Frost Death Knight DPS Spell Summary — Shadowlands 9.1
On this page, we present you with all spells and procs that you need to understand as a Frost Death Knight in World of Warcraft — Shadowlands 9.1.
If you are new to Frost, this is a great place to start to get an understanding of how the spec works. On this page we will discuss what abilities you have, what they are used for within the specialisation, how they interact with each other and also with important cooldowns. If you already have experience with Frost and are comfortable with it in the current expansion, it is recommended you skip this section and move on to the rest of the guide.
Main Resources of Frost Death Knights
Runic Power and Runes are your two resources. Throughout the fight, you will look to spend as many Runes as possible and generate as much Runic Power as you can, which you will then use to help you deal more damage.
Spells and passive abilities are unlocked as you level up, but this page simply lists everything you have available to you at max level. Linked below is our Leveling page, which has all the detailed information of when you unlock these abilities.
Frost Death Knight Basic Abilities
These are your core skills that are available regardless of talents, and form the core gameplay of the specialisation.
Frost Fever is a DoT that is applied by Howling Blast, and which you should aim to have up on the target(s) essentially at all times. Frost Fever has a chance each time it deals damage to generate 5 Runic Power.
Howling Blast costs 1 Rune (although its cost is removed when you have a Rime proc), deals Frost damage to the target and all other enemies within 10 yards of them, and affects all targets it hits with Frost Fever. The damage is reduced on secondary targets following the "square root formula".
Remorseless Winter costs 1 Rune and deals Frost damage over time to all enemies in a radius around you, also slowing their movement speed by 20% for the duration.
Death's Advance is a useful movement ability that has a 45-second cooldown which increases your movement speed by 35%, prevents you from being slowed below 100% of your baseline movement speed, and you are also immune to knockbacks and forced movement effects for the duration. It also passively prevents you from being slowed below 70% of your baseline movement speed.
Anti-Magic Shell absorbs up to 30% of your maximum health in magic damage over 5 seconds, and generates Runic Power based on the damage absorbed. This should be used to mitigate magic damage throughout the fight, while the added Runic Power will help increase your DPS. You can also use it before a magic debuff is applied to you in order to prevent the application.
Anti-Magic Zone places a zone on the ground that reduces magic damage taken by 20% for the duration. The maximum amount that can be absorbed is equal to 1.5 times your Maximum Health, increased by your Versatility. This is a strong raid cooldown.
Death and Decay costs 1 Rune and places a damaging area at the target location, which persists for 10 seconds.
Sacrificial Pact sacrifices your temporary Ghoul to heal yourself and deal AoE damage.
For more detailed information on how these abilities are used in your rotation, please read our rotation page linked below.
Important Procs for Frost Death Knights
Frost Death Knights have two important procs.
Rime is a proc that can be triggered by either your Obliterate (with a 45% chance) or your Frostscythe (with a 22.5% chance), and it causes the next Howling Blast to cost no Runes and deal 300% increased damage. Using these procs before re-casting Obliterate is a very high priority.
Killing Machine grants your auto-attacks a chance to cause your next Obliterate to be a guaranteed critical hit. At level 58, your Killing Machine procs cause your next Obliterate to deal Frost damage, meaning it will gain damage based on your Mastery stat and ignore your target's Armor. Killing Machine has an effective proc rate of ~50% for dual-wield and ~77% for two-handed builds.
Cooldowns for Frost Death Knights
Frost Death Knights have three important baseline offensive cooldowns.
- Pillar of Frost increases your Strength by 20% for 12 seconds. It has a 1-minute cooldown. Each Rune spent during Pillar of Frost increases your Strength by 1%.
- Empower Rune Weapon increases your Haste by 15% and generates 1 Rune and 5 Runic Power instantly and every 5 seconds for 20 seconds. It has a 105-second cooldown (2 minutes before level 56).
- Frostwyrm's Fury is now baseline and provides a very powerful 3-minute cooldown that is strong on both single-target and AoE. This is best used when paired with Pillar of Frost. It also slows the movement speed of all targets hit by 50% for 10 seconds.
Cold Heart gives you a stack of Cold Heart every 2 seconds, stacking up to 20 times. Using Chains of Ice consumes the stacks dealing Frost damage. This is best paired with Pillar of Frost to deal massive damage.
Horn of Winter is a 45-second cooldown that gives you 2 Runes and 25 Runic Power. This has great synergy with Breath of Sindragosa, however it is on the GCD and has to compete with 2 very strong passive talents.
Hypothermic Presence is a 45-second cooldown that reduces the Runic Power cost on your abilities by 35% for 8 seconds. This talent seems to have fantastic synergy with Breath of Sindragosa, however it is not as strong as Gathering Storm currently so it does not see much play.
Glacial Advance is a 6-second cooldown that is reduced by Haste that deals Frost damage in a small line forward applying Rune of Razorice to all targets hit. Glacial Advance costs 30 Runic Power making it a priority over Frost Strike in 2+ target combat.
- 29 Jun. 2021: Guide reviewed and updated for Patch 9.1.
- 09 Mar. 2021: Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
- 24 Jan. 2021: Guide reviewed and completely updated.
- 19 Dec. 2020: Updated Pillar of Frost and Death's Advance descriptions.
- 23 Nov. 2020: Page updated for Shadowlands release. Added information on new Rank 2 abilities.
- 12 Oct. 2020: Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
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