Death knight abilities/Runeforging

< Death knight abilities

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Spell deathknight frozenruneweapon

Runeforging is a skill specific to death knights, involving the affixing of runes to the death knight's weapon. It requires a runeforge, which can be found in four places: The upper chamber of Acherus: The Ebon Hold in the Eastern Plaguelands, the Shadow Vault in northern Icecrown, the fortress structure at Mord'Rethar: The Death Gate in southeastern Icecrown, and Darion Mograine's runeforge in Light's Hammer. After a small quest chain, the Shadow Vault — inhabited and under the occupation of the Scourge — can be retaken to serve as a questing hub for the Knights of the Ebon Blade, allowing ease of access to the Vault's runeforges.

The Engraving Process

To engrave a rune on your weapon(s), open your spellbook to the General tab and click on the Runeforging icon. You'll see a list of Runes that you know. Choose a rune, then click the Engrave button. Your mouse pointer turns blue—use it to click on the weapon you want engraved. It helps to already have your character profile or bags open.


Runeforge enchantments count as permanent, and they overwrite any regular enchantments, such as Mongoose or Executioner.

Runeforging requires that the weapon have an item level of 45 or higher. Any weapon a death knight would encounter will be higher than this.

Bind-to-account weapons, such as Inv axe 09 [Bloodied Arcanite Reaper], are item level 1 and so not able to be enchanted with runes. Attempting to apply a rune to an heirloom weapon results in an error about the item level being too low. As of Patch 4.0.1, Heirloom weapons can be engraved regardless of item level.


As of Patch 3.3.0, there are ten different runes that can be affixed to your weapon. Four are for both one- and two-handed weapons, three are for one-handed weapons only, and three are for two-handed weapons only. The runes affixed to a weapon can be changed by additional runeforging, but weapons can have only one rune at a time.

Icon Rune of Type Level Weapon Type
Spell shadow chilltouch [Cinderglacier] Frost 55 Any
Spell frost frostarmor [Razorice] Frost 55 Any
Spell shadow antimagicshell [Spellbreaking] Unholy 57 One-handed
Spell shadow antimagicshell [Spellshattering] Unholy 57 Two-handed
Spell holy harmundeadaura [Lichbane] Blood 60 Any
Icon Rune of Type Level Weapon Type
Ability parry [Swordbreaking] Blood 63 One-handed
Ability parry [Swordshattering] Blood 63 Two-handed
Spell holy retributionaura [Fallen Crusader] Unholy 70 Any
Inv sword 61 [Nerubian Carapace] Frost 72 One-handed
Inv sword 130 [Stoneskin Gargoyle] Frost 72 Two-handed


Runes are always better than weapon enchantments.

In general, the best runes are Fallen Crusader for DPS and Stoneskin Gargoyle/Nerubian Carapace for tanking. For dual-wield DPS, Razorice is competitive for the offhand.

All death knight weapons may have runes forged on them.

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