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Best Death Knight Builds In WoW WotLK Classic

World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Classic features a new class called Death Knights. Find out all the best builds below.
Best Death Knight Builds In WoW WotLK Classic

World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Classic (WotLK) brought about the new class, Death Knight. As one of the newer classes to hit the game in a while, Death Knights have risen to popularity for their ability to tank really well and dish out massive burst damage.

This guide details the best PvE Death Knight builds across all three specializations: Blood, Unholy, and Frost. So whether you’d like to create a sturdy tank or a high-damage dealing Death Knight, you can find everything you need to know here, including Talents, Glyphs, Races, and more.

Best Death Knight Builds in WoW Wrath of the Lich King Classic

world of warcraft wrath of the lich king classic death knights
World of Warcraft Wrath of the Lich King Classic features a new class called Death Knights. (Picture: Blizzard Entertainment)

There are many Races you can pick to build your ideal Death Knight. Draenei, Human, Gnome, and Night Elf are the best Alliance options. There aren’t many great options for the Horde, but Troll, Orc, Undead, and Tauren work great. But when comparing both factions, Alliance Races are better suited to be Death Knights. 

After you’ve decided on your Death Knight’s Race, you’ll want to focus on one of three specializations: Unholy, Frost, and Blood. All are relatively different and bring different aspects to the table across leveling, Raids, and Dungeons. 

PvE Unholy Death Knight Build

unholy death knight plague disease damage
The Unholy Death Knight utilizes plague and disease to deal damage. (Picture: Blizzard Entertainment)

The Unholy Death Knight build is melee-damage reliant and is more of a force of brutal strength and decay. It utilizes Plate-armored equipment, which provides additional armor and health, and skills that spread diseases.

Unholy Death Knights also have varying high-damaging single-target abilities like Summon Gargoyle and various disease-focused Talents like Impurity and Wandering Plague that help you deal more area-of-effect (AOE) damage.

This build is perfect for players looking to be a strong force at the vanguard of every Raid while doing sustained AOE damage.

Unholy Death Knight Talents & Glyphs

talents glyphs unholy death knight build
These are the Talents and Glyphs you'll need for this Unholy Death Knight build. (Picture: Wowhead)

You’ll find the Scourge Strike build a little more reliant than others for the Unholy Death Knight. This is a Dual Wield Scourge Strike variant where you’ll be opting for Glyph of Dark Death instead of Glyph of Death and Decay and be taking Scourge Strike. Epidemic will help you get another Scourge Strike off too.

PvE Frost Death Knight Build

frost death knight aoe cleave damage
The Frost Death Knight does massive AOE cleave damage. (Picture: Blizzard Entertainment)

The Frost Death Knight is another specialization that utilizes Plate-armored equipment, making it a viable option for a sturdy character that can handle incoming damage.

The major difference is that the Frost Death Knight build holds more high-damage AOE burst abilities like Howling Blast and taps into Runic Power, allowing you to eliminate enemies quickly. 

Even without these AOE bursts, it’s a single-target-oriented specialization that continuously deals tons of damage. Frost Death Knights are great for players who like doing windows of massive damage, either through AOE or single-target abilities.

Frost Death Knight Talents & Glyphs

talents glyphs frost death knight build
These are the Talents and Glyphs you'll need for this Frost Death Knight build. (Picture: Wowhead)

You could utilize various builds when crafting your Frost Death Knight, but the Blood sub-specialization does well with lower-level gear because it provides more critical strike and damage.

If you don’t have great gear to help you deal damage, Bladed Armor and Dark Conviction will help increase it.

PvE Blood Death Knight Build

blood death knight best tank in game
The Blood Death Knight is, by far, one of the best tanks in the game at the moment. (Picture: Blizzard Entertainment)

Finally, Blood Death Knights are probably one of the best tank options in WotLK for their regenerative abilities, allowing them to heal enormous amounts of their health pool thanks to skills like Vampiric Blood, Death Strike, and Improved Rune Tap.

Blood Death Knights might not seem as much fun as spreading plagues like an Unholy Death Knight or chilling enemies to the bone as a Frost Death Knight, but they’ll land you a spot across most Raid or Dungeon runs when compared to the rest of the specializations.

Nowadays, there are a handful of DPS options, but not as many Tanks to fill some spots; a Blood Death Knight might be useful in these cases, especially noting the abundance of Death Knights during WotLK.

Blood Death Knight Talents & Glyphs

talents glyphs blood death knight build
These are the Talents and Glyphs you'll need for this Blood Death Knight build. (Picture: Wowhead)

Tanking is never an easy endeavor; it really depends on your teammates being able to deal damage and heal you quickly enough for it to be relatively worth it.

That said, this build will help you become the main tank of your party, shielding your teammates from impending danger and buying them enough time to dish out damage and obliterate enemies. 

Will of the Necropolis will help you stay alive and is your main tank-focused Talent. The rest of the Blood Death Knight Talents rely on healing yourself and amassing a more extensive health pool.

You’ll grab a few Unholy and Frost Talents as sub-specializations to boost your dodging potential. Finally, for the last Glyph, you can decide between the Glyph of Rune Strike, Glyph of Dark Command, and Glyph of Icebound Fortitude.

Like all things in WotLK, take these Death Knight builds with a grain of salt. As the expansion continuously evolves, some Talents or Glyphs might be better than others. 

We thank Wowhead community members, Deance and Mabrito, for putting together such highly detailed and intricate rundowns of the various Death Knight builds. If you’d like to dive into the technical, more nitty-gritty details of Deance’s builds, you can find their Frost Death Knight and Unholy Death Knight on Wowhead. The same goes for Mabrito’s brilliant build on Blood Death Knights.

For more World of Warcraft news, be sure to check out our dedicated section or some of our WoW Guides & Tutorials below:

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WotLK Classic Guides - Best Death Knight Builds | Retribution Paladin PVE | Herbalism Leveling | PvE Beast Mastery Hunter DPS | Shadows of Doom | Cold Weather Flying | Fire Mage PvE | Flying Carpet 

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Featured image courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment.


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For more World of Warcraft news, be sure to check out our dedicated section or some of our WoW Guides & Tutorials below:

Dragonflight Guides - Primal Storms Event| Content Roadmap| Play On Steam Deck| Raid Schedule| Dracthyr Evoker Class| Dragon Isles Zones| Max Level & Progression Path| Crafting Orders| Dragonriding| Editions & Bonuses|Dracthyr Evoker|Twitch Drops & Rewards|Maintenance Schedule US & EU|Check Server Status|Performance & Stuttering Fix|DPS Tier List|Mythic+ Affix Rotation Season 1|Reset Talents | Transfer Aborted & World Down Issues | Tangled Dreamweaver Mount | Stuck on Loading Screen Error Fix | Vault of the Incarnates Loot | Wrathion or Sabellian?

Dragonflight Tier Lists - Best DPS Class & Build | Best Healer Class & Build | Best Tank Class & Build

Dungeon Guides - Nokhud Offensive | Neltharus | The Azure Vault | Brackenhide Hollow | Ruby Life Pools

WotLK Classic Guides - Best Death Knight Builds| Retribution Paladin PVE| Herbalism Leveling| PvE Beast Mastery Hunter DPS| Shadows of Doom| Cold Weather Flying| Fire Mage PvE| Flying Carpet 

Holiday Events - Hallow's End| Feast of Winter Veil  

Featured image courtesy of Blizzard.