World of Warcraft Wrath of the Lich King Classic Death Knight Talent Tree

The hero class as it was in 2008.

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

World of Warcraft’s upcoming legacy expansion, Wrath of the Lich King Classic, will re-introduce players to the game’s first-ever hero class, just as it was originally brought to players in 2008.

Death Knights are a playable class for all races in WotLK, and similar to Warriors, they are plate-wearers with specializations that allow them to be both melee DPS and tanks. Their talents are divided between three trees. Blood is focused on the tanking aspect of the class, while Frost and Unholy trees are geared toward maximizing damage.

As is the case with all classes in WoW, their talent trees and abilities have changed over the years, and Death Knights are no exception. If you’ve played the class on the game’s retail client, you’ll probably notice some differences when you hop into WotLK Classic.

Perhaps the biggest change between retail and Classic is the expansively customizable talent trees present in legacy expansions.

Screengrab via wowhead.com

Luckily, as players prepare for WotLK, there are a handful of online resources that players can use to re-familiarize themselves with the Death Knight talent trees that they haven’t used in more than 10 years. The websites like WotLK database and wowhead have talent calculators that players can use to figure out exactly how they want to customize their DKs.

World of Warcraft Wrath of the Lich King Classic Talent Tree

Blood

If you want to tank as a DK, you’ll want to go deep into this talent tree. Abilities like Vampiric Blood and Heart Strike are key elements to your gameplay. Heart Strike can be an important part of your rotation. Meanwhile, Vampiric Blood is a valuable one-minute cooldown that boosts your health.

Additionally, Will of the Necropolis and Improved Death Strike can provide you with damage mitigation and stronger healing.

Frost

Both Frost and Unholy specializations are viable as damage dealers in WotLK, and Frost is one of the more powerful damage-dealing specs in the game right from the start. 

This tree is highlighted by Frost Strike, which is an instant melee ability that costs runic power and serves as the catalyst for the Frost Death Knight rotation. Meanwhile, other talents in this tree revolve around maintaining Frost Fever on your target to improve your damage.

Unholy

Unholy Death Knight is known for its tremendously powerful AOE damage and the Scourge Strike ability that it gets toward the bottom of its talent tree. Some of its other damage maximizing highlights include increasing your use of Ghouls with Night of the Dead and Master of Ghouls, which both buff your Raise Dead ability. Meanwhile, Crypt Fever and Ebon Plageubringer make your diseases more powerful.