VOLUME II – DEALING DAMAGE
Don’t hesitate! Call in now, and for just $15.99 a month, killing innocent animals in strange places can be THIS FUN for you too!
*WARNING: May cause death and diarrhea.
The Basic Idea
Shatter is the name of a talent in the frost tree that increases your critical strike chance with all spells against frozen targets by 50%.
When you “shatter” someone, you critically strike somebody while they are frozen.
A shatter combo is when you cast a full rank frostbolt at somebody, and then immediately hit ice lance as soon as frostbolt is finished casting. This results in the frostbolt and the ice lance arriving at the target simultaneously, resulting in a massive amount of damage.
Your mileage may vary, depending on resilience of the target and talents such as Soul Link.
The idea is that with the water elemental’s ranged Freeze ability, a frost mage is able to Shatter combo any class in the game on command.
Starting it off
There are four abilities in the game that can make a target “frozen”. Frost Nova, a water elemental’s ranged Frost Nova, the effect of the talented frostbite, and a hunter’s freezing trap. While you have no real control over the last two, the first two are well within your ability to control, and exploit.
Initially, Frost Nova is something you use to get away from a melee class. Throw shatter into the equation, and now it is a terrifying weapon as well.
Here we are in the beautiful barrier hills, just off Shattrath. These ogres have graciously offered to allow themselves to be killed for the sake of education. So let’s see how Shatter works, hmm?
Oh noes! A large muscled guy with a giant axe is trying to kill you!
IT HURTS! Root him and flee!
Get to range, and start casting frostbolt.
As soon as your castbar hits that red zone (you ARE using Quartz, right?) tap Ice Lance. And watch the Shatter go down.
He knows exactly what hit him.
Use the water elemental’s root when your own will be ineffectual, such as against druids or cleanse-happy paladins. Casting is still the same. Start frostbolt, and be ready to tap Ice Lance. Queue up the Ranged Frost Nova.
Right before frostbolt is done casting, drop the root. As soon as frostbolt is done casting, tap Ice Lance. The timing here has to be excellent.
Whether a spell criticially strikes is determined when it finishes it’s cast time. If the target is not rooted when Frostbolt is casted, you will not receive the bonus 50% to crit.
Time it so the pet nova goes off before frostbolt, but get these as close together as possible. The more time the target is rooted before frostbolt is on it’s way, the more time they have to react to, and escape from, the root.
As another note, the damage a spell deals is calculated while the spell is in the air. Meaning, for instance, that if you cast Ice Lance and the target is rooted, Ice Lance will receive the bonus 50% to critically strike, but if the target is no longer rooted once Ice Lance is in the air, you will not receive the triple bonus damage.
You will almost never, ever see this happen, due to latency, but it does occasionally happen. If you ever see Ice Lance crit for an inexplicably low amount of damage right as the root was breaking, this is why.
Anyhoo, get the timing right, this happens:
And that is a Shatter combo. Very simple, very deadly. As a frost mage, you will be doing this a lot. Perfect it, and know that you can do this to anybody in the game. Not even druids can escape this pain.
One last thing.
MAKE ABSOLUTELY SURE that you don’t blast this into the gullet of a Grounding Totem or a Spell Reflect. Fastest way to make you look silly.
Almost as bad as PoM + Pyro on a rat and getting “Resist”.