Death Knight: Dual Wielding DPS Specs

**Note**  WoW has changed a lot since January 2008, Check the Elitist Jerks DK forum and Skeleton Jack blog posts for the latest info on Dual Wielding DK specs.


Ok so I’m still reading up on Dual Wielding Death Knights. Sure the general consensus is that they’re an abomination to the the lore and shouldn’t be allowed in the game at all, but yeah, I’m not one to go with the general consensus anyway so I keep reading. While My focus currently is on my Rogue, my Death Knight Dual Wielding days are far from over and once I can allocate full time back to it I will.  For now though I’m trying to keep up with the changes so that when I’m ready to go I’ll be able to pick up where I left off and get some serious damage in, hehe.

As promised Skeleton Jack (Link) came through with some Dual Wielding DPS specs for this post patch 3.0.8 World of Warcraft (hehe). So far he has 3 Dual Wielding talent specs up. Two of these are tested for around 5000 boss damage and the last is actually still the champion from pre patch 3.0.8 the 0/33/38 Dual Wielding spec (plus Gargoyle).

In the 5000 plus range it looks like both specs are heavy in the Unholy Tree to take advantage of some Unholy talents that are not weapon dependent. Remember, the fact that a lot of the Death Knight abilities only add to the amount of damage that their weapon does. So that’s been one of the burdens of Dual Wielding is working with a spec that doesn’t rely so heavily on the abilities that only boost weapon damage, and instead focusing on abilities that destroy stuff regardless of a Death Knight’s weapon.

The first 5000 plus spec listed 10/10/51 kind of goes back to the old “Dual Wielding Tri-Spec” sort of Talent allocation, by hitting the first two talent tiers in the blood tree and the Frost tree to augment weapon damage. Then this talent tree dives into the Unholy talents to add some non weapon dependant DPS talents like Gargoyle and Unholy Blight.

The second 5000 plus spec listed is 0/20/51, which is a little frostier than the previous build (pardon the pun). This build still relies heavily on the Unholy tree, but instead of only allocating talents in the first two tiers of both the Blood and Frost talent trees, this build focuses all 20 points in the Frost tree. Really this buffs Icy Touch to give a Dual Wielding Death Knight a nice non weapon reliant and bursty source of DPS.

In the 6000 plus range though we have the reigning champion Dual Wield DPS build of 0/33/38. This build does stray from the first two by moving 13 talent points out of the Unholy talent tree and swapping them over to the Frost tree. Why do this? Well because you’re able to get Howling blast and pump up the damage that Howling Blast and Icy Touch do via this talent tree. Howling Blast is another talent that isn’t weapon dependant so the amount of damage it can do is based on your talents and training, not on how hard your weapons can hit. Then this talent spec dives into the Unholy tree to grab a few more talents to boost weapon damage and adds non weapon based DPS via pet damage through Summon Gargoyle and Master of Ghouls. The one thing I also like about this spec is that it spends a whole talent point on Bone Shield which is a handy talent point for minimizing damage taken on during the fight. Let’s face it as DPS we’re not on the healer’s priority list. Since dead DPS does no damage, a little self preservation goes a long way.


  1. kyousuke January 30, 2009 7:41 pm 

    He takes bone shield for 2% dps …..

  2. CreepTheProphet January 31, 2009 1:27 am 

    Good point, Bone Shield does add a little extra damage :D

  3. Bill February 9, 2009 12:48 am 

    Hey Creep the 0-33-38 spec is DA BOMB Im 76 atm and it is amazing difference. I used to be all blood for lvling but wow dps is higher and mobs drop fast. I have two concernces…well comment and question. 1. is there any suggestions for healing I do miss that from the blood line. But more importantly… I guess im kinda lazy when it comes to clicking, does the tree build have any macros i can use to make the most of it and use the spec to its full advantage? My thnx for your hard work and research on this spec it really makes duel wielding FUN.

  4. CreepTheProphet February 9, 2009 10:51 am 

    Thanks Bill! I can’t really take credit, I found the specs on Skeleton Jack’s website. I pretty much just added some comments based on what I remember from Dual Wielding as a DK.

    It’s a really fun combo of Frost’s bursty DPS and Unholy’s more sustained DPS. The downside is that there’s not as much protection from Bone Shield or from Unbreakable Armor, but if you’re only blasting and not tanking, then it’s not a huge deal.

    Skeleton Jack has some rotation for these specs listed on his site ( You’ll want to check out Elitest Jerks( too.

  5. Demon March 4, 2009 9:20 am 

    Would you be so kind as to tell us the exact combat rotation you use for the :
    “In the 6000 plus range though we have the reigning champion Dual Wield DPS build of 0/33/38.”
    Since I have not tried to DPS as DW before and only tried Frost once as Tank in OS 25man with adds which was pretty effective due to the magic resistance. I have played as Blood tank and Unholy DPS but rly wanted to try something different:)
    BTW I notice anoth DK on the server where I play, extremly good gear and it seemed to be the same spec so I’m sure you have your good reasons for stating it in this way which I personally have reflected upon and accept to be a good example of DW dps since the 3.0.8 patch:)

  6. CreepTheProphet March 5, 2009 1:47 am 

    @ Demon, for the rotations for this spec you’ll want to check out Skeleton Jack’s site here: ( Also there’s a lot of good info on the Elitest Jerk’s site here: Elitest Jerks(

    One thing to note though is that preliminary PTR testing shows that the upcoming patch (3.1) is pretty much going to destroy that talent build by moving Gargoyle to the top of the Unholy tree and changing the power of Howling Blast. Not to say that it isn’t perfectly viable right now because it is. There’s just a very strong chance that it’s not going to be quite as powerful of an option after 3.1.

  7. klok March 22, 2009 3:41 am 

    Hey those links are dead and I really would love to do 6k Can you give us an update?

  8. Creep March 22, 2009 4:02 am 

    I can actually, I’ll post a quick update on those and list out the talents a little later on, I’ll send you an e-mail letting you know when it’s up.

  9. Tony May 12, 2009 3:25 am 

    m8 i want to play dual wield now and this article doesnt help me at all. i am new at Dk but i am tanking now and preaty good but i want to dps with dual wield how can u help me? i saw that a guy already ask u about that. can u help me?

  10. Creep May 18, 2009 6:38 am 

    Actually the best advice I can give would be to check out Skeleton Jack’s blog ( He’s a lot more up to date on this stuff than I am and patch 3.1 made a lot of changes to the DK class.

  11. DkLover June 12, 2009 6:28 pm 

    sorry for being blur but wat u guys said is the latest spec for DK duel weild?

  12. Creep June 14, 2009 2:35 am 

    I can’t say DKLover. A lot of the folks I’d been watching to keep up with DK events stopped playing the game. The only recent guide I’ve seen has been on DK Tanking. Best I can recommend is keeping an eye on WoW Insider.

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