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World of Warcraft Classes Death Knight «Frost»

Frost Death Knight PvE Guide (WoW BfA 8.1.5)

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.

Contents

Introduction

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:

Advantages:

  • 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

Disadvantages:

  • Very low mobility
  • Except for one grip, has nothing unique to help a raid

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Glossary

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Main abilities

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Talents

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

Tier 1 Talents Frost Death Knight

  • Inexorable assault –  Gain inexorable assault every 8 sec, stacking up Inexorable assault   to 5 times. Obliterate consumes a stack to deal an additional frost damage.
  • Icy talons –  Your runic power spending abilities increase your melee attack speed by 5% for 6 sec, stacking up to 3 times.
  • Cold heart – Your next Chains of ice deal  Frost damage. Stacks up to 20 times. An optimal talent that deals great damage.

 

Tier 2. Lvl 57

Tier 2 Talents Frost Death Knight

  • Runic attenuation – Auto attacks have a chance to generate 3 Runic power. Triggers around 18 times per minute. It is the best choice for a single target fight.
  • Murderous efficiency – Consuming the killing machine has 50% chance to grant 1 rune. It is passive and very effective talent because it grants a lot of resources but still a bit worse than Runic attenuation.
  • Horn of winter –  Blowing the horn of winter grants you 2 runes and 25 rune power. Has 45 sec cd. A good talent to gain resources but worse than Runic attenuation

 

Tier 3. Lvl 58

Tier 3 Talents Frost Death Knight

  • Death’s reach – Increases the range of Death grip by 10 yards. Killing an enemy  resets the cooldown of Death grip.
  • Asphyxiate  – Stunning an enemy for 4 sec.
  • Blinding sleet – Blinds the targets in front of you and disorients them for 5 sec. Damage may cancel the effect.

* This tier has no talents affecting dps so you can choose  what you like the most or what is required for a boss fight.

 

Tier 4. Lvl 60

Tier 4 Talents Frost Death Knight

  • Avalanche. While Rime  is active your next Howling blast causes jagged icicles to fall on enemies nearby your target dealing frost damage.
  • Frozen puls – While you have fewer than 3 full Rune, your auto attacks radiate intense cold, inflicting Frost damage to all nearby enemies. This is the best choice in the tier.
  • Frostscythe – A sweeping attack, striking all enemies in front of you with Frost damage. This attack benefits from Killing machine and can consume it. Critical strikes with Frostscythe deal 4 times normal damage. The best aoe talent that is used instead of Obliterate if there are more than 4 targets.

 

Tier 5. Lvl 75

Tier 5 Talents Frost Death Knight

  • Permafrost.   Your auto attack damage grants you an absorb shield equal to 40% of the dealt damage. A good choice if mobility is not required.
  • Wraith walk. Removes all rooting effects and increases your movement speed by 70% for 4 sec. Taking any action may cancel the effect. While active your movement speed cannot be reduced below 170%. It is a good talent if an additional mobility is required.
  • Death pact. Heals you for 50% of your maximum health but absorbs incoming healing equal to 30% of your max health. A situational choice in this tier.

 

Tier 6. Lvl 90

Tier 6 Talents Frost Death Knight

  • Gathering storm. Each Rune spent during Remorseless winter increases its damage by 10% and extends its duration by 0.5 sec. It is a good talent but it is worse than Frostwyrm’s fury because of less damage.
  • Glacial advance. Summon glacial spikes for 30 rp that advance forward, dealing minor frost damage and  Razorice to all attacked enemies. The weakest talent in the tier.
  • Frostwyrm’s fury. Summons a Frostwyrm that breathes on all enemies within 40 yards in front of you, dealing frost damage.  It is the best talent in the tier.

Tier 7. Lvl 100

Tier 7 Talents Frost Death Knight

  • Icecap. Your Frost strike and Obliterate critical strikes reduce the remaining cooldown of Pillar of Frost by 1 sec.  
  • Obliteration. While  Pillar of Frost is active, Frost strike and Howling Blast always grant Killing machine and have 30%  to generate a rune. This talent is better than Icecap but weaker than Breath of sindragosa.
  • Breath of sindragosa. Grants you a buff that takes up 15 rp every second and deals Frost damage to enemies in cone of you. Deals reduced damage to secondary targets. It lasts until your Runic power is exhausted or you cancel the effect. The best talent in this tier.

In the end we get a basic build: 3122133.

 

  1. Cold heart
  2. Runic attenuation
  3. Asphyxiate
  4. Frozen puls
  5. Permafrost
  6. Frostwyrm’s fury
  7. Breath of sindragosa

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Azerite armor

Sets in BFA were removed and azerite armor took their place. Now any chest, shoulder and helm has a few rings to choose a talent.

  • The best choice for raiding is Treacherous Covenant  in any amount. This talent grants from 301 to 387 strength (depends on item level) but has its cons, for example if your health drops below 50% it stops granting strength and you start taking 15% increased damage while below 20%  health. Also this trait is available to get only from a raid.
  • Icy citadel is the second good trait that you can have in any amount.When Pillar of Frost  expires, your Strength is increased for 6 sec. This effects lasts 2 sec longer for each Obliterate and Frostscythe critical strike during Pillar of Frost . It a very good choice considering that Pillar of Frost  has only 1 min cd.
  • Frozen tempest is another strong talent that increases Remorseless winter damage and. If the deals damage to 3 different enemies, you gain Rime. This way Remorseless winter you use every cd is not just a filler but a really strong spell for a single target and AOE fights.  

*Summing up I can say that azerite talents are very situational and depend on a boss fight. You can always check your character on raidbots.com or to see the hottest information about azerite traits on herodamage.com.

( AzeritePowerWeights:1:"herodamage.com - Stacks_1T_T23":6:251: 562=10, 522=9.43, 193=9.40, 526=9.35, 82=9.03, 196=8.81, 505=8.24, 478=8.06, 479=8.04, 504=7.96, 157=7.74, 501=7.69, 481=7.67, 483=7.62, 494=7.62, 488=7.62, 194=7.51, 195=7.43, 489=7.14, 495=7.14, 485=7.13, 347=7.11, 108=7.02, 523=6.97, 482=6.95, 486=6.66, 492=6.66, 198=6.56, 561=6.49, 521=6.46, 141=6.36, 480=6.29, 192=6.25, 242=6.21, 30=5.94, 498=5.94, 346=5.88, 156=5.81, 500=5.61, 493=5.60, 487=5.60, 459=5.20, 31=5.03, 22=4.99, 21=4.93, 18=4.90, 499=4.76, 541=4.56, 560=4.51, 20=4.38, 497=4.31, 491=4.31, 461=4.28, 462=4.11, 490=3.94, 496=3.94 )

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Rotation

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. Frostwyrm’s fury – should be used as often as possible and it has to be 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. Chains of ice when you have 20 stacks of Cold heart
  3. Howling Blast per benefit from Rime.
  4. Remorseless Winter per CD
  5. Obliterate, to avoid Rune capping, or if you have access to Killing Machine.
  6. Frost Strike, to avoid Rune capping.
  7. Obliterate.
  8. Frost Strike.

AoE or cleave

Let’s suggest you’re using Breath of Sindragosa. Before activating it, make sure you have at least 2-4 Runes a your dispense and 50+ RP. In any other case, you should first collect those unless you want to ‘drop’ the Breath.

  1. Empower rune  weapon  before Breath of sindragosa
  2. Obliteration every chance when you have enough RP that keep up the breath.
  3. Howling Blast per benefit from Rime.
  4. Obliterate.
  5. Horn of Winter, if you’ve picked this talent.

When your Breath of Sindragosa runs out

  1. Frostwyrm’s fury – should be used as often as possible and it has to be 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. Howling Blast per benefit from Rime.
  3. Frost Strike, to avoid Rune capping.
  4. Obliterate, to avoid Rune capping, or if you have access to Killing Machine.
  5. Remorseless Winter per CD
  6. Obliterate.
  7. Frost Strike.

* In case you’re using Frostscythe, just replace Obliterate in these lists with it.

Now let’s switch to a closer perspective of using the 3122133  

Opener:

  1. Prepot Potion of Prolonged Power 1-2 secs before the combat.
  2. Remorseless Winter before the combat or during the very pool.
  3. Obliteration  and Howling blast (until you have 2-3 runes)
  4. Pillar of Frost
  5. Sindragosa’s Fury
  6. Empower rune  weapon
  7. Breath of sindragosa
  8. Obliteration  and Howling blast when “ Rime” procs to keep up the breath
  9. After Breath of sindragosa ends start the standard rotation and use spend runes on Obliteration and RP on  Frost strike.

After Breath of sindragosa, follow your regular priorities meaning do not miss out on benefits and never let you resources hold on capped.

Useful notes:

Pillar of Frost is used every cd. It is a very important spell in this build that should be always used in combination with Breath of sindragosa. If the Breath is not on dc anymore but Pillar is on cd, you should wait to combine them. Empower rune  weapon is used only before  Breath of sindragosa.

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 (4+) 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) with max stacks, hold it to use with Pillar of Ice for no more than 6 secs. Otherwise, push it. 2) With 10+ stacks, if your Pillar of Ice is almost over.

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Stats

The basic priority rating for the characteristics is as follows:

Mastery > Strength > Crit = Haste > 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.

Gems

Enchantments

Food

Flasks and pots

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Macros

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

 

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What’s next?

 

  1. Leveling. If your character has been inactive since the previous expansions, the best  option to level up it is by Timewalking dungeons. You will gain a lot of experience, but there is one big disadvantage of leveling this way. Timewalks are available only for one week during a month, but Overgear is always here.
  2. Equipment. At high level, the most important thing for you will become your gear. WoW is a multiplayer game, that’s why we recommend for you to play it with your friends, or to find a new friends for mythic+ runs. If you have any trouble with it – Overgear may help you to find not just friends for a run, but a complete well geared and experienced group that also will be glad to trade all the loot you need.
  3. Raids. Raids are the top-tier PvE content in the game. That’s why the equipment’s base ilvl is higher than anywhere else. These dungeons require knowing all the tactics and have a good gear to kill the bosses. The possibilities of Overgear might let you skip those criteria.

Azerite. It is also not the best idea to forget about the Heart of Azeroth and not to feed it with more Azerite. Ignoring this won’t make your character stronger. The easiest way to do it – just complete all the world quests with Azerite rewards everyday. You can get extra azerite from Island Expeditions. Companions can be found at Overgear.