Death Knight Leveling Guide
Updated for Mists of Pandaria 5.4
So, you want to level a Death Knight? Did you happen to hear about how they are one of the most fun classes in the game, or that they can easily solo monsters that many other players have great trouble with? Regardless of your reason, welcome to the Death Knight leveling guide. I will try to go over the common questions that most players new to the Death Knight class have and give you some tips about how to get to level 90 that much faster. Read on!
|Contents for this page:
|Please feel free to “like” this page and share the link. If there is anything that I miss or just something extra that you would like to know, don’t hesitate to leave a comment.Other Death Knight Guides
The Death Knight, an Introduction
Or skip to the builds:
- The Frost build – best for questing and general leveling
- Blood build – for Dungeon tanking
- Unholy build – best for bringing down the plague upon your enemies.
As a Death Knight you use two mechanics to drive most of your abilities.
- Runes: You have various runes that power most of your abilities. You start with two each of Frost, Unholy, and Blood runes. Using abilities that cost Runes builds Runic Power
- Runic Power: Your Runic Power builds from strikes that cost runes (eg: Icy Touch) you will build Runic Power. Your can then use that power on other abilities, such as Death Coil.
The game then becomes managing your runes and your Runic Power so that you always have something available. Much like managing Rage as a Warrior, Energy as a Rogue, and so on.
The Ghoul: You also have an undead pet to help you out when things get … interesting. But, unlike Unholy DKs, your ghoul only hangs around for a minute and is not an important part of your routine.
Death Knight and leveling:
This question is a difficult one to answer easily because it really depends on your playstyle and what you want to do while leveling. I’m just going to give you some overall guidelines and example builds that I find work really well for leveling.
Blood: This is the “tanking” spec, but it does a darn fine job as a leveling or PvP spec. Tough and durable with good damage, you can round up groups of enemies and smash them down. Oft times you will even be at full health when done. The downside is that you don’t hit very hard.
Frost:Not as durable as Blood, but Frost does quite a bit more damage and Howling Blast is an effective area effect strike. You also don’t have to deal with the pet, most of the time, and this make Frost that much easier.
Unholy: Like Frost, Unholy also does much more damage and isn’t as durable as Blood. Your powers are diseases and your Ghoul becomes a permanent pet.
So Which is Best for Leveling?
Questing: Go with Frost. It’s easy, hits like a runaway truck, and you don’t have to deal with the pet. It also works very well for Dungeon leveling (you will join as “damage,” and it’s pretty good at PvP. Here’s the Frost build.
Dungeon Leveling: Blood, if you’re tanking. Blood DKs are excellent tanks and tanks have very short wait times to get into the dungeons. Go here for blood
PvP Leveling: Unholy for the diseases and slows and the pet. Unholy does fine questing, it’s just more complicated than Frost. Go here for an Unholy build.
Frost Death Knight Leveling Build
At the moment, Frost is my favorite talent tree for leveling. The speed and survivability are great. When you add in Howling Blast it becomes even better. Frost DK leveling is pretty sweet whether you’re questing, dungeoning, or PvPing. It has a big advantage over unholy in that you don’t have to deal with pet issues, if you don’t choose to do so.
There are a number of good talents here, feel free to switch as appropriate. Switching is easy: just click a row on your in-game talent page, pay the price when the pop-up appears, pick the new talent. You can get the materials at your friendly neighborhood Inscription Supplies vendor or of the Auction House (at 10x the price.) Glyphs can be swapped the same way.
The talents shown are best for questing, but will serve you very well in other areas.
Descriptions are below the image
Frost Talent Descriptions
- Unholy Blight- Your insect swarm infects all the enemies with 10 yards with your diseases. Great way to make sure than all nearby enemies are appropriately infected. This is the easiest to use of the three and guarantees infections.
- Lichborne – Become undead for 10 seconds, which grants immunity to various effects and gives you another heal (you can Death Coil yourself.)
Level 58: Tough tier to pick from: Mobility or a stun…
- Death’s Advance – Move faster and slows have less effect. Your one weakness is mobility and this helps.
- Aspixiateis a nice stun (silence,) especially when things are throwing spells at you.
- Death Siphon – Damage the enemy and heal yourself. Death pact is arguably better if you have your ghoulie up. I don’t like Cconversion because I want the Runic Power for doing damage.
- Runic Empowerment – Death Coil and Frost Strike have a chance to activate a random depleted rune. Blood Tap lets you build charges then activate runes (as a Death Rune) on demand. Runic Corruption increases your rune regeneration rate for a short time.
Level 90: Congratulations!
- Remorseless Winter slows and stuns nearby enemies, which is a very useful thing at this level, especially in PvP.
- Gorefiend’s Grasp – Kind of an A of E Death Grip that can be applied to friendly or hostile targets. All enemies in the area are pulled to that target’s location. This might get interesting if you pull in more than you can handle.
- Desecrated Ground protects against “loss of control” effects.
The first three glyphs listed will be the most generally useful, but a couple more are listed. Lots of DK glyphs have some use, fortunately they are easy to swap out if you want to experiment.
- Glyph of Icy Touch - enemies often have some protective effect, this removes one such effect when you use Icy Touch.
- Glyph of Dark Succor - Killing enemies provides free Death Strikes
- Glyph of Unholy Command - Refreshes Death Grip cooldown
- Glyph of Festering Blood - Normally Blood Boil does more damage to targets that are already disesed, less to clean targets. THis lets yoiur Blood Boil acts as if all targets are diseased.
- Glyph of Death Grip - increases range
Unlike for most classes, for whom minor glyphs are little more than cosmetic, your minors have some useful functions.
- Glyph of Horn of Winter - Your horn of Winter buff now lasts an hour.
- Glyph of Resilient Grip - Resets Death Grip cooldown
- Glyph of Army of the Dead (lev 80) – Best in the dungeon, when questing use…
- Path of Frost - for questing, especially if you like to jump from high places.
- For dungeons, Glyph of Tranquil Grip - nice for dungeons. You do not want to be taunting targets, let the tank do that.
- For dungeons, Level 80+: Army of the Dead - You don’t want to be taunting targets away from the tank while in the dungeons. THis glyph removes the taunts from your army, allowing them to just do damage.
- Fun: Glyph of Corpse Explosion - explode them when you’re done killing them.
Frost Spec Abilities
These are the abilities that you will eventually get as Frost. These abilities are unique to you. (P) = Passive ability.
|55||Blood of the North (P) – Your blood runes become death runes.|
|55||Frost Strike – One of your basic srikes, Your basic attack , runic power driven|
|55||Howling Blast – Blasts all targets withing 10 yards and infecting them with Frost Fever|
|55||Icy Talons (P) – Faster melee attack speed|
|58||Obliterate – Strong strike that uses two runes and does more damage to diseased targets.|
|60||Unholy Aura (P) – Increased melee and ranged attack speed of entire group.|
|63||Killing Machine (P) – Your auto-attacks can grant a big crit bonus to Frost Strike and Obliterate.|
|65||Improved Frost Presence (P)- While in Frost Presence your Frost Strike uses less Runic Power.|
|66||Brittle Bones (P) – Yor Frost Fever also applies the Physical Vulnerability effect.|
|68||Pillar of Frost – Increases Str for a short time, provides immunity to some effects.|
|70||Rime (P) – Obliterate strikes have a chance to make Howling Blast free.|
|74||Might of the Frozen Wastes (P) – More damage with 2-handers|
|74||Threat of Thassarian (P) – Improves duel-wield damage|
|80||Mastery: Frozen Heart (P) – Increases all Frost Damage|
|87||Soul Reaper (Frost) – Medium strike that also inflicts enemy with the Soul Reaper effect. It does massive damage if they’e low health.|
Blood Leveling Spec
Blood is the tanking spec, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t work just fine for regular leveling. PvP is interesting. You’re very tough so are hard to take down, but your damage is lacking. .
If self-healing/tanking and general toughness is what you want, then Blood is your best choice. Blood uses Death Strike as part of its normal rotation you will be constantly getting healed. Blood is also a good spec for soloing elite mobs. The other specs are capable of it, but Blood’s self healing makes it easier. Note that if there is a Druid in your group you will have access to Symbiosis.
- Roiling Blood – Your Blood Boil can trigger Pestilence, helping to spread your diseases. Since you’ll be Blood boiling a lot this is the talent to take. Unholy Blight is good, too, but rolling is automatic and often free and so is easier to use.
- Lichborne – Become undead for 10 seconds, which grants immunity to various effects and allows you to use Death Coil to heal yourself.
- Anti-magic Zone (now 40% reduction for 3 seconds and has other nerfs) was crushed in 5.4 and has little use for general leveling, and neither does Purgatory.
- Death’s Advance – Move faster and slows have less effect. Moving faster is nice, but then so is having a solid stun: Asphyxiate. Unfortunately that stun doesn’t work against higher level bosses.
- Death Pact – Drain life from minion to heal self, and it’s a pretty big heal, though of course you actually have to have your minion available.
- Conversion uses valuable Runic Power. Death Siphon is pretty useful for general leveling, but you’ll want the bigger heal of Death Pact for serious dungeoning.
- Runic Empowerment – Death Coil and Frost Strike have a chance to activate a random depleted rune. Blood Tap lets you build charges then activate runes (as a Death Rune) on demand. Runic Corruption increases you rune regeneration rate for a shot time.
- Gorefiend’s Grasp – Kind of an A of E Death Grip that can be applied to friendly or hostile targets. All enemies in the area are pulled to that target’s location. Great for tanking and for building large groups which you can them smash. Grabs players, too, which is interesting in the Battlegrounds. Blood spec works very well for groups of mobs, so this is a killer talent to take.
- Remorseless Winter slows and stuns nearby enemies, Desecrated Ground protects against “loss of control” effects.
- Glyph of Unholy Command - Refreshes Death Grip cooldown
- Glyph of Death Grip - increases range
- Death and Decay – Also reduces enemy movement speed.
- Glyph of Resilient Grip - Resets Death Grip cooldown
- Path of Frost - for questing
- Army of the Dead – Makes sure that you are the center of attention.
See below for gear and stats. (P) = Passive Ability
As Blood spec, your specific abilities are:
|55||Blood Rites (P) – Death Strike causes Frost and Unholy runes to become Death runes.|
|55||Vengeance (P) – Taking damage increases your attack power. In 5.4 you got a big buff to threat and something of a solid nerf to the amount of attack power you can generate.|
|55||Veteran of the Third War (P) – Increases Stam and your chance to Dodge.|
|58||Dark Command – Your taunt|
|60||Heart Strike – Strike up to three targets, does more damage to diseased targets.|
|Scent of Blood (P) – Chance for your auto-attacks to increase Death Strike healing and generate Runic power.|
|64||Improved Blood Presence (P) – Increases rune generation speed and reduced your chance to be critically hit.|
|64||Rune Tap – Converts a Blood rune into a small heal.|
|65||Rune Strike – Uses Runic power, can’t be dodged or parried.|
|66||Blood Parasite (P) – Your melee attacks can summon a worm that attacks the target and explodes to heal you and nearby allies.|
|68||Scarlet Fever (P) – Blood Boils refreshes diseases on the oppopnents, your Blood Plague also afflicts them with Weakened Blows.|
|70||Will of the Necropolis (P) – Better survival when at low health.|
|72||Sanguine Fortitude (P) – Improves Icebound Fortitude.|
|74||Dancing Rune Weapon – Summon a Rune weapon that fights for you.|
|76||Vampiric Blood – For a short time gain more health and more effect from heals.|
|76||Riposte - New for patch 5.4, your dodges and parries increase your crit rating for a short time.|
|78||Bone Shield – Take less damage from all sources.|
|80||Mastery: Blood Shield (P) – Death strike heals create a damage absorbtion shield.|
|87||Soul Reaper (blood) Medium hitting strike that afflicts target with the Soul Reaper effect.|
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Unholy Leveling Spec
First off, your abilities as Unholy. Your ghoul is a full time pet, so you’re a bit like a Hunter or Warlock in that respect. Your ghoul is much more important to your effectiveness than with the other two specs. Your personal damage, besides just hitting hard, is based in part around the diseases your Unholy abilities spread, in addition to anything your ghoul does.
Unholy Talent Descriptions
Level 15: Unholy Blight is a fine way to infect everything in the area with disease. Rolling Blood with do the same, with a bit more work.
Level 30: Lichborne for the immunities and the self-heal, Anti-Magic Zone was nerfed into feebleness in 5.4 and was never much of a leveling talent, and Purgatory is just less useful than Lichborne for leveling.
Level 45: Asphixiate is a useful stun which will be used a lot. Death’s Advance is a nice movement buff, so you have to choose between better movement, which is otherwise lacking in Death Knights, or a nice stun.
Level 60: Since you will always have your pet up this talent automatically becomes more useful than for the other specs.
Level 75: Runic Empowerment will pop a lot of Death Runs over a fight of any decent length.
Level 90: Congratulations! Desecrated Ground is the pick if you’re going into PvP. Gorefiend’s Grasp is nice when fighting groups as it will pull all the enemies into one spot for you. Remorseless Winter is good is enemies tend to run circles around you as this will slow them down.
Unholy Glyphs, Major:
Unholy Minor Glyphs
Unholy Death Knight Abilities
|55||Master of Ghouls (P) – Your ghoul becomes a permanent pet.|
|55||Reaping (P) – More Death Runes over time.|
|55||Unholy Might (P) – +25% to your Strength (this was buffed, up from 10%, in 5.4)|
|58||Scourge Strike - Your basic strike|
|60||Shadow Infusion (P) – Death Coils work to Power Up your Ghoulie.|
|60||Unholy Aura (P) – Increases the attack speed of your entire group.|
|62||Festering Strike - A strong strike that increases the duration of some effects.|
|64||Sudden Doom - Cheaper Death Coil.|
|66||Unholy Frenzy - Cause an ally to go berserk, increases attack speed at a cost to their health.|
|68||Ebon Plaguebringer (P) – Greatly increases the damage done by your diseases and increases the physical damage that the target takes.|
|70||Dark Transformation - Your ghoulie has enough Shadow Infusion and can now Power Up!|
|74||Summon Gargoyle - You summon a gargoyle to rain plague damage down upon the enemy.|
|75||Improved Unholy Presence (P) – Your Haste is increased by 10%, both melee and ranged.|
|80||Mastery: Dreadblade (P) – increases all Shadow damage.|
|87||Soul Reaper - Massive damage to targets at low health, minor damage if they are over 35% when it fires.|
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DK Leveling Rotations
The basic routine is to Death Grip > apply diseases > beat the mob’s head in.
- Death Grip or other ranged attack
- Outbreak (Lev 81) or Icy Touch & Scourge Strike to apply diseases
- Primary strikes mixed in with Runic Power strikes
- Next mob.
If you’re fighting a group, then you can apply diseases to one, use Pestilence to spread them to all the mobs, and then burn them down. Blood Boil is a nice attack for groups, as its damage is increased if the targets are diseased. (Glyph of Pestilence increases the radius of Pestilence and makes disease spreading easier.) Blood boil, for blood spec, already adds the pestilence effect.
Death and Decay isn’t worth the effort if fighting one thing at a time, but it’s great when fighting several.
|Presence: Blood - adds stam and armor and reduced incoming damage. use this presence until at least level 70, when you can get Unholy.||Presence: Unholy (level 70) – increased attack speed, rune regeneration, and movement speed.||Presence: Unholy (level 70) – increased attack speed, rune regeneration, and movement speed.|
- Horn of Winter
- Summon ghoul (if appropriate)
- Empower Rune Weapon (75+,) if appropriate
- Death Grip (or ranged attack) and apply diseases (Icy Touch and Plague Strike, or Outbreak)
- Spread diseases, if appropriate, with Pestilence
- Blood Boil for A of E, after Pestilence.
- Death and Decay for A of E
- Heart Strike for multiples
- Death Strike when possible
- Rune Strike to use Runic Power
- Obliterate as main strike
- Frost Strike to use Runic Power
- Howling Blast for A of E.
- Scourge Strike as primary
- Festering Strike to increase disease durations
- Rune Strike or Death Coil to burn Runic Power.
Death Knight Gear & Stats
You always want Strength! It’s the Death Knight’s primary statistic for doing damage, for any spec.
One of your abilities is Plate Specialization (much the same as what Warriors and Paladins have.) Your primary stat is increased by 5% while wearing Plate in all applicable slots. This means that you never want to wear anything other than plate.
- Int, Agility, and Spirit are completely useless to you
- Stamina is an important stat for tanking DKs
- Resilience is only for PvP.
- PvP Power is only for PvP.
- Any “Hit Rating”you find on items is good.
- 3% Hit is needed to land your specials (Frost Strike, etc.)
- 7.5% to hit mobs that are +3 levels (such as raid bosses, or if you’re hunting higher level mobs for the challenge.)
- Otherwise don’t worry about Haste, etc. until the end game gearing.
- Gems and Enchants should be skipped unless you’re rolling in gold or want to grab some of the really cheap ones that might be available in the Auction House. Generally you’ll level too fast to make them worthwhile.
- Reforging isn’t something you should worry about until 80+ and even then it might be best left to the end-game PvP and Raids. Still if you want to do it:
- Unholy should reforge to Hit (7.5% max) and Haste.
- Frost should go for 7.5% Hit and then Expertise.
- Blood should reforge all to Mastery (especially if tanking.)
What about gear with attack power vs STR?
Death Knights have several talents that increase your strength by a percentage of your total. Fallen Crusader (FC) also uses a percentage of your strength to determine its increase. In other words with FC procced you’ll get more raw attack power from the gear with 15 STR on it than if it had 30 AP.
If you have a pair of wrists with 15 STR on it and you find another pair of wrists with 100 attack power on them then the 100 AP ones are clearly better. The 15 STR won’t scale high enough to offset the difference.
Death Knight Runeforging
One of the abilities you learn as a brand new Death Knight is Runeforging. These are special, Death Knight Only enchants that you can place on your weapons at your birthplace, Ebon Hold. While they aren’t the same as the usual weapon enchants they are every bit as useful. They don’t stack with the usual enchants either, but you probably won’t want the usual ones anyway.
You can apply runes to your weapons to make them more effective. These runes do not stack with enchants, but are generally better anyway. Simply gate back to the Ebon Hold and apply the runes at a Runeforge. Another benefit is that the runes are free and the best weapon enchant (Dancing Steel) might run several thousand gold.
Probably the only weapon enchant that you might even be interested in, other than these, is the Enchant Weapon – Glorious Tyranny, if you’re a serious (level 90) PvPer.
For general leveling you will want to stick with the “any weapon” runes. We recommend Razorice to start, then Fallen Crusader.
Runes for any weapon
- Rune of Cinderglacier, level 55, chance to increase damage for your next two attacks
- Rune of Razorice, 55, 3% extra damage as Frost, increases frost damage taken by opponent.
- Rune of Lichbane, 60, 2% extra damage as Fire, 4% Vs undead.
- Rune of the Fallen Crusader, 70, chance for 3% heal and 15% increased Str (for 15 sec.)
- Empower Rune Weapon, 76, activates runes and give 25 Rune Power.
Runes for one-hand weapons
- Rune of Spellbreaking, level 57, deflects a bit of spell dmg, reduces Silence duration.
- Rune of Swordbreaking, 63, 2% increased Parry chance, reduces disarm duration.
- Rune of the Nerubian Carapace, 72, 2% increased armor, 1% increased Stam.
Runes for two-handed weapons
- Rune of Spellshattering, 57, take 4% less spell damage, silences reduced by 50%.
- Rune of Swordshattering, 63, 4% increased Parry chance, reduces Disarm duration.
- Rune of the Stoneskin Gargoyle, 72, 4% increased armor, 2% increased Stam.
Race Choice for Death Knights
In Mists of Pandaria all races can be Death Knights except Pandarens. Somehow they missed Arthas’ attentions.Pick whichever race works best for you, the racials aren’t that significant though they do offer a small advantage in certain areas.
- Expertise, offered by several races for specific weapon types, is useful if that weapon type is the best available. Otherwise that racial will be worthless. Exp. allows you to reach the Expertise Cap (more) easily and results in a small overall damage increase.
- Various races have some resistance to some forms of damage. The resistance is small, but nice in specific situations.
- Various races are good at some form of crafting skill. If you have that skill then you will get a bonus to your skill level. This does mean that at max skill you will have a higher level skill than other races.)
Here’s how the racials stack up though if you’re interested (Orcs, Humans (PvP,) and Worgen (PvE) might be best choices, overall: )
- Faster Rep gains, which is rather nice with the many factions in this game.
- More Damage: Increased Expertise with Swords and Maces is pretty nice if those are the best weapon available.
- Defense and More PvP damage: Escape ability works like a PvP trinket (and allows you to use two DPS trinkets in PvP,)
- Defense: Stone form washes away some effects and reduces damage taken for a short time.
- Expertise with ranged weapon attacks is of no use to you.
- More damage: Expertise with maces is nice, if you’re using a mace.
- Good at Archeology.
- No damage buffs.
- Shadowmeld has some nice situational use in PvP or as DPS in dungeons, it can drop aggro if you get in over your head.
- Tanking: Higher dodge is a nice racial, especially if you’re a tank. Resistant to Nature damage.
- Defense: Escape from some speed altering effects (eg: Slows,)
- Damage: Expertise with small swords is nice if you’re dual-wielding swords,
- resistant to arcane damage,
- good at Engineering.
- A small heal that’s usable on others is pretty nice.
- Damage: Increased chance to hit (1%) is also nice. It makes your stat allocation easier in the end-game.
- Resistant to Shadow damage. Good at Jewelcrafting.
- Useful: Sprint ability
- Damage: a 1% increased Crit chance.
- Resistant to Nature and Shadow damage,
- good at Skinning.
- Damage: Blood Fury for extra damage (spell and melee,)
- Damage: increased damage from your Ghoul,
- Damage: Expertise with axes is great if you’re using axes.
- Defense: resistant to stuns
- No damage buff
- Defense: Remove Fear/sleep/charm,
- Healing: Touch of the Grave drains life and heals you for the same amount.
- Healing: eat the dead (to recover health)
- resistant to Shadow Damage,
- No damage buff
- Stun: War Stomp stuns nearby opponents (which is a pretty nice ability,)
- Defense: Maximum health is increased (about 3 Stamina gems worth at highest levels,)
- resistant to nature damage (poisons, etc.,) and…
- good at Herbalism.
- Damage: Berserk for increased attack speed (spell or melee,)
- Damage: greater damage Vs beasts,
- Defense: reduced duration of movement impairing effects.
- Expertise with ranged weapon attacks has some zero use for you.
- No damage abilities
- Defense: Arcane Torrent interrupts (and silences) spellcasting and restores some Runic Power.
- Resistant to Arcane damage
- Belves are good at Enchanting.
- Escape: Rocket Jump is a nice approach (or escape,) esp. since you have no special movement abilities.
- Offense? Launching rockets has situational use,
- Damage: Haste is increased
- Useful: vendor discounts are always nice as is the ability to summon your personal bank.
- Goblins are good at Alchemy.
Death Knight Professions
All of the crafting professions have special abilities that offer a net gain over not having that profession. In Mists of Pandaria that number is around 320 points of that stat over just having the basic enchants.
These skills are also pretty expensive to level up. See our professions page for more info on leveling up the various skills.
Several professions have definite value while leveling, others not so much. If gear is readily available on the Auction House, and you have the gold, then the professions are less important. Sometimes making your gear is the only way to go. Or hoping you win the rolls in the dungeons.
If you just want something to earn gold with, then the gathering professions are the most reliable choice. You can make plenty of gold with some of the crafting professions (Inscription and blackmithing have worked very well for me,) but it takes some work to find the sweet spots.
- Blacksmithing offers two gem slots as its special. Insert two of the best gems you can afford. Also make weapons, armor, sharpening stones to buff your weapons, and keys to open locks.
- Alchemy makes an assortment of useful potions and you get better effect from your own potions. about 30% more stats and an extra hour from elixirs and flasks. Drink up and get heals, improved stats, etc.
- Engineering makes a lot of useful gadgets. Synapse Springs offers a big Str boost on demand (once a minute,) which is pretty sweet.
- Inscription will let you make a very nice shoulder enchant, makes shoulder enchants for others, make all your own glyphs (and for your pals,) and make a few other items.
- Enchanting lets you add stats to your rings, plus all those other useful enchants. Expensive to level, though you can disenchant items for materials, which is a big help.
- Jewelcrafting lets you make nicer gems for your own use, all sorts of other gems, and various other jewelry items.
- Tailoring and Leatherworking are pretty useless for you, other than the profession buffs (cloak enchant for tailoring, bracer for LW.)
- The gathering skills are nice for making gold and come with perks, too. Mining increases Stam, Skinning increases Crit, and Herbalism has a combined heal and a very nice haste effect.
- Recommended skills?
- If you have lots of gold: Blacksmithing & Engineering
- Otherwise: take two gathering skills and level the profession skills later.
DK Leveling Tips
- Get the Dual Build ability from your trainer (10 gold,) this will let you alternative Blood and Frost builds if you want to do that. Blood is better for tanking dungeons, Frost is great for laying down lots of damage. Unholy is no slouch in that department, either, but you can only take two…
- Blood can round up large groups of mobs and smash them down faster than the other specs, but both Front and Unholy will do fine on smaller groups and both do more overall damage.
- Ghouls inherit their master’s abilities (Str, Crit, etc.) Use your Horn of Winter just before summoning your ghoul so that it picks up that buff.
- Always carry food and potions (healing) with you. Other potions will buff stats like Stength, Hit, Crit, etc. If you have the gold buy a few and use them in appropriate situations.
- Pestilence and Blood Boil are great area effect attacks. Apply your diseases to target #1, then use Pestilence to spread those diseases to all of your targets. As Blood your Blood Boil will already do that.
- Rest XP is gained from staying at an Inn, always log out at an Inn.
- If you like PvP then do enough to get close to 2k honor by level 70, then buy the full PvP set from the legacy arena vendors.
- Buy Cataclysm gear at level 77 and send most of your heirlooms to an alt. Guild heirlooms are good till 85, but Cata gear is better until level 81. Cata gear start at “item level” 270. Compare that to the ilevel 170 gear that you normally get at that level. Yes, it’s much better. You should be able to find it on the Auction House.
- At 81 put your guild heirlooms back on. Start looking for Mists of Pandaria gear on the Auction House. Some pieces are item level 417, which can be worn at 81, and it better than anything you will find until the top zones in M of P.
- At 85, of you haven’t got the M of P gear, buy (from the Auction House) or make (Blacksmithing) the Vicious Plate set (item level 377) and go visit Mists of Pandaria. Keep checking the Auction House for better gear.
- There are various vendors scatered around the M of P zones. These “Adventuring Supplies” vendors will sell you a complete set of decent gear for very little money. You can find better stuff on the Auction House, but these guys will help if you’re short on gold or don’t care for the auciton house or whatever.
- At level 90 (gratz!!) you can grab the “Crafted Malevolent” PvP gear, either from a Blacksmith or the Auction House. This will give you a set of pretty decent gear for whichever part of the end-game you want to explore.
- If you’re short on gold, go here.
Dungeon Leveling - Blood Death Knights can make pretty good tanks and as tanks they will have very short waits when using the Dungeon Finder tool. Your job is to keep the attention of all the opponents, regardless of what your team might be doing. Do that well and you’ll be a very good tank.
Let the tank pull. As Frost or Unholy you will be Damage (DPS) and your wait times to get into the dungeons will be a few minutes to half an hour. Mix up your dungeons with questing and you’ll be fine. Make sure that you are not in Blood Presence. Let the tank pull and grab the attention of all the mobs, then jump in and kill everything. A couple of the minor glyphs will remove the taunts from some of your abilities.
PvP Leveling - DKs do just fine in the PvP world. Queue up for the battlegrounds and you’ll see some fast XP if your side wins. Lots of players just want to farm kills in the BGs, but you’ll get more honor and a lot more XP if you do what it takes to win and farming kills doesn’t usually do that.
At level 70, if you have 1,500 or so honor, you can get a complete PvP gear set from the legacy arena vendors (Gadgetzan, Dalaran sewers.)
55-90 In-Depth Death Knight Leveling Guide
If you are looking for how you can get leveled faster, either for your Death Knight or any of your other characters (or what you should do while leveling to keep your character equipped with the best gear) then I recommend you seriously consider the following two guides:
To get all your characters to level 90 (in Mists of Pandaria) as fast as possible use THIS GUIDE. It is an in-game addon that guides you step by step through everything you need to do to level up quickly. You will never again wonder where to go or what to do.
If you want to be rolling in gold the whole time you are leveling, then take a look at this GOLD GUIDE. It was just recently updated for the latest patch, so it’s full of new tips for making tons of gold.