Death knight abilities

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Classes Death knight Druid Hunter Mage Monk Paladin Priest Rogue Shaman Warlock Warrior
Starting a DK Dr Hu Ma Mo Pa Pr Ro Sh Wl Wr
Tactics DK Dr Hu Ma Mo Pa Pr Ro Sh Wl Wr
Class races DK Dr Hu Ma Mo Pa Pr Ro Sh Wl Wr
Quests DK Dr Hu Ma Mo Pa Pr Ro Sh Wl Wr
Abilities DK Dr Hu Ma Mo Pa Pr Ro Sh Wl Wr
Trainers DK Dr Hu Ma Mo Pa Pr Ro Sh Wl Wr
Armor sets DK Dr Hu Ma Mo Pa Pr Ro Sh Wl Wr
Useful macros DK Dr Hu Ma Mo Pa Pr Ro Sh Wl Wr

Death knight abilities are abilities used by death knights. Most abilities are shared between all specializations, while some are only specific to one (or two) specializations.

Death knight abilities use either runes (as part of the rune system) or runic power and are divided into the trees of Frost, Blood and Unholy.


All death knights automatically learn the following spells at the specified level, regardless of specialization.


"Blood" redirects here. For the comic issue, see Blood (comic).

The three death knight specializations are Blood (tanking), Frost (melee DPS) and Unholy (melee DPS).

For an exploration of each death knight specialization, see Death knight specializations.


Talents become available at level 56. Only one talent can be chosen from each tier.

Death knight talents
Level Choices
56 [Plaguebearer] [Plague Leech] [Unholy Blight]
57 [Lichborne] [Anti-Magic Zone] [Purgatory]
58 [Death's Advance] [Chilblains] [Asphyxiate]
60 [Blood Tap] [Runic Empowerment] [Runic Corruption]
75 [Death Pact] [Death Siphon] [Conversion]
90 [Gorefiend's Grasp] [Remorseless Winter] [Desecrated Ground]
100 [Necrotic Plague] [Defile] [Breath of Sindragosa]


Glyphs are spell and ability enhancements. Characters can equip up to six glyphs at one time: three Major Glyphs that significantly enhance the character's major abilities (though usually with a penalty cost to the same ability for balance), and three Minor Glyphs that add cosmetic effects or minor enhancements. Most glyphs enhance existing abilities, but a few grant entirely new ones.

In order to be equipped, glyphs must first be learned. In most cases this requires using the corresponding glyph items created by scribes. The glyph items are color-coded to the class for which they are meant. Each class also learns some of their Major Glyphs automatically as they level, granted at levels 25, 50, and 75.

Once learned, glyphs are a permanent addition to a character's arsenal in the Glyphs tab of the Specialization & Talents interface. Equipped glyphs can be reset by visiting a class trainer, or can be swapped out any time outside of combat using  [Vanishing Powder] for characters level 25-80,  [Dust of Disappearance] for those level 81-85, or  [Tome of the Clear Mind] for those level 86 or higher. Glyph slots become available at levels 25, 50, and 75. All glyphs can be used from level 25.


Runeforging is a skill that allows death knights to engrave runes into their weapons, using a runeforge.

Icon Rune of Type Level Weapon Type Description
Spell frost frostarmor.png Razorice Frost 55 Any Causes 2% extra weapon damage as Frost damage and has a chance to increase Frost vulnerability.
Spell shadow antimagicshell.png Spellbreaking Unholy 57 One-handed Deflects 2% of all spell damage.
Spell shadow antimagicshell.png Spellshattering Unholy 57 Two-handed Deflects 4% of all spell damage.
Spell holy harmundeadaura.png Lichbane Blood 60 Any Adds 2% extra weapon damage as Fire damage or 4% versus Undead targets.
Ability parry.png Swordbreaking Blood 63 One-handed Increases Parry chance by 2% and reduces duration of disarm effects by 50%.
Ability parry.png Swordshattering Blood 63 Two-handed Increases Parry chance by 4% and reduces duration of disarm effects by 50%.
Spell holy retributionaura.png Fallen Crusader Unholy 70 Any Has a chance to heal you for 3% and increase total Strength by 15% for 15 sec.
Inv sword 130.png Stoneskin Gargoyle Frost 72 Two-handed Increases Armor by 4% and total stamina by 2%.

See also