Frost Death Knight in Shadowlands
“Frost” Death Knight is a melee fighter that combines frost magic with physical damage. Can fight with both one- and two-handed weapons. This spec is fairly easy to play, but mastering all the intricacies still takes some effort!
In this guide you’ll learn what talent builds to pick and why, what gear to collect, which covenant to join, which soulbinds to use, which legendary effects to hunt for, and most importantly, how to properly use your arsenal of abilities. You’ll learn about all of this and more below.
Like any other DK spec, “Frost” has 2 resources: Runes and Runic Power. Runes are always ready outside of combat. After using a rune, it starts to recharge. Only 3 runes can be recharged at a time. Runes regeneration rate depends on your haste, traits and Runic Corruption procs. Runic Power is similar to rage — it can be accumulated and spent.
- Frequent high burst damage
- Easy to operate
- Anti-Magic Zone as a raid save
- A wide range of utilities like pull and control undead. DK’s saves allow to avoid multiple mechanics
- Very strong in PvP
- Still worse than Unholy DK in any type of encounters
- Loses damage when leaving melee zone with the Breath of Sindragosa talent
- Average mobility
About the author
Raider of the “Exorsus” guild — nurseos. I’ve been playing WoW since 2009. Since 2014 I regularly compete for top spots in raids, and took part in two WF in Legion. Multiclasser, played DK since 7.0, was 8th in the world to close the epic Castle Nathria on DK and completed all 15th keys (1300 RIO). You can always find me on twitch.tv, where I stream regularly and share my experience.
Obliterate — your main single-target physical attack that costs 2 runes. When Killing Machine procs it has a chance to critically strike.
Howling Blast — deals Frost damage to the primary target and reduced damage to all enemies within 10 yds, infecting them with Frost Fever. 30 yd range, costs 1 Rune.
* Frost Fever — Frost magic DoT. Each tick has a chance to replenish 5 Runic Power.
Frost Strike — main Runic Power spender. Deals massive Frost damage for 25 Runic Power.
Remorseless Winter — for 1 Rune creates a small blizzard around you for 8 sec, dealing decent Frost damage and reducing enemies’ movement speed by 20%. CD 20 sec.
Death and Decay — deals shadow damage in a chosen area for 10 sec.
Pillar of Frost — increases your Strength by 10% for 12 sec. Each Rune spent while active increases your Strength by an additional 1%. CD 1 min. Your main burst.
Empower Rune Weapon — empowers your rune weapon, gaining 15% Haste and generating 1 Rune and 5 Runic Power instantly and every 5 sec for 20 sec. CD 2 min.
Frostwyrm’s Fury — summons Sindragosa that flies 40 yds in front of you, dealing Frost damage to all enemies within the area. CD 3 min.
Rune of Razorice — one of the two engravings we will be using. The rune itself does very little damage, but its value lies elsewhere — each stack on an enemy increases your Frost damage dealt to them by 3%. Don’t neglect this bonus, for example, before casting Frostwyrm’s Fury.
Rime — Obliterate has a 45% chance to make your next Howling Blast to consume no runes and deal 300% more damage.
Killing Machine — critical auto attacks increase the crit chance of your next Obliterate.
Runic Empowerment — each Runic Power you spend has a 1.5% chance to instantly grant you a Rune.
Raise Dead — now available to all DK specs. Unlike Unholy, a summoned ghoul will not be controllable and permanent. It lives for 1 min and has a 2 min cooldown. The ghoul can be exploded with Sacrificial Pact to deal some AoE damage.
Anti-Magic Shell — (or AMS). Surrounds you in an Anti-Magic Shell for 5 sec, absorbing damage equal to 30% of your max health and preventing application of harmful magical effects. Damage absorbed generates Runic Power. CD 1 min.
Icebound Fortitude — reduces incoming damage by 30% and makes you immune to stun effects. CD 3 min.
Lichborne — you become undead for 10 sec, increasing leech by 10%, and making you immune to charm, fear, and sleep.
Anti-Magic Zone — places a small dome for 10 sec that reduces incoming magical damage to your allies by 20%.
Raise Ally — combat resurrection that shares the same mechanics with all similar spells of other classes. CD 10 min outside of raid combat. During raids, its CD depends on the amount of players (CD = 90/x, where x — amount of players).
Death Gate — teleport to Acherus, your class hall. CD 1 min.
Runeforging — a crucial ability that allows you to apply different runic upgrades to your weapon. Overall, only one rune is useful — Rune of the Fallen Crusader. Just don’t forget to apply it to your weapon.
Mind Freeze — interrupts enemy’s spellcast and prevents any spell in that school from being cast for 3 sec. CD 15 sec, 15 yd range.
Chains of Ice — for 1 Rune slows the enemy by 70% for 8 sec. 30 yd range.
Path of Frost — allows you and your party/raid members within 50 yards to walk on water for 10 min. Any damage will cancel the effect.
Control Undead — dominates the target undead up to level 61 for 5 min. Costs 1 Rune, 1.5 sec cast, 30 yd range.
Death’s Advance — moderately increases your movement speed for 10 sec and makes you immune to forced movement effects and knockbacks. Passive: You cannot be slowed below 70% of normal speed.
Dark Command — taunt that forces the target to attack you for 3 sec.
Death Strike — for 35 Runic Power deals physical damage and heals you for 40% of all damage taken in the last 5 sec, minimum 10% of maximum health. After killing an enemy, activates the Dark Succor effect that makes your next Death Strike within 20 sec free and increases its healing by 100%.
Death Grip — pulls a target within 30 yds toward you. CD 25 sec.
On a Pale Horse — passive effect. Increases mounted speed by 20%.
Veteran of the Fourth War — increases your stamina by 10%.
General information. On reaching several levels, you will open new Talent tiers. In each tier, you can choose one Talent at a time. Talents can affect your abilities in different ways: add new ones, replace old ones, passively modify various effects and spells. You can change Talents while you’re in Sanctums or in rest areas, but if there are no such places nearby, you can use Tome of the Tranquil Mind, which allows you to change Talents within a minute. Note that Talents can’t be changed in combat. Also, if a Talent selected in a certain tier is on CD, you’ll have to wait for it to recharge in order to change it.
Tier 1 — 15 lvl. Talents that affect DPS
- Inexorable Assault. Gain Inexorable Assault every 8 sec, stacking up to 5 times. Obliterate consumes a stack to deal 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. Every 2 seconds generates a stack of Cold Heart, up to 20 max. Your next Chains of Ice deals Frost damage based on the amount of stacks generated.
* Inexorable Assault — for two-handed weapons.
Cold Heart for 2 one-handed weapons. Can be used with a two-handed weapon if you need a powerful ability in a very short amount of time.
Tier 2 — 25 lvl. Talents that affect DPS
- Runic Attenuation. Auto attacks have a chance to generate 5 Runic Power. Procs around 10.8 times per minute.
- Murderous Efficiency. Consuming the Killing Machine effect has a 50% chance to grant you 1 Rune. A pretty powerful passive that generates resources and minimizes downtime.
- Horn of Winter. Gives you 2 Runes and 25 Runic Power on use. CD 45 sec.
* Runic Attenuation is the only choice when playing with Breath of Sindragosa, i.e. with dual weapons.
Murderous Efficiency is the only choice when playing with Obliteration, i.e. with a two-handed weapon.
Tier 3 — 30 lvl. Control
- Death’s Reach. Increases the range of Death Grip by 10 yds. Killing an enemy resets the cooldown of Death Grip.
- Asphyxiate. Stuns the target for 4 sec.
- Blinding Sleet. Targets in a cone in front of you are blinded, causing them to wander disoriented for 5 sec. Damage may cancel the effect.
* This tier doesn’t affect DPS, so pick whatever suits you or is required for the encounter.
Tier 4 — 35 lvl. Talents that affect DPS
- Avalanche. Casting Howling Blast with Rime active causes icicles to fall on enemies nearby your target, dealing Frost damage.
- Frozen Pulse. While you have fewer than 3 full Runes, your auto attacks inflict Frost damage to enemies around you.
- Frostscythe. A sweeping attack that strikes up to 5 enemies in front of you, dealing Frost damage. This attack benefits from Killing Machine. Critical strikes with Frostscythe deal 4 times normal damage.
* Avalanche gives a good boost for AoE and cleave. Slightly increases DPS against single targets. Irreplaceable when playing with a two-handed weapon.
Frozen Pulse buffs AoE. Forces you to adopt a different playstyle. Good scaling from attack speed, so only usable with dual weapons.
Tier 5 — 40 lvl. Survivability
- Permafrost. Your auto attack damage grants you an absorb shield equal to 40% of the damage dealt. Good choice if you don’t need extra mobility.
- Wraith Walk. Removes all root effects and increases your movement speed by 70% for 4 sec. Taking any action cancels the effect. While active, your movement speed cannot be reduced below 170%. Good choice if you need extra mobility.
- Death Pact. Replenishes 50% of your max health, but creates a shield that absorbs incoming healing equal to 30% of your max health for 15 sec. Situational.
* If you don’t need an extra sprint for the fight, Permafrost is your preferred choice.
Death Pact is rarely picked.
Wraith Walk — default choice, since DK lacks mobility.
Tier 6 — 45 lvl. Talents that affect DPS
- Gathering Storm. Each Rune spent during Remorseless Winter increases its damage by 10%, and extends its duration by 0.5 sec.
- Hypothermic Presence. Once every 45 sec reduces the Runic Power cost for your abilities for 8 sec.
- Glacial Advance. For 30 Runic Power summons glacial spikes from the ground that advance forward, each dealing damage and applying Razorice to everyone it hits.
* Gathering Storm is currently the only choice in any situation. The other two talents just don’t give as much DPS.
Tier 7 — 50 lvl. Talents that affect DPS
* Breath of Sindragosa when playing with dual weapons. Good burst damage in ST and cleave.
Obliteration with a two-handed weapon.
Here are your common builds
Talent builds depend on 2 factors:
- Your weapon type
- The amount of enemies per encounter. Raids are usually perceived as ST fights, Mythic+ — AoE
2 one-handed weapons build:
- Cold Heart
- Runic Attenuation
- Avalanche or Frozen Pulse (if you prefer this kind of gameplay)
- Gathering Storm
- Breath of Sindragosa
- Inexorable Assault
- Murderous Efficiency
- Gathering Storm
Upon reaching level 60 in Shadowlands, you will have to choose one of 4 Covenants: Kyrian, Night Fae, Venthyr, and Necrolord. Each Covenant has a signature and a class ability to offer, as well as 3 unique Soulbinds, with whom you can lick your soul and thereby unlock additional talents. To progress you need to increase your renown with the chosen Covenant.
You can easily switch Covenants in Oribos and quickly gain your renown level back. Problems can only arise if you want to return to a Covenant that was once abandoned. In this case, the Covenant will give you a quest that cannot be completed in one week.
Covenant rating depends directly on your choice of weapon/build and the type of content you want to focus on.
For 2 weapons:
All Covenants are roughly equal. Kyrian is slightly better in ST, Night Fae for cleave and AoE. Venthyr are useful for maintaining Breath of Sindragosa.
Kyrian for ST by a large margin
Night Fae for 2+ targets
If you’re also playing other DK specs, note that the “Blood” spec profits from Venthyr in M+ and from Kyrian in raids, while Necrolord is preferable for “Unholy”.
In PvP (which is a good source of loot in Shadowlands) Necrolord is the preferred Covenant for any spec.
Death’s Due — class ability, replaces Death and Decay and has the same cooldown (15 sec). While you are in the area, your Obliterate will inflict the targets with a stackable debuff that reduces damage they deal to you by 1% and increases your strength by 1%, up to 8% max for 12 sec.
Bad for Frost DK.
Soulshape — signature ability. Teleport 15 yds forward, increasing movement speed by 50% for 12 sec. During this time you can reactivate the ability to blink every 4 sec. Any other ability will cancel the effect. CD 1.5 min.
This ability makes up for DK’s low mobility.
Shackle the Unworthy — class ability, damages the target for 14 sec and decreases its damage done to you. While it’s active on an enemy, your direct-damage attacks that spend runes have a 50% chance to spread Shackle the Unworthy to a nearby enemy. Pretty weak bonus for a Frost DK.
Signature ability: Summon Steward — summons a minion to bring you 3 Phial of Serenity that can be consumed to restore 20% hp and remove all curse, disease, poison, and bleed effects. These phials have a separate cooldown. The ability to remove any debuff in a dangerous situation can be useful in any type of content.
Abomination Limb — instant cast, 2 min cooldown. You sprout an additional limb that damages all enemies to nearby enemies over 12 sec. Every 1 sec, an enemy is pulled to your location if they are further than 8 yds from you. The same enemy can only be pulled once every 4 sec. Additionally, you gain Rime instantly, and again every 6 sec.
This ability gives you extra utility in the form of enemy grips.
Fleshcraft — signature ability, 4 sec cast. Once every 2 min grants a shield with pretty decent damage absorption — 20% of max hp. The shield grows when cast near a dead enemy. The stronger the enemy (lvl, elite), the stronger the shield. Limit — 50% of your max health.
Swarming Mist — class ability, 1 min cooldown, lasts 8 sec. Increases dodge chance by 10%. Deals damage every 1 sec to enemies within 10 yds. You gain 3 Runic Power per tick, up to a maximum of 15 Runic Power. Deals reduced damage beyond 5 targets (but still hits all of them).
Venthyr allows you to maintain Breath of Sindragosa more easily.
Door of Shadows — signature ability. Blink with a 35 yd range and 1.5 sec cast. CD 1 min.
Soulbinds are heroes of your Covenant, with whom you can link your soul. This unlocks a special tree with multiple bonuses. Each Soulbind has their own bonuses and they are different in each Covenant.
By default, choose the path with the maximum number of Potency slots. There are a couple of exceptions, but they will be described below.
- Necrolord: Emeni from lvl 5 renown. Bonesmith Heirmir becomes the best choice after lvl 31 since just a basic Forgeborne Reveries won’t be better than a buff from Emeni with 4 allies. Heirmir’s Marrowed Gemstone is better than the path to a second potency conduit. As a result, the combination of two Heirmir bonuses and one potency conduit yields the best results in all types of content.
- Kyrian: Pelagos in any scenario
- Night Fae: Niya up to lvl 13, Dreamweaver from 13 to 30. After 30 — Niya with Burrs
- Venthyr: Nadjia for ST, Theotar for AoE and M+
Conduits are improvements to your Soulbinds that can be installed in a specific slot. Their ilvl affects their power. Each Soulbind has 2 slots for every type of Conduit. They come in 3 types:
- Potency — affect DPS
- Finesse — grant extra utility
- Endurance — boost your defensive abilities
- Everfrost — Conduit №1, unmatched in terms of bonuses. Even at 145 ilvl it will be better than any other 226 ilvl Conduit.
- A Conduit that enhances your Covenant ability should be equipped in the second slot: Proliferation, Brutal Grasp, Withering Ground, Impenetrable Gloom.
4 in total. The choice is purely individual.
- Spirit Drain — best choice for M+. Gives a lot of Runic Power in dungeons.
- Fleeting Wind — best way to improve mobility.
- Chilled Resilience — useful against such bosses like Xy’Mox. Helps you clear traps.
- Unending Grip — if you need additional slow, but you always have Chains of Ice
3 in total.
- Hardened Bones — reduces incoming damage while Lichborne is active. Best endurance conduit for Unholy.
- Insatiable Appetite — slightly boosts your HPS, not used very often.
- Reinforced Shell — slightly increases the Anti-Magic Zone radius and extends its duration. Not useful anywhere in Shadowlands for now, but keep it in mind.
A total of 16 legendaries are available to Death Knights — 8 class ones with 3 for Frost specifically.
In Shadowlands you can get legendaries from various sources and then apply them to base items via Runecarver in Torghast. Each legendary effect can be applied to only two equipment slots (for example, only cloak and pants). Each legendary item has 4 levels. The level only affects its ilvl, the effect itself is not enhanced.
To craft a legendary item you need:
- Soul Ash (obtainable in Torghast)
- A base item. Craft or buy at the auction.
- 2 Missives which will define the secondary stats that the legendary will have. Be careful — you can’t’ change them later
- A legendary recipe. Press Shift+J and open the “Powers” tab. There you can see which effects you already have, as well as the sources for the ones you don’t.
Legendary items can be crafted at any level, as long as you have enough Soul Ash. Already created legendary items can be enhanced by infusing additional ash.
- Rank 1 — 190 ilvl (1250 ash)
- Rank 2 — 210 ilvl (2000 ash when crafted immediately)
- Rank 3 — 225 ilvl (3200 ash when crafted immediately)
- Rank 4 — 235 ilvl (5150 ash when crafted immediately)
When upgrading a legendary, simply subtract the amount of ash already spent on previous ranks. Example: you have a tier 2 legendary and want to upgrade it to tier 4. 5150-2000=3150 — that’s how much ash you’ll need to spend.
If you added a socket to your legendary, it won’t be lost after an upgrade.
- Koltira’s Favor — best against single targets. Passively increases your damage and allows you to have more Runes per fight.
- Biting Cold — best for 3+ targets. Used in Mythic+ or foe cleave in raids.
In the end, ideally you should have both of these legendaries to feel as comfortable as possible in all types of content.
If you’d like to perform well in PvP, better save some Soul Ash for Absolute Zero.
Other legendaries are too weak compared to the ones mentioned above.
The general Frost DK gameplay is pretty simple. It basically boils down to “click whatever lights up”. However, to fully understand what’s going on, let’s look at the general list of priorities with different talents, how to use cooldowns, and how these priorities change during bursts.
- Chains of Ice with the Cold Heart talent on 20 stacks. Always use Pillar of Frost at the end. If Rune of the Fallen Crusader is active at the same time, that’s great.
- Frostwyrm’s Fury, following a similar principle to Chains of Ice — at maximum strength.
- Remorseless Winter on cooldown if you have Gathering Storm
- Howling Blast with the proc from Rime
- Obliterate, if you have 4+ Runes
- Frost Strike at 90+ Runic Power
- Obliterate with the proc from Killing Machine
- Frost Strike at 70+ Runic Power
- Obliterate, if none of the above are available
- Frost Strike, if none of the above are available
Even though Glacial Advance and Frostscythe are not used right now due to the target cap and their overall poor performance, we will still touch on the use of these talents.
- Frostwyrm’s Fury at the end of Pillar of Frost and Rune of the Fallen Crusader.
- Frost Strike at 90+ Runic Power
- Death’s Due, if Night Fae
- Frostscythe / Obliterate with the proc from Killing Machine
- Remorseless Winter on cooldown if you have Gathering Storm
- Frostscythe / Obliterate
- Frost Strike to avoid Runic Power overcap
Use of cooldowns
Pillar of Frost
A short burst with a 1 minute cooldown. It was reworked significantly in Shadowlands. Pillar of Frost should be used as often as possible in combat or M+. Exceptions — it should be delayed for dangerous moments in combat, Bloodlust cast, or for a damage boost in some encounters.
Empower Rune Weapon
Used on cooldown in combination with Pillar of Frost. Thus, every other Pillar of Frost will be buffed by Empower Rune Weapon.
A very strong burst ability, DK’s signature since Legion. Try using it with a maximum amount of damage buffs on you or against a lot of enemies. Use carefully in Mythic+ to avoid hitting an additional pack (the wyrm flies 40 yds forward).
Breath of Sindragosa
Breath of Sindragosa is your preferred talent when playing with dual weapons. During its duration, you are PROHIBITED from using any abilities that consume Runic Power. Maintaining Breath of Sindragosa for 20 sec without Heroism/Bloodlust is a good result.
Breath of Sindragosa synergizes perfectly with Empower Rune Weapon as well as Pillar of Frost, if it’s used on cooldown.
First, let’s look at openers with Breath of Sindragosa:
- x3 Obliterate to generate Runic Power. If Rime procs in the process — spend its stacks on Howling Blast immediately
- Empower Rune Weapon
- Pillar of Frost + Breath of Sindragosa
Next, follow these priorities:
- Obliterate at 30 Runic Power or less
- Remorseless Winter on cooldown if you have Gathering Storm
- Howling Blast only if Rime procs or Frost Fever is about to expire
- Obliterate if you have 4+ Runes or less than 45 Runic Power
- If you are a Blood Elf, Arcane Torrent will generate 20 Runic Power
* Don’t forget that Anti-Magic Shell generates Runic Power by absorbing magic damage — it can help you extend Breath of Sindragosa.
When playing with a two-handed weapon, you must use Obliteration, it makes the gameplay much easier. Let’s take a look at the beginning of combat:
- Remorseless Winter
- Covenant ability
- Pillar of Frost + Howling Blast
- Empower Rune Weapon + Obliterate
Next comes a cycle of Obliterate and Frost Strike. If Rime procs, replace Frost Strike with Howling Blast.
Choosing a race
The difference between the worst and best race for a Frost DK is no more than 1.5%. That’s why you should pick whatever suits you best. The more you’ll be pleased with your character’s appearance, the more you’ll enjoy playing it.
If that’s not your style, then choose a race based on utility. For example, useful dungeon abilities are: Shadowmeld (Night Elf) and Arcane Torrent (Blood Elf). Since DK lacks mobility, Spatial Rift (Void Elf) or Rocket Jump (Goblin) could be quite useful.
And if you’re after max DPS bonuses, then:
- Horde: Blood Elf = Orc. Troll a little bit behind.
- Alliance: Mechagnome, Dark Iron Dwarf. Draenei a little bit behind.
Basic stat priority looks like this:
Strength > Mastery > Crit > Versatility > Haste
Mastery increases your Frost damage.
Haste increases Rune regeneration rate and reduces intervals between auto attacks.
Crit affects the chance of dealing double damage with your abilities and auto attacks. Also, increases the frequency of Killing Machine procs.
Versatility increases your damage, and half of this bonus reduces incoming damage.
Strength, Mastery and Crit are the most important stats for a Frost DK. Mastery and Crit can switch spots in the priority. Versatility is somewhere in the middle. Haste will almost always be the last priority, so avoid it.
For a more accurate stat calculation for your character, visit the Stat Weights section on Raidbots.com. This way you’ll understand your current position in terms of stats. After a while you’ll start to feel the stat dynamics and become more familiar with your class.
Flasks and pots
BiS Gear & Trinkets
The return of BiS lists (BiS = Best in Slot) became possible after the removal of certain game mechanics like war/titan forging. Note that the game has weekly chests — great vault. You can get Mythic+ items from it equal to 226 ilvl. Some of them can be better than their raid counterparts in terms of stats. But nevertheless, the raids have fixed loot.
Head — Diadem of Imperious Desire (Sire Denathrius, Castle Nathria)
Neck — Noble’s Birthstone Pendant / Azure-Venom Choker (The Council of Blood, Castle Nathria or Halls of Atonement)
Shoulder — Legendaries
Back — Mantle of Manifest Sins (Sun King’s Salvation, Castle Nathria)
Chest — Rampaging Giant’s Chestplate (Sludgefist, Castle Nathria)
Wrist — Reality-Shatter Vambraces (De Other Side)
Hands — BoE Fallen Templar’s Gauntlets or Colossal Plate Gauntlets (Sludgefist, Castle Nathria)
Belt — Waistguard of Expurged Anguish (Sanguine Depths)
Legs — Legplates of Unholy Frenzy (The Necrotic Wake)
Feet — Warboots of Ruthless Conviction (Spires of Ascension)
Rings — Most Regal Signet of Sire Denathrius and Ring of Perpetual Conflict (Sire Denathrius, Castle Nathria, and Theater of Pain)
Let’s highlight the strongest trinkets for the Frost DK:
A complete ranking of trinkets can be found here.
Interrupt with modifiers. Hold Alt to cast it on the focused target:
/cast [mod:alt, @focus] Mind Freeze; Mind Freeze
Many spells are more convenient and faster to use on cursor:
#showtooltip Anti-Magic Zone
/cast [target=cursor] Anti-Magic Zone
#showtooltip Death and Decay
/cast [target=cursor] Death and Decay
*If you chose Night Fae, this macro will cast the updated version of Death and Decay, so you don’t need to edit it.
Combat resurrect on cursor
/cast [target=mouseover] Raise Ally
Death Grip on target or cursor, if there is an enemy under it
#showtooltip Death Grip
/cast [target=mouseover, exists] Death Grip; Death Grip
Howling Blast on cursor or current target
#showtooltip Howling Blast
/cast [target=mouseover, exists, harm] Howling Blast; Howling Blast
Having a good, clean, and functional interface can greatly improve your game in many ways:
- You’ll receive more useful information in a convenient format, which the vanilla UI lacks
- You’ll be able to track your cooldowns and buffs
- See timers with boss abilities
There are 2 main ways of enhancing your interface: using ElvUI — a massive addon that contains a huge number of functions and outputs it all in a uniform style, or via a bunch of separate addons that are responsible for their specific task. It’s easy to use and share profiles. If you’re too lazy to customize, you can always find a suitable profile on wago.io.
If you prefer ElvUI, you still need a couple of key addons to go along with it:
Deja Character stats — Adds more information about the character’s stats, which were hidden in BfA for some reason.
WeakAuras — probably the most important addon in modern WoW. With its help, you can set up almost anything, and on wago.io you can find hundreds of useful auras and import them to your game in a few clicks. You can also find a full pack of auras for any spec.
BigWigs/Deadly Boss Mods — addons with timers and announcements for bosses in raids and M+, choose either of these. It’s also super useful in PvE. For BigWigs, the instance module, LittleWigs, must be installed separately.
Details! Damage Meter — the most up-to-date and advanced damage meter at the moment.
World Quest List — Groups your world quests to the left of the map, filtering them by zone.
Pawn — helps you find gear upgrades, requires SimCraft.
SimulationCraft — simplifies your char’s simulation by creating an in-game line for quick import to Raidbots or SimCraft.
Exorsus Raid Tools — addon for raids with a lot of useful features.
If you’d like to change the UI without ElvUI, then besides the above addons you need to add:
Bartender4 — highly customizable panel addon.
Chatter — chat customization
Sexy map — makes your minimap sexy!
Shadowed unit frames — an alternative to ElvUI for unit frames.
Plater Nameplates — addon from the author of Details that changes enemy nameplates. Fully customizable design and a huge number of available features, as well as the ability to import profiles and mods from wago.io — what else do you need?
Move Anything — allows you to move and resize any part of your interface.
Here you’ll learn a few specific things about playing as Frost DK, and DK in general:
Anti-Magic Shell — a very interesting ability that allows the DK to ignore a huge number of magical mechanics, or absorb damage and transform it into Runic Power.
Icebound Fortitude is not only a save, but a stun immune. Also dispels existing stun effects.
Lichborne allows you to ignore and remove fear effects.
Death’s Advance allows you to ignore knockback and grip effects.
Here are some basic encounters where you can make your life a lot easier:
- Storming affix — Death’s Advance makes you immune to knockback, but you’ll still take damage from tornadoes.
- You can ignore stacks from the Bursting affix
- Prideful affix — for every 20% of killed mobs it spawns an elite, which will cast Belligerent Boast on one of 5 players. You can “absorb” it with your AMS. Belligerent Boast is never applied to the same player twice in a row. It’s impossible to predict who will be affected by it. With the Spell Eater talent your AMS can cover two of these procs, but there’s no guarantee that the debuff will hit you at that time.
- On the Necrotic affix, the effect from auto attacks won’t apply Necrotic Wound
- Sanguine Depths.
The second boss has Castigate. Its cast is divided in 2 parts — precast and channeling. If you activate AMS during the first Castigate phase, the boss will get upset and won’t start the second phase.
- The Necrotic Wake.
The last boss likes casting Frozen Binds. If you get targeted by him, activate your AMS. The effect won’t stick, and you and your friends won’t have to hide from its large area.
- De Other Side.
The last boss uses Cosmic Artifice. Counter with AMS, but get closer to the boss — the effect won’t be applied, but it’ll still spawn the voidzone.
- Theater of Pain.
Kul’tharok casts Draw Soul. AMS will let you ignore it.
Mordretha, the Endless Empress has a nasty ability — Manifest Death. Activating AMS before the end of the timer will let you avoid the effect and prevent hell from spawning.
- Mists of Tirna Scithe.
On the first boss you can catch the fear effect in AMS or Lichborne.
The second boss summons a Vulpin. If you don’t focus on it, it will freeze everyone. If things get out of control, you can run away from your allies, use AMS and grip the Vulpin, pulling it toward you. It won’t freeze you.
- Halls of Atonement.
The second boss occasionally unleashes Curse of Stone. AMS while it’s being cast to avoid the debuff. If you get stunned, use Icebound Fortitude.
Lord Chamberlain has a dangerous spell — Ritual of Woe. If you stand exactly in the boss model with an active AMS, you can block up to 4 beams without taking damage.
Globgrog always stomps to knock you back and then applies a disease debuff that reduces movement speed. Use AMS before the end of the cast. Use Death’s Advance to prevent knockback.
Domina Venomblade applies Shadow Ambush to one of the players. It forces to move away from allies at the end of its duration, after which the boss teleports to a marked player and stuns them. AMS and Icebound Fortitude to counter stun. You still have to run away from your allies!
Margrave Stradama has a very high damage stacking ability — Infectious Rain. In high keys this DoT melts players, so it’s extremely important to minimize the number of stacks on yourself. AMS will allow you to ignore this ability every once in a while.
- Castle Nathria.
Huntsman Altimor. Sinseeker leaves a magical DoT. Use AMS to ignore it. The damage from an initial hit is physical though.
Sun King’s Salvation. Cast AMS during Blazing Surge to reduce incoming damage and regenerate Runic Power.
Artificer Xy’mox. A walk in the park for a DK. With AMS and Icebound Fortitude you can clear traps and absorb the spirit. Death’s Advance lets you avoid being pulled to the center.
Hungering Destroyer. If you have Gluttonous Miasma, make sure to activate AMS prior to Expunge.
Lady Inerva Darkvein. Always use AMS when she casts Lightly Concentrated Anima — this will prevent the add from spawning if it hits you.
Commander of the Stone Legion. Heart Rend is not a strong DoT by itself, but upon removal it triggers a more dangerous effect. Critical for epic difficulty. Either use AMS during the boss cast, or at the last second of Heart Rend.
Death’s Advance is very useful in the epic variant to avoid being knocked back from the platform.
Icebound Fortitude will help you survive Ravenous Feast.
Sire Denathrius. AMS for almost every Blood Price. Casting AMS during the transition between the first and second phases will make you immune to the slowing effect and ensure you get to the center faster. DKs don’t need to bother clearing Burden of Sin during the first phase. Even with max stacks you’ll get to the center thanks to passive effects of Death’s Advance. This will allow you to avoid Cleansing Pain and the spawning of extra mobs.
In the second phase if things didn’t go according to plan, and you have to get into the voidzone from the death of a mob — use Death’s Advance.
In the last phase you can ignore every other knockback with Death’s Advance.
This concludes our guide. We hope you got answers to all your questions about the Frost DK spec. Now get to practice! If you still have any questions, feel free to contact the author on twitch. Good luck in Shadowlands.