With regard to weapon speeds, I hear a lot about having a slower off-hand.

Why would it matter more that my off-hand is slower rather than my main-hand being slower?

- EDIT -

Apologies. This question is from a dual-wield Frost Death Knight perspective.

  • 1
    This really depends on Class and Spec, Epic Advice has some more specific questions that detail the possible advantages for most classes and specs.
    – gnarf
    Commented Jul 8, 2010 at 2:27
  • It would be easier for readers who try to answer questions, if you referenced WOW in the question title. Not all gamers play WOW and they would need to read the whole quesiton to understand what you are talking about, instead of being able to just ignore the question based on the title alone.
    – Nicolai
    Commented Jul 8, 2010 at 5:00
  • 2
    @nicolai - the tags are used more effectively for that purpose
    – Antony
    Commented Jul 8, 2010 at 6:49
  • @ Antony Not really, when I scan the unanswered or new questions section for questions to answer, I don't really know which tags I can answer so I do not filter on tags. Scanning the lists takes a lot longer if you have to read all the tags as well as the titles.
    – Nicolai
    Commented Jul 8, 2010 at 7:55
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    @Luminose - this site is intended to be a "general" gaming site. While this means that we don't want the site to be dominated by WoW questions, they certainly are not off-topic or "belongs on X" either. Commented Jul 9, 2010 at 20:37

4 Answers 4


It doesn't matter more for the off-hand than for the main-hand. You will still use the highest median damage weapon in main hand. Median damage is (Max+Min)/2, if you use median damage you can ignore speed because quicker weapons will automatically have a lower median damage.

And since you are dual wielding you will have a penality to hit (and damage) to your off hand. So your priority should be your main hand because of special abilities (opposed to auto attacks). As for the off-hand you will want slow weapons (and high median damage) because unlike rogue who will want to apply quickly poisons you will want to do more damage with each hit.

Higher median damage is always better for a death knight.

  • 1
    Your 2nd paragraph is misleading. Dual Wield Frost Death Knights hit with both weapons for their primary special attacks, not just their main hand, which is the reason you want a slower off hand. You want to maximize your top-end damage on both hands so that your instant (read: special) attacks do higher damage on average since they have nothing to do with weapon speed. While your answer is technically correct, it's slightly misleading and off factually.
    – TheQ
    Commented Jul 20, 2010 at 20:09

Because of Threat of Thassarian all frost death knight special attacks will now hit with both weapons. You will want to get weapons that have the highest possible average damage. In most cases, this means looking for a slower (>2.5) speed weapon. However, always make sure that you check that average damage, as the speed of a weapon can be sometimes misleading. If two weapons are of similar average damage, whichever has the highest DPS will end up being better.

More Info

  • The Threat of Thassarian talent is the main reason that slow weapons should be used. Same concept as Stormstrike for Enhancement Shamans (and to a slightly off-topic but similar note, Lava Lash).
    – TheQ
    Commented Jul 20, 2010 at 20:06

It depends on whether you're single- or double-dotting, but in general, slow is best.

Dual Wield, Threat-Oriented (slow DPS weapons): The most powerful threat you can produce from a Frost tanking build comes from dual wielding slow DPS 1-handed weapons with a 2-disease method.

from elitistjerks


special abilities always happen with your main hand for dual-wielding classes. as a result you only get auto attack from your off-hand. typically a lot of the time the logic is the slower the attack speed the more often you're on the high end of the damage. as a DK especially (ie with the 3x crit), if your auto attacks (from the off-hand) are typically from the high end, the speed increase will not even out the raw damage done once you count in the crits

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