
- https://www.wowhead.com/spell=205024/lonely-winter gives a 25% increase in damage to https://www.wowhead.com/spell=30455/ice-lance, which is the primary damage source of this build
- https://www.wowhead.com/spell=212653/shimmer is used primarily for movement, though can be used to shimerlance (see advanced)
- https://www.wowhead.com/spell=116011/rune-of-power is used to increase damage during the https://www.wowhead.com/spell=84714/frozen-orb window, which compliments the bursty nature of this build
- https://www.wowhead.com/spell=278309/chain-reaction is another multiplier on your https://www.wowhead.com/spell=30455/ice-lance damage to further increase its usefulness
- Single Target
- Thermal Void build
- https://www.wowhead.com/spell=270233/freezing-rain and https://www.wowhead.com/spell=155149/thermal-void are the staple of this variant. This tends to be the highest single target version of this build, though it does depend on gear
- Ray of Frost build
- https://www.wowhead.com/spell=205021/ray-of-frost typically does better Single Target when paired with https://www.wowhead.com/spell=56377/splitting-ice. https://www.wowhead.com/spell=205021/ray-of-frost is used primarily for its https://www.wowhead.com/spell=112965/fingers-of-frost generation, not its own damage. It makes every other https://www.wowhead.com/spell=84714/frozen-orb much more consistent for damage.
- In any https://www.wowhead.com/spell=205021/ray-of-frost version of PI build I would recommend considering https://www.wowhead.com/spell=108839/ice-floes over https://www.wowhead.com/spell=212653/shimmer, it allows you to stay within your https://www.wowhead.com/spell=116011/rune-of-power, while channeling https://www.wowhead.com/spell=205021/ray-of-frost which is often quite useful.
- Two Target - Multi Target
- FR funnel
- With the same talent setup as Thermal Void single target, this build specializes in single target damage during large packs. https://www.wowhead.com/spell=84714/frozen-orb and https://www.wowhead.com/spell=276776/blizzard will be your main AoE, while you launch https://www.wowhead.com/spell=30455/ice-lance into priority targets. Similar to subtlety rogues this build gains single target damage from having more targets.


1. Precast https://www.wowhead.com/spell=116/frostbolt
2. Burn
a. Cast https://www.wowhead.com/spell=12472/icy-veins if it’s available
b. Cast https://www.wowhead.com/spell=84714/frozen-orb
c. Cast https://www.wowhead.com/spell=116011/rune-of-power, if https://www.wowhead.com/spell=84714/frozen-orb was your previous cast
d. Cast https://www.wowhead.com/spell=30455/ice-lance, if you have an https://www.wowhead.com/spell=112965/fingers-of-frost, or https://www.wowhead.com/spell=44614/flurry was your previous cast
e. Cast https://www.wowhead.com/spell=278600/blizzard, if you are talented into https://www.wowhead.com/spell=270233/freezing-rain, or there are two or more targets
f. Cast https://www.wowhead.com/spell=44614/flurry, if you have a https://www.wowhead.com/spell=231584/brain-freeze
g. Cast https://www.wowhead.com/spell=205021/ray-of-frost
h. Cancel https://www.wowhead.com/spell=205021/ray-of-frost, if you have 2 https://www.wowhead.com/spell=112965/fingers-of-frost
i. Cast https://www.wowhead.com/spell=276776/blizzard
j. Cast https://www.wowhead.com/spell=116/frostbolt
3. Outside Orb
a. Cast https://www.wowhead.com/spell=30455/ice-lance, if you have 2 https://www.wowhead.com/spell=112965/fingers-of-frost or your previous cast was https://www.wowhead.com/spell=44614/flurry.
b. Cast https://www.wowhead.com/spell=30455/ice-lance, if you have 1 https://www.wowhead.com/spell=112965/fingers-of-frost, and https://www.wowhead.com/spell=84714/frozen-orb CD is more than 5 seconds
c. Cast https://www.wowhead.com/spell=44614/flurry, if you have a https://www.wowhead.com/spell=231584/brain-freeze and your previous cast was https://www.wowhead.com/spell=116/frostbolt
d. Cast https://www.wowhead.com/spell=276776/blizzard
e. Cast https://www.wowhead.com/spell=116/frostbolt
f. Hold https://www.wowhead.com/spell=12472/icy-veins until within five seconds of https://www.wowhead.com/spell=84714/frozen-orb coming off CD
- Opener - Example
a. Precast https://www.wowhead.com/spell=116/frostbolt
b. Cast https://www.wowhead.com/spell=12472/icy-veins + ramping trinkets
c. Cast https://www.wowhead.com/spell=84714/frozen-orb
d. Cast https://www.wowhead.com/spell=116011/rune-of-power
e. Cast https://www.wowhead.com/spell=30455/ice-lance till you are out of https://www.wowhead.com/spell=112965/fingers-of-frost
f. Cast Instant cast https://www.wowhead.com/spell=278600/blizzard, if talented into https://www.wowhead.com/spell=270233/freezing-rain
g. Cast https://www.wowhead.com/spell=44614/flurry > https://www.wowhead.com/spell=30455/ice-lanceif you have a https://www.wowhead.com/spell=231584/brain-freeze from your precast
h. Cast https://www.wowhead.com/spell=276776/blizzard
i. Cast any more https://www.wowhead.com/spell=30455/ice-lance procs
j. Cast https://www.wowhead.com/spell=205021/ray-of-frost if talented
k. Cancel https://www.wowhead.com/spell=205021/ray-of-frost at 2 https://www.wowhead.com/spell=112965/fingers-of-frost
l. Cast https://www.wowhead.com/spell=30455/ice-lance until 0 procs

Strengths and Weaknesses

- Pros
- Two Target Cleave
- This build does exceptionally well with stacked two target fights thanks to https://www.wowhead.com/spell=56377/splitting-ice. Roughly 10% better than https://www.wowhead.com/spell=199786/glacial-spike builds
- Priority Damage
- With https://www.wowhead.com/spell=270233/freezing-rain this build can increase its single target damage by using https://www.wowhead.com/spell=278600/blizzard on multiple targets to increase https://www.wowhead.com/spell=84714/frozen-orb uptime
- While this is similar to subtlety rogue, it has one major advantage. The extra adds do not need to be stacked on the target that your https://www.wowhead.com/spell=84714/frozen-orb is on, though they do need to be stacked somewhere.
- Cons
- Boss positioning
- Keeping your target within the https://www.wowhead.com/spell=84714/frozen-orb is mandatory for your burst to have effectiveness
- If the fight has heavy boss movement, or your https://www.wowhead.com/spell=84714/frozen-orb bugs, you will lose a lot of potential damage
- Orb blocking
- If you want to deal damage to back line targets but your https://www.wowhead.com/spell=84714/frozen-orb hits a target between you and your priority, you will lose out on damage, similar to boss positioning
- Lack of pet
- Pet utility is lost by running https://www.wowhead.com/spell=205024/lonely-winter, which can be useful, especially in some m+


There are a few more advanced rotational changes that can be made if you feel as though you want to maximize damage, however in general these should not be used until you are 100% comfortable with the rest of the rotation. They are minimal reward for higher risk.
- Shimmerlancing
- Shimmerlancing can be done at certain haste levels. Usually during https://www.wowhead.com/spell=12472/icy-veins and lust, and is accomplished by casting https://www.wowhead.com/spell=44614/flurry > https://www.wowhead.com/spell=30455/ice-lance> shimmering towards the target > https://www.wowhead.com/spell=30455/ice-lance, to land the second https://www.wowhead.com/spell=30455/ice-lancewithin the Winter’s chill debuff
- This should not be done within https://www.wowhead.com/spell=116011/rune-of-power, but is an increase outside of https://www.wowhead.com/spell=116011/rune-of-power.
- This opportunity is rare, and mistakes are costly
- Spending a movement ability for more damage is also risky on fights where you should be using https://www.wowhead.com/spell=212653/shimmer for mechanics
- Trinkets - Different trinkets will have different usage
- Ramping trinkets (ie https://www.wowhead.com/item=159615/ign ... =4777:1512)
- Trinkets that gain damage over their duration should be used before https://www.wowhead.com/spell=84714/frozen-orb, trying to time 14 seconds left on the duration as the https://www.wowhead.com/spell=84714/frozen-orb hits the target
- Falling trinkets (ie https://www.wowhead.com/item=159630/bal ... =4777:1512)
- Trinkets that decrease in effectiveness over their duration should be used right after a https://www.wowhead.com/spell=116011/rune-of-power cast, to maximize the use out of the active within the https://www.wowhead.com/spell=84714/frozen-orb window
- Precast https://www.wowhead.com/spell=276776/blizzard
- If the boss/target will stay still on pull, it is worth precasting https://www.wowhead.com/spell=276776/blizzard over https://www.wowhead.com/spell=116/frostbolt


- Azerite
- https://www.wowhead.com/spell=272968/packed-ice
- This trait is the central reason this build works, drastically increasing https://www.wowhead.com/spell=30455/ice-lance damage during your https://www.wowhead.com/spell=84714/frozen-orb.
- This trait only increases damage during your https://www.wowhead.com/spell=84714/frozen-orb, which is the reason behind most talent choices and rotational changes to this build.
- https://www.wowhead.com/spell=288164/flash-freeze - https://www.wowhead.com/spell=278541/whiteout
i. A strong Single Target choice. Increasing damage dealt by your https://www.wowhead.com/spell=30455/ice-lance as well as causing https://www.wowhead.com/spell=30455/ice-lance to reduce https://www.wowhead.com/spell=84714/frozen-orb CD.
- The first Whiteout you gain is less valuable than the first https://www.wowhead.com/spell=288164/flash-freeze, but a second Whiteout is generally better than a second https://www.wowhead.com/spell=288164/flash-freeze
- https://www.wowhead.com/spell=271705/overwhelming-power
i. The strongest third ring option for the build, the burst of haste helps gain more https://www.wowhead.com/spell=112965/fingers-of-frost, and also helps gain more https://www.wowhead.com/spell=276776/blizzard ticks outside of https://www.wowhead.com/spell=84714/frozen-orb window.
- While this trait can reduce the ticks of your blizzards as it lowers your haste, the overall haste gain still makes this trait the strongest choice
- Stats - All stats are personal to a character and should be simmed using raidbots.com
- Haste
- Haste is quite useful for this build. Allowing more procs to be gained/spent during your https://www.wowhead.com/spell=84714/frozen-orb window, as well as making your https://www.wowhead.com/spell=276776/blizzard tick faster to get to your next https://www.wowhead.com/spell=84714/frozen-orb
- Crit
- As with all frost mages, Crit is useful to aid in shatter, and until we reach crit cap that will not change.
- Vers
- As we gain more of other stats and gear for this build Vers becomes more and more useful, augmenting the damage gained from every other stat/trait/talent
- Mastery
- Mastery is incredibly low in priority for this build, but can be useful if the item is a higher item level.

Trinkets should be simmed. This section will discuss reasoning behind different trinkets.
- Font of Power
This trinket is asked about a lot. It is generally a very strong trinket for bursty casters, however Orb burst isn’t based on int. Packed Ice damage doesn’t scale off of Int in any way. We get more procs during our orb, but it isn’t worth running a two minute on use trinket over most others.
- Currently no other Trinkets worth discussing


Standard Orb APL

ShimmerLance APL

Simming will always be the best way to determine traits, but this should give a good direction to start.

Raid: Major - CLF - Tied with IV this becomes a strong damage CD every three minutes.
Minors - Blood of the Enemy - Useful at rank 2/3 to grant more crit if you are below crit cap. (in my experience it will be strong with 29% crit or less)
Focusing Iris
Conflict & Strife

Mythic+: Major - Blood of the Enemy - Only if you have rank 3. With how consistent Ice lance crits are using this after your rune lets you pump damage, in single target, and also allows you to use frost nova to do more AoE.
Alternate Major - As Blood of the Enemy is somewhat of a grind many people need an alternate major. For Tyrannical i would recommend CLF as it lets you pump every 3 minutes and can be timed with boss pulls. For Fortified Vision of Perfection is useful, especially if you have a Frigid Grasp trait in your setup.
Minors - Blood of the enemy - Rank 2/3
Vision of Perfection - If you are not using CLF.
Conflict and Strife
Focusing Iris

(If you have anymore questions about essence use or the benefits of the different minors feel free to use the #questions channel in the Mage discord.)


Why do we cast blizzard on single target when it does so little damage?
Blizzard damage is not the important part. every tick of blizzard reduces your frozen orb CD by .5 seconds. the full 9 ticks on single target brings you 4.5 seconds closer to your next orb

How do we use procs differently to standard frost mage?
As we are not running Glacial Spike we don't have to worry about saving Brain Freeze procs to cast with it. We also prioritize the use of an FoF over a Brain Freeze, where standard GS would munch the FoF

If I don't have a Rune charge, do I wait to cast Orb until I do?
No, you should cast orb as soon as you can, and just use the next rune charge you gain on your next orb.

Is it possible to use Incanters Flow with this build?
Incanters flow will only be an increase in this build for long sustained AoE where you have far greater orb uptime compared to rune uptime.

Where can I see some gameplay of this build?
I stream my raids at https://www.twitch.tv/firedovah. The Vods are always available, and there is a panel in my UI that shows the last five casts to make it easier to see what I was doing when.

What do I do when tanks move things out of my orb?


Thank you to everyone who helped me with developing this build and the guide as well. Special thank you to Dorovon for all the random sim tests he ran to help me figure out the best way to optimize things. Herusx, Azevara, Pandey, Frosty, Norrinir, Razzik and Zolas for helping proof read my drafts. And thank you to everyone who has tried out this build. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have
Last edited by Kolarin on Thu Nov 07, 2019 7:53 pm, edited 16 times in total.
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Re: Packed Ice Build Guide

Unread postby Kolarin Mon Apr 29, 2019 9:11 am

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