Frost DK PVP Guide (5.1)

Death Knight
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I searched the forums for an up to date Frost DK PVP Guide and couldn't find one. So I made my own. I hope you guys enjoy it.

(5.2 Update Coming Soon!!!)

***************** Hadès Beginner Frost DK PVP Guide *****************

Thank you for taking the time to check out this guide. This guide is intended to help players get started in PVP as a Frost DK. There are many other more in-depth guides out there that can help players tweak their approach to become more competitive in PVP with their DK.


I do not want to mislead or misinform anyone so if while reading this guide you notice anything that is wrong or missing please comment below and I'll try to have it fixed as soon as possible.

If you point out a valid error, omission or have a great suggestion to be added to this guide I will edit it in and be sure to give credit to the author.


As has been pointed out I am not a 2200 Arena Achiever, I am not a 2200 RBG achiever. I simply cap my 2s and reset my team weekly. I do as many random BGs as I can and participate in World PVP where I find it. This is my first season PVPing on any toon and I am only writing to my experience. I am a Cata-baby and never had the oportunity to play through the other expansions when they were current.

Hopefully this disclaimer will deter any further achievement based replies :) Enjoy the guide.


I. Talents -
II. Glyphs -
III. Stats, Gems, Reforging, Enchants -
IV. Rotation / Abilities -
V. Macros -
VI. Tips and Tricks -
VII. Add-ons -
***************** I. Talents ***************** - [To Top]

With the new Mists of Pandara Talent system players are able to "tune" their builds to fit specific situations or encounters a lot easier than before. This unique talent system has a very large impact on your play style as a Death Knight so I will attempt to explain all your choices, the choices I made as well as why I made them.

Tier 1 - Earned at level 56

Roiling Blood: Your Blood Boil ability now also trigger Pestilence if it strikes a diseased target.

Plague Leech: Draw forth the infection from an enemy, consuming your Blood Plague and Frost Fever diseases on the target to activate a random fully-depleted rune as a Death Rune

Unholy Blight: 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.

My Choice: Unholy Blight

The reason I choose Unholy Blight is because it is an AOE disease machine. Roiling Blood achieves the same goal, however you need to get your diseases up on your target first, and then use Blood Boil to spread them. Unholy Blight spreads the diseases instantly and continuously for 10 seconds without spending any runes or runic power. This allows you to start into your damage rotation and not waste runes on Blood Boil. Keep in mind that your Obliterate will hit harder for every disease on the target. If a healer dispels anyone around you your diseases will be instantly re-applied. The downfall to this however is the 1.5 minute cool down. I tend to use it as I rush into the middle of a group of players guarding a base for example - or the guard party of a flag carrier in some BGs.

Plague Leech: In my opinion this is not a very viable talent. It's another cool down to watch for; it removes your diseases from the target and only provides 1 regenerated rune.

Roiling Blood: I think this is more of a PVE frost talent because I find it a waste of runes to have to stack a howling blast, plague strike and then a Blood Boil just to spread diseases. 3 abilities, 3 Global Cool Downs and 3 runes spent before you really get into your rotation.

Tier 2 - Earned at level 57

Lichborne: Draw upon unholy energy to become undead for 10 sec. While undead, you are immune to Charm, Fear, and Sleep effects, and Death Coil will heal you.

Anti-Magic Zone: Places a large, stationary Anti-Magic Zone that reduces spell damage done to party or raid members inside it by 75%. The Anti-Magic Zone lasts for 10 sec or until it absorbs at least 136,000 spell damage.

Purgatory: An unholy pact grants you the ability to fight on through damage that would kill mere mortals. When you would sustain fatal damage, you instead are wrapped in a Shroud of Purgatory, absorbing incoming healing equal to the amount of damage prevented, lasting 3 sec.

If any healing absorption remains when Shroud of Purgatory expired, you die. Otherwise, you survive. This effect may only occur every 3 min.

My Choice: Lichborne

The reason I choose Lichborne is the multi-situational uses for it. Lichborne paired with Death Coil can be an effective self-heal if done properly (explained later). Lichborne also offers another counter to movement impairing abilities (most notably fear). Priests and Warlocks are notorious for chain-fearing. When that first fear hits, you can pop Lichborne to negate it - then for the next 10 seconds you are immune to fear. After those 10 seconds are up, your PVP trinket is still available to bail you out of yet another CC. This is more important in Arenas and Rated Battleground than in a Random Battlegrounds.

My Optional Choice: Anti-Magic Zone

There are specific encounters where I find Anti-Magic Zone to be a viable alternative to Lichborne. When facing a Mage in Arenas for example. There is no fear to counter however there is a potential for huge burst damage that most healers will have a difficult time dealing with - especially if the other team knows how to CC them. Anti-Magic Zone is a nice buffer that can protect you or even your partner in a pinch. Following up with Anti-Magic Shield can negate a Mage's entire burst. The damage prevented by Anti-Magic Shield does not quite compare to the healing potential of Lichborne but like I said, it is a viable alternative in certain circumstances.

Purgatory: This ability is useful in its own way but when compared to the other two I couldn't be convinced to use it. It functions well enough in Arena Matches if you have a healer that gets CC'd, allowing them a few extra seconds to bring you up but I personally would rather have the self-healing.

Tier 3 - Earned at level 58

Death's Advance: You passively move 10% faster, and movement-impairing effects may not reduce you below 70% of normal movement speed.

When activated, you gain 30% movement speed and may not be slowed below 100% of normal movement speed for 6 seconds.

Chilblains: Victims of your Frost Fever disease are Chilled, reducing movement speed by 50% for 10 sec, and your Chains of Ice immobilizes targets for 3 sec.

Asphyxiate: Lifts an enemy target off the ground and crushes their throat with dark energy, stunning them for 5 sec. Functions as a silence if the target is immune to stuns.

Ah we come to our first difficult decision regarding talents (in my opinion of course) All 3 of these abilities have a situational advantage so rather than pick one; I'll try to explain their perks and downfalls.

Death's Advance: Not my favorite of the three as I find it is more of a situation specific ability rather than one you would default to. However, if you've ever faced a Disc Priest, a Holy Paladin or a Resto Druid, you can understand the frustration of being kited around a pillar like a fool, being LOS'd and unable to get your grip or chains off and just looking like a fool playing ring around the rosie. In situations like that this ability can be very useful. This ability has a relatively short cool down (30 seconds) and the run speed is quite significant. (Pair it with Unholy Presence for another slight boost)

Chilblains: Probably my favorite of the 3 because of the 3 second root. This allows you to catch your opponent a lot easier or at least keep them in grip range while it's on cool down. With this talent victims of your Frost Fever are slowed by 50% - when you pair that with Howling blast which can apply Frost Fever as an AOE you can effectively slow down an entire group with one ability.

Asphyxiate: I'll be honest and say I haven't used this ability much. However it is greatly beneficial as it takes our 2 minute Strangulate and reduces the cool down to 1 minute and makes it a 5 second stun rather than a silence. Death Knights really lack in the CC department in my opinion so this is a rather useful talent to take. I will definitely be playing around with this one more in the future.

Tier 4 - Earned at level 60

Death Pact: Drain vitality from an undead minion, healing the Death Knight for 50% of his maximum health and causing the minion to suffer damage equal to 50% of its maximum health.

Death Siphon: Deal 7,497 Shadowfrost damage to an enemy, healing the Death Knight for 100% of damage dealt.

Conversion: Continuously converts Runic Power to health, restoring 3% of maximum health every 1 sec. Only base Runic Power generation from spending runes may occur while Conversion is active. This effect lasts until canceled, or Runic Power is exhausted.

My Choice: Death Pact

The reason I choose Death Pact is for the colossal heal it provides. When macroed properly (see my macro section) Death Pact can be paired with Raise Undead for a near instant cast heal that can hit from 150-200K healing. Death Pact is only on a 2 minute cool down which is conveniently matched with the cool down to summon your minion.

Death Siphon: Not my favorite since it requires runes and really doesn't heal a whole lot. Stay tuned though, I believe 5.2 will bring a buff for Death Siphon.

Conversion: I love this ability! Unfortunately the runic power cost to run this is too great. Patch 5.2 promises a huge buff to this ability dropping the runic power cost to 5 to activate and 5 per second to run. You fellow Death Knights will agree with me that the Warriors Second Wind was the bane of our existence this expansion but when you read Conversion it has the same healing potential. Now with 5.2 we will be able to run it almost constantly. (At the cost of our dps not using frost strike) This ability I look forward to playing with in 5.2

Tier 6 - Earned at level 75

Blood Tap: Each damaging Death Coil, Frost Strike, or Rune Strike generates 2 Blood Charges, up to a maximum of 12 charges. Blood Tap consumes 5 Blood Charges to activate a random fully-depleted rune as a Death Rune.

Runic Empowerment: When you land a damaging Death Coil, Frost Strike, or Rune Strike, you have a 45% chance to activate a random fully-depleted rune.

Runic Corruption: When you land a damaging Death Coil, Frost Strike, or Rune Strike, you have a 45% chance to activate Runic Corruption, increasing your rune regeneration rate by 100% for 3 sec.

Ahhhh! We have yet another hard choice. I have spent a lot of time playing around with all three abilities and 2 of the 3 appeal to me the most.

My first choice: Blood Tap

The reason I choose Blood Tap is because all too often I find myself staring at my opponent, who has just a little HP left, and all my runes are on CD!!!! With Blood Tap, I can click it a few times and whamo I have a few runes to play with. The other situation is when your Obliterate Procs it's usually on CD. You can pop your Blood Tap and take advantage of the 100K+ crit. This ability gives you control over when you get the rune regeneration.

My second choice: Runic Corruption

The reason I like Runic Corruption over Empowerment is that the 100% rune regeneration applies to ALL of your runes rather than just 1 depleted one. I find that I have more up-time with my runes using this ability over Empowerment.

Runic Empowerment works decent enough but I find that the play style is too choppy. Sometimes RNG is on your side and it works out great. Other times you're staring at depleted runes with no runic power and you're chasing your opponent while melee swinging at him. Blood Tap plays this way but when you want that burst of rune regeneration, it's there.

Tier 7 - Earned at level 90

Gorefiend's Grasp: Shadowy tendrils coil around all enemies within 20 yards of a target (hostile or friendly), pulling them to the target's location.

Remorseless Winter: Surrounds the Death Knight with a swirling tempest o frigid air for 8 sec, chilling enemies within 8 yards every 1 sec. Each pulse reduces targets' movement speed by 15% for 3 sec, stacking up to 5 times. Upon receiving a fifth application, an enemy will be stunned for 6 sec.

Desecrated Ground: Corrupts the ground in an 8 yard radius beneath the Death Knight for 10 sec. While standing in this corruption, the Death Knight is immune to effects that cause loss of control. This ability instantly removes such effects when activated.

My Choice: Remorseless Winter

The reason I choose Remorseless Winter is its dual function slow and stun as well as its 1 minute cool down. Unfortunately Remorseless Winter is not a reliable stun as it requires 5 seconds of melee range out of only 8 seconds. Any number of factors can affect this: latency (lag), stuns, blink, sprint, vanish etc etc etc. Personally I use it more like a slow to try and keep people within my melee range or to help my healer run away. If they get stunned it's a bonus.

Desecrated Ground: I used this ability until I was able to purchase my PVP Trinket that removed the movement impairing effects. This functioned in the same way and provided an additional 10 seconds of immunity afterwards. This is a very powerful ability especially when paired with a trinket, lichborne and ice bound fortitude. DK's have a very high potential to negate most CC's if they are speced into it.

Gorefiend's Grasp: While this ability functions better for PVE tanking it has its uses in PVP. 2 things I've discovered about this ability. 1.) I've pulled a rogue out of stealth by mistake, he was too close I guess and it picked him up. 2.) If you have a mage with you, they can cast Ring of Frost, you can stand in the middle and grip as many opponents around you as are in range and put them in the middle of the ring. This is a great tool to use in Rated Battlegrounds.
***************** II. Glyphs ***************** - [To Top]

In MoP Glyphs have really been downplayed. What used to be a critical component of your build is now more suggestive and situational dependent just like the talent system. There are a lot of Glyphs available but I am not going to describe each one in detail. Some are spec dependent and some are just useless.


Glyph of Anti-Magic Shell
Not too much more to say on that one. Instead of 75% reduction it will be a 100% reduction. In the end it will stop the same amount of damage just over less time.

Glyph of Chains of Ice
Again not too much to say: your Chains of Ice now has a bit of bite.

Glyph of Dark Simulacrum
This is a hard ability to use effectively let alone to use a glyph slot on. If you can master this ability and your timing with it you can be devastating. Watching a paladin's jaw hit the floor when you cast divine shield is priceless!

Glyph of Dark Succor
Meh, you have to actually get the killing blow for this to proc, and 20% of your HP in full Malev gear is about 70K HP. It's not bad for battleground's if you find your getting lots of killing blows, it almost works like a warrior's victory rush but in arenas it's only every going to proc once or twice at most.

Glyph of Death and Decay
I personally like this glyph because I get kited a lot. When a healer tries to run around a box or pillar on me, I drop this on one side and run around the other.

Glyph of Death Coil
I haven't played with this at all and can't tell you what that shield is equivalent to at lvl 90.

Glyph of Death Grip
Self-explanatory and is a good idea if you find you're always just out of range.

Glyph of Enduring Infection
This one is fairly pointless especially if you spec into Unholy Blight. Diseases drop off fairly quickly and need to be re-applied often enough that being dispelled isn't such a big deal.

Glyph of Icebound Fortitude
This one is so hard to gauge because sometimes I use Icebound Fortitude to break a stun and sometimes because I want the damage reduction. In the case of damage reduction the longer duration is good. In the case of breaking stuns the lower CD is good. Again, this will be based on the situation.

Glyph of Icy Touch
This glyph is one of our most useful glyphs as it adds a dispel feature to Icy Touch. We don't have any other options for a dispel and it is able to remove quite a few effects. As a general rule I always have this glyph active.

Glyph of Mind Freeze
Personally I think this is a waste of a glyph. 2 seconds of cool down is not worth 20 runic power. Runic power is everything to a DK, helping with our rune regeneration, healing through conversion or lichborne etc. We already have strangulate (or asphyxiate if you specced into it) which we can cycle through. In a pinch, Death Grip works as an interrupt and with our PVP 4 set we can cast that twice in a row. Mind Freeze will be up by then and you will have interrupted twice already.

Glyph of Outbreak
Not my cup'o'tea but if you like dropping your diseases from a range and don't mind spending 40 runic power to do it go for it.

Glyph of Pestilence
Not really a frost thing I would think. I guess you could pair it with Roiling Blood but that seems to me a waste.

Glyph of Pillar of Frost
If ever there was a useless glyph this was it. Pop your Pillar of Frost for extra damage but root yourself in place so they can just sidestep it without a worry... no thank you.


These glyphs are mostly cosmetic but we do find a few useful ones.

Glyph of Army of the Dead
Not a PVP thing but all you PVE Frost DK's out there... please please please use this glyph...

Glyph of Corpse Explosion
Show your enemies just how vicious you are! /ROAR!!!

Glyph of Death Gate
Helpful, I guess - for all those times I go to Ebon Hold!

Glyph of Death's Embrace
More of an Unholy thing. If you are healing your minion as a Frost DK might I suggest Runescape?

Glyph of Foul Menagerie
Personally I love this one. Looks like Tim Burton designed your war party :)

Glyph of the Geist
I've never tried it to be honest. I guess it does what it says.

Glyph of Horn of Winter
Looks pretty cool - used it for the intro of a pvp video once.

Glyph of Path of Frost
This minor glyph is actually useful with lots of potential in Battlegrounds.

Glyph of Resilient Grip
This is a fantastic glyph to have for pvp. It does what it says; it resets the cool down if your grip is blocked with immunity and saves a wasted cool down.

Glyph of Tranquil Grip
Not useful for PVP but as I said with the Army of the Dead Glyph. You PVE Frost DKs please please please use this glyph if you feel you need to grip mobs to the group.
********* III. Stats, Gems, Reforging ********* - [To Top]


As a Death Knight our top priority stat is Strength. Strength = Attack Power. Attack Power = Good :) Strength should be found on every piece of gear you're wearing and as such, we won't need to reforge for it.

The remaining priority goes something like this:

For 2H Weapon Users
Expertise 3% > Melee Hit 3% > PVP Resilience > PVP Power > Haste > Crit > Mastery

For DW Weapon Users
Expertise 3% > Melee Hit 3% > PVP Resilience > PVP Power > Mastery > Haste> Crit

The reasoning behind stacking Haste as a 2H Weapon user is to increase the number of mele auto attacks you get. More auto attacks = more Runic Power and more chances to Proc Killing Machine. Haste also helps with Rune Regeneration.

The reasoning behind stacking Mastery as a DW Weapon user is to increase the Frost Damage output of your Frost Strike and Howling Blast. You will already have more mele auto attacks and generate plently of Runic Power. You may find that you end up using your Killing Machine Procs on Frost Strike more than Obliterate.

There are several other guides out there that flip the Haste / Crit / Mastery around. Really, Crit doesn't stack that well - I tried reforging all Crit and only gained 2-3% Seeing as how most of our damage comes from proced Obliterates and Frost Strikes which are guaranteed to crit I found that rune regeneration was more important.

Expertise is at 3% to make it so players cannot dodge your attacks. Melee Hit of course makes it so you don't miss other players.

I have played around with stacking all PVP Power, stacking all PVP Resilience and trying to blend the two and I found the later to be more effective.

Stacking all PVP Power I hit like a truck, but I also got hit like a truck. Stacking all PVP Resilience I was not taking very much damage but I was not happy with my damage output. Instead I tried to Gem the 160PVP Power and 160PVP Resil gem as much as I could and ended up with a nice balance of survivability and train wrecking :)

Remember, it's all fine and well to hit super hard, but everyone's damage output is 0 when their dead.


My Recommended Gems: I've included a cheap version of each for those on a budget.

Meta Gems:

Reverberating Primal Diamond (216 Strength + 3% Critical Effect)

Red Slot:

Tense Imperial Amethyst
Perfect Tense Roguestone
Tense Roguestone *cheap*


Resplendent Vermilion Onyx
Perfect Resplendent Tiger Opal
Resplendent Tiger Opal *cheap*

Blue, Yellow or Prismatic Slot:

Vivid Wild Jade
Perfect Vivid Alexandrite
Vivid Alexandrite *cheap*

For those who want to stack Resilience or Power over the other they can use the following:

Blue or Prismatic Slot:

Stormy River's Heart
Perfect Stormy Lapis Lazuli
Stormy Lapis Lazuli *cheap*

Yellow or Prismatic Slot:

Mystic Sun's Radiance
Perfect Mystic Sunstone
Mystic Sunstone *cheap*


Really all you're going to do is try to follow the stat priority guide. Make sure your Hit and Expertise are at the 3% mark. If they are not, try to reforge your least important stat into them first. Then keep working down the list, reforging your weakest stats into your stronger ones. Every time you get a new piece of gear you'll find you're reforging a lot of pieces to keep those stats where you want them. A bit of a pain and it gets expensive but that’s the price of optimizing your class. Stat priority list is posted again below:

For 2H Weapon Users
Expertise 3% > Melee Hit 3% > PVP Resilience > PVP Power > Haste > Crit > Mastery

For DW Weapon Users
Expertise 3% > Melee Hit 3% > PVP Resilience > PVP Power > Mastery > Crit > Haste


The following are suggested enchants by slot:

Greater Tiger Fang Inscription

Enchant Cloak - Greater Protection
Enchant Cloak - Accuracy
Enchant Cloak - Superior Critical Strike

Enchant Chest - Super Resilience

Enchant Bracer - Exceptional Strength

Enchant Gloves - Super Strength

Living Steel Belt Buckle

Angerhide Leg Armor

Enchant Boots - Pandaren's Step
*NOTE* This movement speed increase DOES NOT stack with the movement speed increase of the Mastery / Movement Speed Increase Meta Gem
********** IV. Rotation / Abilities ********** - [To Top]

As in the case of every spec there is no set "rotation" to follow to maximize your DPS. Instead, there is a priority list when it comes to varying situations.

I'll start of by explaining the skills we have and after that I will explain how they can go together, when they're most useful and how to counter-act certain situations.

Note: There are abilities and cool downs not mentioned here that are only applicable if you spec into them. I assume if you spec into them you know how to use them =).

Main Damage Dealing Abilities

Obliterate: A brutal instant attack that deals 354% weapon damage. Total damage is increased by 12.5% for each of your diseases on the target.

Frost Strike: Instantly strike the enemy, causing 116% weapon damage as Frost damage.

Howling Blast: Blast the target with a frigid wind, dealing 17,046 Frost damage to that foe, and 8,523 Frost damage to all other enemies within 10 yards, infecting all targets with Frost Fever

Melee (Auto Attack): Don't underestimate keeping yourself in melee range for auto attack swings as your auto attacks have a chance to proc the passive ability: Killing Machine

Killing Machine: Your auto attacks have a chance to grant 100% critical strike bonus to your next Obliterate or Frost Strike.

Secondary Damage Dealing / Utility Abilities

Necrotic Strike: A vicious strike that deals 165% Weapon damage, absorbs the next 24,166 healing received by the target, and clouds the target's mind, slowing their casting speed by 50% (25% for player targets). Lasts 10 sec.

Icy Touch: Chills the target for 8,444 Frost damage, dispels 1 beneficial magic effect (with the glyph), and infects them with Frost Fever, a disease that deals periodic frost damage for 30 sec.

Plague Strike: A vicious strike that deals 110% Weapon damage plus 513 and infects the victim with Blood plague, a disease dealing shadow damage over time.

Chains of Ice: Shackles the target with frozen chains, reducing movement speed by 60% for 8 sec. Also infects the target with Frost Fever. (With Chilblains Talent will also root the target for 3 seconds.)

Death Grip: Harness the unholy energy that surrounds and binds all matter, drawing the target toward the Death Knight and forcing the enemy to attack the Death Knight for 3 sec.

Death and Decay: Corrupts the ground targeted by the Death Knight, causing 1,598 Shadow damage every sec to targets that remain in the area. (With the Death and Decay Glyph also slows enemy movement speed by 50% for 10 sec.)

Death Coil: Fire a blast of unholy energy, causing 13,554 Shadow damage to an enemy target or healing 47,440 damage on a friendly undead target.

Cool downs

Pillar of Frost: Calls upon the power of Frost to increase the Death Knight's Strength by 20%. Icy crystals hang heavy on the Death Knight's body, providing immunity from external movement like knockbacks. Lasts 20 sec.

Icebound Fortitude: The Death Knight freezes his blood to become immune to Stun effects and reduce all damage taken by 20% for 12 sec.

Anti-Magic Shell: Surrounds the Death Knight in an Anti-Magic Shell, absorbing 75% of damage dealt by harmful spells (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.

Outbreak: Instantly applies Blood Plague and Frost Fever to the target enemy.

Empower Runic Weapon: Empower your rune weapon, immediately activating all your runes and generating 25 Runic Power.

Raise Dead: Raise a ghoul to fight by your side. You can have a maximum of one ghoul at a time. Lasts 1 min.

Death Pact: Drain vitality from an undead minion, healing the Death Knight for 50% of his maximum health and causing the minion to suffer damage equal to 50% of its maximum health.

Alright, now that I've essentially transcribed the DK spell book we can start talking about using these abilities effectively in PVP.

PVP is so fluid and dynamic that it's hard to really pin down a set rule for abilities you should use. Instead, it's better to learn and master the tools in your tool box, and then practice applying them in different situations so that over time, you learn which tool is best for the job.

When we read the description on Obliterate we notice several very important details. It costs 2 runes (1 Unholy 1 Frost) and is quite expensive if you don't utilize it to its full potential. Obliterate hits 12.5% harder for each disease on the target. With Killing Machine Proced Obliterate is guaranteed to Critically Strike doubling the damage or (+103% if you have the Meta Gem in your helm)

If you use Obliterate without your diseases or without Killing Machine you are likely to hit for only 50-60K damage versus a proper crit hitting for 100 - 150K. That is a substantial loss in damage. Also, if you use Obliterate and consume your runes too early, Killing Machine will then Proc while your runes are on Cool down and you will be unable to take advantage of it properly, instead using a Frost Strike that will likely only crit for 60k.

All of your melee auto attacks and other damaging abilities (except for Frost Strike) generate Runic Power.

Frost Strike is your way of "dumping" unwanted Runic Power and causing moderate damage and will activate your tier 6 talent of choice, Blood Tap, Runic Empowerment or Runic Corruption.

Howling blast is a nice ranged AOE attack that applies Frost Fever. With the Chilblains talent Frost Fever will slow it's victims by 50% for 10 seconds. If you are running into a group of enemies poping a Howling Blast will disease and slow them all, giving your group the upper hand to start.

Soul Reaper: Strikes an enemy for 100% weapon damage and afflicts the target with Soul Reaper. After 5 sec, if the target is below 35% health, this effect will deal 46,114 to 53,590 additional Shadow damage. If the enemy dies before this effect triggers, the Death Knight gains 50% haste for 5 sec.

These are really your three basic abilities that you will rotate through.

If you are facing a healer or a team that has a healer, necrotic strike is a nice ability that slows casting and absorbs healing. It costs only 1 rune and can be spammed quite a bit. This will help substantially in defeating a healer. The casting time slow effect also makes this an effective tool against mages and warlocks although I would avoid spamming it and instead using the runes for Obliterate.

Most of the rest of our abilities are quite reactive and easy to imagine. If a class is running away from you, you can cast Howling Blast to slow them, Icy Chains (with the talent it roots) or Death Grip to get to them.

Part of being a good teammate in PVP is the ability to help out your fellow players. Death Knights are especially good at keeping enemies off of your healers. You can slow them down, root them or grip them to yourself to give your healer a chance to recover and continue healing.

Death and Decay when Glyphed is a useful ability that allows a DK to kite another player pull players out of stealth or to cast in front of a fleeing foe to slow them down.

Plague Strike and Icy Touch apply your diseases to the target which do damage over time, slow your enemy down (With the talent) and increase the damage of your Obliterate ability. While these abilities do not cost a lot of Runes they do take time to apply. Plague strike requires you to be in melee range. Overall, this is not the most effective way to apply your diseases.

Outbreak and Unholy Blight (Talent) are more effective ways of applying diseases, they only require one cast and they apply the diseases at a range. This allows you to cast as your approaching and not waste any time getting into your damage dealing abilities.

Cool downs are harder to manage as they are dependent on the situation. You can choose to use Icebound Fortitude to break a stun or you can use it to mitigate damage. Consider the team you're facing and try to decide which situation will be better to use it in before you are faced with it.

Pillar of Frost is a great damage boost offering a 20% base damage increase. I find it best to pair Pillar of Frost with a Battlemaster Trinket for example - which increases the Death Knight's Strength by over 5,000. Both share the same 1 minute cool down and paired together create immense damage.

Empower Runic Weapon: is a very powerful cool down that resets all of your Runes and generates 25 Runic Power. If you use Pillar of Frost and the Battlemaster Trinket together you can spend all your Runes, unleash a ton of damage, then pop Empower Runic Weapon and do it all again while still under the effects of Pillar of Frost and the Trinket.

Anti-Magic Shell: This powerful cool down is on a short CD (45 seconds) and can absorb up to 200K spell damage. This is very useful against casting classes that have a lot of burst like Warlocks or Mages. If timed properly, you can pop Anti-Magic Shell just before a Chaos Bolt hits you negating all or most of its damage. As an added bonus, damage absorbed generates Runic Power. Typically, if you pop Anti-Magic Shell it's because you are going to take a lot of damage. After it fades, you will have close to full Runic Power. This is a great time to pop Lichborne if you've specced into it and follow up with several Death Coils aimed at yourself for some really good self-healing. Make sure that when you've run out of Runic Power to pop a few Obliterates or Howling Blasts to get your Runic Power up again for a few more heals while Lichborne is active. If done properly you should be able to get about 4 of them off. Death Coil can critically hit you for a bigger heal so this can be quite effective in PVP
***************** V. Macros ***************** - [To Top]

Here are some macros that you may find useful for PVP.

Don't know what a macro is? No worries, while in game press ESC to go to the game menu. Click on macros and the macro window will open.

A macro allows you to customize different spell and ability commands, pairing several to one button click or having 2 cast at the same time (as long as they don't share a global cool down)

In the macro window there will be a button "New" at the bottom, simply press that and we're set to go. In the command line you can type whatever you want to happen when the macro is executed.

If you've never made one before try typing in /Y OMG I DID IT!!!

You need to select an icon for your macro and be sure to name it. Once you've done that you can click and drag the icon from the macro window to your action bar. When you press the button on your action bar your character should yell in game "OMG I DID IT!!!"

Basically the macro window is the same as the chat window. If you type it in the chat window you can add it to the macro window.

A basic ability macro might be /cast Icebound Fortitude

If you want to see what I mean about the chat window, try typing /cast Icebound Fortitude in the chat window and see what happens. You should activate your Icebound Fortitude ability.

Now that we have the basics down, here are some macros that I use which I find useful. You can Google Frost DK Macros and probably find a whole bunch but these are what I use.

Damage Buff:

This macro will cast your Pillar of Frost, Outbreak and use your Battlemaster Trinket all at the same time, by pressing the button only once.

In the macro command line copy and paste the following:

/cast Pillar of Frost
/cast Outbreak
/use 14

Important notes about this macro!!!! You must be within range of outbreak for it to cast. If you aren't the rest of the macro will still execute but outbreak will not be used.

The reason I pair these 3 together is because all three can be cast at the same time without the global cool down getting in the way. This increases your strength by 4,000 - 5,000 (depending on the trinket you have) increases your damage by 20% and ensures your diseases are on the target before your Obliterate shreds them to pieces.

Second Damage Buff:

This macro is a good follow up to the first one; it will cast Unholy Blight (If you're spec’d into it) as well as Empower Runic Weapon.

In the macro command line copy and paste the following:

/cast Unholy Blight
/cast Empower Runic Weapon

What I love about this macro is once you unload the first damage macro there is a good chance a healer has launched on to your target. Chances are your target has been dispelled and you have most likely gotten your target to at least 1/2 HP. But now you're out of runes, so when you cast the second damage buff, you start applying your diseases repeatedly for 10 seconds, you recharge all of your runes, and you still have all the perks of the first damage buff.

Lichborne 1 Button Self Heal:

Casts Lichborne making you "undead", targets yourself and casts Death Coil once. Keep mashing the button to continue casting Death Coil on you. Make sure you use your other damaging spells in between to build up your runic power to get as many heals as you can off while Lichborne is active.

In the macro command line copy and paste the following:

/cast Lichborne
/target [type your player name here] ex. mine is /target Hadès
/cast Death Coil

You can use this every 2 minutes as it follows the cool down of Lichborne.

That's really all of the useful macros I have for Frost. There are lots for Blood if anyone is interested they can contact me privately.

Death Pact Self Heal

This macro will summon your undead minion and activate your Death Pact ability with the press of 1 button. This is used as an "Emergency" self-heal.

In the macro command line copy and paste the following:

/cast Raise Dead
/cast Death Pact

Important Note!!! Make sure you are paying attention to your debuffs. There are instances where you can be silenced and pressing this macro will raise your minion but the heal will not cast. Make sure the heal actually hits rather than assuming it does. If it doesn't heal you just press the button again to activate the heal.

There are other macros you can use that you might find useful that aren't listed here. You can also experiment with your own to find what works for you.
************* VI. Tips and Tricks ************* - [To Top]

I may end up repeating a lot of information but it's to try and catch the people that just scrolled right down to this section :) (You know who you are)

First off, I'd like to say that this is my first season PVPing. I have not earned a high arena rating; I have not earned a high RBG rating. I simply do my 2s every week to cap, I help my friends cap, and I like doing random BGs and beating up on under geared alliance toons :) (Sorry to the alliance guys and gals out there) So anyways, I'm not some uber skilled player with all the ins and outs of Frost DK PVP. This is supposed to be a beginner guide for people who don't really know where to start.

Ok here’ goes.

Here are a few things that I do when I encounter certain situations that can be overwhelming or confusing.

Situation 1: You're facing a Warlock or Priest (Perma fear incoming!)

These are my least favorite classes to fight because we are melee they are ranged with a lot of CC ability. A CC is devastating enough that allows them to get away from you but more often than not you also run the other direction increasing the distance between you exponentially. This allows them to position better, go near a pillar to run around, drop a demon gate, heal up a bit - whatever. Whenever I find myself against either of these two I make sure I'm specced into Lichborne. As stated above, this will not only break you out of a fear, but you will remain immune for its duration. You can also spec into Desecrated Ground which will give you a second option for removing fear. Match these up with your PVP Trinket and you will have 3 options to get you out of a bind. If you spec into both abilities and have a trinket, you want to ensure that you use the least useful ability first, saving your better ones for later.

For example, your Desecrated Ground will break a fear and you will remain immune for as long as you stay inside the mark on the ground or until it disappears. Chances are you will be running to catch the other player and will find yourself outside its range. This makes it the least valuable ability so I would use it first to break the 7 second fear. Now you still have 2 options - the Lichborne ability which breaks fear, makes you immune to fear and allows you to self-heal, and the PVP Trinket which will break ANY CC effect.

Depending on how the fight is going you may want to use your Trinket next and save Lichborne for when you need to heal. If taking damage is not an issue you may want to use Lichborne first and save your Trinket in case you get rooted (Void Tendrils are a pain!)

Situation 2: You're facing an Arms Warrior

Thankfully with 5.2 around the corner we will see Second Wind nerfed to 2% instead of 3% and their ability to stun and run heal will not be as effective. As it stands, getting an Arms Warrior to 35% is not very hard - pushing that little extra can prove very frustrating. It is important to manage your cool downs against a Warrior and to familiarize yourself with theirs. For example, if you see dancing swords all around a Warrior, it's not a great time to start blowing all your Killing Machine Obliterates because more than likely they will be Parried and useless. If you see your opponent turn bright red there's a good chance they have popped their Battlemaster Trinket and will be hitting you like a freight train. Knowing things like this and reacting appropriately can be the difference between winning and losing.

Icebound Fortitude gives us a break from 1 stun and allows us to stay immune for 12 seconds afterwards. Our trinket will break any CC the Warrior throws at us and of course Lichborne can handle the fear. Where I first went wrong with Warriors was using my abilities to break CC while they were still at full or close to full HP. Then I would burn them down and find myself out of runes, stunned, and no options to get out of CC. I would watch helplessly as they ran away, healed up, came back and did it again... over and over. I started thinking to myself - I can pop some CD's to allow me to get them down fast, I can ignore that first stun as long as I have a healer to push me through it, or a Death Pact I can pop when it's over, and I can burn this guy to 35%. Then, when the Warrior goes into perma stun, heroic leap, charge and run away mode, Pop Icebound Fortitude which will release you from your stun, pop your remaining damage CD's along with Empower Runic Weapon for a rune recharge. Start cycling Soul Reaper into your rotation for the <35% HP extra damage proc and you should have yourself one dead Warrior. During this process the best thing a Warrior will have is his disarm or fear. At this point all you do is react - if you get disarmed, your Trinket will fix it, if you get feared, pop your Lichborne. It is important once a Warrior hits Second Wind not to let up. Stack those diseases on, make sure Soul Reaper is always on and don't give them an inch to charge you.

Situation 3: You're facing a Mage

I cringe every time I see a Mage in the 2s Arena. They have tremendous CC ability and if the player knows what they're doing you may not have a chance to move before you're dead. In my opinion, mages are our nemesis. There are, however, a few tricks that can throw them off their gameplay.

First off, you will be rooted; possibly Deep Freezed and then the Mage will spool up. If you are simply rooted, watch for the cast of Frost Bomb and try to time your Anti-Magic Shell just before its finished casting. Once that's up, your Anti-Magic Shell will absorb the incoming burst. Once your shield is down and you are charging at the Mage get a Strangulate or Asphyxiate in. This will silence the Mage and allow you to close the distance and start tearing through that cloth robe. VERY IMPORTANT!!! DO NOT waste your Death Grip pulling a Mage to you for your first encounter.

Use Icy Chains to root or slow the Mage and run to him. Wait for one of 3 things. Root and run away, Root and Blink away or Blink away. If you are rooted and the mage is running away, wait for the root to end, cast Chains of Ice again and pursue. AS SOON as a Mage casts Blink you pounce - pop your damage CDs and Grip that fool to you. Blast as hard as you can and you will most likely be rooted again. If you have your PVP 4 set you can Grip a second time within 3 seconds. Whether or not the Mage is trying to get away or just cast in melee range make sure you utilize this 4 Set because the Grip acts like a free interrupt. At this point the Mage should be finished with his burst, have Blink on cool down, be getting low on health, diseased and running slow. Now you just have to finish him off.

If the mage does get away from you, the good news is Anti-Magic Shell is only a 45 sec CD and will be up again soon. Use your Lichborne heal or Death Pact heal when you need it and keep pressing the Mage. If you let that Mage free cast on you without your Magic-Shell it's going to be GG.

There are many other situations you will find yourself in but these 3 should help you get thinking about managing CCs, dealing with Melee Classes and dealing with Ranged Magic Classes.

One final tip I have for you guys is making sure you utilize your ability to change presences during a fight. If you change into Blood Presence you will get 50% more Armor Rating, 25% more Stamina and reduce all incoming Damage by 10%. I find myself using Blood Presence against Melee Classes to help my survivability - damage output is decreased fairly significantly but you will notice you stay alive a lot longer.

If you are being kited by a healer, you can pop Unholy Presence for a slight run speed boost until you catch up and then switch back.

Play around with your presences and make sure you don't get tunnel vision and use only one. This concludes the meat-and-potatoes of my guide. Thank you for taking the time to read everything (if you did :P) Below I've posted some Add-ons that I find helpful while I PVP.

Thanks again and I hope you have fun doing PVP as a Frost DK!
***************** VII. Add-ons ***************** - [To Top]

I use the following Add-ons to assist me during PVP

Recount - Shows your damage output, damage taken, healing done etc. A great tool that can help you tweak your build for your optimal output.

Gladius - Shows arena opponents in a UI frame that makes it easy to target them, set focus with a click, and monitor your enemy’s use of Trinkets.

Bartender - Personally I don't feel there are enough Action Bar slots and I was able to fully customize the layout, content, key bindings and number of bars displayed. WARNING: Make sure that you specify "Character Specific" for key bindings and layout or you will have a chore ahead of you trying to set all your characters up on a similar layout.

Last Update: 2013/03/05

Patch Relevance: 5.1 (5.2 will be coming soon!)

Corrections / Additions to Date:

Hyperlinks Added for navigation.
DW Stat Priority added - thank you Arçhangel
Disclaimer about my PVP achievements added - thank you Venoma
Changed wording in Talents RE: Death's Advance - thank you Jäckßäuer
Changed wording in Talents RE: Chilblains - thank you Karaahl
Changed wording in Rotation / Abilities RE: Howling Blast - thank you Karaahl
Changed wording in Glyphs RE: Glyph of Icy Touch - thank you Karaahl
DW Stat Priority corrected - thank you Ønysablet

UPCOMING: Stay tuned for 5.2 updates after patch launch!
Nice !@#$, we needed one of these.
Though, I have to disagree with you on DA being the weakest talent, sure it's not as good as Chillblains in certain situations, but it has its uses.

I'm sorry but this takes all credibility away from your guide.

No, it doesn't.
I really hate being that guy - but I checked your achieves:

- No 1550 arena achieve
- No 1100 RBG achieve

I'm sorry but this takes all credibility away from your guide.

No it does not. You don't need high end achievements to understand your class.
Really great guide OP. Sticky requested.
Maybe i missed it but i assume by the stat/reforge all this info is for 2h frost and not dw?
I really hate being that guy - but I checked your achieves:

- No 1550 arena achieve
- No 1100 RBG achieve

I'm sorry but this takes all credibility away from your guide.

No it does not. You don't need high end achievements to understand your class.
Really great guide OP. Sticky requested.

Since when are 1550 & 1100 ratings "high end achievements"?

I think the expression "blind leading the blind" comes to mind.
02/28/2013 03:49 PMPosted by Arçhangel
Maybe i missed it but i assume by the stat/reforge all this info is for 2h frost and not dw?

Yea I think so.

No it does not. You don't need high end achievements to understand your class.
Really great guide OP. Sticky requested.

Since when are 1550 & 1100 ratings "high end achievements"?

I think the expression "blind leading the blind" comes to mind.

Fine, any arena/rbg achievements. Still the same idea.
Since when are 1550 & 1100 ratings "high end achievements"?

I think you need to learn reading comprehension.

02/28/2013 03:42 PMPosted by Amber
You don't need high end achievements to understand your class.

This means that he's not calling the guys achievements high end. Herp.

02/28/2013 03:50 PMPosted by Venoma
I think the expression "blind leading the blind" comes to mind.

You don't need to be 2200+ to know your class. True story.

Also; your top achieve rating in 3's is only 1750.
Since when are 1550 & 1100 ratings "high end achievements"?

I think you need to learn reading comprehension.

02/28/2013 03:42 PMPosted by Amber
You don't need high end achievements to understand your class.

This means that he's not calling the guys achievements high end. Herp.

02/28/2013 03:50 PMPosted by Venoma
I think the expression "blind leading the blind" comes to mind.

You don't need to be 2200+ to know your class. True story.

Also; your top achieve rating in 3's is only 1750.

Comprehension? I pointed out that those are not high end achievements but the most basic of basic pvp achieves. If you cannot get those you have no place writing a guide. Period.

Also, if you must bring out the e-peen measuring stick: that 3's achieve is as Prot. I was also ~2k in 2's as Prot. 2.2k as Enhance. 2.2k as Feral.

Your turn.
Yes you do, if you understand your class. Those achievements can be used to determine someone's skill, but only partially. You don't NEED them to understand your class.

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