I posted this on the mage forum and was met with the responses you might expect. So that didn't work out. I thought I might try my luck here. I am trying to be scientific about this by first observing and then attempting to explain. Observation - frost does more dmg than fire: People always say that fire is better dmg than frost, and that frost cannot be #1 dmg. Yet as a frostie I hold the #1 dmg spot in about 99% of groups / raids, often by a large margin. I can only recall one group since BC where a shaman barely beat me in dmg. At best, some exceptional players of other classes will almost tie me for #1, but never a fire mage in my experience. And when I say "exceptional players" I am talking about topped out people from big raid guilds, so my player sampling is complete. Here is some context: http://armory.worldofwarcraft.com/#character-sheet.xml?r=Hyjal&n=Jaden Possible explanations: Let's start by negating some perceived advantages of fire. Note that these are not precise arguments. I am simply offering counterarguments to commonly perceived advantages of fire in order to negate or at least lessen those perceived advantages in an attempt to explain my observation that frost does more dmg than fire. Negations for commonly perceived advantages of fire: 1) Fireball does more dmg than frostbolt. Included in this argument is the higher dmg coefficient of fireball. - this argument can be negated by citing the faster cast time of frostbolt. Because of the difference in cast time, you cannot compare just the raw dmg of the nuke since frostbolt lands more nukes per amount of time. 2) Fire crits do a total of 210% dmg when you include the DOT, versus frostbolt's 200% dmg. - this argument can be negated by citing the fact that 210% only comes when the DOT runs to completion and is not overriden which is not always the case. Frostbolt on the other hand does its full crit dmg up front so it's a guaranteed 200% instead of a variable and maximum 210%. 3) Fire has higher passive crit chance than frost. - this is not true when considering emp frostbolt and a fully stacked winter's chill which totals 15% +crit. For shorter fights you can expect a lower average crit chance for frost, but it still compares to fire's 9% passive. Now let's look at some pro-frost arguments of mine. Once again, these are not precise arguments. I am only offering possible explanations to support my observation that frost does more dmg than fire. Pro-frost arguments: 1) The higher survivability of frost allows you to dps more. You can't do dps when you are dead. 2) The "pure nuke" nature of frost dmg (ie no DOTs) provides more steady dps output allowing the mage to more easily ride the threat line to maximize dmg, unlike a fire mage whose dmg is more... inflamatory, for lack of a better word. 3) The water pet raises the threat ceiling allowing the mage to do more dmg. When a mage reaches a maximum level of dmg output where they have to hold back in order to avoid pulling agro, the frost mage can use the water pet to deal additional dmg on a separate threat bar while the fire mage has to simply stop dpsing to avoid the threat ceiling. And here are some general arguments that I don't like: Bad general arguments: 1) Fire would do more dmg without the threat ceiling limitation. - First of all, my personal observations show that I still do more dmg despite the ceiling. I also don't like this argument since it has no practical application... threat ceilings must be recognized in group / raid scenarios. The only situation where threat is not a concern is in solo PvE which is when many mages respec to frost because of the CC and survivability. I know tons of raid guild mages that went frost for the 60-70 grind. 2) Fire must necessarily do more dmg or else everyone would spec frost since it has more survivability. - ... 3) Fire does more dmg because of old skool rolling ignites on Patchwerk. - the combined rolling power of a 40-man raid under the old ignite mechanic does not speak for an individual fire mage's dmg. 4) Single fire mages can roll their own ignites indefinitely. - wow, you can? I call BS, but I don't know for sure. And I have never seen that done in all of my group / raiding experience. And even if you can... got threat meter?