in your browser.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Warlords of Draenor Death Knight Changes
This post covers all of the changes to Death Knights in Warlords of Draenor: talents, class abilities, specializations, glyphs, crowd control, and blue tweet clarifications. We've added in changed spell effects, set bonuses, and armor models as the beta has grown.
Looking for the WoD Talent Calculator?
Check it out here
Want to know how to play your class on live? Check out our
Last update: October 23
(Note: This guide is intended to be an overview of changes between Mists of Pandaria and Warlords of Draenor. Due to its popularity, we have included Patch Note updates for 6.1, but its main purpose is to compare the two expansions.)
For pruned Death Knight abilities, the reasons focused on removing abilities that were redundant, cooldown reduction, or abilities that were not used often.
As diseases now do enough damage on their own to warrant using them, and having diseases act as multipliers on the damage of other abilities became extraneous and cluttered up the tooltips of those abilities, those multipliers have been removed, and consolidated their benefits into the corresponding base spell.
Merging Blood Boil into Pestilence effectively turned Roiling Blood into a passive ability, so it was replaced with a new talent, Plaguebearer.
Rune Strike was removed for Blood and the cost of Death Coil is adjusted so it can be used in place of Rune Strike.
In order to better balance the scaling rates and value of secondary stats for Unholy Death Knights, the power of their passive Unholy Might ability was reduced, and a new passive ability was added to make Multistrike more effective.
Several changes were made to bring up the interactivity of Blood combat, such as making Death Strike cause healing based on attack power and be affected by the new Resolve passive.
The Runic Power generation of Anti-Magic Shell was standardized, to make it more understandable and balanced.
Level-60 and Level-75 talent rows have swapped places, so the important rune regeneration talents could be acquired earlier.
Conversion was changed to cost different amounts by specialization, instead of reducing Runic Power generation differently by specialization.
For Blood Death Knights to value Haste and Crit as important secondary stats in WoD, Riposte gives defensive value to Critical Strikes, and Scent of Blood gives defensive value to Multistrike
When browsing the spell changes below and noticing that a coefficient has changed, keep in mind that the following changes have been made:
Each point of Agility or Strength now grants 1 Attack Power (down from 2). All other sources of Attack Power now grant half as much as before.
Weapon Damage values on all weapons have been reduced by 20%.
Attack Power now increases Weapon Damage at a rate of 1 DPS per 3.5 Attack Power (up from 1 DPS per 14 Attack Power).
Attack Power, Spell Power, or Weapon Damage now affect the entire healing or damage throughput of player spells.
Patch 6.1 Updates
Breath of Sindragosa
no longer has an initial Runic Power cost, but only applies the Mark of Sindragosa for Blood Death Knights.
now heals the
for 400% of damage dealt (up from 335%).
now only reduces damage taken for Blood Death Knights.
damage has been increased by 20% and now only grants Runic Power to Blood Death Knights.
should no longer be incorrectly redirected by
now generates 2 Runic Power every second for 5 seconds when struck by a movement-impairing effect (down from 3 Runic Power).
PvP 4-piece set bonus for Blood Death Knights (
Item - Death Knight WoD PvP Blood 4P Bonus
) now only applies
to 1 additional ally within 15 yards (down from 2 allies).
New Spell Effects
Level 100 Death Knight talents
Breath of Sindragosa
3D Armor Models
In Warlords of Draenor, not all raid gear will look alike. Tier 17 (Normal, Heroic) will share styles with Conquest gear. Mythic gear will share styles with top-tier PvP gear. Check out more sets in our
Warlords of Draenor Transmog Guide
Click the images to view the Death Knight T17 and PvP sets in our 3D Modelviewer.
Some of these set bonuses may be placeholders and are subject to change. Set bonuses in Warlords of Draenor have changed to be spec-specific, instead of one very wordy tooltip covering different aspects for each spec.
Item - Death Knight T17 Frost 2P Bonus
Activating Pillar of Frost refreshes all of your Runes as Death Runes and generates 30 Runic Power.
Item - Death Knight T17 Frost 4P Bonus
While Pillar of Frost is active, your special attacks trap a soul in your rune weapon, increasing Frost damage dealt by 30%. When Pillar of Frost fades, your rune weapon discharges the souls at your current target, dealing 60% damage per soul.
Item - Death Knight T17 Blood 2P Bonus
Each stack of Scent of Blood consumed reduces the cooldown of Vampiric Blood by 5 sec.
Item - Death Knight T17 Blood 4P Bonus
While Vampiric Blood is active, your Blood Shield cannot be reduced below 3% of your maximum health.
Item - Death Knight T17 Unholy 2P Bonus
When Soul Reaper deals its bonus damage to a target, you gain 5 stacks of Shadow Infusion.
Item - Death Knight T17 Unholy 4P Bonus
When you activate Dark Transformation, 1 of your runes are automatically refreshed as Death Runes.
Item - Death Knight WoD PvP 2P Bonus
Using Death Grip increases the damage of your next special attack by 25%.
Item - Death Knight WoD PvP Frost 4P Bonus
When you have Freezing Fog active, your next Howling Blast will increase Frost damage taken on all targets by 10% for 8 sec.
Item - Death Knight WoD PvP Unholy 4P Bonus
When you activate Dark Transformation, your Shadow damage dealt is increased by 20% for 15 sec.
Item - Death Knight WoD PvP Blood 4P Bonus
Anti-Magic Shell also applies to the 2 nearest allies.
to see a complete list of Warlords of Draenor Death Knight talents.
Breath of Sindragosa
Continuously deals (100% of Attack power) Shadowfrost damage every 1 sec to enemies in a cone in front of you within 12 yards, and affects them with Mark of Sindragosa for 6 sec. Deals reduced damage to secondary targets. You will continue breathing until canceled or Runic Power is exhausted. Mark of Sindragosa causes you to be healed for 5%10% of spell damage dealt by afflicted enemies.
Defiles the ground targeted by the Death Knight. Every 1 sec, if there are any enemies standing in the Defile, it deals (27.5% of Attack power) Shadowfrost damage to them, and grows in radius and damage by 2.5%. Enemies standing in your Defile deal 10% less damage to you. Replaces Death and Decay.
A powerful disease that deals (2.25% of Attack power) Shadowfrost damage per stack every 2 sec for 30 sec. Each time it deals damage, it gains 1 stack, and infects another nearby enemy within 8 yards if possible. You gain 2 Runic Power whenever a target infected with Necrotic Plague attempts to attack you.Replaces Blood Plague and Frost Fever, and is applied by any ability which applied either. This effect cannot be refreshed; it gains 1 stack instead.
Your Death Coil and Frost Strike abilities also infect your target, adding 4 sec to the existing duration of Frost Fever and Blood Plague, and adding an additional stack to existing Necrotic Plague.
Places an Anti-Magic Zone for 3 sec that reduces spell damage taken by party or raid members by 40%20%.
Death Coil, Frost Strike, and Rune Strike generate 2 Blood Charges, up to a maximum of 12 charges. BloodEvery 15 Runic Power you spend will generate a Blood Charge. Max 12 charges.Blood Tap consumes 5 Blood Charges to activate a random fully-depleted rune as a Death Rune.
Continuously converts Runic Power to health, restoring 3%2% of maximum health per 1 sec. This effect lasts until canceled, or Runic Power is exhausted. Takes 20 Runic Power, up from 10, per tick.
Drain vitality from an undead minion, healingHeals the Death Knight for 50% of his maximum health and causing the minion to suffer damageof max health, and absorbs equal to 50%25% of maximum health for 15 sec.
Deals 194 to 2250 (+ 60.2064% of Attack power) Shadowfrost damage to an enemy, healing the Death Knight for 150%335% of damage dealt.
Corrupts the ground in a 8 yard radius beneath the Death Knight for 10 sec. While standing in this corruption, the Death Knight is immune to roots, snares, and effects that cause loss of control. This ability instantly removes such effects when activated.
Draw upon unholy energy to become undead for 10 sec. While undead, you areincrease your Leech by 10%, and make you immune to Charm, Fear, and Sleep effects for 10 sec. and Death Coil will heal you.
Hitting with Death Coil, Frost Strike, or Rune Strike has a 45% chanceWhen you spend Runic Power, you have a 1.50% chance per Runic Power spent to increase your rune regeneration rate by 100% for 3 sec.
Hitting with Death Coil, Frost Strike, or Rune Strike has a 45% chanceWhen you spend Runic Power, you have a 1.50% chance per Runic Power spent to activate a random fully-depleted rune.
Surrounds the Death Knight with a vile swarm of unholy insects for 10 sec, stinging all enemies within 10 yards every 1 sec, infecting them with Blood Plague and Frost Fever.
Roiling Blood: Your Blood Boil ability now also triggers Pestilence if it strikes a diseased target.
to see a full list of Warlords of Draenor Death Knight Glyphs.
Increases the total damage absorbed by Anti-Magic Shell by 100%, but Anti-Magic Shell no longer generates Runic Power.
The Runes you spend on Chains of Ice will become Death Runes when they activate. Death Runes count as any type of rune.
You gain an additional 10 Runic Power when you use Chains of Ice.
Your Empower Rune Weapon also heals you for 30% of your maximum health.
50% of all healing absorbed by Necrotic Strike heals you.
Your Raise Ally ability no longer costs any Runic Power.
Reduces the cooldown of Rune Tap by 10 sec but Rune Tap reduces damage taken by 20% less.
Whenever you are struck by a movement-impairing effect, you will generate 3 Runic Power every 1 sec for 5 sec.
Your Outbreak spell no longer has a cooldown, but now costs 30 Runic Power.
Death Coil's damage formula has changed.
Glyph of the Geist
Now Unholy Only.
Glyph of the Skeleton
Now Unholy only.
Increases the bonus healing received while your Vampiric Blood is active by an additional 15%10%, but your Vampiric Blood no longer grants you health.
Exclusive glyphs modify the same ability and can't be used at the same time.
Chains of Ice
to see a full list of Warlords of Draenor Death Knight Specialization abilities.
: You gain 5% more of the Multistrike stat from all sources and your autoattack multistrikes have a chance with a two-handed weapon to generate 15 Runic Power.
Dark energy eminates from the Death Knight, granting all nearby party and raid members 141 Mastery.
: Increases your healing and absorption done to yourself, based on Stamina and damage taken (before avoidance and mitigation) in the last 10 sec.
: Increases the cooldown recovery rate by 0% on your Anti-magic Shell, Icebound Fortitude, Dancing Runeblade, Vampiric Blood, Bone Shield, and Outbreak abilities. Affected spells are not yet final and reflect 5.4 spells instead of 6.0 changes.
You gain Parry equal to 100% of your Critical Strike from gear.
Whenever you hit with Death Strike, the Frost and Unholy Runes will become Death Runes when they activate. Death Runes count as a Blood, Frost or Unholy Rune.Additionally, your auto attack multistrikes have a chance to generate 15 Runic Power.
: You gain 5% more of the Haste stat from all sources.
: Increases the cooldown recovery rate by 0% on your Army of the Dead, Empower Runeblade, Anti-magic Shell, Icebound Fortitude, Pillar of Frost, and Outbreak abilities. Affected spells are not yet final and reflect 5.4 spells instead of 6.0 changes.
: You gain 5% more of the Multistrike stat from all sources. Scourge Strike, Festering Strike, Plague Strike, Soul Reaper, and Pestilence multistrikes deal an additional (12% of Attack power) Shadow damage.
: Increases the cooldown recovery rate by 0% on your Army of the Dead, Anti-magic Shell, Icebound Fortitude, Unholy Frenzy, Summon Gargoyle, and Outbreak abilities. Affected spells are not yet final and reflect 5.4 spells instead of 6.0 changes.
Readiness has been removed
Army of the Dead
: Summons a legion of Ghouls over 4 sec who will fight for the Death Knight for 40 sec, swarming the area, taunting and fighting anything they can. While summoning Ghouls, the Death Knight takes less damage equal to his Dodge plus Parry chance.
Veteran of the Third War
You assume the presence of Blood, increasing Stamina by 25%20%, and base armor by 55%30%, and reducing damage taken by 10%. Threat generation is significantly increased.Activating a new Presence will cancel this one and consume any stored Runic Power.
Whenever you hit with Death Strike, the Frost and Unholy Runes will become Death Runes when they activate. Death Runes count as a Blood, Frost or Unholy Rune.Additionally, increases the damage of your Death Strike by 40%.your auto attack multistrikes have a chance to generate 15 Runic Power.
Now Blood Only.
Increases the damage dealt by your Blood Boil by 10%, Your successful melee attacks on targets infected with your Blood Plague have a 10% chance to make your next PestilenceBlood Boil or Death and Decay cost no runes.
Increases your rune regeneration by 20% andBlood Presence now increases all damage dealt by 15%, and reduces the chance that you will be critically hit by melee attacks by 6%.
Mastery: Blood Shield
Each time you heal yourself with Death Strike while in Blood Presence, you gain 50%16% of the amount healed as a Physical damage absorption shield.Each time you heal yourself with Death Strike while in Blood Presence, you gain 30% of the amount healed as a Physical damage absorption shield. Also increases your attack power by 8%.
When you dodge or parry any attack, you gain 75% of your Parry and Dodge as additional Critical Strike for 20 sec.You gain Parry equal to 100% of your Critical Strike from gear.
ConvertsConsumes 1 Blood Rune to into 10% of your maximum health. reduce all damage taken by 40% for 3 sec. Reduced from a 2.5s CD to a 1s CD.
Your successful main-hand autoattacks, dodges and parries have a chance to Your Pestilence and Soul Reaper increase the healing and minimum healing done by your next Death Strike within 20 sec by 20%, and to generate 10 Runic Power. This effect stacks up to 5 times. Additionally, your Pestilence refreshes your diseases on targets it damages.
Strikes an enemy for 130%65% weapon damage and afflicts the target with Soul Reaper , and increases the healing from your next Death Strike by 20%. After 5 sec, if the target is below 35% health, this effect will deal 1409 to 1637 additional Shadow0 (+ 417.6333.7% of Attack power) additional Shadowfrost damage. If the enemy dies before this effect triggers, the Death Knight gains 50% haste for 5 sec.
Increases your total Stamina by 9%, increases Stamina, multistrike chance, and haste by 10%.haste and multistrike chance by 10%. Increases your chance to dodge by 2%, and reduces your chance to be parried by 3%. Increases the damage of Death Strike by 100%. While in combat, you generate 1 Runic Power per second.
Damage taking you below 30% health will instantly grant you an immediate, free Rune Tap. reduce all damage taken by 25% for 8 sec. This effect cannot occur more than once every 45 sec.
Increases maximum health by 15% and increases healing recieved by 25%15% for 10 sec.
Now 40 Runic Power up from 30 Instantly strike the enemy, causing 115%X weapon damage as Frost damage.
Howling Blast's damage formula has changed.
Your melee attack speed is increased by 45%20%.
A brutal instant attack that deals 250% weapon damage. Total damage is increased by 12.5% for each of your diseases on the target.215% weapon damage and has a 45% chance to cause your next Howling Blast or Icy Touch to consume no runes.
Additional 8% increase applied via hotfix - not in tooltip
Wielding a two-handed weapon increases Obliterate damage by 50%, and all melee attacks by 30%35%. Dual-wielding increases Frost Strike damage by 35%50% and causes your weapon damage strikes to also strike with your off-hand.
Strikes an enemy for 130%115% weapon damage and afflicts the target with Soul Reaper. After 5 sec, if the target is below 35% health, this effect will deal 1409 to 1637 additional Shadow0 (+ 417.6333.7% of Attack power) additional Shadowfrost damage. If the enemy dies before this effect triggers, the Death Knight gains 50% haste for 5 sec.
Pillar of Frost
: The power of Frost increases the Death Knight's Strength by 20%15%, and grants immunity to external movement effects such as knockbacks. Lasts 20 sec.
: is now Frost only.
When dual-wielding, your Death Strikes, Obliterates, Plague Strikes, and Frost Strikes also deal damage with your off-hand weapon, and your Frost Strike damage is increased by 35%50%.
Increases the haste of all party and raid members within 100 yards by 5%, and their Versatility by 3%.
Your autoattacks have a chance to increase the critical strike chance ofmake your next Obliterate or Frost Strike by 100000%.automatically critically strike.
Increases the damage your diseases deal by 60% and causes your Plague Strike to also apply Frost Fever, and causes your Blood Plague to also apply the Physical Vulnerability effect. Physical Vulnerability Weakens the constitution of an enemy target, increasing their physical damage taken by 4% for 30 sec.
An instant attack that deals 200% weapon damage plus 14225% weapon damage and increases the duration of your Blood Plague, Frost Fever, and Chains of Ice effects on the target by up to 6 sec.
Additional 5% decrease applied via hotfix - not in tooltip
Whenever you hit with Blood Strike Pestilence, Festering Strike, or Icy Touch, the Runes spent will become Death Runes when they activate. Death Runes count as a Blood, Frost or Unholy Rune.
An unholy strike that deals 135%78% of weapon damage as Physical damage, plus 15. In addition, for each of your diseases on your target, you deal an additional 25% of the Physical damage doneand 42% of weapon damage as Shadow damage.
Additional 5% decrease applied via hotfix - not in tooltip
Reduces the cost of Death Coil by 20%. Unholy Presence grants your main-hand autoattacks a chance to make your next Death Coil cost no Runic Power.
Strikes an enemy for 85% Physical damage and afflicts the target with Soul Reaper. After 5 sec, if the target is below 35% health, this effect will deal (333.7% of Attack power) additional Shadowfrost damage. If the enemy dies before this effect triggers, the Death Knight gains 50% haste for 5 sec.
Now has a 1 min cooldown, down from 2. Also Unholy only. You can have a maximum of one ghoul at a time. Lasts 1 min.
A Gargoyle flies into the area and bombards the target with Plague damage modified by the Death Knight's attack power. Persists for 30 sec.
Increases the melee and ranged attack speedhaste of all party and raid members within 100 yards by 10%5%. Unholy Aura now also provides 3% Versatility.
Dark power courses through your limbs, increasing your Strength by 35%10%.
Blood Parasites, Blood
: Your melee attacks have a 10% chance to spawn a Bloodworm. The Bloodworm attacks your enemies, gorging itself with blood until it bursts to heal nearby allies. Lasts up to 20 sec.
Brittle Bones, Frost
: Your Frost Fever also applies the Physical Vulnerability effect.
Dark Command, Blood
: Now a class ability, not just Blood.
Heart Strike, Blood
: Instantly strike the target and up to two additional nearby enemies, causing 105% weapon damage plus 545 on the primary target, with each additional enemy struck taking 50% less damage than the previous target. Damage dealt to each target is increased by an additional 15% for each of your diseases present.
Master of Ghouls, Unholy
: The Ghoul summoned by your Raise Dead spell is considered a pet under your control. Unlike normal Death Knight Ghouls, your pet does not have a limited duration. Also reduces the cooldown of Raise Dead by 60 sec.
Rune Strike, Blood
: Strike the target for 200% weapon damage. This attack cannot be dodged, blocked, or parried.
Scarlet Fever, Blood
: This is removed and its effects are merged into Scent of Blood.
: Incites a friendly party or raid member into a killing frenzy for 30 sec, increasing the target's melee and ranged haste by 20%, but causing them to lose health equal to 2% of their maximum health every 3 sec.
: Each time you take damage, you gain 1.5% of the unmitigated damage taken as attack power for 20 sec.
MoP Abilities now Specializations
: Now Blood only.
to see a full list of Warlords of Draenor Death Knight class abilities.
: Now an ability instead of a glyph.
Surrounds the Death Knight in an Anti-Magic Shell, absorbing 75% of all magical damage (up to a maximum of 50% of the Death Knight's health) and preventing application of harmful magical effects. Damage absorbed generates Runic Power. Lasts 5 sec.
Dominates the target undead creature, forcing it to do your bidding. While controlled, the time between the undead minion's attacks is increased by 30% and its casting speed is slowed by 20%undead minion's haste is reduced by 30%. Lasts up to 5 min.
Death and Decay
Corrupts the ground targeted by the Death Knight, causing (10.4%10% of Attack power) * 10 Shadow damage over 10 sec to targets within the area.
Death Coil's damage formula has changed. Also now costs 40 Runic Power up from 30.
Additional 5% decrease applied via hotfix - not in tooltip
: The Death Knight freezes his blood to become immune to Stun effects and reduce all damage taken by 20% for 128 sec.
Focuses dark power into a strike that deals 185% weapon damage plus 13114% weapon damage to an enemy and heals you for 20% of the damage you have sustained from non-player sources during the preceding 5 sec (minimum of at least 7% of your maximum healthX. This attack cannot be parried.
Additional 20% increase applied via hotfix - not in tooltip
A disease that deals Frost damage every 3 sec for 30 sec.
Horn of Winter
The Death Knight blows the Horn of Winter, generates 10 Runic Power and increasing attack power of all party and raid members within 100 yards by 10%. Lasts 5 min.1 hour. This is now Instant cast instead of a 20 sec cooldown.
Icy Touch's damage formula has changed, mouseover the tooltip to compare old and new versions.
Deals 1 (+ 48.2%60% of Attack power) Shadow damage to the target and all enemies within 10 yards, and spreads your existing diseases from your target to all other enemies within 10 yards.hit.
Additional 20% increase applied via hotfix - not in tooltip
Rune of the Fallen Crusader
Affixes your rune weapon with a rune that has a chance to heal you for 3% and increase total Strength by 15%20% for 15 sec. Modifying your rune weapon requires a Rune Forge in Ebon Hold.
Shadowy tendrils constrict an enemy's throat, silencing them for 5 sec.Non-player victim spellcasting is also interrupted for 3 sec.
A vicious strike that deals 65%50% weapon damage and infects the target with Blood Plague. Blood Plague A disease that deals Shadow damage every 3 sec for 30 sec.
: Boils the blood of all enemies within 10 yards, dealing 3473 to 4244 (+ 11% of Attack power) Shadow damage. Deals 50% additional damage to targets infected with Blood Plague or Frost Fever. Effects merged with Pestilence.
: Instantly strike the enemy, causing 40% weapon damage plus 942. Damage is increased by 12.5% for each of your diseases on the target.
: A vicious strike that deals 100% weapon damage, absorbs the next (100 / 100 * Attack power) healing received by the target, and clouds the target's mind, slowing their casting speed by 50% (10% on player targets). Lasts 10 sec.
Rune of Swordbreaking
: Affixes your one-handed rune weapon with a rune that increases Parry chance by 2% and reduces the duration of Disarm effects by 50%. Modifying your rune weapon requires a Rune Forge in Ebon Hold.
Rune of Swordshattering
: Affixes your two-handed rune weapon with a rune that increases Parry chance by 4% and reduces the duration of Disarm effects by 50%. Modifying your rune weapon requires a Rune Forge in Ebon Hold.
Draenor Perks are a new type of leveling reward in WoD. When leveling from 91-100, every other level you'll be randomly assigned one Draenor Perk each level that's appropriate to your class/spec, and when you hit 100 you'll have learned all of them. Instead of getting new abilities as you level, you'll get powerful enhancements to your existing core abilities.
: Reduces the recharge time on Rune Tap by 10 sec.
: Reduces the cooldown on Death Grip by 5 sec.
: Bone Shield has 2 additional charges.
: Your Death Coil also grants you Shadow of Death, increasing your maximum health by 3%5% for 30 sec. When refreshed, the remaining portion is added to the new effect.
: The target of your Death Grip will now automatically have Chains of Ice applied to them.
: Rune of Cinderglacier has 3 additional charges when it triggers. Rune of Razorice deals an additional 12% weapon damage when it triggers. Rune of the Fallen Crusader increases Strength by an additional 5%.
: Pillar of Frost provides an additional 5% Strength and no longer costs any runes.
: Obliterate also increases the damage done by Howling Blast and Icy Touch by 20% when it causes them to cost no runes.
: Dark Transformation no longer costs any runes.
: Rune of the Fallen Crusader heals for an additional 3%.
: Increases the duration of Summon Gargoyle by 10 sec.
: Your Soul Reaper ability now deals additional Shadow damage to targets below 45% instead of below 35%.
Blizzard has lately been very
active on Twitter
, posting clarifications on WoD developments in response to user questions. We track all of the significant tweets with our
Blue Tweet Tracker
, which lets you filter conversations by developer and significance.
These class tweets are grouped by month and topic--some of the earlier tweets are included for archival purposes, but may reflect outdated design choices.
All August 2014 Tweets (Click to view)
All July 2014 Tweets (Click to view)
All June 2014 Tweets (Click to view)
All May 2014 Tweets (Click to view)
All April 2014 Tweets (Click to view)
Warlords of Draenor Beta patch notes
have additional class details scattered throughout each section, but the section copied below explains most of the changes.
Latest Patch Notes
A number of changes were made for
s. Several cooldowns were made spec-specific. Frost and Unholy's rotations remain unchanged for the most part. Blood received revisions to their Active Mitigation design to bring them up to par with changes to other Tanking specializations. Runic Power generation of
was standardized, to make it more understandable and balanced.
See the Ability Pruning section above for a discussion of why we're pruning class abilities. For Death Knights, this focused on removing abilities that were redundant, cooldown reduction, or abilities that were not used often.
s has been removed.
has been removed.
is now only available to Blood Death Knights.
is now only available to Frost Death Knights.
for Frost Death Knights.
for Frost Death Knights.
has been removed.
is now only available to Unholy Death Knights.
Rune of Cinderglacier has been removed.
Rune of the Nerubian Carapace has been removed.
Unholy Frenzy has been removed.
Ability Consolidation and Refinement
The biggest change here is the merger of
into Pestilence. This change effectively turned Roiling Blood into a passive ability; which we replaced with a new talent,
. For Blood specialization, we removed Rune Strike and are adjusting the cost of
so that it can be used in Rune Strike's place.
Another change was to polish up the effect of diseases on the damage of other abilities. Diseases now do enough damage on their own to warrant using them. Having diseases act as multipliers on the damage of other abilities became extraneous and cluttered up the tooltips of those abilities. Those multipliers have been removed, and consolidated their benefits into the corresponding base spell. These changes also results in a slight reduction to ramp-up time.
Horn of Winter
no longer generates Runic Power, has no cooldown, and lasts 1 hour.
Blood Boil has been removed and its effects have been merged into Pestilence.
Pestilence now deals damage to all enemies within 10 yards, and spreads any diseases on targets hit to the other targets hit.
Army of the Dead
now deals 75% less damage.
Master of Ghouls has been removed and its effects have been merged into the baseline
ability for Unholy Death Knights.
Threat of Thassarian has been removed and its effects have been merged into
Rune Strike has been removed. Blood Death Knights should now use
in its place.
Dancing Rune Weapon now lasts 8 seconds (down from 12 seconds).
now costs 30 Runic Power (down from 40 Runic Power) and has a 40 yard range for both hostiles and allies.
no longer reduces the cost of
now lasts 8 seconds (down from 12 seconds).
Roiling Blood has been removed and replaced with
, a new Level-56 talent for
to extend the duration of
, or add a stack of
Pestilence now deals 50% more damage, but no longer deals additional damage for diseases being present on the target.
Pillar of Frost
now increases Strength by 15% (down from 20%).
Obliterate now deals 25% more damage on both main and off-hand weapons, but no longer deals additional damage for each disease present on the target.
Rune of the Fallen Crusader
now increases Strength by 20% (up from 15%).
no longer deals additional damage for each disease present on the target. The ability now deals 100% Physical weapon damage, and 50% Shadow weapon damage. These two effects can independently critically hit.
now increases the amount of healing received by 15% (down from 25%).
Glyph of Vampiric Blood now increases the amount of healing received by an additional 10% (down from 15%).
In Mists of Pandaria, Frost Death Knights suffered from rotations that were designed to allow flexibility in ability usage, so that you could pool some resources in order to make decisions about which ones you spent and in which order.
vs Two-Handed had different rotational priorities, with different strengths and weaknesses. However, tuning ended up such that you reached a point where you just had to spend all of your resources as fast as possible to avoid wasting any, and all of that depth went out the window. For Warlords, we've adjusted the tuning of several abilities and passives, to ensure that that doesn't happen again, and the rotational decisions and skill are maintained.
The goal is that Two-Handed Frost Death Knights favor their physical damage, slicing through their enemies with heavy Obliterates, whereas Dual-Wielders favor blasting their foes with frost damage, but both overlap considerably to maintain a cohesive specialization.
's damage has been increased by 100%, but its Runic Power cost has been increased by 5 (up to 25 Runic Power in
, and 40 Runic Power in other Presences).
now increases attack speed by 20% (down from 45%), and haste by 5% (up from 0%).
now increases the damage of
by 50% (up from 40%) and melee damage by 35% (up from 30%) while wielding a two-handed weapon, and increases the damage of
by 50% (up from 35%) while dual-wielding.
now deals 4% additional weapon damage (up from 2%), and increases Frost damage by 2% per stack (down from 3%).
's damage has been increased by 30%.
In order to better balance the scaling rates and value of secondary stats for Unholy Death Knights, we reduced the power of their passive
ability, and added a new passive ability to make Multistrike more effective.
is a new passive ability for Unholy Death Knights.
causes Multistrikes from
to also deal a burst of Shadow damage. The amount of burst damage is based on Attack Power, not the damage from the triggering Multistrike.
now increases Strength by 10% (down from 35%).
Active Mitigation was a very successful design that was inspired by Death Knights' tanking style. However, it went beyond that, and
s themselves were somewhat left behind in that regard. We made several changes to bring up the interactivity of Blood combat. This includes making
cause healing based on attack power, but be affected by the new
passive (see Tank Vengeance and Resolve above), which gives it the traditional increase from recent damage. Plus, Rune Tap is being significantly improved, to become a strong Active Mitigation button.
Additionally, we removed Dodge and Parry from gear, and expect Blood Death Knights to value Haste and Crit as important secondary stats. In order to achieve that, we made
give defensive value to
give defensive value to Multistrike. To solve GCD-capping issues and increase the value of Haste, we also removed the passive rune regeneration increase from
. Finally,we tweaked the targeting AI of Dancing Rune Weapon, and fixed it up to properly copy most Talents that you know.
now also causes auto attack Multistrikes to generate 15 Runic Power. The Death Strike damage increase it provided has been moved to
Blood Presence now increases Stamina by 20% (down from 25%), and armor by 30% (down from 55%).
Bone Shield charges can now be consumed at a rate of once per second (up from once every 2 seconds).
now increases the damage of Pestilence by 50% (up from 10%) and now also increases the damage of diseases by 30%.
Dancing Rune Weapon
now remains fixated on the
's target at the time of summoning, and copies the effects of Talents that are tied to the
, such as
. Should the original target be dead or otherwise unavailable, the
will switch to assist with the
's current target.
now causes healing that scales in effectiveness with attack power, instead of based on damage taken in the last 5 seconds. This healing is affected by
has been removed. Blood Death Knights should use Pestilence in its place.
now increases all damage dealt by 15%, instead of increasing rune regeneration rate.
has been redesigned. It now reduces all damage taken by 40% for 3 seconds. It also now has 2 charges, with a 40-second recharge time.
has been redesigned. It now automatically triggers an immediate, free
when you take damage that reduces you below 30% health. This effect cannot occur more often than once every 30 seconds.
has been redesigned. It now reduces Rune Tap’s recharge time by 10 seconds, but reduces the damage reduction it provides by 20%.
Scarlet Fever has been removed. Its effects have been merged into
has been changed. It now causes Pestilence to refresh diseases, and increase the healing of your next
by 20%, stacking up to 5 times.
now increases your Multistrike chance and haste by 10% (instead of 9% to Stamina), reduces the chance for attacks to be parried by 3%, and increases the damage of
by 100% and grants 1 Runic Power per second while in combat.
Since the Ghoul pet is now Unholy only, that presents a problem for
. We revised
to not require an undead minion, but work a little differently. We left it at 50% heal, which is effectively a 33% buff to it from before (see Retuning Healing Spells and Player Health and Resilience above), and added a healing absorption shield for 50% of the amount healed instead. It should now be a more effective heal for staying alive immediately, but with the downside of needing to heal through the healing absorption shield before being healed any further.
no longer requires an undead minion, and instead places a healing absorption shield on the
for 50% of the amount healed.
There were also a few other miscellaneous changes. The Runic Power generation of
was standardized, to make it more understandable and balanced. Level-60 and Level-75 talent rows have swapped places, so the important rune regeneration talents could be acquired earlier.
was changed to cost different amounts by specialization, instead of reducing Runic Power generation differently by specialization. This way, Runic Power beyond what you spend on
is not penalized.
now restores 2 Runic Power per 1% of max health absorbed.
now also makes the
immune to Roots and Snares.
no longer has an initial tick, and now costs 30 Runic Power/second for Blood, 10 Runic Power/sec for Frost, and 20 Runic Power/second for Unholy.
Level-60 and Level-75 talent rows have swapped places.
Level-60 rune regeneration talents can now be triggered by all Runic Power spenders.
now generates one charge for every 15 Runic Power spent.
now has a 1.5% chance to trigger per Runic Power spent.
now has a 1.5% chance to trigger per Runic Power spent.
Hey DKs. I've responded to a lot of DK questions on Twitter, but finally am getting time to pop in here to the forums and respond on the forums. Frost in particular has has gotten some significant changes, and frustration from that is totally understandable.
-Why is Critical Strike deprecated by (at last calculation) around 20% for Frost DKs? In an expansion with bonus loot and no more reforging, it would seem that we are much more at the mercy of RNG when it comes to loot pieces.
While I am aware that we have some flexibility in the form of enchants and some consumables, is this deprecation really necessary in the first place?
-Continuing on the theme of stat valuation, Mastery's valuation for 2h Frost has also proven to be pitifully low in our early simulations.
Loot changes actually have very little impact on this. However, we do want secondary stats to be close in value, and these are just a tuning issues that we want to improve upon. Please post your theorycrafting results over in the Class Design Theorycraft Results thread.
-Necrotic Plague is currently simming at a DPS loss for multiple DPS specs. Other Level-100 talents also show a very minimal gain. We realise that there is probably room for significant improvement in how we're coding them, but these results also appear to be reflected in actual tests.
Could you please tell us if there is a margin of gain which we should expect (both ST and multi target) with these talents? I'd particularly appreciate if you could comment on Festerblight and Unholy Death Knights.
I'd hope it'd be obvious that in a row of throughput talents, one that reduces your throughput is not intended. Yes, we'll tune the whole row to be a significant but not huge damage gain. Something similar in power to most of our other throughput increasing talent rows.
-Could you please comment on Unholy AoE and Frost Runes? As mentioned earlier in this thread, it is incredibly frustrating to transition in and out of AoE/Single-target priorities due to Frost Runes doing nothing for Unholy AoE. I realise that you intend for pre-planning to be reward, but the reality of the situation translates very differently in raid situations where we switch priorities frequently. It also pushes us quite strongly towards the Blood Tap talent.
We see it as a minor annoyance. We haven't found a solution that we're happy with that doesn't have negatives that outweigh the positives. Ideas are welcome, though the problem isn't impactful enough to warrant a mechanic change at this point for 6.0. It's something we'd be interested in addressing in a future patch.
-Speaking of Blood Tap, there seems to be little to no reason for Unholy DKs to take Runic Empowerment thanks to the way in which it interacts with our Rune setup. Other specs are not much better, as they have to game it to get the most out of it. This talent has proven unpopular for a reason, not the least of which is that macroed Blood Tap can mimic its functionality, but provide even greater flexibility due to it generating Death Runes.
This is another case where what is there works, and we think we could do better, we just are still trying to find the right solution. I'd say that the goal we're looking for is to make the payoff of Runic Empowerment stronger (perhaps just a numbers tweak would work here), and to make Blood Tap not macroable (but just putting it on the GCD has some significant downsides).
-Runic Power generation for Blood Death Knights feels quite spiky. With Necrotic Plague for instance, it becomes overwhelming in any sort of AoE tanking situation- making the talent feel quite mandatory. With high levels of Multistrike, we appear to go from 0 to 50 Runic Power in barely a global. Is there no way to standardise the generation so that it doesn't feel quite as "Feast and Famine"-esque?
Indeed it does. Currently, the issue is that we need to get X total RP out of Y multistrike, and so the tuning is as such. However, that makes it spiky. You could argue that that's OK, since you can spend it in big chunks, and the defensive value of it is heavily smoothed. Because of that, we're tentatively OK with it for now, but would be interested in iterating on it in the future.
In closing, similar to what I've said to a few other classes tonight, I'd like to discuss this further with you all, but please make that easy for me to do, by keeping the hyperbole and anger and useless sarcasm and generally destructive behavior out of this. Thanks.
Any thoughts on how necrosis is playing for unholy? So far it hasn't had much impact on stat weights, though it is a close second and I will be posting results in the theorycraft thread.
Adjusting the AP scaling provides great progress and it raises multi above anything else by as little or as much as desired.
Precisely. It sounds like it's undertuned at the moment, but the point is that it's a tuning knob that we can use to bring up the value of Multistrike for Unholy. When we get into more closely balancing the secondary stats, I expect that it's a knob that we'll tweak.
Overall, Unholy could really use some feedback on where its damage is supposed to be.
Necrotic Plague appears to do less damage than normal diseases, even for a Festerblight rotation.
Necrosis appears to be doing maybe 1% of Unholy's overall damage. Which feels very low.
Death Coil appears to be doing around 12-15% of overall damage, down from 20-25%.
The ghoul's damage seems about normal at 10%, if maybe a bit low.
Overall, it would just be nice to get some feedback on where Unholy damage is supposed to be. We all believed it was low and yet, it got nothing but nerfs today.
As mentioned above, Necrotic Plague used to be massively overpowered, and we just turned it way down to avoid tainting feedback from it. We'll tune it back up to the right spot.
Necrosis, I'd guess more like the 2-5% range.
Death Coil... Remember that it grows in % with gear (Mastery). It should probably be in the 15-20% range to start with, single-target, and raise to 20-25% over the course of the expansion. Those are just off-the-top-of-my-head numbers, from this current point in time; tuning goals can always change (thus why we rarely give out hard numbers in that realm).
Breath of Sindragosa makes out play our class the exact opposite we've been playing since day 1. It's weird, and even when pulled off correctly, doesn't give a decent payoff. Not good. I don't see anyone seriously using this talent for any spec.
Breath of Sindragosa has been a challenge. It's been sort of halfway between being a rotational AoE RP dump, and a pool->burst cooldown. We decided that we should push it one way or the other, more convincingly. So, in the next build, it's having its damage *and* cooldown considerably increased (2min CD, 2.5x the dmg, though dmg tuning is still quite rough). Considering going higher still (3min CD). The goal here is that it becomes purely a cooldown that you pool resources for. It should only be affecting your rotation for some pooling time before it comes off CD, and then has the "keep it going as long as you can" gameplay while it's running. But, that should only cover a fraction of your actual gameplay time (whereas currently, that whole pooling->burn process covers nearly half your time). And yes, it, just like the rest of the row, should be worth using on single targets.
I've said this one a few times before, but I would like to see DnD be worth casting for Blood; right now it's less damage over the duration then Blood Boil, meaning it's almost never worth casting except in edge cases, since DnD competes directly with Blood Boil on Death Runes/Crimson Scourge. Would like to see a change to this in the next few builds.
Agreed. We buffed Blood Boil's damage significantly at some point, and caused it to eclipse Death and Decay. I believe the next build should fix that.
Lichborne is a sad, sad joke even with Resolve scaling. I legitimately tried to use this talent on a few bosses, and it heals for NOTHING and doesn't last long enough. Should really get buffed in the leech % or something. Right now this talent is only there to break/immune fears.
We'll get that tuned up, if it's as bad as you say.
Rune Tap plays very well, even outside of bosses with obvious 'Rune Tap here' burst mechanics. However it really should lose the Blood Rune cost; having it cost DPS is a little much, esp on AoE. It would still retain all of the current gameplay; it's main cost is the cooldown. The problem with picking between DPS and Mitigation is that either Blood will be OP on damage when picking DPS, which isn't fair to the other 4 tanks, or Blood will be too weak when it doesn't, which isn't fair to Blood. This also applies to BB vs DS, but that one isn't really easily fixable on aoe, only single target.
To elaborate more: RT works well because it is different from Death Strike AND does not share the same resource. Systems like Shield Block vs Barrier fail because you just pick the best one for the situation and spam it. RT + DS play well because they are both very different in functionality AND can be used in tandem, meaning you pick your moments to use each one independently. So generally speaking, good job on the new RT. Far better then the old RT which was basically DS on steroids, and actually adds something to the spec now.
Sounds like it's working out well, mitigation-wise. The cost is something we're considering, but are unlikely to change at this point. It adds a bit of depth, where you want to save a Blood Rune for emergencies. Using your resources on damage instead of mitigation is an option that most tanks have to some extent or another, but is indeed something that complicates balancing.
General comment on boss damage; feels tuned pretty well. Bosses hit hard enough to make DS timing matter about the same as on live (people way overstate how much you actually time DS on live on anything but the hardest hitting bosses). Would definitely rather see bosses that hit hard then bosses that hit so weak that nothing you do matters anyways. Also bosses hitting hard means that Shadow of Death extra HP actually matters, which is generally a good thing (if max HP doesn't matter because bosses don't hit hard enough, Multistrike loses much of it's defensive benefit outside of rune regen talent returns) But we will have to see post mythic testing; I am sure a lot of this stuff is getting retuned anyways.
Great. Here's some potentially interesting commentary on Shadow of Death to add: The stat attunements are not hard and fast rules, and this is one of the most evident places (and that's fine). Different secondary stats have different situational values to tanks, more so than DPS or healers. Multistrike for Blood is primarily an increase to max health (as far as defensive value goes). It is tempered by giving you a few more Death Strikes too through rune regen talents, but the majority of its value is in max health. And this is an expansion where how much healing you need really matters. That means that sometimes, that extra health is going to be less valuable than simply taking less damage. However, how spiky you are, especially as a DK, matters too. It's an interesting balancing act that Blood DKs will navigate. How much is right for you varies by your content, your gear, your skill, and especially your healers.
- I still don't understand why you guys can't bake the rune regen tier into other options instead of taking up an entire talent row that is completely passive. How about making them glyphs, turning them into perks, baking them into frost strike & death coil. There are just so many other options that don't involve forcing us to choose three completely boring passive talents that could be replaced with more interesting and interactive ones.
When you compare a DK talent tree to another class' like a mage or priest there is just so much more interaction and satisfaction that comes with them. I mean for goodness sake Gorfiend's Grasp still doesn't even have a real animation.
Another oversight I've noticed is that DKs are the only class whos talents don't change based on spec; is there a reason for this? Gorfiend's Grasp could taunt while in blood spec, chillblains could gain a bonus effect while in frost, Purgatory could last 1 second longer in blood etc etc. There is just so much potential not being fulfilled with our class.
One of my previous posts here touches on where we'd like the rune regen talents to be. They shouldn't be boring and passive; they should matter, and be a gameplay choice.
We view classes as complete packages. Yes, some classes may have more interaction in their talents, but they may have less baseline, instead. Grass-is-greener syndrome is easy to suffer from with talent trees. Not sure what you mean about Gorefiend's visual.
DKs having no spec-specific talents is not an oversight. Spec-specific talents are just one tool in our toolbox. We don't have to use them everywhere. We also just make the same talent work somewhat differently for each spec instead, which happens sometimes for DKs.
Posted by Celestalon
They shouldn't be boring and passive; they should matter, and be a gameplay choice.
I think that this is where there is a disconnect with some parts of the playerbase.
Gameplay choice, I think, is often interpreted by some to mean that there's big differences in numbers depending on the situation. As you've probably seen, DK theorycraft (at least for DPS) currently suggests that the talents sim within a very small margin of one another- leading some to claim that it doesn't matter which talent you choose.
Now personally, I could care less if there's a 0.5% difference between Runic Empowerment and Blood Tap for Unholy- taking one feels FAR better than the other. The same is true (probably to lesser degrees, but still true) of other specs/choices. Is this the ultimate goal with these talents- that they end up coming down to personal preference more than anything else?
Yeah, "gameplay choice" and "big dps difference" are not even remotely the same thing to us. It's a preference of how you want to play.
EDIT: The fact that they're tuned so close together right now is one of the contributing factors to why we're hesitant to toy with them too much right now.
-wise, they're in a good place.
The bold is a bit alarming for me as a DW frost DK. Simply because I will be wasting KM on Obliterate and with this most recent patch I have noticed Frost Strike being much more worth pooling resources for. The main problem I see of it is, if it doesn't consume the KM then we can't touch our FS even by accident. Then we end up wasting KM to a degree. I guess it will more so be a trade-off while it's running. The next issue is cost, with the way we are generating RP, we will be lucky to run it for ten seconds. While obviously that will change as we get less downtime over the expansion, I still feel as though the trade-off of making your rotation clunky while it's running for however long you can keep it up will make playing with it very awkward. I feel having a reliable(50-60RP) cost usable every 15-30 seconds could be a better trade off, we will still pool resources for it, however it will be a lot less awkward to use. Would love to hear feedback on this.
I'm glad you notice that it's worth pooling resources to spend KMs on FS. That's good. But yes, you'll want to use KMs on Oblit during Breath of Sindragosa, and it'll be tuned around that assumption. Ultimately, it's a talent, so if that gameplay isn't attractive to you, there are alternatives.
Share your comments about this guide in our Death Knight forum!
More Class Guides
Warlords of Draenor Druid Changes
Mechanical Hunter Pet Guide
Holy Priest Artifact Challenge Guide
Elementals in Draenor: An In-Depth Guide to Elemental Shaman
Beast Mastery Hunter Artifact Challenge Guide
Arms Warrior Artifact Challenge
Fury Warrior Artifact Challenge
Restoration Shaman Artifact Challenge
Discipline Priest Artifact Challenge Guide
Guardian Druid Artifact Challenge
Warlords of Draenor Follower Guide
Heirloom Collections Guide
Warlords of Draenor Legendary Ring Guide
Hidden Artifact Weapon Appearances and Effects
Draenor Pathfinder: How To Unlock Flying in Draenor
More Guides by Wowhead
WoW's 10th Anniversary (November 21 - January 13)
Mists of Pandaria: Cooking Overview
Quick Tips for Tanks in Highmaul
Nythendra Raid Boss Strategy Guide
All Transmog Sets for Paladins
Enjoying our collection of Guides? Try
to support the site, get an ad-free experience, and get premium features!
Other ZAM Sites
Final Fantasy XI
© 2017 ZAM Network LLC