Wielding the power of the icy winds of Northrend - together with a dual-weapon playstyle - the Frost Death Knight is all about cutting down your enemies fast and looking cool (no pun intended!) while doing it. We’ll help you do just that with this Frost Death Knight guide.
Among World of Warcraft's myriad classes and their specialisations, the Frost Death Knight is one of the most storied and has one of the richest lore veins associated with it. Ever since the Wrath of the Lich Knight expansion, players have rejoiced in playing a character that shared motifs with the Lich King himself, one of Warcraft’s most iconic characters.
The transition towards WOW: Legion featured a few bumps along the way though. Frost found itself at a loss of purpose when faced with an Unholy specialisation that was both better at dealing damage and offered increased utility and survivability in every combat situation. This has mostly lessened with the arrival of Patch 7.1, which has seen the specialisation's abilities and spells receive a boost across the board.
Currently, Frost is still slightly underpowered when compared with Unholy, but it is nevertheless a viable specialisation for both levelling up and end-game content. It plays as a rapid-fire melee fighter, ensuring players always have a button to press with little to no downtime, and rewarding those that can make split-second decisions throughout the course of a fight.
In this Frost Death Knight guide, we’ll give you a set of talents that will be helpful while you level up, and ensure you excel at the end-game too. Of course, we’ll also give you both single-target and multiple target rotation that you can follow to make sure you wield these talents in the most efficient way possible.
In the following weeks we’ll update this guide with stat and gear recommendations, as well as advice on how to invest your hard-earned Artifact Points in a way that lets you optimize the growth of your Artifact Weapon.
Frost Death Knight talent build
This is the talent build that we recommend both while levelling up your Frost Death Knight, and when playing endgame content. We’ll provide justification for our choices, and outline any changes you might want to make in order to suit your individual playstyle.
|56||Icy Talons||This represents the biggest damage boost, so long as your regularly include Frost Strike in your rotation.|
|57||Frozen Pulse||This talent compliments our “fast and furious” rapid-fire playstyle, encouraging you to spend your resources as quickly as possible in exchange for constant passive damage.|
|58||Avalanche||As we recommend using Pillar of Frost on cooldown, it will be up roughly 33% of your combat time, and as such you will benefit the most from Avalanche. Icecap is worth considering once your Critical Hit stat starts approaching the 30% mark.|
|60||Blinding Sleet||All talents here are situational, but a multi-target daze on a 60-second cooldown is probably going to be the most useful in the majority of situations. It’s worth switching to Winter is Coming before doing dungeons though, as you will be fighting larger groups of enemies more often.|
|75||Permafrost||We choose this one because it’s a passive talent and consistently useful. The others can be more powerful, but only in very specific situations.|
|90||Runic Attenuation||This was chosen because it synergizes quite well with the rest of our talent choices and rotation, and being passive it allows us to focus on other abilities. Frostscythe is a better choice for dungeons though.|
|100||Obliteration||This is an extremely powerful activated ability that will grant you multiple critical strikes and free activations of the most powerful tools in your arsenal - Obliterate or Frostscythe.|
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Frost Death Knight rotations
The following rotations are based heavily on our previously-advised talent build. The goal here is to maximize the damage output from your passive abilities, spending your resources as soon as you manage to refill them, and still ensuring you can take advantage of your powerful random buffs whenever you get them.
These rotations should be treated as priority lists. In other words, don’t follow them religiously, but return to a previous step if the required conditions are true.
Single Target Rotation
The purpose of this rotation is to keep yourself buffed and your opponents debuffed for as much of the fight as possible, until your resources sync up with the availability of Obliteration. When that happens, you can use it to finish the fight with a tremendous burst of free critical hits, alternating between Frost Strike and Obliterate.
Once you get your Artifact Weapon, you’ll be able to start investing in traits leading toward Sindragosa’s Fury, which will become your most powerful attack. Note, however, that it's tied to a big 5-minute cooldown and so we see little point in including it in the rotation. Instead, we advise you to use your judgement and save it for vulnerability windows where you want to maximize your damage output.
|Spell / Ability||Condition|
|1||Howling Blast||If target has no Frost Fever debuff oryou have no Icy Talons buff and less than 25 Runic Power.|
|2||Frost Strike||If you have no Icy Talons buff and 25 Runic Power or more or you have 75+ Runic Power.|
|3||Howling Blast||If Rime is active (randomly activated from using Obliterate) andyou haven’t activated Obliteration.|
|4||Obliterate||If Killing Machine is active (randomly activated from auto-attacks or Frost Strike during Obliteration).|
|5||Obliteration||If you have 2+ Runes and 25+ Runic Power.|
|6||Frost Strike||If Obliteration is active. This will always activate Killing Machine, so go back to Step 4.|
|7||Remorseless Winter||As filler.|
|9||Frost Strike||As filler, if over 40 Runic Power.|
|10||Return to Step 1.|
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Multiple Target Rotation
When more than one enemy is present, keeping your Icy Talons buff becomes secondary to maintaining your AoE damage effects, and using up as many Rime procs as possible. If you’ve levelled your Artifact Weapon enough to accessSindragosa’s Fury, you should use it whenever it's available.
As mentioned in the talent section above, if you predict many multiple-target encounters in the near future (ideally more than two enemies at once) you should consider switching to Frostscythe as your Tier 6 talent. If you choose to do so, simply substitute it for Obliterate in the following rotation.
|Spell / Ability||Condition|
|1||Howling Blast||If target has no Frost Fever debuff or you have no Icy Talons buff and less than 25 Runic Power.|
|2||Remorseless Winter||Whenever available.|
|3||Howling Blast||If Rime is active (randomly activated from using Obliterate) and you haven’t activated Obliteration.|
|4||Obliterate||If Killing Machine is active (randomly activated from auto-attacks or Frost Strike during Obliteration) or if you have 5+ active Runes.|
|5||Obliteration||If you have 2+ runes and 25+ Runic Power.|
|6||Frost Strike||If you have no Icy Talons buff or Obliteration is active.|
|7||Return to Step 1.|
And this concludes our Frost Death Knight guide. Remember to check back often for updates, especially after Blizzard has pushed a new World of Warcraft patch. Do you have any comments or questions about our selection of talents and rotation? Let us know below!