The Death Knight class was launched with the second expansion of World of Warcraft, Wrath of the Lich King.
Death Knights as a class are which is unlocked by first having any other character of level 55+. At this point the ability to create a Death Knight, which begins at level 55, is unlocked.
Key signature characteristics of the Death Knight are:
- Ability to tank
- Ability to deal damage
- Class specific mounts
- Begins at level 55
- Unique rune system of play
As a max level character you have three clear choices of how to play, corresponding to each talent tree.
Death knights pick the role they want to fulfil by speccing in to that talent tree:
- Blood: Tanking Tree. This tree primarily amplifies the death knight's melee spells, weapons, and abilities; and has a prominent health-regeneration and survivability theme.
- Frost: Damage Dealing Tree. This tree has many control elements, with a strong critical-strike/bonus-damage theme resulting in big damage hits. This is the only tree that supports dual wielding, though 2H Frost is also viable and competitive.
- Unholy: Damage Dealing Tree. This tree has a heavy focus on diseases and related abilities, as well as making summoned minions (ghouls) a core focus of play style. Also has AoE, spell damage shielding, and mobility-improvement sub-themes. This tree supports 2H only.
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