Frost Death Knight DPS Azerite Traits/Powers and Armor — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1.5

Last updated on Jan 22, 2019 at 13:28 by Abyssalwave 41 comments

Find the optimal Azerite traits and gear for your Frost Death Knight for Patch 8.1.5 of the Battle for Azeroth World of Warcraft expansion. Check out our Heart of Azeroth guide to find out more about the Heart of Azeroth Icon Heart of Azeroth, which allows you to access Azerite gear and traits.

1. Choosing Azerite Gear as a Frost Death Knight

Your choice of Azerite Gear pieces will almost always come down to the item level first, and the traits that it has second. Note that the traits you will look at when choosing gear are the Outer Ring traits, as these are the ones with the biggest impact on your gameplay. Middle Ring traits still have an impact on your DPS however the difference between Middle Ring traits is very small.

The general rule is that if an item is a 15+ item level upgrade over another item, you should use it. If the difference between the two items is less than 15 item levels, then you should choose the one with the better Outer Ring trait. As we said, though, this is a general rule and there are exceptions; for example, if you are comparing an extremely bad trait (Blood Rite Icon Blood Rite) to an extremely good one (Glacial Contagion Icon Glacial Contagion). It is nearly impossible to take every single variable into account without using a tool like Raidbots to simulate the difference for yourself.

With the release of Battle of Dazar'alor, new epic Azerite pieces now have a second Outer Ring meaning you want to replace your old Azerite gear with these new pieces as soon as possible. This can mean taking a 15 item level loss on a certain gear slot.

It is worth noting that if the difference between the traits is very small, then the higher item level pick will be more desirable. Azerite pieces have a high amount of Stamina and Strength, so item level is almost always king. A tiny difference in Stamina can can be the difference between dying and surviving.

2. Choosing Azerite Traits as a Frost Death Knight

2.1. How to Use this List

A Tier traits are the strongest traits available. They will provide the most benefit to you in almost all circumstances, and you should aim to get these traits on your gear whenever possible.

B Tier traits are typically weaker bonuses that are either too inconsistent or simply do not provide enough damage for general use.

C Tier traits are traits that are simply not competitive and should not be considered.

2.2. Outer Ring Traits for Frost Death Knight

2.3. A Tier

  • Treacherous Covenant Icon Treacherous Covenant is a passive ability that increases your Strength when you are above 50% health, however you take 15% increased damage while below 20% health. This is a strong talent, but on progression you may not have 100% uptime on this trait; still it is still a very strong trait and will only get stronger on farm content.
  • Tidal Surge Icon Tidal Surge gives your damaging abilities a chance to deal some Frost damage to the target and slow it by 20%.
  • Dagger in the Back Icon Dagger in the Back gives your abilities a chance to shoot a dagger at your target, applying a damage over time effect for 12 seconds, stacking up to 4 times. If you shoot this dagger when behind the target, it will apply 2 stacks.
  • Champion of Azeroth Icon Champion of Azeroth gives your abilities a chance to increase all your secondary stats for a minute, stacking up to 4 times. Getting a new proc will refresh the duration, so you will keep this at 4 stacks throughout an entire fight.
  • Unstable Catalyst Icon Unstable Catalyst causes your spells and abilities to have a chance to create a zone standing in which increases your primary stat.
  • Archive of the Titans Icon Archive of the Titans is an Uldir-specific trait. It gives you a small primary stat buff every 5 seconds which stacks up to 20 times. Stacks only decay when out of combat. It also gives the Reorigination Array Icon Reorigination Array buff, which you should always aim to have active while raiding in Uldir.
  • Rezan's Fury Icon Rezan's Fury causes your damaging abilities to have a chance to summon a Child of Rezan, which deals Physical damage to your target and causes them to bleed for additional damage over 12 seconds.
  • Blightborne Infusion Icon Blightborne Infusion causes your spells to have a chance to increase your Critical Strike for 14 seconds.
  • Battlefield Focus Icon Battlefield Focus / Battlefield Precision Icon Battlefield Precision gives your abilities a chance to apply stacks of a debuff to the target. This debuff causes them to take more damage from all raid members. Note that this is a PvP trait.
  • Tradewinds Icon Tradewinds causes your spells to have a chance to grant you Mastery for 15 seconds. When this buff expires, it jumps once to a nearby ally at half duration and amount.
  • Swirling Sands Icon Swirling Sands causes your spells to have a chance to increase your Critical Strike for 12 seconds. This duration can be extended by landing Critical Strikes up to a maximum of 18 seconds.
  • Secrets of the Deep Icon Secrets of the Deep causes your spells to have a chance to spawn a Surging Droplet nearby, which you can collect to increase your primary stat for 18 seconds. Rarely, a Void Droplet will be created instead, which increases your primary stat for twice as much as Surging Droplet's when collected.
  • Sylvanas' Resolve Icon Sylvanas' Resolve gives your abilities a chance to give you a decent amount of primary stat, for 10 seconds. You also get this buff if an ally dies near you.
  • Anduin's Dedication Icon Anduin's Dedication / Sylvanas' Resolve Icon Sylvanas' Resolve causes your spells to have a chance to increase your primary stat for 10 seconds. If an ally dies nearby you also instantly gain this effect. Note that this is a PvP trait.
  • Incite the Pack Icon Incite the Pack causes you to occasionally increase your Mastery and that of up to two nearby allies for 20 seconds.
  • Laser Matrix Icon Laser Matrix causes your spells to have a chance to unleash a barrage of lasers which deal damage and heal injured allies for a small amount which is further split among them. It also gives the Reorigination Array Icon Reorigination Array buff, which you should always aim to have active while raiding in Uldir.
  • Icy Citadel Icon Icy Citadel causes your Pillar of Frost Icon Pillar of Frost to grant Strength for 6 seconds after it expires. This effects lasts 2 seconds longer for each Obliterate Icon Obliterate and Frostscythe Icon Frostscythe critical strike during Pillar of Frost.
  • Filthy Transfusion Icon Filthy Transfusion gives your damaging ability a chance to do damage over 6 seconds to the target, healing you for the damage done.
  • Thunderous Blast Icon Thunderous Blast gives your damaging abilities a chance blast the target for extra Nature damage, and cause the target to take 20% more damage from your next blast. When the bonus damage reaches 100%, the next blast will Critically Strike, and reset the bonus damage back to 0%.

2.3.1. B Tier

  • Latent Chill Icon Latent Chill causes your Frost Strike Icon Frost Strike to deal additional damage if you have at least 3 empty runes.
  • Killer Frost Icon Killer Frost causes your Frost Strike Icon Frost Strike to deal additional damage and have a 15% chance to grant Killing Machine Icon Killing Machine when it deals a critical strike.
  • Frozen Tempest Icon Frozen Tempest causes your Remorseless Winter Icon Remorseless Winter to deal additional damage and the first time it deals damage to 3 different enemies, you gain Rime Icon Rime.
  • Ruinous Bolt Icon Ruinous Bolt gives your abilities a chance to summon a Soul (pet) by your side for 14 seconds. The Soul deals Shadow damage to a random nearby target.
  • Echoing Howl Icon Echoing Howl causes your Rime Icon Rime-empowered Howling Blast Icon Howling Blast to surround yourself with an icy wind that deals Frost damage to all nearby enemies.
  • Glory in Battle Icon Glory in Battle / Liberator's Might Icon Liberator's Might causes your spells to have a chance to grant Critical Strike and Haste for 10 seconds. Note that this is a PvP trait, and attacking a member of the opposing faction significantly increases this chance, making these traits are much stronger in PvP content.
  • Liberator's Might Icon Liberator's Might gives your abilities a chance to give you Haste, and even more Critical Strike for 10 seconds.
  • Blood Rite Icon Blood Rite causes your spells to have a chance to increase your Haste for 15 seconds. Killing enemies refreshes this effect.
  • Last Gift Icon Last Gift / Retaliatory Fury Icon Retaliatory Fury causes your spells and abilities to have a chance to grant Mastery and an absorb shield . Note that this is a PvP trait; also, taking damage from a member of the opposite faction has a chance to activate this effect, making these traits much strong in PvP content.
  • Retaliatory Fury Icon Retaliatory Fury gives your abilities a chance to give you a Mastery buff and a shield for 10 seconds.
  • Meticulous Scheming Icon Meticulous Scheming causes you to gain a buff for 8 seconds that transforms into a 20-second Haste buff after you cast 3 different spells while it is active.
  • Synaptic Spark Capacitor Icon Synaptic Spark Capacitor gives your abilities a chance to put a debuff on your target. This debuff will deal damage to enemies within 8 yards of the target with the debuff, and causes them to do 5% less damage to you. This trait is only obtainable through crafting Engineering goggles.

2.3.2. C Tier

  • Collective Will Icon Collective Will / Stand As One Icon Stand As One causes your spells to have a chance to increase your primary stat and maximum health. This effect is also applied to up to 4 nearby allies. Note that this is a PvP trait.
  • Relational Normalization Gizmo Icon Relational Normalization Gizmo causes your spells to have a chance to grant you a primary stat and maximum health buff or Haste and 50% movement speed for 10 seconds. This trait is only obtainable through crafting Engineering goggles.
  • Stand As One Icon Stand As One gives your abilities a chance to drop a Banner for 6 seconds, which buffs you and 4 nearby allies with their primary stat, and increases maximum Health.
  • Combined Might Icon Combined Might / Stronger Together Icon Stronger Together gives you and 4 allies a bonus to one of your secondary stats or to your Spellpower / Attackpower (depending on your role), chosen at random, for 10 seconds. Note that this is a PvP trait.
  • Barrage Of Many Bombs Icon Barrage Of Many Bombs gives you a chance to fire a clusterbomb at your current target. When the bomb gets close, it explodes into smaller bombs which do AoE damage when they hit the ground.
  • Ricocheting Inflatable Pyrosaw Icon Ricocheting Inflatable Pyrosaw causes your spells to have a chance to heal up to 4 allies for a large amount. This trait is only obtainable through crafting Engineering goggles.

2.4. Middle Ring Traits for Frost Death Knight

2.4.1. A Tier

  • Overwhelming Power Icon Overwhelming Power causes your damaging spells to have a chance to increase your Haste. The amount of Haste granted decreases every second or whenever you take damage.
  • Heed My Call Icon Heed My Call gives your damaging abilities a chance to deal additional Nature damage to the target, and a smaller amount of damage to nearby targets.

2.4.2. B Tier

  • Gutripper Icon Gutripper gives your damaging abilities a chance to deal additional Physical damage. This bonus damage occurs more often when the target is below 30% Health.
  • Earthlink Icon Earthlink increases your primary stat, with the exact amount cycling between a minimum value and maximum value every 6 seconds.
  • Unstable Flames Icon Unstable Flames causes your damaging spells to have a chance to grant a Critical Strike buff for 5 seconds, stacking up to 5 times.
  • Elemental Whirl Icon Elemental Whirl causes your damaging spells to have a chance to increase one of your secondary stats for 10 seconds.
  • Blood Siphon Icon Blood Siphon passively increases your Mastery and Leech.

2.4.3. C Tier

  • Azerite Globules Icon Azerite Globules gives your damaging abilities a chance to apply a debuff to your target. This debuff stacks up to 3 times, and when it reaches 3, the target explodes, doing AoE damage.
  • Lifespeed Icon Lifespeed passively increases your Haste and Avoidance.

Each week you kill 3 bosses in Uldir with a raid Azerite piece on you will gain a stack of Reorigination Array Icon Reorigination Array, which gives 75 of your highest secondary stat. This makes the raid Azerite pieces very valuable when raiding in Uldir.

3. Azerite Trait Rotation Changes and Details for Frost Death Knight

The Azerite traits you have can have an effect on your rotation, although this is not too big; certainly, the fundamentals of the rotation remain the same, with the Azerite traits only allowing you to do a bit more damage.

  • Since Killer Frost Icon Killer Frost makes it so your Frost Strike Icon Frost Strike can grant a Killing Machine Icon Killing Machine proc, you want to make sure that you do not cast Frost Strike if you have a Killing Machine proc unless you would overcap Runic Power.

4. Azerite Trait Simulations for Frost Death Knights

In this section, we will look at the relative strength of the traits that are most important to Frost Death Knights, based on simulations.

Note that it is possible to have multiple instances of the same trait, and as such the results take into account how many instances of a trait you have.

Note also that the results use Best-in-Slot gear with a reasonable stat profile for Frost Death Knights. We recommend that you sim your own character for the most precise results.

5. What Gear Do I Farm/Bonus Roll/Chase After?

When identifying what gear you should be aiming after, we recommend using RaidBots' Droptimizer feature. It requires the SimulationCraft Addon. Once you have the addon installed, write "/simc" into the chat in-game, and copy-pasting the contents into the RaidBots Droptimizer.

Simply select the raid and difficulty you are interested in, and RaidBots will take a while to figure out where you should spend your bonus rolls, and more.

5.1. Middle Ring

The Middle Ring traits are neutral traits that are shared among all classes and specs. As a DPS spec you should pick among the DPS options and ignore the defensive ones for PvE content.

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For the complete simulation results, check out Bloodmallet.com

5.2. AoE/Cleave Azerite Traits Comparison for Frost Death Knight

5.2.1. Outer Ring

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For the complete simulation results, check out Bloodmallet.com

5.3. 3 Targets (Mythic+, etc)

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For the complete simulation results, check out Bloodmallet.com

Thank you to Bloodmallet for providing the data for these Azerite traits.

6. Find Azerite Armor By Trait/Power

In the table below, you can see all of the Azerite gear available to your Frost Death Knight. By using the + button located next to each item, you can expand the list of Azerite powers that this item possesses (to collapse the list, simply click the - button).

If you want to filter items according to the powers that they offer, you can use the filters below.

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Filter #3:
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Head Items Shoulders Items Chest Items

7. Changelog

  • 22 Jan. 2019: Added Treacherous Covenant and second Outer Ring information.
  • 10 Dec. 2018: Replaced Glacial Contagion with Frostwhelp's Indignation.
  • 25 Sep. 2018: Further updated the Azerite Page to provide information on how to choose gear.
  • 19 Sep. 2018: Redesigned the Azerite page to provide a tier list for each trait ring.
  • 14 Sep. 2018: Updated for Azerite changes and Uldir.
  • 29 Aug. 2018: Added the new Bloodmallet Azerite trait chart and recommended traits.
  • 23 Aug. 2018: Updated for recent Bloodmallet sim changes.
  • 12 Aug. 2018: Updated for Battle for Azeroth Launch.
  • 11 Aug. 2018: Page added.
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