Mists of Pandaria Frost Mage PvP Gearing | How to Gear Enchant and Reforge a Frost Mage in WoW PVP - Season 12 Patch 5.1

by Archive // November 10, 2012

Table of Contents

  1. Stat Priority
  2. Adjusting Stats As You Grind
  3. Optimal Final Stats
  4. Getting Started
  5. Honor Gear
  6. The Best Frost Mage PvP Gear in Season 12
  7. Frost Mage PvP Professions

Stat Priority For Frost Mages


Spell Hit is by far the most important stat for Frost Mages, and yet its importance is often times overlooked by the Mage PvP community.  The hit cap for spell casters in PvP is 6%, and until you have reached the 6% threshold, you should make obtaining Spell Hit your number one priority.

There are a couple reasons behind Spell Hit being such an important stat: First off, your damage output will be far weaker if you ever miss any abilities, and arguably more importantly, you run the risk of your Crowd Control spells missing, which can easily lose you a match.  The trade-off of marginal damage increase to spells from other stats is not worth the loss of confidence in all of your spells landing.

The good news is that it’s quite easy to reach 6% hit cap with some simple reforging if you are below the 6% threshold.

Ideal Stat Gains

These are the stats you will focus on once you have achieved 6% hit.  In this section, you will find a list of stats along with their descriptions; stats are ordered based on their importance.  While gearing, you should focus on achieving the following stats based on this priority hierarchy:

  • PvP Power
    • PVP Power increases all of your damage against other players.  This additional damage increases linearly and does not fall subject to diminishing returns, making this stat more and more effective as you gear your character.  We won’t get into the calculations, but PvP Power is point-for-point better than any other stat you can get in terms of damage output in WoW PvP’s current state.
  • PvP Resilience
    • PVP Resilience reduces the damage your opponent does to you.  In a PvP scenario, increasing your damage is amazing, but decreasing the amount of damage you take can dictate how a PvP scenario plays out.  You can’t do damage if you’re dead!
    • Some Top Mages actually prefer Intellect over Resilience.  They prefer the raw damage increase over the added survivability PvP Resilience provides.  Mages have exceptional Crowd Control abilities and, when used correctly, can be utilized to reduce or mitigate an enemy’s damage output.
    • In the current state of the game, most Top Mages are recommending more PvP Resilience to deal with the incredible burst many classes are capable of, and so is Skill-Capped!
  • Intellect
    • Intellect increases your spell power and chance to Crit.  In previous expansions, Intellect also had the added benefit of increasing your mana pool, but mana levels are now static in Mists of Pandaria.
    • As mentioned above, other top mages prefer Intellect over Resilience because they are very comfortable with avoiding damage, and prefer more raw damage output.  If you are comfortable with utilizing your skill-set to stay alive, you may choose to prefer Intellect over Resilience when applicable.
  • Haste
    • Haste reduces the cast time of your abilities.  This goes a long ways to ensuring your important spell casts go uninterrupted.  [Frost Bomb] is a big portion of your burst, and it is very important to get this cast off when trying to secure a kill.  A well timed [Polymorph] can also help dictate how a match will progress.  If you choose to run with [Nether Tempest], Haste is also extremely powerful due to the additional dot ticks it provides.
  • Mastery
    • This is a great stat to have for your burst attempts, as it increases damage against froze targets, along with the damage dealt by your Water Elemental by means of the [Mastery: Frostburn] specialization.
  • Critical Strike
    • Critical Strike, or Crit, is thought of as one of the worst secondary stats for a Frost Mage.  [Shatter] gives a Frost Mage a huge chance to score a Critical Strike, and the vast majority of kill attempts will be scored on a frozen target.  Secondary stats are better allocated elsewhere.

Currently, your stats are better spent in PvP Power, while also maintaining as much Mastery and Haste as your current gear allows.

So, your stat priority in the current Season 12 Patch 5.0 should look like this:

Stat Priority

Hit(6%) > PvP Power > PvP Resilience > Intellect > Haste > Mastery > Crit

Note:  We left out Stamina, as there will never be a situation where Stamina is better than any of these stats.  Thus, you should never be Gemming or Enchanting Stamina on your gear

Adjusting Stats As You Grind

Here we will be explaining exactly how to obtain, and what the optimal gear choices are while building up your character. While you are accumulating gear, it is important to recognize that until you have your completed set, your stats will constantly be changing.  It is extremely important to be mindful of what stats are most important for your class as you work towards your optimal set, and make item selections based on what will have the most profound impact on your performance.

This may mean shifting a few gems around, reforging, or even swapping enchants to maintain your mandatory stats at all times.

  • Make sure you are always at 6% hit rating.  If you are below 6%, swap out a gem in favor of a Hit gem, or reforge some Haste or Crit into Hit until your gear improves.
  • Always try to accumulate as much PvP Power and Resilience as you can until you are in the best gear Season 12 offers.  While you are gearing, how much damage you do to players, and how much damage they do to you, is significantly different than if you were in full gear, so it is not advised to prioritize intellect where you could get additional PvP Power and/or Resilience.

Stat Priority For Frost Mages

These stats reflect what we have researched and believe to be the best obtainable stats for Season 12 using Conquest gear with the Tier 2 weapon.  These stats are here to give you a benchmark as you work towards completing your gear set.

  • Hit: 2,042
  • PvP Power: 13,444
  • PvP Resilience: 7,176
  • Intellect: 11,638
  • Haste: 5,217
  • Mastery: 4,150
  • Crit: 2,572

Getting Started

This section is geared towards people who have recently hit 90 for the first time, or have an under-geared alt that needs to be primed for beginning the PvP gear grind.

Upon achieving level 90, we do NOT advise you to just jump into an Arena, or start grinding Battleground’s, or do any sort of PvP for that matter fresh off of leveling in your leveling items.  Chances are many of the enemies in a Battleground will significantly out-gear your fresh level 90, which means they will have a significant advantage over you in a PvP setting.  Something that we promise will save you a lot of grief, speed up your grind, and make your PvP experience that much more enjoyable would be to obtain the crafted PvP gear right away.  Here is a list of all of the items you should immediately obtain before you start PvP’ing in Mists of Pandaria:

Tip:  It is normally much cheaper to get the materials for these items yourself and have someone craft them for you, rather than buying them off of the Auction House.  Even if you just buy the mats off the Auction House and spam trade, it’s normally cheaper.  Always check first for good deals on the Auction House, though!

Honor Gear

Why Should I get the Honor Gear?

Every season we get asked the same question:

Why would I grind out a full set of honor gear if I’m just going to replace it later with conquest point gear?

The answer is that you will have a significant edge over the large portion of the player base that chooses not to grind out their honor set early.  While each stat on the honor gear is normally not much better than the previous season’s Conquest gear, (not the case here, as it’s a new expansion) when you look at the combined stat increase from all of the honor gear, it’s a massive difference.

Normally we show a stat comparison from last season’s conquest gear to the current season’s Honor gear, but this is unnecessary in the first Season of a new expansion.  Honor gear is a 100% must have.

What Honor Gear to Get, and What Order

Below you will find a list of all of the honor gear pieces you can obtain.  They are listed in order of their stat benefits to you.  That is, if you go follow this list in order, you will get the best stats first.  This is not a huge deal in the grand scheme of things, but we feel if you are going to gear up, you might as well do it in an efficiently as possible.

Please Note:  This order disregards your previous gear set up, and only orders the gear in an optimal way given all gear being equal beforehand.  A lot of you will have Contender’s gear on, though, and that changes the order.

In the case of having the Contender’s set on, you should follow the order below EXCLUDING the Contender slots that you have first, and then double back and replace Contender’s with Dreadful. ALWAYS MAINTAIN YOUR MANDATORY STATS!

The Best Frost Mage PvP Gear in Season 12

The most important section is upon us.  Here you will find the best possible gear choices for Season 12 PvP.  This list will be ordered by largest stat gains, just like the Honor gear section.  It will list the piece or pieces of gear that are optimal – and denote any gems, enchants, and reforging that is required for your best-in-slot equipment.

Keep in mind, your reforging and gemming may vary as you are building your set since you may drop below 6% hit cap in the process.  This is a full set optimization.

Legs – 2,250 Conquest Points

[Malevolent Gladiator's Silk Trousers]

Head – 2,250 Conquest Points

[Malevolent Gladiator's Silk Cowl]

Save your points so you can purchase your Season 12 Weapons now [Malevolent Gladiator's Spellblade] and [Malevolent Gladiator's Endgame], so you can upgrade to the Elite version later.  Total Cost – 3,500 Conquest Points

Trinket 1 – 1,750 Conquest Points

[Malevolent Gladiator's Badge of Dominance]

Upgrade to 2/2 prior to collecting more gear

  • The On-Use trinket is preferred for PVP, as the majority of your kill attempts will revolve around coordinated set-up with your teammates.  Having access to an On-Demand burst increase will help with those attempts.
  • There is a significant amount of PVP Power on the trinket as well – a Frost mage’s number one secondary stat.

Chest – 2,250 Conquest Points

[Malevolent Gladiator's Silk Robe]

Feet – 1,750 Conquest Points

[Malevolent Gladiator's Treads of Alacrity]

Ring 1 – 1,250 Conquest Points

[Malevolent Gladiator's Band of Accuracy]

  • Reforge
    • None

Wrist – 1,250 Conquest Points

[Malevolent Gladiator's Cuffs of Accuracy]

Weapon (Main Hand)

[Malevolent Gladiator's Spellblade]

Weapon (Off Hand)

[Malevolent Gladiator's Endgame]

Waist – 1,750 Conquest Points

[Malevolent Gladiator's Cord of Accuracy]

Shoulder – 1,750 Conquest Points

[Malevolent Gladiator's Silk Amice]

Hands – 1,750 Conquest Points

[Malevolent Gladiator's Silk Handguards]

Back – 1,250 Conquest Points

[Malevolent Gladiator's Drape of Prowess]

Neck – 1,250 Conquest Points

[Malevolent Gladiator's Pendant of Alacrity]

  • No Changes

Ring 2 – 1,250 Conquest Points

[Malevolent Gladiator's Band of Cruelty]

  • Reforge
    • From Crit to Haste

Trinket 2 – 1,750 Conquest Points

[Malevolent Gladiator's Medallion of Tenacity]

  • No Changes

Frost Mage PvP Professions

Our goal is to give you the absolute best gear set up you can achieve as a Frost Mage in Season 12, and part of that is choosing the right professions.  Before we tell you what the best professions are, we should note that when comparing professions, there is a very marginal benefit to your overall gear set, and you should not sacrifice a profession you really enjoy for the sake of a minor stat increase.  Leveling a new profession can be costly!

That being said, here are the best professions for a Frost Mage in Mists of Pandaria PvP:


This is the best Profession for a Frost Mage because of the two extra gem slots that can be used to refine your stats.  Blacksmithing offers you the best customization, as you are able to increase primary stats, along with the freedom to choose various secondary stats, such as Mastery, Crit, or even PvP Power and PvP Resilience!  Other professions simply do not offer this much customization for your character.

The next two Professions were a split decision between our pros, and are totally up to what you want to do.


This is our second favorite profession solely because of the glove enchant [Synapse Springs] that will increase your Intellect by 1920 for 10 seconds.  Great for that big burst window you set up when going for a kill.  Note – [Synapse Springs] cannot be used in conjunction with [Malevolent Gladiator's Badge of Dominance], as use of one or the other will invoke a short cooldown.  Utilizing both On-Use procs does, however, allow for  stronger burst attempts while your PVP trinket is on cooldown.

Oh, and [Nitro Boosts] are the greatest things since sliced bread, but unusable in Arenas or Rated Battlegrounds.


From a theory crafting stand point, Jewelcrafting rounds out your best passive stat gain you could possibly achieve because of the two [Brilliant Serpent's Eye] you can put in your gear.  It’s a very small difference, and let’s face it, Engineering is way cooler for PvP outside of the rated stuff!

Good Luck!

This guide was a collaborative effort between Venruki, Minor and Iceking, and produced by Skill-Capped.com.  All of our written guides are available for free, and we encourage you to post them wherever you’d like using a link back!

We hope this answers every question you’ve ever had about Mage Gear in Season 12, and is used as a reference point for your quest to obtain the best PvP gear out there.  Let us know if we missed anything, or if there is something you need cleared up in the comments below, and we’ll be sure to get back!

Please let us know how the article was.  Were we missing anything?  Do you have any further questions?  Was the format useful?  We always want to improve our articles, and your feedback helps!

  • 0
    19 months ago
    I followed this guide and I'm at 5.58% hit... what am I doing wrong?
  • 0
    20 months ago
    Even with 5.2's new gear the reforging is still relivant. I use MrRobot to guide me on my reforges, which by default gives a weighting as follows:
    Hit > Haste > Crit (to cap) > Mastery > Crit

    Do you have some set of weightings for the skills that you would recomend? (Values). I have been playing with the weightings and see that having 0.01 points between 2 skills is a big difference compared to having 1 point
  • 0
    22 months ago
    Hey guys - I'm assuming Khairon is referring to the tendency for Mages to run with Nether Tempest, which would put Haste in front of Mastery in terms of secondary stat allocation. Since most mages are running NT these days, I updated the stat priority to reflect this. Many mages also run with a heavier PvP Resilience build, so I made note of the most popular gems to bolster resilience.

    Note: I did NOT change any of the gear selections - just enchants, reforges, and the like. Mastery is still VERY strong for Frost mages, so the gear selected is still very much appropriate, especially if you switch between Frost Bomb and Nether Tempest at all. Only minor tweaks were made.

    Hope this helps!
  • 0
    22 months ago
    @Khairon: what changes do you recommend? I am almost done with collecting the set, but maybe something changed in gems and enchants?
  • 0
    22 months ago
    I'd recommend that you guys update this as it is no longer really that accurate.
  • 0
    23 months ago
    @vappo - I have a draft already completed for a Fire Gearing Guide...it just has to go through the review process - expect to see it published soon!
  • 0
    23 months ago
    yeah, the guide is pure perfection but please consideer the fact that frost may not be the best PvP spec in 5.2. We rly want a fire gearing/talent/glyph guide aswell ^^
  • 0
    23 months ago
    @RequiemPVP - I'll talk to Spoils, see what I can do =D
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