Shatter is a core passive mage ability learned at level 16. It increases the mage's spell critical strike against frozen targets by 50%. A frozen target is a target immobilized by a frost-based effect, such as or , or the freeze effect from the Freezing Band. The critical strike chance applies to all of the mage's schools. Mobs in raid zones, especially raid bosses, are often immune to freezes, making this ability less useful in those situations.
Freeze effects now have a much higher chance to break when taking damage, meaning it can be difficult to get more than one spell to land on each freeze. It is still possible to get two criticals on the same freeze effect before it breaks. First, use a long cast time spell that also has a projectile travel time. Immediately after the cast, use an instant spell such as or , or use (if talented) with another spell, if you are fast enough and at good range. The check to see if the target is frozen, and thus the critical strike check, is done at the time the cast completes, while the freeze effect is not removed from the target until after the spell hits. Thus, both spells will have the benefit of Shatter due to the time of flight for the first spell.
- Patch 5.0.4 (28-August-2012): No longer a talent; now a core ability.
- Patch 4.0.3a (2010-11-23): Shatter now also increases Frostbolt damage by 10/20% against frozen targets.
- / Patch 3.0.2 (14-Oct-2008): This talent was reduced to three ranks, but kept the same effect at max rank.
- Patch 2.0.10 (2007-03-06): Freeze effects changed to break much earlier when the target was critically stricken. Typically, a freeze effect such as Frost Nova will now break on the first critical strike. In Patch 2.1 this was changed back, however the overall chance that a freeze will break on any damage was still increased.
- Patch 1.11.0 (20-Jun-2006): Shatter applies to all of the mage's spell schools. This change made Shatter a viable talent combined with fire and arcane schools, especially in elementalist builds.