This guide is intended for those who are fairly new to the death knight class and are looking for a great way to start.
What Has Changed With Death Knights?
1. The rune system is completely different and a lot easier to manage. In the past there were frost, death, and unholy runes, but now they are basically like having six death runes.
2. All Death Knight specs have a ranged kick of 15 yards, which is very nice because we lack mobility.
3. Abilities That Were Pruned Include: Desecrated Ground, Lichborne, Death Siphon, Death Pact, Icy Touch(along with its dispel), Plague Strike, Asphyxiate, Outbreak, Death and Decay, and Plague Leech.
4. We have a great, utilizable talent tree for many different arena situations.
5. Death Knights have a new ability called wraith walk, which allows you to break roots and slowing effects, and increase your movement speed by 70% for 3 seconds. So, this is essentially a 3 second freedom every 45 seconds, just remember that any action you do, will cancel the effect.
6. Chains of Ice is now a 70% slow, up from 50%, which is a great tool to peel for your teammates.
7. We have a new ability that comes from our artifact weapon. This ability is called Sindragosa's Fury. It does a massive amount of aoe damage, like it should for a 5 min cd, and is really fun to use.
8. Glyphs are completely removed from the game, but you are able to buy cosmetic glyphs to make some of your abilities look cooler.
9. An important thing to notice is your artifact weapon talent tree as well. When you guys obtain your weapon make sure to read each piece because some of them are extremely vital tools for your kit in arena.
Here is a list of talents that I prefer to run on frost death knight and below are explanations as to why I choose those talents and any tweaks that you could make for certain situations.
Level 56: Murderous Efficiency is an ideal talent choice for this slot because almost every killing machine proc you get, you are able to potentially refund a rune and more runes can mean more peeling with chains of ice, or more damage. It works very well with your passive that gives you a chance to refund a rune when you spend runic power. OTHER OPTION: Shattering Strikes is another viable option. This enables you to do more burst to your target, but further testing needs to be done because Razorice is currently not working in arenas. FeelsBadMan.
Level 57: Freezing Fog is a must for this tier list because each rime proc that you get increases the damage of howling blast by 100%, so the extra 25% on top of that is a nice addition and it makes your frost fever deal more damage as well.
Level 58: Avalanche is a must for this tier because each time you crit with any of your abilities, it produces an avalanche that does a fair amount of damage to any opponents around you.
Level 60: Blinding Sleet is basically an unpredictable dragon's breath. It is unpredictable in the fact that it can break on damage, but sometimes it sits full, which is very nice because if you are playing with a heavy stun partner, you can use this ability out of the stuns for extra pressure.
Level 75: Volatile Shielding or Permafrost. You would use Volatile shielding in any circumstance where there high magic damage on the opposing team and permafrost would be ideal versus teams that have little to no magic.
Level 90: Gathering Storm is a great ability that amplifies your Remorseless Winter, which is an ability that you want to use to amplify the damage of your frost strike from a PvP Talent called Tundra Stalker.
Level 100: Obliteration is very ideal because you can constantly receive killing machine procs after every frost strike and it goes hand in hand with gathering storm because it makes the rune cost of your obliterate 1 instead of 2, but gathering storm will still count as if 2 runes were used from the obliterate. I am not sure if this is a bug or not, but its definitely the best option at the moment in terms of damage. This also goes hand in hand with the avalanche talent as well. I am currently doing more testing on Glacial Advance and it seems to have an issue when used near a wall and that the skill shot is very thin.
Here is a list of PvP Talents that I prefer to run on frost death knight and below are explanations as to why I chose those talents and any tweaks that you could make for certain situations.
First Tier: Gladiator's Medallion is usually a go to vs teams that have spammable cc, like polymorphs, or fears. ORC OPTION: If the team has heavy stuns and you are an orc, then the Relentless talent would be the way to go.
Second Tier: Reinforced Armor is used in almost all situations because one, frost dks have the highest hp pool in arena, and two, Sparring is only really viable against pure physical melee teams, which rarely exist.
Third Tier: Most of you might not like this talent tree because there are two very good options on there. Dark Sim and Anti-Magic Zone. AMZ, which has been significantly buffed, has always been a great defensive tool for either yourself or your teammates. I personally chose AMZ because it is, literally, another entire defensive CD for your team and can save trinkets from your healer or defensives for your partners in general.
Fourth Tier: Necrotic Aura when playing with things that would benefit from a magic damage amplification and Heartstop Aura with classes that wouldn't benefit from a magic damage amplification.
Fifth Tier: Tundra Stalker is too good to pass up because it increases your damage to snared targets and since you are a frost dk, things will always be snared.
Sixth Tier: Chill Streak is the best ability that frost death knights have and this is what makes the spec amazing. It does a massive amount of damage with each bounce, especially if you are running necrotic aura. The key to using this ability is to make it bounce to one target as much as possible. It bounces 5 times, so the most it can bounce to the same person would be 3 times, so you could say that the ideal time to use this ability would be when there are 2 targets present in close enough range to enable this maximum damage output. **WORKS ON PETS** Please note that.
I still think some people are confused on the whole gearing subject, so I am going to explain it to you guys, so you can benefit yourselves in the best way. The simplest way to explain how to gear in Legion for PvP purposes is to achieve the highest ITEM LEVEL GEAR that you could obtain. Regardless of the stats, each class has a predetermined PvP template of stats when they enter either a BattleGround or and Arena. This "Predetermined" Set of Stats increase with Item level, NOT WITH WHAT THE STATS ON YOUR GEAR SAY.
Here is an example: You obtain a 850 Ilvl piece that gives you mastery and crit and you are like "WoW this is great!" "My Best Stats!". Then 20 minutes later you receive a 855 Warforged piece that gives you haste and versatility. Go for the piece with the higher item level regardless of the stats on the gear, because those stats do not matter at all once you step into a PvP related experience.
To those DKs who want to do the most optimal damage in arena, you are going to have to get your pve pants on because the item level for mythic raiding gear gives your pvp stat templates a nice boost in arena if you are maxed out. Holinka estimated that the difference would be 5% or so, but that is very worth it in my eyes, especially in higher rated PvP.
1. Fallen Crusader
Rotation In PvP
There is no ideal rotation for a death knight in PvP because the way the rune system works. There is a lot of RNG built into the rotation, but the best way I can start you off is with this:
1. Make sure your target is slowed to enable your tundra stalker talent, whether this be Remorseless Winter, Chains of Ice, or your teammates slow, make sure they are slowed at all times.
2. Killing Machine procs only work with obliterate, so that is very simple.
3. Rime procs only work with howling blast now.
4. Try to keep your gathering the storm ability up with obliterates and then if you have no more runes to spend you can use howling blast to keep it rolling as well. This will increase your damage.
5. The best way to get a feel for it is to literally attack a target dummy for an hour or so until you are perfectly comfortable and quick enough to maximize your damage with your random rime and killing machine procs.
Here is a list of macros that you could copy and paste for your benefit.
Death Knight PvP Stream
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