[Death Knight] How to AoE


Quick guide on how to AoE with a Death Knight

The following video shows how to gather a bunch of mobs and how to AoE it down with a Death Knight. This was done with a level 61 Death Knight, specced Unholy: 0/0/52. However, it’s pretty much the same for other specs, besides you won’t have the ghoul and unholy blight.

Basically, grab a bunch of mobs:

And then simply pick the one with the highest HP (Turning name plates on helps) and Death Strike it. Keep targeting the one with the highest HP and Death Strike it, until it’s over. You can replace Death Strike by another ability (Scourge Strike, Obliterate, etc) if you don’t need healing at this point.
Once your blood runes are up again, use Blood Boil twice and everything should be dead, with you at nearly full HP.

Here’s the video, I strongly advise to watch it in High Quality.

==Note== If you liked the video, please don’t forget to rate it! 😉

And here is a more advanced video which shows how far you can push with a Death Knight. This was done with a level 62 Human DK, wearing the DK starting area full blue set, no glyphs and no enchants.
The talent spec used is Unholy: 0/0/53

Click this link to watch the video in High Quality.

==Note== If you liked the video, please don’t forget to rate it! 😉

If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to leave a comment.

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    Oct 20, 2010 @ 10:13 am

    Out of DateThis guide is sadly out of date. If anyone is interested in adopting it and updating it, please leave a comment here. Until then, it will be moved to the archive section.

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    Jul 1, 2010 @ 11:07 am

    How to move the ghoul?Nice videos (great soundtrack btw)!!
    One thing that’s puzzling me as a newb: how do you make the ghoul move to the other side?

    Do you instruct him to attack a target? 😕
    And how do you bring him back? By putting him on defensive stance?

    It seems essential in a levelling AoE tactic…

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    Oct 24, 2009 @ 14:36 pm

    cant see the complete specccant see the complete specc only up to line 6 :/

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    Oct 24, 2009 @ 13:16 pm

    cant see the full specc onlycant see the full specc only until line 6

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    Jun 30, 2009 @ 19:27 pm

    That’s OmniCC for theIf you’re talking about something tat shows the cooldown on the button on the action bar in numbers, that’s OmniCC. It’s wonderful, especially in combination with Redrange.

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    Jun 30, 2009 @ 17:55 pm

    CooldownsHey Jame I was just wondering what addon you were using that showed a timer on all your abilities. Like when they were on cooldown and they had a second countdown on the ability on the action bar.

    Thanks 🙂

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    Jun 4, 2009 @ 15:29 pm

    what would u suggect mywhat would u suggect my tallent tree look like

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    Jun 4, 2009 @ 14:47 pm

    2nd vid works now…2nd vid works now… lol?

    BTW damn you Jame, and anyone else who has mind-warped me onto 30STM! Even trying to drown them out with Suffocation doesn’t work 😕 Admittedly, they are good though haha 🙂

    – Skumball

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    Jun 4, 2009 @ 10:43 am

    I would suggest taking aI would suggest taking a look at [url=]this[/url] website, it has all the commonly used macros on it.

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    Jun 4, 2009 @ 8:35 am

    AoEwhat do yall recommend for a lvl 67 dk and i need help on setting macros plz help

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    May 26, 2009 @ 6:35 am

    Nice, I’ve never botheredNice, I’ve never bothered with my DK before… Got it to 58 and he’s been sat in Org ever since.

    But I’ve been looking for an AoE class and cba with going from Level 1 with one, think I’ll bring out the DK for some fun instead now after reading this 😛

    Oh, the second video has some sort of country filter on it – I’m in the UK and can’t watch it, even if I set my regional settings to worldwide.

    And why is it everywhere I go I’m getting bombarded with 30STM? It’s not loud, fast, stupidly aggressive or technical, and no lyrics about zombies or anything… So why do I like their horrid catchiness? WHATISWRONGWITHME!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! Guess I should succumb to the subliminal messages and buy the album once and for all… Ah well… 😛

    – Skumball

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    May 25, 2009 @ 23:36 pm

    Are there any Macros thatAre there any Macros that might help make this simpler?

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    May 15, 2009 @ 23:56 pm

    I would probably recommendI would probably recommend taking the points out of [url=]Toughness[/url] and putting them into the Blood Tree, taking [url=]Subversion[/url] and/or [url=]Butchery[/url].

    From the looks of it you have some points left over, so after that I would reccommend going for some of the tier 2 Blood talents (definately [url=]Two-Handed Weapon Specialisation[/url] and then the remaining two points where you want.

    I think your choices in Unholy are fine ;).

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    May 15, 2009 @ 22:04 pm

    AoE build for lvl 80Hey Jame (and all who read this)!
    I’ve been using AoE as DPS in dungeons and raids, but I am wondering if my build can be improved. The one I have at the moment is:

    All suggestions are welcome to optimize my damage output! Thanks in advance!

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    TOG Honor
    Apr 18, 2009 @ 12:21 pm

    I would be interested toI would be interested to hear if this is even viable now i have been looking at all the talk on the forums and Death Strike seems to of taken a big beating by the nerf bat.

    Any thoughts before i set about starting out my DK proper ok ive wasted doing my JC up to 300 but that is a hit im willing to take if it means i do not spend precious play time on this class.

    I say this as the aoe,solo group and old school raids at 80 was a big attraction and a bonus to my tank class pick if this change means they are no longer an option i will have to rethink the class i pick.

    Any thoughts greatly appreciated.

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    Apr 17, 2009 @ 1:59 am

    AoE BuildHey, I know 3.1.0 just came out yesterday, but could you please post an updated build? The build is 0/0/39 for me, and I’m guessing that might have to do with the fact that some of the talents were changed.

    Thank you in advance!

    EDIT: Could you also please make it for up to Level 80?

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    Apr 11, 2009 @ 17:39 pm

    There is, actually, theThere is, actually, the restriction problem for me too. I was only able to watch it using a proxy. Just for the record, I’m from Turkey and I was able to watch your first video perfectly fine.

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    Apr 9, 2009 @ 5:09 am

    Hi Jame!
    I am astonished atHi Jame!
    I am astonished at the effectiveness of the DK with the technoques you recommend. Thanks man!!(Laodamas is my priest) my DK id Diodorus!!

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    Mar 10, 2009 @ 15:22 pm

    niceYou’d do more AOE dps if you use:

    icy touch, plague strike, pestilence, death and decay.

    However yeah the basics of just diseases and death strike spam is the safest.

    personally i do:

    icy touch, plague strike, pestilence, death and decay, blood tap, blood boil, unholy blight, death strike, blood boil, death strike(if theres anything alive at this point)
    and if needed i pop a icebound fortitude, just coz i can.

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    Feb 23, 2009 @ 22:05 pm

    Hmm that’s really weird, IHmm that’s really weird, I haven’t put any kind of restriction on this video. I just went there and checked for it, and really, there’s no restriction on this video 🙁

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    Feb 19, 2009 @ 22:20 pm

    Hey, Jame, Unfortunately, IHey, Jame, Unfortunately, I can’t view the second video you posted here because of the regional restrictions on YouTube. If you can, please, turn that restrictions off, really want to watch it 🙂
    The funny part here is that I’m able to view the first video still…


    ~ gyunter

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    Feb 3, 2009 @ 19:40 pm

    Ah, now that’s interesting.Ah, now that’s interesting. I didn’t think removing the 3 points in Outbreak would make that much of a difference.

    Guess I’ll have to try it out and maybe make a new video. Sigh 😛

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    Feb 3, 2009 @ 19:17 pm

    Uh-ohErr, I’m gonna have to go and contradict myself now…

    I went and played with Death and Decay a little bit more, and it turns out I DO like it more than the original aoe rotation after all. After several tests on test dummies and actual packs of mobs, Death and Decay was consistently my #1 source of damage done per fight, doing about 19-23%. 2nd was almost always Frost Fever, at about 15%. Unholy Blight was 3rd, also showing as 15%.

    Now the surprising part: When I ran several tests of the original aoe rotation, guess how high Blood Boil scored… #2? Nope. 3? Keep going. 5. That’s right, even when spamming Blood Boil as often as inhumanly possible (including an extra cast from Blood Tap), it only showed up 5th on the list, below both DoTs, Unholy Blight, and even melee. Throwing in 1 Death and Decay actually increased my dps by over 30%.

    I was confused why this was happening when I had tried both rotations months ago and had come to the conclusion that Death and Decay was useless. Well one big factor has to be the change in Jame’s suggested build for levelling. Originally he picked up [url=]Outbreak[/url], but has passed it up since patch 3.0.8.

    So now the rotation I use for aoe is: (after bone shield and getting the mobs grouped up nice and neat of course) PS -> IT -> Pestilence -> D+D -> UB -> (Blood Tap before GCD is up) Blood Boil -> Death Strike / Scourge Strike as necessary, might be able to get one or two more Blood Boils in before the diseases all fade.

    As I said before, you are giving up 1 Death Strike and 1 Blood Boil when you cast D+D. However as I found out, Blood Boil is pathetically weak now. As for Death Strike, even if the mobs wear you down by the time they’re dead, you won’t need healing in that first 5 seconds when you cast D+D. And besides, 30% more dps means the mobs will die faster and you will take less damage.

    The funny thing is I would have never tried D+D at all until I tried to aoe groups of mobs with stun. I was frustrated with only getting to cast Blood Boil every 5 sec or so, and having my rune cooldowns all wasted. So I figured I’d try the D+D rotation, and was surprised to see all the mobs dying before I even came out of the first stun.

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    Feb 2, 2009 @ 15:10 pm

    Couldn’t have put it betterCouldn’t have put it better myself!

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    Feb 1, 2009 @ 23:43 pm

    Both videos are well done –Both videos are well done – thanks for doing them. The guides are great and the video is extra helpful.

    I’m not that practiced, but I think I’ll give that a try! I hadn’t thought of using death strike to heal with on solo mobs – I usually stop and bandage – no more!

    GAWD – Dk’s are OP, but so fun to play!

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    Jan 31, 2009 @ 23:16 pm

    D+DThat’s because Death and Decay is an expensive, awkward spell to use for actually not much additional damage. The most annoying thing about D+D is the 3 rune cost, which means you’re basically giving up 1 blood boil and 1 death strike to use it. Blood boil might not do as much damage as 10 ticks of D+D (actually not even close heh), but since it does ALL its damage instantly, it has a much higher dps than D+D. And death strike is very important in any aoe rotation where you’re fighting mobs worth aoe’ing in the first place. Sure, if you have a healer with you, or are aoe’ing lower level mobs that aren’t doing much damage to you, you wouldn’t need death strike and could throw in D+D. But in terms of solo grinding, Jame’s rotation is best, simply because of the survivability of it, and the absolute ZERO downtime after each pull.

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    Jan 27, 2009 @ 17:10 pm

    Rounding UpI used your awesome guide and now the proud owner of an 80 DK (well have been for some time now 🙂 )

    Helpful tip: I use my mount to round up as many mobs as I can…then follow your abilty rotation.

    If caster type: I target castor round up rest and start on caster first. If more than one, I DG ir strangulate it to the other.

    Basic pulling procedure but I didn’t see it spelled out for those who need.

    DKs rule…others drool

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