Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Frost 3.1 (Death Knight 2-Handed DPS)

Another Tuesday, another talent build. This will be the last of my 3.1 talent posts.

Go here for my Level 71 talent build.

As always with my builds, keep in mind that this is optimized for soloing and small groups.

Tier 1
Improved Icy Touch: 3/3 The additional debuff is just a bonus. Icy Touch is a core Frost spell, so more damage is sweet.
Runic Power Mastery: 2/2 You'll be generating a great deal of Runic Power, so capping before you're through a rotation is not good. In 3.1, this talent gives the same bonus with 2 points that it used to with 3.
Toughness: 0/5 Standard Tanking/PVP talent.

Tier 2
Icy reach: 0/2 Fear PVP Frost Death Knights, even at range. 30 yard range on Chains of Ice is brutal.
Black Ice: 5/5 Changed in 3.1 to reduce the Frost bonus, but add in the Shadow. This is a nerf for 2H Frost, as the only Shadow damage we deal is Blood Plague, not even the Plague Strike itself. This is, however a buff to Dual-Wield builds, which gain major damage from Unholy talents like Necrosis. Still a mandatory talent, however.
Nerves of Cold Steel: 0/3 The only true Dual Wield talent in any Death knight tree.

Tier 3
Icy Talons: 5/5 This talent is not as great as you would think. A properly played 2-Handed build will only have roughly 20% of its damage come from auto-attacks. So, having those attacks come 20% faster isn't that amazing. That being said, it's not like you have anywhere ELSE to put these points, and it's a prerequisite for a nice buff down the tree, in addition to a small damage boost.
Lichborne: 0/1 Post-3.1, this is almost purely a PVP talent, now.
Annihilation: In addition to the glorious crit, this talent allows you to use Obliterate more than once per rotation.

Tier 4
Killing Machine: 5/5 Altered in 3.0.8 to be on a proc-per-minute basis instead of percent chance on crit. This balances the talent between Dual-Wield and 2-Handed builds.
Chill of the Grave: 2/2 Extra Runic Power is always good. It only amounts to 25 RP every 2 rotations, however. Still, every little bit helps.
Endless Winter: 0/2 Mostly a PVP talent. However, a completely free spell interrupt is a VERY nice ability.

Tier 5
Frigid Dreadplate: 0/3 Great for tanking. Good for PVP. Completely unnecessary for DPS.
Glacier Rot: 3/3 Any well-played Death Knight will ALWAYS have diseases up. 20% extra damage to 3 of your core abilities is amazing.
Deathchill: 0/1 Why don't I recommend this talent? It's pure DPS! Well, I feel Frost crits enough as is. I recommend it for tanking and PVP builds, when on-demand crits are incredibly useful.

Tier 6
Improved Icy Talons: The only constant buff in the game that can equal this is Improved Windfury Totem.
Merciless Combat: 2/2 Many DPS specs across all classes have a talent like this.
Rime: 3/3 That's a crap-ton of crit. Also, this now triggers off Obliterate instead of Icy Touch in 3.1. That's a buff to 2-Handed and a nerf to Dual-Wield.

Tier 7
Chilblains: 0/3 A Death Knight in Unholy Presence could kite mobs very well with this. Situational in PVE, but another great PVP talent. Now you're starting to see why I recommend Frost for Death Knight PVP.
Hungering Cold: 1/1 This is where I put that Deathchill point. Completely useless for DPS, but I like having an escape button while soloing.
Improved Frost Presence: 0/2 I MAY come back for this one later. Extra health in DPS mode is a nice buff.

Tier 8
Blood of the North: 5/5 Please refer to my Death Knight Guide for further explanation of Death Runes.
Unbreakable Armor: 1/1 A DPS buff and an "oh crap" button all in one talent.

Tier 9
Acclimation: 0/3 Tanking/PVP. Death Knight talent trees are incredibly versatile.
Frost Strike: 1/1 Yup. Frost's primary Runic Power ability.
Guile of Gorefiend: 3/3 You crit a ton. Extra damage is win.

Tier 10
Tundra Stalker: 5/5 15% to everything but auto-attacks is impressive. Assuming you keep Frost Fever up 100% of the time, this could grant upwards of a 12% increase in total DPS.

Tier 11
Howling Blast: 1/1 Hungering Cold used to be down here. Howling Blast was moved to reduce the amount of Unholy talents standard Dual-Wielders could take. An amazing ability for AOE situations.

Here's a look at what my "complete" future build. I'm still undecided on what to do with those extra 3 points. I may put them in Virulence or Rune Tap and the aforementioned Improved Frost Presence.

I may also look into the versatility of Death Rune Mastery.



About Me

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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.


Image courtesy of Nexodyne

Current Goals

  • Haddar - Level 80
  • Tarmr - HERBS!
  • Samodean - Wyrmrest Accord Exalted
  • Samodean - Finish Northrend Quests


  • Watching - Primeval
  • Playing - Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood (DS)
  • Watching - Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
  • Playing - The Last Remnant (360)
  • Playing - Persona 4 (PS2)


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