Death Knight (Warcraft III)

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For lore about death knights, see Death knight.
Death Knight


Race Human and skeletal horse
Faction Undead Scourge
Hit points 675 (1275*)
Hit point regeneration Always
Hit point regeneration rate 1.15 (2.37*) +2.00 on Blight HP/sec.
Mana 255 (495*)
Mana Regeneration rate 0.86 (1.67*) Mana/sec.
Gold 425 Gold
Lumber 100 Lumber
Food 5 Food
Produced at Altar of Darkness
Build time 55 sec.
Hotkey D
Normal attack: 30 (54*) avg
Can attack: Ground, Structure, Debris, Item, Ward
Range Melee
Attack type Hero
Cooldown 2.09 (1.82*) sec.
Weapon type Normal
Armor Type Hero
Armor 3 (7*)
Day Sight 180
Night Sight 80
Movement Speed Fast (320)
Sound Set HeroDeathKnight
Hero Parameters
Primary Attribute Strength
Strength Infocard-heroattributes-str.png 23 (+2.7/level)
Agility Infocard-heroattributes-agi.png 12 (+1.5/level)
Intelligence Infocard-heroattributes-int.png 17 (+1.8/level)
This article or section contains lore taken from Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, the manuals, and/or official bonus maps.

Death Knights were once virtuous defenders of Humanity. However, once the Paladin ranks were disbanded by the failing Alliance, many of these holy warriors traveled to the quarantined lands to ease the suffering of those left within the plague-ridden colonies. Though the Paladins were immune to disease of any kind, they were persecuted by the general populace who believed that they had been infected by the foul plague. A small band of Paladins, embittered by society's cruelty, traveled north to find the plague's source. These renegade Paladins succumbed to bitter hatred over the course of their grueling quest. When they finally reached Ner'zhul's icy fortress in Northrend they had become dark and brooding. The Lich King offered them untold power in exchange for their services and loyalty. The weary, vengeful warriors accepted his dark pact, and although they retained their humanity, their twisted souls were bound to his evil will for all time. Bestowed with black, vampiric Runeblades and shadowy steeds, Death Knights serve as the Scourge's mightiest generals.[1]

Hero names

Lord Nightsorrow, Lord Soulrender, Lord Dethstorm, Lord Maldazzar, Lord Darkhallow, Lord Lightstalker, Baron Bloodbane, Baron Felblade, Duke Dreadmoore, Duke Ragereaver, Baron Frostfel, Lord Darkscythe, Duke Wintermaul, Baron Perenolde, Baron Morte.


The Death Knight is a melee Hero but attacks very slowly making him one of the lesser melee Heroes. The Death Knight is typically the second Hero built by Undead players with the Dreadlord being the first Hero. The Death Knight works very well with Ghouls because of his Unholy Aura, which also combines well with the Dreadlord's Vampiric Aura. Death Coil is useful for healing the Death Knight's army or allied Undead Heroes. Death Coil is also useful for attacking enemy Heroes or units. Death Pact is rarely used but can help keep the Death Knight alive by eating Skeleton Warriors. Animate Dead can be very powerful depending on the units raised and the timing.

Some jokingly refer to him as the Healing Knight because three of his abilities (Death Coil, Death Pact, Unholy Aura) can be used to heal damage. The Death Knight's Death Coil ability makes him useful for healing units and for attacking other Heroes. His Unholy Aura ability makes him helpful in large allied games where his aura can help a lot of units.

Although the Death Knight is a melee guy it's best to watch him very closely and remove him from battle if attacked. He can be easily killed.

For skill point spending strategies most players research either Unholy Aura or Death Coil first and maximize those stopping only to get Animate Dead at Level 6.

Spells and abilities

Death Coil

A coil of death that can damage an enemy living unit or heal a friendly undead unit.
Cooldown Mana Cost Range Allowed Targets
6 sec. 75 80 Air, Ground, Organic, Not Self
Level Effect Hero Level Req
1 Damages 100 or Heals 200 HP 1
2 Damages 200 or Heals 400 HP 3
3 Damages 300 or Heals 600 HP 5

The Death Knight's Death Coil ability is a great healer for Undead units and even for the Neutral Heroes Dark Ranger and Pit Lord. Death Coil can also be used to heal allied Heroes and your own second Hero. Advanced players often use a Death Knight for this purpose.

Death Coil is also good against early rushes where the enemy targets your workers. Death Coil can heal Necromancers and other "living" members of the Scourge, and is helpful to heal Acolytes that are under attack.

Death Coil is especially useful to finish off running enemy Heroes that are near death.

Death Pact

Kills a target friendly unit, giving a percentage of its hit points to the Death Knight.
Cooldown Mana Cost Range Allowed Targets
15 sec. 50 80 Air, Ground, Player, Non Hero
Level Effect Hero Level Req
1 100% conversion 1
2 200% conversion 3
3 300% conversion 5

Death Pact can be cast on invulnerable undead units, like those raised by Animate Dead. Use it only on weak Undead units, such as skeletons.

Unholy Aura (Passive)

Increases the movement speed and life regeneration rate of nearby friendly units.
Area of Effect Targets
90 Friend
Level Effect Hero Level Req
1 +10% movement, +0.5 HP/sec. 1
2 +20% movement, +1 HP/sec. 3
3 +30% movement, +1.5 HP/sec. 5

Unholy Aura also causes hitpoint regeneration for mechanical units.

Animate Dead (Ultimate)

Raises 6 dead units in an area to fight for the Death Knight. Animated units are invulnerable.
Duration Cooldown Mana Cost Area of Effect Allowed Targets Effect Hero Level Req
40 sec. 180 sec. 175 90 Ground, Dead Raises Dead Units 6

The Death Knight automatically selects the six most powerful corpses in the nearby vicinity and raises them to fight for him. Reanimated units are invulnerable, but lack mana. It is important to try avoid reanimating spellcasters (though powerful creeps are the lone exception) to make the most use of this spell. The units can be targeted by Death Pact and the Lich's Dark Ritual.

Manual description

Death knights were once heroic, virtuous defenders of humanity. However, they were corrupted by the subtle machinations of the Lich King and lured to his dark standard. These former heroes were given untold power and the promise of immortality in exchange for their loyalties. Although they retained their humanity, their twisted souls were bound to the Lich King's will for all time. Bestowed with black, vampiric runeblades and shadowy steeds, death knights now serve as the Scourge's mightiest generals.[2]




Patch changes

Patch 1.17 (09/20/2004)
  • Base armor reduced to 3 from 4.
  • Units raised by Animate Dead are now invulnerable to dispels as well as damage.
Patch 1.15 (05/11/2004)
  • Animate Dead mana cost reduced to 175 from 250.
  • Death Coil cooldown increased to 6 seconds from 5 seconds.
  • WC3tFT-logo.png Patch 1.10 (2003-07-03):
    • Animate Dead's duration reduced to 40 from 120, cooldown reduced from 180 to 240. Additionally, animated units are invulnerable, but can still be dispelled.
    • Death Pact and Dark Ritual can now be used on invulnerable units.
  • WC3RoC-logo.png Patch 1.04 (2002-11-04): Animate Dead mana cost reduced to 250 from 300.
  • WC3RoC-logo.png Patch 1.03 (2002-10-09): Death Pact now costs 50 mana (down from 75), and can be cast twice as frequently as before (15 seconds cooldown from 30).

See also


External links