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WoW Classic WotLK Death Knight Leveling Guide

DK

With the release of Wrath of the Lich King Classic, the Death Knight will also arrive in the lands of Azeroth, which is the first heroic class in the game. The once unholy servants of the Lich King are ready to use the power of frost and death to rebel against their former masters. DKs are some of the best and most fun jobs due to their unique kit. With so many features level-locked in the game, Death Knight players are looking to speed-run their ranks to access every dungeon once they are released.

Death Knight Overview

The Death Knight Heroic class is the only job introduced in Wrath of the Lich King and is only available to six racials, which are Orcs, Trolls, Humans, Draenei, Dwarf, and Night Elf. The DK’s kit provides characters with decent multi-target damage, strong survivability skills, and their excellent capacity to DPS, which makes them one of the fastest jobs to level up in the game. The speed at which these unholy warriors progress can also be improved depending on the specialization the players take. Here are the pros and cons of using this class:

  • Advantages: Starts at level 55 (you don’t need to grind starting from one), Excellent survivability and utility kit, Adaptable, Flexible Ability Rotation, and Good at Solo content
  • Disadvantages: Starting at level 55 might overwhelm some players, and it might be hard for DK players to find a spot in Raid parties due to the overwhelming number of the class in the early stages of the expansion

Death Knights have three specializations: Blood DK, Unholy DK, and Frost DK. The first spec is focused on being a tank, while the remaining two are more of a DPS-type. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of each:

Blood DK

  • Advantages: Excellent offense and defense capabilities and strong self-healing
  • Disadvantages: Lacks mobility, requires decent equipment and damage, needs time to ramp up deal significant DPS

Unholy DK

  • Advantages: Excellent AoE attacks and excellent defensive power
  • Disadvantages: Lacks mobility, requires decent equipment, and DPS wanes when the number of mobs is reduced

Frost DK

  • Advantages: Excellent AoE attacks and great defensive power
  • Disadvantages: Lacks mobility, requires decent equipment, and DPS wanes when the number of mobs is reduced

Stat Priority of Death Knights

For players who are looking to level up quickly, they need to learn how each combat attribute affects a Death Knight. Each stat empowers a specific part of the class, but some combat stats will fit this job better. Here are the priorities for the Death Knight:

Priorities:

  • Strength – This stat is arguably the best one to invest in as a Death Knight. Each point allocated to this attribute increases your attack power by 2, which is the best investment because it is a flat bonus.
  • Haste Rating – This stat increases the speed of all your abilities, which means you can do more damage in a short period. Haste is the secondary attribute that players should consider on investing.
  • Attack Power – Attack Power increases the damage of every attack skill. While putting at least a few in this attribute is recommended, investing your points in STR is much more worth investing.
  • Hit Rating – Hit Rating is decent as an attribute for Death Knights since it ensures that your attacks hit your targets. However, it is not an excellent combat stat to invest in during the leveling phase since the bonuses are not strong enough to warrant investing in it.

Alternatives:

  • Agility – Agility increases your Critical Strike Chance by a little, so it is not really that great of a stat to get into.
  • Critical Strike Rating – While it does increase your critical damage, Death Knights rely more on raw attack power. It is okay to invest here if you are going pure DPS, but if you are looking to input a bit of utility, then it is probably best to leave this alone.
  • Stamina – This combat stat is a great one to invest in. This attribute increases your max HP, but there are other more consistent sources of this stat, such as gear and accessories. It would help if you focused more on acquiring Stamina equipment rather than allocating points.

Best Leveling Methods for Dark Knights in Wrath of the Lich King Classic

There are three ways to level up your Dark Knight quickly. These methods will vary in their effectiveness depending on the specialization you are running, so be mindful of which one you will run. The best way to learn is to plan and observe. Check out the theoretically optimal leveling method, then watch if it works for your character. Here are the best leveling paths for the Dark Knight:

Dungeons/Raids

The fastest way to level up your Dark Knight is to keep running the Dungeons available. The amount of exp acquired paired with the quality of loot makes Raiding worth your time. However, there is a catch in running this content; affecting the efficiency of grinding the challenges. 

The first issue regarding Raids is your reliance on groups. If you are looking to run the newer Dungeons, you need a team to ensure you can finish these challenges. For more difficult Raids, the need for sufficient DPS, tanks, and support is essential since there are a lot of mechanics that cannot be done solo. 

The best way to fix this setting is to find a static group to do Dungeons. Statics are people you constantly run Raids with, which means you set a schedule making sure that everyone is present. If you cannot find a constant team, then you have to settle for looking for random groups for raids.

Looking for random groups can be quite a pain, especially if you are using a DPS. Fortunately, Death Knights can run as Tanks if it's hard to get a spot as a damager. The problem with teaming up with people you don’t know, also known as pugs, is that you are unfamiliar with how they play and if they know the mechanics. In addition, you might not be able to communicate and synergize appropriately, which will significantly hamper your chances of clearing your Raids.

As a Death Knight, your efficiency leveling up via Raids depends on how fast and often you clear dungeons. The best way to ensure optimal clearing speed is to ensure that you are running challenges recommended for your level.

Quests

Quests are another decent way of gaining levels fast. While they do not provide as much as exp as Raiding, they are less intensive and do not eat that much time. It is also the easiest way to gain level as not all of them require killing enemies because some might require players to interact with NPCs. For leveling a Death Knight, you should be doing some quests while looking for Raid groups or during your break.

Another good thing about Questing is that you can develop your professions, too, since some tasks require life skills. Death Knights are more efficient in doing missions than other classes due to their Pale Horse skills, which give them decent traveling speed. Cutting down time spent in summoning mount and moving from place to place gives DK a more bearable questing experience.

Grinding

For Death Knights, grinding mobs is only efficient from level 55 until they reach Northrend. Once players get the Wrath of the Lich King-related content, they should reduce this method since it does not reward as much exp as before. However, it is an essential part of a DK’s leveling process.

Death Knights start at level 55, so they need to utilize every available source of exp in TBC before they reach WotLK Classic content. The Burning Crusade’s mobs have decent exp drops from their mobs unlike WotLK, so it is ideal for Death Knights to spend some time in grind spots until they can transfer to Northrend. However, for players who still want to do some grinding in WotLK. Here is the best rotation:

  • Howling Fjord or Borean Tundra for levels 68 to 72
  • Dragonblight for levels 71 to 75
  • Grizzly Hills for levels 73 to 75
  • Zul’drak for levels 74 to 76
  • Sholazar Basin for levels 76 to 78
  • Icecrown for levels 77 to 80
  • Storm Peaks for levels 77 to 80

Notes:

  • A problem that Death Knights might encounter when relying on Dungeons for leveling is that they might neglect to level their professions. Aside from your combat rank, trade skills are something many players try to balance along the way since it can be tedious to go back to lower-level areas to progress them. Leveling up primarily in Dungeons will limit your time engaging with professions, so players should take note of this.
  • For Grinding sessions, it is ideal for Death Knights to progress their Skinning or Mining professions since they are bound to encounter many gathering sources for these trade skills.
  • When questioning, sometimes it is more optimal to do tasks with a group. Doing quests with friends makes precise several combat-related searches easier, which Death Knights can benefit from.
  • While you may have Pale Horse, make sure to find an Epic Mount as soon as possible since these high-rarity companions can sometimes be faster than your summonable mount.
  • Make sure to take the necessary consumables to buff your Death Knight before heading into content such as Raids and Grinding.

Don’t Focus on Leveling Method

Death Knights are some of the best solo-playing classes, so they are efficient in most leveling content. This gives players more flexibility since they can swap between ranking-up methods. It is recommended that gamers alternate their sessions so they won’t get burnt out from specific content.

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WoW Classic WOTLK Leveling