Sigils and Where to Upgrade Them

Sigils are for Death Knights what Librams are for Paladins or Totems are for Shaman: This is our Relic-slot item. It gives us a class-specific, Trinket-like Equip bonus, such as an attack power buff toward or after using a certain ability. When you complete the quest "Into the Realm of Shadows" below Acherus, you'll get your first one, the [Sigil of the Dark Rider], alongside your Deathcharger spell. This will do you great through Outland and through the first part of Northrend, until the first upgrade becomes available at level 74. Let's take a look at the Sigil upgrades we have to choose from:
  • At level 74, get your undead rear over to Grizzly Hills and the Venture Bay PvP area. For a mere 30 Venture Coins, obtainable in a half-hour of questing at worst unless your server has some crazy hard-on for Venture Bay, you have a choice of three shiny new Sigils: The [Sigil of the Frozen Conscience] (unsurprisingly my favorite!), the [Sigil of Arthritic Binding], and the [Sigil of the Wild Buck]. Frozen Conscience, as you can guess from the name, is great for Frost with a buff to Icy Touch. Arthritic Binding is good for Unholy, as it buffs Scourge Strike. Wild Buck seems intended for Blood just by process of elimination, but as it buffs Death Coil (Blood's only real good Runic Power dump) it would be fine for Unholy as well.

  • At level 80 you'll primarily hit up the Emblem vendors for your Sigil upgrades. 15 Emblems of Heroism will get you the [Sigil of the Unfaltering Knight] for tanking or the [Sigil of Haunted Dreams] for DPS, 25 Emblems of Valor will get you the [Sigil of Awareness] for DPS, and 19 Emblems of Conquest will get you the [Sigil of Deflection] for tanking or the [Sigil of the Vengeful Heart] for DPS.

  • I'm not going to go into detail on those at this point, though, because Emblems of Triumph have become the common currency. For 25 of them you can get the [Sigil of Insolence], an upgraded version of Deflection which lets your Rune Strikes proc more delicious Rune Strikes. DPSers can get the [Sigil of Virulence], which gives a Strength proc to bread-and-butter DPS abilities from every spec. Both are excellent for their intended uses, and with the new cross-realm LFG system raining Emblems on our heads any serious Death Knight who's been level 80 for more than a week should absolutely have the one for their preferred role.

  • There are also two Sigils available for 30 Emblems of Frost each, the [Sigil of the Bone Gryphon] for tanking and the [Sigil of the Hanged Man] for DPS. However, as they have a stacking buff rather than a flat buff and even at full stacks they do not have a significantly better buff that the Triumph Sigils (+30 Dodge over Deflection, +19 Strength over Virulence) you may want to just keep those Emblems of Frost tucked away for T10 instead unless they get a buff at a later date. They aren't bad, but they're still not a significant upgrade. Note that the uptime for Hanged Man will generally be better than Bone Gryphon, and it will be better for Frost or Unholy than it will for Blood due to the frequency of the trigger ability in your respective rotation. It is worth noting that they are the first Sigils to use a different tooltip graphic.

  • I'm not an expert on Death Knight PvP, so I'll just touch on the PvP Sigils, all available with Honor and/or Arena Points: The [Deadly Gladiator's Sigil of Strife] is currently 15,300 Honor, the [Furious Gladiator's Sigil of Strife] is 6,400 Honor and 350 Arena Points, and the [Relentless Gladiator's Sigil of Strife] is 1,150 Arena Points. All are held in rather poor regard, so Death Knights interested in PvP should probably just get one of the PvE DPS Sigils listed above.

So don't forget to upgrade your Sigil while upgrading the rest of your gear. There are excellent buffs to be had from them!


  1. I think you are right on about the Frost sigils. They really aren't a significant enough upgrade to justify spending the badges on. Like you suggest hopefully blizzard will see that and buff 'em up a bit.

    Love the blog btw. Been following now for a couple weeks (almost day one) and really look forward to seeing more. Keep up the good work!

  2. Thanks! :) It's such a misunderstood class, and I'm so naturally verbose, it seemed like a good focus for my energy. Glad to see others are enjoying it as well!

    I was a little thrown off by the Frost ones because I saw them and was immediately "OMG upgrade!" Then I squinted a little...and did some math...and went, "Hrm." I'll be keeping an eye out to see if they get buffed at some point, but fortunately the Triumph ones are already really solid.

  3. Yeah, im definitly not upgrading to those frost sigil. I'll just save up for T10, its a much bigger upgrade