Frost DK Needs a Rework

(credits to poster Strigoì on US forum, i felt need to post it also here)

While the raid damage output of Frost DK is solid, the spec has significant design flaws that make the spec unenjoyable to many.

First off, the spec is once again reliant on Breath of Sindragosa in raid environments. This is not inherently problematic, but the current iteration of this build could be classified as degenerate. Currently, Frost DK has really low damage output outside the Breath window, as such Frost DK essentially revolves around having 70+% uptime on Breath to have reasonably competitive damage. This means that anytime a player loses breath too soon, they feel utterly useless until the next breath window. It is fine to lose damage from making errors but the level of punishment for messing up breath is not commensurate with the reward of executing it super effectively. It also creates a type of play that a large number of players find exceedingly nerve-wracking.

Secondly, Obliteration, the alternative to Breath, is also considered a highly punishing build. A two-handed Obliteration build was theorized to be the best during SL Season 3 but was generally not adopted by top players because it is super reactive and also brutally punished for losing uptime during its Pillar windows. You also have to have excellent reflexes and timing to not overwrite natural KM procs during your Pillar window. It doesn’t help that the Tier set for Frost DKs exacerbates this problem, by having KM not be consumed sometimes, which creates more opportunities to overwrite KM procs during the pillar window.

Third, there are too many dead and awkward talents. Soul Reaper from the general tree is functionally a dead talent for Frost. It does not interface with Frost’s kit at all and even if it did crazy damage would still feel bad to play. Frostscythe is a dead talent, it doesn’t do enough damage to be worth taking and it isn’t affected by the talents that improve Obliterate despite functioning as a replacement for Obliterate in AoE situations. There are 3 talents that affect Remorseless Winter, which feels a bit overkill for an ability that isn’t a fundamental part of the spec’s rotation. Unleashed Frenzy feels really bad at a 6 second duration now that Icy Talons duration was extended to 10 seconds.

Finally, all of the above create a very irritating environment for players. Baseline abilities feel very unimpactful most of the time (Pressing Obliterate outside of KM feels really weak). The most popular build, Breath of Sindragosa, causes players to throw away their battle rez utility during their damage window, which not usually a problem for raids becomes a huge problem in M+. Heck, there isn’t currently a well-defined build for M+ for frost right now. The Tier Set feels more designed for Obliteration but also succeeds in making it more challenging to play. Frost, while performing well in raid, feels very disjointed and awkward at the same time.


I do agree with pretty much everything said here. Damaging abilities feel terrible outside of cooldowns and breath is awkward to play on a high intensity fight. (For people saying that frost was used on almost every boss this world first race, the fact that 10/1000 players can play the spec right, doesn’t mean it’s well designed).

For obliteration, if that is ever going to be used in m+, your obliterate needs to cleave more than one target in D&D imho. On top of that, it’s damage needs to be buffed. By that I don’t mean the KM procs, I mean the normal physical obliterate when you don’t have a KM up. In my mind they also need a different runic power spender for aoe, something like rampage for warriors.

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I play obliteration build dual wielding in raids i go about 55-70k burst aand stay around 35k dps at 376ilvl. Feels okay to me, i do more damage than bos build tbh, I’ve tested a few times. Maybe doing something wrong, but overall dual wield with 20% crit 10% haste and 40% mastery feels allright for me atm

I agree on the cleave part. Blood hits 5 more targets with heart strike and unholy 7 more with scourge strike. Obliterate should hot at least 3 imo. But taking that obliterate can go up to 80k and the others are significantly lower digits… idk feels scuffed either way

Honestly dk’s in general need either buffs or a rework. I also made a post hoping on blizzard to actuelly do something about it.

I like frost and unholy Dk a lot but my biggest problem with frost is Breath of Sindragosa, it is almost same for past 8 years, just keeping breath up for as long as possible. Only few small changes were done.

In my opinion Breath does more harm to frost than good, it’s too reliant on boss uptime and “forces” you to stay locked on your target so any mechanic that makes you move away can screw your breath window and so you are left with wish that your raid will hopefully wipe and you can start again. It does fit very poorly into modern m+ and how m+ is played, having one bursty cd every 2 min and then hitting like wet noodle feels bad and can work out only when team is playing around you. For instance fire mage is same type of bursty class but can do all of his damage in few seconds and can reduce CD on combustion. I think there should be choice talent under breath that would let you modify it into: reduced CD to 1 min and increased damage and runic power consumption or classic 2 min cd and it would keep ramping up its damage over duration, maybe 5% damage increase per 2 sec of breath and when breath ends buff resets.
Frost has some underpowered talents that probably won’t be picked until they are massively buffed, like frost scythe when was this talent last played? At end of BFA? Many frost DKs probably don’t even know how this ability looks like since its never used. Abomination Limb, why is this not a shadowfrost damage like Soul Reaper? It does waaay less damage for frost when compared to unholy.

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