Death Knight Leveling Talent Build (Part 1)

That's what I wanted to discuss with you guys. Right now I'm writing my Shadowknight Leveling Guide and of course, I'm suggesting a talent spec for leveling.

I've been trying several builds, and so far the best has been this one for me:

Deep Blood / Minor Frost

This talent build is 100% focused on PvE leveling. It's also excellent for farming at level 80. It's not too great for tanking, but it still does the job for tanking instances in normal mode.

It's not good for PvP, it's not good for raiding and it's not good for heroic tanking. Which we don't really care about, because this build is purely focused on making you level fast.

This build involves:

  • Very high dps, thanks to the combination of all the blood talent which increase your damage, plus the 20% haste from Icy Talons in the Frost tree, as well as 3/3 Annihlation (also frost tree), which allows you to use Obliterate without consuming your diseases.
  • Very high survivabity thanks to all the lifedrain talents, as well as 5/5 Blade Barrier and 5/5 Toughness.
  • Zero downtime
  • Can solo tough elites
I have a good reason behind every point invested, but I might of course be missing something, so I'm open to constructive criticism and to suggestions. If you disagree with one of the talents I picked, don't just say "xxx talent sucks". If it sucks, I'd like to know why, so explain your reasoning or back it up with some maths.

So, please post your questions/opinions/suggestions, I'll do my best to answer each of them.

10 Response to "Death Knight Leveling Talent Build (Part 1)"

  1. Eternity says:

    Hya Jame!
    I´ve been a fan of your guides since day 1 tough I can´t even remember for how long.
    I tried many guides and nothing compares to yours. I just wanted to lay here my thanks.

    Just one question.
    In the oficial it says that we start deathknight with no talent points... so how do we get the ones before lvl55? Maybe I missed something :S

    Jame says:

    Hey Eternity, thanks for following my blog.

    You get talent points as rewards from the quests you do in the Death Knight starting zone :)

    Tarciryan says:

    As far as Blood talents go, I agree more or less...however I find it's more effective to go the unholy route for pure dmg output. Going towards this atm: As far as Blood talents go, I agree more or less...however I find it's more effective to go the unholy route for pure dmg output. Going towards this atm:

    I think 5% dodge gives more survivability than 15% armor and corpse explosion works better for AoE than what improved pestilence would do. Having an extra 6 seconds on both diseases also gives me time to crack in Obliterate at the end of the diseases lifespan (I use a rotation of heart strike heart strike death strike and then wait for runes to give me obliterate). You also get an unmitigated 10% extra dmg on autoattacks aswell as a 15% chance for them to push out Blood Cake or whatever it was, which was a very nifty DPS bonus.

    Eternity says:

    Oh I see..
    Very interesting how we get those :D
    Kudos for Blizz and on the double for you jame \m/ ;D

    Simcle says:

    Hi Jame's

    Ive been using your guides since 2005 I think - they are great.

    In what oreder are you stacking the trees? Are you going all blood - then ice, or the otherway, or a combination?

    Andrew says:

    Why no Rune tap? You're unlikely to use it in combat, but immediately out of combat it might be an option.

    Also, other than "because you can", why Lichborne?

    Jame says:

    Thanks for all the comments guys. I've replied to them individually in my new Death Knight Leveling Talent Build article.

    NInja says:

    Hey Jame,

    First off thanks for the look at the talents and offering your suggestions.

    My question is in regards to your skill rotation, and pretty simply, what rotation do you use with your Deep Blood/Minor Frost spec. Im playing on my Death Knight in Beta right now, and it all seems a bit overwhelming.

    FYI, Im just at level 58, so I would greatly appreciate tips.

    Jame says:

    Hey Ninja, thanks for visiting my blog :)

    Up until level 61 (obliterate), my rotation is:

    Icy Touch --> Plague Strike --> Death Strike --> Heart Strike --> Heart Strike --> Death Coil --> Death Strike (should land just before Icy Touch fades if you do the whole rotation as fast as possible).

    Once you get Obliterate:

    - If you respec to 3/3 annihilation.

    Icy Touch --> Plague Strike --> Obliterate --> Heart Strike --> Heart Strike --> Death Coil --> Obliterate
    Only use Death Strike when you need healing :)

    - If you don't respec to 3/3 Annihilation.

    Icy Touch --> Plague Strike --> Death Strike --> Heart Strike --> Heart Strike --> Death Coil --> Obliterate

    Hope it helps!

    n says:

    i was wondering if this build was good against mobs(6+ enemies at once)
    i know you said it was bad for tanking, but i just want to know if this build can pull many mobs at once SOLO, and be able to kill them.