Earlier today on Twitter, I asked if there were any Death Knight questions that people had. Not thinking I’d get much of a response, I made the mistake of doing it while I was driving. But to my pleasent surprise, I found a lot more questions than I expected. So I’m going to make a blog post here to answer these questions. Huge thanks for the retweets, favorites, etc. of this tweet!
Thanks Mazz for the question!
Question: For Frost Death Knights, is Dual Wield (DW) or is two-handed (2H) better?
My Response: That’s a tough one. Right now, Patch 5.4, a lot of it depends on item level, as well as play style. But if you just look strictly at the gear at ilvl 522, 2 handed frost is better than dual wield frost. But if you look at the logs for heroic raiders with best in slot (BiS) gear, you will see that DW is actually a little bit better. A lot of that plays on secondary stats and itemization, meaning that at a higher item level you have more hit & expertise to help get you to the caps (Hit 7.5%/Expertise 7.5%). But the fine line between the different types of DK frost specs right now comes down to YOUR personal play style. I personally like playing DW in PVP whereas I like playing 2H better in PVE content. But it’s slowly personal preference. The reason I say it doesn’t really matter is that the DPS difference is basically less than 5k difference at the ilvl 522.
Thanks Aryendra for the question!
Question: Any tips for heavy movement/melee unfriendly raid encounters? (Specced Death’s Advance (DA) & Unholy (UH) presence change when possible but aside that).
My Response: Ah, that’s a tough one. Death Knights don’t have a lot of options when it comes to movement speed. You already stated the easy ones like Death’s Advance (Tier 3 Talent; 10% faster speed) and switching to Unholy Presence (built-in 15% speed boost). A few others depending on race/faction, and professions would be as follows. Race/Faction: Goblin (Horde) – Rocket Jump (Jump forward), Worgen (Alliance) – Running Wild (Increases ground speed by 60%/100%). Professions – Engineering: Nitro Boosts – Belt enchant for speed boost; Enchanting: Enchant Boots – Pandaren’s Step (Small consistent speed increase), Alchemy: Swiftness Potion – 50% for 15secs (Shares CD with other potions).
Sadly, Death Knights are not a very mobile class, but there are some tips to help with that. I personally play a Goblin because it gives me a chance to Rocket Jump when I need to get somewhere fast. But it doesn’t always work and has wiped us a few times on Heroic Iron Juggernaut in SoO. Hopefully that helps, but hopefully Blizzard will see how movement impaired we are, and change it!
Thanks Knate for the question!
Question: Make blood tanking less scary of a concept for me.
My Response: First off, that’s not even a question. Can you please submit that in the form of a question!? … But what’s so scary for you when it comes to Blood tanking? Being a Blood DK myself, I can see how it very intimidating at times. We are a reactionary tanking style and we completely control our health pools. If I see a large strike coming in, I can Death Strike (DS) to absorb it with our mastery (Blood Shield). If I already have a large shield on myself, I may say the DS to heal myself up after the attack. DS heals the player, and bubbles them (Leaving math-out because it changes with mastery amounts). Our HP also is based on the amount of damage we put out, so riposte is important at higher levels because it feeds Scent of Blood (Dodge/Parry increases damage of DS).
I know you main on a Paladin, so just think of it this way. Death and Decay = Consecration (but a DK can put it anywhere!), Heart Strike = Crusader Strike, but instead of holy power it gives 20% more damage & more Runic Power (RP), Icy Touch = Judgement, but applies a disease. Blood Boil/Pestilence = Holy Prism/Holy Wrath (AOE threat, but spammable). Soul Reaper = Hammer of Wrath but at 35% instead of 20%. Death Grip = Avenger’s Shield, but cooler!
I hope that helps. No reason to be scared of the only Hero Class in Warcraft! :P
Thanks Della for the question!
Question: Is Defile as epic as it looks?
My Response: When I first saw that DK’s were going to be able to FINALLY use Defile. I was all excited. But the problem with it right on in the Warlords Beta is that it’s not really that amazing. Defile = Defiles the ground targeted by the Death Knight. Every 1 sec, if there are any enemies standing in the Defile, it deals (27.5% of Attack power) Shadowfrost damage to them, and grows in radius and damage by 2.5%. Enemies standing in your Defile deal 10% less damage to you. Because it replaces DND, it requires 1 Unholy Rune, and has a 30 second cooldown. Compared to Necrotic Plague right now, its damage output isn’t the same. I can see it being super awesome on fights like Garrosh where you have a ton of adds in one spot, but only time will tell.
Granted, it is F*CKING DEFILE! WE ARE THE LICH KING!
Thanks Midneyet for the question!
Question: Basically any advice on how to effectively play unholy.
My Response: …. but that’s not a question. NOT A QUESTION! :P But I will answer it anyway, but first let me ask you some questions. What is your draw to Unholy over Frost? I know a lot of people have specific specs that they like to play for on reason or another. I’m not a big fan of unholy, but I will gladly give you some tips that will help you more effectively play Unholy!
So if you want to know how to increase your DPS, the best thing is to look at your rotation. You want to always maintain your diseases (Frost Fever (FF)/Blood Plague (BP)) on your target. The reason for that is your other spells will be more effective and do more damage if you have your diseases up. To apply those diseases, you use Icy Touch (IT) & Plague Strike (PS); you can also use Outbreak to apply both of them. Every time you use a DK spell that uses a rune (like 75% of them) you gain Runic Power (RP). You want to make sure you don’t get RP capped (100). So when you don’t have any spells that you can use, dump your RP. Unholy DK’s use Death Coil (DC) to dump their RP. As you use DC, you will gain stacks of Shadow Infusion (SI). SI is used to transform your minion into a MegaMinion. After 5 stacks of SI, use Dark Transformation (DT) to mutate your minion. In order to maximize your DPS, you always want you MegaMinion out. So always make sure you dump that RP with DC and get that SI so you can DT. Got that? Yeah, it’s Greek to me too! If you don’t have enough RP to DC, use your Scourge Strike to dump runes, and use Festering Strike to extend the length of your Diseases (FF/BP) on the target.
Cliff Notes: IT/PS –> SS –> DCx5 –> DT rinse and repeat.
Hopefully that helps some, hit me up if you have more questions or a walk through!
Thanks Cole for the question!
Question: What is the Blood rotation for tanking between levels 80 to 90?
My Response: Awesome question because I love blood tanking. Blood tanking rotation is super simple and can become very methodical once you master it.
Single Target – Drop Death & Decay (DND) at ranged to get some threat on the target because you run. Or you can Death Grip (DG) them to you. Follow it up with Icy Touch (IT) as you run towards the target (ranged attack) and then Plague Strike (PS) once you are in ranged. You want to apply both your diseases to help keep threat on the target and to also increase the damage done by Heart Strike (HS) and Blood Boil (BB). Use HS/BB to convert Blood Runes to Death Runes (DR). Having more Death Runes (DR), gives more chances to use Death Strike (DS). Death Strike is your major heal ability. Based on the DS heal (and your mastery), will determine the size of your Blood Shield (BS), which is just like a Disc Priests Bubble and works just like an absorb. Like all DK specs, you want to use your Rune Strike (RS) ability to drop your Runic Power. Using RS, will increase your threat while it lowers your Runic Power and also does a lot of damage because it can’t be dodged, parried, or blocked. That’s basically the DK Blood Rotation from level 80-90. Once you are level 87, you will get Soul Reaper, which does a metric ton of damage to an add/boss that’s below 35% health.
There is a lot more information for tanking at end-game, but I won’t go into that here just yet! Hopefully that helps.
Alright, that’s all the questions I didn’t already answer on Twitter. If you have more Death Knight related questions, please do not hesitate to ask. Best method to get ahold of me is Twitter. @Epic_Insanity. And keep an eye out for Secret Project #34 coming soon™!