"A hero. That's what you once were. You stood boldly against the shadow, and purchased another dawn for the world - with your life. But the evil you fought is not so easily banished; the victory you claimed not so easily held."Death Knight Class Information
The fearsome death knight, World of Warcraftâ€™s first Hero class, is not your average adventurer seeking to prove his or her worth on Azerothâ€™s fields of battle. No longer servants of the Lich King, they begin their new calling as experienced, formidable adversaries, heavily armed and armored and possessing an arsenal of deadly and forbidden magic learned in the Lich Kingâ€™s thrall. Here is an introduction, subject to change, of some of the death knightâ€™s core gameplay mechanics and abilities:Unlocking and Creating the Death Knight
Simply have a character of at least level 55 on the World of Warcraft account you play, and you will be able to create a new level-55 death knight of any race (if on a PvP realm, the death knight must be the same faction as your existing character). Upon entering the world, your neophyte death knight will undertake a series of quests designed to teach you your new abilities. You will be able to create one death knight per realm, per account.Class Roles
- Tank: The plate-wearing death knight is a capable tank for small groups as well as raids. His or her damage output while tanking will be respectable.
- DPS: The death knight can also spec and gear for a melee DPS role, which draw upon many debilitating disease effects as well as direct damage and instant attacks.
The Rune System:
- Blood: Talents in this tree focus on weapons, armor, and strikes.
- Frost: Talents in this tree focus on control, counters, and combos.
- Unholy: Talents in this tree focus on spells, summons, and diseases.
- Runes: Every death knight ability requires runes, which come in three varieties: blood, frost, and unholy. Depending on the ability, it may require runes of a single type or a combination of types. When a rune is used, it has a cooldown period before it can be used again.
- Runic Power: As rune abilities are used, the death knight also generates another resource called runic power. The death knight has certain abilities that consume all available runic power, with varying levels of effectiveness based on total runic power spent. Similar to a warriorâ€™s rage, runic power decays over time if not spent.
- Raise Dead: The death knight can raise a ghoul companion from the corpses of fallen creatures, as well as those of both friendly and enemy players. If cast on a friendly player, that player will have the opportunity to actually play as the ghoul, controlling its movements and actions.
- Army of the Dead: This channeled spell raises a group of undead followers who will attack the death knightâ€™s enemies but only exist very briefly before disintegrating.
- Summon Deathcharger: Every death knight can summon the level-40 version of a deathcharger land mount. At higher levels, they can complete a quest to learn the epic version.
- Shadows of Justice
Orgrim Doomhammer's first act as warchief of the Horde was to crush the orc warlocks of the Shadow Council. He grudgingly spared the council's former master, Gul'dan, in exchange for the warlock's servitude; in turn Gul'dan promised to create a host of powerful new warriors to serve the Horde. After experimenting at length with the souls of the recently slain council members, Gul'dan successfully instilled the spirit of the necrolyte Teron Gorefiend into the corpse of a fallen knight of Stormwind. Thus, the first terrifying death knight was born. Gul'dan transformed other council members as well, creating unholy warriors who sowed chaos and fear throughout the land of Azeroth during the Second War.
Following Gul'dan's desertion and death, part of the Horde, including the death knights, retreated through the Dark Portal to Draenor. Most of the surviving death knights disappeared after Draenor's destruction, with the exception of Teron Gorefiend, whose restless and embittered form resides now in the Black Temple of Outland.
- Champions of the Lich King
Years after the destruction of Draenor, the immensely powerful Lich King created a new breed of death knights: malevolent, rune-wielding warriors
of the Scourge. The first and greatest of these was Prince Arthas Menethil, once a mighty paladin of the Silver Hand, who sacrificed his soul to claim the runeblade Frostmourne in a desperate bid to save his people.
Unlike Gul'dan's death knights, modern death knights consist mainly of paladins who lost their faith and pledged their souls to the Lich King in exchange for the promise of immortality. Death knights who fall in battle are soon raised again to continue in their master's service.
In the years since Arthas shattered the Frozen Throne and merged with the Lich King, the power and fury of the death knights has only grown. Now these unrelenting crusaders of the damned eagerly await the Lich King's command to unleash their fury on Azeroth once again.
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