Death Knight Builds (Updated for Warlords of Draenor Expansion 6.0.3)


This site contains popular WOW Death Knight Builds and other resources on how to play a Death Knight. As you all know, the Death Knight class player class was released during the Cataclysm expansion for World of Warcraft(WOW). The Death Knight has changed a lot with the release of the newest expansion, Warlords of Draenor.

 

A little bit about the Death Knight Class:

 

This class is a damage dealer / tank hybrid class.

 

The Death Knight class starts at level 55 and is unlockable if you have level 55+ character on that realm.

WOW Death Knights do not have shields but do have good avoidance and powerful anti-magic protection that allow them to to fill the roll of tank. Death Knights make good tanks if they are geared, spec'd and played correctly.

WOW Death Knights can dual wield or use 2-handed weapons. They use a unique rune system for their special skills so playing a Death Knight often means using a combo rotations for doing damage but in recent patches it has gone to a priority system(we talk about this later on). Death Knights also gain runic power when using abilities that use runes and this runic power can be used to cast spells such as Death Coil or Frost Strike.

Death Knight talents are split into 3 different trees:


Blood: This is now the only tanking tree that death knights have. Death Knights use to be able to tank in all 3 trees but this changed with the release of Cataclysm.

 

Frost: This is a DPS tree. Dual wielding frost spec'd death knights are the top for DPS build right now but unholy 2H is very close.

 

Unholy: This is DPS class and PVP class, it focus's more on diseases and ghouls for our DPS.

Current News:

Warlords of Draenor will be released on Nov 13th.

patch 4.3 released

 

 

The pre-patch 6.0.3 for WOD has been released and here are some of the changes that effect Death Knights:

 

General Changes That Effect Death Knights:

OK I was going to go over every single change that happened with the patch 6.0 that effected death knights in this patch and the expansion but but I figure if you wanted that info you would just check that out the patch notes at Blizzard.

 

In short the some of the changes are as follows:

-many spells, skills, talents and glyphs removed or changed to remove skills that are not that useful or fun to make game play a little bit easier.

-Level cap increased to 100 when expansion goes live and of course new areas to explore.

-Expertise and hit removed so there is no min cap you have to strive for to hit mobs.

-Reforge removed from game.

-There is a lot of changes they made with this patch and with the expansion, I recommend checking out the patch notes to familiarize yourself if you have not already.

 

Site News:

Updated pages for new Warlords of Draenor expansion.

 

A total of 9 builds are currently listed

Death Knight Builds (Updated for Warlords of Draenor patch 6.0.3)

 

I have just updated the Death Knight builds for Warlords of Draenor 6.0.3 Patch. You will find old death knight builds for previous versions of the game at the links below. Please note: links pointing to wowhead will not work for the old death knight builds due to how they update their database. In most cases I had taken a screen shot of the builds and if you click on the camera icon beside any build link it should bring up a picture of that build.

 

Please note if you are looking for previous Death Knight Builds you can find them here:

death knight builds for 3.2

death knight builds for 4.0.1 - 4.0.3a

death knight builds for 4.0.6

death knight builds for 4.3

 

You can create Death Knight talent builds at:

http://www.wowdb.com/talent-calculator

http://db.mmo-champion.com/utils/talent/#k=.bqj.deathknight

http://www.wowhead.com/talent#k|


3 Builds Listed

 

Blood Tanking Builds:

Simple Blood Tanking Build For WoD - This is a simple tanking build for WoD, it isn't maximized but is easy to play.


blood tanking build for WoD

 

 

Raid Blood Tanking Build For WoD - This is one of the best blood tank specs and is suited for raiding. You will however want to change talents depending on what is needed for the encounter.

 

Rotation:

Single Target Rotation(Blood Presence):

Start fights if tanking by using Dark Command or Death Grip to get initial agro.

  1. Diseases Up - Always have diseases on your target, initially use Outbreak or if it is down use icy touch and plague strike. Use blood boil to spread or refresh diseases.
  2. Death Strike - Your Frost, Unholy or Death runes are used to cast this. If the encounter has large damage spikes you may want to time you DS to follow these big damage dealing effects to maximize healing to yourself.
  3. Rune tap or Blood Boil - For your blood runes you will want to use them to cast either rune tap to help mitigate incoming damage bursts or use blood boil when rune tap is not available or if damage mitigation is not as important. Blood tap will also increase the amount you will heal from your next death strike.
  4. Death Coil - Use your runic power for this, do not let your runic power go over 100%.
  5. Death and Decay/Defile - Use for AOE as well as using blood boil.
  6. Crimson Scourge Procs- Use on DnD/Defile or blood boil if they are on cooldown.
  7. Soul Reaper - Use when target is below 35% health.

 

Blood PVP Builds:

Death Knight Arena PVP Spec - This has a good mix of survival and healing skills for that should be very useful for PVP.

3 Builds currently listed

 

Frost Death Knights have changed a lot with the MoP release.

 

Frost Death Knight PVE Builds:

Starter PVE Build for leveling - This is a simple build that does not have dps maximized but does make gameplay pretty very simple as you do not have to manage plague leech. Using frost strike will apply diseases and as that is part of your rotation so you will not have to worry about reapplying them.

simple frost build

 

Some of the glyphs come from WoD content. This spec will work with or without using a 2h or dual weapons. This build is all about keeping it simple.

 

Raid DW and 2H DPS Frost Spec - This is the highest DPS spec for Death Knights. Dual hits for about the same damage as 2h but dual has the advantage of extra aoe damage. It will come down a lot of time to what your best weapon is as far as what your damage output will be like. At this time Necrotic plague although it looks great does not do as much damage as the other talents on the 7th tier.

 

frost dk dsp build

 

 

Frost DW PVE Rotations:

Frost Single Target, Dual Wield, Priority Rotation (done in Frost Presence):

  • Cast and keep diseases up on target. Use outbreak to begin with if it is off of cooldown otherwise apply frost fever with howling blast and plague strike. If using necrotic plague (not recommended at this point) you will only have to use howling blast to apply and reapply diseases or use frost strike if talented for plague bringer.
  • Use frost runes and death runes on howling blast.
  • Use runic power to cast frost strike, make sure you are not letting your runic power cap out as this is a loss of dps.
  • Use plague leech on cooldown, don't forget to reapply diseases right away!
  • Use death and decay/defile on AOE trash it can also be a dps gain at higher gear levels for dps for single targets..
  • Soul reaper - If target is below 35% health, this hits hard!
  • Use obliterate only if there is only unholy runes available.

 

Frost Two-Handed Weapon, Priority Rotation (done in Frost Presence):

  1. Cast and keep diseases up on target. Use outbreak to begin with if it is off of cooldown otherwise apply frost fever with howling blast and plague strike. If using necrotic plague (not recommended at this point) you will only have to use howling blast to apply and reapply diseases or use frost strike if talented for plague bringer.
  2. Use runes to cast obliterate.
  3. Use runic power to cast frost strike, make sure you are not letting your runic power cap out as this is a loss of dps.
  4. Use plague leech on cooldown, don't forget to reapply diseases right away!
  5. Use death and decay/defile and howling blast for AOE.
  6. Soul reaper - If target is below 35% health, this hits hard!

 

 

Frost PVP Builds:

Frost PVP Build - This is a frost PvP starter build good for arena and BGs. I am not going to give a rotation for this, play smart. Use your cooldowns to burn things down or keep yourself alive.

 

3 Builds Listed

 

Unholy DPS Builds:

Simple Unholy Death Knight Raid DPS Build - This spec is pretty simple for the new death knight. You do not have to manage plague leech or do much to manage diseases. You also do not have to micro manage blood tap.


unholy deathknight dps build

 

 

Unholy Death Knight Raid DPS Build - This is the default cookie cutter build, change talents as needed. Talents are meant to max dps.

 

unholy deathknight dps build

 

Unholy Death Knight Rotations for WoD:

Single Target Rotation (DPS done in Unholy Presence):

  1. Cast and keep diseases on target with plague strike. If multiple targets spread diseases with blood boil.
  2. Use dark transformation should be used whenever possible.
  3. Soul reaper - When target is below 45% and use as often as possible..
  4. Death coil - If above 90 RP or if sudden doom procs.
  5. Scourge Strike - If both unholy and/or all death runes are up. Use DnD/defile whenever possible instead of sinister strike as it does more damage.
  6. Festering Strike - if both pairs of Blood and Frost runes are up.

 

Unholy PVP Build:

Unholy Death Knight PVP Build

 

 

Do you wish to submit a Death Knight Build?

If you have any comments or wish to share any Death Knight builds please email me at admin@deathknightbuilds.com. If you are submitting a Death Knight build, please create it with MMO-Champions Talent Builder, list the spec of the build and any information you wish to include such as rotations or what the spec is for PVP, raid DPS, tanking, etc.. The more information you can give the easier it is on me.

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