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Death
Knights are World of
Warcraft's
first Hero class. They were brought into the
game
with the release of the second expansion, href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/27065" target="_blank"> style="font-style: italic;">The Wrath of the Lich
King. They are an extremely powerful
hybrid class that
specializes in tanking and damage dealing through the use of both magic
and melee with a strong emphasis on melee.

Flavor

A Death Knight is often described as a Rogue
in plate armor due to their use of runic energy and their damage
dealing
ability. They are also compared to druids for their ability to tank
without a shield, and of course to Warriors and Paladins for their
ability to do damage or tank. However, there really is no
other class that plays even remotely close to the way a Death Knight
plays, they are truly unique unto themselves.

Death Knights can use any type of armor in the game,
however they
will wear plate armor in almost all situations. Death
Knights can also use almost any weapon in the game, as they can become
proficient with one and two-handed swords, axes, and maces as well as
polearms. Check out our href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/tth_wow_db" target="_blank">WoW
database to search for some of these weapons

The class may attract many different types of
players.They can attract
players that are looking for a strong melee class in plate but
don’t want to play a Paladin or Warrior; they can be the
choice for players that want to
play a bad-guy type class, and players that want a challenge. Often,
many players mistakenly choose to play Death Knights because they
view them as an easy-to-play and over-powered class. While
many players do this, they quickly find out that the class is a lot
more balanced than they appear at first. In fact, due to a
heavy reliance on managing their various forms of energy and cooldowns,
they are an extremely complicated class to play to their full
potential. 

As with any other class, the way a Death Knight plays
out depends
heavily
on which of their three talent trees is focused on by the player. Their
three talent trees are Blood, Frost, and Unholy. Blood
improves a Death Knight’s melee and damage abilities and
upgrades their ability to heal themselves. Frost works to improve a
Death Knight’s tanking ability and improves their single
target damage as well. Unholy focuses on increasing a Death
Knight’s damage over time disease effects, as well as
providing some Area of Effect abilities.

Death
Knight
Strengths

  • Starts at level 55 with a full set of gear and can
    earn a complete
    rare (blue) set of gear by the time they are 57. 
  • Level extremely fast through the first Death Knight
    zone and quest
    chain and are re-leased into the Outlands where they continue to level
    quickly until the mid-sixties.
  • Very self reliant when soloing through Blood
    abilities that heal
    themselves as they deal damage.
  • Runes and Runic energy recharge quickly, meaning that
    you can
    adventure almost non-stop.
  • Death Knights are the best tank in the game when
    fighting casters
    with various spell-damage reduction and avoidance abilities.
  • Can switch between tanking and damage dealing very
    easily, and can do
    both decently in a single talent build.

Death
Knight
Weaknesses

  • In much the same way as Druids tank without a shield,
    so do Death
    Knights. This makes them take damage in a more erratic manner
    than Warriors or Paladins as they are subject to occasional strings of
    large unmitigated hits.
  • Death Knights are a very complicated class to play
    well. One must manage href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/47814" target="_blank">runes,
    runic power and cooldowns to play them well and
    stay alive. When they have none of these left they are as
    good as dead.


Defining
Spells and
Abilities

Death Knights have many great abilities that
separate them from other
classes and make them a desirable class in the end-game. One
of the abilities that fascinates players is one of the first
Death Knight abilities, Death Grip. This is just
one of their many abilities aimed against casters, as it allows them to
pull an enemy from up to 30 yards away into melee range with
them. 

Another great ability of the class is Army of the Dead,
which
allows them to summon a legion of ghouls to attack everything in the
area. While on a long cooldown, it does allow for a big damage
boost when fighting through an instance or raid boss. There is
just
something about watching an enemy being swarmed by ghouls that warms a
Death Knight's cold heart. In situations where only a little
additional help is required they can also raise a single corpse as a
ghoul to assist in a fight.


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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