[General] Death Knight Beginner FAQ


What is a Death Knight?

The Death Knight is the first hero class implemented in World of Warcraft, it will be available to players when the Wrath of the Lich King expansion goes live. Blizzard has announced that there will be one new hero class added to the game for every following expansion. They are a hybrid melee class, with a mix of melee abilities and spells. They can wear plate.

How do I become a Death Knight?

You first need a level 55+ character of any class on your account. This will unlock the Death Knight class for you and only on this account.

Do I lose my level 55+ character to convert it to a Death Knight?

No, you keep your old character. You simply have to create a new character and choose Death Knight as class.

What level does my Death Knight start at?

Level 55.

Do they have any talent points at the start?

They have no talent points at the start, but they acquire them through questing in their starting area. Once they are done with their starting area (around level 58), they will have as many talent points as any other class of that level.

Can I create several Death Knights?

Yes, but you can only create one Death Knight per server and only on a server where you already have a level 55+ character

Can I create a death knight on one realm and transfer it to another realm?

Yes, you will be able to transfer a death knight, using either a free character move or a paid character transfer. Normal fees still apply.

Can I create a death knight on one account and transfer it to a new account?

Death knights can be transferred with the same fees and restrictions as any other character.

Can I create a death knight on the opposite faction?

You will be able to create a death knight on the opposite faction provided that it is on a PvE realm. The standard restrictions for character creation apply for PvP realms.

Where do they start?

Death Knights start in Acherus: The Ebon Hold, a floating necropolis located over the Eastern Plaguelands. Only death knight characters will be able to go inside Acherus. From there, you will follow a series of quests, where you will learn how to use your abilities, gain talent points as quest rewards, and a full set of blue items.

Once they get out of their starting zone, can they go back?

They can always go back to Acherus: The Ebon Hold. They get a teleport to go there, with a 1 minute cooldown. That’s where Death Knights go to train their skills. However, they can’t go back to the zones where their first quest lines took place (Havenshire and New Avalon). It doesn’t matter though, as there’s nothing you need from there once you’ve finished your initial quest line.

Do they start with any equipment?

They start with a full set of green gear, you can see the list here. The first quests you do will reward you with a Runeblade, the Death Knight’s weapon of choice. At then end of their initial quest line, they will be level 58, have 49 talent points (just like any other class at this level), and a full set of high quality blue items, you can find the list here.

Do they start with any bags?

They start with 4 12-slot bags. I advise to mail them better bags as soon as possible.

Do they get a mount?

Yes, they are very lucky and get an epic mount for free after completing a few quests in their starting area. The mount gives a 100% speed increase, just like any other epic mount.

Do they get a flying mount?

Yes, but this one won’t be for free. It will cost the same price as for other classes. You’ll have to buy the Artisan Riding Skill (5000 Gold) and a flying mount (200 Gold). They will also be able to buy a Winged Steed of the Ebon Blade, a special mount only available to Death Knights. It will scale with your riding skill, which means that you won’t have to buy any other flying mount once you have this one. It will count as a 60% speed flying mount if you only have the Expert Riding skill (800 Gold), and that it will upgrade to a 280% speed mount once you purchase the Artisan Riding Skill (5000 Gold).

What races can be Death Knight?


What is the best race for a Death Knight?

Alliance – Check Jame’s Death Knight Leveling Guide (Alliance) (Here)
Horde – Check Jame’s Death Knight Leveling Guide (Horde) (Here)

Will Death Knights be stronger than other classes?

At the moment, they are pretty strong. They can solo very well and are welcome in groups too, they can tank or dps. They are better than other classes in certain departments, like for example, they can take on casters like no other. Other than that, Blizzard will try to keep the classes balanced, so don’t expect your Death Knight to be invincible.

What weapons can Death Knight use?

Currently, Death knights can use:

  • 1-handed swords
  • 2-handed swords
  • 1-handed axes
  • 2-handed axes
  • 1-handed maces (must be trained at a weapon master)
  • 2-handed maces (must be trained at a weapon master)
  • Polearms


They can NOT use:

  • Shields
  • Ranged Weapons – The ranged item slot will be filled by a relic, similar to what Druids, Paladins and Shamans get in this slot.


How do they tank without a shield?

High Armor and high avoidance.

They also get several talents which give them more avoidance, such as:


And some talents which help them mitigate damage, like:


What are their talent trees?

Blood, Frost and Unholy.

Blood: The Blood talent tree is focused on high single target damage and a lot of lifedrain abilities. It is very good for leveling, grinding, and also dps’ing in groups.

Frost: The Frost talent tree is a bit more focused on tanking, but still puts out very decent damage. It is not as self-sufficient as the other trees, because it lacks lifedrain talents.

Unholy: The Unholy Tree is focused on AoE damage, diseases and summoned creatures, such as ghouls and gargoyles. Currently, it does even more damage than the Blood tree, but doesn’t have as much lifedrain abilities. It’s an excellent tree to level and grind.

What is the best talent tree to level? And in what order should I place my talent points?

Alliance – Check Jame’s Death Knight Leveling Guide (Alliance) (Here)
Horde – Check Jame’s Death Knight Leveling Guide (Horde) (Here)

Meanwhile I suggest you follow the link below and read my article. It contains talent builds and also explains which DPS Cycles to use to do the most damage possible with your DK:

Death Knight DPS Rotations

How does the Death Knight fight?

They don’t have mana or rage or energy. They have a new system. They use Runes and Runic Power.

They have 6 Runes — 2 Blood Runes / 2 Frost Runes / 2 Unholy Runes
The vast majority of their abilities cost a rune to be used. Some cost 2 or even 3 runes.
When used, a rune takes 10 seconds to refresh and be usable again.
When you use an ability that consumes runes, it generates Runic Power. Between 10 and 25 Runic Power per ability, depending on how many runes are consumed. You can also get extra runic power via certain talents.

Runic Power — Pretty much like the warrior rage bar, you start with zero runic power, and can have a maximum of 100. You can use runic power to cast abilities such as Death Coil.

Is spell power good for Death Knights?

No. Spell Power is useless for Death Knights. They need Attack Power instead, and preferably Strength, as it boosts their parry rating as well.

What is Runeforging?

Runeforging is a unique ability for the Death Knight class. It basically works like Enchanting, but only for weapons. The Death Knight can engrave his weapons with runes, which replace the traditional weapon enchantments. For example:

Rune of Razorice
Rune of the Fallen Crusader

This presents many advantages. Firstly, this saves a lot of money. Runeforging is free, you don’t have to level it, all you need to do is to learn each rune at your trainer (costs a few gold). Then you can engrave different runes on the same weapon as many times as you want. Secondly, the runes are a little better than normal enchantments.

Note: You can only have one rune engraved per weapon, and of course, you cannot also have a normal enchant on top of the rune.

When I get a good weapon with my Death Knight, do I have to engrave runes on it first to be able to use it?

No. You can use weapons normally just like any other class. Runeforging is optional, it’s exactly like enchanting your weapon with a normal enchant.

Is there a good leveling guide I can follow for my Death Knight?

Lucky you, yes there is!

Alliance – Check Jame’s Death Knight Leveling Guide (Alliance) (Here)
Horde – Check Jame’s Death Knight Leveling Guide (Horde) (Here)

If you have any other question, please leave a comment.

  • img
    Oct 7, 2008 @ 10:26

    New restrictions on DK creationQ. What if I have a level 55 character on one realm but want to create a death knight on another realm to play with friends?
    A. At the launch of Wrath of the Lich King, you will only be able to create a death knight on the same realm where you have an existing level 55 or higher character. In the future, we plan to allow the creation of a death knight on any realm (provided you have at least one level 55+ character).

    This is a change from their old statement that a level 55 char is enough to allow DK creation on all servers, so it might be useful to add it to the FAQ. It seems however that you can create a DK on a server with a 55+ char and use paid character transfer.

    • img
      Oct 7, 2008 @ 12:08

      Thank you, I’ll update theThank you, I’ll update the FAQ 🙂

      • img
        Nov 4, 2008 @ 9:03

        Gear/bagsDoes the Death knight start with any bags would you get any from quest or would you just have to buy them. also after moving on to outland and what not, if you were to find a sword, could you just use it or do you have take it to a runeforge to put runes onto it so that you can use spells? if you do have to put runes onto the blade, how would you get them?

        • img
          Nov 4, 2008 @ 10:31

          You start with 4 12-slotYou start with 4 12-slot bags. My advice is to mail your DK some better bags as soon as possible.

          About weapons. It’s like for every other class, you can use it without having to do anything particulary. Runeforging is not mandatory to use your weapon, it just adds an enchant to it and makes it a little more powerful, but you can live without it.

          Anyway, it’s quite easy for a DK to go to a runeforge, because they have a self teleport to the ebon hold.

          I’ll add this to the FAQ.

          • img
            Nov 5, 2008 @ 23:02

            Death Knight levelafter completing all the death kngith quests, would you be level 58 and could we move on to outland or would we have to quest more after to get into outland?

            • img
              Nov 6, 2008 @ 1:28

              Once you’re done with theOnce you’re done with the whole DK starting zone you should be 58 or very very close. So yes you could move to Outland right after, but I don’t recommend it, trust me on that, it’s much faster if you just follow my guide until the end, those plaguelands circuits are the bomb, especially with the Death Gate teleport to cut running time.

              If you farm the shopping list turn ins on top of that, it gets even better and Outland’s xp/hour rate doesn’t compare.

              • img
                Nov 8, 2008 @ 18:16

                I just want to add a littleI just want to add a little caveat to that. At lvl 58, when DKs are done with their starter quests, they are actually very capable of going right into Outland.

                I got into beta, and not having any character above lvl 40 pretty much ever, I opted to just try out the Death Knight. Of course, I’ve never been to Outland, so that was all new to me. What I’m trying to say is that with the blue armor set we leaver Acherus with (and it is absolutely fantastic, both in looks and stats) it was actually extremely easy for me to quest in Outland, even though I had never done it before.

                Now, I’m sure the Plaguelands questing that you detail in your guide probably still is easier, given the easier mobs. I fully plan to follow your guide in this. I just wanted to point out that DKs are well equipped to jump right into Outland if they so wanted to.

                Frankly, I really really wish they had put some sort of follow-up quest that gave all these fresh Death Knights some sort of impetus for wanting to go to Outland. I don’t really want to get into specifics why so as to not spoil the fun for those who haven’t played the DKs yet, but I will say that at the end of the DK starter quests you’re left with wanting to just jump right to Northrend and battle the Scourge, but you’re stuck with really only having Outland available to you, and not really having any reason to go there, other than “it’s the next place to level”.

                • img
                  Nov 8, 2008 @ 18:18

                  Oh of course, they do fineOh of course, they do fine in Outland at 58 (many classes do, even with lesser gear). But as I’ve explained many times, it’s not the most efficient way to do things 🙂

                  • img
                    Nov 11, 2008 @ 1:58

                    additional questionshi!
                    first thanks for making a great guide. really got all the data I need for preparing a DK and here’s some more questions:
                    1. what are the skill level of the weapons the DK can equip at the start?
                    2. what’s the level of first aid since i heard they already have it
                    3. what are the flight path available after finishing all starting quests? since you mentioned in your ally guide: Either take the Deeprun Tram or fly to Ironforge.
                    4. what’s the reputation status when starting your DK in your faction capital (IF, SW etc…) and after completing the all DK quests?

                    • img
                      Déc 9, 2008 @ 9:28

                      Answer to q3I was glad to see every flightpath was already known. }:)

  • img
    Oct 9, 2008 @ 2:47

    Just a little confusedI read somewhere that there will be a long quest line to unlock a higher level DK.

    Can you clear this up for me, I am quite confused on this.

    If there is a long quest line, will there be a guide comming out?

    • img
      Oct 9, 2008 @ 8:25

      Never heard about this,Never heard about this, sounds like a false rumor. As it is now, there’s no quest line, you just need a 55+ character and you can create a level 55 DK.

      Of course, if the rumor is true and that they add such a quest line, I’ll write a guide about it asap.

      • img
        Oct 10, 2008 @ 4:55

        Sacrificing for DkThis is what I read from an interview
        Quote from

        Q; “The ability to convert a high-level character into a DK, and carrying over reputation, titles (including legacy PvP titles), and perhaps starting at a higher level than the “fresh” DK and a unique title (like “Fallen Warrior” or “Fallen Priest”).”

        A; If you want to “sacrifice” a character, you are welcome to role-play it out that way, but we don’t plan to force this on players just to try out a new class.
        I see what you are saying, the option is there for you to role-play it in such a way, but we have no current plans for characters and their items (which I’m guessing is primary concern for this) to be converted into a Deathknight.

        I was already aware of starting a new DK from 55 if you already had a toon level 55+, Then I read this…I was abit WTF

        • img
          Oct 10, 2008 @ 8:40

          Yea, this article actuallyYea, this article actually says that they have no plans to add such an option. In short, it won’t happen within the coming 12 months for sure, or will just never happen. :p

          But they say that you’re very welcome to delete your high level character yourself before you create a DK, to give you a nice “roleplay” feeling!


  • img
    Oct 10, 2008 @ 21:23

    Death KnightI really hope that death knight doesnt screw up the game. I can see ALOT of people creating them and I can only imagine what instances ect.. are gonna be like.
    It would have been better if they made it start at lvl1 if you ask me.
    I just hope all the hype dies down in a few weeks after the reliese of Wrath and people get over the fact of a new class. The DK is hugely over rated IMO anyway.

  • img
    Oct 14, 2008 @ 17:32

    I have a question… HowI have a question… How come DK only have a few talent points in lvl 55? How does he “catch up”… has he got less than other characters?
    Btw, love your site! Keep doing what your best at – this!

    • img
      Oct 14, 2008 @ 19:14

      This question was alreadyThis question was already answered in the “what equipment they start with” section, but I’ve made an extra section focusing only on this question now 😛

      Anyway, here is the answer:

      [color=#4169e1][b]They have no talent points at the start, but they acquire them through questing in their starting area. Once they are done with their starting area (around level 58), they will have as many talent points as any other class of that level.[/b][/color]

  • img
    Oct 26, 2008 @ 1:21

    Only deathknights are aloudOnly deathknights are aloud to Runeforge right? And also, can they enchant their weapons as well as having them runed?

    • img
      Oct 26, 2008 @ 13:06

      Only deathknights are aloudOnly deathknights are aloud to Runeforge right?


      And also, can they enchant their weapons as well as having them runed?

      No, and this was already answered in the FAQ…

      Please, read a section entirely before you ask a question about it.

  • img
    Nov 4, 2008 @ 4:40

    Aldor ScryerWhich faction would be better for a DPS Deathknight?
    Scryers or Aldors?

    • img
      Nov 4, 2008 @ 10:16

      Neither, it doesn’t matterNeither, it doesn’t matter at all since all the gear you could get from the factions is quickly gonna be obsolete in WotLK.

      • img
        Nov 4, 2008 @ 18:51

        Oh, there was a rumor goingOh, there was a rumor going around on my server that they were carrying those factions on to 80 with Scryer/Aldor only towns. Well, i guess that answers two questions in one 😛 thank you

        • img
          Nov 4, 2008 @ 19:20

          I could be wrong, but I justI could be wrong, but I just haven’t read anything about it 🙂

  • img
    Nov 6, 2008 @ 14:59

    when your playing as a deathwhen your playing as a death knight as alliance or horde are u sent to a different area because I’m deciding what to be but I’m wondering will you and an alliance player be friends at the moment or is the alliance and horde still at war?

    • img
      Nov 6, 2008 @ 16:08

      PvP is disabled in the DKPvP is disabled in the DK starting area. So it’s not a factor.

      The alliance and the horde are still at war. 😛

      Please watch your spelling next time.

  • img
    Nov 8, 2008 @ 23:28

    Different SpecsDo you plan on adding any pvp specs or pve tanking/dps specs to your guides for the Death knight?

    • img
      Nov 9, 2008 @ 1:05

      I’ll probably write a PvPI’ll probably write a PvP Guide and a Tanking Guide for the Death Knight in the future, yes. For now I haven’t had enough time to work on that, so it’s not for soon 😛

  • img
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 19:27

    speccI have a question.
    What is the best specc to lvl up till 80 ? 🙂
    Just wanted to ask 😀


    • img
      Nov 10, 2008 @ 22:31

      I have an answer:

      Check myI have an answer:

      Check my [url=]Death Knight Leveling Guides[/url] and my [url=]Blog articles about Death Knights[/url].

  • img
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 19:37

    LinksHey Jame you should update your links here since your guides are released 🙂 I only pester because I linked this guide on my guild site for my guildies who are chomping at the bit to start Death Knights 😉

    • img
      Nov 10, 2008 @ 22:36

      Done! And please keep onDone! And please keep on pestering, I think it’s helping! :p

  • img
    Nov 14, 2008 @ 1:19

    Death Knight creationI just have one character above 55 and already have ten toons on that server. I just installed WOTLK but don’t have a character creation option on that server. Do I have to delete or move one of those toons to create a death knight?

    • img
      Nov 14, 2008 @ 3:15


  • img
    Nov 18, 2008 @ 17:56

    Rune abilities and spellsI know most of the abilities use rune power and runes to cast, but has it been found whether things like spellthread will actually help improve damage because of spells/talents that deal disease and shadow damage in addition to the physical component?

    If so, this would be an easy (and now cheap with the fall of primal prices) way to get an extra boost to damage. If spellthread isn’t a viable option, which item enhancements would be a better recommendation?

    Love the guides and all your hard work, thanks for being the “go-to” site for all guides and leveling tips. 🙂

    • img
      Nov 18, 2008 @ 20:43

      As far as I know, spellAs far as I know, spell power does nothing for death knights. Their disease damage is only enhanced by attack power.

  • img
    Nov 18, 2008 @ 22:50

    outstanding guidei’ve tried many lving guides and this is one of the best. being free makes it tops. excellent work!!! i saw in an earlier post that spell power is good for nothing, so strength, stam and agility would be the way to go? also is there a dungeon set for DK’s? thx for any info.

    vanzant lvl 69 DK
    mandrolde lvl 70 lock
    skullance lvl 70 warrior
    bloodmist lvl 70 rogue
    landemus lvl 70 shaman
    velirra lvl 70 druid
    kodias lvl 70 hunter
    blizzak lvl 70 mage

    pround member of zeal on alexstraza server

    • img
      Nov 19, 2008 @ 0:02

      No idea about the dungeonNo idea about the dungeon set. I just know there’s the DK armor from tokens you get from Heroics and 10-man 25-man zones.

      And yes, STR is the best stat for DK, because it boosts your attack power and your parry rating. And also boosts your ghoul’s dps (if you are unholy it matters).

      Then there’s stamina, crit rating and armor.

  • img
    Déc 15, 2008 @ 11:22

    If I realm transfer a deathIf I realm transfer a death knight to another realm, and I dont have a 55+ character on that other realm can am I still aloud to use the death knight that I transfered?

    • img
      Déc 16, 2008 @ 18:44

      Yes.Yes. If you transfer a Death Knigth to a new server, you WILL have a level 55+ character on the sever anyway (your death knight).

    • img
      Jan 15, 2009 @ 19:57

      TransferIf you wait for the next patch, you can just create a new DK on any server!

      I am not sure wether you can create an Alliance Dk if your character is horde or vice versa

    • img
      Jan 26, 2009 @ 20:44

      GuntrixIn short, yes.
      If you have your created Death Knight on the same server as your level 55+ character, it is possible as of Patch 3.0.8 to transfer him/her to a different server. Please note however that the server has to be at least 3 or 6 months old. Not sure on the age.

      You just can’t argue with idiocy.

  • img
    Jan 16, 2009 @ 2:43

    Under What’re they’re talentUnder What’re they’re talent trees >> Unholy, you type summonned creaturs instead of summoned creatures

    • img
      Jan 16, 2009 @ 11:58

      Fixed it, thanks.

      CrazyFixed it, thanks.

      Crazy spelling btw, had to read your sentence 3 times before I understood what you meant :p

  • img
    Jan 26, 2009 @ 18:05

    Can I create several DeathCan I create several Death Knights?

    it has changed in patch 3.08
    you can have on all servers a DK now if you have one lvl 55+ char 🙂

    and i want to ask something: what is a death rune
    (started yesterday with a DK 😛 ) a friend lvlt it to 58

    my friend sayd the DK guides weren’t in youre addon 😕
    diddn’t saw it myself

    • img
      Juil 14, 2009 @ 10:56

      Death RunesDeath Runes are wild cards. They can be used as any of the 3 runes: Blood, Frost, or Unholy.

      Death Runes transfer back to their original rune when used, with the exception of Blood Tap
      (a Blood Rune is temporarily converted to a Death Rune). The Death Rune in this exception
      stays as a Death Rune, even when used, for a limited time.

  • img
    Mar 19, 2009 @ 17:38

    no Death Gate?AM I misssing something I have completed all the quest over then Ebon Hold and there around after I made my death night. I even completed the quest that was suppose to give me the Death gate but I do not have it listed… I have checked all my spells and it is not there. I have not quest listed and there are none showing as still having to do. I have gone back and talked to the highlord dude and he just mumbles something and that is it no quest. What do I need to do? thanks

  • img
    Juil 22, 2009 @ 21:31

    DK TransfersIs it possible to create a Death Knight on one account – then transfer that Death Knight to an account that does not have any 55+ toons on it…?

  • img
    Oct 20, 2010 @ 10:34

    Minor updates neededMost of this is still up to date, but there are a few minor things that are incorrect. If anyone would be willing to update it, that would be awesome.

  • img
    Jan 31, 2011 @ 7:34

    Death KnightDoes your Character exactly have to be lv 55 to get a death knight or can it be higher?

    • img
      Jan 31, 2011 @ 10:57

      Level 55+You need to have at least one character of at least level 55 before you can make a Death Knight. When they were first added you could only make the Death Kinght on the same realm as the character you already got to 55. Now however you can make them on a realm of your choice, provided somewhere on your account there is a character of level 55 or more. You can only make 1 Death Knight per realm.

    • img
      Jan 31, 2011 @ 10:58

      oppsopps double post

Laisser un commentaire

Votre adresse e-mail ne sera pas publiée. Les champs obligatoires sont indiqués avec *