Ding! 75! Congrats, now you get a new main nuke, and unlike Arcane Blast, it doesn’t suck!
So then. What is frostfire?
Frostfire bolt is unique in that it isn’t unique.
Frostfire bolt counts as both a frost spell and a fire spell at the exact same time. This means that any talent that specifies “frost spell” and any talent that specifies “fire spell” effect frostfire, and all at the same time.
For instance, Piercing Ice (increases damage dealt by your frost spells by 6%) and Fire Power (increases damage dealt by your fire spells by 10%) stack when you use frostfire. If you have both of these, that gives frostfire bolt a 16% increase to damage.
This is true for all talents.
“So wait a minute” I can hear you say, “does this mean that if I get Ice Shards (100% boost to bonus crit damage) AND ignite, I can get frostfire to crit for a bajillion?”
Yes! That is exactly it!
“And… if I go deep into the fire tree, get Burnout, that would give me a 225% crit damage, and ignite stacked on top of that?!”
“OH MAN I GOTTA TRY THAT!”
DAMN RIGHT YOU DO!
Pardon me, I seem to have gotten a little carried away there.
Frostfire benefits from pretty much everything in both the fire tree and the frost tree. Be warned that this means, in order to keep it balanced, the spell itself is weaker than both frostbolt and fireball. It needs the talents in order to come up to par with those two nukes.
Otherwise it’s just a weaker spell that looks fancy.
This isn’t so true if you’re fire spec, but it is if you fancy yourself a frost mage.
To put it bluntly, the frost tree does not offer a lot to frostfire bolt on the high end. If you do go deep frost, frostfire bolt will be a spell that costs more mana than frostbolt, has a longer cast time, and deals less damage.
Does that sound good to you?
In order to make the most out of frostfire bolt, you must go deep into the fire tree. There are three key talents in the fire tree that simply make it better. Namely, Fire Power, Empowered Fire, and Burnout.
This isn’t to say the frost tree is useless. Oh no, frostfire needs Ice Shards at least, and there is a whole bunch of neat stuff in the early tree that can make leveling with this brand new spell a thing of absolute beauty.
The following is a common misconception, that probably originated with Blizzard’s description of the spell.
Frostfire bolt does not deal fire damage or frost damage, depending on the target. Frostfire bolt deals frostfire damage. This means that it damages fire elementals and water elementals equally. There is no immunity to the damage from frostfire.
Fire resistance? pfeh, it’s frostfire damage, baby! That stuff is useless!
Flat spell resistance still dampens it, just specific school resistances no longer apply.
Sadly, the ignite portion of the spell when you crit is still treated as fire damage, so you cannot ignite fire elementals.
However, you can snare water elementals with frostfire bolt. It won’t proc frostbite, but the snare itself still functions, and benefits from any improved snare talents from the frost tree.
The DoT effect and the snare effect on frostfire bolt are treated as the same effect. This means, most of the time, that both effects work regardless of the mob type you hit it with.
Snare-immune elites are still immune, sadly, though the DoT effect still works. From what I can tell, the mechanics of the game simply set the snare effect to 0%.
However, this does mean that the entire effect can be removed if an ability that would ordinarily only remove one of them is used. For instance, a paladin using Hand of Freedom to dispel the snare effect will dispel the DoT as well.
In addition, if frostfire bolt gets interrupted, that will lock out both your fire and frost schools for the duration of the interrupt. Thankfully, most mobs don’t have any interrupts, and the ones that do last only a couple seconds. There are very rare instances where mobs have longer lockouts. In those cases… meh, blink or something. Mobs aren’t very smart, I’m sure you’ll be fine.
With frostfire, I heartily encourage you to goof around with different specs, and see which one works best for you. Again, for leveling purposes, I recommend using a deep fire build with support from the frost tree.
Even some of you frost-only mages should hang out with frostfire for a while. Who knows? You might like it, and you still get to do things like Shatter combos and abuse frostbite procs. No squirtle, though. That might be a deal breaker for some of you.
Anywho, an example of a solid frostfire leveling spec. Notice one talent point is leftout of the final build, as this is a leveling spec, not an end game spec.
You can choose basically whatever glyphs you want. It doesn’t really matter too much, other than Glyph of Evocation kicks ass.
Impact and Frostbite stack?! Why yes, yes they do.
A couple other tips.
I recommend filling in the frost tree stuff first for a build like this. Shatter provides a go-to crit ability that you really should have from the very beginning before filling in the high end fire talents.
You can skip Blastwave, DB, Living Bomb, etc, if you want, I find them extremely useful control abilities that fill in very nicely for stuff you would otherwise get from a deep frost tree build.
Also, in case you hadn’t noticed. Cone of Cold an Dragon’s Breath no longer share a cooldown, so you can feel free to use them in rapid succession for very strong area control.
Try to avoid stacking Combustion and Shatter, if at all possible. You’ll probably be running with at least a 25% crit rate for frostfire, probably higher, so Shatter already nearly guarantees a crit, thus wasting Combustion charges.
Only bother with Molten Shields if you are going to be using Molten Armor. Otherwise, it’s just a waste of two talent points.
You will never be casting fireball as a frostfire build, so don’t bother with Improved Fireball.
Flame Throwing does not affect frostfire bolt, so you can safely ignore it for a frostfire build. It has a base range of 40 yards, so you aren’t missing out on anything anyways.
I found Permafrost a better investment than Elemental Precision, to get the snare on frostfire up to 50%.
And that is that, really.
This is just the leveling portion of the spell. Raiding and so forth will be discussed at a later date. For now, I need to get back to leveling. And so do you!
If you’re already 80, then hurry up and level that alt you always wanted. Or do dailies and send me the gold.