There’s a lot of controversy over whether macros are needed for World of Warcraft or not, but the unique way power is set up for Death Knights makes macros almost a necessity. Death Knights’ power is rune-based, which basically means a runic power bar replaces the mana, rage, or energy bar which other characters have. There’s also another restriction on how Death Knights can use their power. Death Knights use runes to cast spells, and the more they do this, the more their runic power builds, which, when unleashed, can really cause some serious damage to the enemy.
When creating macros, it’s important to understand the difference between focus and target. Your focus is your secondary target, which basically means your target takes the spell you cast first, but you can very quickly switch over to your secondary target, or focus, by using macros.
Macros can seem intimidating to those who have never used them, but it’s easy to set them when you have some examples. Let’s take a look at the most common macros you can set up for your Death Knight.
Chains of Ice is one common spell you’ll see in macros. Because this is a crowd control power, it’s perfect to set a focus on through your macros.
Chains of Ice Focus Macro
#showtooltip chains of ice
/cast [modifier:shift, target=focus] chains of ice
/cast [nomodifier:shift] chains of ice
You’ll also find a focus macro for Death Grip to be very helpful. If you’ve got two enemies fleeting at the same time, drag both of them back easily and efficiently with this macro:
Death Grip Focus Macro
#showtooltip death grip
/cast [modifier:shift, target=focus] death grip
/cast [nomodifier:shift] death grip
Many DK players love to play around with Death Grip. One of the simplest ones to set up is Death Grip + Unholy Blight. This one is very useful, even though there’s no focus in it.
Death Grip / Unholy Blight Focus Macro
/cast Death Grip
/console Sound EnableSFX 0
/cast Unholy Blight
/console Sound_EnableSFX 1
Sometimes you’ll find it helpful to clear your focus and targets in order to get the biggest bang for your buck out of your spells. Macros make it easy to clear your focus, grab a new target that wasn’t either your target or your focus, and then finish them in after you Death Grip them over to you.
Death Grip Macro for Malygos
/tar Power Spark
/cast [target=focus] Death Grip
Macros are also perfect for help controlling your pet or ghoul. This macro commands your pet to jump an enemy and start gnawing. If your target is friendly, your pet jumps over to the target. If you have no target, your pet returns to you.
Ghoul Focus Macro
/cast [target=target, exists,harm] Leap
/cast [target=target,harm] Gnaw
/stopmacro [target=target,exists,noharm] Leap
/cast [target=player] Leap
There are also a few helpful macros that don’t involve setting your focus. For an instant critical hit without a secondary target, use the Howling Blast + Deathchill macro:
Death Chill / Howling Blast Focus Macro
/cast Howling Blast
The Howling Blast + Deathchill is a great macro to have easily accessible because it works even if Deathchill is still on cooldown. You’ll just get Howling Blast, but at least it gives you something.
This next macro is quite a bit more complicated, but it throws down major DPS on a single target:
Ultimate DPS Focus Macro
/castsequence [button:1] reset=6/combat Icy Touch, Plague Strike, Frost Strike, Blood Strike, Blood Strike, Howling Blast, Frost Strike, Obliterate, Frost Strike, Howling Blast, Obliterate, Frost Strike
/cast !Rune Strike
This macro is one of the more common ones you’ll see a lot of DK players use. It casts Icy Touch, Plague Strike, Runic Power, Blood Strikes, and then three castings of Obliterate and Runic Power, back to back. Just keep in mind that this macro only works if you have a Glyph of Icy Touch, a Glyph of Frost Strike, and at least two points in Chill of the Grave.