Icyveins blood dk

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1.

Frost Death Knight Overview

Frost Death Knight is a melee DPS spec that has high burst and cleave capabilities. It can wield both two-handed weapons, as well as one-handed weapons. It also has a strong raid cooldown in the form of Anti-Magic Zone IconAnti-Magic Zone.

2.

Strengths and Weaknesses

VStrengths
XWeaknesses

3.

Patch Changes for Death Knights

We are maintaining a list of changes for Death Knights, so you can see what changes with every patch of Shadowlands. Be sure to also check out Frost's specific changes this patch.

Patch Death Knight Class ChangesPatch Frost Changes

4.

Covenant Recommendation Change in Patch

ATTENTION

As of Patch the recommended Covenant for Frost Death Knight HAS CHANGED. Please check out the Covenant page of this guide for more information.

5.

Leveling a Frost Death Knight

If you want to level a Frost Death Knight, you can check out our leveling guide for tips and tricks for your journey.

Frost DK Leveling Guide

Once you reach max level, a great way to customize your game to fit the way you want to play, but also to help you play better, is with addons. We recommend using some of the basic addons that are recommended on our Addons page below while you are leveling, to not only get used to addons, but to also help speed up your leveling.

Frost DK Addons and Macros

6.

Basics of Frost Death Knight Gameplay

Frost Death Knight is a spec that is all about managing your resources and making the most out of your cooldown windows. In order to maximize your damage as a Frost Death Knight, you need to be able to position yourself well, especially while using talents like Breath of Sindragosa IconBreath of Sindragosa that require good positioning.

If you are new to Frost Death Knight and would like to learn the basics of the class, we recommend looking at the Spell Summary, as well as the Easy Mode page we have linked below.

Frost DK Quick Guide

We also have a guide for the Frost Death Knight talents and rotations below.

Frost DK Talents and BuildsFrost DK Rotation and Cooldowns

7.

How to Gear Up as a Frost Death Knight

Frost DK BiS and Gear

Gear, enchants, consumables, and gems also play a big part in increasing your character's DPS. Linked below is a page to show you which enchants, consumables, and gems to use, as well as a stats page, where you can find more information on each stat and how they interact with your character.

Frost DK Stat PriorityFrost DK Enchants and Gems

8.

Frost Death Knight in Shadowlands

Shadowlands introduced 4 Covenants, new unique "factions" that are core to the Shadowlands experience. Which Covenant you join is one of the biggest decisions you can make in World of Warcraft.

Shadowlands also introduced an arsenal of legendary powers, but you can only have one at a time, and crafting them takes time and money, so choose wisely. Legendary powers are acquired from the new endgame activity Torghast, Sanctum of Domination, and other activities.

Frost DK Best Covenants, Soulbinds, and ConduitsFrost DK Best Legendaries

9.

End-Game as a Frost Death Knight

The End Game of a Frost Death Knight is much more smooth and satisfying than starting off, so it is something to look forward to. Linked below are our Raiding, Torghast, Mythic+, and PvP guides to help you perform well, no matter what content you choose to participate in.

Frost DK Castle Nathria Raid GuideFrost DK Torghast GuideFrost DK Mythic+ GuideFrost DK PvP Guide

Improving as a Frost Death Knight

If, after reading all these guides, you still find your performance lackluster, then check out the pages linked below for some tips and tricks that may answer any questions you have.

Frost DK "How to Improve" GuideFrost DK FAQFrost DK Simulations

Changelog

  • 17 Jul. (Patch Analysis): Updated with recent hotfixes.
  • 17 Jul. (Legendaries): Added more explanations.
  • 17 Jul. (mythic+ page): Added Anima Power recommendations.
  • 12 Jul. (Sanctum of Domination page): Guide created.
  • 30 Jun. (rotation page): Reviewed and updated for Patch
  • 29 Jun. (stats page): Reviewed and Updated for Patch
  • 29 Jun. (Legendaries): Guide Reviewed and updated for Patch
  • 29 Jun. (easy mode page): Reviewed and updated for Patch
  • 29 Jun. (Torghast): Guide reviewed and updated for Patch
  • 29 Jun. (this page): Guide reviewed and updated for Patch
  • 29 Jun. (Covenants and Soulbinds): Updated and reviewed for Patch
  • 29 Jun. (spells page): Guide reviewed and updated for Patch
  • 29 Jun. (FAQ page): Guide reviewed and updated for Patch
  • 29 Jun. (talents page): Reviewed and updated for Patch
  • 29 Jun. (Patch Analysis): Created page.
  • 29 Jun. (how to improve page): Guide reviewed and updated for Patch
  • 29 Jun. (simulations page): Guide reviewed and updated for Patch
  • 29 Jun. (gear page): Updated and reviewed for Patch
  • 29 Jun. (mythic+ page): Reviewed and approved for Patch
  • 29 Jun. (addons page): Guide reviewed and updated for Patch
  • 29 Jun. (mythic+ page): Reviewed and updated for Patch
  • 29 Jun. (enchants page): Reviewed and updated for Patch
  • 04 Jun. (talents page): Reviewed and added some more content.
  • 04 Jun. (rotation page): Reviewed and expanded Cooldown usage.
  • 10 May (easy mode page): Reviewed.
    • Added talent cooldown usage.
    • Expanded on multiple parts of priorities.
    • Swapped Night Fae to Necrolord in recommended covenant.
  • 10 May (this page): Review and small update.
  • 05 May (easy mode page): Fixed BoS priority.
  • 25 Mar. (Legendaries): Fixed a small typo in the table.
  • 09 Mar. (easy mode page): Updated to now recommend Necrolord with the Emeni Soulbind as the best Covenant pick; updated the recommended Tier 15 talents for Obliteration.
  • 09 Mar. (Legendaries): Added a section with the BiS Legendary for each major form of content.
  • 09 Mar. (Covenants and Soulbinds): Updated the recommended Covenants for Raiding, Torghast and what Soulbinds are best.
  • 09 Mar. (gear page): Updated with a new section for Valor that goes over the top trinkets to prioritize and added a dungeon BiS section.
  • 09 Mar. (stats page): Reviewed for Patch
  • 09 Mar. (talents page): Updated the Tier 15 talents for Obliteration.
  • 09 Mar. (mythic+ page): Reviewed for Patch
  • 09 Mar. (Torghast): Small changes and reordering to Powers; Added new powers; removed old Powers for patch
  • 09 Mar. (enchants page): Reviewed for Patch
  • 09 Mar. (spells page): Reviewed for Patch
  • 09 Mar. (rotation page): Reviewed for Patch
  • 23 Feb. (rotation page): Added rotation switches for the single target rotation.
  • 19 Feb. (Castle Nathria page): Added more tips for Sire Denathrius.
  • 24 Jan. (Legendaries): Guide reviewed and completely updated.
  • 24 Jan. (Torghast): Guide reviewed and completely updated.
  • 24 Jan. (FAQ page): Guide reviewed and completely updated.
  • 24 Jan. (how to improve page): Guide reviewed and completely updated.
  • 24 Jan. (simulations page): Guide reviewed and completely updated.
  • 24 Jan. (gear page): Guide reviewed and completely updated.
  • 24 Jan. (enchants page): Guide reviewed and completely updated.
  • 24 Jan. (stats page): Guide reviewed and completely updated.
  • 24 Jan. (Castle Nathria page): Guide reviewed and completely updated.
  • 24 Jan. (mythic+ page): Guide reviewed and completely updated.
  • 24 Jan. (rotation page): Guide reviewed and completely updated.
  • 24 Jan. (talents page): Guide reviewed and completely updated.
  • 24 Jan. (spells page): Guide reviewed and completely updated.
  • 24 Jan. (easy mode page): Guide reviewed and completely updated.
  • 24 Jan. (this page): Guide reviewed and completely updated.
  • 24 Jan. (Covenants and Soulbinds): Guide reviewed and completely updated.
  • 08 Jan. (rotation page): Updated rotation priority.
  • 19 Dec. (stats page): Updated stat descriptions.
  • 19 Dec. (spells page): Updated Pillar of Frost and Death's Advance descriptions.
  • 19 Dec. (enchants page): Updated the recommended consumables section.
  • 14 Dec. (Castle Nathria page): Added information for Huntsman Altimor.
  • 14 Dec. (gear page): Page updated for Castle Nathria BiS.
  • 14 Dec. (rotation page): Updated the description of Dual-Wield vs Two Handed Frost.
  • 08 Dec. (Castle Nathria page): Updated Raid Talent, Tips, and Legendary Recommendations.
  • 08 Dec. (enchants page): Updated recommended weapon enchant and potion.
  • 08 Dec. (mythic+ page): Updated for the release of Season 1 with a Covenant and Legendary section.
  • 02 Dec. (talents page): Updated Inexorable Assault description.
  • 01 Dec. (Castle Nathria page): Added placeholder Castle Nathria page.
  • 26 Nov. (enchants page): Updated Runeforge recommendation for Two-Handed Frost and enchants.
  • 24 Nov. (Torghast): Guide added.
  • 24 Nov. (Covenants and Soulbinds): Updated recommended Covenants with a Dual Wield Breath of Sindragosa build.
  • 23 Nov. (mythic+ page): Page updated for Shadowlands release. Removed the Azerite Traits and Essence sections, updated talent recommendation, added sections for Covenant and Legendary Power choice.
  • 23 Nov. (addons page): Updated for Shadowlands.
  • 23 Nov. (rotation page): Updated the rotation priority and guide for Shadowlands.
  • 23 Nov. (gear page): Page updated for Shadowlands release, added a section on early Shadowlands gearing and one on Legendary Powers, removed a lot of BfA-specific information.
  • 23 Nov. (talents page): Page updated for Shadowlands release. Updated talent recommendations.
  • 23 Nov. (how to improve page): Updated for Shadowlands.
  • 23 Nov. (spells page): Page updated for Shadowlands release. Added information on new Rank 2 abilities.
  • 23 Nov. (this page): Page updated for Shadowlands release, added information on Covenants, Legendary Powers and Torghast.
  • 23 Nov. (FAQ page): Updated for Shadowlands.
  • 23 Nov. (easy mode page): Page updated for Shadowlands release, updated talents, stats, removed BfA-specific sections
  • 23 Nov. (stats page): Page updated for Shadowlands release.
  • 23 Nov. (enchants page): Page updated for Shadowlands Release, added new enchants and oil.
  • 22 Nov. (simulations page): Updated for Shadowlands. Removed all sections on Azerite Traits and Essences.
  • 22 Nov. (Covenants and Soulbinds): Added a section on Renown.
  • 21 Nov. (Legendaries): Page added.
  • 20 Nov. (Covenants and Soulbinds): Page added.
  • 13 Oct. (talents page): Updated recommended talent setup.
  • 12 Oct. (rotation page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. (gear page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. (talents page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. (this page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. (simulations page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. (how to improve page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. (spells page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. (stats page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. (FAQ page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. (Ny'alotha page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. (mythic+ page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. (easy mode page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. (enchants page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. (addons page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 17 Jul. (The Eternal Palace page): Added more information on Queen Azshara.
  • 09 Jul. (The Eternal Palace page): Guide added.
  • 24 Jun. (Uldir page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch and no changes are necessary.
  • 24 Jun. (Battle of Dazar'alor page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch and no changes are necessary.
  • 24 Jun. (Crucible of Storms page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch and no changes are necessary.
  • 19 May (Crucible of Storms page): Added Mythic tips.
  • 16 Apr. (Uldir page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 16 Apr. (Battle of Dazar'alor page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 16 Apr. (Crucible of Storms page): Guide added.
  • 24 Feb. (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Updated boss advice.
  • 18 Feb. (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Fixed the boss order.
  • 22 Jan. (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Added first version of Frost DK advice for Battle of Dazar'alor.
  • 10 Dec. (Uldir page): This page has been reviewed for Patch and no changes are necessary.
  • 30 Sep. (Uldir page): Fixed some of the recommended talents.
  • 09 Sep. (Uldir page): Fixed a typo for the recommended G'huun talents.
  • 03 Sep. (Uldir page): Added information for all bosses in Uldir.
  • 12 Aug. (Uldir page): Page added (empty for now).

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1.

The Basics of Stats for Frost Death Knight

The stat priority for a Frost Death Knight is not heavily weighted towards certain stats. In fact what you will notice when simming your character is that your stat weights will be very close together. Because of this, item level is generally considered as the most important decider in a piece of gear. It is still recommended that you sim an item to determine if it is an upgrade or not. However, here is the stat priority you will normally find when simming your character:

  1. Mastery;
  2. Critical Strike;
  3. Haste.
  4. Versatility;

Usually a higher item level piece of gear will be a bigger upgrade than a lower item level piece of gear even with better stats. We highly recommend you sim your character to find the stat weights that work best for you.

When you have the Inscrutable Quantum Device IconInscrutable Quantum Device (IQD) equipped, your exact stat numbers become more important. Since the trinket's on-use effect gives you stats depending on your current raw values, you need to be careful to keep these numbers in the right places. Mastery should be your highest stat, followed by Critical Strike. During Bloodlust IconBloodlust, IQD will choose to empower your highest stat, which is why we want Mastery at the top. Outside of lust, IQD will make a 50/50 choice between your top two stats, which is why we want Critical Strike as your second highest stat.

2.

Getting a Better Understanding of Frost Death Knight Stats

Statistics Priority

Strength is your primary statistic. You should look for it in all of your upgrades. It provides you with Attack Power, which determines the damage your abilities do.

Haste increases your attack speed and your Rune regeneration rate while decreasing the global cooldown.

Critical Strike increases your chance to critically hit with all spells and abilities.

Mastery, through Mastery: Frozen Heart IconMastery: Frozen Heart, increases your Frost damage. Frost damage makes up a great part of your total damage.

Versatility increases all your damage and healing done, and decreases all damage taken.

3.

Gems, Enchants, and Consumables

The gems, enchants, and consumables that you choose are directly affected by your stat priority. In order to find the best mix of these, we do recommend that you simulate yourself using a program like Raidbots or Simulationcraft, however, we have a page linked below that will give you advice on this topic.

Frost Death Knight Gems, Enchants, and Consumables

4.

Changelog

  • 29 Jun. Reviewed and Updated for Patch
  • 09 Mar. Reviewed for Patch
  • 24 Jan. Guide reviewed and completely updated.
  • 19 Dec. Updated stat descriptions.
  • 23 Nov. Page updated for Shadowlands release.
  • 12 Oct. Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.

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1.

Gearing a Frost Death Knight

Welcome to our Gearing Page for Frost Death Knight. This section will cover everything you need to know about gearing your character correctly.

2.

The Importance of "Simming Yourself" as a Frost Death Knight

At this stage in the game, there are so many variables and so many layers of optimization that you can apply to your character, that there is no way for a guide or anything else to tell you exactly what gear you should wear. This is why we always recommend simulating your own character using Raidbots The website can help you choose set bonuses, trinkets and combinations thereof in a way that is tailored completely to your specific character. Learning to use this tool is essential to maximizing your potential, as there is simply no other way to take all the variables into account.

As you find new gear upgrades, you will want to make sure that they are kept enchanted and gemmed according to your sim results. In order to do so efficiently, make sure to check out our Enchants and Stats pages below.

Frost DK Enchants and GemsFrost DK Stat Priority

Simulations

Simulations are usually character specific, but there are simulations available for the best gear setup obtainable. Below, you can find some of these more general simulations on our dedicated page, but it is important to note that the outcome of these simulations heavily depends on the builds chosen.

Frost DK Simulations

3.

Stats

Remember that it can be better to have more (quantitatively) secondary stats of different kinds, than simply focusing on one secondary stat, due to the secondary stat diminishing returns. This can mean that a higher item level piece of gear with worse stats can be an upgrade simply because of the amount of stats on that piece of gear. For more information on stats, please refer to our dedicated page.

Frost Death Knight Stats

4.

Early Gearing in Shadowlands

Once you reach max level and finish the Shadowlands campaign you will start to look for upgrades to your gear. Our recommendation for this is to start with World Quests and Heroic Dungeons. For Mythic dungeons, at 0 level, it is most efficient to find a group of people to clear all the dungeons in one go. Make sure to grab your Legendary from Torghast and buy any crafted or BoE gear that fits your budget from the Auction House.

5.

Adding Sockets to Your Gear

There is an NPC in The Maw that allows you to obtain a consumable that adds a socket to an item that did not already have one. For more information on how to obtain it, please visit our The Archivist's Codex page.

6.

Trinkets

Frost has one trinket which stands above everything else in terms of power: Inscrutable Quantum Device IconInscrutable Quantum Device (IQD). It provides a huge chunk of stats if used correctly and synergises very well with our Breath of Sindragosa IconBreath of Sindragosa/ Obliteration IconObliteration. Always use this trinket in the opener, ideally with Bloodlust IconBloodlust — its duration is increased from 20 to 25 seconds this way. For the second use, simply use it with your Pillar of Frost IconPillar of Frost if you are running Obliteration. If you are running Breath of Sindragosa, hold IQD until your third use of this cooldown or use it with Frostwyrm's Fury IconFrostwyrm's Fury at the three-minute mark (if you would lose a cast overall by holding the trinket).

Once you have managed to obtain your Inscrutable Quantum Device IconInscrutable Quantum Device, a passive trinket makes a good match. Old Warrior's Soul IconOld Warrior's Soul is the best one for Raid, with Whispering Shard of Power IconWhispering Shard of Power being a close second and a superiour alternative.

7.

Valor Upgrades to Mythic+ Gear

Valor is a currency introduced in Patch that allows you to upgrade Mythic+ gear. After you have upgraded your weapons where necessary, we recommend moving on to trinkets. Here are the trinkets we recommend prioritizing:

8.

Trinket Simulation for Frost Death Knight

Single-Target

Loading

For the complete simulation results, check out Bloodmallet.com

Cleave/AoE

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For the complete simulation results, check out Bloodmallet.com

9.

Legendary Powers for Frost Death Knight

In Shadowlands, you have a choice as to which Legendary power your character will use. You will eventually get all of the powers, however this will take a long time so you should focus on the powers that best fit what you want to do in the game.

Here are the 3 best Legendary Powers.

  1. Koltira's Favor IconKoltira's Favor offers the best single-target increase, as well as solid resource generation. We recommend using this for Obliteration IconObliteration builds in raid.
  2. Rage of the Frozen Champion IconRage of the Frozen Champion is a consistent and competitive option, offering solid single-target and AoE damage. It is the go-to pick for Breath of Sindragosa IconBreath of Sindragosa builds in all environments.
  3. Biting Cold IconBiting Cold is an okay single-target option, but offers great AoE damage. We recommend using it with Obliteration IconObliteration in Mythic+.

Frost DK Best Legendaries

Domination Shards and Sockets

Patch introduced the Domination Shards and Sockets system. These are sockets that exist on specific Sanctum of Domination raid pieces (5 total). The Shards are divided into three sets — Blood, Frost, and Unholy — with each set having one DPS, one Tank, and one Healer Shard. All Shards are unique-equipped. Equipping the three Shards that make up a set provides a strong set bonus.

We recommend Frost Death Knights to prioritise acquiring these Shards. The order to equip the sockets is:

  1. Shard of Dyz IconShard of Dyz
  2. Shard of Dyz IconShard of Dyz + Shard of Bek IconShard of Bek
  3. Triple Unholy socket
  4. Triple Unholy socket + Shard of Bek IconShard of Bek
  5. Triple Unholy socket + Shard of Bek IconShard of Bek + Shard of Cor IconShard of Cor

When it comes to upgrading the Shards, we upgrade all the Unholy shards in parallel, prioritising as the list below shows. Once you have upgraded one shard to a higher level, upgrade the other two before moving on. We do this since the set bonus scales with the rank of the lowest-ranked shard of the set!

  1. Shard of Dyz IconShard of Dyz
  2. Shard of Zed IconShard of Zed
  3. Shard of Oth IconShard of Oth

Once you have upgraded your Unholy shards to the max rank, you can move on to the other two DPS shards! For Mythic+, we upgrade all the DPS shards in parallel since the set bonus is turned off outside of Raid.

If you would like to know more about the remaining Domination Shards' effects, their set bonuses, or how to upgrade their effects into even more potent forms, please see our official guide detailing everything about this new system of Patch

Shards of Domination Guide

Best in Slot Items for Frost Death Knight in Sanctum of Domination

We have included the BiS items for both Breath of Sindragosa IconBreath of Sindragosa and Obliteration IconObliteration builds. They are both competitive and see play in different scenarios.

Obliteration Best in Slot

Breath of Sindragosa Best in Slot

Note that for Jaithys, the Prison Blade IconJaithys, the Prison Blade, it is only worth to feed it weapons if you are running the Obliteration IconObliteration build! The small upgrade in single-target throughput is otherwise not worth the large loss of AoE damage. You should only ever upgrade it to rank 4 as well!

Best in Slot Items for Frost Death Knight from Dungeons

We have included the BiS items for both Breath of Sindragosa IconBreath of Sindragosa and Obliteration IconObliteration builds. They are both competitive and see play in different scenarios; special thanks to Taeznak for helping with putting these lists together!

Obliteration Best in Slot from Dungeons

Breath of Sindragosa Best in Slot from Dungeons

If you have read the previous section, you should now understand that static Best in Slot lists are always misleading, and it is best to use the tools at your disposal, notably Raidbots' Top Gear and its new Droptimizer options.

Changelog

  • 29 Jun. Updated and reviewed for Patch
  • 09 Mar. Updated with a new section for Valor that goes over the top trinkets to prioritize and added a dungeon BiS section.
  • 24 Jan. Guide reviewed and completely updated.
  • 14 Dec. Page updated for Castle Nathria BiS.
  • 23 Nov. Page updated for Shadowlands release, added a section on early Shadowlands gearing and one on Legendary Powers, removed a lot of BfA-specific information.
  • 12 Oct. Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.

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1.

Blood Death Knight Overview

Blood Death Knight is one of the six available tanking specializations within World of Warcraft, and is centered around reactively healing damage taken using Death Strike IconDeath Strike, and using a large array of cooldowns to support yourself and your team.

2.

Strengths and Weaknesses

VStrengths
XWeaknesses

Note that this guide focuses on aspects that are specific to Blood Death Knights and general tanking strategies are beyond its scope. If you wish to know more about the tanking role and what you can do to improve, we recommend that you read our tanking guide.

3.

Patch Changes for Death Knights

We are maintaining a list of changes for Death Knights, so you can see what changes with every patch of Shadowlands. Be sure to also check out Blood's specific changes this patch.

Patch Death Knight Class ChangesPatch Blood Changes

There are not too many changes that change how Blood Death Knight plays in Shadowlands. The impact of losing Azerite and Essences to us was minimal, and outside of one key change (Ossuary IconOssuary was made baseline), the specialization plays relatively as it used to. A couple of talents saw minor changes making them situationally good, but we'll cover this in the talents page.

4.

Basics of Blood Death Knight Gameplay

The Blood specialization has an engaging playstyle, using self-healing through Death Strike IconDeath Strike as a primary source of damage mitigation. Blood has a versatile defensive and offensive toolkit, which comprises of numerous smaller defensive cooldowns than other tanks, aimed at countering certain scenarios.

Put together, this specialization is effective in the full range of current content, but falls short on Effective Health checks. Essentially, if you can survive a hit, you will come out stronger after it.

If you are new to Blood Death Knight and would like to learn the basics of the class, we recommend looking at the Spell Summary, as well as the Easy Mode page we have linked below.

Blood DK Quick GuideBlood DK Leveling GuideBlood DK Addons and Macros

We also have a guide for the Blood Death Knight talents and rotations below.

Blood DK Talents and BuildsBlood DK Rotation and Cooldowns

5.

How to Gear Up as a Blood Death Knight

Blood DK BiS and Gear

Gear, enchants, consumables, and gems also play a big part in increasing your character's DPS. Linked below is a page to show you which enchants, consumables, and gems to use, as well as a stats page, where you can find more information on each stat and how they interact with your character.

Blood DK Stat PriorityBlood DK Enchants and Gems

6.

Leveling a Blood Death Knight

If you do not have a Blood Death Knight at maximum level (or at all!), you can follow our dedicated leveling guide that will walk you through the best talents to choose on your journey, and also provide you with a number of tips and tricks. Before you start on your journey, though, we recommend setting up your UI so that you can familiarize yourself with it before you reach maximum level.

Blood DK Leveling GuideBlood DK Addons and Macros

Once at maximum level, were commend checking out our Easy Mode guide, linked below. This guide will briefly go over what you need to do to play your character optimally, though of course the main Rotation and Talents pages are slightly more optimized.

Blood DK Quick Guide

7.

Blood Death Knight Viability in the Shadowlands

With the right playstyle and the knowledge of encounters, Blood Death Knights can be a force to be reckoned with, particularly in fights with infrequent, high, but not lethal physical damage. Their toolkit is also varied, and seasoned players will find answers to almost every situation they might get into in Mythic+.

We are currently the tank with the lowest amount of armor, both baseline and with Active Mitigation up. We take a significantly larger amount of damage than other tanks, and this can be a very important fact to be taken into consideration when choosing a tank. After all, you cannot heal back up if you are dead. This has numerous implications for Sanctum of Domination, not least of which being Painsmith (as all the weapons deal primarily physical damage, although what kills you tends to be the trap explosions).

Our damage is strictly middle-of-the-road, requiring a specific set of trinkets to execute. Just as in Battle for Azeroth, our borrowed power options are slim: Primarily conduits do not offer much in the way of added power for the spec. This is primarily coming from legendaries and soulbinds (rather than our base toolkit). This is both a gift and a curse: we are both largely unaffected by temporary systems, but it also means that the massive potential gain that other tanks are seeing are just not realized with this specialization.

8.

How to Gear Up as a Blood Death Knight

This happens to be a relatively simple topic, since we benefit relatively equally from all secondaries. As a result, we're much more drawn to item level than to specific pieces, with the exception of trinkets and specific pieces of gear that may be significantly stronger than the alternatives.

We maintain a page with gearing advice for the current patch, including Best in Slot alternatives from different content sources. You can find a link to this below:

Blood DK BiS and Gear

Once you have started to gear, you will need to make sure that you have the appropriate consumables, gems, enchants, and more. We have a dedicated page for exactly this, as shown below, as well as the stats page, where you can find more information on the possibility of a changing stat priority and the necessary changes you may need to make for consumables.

Blood DK Stat PriorityBlood DK Enchants and Gems

9.

End-Game as a Blood Death Knight

Starting off as any tank is an exercise in frustration, due to the high learning curve associated with having to learn both your spec and the encounters. However, fortunately, we also maintain a set of pages containing tips, tricks and strategies for all end-game content:

Blood DK Castle Nathria Raid GuideBlood DK Torghast GuideBlood DK Mythic+ Guide

Improving as a Blood Death Knight

Blood Death Knight has an indirect feedback loop, in that instead of getting crushed right off the bat, you will slowly fall behind on resources. The main drivers to this are bad Marrowrend IconMarrowrends (wasting Runes on inefficient Marrowrend casts — remember, these generate RP less per Rune spent than a Heart Strike IconHeart Strike), capping Runes/RP or not using your entire toolkit.

We collected a list of common mistakes, along with explanations for each of them, resources to train and counter them, and tips on how to truly understand what makes the spec tick. You can find these below:

Blood DK "How to Improve" GuideBlood DK FAQ

Changelog

  • 18 Jul. (Covenants and Soulbinds): Updated Draven Soulbind tree to include new Conduit.
  • 18 Jul. (Patch Analysis): Removed PTR references; updated information for Theotar and Dreamweaver.
  • 18 Jul. (Sanctum of Domination page): Updated boss information for Guardian, Kel'Thuzad, and Sylvanas; removed PTR references; updated incorrect talents on Painsmith.
  • 12 Jul. (mythic+ page): Updated for Shadowlands Mythic+ Season 2.
  • 03 Jul. (Sanctum of Domination page): Guide created.
  • 29 Jun. (easy mode page): Updated for Patch
  • 29 Jun. (Torghast): Reviewed and approved for Patch
  • 29 Jun. (spells page): Reviewed and approved for Patch
  • 29 Jun. (this page): Updated for Patch
  • 29 Jun. (Covenants and Soulbinds): Updated for Patch
  • 29 Jun. (talents page): Reviewed and approved for Patch
  • 29 Jun. (FAQ page): Reviewed and approved for Patch
  • 29 Jun. (rotation page): Reviewed and approved for Patch
  • 29 Jun. (how to improve page): Reviewed and approved for Patch
  • 29 Jun. (simulations page): Reviewed and approved for Patch
  • 29 Jun. (mythic+ page): Reviewed and approved for Patch
  • 29 Jun. (gear page): Updated for Patch
  • 29 Jun. (addons page): Reviewed and approved for Patch
  • 29 Jun. (enchants page): Updated for Patch
  • 29 Jun. (stats page): Reviewed and approved for Patch
  • 29 Jun. (Legendaries): Updated for Patch
  • 17 May (enchants page): A BfA gem was being recommended here. Fixed!
  • 29 Apr. (Patch Analysis): Added initial content.
  • 09 Mar. (Covenants and Soulbinds): Updated for , with a reference to the upgraded Fleshcraft and changes to Marileth's description.
  • 09 Mar. (talents page): Added notes on how to decide what Tier 6 talent to pick.
  • 09 Mar. (enchants page): Reviewed for Patch
  • 09 Mar. (spells page): Reviewed for Patch
  • 09 Mar. (Torghast): Small changes and re-ordering of powers to account for hotfixes and buffs.
  • 09 Mar. (mythic+ page): Added a small mention for Fleshcraft.
  • 09 Mar. (rotation page): Reviewed for Patch
  • 09 Mar. (Legendaries): Updated Legendaries; removed all mentions of Bryndaor as Crimson Rune Weapon is now better than it in every way.
  • 09 Mar. (stats page): Reviewed for Patch
  • 09 Mar. (gear page): Added Valor recommendations. Updated trinket recommendations. Added PvP gearing section.
  • 09 Mar. (easy mode page): Updated Kyrian information to reflect buffs (5% to 8% Damage Reduction).
  • 06 Mar. (Castle Nathria page): Updated Legendary options for multiple bosses with new changes to Crimson Rune Weapon. Added talent tip for Inerva (Mark of Blood). Added tips on breaking stuns on Stone Legion Generals. Added Mythic Sire Tips.
  • 24 Jan. (rotation page): Removed a Standard Rotation step.
  • 14 Jan. (simulations page): Updated for Shadowlands.
  • 14 Jan. (rotation page): Added covenant rotational tips.
  • 14 Jan. (easy mode page): Removing a stray reference to Blooddrinker as the talent is not recommended.
  • 14 Jan. (FAQ page): Fleshing out covenant section.
  • 14 Jan. (enchants page): Adding soul treads and shaded hearthing to enchants.
  • 22 Dec. (gear page): Added Castle Nathria loot. Fixed incorrect dungeon link.
  • 19 Dec. (Castle Nathria page): Updated Huntsman to explain adds spawn on 90% if you're full health. Added note on Sire Dentharius to explain how to debuff adds.
  • 19 Dec. (Covenants and Soulbinds): Added a table clarifying the value of each covenant.
  • 06 Dec. (Castle Nathria page): Added guide.
  • 06 Dec. (mythic+ page): Preparing an initial version containing all class changes for Season 1. Dungeon-specific tips will be expanded in the first week.
  • 01 Dec. (Castle Nathria page): Added placeholder Castle Nathria page.
  • 29 Nov. (Legendaries): Changed Raiding Legendary recommendation to Superstrain.
  • 29 Nov. (talents page): Updated information surrounding the Consumption talent.
  • 29 Nov. (Covenants and Soulbinds): Updated information for Necrolord as it changed just before the expansion launched.
  • 24 Nov. (this page): Removed references to BfA systems.
  • 24 Nov. (Torghast): Guide added.
  • 23 Nov. (rotation page): Updated for Shadowlands.
  • 23 Nov. (this page): Updated for Shadowlands.
  • 23 Nov. (gear page): Fixed typo.
  • 23 Nov. (stats page): Updated for Shadowlands.
  • 23 Nov. (enchants page): Updated for Shadowlands with Oils, Armor Kits, New enchants.
  • 23 Nov. (addons page): Reviewed for Shadowlands release. Added more addons.
  • 23 Nov. (easy mode page): Updated for Shadowlands.
  • 23 Nov. (spells page): Updated for Shadowlands.
  • 23 Nov. (FAQ page): Removed BfA information. Added Covenant FAQ.
  • 23 Nov. (talents page): Updated for Shadowlands.
  • 23 Nov. (how to improve page): Updated for Shadowlands.
  • 21 Nov. (Covenants and Soulbinds): Fixed broken Soulbind link.
  • 20 Nov. (Legendaries): Page added.
  • 20 Nov. (gear page): Removed BfA information. Added Shadowlands Dungeon Gear.
  • 20 Nov. (Covenants and Soulbinds): Updated with latest changes.
  • 17 Nov. (Covenants and Soulbinds): Page created
  • 12 Oct. (Ny'alotha page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. (stats page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. (enchants page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. (mythic+ page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. (addons page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. (rotation page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. (gear page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. (simulations page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. (how to improve page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. (talents page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. (FAQ page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. (easy mode page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. (this page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. (spells page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 20 Dec. (The Eternal Palace page): Updated essence choices.
  • 23 Jul. (The Eternal Palace page): Updated with Mythic information from Week 1.
  • 13 Jul. (The Eternal Palace page): Further updates to class tips.
  • 11 Jul. (The Eternal Palace page): Updated with additional information and up-to-date Essence recommendations.
  • 08 Jul. (The Eternal Palace page): Guide added.
  • 25 Jun. (Uldir page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch and no changes are necessary.
  • 25 Jun. (Crucible of Storms page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch and no changes are necessary.
  • 25 Jun. (Battle of Dazar'alor page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch and no changes are necessary.
  • 21 Apr. (Crucible of Storms page): Guide added.
  • 22 Jan. (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Guide created for Season 2.
  • 22 Jan. (Uldir page): Updated wording in the introduction.
  • 10 Dec. (Uldir page): Updated recommendations for Fetid Devourer, Vectis, Zul, Mythrax, and G'huun.
  • 24 Sep. (Uldir page): Updated recommendations for several bosses.
  • 06 Sep. (Uldir page): Updated MOTHER and Fetid Devourer recommendations.
  • 04 Sep. (Uldir page): Added Uldir boss recommendations.
  • 24 Aug. (Uldir page): Updated Azerite Trait and Gear recommendations.
  • 13 Aug. (Uldir page): Page added.

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1.

Covenant Recommendation Change in Patch

ATTENTION

As of Patch the recommended Covenant for Frost Death Knight HAS CHANGED. Please check out the Covenant page of this guide for more information.

2.

Talent Choices for Frost Death Knight

Talents can be freely changed when out of combat and in a rested XP area (such as an inn or a capital city). Moreover, Tome of the Still Mind IconTome of the Still Mind and Codex of the Still Mind IconCodex of the Still Mind can be used to temporarily allow players to change talents anywhere, as long as they are out of combat.

3.

Talent Guide for Frost Death Knight

Obliteration

Breath of Sindragosa

Raiding

The recommended talents do not account for specific raid encounters, which can require a specific talent or build. For a boss-by-boss breakdown of the talent choices for specific encounters, you should check out our dedicated raid page listed below.

Generally, Obliteration IconObliteration will be your pure single-target build. It scales better with multiple Conduits. For any AoE scenario, Breath of Sindragosa IconBreath of Sindragosa will be best.

2H users should exclusively run Obliteration IconObliteration. It is generally competitive with dual-wield, only falling a few % behind in single-target. For AoE, dual-wield is significantly better.

Frost Death Knight Raid Page

Mythic+

Mythic+ can vary very heavily in the optimal talents that you take, depending on the affixes or the dungeons themselves. If you want advice that is specific to Mythic+, and how to deal with certain affixes and dungeons, then you should check out our Mythic+ page linked below.

Frost Death Knight Mythic+ Page

Rotation

Talents can and usually do change your rotation or add new abilities into your priority. For a more detailed breakdown on how your rotation will look with optimal talents, check out our rotation page linked below.

Frost DK Rotation and Cooldowns

4.

Tier 1 (Level 15) Talents for Frost Death Knights

Icy Talons IconIcy Talons is a weak choice currently, although it has synergy with Breath of Sindragosa IconBreath of Sindragosa since Breath of Sindragosa IconBreath of Sindragosa procs Icy Talons IconIcy Talons. It also synergises with Killing Machine IconKilling Machine since the increased attack speed gives more procs overall. However, neither of these synergies are strong enough to make up for the overall lack of throughput. The talent is also annoying and difficult to play, not helping its cause.

Inexorable Assault IconInexorable Assault is a completely passive choice that works well with the Obliteration IconObliteration build. This is not because of any direct synergy but since Cold Heart IconCold Heart has anti-synergy with Obliteration IconObliteration. With Breath of Sindragosa IconBreath of Sindragosa builds, it is a solid choice but generally does not win out in overall priority damage.

Cold Heart IconCold Heart is a very powerful talent that is extremely strong in the Breath of Sindragosa IconBreath of Sindragosa build. It does not work well with Obliteration IconObliteration since it gets pushed out of your Pillar of Frost IconPillar of Frost windows.

5.

Tier 2 (Level 25) Talents for Frost Death Knights

Horn of Winter IconHorn of Winter is the only active ability in this talent row and is weak compared to the other options. It synergises well with Breath of Sindragosa IconBreath of Sindragosa but the synergy is not strong enough.

Runic Attenuation IconRunic Attenuation is the best choice for single target and AoE situations for Breath of Sindragosa IconBreath of Sindragosa. It generally generates the most amount of Runic Power, perfect for your Breath of Sindragosa IconBreath of Sindragosa windows.

Murderous Efficiency IconMurderous Efficiency is still a strong talent, however due to it being dependent on procs, is more RNG dependent than the other 2 options. We recommend you sim your character to see which of the 2 talents is better for you. This talent commonly sees play in the Obliteration IconObliteration build.

6.

Tier 3 (Level 30) Talents for Frost Death Knights

The talents in this tier provide no increase in DPS, and you should just choose the one that satisfies the crowd-control requirements of your circumstances.

7.

Tier 4 (Level 35) Talents for Frost Death Knights

Frozen Pulse IconFrozen Pulse is a competitive option in the dual wield Breath of Sindragosa IconBreath of Sindragosa build for single target. However, it is generally close to Avalanche IconAvalanche, which is a passive talent that requires no extra thought. This makes Frozen Pulse IconFrozen Pulse an unwanted choice since it only adds complexity, without any extra damage.

Frostscythe IconFrostscythe is a competitive choice for dual wield builds. You can spread your Rune of Razorice IconRune of Razorice debuff effectively since the ability applies it to all targets hit (if you have Rune of Razorice IconRune of Razorice on your main hand). The 5 target cap and our big Obliterate IconObliterate damage makes the talent somewhat weak, but still competitive in Mythic +.

Avalanche IconAvalanche is currently the strongest talent in this tier and sees play in both the Breath of Sindragosa IconBreath of Sindragosa and Obliteration IconObliteration builds. It is completely passive and requires no extra thought!

8.

Tier 5 (Level 40) Talents for Frost Death Knights

  • Permafrost IconPermafrost procs each time you deal damage with an auto attack, granting you a 9-second absorb shield equal to 40% of the damage dealt. The absorption amount stacks up to 40% of your maximum health, but the duration cannot be increased beyond 9 seconds, with subsequent attacks simply refreshing it.
  • Wraith Walk IconWraith Walk is a channeled spell that increases your movement speed by 70% for 4 seconds. While channeling, your movement speed cannot be reduced below %. It has a 1-minute cooldown.
  • Death Pact IconDeath Pact heals you for 50% of your maximum health, but absorbs healing equal for 30% of your maximum health for 15 seconds. It has a 2-minute cooldown.

Wraith Walk IconWraith Walk should be used in medium to high mobility situations, Permafrost IconPermafrost for low mobility situations or low constant damage, and Death Pact IconDeath Pact should be used if you are in need of an emergency heal.

9.

Tier 6 (Level 45) Talents for Frost Death Knights

Hypothermic Presence IconHypothermic Presence has strong synergy with Breath of Sindragosa IconBreath of Sindragosa. This is not enough to make the talent competitive though, losing out to Gathering Storm IconGathering Storm for both single target and AoE.

Glacial Advance IconGlacial Advance is a good talent for AoE situations and Mythic+. If you are using this talent, you should cast it on cooldown in 2+ target situations to replace Frost Strike IconFrost Strike. This ability currently is not as strong for Mythic+ and AoE as Gathering Storm IconGathering Storm.

Gathering Storm IconGathering Storm is very powerful and is fairly difficult to beat with the current talent row. If you spend enough Runes in your Remorseless Winter IconRemorseless Winter window, you can even refresh the buff at full stacks by casting Remorseless Winter IconRemorseless Winter again!

Tier 7 (Level 50) Talents for Frost Death Knights

Generally, Breath of Sindragosa IconBreath of Sindragosa and Obliteration IconObliteration are very close for single target. However, Breath of Sindragosa scales much better in AoE, making it the go to pick in most scenarios. Icecap IconIcecap is very weak and far from being competitive.

PvP Talents (War Mode)

In this section we will rank the PvP talents that are best for leveling and doing open world content.

  • PvP talents enabled in the outdoor world.
  • 10% increase in World Quest rewards at maximum level.
  • 10% more experience gained while leveling.
  • Earn Conquest Points which can reward gear every week.

With the benefits of enabling War Mode for leveling and PvE content, it is recommended to enable the feature to maximize your leveling and rewards at maximum level. However, you will make yourself available for open world PvP, and the possibility to be "ganked" while leveling or doing World Quests exists.

Frost Death Knight PvP guide

Frost Death Knight War Mode Talents

In this section we will rank the PvP talents best for leveling and doing solo / small group PvE content. Below is a ranking of both General PvP Talents and Frost Death Knight-specific PvE talents.

Frost Death Knight PvP Talents

  1. Dead of Winter IconDead of Winter causes your Remorseless Winter to stun an enemy for 4 seconds when it deals damage 5 times to that enemy. It also increases Remorseless Winter's cooldown by 25 seconds and reduces the radius by 5 yards. This is a strong talent if you are deciding to pull large packs of mobs or kite large packs of mobs.
  2. Necrotic Aura IconNecrotic Aura causes all enemies within 8 yards to take 8% increased magical damage. This has good synergy with abilities such as Howling Blast IconHowling Blast and Cold Heart IconCold Heart.
  3. Deathchill IconDeathchill causes your Remorseless Winter IconRemorseless Winter and Chains of Ice IconChains of Ice to root the target in place for 4 seconds. Your Remorseless Winter IconRemorseless Winter causes all targets within 5 yards to be afflicted with Deathchill IconDeathchill. If a target is afflicted with Chains of Ice IconChains of Ice, then casting Chains of Ice IconChains of Ice again will afflict them with Deathchill IconDeathchill.
  4. Delirium IconDelirium causes your Howling Blast IconHowling Blast and Frost Strike IconFrost Strike to apply Delirium IconDelirium to the target. Delirium reduces cooldown recovery rate of movement abilities by 25% stacking up to 2 times for 15 seconds.
  5. Transfusion IconTransfusion is a second cooldown that generates 20 Runic Power and reduces the cost of Death Strike by 50% for 7 seconds. If you are undergeared this is a strong survivability talent to take.
  6. Chill Streak IconChill Streak deals Frost damage and reduces their movement speed by 70% for 4 seconds. It has a second cooldown. Chill Streak bounces up to 9 times between nearby targets. This talent serves as another DPS cooldown in your rotation; it has a yard range, making it a good choice for quickly pulling multiple mobs.
  7. Dome of Ancient Shadow IconDome of Ancient Shadow increases the spell damage reduction effect of your Anti-Magic Zone IconAnti-Magic Zone by 60%, this is very strong in World PvP.
  8. Heartstop Aura IconHeartstop Aura decreases the cooldown recovery rate of abilities by 30% to all enemies within 8 yards. It provides a slight advantage over other players in longer fights.
  9. Dark Simulacrum IconDark Simulacrum places a dark ward on the target for 12 seconds; when the target spends Mana on a spell, you gain a duplicate of that spell. This ability has a second cooldown and costs 20 Runic Power. It can be used to steal a very strong spell that can turn the tides of a fight.
  10. Cadaverous Pallor IconCadaverous Pallor is a passive that has a 20% activation chance when you are hit by a spell; when this activates, the damage of that spell is completely absorbed and converted into a disease on yourself dealing Nature damage over time. It allows you the manage and survive through bigger magical hits by acting as a psuedo stagger effect.

Necrotic Aura IconNecrotic Aura and Chill Streak IconChill Streak are good choices in PvE situations due to them adding to your damage output. Deathchill IconDeathchill, Delirium IconDelirium, Heartstop Aura IconHeartstop Aura, Dead of Winter IconDead of Winter, Cadaverous Pallor IconCadaverous Pallor, and Dark Simulacrum IconDark Simulacrum, have more of a place in PvP as opposed to open world PvE content, as they are tough to use on NPCs. Dome of Ancient Shadow IconDome of Ancient Shadow can be used well in both PvP and PvE situations.

Changelog

  • 29 Jun. Reviewed and updated for Patch
  • 04 Jun. Reviewed and added some more content.
  • 09 Mar. Updated the Tier 15 talents for Obliteration.
  • 24 Jan. Guide reviewed and completely updated.
  • 02 Dec. Updated Inexorable Assault description.
  • 23 Nov. Page updated for Shadowlands release. Updated talent recommendations.
  • 13 Oct. Updated recommended talent setup.
  • 12 Oct. Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.

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[9.1] WORLD FIRST +24 The Necrotic Wake - Blood DK PoV

Table of Contents

1.

Leveling in Shadowlands

Welcome to our DK leveling guide. Here you will find all you need to know to level up your DK efficiently. Leveling received a lot of changes in Shadowlands, which we have documented in our Shadowlands Leveling Changes page. In addition, we now have a revamped Leveling guide, complete with detailed information on XP, mounts, addons, consumables, tips, and more. We encourage to read it to increase your leveling speed even more.

Death Knights embody the fantasy of slow, feared harbingers, with absolute control over the undead, the possibility to unleash devastating frost attacks, or to sustain themselves on the life-force of enemies. Three radically different specializations await you, with very unique playstyles.

As one of the two available hero classes, Death Knights start with a level advantage over most other specs: instead of starting at level 1 (while not being an allied race), we start at level 8.

2.

Best Leveling Spec for Death Knights in Shadowlands

Solo players will typically find Frost better as a leveling spec due to its fast-paced, direct gameplay. Easier to deal damage, without the need to ramp or rely on DoTs, and, honestly, more sustainable as well.

Frost Death Knight Leveling GuideUnholy Death Knight Leveling Guide

Should you happen to be more of a dungeoneer, or prefer to pull very large number of mobs while levelling, Blood can also be a very decent option. As a tank specialization, they trade some of their damage for self-sustain, and this is something you can definitely take advantage of while grinding.

Blood Death Knight Leveling Guide

3.

Starting Abilities for Death Knights Leveling in Shadowlands

Due to your level advantage over other classes, you will realistically spend very little time (and use very few abilities!) while not being able to pick a spec. We have highlighted them below.

You start with access to Rune Strike IconRune Strike, acting as your main rune spender, and Death Strike IconDeath Strike and Death Coil IconDeath Coil acting as your main RP spenders. Death and Decay IconDeath and Decay is also available for large groups of enemies, although Rune Strike IconRune Strike does not cleaver while inside it.

Simply burn runes with Rune Strike IconRune Strike and RP with Death Coil IconDeath Coil (or, for a bit of healing at a cost of some damage, Death Strike IconDeath Strike)

After you choose your spec, there are very few class-generic abilities that you will be pick and those that you do are largely irrelevant. So from that point on, simply head to one of your DK spec leveling guides (linked in the previous section) to continue.

4.

Best Heirloom Items for Death Knight Leveling in Shadowlands

Generally, heirloom choice is very dependent on the maximum possible level you have upgraded them for. Neither of the three specs particularly loves or hates a stat in particular. If in doubt, pick heirlooms with Haste, as this stat reduces your GCD, granting a feeling of speed and efficiency.

Shadowlands Heirlooms Guide

5.

Runeforge choice

When you get the option to Runeforge make sure you apply the Runeforge Rune of the Fallen Crusader IconRune of the Fallen Crusader. This comes with a 15% strength buff on a very generous uptime, and a heal whenever it procs. It is a very good all-around runeforge, and something you absolutely should not pass on.

If you are running a dual wield setup, make sure to apply Rune of Unending Thirst IconRune of Unending Thirst to your offhand weapon.

Do not forget! When you use Death Gate IconDeath Gate, using it again while inside Acherus teleports you to the nearest graveyard or instance portal from which you used Death Gate IconDeath Gate. There is rarely an excuse to wait, just go and affix whatever new weapon you get.

6.

Changelog

  • 29 Jun. Guide reviewed and updated for Patch
  • 09 Mar. Reviewed for Patch
  • 12 Oct. Updated for Shadowlands.
  • 26 Jun. Updated the rotation for Frost.
  • 28 Jun. This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 May Added a section for Frost Death Knight leveling.
  • 09 Dec. This page has been reviewed for Patch and no changes are necessary.
  • 12 Aug. Consistency updates to give all leveling guides a similar feel.
  • 11 Aug. Added leveling section for BfA.
  • 02 Aug. Improved presentation.
  • 31 Jul. Updated the entire leveling page for the Battle for Azeroth pre-patch.
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1.

Introduction: Legendaries in Shadowlands

One of the new parts of Shadowlands is that you have gained the ability to craft Legendaries through Runecarving. Runecarving becomes available to you as you progress through Torghast. You gain Legendary powers through different gameplay sources, and once you obtain them you can craft your own Legendary. Each of these Legendaries will boost the power of your character in a specific way, however you can only wear 1 Legendary item at a time. This guide will go over each Legendary effect to help you make the choice a lot easier.

Runecarving OverviewDeath Knight Legendary Powers

2.

Best Legendary Powers for Frost Death Knight

3.

Best Raiding Legendaries for Frost Death Knight

Koltira's Favor IconKoltira's Favor is technically the best single-target throughput Legendary for any build. However, when it comes to Breath of Sindragosa IconBreath of Sindragosa, Rage of the Frozen Champion IconRage of the Frozen Champion is pretty much always picked up. This is due to two main factors. One, Rage of the Frozen Champion feels much better to play. Your Breath windows become more fluid and last slightly longer. It does not feel bad to use up your Rime IconRimes anymore. Furthermore, as soon as we add more than a single target, Rage of the Frozen Champion beats Koltira's Favor. Players therefore opt to just always run Rage since the single-target downside is small, the feeling is better, and the AoE is superiour.

Obliteration IconObliteration generally lacks in AoE but I would not recommend picking up Biting Cold IconBiting Cold in Raids. The single-target loss is simply too great to ever justify picking it!

4.

Best Mythic+ and Torghast Legendaries for Frost Death Knight

This section covers the best Mythic+ and Torghast Legendaries. For this purpose, we have decided to rate Legendaries based on a their performance in both single-target and AoE scenarios.

  1. Biting Cold IconBiting Cold is the strongest choice for Mythic+ with the Obliteration IconObliteration build. This is generally due to other Legendaries not working well with the Obliteration playstyle.
  2. Rage of the Frozen Champion IconRage of the Frozen Champion is a great, well-rounded option for Mythic+ and Torghast with Breath of Sindragosa IconBreath of Sindragosa. It provides both solid single-target and great AoE damage.

You can opt to pick up Biting Cold IconBiting Cold with Breath of Sindragosa IconBreath of Sindragosa as well. It brings slightly more AoE for quite significantly lower single-target. The AoE does also become more consistent which is an added benefit. I think for Fortified IconFortified weeks specifically where you do not plan any huge pulls around your Breath of Sindragosa, Biting Cold is the possible play.

5.

Changelog

  • 17 Jul. Added more explanations.
  • 29 Jun. Guide Reviewed and updated for Patch
  • 25 Mar. Fixed a small typo in the table.
  • 09 Mar. Added a section with the BiS Legendary for each major form of content.
  • 24 Jan. Guide reviewed and completely updated.
  • 21 Nov. Page added.

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