Feedback on Frost DK

Frost DK is my favorite spec in the game. I’ve played frost since it was a tank spec back in WotLK.
Over the years, many different builds within frost have been considered “BiS” or “viable” for frost DK. Since being added in WoD, the Breath of Syndragosa build has been the most common and popular. It offers a unique playstyle of maintaining a balance of Runic Power to maximize breath uptime. Another fun build was during BFA, when the icecap build, in combination with an azerite trait: Frostwhelp’s Indignation had some fun interactions with each other.

Unfortunately, despite the fun that frost DK is, it has a few significant shortfalls in its playstyle that make it feel lackluster.

I have some proposed changes (likely for 10.0, but some of these could be implemented sooner as buffs) I’ll go into some details at the bottom of this post.
My goal with these changes is to address some of the areas that frost DK feels too weak and not hinder the areas in which we are strong.

Proposed Changes:

  • Rune of the Stoneskin Gargoyle: Allow application to 1H weapons. (Only Runeforge of 8 that requires a 2H weapon)

  • Horn of Winter (Level 25 talent) - Make baseline (or remove entirely), remove/reduce runic power generation and increase CD to 1 minute

  • Icecap (Level 50 talent: Your Frost Strike and Obliterate critical strikes reduce the remaining cooldown of Pillar of Frost and Frostwym’s Fury by 4 seconds.

  • Absolute Zero - Currently a legendary power, change intended for 10.0 to be made into a talent: Frostwyrm’s Fury freezes all enemies hit for 4 seconds, (not broken by damage in PvE) (remove 50% CD reduction from legendary effect)

  • Glacial Advance - Make baseline as AoE Runic Power spender.

  • Chill Streak - Remove from PvP talent pool; additionally, change ability to be able to bounce off the casting DK to provide a shield equal to 25% of the damage lasting 8 seconds that would have been dealt to an enemy if only one enemy is in range (explained more below)

  • Soul Reaper - a modified version of the Unholy DK ability that currently exists: Same initial damage, second part of tooltip change to: After 5 seconds, if the target is below 20% hp, deal XXXX damage and gain 10 runic power. If the target dies while Soul Reaper is active, gain Killing Machine.

Talents (* = see above changes) (Placement changes bolded)

1st Row (Level 15): Unchanged
2nd Row (Level 25): Runic Attenuation - Murderous Efficiency - Frostscythe
3rd Row (Level 30): Absolute Zero* - Asphyxiate - Blinding Sleet
4th Row (Level 35): Avalanche - Frozen Pulse - Soul Reaper*
5th Row (Level 40) : Unchanged
6th Row (Level 45): Gathering Storm - Hypothermic Presence - Chill Streak*
7th Row (Level 50): Icecap* - Obliteration - Breath of Syndragosa


Now for the long winded part.

First, Outside of breath, there is no AoE Runic Power spender. This feels really bad, especially in M+ when lots of trash gets pulled together. Every two minutes is really good damage for 20-30 seconds and then its very low damage until all our CDs come back up.

There is however, an option in the form of a current talent: Glacial Advance. Unfortunately, this talent is never taken, because Gathering Storm is better in every situation. This makes the entire spec feel like it revolves around its 2 minute cooldowns where you have to play optimally to not accidentally bottom out on RP or your overall damage will simply plummet in single target and AoE.
Adding Glacial advance to the baseline Frost DK kit gives the AoE runic power spender outside of breath, but it also opens up a new Runeforge opportunity, as GA applies Razorice for us.

Aside from Breath of Syndragosa, the most iconic frost DK ability came from Legion in the form of Frostwyrm’s Fury. I mean, who doesn’t love this ability? A giant dragon nuking everything in frost of you? It’s easily my personal favorite spell in the game (shout out chaos bolt, you’re #2) and changing it to baseline for Frost in shadowlands, and reducing its cooldown to 3 minutes from it’s original 5 minute CD in Legion were both awesome changes. I love this ability. Please never take it away.
With all that said, I would love to see a way to reduce the cooldown of the ability, much like Unholy DK has with it’s final row talent reducing the CD of Army of the Dead.
For unholy this relies on uses of either Death Coil or Epidemic. I’ve added a similar feature to the Icecap (level 50) talent to be able to use this ability more and help a build that would normally be lacking on the AoE front.

Chill Streak: This ability is so much fun to use. When we were finally able to use it in PvE in BFA thanks to the azerite essence system I was hopeful it would make its way into the PvE kit permanently. This ability has one major downside. It requires at least 2 holstile targets, making it completely useless in single target scenarios. This is where my proposed change comes into play. If only 1 hostile target is nearby, allow chill streak to bounce off yourself providing a small shield for each bounce lasting a short amount of time (and not applying the slow). This will allow the talent to function in single target, excel in 2-3 targets, but probably still get beat out by 3+ consistent targets by Gathering Storm, which is currently picked 100% of the time.

Finally, one big reason that Unholy DK is usually a stronger spec in early progression is Soul Reaper. This 35% execute does a lot of damage and in early raid progression is very helpful to get bosses down just a little quicker. I’m suggesting a variation of this to be added to the frost talent tree to give it a much needed execute (other execute classes like Warrior & Hunter have it for all specs) and added KM procs in certain situations.

If you made is this far, thanks for sticking through :slight_smile:


One thing I had intended to include in this post initially was that I think that the frost DK 9.2 tier set is a step in the right direction, with KM procs triggering a Glacial Advance.

Also of note, after discussions with a few other DK players, one thing that has come up a few times is the talent choices that are never picked. This has come up in some other threads as well; but one example of this is Hypothermic Presence. Not only have I never used this talent even once, but I had to open up my talents to remember what it does. That’s how good Gathering Storm is.

Talents like this should be either replaced, buffed, or reworked.

In my opinion, Frost DK almost has it lucky with talents, considering there are two major builds, Breath and Obliteration. Granted Breath is currently stronger, Obliteration is not unheard of being played and experimented with (looking really good in 9.2 btw). These two builds encourage a few extra talent choices.

There are still other talents that don’t get used.

  • Icy Talons
  • Horn of Winter*
  • Frozen Pulse
  • Hypothermic Presence
  • Icecap

*One horn of winter change that was suggested to me by Bicepspump (active contributer in the DK Class discord and youtube guide maker) was to take it off the GCD. Currently this talent could be strong but feels very chunky to play with. Taking it off the GCD would alleviate some of these issues.


An old post on the PTR DK feedback thread had me thinking.

This was later expanded on:

…and was later abandoned due to time constrains.

I’m wondering if this type of change would ever be considered post launch? The current 2 piece is functional, and provides a power gain comparable to other 2 pieces, but is generally unexciting to play, and the proposed change sounded like a lot of fun to play with.