2H Frost – Is MotFW enough?

By far, one of the most interesting talents added in Cataclysm has to be MotFW:

[Tier 10] Might of the Frozen Wastes: “When wielding a two-handed weapon, your autoattacks have a 15/30/45% chance to generate 10 Runic Power.”

The purpose? Obvious; to make 2H Frost specs competitive with DW Frost. Blizzard undertands that some people dislike duel-wielding and that others disdain pets. By transforming Blood into a sole tanking tree, there’s no longer the option of good old fashioned 2H dps without any gimmicks. It’s easier to make 2H Frost a possibility than petless Unholy, and thus enters this talent.

The real question then: does it actually succeed at that goal? Does MotFW make 2H Frost within a percent or two of its DW counterpart?

It’s very early to try and answer the question, of course. We have no clue what sort of dps we’ll be doing at 85 (although judging by the itemization, it will be something ridiculous). We have no clue how some abilities will scale relative to others. We have no clue how ratings (especially mastery) will convert into actual percents.

We just don’t know much with which to objectively and thoroughly analyze the talent for 85.

But for level 80? It’s a piece of cake.

Running two sims, you get DW Frost pulling a solid ~2k DPS or so ahead. I won’t bother to list all of the sim results here to conserve space, but it’s very easy for anyone to run and see for themselves (and if someone really doubts that number, I can provide the screenshots on request).

The only three numbers of importance is the dps difference between the two (approximately 2k, as stated), the average FS damage for the 2H build (10,645), and the number of auto-attacks for the 2H build (176,335 which, in a 100 hour sim, means an average attack speed of 2.04s – which is normal for a build with Icy Talons). The math is quite simple then:

176335 auto-attacks * 0.45 chance to proc * 10 RP per proc = 793507.5 additional RP generated
793507.5 additional RP generated / 32 RP cost  =  24797.1094 additional FS
24797.1094 additional FS * 10645.2 average damage = 263970189 additional damage.
263970189 additional damage / (100 x 60 x 60) seconds = 733.250525 additional dps (assuming GCDs aren’t an issue).

Suffice is to say, although it’s a fantastic talent (near 250 dps a point makes it about twice as good as something like Necrosis), it’s not near enough to carry 2H Frost to viability all on its own.

For Cataclysm, on the other hand? That’s another story, for a couple reasons:

  1. FS hits like a beast! Its damage is being doubled because, due to the new rune system, we’ll only be able to do half as many. MotFW, however, is separate from the new rune system; it will provide just as much RP (and thus FS) as it would now. Thus if FS is doing substantially more damage on an individual basis (even if not as a percent of our overall dps), then MotFW is going to jump up in value by the same proportion.
  2. Frost Presence now increases runic power generation, which directly impacts MotFW.
  3. Frost’s second mastery is melee haste, which translates into more MotFW procs. This is on top of the Icy Talons line being unchanged. 2H Frost builds will likely see sub 2-second attack speeds with 3.6s weapons, which is pretty insane.
  4. Frost’s third mastery is runic power generation. Not only does this mean MotFW will get a solid 20% boost just from speccing down the Frost tree, it means the talent will scale better with mastery rating then its DW counterpart; which is essential, since DW builds inherently scale better with AP than 2H builds.

When you consider all of this, it’s pretty easy to see that Might of the Frozen Wastes stands an incredibly solid chance at succeeding. If you want to do some incredibly basic and in no way comprehensive math;

Take that current 733 dps number. Double it for the double damage of FS (1466 dps). Increase it by 10% for Frost Presence (1613 dps). Increase it by 8% for the additional melee haste via Frost’s second mastery (1742 dps). Increase it by 20% for the additional runic power generation of Frost’s third mastery (2090 dps).

It almost perfectly covers the gap between the two specs!

To be clear, that math isn’t perfect. A lot depends on the specific numbers at 85; numbers which we currently have no way of knowing. But the talent is absolutely perfect for level 80 in Cataclysm. So long as it scales sufficiently, say hello to 2H Frost being a perfectly equal option.

30 Responses to 2H Frost – Is MotFW enough?

  1. OtherStuff says:

    reading your posts are like crack! i love em! so addictive 😛

  2. Zumal says:

    Sounds like good news may be just around the corner. 2H Frost has always been my favorite.

    Now we just need you get a cataclysm beta key!

  3. Skaarrj says:

    Yeah, 2h Frost was my favorite, I leveled as it, and I did everything with it until blizzard decided to ruin the tree. I 100% disagree with that move to make it unviable with 2 handed weapons. They better do a good job this time around.

  4. Zeran says:

    Yeah, as much as I’d love to have a beta key, I honestly think I’d prefer Consider get one instead (pretty sure I’d learn more that way too… :-/).

  5. Raaj says:

    Will there be enough empty spots in our rotation to use all the runic power generated by CotG, BcB, Butchery, MotFW, etc? Or, with the relative increase in Frost Strike damage, will Frost strike (without KM) be moved to the front of the priority list?

    Hmm, or more likely:
    1) Killing Machine -> Frost Strike
    2) Keep Frost Fever up
    3 )Frost Strike
    4) Keep Blood Plague up
    5) Obliterate
    6) Blood Srike
    7) Rime
    8) Horn of Winter

    If this is the new priority system, I don’t see enough time to use all the runes ever, especially with haste effecting rune cd time…

    • Consider says:

      It’s too early to try and develop a new priority system (although it will probably be something like what you have listed, except Rime will move above Oblit and BS).

      Frost has a lot more empty GCDs than Unholy will, largely because Obliterate remains as 2 runes and not 1. It shouldn’t be an issue to make use of it all (depending, of course, on what sort of conversion rate mastery rating has).

      • Raaj says:

        ok, if we have lots of empty cds then we dont need to worry about runestrike so you can ignore my comment below. I notice they changed Annihilation to only add damage to Oblit now, does Oblit still consume diseases?

      • Consider says:

        It doesn’t (and hasn’t for several builds now). It’s been listed in the notes ^^.

    • Raaj says:

      After playing with the new talent trees some more, I was thinking of going 22 into blood to get Ab Might, part of which is 5 points in might of mograine, and rune strike also uses runic power, so we could simply attach that onto most of our abilites to use up *excess* rune power. This could be an aggro magnet though, and whether or not doing this is wise will depend on how much damage rune strike at 85 does.

      • Rebellion says:

        As far as I know Runestrike is no longer on next swing, along with every other attack out there that used to be, which is kinda in the way of your blood concept, because RS becomes just an alternative to FS. While it might be more Dmg/RP you still have to dodge/parry first and you hardly can get rid of excess RP when FS consumes 32-40 RP and RS uses just 20.

      • Metin says:

        Raaj, please stop posting until you’ve actually read at least semi-recent patch notes.

  6. Thargos says:

    First of all, thanks Consider for the great work you’re doing on EJ and especially here.

    Second, when comparing 2h vs. DW, I’m wondering noone has mentioned our new talent Runic Empowerment til now.

    In Consider’s 100h sim, he calculated ~25.000 additional Frost Strikes. As 5/5 Runic Empowerment grants a 40% chance on every FS to activate a random fully depleted rune, this means 10.000 activated runes = 100 runes/hour = 10 runes in a 6 min bossfight. It’s not THAT impressive and hard to calculate depending on which rune refreshes and how many seconds that refresh saved you, but it shouldn’t be unmentioned.

  7. psyquest says:

    Let me just give you some numbers. I have tried two hand from (in beta) and currently something is bugged.
    I dont think it has to do with my weapon (shadowmourne) but I am looking at 28k obliterate and 20-25k average frost strikes.

    • Baadshah of Dawnbringer says:

      Considering (see what I did there?!) the inflation of stat values and the trends we’ve seen, I think 28k Oblits sound just about right for Cataclysm values. Weren’t the end predictions that we’d be doing something ridiculous like 40k+ DPS by the end of the expansion (assuming the trend stays consistent)?

      Sad that we won’t get to carry Shadowmourne forward into the XP though 😦

  8. Vorga says:

    Happy to hear that 2h frost will still be an option. It really has been my favorite tree so far. Thanks for the update Consider.

  9. QXQ says:

    Watch the GCD’s! 25000 extra frost strikes/(6000*60) seconds = about 0.07 extra GCD’s per second. Throw in the extra abilities gained from Runic Empowerment, and we’re looking at adding 0.01-0.02 with that number, depending on procs and consumption thereof. If we just guess that DW Frost uses 0.55 GCD’s on average (I’m currently working on trying to compute this through simulation, and my preliminary estimates lead me to that, but without knowing that, I don’t think that’s a far-fetched guess), then 2h starts getting close to being GCD capped (can’t spend more than 2/3 of a GCD per second, and that’s only in ideal circumstances). Throw in some haste, and it’s quite possible.

  10. Orkchop says:

    What sub-spec did you use? Wouldn’t a Blood sup-spec with Two-Handed Weapon Specialization and Blood-Caked Blades help a 2h build scale up better?

    • Orkchop says:

      Wait, just realized that Dual Wield builds can use BCB, too. But the extra 4% damage for Two Handed Specialization aught to help a 2h Frost spec keep up with dual wield, right?

  11. Skaarrj says:

    If the difference between weapon damage of a 1 hander and 2 hander in cata is great enough so that 2 handers can stand on their own within the tree combined with the aforementioned 2handed frost talent, then it could be enough.

    Not to mention you are also picking up the 4% increased damage from the blood tree for using two-handers from the get-go.

    Things are looking good. However, if it’s not enough, simply editing Might of the Frozen Wastes to do more damage (Warriors Single-Minded Fury) would be a great place to tune it to make it stand-alone.

  12. Daeus says:

    I know it’s kinda silly to speculate about 85 at this point, but wouldn’t the current incarnation of MotFW put 2h under DW again late in the expansion? With haste and mastery eventually frost will get GCD capped. After that MotFW will gradually diminish in value as FS replaces lesser strikes until the extra RP cant be used and MotFW is worthless. Given that point may be unreasonably high, but it would be something to look out for no?

    • Rebellion says:

      Given the fact that these trees will hardly stay the same as they are now, compared to when cata is released, it could be considered a design choice to not care for things like these now. Even if they try stuff during the beta, just look at how much every class was shifted around during WotlK., expect the same for Cata when they realize 1 or 2 patches later that a certain spec won’t be viable because it does not scale well enough.

      • Daeus says:

        I know, but i’d imagine it’s easier to know these things early whether they change them by release or a few patches from then. Better that scaling issues of a spec they’re trying to prop up not go unnoticed until they fall a few thousand DPS behind for a whole tier of content.

  13. Baadshah of Dawnbringer says:

    Rats, that last comment was meant to be a new one, not a reply =/
    Consider, could you delete the reply version and approve this one?

    Here’s what I wrote:

    Initially, I’d put all my subspec points into Unholy and come up with this: http://www.wowtal.com/#k=fcaNls5ocpbJ4.9i7.deathknight

    You could of course move two points from Endless Winter to Butchery, but that’s about it. I also see free interrupts as being more valuable in Cataclysm compared to right now.

    After seeing how many people are excited about the prospect of a Blood subspec, I started playing around with the tree again.
    I thought it’d be a huge pity if we didn’t take advantage of how high up Unholy Frenzy is in the Unholy tree, so my build ended up looking like this:

    I would assume that a 3% increase to strength and a very powerful cooldown would outweigh the benefits of Bladed Armor and just one points into Blood Caked Blade. Obviously, I can’t be sure about this, so some input from beta testers would be nice.

    I’m also going to assume Necrosis will be more valuable to DW builds than Two Handed ones (faster hits, more procs), so it was the talent I “sacrificed” from the Unholy tree to take up the beginning Blood talents.

    The only Frost talent I wish I could take is Runic Power Mastery, but I’d assume that the frequent usage of Frost Strike should help to avoid overcapping RP even with Runic Empowerment + Butchery + Chill of the Grave.

    Overall, I’d be very happy if this turned out to be the spec we chose because I don’t feel like there’s a tremendous amount of bloat (compared to DW Frost right now) or that I’m picking up too many “useless” (Exsanguinate) talents. Hell, Exsanguinate might even turn out to be useful with all the proposed changes to bosses, trash, etc, and I know I’ll definitely be taking it up for leveling.

    • Baadshah of Dawnbringer says:

      I’m an idiot.
      I just realized I forgot to take Brittle Bones in the first build I put up. So take out 2 points from Endless Winter and put it there.

      *Feels dumb*

  14. Anonymous says:

    I am afraid MotfW might not be enough, the break down of 3 current dk spec, in term of their 2h dps capabilities is as follows:
    Blood: probably worst sustained dps, heavy reliance on CD stacking aligning with lust and maybe trinkets to get the most out of it.
    Frost: high crit reliance, start off the strongest end up the weekest(partly due to FS being magical). Some talent in frost scales horribly with increase in crit%. (*cough KM, OBs high critical rate in blues didn’t help its scaling either) Having a medicore CD helps…not.
    Unholy: Perma ghoul, without it unholy is back in line with frost roughly, then again if blood failed to align its CDs with lust they are also back chilling with frost.

    Either give frost perma ghoul(o the qqs) or work around the spec’s horrible scaling with crit(*cough KM*).

    As a side note, 2h frost was competitive going into ulduar, but falls short at 219-226 due OB getting too much crit% out of talents and FS being nearly unaffect by crit% due to KM. The old KM that procs 50% of the time white critical would help, its not like 32/39 or the disasterous 43/28 can make their return.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Perma ghouls will fix it, if the qq gets strong then plan B would bring back the old KM where melee crit has 50% to proc it, make it scale better.

  16. JB says:

    At the risk of sounding like a complete noob (which is warranted, since I haven’t played the game in ages, although am currently looking at resubscribing to it come Cataclysm) why wouldn’t this build *work*?:


    Yes, I know you miss out on your mastery bonuses, but if a dk can get, what 3k strength (is that *too* much? I thought it was leaked an item with ~350 strength just as a 2hander) you’re looking at a sizeable increase in damage based off your strength alone (Ravenous Dead + Brittle Bones + Abomination’s Might + Frost Presence + Imp. Frost Presence + Bone Shield), this isn’t including all the other damage multipliers due to armour factoring into Bladed Armour (which wouldn’t be that much), rime – Icy Talon procs or even KM Frost Strikes. I’m also not even sure if you’d ‘double dip’ Abomination’s Might as the Strength and AP bonus either, nor is it taking into account that (small) chance of MotFW proccing, or the extra runic power generation due to Frost Presence.
    Strength Multipliers:
    3 (Ravenous Dead) +
    4 (Brittle Bones) +
    2 (Abominations Might) = +9%

    Damage Multipliers:
    10 (Frost Presence) +
    5 (Improved Frost Presence) +
    4 (Two-Handed Weapon Spec) +
    2 (Bone Shield) = +21% +
    4 (Brittle Bones – Physical only) = +25%

    Not to mention stuff like Glacier Rot etc, etc.

  17. Rebellion says:

    I’m not sure if this is a trolling attempt, but in case this is a serious post:

    You left out a few points in frost so you won’t get the whole mastery bonus for the tree.
    You left out howling blast devaluing Rime and BotN by a significant amount.
    You left out a 30% chance to gain 10rp to make 2h work in the first place.
    You left out 11% haste, making haste benefical talents even less worthy.
    You left out 15% bonus dmg for all your abilities and 5 expertise.

    for a micro gain in bloodstrike dmg, which is used once every 10 seconds.
    for a micro gain in plaguestrike dmg, used every 39 seconds.
    for a ~ 6% str gain.

    and don’t even make me ask, why you wasted 2 more points than neccesary into blade barrier when there is still dps to be found in the frost tree.

  18. frostfright says:

    Just found this blog by chance googling 2H Frost (was searching for a comparison on EJ for 2H Frost with Shadowmourne versus 2H Unholy with Shadowmourne). Interesting post. I’ve had doubts on the potency of Might of the Frozen Wastes simply because Obliterate still hits so hard that a talent centered around giving more Frost Strikes would not be enough to allow 2H Frost to deal with the superior damage and scaling of DW (Not to mention the boost in stats from strength-itemized one-handed weapons).

    But I also understand that it almost completely relies on how many free GCDs the new rune system allows us, and how it interacts with the Haste stat and – especially – our new Mastery (which changed just today!). If we’re filling GCDs that DW isn’t with this extra RP, I could easily see 2H Frost being competitive, and in general, if you say that Might of the Frozen Wastes has a high chance of success, I believe you.

    You’ve never steered me wrong before. 🙂

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