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Frostfire Specialist build

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Now, I'm sure there are better builds out there, and it's still incredibly early in the process, so better and better builds are still forthcoming, but this looked good to me while I was monkeying around with the calculator. Your Frostfire Bolt spell would potentially have the following benefits from this build, and keep in mind that this is every time you cast it, and doesn't include extra cooldown-limited effects like Icy Veins or Combustion:

10% chance to stun the target
6 yards of extra range
Another 40% of the spell's damage added to the target over the next 4 seconds on every crit
70% chance not to lose casting time when damage is taken
17% reduced threat
20% of the spell's mana cost returned on every crit
22% increased damage done
9% increased chance to crit, 59% against frozen targets
13% mana cost reduction
3% increased chance to hit
100% crit damage bonus
15% chance to freeze the target for 5 seconds
100% chance to apply the Winter's Chill effect, which can stack up to 5 times, providing 2-10% extra crit chance.
I purposefully avoided taking any of the new Wrath talents in this build, because I wanted to work with what I know, but you can see the potential here, right? Is it okay for me to be excited about this? When you factor in things like Combustion and Icy Veins, or the Improved Scorch debuff, the damage output for this single spell could be just staggering, maybe even "jaw-dropping." I feel dirty for even saying that, but in this case, if things shake out right, the phrase might actually be warranted.

But therein lies the rub. If things shake out right. That's an elephant-sized "if," my friends. There are several ways this could go. One is that things stay the way they currently appear to be: when we all hit level 80, Frostfire Bolt will still be affected by every talent that applies to either fire or frost spells. I pray for this scenario, but fear it's unlikely.

The reason for my doubt lies in Blizzard's design philosophy so far for Mages. Since our inception, Blizzard has always focused us on Fireball or Frostbolt as our primary nukes. Even in the WotLK talent trees, there exist multiple talents that apply to those specific spells alone, talents that reduce their casting time and increase their spell damage, excluding all other spells. If Frostfire Bolt makes it live in its current form, it will absolutely and without exception replace both spells for just about any elementalist build. It will become the single best spammable nuke we have. Can you think of a reason to use Fireball or Frostbolt instead? The only caveat I can come up with is the inability to reduce casting time for Frostfire Bolt. If you invest in the right talents, you can still cast those other two spells more often than you can cast Frostfire Bolt. I'll leave it to the real theorycrafters out there to determine if being able to cast about 7 Frostbolts in the time it'd take to cast 6 Frostfire Bolts is worth losing about half of the stuff in that bulleted list of effects up there. Certainly the extra cast-time would be a concern in Arena combat. Still, from a purely PvE, DPS perspective, I believe Frostfire Bolt would become the nuke of choice in almost every situation. And I have a sneaking suspicion that Blizzard doesn't really want that.

The more likely possibility, in my opinion, is that the spell will operate on a mechanic that forces the spell to define itself as either a fire or frost spell when cast, depending upon the target's immunities. The way the spell description reads now, according to the Alpha wiki, the damage is considered fire damage unless the mob is immune to fire, in which case the spell causes frost damage. That would mean only fire or frost talents would apply to any individual cast. I really hope this doesn't happen, but it seems like a distinct possibility to me.

For now, though, I'm going to dare to dream. The world of Warcraft is alive with promise and I'm going to allow myself to become excited about it. I can't wait for the Beta, when we'll be able to actually get some hands-on data on the spell.

Frostfire Bolt could potentially perform all of the tasks of both of our current primary spells at the same time, and twice as well. You could kite with it. You could trigger all of the giant crits you're used to with it, plus more. You could use it in Shatter combos. You could proc Impact with it. You could pump out crit after crit with it after activating Combustion. It will be comparably mana-efficient.

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