Frost Death Knight Guide for The War Within

Last updated on Jun 18, 2024 at 21:00 by Bicepspump 42 comments

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on the Frost Death Knight changes in World of Warcraft's latest expansion, "The War Within." This page is designed to help you navigate the new changes, optimize your gameplay, and get the most out of your Frost Death Knight in PvE environments.

In this guide, you'll find detailed breakdowns of the new Hero Talent Trees for Frost Death Knight. We'll explore the most significant updates, and offer insights into how these changes will impact your overall playstyle. Whether you're a veteran Frost Death Knight or new to the class, our goal is to equip you with the knowledge and tools needed to excel in "The War Within."


Frost Death Knight: The War Within Expansion Preview

Welcome to our War Within expansion guide for Frost Death Knight. Ahead of launch, this page will contain everything you need to know about the Frost Death Knight spec in the forthcoming The War Within expansion, including changes, Hero Talent Trees, and some light predictions on the state of the spec going into the expansion.

This page is a constantly evolving work in progress, with regular changes expected as updates hit the War Within beta. This is not meant to be a launch guide for Frost Death Knight, but instead serves as a resource for you to keep up to date with how the spec is evolving on Beta, and what you can expect from its playstyle and feel on launch.


The War Within Changes for Frost Death Knight


Core Changes

Frost Death Knight has received a number of changes in The War Within so far, primarily in the form of new talents as well as talent tree restructuring. Notable new talents are Unyielding Will Icon Unyielding Will, Null Magic Icon Null Magic, Festering Scythe Icon Festering Scythe, Arctic Assault Icon Arctic Assault and Shattered Frost Icon Shattered Frost.

Furthermore, Frostscythe Icon Frostscythe is now a big-hitting cooldown usable every 30 seconds. The CD is reduced every time one consumes Killing Machine Icon Killing Machine. It now costs 2 Runes and has a lot more oomph to it. Death and Decay Icon Death and Decay also has a lingering effect in The War Within. After you leave the area, you retain the cleave bonus for 4 seconds. This also effectively buffs the total duration from 10 seconds to 14 seconds, allowing us use it before our Pillar of Frost Icon Pillar of Frost windows!

Breath of Sindragosa Icon Breath of Sindragosa uptime has been significantly nerfed through the removal of Rune of Hysteria Icon Rune of Hysteria as well as the second charge of Empower Rune Weapon Icon Empower Rune Weapon. Realistic lengths are now in the 30-45 seconds range, significantly less than the permanent Breath we are seeing in Dragonflight.


Systems Changes

While nothing changed for Frost Death Knight's core features, The War Within still has major implications for all specs thanks to the Hero Talent Tree system, new tier sets, and the natural reduction in secondary stats when entering a new expansion.

Frost Death Knight gets to choose between the Rider of the Apocalypse and Deathbringer Hero Talent Trees. In sections below, we will talk more deeply about the implications of these Hero Talent Trees for the spec, and some thoughts on what looks strong and weak ahead of launch.


Hero Talent Trees for Frost Death Knight in The War Within


Rider of the Apocalypse Hero Talents for Frost Death Knight

The Rider of the Apocalypse Hero Talent tree is mainly a passive tree without much interaction with our kit. We randomly summon Horsemen to aid us in our fight, which use their own abilities. Mograine does cast Death and Decay Icon Death and Decay and provides some extra cleave whenever this happens. Furthermore, you will summon all four horsemen every 3/1.5 minutes with your Frostwyrm's Fury Icon Frostwyrm's Fury to aid you. Some good synergy with Breath of Sindragosa Icon Breath of Sindragosa via A Feast of Souls Icon A Feast of Souls which helps with Breath uptime.

On a Paler Horse Icon On a Paler Horse is probably the most interesting talent in the tree, at least for non-instanced content. This allows you to stay mounted in combat, fighting your enemies off the back of a horse. A major speed-up to questing and leveling as well as a really cool addition to the game. It's a shame it doesn't work in dungeons and raids but that also probably would've been too powerful.

In terms of tuning, the rider tree relies heavily on the raw damage of the riders themselves. You do get some synergy with the rest of your kit via A Feast of Souls Icon A Feast of Souls but we'll have to rely on that raw damage when picking up the hero talents.


Deathbringer Hero Talents for Frost Death Knight

The Deathbringer Hero Talents revolve around the active ability Reaper's Mark Icon Reaper's Mark. This starts as a 1 minute cooldown ability which leaves a debuff on the enemy. This debuff will stack up over time as you deal shadow and frost damage to the enemy, ultimate exploding when reaching 40 stacks (or if the 12 seconds duration finishes). Really quite satisfying to use before your Pillar of Frost Icon Pillar of Frost, getting a huge explosion towards the end when you've stacked up your strength to the max!

Achieving the 40-stack burst is currently not a problem and is achieved every time you press Reaper's Mark Icon Reaper's Mark, as long as you execute your standard rotation properly. You can also reduce the cooldown of the ability to 30 seconds by taking Swift End Icon Swift End, potentially leading to aligning it with every single Pillar of Frost Icon Pillar of Frost window!

You get some strong defensive value from the tree as well via Rune Carved Plates Icon Rune Carved Plates. This passive magic and physical reduction stack up quite high over any fight, leading to significant amounts of raw reduction for you.


Frost Death Knight Tier Set in The War Within

Below are the Tier Set Bonuses for Frost Death Knight in The War Within. After the wording of the bonus, you will find a brief note/commentary that is italicized.

  • Death Knight Frost 11.0 Class Set 2pc Icon Death Knight Frost 11.0 Class Set 2pc — Your Runic Power spending abilities deal 8% increased damage. Good synergy with Breath of Sindragosa Icon Breath of Sindragosa but also works quite nicely with Obliteration Icon Obliteration due to Arctic Assault Icon Arctic Assault.
  • Death Knight Frost 11.0 Class Set 4pc Icon Death Knight Frost 11.0 Class Set 4pc — Consuming Runic Power has a chance to increase your Strength by 10% for 8 sec.Nice passive buff that works well for both builds.

Both set bonuses are completely passive and are not expected to have any gameplay impact.


How Good is the Frost Death Knight Tier Bonus in The War Within?

The tier set is relatively bland with purely passive components. Still, this means that balancing will be relatively easy as there aren't any second-order effects to consider. I expect it to be roughly as powerful as other tier sets at 10% DPS increase.


Frost Death Knight Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths icon Strengths
  • +High burst cleave.
  • +Great add control with Death Grip Icon Death Grip.
  • +Knockback prevention with Death's Advance Icon Death's Advance.
  • +Immunity to many magical debuffs via Anti-Magic Shell Icon Anti-Magic Shell.
  • +Anti-Magic Zone Icon Anti-Magic Zone as a Magic damage raid cooldown.
  • +Incredibly tanky overall.
Weaknesses icon Weaknesses
  • -Limited mobility.
  • -Susceptile to forced downtime during Cooldowns.
  • -Limited spread add cleave.
  • -Doesn't bring a very powerful raid buff.
  • -Limited Mythic+ utility.


  • 17 Jun. 2024: Page added.
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