Talent Tree Configurations and Glyphs

There are multiple talent setups for PvE Frost. They are all reasonably similar in DPS output.

The links provided below are the extremes, "Maximum DPS" and "Maximum Utility".  There are a large number of viable variations, but instead of covering them all;  we will address the benefits of individual talents in a raid setting as well talents to avoid completely.

Primary Frost PvE Talent Configuration [Maximum DPS]

Primary Frost PvE Talent Configuration [Maximum Utility]

Intermediate variations of the above two specs is perfectly fine! Most of the talents are decent in a PvE setting, but some should be minimally invested in or avoided altogether.  The following talents are situational, optional, or downright worthless.  Whichever you choose to fill out the Frost Tree is a matter of personal preference!

Frostfire Orb Talent Clarification - Important!
The tooltip for the Frostfire Orb talent can be slightly confusing if not read carefully. One point will transform it from Flame Orb to Frostfire Orb, however TWO points is required for it to gain a chill effect.  This chill effect is what allows Frostfire Orb to proc Fingers of Frost and Brain Freeze, therefore two points is required for all PvE Frost builds.
Optional Talent Review

Early Frost Very useful!
While it's a minor overall DPS gain, this talent can increase burst damage and reduce the chance of overwriting Fingers of Frost charges.  The GCD for an EF Frostbolt is reduced to .8 seconds; clipping the GCD under haste effects is mostly a non-issue.

Piercing Chill - Optional, but incredibly good in cleave situations.
The additional chill effects on nearby targets have a chance to proc Fingers of Frost and Brain Freeze.  Useless in single target scenarios, but great for trash and encounters with clustered adds. Highly recommend picking it up.

Permafrost - Marginally useful. Optional.
The increase in chill intensity rarely comes in to play in PvE. The same goes for the "Mortal Strike" style healing reduction. The Water Elemental healing is nice but WE's are caster pets with very high passive damage resistance. They rarely get in to trouble so splash, smart, and AOE heals from other players will typically keep your WE at high health.  If it dies, you can simply resummon. If it's dying more than once every 3 minutes, you may need to pay more attention to your pet control/positioning.

Ice Shards - Optional, however a single point is very useful.
A single point in this talent will cause your Blizzard spell to proc Fingers of Frost and Brain Freeze...like. crazy.  It's really nice after channeling a Blizzard to have a nearly garaunteed Brain Freeze/FoF'ed Frostfire Bolt, and a FoF Ice Lance. This can serve as "cleanup" damage for mobs in an AOE pack with significant amounts of HP remaining.

Enduring Winter - 1 point mandatory, 2 points optional, 3 points completely unnecessary.
A single point is enough to maintain nearly 90% or better uptime on replenishment due to the amount of Frostbolts you will be casting.  The only reason to ever use two or more points is you're having extreme difficulties with mana management or you prefer to worry less about it.

Reactive Barrier Marginally useful. Optional.
This talent allows Ice Barrier to be activated automatically with no mana and no wasted GCD.  It sounds great on paper but the effect also puts Ice Barrier on cooldown and is therefore unavailable if you need it for predictable incoming damage. I personally avoid it altogether, but it can reduce overall damage taken for free. Personal preference.

Shattered Barrier - Avoid Completely!
Mostly useless in group PvE and can actually cause a party/raid member to take a large amount of damage or be flat out killed by adds. A poorly timed Ice Barrier break can root adds within melee range of other players. When rooted, mobs will prioritize targets in melee range over threat for their current target.  Accidentally root a couple adds next to a squishy healer, and you're going to have some apologizing to do.

NEXT: Stat Priorities and Managing the Shatter Cap

-Critrocket [US - Malfurion]