Having a (pyro)blast with your new Ice Block

Here is something I wrote some while ago, hope this will be useful for some World of Warcraft p(l)ayers. Has no other relation to Linux or Debian, except it works on it flawlessly. Also note that 2.3.2 patch went live last week.

It is not a secret anymore that mages of all talent specs will be getting a present when patch 2.3.2 hits the live realms - the Ice Block will be available from any friendly mage trainer for a nominal fee. Currently this spell requires a whopping 21 point investment into the Frost talent tree. With patch 2.3.2 Ice Block will become trainable to all mages, Ice Barrier will take it's place in the talent tree and a new awesome talent - Icy Veins will take the place of the Ice Barrier, so that even frost mages have a new toy to gain in this 2.3.2 mage winterly fiesta.

While there is a significant proportion of mages that are frost for PVP or grinding survival purposes, a large proportion of mage population have never used Ice Block or haven't used it for a while. For that reason, the rest of this article (after the break) will explore all the great uses of Ice Block, that all of you can look forward when patch 2.3.2 hits the live realms (or sooner, if this article convinces you to re-spec frost :)).

So, what does the Ice Block do? When you cast the Ice Block, it purges you from all debuffs and releases you from all snares, you get frozen solid into a large block of ice (same look as hunter's ice trap) and for 10 seconds you are immune to all damage, but unable to do anything - no moving, casting anything, no bandages, nothing.

Getting rid of: Ice Block is a buff, so you can get out of the Ice Block by right-clicking it off at any time. Another way for keyboard-addicted mages is to press Ice Block keybinding button again (after the global cooldown is done). Enemy shamans can purge it off you and priests can mass dispel your Ice Block in PVP.

Cooldown: the Ice Block is on 5 minute cooldown, which can be ended early using the Cold Snap talent from the mage frost tree. To prevent mages casting two ice blocks back to back by using the Cold Snap, Blizzard added the Hypothermia debuff (in 2.1) that prevents you from casting the Ice Block 30 seconds after the last cast.

The main use of Ice Block is to survive pulling aggro in groups. While we all know that "good mages don't draw aggro", experienced players can easily show situations when drawing aggro is not mages fault and surviving that can be the difference between a wipe and a win. When Ice Block is used, your threat is NOT reduced, so you need to stay inside the Ice Block at least until you are under 130% of the tanks threat. After you Ice Block, the mob will run to the next person on the threat list. If your tank is dead, Ice Block will send the mob to another DPS or healer giving you a couple seconds to nuke it when it will be running back to you again. I have seen a few bosses loose their last 2-3% of health running between mages with Ice Block and hunters with Feign Death after a unfortunate death of the main tank.

Ice Block is a great way to get rid of almost all debuffs that exist in the game: warlock DoTs, stuns, snares, polymorph, mind control ... Even boss debuffs go away in a snap - Garrote from Moroes, Demonic Chains from Illhoof and many more deadly debuffs are no threat to a mage with an Ice Block ready.

Ice Block can be used as an alternative to Slow Fall if you're out of Light Feathers. Just do not cast it too high in the air - if the 10 seconds tick by and you haven't hit the land yet .. you could as well kiss 10% of your durability goodbye.

When solo grinding there is noone to draw aggro from you, so the mobs will continue to beat on your personal icy sculpture, however during that time your Water Elemental or other battle pets could be dishing some damage, your cooldowns will tick down and also you will also regenerate some mana inside the Ice Block. The Ice Block could thus make the difference between your death and Frost Nova+Blink+Blizzard and their death.

Have you had some fun experience with Ice Block? Leave a comment so that others could repeat it too!