Death knight abilities

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

Ability Level
[Death and Decay] 8
[Death Coil] 8
[Death Grip] 8
[Death Strike] 8
[Mind Freeze] 8
[Rune Strike] 8
[Veteran of the Third War] 8
[Anti-Magic Shell] 9
[Raise Dead] 12
[Chains of Ice] 13
[Dark Command] 14
[On a Pale Horse] 22
[Path of Frost] 27
[Lichborne] 33
[Control Undead] 37
[Icebound Fortitude] 38
[Raise Ally] 39
[Death's Advance] 42
[Anti-Magic Zone] 47
Sacrificial Pact (death knight) 54
[Death Gate] Quest


"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 15. Only one talent can be chosen from each tier.

They can be swapped out any time outside of a rested area using  [Tome of the Tranquil Mind].

Death knight talents
Level Choices
15 Blood [Heartbreaker] [Blooddrinker] [Tombstone]
Frost [Inexorable Assault] [Icy Talons] Cold Heart (death knight talent)
Unholy [Infected Claws] [All Will Serve] [Clawing Shadows]
25 Blood [Rapid Decomposition] [Hemostasis] [Consumption]
Frost [Runic Attenuation] [Murderous Efficiency] [Horn of Winter]
Unholy [Bursting Sores] [Ebon Fever] [Unholy Blight]
30 Blood [Foul Bulwark] Relish in Blood [Blood Tap]
Frost [Death's Reach] [Asphyxiate] [Blinding Sleet]
Unholy [Grip of the Dead] [Death's Reach] [Asphyxiate]
35 Blood [Will of the Necropolis] [Anti-Magic Barrier] [Mark of Blood]
Frost [Avalanche] [Frozen Pulse] [Frostscythe]
Unholy [Pestilent Pustules] [Harbinger of Doom] [Soul Reaper]
40 Blood [Grip of the Dead] [Tightening Grasp] [Wraith Walk]
Frost [Permafrost] [Wraith Walk] [Death Pact]
Unholy [Spell Eater]
45 Blood [Voracious] [Death Pact] [Bloodworms]
Frost [Gathering Storm] Hypothermic Presence [Glacial Advance]
Unholy [Pestilence] Unholy Pact [Defile]
50 Blood [Purgatory] [Red Thirst] [Bonestorm]
Frost [Icecap] [Obliteration] [Breath of Sindragosa]
Unholy [Army of the Damned] [Summon Gargoyle] Unholy Assault

PvP talents

PvP talents become available at level 20. Up to 3 PvP talents may be active at any given time (with additional slots becoming available at levels 30 and 40).

These talents are active in the open world with War Mode turned on, as well as during instanced PvP. They have no effect in dungeons and raids.


Runeforging is a skill that allows death knights to augment their weapons with various runes at any runeforge. A weapon can only have one rune at a time.

Name Level Weapon type Description
[Rune of Razorice] 8 Any Causes 2% extra weapon damage as Frost damage and has a chance to increase Frost vulnerability.
[Rune of the Fallen Crusader] 8 Any Has a chance to heal you for 3% and increase total Strength by 15% for 15 sec.
[Rune of the Stoneskin Gargoyle] 8 Two-handed Increases Armor by 5% and all stats by 5%.
[Rune of Unending Thirst] 20 Any Increases Movement Speed by 5% and grants healing and extra Haste and Movement Speed on kill.
[Rune of Sanguination] 32 Any Increases the damage of [Death Strike] based on the enemy's missing health and heals when falling bellow 35% health.
[Rune of the Apocalypse] 44 Any Has a chance to apply one of four debuffs on ghoul attacks.
[Rune of Hysteria] 46 Any Increases Runic Power by 20 and has a chance to increase Runic Power generation.
[Rune of Spellwarding] 48 Any Deflects 3% of all spell damage and has a chance to create a shield that absorbs spell damage.


Glyphs are spell and ability enhancements that add cosmetic effects or minor enhancements, created by scribes. Glyphs are color-coded to the class for which they are meant.

Glyphs can be removed any time outside of combat using  [Vanishing Powder] and can be used from level 25.

See also