If you felt a cold chill rolling through you when Death Knights were revealed, you weren’t the only one. The Frost runes promise a cold, calculating, controlling playstyle, with a slate of powerful spells in an otherwise mostly minion-focused class offering powerful plays and potent tools to get you deep into the late-game. Here are a couple of ideas to explore and experiment with once the new set rolls around!
Frost Rune Death Knight Decks – What Are They All About?
The Rune system of Death Knights serves as an exciting new addition to the game, allowing for an unprecedented level of deckbuilding variety (and strictly established lines of identity) inside just one class.
Frost effects revolve around direct damage (mostly to random targets) and freezing opponents, plus low-damage area-of-effect spells, setting up for an interesting oldschool “aggro-control” approach where you flood the board early, then proceed to deal direct damage from your hand. You can go super nuts with this wielding all three Frost runes, but even lighter versions promise interesting effects.
A cool thing is that you don’t have to go all-in with the Death Knight class cards, though it is quite tempting to do so: but even just a few high-Rune cards can transform a deck of critters into a potent army of Undead.
A Sprinkling of Frost: Mostly Undead, a Little Cold
Even a single Frost Rune can provide exciting effects to augment your approaches for the other Runes. Case in point: a double Unholy deck can make great use of Corpse-spending effects and direct damage tools. Bone Breaker is just super good, Defrost is one of the rare instant card draw tools available to you alongside Remorseless Winter, and Rime Sculptor should let you keep up on the board until your heavy-hitters arrive.
Frost Plus Patchwerk: Just Add a Bit of Blood
Patchwerk is just a super stupid card and one that’s well worth adding if you can afford the single Blood Rune. To that end, we’ve made some accommodations with this list, making it significantly slower and sticking exclusively to Frost spells to ensure that Overseer Frigidara is guaranteed to trigger.
Cold Zoo: Variations on a Theme
The same Rune configuration can be used to create an entirely different archetype, too: here, the focus is more on chunky neutrals to create an old-school board-based Zoo deck, with a sprinkling of blood added in for Darkfallen Neophyte and Horn of Winter for Druid-like tempo plays.
Fully Frozen Faces: Triple Frost Rune Aggro
Triple Frost Runes give you access to some super-strong damage dealers in the form of Marrow Manipulator and Frostwyrm's Fury. To power up the former, you will need a ton of corpses, which meshes well with the Zoo-esque early game approach this build goes for.
The goal is to move fast and break things, and to freeze annoying threats instead of clearing them, focusing on the enemy’s face instead. Sticky minions and small Reborn effects serve to maintain your board presence (and Corpse supplies) deep into the mid-game, but from them on, it’s burning (well, freezing) time. This deck doesn’t want the game to go long.
Burn (OTK) Frost
Lady Deathwhisper and Horn of Winter can make a lot of nasty things happen, with incredible damage potential available to you should you stack them up in your hand alongside Glacial Advance. So how about a deck full of burn spells and stall tools, relying on extra copies (and extra mana) generated by the Legendary to win the game in one fell swoop? It would look something like this.