Frost DK 3.3.5a DPS PvE Guide

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Crown
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Frost DK 3.3.5a DPS PvE Guide

#1 » Post by Crown » 30 Nov 2014 19:56

Frost DK 3.3.5a DPS PvE Guide

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Paragraphs (For an easier navigation, do a CTRL+F command, and then type the number from the list)
  • 1. Raid Utility
  • 2. Rotation/Priority execution
    • 2.1 Unbreakable Armor Usage
    • 2.2 Rune Grace Period Priority
    • 2.3 Cooldown management
      • 2.3.1 Empower Rune Weapon
      • 2.3.2 Ghoul
      • 2.3.3 Army of the Dead
      • 2.3.4 Anti-Magic Shell
  • 3. Itemization and Build
    • 3.1 Talents & Glyphs
    • 3.2 Runeforging
      • 3.2.1 Single-Target
      • 3.2.2 Multi-Target
    • 3.3 Relics
      • 3.3.1 Armor Penetration Build
      • 3.3.2 Strength Build
    • 3.4 Stats
      • 3.4.1 Weapon Damage & Weapon Speed
      • 3.4.2 Expertise
      • 3.4.3 Hit Rating
      • 3.4.4 Armor Penetration vs. Strength
      • 3.4.5 Haste vs. Critical
      • 3.4.6 Attack Power
      • 3.4.7 Agility
    • 3.5 Gems
      • 3.5.1 Armor Penetration Build
      • 3.5.2 Strength build
    • 3.6 Enchants
    • 3.7 Professions
    • 3.8 Consumables
    • 3.9 BiS
      • 3.9.1 BiS List
      • 3.9.2 Simulations and Comparesements
1. Raid Utility of a Frost Death Knight


Tank support
With Improved Icy Touch 3/3 (slower melee and ranged attack by 6%) and having in consideration that Icy Touch is used right off the start of an encounter, Frost makes a nice support.

Mandatory DPS buff
Improved Icy Talons 1/1 provide 20% melee haste, which is a significant DPS increase for almost every MDPS.

An excellent situational DPS burst
Saving and synchronizing Empower Rune Weapon and Unbreakable Armor for a particular situation (Killing Green/Orange Ooze, Raging Spirit, DPSing Professor Putricide on the last phase..)

Versatile spec
A spec that can adapt to both Single-Target, as well as AoE, encounters by getting ArPen or Strength build.

2. Rotation and Priority execution

Pre-pull/downphase optimal rotation

Since T10 4p has been fixed, here's a pre-pull/downphase rotation.
This should be used only when you know when will the boss be engaged, (i.e. Deathbringer Saurfang, The Lich King, etc..) and when you're in a down phase (Just before you escape the Frostmourne room).
You should wait ~9 seconds (Depending on the amount of latency and key mashing) before you use this rotation.
So here it is.

Death and Decay > Army of the Dead
If AotD is on CD, swap your presences instead.

Optimal Initial Rotation

Icy Touch > Plague Strike > Obliterate > Blood Strike > Blood Tap + Unbreakable Armor > Pestilence

After that, you proceed with priority list.

Keep Frost Fever up
Keep Blood Plague up
Obliterate
Blood Strike
Full Runic Power Frost Strike or Killing Machine Frost Strike
Howling Blast with Rime
Frost Strike
Horn of Winter

2.1 Unbreakable Armor Usage


(Current) Blood Tap + Unbreakable Armor Post-RGP Post-BT fix Usage:

Since Rune Grace Period, Blood Tap Refreshing Mechanic Part 1 and Blood Tap Refreshing Mechanic Part 2 have been fixed here are the new optimal cases of BT+UA usages.

If you're having Unbreakable Armor off the cooldown, always use it after either Blood Strike or Pestilence (Depending when will diseases expire)
Don't forget to cancel it after you've consumed it with an Obliterate.
[/cancelaura Blood Tap]

If your diseases are about to expire, and/or you're having blood runes on a cooldown, either use:

a) Blood Strike and Pestilence
b) Pestilence and Blood Strike
c) Blood Strike > Blood Tap + Unbreakable Armor > Pestilence
d) Pestilence > Blood Tap + Unbreakable Armor > Blood Strike

2.2 Rune Grace Period priority

Once you have used all your runic abilities (Obliterate, Blood Strike..) as soon as they come off, use this priority system without going past the Rune Grace Period (2.5s) which translates to one global cooldown which is either
Full Runic Power Frost Strike or Killing Machine Frost Strike
Howling Blast with Rime
Frost Strike
Horn of Winter
2.3 Cooldown management

2.3.1 Empower Rune Weapon
There is a popular belief that you should use it only when you miss a Pestilence or when diseases drop off. While it's true that Diseases are a top priority, the current misconfusion comes from a bad priority system.

When you should really use it:
If the fight is shorter than 5 minutes => Use it below 35% of boss's health points, with all procs aligned (if possible).
If the fight is longer than 5 minutes (Sindragosa, Professor Putricide, The Lich King, etc..) => You can use it after a first or second set of runes.

Burst Case for getting the bite on Blood-Queen Lana'thel
1) Icy Touch
2) Plague Strike
3) Obliterate
4) Blood Tap + Unbreakable Armor
5) Pestilence
6) Empower Rune Weapon
7) Obliterate three times
8) Proceed with Priority system

2.3.2 Ghoul
You should use it somewhere in the start (and every time when it's off the cooldown) when you're having all procs lined up, without disrupting the priority system. If you're having empty GCDs, and you can only use Horn of Winter, use Ghoul instead. Otherwise, if you cannot afford Horn of Winter, summon a Ghoul instead of doing a Frost Strike.

2.3.3 Army of the Dead
If you wanna use it, be far away from the boss before he gets engaged.

2.3.4 Anti-Magic Shell
Not only a good defensive cooldown but a great solution if you're getting empty globals. Ab(use) it when you're low on Runic Power.

Itemization and Build

3.1 Talents & Glyphs

(1/52/18)
A talent build meant for maximizing single-target DPS.
If you're running with Restoration Druids specced into Revitalize and/or Discipline Priests specced into Rapture you can drop 1 point in Chilled of the Grave and invest into Killing Machine.

Major Glyphs to use are:
Glyph of Disease
Glyph of Obliterate
Glyph of Frost Strike

No alternatives.

Minor Glyphs to use are:
Glyph of Pestilence
Glyph of Horn of Winter
Glyph of Blood Tap (or Glyph of Raise Dead if you're forgetting to buy the mats.)

3.2 Runeforging

3.2.1 Single-Target

Rune of Razorice on Main-Hand
Rune of the Fallen Crusader on Off-Hand

Since Rune of the Fallen Crusader relies on procs per minute, it doesn't matter on which hand you put it.
The benefit of Razorice on Main-hand and is that it does a 2% weapon damage as Frost damage, which means it'll do more DPS on a Main-Hand weapon than on an Off-Hand.
Since Threat of Thassarian strikes are slightly delayed, Razorice debuff will be applied faster on the target.

The only exception to this rule is if you have an expertise difference with your weapons (A difference between a Main-Hand and an Off-Hand).
This can only happen with racials that increase expertise based on the weapon type (axes, swords, maces).
In such case, you should use Fallen Crusader on a weapon with a higher expertise, even if it's on a Main-Hand.


3.2.2 Multi-Target

Rune of Cinglacier on Main-Hand
Rune of the Fallen Crusader on Off-hand

3.3 Relics

3.3.1 Armor Penetration Build
Sigil of Awareness all the times

3.3.2 Strength Build
Sigil of the Hanged Man/Sigil of Virulence until 35%, then swap for Sigil of Awareness on a global cooldown.

3.4 Stats

3.4.1 Weapon Damage & Weapon Speed
A great majority of a Frost Death Knight's DPS comes from strikes that are dependent on a % of weapon damage. With Threat of Thassarian, it also applies for an offhand.
Going for a weapon with a higher Weapon Speed as opposed to a higher Weapon Damage is not viable.(We are not rogues!)
It is the most important stat, and therefore, always pick a weapon with a higher damage.

3.4.2 Expertise
Value of expertise depends on personal latency and additional runic power gains (Anti-Magic Shell, Revitalize and Rapture). The higher the latency and additional runic power gains, the higher the value of Expertise is. However, in any case, gemming Expertise is a DPS loss, as force-capping expertise is only done by stacking items with Expertise. It's also worth mentioning that you should only look at your Main-Hand expertise since Off-Hand specials cannot dodge. (This goes if your racial improves expertise on particular weapon types)
Expertise on a BiS character is 24, which proves that you don't need to force cap it.

3.4.3 Hit Rating
There are 2 hit caps that you can reach. (And technically a 3rd one, but it's not worth going that far)
Firstly, there is a melee special cap. Those are spells that include attacks that are generated from weapons, such as Obliterate, Frost Strike, etc...
Secondly, there is a spell hit cap. Those are spells that aren't generated from weapons, such as Pestilence, Howling Blast, etc...
It's very easy to get capped on melee special.
With Nerves of the Cold Steel 3/3, you only need 4% if you're alliance or 5% hit rating if you're horde.
Getting capped on a spell hit is not easy, especially not when you're going for an ArPen cap where almost every gem is an ArPen one.
It is done by gemming etched ametrine in yellow sockets, whilst keeping armor penetration capped.
The value of hit until spell hit cap is higher than haste and critical, therefore, you should prioritize Etched over Fierce/Inscribed Ametrine.

3.4.4 Armor Penetration vs. Strength
It's true that Strength is a stat with the highest value, but during one point, it becomes weaker. Tests and simulations are showing ~70% of Frost Death Knight's attacks come from a pure physical source. Simulations show that it's around 72% passive ArPen where Strength becomes an inferior stat. So, here's where you have a choice.
Do you wanna be more AoE or Single Target oriented DPS?

3.4.5 Haste vs. Critical (Fierce Ametrine vs. Inscribed Ametrine)
Haste scales better with Icy Talons and Improved Icy Talons, improves melee speed, which also means more Killing Machine procs, more Necrosis, and more Blood-Caked Blade.
Critical Strike increases a chance of doing an attack with twice of normal damage. However, it has a downside. It will have no influence if you're about to use a Frost Strike with Killing Machine.
Therefore it's value is lowered.
As expected, simulations are showing it's better to go for Fierce Ametrine rather than Inscribed Ametrine in yellow gems in the End-Game Gear. (This only goes if you are both ArP and spell hit capped)

3.4.6 Attack Power
Frost Death Knight's every damaging ability is dependent on an Attack Power.
Converted from Strength, it's not worth gemming it for the obvious reason.
You'll find it in a raw state on agility items.

3.4.7 Agility
A weaker version of Critical Strike.
Despite being the lowest stat, it still has a nice value. Some of the agility items are great (two are even BiS) for an ArPen build.

3.5 Gems

3.5.1 Armor Penetration Build
Meta: Relentless Earthsiege Diamond
Red: Fractured Cardinal Ruby
Yellow: Fractured Cardinal Ruby
Prismatic: Nightmare Tear

In yellow gem/s slap an Etched Ametrine if you're over capping on ArPen and have less than 262/289 hit. If you're over capping on a spell hit, put a Fierce Ametrine instead.

3.5.2 Strength Build
Meta: Relentless Earthsiege Diamond
Red: Bold Cardinal Ruby
Yellow: Etched Ametrine (or Fierce Ametrine if you're over 262/289 hit rating.)
Prismatic: Nightmare Tear

3.6 Enchants

Head - Arcanum of Torment
Shoulder - Greater Inscription of the Axe
Back - Greater Speed
Chest - Powerful Stats
Wrist - Greater Assault
Hands - Precision/Crusher
Legs - Icescale Leg Armor
Feet - Icewalker/Cat's Swiftness/Greater Assault

Precision and/or Icewalker enchants for obvious (hit rating) reasons.
Cat's Swiftness as a situational movement enchant.
*Profession-wise enchants are not included.

3.7 Professions

Engineering (With the release of Ruby Sanctum, Frost can get Sharpened Twilight Scale and easily cap ArPen, without a Blacksmithing profession and still have benefits of an Engineer. Also, an excellent profession if you have a strength build.)
Jewelcrafting (+34 bonus ArPen/Strength)
Blacksmithing comes next (additional sockets to cap ArPen or simply gem strength).

3.8 Consumables

Flask: Flask of Endless Rage
Potion: Potion of Speed
Food: Hearty Rhino if you're aiming for ArPen cap so you free yellow gems and put Etched Ametrine. (If you're ArP and spell hit capped, slap a Fierce Ametrine)
For Strength build, Dragonfin Filet (+40str) is optimal.

3.9 BiS

3.9.1 BiS List

Made a separate thread on this, check http://truewow.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=35729

3.9.2 Simulations and Comparesements
Are you wondering is X item better than X or a Best-in-Slot in general? Sim it with Kahorie's DK Simulator 3.3.5a
Or simply ask in this post/write a private message and I'll simulate it for you.
Last edited by Crown on 19 Jun 2017 01:17, edited 64 times in total.

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Demol
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Re: Detailed guide for Frost DPS in 3.3.5a

#2 » Post by Demol » 04 Dec 2014 15:50

Moved to WoW Guides as per requested.
Good guide, would definitely consider it when I start a Death Knight :)

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Re: Detailed guide for Frost DPS in 3.3.5a

#3 » Post by blagovest_tonev » 04 Dec 2014 16:30

Would you put an example of single and multi-target rotation?

Great job.

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Re: Detailed guide for Frost DPS in 3.3.5a

#4 » Post by Fastor » 04 Dec 2014 18:54

Though Classes>DK would be better.

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Re: Detailed guide for Frost DPS in 3.3.5a

#5 » Post by Crown » 04 Dec 2014 20:24

blagovest_tonev wrote:Would you put an example of single and multi-target rotation?

Great job.
I can only give you the initial rotation of both Single Target and AoE DPS, after that you gotta follow the priority system.

Single Target Initial Rotation
Icy Touch > Plague Strike > Obliterate > Blood Tap & Unbreakable Armor > Pestilence


AoE Initial Rotation (For 3 or less targets)
Icy Touch > Plague Strike > Howling Blast > Pestilence > Blood Tap & Unbreakable Armor

AoE Priority (For 3 or less targets)
Frost Fever on all the targets
Blood Plague on all the targets
Howling Blast
Obliterate
Pestilence (After you have refreshed your diseases with a Pestilence, do it so again so you can have 2 death runes.)
Frost Strike
Horn of Winter
Unbreakable Armor always as Blood Tap + Unbreakable Armor and Pestilence. /cancelaura Blood Tap once you've consumed with with an Obliterate or Howling Blast.

For more than 3 targets, you should use Death and Decay and Blood Boil.
Though Classes>DK would be better.
It has been there, then I have requested the thread to be moved here. I feel it's more relevant to WoW Guides section rather than Class sub-forum which is used more for class discussions, bugs and questions.
Last edited by Crown on 17 Jan 2015 19:16, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Detailed guide for Frost DPS in 3.3.5a

#6 » Post by blagovest_tonev » 05 Dec 2014 12:40

Let's see if I understood it. After I do this rotation:
Icy Touch > Plague Strike > Obliterate > Blood Tap & Unbreakable Armor > Pestilence
I have to begin the priority system rotation, and after horn of winter, I have to move back to the intial rotation?

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Re: Detailed guide for Frost DPS in 3.3.5a

#7 » Post by Crown » 05 Dec 2014 23:08

blagovest_tonev wrote:Let's see if I understood it. After I do this rotation:
Icy Touch > Plague Strike > Obliterate > Blood Tap & Unbreakable Armor > Pestilence
I have to begin the priority system rotation, and after horn of winter, I have to move back to the intial rotation?
Initial Rotation is also included as a priority system, since you apply Frost Fever and Blood Plague, use an Obliterate and Unbreakable Armor instead of Blood Strike, then Pestilence so you can have 2 death runes for and additional Obliterate. The given Initial Rotation fulfills Top 4 priorities.
and after horn of winter
You will bearly have a free GCD to do Horn of Winter, specially if you're running with Restoration Druids/Discipline Priests.
I have to move back to the intial rotation?
You don't want that, unless you've dropped your diseases and you have Unbreakable Armor up.

Here's a video that shows how you can manage it using a priority system listed above. (Before Rune Grace Period was fixed.)

[youtube]39xsElh0kJ8[/youtube]
Last edited by Crown on 06 Dec 2014 17:15, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Detailed guide for Frost DPS in 3.3.5a

#8 » Post by blagovest_tonev » 06 Dec 2014 07:09

I see, thank you. :P

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Re: Detailed guide for Frost DPS in 3.3.5a

#9 » Post by Crown » 26 Dec 2014 14:55

Updates:
  • Added BiS list for pre-RS25 heroic gear.
  • Ghoul usage
  • Unbreakable Armor usage case d)

Code: Select all

Instead of "d) Blood Tap + Unbreakable Armor and Pestilence, use /cancelaura Blood Tap after you've consumed an Obliterate."
With "d) Blood Tap + Pestilence and Unbreakable Armor use /cancelaura Blood Tap after you've consumed an Obliterate" you should almost always have 2 death runes without worrying will the diseases drop as opposed to a previous d) case.

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Re: Detailed guide for Frost DPS in 3.3.5a

#10 » Post by Amoriann » 11 Jan 2015 03:23

Wrong talents :cross: :cross: 5/10 guide

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Re: Detailed guide for Frost DPS in 3.3.5a

#11 » Post by Myaoming » 11 Jan 2015 17:15

He does not have wrong talents. His spec focuses mainly on maximizing the physical damage output without minimizing Frost Strike count. Also, It doesn't rely on the RNG of Rime procs. This can be understood when looking at 2/5 Black Ice and 2/2 Chill of Grave when comparing to this spec which relies more on Rime procs and is more AoE based.

Not all classes and specs have one single best spec everyone must follow. Actually, a very minority does, only.
Elder Myaoming (aka Slardar): Level 80 Tauren Feral PvE/PvP
Siforosse of the Undercity: Level 80 Undead Affliction Warlock PvP/Demon PvE
Zibuluge of the Ashen Verdict: Level 80 Human Frost DK PvP/PvE
Inverse: Level 80 Human Fire Mage PvP/PvE
Slar: Level 80 Night Elf Resto/Feral Druid PvE

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Crown
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Re: Detailed guide for Frost DPS in 3.3.5a (With BiS lists)

#12 » Post by Crown » 18 Feb 2015 23:31

Amoriann wrote:Wrong talents :cross: :cross: 5/10 guide
You could at least be more specific and post a constructive critique, instead of bashing this guide with crosses. Wrong talents? Image
Myaoming wrote:He does not have wrong talents. His spec focuses mainly on maximizing the physical damage output without minimizing Frost Strike count. Also, It doesn't rely on the RNG of Rime procs. This can be understood when looking at 2/5 Black Ice and 2/2 Chill of Grave when comparing to this spec which relies more on Rime procs and is more AoE based.

Not all classes and specs have one single best spec everyone must follow. Actually, a very minority does, only.
Black Ice is indeed a more AoE than a single-target DPS talent, and it is desirable on heavy AoE fights.
It is true that spec that you've linked relies more on the Rime procs, however often times you'll find yourself in a situation where you have empty GCDs, and that is not a good thing. (Unless you use AMS frequently and/or getting Revitalize/Rapture)

Edit: Various updates

Edit 2: Added racial BiS lists

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Re: Detailed guide for Frost DPS in 3.3.5a (With BiS lists)

#13 » Post by Fastor » 18 Feb 2015 23:49

Dude, write update into your guide not post down here. Or just make new post.

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Crown
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Re: Detailed guide for Frost DPS in 3.3.5a (With BiS lists)

#14 » Post by Crown » 18 Feb 2015 23:57

Well, if someone is really interested about a guide, he will read every single post, because it has answers about questions which may be useful.
I am constantly deleting and editing my last post, which is the same as if I were making a new post, i.e. bump.

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Re: Detailed guide for Frost DPS in 3.3.5a (With BiS lists)

#15 » Post by Fastor » 19 Feb 2015 00:19

Not really because who ever read this thinks Amorlan finally explained why he said that.

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