Frost Deathknight Covenants, Soulbinds, Legendaries & Gear guide

Patch 9.2.5 Last Updated: 13th Sep, 2022
Kwepp Frost Deathknight Author
Kwepp

Covenants

Necrolord

Necrolord is one of the best Covenants for Frost Death Knight in 9.2, especially for Breath of Sindragosa. While it is currently not the go-to Covenant for Frost, it is still very strong and useful for fights like Anduin Wrynn in Sepulcher of the First Ones. Necrolords have access to the three Soulbinds; Plague Deviser Marileth, Emeni, and Bonesmith Herimir. Each of these soulbinds has their perks and traits which make them strong in different scenarios.

Plague Deviser Marileth (Recommended for single target)

When using this Soulbind, you will gain access to a few bonuses. The two most notable are Volatile Solvent, buffing you with 152 Mastery with Volatile Solvent: Humanoid throughout an entire encounter, giving you 6.9% increased Frost damage from Mastery: Frozen Heart, which affects most if not all of your abilities except Obliterate. Lastly, he also comes with Kevin's Oozeling, which applies a 6% damage increase to your primary target for 40 seconds after using Abomination Limb. These two traits make this soulbind the best for single target for Frost Death Knight.

Emeni (Recommended for Burst single target/aoe)

Emeni plays very well into Frost Death Knight with Lead by Example, giving you a nice boost of strength for your Pillar of Frost which can lead to some very strong burst damage during Breath of Sindragosa or Obliteration windows. However, she also comes with Pustule Eruption which can be a bit awkward to use during an encounter. The reason why is because in 9.2, we will find it hard to find the spare GCD's for channeling Fleshcraft long enough to get 9 stacks of this trait, so that is one of the main downsides when using Emeni. Apart from that, though, she is very strong and, as mentioned before, synergizes very well with Frost Death Knights cooldowns.

Bonesmith Herimir (Recommended for AoE)

Heirmir is the soulbind you will take for aoe/cleave encounters, as her trait Heirmirs Arsenal: Marrowed Gemstone will usually align very well with your Pillar of Frost and Breath of Sindragosa windows. This combination has a lot of potential on a large number of targets and can also provide a very large amount of burst when using Fury of Sindragosa at the end of your Pillar of Frost window. An example of this would be Sire Denathrius, where you would gain the crit buff from Heirmirs Arsenal: Marrowed Gemstone and then use Fury of Sindragosa to do insane amounts of damage in the first phase after he had spawned a large number of adds with Cleansing Pain.

Another trait Heirmir brings Carver's Eye, which is good when multiple adds spawn throughout a fight. Each stack of Carver's Eye gives 136 Mastery, and at 5 stacks will provide you with 35.7% Frost damage. The final bonuses that Heirmir provides are 3% additional strength with Forgreborne Reveries, and a 3% damage increase during execute with Mnemonic Equipment which is nice for your last Breath of Sindragosa or Pillar of Frost of a fight. Heirmir does lose out to Plague Deviser Marileth on single target encounters but is often the better choice when looking at fights with consistent cleave or burst add phases such as Painsmith Raznal and Fatescribe Roh-Kalo.

Necrolord Covenant Abilities:

Abomination Limb - This ability is very good as it will grip enemies that are more than 8 yards away from you, do some decent uncapped aoe damage, and provide you with 3 Rime procs throughout its duration. This helps to create a really solid flow during Pillar of Frost Windows when playing with Obliteration, as you can use the Rime procs instead of Frost Strikes to trigger Killing Machine procs. The additional Rime procs also play well into the Rage of the Frozen Champion legendary effect, giving you even more Runic Power to feed into Breath of Sindragosa windows. Just be careful when using it because, in some fights, you might accidentally grip a deadly add into your raid team and cause a wipe! An example of this would be on Kel'Thuzad with the Frostbound Devoted adds, that he summons throughout the encounter. They will fixate on players and then explode upon reaching them, so try not to grip them into your teammates. 

Fleshcraft - This ability provides an exceptionally good shield when channeled for its full duration. Even if you don't channel it fully, it's still good when used during a heavy-hitting mechanic, as it will mitigate the damage by 20%. It's definitely worth using on progression, even if it's just an extra personal. However, if you are using Plague Deviser Marileth you will want to use it on cooldown and channel it for a single GCD to maintain your Volatile Solvent: Humanoid buff. You can also use it as a way to become immune to crowd control as well with the Ultimate Form trait, provided by Plague Deviser Marileth. When playing with Emeni you will want to channel it for its full duration off cooldown, so you are able to make use of her trait Pustule Eruption, so when playing with either Plague Deviser Marileth or Emeni, Fleshcraft becomes more of a DPS/throughput ability rather than just being a defensive cooldown.

Night Fae

Night Fae is the best covenant for most scenarios in Raiding and Mythic Plus. However, this only comes into effect when you have Rampant Transference; which is not worth taking on it's own. You will want to wait until you have the Unity legendary effect so you will have Rampant Transference as well as your normal class legendary. This is essential for Night Fae. Death's Due will mainly shine on 2 target cleave scenarios as it will duplicate your Obliterate casts onto an additional target within your Death's Due, which pairs very well with the Obliteration Build. Even though it shines in 2 target scenarios, it is also a solid option for Mythic Plus and Raiding in general, as it provides consistent cleave, consistent Death's Due buff uptime and 20% increased Runic Power Generation for maintaining Breath of Sindragosa. Once you have the Unity legendary effect, you will want to use Night Fae in almost every scenario as it is the best covenant overall. The only time you will want to use Necrolord over Night Fae, is when you need the grips from Abomination Limb (on encounters like Anduin Wrynn).

With Night Fae, you will have access to two very strong Soulbind options, Dreamweaver and Korayn. Niya is currently behind these other two options, so I will not be going over her traits in this guide.

Dreamweaver

Dreamweaver is a very strong soulbind for a single target, that will give you 15% additional haste with Field of Blossoms every time you use Death's Due. Dreamweaver also provides 3% extra damage with Dream Delver, which is a nice overall damage boost that will be refreshed by Frost Fever. You also get Podtender which is essentially a cheat death, which is very handy for progression and also covers up for some accidental deaths (just don't say anything, and hopefully nobody will notice that you died!).  

Korayn

You will also have the option of using Korayn, which comes with the insanely powerful trait First Strike, which is ideal for Mythic Plus or Raid Encounters with consistent add spawns. Having 25% additional Critical Strike provides some very strong aoe burst potential, so you will definitely want to utilize Korayn in situations where there are frequent add spawns. She also provides Wild Hunt Tactics, which gives you 10% additional damage in your opener.

Soulshape - This ability is fantastic for Death Knights. As mentioned before in the Wraith Walk section, the movement for Death Knights is one of their weakest points. However, this ability completely counters that weakness and gives you a reliable mobility spell that makes heavy movement fights much more accessible.

Kyrian

While Kyrian is not very good for Breath of Sindragosa, it plays very well with the Obliteration build. Shackle the Unworthy lines up for every Pillar of Frost window; and with the additional traits that come from the Soulbinds, it all comes together and puts out some competitive damage and is a viable option to choose instead of Necrolord or Night Fae. For this reason, I will be going over Kyrian and how it can be played with Obliteration. The most notable Soulbinds for Kryian are Pelagos and Forgelight Prime Mechanikos, both having their strengths in certain scenarios. 

Pelagos (Recommended for single target)

Pelagos comes with a few traits that work well with the Obliteration build, mainly Combat Meditation. The extra burst of mastery on every Pillar of Frost provides a noticeable damage increase during your main damage window. Pelagos also comes with two other traits; Newfound Resolve (which can be quite hard to see & make use of during a hectic boss encounter) and Better Together (very minor, but still something), which are both additional damage increases, however they are not as reliable or as significant as Combat Meditation

Forgelight Prime Mikanikos (Recommended for aoe)

Mikanikos is very much like Pelagos when it comes to his traits fitting into the playstyle of Obliteration, however he shines best in aoe rather than single target. His first trait Bron's Call to Action is a passive that will summon a helpful (and sometimes unhelpful) companion named Bron for 30 seconds. Sadly he does not really add anything to your gameplay, other than doing some extra damage for you and healing from time to time. The trait that makes Mikanikos exceed in aoe is Effusive Anima Accelerator, which does a decent amount of aoe damage as well as reducing the cooldown of your Shackle the Unworthy for each target hit. In Mythic Plus this trait will allow you to use Shackle the Unworthy more regularly and have a consistent flow of damage throughout the dungeon. Speaking of Mythic Plus, another trait that has some potential is Hammer of Genesis, which will give you a nice boost of Haste when you start a new trash pack. This also applies to raid encounters that have consistent add spawns. His last trait to talk about is Soulglow Spectrometer, a simple passive throughput gain that is a nice bonus.

When playing with the Kyrian Covenant, you will be able to use these two abilities:

Shackle the Unworthy - This ability synergizes very well with Pillar of Frost and lines up for each damage window you have. It can also provide a relatively decent amount of cleave damage. However, getting this ability to spread is very costly to your Runes and is not as strong as other abilities such as Abomination Limb from the Necrolords. The main strength of this ability is that it triggers Soulbind traits such as Pelgas' Combat Meditation which facilitate your Obliteration windows.

Summon Steward - If you would like a living companion instead of just dead ones, then Kyrian will give you access to a Steward (more commonly referred to as, Swolekin) that will provide you with 3 uses of Phial of Serenity which can be a useful way to clear any bleed effects or have an additional potion to top up your health up should you need it. They can also give your teammates a thumbs up for doing a good job, a nice little bonus from this swole and loyal companion.

Venthyr

Sadly Venthyr is not very strong for Frost Death Knights, despite the obvious synergy between Swarming Mist and Breath of Sindragosa. The additional damage gains from other Covenants are of greater significance than the increased duration of Breath of Sindragosa from the additional Runic Power provided from Swarming Mist. With that said, I would not recommend playing Venthyr currently, as not only is Swarming Mist lackluster, but so is their Covenant legendary effect Insatiable Hunger due to it being capped to 5 targets instead of being uncapped like Abomination Limb.

However, I will talk a bit about the noteworthy Soulbinds that Venthyr provides and how they could be useful for Frost Death Knight.

Nadjia the Mistblade

Nadjia can be strong in single target, as she comes with her main trait Thrill Seeker. Sadly you don't have much control over when you get the haste buff, so it can be hard to get the full value out of it. She also has another trait that synergizes very well with Rune of the Fallen Crusader and Rune of Razorice; that trait is Exacting Preparation. Not only does it provide its usual bonus to Spectral Flask of Power and the Well Fed buff, but it also buffs your Rune of Razorice and gives an additional 3% strength to your Rune of the Fallen Crusader proc. Dauntless Duelist is also a decent trait to take for single target encounters, applying a debuff on your first target, which increases the damage you deal to them by 3%.

Theotar the Mad Duke

This soulbind currently seems to be the best overall for Venthyr, particularly in aoe, as you gain a lot of mastery from Soothing Shade. This gives your Breath of Sindragosa, Remorseless Window, Frost Strike and your other Frost damage abilities a hefty buff during those 12 seconds, resulting in some strong damage during the buff. However, in a similar fashion to Thrill Seeker, it's very unreliable but has a huge payoff if it procs during your cooldowns. One of the reasons why Venthyr is not as strong as Necrolords is because buffs like Soothing Shade and Thrill Seeker are just not as consistent as the traits provided by Plague Deviser Marileth and Bonesmith Heirmir.

Venthyr also comes with its two abilities:

Swarming Mist - This ability does mediocre single target damage but can do a lot of work when there are multiple targets. Using this ability around multiple targets will provide you with a lot of Runic Power, which you can then use with Breath of Sindragosa for a longer Breath of Sindragosa window. Other than that, Swarming Mist is a mediocre cooldown that will line up for Pillar of Frost casts, which isn't very effective for anything but Breath of Sindragosa.

Door of Shadows - This is a valuable ability for Death Knights as mobility is one of their main weaknesses. While not as good as Night Fae's Soulshape, it still proves to be a helpful tool to cover a significant distance in a short amount of time. Tools like this are handy in fights like Fatescribe Roh-Kalo, when you need to reach a rune in time before Grim Portent finishes. It takes your character straight from your current position to your targeted position, which makes it useful for any form of 'Beam' mechanics, such as the Annihilating Glare on Eye of the Jailer. You can teleport over it, allowing you to ignore the mechanic completely.

Soulbinds and Conduits

Necrolord Soulbind Pathing

Plague Deviser Marileth (Breath of Sindragosa)

https://ptr.wowhead.com/soulbind-calc/necrolord/plague-deviser-marileth/death-knight/AwaWZr4BJSipChMFJ54KFShECiUq2woiFSg0CiUnZAo

Plague Deviser Marileth (Obliteration)

https://ptr.wowhead.com/soulbind-calc/necrolord/plague-deviser-marileth/death-knight/AwaWZr4BJSipChMFJ54KFShECiUqPAoiFSg0CiUnZAo 

Bonesmith Heirmir (Breath of Sindragosa & Obliteration)

https://ptr.wowhead.com/soulbind-calc/necrolord/bonesmith-heirmir/death-knight/AwaWapYBBSipChIFJ54KJShECiMVKDQKJXYACjUnZAo

Night Fae Soulbind Pathing

Dreamweaver (Breath of Sindragosa)

https://ptr.wowhead.com/soulbind-calc/night-fae/dreamweaver/death-knight/Awa5br4CBSipCiUnKAoTBSeeChUoRAoldg4KISUoNAo

Dreamweaver (Obliteration)

https://ptr.wowhead.com/soulbind-calc/night-fae/dreamweaver/death-knight/Awa5br4CBSipCiUnKAoTBSeeChUoRAolKjwKISUoNAo

Korayn (Breath of Sindragosa & Obliteration)

https://ptr.wowhead.com/soulbind-calc/night-fae/korayn/death-knight/AwaW6r4CBSipCiUnKAoSBSeeCiUoRAoiFSg0CiV2AAo

Kyrian

Pelagos (Obliteration single target)

https://ptr.wowhead.com/soulbind-calc/kyrian/pelagos/death-knight/AwaWbpYBFSipChMFJ54KFShECiUqPAoiFSg0CjV2AAo

Mekanikos (Obliteation aoe)

https://ptr.wowhead.com/soulbind-calc/kyrian/forgelite-prime-mikanikos/death-knight/AwaW6pYBBSipChMFJ54KFSo8CiUoRAojFSg0CiV2AAo1J2QK

Venthyr

Nadjia the Mistblade (Single Target/Cleave)

https://ptr.wowhead.com/soulbind-calc/venthyr/nadjia-the-mistblade/death-knight/AwaWqpYCBSipCiUnKAoSBSeeCiUoRAoiFXYACiUoNAo 

Theotar the Mad Duke (Heavy AOE)

https://ptr.wowhead.com/soulbind-calc/venthyr/theotar-the-mad-duke/death-knight/Awa-Zb4BBSipChMFJ54KFShECiV2DgoiFSg0CjV2AAo

Conduit Discussion

Accelerated Cold - This is the best Conduit available to Frost Death Knights. For all builds, you will Accelerated Cold - This is the best Conduit that is available to Frost Death Knights. You will always want to use this Conduit for all builds due to how strong it is. The additional haste it provides for your cooldowns is the main part of this Conduit that is important. The additional haste it gives allows you to spec more into Crit and Mastery as you are provided with enough Haste during Empower Rune Weapon from this Conduit. The cooldown reduction on Empower Rune Weapon is not very important or helpful as it makes it come off cooldown before Breath of Sindragosa is ready. The same goes for your third Pillar of Frost window when playing the Obliteration build.

Everfrost - Most of the Frost Death Knight Conduits are not very strong, which leaves this Conduit as the last one that is a must-have for Frost Death Knight. Everfrost scales better in AoE but is still a good Conduit for single target. It’s a passive Conduit that does not change your gameplay much, and it only makes prioritizing Remorseless Winter even more important, which you will want to do anyway.

Unleashed Frenzy - You will mainly want to use this Conduit instead of Adaptive Armour Fragment when playing the Obliteration build. You will be using a lot of Frost Strikes when playing with Obliteration to gain Killing Machine procs, so this Conduit plays hand in hand with the build and will be more effective.

Adaptive Armour Fragment - This Conduit is a stat amp with a decent DPS increase for a single target. It can sometimes not be very effective due to the buff not being up during your cooldowns, but this is still a decent Conduit for single target despite the negatives.

Brutal Grasp - With the additional buffs this Conduit received in 9.2, Brutal Grasp now edges out over Adaptive Armor Fragment in single target. This Conduit is also very strong in aoe and provides a lot of burst potential. However, you will most likely be playing Bonesmith Heirmir in aoe so you will only have 2 Conduit slots, and both Accelerated Cold and Everfrost are better than Brutal Grasp in aoe as well as single target.

Impenetrable Gloom - If you are playing as a Venthyr in Mythic Plus, this Conduit also has a lot of aoe potential. The same rules apply for this Conduit as Brutal Grasp for Necrolord. Not very good on single target, but decent for aoe.

Withering Ground - Unlike Unholy Death Knight, this Conduits performance is not as strong and falls short of being used in single target. You will be using Korayn for aoe as Night Fae, so you will only have 2 Conduit slots available. Withering Ground is also not good enough to beat Accelerated Cold and Everfrost in aoe. 

Hardened Bones - Having an extra on-demand 12.0% damage reduction (at 252 and enhanced) is a significant gain for Death Knight, while already being very tanky in general. Using Lichborne and Fleshcraft together will give you a very strong personal cooldown, preventing 32.0% of all damage you take. This Conduit is a must-have.

Condensed Anima Sphere - This Conduit is simple and doesn’t need much discussion; it helps your healers and gives you a little bit of extra survivability.

Fleeting Wind - As Death Knights have pretty bad mobility, this Conduit just makes your Death’s Advance a bit better and provides you with a large movement speed burst. This is useful on fights such as Painsmith Raznal during the intermission if you are close to getting Spiked.

Spirit Drain - You generally take this when you are doing Mythic Plus or an encounter with a lot of interrupts, as it is a DPS gain after all. Depending on the fight, though, I would say taking Fleeting Wind is probably better for a high-movement fight even if there are interrupts, just because mobility is that dire for Death Knights. This Conduit can be very good for Breath of Sindragosa for the extra Runic Power it provides, so consider using it on fights with interrupts and for Mythic Plus.

Chilled Resilience - This essentially makes your Icebound Fortitude a 2.5-minute cooldown (at 252 and enhanced), which can be very good on specific fights depending on their length. It is definitely worth considering during progress if you can get an extra use of Icebound Fortitude when taking this Conduit.

Reinforced Shell - With the nerfs to Anti-Magic Zone in 9.1, this Conduit has lost a lot of value. You generally only use it with Bonesmith Heirmir as you have the spare Endurance slot, and no other Endurance conduit is worth taking. Always want to use this Conduit due to how strong it is. The additional haste it provides for your cooldowns is the main part of this Conduit that is important. The additional haste it gives allows you to spec more into Crit and Mastery as you are provided with enough Haste during Empower Rune Weapon from this Conduit. The cooldown reduction on Empower Rune Weapon is not very important or helpful as it makes it come off cooldown before Breath of Sindragosa is ready. The same goes for your third Pillar of Frost window when playing the Obliteration build.

Everfrost - Most of the Frost Death Knight Conduits are not very strong, which leaves this Conduit as the last one that is a must-have for Frost Death Knight. Everfrost scales better in AoE, but is still a good Conduit for single target. It’s a passive Conduit that does not change your gameplay much, it only makes prioritizing Remorseless Winter even more important, which you will want to do anyway.

Unleashed Frenzy - You will mainly want to use this Conduit instead of Adaptive Armour Fragment when playing the Obliteration build. You will be using a lot of Frost Strikes when playing with Obliteration in order to gain Killing Machine procs, so this Conduit plays hand in hand with the build and will be more effective.

Adaptive Armour Fragment - This Conduit is a stat amp and decent DPS increase for single target. It can sometimes not be very effective due to the buff not being up during your cooldowns, but this is still a decent Conduit for single target despite the negatives.

Brutal Grasp - Even with the buffs to this Conduit in 9.2, Brutal Grasp is still below Adaptive Armor Fragment in single target. This Conduit is still very strong in aoe and provides a lot of burst potential. However, you will most likely be playing Bonesmith Heirmir in aoe so you will only have 2 Conduit slots, and both Accelerated Cold and Everfrost are better than Brutal Grasp in aoe as well as single target.

Impenetrable Gloom - If you are playing as a Venthyr in Mythic Plus, this Conduit also has a lot of aoe potential. The same rules apply for this Conduit as Brutal Grasp for Necrolord. Not very good on single target, but decent for aoe.

Withering Ground - Unlike Unholy Death Knight, this Conduits performance is not as strong and falls short of being used in single target. You will be using Korayn for aoe as Night Fae, so you will only have 2 Conduit slots available, and Withering Ground is also not good enough to beat Accelerated Cold and Everfrost in aoe. 

Hardened Bones - Having an extra on-demand 12.0% damage reduction (at 252 and enhanced) is a significant gain for Death Knight, while already being very tanky in general. Using Lichborne and Fleshcraft together will give you a very strong personal cooldown, preventing 32.0% of all damage you take. This Conduit is a must-have.

Condensed Anima Sphere - This Conduit is simple and doesn’t need much discussion; it helps your healers and gives you a little bit of extra survivability.

Fleeting Wind - As Death Knights have pretty bad mobility, this Conduit just makes your Death’s Advance a bit better and provides you with a large movement speed burst. This is useful on fights like Painsmith Raznal during the intermission if you are close to getting Spiked.

Spirit Drain - You generally take this when you are doing Mythic Plus or an encounter with many interruptions, as it is a DPS gain after all. Depending on the fight, though, I would say taking Fleeting Wind is probably better for a high-movement fight even if there are interrupts, just because mobility is that dire for Death Knights. This Conduit can be very good for Breath of Sindragosa for the extra Runic Power it provides, so consider using it on fights with interrupts and for Mythic Plus.

Chilled Resilience - This essentially makes your Icebound Fortitude a 2.5-minute cooldown (at 252 and enhanced), which can be very good on specific fights depending on their length. It is definitely worth considering during progress if you can get an extra use of Icebound Fortitude when taking this Conduit.

Reinforced Shell - With the nerfs to Anti-Magic Zone in 9.1, this Conduit has lost a lot of value. You generally only use it with Bonesmith Heirmir as you have the spare Endurance slot, and no other Endurance conduit is worth taking.

Legendaries

Legendaries in 9.2 might be very costly, and also, the slot’s you will be using will sometimes vary depending on what tier pieces you have. For that reason, I will make two recommendations on where to craft your legendaries, pre-tier set (0 tier set pieces) and full tier set (all 5 tier pieces).

Koltira's Favor (Obliteration Single Target/Cleave)

This legendary plays to the core strengths of Frost Death Knight, increasing your Obliterate damage and giving you a steady flow of Rune regeneration. Koltira’s Favor synergises best with the Obliteration build because most of your damage will be coming from Obliterate casts and also plays well into 2H weapons. This legendary does lose out to Rage of the Frozen Champion when playing the Breath of Sindragosa build; because as of patch 9.2 Koltira’s Favor will only be able to proc from main-hand hits of Obliterate, instead of having a chance to proc from both the main-hand and off-hand hits of Obliterate. This means that Koltira’s Favor loses a lot of value in dual-wield builds, and as Breath of Sindragosa favors dual-wield over 2H, you will want to use Rage of the Frozen Champion instead.

It is worth noting that Koltira’s Favor works very well with Murderous Efficiency as well, because most of the time you will be using Obliterate to consume for Killing Machine procs, so after each Obliterate you will have a chance to gain 3 Runes back instantly. This legendary also exceeds when playing with Night Fae, buffing your Obliterates that are cleaving two targets, and because you are hitting two targets with your Obliterate it will have an additional chance to proc it’s secondary effect, giving you even more Rune generation than before. With all of this in mind, Koltira’s Favor is a very strong legendary that you will want to have on hand for the Obliteration build, as well as the Breath of Sindragosa build when not playing Necrolord.

Slot: Ring - Shadowghast Ring (Crit + Mastery)

Rage of the Frozen Champion (Necrolord Breath of Sindragosa)

As mentioned in the Koltira’s Favor section above, this legendary is mostly used for the Breath of Sindragosa build. Typically during your Breath of Sindragosa window, you will start to run low on resources to sustain your Breath of Sindragosa once Empower Rune Weapon is no longer active. Normally without this legendary you would want to stop using your Rime procs at this point, because they do not generate Runic Power and you cannot spare the GCD’s without ending your Breath of Sindragosa prematurely. 

This legendary counteract’s that issue and also gives your Rime procs more value in general when playing the Breath of Sindragosa build, but this is only relevant until you acquire the 4 set bonus Arctic Assault. I will also note that even with this legendary, once you are at <30 Runic Power with no Empower Rune Weapon active, you will still want to hold off on using your Rime procs during Breath of Sindragosa if you are able to use Obliterate instead. 8 Runic is not enough to counteract a tick of Breath of Sindragosa, so you will be at a loss and fall behind.

Slots:

Slot: Shadowghast Armguards (Crit + Mastery)

Biting Cold (Obliteration AOE)

This is a very strong legendary in aoe scenarios and has great synergy with Everfrost and Gathering Storm. You will want to use this legendary for the Obliteration Build when doing Mythic Plus, because Koltira’s Favor only affects Obliterate, which will not affect Frostscythe when consuming Killing Machine procs on multiple targets. Biting Cold serves as a potent aoe legendary that also makes your Remorseless Winter do even more damage in single target, which makes it perfect for Mythic Plus. You will also gain a Rime proc at the start of each pack, and this is great for triggering your first Killing Machine proc in your Obliteration window, as well as applying Frost Fever to your targets.

Slot: Waist - Shadowghast Waistguard (Crit + Mastery)

Unity (Second Legendary / Covenant Legendary)

In 9.2, we will be able to use the Unity Legendary Effect, which can be equipped simultaneously as a normal class-based legendary. The Unity Legendary Effect will give you the legendary effect of your current Covenant, and each Covenant has its own unique legendary. Here is a list of those legendaries: 

Necrolord: Abomination’s Frenzy

This effect will add a significant buff to your Abomination LimbAbomination’s Frenzy has great synergy with Frost Death Knights toolkit in general and the debuff it applies will last for the full duration of your Pillar of Frost; which results in some very strong burst windows, especially for the Obliteration build. This also works well for Breath of Sindragosa, however it will only last for the first 12 seconds of your Breath of Sindragosa window along with Pillar of Frost, which will mean that your Breath of Sindragosa windows will be even more front-loaded and focused around those 12 seconds. Unlike Unholy, this legendary effect does not impact when you will be using Abomination Limb, and you will always use Abomination Limb alongside the rest of your cooldowns.

Night Fae: Rampant Transference

Night Fae in 9.2 is most likely to see some play in cleave scenarios, especially when used in combination with the Obliteration build and Koltira’s Favor. As mentioned before, your Obliterates will duplicate onto a nearby target within your Death’s Due and have a chance to trigger the secondary effect of Koltira’s Favor, giving you even more Rune generation to funnel more Obliterates into your Death’s Due window. This legendary for Night Fae is also good with Breath of Sindragosa for the same reasons, although it will not have as much impact as it does with Obliteration.

Venthyr: Insatiable Hunger

For single target encounters, this legendary effect is extremely lackluster and sadly a bit of a let down. This puts Venthyr Frost Death Knight even lower down on the list compared to Night Fae and Necrolord. However, it would see some use in very large trash pack pulls when using the 4 piece set bonus Arctic Assault (the Glacial Advances from Arctic Assault count as spending 30 Runic Power) and the Obliteration build; but it is capped to 5 targets, which means it’s very lackluster in comparison to Necrolord (due to Abomination Limb not having a target cap). If you do choose to play Venthyr, your gameplay will not be affected by this legendary as you will be spending Runic Power anyway, either with Breath of Sindragosa, or by proccing the Glacial Advance from the 4 piece set bonus Arctic Assault during Obliteration windows.

Kyrian: Final Sentence

In a similar fashion to Venthyr, this legendary effect is also a very poor performer in comparison to Necrolord and Night Fae. In single target encounters, you will only get a 4% damage buff after using Shackle the Unworthy which is very mediocre compared to Abomination’s Frenzy which gives you a 20% damage buff. This legendary effect is obviously designed to shine in cleave/multi-target scenarios. However, it can only stack up to 5 times which makes it fall short in AOE as well.

Slot: Neck - Shadowghast Necklace (Crit+Mastery)

Gear

Noteworthy Gear

Old Warrior’s Soul

Old Warrior’s Soul - This trinket is from Sylvanas Windrunner in Sanctum of Domination and is one of the best trinkets in the game for Death Knight. With the current tuning of other trinkets, Old Warrior’s Soul is one of the go-to trinkets in Season 4 despite its nerf. It gives an insanely strong Haste bonus, allowing you to optimize your stats and go for more Mastery & Crit, as this trinket will cover a large portion of your Haste.

Scars of Fraternal Strife

Scars of Fraternal Strife - Has received a pretty significant buff for Season 4. You will gain a secondary stat buff every time you use it, but with that stat buff will also come with a very bad, negative debuff, which you will need to deal with. When you reach the fifth (5th) Rune, you will explode and deal a large amount of damage to enemies around you and also gain a significant buff which will greatly improve the throughput of your Breath of Sindragosa window. However, while this trinket may “sim” the best, I don’t think it is very practical to use, and dealing with the negative effects may cause you to lose more DPS than you could potentially gain from using this trinket. Here is a list of the negative effects you get by using this trinket: 

  • The First Rune - 10% of damage you take will echo again 3 sec later.
  • The Second Rune - All Healing you take is reduced by 5%.
  • The Third Rune - You are bleeding for X damage every 2 sec.
  • The Fourth Rune - Your spells and abilities reduce your movement speed by 2% for 15 sec, stacking up to 10 times.
  • The Final Rune - Has no negatives, but does not clear the previous Rune debuffs.

As you can see, It can be very punishing. Especially if you are not comfortable/progressing on certain bosses; or if you are in need of burst damage at specific points on a 2-minute rotation (Stone Legion Generals as an example). For progression fights, encounters that require specific burst windows, or Mythic Plus type scenarios, I would recommend using Enforcer’s Stun Grenade instead. If you want the absolute maximum throughput from “sims” then this is the best trinket, but don’t say I didn’t warn you :)

Enforcer’s Stun Grenade

Enforcer’s Stun Grenade - The best to summarize this trinket is that it’s a mini The First Sigil on a 2-minute cooldown. This makes this trinket very strong for Breath of Sindragosa, as it perfectly aligns with all of your other cooldowns and also provides a solid burst of Versatility to increase your throughput during Breath of Sindragosa. As mentioned above, this trinket is not as powerful as Scars of Fraternal Strife on sims, but that does not mean it is bad. This is still a very strong trinket, and will most likely be the better option when doing Mythic Plus or encounters that require specific 2-minute burst windows. If you want a consistent trinket that will also not give you anything extra to deal with, then you will want this trinket.

Mechagon Rings: Overclocking Bit Band & Logic Loop of Division

With the return of Operation Mechagon in Season 4, you will want to make sure you pick up both of these rings for Frost, as the bonus from these two rings in combination is very strong in comparison to using two other rings, including Soulwarped Seal of Menethil. These are the two rings you will want to acquire. 

Overclocking Bit Band and Logic Loop of Division 

You are mainly after the Haste proc from attacking enemies from behind, but both of the rings also come with a nice amount of stats as well. The haste proc from these two rings is better than the increased damage to Frost Fever from Soulwarped Seal of Menethil in Single Target scenarios. However, Soulwarped Seal of Menethil does pull ahead in AOE scenarios, so you will ideally want to get a Soulwarped Seal of Menethil as well for large AOE encounters/Mythic Plus.

Soulwarped Seal of Menethil

Soulwarped Seal of Menethil - A powerful ring that comes from Anduin Wrynn. It’s very straightforward and just applies a debuff to enemies you damage, which increases the damage of your diseases (Blood PlagueVirulent Plague & Frost Fever). On paper, this looks like it would scale very well with the legendary effect Superstrain; however, it is not enough to be worth taking over other legendaries as Unholy Death Knight. It is also worth noting that this ring procs based on % HP of a target and will have a lower proc rate when the target is at lower health values, which makes this ring gain much more value in fights where there are frequent add spawns. In Season 4, this ring is outdone by the Mechagon Ring combination (see above) for Single Target/ Cleave scenarios. However, Soulwarped Seal of Menethil is still very potent in +5 targets scenarios, so I would still recommend getting this ring for Mythic Plus and boss encounters with a lot of adds, Kel’Thuzad as an example.

Gavel of the First Arbiter

Gavel of the First Arbiter - This is a powerful 2H weapon that drops from The Jailer. While it will not see much use for the Breath of Sindragosa build, it is a very strong item for the Obliteration Build. You should always use the weapons-on-use effect just before using Pillar of Frost, so you will benefit from the buff it provides during your Obliteration window. This will not only provide more throughput, but it will also make sure it always aligns with your Pillar of Frost when using it again during a boss encounter.

Sepulcher of the First Ones Tier-set

Everybody has been waiting for the long-awaited return of tier sets, and in 9.2 they are finally coming back! I will be going over the tier set bonuses for Unholy Death Knight and where the tier pieces drop!

2 Piece BonusArctic Assault

This is quite a bland set bonus as it really does not affect your gameplay at all. You will always want to use Remorseless Winter along with your cooldowns anyway so this is just a nice Crit bonus. This may devalue Crit as a secondary stat because you will get the additional Crit from this set bonus for the majority of an encounter, and always with your cooldowns. However, this will be unlikely as we will want as much Crit as possible for the 4 piece set bonus. The main thing this set bonus does is add to the importance of optimal Remorseless Winter usage and provide additional Crit to raise our Killing Machine proc rate.

4 Piece BonusArctic Assault

Unlike the 2 piece bonus, this is very interesting and opens up a lot of interactions with Frost Death Knights kit. Everytime you consume a Killing Machine proc with either Obliterate or Frostscythe, and you will shoot out a Glacial Advance that will then apply Razorice to your target and all other targets the Glacial Advance passes through. This means we will be droppingRune of Razorice in 9.2 and will only use Rune of the Fallen Crusader on our primary weapon, along with Rune of Hysteria or Sinful Revelation on our other weapon for Dual-Wield builds. The Glacial Advance that comes from this set bonus also works exactly like a normal Glacial Advance would and will count as spending 30 Runic Power, which can trigger Runic Empowerment and feed into Insatiable Hunger if you are playing Venthyr.

While this is strong for Breath of Sindragosa, the Obliteration build benefits a lot more because you will be getting more Killing Machine procs in general when playing with the Obliteration build. The most crucial part of this set bonus is that it will require a high melee uptime to get the most out of this 4 set bonus. If you lose your Razorice stacks, you will have a significant DPS loss and need to reapply your stacks again. This means Frost Death Knights are punished even more than they were in previous patches when they need to move away from melee. This is the most important component of this 4 piece bonus, and you will want to make sure you can maintain your Razorice stacks as best as you can, sometimes you may be unlucky and not get any Killing Machine procs to refresh your Razorice stacks in time which is one of the downsides to this 4 set bonus.

Where do I get the Tier Set?

The pieces of this tier set are located in the Sepulcher of the First Ones raid and each piece will drop from a boss in the raid, I will list the pieces below, along with the bosses they come from:

Head: Visage of the First Eidolon from Anduin Wrynn

Shoulders: Shoulderplates of the First Eidolon from Lords of Dread

Chest: Carapace of the First Eidolon from Rygelon

Hands: Gauntlets of the First Eidolon from Lihuvim

Legs: Chausses of the First Eidolon from Halondrus

You can also acquire these tier pieces from any of your Weekly Vault options, so make sure to fill in those slots to have a chance at getting a tier piece!

A few weeks after the raid releases, you will be able to access the Catalyst of Creation and craft tier pieces out of gear from your weekly vault and a new currency, Cosmic Flux. Once this system is available, it will be an excellent way for you to forge any tier pieces you are missing or start forging a tier set without entering the raid!