Updated Fri, Sep 02, 2011 by Xerin
Welcome to the basics portion of our Death Knight guide. In this section of the guide you will be provided more information on the Death Knight including why you should play one, what profession and race you should choose, as well as being introduced to some of the unique mechanics that make this unholy warrior take on a play style unheard of in the other classes available in World of Warcraft. Enjoy!
Why should you play a Death Knight?
With all the other excellent class choices out there you may be wondering if the Death Knight is the right choice for you. Before you decide please note that you must have at least one other level 55 character in order to access the Death Knight class and you may only have one Death Knight character per server. Still not turned off the Death Knight? Well then, check out these defining aspects of the class listed below to see if this class is truly the one for you!
If the details listed above appeal to you then the Death Knight class may be the perfect choice to you!
What is the best race for the Death Knight?
The Death Knight can be any race, which opens up more choices than many players have experienced before. To narrow it down first decide if you wish to play Alliance or Horde (if applicable). Your choice of faction will dictate which zones your spend the most time in, who your comrades will be, and who you will consider to be your enemies.
Each race has its own advantages and disadvantages, but remember, the ultimate decision of which race you choose should be based on your own personal feelings rather than racial abilities. This will ensure that you love the race you are playing and will most likely never come to regret the choice. However, if you are looking for a more technical way to choose your race you may wish to check out the various racial abilities attributed to each. A list of these abilities can be found below:
|Blood Elf||Blood Elves racials provide them with an increased resistance to Arcane effects, increased Enchanting skill, and Arcane Torrent; a silencing ability.|
|Forsaken||Forsaken racials provide the race with an increase in Shadow resistance by 1, the ability to breathe underwater for longer than normal, the ability to gain back health and mana through cannibalization, and Will of the Forsaken; an ability that removes any movement impairing effects from the player.|
|Goblin||Goblin racials provide them with the best possible gold discount at vendors, regardless of faction, an increase in Alchemy skill, a 1% increase in attack and casting speed, and the ability to use their belt to launch rockets at enemies and jump long distances from time to time.|
|Orc||Orcs racials provide an additional 3 points in expertise with Fist Weapons, Axes, and Two-Handed Axes, increased damage dealt by pets by 3%, a reduction in the duration of stun effects by 15%, and Blood Fury; an ability that increases spell power for 15 seconds.|
|Tauren||Tauren racials provide a base health increase by 5%, a increase in nature resistance by 1, an 15 point increase in Herbalism, and War Stomp; an ability that stuns nearby enemies.|
|Troll||Troll racials provide this race with 5% increased damage verses beasts, 20% increased attack and casting speed, a 1% increased chance to hit with bows, a 10% health regeneration rate, an 1% chance to critically hit with throwing weapons, and a 15% reduction to the duration of all movement impairing effects.|
|Draenei||Draenei racials provide an increase in Jewelcrafting skill by 10 points, a 1% increased chance to hit with all spells and attacks, increased resistance to Shadow effects by 1, and Gift of the Naaaru; an ability that heals the player’s target.|
|Dwarf||Dwarven racials provide a 1% increase to critically hit with Guns, expertise with Maces and Two-Handed Maces increased by 3, an increased resistance to Frost effects, the ability to find additional fragments when looting arcaelogical finds and the ability to survey faster than other archaeologists, and Stoneform; an ability that removes all poison, disease, and bleed effects, and increases the player’s armor by 10% for 8 seconds.|
|Gnome||Gnome racials provide an increase in resistance to Arcane effects by 1, a 15 point increase in Engineering, a 5% increase in the player’s mana pool, a 3 point increase in expertise with Daggers and One-Handed Swords, and Escape Artist; an ability that allows the player to escape the effects of any immobilization or movement speed reduction effect.|
|Human||Humans have an increase in Spirit by 3%, a 10% increase in reputation gain, an additional 3 points of expertise in Maces, Two-Handed Maces, Swords, and Two-Handed Swords, and Every Man for Himself, an ability that removes all movement impairing effects which cause loss of control of your character.|
|Night Elf||Night Elf racials provide a 75% increased movement speed while dead, a 1 point resistance increase to Nature effects, reduces the chance that melee or ranged attackers will hit you by 2%, and allows the player to meld with the shadows, reducing the chance for enemies to detect your presence.|
|Worgen||Worgen racials provide a 15 point increase in Skinning and allows the player to skin faster, increases critical strike chance by 1%, allows the player to shift between Worgen and Human form, a 13 point increased resistance to harmful Nature and Shadow effects, the ability to drop to all fours to run more quickly, and Darkflight, an ability that allows the Worgen to transform into their true form, increasing movement speed by 70% for 10 seconds.|
What is the best Profession for a Death Knight?
Choosing a profession can seem like a difficult task, but let me assure you that it is easier than you might think. Thanks to some changes made by Blizzard, currently every crafting profession in game will offer a basic bonus to a players stats. These bonuses are designed so that none are better than another. This means that for possibly the first time in quite a while players will be able to pick a profession based on their own personal preferences instead of picking one simply because it happens to help out their chosen class. So go wild and feel free to pick whatever profession suits your personal fancy.
How do Runes and Runic Power work for the Death Knight?
Mana, energy, rage, or even focus may be what you eyes paid very close attention to while leveling up. You needed to pay so much attention to these things because these were the forces that powered your spells and allowed you to tromp enemies beneath your feet. Death Knights are the same, yet totally different.
As a Death Knight you will find yourself equipped with six Runes that can be found directly below your health bar. Each Death Knight has two Blood, two Frost, and two Unholy Runes. Death Knight abilities will require a set number and type (for example a spell may require one Unholy Rune and one Frost Rune to be useable) of runes to work. Once the ability has been activated the Runes used to power it will become inactive for a short period of time until they have recharged at which time they may be used again. If the Runes needed for an ability are recharging you will not be able to use that ability until they are active again.
Certain abilities can affect the recharge rate on your Runes or even convert them into a special type known as Death Runes. Death Runes are special because they can be used for any of the three Rune types; Blood, Frost, or Unholy.
Not to mention that each time you use a Rune the Death Knight will gain Runic Power. Runic Power is much like a Warrior’s Rage. Every time a rune is used your Runic Power will increase. The Death Knight has several abilities, such as Death Coil, that work solely off of Runic Power and can be used when you have accumulated enough. Also like Rage, Runic Power depletes over time, so be sure to use it when it is available!
What are Death Knight Presences?
Much like Warrior’s various stances, Death Knights have access to several personal auras in this case known as Presences. The three Presences available to the Death Knight are:
As you can see these Presences provide powerful buffs to the Death Knight that compliment your chosen talent tree and help you fulfill your chosen role. Once a Presence has been activated the effects are continuous, and will last until the Death Knight changes them. The Death Knight may only have one active Presence at a time and if you choose to assume a new Presence all Runic Power you have gained will be instantly consumed.
What spec should I pick for the Death Knight?
There are three major specializations that a Death Knight can choose from: Frost, Blood, and Unholy. Available at level 10 each specialization has its own benefits and will offer the Death Knight a distinct play experience. Choose the specialization that best fits how you envision your play style. For more information take a glance at the description of each spec below:
How should I choose equipment and stats for the Death Knight?
Choosing equipment for your Death Knight is as simple as knowing which basics stats are the best for the class. Know this and you can easily discern which pieces of gear you should pick up and which you can safely pass by. While each spec will require similar stats, you will find that some will be more important for certain specs than others. Find a listing of the most useful stats (listed in order of usefulness) for each Death Knight sepc below:
Hit (to cap)
Hit (to cap)
Hit (to cap)