Frost Death Knight PvP Rotation and Playstyle (Dragonflight 10.2.7)

Last updated on May 07, 2024 at 11:20 by Keator 6 comments

PvP requires you to perform various actions in the course of a duel, match, or battleground: interrupting/silencing enemies, damaging them, bursting them down, defending yourself, keeping yourself alive, etc.. It is a game mode that fully utilizes your kit, especially spells that are rarely used in PvE. On this page, we go through all the spells you need to use in PvP as a Frost Death Knight, how you should use them, and we explain what your playstyle should be.

This page is part of our Frost Death Knight PvP Guide.


Playstyle for Frost Death Knights

Frost Death Knights excel at sustained pressure, powerful AoE burst setups, and mobility & cooldown disruption. They are also difficult to peel because of Death's Advance Icon Death's Advance, Anti-Magic Shell Icon Anti-Magic Shell, Death Grip Icon Death Grip, and Icebound Fortitude Icon Icebound Fortitude all preventing CC or escapes from the enemy team. Therefore, your main job is to make sure you rotate these cooldowns intelligently to keep your pressure up. If your sustained damage is high enough and it is difficult to peel you, enemy teams will run quickly out of cooldowns , which will allow you to win the game during one of your AoE setups with Chill Streak Icon Chill Streak and Frostwyrm's Fury Icon Frostwyrm's Fury.


Before Gates Open

Make sure to communicate with your teammates the kill target and the grip target. You will be pulling one player to another in order to set up AoE burst on the two stacked targets. Generally, the grip target is the healer, but sometimes it has to be the other DPS, namely against caster cleaves. It is important that you get a setup every 1 minute as it is better to get more setups with two DPS than it is to wait for the perfect setup with both DPS and the healer.


The Opener

The opener refers to your team's opening crowd control chain and damage done as soon as you get out of the gates. The main goal in the opener is to force your enemies to use their cooldowns and/or trinket. To do this, Frost Death Knights will set up an AoE burst window for them and their partner with Death Grip Icon Death Grip. Generally, your opener should be coordinated around the enemy's cooldowns. Frost DKs specialize in counter-setups with the use of Blinding Sleet Icon Blinding Sleet. For example, if a Fire Mage uses Combustion Icon Combustion you can grip another target to the mage and use Blinding Sleet. This will not only stop their damage but allow you to set up your opener.

This is the rotation you should use on your target at the beginning of the game.

  1. Use Chains of Ice Icon Chains of Ice to keep your primary target slowed.
  2. Use Howling Blast Icon Howling Blast to apply Frost Fever Icon Frost Fever.
  3. Coordinate with your teammate to begin your burst rotation.

Burst Damage

Your AoE setup is the defining strength of Frost Death Knight's damage output. This burst rotation should be done on cooldown to force the enemy team to run out of answers.

  1. Use Death Grip Icon Death Grip on the enemy healer to bring them to the enemy DPS.
  2. You or your teammate must use either an AoE stun or coordinate single target stuns on the two stacked enemies.
  3. Use Empower Rune Weapon Icon Empower Rune Weapon.
  4. Use Pillar of Frost Icon Pillar of Frost.
  5. Use Remorseless Winter Icon Remorseless Winter.
  6. Use Chill Streak Icon Chill Streak if talented.
  7. Alternate between Obliterate Icon Obliterate and Frost Strike Icon Frost Strike OR Howling Blast Icon Howling Blast if and only if you have a Rime Icon Rime proc.
  8. When pillar is nearly out of duration, use Frostwyrm's Fury Icon Frostwyrm's Fury if talented, unless you used it to AoE stun the enemy in the beginning.

Sustained damage

Sustained damage is damage you do when your burst cooldowns are not available.

  1. Use Chains of Ice Icon Chains of Ice to keep your primary target slowed.
  2. Use Howling Blast Icon Howling Blast to apply Frost Fever Icon Frost Fever.
    • It is important to maintain Frost Fever Icon Frost Fever on as many targets as you can as this has a chance to generate additional runic power.
    • Also use Howling Blast Icon Howling Blast any time you have a Rime Icon Rime proc.
  3. Use Remorseless Winter Icon Remorseless Winter off cooldown.
  4. Use Obliterate Icon Obliterate to generate Runic Power.
  5. Use Frost Strike Icon Frost Strike to spend runic power if you are not taking damage.
  6. Use Death Strike Icon Death Strike to spend runic power if you are taking damage.

Defensive Techniques

Anti-Magic Shell Icon Anti-Magic Shell is your primary defensive ability. This is very strong against caster classes. With a relatively short cooldown, use this if you are being focused and need to negate incoming spell damage.

Icebound Fortitude Icon Icebound Fortitude is another strong defensive ability. This will give you immunity to all stuns and reduce all damage to you. Use this when you are in a stun and being focused.

Lichborne Icon Lichborne allows you to use Death Coil Icon Death Coil on yourself to provide solid healing. This can be done even when you do not have a target nearby and increases in value with Strength procs, unlike Death Strike Icon Death Strike. Therefore, it has great situational uses. It also gives you 10% leech, which provides additional healing when damage is done by you.

Death Strike Icon Death Strike is another defensive tool. If you are the primary target for the enemy team and have Runic Power, use Death Strike to heal yourself for a percentage of the damage that was dealt to you.

Blinding Sleet Icon Blinding Sleet can be used offensively or defensively. This can be used as an interrupt for enemy casting while a teammate is being focused. This can also be used aggressively to setup stuns on the enemy team.

Anti-Magic Zone Icon Anti-Magic Zone should be used when your team is stacked, and the enemy team is doing strong single-target or spread spell damage.

Death Strike Icon Death Strike is an ability that uses Runic Power and heals you for 35% of all damage taken in the last 5 seconds. This means that if you need to be healed and your healer is in crowd control, you should spend Runic Power on Death Strike instead of Frost Strike Icon Frost Strike.

Death's Advance Icon Death's Advance, although not exactly a defensive ability, should be used when you need to get to an enemy or disruptive slows on you.



It is advised to use Macros to use abilities on enemies or allies without having to target them. For this reason, we have a page dedicated to them.



  • 07 May 2024: Reviewed for 10.2.7.
  • 22 Apr. 2024: Reviewed for Season 4.
  • 19 Mar. 2024: Reviewed for Patch 10.2.6.
  • 15 Jan. 2024: Reviewed for Patch 10.2.5.
  • 06 Nov. 2023: Updated for Patch 10.2.0.
  • 01 Sep. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.1.7.
  • 10 Jul. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.1.5.
  • 05 May 2023: Updated for Patch 10.1.
  • 21 Mar. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.0.7.
  • 30 Jan. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.0.5.
  • 11 Dec. 2022: Updated for Dragonflight Season 1.
  • 22 Nov. 2022: Updated for Dragonflight pre-patch.
  • 31 Jul. 2022: Reviewed for Shadowlands Season 4.
  • 31 May 2022: Reviewed for Patch 9.2.5.
  • 02 Mar. 2022: Page reviewed and approved for Patch 9.2.
  • 11 Dec. 2021: Reviewed for Patch 9.1.5.
  • 02 Jul. 2021: Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
  • 20 Mar. 2021: Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 05 Dec. 2020: Updated for Shadowlands Season 1.
  • 14 Oct. 2020: Updated for Shadowlands pre-patch.
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