FEEDBACK: Death Knight Class Changes

I dont know Blood much at all. But I kinda wonder if a lot of that has to do with DnD/Blood Boil/Blood Plague damage being kinda low.

Blood Plague is 6% AP damage. Thats pretty pathetic.

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Frost DK - September 2020
From the perspective of a player with a focus on M+

I’ve been playing frost DK on beta quite a bit lately as well as maining one on live, and so far the changes made to the spec feel very good imo.

The GCD changes are fantastic, and the 2H obliteration style is not only a lot of fun, but refreshing and satisfying to play, with an emphasis on single target burst windows, and priority damage.

The DW Breath of Sindragosa (BoS) build is still fun and engaging, rewarding good cooldown usage and resource management, and plays nearly identical to the way that it did in BFA, except you now have some additional choices for resource management.

However, one of the biggest issues I feel with the Frost DK toolkit is a lack of access to a good AoE Runic Power (RP) spender that isn’t BoS.
This issue was present in BFA as well, with the icecap build in patch 8.3 basically just not pressing frost strike when more than 2 targets are present, and constantly overcapping on runic power.

We do have Glacial Advance on the talent tree, but it does very little damage, can only be pressed every 4th GCD so we can’t RP dump with it, and doesn’t apply razorice as intended. Additionally, its area of effect is long and narrow, which can be quite awkward to use effectively as a melee spec.

The best play in my opinion would be to rework and replace Glacial Advance, but we definitely need access to a good way to spend RP in AoE situations. Currently RP feels very unimpactful unless you are running BoS, in which case it is incredibly valuable, which is pretty awkward and polarizing for the spec.

One potential fix would be to make DnD cause our Frost Strikes to cleave 5 targets. This could even be a passive talent, and could just replace glacial advance. This way, BoS builds would still prioritize Gathering Storm or Hypothermic Presence, and play around pooling and spending RP into BoS windows, but Obliteration could prioritize DnD cleaving, and play around pooling and spending RP into DnD windows.
Also, the 5 target cap could help differentiate strengths for each build, with obliteration having the upper hand in lower target counts, and breath scaling well into large AoE.
This could also help make DnD a useful spell for some non-Nightfae Frost DKs as well, which could be cool to see.
Alternatively, the same effect could be applied to Remorseless Winter instead of DnD, actively changing the ability from a set-and-forget AoE spell, to a short duration burst cleave spell, adding some nuance on how you use it, and pooling RP around it the way you do with runes when running Gathering Storm. The key difference here being your Remorseless would be buffing your Frost Strikes, instead of your Obliterates buffing your Remorseless.

The next good option would be to just add a new talent in the place of glacial advance to serve as an AoE RP dump. There are a few interesting options we could see added. It could be a frontal cone attack that applies a powerful, short duration DoT, or could just be an expensive (like 40 RP) attack that is basically just a super buff frostscythe, or could summon icicles up from the ground, impaling all targets within 10 yards that are affected with frost fever.
We could even have an AoE spell like remorseless winter, but consuming 30 RP (or just a passive that changes Remorseless into an RP spender) and allow it to stack like ironfurs, adding some interesting gameplay around trying to stack as many as you can at a time.

Another option would be to make the new talent reduce the CD on your empower rune weapon, and make your empower rune weapon cause your frost strikes to cleave. This is my least favourite option, but is honestly still better than glacial advance.

TLDR: Frost feels great, but really needs access to a good AoE RP spending ability that isn’t Breath of Sindragosa to smooth out the spec’s toolkit.


Use of critters to build bone shield, chain pulling, group aoe stuns on pull (cap totem is awesome), and healer externals are good ways to mitigate this.

I think this would be awesome, even as a passive talent (vs baseline). Those of us going night fae + 2H would take it and we would have All of the Synergy ™.


The fact that FC has been the go to enchant for years for all 3 specs just highlights the need to make it baseline… or bake it into something like veteran of the third/fourth war.

This is the EXACT same thing I’ve been thinking! Bake Fallen Crusader into Vet of the Third/Fourth war, maybe nerf it’s value some in exchange for it being baseline.

That solves a long standing issue of DK’s using precisely ONE Runeforge for how many years now? In addition to that, 2 handed frost would be free to take Razorice or whatever new rune they felt without losing on crusader. 1 handed would still be able to take razorice in addition to something else as well. I’m 100% all for baking FC into a passive, even if it’s firmly nerfed in return.


We’ve continued to work from feedback that the Unholy opener can take too long to get going. Even with attempts to help alleviate this issue over the last few weeks, it’s still not where we would like it to be.

Unholy has quite a few iconic abilities and they aren’t easily removed. Thus, our goal with this week’s latest build is to reduce the number of cooldowns in the opener, help out Rune economy, and give access to a baseline AoE Runic Spender.


  • Summon Gargoyle is moved back as a level 50 talent.
  • Unholy Pact moved to the level 45 talent tier.
  • Epidemic is baseline.
  • Dark Transformation has been removed, and its functionality has been added to Apocalypse.
    • Developers’ notes: Legendaries and Conduits that interact with your ghoul while they have Dark Transformation still function as they did prior to this change.
  • Death Coil has updated to reduce the cooldown of Apocalypse by 1.5 seconds.
    • Developers’ notes: When you cast Apocalypse, your Dark Transformation is no longer delayed by a missile travel time.


We have a small update for Blood to address the feedback about the Ossuary talent feeling mandatory.

  • Ossuary is now baseline and learned at level 58.
  • Blood Tap is now moved to place Ossuary was in talents.

Thanks for the continued feedback! Please keep it coming once you’ve had a chance to test the new build.


Appreciate the changes. Will need a little time to digest. But right off the bat I have to say that I don’t like Gargoyle going back as a talent at all. That is an iconic ability that’s been around since the beginning. Not only that, but solid play by the DK actually makes a fairly big difference in Gargoyles damage. It’s one of the few pets we have where we directly affect its damage, continously.

Unfortunately, the ability is far far FAR too weak as a talent. Not unless we return it to how it was in Legion with 1% damage amp per 1 Runic Power. I realize tuning hasn’t happened but I’m skeptical because gargoyle wasn’t tuned all of BFA and remained a fairly terrible talent.

The changes are super interesting and we appreciate the continued attention. We really do. But I personally have to say that re-losing Gargoyle does not feel good.

PLEASE bring back Gargoyle.


Quick follow-up, the Dark Transformation/Apoc/Death Coil changes are extremely cool. Love that synergy. Can we get Epidemic attached to that at and have it reduce Apocalypse by 1 second?


Will the other talents (Foul Bulwark, Relish in Blood) in the level 30 row be adjusted as well? I’m not sure they’re strong enough to compete with Blood Tap either.


The changes to unholy, while somewhat positive, do have some implications im not sure are worth the trade. With Gargoyle back as a talent now, yes we take a global out of our opener, but at the cost of an ability everyone was excited to see come back baseline. I don’t really think that was the best way to go about it.

I do appreciate epidemic being put baseline, and pact going where it was as that’s how i envisioned it should have been all along, i feel a better candidate to replace gargoyle’s place in the tree would be Necrotic Plague. With blight changed to a nearly WoD state, giving back Necrotic Plague would allow for one of the great unholy builds of the WoD era to rise again, Necroblight.

There is also an implication of the increased CDR on Apocalypse, we now have 3(?) potential sources of cooldown reduction for this ability, the Conduit that reduces its cooldown on wound pops, Army of the Damned reducing its CD by 1 second for every death coil, and now 1.5 seconds baseline. This can lead to getting very high uptime on apocalypse but also giving us 2 runes every time we use it… this leads those Cooldown Reduction sources being in a way, a resource generator and honestly, that doesn’t quite feel right.


Epidemic finally being baseline is really nice. But I don’t understand why gargoyle is back to being a talent which makes us have to choose between that and UA, same as we do with UF on live. All this time we’ve just been asking for certain spells to be taken off the GCD but instead we went in a big circle and our choice of talents are exactly the same as it is in current BFA again.

Won’t comment too much on DT being baked into Apoc until I have actually tried playing with it. I -think- it will be nice on a ST pull, but unsure how it will feel to play in AOE situtations requiring us to use apoc early now to get the ghoul aoe going.

I also don’t really think these changes actually help with “rune economy”, are there still more follow up changes planned?


Can frost get this treatment too??? Unless frost is in the middle of a Breath of Sindragosa, we constantly overcap runic power in AoE because we have no AoE Runic Power Spender.

Frost dk’s have been wanting and asking for a baseline AoE runic power spender for a LONG time.


I have to agree. I don’t see how any of these changes help rune economy.


I have to agree. I don’t see how any of these changes help rune economy.

well… it does in a very backwards way. Apocalypse generates 2 runes, lower its cooldown and you increase rune economy. but it also leads to a feedback loop of generating more runes, also getting more runic power from these CDR sources, being fed into lower apoc cooldown. i wouldnt be surprised to see a point where we have 15 second or less apocalypse cooldowns.


Oh, fair point. I completely forgot about the 2 runes from Apoc.

Yeah I don’t quite understand their reasoning behind that.


Glacial Advance is an AoE Runic Power Spender.

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I will keep it brief.

Epidemic baseline is fantastic, thank you

Gargoyle back as a talent is not something that is wanted. It takes away a burst single target cooldown that is useful in both raiding and m+.

Removing Dark Transformation and applying it to apocalypse is bad. It pretty much removes any aoe potential with the spec, nearly kills Infected Claws and Bursting Sores as talents (you have to build 4 wounds on a target before your ghoul would transform instead of doing it at the start of a m+ pull). This is not a welcome change. If you want to remove gcds, take them off the global.

The blood changes I think are welcome, interested to look into the tuning that will hopefully come for tanks.


But it’s not baseline, which is the issue. It’s on a talent row with Gathering Storm which will always do more damage especially with conduits/legendaries that back up remorseless winter. So you will never take Glacial Advance. Again, hence why I have an issue with frost not having a baseline aoe runic power spender.


Agreed with everything

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Why not just make a new talent that ties apoc + dark trans + death coil instead of getting rid of dark trans + baseline gargoyle?

Getting lazy, Holinka.