Wednesday, January 28, 2009

T's Death Knight Guide 1-2: Stats, Presences and Runeforging


Death Knights want to concentrate on the same stats all melee classes do: Strength, Stamina, Hit and Crit.

Strength is your primary DPS stat. All Death Knight spells and abilities scale off Attack Power. Spellpower does nothing for Death Knights.

Strength is also very important for tanking Death Knights, thanks to the Forceful Deflection ability. Of course, Death Knight tanks will still want to focus on Stamina, Defense and Dodge.


Presences are what allow Death Knights of all specs to excel at each situation they find themselves in. They function much like Warrior Stances or Druid Forms.

Blood Presence is for basic damage dealing and excellent for soloing thanks to the healing effect.

Frost Presence is the default tanking Presence.

Unholy Presence is geared more towards PVP. However, with the increased attack and casting speed, it may be able to outpace Blood Presence for damage over a short period of time. However, after blowing all your skills with reduced GCD, you will still have to wait for Rune cooldowns.


Blizzard has given Death Knights the ability to enchant their own weapons with special Runes. These Runes enhance the Death Knight's offensive and defensive capabilities. Runes can only be applied at the Runeforges in Archerus.

Cinderglacier - The best for 2-Handed Frost prior to level 70. I would also recommend it for Unholy builds.

Razorice - The best for Frost Dual-Wield builds. Even after level 70, an excellent option for Main Hand. Since 2-Handed builds, if played properly, will only have 20% of their damage come from auto-attacks, this is not a great option.

Lichbane - For non-Frost Dual-Wielding. Also, pretty much the only option for 2-Handed Blood prior to 70, since almost all their damage is physical.

Spellbreaking and Spellshattering - Basic anti-magic defensive enchants. Great for PVP.

Swordbreaking and Swordshattering - Basic anti-melee defensive enchants.

Fallen Crusader - THE DPS enchant. Post 3.1, it's Strength buff has been decreased by half, but it's proc rate increased. Your DPS should stay similar, but more steady instead of bursty.

Stoneskin Gargoyle - This is to make up for the fact that very few 2-Handed weapons have tanking stats on them. This is meant to be the "entry level" tanking enchant, with Swordshattering being a better option once you are otherwise defense-capped.

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A part-time player trying to exist in a full-time world. Guild Master of Denarian on the Azjol-Nerub server.


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  • Tarmr - HERBS!
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