Fresh 85, Ideal Gear in Season 9, and Stat management: Death Knight

by Archive // February 2, 2011

Gearing a fresh 85

One thing to know about me is that I’m all about efficiency and I hate wasting time, so gearing a fresh 85 for me was incredibly straight forward (I also don’t PvE). DK’s can’t arena effectively until we are beefed up with resilience so worrying at all about pve items is a waste of time. When you hit 85 you have 2 options to get ready for arena…

  1. You can buy the crafted Bloodied blue set, or of course create them yourself if you are a blacksmith, and then get into BG’s and start farming honor.  Yes you will still want to farm the blue honor gear from BG’s because they are a good upgrade before getting your Vicious stuff.
  2. You can sit your happy ass in BG’s until you can buy the full Bloodthirsty set from honor points.

The only logical choice in my mind is to hop into the random BG queues with all your shiny unenchanted/ungemmed green gear and start the terrible, horrible, no good, very long grind for a full blue set of Bloodthirsty.

You can find the Bloodthirsty sets in your factions main cities arena vendor area. Guards can show you where it is.

The other issue you will run into is getting a 2-hander. I would recommend doing some instances at least until you land a semi decent 2-hander. Before patch 4.06 the only helm and shoulder enchants you can get are from rep. The rep grinds you need are Therazane and Wildhammer for alliance or Dragonmaw for Horde. Grab one of these tabards while you do your instancing for the 2-hander.

Now, even though you just hit 85 and have terrible gear you need to make sure you are capping your conquest points every week (they reset on Tuesday). The arena tab tracks your conquest points so you can make sure you don’t miss a week. The cap starts at 0/1343 or something like that. Now if possible it would be great to get on a team and get your rating up a little bit to raise that 1343 cap so you can get an epic 2-hander faster, but don’t waste too much time in there yet. Your time is better spent farming honor until you are full.

Your first purchase with conquest points should be the 2h weapon. At this point you should be full bloodthirsty with full honor offpieces + trinkets + relic. Now you are ready to make a push in arena.

Best gear in season 9

There is no thinking needed on this one. The best gear for DK’s in Season 9 is 100% full pvp gear. No PvE dps upgrade is worth the loss of the resilience on the pvp piece. Resilience is THE best stat for arenas. Period…

Gemming and stat priority

DK’s need to cap melee hit (5%) and spell penetration (195) before anything else. In order to reach the hit cap you will need to play around with reforging some pieces to hit and possibly some hit enchants somewhere. Do NOT waste gemming on hit.  Spell Pen cap can be reached by using a +84 Jewelcrafting Gem, a +50 spell pen gem, and the +70 cloak enchant. If you are not a JC you will most likely need to add 2 more +50 spell pen gems to get over the 195 cap.

Since resilience is the best stat for arena I gem resilience in every slot possible. Here is what I recommend…

Red - [Resplendent Ember Topaz]

Yellow[Mystic Amberjewel]

Blue[Stormy Ocean Sapphire]

Jewelcrafting slots…

2x – [Mystic Chimera's Eye]

1x – [Stormy Chimera's Eye]

I’ve put the spell pen gems in my gloves and legs. I have ignored the blue slot on belt and put in a +40 resil gem instead because the +10 strength isn’t a huge loss. Outside of the belt I have every other socket bonus.

UPDATE – With the changes to deathstrike and our mobility improvements we can now get away with gemming some more strength. For example, I’ve changed out my 67 resil JC gems for 67 strength. If you aren’t already above 3800 resil I would keep gemming resil.


After melee hit cap, spell pen cap, and gemming appropriately all you need to know is that you should regem to haste wherever possible. In patch 4.06 DK’s mastery has been changed and may be as good as haste. The verdict isn’t out on this yet, but I will most likely be staying with haste because the concept of faster rune regens outweighs the extra damage from mastery.

Let me know if you have any questions/comments.


  • 0
    43 months ago
    what about enchants im just moving onto collecting viciouse have all gems full bloadthirsty some bits vicouse relic etc but iv never been to sure about enchanting my areana teams rating is 2005 and im hoping to get alot higher so a piece on enchanting would be amazing thanks unholy dk resiliance is 3413
  • 0
    46 months ago
    Finally! THANK YOU! SOMUCH!
  • 0
    46 months ago
    I <3 You. Many thanks!
  • 0
    46 months ago
    as human do you think i doubble trinketing a res trinked oder maybe a trinket (that i'm eq now because i have the human ability) with 285 haste and a proc on 1512str (~3000k ap?) or should i switch to the 300 res and a proc on ~900 str.

    i prefer the haste and i'm reforging everything i can do into haste after getting the hitcap. So i think this trinket which has around 2% haste and 3000k ap procc is better then just 300res and 1800 ap.

    i also just gemming pure str and haste.
    not res-str and res-
    • 1
      46 months ago
      When you start running into teams that train you start to finish you will see why I recommend resil in every slot and every gem. Resil is almost the best stat for every class in arena. You can try to justify the use of offensive gems and trinkets, but the lower survivability faaaar outweighs the offensive gain you get.

      If I was human I'd have 2x 300 resil trinkets with str proc and str on use.
  • 1
    46 months ago
    Good info!
  • 2
    46 months ago
    Thanks Jigs!
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