Frost PvE Guide (5.4)

Death Knight
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01/05/2013 02:07 PMPosted by Boopbeep
2H'er question: Stack Strength gems or Haste gems? Does it depend on the gears?

To a point even for 2 handed frost it can depend on gear. If you go by elitistjerk's stat weights then Haste is slightly better than strength at a 2 haste to 1 strength for 2 handed frost. What this means is generally using a full haste gem is more dps in theory than strength. The only time you won't do it is if you're a JC. Strength gems are double while the secondary stats like expertise, hit, haste and so on are instead barely 50% better than a normal haste gem. So if you're a jc you will use bold serpent's eyes.

You may likely want to run simcraft that will give the stat weights it thinks you should have for your gear. that may raise or lower the values for things like haste. I'm a DW Frost so for example my haste is more wanted until my globals are generally filled. 2 handed frost has a higher value cause they need more obliterates and increased chances if they can to have KM for Obliterates.
I'm new with simcraft, do I just import/stimulate my toon and go by the results it gives me, even though, my dk is stacking haste gems atm?

My result with stat weights from simcraft:
Str: 2.87
Exp: 1.86
Hit: 1.66
Crit: 1.07
Haste: 1.56
Mastery: 0.81
Wdps: 8.57
Wspeed: 847.78
Yes so with those stat weights and the fact that generally Haste gems are double what a strength? You'd need a higher value for strength to be ahead as a gem. Though socket bonuses can sway things.

Pure Haste = 499.2 dps

Hybrid haste/Strength = 479.2

Pure strength = 459.2

as gems. 320 haste, 80 strenght/160 haste, 160 strength respectively.

and just for others that read this that are JC's. Even for 2 handed it's odds are that Bold Serpent's Eye is ahead of haste because of the lack of overall haste in the serpent's eye it'self.

So for example in his stat weights listed

strength: 320 x 2.87 = 918.4

Haste: 480 x 1.56 = 748.8

so just for JC's haste gems will most likely be a dps loss.
Yeah, I'm using the Bold Serpent's Eyes for JC. So I guess it's safe to say with my current gears, I should be gemming haste for now.
Heres an easy way to say all this just attack until ur fingers bleed and not ur in game fingers XD
I have a question about dw dk rotation. I've been reading to use fs when km procs instead of ob. Why should I do that if my fs only does 162% weapon damage right now as oppose to the 253% ob + 12.5% for ea disease?
As dw frost your frost strike's damage is buffed by 40%. It hits harder as you gain more mastery as well. Obliterate does not compete with Frost Strike as DW Frost. On top of that as you gain more Mastery and Strength Howling Blast scales well becoming a more efficient use of a frost/death rune than obliterate.
01/26/2013 04:24 PMPosted by Tor
As dw frost your frost strike's damage is buffed by 40%. It hits harder as you gain more mastery as well. Obliterate does not compete with Frost Strike as DW Frost. On top of that as you gain more Mastery and Strength Howling Blast scales well becoming a more efficient use of a frost/death rune than obliterate.

I usually use the spare Unholy on Plague Strike. Is there a better choice?
Plague strike if your blood plague is not on the mob or only has a few seconds left. generally it goes like this for priority of unholy rune

Blood Plague (aka plague strike)
Obliterate if you have KM and cannot Frost Strike
Obliterate without KM Proc

After getting more gear Howling Blast will do enough damage that spending a frost rune on Obliterate is a loss.
Awesome guide. I Just rolled a Frost DK so this is perfect for a noob like me. Thanks!
Nothing to see here.
This guide is great! Thank you Taruun, and all of those who helped compile the information. I'm still pretty new to the whole Frost DK thing, so any information I can locate is being readily absorbed. I really appreciate the section regarding macros, I've yet to tap into that feature, but at a glance I realize how much I've missed out on! Thanks again!
04/05/2011 07:10 AMPosted by Taruun
I will freeze you from within until all that remains is an icy husk!

-Arthas Menethil, Former Lich King

Welcome to the guide for Frost DPS! This thread is a compilation of information about the spec, aimed at the player new to DKs (not Donkey Kongs), the player new to the Frost spec (not mages), or the player staring in bewilderment at their character after the 5.0 changes. Apologies if the thread talks down to you too much or tells you something you already know, but I figure it's better to overexplain than underexplain.


It is certainly not my intention to mislead, so if there are any errors in this guide, please let me know and I will correct them as soon as possible. I don't claim to be a Pro™ myself, although I've tried to find and present the best information available. Updates will come when merited, which should be frequently.

If you think any information is lacking, or that I didn't explain something well enough, or you're just plain confused about something, please let me know by replying to this thread, and you'll get a clarifying answer.


I am very grateful to Euliat, who singlehandedly ran the only DK DPS simulator in town for most of the beta, compiling the most accurate data possible. Without his work, and the rest of the DK beta posse, this guide would be a lot less than it is.
Thanks to Salvanic for helping me with the mathy parts of this guide.
Thanks to Heartless and Consider for providing the basics of this guide's layout as well as being awesome theorycrafters in general.
Thanks to Titus Pullo for running the EJ thread and clarifying some points in his guide.

Thanks also to those many posters on Elitist Jerks, the MMO-Champion forums, and here on the official WoW forums whose insights and ideas have made their way into the guide. Too many of you to name individually, but you know who you are, and if you don't, I appreciate it anyways.


Chapter 1:
Why should I play Frost?
Why shouldn't I play Frost?
Is Frost or Unholy better?
Should I go DW or 2H?

Chapter 2:
What race do I want?
What professions give the most DPS?
What talents are going to be the most useful?
What glyphs do I need?
What runeforge and presence should I be in?

Chapter 3:
What's my rotation as Frost?
What's my AoE rotation as Frost?

Chapter 4:
What are my defensive abilities?
What are my utility cooldowns?
What offensive cooldowns do I have?

Chapter 5:
What are the most important stats for a Frost DK?
What are the hit and expertise caps?
What's my stat priority?
How should I gem and enchant?
What's the best way to figure out reforging?

Chapter 6:
What are the mods that might be useful?
What are some useful macros?
In reply to ur comment of -"Tier 56: Roiling Blood is one of the few talents that's completely useless to Frost, because we never need to use Blood Boil." - I have to disagree. Maybe someone else has already noticed this and I havent finished the whole guide yet so u may have changed this statement now. BUT, Blood Boil does 50% extra damage to those infected with Frost Fever. My rotation constantly includes starting with Howling Blast to dmg plus spread frost fever to all enemies in 10 yards. Then moving in with Blood Boil X 2, at lvl 73 i could hit for 8k dmg in one hit of blood boil with a crit strike and 4k-5k normal because of the extra dmg. I routinely go through 3 and 4 enemies at once because of this (Enemies I am referring to are lvl 72-75 in Dragonblight, Northrend). With Rime being active it can do even more damage. It may be shadow dmg dealt with Blood Boil but the amounts dealt within range for an AoE attack are Enormous!! Even more than hitting with Obliterate with Killing Machine active most of the time. This is since patch 5.1 so things may have changed significantly since the post was made. This is my first DK so I am new to this class, BUT Blood Boil is an essential part of my Frost DK's rotation. I hope this information helps someone, try it out if you have time and let me know if you agree or disagree with me.
P.S. - Please, would no1 add replies telling me how wrong I am without actually trying this ingame and seeing the effect. Also take into consideration that end-game rotations change significantly from those used while leveling (which i am currently doing). THNX!!!
@ valtyr

You are leveling. Things will change. More importantly when you get frost's mastery and have a lot of mastery it increases the damage each HB does. For a single global it can crit for a ton of damage. Blood Boil is completely shelved. You cannot base what works for leveling to a guide that is for lvl 90.

Go about your business.
In my last raid, I finally got the weapon drops to make DW more effective than 2H. I have been playing 2H since 5.0.4, and the switch back to DW is throwing me for a bit of a loop.

The last time I did DW, masterfrost was king, and we used obliterate to make sure only 1 UH rune was recharging at a time letting runic empowerment only effect death and frost runes. Then we basically spammed HB and FS accordingly.

My question is how much of masterfrost carries over into 5.1 (and soon 5.2)? Do we still try to game the system with oblit and spam HB, or just simply prioritize FS over Oblit when KM procs? I'm just not sure when or how to include oblit in my rotation.

Depends. It's still HB and FS are king. How you spend your unholy runes is the trick. If you listen to EJ it's this balance. So lets say you're using RE.

HB twice

Plague Strike + HB is the most dps if Blood Plague was about to fall.

KM + Obliterate - If you can't FS it.

DnD + HB (if the mob is staying in it the entire time)

Obliterate non KM.

The HB twice is to remind you that you should never do an obliterate if it's spending a Frost and Death rune. NEVER. DnD and a HB will generally beat Obliterate for you once you have decent gear at least as how you spend your unholy rune. There is points when obliterate is better just because the mob is moving or will die more recent. This also basing it on leaving one unholy rune up for RE procs. I'd personally suggest avoiding plague leach. Even if you obliterate heavily it can cost you a lot of HB's that scales extremely well with gear. Also if you obliterate with frequency it will still likely not beat your dry swing melee alone can can still push out more HB's for you.

/use 13
/use 14
/cast Pillar of Frost
/cast Raise Dead

Im not very good with macros but i dont think you can put Raise Dead in a macro cause it activates a least it doesnt work for me....
Im not very good with macros but i dont think you can put Raise Dead in a macro cause it activates a least it doesnt work for me....

Raise Dead does activate a gcd. Pillar of Frost and trinkets do not, which is why that macro works.

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