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Frost Death Knight in Battle for Azeroth (BfA)

Last updated on Jun 15, 2018 at 12:34 by Abyssalwave 524 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

On this page, you will find information on how to play your Frost Death Knight in Battle for Azeroth. Because the new expansion is still in beta, this guide is simply here to help you perform better in the beta or to give you a sneak peek into what the new expansion has in store for your class.

The other pages of our Frost Death Knight guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

About Our Author

This guide has been written by Abyssalwave, a top level Death Knight player. He is a former US 2nd hardcore raider who currently raids with Club Camel. You can also check out his YouTube channel.

1. Foreword

This page will be an introduction to the spec in Battle for Azeroth, going over abilities, mechanics and baseline rotation. The primary goal is to help players make a decision on choosing a spec in Battle for Azeroth, and offering the uninitiated a peek into the spec to see if they will find it interesting. Everything here is an early draft of what may end up in the actual Battle for Azeroth guides on release, so there is plenty of room for feedback and optimizing.

In Battle for Azeroth, Frost Death Knight currently received very little mechanical changes. If you are currently comfortable with how Legion Frost plays then you roughly know how to play Frost in Battle for Azeroth.

2. Basic Mechanics Changes for Frost Death Knight in BfA

  • There have currently been no mechanics changes in the Battle for Azeroth beta.

3. Baseline Abilities & Changes for Frost Death Knight in BfA

  • Death's Advance Icon Death's Advance is an ability coming back in Battle for Azeroth. On a 45-second cooldown, it increases your movement speed by 30% for 8 seconds. During this time, you cannot be slowed below 100% of your normal speed. It also has a passive component which prevents you from being slowed below 70% of your normal speed.
  • Pillar of Frost Icon Pillar of Frost is now a 45-second cooldown that increases your Strength by 15% for 15 seconds. Each Rune you spend while Pillar of Frost Icon Pillar of Frost is active increases your Strength by an addition 1% for the rest of the duration.
  • Empower Rune Weapon Icon Empower Rune Weapon now works the same as Hungering Rune Weapon did in Legion. It increases your Haste by 15% and generating 1 Rune and 5 Runic Power instantly and ever 5 seconds for 20 seconds on a 2-minute cooldown (down from 3 minutes in Legion).

The addition of Death's Advance Icon Death's Advance has helped solve the movement problem that Death Knights were experiencing. Other than this, all abilities and mechanics work in the same way as in Legion.

4. The BfA Frost Death Knight Talent Tree

BfA Frost DK Talent Tree

The talent tree has received multiple changes. This list is subject to change throughout the Battle for Azeroth beta. The talent changes include:

4.1. Level 56

  • Inexorable Assault Icon Inexorable Assault has replaced Runic Attenuation and now grants you a stack every 8 seconds, stacking up to 5 times. Obliterate Icon Obliterate and Frostscythe Icon Frostscythe consume a stack to deal additional Frost damage.
  • Icy Talons Icon Icy Talons now causes your Frost Strike Icon Frost Strike to increase your melee attack speed by 5% for 6 seconds, stacking up to 3 times (down from 12% in Legion). The effect of Icy Talons Icon Icy Talons's effect now triggers from Breath of Sindragosa Icon Breath of Sindragosa as well.
  • Cold Heart Icon Cold Heart has replaced Shattering Strikes and gives you a stack of Cold Heart every 3 seconds. These stacks cause your next chains of ice to deal Frost damage stacking up to 15 times.

4.2. Level 57

  • Runic Attenuation Icon Runic Attenuation has replaced Freezing Fog and now gives your auto attacks a chance at generating 3 Runic Power (up from the guaranteed 1 Runic Power from auto attacks in Legion).

4.3. Level 58

  • Asphyxiate Icon Asphyxiate has replaced Abomination's Might. Asphyxiate Icon Asphyxiate is a 45-second cooldown that stuns the target for 4 seconds with a 20-yard range.

4.4. Level 60

  • Frozen Pulse Icon Frozen Pulse has replaced Glacial Advance and now causes your auto attacks to deal AoE Frost damage when you have fewer than 3 full Runes (down from fewer than 2 Runes in Legion).
  • Frostscythe Icon Frostscythe has replaced Icecap.

4.5. Level 75

  • Wraith Walk Icon Wraith Walk is now a talent and acts in the same way as it did in Legion. It removes all roots and increases your movement speed by 70% for 4 seconds. Performing any actions during this will cancel the effect. Also while Wraith Walk is active, it prevents you from being slowed below 170% movement speed.
  • Permafrost Icon Permafrost now causes your auto attacks to grant you an absorb shield equal to 40% of the damage dealt (down from 100% in legion).

4.6. Level 90

  • Frostwyrm's Fury Icon Frostwyrm's Fury has replaced Frozen Pulse. It has a 3-minute cooldown and works the same as Sindragosa's Fury did in Legion (casting it summons a frostwyrm that deals Frost damage to enemies in a 40-yard line in front of you, slowing them down for 10 seconds).
  • Glacial Advance Icon Glacial Advance has replaced Frostscythe and now costs 30 Runic Power (Instead of 1 Rune in Legion), has a 6-second cooldown (down from 15 seconds in Legion), and applies Razorice Icon Razorice to all enemies hit.

4.7. Level 100

5. Azerite Traits

Azerite Traits are the new version of the Artifact traits of Legion. They are a mix of utility and damage boosts. Frost has very interesting Azerite Traits, some passive and some that do impact your playstyle. For example: the new Azerite trait Killer Frost Icon Killer Frost gives your Frost Strike Icon Frost Strike critical strikes a 15% chance to grant you a Killing Machine Icon Killing Machine proc. This addition makes it important to use Killing Machine Icon Killing Machine procs before using Frost Strike Icon Frost Strike.

6. Frost Death Knight Rotation in BfA

The baseline rotation for Frost currently in Battle for Azeroth plays with the Icy Talons Icon Icy Talons, Runic Attenuation Icon Runic Attenuation, Frozen Pulse Icon Frozen Pulse, Gathering Storm Icon Gathering Storm, and Breath of Sindragosa Icon Breath of Sindragosa talents. We recommend you try to line up Pillar of Frost Icon Pillar of Frost with Breath of Sindragosa Icon Breath of Sindragosa and using Empower Rune Weapon Icon Empower Rune Weapon with Breath of Sindragosa Icon Breath of Sindragosa.

The focus around the rotation is very similar to how the rotation was working in Nighthold. You want to use Breath of Sindragosa Icon Breath of Sindragosa when you have very high Runic Power and more than at least 3 Runes. Outside of your Breath of Sindragosa Icon Breath of Sindragosa windows, you want to stay below 3 full Runes to activate Frozen Pulse Icon Frozen Pulse as frequently as possible. Attempt to keep up Icy Talons Icon Icy Talons as long as possible outside of your Breath of Sindragosa Icon Breath of Sindragosa, even though this is fairly difficult and does require some luck with Runic Empowerment Icon Runic Empowerment and Runic Attenuation Icon Runic Attenuation.

6.1. Rotation Priority during Breath of Sindragosa

  1. Use Remorseless Winter Icon Remorseless Winter,if using Gathering Storm Icon Gathering Storm.
  2. Use Howling Blast Icon Howling Blast, if you have a Rime Icon Rime proc and have more than 30 Runic Power.
  3. Use Obliterate Icon Obliterate, if you have 30 or less Runic Power.
  4. Use Howling Blast Icon Howling Blast, if you have a Rime Icon Rime proc.
  5. Use Obliterate Icon Obliterate, if you have a Killing Machine Icon Killing Machine proc.

6.2. Rotation Priority outside of Breath of Sindragosa

  1. Use Remorseless Winter Icon Remorseless Winter,if using Gathering Storm Icon Gathering Storm.
  2. Use Howling Blast Icon Howling Blast, if you have a Rime Icon Rime proc.
  3. Use Obliterate Icon Obliterate, if you have a Killing Machine Icon Killing Machine proc.
  4. Use Frost Strike Icon Frost Strike, if you have 75+ Runic Power.
  5. Use Obliterate Icon Obliterate, if you have 4+ Runes Available.
  6. Use Frost Strike Icon Frost Strike, to keep up Icy Talons Icon Icy Talons.
  7. Use Obliterate Icon Obliterate.
  8. Use Frost Strike Icon Frost Strike.

7. Multi-Target Rotation for Frost Death Knight in BfA

The multi-target rotation for Frost has weakened with  Icon Sindragosa's Fury not being built into the spec anymore. Frost still is able to bring good AoE burst and sustain to the table. If you are expecting a good amount of cleave or AoE in a fight, then the Frostscythe Icon Frostscythe talent may be a good choice. Casting Howling Blast Icon Howling Blast without a Rime Icon Rime proc is only beneficial if there are 6+ targets. Frostwyrm's Fury Icon Frostwyrm's Fury is worth talenting into if you are in need of burst AoE, as is still strong talents in burst AoE situations.

8. ChangeLog

  • 15 Jun. 2018: Updated the talent tree for the recent Beta changes.
  • 14 Jun. 2018: Updated for the recent Beta changes.
  • 11 Jun. 2018: Updated for the recent Beta changes.
  • 04 Jun. 2018: Fixed a typo in the Azerite Traits section.
  • 02 Jun. 2018: Expanded the Azerite Traits section.
  • 31 May 2018: Page added.
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