Frost dk in dragonflight and what I would want in war within


So a brief introduction ! hi my name is emma i’ve been playing wow since the start of shadowlands and pretty much being a frost dk one trick since I started playing. I don’t want to sound arrogant or anything like that but I’ve been quite high on the log rankings in a number of seasons and I’ve been one of the only high level frost dks to continue attempting breath in keys even when it wasn’t in the meta. I also won the eve ascension season 2 tournament playing off meta frost dk and playing breath ! I had the intentions of writing something like this a while ago to try and express my ideas with frost dk and what I’d like to see be changed. Just recently wowhead released their article recapping frost dk over the tier and while I think it does a great job addressing many issues I still wanted to post my thoughts on the spec and give some solutions to its major gameplay issues. Just to be transparent I’m a breath advocate and I have much more to say on breath however I also play obliterate and think I have a good understanding of what both playstyles want thanks for reading !

Breath in season one and the changes from shadowlands

Towards the end of shadowlands breath was the dominant build and you would expect to get about 1min 45ish on breath windows sometimes higher with good rng and sometimes lower if you got a mechanic but because of this the damage was scaled around not getting an infinite breath super often which meant that when you did get a long breath window it felt really great because it would be an uncommon thing and then if your breath ended after onemin because of a mechanic etc then it’s not the end of the world you’ve not lost out on everything so you can still try again on the next breath. however, in dragonflight this playstyle changed as with the new talents we were given lots more resources to generate runic power, such as AMZ now giving rp shorter AMS cooldown two charges of empowered rune weapon and having access to all three rp talents at once murderous efficiency, horn of winter and runic alteration. having access to all of this meant that achieving infinite breath was easy and so all of season one it was expected that you would have infinite breath and rarely need to recast it at any point. So, the issue with this is that we lost the fun skill expressive part of trying to get the longest breath and instead it is expected that you get an infinite breath, so it didn’t really feel that amazing when you did. And at the same time as losing the excitement around getting infinite breath if you were to lose breath at any point for whatever reason in a fight it would feel awful as you were expected to keep it at a high uptime. However, this wasn’t so bad in season one before the breath changes. towards the end of season one they made changes to breath increasing breath’s damage but also increased the cost per tick. this change had the right idea as hopefully it would have created the shorter breath windows but make the spec much more bursty however in practice infinite breath was still possible and reasonably manageable. This meant that the same issues of being expected to keep up infinite breath was still there but now it just became more difficult and more frustrating if you were to get a mechanic early on in a fight.

Season two

In season two was where we really got to experience the breath changes while season two did add an amazing 4set to the game which felt really great to play in keys and in raid some of the boss fights in Aberrus were less friendly one that specifically sticks out in my mind is playing breath on echo of neltharion where you would need to move out if you were ever targeted with a volcanic heart and during the echoing fissure you would need to move all the way out and this lack of uptime made playing breath extremely stressful on such a fight. Another problem that was felt during season two was that even on a patchwork fight on occasion you could at any moment just lose breath through no fault of your own simply because with the increased cost to breath it meant that we relied much more on hysteria procs anyone who was playing frost dk at this time knows the desperation of needing a hysteria proc to keep breath going. This made the gameplay at times feel really frustrating and frost dk shouldn’t be expected to rely on the will of an rng proc to decide if our cd lives or dies.

Season three

In season three this problem hasn’t been as bad as we gained a huge jump in stats meaning maintaining infinite breath has been easier as well as this our 4 set provides us with more runic weapon uptime which also has helped with smoothing out our rotation. despite this our season three tier set has felt awful to play. While it does give a lot of damage, being forced to talent at least one point into chillstreak if not two never feels nice especially with frost dks limited talent options. As well as this chill streak can be a frustrating cooldown to play with for example in keys chillstreak can sometimes jump to a mob that has dashed away, just died or is even a critter which would just instantly end your chillstreak with no cdr for the next one and a single stack of the damage buff. While there are options to play around this holding your cd for a pack that isn’t going to instantly die and drop chillstreak isn’t a fun way to use the set, though I will say in higher keys it becomes less of a worry. And even when chill streak is working as intended it still has a lot of rng factors involved which can cause it to get misaligned with pillar. So overall chillstreak while it may look cool it has a lot of issues that make it frustrating to play with. One more point about season three I would add is a more of a general frost dk issue but its highlighted especially on the fyrakk where he does his flying mechanic between intermissions. Even with increased stats and rune weapon charges if you want to keep breath between p1 to intermission or intermission to p2 for example it can be incredibly resource heavy and has made it so in a lot of cases you are dropping breath no matter what. This issue was also experienced in season two on a fight like assault or experiments on difficulties below mythic. While these little roleplay downtimes are cool for roleplay it makes frost dk much less viable compared to classes whose damage isn’t contingent on keeping perma uptime. I address this issue at the end in my suggestions section.

Obliteration in dragonflight

Obliteration over dragonflight for the most part has seen improvements but is not without flaws. Going from shadowlands to dragonflight frost dk unlocked the ability to play icecap and obliteration at once which has been enjoyable to play with and lets you get off your damage much more often. This is especially great in keys where you can press CDs pack to pack it overall has just felt a lot better to play then in shadowlands. In season one obliteration started off okay it really took its stride when they increased the number of targets you would cleave while in death and decay from two to three which offered oblite a lot more damage. In season two frost got a set that would was extremely strong for both build but especially obliterate as during your burst windows a majority of your damage would be critical hits as is so it definitely felt it’s best during season two. In season three however the inclusion of the legendary axe has been mixed but the set has really felt mediocre for obliteration. Going from having your crit damage buffed for every pillar guaranteed we instead get chillstreak and chilling rage which, while obliterate has more talent points to spare, still feels extremely clunky. Obliteration doesn’t mind getting the cdr on rune weapon, but it isn’t as significant for it as it is for breath. As well as this breath getting misaligned chill steak and pillar cds isn’t great breaths damage profile at least makes it more bearable. Whereas obliteration really wants chill steak back before pillar. This can just make the gameplay feel clunky overall and much like breath chillsteak being inconsistent in keys also plays a problem for oblite.

Issues with the general class tree

I think that all three DK specs can agree that DK probably has the worst class tree of all. We have limited flexibility in our talents and we offer limited utility to the group. Some of the issues concerning our class tree include death strike requiring two points to obtain what we already had in Shadowlands, in an era of raid buffs DK doesn’t really bring anything to the group outside of grips and a mediocre amz. Our cap stones are boring and uninteresting and don’t really offer much flexibility for utility or fun. And talents that we are often forced into for example blood draw don’t offer anything on a second point. Overall the DK class tree feels like we’ve not gained any new utility like other classing going into dragonflight but instead we’ve been pushed into taking our old utility but split between various points. There are some good quality of life talents that we’ve gained since Shadowlands including shorter ams for all specs having two charges of deaths advance has felt amazing. However they’ve made it really difficult to change talents.

What I’d like to see (wishlist):

  • I have a lot of ideas about frost dk some more crazy some more reasonable. But one thing I think they need to make a priority on is deciding if we are going to be obliteration or breath. Because splitting the tree with two distinct builds makes it difficult to create an interesting and customizable tree.

  • For obliteration starting off one of the biggest problems playing with obliteration right now is when your tank moves away from your death and decay or alternatively you need to move out of it for a mechanic. Oblite already has such a short burst window and being made to miss out of three target cleave is awful. We need to be given the same treatment as monk has for faeline stomp and give us the cleave buff persisting even after we walk out of it.

  • For breath one of the worst experiences is either having a boss such as fyrakk who flies away and makes you unable to keep breath up or getting a mechanic that forces you to move out. The same thing can also be said for being forced to struggle to keep breath up between pulls in keys without chaining. One way I would try to rectify this would be to make it so that breath consumed 60-80% less runic power when it doesn’t hit a target I feel like this wouldn’t create a big shift in balance as the best frost dk damage is when we can keep up full breath uptime but just as well it would be a huge quality of life change.

  • Another thing for breath I talked about how it’s felt less skill expressive due to the issues surround runic power and us being overcapped on resources I would like to see blizzard try and get breath back to that 1min 30 sweet spot. Some of the ways I think they could go about doing this without just taking away all the new ways we have to generate resources would be to include a ramping effect of some kind so that for every 200 lets say runic power spent your breath damage is increased and the cost is increased, this way you would have a breath that would ramp up in damage the longer you kept it up which could be really fun and exciting whilst alot limiting the ability to easily get an infinite breath. And to do away with hysteria and instead give us reliable ways to generate more runic power similar to deaths due in Shadowlands with the unity power. That way we could plan how we use our cds instead of just praying for hysteria procs.

  • For obliteration I think that one thing that feels counterproductive when itemising stats is that while you want crit because you are criting with spells that aren’t obliterate during your burst it feels counterproductive that during your burst all your crit on oblite is somewhat not required. So it would be really cool to see oblite get something like crit strike is converted into crit damage for obliteration during pillar. Something along those lines similar to firemage could make the spec feel even more bursty and fun to play.

  • For the general dk class tree it would be nice if we could get a raid buff I’m not really sure what that would like we need an entire tree redesign I believe but ideas I’ve had include a basic antimagic aura similar to PvP. Or more a more interesting suggestion could be to make icy talons effect the whole group this way we could give back to our enhancement shamans !

  • A personal request for me I would really love to see deaths due brought back into the game or into the skill tree somewhere. It has a really cool visual and it feels like it would be a waste not to use it. Plus I think that having it in the class tree could find use on blood DK who used to enjoy it in Shadowlands. I think it’s a great effect I think the legendary power for it was awesome I’d just love to see it included or brought back in some capacity (I’d even take a glyph)

  • One last outlandish idea that I don’t think would be included but if we could have something where when you enter breath your spells get transformed similar to ascendance for shamans where perhaps your obliterate is replaced with like dragon claw with extra range. I just think making breath become a bursty super cd where you are fighting to keep up this powerful form with ramping damage could be an epic play style.

If you made it this far first of all thank you so much for reading I really do appreciate it I know it comes off a bit rambly and negative but I really do love frost dk I cannot see myself maining any other spec. Overall I think frost dk has had a good expansion, while oblite has gameplay issues still people who enjoy that build have gotten alot of great changes added to it since shadowlands. And as for breath while I prefer how it played in shadowlands the ability to take icecap and frostwhelps has been realy enjoyable and I know going into season four frost is gonna feel really fun with the season two set choosen ! :slight_smile:


You get some really good points here, but I either missed or you didn’t include one thing. Speed. Not only frost DK but Blood and Unholy. Many people stop playing or never LVL up do to the slowness of the class. I main in Prot Pal, but I want to LVL up my DK. The problem is the speed, everybody and there grandma will out run me.

If I could add one thing to DK’s is something that all Paladin have. Divine Steed. I play since vanilla and so knowing the lore it would not be such a big stretch. Many if not all of the first generation DK’s in the lore where fallen paladins, so giving them a steed like that would make sance.

Just a idea but it would help.

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totally agree I didn’t get into detail on lots of issues here it was a bit off the cuff. But with regards to speed I think it’s been felt much worse in dragonflight since we lost access to nightfae and now wraithwalk is inconvenient to talent into. I’d want them to rework our tree so we could get wraithwalk and perhaps maybe buffing wraithwalk in some way. Like maybe after you kill something you snatch their soul or whatever and wraith walk is like faster and longer would be a cool buff for wraith walk from pull to pull in dungeons where you have your dh players already at the pack waiting for their slow blood dk to ge there :D. or alternatively just give back soulshape FOR DK ONLY !


There is lot of topic like these if you are search forums.My main is also frost but have to play blood or with other alt chars for higher keys because for me it is not easy making dps with frost dk and really they are lacks from utility.When i apply keys mostly declined and i just totally understand.Why people wants frost dk in key ? Even i dont want in my key if i am doing serious keys.You can do easy compare with ret paladins for example.Both of them have cr but making dps with paladin easier and you are not tie to tank and DnD area for making dps.Also they can attack from ranged with all skills and their utilities better than frost dk after i played with them.If they can change playstyle maybe people can play and make better dps on higher keys with than others easily even they dont add any utilities.Lot of people suggesting replace DnD cleave with remorseless winter or give some flexibility but still no respond from Blizzard.Really lot of people trying for rework that spec and class and hope they will do next patch.

yeah I totally agree I’ve always felt like a burden to my group because of my lack of utility. Especially during eve ascension, but it’s less bad when I’m doing carry damage at least but this season I’ve been a bit overshadowed by dh in a lot of instances. I think the idea to put cleave on rw is cool I’d honestly be happy if they just gave rw more power in general. It’s felt super underwhelming in dragonflight. But yeah I too hope blizzard shows us some love and not just flat buffs us :frowning:

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I dont play breath and dislike it alot, yet your points are still valid.
Frost needs an entire rework in my eyes, and an overhaul on all specs


i personally hope to see more undeads for both frost/unholy i don’t like breath but i think it’s wrong to have only one single option for cap talents like oblit/breath,

we lack frost themed undeads i think adding a lich as a option to breath that buffs your next rime proc howling blast or something would add more themed flavor for frost and our procs after being consumed many times can morph in to a stronger version of that said proc skill oblit in to glacial advance whit a new and buffed animation or rime proc howling blast in to a avalanche where you rips a piece of land and coat it in ice and snow to throw it at the enemy also kinda wild idea but i would love to have a defile like talent for frost that replaces death and decay for something like arctic domain this fits the theme for frost were your not stuck inside whit the enemy but they are stuck inside whit you [ripe and tear until it’s done] as for the effect all blizz needs to do is add the deaths due effect and maybe slap in that the duration gets extended by rime procs and damage gets stronger for every KM you spend another wild idea as a talent option is for were absolute zero is located how about we get a talent option to charge up our frostwyrms fury to like evokers that charge up deep breath just have a buff as a reward for pulling it of,

unholy just feels like a tricks of all trades but master of none and that is just bad on all the themed fronts for unholy festering wound need to have it’s damage removed it should be changed to act as a stacking buff on the dk that get spent when you use scourge strike/apoc/death coil,

whit how the talent tree for unholy is buildt there is rom for 2 optional paths to let unholy build it self up from i think the left side should have way more diseases whit unique secondary effects,

as for the right side it should have way more undead themed talents like raise sludge belcher that if all will serve is taken you also raise 2 nerubian crypt stalkers instead of one skulker a crypt lord on a 3 min cd raise necromancer that is a permanent minion buffing the dk whit bone armor and buffs random ghouls whit ghoul frenzy and raises skeletons that use the rattlegore model and perma army of the dead minions that follow you around and attack enemy when in combat and slap in also vision of perfection just change it a little bit were it now raises ghouls at random when festering wounds are poped,

as for our last row we have way to many % damage buffing passives and far to little visual talents to pick from how about adding more passives to it and just take 1 point from most of the passive in this row,

i can see things like adding a talent that make it so every time you pop a festering wound you raise skeleton warrior whit a lower chanse for this to be a skeleton archer next talent can just simply be a passive that turns your festering strike in to pure shadow damage whit 30 yard range also just make it a passive that makes your scourge strike pop 1 more festering wound and death coil pop 1 also and heck slap on that apoc now pop 6 wounds instead of raising 4 ghouls you now raise 6 ghouls as a result another thing they can change is unholy aura so it rewards you for how many minions you have active at all time increasing your minion damage by 1% instead,

i would also love to see som thematic plagues in the end row that changes how the damage priority for dot build UH DK should be another good way to this is having choice nod for army of the damned were you replace the minions for a disease that increases the damage the target effected by it takes also adding things like ebon plague back that deals more damage based on all the unique diseases you have on the enemy whit the addition that it lets your death rot stack up to 15 stacks would also spice the specs way to hit harder whit out it being turned in to yet another burst spec,

and they absolutely need to bring back necrotic plague this can simply work like this you pop a wound it gains a stack that makes it deal more damage then you press death coil now it last 1 second longer but the mini game for this disease is that it will at some point run out so you will have to start over but the result is that you will have a strong disease that reward you for how you manage this dot and just slap on also that every time it ticks it adds a festering wound on the enemy,

as for our core talent tree i would just remove soul reaper and abomination limb i would rather see dancing rune weapon added as a 3 min cd mimicking our attacks at a 25-50% effectiveness as for the next one just make it a passive called blighted rune weapon your weapon swings now are shadowfrost damage and has 30 yard range i think this would be far more interesting than the current we have and it would fit the theme of empowered rune weapon=frost dancing rune weapon=blood and blighted rune weapon=unholy,

i would also like to se rune of apocalypse be changed to have it’s debuff proc from our damage over time effect and add a change to the dot that it now counts as a disease i would like to swap crusader when i want more bursty play style were as whit rune of apocalypse it’s more for dot builds.

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I totally see where you are coming from with the idea of wanting frost to be more death knight themed and more undead. I guess for me I’ve never really heavily associated it with all the undead stuff that unholy has since I only started playing in shadowlands and for me frost was like all about dragons and stuff which I thought felt super cool ! maybe if I played through wrath and so on I might have a different perspective on it but for me personally I’d still rather keep frost as this cool dragon theme spec because it’s much more cute imo.


thats a fair opinion, but that’s were i also added in that it’s a talent option so your not forced to take it, that being said i do think dk in general should have undeads themed around your spec i know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea but we are DEATH first and foremost then KNIGHT second.

some of us here has played since vanilla wrath, and knows what has been lost over the years, with wrath classic many did see what Dk was, it had flaws sure, but was a thing to master.

im glad for your positiveness though, welcome to the DK gang, dont let the old veterans make you to many despresso espressos


your comments make me smile ! I really appreciate everyone sharing and interest in this post thanks everyone <3


There might be loads of issues around DK as a class and all it’s specs, it’s still really fun being in a raid or dungeon, and seeing all your party squirming around you trying to avoid a mechanic and you’re like “yeeeeeeaaaaah I’m just going to AMS this, ignore it, and continue dps”!

I like a bunch of the stuff you write here but the one that really encapsulates the biggest issue (likely I’d imagine why you put it on first) is this:

Like you say, it should be one or the other, period. Is breath the baseline? Great, now let’s make 2 or 3 distinctive builds that change how breath works… Maybe one capstone talents makes it becomes a lot more powerful, much more expensive, but has shorter cooldown (much better for keys)… Another makes it more single target focused but focusing more of its damage on one target and making it consume resources slower whilst there is only 1 target up… Anyhow you get the point, don’t mean these have to be the capstone talents, just that they need to modify the play of breath. All of that applies to an obliteration focused build too. It will make the spec more coherent and will likely allow them to come up with more interesting tier sets.

Another point I’d like too add regards the damage profiles of both frost and unholy. Right this now both specs are burst specs… Both specs hit like an utter wet noodle outside of their CD windows… Why have the same play style in blue and green? I know I’m overgeneralizing in terms of how similar they are, but that’s a big common denominator. Surely they could make it so the two classes have fundamentally different damage profile output? One could be bursty whilst the other is more consistent, then build the class design around that.

I’ll have 7 please.

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I 10000% agree with this I would love for them to make breath baseline and to have each side focused on like juicing up remorseless winter and giving us more dragon effects (maybe like the s2 tier set) and then one the other side of the tree giving us cool obliteration st options (maybe like the s1 tier set) or just anything that could make breath feel more cool in raid. While it is cool in a way having two distinct builds in one spec and I know there are lots of people who still really enjoy obliterate. I still think breath is probably one of the coolest and most unique playstyles in the game right now and no other class really comes close to it for me so I do hope blizzard decides to choose breath IF they even do decide to focus on just one !

Yeah but is not making any difference these topics.Lot of people want some rework and utilities for make useful both dk and frost dk spec but still no response from developers.Even best frost dk players complaning about spec while they can do higher keys like you.

Here are same sample

Just found these from on first page on last month i guess :slight_smile: You can imagine full forum and firm still not answered.Just giving some damage buff whiel they already have good damage it is very interesting but hope they will do rework or something


as i mentioned earlier, im an obliteration kinda guy, i did not enjoy the patches when Breath was top dog focus, but some patches when frost was all about breath also had enjoyable Unholy and blood gameplay, some patches in legion was an example, i have never enjoyed the post legion unholy designs, to me legion had the perfect balance of abilities to press and mechanics to juggle, especially with the right legendaries, it also had a much much greater focusin disease and shadow damage, and not forced pet bullcrap that it has been nowadays.

Unholy is, to me, a more annoying spec to play than both affli warlock and Demo warlock, and Bm hunter, unholy needs 4 abilites while demo warlock and BM hunter presses one button for same effect, unholy really only gets ahead in insane m+ pulls where epidemic aoe scaling kicks in over a certain mob number. i dont know how good affli warlockis right now, but seeing demo warlocks, and getting dented by them in PvP makes me mad, why cant unholy be this intuitive? maybe Demo warlock needs to use it’s soul shards to apply “demonic wound” on the enemy as a debuff, that they then need to pop with a demonbolt to summon a felhunter/felguard…naaah… they just cast said demonbolt and a minion spawns in without any windup rising from the earth lagging, it just charges and instantly begins bladestorming, and thats just ONE ABILITY they have that is that easy.

sorry to ramble, this is about frost Dk primarily i know

It’s a joke isn’t it? I was saying that exact something similar to someone else on this forum, you actually went ahead and linked all them quotes! Just Ctrl+F on dk forum page with the word Frost and boom… I would love find out exactly why DKs are so neglected…

Look at the most recent buffs, Paladins got a lot of very specific and well placed buffs, we just get a general 4% aura buff… Seriously? We all joke that nobody plays dk over at blizzard, but now I’m genuinely wondering, is seriously no one playing dk over at blizzard?

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my respect for paladin players have lowered even further now after i argued with those two bozos earlier this month, unbelievable.

even before this latest patch buff i said, WORD FOR WORD that all we will get is aura changes, and more nerfs. was i wrong? NO

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I’m sure that all players want to complain about their classes but I’m seriously questioning their understanding of just how neglected this class is.

I’m playing a bunch of melee classes now and everything I’ve touched so far feels smoother, and logical… Sure maybe I don’t have the same understanding as DK since I’ve played that for years, but ultimately I see systems that make sense.

I feel like some players are like those spoiled children that cry because they didn’t get the latest iPhone for their bday but received the model bellow it, and we’re here sitting, using and sharing the old public payphone on the corner of our street.

I think only shadow priests feel as bad as us, but even they are different, they get reworks every expansion as us, it just always seems to be problematic one way or another. Maybe survival hunters too, but seeing how small the player base is around that spec I don’t bother following it.

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i’ve been enjoying rogue lately, it’s insane how thought after the skilltree, passives, and mechanics are designed.

meanwhile Unholy DK is a literal snakenest of mechanics and buttons, and frost is so simple yet clunky that 6+ years after legion it has only gotten worse.
and blood is still not where it needs to be in my book, ever since legion

Yeah I’m on rogue too atm, and I was surprised by the talent tree too… Was on the wowhead class guide and there’s actually multiple useful class builds, when we’re stuck with one main tree where we swap one or two talents based on the context!

Enh Shaman is pretty fun too, though after playing UH for so long I’m struggling with the short cycles of abilities and constantly reacting to a million UI and WA elements…

I feel like UH has almost made a worst player… We just got to cycle our CDs on pull, 45s, 90s, 3min and basically afk in between doing the most basic resource management whilst going through 3 abilities…

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