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World of Warcraft Classes Death Knight «Frost»

Frost Death Knight PvE Guide (WoW Legion 7.3.5)

Death Knight “Frost” relies in combat on – no surprise here – Ice magic. It also partially resorts to physical damage using two one-handed weapons. Unlike Unholy, Frost relies only on his power, and needs no lackeys.



Basic information on the spec:

Like any other Death Knight spec, this one uses 2 resources: Runes and Runic Power (heteinafter, RP). Runes should always be ready before the combat. After being used, Runes start to restore. Only 3 Runes can be restoring at the same time. Rune’s restoring speed depends on Haste value. Runic Power is somewhat similar to Fury – you can store it and spend it.

Let’s take a closer look at the weakest and the strongest aspects of this specialization:

+ Good damage on a single target
+ Good continuous cleave
+ Really strong AoE burst
+ Easy maintenance
+ Ability to cancel a debuff applied on them having no immunity mechanics
– Very low mobility
– Except for one grip, has nothing unique to help a raid

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Main abilities

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General information. On achieving several new levels you’ll get access to new talent ‘Tiers’. Talents may have different effect on abilities: add new features, replace old ones, modify passively different effects and spells. Talents can be changed in Sanctuaries or any recreational zones. However, if you don’t have any of those places nearby you can use the Codex of the Tranquil Mind which allows you to switch channels within a minute. You can’t change talents in combat. You can’t change a talent if the talent you’ve picked in the last Tier is on Cooldown. You’ll have to wait until it’s restored first.

Tier 1. Lvl 56.

Shattering Strikes. Frost Strike absorbs 5 stacks of Razorice Rune on a target thus doing 60% more damage. With 4T21 becomes best talent in tier.

Ice Talons. Frost Strike increases the attack speed on Melee by 12% within 6 secs. Add up, up to 3 times. The talent boils up to facilitating the increase in Killing Machine actuations. It is usable, but it still loses to Runic Attenuation.

Runic Attenuation. Auto-attacks generate 1 RP. This might be the most boring talent but it does bring you more resources than others which helps minimize standby in combat. The most efficient talent untill you have 4T21


Tier 2. Lvl 57.

Freezing Fog. Howling Blast and Frost Fever deal 20% more damage. This is your pick for a 4+ target combat, but it’s extremely lousy for a single target.

Murderous Efficiency. On absorbing the effect of Killing Machine there’s a 50% probability you get 1 Rune. It’s passive, powerful and extremely effective as it gives a huge amount of resources, hence minimal idling. Best talent in a single target and for small cleaves. Goes particularly well with Obliteration.

Horn of Winter. Generates 2 Runes and 20 RP for you. CD 45 secs. A good talent for refilling your resources when necessary, but in general, it is weaker than Murderous Efficiency in combat.


Tier 3. Lvl 58.

Icecap. The crits from Obliterate and Frost Strike reduce by 1 secs the remaining restoring time for Pillar of Ice. The strongest talent on the Tier if you’re playing with Obliteration. It’s efficiency grows with 4t20 and the Legendary Cold Heart.

Glacial Advance. For 1 Rune, it throws ice thorns for 15m forward. The thorns deal ice magic damage. The weakest talent on the Tier regardless of the situation.

Avalanche. With Pillar of Ice, during your Melee attacks’ critical effects the enemies are targeted by sharp icicles that do substantial ice magic damage. The talent is nice in situations where you need to deal max damage during your burst. The talent is generally combat-inefficient, though, especially if used with Obliterate. But it still is a nice choice if you’re using Breath of Sindragosa. It’s also great for Mythic+ as it deals nice AoE damage.


Tier 4. Lvl 60.

Abomination’s Might. The crits of Obliterate have 20% probability of stunning the enemy for 2 secs. In PvP, this effect is replaced with 5 sec vertigo.

Blinding Sleet. Helps you disorient all the enemies around you for 4 secs, once a min. Damage done to these targets may cancel the effect.

Winter is Coming Enemies hit with Remorseless Winter 4 times aer stunned for 4 secs during active Pillar of Ice.

* The current Tier does not affecr dps in any way, so just pick whatever you like most, or whatever is necessary for your encounter.


Tier 5. Lvl 75.

Volatile Shielding. Anti-Magic Shell absorbs 35% more damage and creates 100% more Runic Power.

Permafrost. Successful auto-attacks create an absorbing shield for the amount equal to the damage done by an auto-attack like that.

Inexorable Assault. While you are in combat, and there’s an enemy within an 8m radius of you, once a second, Inexorable Assault effect is cast on you. You can have max 10 stacks for 10 secs. This effect, when absorbed, empowers your next attack by dealing minor ice magic damage during auto-attacking. Each auto-attack can spend only 1 stack.

* In general, this Tier is designed to decrease the incoming damage apart from Inexorable Assault which gives you some dps bonus. That’s why if you don’t need to additionally decrease the incoming damage, Inexorable Assault is yor defaul pick.


Tier 6. Lvl 90.

Frostscythe. An attack dealing ice magic damage to all the enemies in front of you. It receives a bonus from Killing Machine. Consequently, it can absorb it. Critical hits of this ability deal 4-times damage. This is your best AoE choice. Use it instead of Obliterate when you have 3 targets. With Killing Machine‘s benefit the talent is used even on a single target because it has higher critical damage modificator.

Frozen Pulse. Your auto-attacks deal minor ice magic damage to all the enemies around, until you have 2 Runes stacked. Combines really well with Ice Talons from Tier 1, but even this in combination, it loses to other talents.

Gathering Pulse. Each Rune spent during Remorseless Winter, increases its damage by 15% and the duration – by 0.5 secs. This is the strongest talent on a single target. It is also great for AoE and cleave, but if you’re playing, say, Mythic+, Frostscythe would be a better pick if you’re seeking max AoE damage.


Tier 7. Lvl 100.

Obliteration. Within 10 secs after using, your successful Frost Strikes or Howling Blasts trigger Killing Machine, and your Obliterate consumes only 1 Rune. CD 90 secs. The best talent on the Tier which combines perfectly with various talents from ohe Tiers. It is on the boring side, but it does give you a mini-burst each 90 secs.

Breath of Sindragosa. Tags you with a buff that gobbles 15 RP per sec and deals substantial ice magic damage within a small cone in front of you. Secondary targets receive less damage. It acts till cancelled or until you run out of RP to support it. In the patch 7.3 the talents were re-arranged, so this one lost its must-have status because now it is barely possible to keep a nice uptime for this talent. It still makes some sence in Mythic+ when you need nice burst cleave.

Hungering Rune Weapon. Modifies Empower Rune Weapon so it lasts 12 secs during which you gain 1 Rune and 5 RP per 1,5 sec and your Haste is increased by 20%. Back in the day, this talent’s use was justified as a means to maintain Breath of Sindragosa. But since now theu’re both on the same Tier, this brings up nothing but confusion.

So we land on the main build being 3210031.

  1. Runic Attenuation / Shattering Strikes with 4T21
  2. Murderous Efficiency
  3. Icecap
  4. Winter is Coming
  5. Inexorable Assault
  6. Gathering Pulse
  7. Obliteration

The talents are majorly set to provide max efficiency for Obliteration. For AoE, you could get Frostscythe.

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Unlike talents, in the weapons branch there is no choice of what you can and what you can’t take. With the current Artifact Knowledge, the order of artifact acquisition is insignificant as to open all the traits, you only need to earn 2.23 billion artifact power which is extremely easy to do just over the first few minutes after you’ve reached level 110.


Frost Death Knights use 2 Ice relics, and 1 Shadow.

The relics can be divided by purpose into those for single target and for AoE. So let’s take a look at this little list with the recalculation based on the weapon ilvl:

  1. Ambidexterity 8.2
  2. Nothing but the Boots 5.3
  3. Cold as Ice 3.6
  4. Blast Radius 2.6
  5. Dead of Winter 1.8 (4 at AoE)
  6. Over-Powered 1.6
  7. Bad to the Bone 1.4

If you face situations where you’re not sure, we recommend you use the raidbots.com web-site which has a convenient interface for figuring out this sort of problems.

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Netherlight Crucible

Tier 1 of any relic allows you to increase your weapon’s ilvl by 5 points.

Tier 2. For your convenience, let’s present it in the form similar to the relic valuing of the previous section:

  1. Light Speed 6.1
  2. Torment the Weak 6
  3. ShadowbindSecure in the Light, Infusion of Light 5.6
  4. Master of Shadows 5.5
  5. Murderous Intent 5.4
  6. Chaotic DarknessShocklight 5
  7. Dark Sorrows 2.4

Tier 3. Here, the weapon traits are presented. The priority is absolutely identical to that on the Relic section list. For your convenience, let’s recap:

  1. Ambidexterity 8.2
  2. Nothing but the Boots 5.3
  3. Cold as Ice 3.6
  4. Blast Radius 2.6
  5. Dead of Winter 1.8 (4 at AoE)
  6. Over-Powered 1.6
  7. Bad to the Bone 1.4

If you are using CrucibleWeight you can import this string into the game:

cruweight^128292^ilvl^1^252799^4.91^189144^5.18 6:5.22 7:5.03^252922^2.71^189147^1.59 6:1.27 7:1.18^252875^5.38^189092^7.82 6:7.56 7:7.86^252888^5.11^252091^4.89^189086^2.85 6:2.83 7:2.34^252906^5.96^189080^3.71 6:3.59 7:3.25^189164^1.76 6:1.78 7:1.89^253093^5.37^189097^1.6 6:0.55 7:1.16^253070^5.45^238043^2.53 6:2.38 7:2.12^252191^5.46^252088^6.01^end

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The Frost Death Knight has access to the total of 14 Legendaries.

  1. Toravon’s Whiteout Bindings. A very powerful Legendary for any type of encounter.
  2. Koltira’s Newfound Will. Considering the fact that Obliterate is used very often, the Runes that this Legendary belt produces substantially improve your life quality by shrinking down the possible idling heavily. Great pick for single target.
  3. Cold Heart. This is an amazing most powerful Legendary for single target and even some cleave encounters because it provides an incredibly big bonus to single target dps. Scales nicely when used with Pillar of Ice or Rune of the Fallen Crusader. It can also be empowered by Razorice Rune.
  4. Perseverance of the Ebon Martyr. This Legendary is quite average. Not bad for AoE encounters.
  5. Seal of Necrofantasia. This one is only good if you have Hungering Rune Weapon as your talent. But since the talent is not really used nowadays, the Legendary doesn’t really fit the current build, either.
  6. Consort’s Cold Core. This one is particularly great when combined with the Bindings and the current set. Altogether it lets run Sindragosa’s Fury more often and with all the buffs. Since in Mythic+ you can frequently exit combat, it is recommended to be worn before entering a combat with a pack of enemies on which you were going to use Sindragosa. This would give you a short spell cooldown, and after you’re out of the combat, you can replace it with something, the cooldown for the spell remains the same.
  7. Soul of the Deathlord. It’s only good for AoE encounters because it empowers your Remorseless Winter and the Froscscythe simultaneously. Nice chioce for Mythic+.
  8. Sephuz’s Secret. In theory, it’s only good if you activate it at least once every 45 secs by interrupting or gripping. In this case, your dps bonus can be comparable to that of the average Legendaries.
  9. Kil’jaeden’s Burning Wish is a very powerful trinket. But if you compare it to other Legendaries, it’s below average.
  10. Prydaz, Xavaric’s Magnum Opus. What makes this item nice is that it has a huge number of secondary stats, but dps bonus is actually quite small. But still, for exploring, when you need to shrink the incoming damage any way possible, it does make perfect sense.
  11. Acherus Drapes increases the duration of Anti-Magic Shell, and the damage absorbed this way, restores your Health. Could be great for some survival-oriented encounters. DPS bonus is quite similar to that of Prydaz’s.
  12. Aggramar’s Stride. One very occasional thing. Could be helpful in some encounters where haste is of key importance. But in terms of dps bonuses, it loses to even average Legendaries, let alone the top ones.

Other Legendaries are of no great interest for this particular specialization. If you do have them and want to figure out which one of them would be better for you, use Simcraft.

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As it was said in the beginning, Frost is pretty simple in training and using but you still need to understand some basic priorities. Let’s take a look at them:

Single target

  1. Sindragosa’s Fury should be used as often as possible, and combined with: Pillar of Ice, Unholy Strength from Rune of the Fallen Crusader, and the target should have 5 stacks of Razorice Rune on it.
  2. Remorseless Winter per CD (to activate the talent Gathering Pulse).
  3. Howling Blast per benefit from Rime.
  4. Obliterate, to avoid Rune capping, or if you have access to Killing Machine.
  5. Frost Strike, to avoid Rune capping.
  6. Obliterate.
  7. Frost Strike.

AoE or cleave


Now let’s switch to a closer perspective of using the 3210031 build focusing on obliteration.


Useful notes:

Pillar of Ice is used per CD. With this build and 4t20 you should avoid facing serious discrepancies in Pillar’s and Obliteration‘s kickback. If the Pillar still did restore earlier, remember it lasts for 20+ secs while Obliteration is only 10 secs long. So as long as you use them to coincide for the whole active time – you’re good, which lands you with 10 secs of decision time.

Obliteration is used per CD. Remorseless Winter is better used before activating Obliteration as it wouldn’t trigger Killing Machine but it would take the GCD.

Empower Rune Power is used whenever you don’t have to wait for anything.

– If you don’t have Frostscythe, and there will be additional targets (3+) in the combat during Obliteration, it is only reasonable that you spam Obliterate until you get the Howling Blast. But in general, if this happens frequently in the course of combat, it is better that you get Frostscythe and follow the usual regime of alternating Frost Strike / Howling Blast per benefit since Killing Machine would make your Frostscythe‘s damage a lot larger in this pack.

– Never use Howling Blast without Rime.

– How to use Cold Heart: 1) Don’t use it during active Obliteration; 2) with max stacks, hold it to use with Pillar of Ice for no more than 6 secs. Otherwise, push it. 3) With 10+ stacks, if your Pillar of Ice is almost over.

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The basic priority rating for the characteristics is as follows:

Strength > Haste >= Mastery = Crit > Versatility

In this specialization, Mastery increases the whole ice magic damage being dealt.

This proportion means that their value is going to change almost after every received item if the stats are changing. So, if it suddenly turns out that you’ve collected a whole lot of Mastery, it’s going to quickly sink (relatively). If you’ve got too little Versatility, be prepared to see it somewhere in the top-2 of the stats. That’s why is recommended, once you receive new equipment, you use Simcraft or Raidbots.com. There is no way to get a more precise answer to which stat to focus on first, but through a simulation.

Based on the aforementioned characteristics and results of your character’s own simulation, you can draw conclusions on Gems, Chants and Raid Chemicals.

1. Gems
Saber’s Eye of Strength. Only one can be used in the gear.
Quick Lightsphene / Quick Dawnlight by default
2. Chants
– Neck: Enchant Neck – Mark of claw
– Rings: Enchant Ring – Binding of Haste
– Back: Enchant Cloak – Binding of Strength
– Don’t forget to apply 1 on your main-hand and Rune of the Fallen Crusader on your off-hand
3. Food
Lavish Suramar Feast. 500 strength or Azshari Salad for haste.
4. Flasks and Potions
Flask of the Countless Armies. 1300 strength for 1 hour.
Potion of Prolonged Power. 2500 strength for 1 min.

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Set bonuses


– 2 pieces: The probability of Rime kicking in when you’re using Obliterate goes 20% up.

– 4 pieces: Howling Blast now generates 6 RP over Rime‘s active time.


– 2 pieces: While Pillar of Ice is active, every 60 RP spent increase its action time by 1.0 sec.

– 4 pieces: Every 3rd Rune spent increases the power enhancement for the next Pillar of Ice by 1%.


– 2 pieces: Howling Blast now deals 15% more damage. Obliterate deals 15% more damage, too.

– 4 pieces: When you deal ice magic damage, there si a certain probability you shower your enemy with icicles dealing (0% * 3) units of ice magic.

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Kick with a modifier, with the Shift key held, the ability is applied on a remembered target, without – on the current one.

/cast [mod:shift,@focus][]Mind Freeze


Combat resurrection at cursor’s position

#showtooltip Raise Ally
/cast [target=mouseover] Raise Ally


Howling Blast at cursor’s position:

/cast [target=mouseover] Howling Blast


Death Grip at the cursor’s position; if there’s no target under the cursor, the grip is applied to the current target:

#showtooltip Death Grip 
/cast [target=mouseover, exists] Death Grip; Death Grip