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Frost Death Knight DPS Spec, Builds, and Talents (Legion 7.3.2)

Last updated on Sep 01, 2017 at 09:34 by Vlad 474 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

On this page, we present the viable talent choices for Frost Death Knights in World of Warcraft Legion 7.3.2. We detail what each of the talents do and in which situations they should be taken.

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

About Our Reviewer

This guide has been reviewed and approved by Totemlord, a Frost Death Knight enthusiast and respected theorycrafter on the Frost Death Knight Discord. You can contact him on Discord under the name Nic#9561.

1. Talent Choices

Level Choices
56 Shattering Strikes Shattering Strikes Icy Talons ? Icy Talons Runic Attenuation Runic Attenuation
57 Freezing Fog Freezing Fog Murderous Efficiency Murderous Efficiency Horn of Winter Horn of Winter
58 Icecap Icecap Glacial Advance Glacial Advance Avalanche ? Avalanche
60 Abomination's Might ? Abomination's Might Blinding Sleet ? Blinding Sleet Winter is Coming ? Winter is Coming
75 Volatile Shielding ? Volatile Shielding Permafrost ? Permafrost Inexorable Assault ? Inexorable Assault
90 Frostscythe Frostscythe Frozen Pulse Frozen Pulse Gathering Storm Gathering Storm
100 Obliteration Obliteration Breath of Sindragosa Breath of Sindragosa Hungering Rune Weapon Hungering Rune Weapon

Talents can be freely changed when out of combat and in a rested XP area (such as an inn or a capital city). Moreover, Tome of the Tranquil Mind Icon Tome of the Tranquil Mind and Codex of the Tranquil Mind Icon Codex of the Tranquil Mind can be used to temporarily allow players to change talents anywhere, as long as they are out of combat.

2. Tier 1 (Level 56) Talents

Shattering Strikes Shattering Strikes Icy Talons ? Icy Talons Runic Attenuation Runic Attenuation
  • Shattering Strikes Icon Shattering Strikes causes Frost Strike Icon Frost Strike to deal 60% additional damage to a target that has 5 stacks of Razorice (from Rune of Razorice Icon Rune of Razorice) on them, removing the stacks in the process.
  • Icy Talons Icon Icy Talons causes Frost Strike Icon Frost Strike to increase your melee attack speed by 12% for 6 seconds, stacking up to 3 times (the attack speed increase stacks, but the duration cannot be greater than 6 seconds, with each new applications simply refreshing it).
  • Runic Attenuation Icon Runic Attenuation causes each auto attack to generate 1 Runic Power.

Runic Attenuation Icon Runic Attenuation is the recommended talent, as it gives you a lot of Runic Power to work with, and you have very little downtime with it, meaning that it leads to more Frost Strike Icon Frost Strikes and in turn more Obliterate Icon Obliterates. This talent also pairs well with the tier 7 Obliteration Icon Obliteration talent, because it makes sure you do not run out of resources while it is active.

Icy Talons Icon Icy Talons could also be a viable choice, although we feel you are better off taking Runic Attenuation Icon Runic Attenuation.

Shattering Strikes Icon Shattering Strikes is currently undertuned and not worth taking.

3. Tier 2 (Level 57) Talents

Freezing Fog Freezing Fog Murderous Efficiency Murderous Efficiency Horn of Winter Horn of Winter

Against a single target, Murderous Efficiency Icon Murderous Efficiency is currently the best choice in this tier. Against multiple targets, we recommend taking Freezing Fog Icon Freezing Fog.

Horn of Winter Icon Horn of Winter is not a bad choice, and there has been some success using it against a single target, but believe Murderous Efficiency Icon Murderous Efficiency to currently be the best choice.

4. Tier 3 (Level 58) Talents

Icecap Icecap Glacial Advance Glacial Advance Avalanche ? Avalanche
  • Icecap Icon Icecap causes your Frost Strike Icon Frost Strike, Frostscythe Icon Frostscythe, and Obliterate Icon Obliterate critical strikes to reduce the remaining cooldown of Pillar of Frost Icon Pillar of Frost by 1 second.
  • Glacial Advance Icon Glacial Advance is an active ability with a 15-second cooldown that causes spikes to come out from the ground in front of you, dealing Frost damage to enemies near their point of eruption.
  • Avalanche Icon Avalanche causes icicles to fall on nearby enemies, dealing Frost damage to them, whenever you land melee critical strikes while Pillar of Frost Icon Pillar of Frost is active.

We recommend taking Icecap Icon Icecap for most situations, while Avalanche Icon Avalanche is recommended for large AoE situations and Mythic+ dungeons.

It is also worth noting that with the Cold Heart Icon Cold Heart legendary, Icecap Icon Icecap lines up perfectly with when you consume the item's buff.

Glacial Advance Icon Glacial Advance should not be taken.

5. Tier 4 (Level 60) Talents

Abomination's Might ? Abomination's Might Blinding Sleet ? Blinding Sleet Winter is Coming ? Winter is Coming
  • Abomination's Might Icon Abomination's Might causes your Obliterate Icon Obliterate critical strikes to have a 20% chance to stun lesser enemies (not raid bosses) for 2 seconds. Players are instead Dazed for 5 seconds.
  • Blinding Sleet Icon Blinding Sleet is an active ability with a 1-minute cooldown. It is a frontal cone attack that causes affected targets to be disoriented for 4 seconds. Damaging disoriented targets may cancel the effect.
  • Winter is Coming Icon Winter is Coming causes enemies who are struck 5 times by Remorseless Winter Icon Remorseless Winter while Pillar of Frost Icon Pillar of Frost is active to be stunned for 4 seconds.

The talents in this tier provide no increase in DPS, and you should just choose the one that satisfies the crowd-control requirements of your circumstances.

That said, Blinding Sleet Icon Blinding Sleet will probably be the most useful choice, especially in dungeons where you can interrupt multiple enemies. Unfortunately, Winter is Coming Icon Winter is Coming requires Pillar of Frost Icon Pillar of Frost to be active for it to work, which is a disadvantage (though it works well if you take the Icecap Icon Icecap Tier 3 talent). Abomination's Might Icon Abomination's Might is unlikely to be able to compete with Blinding Sleet in anything other than solo play.

6. Tier 5 (Level 75) Talents

Volatile Shielding ? Volatile Shielding Permafrost ? Permafrost Inexorable Assault ? Inexorable Assault
  • Volatile Shielding Icon Volatile Shielding modifies your Anti-Magic Shell Icon Anti-Magic Shell to absorb 35% more damage and generate 100% additional Runic Power.
  • Permafrost Icon Permafrost procs each time you deal damage with an auto attack, granting you a 9-second absorb shield equal to 100% of the damage dealt. The absorption amount stacks up to 20% of your maximum health, but the duration cannot be increased beyond 9 seconds, with subsequent attacks simply refreshing it.
  • Inexorable Assault Icon Inexorable Assault passively grants you a stack of a buff that causes your next autoattack to deal an additional 100% of its damage as Frost damage. The stacks are gained at a rate of 1 per second, whenever you are in combat but when there are no enemies within 8 yards of you. The buff lasts 10 seconds, and you can obtain a maximum of 10 stacks. Each autoattack you make consumes one stack.

Volatile Shielding Icon Volatile Shielding should be used for heavy magic damage, Permafrost Icon Permafrost for low mobility situations or low constant damage, and Inexorable Assault Icon Inexorable Assault for high mobility fights.

7. Tier 6 (Level 90) Talents

Frostscythe Frostscythe Frozen Pulse Frozen Pulse Gathering Storm Gathering Storm
  • Frostscythe Icon Frostscythe is an active ability that costs 1 Rune and deals Frost damage to all enemies in front of you. It benefits from Killing Machine Icon Killing Machine in the same way that Obliterate Icon Obliterate does, and Frostscythe critical strikes deal 4 times normal damage.
  • Frozen Pulse Icon Frozen Pulse causes your auto attacks to trigger a pulse of Frost damage on all nearby enemies whenever you have fewer than 2 full Runes.
  • Gathering Storm Icon Gathering Storm causes each Rune you spend during Remorseless Winter Icon Remorseless Winter to increase its damage by 15% and extend its duration by 0.5 seconds.

We currently recommend taking Gathering Storm Icon Gathering Storm against a single target, and Frostscythe Icon Frostscythe against multiple targets.

Frozen Pulse Icon Frozen Pulse is not worth taking.

8. Tier 7 (Level 100) Talents

Obliteration Obliteration Breath of Sindragosa Breath of Sindragosa Hungering Rune Weapon Hungering Rune Weapon
  • Obliteration Icon Obliteration is an active ability with a 1.5-minute cooldown. For 10 seconds, Frost Strike Icon Frost Strike and Howling Blast Icon Howling Blast both grant Killing Machine Icon Killing Machine, and Obliterate Icon Obliterate costs 1 less Rune.
  • Breath of Sindragosa Icon Breath of Sindragosa is an active ability with a 2-minute cooldown, which costs 15 Runic Power for each second that it is active (until canceled or until you run out of Runic Power). It is a frontal cone attack, which deals Shadowfrost damage to all enemies in front of you.
  • Hungering Rune Weapon Icon Hungering Rune Weapon replaces your Empower Rune Weapon Icon Empower Rune Weapon ability. It has a 3-minute cooldown, and it grants you 1 Rune and 5 Runic Power when used, and once every 1.5 seconds for its 15-second duration, and also grants you 20% haste for 12 seconds.

Against a single target, the best talent in this tier is currently Obliteration Icon Obliteration, whereas against multiple targets, you should take Breath of Sindragosa Icon Breath of Sindragosa.

Hungering Rune Weapon Icon Hungering Rune Weapon is not currently recommended.

9. ChangeLog

+ show all entries - show only 10 entries
  • 01 Sep. 2017: Updated tier 2 and 7 talent recommendations.
  • 28 Aug. 2017: Updated the page to account for the changes to talents that came with Patch 7.3.
  • 13 Jun. 2017: Updated Tier 6 talent discussion to mention that Frostscythe can be taken if you have the new legendary ring, Soul of the Deathlord.
  • 24 Apr. 2017: Removed mentions of Machine Gun playstyle.
  • 27 Mar. 2017: No changes needed for Patch 7.2.
  • 21 Feb. 2017: Revamped most talent descriptions to account for Breath of Sindragosa now being the dominant playstyle.
  • 22 Jan. 2017: Updated description of Volatile Shielding to account for the change in damage school.
  • 21 Jan. 2017: Made a few small updates to some talent evaluations and updated the introductory text for the Breath of Sindragosa playstyle further. Also added checkmarks to talents viable in the Breath of Sindragosa build.
  • 17 Jan. 2017: Reworded the introduction section for the Breath of Sindragosa build slightly, to confirm that it does indeed perform very well.
  • 13 Jan. 2017: Changed tier 6 talent evaluation to Gather Storm only (for Breath of Sindragosa).
  • 10 Jan. 2017: Added alternative talent choices to support Breath of Sindragosa build, and updated talent descriptions to account for Patch 7.1.5.
  • 27 Oct. 2016: Updated tier 6 and 7 talent recommendations to account for a non machine gun playstyle now also being viable.
  • 24 Oct. 2016: Updated the description of Frozen Pulse to account for patch 7.1 changes.
  • 05 Oct. 2016: Updated the tier 3 talent discussion to state that Avalanche is best for raiding, while Icecap is recommended for Mythic+ dungeons.
  • 25 Sep. 2016: Further updated the page to account for the prevalence of the Machine Gun rotation.
  • 24 Sep. 2016: Added a mention of taking Icy Talons for the Machine Gun rotation.
  • 29 Aug. 2016: Updated for Legion's launch.
  • 21 Jul. 2016: Updated tier 1 and 2 talent discussions.
  • 19 Jul. 2016: Changed the evaluation of Icy Talons to include the possible situation where Murderous Efficiency results in you having too many resources, in which case Icy Talons could be a viable replacement.
  • 18 Jul. 2016: Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
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