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{{this|the hero class in [[World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King]]}}
 
{{this|the hero class in [[World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King]]}}
 
{{redirect|DK|the old PvP mechanic|Dishonorable Kill}}
 
{{redirect|DK|the old PvP mechanic|Dishonorable Kill}}
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{{Seealso|Starting a death knight}}
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{{Quotation|[http://us.battle.net/wow/en/game/class/death-knight Official site]|When the [[Lich King|Lich King's]] control of his death knights was broken, his former champions sought revenge for the horrors committed under his command. After their vengeance was won, the death knights found themselves without a cause and without a home. One by one they trickled into the land of the living in search of a new purpose.}}
   
[[File:Death knight crest.png| thumb| New Class Icon]]
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{| align="right"
[[Blizzard Entertainment|Blizzard]]'s original '''death knight''' concept was that of an undead spellcaster unit which made its initial appearance in ''[[Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness]]''.<ref>{{ref web
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|[[File:Death knight crest.png]]
|url=http://classic.battle.net/war2/units/deathknight.shtml
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| __TOC__
|publisher={{Blizz}} Blizzard
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|}
|accessdate=2009-06-20
 
|title=Death Knight}}</ref> This death knight could be more accurately described as a horseback-mounted lich rather than the traditional undead warrior. Years later, Blizzard introduced a new death knight hero unit in ''[[Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos]]'', and this second rendition was revised to reflect the general characteristics of the more traditional death knight design.<ref name="warcraftIII"/> To understand the key differences between these two different generations of death knight, see the "Lore" section located further down this page. The death knight was later adapted as a [[prestige class]] within the ''[[Warcraft RPG]]'' and they were former [[paladin warrior]]s.{{Cite|A&HC|24}} It is the Warcraft III version of the death knight that became the first [[hero class]] in ''World of Warcraft'' and was introduced in the ''[[World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King]]'' expansion.
 
 
== Talents ==
 
{{main|Death knight talents}}
 
 
Death knight talents are split into 3 trees; originally each of them were fully capable of supporting either a tanking or DPS melee role, however that is no longer the case over time with the release of class changes in patches and the release of {{Cata-inline}}. Though Blood is the dedicated tanking tree, any of the three talent trees can effectively tank anything under heroics as long as one stays in Blood Presence.
 
   
*'''Blood:''' Tanking Tree. This tree primarily amplifies the death knight's melee spells, weapons, healing, and abilities. It also has a prominent health-regeneration theme, with abilities and talents such as [[Improved Death Strike]], [[Blood Parasite]], [[Vampiric Blood]], [[Rune Tap]], and the Mastery: Blood Shield. Blood players will wield 2H weapons, and tanking is done using Blood Presence for its damage reduction, stamina boost, quick melee health regen and threat generation boost. Blood is also widely considered to be the new leveling spec for Death Knights.
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Death knights (introduced in [[Wrath of the Lich King]]) boast powerful melee abilities, as well as plate armor. These warriors supplement their strength with dark magic. Calling upon a [[rune system]] of magic, the death knight may summon unholy, blood, and frost spells. The criterion for creating a death knight is the existence of a level 55+ character on the player's account on any realm<ref>http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/wrath/features/deathknight/gameplay.xml</ref>.
Suggested Runeforging Enchants: [[Rune of the Nerubian Carapace]]/[[Rune of the Stoneskin Gargoyle]]
 
   
*'''Frost:''' DPS Tree. This tree has many control elements, a strong critical-strike/bonus-damage theme, and also several talents that improve physical-damage output, including [[Brittle Bones]] and [[Improved Icy Talons]]. Frost players can choose between dual-wielding or using a 2H; dual-wielding will provide 10% more DPS than 2H, however. Damage is done in either Frost Presence (dual-wielders) or Unholy Presence (2H users). Most of the Frost tree's damage comes from [[Obliterate]] (with Killing Machine procs), Melee strikes, [[Frost Strike]], and [[Howling Blast]] (for AoE fights).
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The death knight is the first hero class in ''World of Warcraft''. Death knights start at level 55 in [[Acherus: The Ebon Hold]] over the [[Eastern Plaguelands]], with multiple spells and abilities ready to use, and a set of {{quality|uncommon}} gear. When departing Ebon Hold, they have a full set of {{quality|rare}} gear ready for [[Outland]]. Through the [[Death knight quests|death knight-specific quests]] in this necropolis and the surrounding areas, they learn to master the power of the death knight and learn to use this new power for the will of the [[Lich King]]. Quests take them outside the necropolis and into an area within the [[Scarlet Enclave]].
Suggested Runeforging Enchants: [[Rune of Razorice]]/[[Rune of the Fallen Crusader]]
 
   
*'''Unholy:''' DPS/PvP Tree. This tree has a heavy focus on diseases and related abilities, as well as improving summoned minions with the passive talent [[Master of Ghouls]]. The Unholy tree also provides AoE damage, spell damage shielding, and mobility-improvement sub-themes. Unholy users may also choose between dual wielding (which requires some Frost talents) and using a 2H. Damage is done using Unholy presence, and most of the Unholy tree's damage comes from the summoned Ghoul, Death Coil, Melee strikes, and [[Scourge Strike]].
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Before patch 5.3, players could only create one death knight per realm, so long as they have a level 55 character already and ''Wrath of the Lich King'' on their account. Now players are able to create multiple death knights on one realm. Currently the [[Pandaren (playable)|Pandaren]] cannot become death knights.
Suggested Runeforging Enchants: [[Rune of Cinderglacier]]/[[Rune of the Fallen Crusader]]/[[Rune of Lichbane]]
 
   
==Lore==
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== Lore ==
Death knight is a name shared by several [[death knight organizations|organization]]s of powerful necromancers. These orders share a few things in common, including riding horses with horned skulls and many of the same abilities. Playable death knights, however, are specifically death knights of the [[Scourge]].
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Death knight is a name shared by several [[death knight organizations|organizations]] of powerful necromancers. These orders share a few things in common, including riding horses with horned skulls and many of the same abilities. Playable death knights, however, are specifically death knights of the [[Scourge]].
   
 
=== Immortal Soldiers of the Horde ===
 
=== Immortal Soldiers of the Horde ===
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=== Champions of the Lich King ===
 
=== Champions of the Lich King ===
Years after the destruction of [[Draenor]], the immensely powerful [[The Lich King|Lich King]] created a new breed of death knights: malevolent, rune-wielding warriors of the Scourge. The first and greatest of these was the Lich King's chosen champion, Prince [[Arthas Menethil]], once a mighty paladin of the [[Silver Hand]], who sacrificed his soul to claim the runeblade [[Frostmourne]] in a desperate bid to save his people. The rest are primarily made up of other fallen [[paladins]] whose souls were twisted and bound to the will of the [[Frozen Throne]] <ref name="warcraftIII">{{ref web
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Years after the destruction of [[Draenor]], the immensely powerful [[The Lich King|Lich King]] created a new breed of death knights: malevolent, rune-wielding warriors of the Scourge. The first and greatest of these was the Lich King's chosen champion, Prince [[Arthas Menethil]], once a mighty paladin of the [[Silver Hand]] who sacrificed his soul to claim the runeblade [[Frostmourne]] in a desperate bid to save his people. The rest are primarily made up of other fallen [[paladin]]s whose souls were twisted and bound to the will of the [[Frozen Throne]] <ref name="warcraftIII">{{ref web
 
|url=http://classic.battle.net/war3/undead/units/deathknight.shtml
 
|url=http://classic.battle.net/war3/undead/units/deathknight.shtml
 
|title=Death Knight
 
|title=Death Knight
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|accessdate=2009-06-20}}</ref>.
 
|accessdate=2009-06-20}}</ref>.
   
Unlike Gul'dan's death knights, these dark champions possess unholy strength; however, they do not possess free will and their minds are inexorably entwined with and dominated by the Lich King's vast consciousness. Despite the potential loss of free will, some powerful mortals are intrigued by the promise of immortality and pledge their souls freely into the Lich King's service to achieve it. ([[Baron Rivendare]] is an example of this).
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Unlike Gul'dan's death knights, these dark champions possess unholy strength; however, they do not possess free will and their minds are inexorably entwined with and dominated by the Lich King's vast consciousness. Despite the potential loss of free will, some powerful mortals are intrigued by the promise of immortality and pledge their souls freely into the Lich King's service to achieve it. [[Baron Rivendare]] is an example of this.
   
 
In the years since Arthas shattered the Frozen Throne and merged with the Lich King, the power and fury of the death knights has only grown. Now these unrelenting crusaders of the damned eagerly await the Lich King's command to unleash their fury on Azeroth once again. Unlike death knights of the Old Horde, the [[Scourge]]'s death knights are not limited to their use of ranged spell casting abilities. In addition, these tireless death knights are considerably stronger, faster, and more agile than they were in life. However, both generations are equally destructive and terrifying to engage in the field of battle.<ref>{{ref web
 
In the years since Arthas shattered the Frozen Throne and merged with the Lich King, the power and fury of the death knights has only grown. Now these unrelenting crusaders of the damned eagerly await the Lich King's command to unleash their fury on Azeroth once again. Unlike death knights of the Old Horde, the [[Scourge]]'s death knights are not limited to their use of ranged spell casting abilities. In addition, these tireless death knights are considerably stronger, faster, and more agile than they were in life. However, both generations are equally destructive and terrifying to engage in the field of battle.<ref>{{ref web
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|accessdate=2009-06-20}}</ref>
 
|accessdate=2009-06-20}}</ref>
   
===The Ebon Blade===
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=== The Ebon Blade ===
 
A new group of death knights, the [[Death knights of Acherus]], was later created by the Lich King to garrison the [[necropolis]] of [[Acherus: The Ebon Hold]] for the ultimate purpose of assaulting [[Light's Hope Chapel]] and destroying the [[Argent Dawn]]. In the ''Wrath of the Lich King'' expansion, these death knights are freed from the will of the Lich King and ally themselves with their former factions. Working closely under the guiding blade of [[Highlord Darion Mograine]] and the bolstered [[Argent Crusade]], the newly-freed death knights have begun their march to Northrend.
 
A new group of death knights, the [[Death knights of Acherus]], was later created by the Lich King to garrison the [[necropolis]] of [[Acherus: The Ebon Hold]] for the ultimate purpose of assaulting [[Light's Hope Chapel]] and destroying the [[Argent Dawn]]. In the ''Wrath of the Lich King'' expansion, these death knights are freed from the will of the Lich King and ally themselves with their former factions. Working closely under the guiding blade of [[Highlord Darion Mograine]] and the bolstered [[Argent Crusade]], the newly-freed death knights have begun their march to Northrend.
   
 
The [[Knights of the Ebon Blade]] is a faction consisting of the renegade death knights that broke free of the Lich King's control after the battle of Light's Hope Chapel (in other words, player-created death knights). Led by [[Highlord Darion Mograine]], the Knights of the Ebon Blade have allied themselves with the Alliance and the Horde with the help of [[Highlord Tirion Fordring]] of the [[Knights of the Silver Hand]], and have pledged to do their part in defeating their former master, the Lich King. Their main base is Acherus: The Ebon Hold, taken from the Scourge after breaking free. It should be noted that the Knights of the Ebon Blade are not a separate player faction such as the Alliance and Horde. For the purposes of gameplay, player-created death knights still belong to either the Alliance or Horde depending on their race/faction.
 
The [[Knights of the Ebon Blade]] is a faction consisting of the renegade death knights that broke free of the Lich King's control after the battle of Light's Hope Chapel (in other words, player-created death knights). Led by [[Highlord Darion Mograine]], the Knights of the Ebon Blade have allied themselves with the Alliance and the Horde with the help of [[Highlord Tirion Fordring]] of the [[Knights of the Silver Hand]], and have pledged to do their part in defeating their former master, the Lich King. Their main base is Acherus: The Ebon Hold, taken from the Scourge after breaking free. It should be noted that the Knights of the Ebon Blade are not a separate player faction such as the Alliance and Horde. For the purposes of gameplay, player-created death knights still belong to either the Alliance or Horde depending on their race/faction.
   
=== Notable death knights ===
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== Notable death knights ==
==== Horde ====
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{| class="darktable" style="margin:0; width:100%;"
*{{Neutral}}{{RaceIconExt|Teron}} [[Teron Gorefiend]] (The first Death Knight created by [[Gul'dan]])
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|- valign="top"
*{{Neutral}}{{RaceIconExt|UndeadDeathKnight}} [[Ragnok Bloodreaver]]
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|'''Horde {{Horde}}'''<br />
*{{Neutral}}{{RaceIconExt|UndeadDeathKnight}}[[Gaz Soulripper]]
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{{NPC|Neutral|Teron Gorefiend|smallicon=IconSmall Teron.gif}}<br />
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{{NPC|Neutral|Ragnok Bloodreaver|smallicon=IconSmall UndeadDeathKnight.gif}}<br />
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{{NPC|Neutral|Gaz Soulripper|smallicon=IconSmall UndeadDeathKnight.gif}}
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|'''Scourge'''<br />
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{{NPC|Neutral|Arthas Menethil|smallicon=IconSmall ArthasDK.gif}}<br />
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{{NPC|Neutral|Alexandros Mograine|smallicon=IconSmall Mograine.gif}}<br />
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{{NPC|Neutral|Baron Rivendare|smallicon=IconSmall DeathKnight.gif}}<br />
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{{NPC|Neutral|Lord Alexei Barov|smallicon=IconSmall Cultist Male.gif}}<br />
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{{NPC|Horde|Trag Highmountain|smallicon=IconSmall Trag.gif}}<br />
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{{NPC|Horde|Deathbringer Saurfang|smallicon=IconSmall Dranosh.gif}}
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|'''Ebon Blade {{FactionIcon2|Knights of the Ebon Blade|Small}}'''<br />
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{{NPC|Neutral|Darion Mograine|smallicon=IconSmall Darion.gif}}<br />
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{{NPC|Horde|Koltira Deathweaver|smallicon=IconSmall BloodElfDeathKnight Male.gif}}<br />
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{{NPC|Alliance|Thassarian|smallicon=IconSmall HumanDeathKnight Male.gif}}
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|'''Shadowfang Keep'''<br />
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{{NPC|Neutral|Commander Springvale|smallicon=IconSmall HumanDeathKnight Male.gif}}
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|}
   
==== Scourge ====
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== Races ==
*{{Neutral}}{{RaceIconExt|ArthasDK}} [[Arthas Menethil]] (Former {{RaceIconExt|LichKing|Small}} [[The Lich King|Lich King]]; slain by the forces of the [[Ashen Verdict]])
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{{main|Death knight races}}
*{{Neutral}}{{RaceIconExt|Mograine}} [[Alexandros Mograine]] (Former leader of the [[Four Horsemen]]; freed from undeath by his [[Darion Mograine|son]])
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<tabber>
*{{Neutral}}{{RaceIconExt|DeathKnight}} [[Baron Rivendare]] (Former leader of [[Stratholme]]; leader of the [[Four Horsemen]])
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Races=
*{{Neutral}}{{RaceIcon|Cultist|Male|Small}} [[Lord Alexei Barov]] (Former owner of [[Caer Darrow]], [[Brill]], [[Southshore]], and [[Tarren Mill]])
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The death knight class can be played by the following races, with the following stats:
*{{Horde}}{{RaceIconExt|Trag}} [[Trag Highmountain]] (Raised into undeath by the [[Orb of Ner'zhul]])
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{{:Death knight races}}
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|-|
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TCG images=
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<gallery>
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AhkaraDeathKnightTCG.jpg|Draenei
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Ansem, Timewalker DeathbladeDKTCG.jpg|Human
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</gallery>
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</tabber>
   
==== Ebon Blade ====
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== Role ==
*{{Neutral}}{{RaceIconExt|Darion}} [[Darion Mograine]] (Highlord of the Ebon Blade)
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In general, the death knight can be considered a hybrid melee class that combines damage dealing and tanking, somewhat akin to warriors. They wear plate armor and are able to dual-wield or use two-handed blade weapons (and maces, as revealed later). Like druids and monks, they tank without shields. Their tanking mechanics involve high armor and a high chance to parry.<ref>{{ref web
*{{Horde}}{{RaceIcon|BloodElfDeathKnight|Male}} [[Koltira Deathweaver]] (Horde representative)
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|url=http://pc.gamespy.com/pc/world-of-warcraft-wrath-of-the-lich-king/872730p1.html
*{{Alliance}}{{RaceIcon|HumanDeathKnight|Male}} [[Thassarian]] (Alliance representative)
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|author=Gerald Villoria
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|title=Enter the Death Knight
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|date=May 9, 2008
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|accessdate=2009-06-20
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|publisher=GameSpy}}</ref> Death knight tanks depend on a combination of high damage abilities, in addition to high threat abilities.
   
==== Shadowfang keep ====
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Like every other class, the death knight has three different specializations; the differences between them are not as clear-cut as those of other classes, both for PvP and PvE environments. Notably, death knights can tank or deal damage regardless of specialization, although a careful selection is still required to bolster their preferred role. In patch 4.0.1, the roles became more defined, with Blood becoming the Tank specialization tree, and the others being DPS.
*{{Neutral}}{{RaceIconExt|HumanDeathKnight|Male}} [[Commander Springvale]] (Chief wardens)
 
   
== Hero Class Overview ==
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'''Blood''' enhances the death knight's melee abilities and damage and vastly improves the ability to heal itself. As the name suggests, the special abilities it grants through talents are based on the [[Blood Rune]]s. Blood also provides healing utility to party and raids and has some very useful buffs and debuffs that the death knight can cast on others. Blood is considered the tree for [[soloing]] and should be given a thought when it comes time to level your Death Knight. Many 80-85 dks suggest to start as unholy and then switch to your blood spec depending on what suits you best.
Death knights in [[Wrath of the Lich King]] are a new class mirroring their previous incarnations. While boasting powerful melee abilities, as well as plate armor, these warriors supplement their strength with dark magic. Calling upon a [[rune system]] of magic, the death knight may summon unholy, blood, and frost spells. The criterion for creating a death knight is the existence of a level 55+ character on the player's account on any realm<ref>http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/wrath/features/deathknight/gameplay.xml</ref>.
 
   
=== Unlocking your death knight ===
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'''Frost''' enhances melee abilities and focuses on increasing both AoE and single target damage. It provides some very powerful direct damage abilities.
{{main|Starting a death knight}}
 
   
The death knight is the first hero class in ''World of Warcraft''. The death knight will start at level 55 in [[Acherus: The Ebon Hold]] over the [[Eastern Plaguelands]], with multiple spells and abilities ready to use, and a set of {{quality|uncommon}} gear. When you leave Ebon Hold, you will have a full set of {{quality|rare}} gear ready for [[Outland]]. Through the [[Death knight quests|death knight-specific quests]] in this necropolis and the surrounding areas, the character learns to master the power of the death knight and learns to use this new power for the will of the [[Lich King]]. Quests will take them outside the necropolis and into an area within the [[Scarlet Enclave]].
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'''Unholy''' enhances the death knight's diseases and damage over time spells, making them effective at [[AoE]] [[DPS]]. It also provides the death knight with a [[ghoul]] who is a permanent [[pet]], a [[gargoyle]] guardian he or she can [[summon]], and stronger [[disease]]s.
 
Players can create one death knight per realm, so long as they have a level 55 character already and the ''Wrath of the Lich King'' on their account. Currently the Pandaren cannot become death knights.
 
   
 
=== The Rune System ===
 
=== The Rune System ===
[[Image:Runes1.jpg|thumb|Runes as shown at BlizzCon 2007 (outdated).]]
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<gallery position="center">
[[Image:Betaframe.jpg|thumb|Early beta frame removed due to pet difficulties (outdated).]]
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Runes1.jpg|BlizzCon 2007
[[File:Death Knight portrait with runes.png|thumb|The final frame art used since WotLK public release.]]
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Betaframe.jpg|Early beta
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Death Knight portrait with runes.png|Final version
The death knight uses a unique [[Rune system|rune-based resource system]] to govern his/her spells and abilities. Three rune types exist: blood, frost, and unholy, each with an attached color and symbol. Using certain abilities exhausts one or more runes, starting a [[cooldown]] of 10 seconds. After the cooldown, the runes refresh. The death knight can use spells to turn a rune into a Death Rune, which can be used as a blood, frost, or unholy rune. In addition, whenever the death knight uses a rune ability against a foe, it builds up a certain amount of [[Runic Power]]. This Runic Power is only used by few abilities.<ref>{{ref web
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</gallery>
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Death knights use a unique [[Rune system|rune-based resource system]] to govern their spells and abilities. Three rune types exist: blood, frost, and unholy, each with an attached color and symbol. Using certain abilities exhausts one or more runes, starting a [[cooldown]] of 10 seconds. After the cooldown, the runes refresh. Death knights can use spells to turn a rune into a Death Rune, which can be used as a blood, frost, or unholy rune. In addition, whenever they use a rune ability against a foe, it builds up a certain amount of [[Runic Power]]. This Runic Power is only used by few abilities.<ref>{{ref web
 
|url=http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/32704
 
|url=http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/32704
 
|title=World of Warcraft: An In-Depth Look at the death knight
 
|title=World of Warcraft: An In-Depth Look at the death knight
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|publisher=Ten Ton Hammer
 
|publisher=Ten Ton Hammer
 
|date=May 9th, 2008
 
|date=May 9th, 2008
|accessdate=}}</ref> All abilities that use Runic Power use a set amount, like [[Death Coil (Death Knight)|Death Coil]]. Death knights cannot reallocate the number and type of runes - they are fixed to two runes of each type.<ref>http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=8202574912&pageNo=1&sid=2000#10</ref>
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|accessdate=}}</ref> All abilities that use Runic Power use a set amount. Death knights cannot reallocate the number and type of runes - they are fixed to two runes of each type.<ref>http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=8202574912&pageNo=1&sid=2000#10</ref>
   
 
The original player frame for death knights shown at BlizzCon was changed as feedback showed it was not ideal for displaying rune power for players.
 
The original player frame for death knights shown at BlizzCon was changed as feedback showed it was not ideal for displaying rune power for players.
   
[[Runeforging]] is a profession available only to death knights, providing permanent weapon enchants. The enchants work just like the permanent weapon enchants provided by [[Enchanting]], but are self-only and are designed specifically to benefit death knight class. These are independent of the rune resource system.
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== Specializations/stats ==
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{{tabber
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|Blood|
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{{:Death knight abilities/Blood abilities}}
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|Frost|
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{{:Death knight abilities/Frost abilities}}
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|Unholy|
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{{:Death knight abilities/Unholy abilities}}
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}}
   
===Character's Role===
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== Skills/Glyphs ==
In general, the death knight can be considered a hybrid melee class that combines damage dealing and tanking, somewhat akin to Warriors. They wear plate armor and are able to dual-wield or use two-handed blade weapons (and maces, as revealed later). Like druids, they tank without shields. Their tanking mechanics involve high armor and a high chance to parry.<ref>{{ref web
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{{tabber
|url=http://pc.gamespy.com/pc/world-of-warcraft-wrath-of-the-lich-king/872730p1.html
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|Core abilities|
|author=Gerald Villoria
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{{:Death knight abilities}}
|title=Enter the Death Knight
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|Passive abilities|
|date=May 9, 2008
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{{:Death knight abilities/Passive abilities}}
|accessdate=2009-06-20
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|Runeforging|
|publisher=GameSpy}}</ref> Death knights tanks depend on a combination of high damage abilities, in addition to high threat abilities, such as [[Death and Decay (death knight ability)|Death and Decay]] and [[Rune Strike]], to generate and hold [[aggro]].
 
 
Like every other class, the death knight has three different talent trees that enhance certain aspects of his or her specialties. However, the differences between the trees are not as clear-cut as those of other classes, both for PvP and PvE environments. Notably, death knights can tank or deal damage regardless in which talent tree they specialize, although a careful talent selection is still required to bolster their preferred role. In patch 4.0.1, the trees became more defined, with Blood becoming the Tank specialization tree, and the others being DPS.
 
 
'''[[Death knight talents|Blood]]''' enhances the death knight's melee abilities and damage and vastly improves the ability to heal itself. As the name suggests, the special abilities it grants through talents are based on the [[Blood Rune]]s. Blood also provides healing utility to party and raids and has some very useful buffs and debuffs that the death knight can cast on others, such as [[Unholy Frenzy]] and [[Blood Shield Mastery]], as well as providing a raid-wide 10% attack power buff ([[Abomination's Might]]). Blood is considered the tree for [[soloing]] and should be given a thought when it comes time to level your Death Knight. Many 80-85 dks suggest to start as unholy and then switch to your blood spec depending on what suits you best.
 
 
'''[[Death knight talents|Frost]]''' enhances melee abilities and focuses on increasing both AoE and single target damage. It provides some very powerful direct damage abilities like [[Frost Strike]] and [[Howling Blast]]. Parties and Raids also benefit from this talent tree by gaining a 20% melee attack speed haste ([[Improved Icy Talons]]).
 
 
'''[[Death knight talents|Unholy]]''' enhances the death knight's diseases and damage over time spells, making them effective at [[AoE]] [[DPS]]. It also provides the death knight with a [[ghoul]] who is a permanent [[pet]], a [[gargoyle]] guardian he or she can [[summon]], and stronger [[disease]]s. Raid and party utility is granted by a 13% increased magic damage debuff [[Ebon Plaguebringer]].
 
 
===Runeforging===
 
 
{{main|Runeforging}}
 
{{main|Runeforging}}
 
[[Image:Runeforge.jpg|thumb|Runeforge]]
 
[[Image:Runeforge.jpg|thumb|Runeforge]]
   
Runeforging allows the death knight to permanently enchant their weapon with enchants that are typically more powerful than enchants available to other classes. Death Knights can wear Relics in their ranged slot, but Relics are not enchant-able.
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Runeforging allows the death knight to permanently enchant their weapon with enchants that are typically more powerful than enchants available to other classes. The enchants work just like the permanent weapon enchants provided by [[Enchanting]], but are self-only and are designed specifically to benefit the death knight class. These are independent of the rune resource system.
   
A weapon can have an enchant from either runeforging or from [[Enchanting]], but not both together (the runeforging enchants are always better for the death knight). A player will have to be near a [[runeforge]] in order to forge a rune onto their weapon. Once a weapon has been engraved with a rune it is impossible for the rune to be removed, though it can be changed at a runeforge. Also even if it is not soulbound, once a weapon has been engraved with a rune it is impossible for that weapon to be traded.
+
A weapon can have an enchant from either runeforging or from [[Enchanting]], but not both together (the runeforging enchants are always better for the death knight). A player will have to be near a [[runeforge]] in order to forge a rune onto their weapon. Once a weapon has been engraved with a rune it is impossible for the rune to be removed, though it can be changed at a runeforge. Also, even if it is not soulbound, once a weapon has been engraved with a rune it is impossible for that weapon to be traded.
   
 
Runeforges can be found in [[Acherus: The Ebon Hold]] or in some of the [[Icecrown]] questing areas inside of the metal dams.
 
Runeforges can be found in [[Acherus: The Ebon Hold]] or in some of the [[Icecrown]] questing areas inside of the metal dams.
+
{{:Death knight abilities/Runeforging}}
== Races ==
+
|Talents|
{{main|Death knight races}}
+
{{:Death knight talents}}
+
|Glyphs|
The death knight class can be played by the following races, with the following stats:
+
{{:Glyph}}
{{:Death knight races}}
+
{{:Death knight glyphs}}
 
==Cataclysm changes {{Cata-inline}}==
 
===Tanking as blood===
 
{{Bluepost|poster=Ghostcrawler|title=Death Knights will tank as Blood in Cataclysm|date=04/06/2010 02:45:04 PM PDT|link=http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=24038461060&sid=1&pageNo=1|body=
 
We're doing our Cataclysm preview on the death knight changes later this week, but we knew one change risked overshadowing all the others, so we figured we'd go ahead and drop the proverbial Blood bomb today.
 
 
In Cataclysm, death knights will have a dedicated tanking tree, much like the other three tank classes. That tree will be Blood.
 
 
We’ll go into more detail in the upcoming preview, but we wanted to take the opportunity to explain the reasoning for such a big change.
 
 
Why the about face? We actually thought the “tri tank” experiment worked out okay. We suspected there would always be a “best” tanking tree, because that’s the way these things shake out, but we hoped it would be close enough that many players could tank with their favorite tree. When we tried out this design for Wrath of the Lich King, we were using it as a test case to see if we wanted to do similar things with the warrior and paladin talent trees.
 
 
A lot has happened since that time. We introduced the dual-spec feature, allowing players to have a tanking spec and dps spec that they could switch between. We introduced Dungeon Finder, which makes it easier to find players who want to tank, and even let players level up using a dedicated tank spec. In Cataclysm, we are introducing the concept of passive talent tree bonuses and we think that feature is a lot stronger when the talent tree has a particular focus (such as damage, tanking or healing). For example, it’s safer to give more passive damage to a tanking tree than we can a dps tree. Above all, we were just spending a lot of effort trying to balance three trees (though it was really six trees, since each tree was trying to do two things).
 
 
It started to feel unfair to the other tank classes that we had to spend so much effort tweaking three types of DK tanks, and it even started to feel unfair to the DK that we couldn’t focus their tanking experience. One bit of feedback that really struck home was the DK players who said, essentially, “I look at the Protection tree and I’m jealous of all of the cool tools they have to help their tanking. As a DK, I have to pick and choose tanking talents from within a sea of dps talents.” Rather than have a strong focus, the trees felt a little watered down because they were trying to do so much. With Frost as a dual-wield, spell and runic power focused tree, Unholy as a disease and minion focused tree, and Blood as a self-healing, defensive cooldown, tanking tree, we think the focus of each tree is a lot clearer and cooler.
 
 
In Cataclysm, Blood will be the death knight version of a Protection tree. It will have passive talent tree bonuses that reflect tanking. It will have tools, such as a Demo Shout equivalent, necessary for tanking. Several of the more fun tanking talents from Frost and Unholy will be moved into Blood. We will be able to revise (or even remove) clunky mechanics like Rune Strike and focus on letting DKs generate threat with their normal Blood tanking rotation.
 
 
This is major change, and we understand it will be met with some disappointment from players who really liked the flexibility, those who appreciated the unorthodox talent tree design, or those few of you who really liked Blood dps. Nevertheless, we are convinced that this is the right change for the game.
 
 
More exciting death knight news coming up soon in the preview.
 
 
}}
 
}}
   
===General preview===
+
== Suggested professions ==
{{Bluepost|poster=Zarhym|title=Cataclysm Class Preview: Death Knight|time=04/08/2010 05:59:39 PM PDT|link=http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=24262356308&sid=1|body=
+
{{sectionstub}}
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will bring with it several changes to class talents and abilities. In this preview, you'll get a glimpse at some of the new abilities, spells, and talents in store for the death knight class, along with an early look at some improvements we plan to make to the rune resource system.
+
* {{prof|Blacksmithing}} and {{prof|Mining}} are logical choices for any [[Plate armor]] wearing class. This allows crafting decent armor as one levels and sometimes good weapons also. Death knights need to play catch up usually, since they start leveling from the mid 50s. So, they have to visit several low level zones to build up their Mining skill.
  +
* {{prof|Alchemy}} and {{prof|Herbalism}} can be useful for death knights with non-{{spec|Death knight|Blood}} specialization who need quick potion heals and various buffs from elixirs and flasks. These professions are also good all around for making money and supplying guild runs.
  +
* {{prof|Cooking}} is good for any non-healing class for non-combat health regeneration and provides good buff foods.
  +
* {{prof|First Aid}} is good for any non-healing class for in-combat health regeneration and low downtime regeneration.
  +
* {{prof|Fishing}} is good for leveling cooking.
   
====New Death Knight Abilities====
+
== Notes ==
  +
* [[Blizzard Entertainment|Blizzard]]'s original '''death knight''' concept was that of an undead spellcaster unit that made its initial appearance in ''[[Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness]]''.<ref>{{ref web
  +
|url=http://classic.battle.net/war2/units/deathknight.shtml|publisher={{Blizz}} Blizzard|accessdate=2009-06-20|title=Death Knight}}</ref> This death knight could be more accurately described as a horseback-mounted lich rather than the traditional undead warrior. Years later, Blizzard introduced a new death knight hero unit in ''[[Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos]]'', and this second rendition was revised to reflect the general characteristics of the more traditional death knight design.<ref name="warcraftIII" /> The death knight was later adapted as a [[prestige class]] within the ''[[Warcraft RPG]]'' and they were former [[paladin warrior]]s.{{Cite|A&HC|24}} It is the Warcraft III version of the death knight that became the first [[hero class]] in ''World of Warcraft'' and was introduced in the ''[[World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King]]'' expansion.
   
;{{ability|Outbreak (death knight ability)|Outbreak}} (level 81): Outbreak infects the target with both {{ability|Frost Fever}} and {{ability|Blood Plague}} at no rune cost. This ability allows death knights to apply diseases quickly when they are switching targets or when their diseases have been dispelled.
+
== Media ==
+
=== Art ===
;{{ability|Necrotic Strike}} (level 83): Necrotic Strike is a new attack that deals weapon damage and applies a debuff that absorbs an amount of healing based on the damage done. For context, imagine that the death knight can choose between doing 8,000 damage outright with a certain ability, or dealing 6,000 damage and absorbing 4,000 points in incoming heals with Necrotic Strike -- the burst is smaller, but a larger overall amount of healing would be required to bring the target back to full health.
+
<gallery widths="186">
:This ability is meant to bring back some of the old flavor from when death knights could dispel heal-over-time (HoT) effects. It also gives the class a bit more PvP utility without simply replicating a Mortal Strike-style effect.
 
 
;{{ability|Dark Simulacrum}} (level 85): The death knight strikes a target, applying a debuff that allows the death knight to copy the opponent's next spell cast and unleash it. Unlike {{ability|Spell Reflection}}, Dark Simulacrum does not cancel the incoming spell. In general, if you can't reflect an ability, you won't be able to copy it either.
 
 
====Rune System Changes====
 
 
While we're satisfied with the way the rune system works overall, we're making a few major changes to the mechanics that will ultimately help death knight players feel less constrained. Here's the rationale behind the changes, followed by an explanation of how the new system will work.
 
* In the current rune system, any time a rune is sitting idle, death knights are losing out on potential damage output. By comparison, rogues spend most of their time at low energy levels, and if they're unable to use their skills for a few seconds, that energy builds up and can be spent later, minimizing the net loss from the interruption.
 
* A death knight's runes, on the other hand, cannot be used until they are fully active. If a death knight ever goes more than a few seconds without spending an available rune, that resource is essentially wasted. Because the death knight is pushing buttons constantly, it can be difficult to add new mechanics to the class because the player doesn't have any free global cooldowns to use them. We can't grant extra resources or reduced cost, because there is no time to spend them. Missing an attack is devastating, and it's impossible to save resources for when they're most useful.
 
* Additionally, each individual death knight ability has a fairly low impact on its own, making it feel like most of the death knight's attacks are weak. The death knight's rotations are also more easily affected by latency or a player's timing being just a little off. At times, it feels like death knights aren't able to take advantage of their unique resource mechanic, which can diminish the fun.
 
* The new rune system will change how runes regenerate, from filling simultaneously to filling sequentially. For example, if you use two Blood runes, then the first rune will fill up before the second one starts to fill up. Essentially, you have three sets of runes filling every 10 seconds instead of six individual runes filling every 10 seconds. (Haste will cause runes to fill faster.) Another way to think of this is having three runes that go up to 200% each (allowing extra "storage"), rather than six runes that go up to 100% each.
 
* As this is a major change to the death knight's mechanics, it will of course require us to retune many of the class's current abilities. For example, each ability needs to hit harder or otherwise be more meaningful since the death knight is getting fewer resources per unit of time. Some abilities will need to have their costs reduced as a result.
 
 
====Talent Changes====
 
 
Next we'll outline some of the death knight talent-tree changes we're planning in Cataclysm. This list is by no means comprehensive, but it should give you a sense of how we're intending each death knight spec to perform.
 
 
* One of the biggest changes we're making is converting Blood into a dedicated tanking tree. While we feel that having three tanking trees was successful overall, it's less necessary in a world with dual-specialization. In addition, the current breakdown isn't as compatible with the Mastery-based passive talent-tree bonuses we want to add (see below). We'd rather spend time tweaking and balancing one good tanking tree rather than having a tank always wondering if they picked the "correct" tree out of three possibilities.
 
* Blood seemed like the best fit for tanking. Unholy has always had a strong niche with diseases, magic, and command over pets. Frost now feels like a solid dual-wield tree with Frost magic damage and decent crowd control. Blood's niche was self-healing -- fitting for a tank -- as well as strong weapon swings, which could easily be migrated to Frost and Unholy.
 
* Our plan is to move the most interesting and fun tanking talents and abilities to Blood. For example, you will likely see {{ability|Vampiric Blood}} and {{ability|Will of the Necropolis}} remain, while {{ability|Bone Shield}} will move over from Unholy.
 
 
====Mastery Passive Talent Tree Bonuses====
 
 
;Blood
 
#Damage reduction
 
#Vengeance
 
#Healing Absorption: When you heal yourself, you'll receive an additional effect that absorbs incoming damage.
 
 
;Frost
 
#Melee damage
 
#Melee Haste
 
#Runic Power Generation: This will function as the name implies, and the new rune system will make generating Runic Power more appealing.
 
 
;Unholy
 
#Melee damage
 
#Melee and spell critical damage
 
#Disease Damage: Unholy death knights will be able to get more out of their diseases, which are integral to the tree's play style.
 
 
;Vengeance: This new mechanic is designed to ensure that tank damage output (and therefore threat) doesn't fall behind as damage-dealing classes improve their gear during the course of the expansion. All tanking specs will have Vengeance as their second talent tree passive bonus. Whenever a tank gets hit, Vengeance will grant a stacking Attack Power buff equal to 5% of the damage done, up to a maximum of 10% of the character's unbuffed health. For boss encounters, we expect that tanks will always have an Attack Power bonus equal to 10% of their health. The 5% and 10% bonuses assume 51 talent points have been put into the Blood tree; these values will be smaller at lower levels.
 
 
You only get the Vengeance bonus if you have spent the most talent points in the Blood tree, so you won't see Frost or Unholy death knights running around with it. Vengeance will let us continue to design tank gear more or less the way we do today; there will be some damage-dealing stats, but mostly survival-oriented stats. Druids typically have more damage-dealing stats even on their tanking gear, so their Vengeance benefit may be smaller, but the goal is that all four tanks will do about the same damage when tanking.
 
 
We hope you enjoyed this preview, and we're looking forward to hearing your thoughts and feedback on these additions and changes. Please keep in mind that this information represents a work in progress and is subject to change as development on Cataclysm continues.
 
}}
 
 
==Concept artwork==
 
<gallery>
 
 
Image:Death Knight06.jpg|Death knight concept art
 
Image:Death Knight06.jpg|Death knight concept art
 
Image:Death Knight02.jpg|Death knight concept art
 
Image:Death Knight02.jpg|Death knight concept art
 
Image:DeathKnightRaneman2.jpg|Death knight art by [[Raneman]]
 
Image:DeathKnightRaneman2.jpg|Death knight art by [[Raneman]]
 
Image:DeathKnightRaneman.jpg|Death knight art by [[Raneman]]
 
Image:DeathKnightRaneman.jpg|Death knight art by [[Raneman]]
  +
elf svanka wow copy.jpg|Night elf DK
  +
 
</gallery>
 
</gallery>
   
==Videos==
+
=== Videos ===
{| class="darktable"
+
<gallery widths="195">
|- valign=top
+
World of Warcraft - Death Knight intro (Directx 11)|Death knight intro
! colspan=2 | New abilities and talents preview by [http://www.youtube.com/tgnWorldofWarcraft TGN]
+
WoW Pro Lore The Scourge of Lordaeron|Arthas, the first of the Lich King's Death Knights
|-
+
Crash Course - Death Knight|Crash Course
! Part 1 || Part 2
+
</gallery>
|-
 
! <youtube>X-O1g25QP-I</youtube>
 
! <youtube>3bJqBAu3N4c</youtube>
 
|}
 
{| class="darktable"
 
|- valign=top
 
! colspan=2 | DPS Rundown by [http://www.youtube.com/tgnWorldofWarcraft TGN]
 
|-
 
! Frost || Unholy
 
|-
 
! <youtube>GREmV_ml9LM</youtube>
 
! <youtube>wqyj8bxMZlE</youtube>
 
|}
 
<br><br>
 
{| class="darktable"
 
|-
 
! Death knight intro !! WotLK Beta
 
|-
 
|<youtube>3ZZEvRo2eFo</youtube><!--Can't seem to find any without nameplates active. Replace if you do.-->
 
|<youtube>sMXTbEVOWvs</youtube>
 
|}
 
   
==See also==
+
== See also ==
*[[Death Knight builds]]
 
 
*[[Death knight organizations]]
 
*[[Death knight organizations]]
 
*[[List of death knights]]
 
*[[List of death knights]]
Line 142: Line 146:
   
 
== Patch changes ==
 
== Patch changes ==
  +
* {{Patch 4.0.1|note=See [[Death Knight/Cataclysm changes]].}}
 
* {{Patch 3.0.8|note=All multi-[[rune]] abilities generate 15 [[runic power]].}}
 
* {{Patch 3.0.8|note=All multi-[[rune]] abilities generate 15 [[runic power]].}}
   
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[[de:Todesritter]]
 
[[de:Todesritter]]
 
[[es:Death Knight]]
 
[[es:Death Knight]]
[[fr:Chevalier de la Mort]]
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[[fr:Chevalier de la Mort (Classe jouable)]]
 
[[it:Death Knight]]
 
[[it:Death Knight]]
 
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[[pl:Death Knight]]
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[[Category:Scourge]]
 
[[Category:Scourge]]
 
[[Category:Classes]]
 
[[Category:Classes]]
[[Category:Death knights| ]]
 

Latest revision as of 21:44, October 20, 2014

This article is about the hero class in World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King. For other uses, see Death Knight (disambiguation).
"DK" redirects here. For the old PvP mechanic, see Dishonorable Kill.
See also: Starting a death knight
When the Lich King's control of his death knights was broken, his former champions sought revenge for the horrors committed under his command. After their vengeance was won, the death knights found themselves without a cause and without a home. One by one they trickled into the land of the living in search of a new purpose.
Death knight crest

Death knights (introduced in Wrath of the Lich King) boast powerful melee abilities, as well as plate armor. These warriors supplement their strength with dark magic. Calling upon a rune system of magic, the death knight may summon unholy, blood, and frost spells. The criterion for creating a death knight is the existence of a level 55+ character on the player's account on any realm[1].

The death knight is the first hero class in World of Warcraft. Death knights start at level 55 in Acherus: The Ebon Hold over the Eastern Plaguelands, with multiple spells and abilities ready to use, and a set of uncommon gear. When departing Ebon Hold, they have a full set of rare gear ready for Outland. Through the death knight-specific quests in this necropolis and the surrounding areas, they learn to master the power of the death knight and learn to use this new power for the will of the Lich King. Quests take them outside the necropolis and into an area within the Scarlet Enclave.

Before patch 5.3, players could only create one death knight per realm, so long as they have a level 55 character already and Wrath of the Lich King on their account. Now players are able to create multiple death knights on one realm. Currently the Pandaren cannot become death knights.

Lore Edit

Death knight is a name shared by several organizations of powerful necromancers. These orders share a few things in common, including riding horses with horned skulls and many of the same abilities. Playable death knights, however, are specifically death knights of the Scourge.

Immortal Soldiers of the Horde Edit

Deathknight2

Death Knight by Red Knuckle.

Dwarf death knight

Dwarf death knight

Deathknight-fromofficialsite

Human death knight

Deathknighttrailer

Death knight as depicted in a teaser (very early concept).

Main article: Death knight (Warcraft II)

The original death knights were created for Orgrim Doomhammer by Gul'dan as powerful soldiers of the Horde. These death knights were created by placing the souls of the slain warlocks of the Shadow Council into the corpses of fallen Stormwind knights, the first of whom was Teron Gorefiend. Unlike modern death knights of the Scourge, these ghoulish fiends were not battle hardened warriors; they were insidious necromancers who possessed superior intellect and tremendous magical power. They often favored the use of terror tactics and reanimated the corpses of enemy soldiers who fell in battle to serve them as mindless undead minions.

Most of these death knights were destroyed during and after the Second War, either killed by the Alliance or transformed into liches by Kil'jaeden.

Champions of the Lich King Edit

Years after the destruction of Draenor, the immensely powerful Lich King created a new breed of death knights: malevolent, rune-wielding warriors of the Scourge. The first and greatest of these was the Lich King's chosen champion, Prince Arthas Menethil, once a mighty paladin of the Silver Hand who sacrificed his soul to claim the runeblade Frostmourne in a desperate bid to save his people. The rest are primarily made up of other fallen paladins whose souls were twisted and bound to the will of the Frozen Throne [2].

Unlike Gul'dan's death knights, these dark champions possess unholy strength; however, they do not possess free will and their minds are inexorably entwined with and dominated by the Lich King's vast consciousness. Despite the potential loss of free will, some powerful mortals are intrigued by the promise of immortality and pledge their souls freely into the Lich King's service to achieve it. Baron Rivendare is an example of this.

In the years since Arthas shattered the Frozen Throne and merged with the Lich King, the power and fury of the death knights has only grown. Now these unrelenting crusaders of the damned eagerly await the Lich King's command to unleash their fury on Azeroth once again. Unlike death knights of the Old Horde, the Scourge's death knights are not limited to their use of ranged spell casting abilities. In addition, these tireless death knights are considerably stronger, faster, and more agile than they were in life. However, both generations are equally destructive and terrifying to engage in the field of battle.[3]

The Ebon Blade Edit

A new group of death knights, the Death knights of Acherus, was later created by the Lich King to garrison the necropolis of Acherus: The Ebon Hold for the ultimate purpose of assaulting Light's Hope Chapel and destroying the Argent Dawn. In the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, these death knights are freed from the will of the Lich King and ally themselves with their former factions. Working closely under the guiding blade of Highlord Darion Mograine and the bolstered Argent Crusade, the newly-freed death knights have begun their march to Northrend.

The Knights of the Ebon Blade is a faction consisting of the renegade death knights that broke free of the Lich King's control after the battle of Light's Hope Chapel (in other words, player-created death knights). Led by Highlord Darion Mograine, the Knights of the Ebon Blade have allied themselves with the Alliance and the Horde with the help of Highlord Tirion Fordring of the Knights of the Silver Hand, and have pledged to do their part in defeating their former master, the Lich King. Their main base is Acherus: The Ebon Hold, taken from the Scourge after breaking free. It should be noted that the Knights of the Ebon Blade are not a separate player faction such as the Alliance and Horde. For the purposes of gameplay, player-created death knights still belong to either the Alliance or Horde depending on their race/faction.

Notable death knights Edit

Horde Official horde mini-icon

Neutral 15 IconSmall Teron Teron Gorefiend
Neutral 15 IconSmall UndeadDeathKnight Ragnok Bloodreaver
Neutral 15 IconSmall UndeadDeathKnight Gaz Soulripper

Scourge

Neutral 15 IconSmall ArthasDK Arthas Menethil
Neutral 15 IconSmall Mograine Alexandros Mograine
Neutral 15 IconSmall DeathKnight Baron Rivendare
Neutral 15 IconSmall Cultist Male Lord Alexei Barov
Official horde mini-icon IconSmall Trag Trag Highmountain
Official horde mini-icon IconSmall Dranosh Deathbringer Saurfang

Ebon Blade Knights of the Ebon Blade 15

Neutral 15 IconSmall Darion Darion Mograine
Official horde mini-icon IconSmall BloodElfDeathKnight Male Koltira Deathweaver
Official alliance mini-icon IconSmall HumanDeathKnight Male Thassarian

Shadowfang Keep

Neutral 15 IconSmall HumanDeathKnight Male Commander Springvale

Races Edit

Main article: Death knight races

The death knight class can be played by the following races, with the following stats:

Sortable table
Race Strength Agility Stamina Intellect Spirit Armor Health** New Health
Official alliance mini-icon IconSmall DraeneiDeathKnight MaleIconSmall DraeneiDeathKnight Female Wrath-Logo-Small 109 70 99 29 44* 140 2169 2939
Official alliance mini-icon IconSmall DwarfDeathKnight MaleIconSmall DwarfDeathKnight Female Wrath-Logo-Small 113* 69 100* 28 41 138 2179 2979*
Official alliance mini-icon IconSmall GnomeDeathKnight MaleIconSmall GnomeDeathKnight Female Wrath-Logo-Small 103 75 99 33* 42 159 2169 2939
Official alliance mini-icon IconSmall HumanDeathKnight MaleIconSmall HumanDeathKnight Female Wrath-Logo-Small 108 73 99 29 43 146 2169 2949
Official alliance mini-icon IconSmall NightElfDeathKnight MaleIconSmall NightElfDeathKnight Female Wrath-Logo-Small 104 77* 99 29 42 154 2169 2939
Official alliance mini-icon IconSmall Worgen MaleIconSmall Worgen Female Cataclysm-Logo-Small 111 75 99 25 41 0 2169 2949
Official horde mini-icon IconSmall BloodElfDeathKnight MaleIconSmall BloodElfDeathKnight Female Wrath-Logo-Small 105 75* 99 32* 40 150 2169 2929
Official horde mini-icon IconSmall Undead MaleIconSmall Undead Female Wrath-Logo-Small 107 71 99 27 47* 142 2169 2959
Official horde mini-icon IconSmall GoblinDeathKnight MaleIconSmall GoblinDeathKnight Female Cataclysm-Logo-Small 105 75* 99 32* 40 0 2169 2949
Official horde mini-icon IconSmall OrcDeathKnight MaleIconSmall OrcDeathKnight Female Wrath-Logo-Small 111 70 100* 26 44 140 2179 2969
Official horde mini-icon IconSmall TaurenDeathKnight MaleIconSmall TaurenDeathKnight Female Wrath-Logo-Small 113* 69 100* 25 44 138 2246 3117***
Official horde mini-icon IconSmall UndeadTroll MaleIconSmall UndeadTroll Female Wrath-Logo-Small 109 75* 99 25 43 150 2169 2959

Role Edit

In general, the death knight can be considered a hybrid melee class that combines damage dealing and tanking, somewhat akin to warriors. They wear plate armor and are able to dual-wield or use two-handed blade weapons (and maces, as revealed later). Like druids and monks, they tank without shields. Their tanking mechanics involve high armor and a high chance to parry.[4] Death knight tanks depend on a combination of high damage abilities, in addition to high threat abilities.

Like every other class, the death knight has three different specializations; the differences between them are not as clear-cut as those of other classes, both for PvP and PvE environments. Notably, death knights can tank or deal damage regardless of specialization, although a careful selection is still required to bolster their preferred role. In patch 4.0.1, the roles became more defined, with Blood becoming the Tank specialization tree, and the others being DPS.

Blood enhances the death knight's melee abilities and damage and vastly improves the ability to heal itself. As the name suggests, the special abilities it grants through talents are based on the Blood Runes. Blood also provides healing utility to party and raids and has some very useful buffs and debuffs that the death knight can cast on others. Blood is considered the tree for soloing and should be given a thought when it comes time to level your Death Knight. Many 80-85 dks suggest to start as unholy and then switch to your blood spec depending on what suits you best.

Frost enhances melee abilities and focuses on increasing both AoE and single target damage. It provides some very powerful direct damage abilities.

Unholy enhances the death knight's diseases and damage over time spells, making them effective at AoE DPS. It also provides the death knight with a ghoul who is a permanent pet, a gargoyle guardian he or she can summon, and stronger diseases.

The Rune System Edit

Death knights use a unique rune-based resource system to govern their spells and abilities. Three rune types exist: blood, frost, and unholy, each with an attached color and symbol. Using certain abilities exhausts one or more runes, starting a cooldown of 10 seconds. After the cooldown, the runes refresh. Death knights can use spells to turn a rune into a Death Rune, which can be used as a blood, frost, or unholy rune. In addition, whenever they use a rune ability against a foe, it builds up a certain amount of Runic Power. This Runic Power is only used by few abilities.[5] All abilities that use Runic Power use a set amount. Death knights cannot reallocate the number and type of runes - they are fixed to two runes of each type.[6]

The original player frame for death knights shown at BlizzCon was changed as feedback showed it was not ideal for displaying rune power for players.

Specializations/stats Edit

A dark guardian who manipulates and corrupts life energy to sustain himself in the face of an enemy onslaught.
- Official description
Stat priority
  • Mastery Rating
  • Hit Rating and Expertise Rating (until 7.5% of each)
  • Dodge Rating and Parry Rating
  • Haste Rating
DarkCommandTCG

Dark Command

RuneStrikeTCG

Rune Strike

BloodParasiteTCG

Blood Parasite

Icon Ability Min Level
Spell deathknight bloodtap [Blood Rites] Starts with
Inv shield 71 [Vengeance] Starts with
Spell misc warsongfocus [Veteran of the Third War] Starts with
Spell nature shamanrage [Dark Command] 58
Inv weapon shortblade 40 [Heart Strike] 60
Ability rogue bloodyeye [Scent of Blood] 62
Spell deathknight bloodpresence [Improved Blood Presence] 64
Spell deathknight runetap [Rune Tap] 64
Spell deathknight darkconviction [Rune Strike] 65
Icon Ability Min Level
Spell shadow soulleech [Blood Parasite] 66
Ability rogue vendetta [Scarlet Fever] 68
Ability creature cursed 02 [Will of the Necropolis] 70
Ability deathknight sanguinfortitude [Sanguine Fortitude] 72
Inv sword 07 [Dancing Rune Weapon] 74
Spell shadow lifedrain [Vampiric Blood] 76
Ability warrior riposte [Riposte] 76
Ability deathknight boneshield [Bone Shield] 78
Spell deathknight deathstrike [Mastery: Blood Shield] 80
An icy harbinger of doom, channeling runic power and delivering vicious weapon strikes.
- Official description
Stat priority
  • Strength
  • Expertise Rating (until 7.5%)
  • Hit Rating (until 7.5%)
  • Mastery Rating (2H - Haste)
  • Haste Rating (2H - Critical Strike Rating)
  • Critical Strike Rating (2H - Mastery)
  • Hit Rating (past 7.5%, up to 26.5%) (Dual-wield only)
FrostStrikeTCG

Frost Strike

ObliterateTCG

Obliterate

Icon Ability Min Level
Inv weapon shortblade 79 [Blood of the North] Starts with
Spell deathknight empowerruneblade2 [Frost Strike] Starts with
Spell frost arcticwinds [Howling Blast] Starts with
Spell deathknight icytalons [Icy Talons] Starts with
Spell deathknight classicon [Obliterate] 58
Inv helmet 08 [Unholy Aura] 60
Inv sword 122 [Killing Machine] 63
Icon Ability Min Level
Spell deathknight frostpresence [Improved Frost Presence] 65
Ability deathknight brittlebones [Brittle Bones] 66
Ability deathknight pillaroffrost [Pillar of Frost] 68
Spell frost freezingbreath [Rime] 70
Inv sword 120 [Might of the Frozen Wastes] 74
Ability dualwieldspecialization [Threat of Thassarian] 74
Inv misc gem sapphire 01 [Mastery: Frozen Heart] 80
A master of death and decay, spreading disease and controlling undead minions to do her bidding.
- Official description
Stat priority
  • Strength
  • Hit and Expertise Rating (until 7.5% of each)
  • Haste Rating
  • Critical Strike Rating
  • Mastery Rating
Ghoul1
Icon Ability Min Level
Spell shadow animatedead [Master of Ghouls] Starts with
Spell shadow shadetruesight [Reaping] Starts with
Spell shadow unholystrength [Unholy Might] Starts with
Spell deathknight scourgestrike [Scourge Strike] 58
Spell shadow requiem [Shadow Infusion] 60
Inv helmet 08 [Unholy Aura] 60
Inv sword 61 [Festering Strike] 62
Icon Ability Min Level
Spell shadow painspike [Sudden Doom] 64
Spell shadow unholyfrenzy [Unholy Frenzy] 66
Ability creature cursed 03 [Ebon Plaguebringer] 68
Achievement boss festergutrotface [Dark Transformation] 70
Ability deathknight summongargoyle [Summon Gargoyle] 74
Spell deathknight unholypresence [Improved Unholy Presence] 75
Achievement zone westernplaguelands 01 [Mastery: Dreadblade] 80

Skills/Glyphs Edit

BloodPlagueTCG

Blood Plague

Icon Ability
Spell deathknight bloodplague [Blood Plague]
Spell deathknight frostfever [Frost Fever]
Icon Ability
Ability parry [Parry]
Inv chest plate12 [Plate Specialization]
Main article: Runeforging
Runeforge

Runeforge

Runeforging allows the death knight to permanently enchant their weapon with enchants that are typically more powerful than enchants available to other classes. The enchants work just like the permanent weapon enchants provided by Enchanting, but are self-only and are designed specifically to benefit the death knight class. These are independent of the rune resource system.

A weapon can have an enchant from either runeforging or from Enchanting, but not both together (the runeforging enchants are always better for the death knight). A player will have to be near a runeforge in order to forge a rune onto their weapon. Once a weapon has been engraved with a rune it is impossible for the rune to be removed, though it can be changed at a runeforge. Also, even if it is not soulbound, once a weapon has been engraved with a rune it is impossible for that weapon to be traded.

Runeforges can be found in Acherus: The Ebon Hold or in some of the Icecrown questing areas inside of the metal dams.

Icon Rune of Type Level Weapon Type
Spell shadow chilltouch [Cinderglacier] Frost 55 Any
Spell frost frostarmor [Razorice] Frost 55 Any
Spell shadow antimagicshell [Spellbreaking] Unholy 57 One-handed
Spell shadow antimagicshell [Spellshattering] Unholy 57 Two-handed
Spell holy harmundeadaura [Lichbane] Blood 60 Any
Icon Rune of Type Level Weapon Type
Ability parry [Swordbreaking] Blood 63 One-handed
Ability parry [Swordshattering] Blood 63 Two-handed
Spell holy retributionaura [Fallen Crusader] Unholy 70 Any
Inv sword 61 [Nerubian Carapace] Frost 72 One-handed
Inv sword 130 [Stoneskin Gargoyle] Frost 72 Two-handed
Key
Tag Source
Inv misc book 07 [Book of Glyph Mastery] (requires 425 inscription skill)
T:# Learned from a trainer with # Inscription skill
M:# Minor Inscription Research (requires # Inscription skill)
N Northrend Inscription Research (requires 385 Inscription skill)
V:# Vendor (requires # Inscription skill)


Major Glyph Source Major Glyph Source
Inv glyph majordeathknight [Glyph of Anti-Magic Shell] N Inv glyph majordeathknight [Glyph of Chains of Ice] N
Inv glyph majordeathknight [Glyph of Dancing Rune Weapon] Blood Spec RoundIcon Inv misc book 07 Inv glyph majordeathknight [Glyph of Dark Simulacrum] Inv misc book 07
Inv glyph majordeathknight [Glyph of Dark Succor] T:275 Inv glyph majordeathknight [Glyph of Death and Decay] N
Inv glyph majordeathknight [Glyph of Death Coil] T:275 Inv glyph majordeathknight [Glyph of Death Grip] T:285
Inv glyph majordeathknight [Glyph of Enduring Infection] N Inv glyph majordeathknight [Glyph of Festering Blood] T:310
Inv glyph majordeathknight [Glyph of Icebound Fortitude] T:265 Inv glyph majordeathknight [Glyph of Icy Touch] T:280
Inv glyph majordeathknight [Glyph of Mind Freeze] T:350 Inv glyph majordeathknight [Glyph of Outbreak] T:320
Inv glyph majordeathknight [Glyph of Pestilence] T:300 Inv glyph majordeathknight [Glyph of Pillar of Frost] DkFrost Spec RoundIcon T:305
Inv glyph majordeathknight [Glyph of Regenerative Magic] T:310 Inv glyph majordeathknight [Glyph of Shifting Presences] T:270
Inv glyph majordeathknight [Glyph of Strangulate] T:375 Inv glyph majordeathknight [Glyph of Swift Death] T:310
Inv glyph majordeathknight [Glyph of Unholy Command] T:310 Inv glyph majordeathknight [Glyph of the Loud Horn] T:500
Inv glyph majordeathknight [Glyph of Unholy Frenzy] Unholy Spec RoundIcon N Inv glyph majordeathknight [Glyph of Vampiric Blood] Blood Spec RoundIcon T:345
Minor Glyph Source Minor Glyph Source
Inv glyph minordeathknight [Glyph of Army of the Dead] N Inv glyph minordeathknight [Glyph of Corpse Explosion] T:340
Inv glyph minordeathknight [Glyph of Death's Embrace] M:75 Inv glyph minordeathknight [Glyph of Death Gate] M:75
Inv glyph minordeathknight [Glyph of Foul Menagerie] T:330 Inv glyph minordeathknight [Glyph of the Geist] M:75
Inv glyph minordeathknight [Glyph of Horn of Winter] M:75 Inv glyph minordeathknight [Glyph of the Long Winter] T:500
Inv glyph minordeathknight [Glyph of Path of Frost] M:75 Inv glyph minordeathknight [Glyph of Resilient Grip] M:75
Inv glyph minordeathknight [Glyph of the Skeleton] T:500 Inv glyph minordeathknight [Glyph of Tranquil Grip] Inv misc book 07

Suggested professions Edit

Icon-edit-22x22
Note: This is a generic section stub. You can help expand it by clicking  Edit to the right of the section title.
  • IconSmall Blacksmithing [Blacksmithing] and IconSmall Mining [Mining] are logical choices for any Plate armor wearing class. This allows crafting decent armor as one levels and sometimes good weapons also. Death knights need to play catch up usually, since they start leveling from the mid 50s. So, they have to visit several low level zones to build up their Mining skill.
  • IconSmall Alchemy [Alchemy] and IconSmall Herbalism [Herbalism] can be useful for death knights with non-Blood specialization who need quick potion heals and various buffs from elixirs and flasks. These professions are also good all around for making money and supplying guild runs.
  • IconSmall Cooking [Cooking] is good for any non-healing class for non-combat health regeneration and provides good buff foods.
  • IconSmall First Aid [First Aid] is good for any non-healing class for in-combat health regeneration and low downtime regeneration.
  • IconSmall Fishing [Fishing] is good for leveling cooking.

Notes Edit

Media Edit

Art Edit

Videos Edit

See also Edit

Patch changes Edit

References Edit

  1. ^ http://www.worldofwarcraft.com/wrath/features/deathknight/gameplay.xml
  2. ^ a b Death Knight. Blizz Warcraft III. Retrieved on 2009-06-20.
  3. ^ Death Knight Lore. Blizz Blizzard. Retrieved on 2009-06-20.
  4. ^ Gerald Villoria 2008-05-09. Enter the Death Knight. GameSpy. Retrieved on 2009-06-20.
  5. ^ Cody Bye 2008-05-09. World of Warcraft: An In-Depth Look at the death knight. Ten Ton Hammer.
  6. ^ http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=8202574912&pageNo=1&sid=2000#10
  7. ^ Death Knight. Blizz Blizzard. Retrieved on 2009-06-20.

External links Edit

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Patch date12 October 2010 + and 20 January 2009 +

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