On this page, we present the viable talent and glyph choices for
Frost Death Knights in World of Warcraft MoP 5.4. We detail what each of the talents and
glyphs do and in which situations they should be taken.
The other pages of our Frost Death Knight guide can be accessed
from the table of contents on the right.
1. Talent Choices↑top
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There is no longer such a thing as a default build. Most of the talents are
now viable. They can easily be changed, thanks to Dust of Disappearance
(and Tomes of the Clear Mind from level 86 to 90).
You will frequently find yourself changing talents and glyphs between
encounters, in order to adapt your play style to different mechanics.
Therefore, it is important to understand what each of your talents does and
how they affect your play style.
2. Tier 1 Talents↑top
Tier 1 offers you a choice between 3 talents that interact with your
- Roiling Blood passively causes Blood Boil to trigger
Pestilence if it hits a diseased target.
- Plague Leech is an active ability, with a 25-second cooldown,
which consumes your diseases on the target, activating two depleted runes as
Death runes. It can only be cast if both Frost Fever and
Blood Plague are on the target, and it activates the following two runes,
based on your specialization.
- Blood: 1 Frost and 1 Unholy.
- Frost: 1 Frost and 1 Unholy.
- Unholy: 1 Blood and 1 Frost.
- Unholy Blight is an active ability with a 1.5-minute cooldown,
which causes you to spread your diseases to all enemy targets within 10 yards
of you, for 10 seconds.
We believe that the best choice is Plague Leech, which will
allow you to gain a few Death runes over the course of the fight, by using the
ability just as your Blood Plague is about to expire. Since you will
have to re-apply it anyway, losing one or two seconds of its duration in
exchange for a Death rune is worth it ( Frost Fever will be re-applied
by Howling Blast or Icy Touch).
If you wish to spread your diseases to new adds with ease, then we
recommend taking Unholy Blight. Roiling Blood serves roughly
the same purpose, but we do not feel that it is as good as Unholy Blight,
because it requires the use of Blood Boil, which Frost Death Knights
should never use.
3. Tier 2 Talents↑top
Tier 2 talents offer you a choice between 3 abilities that improve your
survivability (and, in the case of Anti-Magic Zone, your raids'
survivability as well).
- Lichborne is an active ability with a 2-minute cooldown. It lasts
for 10 seconds, during which time casting Death Coil on yourself
- Anti-Magic Zone is a raid cooldown. The ability has a 2-minute
cooldown, and it allows you to place a bubble at a location on the ground.
The bubble reduces all damage taken by raid members inside it by 40%, and it
lasts 3 seconds.
- Purgatory passively allows you to survive a killing blow, once
every 3 minutes. The attack that would otherwise kill you places a 3-second
healing absorption debuff on you instead. The debuff absorbs healing equal to
the amount of damage that the killing blow would have done to you. While the
debuff is active, you cannot be killed, and any damage taken is added to the
healing absorption effect. If the effect is still present when the 3 seconds
run out (meaning, if you haven't been healed for the entire amount by then),
you will die.
Your choice here will depend entirely on the requirements of the encounter
and on your own personal preference.
Anti-Magic Zone should be taken if there is use for it in the fight
(such as predictable raid-wide magic damage), since it benefits your entire
Lichborne provides a rather reliable, on-demand heal that can save
your life. The downside is that healing yourself with Lichborne costs a large
amount of runic power. It is worth noting, however, that the fear immunity that
Lichborne offers may be of use in some encounters.
Purgatory can save your life, it can allow you to overcome
mistakes from your own part or from your healers, and it can help you bypass
otherwise deadly encounter mechanics.
4. Tier 3 Talents↑top
Tier 3 talents offer you a choice between abilities that improve your
movement, kiting, and crowd-control.
- Death's Advance passively increases your movement speed by 10%, and
actively (with a 30-second cooldown) grants you 30% movement speed increase for
6 seconds. The movement speed bonus offered by this ability stacks with other
movement speed increases (such as the one from Unholy Presence).
- Chilblains causes the targets on which you cast Frost Fever
to be slowed by 50% for 10 seconds. Additionally, it causes your
Chains of Ice to immobilize the target for 3 seconds.
- Asphyxiate is an improved version of Strangulate, which
it replaces. It has a 30-second cooldown, and it stuns the target for 5
seconds. In the event that the target is immune to stuns, it silences them
Death's Advance is by far the best choice here, in the majority of
situations. The other two talents could have some usefulness, although only
5. Tier 4 Talents↑top
Tier 4 talents offer you a choice between 3 self-healing abilities.
- Death Pact instantly drains 50% of your minion's maximum health,
healing you for 50% of your own maximum health. It has a 2-minute
- Death Siphon costs 1 Death Rune, and instantly deals a small amount
of Shadowfrost damage to the target, healing you for 150% of the damage done.
It can be used from as much as 40 yards away.
- Conversion is an ability that can be toggled on and off at will.
Toggling it on costs 5 runic power, and keeping it on costs 5 runic power per
second. For each second that it is active, Conversion restores 3% of your
maximum health. While Conversion is active, you can only gain runic power from
using runes. Note that having Conversion active does not prevent you from
performing any actions (i.e., it is not a channeled spell).
We believe that Death Pact is the best choice here, not only because
of its nice amount of healing, but also because it has no resource cost, and,
as such, does not detract from your DPS.
6. Tier 5 Talents↑top
Tier 5 talents offer you a choice between 3 means of improving your rune
- Blood Tap passively causes each successful Death Coils,
Frost Strikes, and Rune Strikes to generate 2
Blood Charges, up to a maximum of 12 charges. Using Blood Tap consumes
5 charges, activating a random fully depleted rune as a Death Rune. Blood Tap
is not on the global cooldown, and it has no cooldown.
- Runic Empowerment passively gives you a 45% chance, when you deal
damage with Death Coil, Frost Strike, and Rune Strike,
to activate a random fully depleted rune.
- Runic Corruption passively gives you a 45% chance, when you deal
damage with Death Coil, Frost Strike, and Rune Strike,
to increase your rune regeneration rate by 100% for 3 seconds. Note that the
duration of the buff decreases the more haste you have.
Blood Tap is currently the best choice for both two-handed and
Runic Empowerment is the next-best choice, for players who prefer not
to have to manage the Blood Charges that come with Blood Tap, but it provides
Runic Corruption provides less DPS than the other two talents, and it
is not viable in any situations.
7. Tier 6 Talents↑top
Tier 6 talents offer you a choice between 3 crowd-control abilities.
- Gorefiend's Grasp places a buff on an ally or enemy, which pulls
all enemy targets (enemies of the Death Knight, not the target itself) within
20 yards to the location of the target. It has a 1-minute cooldown.
- Remorseless Winter causes all enemies within 8 yards of the Death
Knight to be slowed each second for 8 seconds. Each time they are slowed, their
movement speed is reduced by 15%. When they have been slowed 5 times, the
targets become stunned for 6 seconds. Remorseless Winter has a 1-minute
- Desecrated Ground places a friendly void-zone under you, lasting
10 seconds. While you stand in this void zone, you are immune to effects that
cause loss of control of your character.
The choice here is absolutely preference-based. It is possible that some
specific encounter mechanics will cause one talent to be favoured over the
others. Only Remorseless Winter may have some usefulness in stunning
trash mobs so that they cease to deal damage for a few seconds.
8. Major Glyphs↑top
There are several Major Glyphs that can be beneficial to you as a Frost
- Glyph of Shifting Presences allows you to retain 70% of your runic
power when switching between presences. This can be helpful if you are
switching between Frost Presence and Unholy Presence or
Blood Presence. Note that you would never change out of Frost Presence for
DPS purposes, but only to temporarily benefit from the increased movement
speed of Unholy Presence, or the increased survivability of Blood Presence.
- Glyph of Regenerative Magic procs each time your Anti-Magic Shell
expires from you without having been fully consumed by damage. When this
happens, the cooldown of Anti-Magic Shell is reduced by an amount based on
how much damage it had absorbed (the more damage absorbed, the smaller the
reduction), up to a maximum of 50%. This glyph is very beneficial in allowing
you to gain more runic power over the course of the fight.
- Glyph of Anti-Magic Shell improves your Anti-Magic Shell, by
increasing the amount of incoming damage that it absorbs to as much as 100%,
up from 75%. Note that Anti-Magic Shell's absorption still remains limited by
50% of your maximum health. This glyph always has the potential of being
beneficial, so you should take it if you do not need to use another
- Glyph of Icebound Fortitude reduces the duration and the cooldown of
Icebound Fortitude. This glyph allows you to use Icebound Fortitude much
more often, for short periods of time. It is well suited to the DPS role, where
most times when you use Icebound Fortitude to reduce damage, the damage comes
in the form of a single raid-damage spike.
- Glyph of Dark Simulacrum reduces the cooldown of
Dark Simulacrum by 30 seconds and increases its duration by 4
seconds. If you can find an ability in the encounter that you can use
Dark Simulacrum against, then this glyph could be a DPS increase.
- Glyph of Death Coil causes Death Coil to place a damage
absorption effect, if cast on an ally. This will generally not be a worthwhile
thing to do, but it remains a possibility in some remote situations.
- Glyph of Dark Succor gives you a cost-free Death Strike that
heals for at least 20% of your maximum health, each time you get a killing
blow on an enemy that grants experience or honor (only while in
Frost Presence and Unholy Presence). While it will generally
not work, this glyph can sometimes help on fights where you are killing
adds and you need a self-heal.
- Glyph of Loud Horn increases the amount of runic power generated by
Horn of Winter by 10, but doubles its cooldown. This glyph is a small
DPS bonus whenever you can afford to use it (that is to say, when you have a
free Major Glyph slot).
9. Minor Glyphs↑top
The only two Minor Glyphs that may be of interest are
Glyph of Tranquil Grip and Glyph of Army of the Dead.
Glyph of Tranquil Grip causes your Death Grip to no
longer taunt the target, making it ideal if you wish to pull an add to you
(or away from the tank) and you do not wish to take aggro.
Glyph of Army of the Dead causes your ghouls to no longer taunt their
target. This glyph is useful because it gives you the option of having your
target (an add, since bosses cannot be taunted by Army of the Dead anyway)
continue attacking its tank, in case this is desirable.
- 10 Sep. 2013: Patch 5,4 updates.
- 20 May 2013: Patch 5.3 update: nothing to change.
- 03 Apr. 2013: Made several updates.
- 07 Mar. 2013: Patch 5.2 update.
- Updated Asphyxiate explanation to reflect the new 30-second cooldown
of the ability.
- Updated Conversion explanation to reflect the new 5 runic power
cost (both initial and per second).