Death Knights use Presences, self-only buffs that work much like warriors' stances or hunters' aspects. Each Presence brings its own advantages and is suitable in a different situation. In general, Blood is intended for dealing damage and is the preferred Presence when solo, Frost is intended for tanking, and Unholy is intended for player versus player combat. While their names correspond to the three talent trees, there is no direct link beyond this and the Presences have no effect on what abilities can be used at a given time. For example, a Blood tank will want to use Frost Presence, and an Unholy damage dealer will want to use Blood Presence.
Shifting into any Presence costs one rune of the corresponding type; shifting into Blood Presence costs one blood rune, and so on. The Death Knight will then remain in that Presence until she chooses to switch to another one. It is not normally possible (or advisable) for a Death Knight to ever not be in a Presence; the only way to leave Blood Presence is to switch to Frost Presence or Unholy Presence. Switching talents using the dual spec feature will however cause the Death Knight to leave whatever Presence they were in and be "Presence-less" until they shift into a Presence.
Presences are on a seperate global cooldown than other death knight abilities.
The three Presences are:
- Blood Presence - Increases threat generated, increases armor and stamina, and lowers damage taken and restores a percentage of damage dealt as health.
- Frost Presence - Increases damage done, reduces threat generated.
- Unholy Presence - Increases attack and movement speed, reduces threat generated and reduces the global cooldown on all Death Knight abilities.