Alright, so! Quick about, I know I’m not some super amazing game developer or master class theory crafter. The only claim to fame is having contributed to reworking Frost Presence for Mists (I created a Frost thread on the forums that got a reply from Greg Streets and was featured on MMO Champ’s front page), including runic power generation and adding in the CC duration reduction. While Frost in general hasn’t changed much from BFA, my time with the beta has me concerned for 2H however.
So, quick catch up for any uninitiated onlookers, Frost has Frost Wyrm baseline, and has got back Raise Dead and Death and Decay. So Frost essentially gained 2 new Cooldowns baseline! Raise dead is thankfully not on the GCD, so it can easily be tied to your Breath of Sindragosa macro, as it also has a 2 min CD. Neato! I love having a ghoul back, and a new Shadowlands ability will make use of the ghoul for survival. Death and Decay most likely won’t be used single target, and I’ve yet to see how necessary it will be on AOE (unless you choose Night Fae). All caught up?
Given some VERY preliminary numbers, DW Frost is one of the best melee performers, and falls middle of the pack compared to every other class/spec (ranged seems to be king ATM, haha). Two Handed Frost, however, isn’t really a contender. There’s no real reason to go 2H, unlike before. In Wrath, several concessions had to be made for Frost to even work DW, like when they added Threat of Thassarian. That continued into Cataclysm with Might of the Frozen Wastes being the talent you used for 2H, which granted more melee damage and a massive amount of Runic Power. The runic power generation was toned down a bit for Mists and Warlords, but Might of the Frozen Wastes still granted damage benefits and RP generation for playing 2H as opposed to DW.
Now, in Shadowlands, there is NO talent to justify playing 2H, and you’re losing out on a rune forge as there’s only one weapon. At least back before, when Killing Machine granted a choice between a Frost Strike crit or an Obliterate crit, you would allocate that proc to FS for DW, and Obliterate for 2H. Since it’s only Obliterate now, there’s no agency in proc choice for 2H. Fury Warriors can DW 1H weapons again with the help of the Single Minded Fury passive, which increases their total damage by 8%, and increases their move speed, so long as they wield 2 1H weapons. Honestly, something like this would be the best fix for 2H Frost, there needs to be compensation for losing a rune forge.
Maybe just bringing back Might of the Frozen Wastes, in its full glory of 10% damage increase, with a chance to grant 100 Runic Power on hit is necessary, I’m not sure! Threat of Thassarian is totally baseline now and baked into how DW Frost plays, and 2H has nothing of the sort. If it doesn’t get something though, 2H will be nothing but a hollow aesthetic choice that’s functional, but not viable.
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