Ray of Frost


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Ray of Frost in action in the beta.

Ray of Frost is a Secondary Wizard skill unlocked at Level 2. It fires a straight beam of cold that chills and damages a single enemy, while draining Arcane Power steadily.

This skill is often compared to Disintegrate as both fire a straight beam of energy, but they are quite different in function. Both have a high resource drain while active, but Ray of Frost does not pierce, making it much less damaging against multiple enemies. It does do good damage to a single target though, and the chilling effect slows enemies, making it helpful to land more hits on an approaching foe.


The skill is fun to use and very effective against single targets, with good damage and the slowing property. However the Arcane Power drain is quite high, and thus the damage per second is much lower than a number of other early-game Wizard skills.

Skill Rune Effects[edit]

Refer to the Ray of Frost rune effects article for thorough descriptions of all five rune effects in this skill, including screenshots, videos, strategy tips, and other related information.

Name Level Description
Ray of Frost

1 Cost: 16 Arcane Power

Project a beam of frozen ice that blasts enemies within 5 yards of the first enemy hit for 430% weapon damage as Cold and Slows their movement by 60% for 3 seconds.

Ray of Frost damage is increased by 405% weapon damage every second, up to a maximum total of 1240% weapon damage as Cold.

MedRuneC Numb
1 Ray of Frost has a 10% chance to Freeze enemies for 1 second and increases the Slow amount to 80% for 3 seconds.

This skill is affected by your characters:

MedRuneA Snow Blast
1 Enemies hit by Ray of Frost take 15% increased damage from Cold for 4 seconds.
MedRuneD Cold Blood
1 Reduce channeling cost to 11 Arcane Power.
MedRuneB Sleet Storm
1 Create a swirling storm around you that grows up to a 22 yard radius, dealing 300% weapon damage as Cold to all enemies caught within it.

Ray of Frost damage is increased by 100% weapon damage every second, up to a maximum total of 500% weapon damage as Cold.

MedRuneE Black Ice
1 Enemies killed by Ray of Frost leave behind a patch of ice that deals 1625% weapon damage as Cold to enemies moving through it over 3 seconds.

Skill Design[edit]

This skill targets much like Disintegrate, but trades the piercing of that skill for a slowing cold effect. This makes Ray of Frost excellent against single targets, but much less damaging on the whole, especially against large groups of enemies.


A video of Ray of Frost and all of its rune effects can be seen below, courtesy of the DiabloInc You Tube channel.


The following Wizard passives provide a benefit to Ray of Frost, runed or not:

Name Level Description
Glass Cannon

1 Increase all damage done by 15%, but decrease Armor and resistances by 10%.
Arcane Dynamo

1 When you cast a Signature spell, you gain a Flash of Insight. After 5 Flashes of Insight, your next non-Signature spell deals 60% additional damage.

The following skills are Signature spells:
Magic Missile
Shock Pulse
Spectral Blade


Ray of Frost was first seen at BlizzCon 2008, but only in the gameplay movie; the Wizard used it against the trap laid out by the Skeleton King. It was available in the gameplay demo at BlizzCon 2009, but was unfortunately too high level to try out by the fans.

Skill tiers were removed for the July 2011 Press Event, allowing skills to unlock steadily from levels 1 to 30. Consequently, all skill levels were adjusted and Ray of Frost became a level 21 skill.


The Diablo III Beta started in September 2011, and while it ran, all of the skills continued to undergo extensive iteration. Skill changes varied from changing the levels the skills are unlocked, to changes in resource cost, damage, and even function. A few skills were removed altogether, and a few new ones were added. Also, the entire skill system received an overhaul with the Beta Patch 13 update in February 2012, with physical runes replaced by rune effects that automatically unlock at various levels for the different skills.

Ray of Frost remained at level 21 when the beta started. With the Patch 13 changes, it was classified as a Secondary skill and dropped all the way down to level 5, giving players their first opportunity to try it out. For March's Beta Patch 14, it was dropped even further to level 2, but its damage output was increased slightly.

Previous Versions[edit]

See the Wizard skill archive for more details on previous versions of Ray of Frost and other Wizard skills.


This is one of the spells that seem to be coming from the dungeons & Dragons inspiration we've seen in Diablo III. The new D3 Team obviously spent a lot of time in mom's basement....


Ray of Frost can be seen in action on video here:

You can find pictures in the Diablo III screenshot and picture gallery: