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Frost Death Knight Class Changes and Explanations on War Within Alpha: May 14th

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Frost is on the Death Knight tuning table this time around! There's new talents throughout the three and even two new capstones, as well as Breath of Sindragosa, Frostscythe and other skill improvements. 

Blizzard LogoFrost (Source)

Hello, Death Knights–

This week’s Alpha update includes another round of changes for Death Knights – this time focused on the Frost tree. Like our last round of changes for Unholy, we looked at talents that felt more appropriate to be baseline for the spec and talents that worked better as 1 rank instead of 2. Notably, we made Fatal Fixation and Rime baseline, reduced Frostwhelp’s Aid, Enduring Strength, and cut both Cold-Blooded Rage and Invigorating Freeze and reduced their new talents to 1 rank.

The goal with the above changes is to cut down on build friction allowing for more customization as you spec through the tree. These changes alongside other talent movements and new pathing connections should help create a better experience for build variety.

We’ve also created a variety of new talents and added 2 new capstones that focus on your auto-attacks which should help give some better sustained damage outside of Pillar of Frost windows. These talents also complement both Obliteration and Breath of Sindragosa builds and add some unique gameplay that expands on the Shattering Blade talent node.

We’ve added Razorice to the targets unit frame to allow easier tracking on when to use Frost Strike. Frostscythe has also seen an update to move it out of the regular rotational rune spender to a big heavy hitter on a medium cooldown. Its rune cost has been increased to 2 and its damage has been greatly increased and is always guaranteed to critically strike. It also has unique mechanic that reduces its cooldown when you consume Killing Machine which has some fun synergy with the suite of new auto-attack talents we’ve added to help your Killing Machine procs.

Lastly, we increased Breath of Sindragosa damage to compensate for the loss of uptime from our first round of changes which should lend itself to a burstier playstyle with less focus on “infinite” duration buffs. We are keeping an eye on its current Runic Power cost which is unchanged since its increase in Dragonflight. From our internal testing, we’re seeing 30-40 second breaths, based on situations but the are many scenarios where it can feel extremely tight as you wait for Runes to replenish, which means we may need to look at its cost per second and pulling out some runic power generation elsewhere.

We would love your feedback on how the current iteration of Breath of Sindragosa feels on uptime. Tangentially, we still have some work we’d like to do on Obliteration build resources especially as it pertains to Runic Power consumption as it can still be flooded a bit inside cooldowns.

Thank you for the continued feedback. Our next round of changes will be focused on Blood updates, Unholy, and Core talent iteration based on feedback we’ve received so far.

And here are the actual changes from the development notes:

Blizzard LogoFrost (Source)

  • DEATH KNIGHT
    • Frost
      • New Talent: Shattered Frost – When Frost Strike consumes 5 Razorice stacks, it deals 50% of the damage deal to nearby enemies. Deals reduced damage beyond 8 targets. Available as a capstone talent after Shattering Blade.
      • New Talent: Arctic Assault – Consuming Killing Machine fires a Glacial Advance through your target. Available as a new capstone directly after Obliteration.
      • New Talent: Smothering Offense – Your auto attack damage is increased by 5%. This amount is increased per stack of Icy Talons you have and can stack up to 2 additional times.
      • New Talent: Icy Death Torrent – Your auto attack critical strikes have a chance to send out a sleet of ice dealing Frost damage to enemies in front of you.
      • New Talent: The Long Winter – While Pillar of Frost is active, your auto-attack critical strikes increase its duration by 1 second, up to a maximum of 5 seconds.
      • Frostscythe has been redesigned – A sweeping attack that strikes all enemies in front of you for Frost damage. This attack always critically strikes and critical strikes with Frostscythe deal normal damage. Deals reduced damage beyond 5 targets. Consuming Killing Machine reduces the cooldown of Frostscythe by 1 second. Now has a 30 second cooldown and Rune cost increased to 2 (was 1).
      • Rime is now a baseline ability learned at level 21.
      • Breath of Sindragosa damage increased by 25%.
      • Chill Streak can now bounce off the Death Knight if a second enemy target isn’t found.
      • Enduring Strength is now a 1-point talent. Strength increased to 20% (was 10%).
      • Frostwhelp’s Aid is now a 1-point talent. Now grants 8% Mastery per target hit (was 4%).
      • Killing Machine now stacks 1 additional time.
      • Everfrost is now learned in gate 1 directly after Howling Blast.
      • Frostwyrm’s Fury position moved to gate 2 and located directly after Icecap, Frostwhelp’s Aid, and Enduring Strength.
      • Absolute Zero shifted up to gate 3 unlock positioned directly behind Frostwyrm’s Fury.
      • Shattering Blade is now available after Avalanche.
      • Rune of Razorice now displays the debuff on the enemy nameplate.
      • The following talents have been removed:
        • Fatal Fixation
        • Cold Blooded-Rage
        • Invigorating Freeze
      • Horn of Winter is now positioned in Fatal Fixations old location.
      • Empower Rune Weapon is now located in Horn of Winter’s old location.
      • Obliteration has replaced Cold-Blooded Rage.

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