• WoW Dragonflight

    World of Warcraft: Dragonflight

    Franchise:
    Warcraft

    Platform:
    PC

    Developer:
    Blizzard, Activision

    Publisher:
    Blizzard, Activision

    Genre:
    MMORPG

    Original Release Date:
    2022-11-28

The most recent expansion of World of Warcraft completely reworks the entire design of the talents system across all the classes in the game. This change harkens back to the early days of the game when talent selections had a lot more options branching out in various directions. Many players will be happy to know the talent tree is back!


Talent System Changes

The biggest change players will see is that there are now 2 trees in the Talents Menu. On the Left is the Death Knight Class Talent Tree, and on the Right is the Frost Specialization Talent Tree. At the max level 70 in World of Warcraft: Dragonflight, Players have 31 points to spend in Death Knight Talents and 30 points to spend in Frost Talents. The choices for different builds are vast and may be overwhelming, but in the end, there will always end up being a meta build that everyone will be playing.

GAMERANT VIDEO OF THE DAY

Taking a look at the new Talents Menu on or after October 25th, 2022, the day that these changes are implemented, the first thing players should look for is the drop-down menu in the bottom left-hand corner. Here players can Save, Share, and Select talent builds they’ve made. This is really useful to quickly swap between different talent builds between encounters to really maximize your performance. You’ll notice there is actually a “Starter Build” option already in this menu to help get you going.

Talent Builds For Frost Death Knights In WoW: Dragonflight

Firstly, let’s talk about the Class Talent Tree on the left. There isn’t a lot of movement with this Talent Tree as there are a lot of obvious choices for improved damage and only a few that provide some different utility depending on the encounter.

We’ve taken a close look at the talent trees and here are some of our recommendations for how to make the most out of your Frost Death Knight talent build.

Frost Death Knight Class Talents

As certain options are locked behind specific paths and point limitations (8 points spent to access row 5 and 20 points spent to access row 8) let’s go over the choices starting at the top of the talent tree and work our way down.

Row 1:

Chains of Ice is given by default. Death Strike, while it is generally not used for DPS it is taken simply to access talents in the next rows. Raise Dead provides a ghoul for 1 minute and is the only way to access Brittle and Might of Thassarian further down.

Row 2:

Mind Freeze is the primary interrupt. Anti-Magic Shell provides magic damage mitigation and generates Runic Power. Cleaving Strikes makes Obliterate a cleave ability when standing in Death and Decay.

Row 3:

Permafrost is generally going to be the standard choice in PvE to help mitigate damage.

  • Utility Variations: Coldthirst or Blinding Sleet might also see some play outside of PvP to help with interrupts and add management, respectively.

Anti-Magic Barrier and Enfeeble are the only options in this row as the other options don’t directly improve damage.

Row 4:

Icebound Fortitude is the only option on the left and it provides a good damage mitigation cooldown, it is also the only way to access a number of necessary talents further down. Veteran of the Third War is only chosen for talents below. And Brittle is a mandatory straight-up damage booster.

Row 5:

Merciless Strikes increases Crit and is the better DPS option over Acclimation. Anti-Magic Zone, a defensive skill, and the only option, but will be used to generate Runic Power via the talent below it, Assimilation. Might of Thassarian, taken for obvious reasons (increased strength).

Row 6:

Gloom Ward would be the standard selection for more damage mitigation, however, Proliferating Chill will be mandatory on cleave fights thanks to Cold Heart in the Frost Talent Tree. Assimilation will be helpful in generating more Runic Power.

  • Utility Variation – choice between: Asphyxiate for a 5 second stun. Death Pact for an emergency heal. Death’s Reach to help grab an add outside the reach of the tank. Unholy Endurance for additional damage mitigation.

Row 7:

Runic Attenuation, another obvious damage booster for more Runic Power generation. Wraith Walk while not a direct dps improvement is the most direct path to get Unholy Bond as we are restricted by some necessary previous selections.

Row 8:

Insidious Chill to apply the melee speed reduction debuff and is the better DPS option vs Blood Draw to get to Icy Talons. Will of the Necropolis is better for damage mitigation and gives access to Rune Mastery > Abomination Limb.

Row 9:

Icy Talons, Rune Mastery, and Unholy Bond are all necessary for improving overall damage.

  • AoE Variation: There is a case to be made for dropping Unholy Bond to access Death’s Echo for an additional Death and Decay charge. For this one would need to select either Unholy Endurance or Death’s Reach in row 6 and Unholy Ground in row 7.

Row 10:

Empower Rune Weapon and Abomination Limb are the clear targets for increased damage. Soul Reaper won’t see much usage unless the execute phase needs to be cleared faster.

Frost Death Knight Specialization Talents

The Frost Talent Tree can be easier to visualize as this: Single-Target attacks on the far Left and AoE attacks on the far Right. There are definitely some key talents that are required, but there is quite a bit of flexibility in creating a talent build, or multiple builds, that works for you in any scenario.

Currently, there are 2 distinct play styles that have been found to have very similar performance in terms of damage output in Raids.

Obliteration Build

  • Obliteration focuses on wielding a 2-Handed weapon, providing great burst damage with Pillar of Frost, and maximizing the damage of Obliterate and Frost Strike.

Breath of Sindragosa Build

  • Breath of Sindragosa focuses on dual-wielding 1-Handed weapons and maximizing damage with its buff and extending the duration as much as possible.

Explanation Of Selected Talents

As it is still early in the development of the expansion, there isn’t a lot of data available from boss encounter logs to really provide the meta build. Once we’ve had time to comb through the parses and leaderboards we’ll update this post to contain the Best Meta Talent Builds for both Raids and PvP in their respective sections.

Rows 1 through 4:

There isn’t any room for diversity here between each build. Runic Command is an option to take in combination with Glacial Advance for a more AoE focused build.

Row 5:

Improved Obliterate, Pillar of Frost and Improved Rime are the necessary choices in both builds. Glacial Advance could see some play in strictly AoE encounters, and as it stands Frostscythe isn’t performing very well.

Row 6:

Obliteration Build:

  • Frigid Executioner is the way to go to increase Obliterate damage.

Breath of Sindragosa Build:

  • Rage of the Frozen Champion is a key proponent to ensuring that the buff stays up. It’s likely going to be possible to have nearly 100% uptime on it so long as you can continue to generate Runic Power.

Cold Heart provides some nice free extra damage with Chains of Ice and will be really great for cleave fights when Proliferating Chill is selected. Enduring Strength is a must-have for better DPS. Frostwhelp’s Aid isn’t performing very well at the moment leaving Horn of Winter as the better option for obtaining the second charge of Empower Rune Weapon.

There’s also some play to be had here for a pure AoE spec with Biting Cold and Chill Streak, but the trade-offs needed to perform well in Single-Target encounters as well are too high.

Row 7:

There are 4 clear choices here for both builds, Murderous Efficiency, Inexorable Assault, Icecap, and Empower Rune Weapon. Icecap synergizes really well with the Obliteration Build, providing guaranteed crits while Pillar of Frost is active. Additionally, with the Obliteration Build, there is 1 remaining point that could go here, into Gathering Storm for instance, for better AoE.

Row 8:

Bonegrinder is going to be necessary for those big Obliterate Crits. Avalanche makes applying Razorice to many targets really easy.

Obliteration Build:

  • Might of the Frozen Wastes is required for 2-Handed Obliteration builds. It’s a huge damage booster.

Breath of Sindragosa Build:

  • Icebreaker makes Howling Blast a powerful single-target skill now, this is also necessary to get to the last few talents.

Row 9 and 10:

This is where each build gets its namesake from the last talents here. Grabbing Cold-Blooded Rage to get Obliteration or Invigorating Freeze for Breath of Sindragosa. Unfortunately, Frostwyrm’s Fury just isn’t performing well in PvE but might see some potential uses in PvP.

And that’s all there is to it! Not so bad after all, eh?

Finally, at the bottom right of the Talent Menu there are three optional talents. These are Talents used in PvP and don’t have any effect on raid DPS.

Stay tuned for more WoW Dragonflight content as we’ll be adding more content and guides just like we’ve done with our WotLK Classic Directory!

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