Post by Madmick
Muddy's there is almost right. Frost Mages probably have one of the most rigid cookie-cutter builds of any PvP spec in the game. Very few mages deviate at all, and when they do, it's only a few points. Here's the cookie-cutter: http://www.wowhead.com/?talent#of0frzMcZZAIbIobu0fdMfot:m
The differences and why:
*The first difference you'll see in the 2nd tier of the Arcane tree. Muddy took Arcane Fortitude, and the cookie-cutter sees 3 points in Clearcasting instead.
ANALYSIS: The reason is that mana is so critical to success against certains comps (any containing a priest) in arenas. Against any comp where you run Mage Armor, you'll find Clearcasting the superior talent. Personally, though, this is one deviation that I think can be justified. For example, if you run a Mage/Mage 2's comp, and you're the lesser geared mage, and know opposing teams have the tendency to go for you, and are often the one attempting to live against a Pally/DK zerg (for example), then in that instance I think it may be justified. Arcane Fortitude has long been underrated in forums, IMO. Nevertheless, you have to keep in mind that 6% free casts on dmg spells should usually come out to around 2-3% more mana, and since we can use mana as readily as life, that's 2-3% more fuel for offense or 2-3% more life. It's just that usually success for us means not getting hit; not having more armor for when you get hit.
*The second difference is that Muddy took 3 points in Spell Impact instead of 2, and threw a point into Student of the Mind for active regen. The cookie-cutter sees just the 2 points in Impact, then spends the other 2 on Magic Attunement
ANALYSIS: No, this won't work at all. You absolutely NEED the extra 6 yards on your polymorph range, and the increased dampening from Dampen Magic will be an asset for you and your teammate against a lot of comps. Furthermore, although I like his idea of dropping the minimum of 1 point into Student of the Mind for extra spirit, that only works for PvE, not PvP. The differences in most arena time frames won't be that great for our class, especially when you consider none of the best PvP gear for us carries spirit, so you shouldn't have any meaningful bonus to begin with from either Student of the Mind (or Arcane Meditation in the next tree, for that matter). In addition, in arenas, you'll use either Mage/Frost Armor, so the crit bonus from Molten Armor will go un-reaped. And the only substantial dmg spell that Spell Impact affects is Ice Lance, so you don't need that final point.
*The third difference is in the 3rd tier of the Frost tree. Muddy takes 1 point in Improved Blizzard.
ANALYSIS: Muddy grabbed this point from Cold as Ice. Although chilled blizzards are sick (especially against rogues, yes), this is completely unacceptable. This adds 3s to your Ice Barrier CD, 18s to your Water Elemental, and 42s to your Cold Snap (which if you run a Mage/Priest comp, yes, sometimes, you use it 2x in one arena). No way.
Other than that, he's uniform. The other common deviation used to be that some mages took 3 points in Precision in the 2nd tier of the Frost Tree instead of 3 points in Permafrost (if they have trouble reaching the hit cap for frost spells). I always argued for Permafrost, and often got my head banged about for it. Now, everyone has it. So it goes, I guess. It's probably that the resil buff means the reduction in healing is that much more necessary (nevertheless, they said they now nerf healing power in PvP areas like BG's and Arenas).
Also, pertaining to glyphs: Evocation is the only must. Ice Barrier is the 2nd most popular; it's taken by about 80-90% of arena mages that I've looked at. After that, it's kinda of barrel-shoot. I prefer Icy Veins. Mage/Lock comps usually take Polymorph. Some mages love that extra Ice Lance dmg. There numerous viable choices for our 3rd glyph, IMO.