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Are frost builds crap or just not popular?


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I played a WL to lvl 45 (helix/volley) the past few days and figured out that it's not too enjoyable for me. So i thought i will give the FM a chance to convince me. As soon as i got my first points to spend, i fell in love with this ice rain skill... idk, i just love the idea of playing an ice mage.

I then did some research about frost/ice skills and builds but it seems none really likes them... ok, maybe there are 5% who do.


Now i wonder, are frost builds really that bad or is it just more fun for the majority to grab and play a max dps burn build? I do understand how important it can be to max your dps, but for me survivability and a more relaxed playstyle weights more than that. Can someone clear this up a little bit please?

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In pve you wont have more survivability with frost build because the only skills you change are dps skills. Your defense skills are also available and skilled in burn build. Ice build does lower damage and is more complicated and can do more things wrong. It also suffers against enemies who move alot. Try both builds and decide. No one will punish you if you play ice build as long as you *cricket* up the rotation of another burn FM with your auto-detonate.

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Don't let you tell something about frost FM from people who didn't play frost in pve for some time. It's not such negativ how people want to tell you. In first case it's another gameplay with FM.



Burning build FM have 2 different main damage skills: Dragonchar or Blazing Beam. Frost FM compared to Blazing Beam makes similar damage. People only think that Blazing Beam makes more damage, but that's not true. Dragonchar is used only with WL in party. So in this settup Dragonchar makes theoretically more damage. In fact Awakened Dragonchar does more damage then Awakened Ice Rain, but Ice Rain can be used some times more. The difference shouldn't be that much in longer fights. I also never saw a Dragonchar FM doing more damage then me in long fights (and with similar gear). I think it's just about players skill, but if I can out dps most players, then the different between frost and fire cannot be that huge (doesn't matter which burning skill).


With high ping (200-300ms) or big lag spikes you will loose lots of damage and it will makes Ice Rain nearly useless.


Healing and defensive

Frost FM heals more with Ice Rain, but will loose defensive stats (loosing buff) after some seconds. Ice Rain is the strongest heal (without Soul Burn by WL) FM has. Rest is similar to burning FM.


Moving enemies

In first case we're speaking about boss enemies. While your burst phase with Ice Rain enemies can run outside of Cold Snap and decrease your damage very much. So you have to learn movement pattern from every boss. Once you got it you can use Ice Rain at the best time, so frost FM don't really suffer. It's all about players skill.



The gameplay of frost FM is different to burning FM. With burning FM most important is burning enemies. With Ice build you have to freeze your enemy, but you don't need to check it, because you freeze enemies automatically. So more important for frost FM is changing rotations at the right time. While burning FM loose dps if there burning debuff is not up to 100% - frost FM loosing lots of dps if they can't reach max dps while bursting with Ice Rain. That means dps loose while changing rotations, that means dps loose while using Ice Rain in a bad situation and that means dps loose if you can't put Cold Snap in the correct way.  Once you know how to play, it's really easy. Someone may say frost is more complicated, but at least it's just an opinion. My own opinion is burning build is more complicated. :P


Frost Builds

Level 50 HM1 (minimum skills without HM skills)


Level 50 HM11 (optimum with HM skills)


Level 50 HM15 (current max level)


You have to use some other skills for different situations (for example [Tab] Fire Storm S2 -> Heatwave S3 or S4). Most important to change is while burning FM is in party with you -> use RMB S2 and not S1 as usual. Otherwise burning FM will hate you. ;)


Try it out and decide by yourself what's better for you.


Btw a little notice: max dps is not that important at the moment. People normaly have highly too much AP for every dungeon.

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Thanks very much for the effort! I reached lvl 39 now and... it plays way better than with the WL. Not a single enemy which made me struggle so far and the rotation... idk it fits much better to me. Not sure how it turns out arround lvl 50, but i am quite convinced that i will stick with it.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Theres also seemingly an issue I think with freeze on the boss in foundry, since freeze will root a boss, but it has a cooldown effect where the boss won't be rooted by freeze, in a situation where you need to use 3 for a root, if you are using ice build then the cooldown effect could be on.

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  • 2 weeks later...

My thing is;
I use Beam as my main stay(Even with warlock sometimes)
Char is focus intensive so you have to manage that and for me only feels worth it with SB buff but like I sad sometimes I'd rather not retool just because i have a lock since I can sustain with Beam consistently and not worry about focus too much.

Frost however, I just run sometimes. Haven't actually tested it in a 4man to see how it "stacks up" but the rotation is pretty similar. You get burst from rain phases and keep dpsing with FB. I just feel like they should've had more "dps trees" for Frost stuff where's there's more stuff to choose from as all you have is (FB,Snowball and Rain Phase and of course you can sprinkle in Meteor)
On Fire side of things, you're running FB, Beam/Char, double inferno, Meteor, DB and Dual which makes me feel like I'm doing alot more compared to frost. In the end, I just wish Frost had more stuff and base damage buffs if anything.

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