[Death Knight][Frost] Frost Death Knight Tips

Bazead's picture

Frost Death Knight Tips!

A guide to the Frost Spec of the Death Knight.


1. Start
2. Choosing your job in frost spec
3. Talents for DPS
4. Armor for DPS
5. Talents for Tank
6. Armor for Tank
7. Glyphs & Enchants for both
8. Levelling as an Frost Death Knight

1. Start

First off I want you to know I did not levelled to 80 with a frost Death Knight. But I levelled enough to show you guys a good side of the frost spec.

2. Choosing your job in Frost Spec

What do you wanna do with your Frost Spec? Do you wanna be a tank or do you really want to have high DPS while levelling.

Think well when choosing your job! Ofcourse you can respec but it is better to learn your class by focusing on one job of your spec/class.

- DPS is really good for levelling and PVP, you deal quite some damage in a short time. But you need all your cooldowns when fighting the big guys.

- Tanks are always nice. Some servers are really lacking tanks and frost is the perfect solution for this. You can take alot of damage and you can heal with Death Strike. Death Strike is a really nice bonus as an tank, but it does not heal alot of your HP. Do NOT use the frost tank spec for levelling.

3. Talents for DPS

Link to my DPS talent tree

What these talents do is very simple, some of them increases your damage, some of them increases your critical chance and critical power and some of them allows you to generate more runic power! All of these things are handy in both levelling and PVP. It doesn't matter at what level you put the talents but I strongly suggest to take the frost part first and then go to blood. You can always change Bladed Armor to Improved Rune Tap if you want.

4. Armor and weapon for DPS

I am not gonna post a whole list of items you need while levelling or PVP. I am just gonna post the stats you want on your armor, to increase your DPS!

- Always look for Plate items.
- Items with increased Strength are a must (for Attack Power and Parry Rating)
- Items with increased Critical Strike rating are a must.
- Also find items with Agility and Stamina.
- If you have Bladed Armor also look for the Armor Rating

5. Talents for Tank

Link to my (amateur) Tank Talent Tree
Dodgy Doctor's Talent Tree (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!)

Great thanks to Dodgy Doctor for his (way better than mine) Frost Tank Talent Tree!

All of these talents are handy for a tank, increasing your chance to dodge, extra attack power to keep aggro and in case of emergency talents to survive!

You can change talents in any way you like, this is just a helptool.

6. Armor for Tank

- Always choose armor with high Armor Rating and Defence Rating, cause you do not want to get killed that easily!
- Get items with some Strength, to do more damage so you keep aggro on mobs and you get Parry Rating from it
- Get items that increase Parry/Dodge rating.
- Get items that have Agility (For dodge chance)

Please forgive me if I am wrong here, put a comment below how I can improve this.

7. Glyphs for both

Major Glyphs:

Glyph of Unbreakable Armor: Unbreakable Armor grants an additional 5% parry chance but no longer increases your Strength.

For Tanks

Glyph of Icebound Fortitude: Your Icebound Fortitude costs no runic power.

For both

Glyph of Frost Strike: Your Frost Strikes have a 10% chance to Freeze the target for 8 seconds


Glyph of Death Strike: Your Death Strike's damage and healing increase by 2% for every 5 runic power you currently have. The runic power is not consumed by this effect.

For both

Minor Glyphs:

Glyph of Horn of Winter: Horn of Winter costs 10 less runic power

For both

Glyph of Blood Tap: Your Blood Tap no longer causes damage to you

For both

Glyph of Pestilence:Increases the radius of your Pestilence effect by 5 yards.

For both

7. Levelling as an Frost Death Knight

If you level as Frost, always choose the DPS part. You want to do good damage and kill quickly, exactly what a Frost Death Knight can. You can kill five mobs at once with losing 50% hp and killing them very quick. If you putted the right talents and have some good gear, you can crit 3000 with Howling Blast at level 60! But you need all your cooldowns and lose more HP in a battle than a Blood Death Knight.

If you want to level your (frost) Death Knight quick, I highly recommend to use Jame's levelling guides. It doesn't matter what faction you are, Jame putted some nice guides together for both factions!

For Jame his Alliance levelling guide click here.

For Jame his Horde levelling guide click here.

8. Feedback

If you have any tips, suggestions or do you see a problem in this guide, leave a message! I hope you can use this guide and I am ready to improve it to your styles!


Jiyambi's picture

Out of Date

This guide is out of date. If anyone is interested in adopting it and updating it, please leave a comment here. Until then, it will be moved to the archive section.

Nilz's picture

Hey, just wondering if you

Hey, just wondering if you could update your frost tank spec please thx

I'm leveling a DK

I'm leveling a DK and I am wondering what talent build I can use. I instance a lot and I seem to tank a lot, and I am in a Unholy leveling/pvp build... I also like to quest on my own every once in a while though. It is kind of hard deciding, including new talent tree changes coming up and resets. I want to be able to do considerably fast leveling while being able to either Tank or DPS.

I am also saving money for a standard flyer at 60 and can not afford a dual spec. Eye

63 Death Knight
Demon Soul - PvP - (Us)

Frost Dk Tanking

I have been playing my DK tank and have been enjoying it a lot. few minor changes to the spec and glyphs, Mjr Glp DND, IF, UBA, Min Horn, Raise Dead (death pact), pest. Spec change, i find this spec easier to MT with as it allows for faster threat Gen and more damage Mitigation,
you do not have to spec as deep into the unholy tree as i do but i find it allows for the faster bit of threat gen on boss's and Aoe trash. i find stacking str+dodge rateing is better then str agil and parry. if you have 540 def i would recomend 4% parry on your wep over stoneskin as DK's are all about mitigation. or in other words we dont want to be hit.

if anyone has any questions or wishes to to a little theory crafting (im alway dieing for a mind to pick) feel free to send me an ingame whisper i play on trollbane (US) and if im not on my DK Lillyette im most likley on my mage Danthaya hope this helps

Frost Death Knight Tank

Sticking out tongue Finally cracked and started my DK, after listening to my son badger me into making it. I spent many weeks reading about the capabilities of the various races, and different types. Finally chose Frost DK Human, thought I had really thought it out, right up to my first fight outside Ebon Hold, then my attempted macros fell apart. I have spent the past 12 hours, trying to write better tanking macros and searching the web for better macros. About two hours ago I found this website, don't why I haven't been here before, and although I disagree with some things, I found the guides and reader commentary to be both excellent and well thought out. M
y problem has been understanding and figuring out the combination of Runes, Runic Power and Global Cooldown. The combination of the three make it really hard to configure a worthwhile tank macro.
Thank you to everybody, I am going to try some of the recommendations to see if they work for me. I will keep checking back for more of your readers commentary and your replies. I will also let you know how I made out.


Hey all,
I've just found this guide after seeing James video on youtube for Unholy AoE.
I've got a 66 Frost specced similar to the dps build, which I found on another forum. I was actually aiming for a tank build so it's weird that I should end up with the dps build.
I've only been solo leveling, using IT>PS>BS>BS>Obliterate>DC, and interchanging Obliterate with DS if I'm low on health. I've only tanked a few instances so far, but I usually drop a DnD, IT + PS one mob then Pest and HS/BB, BS any lingering mobs. I only use DG to pull fleeing mobs that have risk of pulling others, caster mobs, or if another party gets agro.

For the tank build, could someone please provide a good rotation for leveling? Atm I'm happy with my tanking rotation but any suggestions for it would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance for any feedback!

Frost is bad for lvling

Well particularly i think that frost is not the worst spec for lvling my dk is full tank frost speced and i have lvled just as easy as any of my guilds and as fast if not faster plus i find groups for instances and level more off of instances than any quests and i have almost all my gear for lvl 80 heroics once im level 80

"less talk more loot"

Jame's picture

Well, it's not a bad spec to

Well, it's not a bad spec to level, but in terms of pure leveling speed, it IS the worst of the tree. That is a fact, you kill slower = you level slower.

Of course, if you do a lot of instances while leveling, it's not a bad choice.

eric's picture

Hi Bazead , are you sure

Hi Bazead Eye , why dont you choose 2/2 Unholy command for tanking frost? it reduce cooldown of death grip by 10 seconds. Death grip also taunts and is a nice tanking ability.

A thought

As already said, Death Grip isn't a taunt. It doesn't really increase your aggro on that one target.
And if you're looking to decrease the cooldown, you can get the Glyph of Death Grip which refreshes Death Grip every time you deal a killing blow. I won't claim to know how useful that might be for tanking in frost, but it was a godsend to me when I was leveling in blood.

Allow me to field this

Allow me to field this one.

Death Grip isn't a proper taunt. It forces the opponent to attack you for the duration, but it doesn't modify your threat, like Dark Command does (the Death Knight taunt) The main purpose of Death Grip is to bring Casters/ranged mobs into melee range, the extra effect is just for flair, I think.

Uhhh... what do I put here?

Levelling as a tank

I found my survivability the same as a dps frost with elites and 6-mob pulls. It's only a little bit slow but no slower than a prot paladin and I'm coming away with nearly full health every time. I don't mind the slowness on the grounds that I can outlive adds if I get more than 2 mobs unlike most dps classes. I wouldn't suggest levelling against single targets in this spec though, it's way too slow for that.

Shikamaru's picture

I wouldn't suggest solo

I wouldn't suggest solo leveling in any spec (maybe blood) Eye

It's so much easier and effective to AoE if you know the rotation Smiling!

AoE Rotation:
Icy Touch --> Plague Strike --> Pestilence --> Blood Boil --> Death Strike --> Unholy Blight --> Death Strike --> Blood Boil --> Blood Boil --> Death Strike --> Death Coil --> Death Strike --> Blood Boil --> Blood Boil --> should be dead by then Sticking out tongue

Jame's picture

You mean Unholy Blight

You mean Unholy Blight instead of the 1st death coil, amirite? Sticking out tongue

Shikamaru's picture

Oops, yes I do

Oops, yes I do Sticking out tongue

Edit: Why can't I edit my previous post ?Sad

Jiyambi's picture

Editing posts

I think you can't edit a post once it's been replied to. I was noticing that as well.

Jame's picture

weird, I'll look into it.

weird, I'll look into it.

Jaÿde's picture

Great Guide.

I am new to this site because, I was just today searching around for a good frost spec and stumbled across this post. Smiling I found this guide to have a few helpful tips thank you for posting it Laughing out loud .My DK is currently level 77 and leveling fast. I used blood spec up to 74 and decided if I'm going to want to tank I need to learn frost. I have only used frost for a week or so. But there are a few things that all frost tank DKs should know. I am by no means a theorycrafter with all that fancy math and stuff. I am just simply letting you know some things by experience.

1. The increase parry chance, increase in armor and increase in dodge chance in each tree is a must.

2. Hungering Cold will be an unnecessary and rather useless spell. Unfortunately I haven't taken the time to repsec my character better. Sticking out tongue

3. Imp.Death and Decay is just about a NEED. With only a 15 second CD on Death and Decay you can easily hold aggro on multiple targets.

4. Runic power is tough to keep up as frost. My opinion is to dip into the blood tree and get the extra Runic power talents. The reason for this is, when you're tanking you will use Rune Strike a lot and you also want to use frost strike a lot. When you can use these more often they're good for when you're waiting for CD on runes.

5. If you're gonna tank you want to aim for the talents that give A LOT of mitigation. Including spell reductions.


Your fifth statement... Mitigation is incredibly important, but extra threat is just as important. I honestly believe my spec is optimal for Frost tanking. Admittedly I haven't got to 70, let alone 80, but my theory is sound.

As for Frost for tanking, that's not true, Unholy and Blood can tank just as well up and including I would assume Naxxramas, but with different styles. Unholy would definatly be the AoE spec of choice, but Blood would probably be best for emergency tanking, the Health regeneration and Runic power generation - to me, at least - is ideal for that, along with the chance to literally block spell damage.

Actually, with my theories, I may make a DK tanking guide myself, to get opinions on my crackpot theories.

Uhhh... what do I put here?

Bazead's picture

Hungering Cold

Hungering Cold is actually pretty handy!

Lets say, somebody took all aggro of you, but doesn't have good gear to tank them all, you use Hungering Cold tot freeze them and make them aggro you again Smiling.

Jaÿde's picture

Hungering Cold

I understand that Hungering Cold is a very good move, but the one problem I faced as a frost DK is lacking enough Runic Power to be able to use it when needed.

I also think, with a lot about the Death Knights, that every spec and every little talent will fit differently and fit a certain person's play style. Blizz did a great job allowing that.

I agree with what the others

I agree with what the others say. My biggest say is put a few points into Morbidity for Death and Decay cooldown reduction. I've only tanked a few times, but that was a life saver. It gives you nice threat over alot of targets, like a pally's Consecration. That way, you get to focus more on the kill order than all of the targets at once.


Bazead's picture

Changes next wednesday

Next wednesday there will be some changes, I am gonna remake the whole Tanking Tree to your requests, with your effort we can make the best tanking spec possible. Next wednesday the spell rotations for DPS are done, but i need some help with the Tanking Rotations.

If you have some tips, in anyway about the tanking rotations and spec:


Ps. Im sorry for this weird message, I am posting via school laptops which I do not like to type.

Jame's picture

I can vouch for that. D&D is

I can vouch for that. D&D is the bread and butter skill for tanking.

Just one dodgy opinion.

I just wanted to post my opinions on the tanking build, and the reasons I disagree with some of the choices.

Icy Reach - the extra range is nice, but not necessary, I'd put those points into Glaciar Rot to increase threat directly.

Merciless Combat - Again, a nice damage boost, but limited in use, extra threat at higher health would be a better option.

Endless Winter - As a tank, you wouldn't be using Chains of Ice, and 20 Runic power is a negligable cost, really.

Chillblains - A complete waste of talent points in my opinion, the chilling effect just isn't worth spending five talent points for.

For these three changes, I'd put points into Chill of the grave, as the boost to Runic power is always good, and put three into Killing machine for burst threat.

Blood of the North - drop all five points, despite the Death runes and increased Blood strike, the points could be spent in better ways, like...

Max Killing Machine to optimise burst threat, Get Frost Strike for the extra frost damage (30% extra damage from Black Ice) and take all three points of Guile of the Gorefiend, for the increased duration on Icebound Fortitude, and increased crit dmage for the burst threat.

Moving over to the Blood Tree, take the points from Rune Tap (you'll have a healer healing you), Scent of blood (better uses for the talents) Bladed armour (one point, negligible) and Two-Handed Weapon specilization (Threat comes from spells, not weapon) and place them lovingly into:

Morbidity - Decreases the Death and Decay cooldown, allowing for more uses

Annihilation - Obliterate can really hurt, and without the consumption of diseases, it would be a nice spell to add into your rotation against single-targets. Also the 3% crit chance with melee abilities helps with burst threat, not much but every little helps.

Virulence - +hit with your spells, your main source of damage and threat. Perfect for threat.

I apologise if I offended with my analysis, as I said, it's just one opinion.

My suggestions would bring the build to this: http://www.wowhead.com/?talent=j0xZGxxthjdohR0sstcxh

Uhhh... what do I put here?

Jame's picture

Suggestions and contructive

Suggestions and contructive criticism are always well received here Eye

Bazead's picture

Thank you for your help!

I putted your link under my own talent link. Tanking is not my best part as a Frost DK, Sparks i am working on a spell rotation.

Zerox's picture

What sparks said is probably

What sparks said is probably a good idea; many new DK's (including myself tomorrow!) have no idea on spell rotations, especially since you don't have the levels to work into the class like the traditional WoW class's. Jame covers the Unholy DPS rotation very well (I'm assuming DPS would be similar for Frost leveling) but Tanking on a DK is still very new. Perhaps provide details on how to do this and rotations?

Anyhow, great guide! Smiling

include best dps and tanking

include best dps and tanking rotations as well.
If you can include why.

Shikamaru's picture

I skimmed through the guide,

I skimmed through the guide, and it looks great Smiling

I'm looking forward to my own Death Knight.

Anyway, I noticed some little typo's:

*All of these talents are handy for a tank, increasing your chance to dodge, extra attack power to keap aggro and in case of emergency talents to survive!

keap - keep

*Please forgive me if I am wrong here, put a comment below how i can improve this.

i - I

*But you need al your cooldowns and lose more HP in a battle then a Blood Death Knight.

al - all

then - than (It's a grammatical thing, don't worry Sticking out tongue)

The content of this guide is very useful, and the Text Formatting is well done (I don't see that too much, good job!) Smiling

Bazead's picture


Thanks for the feedback and you noticed some typo's. I corrected them all Smiling.

(and yes you should look forward to your DK, they are pretty fun!)

Jame's picture

Hey, this guide is a nice

Hey, this guide is a nice base for a good Frost DK Guide. All it needs now is input from other players and it will become great.

So fire away!

Tried .blood /Unholy not frost but...?

What im after is a build to heal me and put some nice dps out?.

I have changed my build like 5times yes thats right 5 TIMES...... Puzzled and im really stuck what tree to fill was looking at the frost 21,50,0 build i will mainly be solo lvling and pvp at 80.

Im just lvl 75atm just found your site so cant really comment on the speed yet but i was on your site for 3 hours just haveing a good read and some of the stuff is amazing wish i found it b4 i lvld my D/K i THANK you for all your time and effort keep up the good work sir *Salute*

Grim }:)

*The grimreaper is always watching waiting..............