Death Knight Talent Changes - Finally getting there!



  • Blade Barrier - Now activates when your 2 Blood runes are on cooldown (Old: All 6 runes needed to be on cooldown)
A very nice change, this basically means that now you'll have +10% parry 99% of the time if you take this talent, which is quite amazing for just 5 talent points.

  • Heart Strike - Damage increased!
  • New: Rank 6 60% weapon damage +220.8, and an additional +110.4 per disease
  • Old: Rank 6 50% weapon damage +184.0, and an additional +92.0 per disease
About time! I'm eager to see how Blood DPS will improve from this.


  • Frost Presence - Armor contribution from items increased to 60%. (Old 45%)
That's a pretty big boost and a much needed one, tanking instances while leveling should be easier now, no matter what your spec is, and that's great.
Great for tanking and great for improving frost DPS, which was very lacking.

  • Black Ice - Damage bonus has been doubled but only affects frost damage now (used to be Frost AND Shadow damage).
  • Now: Rank 5 = +30% Frost
  • Old: Rank 5 = +15% Frost & +15% Shadow
Wow, frost is going to be pretty good now. Frost Strike and Howling Blast should do substantial damage. Too bad they removed the shadow damage boost, it would have had very nice synergy with the Unholy Tree, but probably would have been too powerful anyway, so this is a good change.

  • Tundra Stalker: Icy Touch Damage bonus lowered, but expertise bonus doubled.
  • Old Rank 5: +100% Icy Touch Damage and +5 Expertise
  • New: Rank 5: +25% Icy Touch Damage and +10 Expertise
A logical change, Icy Touch was simply doing too much damage with the previous version and it would have been ridiculous now with the changes to Black Ice.
It's still a slight nerf, but the Expertise bonus is a nice addition and consolidates the Frost Tree as the tanking tree.

  • Rune Strike - now strikes the target for 200% weapon damage plus 20% of Attack Power. Only usable after an attack is dodged or parried and can't be dodged, blocked, or parried. (Old version was only 65% weapon damage).
A very big boost to this ability which will translate into more DPS for all 3 talent trees. This was a needed change because the old version was so bad it wasn't even worth using it.



  • Blood-Caked Blade - Chance to proc doubled.
  • New: Rank 3 = 30% chance to proc
  • Old: Rank 3 = 15% chance to proc
I guess this talent really can't be avoided now and should compensate a little for the nerf of Scourge Strike.

  • Scourge Strike - Damage lowered.
  • New: Rank 4 = 60% of weapon damage as Shadow damage +190.5, and an additional +95.25 per disease
  • Old: Rank 4 = 60% of weapon damage as Shadow damage +226.8, and an additional +113.4 per disease
A slight nerf and not a surprising one. Scourge Strike was doing too much damage mostly because of the bonus from diseases. It should still do pretty good damage, but more on par with the Blood Tree equivalent (Heart Strike).



It seems like they're finally getting there in terms of balancing the 3 trees. Frost is becoming more and more the proper tree for tanking, while still gaining more DPS. Blood's DPS is finally getting close to the one of Unholy.

I'll run some tests and post the results tomorrow, and we'll see how those changes really affected the talent trees. So stay tuned!

3 Response to "Death Knight Talent Changes - Finally getting there!"

  1. GC mentioned that Black Ice is only Frost now, even if the tool tip says Frost and Shadow. I guess they couldn't buff Unholy, it's already too good ;)

    Anonymous says:

    Yep, black ice only works for Frost now, it's a tooltip error. This means an additional nerf for unholy next to scourge strike. I guess with those changes blood might be better than unholy for levelling as they were pretty close last build. But lets see what the test results say.

    Jame says:

    Aww too bad, would have been awesome synergy with Unholy, but would have been too good I guess. I'll edit my post.