Monday, November 24, 2008

Ask a Krizzlybear: Frostfire Bolt Edition

Christopher asked a question in the comment section on ony of my recent blog posts. He writes, "could you share a little knowledge about the newest Mage trick, Frostfire bolt? How does it affect us frosties with deep frost builds? Is it worth it to use? Does it replace frostbolt in our rotation of frostbolt, frostbolt, frostbolt with the procced fireball and ice lance when appropriate?"

Well Christopher, let's begin by examining the properties of Frostfire Bolt. Frostfire Bolt is a 3-second nuke that counts as both a frost spell and fire spell. This means that any and all effects that would affect either school would apply to Frostfire Bolt as well. However, when it comes to damage, it doesn't count as either frost or fire at all. Instead, it counts as frostfire, and because of this, it ignores resistances and immunities to either school. But, if the target has a general resist/immunity to spells, it will affect it.

So what does this mean for frost mages? As a deep frost raider, no longer will you be completely shut out of a fight where he boss has phases of frost immunity. An example of this would be Hydross in Serpentshrine Cavern. When he gets pulled through the beam and takes on his frost phase, your Frostbolts will be rendered useless, but your Frostfire Bolts will be able to damage him. The spell will benefit from a large number of talents in your build, excluding Improved Frostbolt and Empowered Frostbolt. This is a definite asset to have, but that's as far as it goes with regards to the spell's use. Your frostbolt still has greater DPS capability in a deep frost build, thanks to Empowered Frostbolt and a faster casting time than Frostfire Bolt.

Thus, in order to maximize the effect of a Frostfire Bolt-centric raiding build, you will have to "double dip," taking talents in both the Frost and Fire trees to boost the abilities of your spell in order to maximize DPS. Due to the placement of such talents in both trees, you simply cannot take them all. It will require proper tuning and balance of talents to both improve its damage, and cater to your playstyle.

At the end, you will end up making one of three choices with regards to the spec: deep frost with leftover fire, deep fire with leftover frost, or an elementalist spec with approximately equal amounts of points invested in each. From what I've been reading on the net, it would appear that deep fire is the ideal route to maximize the damage of frostfire bolt, and thus has more of a fire spec feel than frost.

And from one look at the talent tree, this is quite the case. Most of the fire-buffing talents on the fire tree is in the higher tiers, while the frost-buffing talents are more spread out on the frost tree. More importantly, by homogenizing the effects of Improved Scorch and Winter's Chill, it is no longer required to invest points into both, making Winter's Chill a less attractive option, as it is in a deeper tier than Improved Scorch.

But as a diehard frost fanatic, I will tell you that you can still have lots of fun with Frostfire Bolt with a deep frost build. Here's a spec that may tickle your fancy. It plays a lot like a deep frost build, but replaces Frostbolt spam with Frostfire Bolt spam. Of course this will output less single-target dps than Frostbolt spam, but by going into the fire tree, your AoE dps becomes absolutely DISGUSTING.

World in Flames, meet Blizzard, your new best friend.

Or, how about an elementalist spec? Let's emphasize more fire, but keep to the spirit of deep frost. Try this 0/30/41 spec on for size. You grab Fire Power for an awesome 10% increase in Frostfire damage, you retain sufficient snare to AoE grind effectively, AND you get to keep Squirtle! Hot damn!

With these two builds, you can do your best frost mage impression while you get acquainted with this awesome new spell. Now all blizzard needs to do is to make a dual-school AoE spell. Frostfire Storm, anybody?

Frostfire Storm
110% of Base Mana, 30 yd range
Pelts the enemy with shards of frostfire, doing 3000 damage over 8 seconds, slowing movement speed by 10% and causing an additional 50 damage over 5 seconds to each target. If the target is more vulnerable to Frost damage than Fire damage, then this spell will cause Frost damage instead of Fire damage.

Tomorrow: Frost Death Knight Impressions

6 comments:

Esdras said...

I have retired my mage now, i just thought he was getting a bit samie as that all i was doing is one dps spell after the next.

Will still keep him and possibly move realm with him to a RP as ive always been on same realm and fancy having a look at RP one.

PS change back to the blue writting the red hurts my eyes hahaha <3 <3

Basil said...

"Frostfire Storm"

Aghuarghahahaha!

DIE PUNY MORTALS, DIE!

Just envision it! Imp. Blizzard is changed to apply to this too.

Then, combine:
Frostbite, Ice Shards, Shatter, Ignite, World in Flames...

*dies laughing*

Christopher said...

Thanks Krizzlybear. Between this post and the lengthy one I found over at CriticalQQ, I have all the information I need to maximize my build. It looks like I will have to dump frost in order to max DPS with frostfire. I love my Squirtle too much to switch from 0/0/65 atm, but if Blizzard ever puts in the dual spec route, A 0/51/20 rotation with frostfire sounds very intriguing.

Fish said...

Awesome. A frostfire AOE would be pure sweetness, chill effect + DoT for the win! Plus I think the effect on that would look pretty damn cool. . .

tumult said...

The first time I looked at FFB, I didn't see where the catch was. I saw it had a bit longer range, and that it would pick which dmg to apply based on the resistances of the mob. But *HOT DAMN* it double dips on fire and frost talents. I can finally get crit dmg bonuses from two trees without having to spec down the (imo) dull arcane tree.

But I must make a confession to my fellow frosties. I am a frost mage at heart, but the straightup ginormous boost in raid dmg that deep fire offers is too irresistible. I'm tired of hybrid classes beating me in dps. Your day of reckoning has come, Elemental Shamans, Boomkins. Shadowpriests? Bah! The mage will now rise from the ashes of BC to once again dominate.

Frostfire bolt: Putting the cannon back into "glass cannon".

In case you are interested and have the time, here's the spec I'm thinking about rolling into Naxx with. What do you think?

http://www.wowhead.com/?talent=oZfVc0RhIuVubhsxhIccoc

Pinkhair 3d said...

I can understand why it is the best we have now, but I don't like the direction blizz went with FFB. Mage tree synergy is already messed up compared to other classes, now making a torturous spec the new and clear winner... Just bleh.

Am hitting 80 on my two mages, and each level made it harder to place a talent without gritting my teeth.