Frost Death Knight DPS Spec, Builds, and Talents — The War Within Pre-Patch

Last updated on Jul 23, 2024 at 00:30 by Bicepspump 42 comments
General Information

On this page, you will find out the best talents for each tier for your Frost Death Knight in World of Warcraft — The War Within Pre-Patch. We also have default talent lists for various types of content, such as raiding or Mythic+. If you play with Warmode on, we have your PvP talents covered as well.

1.

Best The War Within Pre-Patch Talents for Frost Death Knight

You have the option to play three distinct builds as the Frost Death Knight. They have different gameplay and feel and excel in different areas. We have 2H Obliteration, which is all about your big Obliterate Icon Obliterate hits, leveraging Obliteration Icon Obliteration to generate and consume lots of Killing Machine Icon Killing Machines. We also have Dual-Wield Obliteration. This picks up Shattering Blade Icon Shattering Blade to deal tons of damage with Frost Strike Icon Frost Strike. It also naturally generates lots of Killing Machine Icon Killing Machine. Finally, we have Breath of Sindragosa Icon Breath of Sindragosa which is all about high uptime on your Breath, sticking to bosses for 30-60 seconds to maximise your damage.

For The War Within Pre-Patch, we recommend running one of the Obliteration builds. Pick up 2H Obliteration if you have the Legendary, otherwise run the Dual-Wield version. Breath of Sindragosa Icon Breath of Sindragosa can excel in the right hands, but it does not do as well as the pure Obliteration Icon Obliteration builds.

2.

Best Talents for Frost Death Knight

2H Obliteration Raid Talents DW Obliteration Raid Talents Breath Raid Talents 2H AoE/Mythic+ Talents DW AoE/Mythic+ Talents
3.

Best Single-Target Talents for Frost Death Knight

The Obliteration Icon Obliteration raid build is all about juicy Obliterate Icon Obliterate hits and big Pillar of Frost Icon Pillar of Frost windows. Make sure you use your Pillar macros to make your windows as efficient as possible!

The primary choice in this build revolves around Horn of Winter Icon Horn of Winter. It is essentially at par with a single point in Icebreaker Icon Icebreaker. The benefits of Horn is that it injects some nice resources in the rotation. You can use it ahead of each Pillar of Frost Icon Pillar of Frost window to mitigate starving, smoothing out the rotation. Furthermore, Inexorable Assault Icon Inexorable Assault is on-par with Frostwyrm's Fury Icon Frostwyrm's Fury on pure Single Target, presenting a completely passive choice. However, due to Frostwyrm being much better on AoE, it is the go-to choice.

For the class tree, there is a lot more realistic choice. Above the 20 point delimiter, we do not have too many mandatory spells:

  • Death Strike Icon Death Strike
  • Icebound Fortitude Icon Icebound Fortitude
  • Runic Attenuation Icon Runic Attenuation
  • Anti-Magic Barrier Icon Anti-Magic Barrier
  • Permafrost Icon Permafrost
  • Icy Talons Icon Icy Talons
  • Gloom Ward Icon Gloom Ward
  • Veteran of the Third War Icon Veteran of the Third War
  • Brittle Icon Brittle
  • Unholy Bond Icon Unholy Bond
  • Soul Reaper Icon Soul Reaper
  • Unholy Endurance Icon Unholy Endurance
  • Unholy Ground Icon Unholy Ground (pathing)

Picking these up leaves us with 5 points that we can allocate freely. Cleaving Strikes Icon Cleaving Strikes is mandatory on any cleave fight. Mind Freeze Icon Mind Freeze for any fight with interrupt being required. Blinding Sleet Icon Blinding Sleet if you need AoE CC. Wraith Walk Icon Wraith Walk and/or March of Darkness Icon March of Darkness for extra mobility. Anti-Magic Zone Icon Anti-Magic Zone and potentially Assimilation Icon Assimilation to get a nice defensive raid cooldown. There is simply a lot of choice here and you can cater your utility to each encounter!

The bottom part of the tree has a lot less choice. Blood Draw Icon Blood Draw can be exchanged for Runic Protection Icon Runic Protection on fights with a lot of physical damage intake. Furthermore, where you simply do not take any magic damage at all, Null Magic Icon Null Magic can be allocated to Osmosis Icon Osmosis or someplace further up the tree. Finally, when you cannot gain particular value from Unyielding Will Icon Unyielding Will, this point can be put better to use at Osmosis Icon Osmosis or, again, further up the tree.

3.

Best Dual-Wield Obliteration Single-Target Talents for Frost Death Knight

The Dual-Wield Obliteration Icon Obliteration talent build is similar to its 2H counterpart. The main difference is the increased proc rate of Killing Machine Icon Killing Machine as well as the playstyle surrounding Shattering Blade Icon Shattering Blade. You pick up Rune of Razorice Icon Rune of Razorice on your mainhand weapon and then burst your stacks with Frost Strike Icon Frost Strike whenever you reach 5. If you haven't been able to obtain the Legendary, this build will be your best option.

There are not that many great choices in the talent tree. Inexorable Assault Icon Inexorable Assault is an alternative to Frostwyrm's Fury Icon Frostwyrm's Fury, giving 0.2% more Single-Target DPS but losing a ton of potential AoE and Cleave.

For the class tree, there is a lot more realistic choice. Above the 20 point delimiter, we do not have too many mandatory spells:

  • Death Strike Icon Death Strike
  • Icebound Fortitude Icon Icebound Fortitude
  • Runic Attenuation Icon Runic Attenuation
  • Anti-Magic Barrier Icon Anti-Magic Barrier
  • Permafrost Icon Permafrost
  • Icy Talons Icon Icy Talons
  • Gloom Ward Icon Gloom Ward
  • Veteran of the Third War Icon Veteran of the Third War
  • Brittle Icon Brittle
  • Unholy Bond Icon Unholy Bond
  • Soul Reaper Icon Soul Reaper
  • Unholy Endurance Icon Unholy Endurance
  • Unholy Ground Icon Unholy Ground (pathing)

Picking these up leaves us with 5 points that we can allocate freely. Cleaving Strikes Icon Cleaving Strikes is mandatory on any cleave fight. Mind Freeze Icon Mind Freeze for any fight with interrupt being required. Blinding Sleet Icon Blinding Sleet if you need AoE CC. Wraith Walk Icon Wraith Walk and/or March of Darkness Icon March of Darkness for extra mobility. Anti-Magic Zone Icon Anti-Magic Zone and potentially Assimilation Icon Assimilation to get a nice defensive raid cooldown. There is simply a lot of choice here and you can cater your utility to each encounter!

The bottom part of the tree has a lot less choice. Blood Draw Icon Blood Draw can be exchanged for Runic Protection Icon Runic Protection on fights with a lot of physical damage intake. Furthermore, where you simply do not take any magic damage at all, Null Magic Icon Null Magic can be allocated to Osmosis Icon Osmosis or someplace further up the tree. Finally, when you cannot gain particular value from Unyielding Will Icon Unyielding Will, this point can be put better to use at Osmosis Icon Osmosis or, again, further up the tree.

3.

Best Breath Raid Talents for Frost Death Knight

Breath of Sindragosa Icon Breath of Sindragosa is your third option for talents, presenting a rewarding mini-game where you try and maintain your Breath for as long as possible. We run this in conjunction with Obliteration Icon Obliteration, the "Omnifrost" build. The rotation during Pillar of Frost Icon Pillar of Frost does not change at all, instead we just keep spamming Obliterate Icon Obliterate and use our procs of Rime Icon Rime on Howling Blast Icon Howling Blast.

For your spec talents, your Single Target choice is between Inexorable Assault Icon Inexorable Assault and Frostwyrm's Fury Icon Frostwyrm's Fury. Inex is 0.3% ahead on pure Single Target and is completely passive. Frostwyrm is a lot better in AoE and is the talent we recommend by default.

For the class tree, there is a lot more realistic choice. Above the 20 point delimiter, we do not have too many mandatory spells:

  • Death Strike Icon Death Strike
  • Icebound Fortitude Icon Icebound Fortitude
  • Runic Attenuation Icon Runic Attenuation
  • Anti-Magic Barrier Icon Anti-Magic Barrier
  • Permafrost Icon Permafrost
  • Icy Talons Icon Icy Talons
  • Gloom Ward Icon Gloom Ward
  • Veteran of the Third War Icon Veteran of the Third War
  • Brittle Icon Brittle
  • Unholy Bond Icon Unholy Bond
  • Soul Reaper Icon Soul Reaper
  • Unholy Endurance Icon Unholy Endurance
  • Unholy Ground Icon Unholy Ground (pathing)

Picking these up leaves us with 5 points that we can allocate freely. Cleaving Strikes Icon Cleaving Strikes is mandatory on any cleave fight. Mind Freeze Icon Mind Freeze for any fight with interrupt being required. Blinding Sleet Icon Blinding Sleet if you need AoE CC. Wraith Walk Icon Wraith Walk and/or March of Darkness Icon March of Darkness for extra mobility. Anti-Magic Zone Icon Anti-Magic Zone and potentially Assimilation Icon Assimilation to get a nice defensive raid cooldown. There is simply a lot of choice here and you can cater your utility to each encounter!

The bottom part of the tree has a lot less choice. Blood Draw Icon Blood Draw can be exchanged for Runic Protection Icon Runic Protection on fights with a lot of physical damage intake. Furthermore, where you simply do not take any magic damage at all, Null Magic Icon Null Magic can be allocated to Osmosis Icon Osmosis or someplace further up the tree. Finally, when you cannot gain particular value from Unyielding Will Icon Unyielding Will, this point can be put better to use at Osmosis Icon Osmosis or, again, further up the tree.

3.

Best Mythic+ Talents for Frost Death Knight

For Mythic+, we are running Obliteration Icon Obliteration builds. The 2H version gets its damage primarily from Obliterate Icon Obliterate cleave in your Pillar of Frost Icon Pillar of Frost + Death and Decay Icon Death and Decay windows.

When it comes to the spec talents, Absolute Zero Icon Absolute Zero can be exchanged for Cryogenic Chamber Icon Cryogenic Chamber. Cryogenic is a bit more passive and doesn't require you to choose the right time to use your dragon, at least not as often.

For the class tree, we are pretty locked for the most part. Both Blinding Sleet Icon Blinding Sleet and Mind Freeze Icon Mind Freeze are mandatory, along with Cleaving Strikes Icon Cleaving Strikes. Anti-Magic Zone Icon Anti-Magic Zone and March of Darkness Icon March of Darkness can be freed up. Coldthirst Icon Coldthirst, Grip of the Dead Icon Grip of the Dead and Wraith Walk Icon Wraith Walk are good options.

3.

Best DW Mythic+ Talents for Frost Death Knight

The Dual-Wield Mythic+ build focuses a lot more on bursting Rune of Razorice Icon Rune of Razorice stacks with the Shattered Frost Icon Shattered Frost talent. Frost Strike Icon Frost Strike becomes your Runic Power spender, being used on targets that have 5 stacks of Rune of Razorice Icon Rune of Razorice.

When it comes to the spec talents, Absolute Zero Icon Absolute Zero can be exchanged for Cryogenic Chamber Icon Cryogenic Chamber. Cryogenic is a bit more passive and doesn't require you to choose the right time to use your dragon, at least not as often.

For the class tree, we are pretty locked for the most part. Both Blinding Sleet Icon Blinding Sleet and Mind Freeze Icon Mind Freeze are mandatory, along with Cleaving Strikes Icon Cleaving Strikes. Anti-Magic Zone Icon Anti-Magic Zone and March of Darkness Icon March of Darkness can be freed up. Coldthirst Icon Coldthirst, Grip of the Dead Icon Grip of the Dead and Wraith Walk Icon Wraith Walk are good options.

3.

PvP Talents (War Mode)

In this section, we will rank the PvP talents that are best for leveling and doing open-world content.

  • PvP talents enabled in the outdoor world.
  • 10% increase in World Quest rewards at maximum level.
  • 10% more experience gained while leveling.
  • Earn Conquest Points, which can reward gear every week.

With the benefits of enabling War Mode for leveling and PvE content, it is recommended to enable the feature to maximize your leveling and rewards at maximum level. However, you will make yourself available for open-world PvP, and the possibility of being "ganked" while leveling or doing World Quests exists.

3.1.

Frost Death Knight War Mode Talents

In this section, we will rank the PvP talents best for leveling and doing solo / small group PvE content. Below is a ranking of both General PvP Talents and Frost Death Knight-specific PvE talents.

3.1.1.

Frost Death Knight PvP Talents

  1. Necrotic Aura Icon Necrotic Aura causes all enemies within 8 yards to take 4% increased magical damage. This has good synergy with a large part of your kit and is a major DPS increase.
  2. Bloodforged Armor Icon Bloodforged Armor reduces Physical damage taken by 20% for 3 seconds after using Death Strike Icon Death Strike. Solid defensive value in a PvE environment!
  3. Deathchill Icon Deathchill causes your Remorseless Winter Icon Remorseless Winter and Chains of Ice Icon Chains of Ice to root the target in place for 4 seconds. Your Remorseless Winter Icon Remorseless Winter causes all targets within 5 yards to be afflicted with Deathchill Icon Deathchill. If a target is afflicted with Chains of Ice Icon Chains of Ice, then casting Chains of Ice Icon Chains of Ice again will afflict them with Deathchill Icon Deathchill. A good option for controlling the enemies you fight against!
  4. Delirium Icon Delirium causes your Howling Blast Icon Howling Blast and Frost Strike Icon Frost Strike to apply Delirium Icon Delirium to the target. Delirium reduces the cooldown recovery rate of movement abilities by 25% stacking up to 2 times for 15 seconds.
  5. Dark Simulacrum Icon Dark Simulacrum places a dark ward on the target for 12 seconds; when the target spends Mana on a spell, you gain a duplicate of that spell. This ability has a 20-second cooldown and costs 20 Runic Power. It can be used to steal a very strong spell that can turn the tides of a fight.
  6. Strangulate Icon Strangulate silences the target for 4 seconds. Okay, against casters in PvE, but generally not worth the point.
  7. Bitter Chill Icon Bitter Chill reduces the target's haste by 8% when affected by Chains of Ice Icon Chains of Ice. Frost Strike Icon Frost Strike extends its duration. Good for PvP CC but generally worthless in PvE.
  8. Rot and Wither Icon Rot and Wither applies a 100% absorb shield for the damage dealt by Death and Decay Icon Death and Decay. Not worth it in any PvE content.
  9. Shroud of Winter Icon Shroud of Winter reduces the cast range of enemies within 8 yards around you by 30%. Not useful in PvE.
  10. Dead of Winter Icon Dead of Winter causes your Remorseless Winter to stun an enemy for 4 seconds when it deals damage 5 times to that enemy. It also increases Remorseless Winter's cooldown by 25 seconds and reduces the radius by 5 yards. This is a bad PvP talent since it reduces our DPS. Remorseless Winter Icon Remorseless Winter is a big part of our DPS, and increasing its cooldown is a bad thing.
  11. Spellwarden Icon Spellwarden reduces the cooldown of Anti-Magic Shell Icon Anti-Magic Shell by 10 seconds and allows you to cast it on allies. Somewhat useful defensive talent to pick up!

Necrotic Aura Icon Necrotic Aura is the most beneficial PvP talent by far since it provides and actual DPS increase. Bloodforged Armor Icon Bloodforged Armor is a solid defensive upgrade and Deathchill Icon Deathchill helps to control your enemies. All other talents are not very impactful or simply worse for our damage throughput!

4.

Changelog

  • 23 Jul. 2024: Updated for The War Within Pre-Patch.
  • 07 May 2024: Reviewed for 10.2.7.
  • 22 Apr. 2024: Updated talents for Season 4 due to new tier set.
  • 21 Mar. 2024: Reviewed for Patch 10.2.6.
  • 15 Jan. 2024: Reviewed for Patch 10.2.5.
  • 29 Nov. 2023: Updated builds after Frost DK Buffs.
  • 22 Nov. 2023: Updated Obliteration raid builds to run enduring chill.
  • 06 Nov. 2023: Updated for Patch 10.2.
  • 04 Sep. 2023: Updated for Patch 10.1.7.
  • 10 Jul. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.1.5.
  • 01 Jun. 2023: Removed DW oblit build and updated 2h oblit viability in raid.
  • 01 May 2023: Updated for Patch 10.1. Included FwF in talent builds and added a Breath M+ altenrative build.
  • 20 Mar. 2023: Updated talents for 10.0.7.
  • 24 Jan. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.0.5.
  • 11 Dec. 2022: Reviewed for Dragonflight Season 1.
  • 28 Nov. 2022: Updated for Dragonflight launch.
  • 25 Oct. 2022: Updated for Dragonflight pre-patch.
Show more
Show less