Frost Death Knight talents in Mists of Pandaria

As everyone now knows, Blizzard announced that talent trees and the way we distribute our talent points will radically change in the new expansion, Mists of Pandaria. In an effort to get away from the "cookie-cutter spec" idea, Blizzard wants us to have to really think about how we want to spend our points. Do we put our precious talent point in this awesome ability that is very strong, but only usable once every 5 minutes? Or do we put it another ability that is always active, but less powerful and exciting?

Personally, I LOVE this idea. I find Cataclysm's talent system extremely boring, since every PVE spec is pretty much set in stone in your core tree. You select certain talents because there's either nothing else, or because you absolutely need them. In the end, the only FUN points are the floater, leftover ones, because you actually CAN choose where to put those. So I'm really looking forward to this change!

Here are the new Death Knight talents. At each talent "level" (15, 30, 45, etc.) you get ONE talent point, and can only choose ONE of the available three talents. For example, at level 45 I could choose Death's Advance OR Chilblains OR Asphyxiate, regardless of what spec I am! This is sure to make speccing interesting, as there are some very nice options to choose from.

Furthermore, Blizzard is making it easy to change talent points on the fly, much like changing Glyphs currently, so if a talent point is useful on a certain boss you can swap it in for that one fight if you want. A perfect example of this would be Chilblains - it's either great or completely useless, so I will definitely be hot-swapping it situationally!

Below are my initial thoughts on the talents, and what I would probably choose at this point in time, assuming Frost DK playstyle remains the same as it currently is.

PS: Wowhead now has a Talent Calculator out for the new trees.

Level 15

Rolling Blood and Corpse Explosion sound pretty fun, but I don't see myself casting Blood Boil simply to spread diseases and do minimal damage - I'd rather simply Pestilence and then start AoEing, personally. As for Corpse Explosion, as awesome as it sounds, the corpse requirement makes it pretty gimmicky in my eyes. I can definitely imagine it being useful at certain times, but in general I won't have a diseased corpse available when I want to spread diseases.

Plus, both of these are useless in single-target boss fights.

I'll stick with Outbreak. Nice, simple, costs no resources, saves me from having to "waste" a GCD on Plague Strike.

My choice: Outbreak

Level 30

I have Lichborne available to me right now in Frost, and I never take it, so I won't be taking it in the future either. But the choice between Anti-Magic Zone and Bone Shield is tough! AMZ is absolutely AMAZING raid utility, especially for a DPS, and it's the one thing I wish I had from Unholy. I am extremely excited to have this.

Then again, I could see Bone Shield being very useful as well! Obviously, if I'm being attacked by a boss something has gone terribly wrong, but I'm not thinking that. I am thinking for offtanking adds or when the entire party takes unavoidable bursts of damage, such as Bethtilac's fire pulse damage, or Ragnaros' various knockbacks and Magma trap damage. If I had this version of Bone Shield on Ragnaros, for example, I don't think its charges would expire in Phase 1 before the cooldown was up again, meaning (for that phase) I'd have a permanent 20% damage reduction.

I think this is the first case already where I would be switching these talents up on a fight-per-fight basis. Fight with lots of raid damage where we're stacked up? Anti-Magic Zone. Fight with sporadic predictable, unavoidable damage and we're spread out? Bone Shield!

My choice: Anti-Magic Zone or Bone Shield, depending on the fight

Level 45

Death's Advance is meh for PVE, so I'm skipping it. Chilblains is as appealing as always - either amazing or utterly useless.

Which leaves Asphyxiate, a new talent. The tooltip seems unfinished - how long does it last? Is it channeled? It sure would be nice to have an actual CC, especially one as cool as Deathbringer Saurfang's move. :D I might use this for trash and 5-mans, but I'd probably swap it out for Chilblains for boss fights with adds. If it's a boss fight without adds...meh, whatever, none of these will see any use.

My choice: Chilblains, or Asphyxiate on non-add fights

Level 60

Death Pact is one of those abilities I never remember to use, or I never happen to have a Ghoul available to nom when I need it. Pass.

Death Siphon is new, and is interesting. Obviously the damage on the tooltip is misleading, since 75% of 4701 is worthless. But if it does decent damage and is a decent heal, this is an amazing ability! Especially because it's ranged and has no cooldown. I love it.

Vampiric Blood is certainly not bad, but since it relies on healers to be bombarding you with heals, I'd rather go with Death Siphon and keep my own survival in my own hands, and let them worry about healing the tanks.

My choice: Death Siphon

Level 75

Blood Tap, Runic Empowerment, Runic Corruption - ...I'll be honest, I have no idea which of these would be best for Frost. Blood Tap is nice in that you'll be able to control when one of your runes recharges, unlike Runic Empowerment, but which is more beneficial in the end? And Runic Corruption might be better than both...or worse. Going to wait on some math before I decide on these ones.

My choice: N/A right now

Level 90

Gorefiend's Grasp - On first glance, this looks like an AoE Death Grip. HILARIOUS, but probably terrible. But it actually pulls enemies to a TARGET (hostile or friendly) which suddenly makes it extremely intriguing. Imagine how helpful it would be for a tank trying to pick up adds if he suddenly became a magnet that sucked all the adds in! Or for clumping up mobs for AoE purposes. This could be a really fun and useful spell, I think.

Remorseless Winter - This is so cool, though 10 yards isn't that much. A constant aura of frost damage that also slows them, up to a maximum of 75% speed reduction, and then STUNS them? And it's not channeled or anything, so you can continue DPSing or AoEing while this is happening. And it's FREE. You could even use it on single-target fights just for an extra aura of damage, even though the slow/stun won't do anything. Very handy.

Desecrated Ground - I'm not as thrilled about this one. The damage is less than Remorseless Winter, and even if the tooltips are wrong, I'm working under the assumption that they're BOTH wrong equally and proportionally. It also doesn't have any other harmful effect on enemies. However, the crowd control immunity is interesting. Does that include knockbacks? Does it prevent mind control? There's a lot that is unknown about it.

Regardless, is it worth taking over the others? I don't think so. Even on a fight with zero adds, I'd still take Remorseless Winter for the additional DPS. I just don't think 10 seconds of CC immunity every 2 minutes will be that useful, generally. There could be exceptions, though.

My choice: Remorseless Winter (Gorefiend's Grasp on certain fights)

3 Responses Subscribe to comments

  1. gravatar

    What will happend to all the spells from the tallent tree's today?

    Will every dk have hungering cold, pillar of frost, howlingblast, unholy frenzy, blood tap etc.?

    October 23, 2011 at 4:15 PM

  2. gravatar

    Sendix, we won't know about existing talents until they announce them. For example, Living Bomb, previously a Fire mage-only spell, will be available to all mages, but we only found that out by fluke because someone (Ghostcrawler?) happened to mention it during one of the Q&A's.

    October 23, 2011 at 7:33 PM

  3. gravatar

    All those talents just become death knight abilitys instead of talents, certain specs might get them as passives others get them as abilitys, just depends what spec you are.

    August 8, 2012 at 9:29 AM