View Full Version : Death Knight Playing around with Unholy.

03-23-2011, 01:26 PM
So I've been Frost since I started playing this toon about a month ago. I really like the feel of Frost and I feel I've been doing moderately well at it. But, for various reasons on my 10 man I just joined up with I'll probably end up as Unholy.

Anyways, I was doing moderately well as Frost. On my bad nights I can end up around 14-15k DPS and the other night on Halfus I ended up around 22k DPS (don't recall what Drakes were up or anything).

So, I specced over to Unholy and decided to try it out. I ended up around 9k DPS after about 7 minutes on a target dummy with me having no buffs and no additional debuffs on the target dummy.


Is my Armory. A couple things:
Yes, I have PvP pants. Yes, I have a tank Cloak. Both were substantially better than what I had.
Upon typing this, it just now dawned on me I never swithched over Glyphs, so I figure that has a fair amount to do with it.

Now, I've been following EJ about Unholy and I'm still a bit unsure if I'm even doing it right.

Single Target Priority Diseases > Dark Transformation > Death and Decay/Scourge Strike (UU or Death Runes are up)> Festering Strike (BB and FF are up)> Death Coil (Sudden Doom, high RP)> Death and Decay/Scourge Strike> Festering Strike > Horn of Winter
With Outbreak and Festering Strike, Diseases are easy to keep up without really thinking about it. It took me awhile to get the hang of getting Death and Decay on the target dummy but I feel I had a lot of downtime waiting for the Runes to refresh. Really feels like Unholy has a lot more downtime than Frost did, which I assume is me doing something wrong.

My other question is exactly on when/why to prioritize Festering Strike and Scourge Strike.

Dark Transformation is easy enough to keep us as well, so I think I've got an alright handle, but something still feels off about the "rotation" so far.


03-23-2011, 07:52 PM
Make sure you pick up on the stat priority differences, as haste is higher up on your list now.

I think part of it might just be your opening. I usually open with diseases and then DnD, then fall into the strikes. If you're keeping your DC's going out (not hoarding RP for too long) then your rune regen will usually even out. Saw that you switched over your glyphs, so I'm sure there will be a nice jump when you get back on the dummy.

As for Festering and Scourge - after hitting Festering twice at the beginning, you'll get 4 death runes and your two unholy to just spam Scourge Strike to your heart's content (or runes get used up). The RP you gain will let you throw out enough Death Coils to get Runic Corruption proc's to get your runes back up faster. I usually just throw out Festering whenever I have a BF pair up, and Outbreak bridges the gap when the diseases eventually fall off. Scourge Strike does more damage for less runes, and is buffed by mastery, so it is always priority (unless DnD is off CD again or DT is up etc) for Death Runes.

As for your spec: The only things I find odd are the lack of points in Improved Blood Tap - Blood Tap is another good ability to keep your runes going and with the reduced CD, it lines up pretty well with Dark Transformation. The point in Hand of Doom I would then assume has to do with preference (shorter CD on a nice interrupt/silence), the point in Unholy Command is probably just throw away (if your group doesn't like Desecration) and the point in AMZ might be specific for your group's strategy - if not, it isn't exactly a dps talent.

I sometimes notice the downtime on my runes - but I usually have something else I'm doing, running, using AMS for DPS boost, frantically activating Empower Rune Weapon to Death Strike my ass back to full health when a healer slips, or what have you. Just remember to use your CD's like Unholy Frenzy, Gargoyle (practice turning for that so it doesn't melee the boss) and keep your Ghoul alive.

I don't think you should switch to Unholy if you're already competent in Frost and like it there. If your guild needs Ebon Plague because of the composition, then I guess you'll have to bite the bullet. Otherwise I would play with what you're good at, and like playing.

03-23-2011, 08:56 PM
Most guilds actually prefer frost over unholy these days because of their ability to handle/help with adds in many of the fights. Chillbain is ungodly for most add fights.

03-24-2011, 04:28 AM
Thanks Netheras, you pretty much nailed what I was confused on dealing with Festering and Scourge Strike.

I did switch out Glyphs right after I posted and hit about 11k on a target dummy then went and helped someone with the Crucible of Carnage and hit 12k on average on those bosses.

The reason for the switch is that on my 10 man, the Rogue and myself are the melee and our output is solid. Our three casters unfortunately are quite a bit behind on almost all the fights. The Rogue does incredible damage, so the reasoning is that sure he'd lose a bit of Haste and the Physical damage debuff on the boss, but if we're buffing three more DPS it should hopefully even out and net more overall DPS.

On the spec: From tinkering around with Unholy more, I think I am going to drop the point out of Hand of Doom and slap that into Blood Tap. I was thinking Hand of Doom could be an extra "oh shit" button if needed but after beating on the target dummies I'm starting to think that it probably won't be needed to have the shorter cooldown on yet another interrupt and more Blood Taps are nice. It seems I'm always having a stretch where I'm not doing that much when waiting for the runes to refresh for another Death and Decay so hopefully more Blood Taps can lower that downtime.

The point in Unholy Command definitely was a throw away but the other options don't seem equally as good and Desecration really seems like it'd be annoying most times and only useful on trash. Finishing out to get AMZ seemed to be to be a good idea to possibly help give healers a quick break every so often at least for us guys in melee.

Thanks so far guys!

03-24-2011, 05:40 AM
There was some research going on through the old elitist jerks dk thread about just how.useful imp blood tap really was. You may want to read it before going that route. I think it was on page six or seven. Personally I went the amz route. Sorry I don't have an armory link but you can look up Krahgan on laughing skull. Too much of a pain to browse armory on my phone :-( One thing that was not mentioned and may have been glossed over if you read the ej thread is the macroing of your ghoul's claw attack to your scourge strike and macro your unholy frenzy to your gargoyle. Try not to stack UF with bloodlust. If anything the most opportune time is using it with like five seconds left on bloodlust and popping gargoyle unless this means you will be casting garg one less time for.the boss. Two gargoyles is more dos than one bloodlusted garg.

Sorry I wasn't much help last night with my one line post. Was half asleep from slamming our faces against heroics all night

03-24-2011, 07:15 AM
I found some stuff on Blood Tap, but I did stumble on this:
(relating to the one point in Runic Power Mastery)

"This allows for up to three Death Coils worth of RP to be stored, and appears to be quite handy for situations with heavy AMS soaking"

I imagine this is why you have one point shoved in it as well?

So I had no idea you could pop UF on yourself. Tooltip seems to state that it's a buff for someone else. I'll need to go back now and tinker around on a target dummy to see how much that will help.


Also, when refreshing diseases with Festering Strike...

Say if I get a Fall Crusader proc, or pop a trinket, does the disease refresh update the disease on the target to my current AP? Throughout my beating on a test dummy I would occasionally use Outbreak with a trinket to pop new disease on a target being unsure if they would scale up automatically or not (if that makes sense).

03-24-2011, 07:30 AM
Diseases scale automatically without you needing to do anything. Of this I'm pretty sure. I haven't read the discussion on Blood Tap so I don't know what that is about, but the Runic Power Mastery points are worth it for your AMS soaking - personally I don't mind not having the extra space, it lasts long enough that I can usually throw out multiple DC's from DoT damage anyway.

03-24-2011, 08:35 AM
More than one point in runic mastery is a waste imo. Short of certain fights (atramedes air phase for example) saving that much runic power means you are probably doing something wrong. This is excluding ams soaking of course. Even still that would be once every forty five seconds and two more points only nets one more Dc. I found the points are much better spent else where. I also don't utilize blood tap on cd so I was wasting the points in that tree. It messed up my rotation and usually left me waiting for my blood rune so I could fs again with the frost rune just sitting there. I typically use it to force the death rune to proc when I needed to proc my ghoul.