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style="font-weight: bold;"> style="color: rgb(204, 51, 204);">Demise

style="color: rgb(255, 255, 255); font-size: 11px;">Binds
when picked up

Two-Hand Mace

522 - 785 Damage, Speed 3.50

(186.6 DPS)

+90 Strength

+103 Stamina

+85
Attack Power

Requires
Level 80

Improves
haste rating by 89

Improves hit rating by 45
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Gear for any class is a critical component of your character. For a
Death Knight it is even more so.  After all a Death Knight is
the class that is most likely to use the old Dirty Harry saying
“Do ya feel lucky, punk?” Death Knights are not
there to make friends, they are there to kill and intimidate,
preferably in that order. The bigger and more impressive the gear is,
the better.



Therefore much of your time in the World
of Warcraft
is spent looking
for, collecting, making, buying, questing, or raiding for gear. Just
when you get a good piece of gear, you will either level past its
usefulness or find a better piece of gear to aim for. Gear and gear
progression is what ends up keeping most players in the game long past
reaching the level cap.



For gearing up, Death Knights are different from the other classes due
to the fact that they start at level 55 upon character creation. In
addition, they start the
game fully equipped with green quality gear. Better yet, by completing
their starting zone quests, they earn an even better set of rare (blue)
gear. This second set of gear lasts well into a Death
Knight’s leveling. As a result there is very little
that you will end up replacing for the first 5-10 levels as a Death
Knight. What do you want to look for in gear once you do get
past the first hand full of levels? Let’s take a
look.



Gear and its stats that are important for a Death Knight
really
rely on what talent spec you are using. Are you specced to tank and
absorb damage and generate threat or are you trying to become the next
destroyer of worlds, demolishing everything around you? The
Death Knight class does both well, but only if you are geared for it,
so let’s look at each separately.



DPS Gear



Tanking not your thing? No problem, Death Knights kick out
enough DPS to make almost any other class quake in their boots. The
stats that you require to do damage are vastly different than what you
need to tank. This means a whole different set of
gear. The most important stats on your damage gear are Hit,
Strength, Attack Power, Critical Hit, and Expertise.

 

While you should be looking primarily at plate gear as a Death Knight,
be open to mail armour if it has significant stat upgrades from your
current plate gear. The goal as a DPS Death Knight is to cause enough
damage to kill your opponent first. While it’s nice to be
able to take a few hits, if you get a big enough damage output increase
it's worth sacrificing some survivability for it. 



Tanking Gear



As a Death Knight tank, your goal is to piss everything off
around you enough that they focus on you, and not your allies. To do
this,
you need to cause enough damage, and be able to absorb or avoid enough
of the incoming attacks while staying alive. The most important stats
on gear while tanking are Stamina, Strength, Defense, Expertise, Dodge,
Parry, and Armour value.



As a Death Knight tank you do not use a shield, so your health,
avoidance (Dodge and Parry), and mitigation (damage reduction due to
armour value) are all critically important.  Therefore staying
in plate armour is really your only choice, so never choose any other
armour over plate no matter what the stats.



PvP Gear



In PvP, combat is about two things: burst damage output and
survivability. Most Death Knights will enter PvP combat
focusing on burst damage. This means that your gear will need
to focus on Strength and Critical Hit. However, since you
need to survive as well you should focus on Stamina and
Resilience. 



Finding the right balance is a tricky affair in PvP as the two sets of
stats are on opposite ends of the spectrum. As you gear up
for survivability your burst damage capability goes down; as you gear
for more damage output your survivability goes down. Finding
the balance will take time and depend on your situation and play style.



Trinket Choice



As a Death Knight your choice of trinket again depends on your talent
build. For DPS builds you should get trinkets that add
Strength or Attack Power. These stats will up your damage
output the most. For Tanking builds, the trinket slot is a
great place to pick up some extra stamina, defense or avoidance (dodge
or parry).



Weapon Choice



Death Knights can choose to use many different weapons.
These range from one and two handed swords, maces, and axes, and
polearms. A Death Knight, even when tanking, is
looking for the biggest, meanest beat stick around. This
means picking up the hardest hitting two handed
weapon
around. 



While it is possible for a Death Knight to dual-wield single handed
weapons, it is not their forte and should really be avoided.
After all, if you wanted to dual-wield, you should have rolled
a Warrior, Rogue, or Shaman.



With weapons, the most critical stats are the damage and speed.
Obviously
the other stat bonuses come into play on a weapon, but they are
secondary considerations. The priority on weapons goes first to the
base damage they cause. This means that slow weapons are better since
they cause more damage per hit. Secondly, you want to look for a weapon
with Strength or Attack Power, and only after that, Hit or
Critical Hit rating.



Death Knights tank using two-handed weapons and all the same choices
apply to choosing a weapon with which to tank. However, stamina
becomes a high priority on the list of stats you are looking for when
you are gearing to be a tank.



Where and What to Collect
for Gear as you Level




There are some pretty easy ways to get and collect gear as you
level.  This is much simpler than other classes since you have
far fewer levels to worry about.  Also, you really do not need
to worry about gear for about the first 10 levels.


cellpadding="2" cellspacing="2">
style="background-color: rgb(172, 24, 58); text-align: center; vertical-align: middle;"> style="font-weight: bold; color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">Level style="background-color: rgb(172, 24, 58); text-align: center; vertical-align: middle;"> style="font-weight: bold; color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">DPS
Builds style="background-color: rgb(172, 24, 58); text-align: center; vertical-align: middle;"> style="font-weight: bold; color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">Tanking
Builds style="background-color: rgb(178, 53, 81); text-align: center; vertical-align: middle;"> style="font-weight: bold; color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">55-64
  • Keep your starting gear.
  • Keep your starting gear.
style="text-align: center; vertical-align: middle; background-color: rgb(178, 53, 81);"> style="font-weight: bold; color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">65-74
  • Replace with green and blue quality items that you
    gain from questing and drops that have high Strength, Hit, and Critical
    Hit.
  • Acquire the Spiked Cobalt armor set from a Blacksmith
    or the Auction house.
  • Replace with green and blue quality items that you
    gain from questing and drops that have high Stamina and Defense.
  • Acquire the crafted Cobalt armor set from a
    Blacksmith or the Auction house.
style="background-color: rgb(178, 53, 81); text-align: center; vertical-align: middle;"> style="color: rgb(255, 255, 255); font-weight: bold;">75-79
  • Collect blue quality items from quest rewards and
    instances that have high Strength, Hit, and Critical Hit.
  • Acquire the spiked saronite armor set from a
    Blacksmith or the Auction house.
  • Collect blue quality items from quest rewards and
    instances that have high Stamina and Defense.
  • Acquire the tempered saronite armor set from a
    Blacksmith or the Auction house.
style="background-color: rgb(178, 53, 81); text-align: center; vertical-align: middle;"> style="font-weight: bold; color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">80
  • Collect DPS specific blue and purple quality gear
    from level 80 instances or raids.
  • Acquire the Spiked Titansteel armor pieces from a
    Blacksmith or the Auction house.
  • Collect reputation based DPS items from the various
    factions in Northrend. Your priorities should be Knights of the Ebon
    Blade, Argent Crusade, and the Sons of Hodir.
  • Collect Heroic or Valorous badges from Heroic
    Instances or Raids to purchase items.
  • Collect tanking specific blue and purple quality gear
    from level 80 instances or raids.
  • Acquire the Daunting, and Tempered Titansteel armor
    pieces from a Blacksmith or the Auction house.
  • Collect reputation based tanking items from the
    various factions in Northrend. Your priorities should be Wyrmrest
    Accord, Argent Crusade, and the Sons of Hodir,
  • Collect Heroic or Valorous badges from Heroic
    Instances or Raids to purchase items.



What the Stats Provide



The stats below provide benefits to your character, but what are
they? Depending on the exact spec you are using, they will
affect you slightly differently, but here are the basics.



Strength
– Strength adds to your attack power, increasing your damage
output.

Attack Power
– Increases your damage output.

Stamina
– Increases your health.

Hit
– Lowers your chance of missing an enemy.

Critical Hit
– Increases your chance of scoring a critical hit on your
opponent.

Expertise
– Lowers the chance your opponent will dodge or parry your
attacks.

Defense
– Reduces the chance you will be hit or critically hit in
combat.

Dodge
– Increases the chance you will dodge an attack, completely
ignoring the incoming damage.

Parry
– Increases the chance you will parry an attack, completely
ignoring the incoming damage and gain a speed increase on your next
attack.



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

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Byron 1
Byron has been playing and writing about World of Warcraft for the past ten years. He also plays pretty much ever other Blizzard game, currently focusing on Heroes of the Storm and Hearthstone, while still finding time to jump into Diablo III with his son.

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