WotLK Classic Frost Death Knight Guide

Last updated on Feb 13, 2024 at 12:00 by Sellin 7 comments

Welcome to our Frost Death Knight guide for WotLK Classic, tailored for PvE content. Here, you will learn how all you need to know to play Frost Death Knight proficiently. Click the links below to navigate the guide or read this page for a short introduction.



Death Knight is capable of both Tanking or DPSing and are near the best at both depending on the encounter. Frost is primarily a DPS specialization with a large emphasis on procs and a constantly changing order of priorities that will keep you on your toes if you want to maximize your DPS. If you would like to play a spec with a bit more of a linear path to maximum damage that emphasizes the strengthening your pets and diseases consider trying Unholy. Unholy is extremely competitive damage-wise, not only with Frost but all other Melee specs. Blood, meanwhile, is the default tanking specialization for Death Knight and offers a massive amount of self-healing and group utility on top of being particularly sturdy against any kind of damage.

Frost Death Knight has a very unique style of play based around a constantly updating list of priorities due to procs such as Rime IconRime or Killing Machine IconKilling Machine, but if you are able to follow them you will be dealing massive amounts of damage. In addition to doing tons of damage Frost also brings one of the strongest buffs to the game for other Physical damage dealers in Improved Icy Talons IconImproved Icy Talons as well as having some of the strongest personal survivability cooldowns in the game.

In PvP, Frost Death Knight is the king of burst damage. While extremely susceptible to slows and crowd controlling effects, if you can manage to stay connected to a target as a Frost Death Knight you will be doing nearly unhealable damage. Death Knights in generally are extremely susceptible to crowd-controlling effects, so it is especially powerful to team up with a class that is able to dispel Magic effects.

If you would like to see where Frost Death Knight falls in the overall rankings among DPS specs for both PvE and PvP in Lich King Classic, we have created pages dedicated to explaining what classes and specializations are the best of the best through multiple factors. However, ultimately, you should not let these lists dissuade you from playing what you enjoy.


Strengths and Weaknesses

V Strengths
  • +Some of the strongest single-target and sustained cleave damage in the game.
  • +Ability to talent for powerful group buffs increasing your groups damage.
  • +Powerful personal defensive cooldowns.
  • +Death Grip IconDeath Grip allows for repositioning mobs and other players in a way that no other class is able to.
X Weaknesses
  • -Extremely immobile and vulnerable to slows/stuns after cooldowns are expended.
  • -Must be in melee range to be able to self-sustain.
  • -Heavily dependant on generation of Runic Power.

Best Races for Frost Death Knight

The best race to play as a Frost Death Knight depends on your goals and faction choice. If you are Horde, Orc is the the best option as changes to Blood Fury IconBlood Fury have made it more viable for Tanks and DPS, allowing you to better take advantage of snapshotting your debuffs early into encounters. As Alliance, you can choose from any of the races, though if you are looking to frequently tank either Dwarf or Night Elf are the best choices. Stoneform IconStoneform offers a small personal cooldown while Night Elves' Quickness IconQuickness adds a considerable amount of Dodge passively. If you are looking mostly for PvP, Human is your best option because of how powerful Will to Survive IconWill to Survive is, allowing you to have an entire extra trinket slot that would typically be dedicated to a CC-breaking PvP trinket.





Draenei offers a very situationally useful heal in Gift of the Naaru IconGift of the Naaru that can save you or a party member in an emergency. Heroic Presence IconHeroic Presence is the most powerful racial though as it allows you and people in your party to itemize completely differently because of the added Hit Rating.



Dwarf is in a unique spot, as Stoneform IconStoneform can be a powerful defensive cooldown in a situation where you are unable to get dispelled, have a nasty bleed on you, and are taking a lot of Physical damage. Unfortunately Find Treasure IconFind Treasure and Gun Specialization IconGun Specialization are both completely useless for Death Knights in any kind of combat situation.



Perception IconPerception is extremely strong against any stealth class and can net you a massive advantage in PvP, but Will to Survive IconWill to Survive is the real game-changer, allowing you to dispel crowd-controlling effects off of yourself and freeing up one of your trinket slots for a second PvE trinket. The Human Spirit IconThe Human Spirit is not particularly useful in any combat situation. Both Mace Specialization IconMace Specialization and Sword Specialization IconSword Specialization are quite strong early on in lower gear levels and even later on might alter your gear choices while maintaining Expertise.



Escape Artist IconEscape Artist can be quite useful as one of Death Knight's greatest limitations is their lack of movement speed, however all other racials other than perhaps Arcane Resistance IconArcane Resistance are pretty useless in any combat situation.


Night Elf

Quickness IconQuickness offers a considerable amount of avoidance just for being a Night elf as well as a bit more passive resistance against Nature, which is a major source of damage in this expansion. Shadowmeld IconShadowmeld does not really offer any in-combat benefits as a Death Knight but can sometimes help you save a repair bill.




Blood Elf

While Arcane Torrent IconArcane Torrent does grant a small amount of Runic Power, there are not many combat benefits other than the passive Magic Resistance IconMagic Resistance Blood Elves have.



Orc is the overall strongest race for Death Knight thanks to the benefits of Blood Fury IconBlood Fury which, in Wrath of the Lich King, no longer reduces incoming healing, additional pet damage thanks to Command IconCommand, and a slight increase in effectiveness with axes thanks to Axe Specialization IconAxe Specialization.



Tauren are by default the tankiest of the Horde races thanks to their increased health value from Endurance IconEndurance and they have a powerful aoe stun in War Stomp IconWar Stomp where Death Knight has no other stun.



There is an argument to be made, if you plan to play exclusively Unholy Death Knight, that Troll may be stronger due to the way Berserking IconBerserking synergizes with Summon Gargoyle IconSummon Gargoyle, but overall Troll is second to Orc by a good amount in all Death Knight specalizations including Blood.



While Will of the Forsaken IconWill of the Forsaken is a strong PvP cooldown, it is a bit redundant with spells such as Lichborne IconLichborne and Undead has no other in-combat benefits other than some additional Shadow Resistance IconShadow Resistance which is a major source of damage during the Wrath of the Lich King expansion.


Best Professions for Frost Death Knight

Engineering is extremely important for Death Knights both for the personal DPS increases added from the Cloak and Glove enchants, but especially the insane amount of mobility that Nitro Boosts Icon Nitro Boosts affixed to your boots will allow you. Engineering ends up being a slightly lower gain in stats than other crafting professions, but the overall utility that the Profession has to offer makes it a must-have for almost every class and especially ones that struggle with mobility like Death Knight.

Jewelcrafting is the single largest increase of stats of any of the crafting professions especially before the addition of Epic gems to the game. Stamina is the single strongest stat for a Blood Death Knight's survivability and this is the largest possible gain of it.

Engineering and Jewelcrafting are both chosen based on their end-game benefits and do not offer any particularly beneficial gold farms.


Best Death Knight Macros and Addons

Using macros and addons makes your life significantly easier when playing Wrath Classic, and they can improve your experience a lot, depending on how skilled you are at customizing them.

If you are interested in learning more about addons and macros suited to Frost Death Knights, check out our guides below:


  • 15 Jun. 2023 (pre-raid gear page): Updated for Phase 3.
  • 10 May 2023 (gear page): Updated for Phase 3.
  • 18 Jan. 2023 (enchants page): Reviewed for Phase 2 release ahead of Ulduar raid release.
  • 18 Jan. 2023 (stats page): Reviewed for Phase 2 release ahead of Ulduar raid release.
  • 18 Jan. 2023 (rotation page): Reviewed for Phase 2 release ahead of Ulduar raid release.
  • 18 Jan. 2023 (talents page): Reviewed for Phase 2 release ahead of Ulduar raid release.
  • 18 Jan. 2023 (spells page): Reviewed for Phase 2 release ahead of Ulduar raid release.
  • 18 Jan. 2023 (this page): Reviewed for Phase 2 release ahead of Ulduar raid release.
  • 17 Jan. 2023 (pre-raid gear page): Updated for Phase 2.
  • 17 Jan. 2023 (gear page): Updated for Phase 2.
  • 23 Aug. 2022 (pre-raid gear page): Page added.
  • 23 Aug. 2022 (gear page): Page added.
  • 23 Aug. 2022 (enchants page): Page added.
  • 23 Aug. 2022 (stats page): Page added.
  • 23 Aug. 2022 (rotation page): Page added.
  • 23 Aug. 2022 (talents page): Page added.
  • 23 Aug. 2022 (spells page): Page added.
  • 23 Aug. 2022 (this page): Page added.
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