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Death Knight builds are pretty varied because of how great most of the Death Knight talents are. It’s very hard to pick and choose what you want for talents as a Death Knight. The key to a successful build though is your rune rotation. You want a set rotation that times your abilities with your rune recharges and you want a talent build to compliment it. So the key to making your own talent build is to focus on what abilities you want to use and the order then get all of the talents that compliment those abilities and the talents that compliment your character and playstyle.

Of course, doing all of that can be a lot of work. So here are some talent builds that you can use as complete sets (just copy all the talents over) or as a good starting example of where you should go. With the Death Knight it’s much harder to mess up than other classes since, like it was said earlier, most talents are just fantastic so don’t worry too much unless you’re doing really high end raiding or arena.

The best for leveling is a difficult answer. For me the answer is Unholy because of the minions, run speed, Bond Shield, and the ability to throw BEES (well Unholy Blight) at the pinnacle of the tree. This is my personal build that I find can shred through enemies right out of the Ebon Hold with no problem:

Link to the Build

That’s at level 57. You’d finish until you had Unholy Blight and then move on to another tree.

If minions and bees are not your thing then Blood is also a viable leveling build. That’s where you just pump your melee abilities all the way up.

Link to the Build

This Blood leveling build (at level 57, finish it out then move on to Frost) gets you lots of healing, lots of melee damage, and will lead up to Dancing Rune Blade.


Link to the Build

This build is designed around Blood DPS & tanking. This means you’ll be set to switch quickly between DPS and tanking (with an emphasis on tanking) while raiding or doing dungeons. With your high damage and heartiness then you you’ll be able to solo without a hitch. Damage mitigation is done with Mark of Blood and Vampiric Blood. Rune Tap is great for healing and Dancing Rune Blade, as always, is a great ability to launch out when you need that extra DPS. Bloodworms provide healing over time and Spell Deflection helps with casters. Overall a very rounded build.

Frost Hybrid

Link to the Build

This build will give you a ton of additional critical strike rating meaning that you’re going to be seeing those big bold numbers often. Death Rune Mastery is going to provide a lot of Death Runes to give you a little bit of flexibility in your rotation. As with most Frost builds you’re going to want to Dual Wield in order to really maximize the talents and haste that you receive.


Unholy builds are hard to make because there is really no bad way to go about it. Try this build on for size though:

Link to the Build

With this build you’re going to want to a Dual Wield. Anyway, the point of this build is to give you a strong minion (that you can control), lots of diseases, and a little bit of ice to boost Icy Touch a bit. You’re going to want to focus a good bit on your cooldowns and a good deal on your rotation along with macroing your minion.

As of right now there is no solid build for PvP since the arena season has yet to start. Most PvE builds will work “ok” in PvP and since PvP is subjective it’s also highly suggested that you build your own. Minions are really weak in PvP so you may want to not focus a lot on them as you build yourself up and the ability to take in a ton of magic damage (like the anti-magic shield) is something to focus on in big siege battles like in Wintergrasp.

That’s it for the Death Knight talent builds. Stay tuned as we’re constantly updating and changing the builds to reflect the current game.

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our World of Warcraft Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

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Get in the bush with David "Xerin" Piner as he leverages his spectacular insanity to ask the serious questions such as is Master Yi and Illidan the same person? What's for dinner? What are ways to elevate your gaming experience? David's column, Respawn, is updated near daily with some of the coolest things you'll read online, while David tackles ways to improve the game experience across the board with various hype guides to cool games.


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