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Thread: Death Knight Raid DPS Compendium (FR/BL/UH)

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    Death Knight Raid DPS Compendium (FR/BL/UH)

    This will be the FINAL update for the Death Knight guide for Wrath of the Lich King. With this, I am hoping that the information in the guide will actually be final and no longer changing all the way to Cataclysm. Like some of you know, I haven’t really played WoW at all for the last few months and as such, I’ve been less and less inclined on listening into WoW related items. But due to some work needing to be done in the guide and a bit of free time, I’ve looked up a couple of things and wanna work the guide back to its’ stance.

    Version 3.3.2


    Death Knight DPS rotations and Item Evaluations:

    With the Lich King dead, and the world seemingly is peaceful once more, our Death Knights prepare to rest...but a darkness stirs under the depths of the world. A dark presence is ready to make his return, and with it will cause great strife...prepare...for the CATACLYSM!

    Welcome to the guide! This is now being updated to version 3.3 therefore there may still be some information that can be reviewed before being finalized, however I'm honestly certain I can give you the most of this information accurately.

    At this time, Death Knights can either dual wield or use two handed weapons. The choice is up to you and the decision will affect certain trees being viable/not so viable.

    However, let's first analyze stat priority for DKs.

    DKs are very similar to Ret Paladins and Warriors as to gear selection. Here’s the general break down of what stats you’re going for, in priority from first to last.

    1- Hit Rating (Yellow Cap)

    Hit rating directly affects every single swing you do. To the exception of Icy Touch, Death Coil, Unholy Blight and Howling Blast, every other skill used is directly affected by melee hit. Now, as of 3.0.1, all hit has been rolled into one singular hit rating for both Melee and Spell. So the numbers given below are the numbers you wish to attain on your character sheet when you look at the specific tab (Hit for Melee Hit rating and Spell hit for spell hit rating.)

    You need 8%, or 263 hit rating to cap both yellow and white melee damage with a two handed weapon on a boss.

    This is the optimum number any dps wants to achieve as this guarantees you won’t miss your melee attacks.

    - You need 23% or 745 hit rating or to cap your white damage with dual wielding.

    Yes, you need that much. (5% natural miss chance, 18% penalty when dual wielding) But wait, is that all you need? Nope. That’s against a level 80 mob. You need a further 4% (grand total of 27%) or a whopping 875 hit rating to not miss on bosses. Yikes!


    Note: This is NOT to say that you need to raise your numbers to the maximum amount of hit required for all of your stats. I'm mostly looking at people who have commented about getting 27% Hit Rating. These numbers are to explain exactly how much would be until you Hard Cap your rating where it then becomes absolutely USELESS to stack more. Please keep that in mind.

    - Spell wise, you need 17%, or 446 hit rating to not miss with your spells. Virulence as well as raid buffs should hopefully cover you for the hit rating when it comes to spells as a DK. Unholy will find it easier to cap their spells, blood a bit harder due to not being able to access Unholy talents in that fashion (Although, Blood relies far less on Disease damage than Frost and much less than unholy, therefore capping this is not one of your highest priorities.)

    2 – Strength

    The prime stat for DPS, this is a 2:1 conversion for DKs. (Which means for every STR you have, you get 2 ap.) Also, this benefits from Blessing of Kings, which further ups your AP once you get the buff. The big kicker here is your Runeblade enchant: Runeblade of the Fallen Crusader. When this procs, this acts like a Crusader proc: 15% extra strength and it heals you. This alone makes strength such a powerful stat for DKs that it should first be regarded over any other stat except Hit and at times, Expertise.

    2.5 – Expertise

    No matter how much strength you will have, if a mob dodges you while you’re swinging at it, that registers as a flat 0 dps for that swing. The Expertise stat covers this part. Now, expertise is a little bit trickier. There are two things you need to know about Expertise:

    -Expertise rating: this is what most items will give you when raising expertise. You need 8.1 expertise rating to give you 1 point of expertise which lowers the mob’s dodge rate by 0.25%

    -Expertise number: This is the number you have after your expertise rating calculated. You know those shiny expertise number you get from talents and racial abilities? This is where those go. And these give a flat 8.1 points right away to you. So as human, you get 24.3 expertise rating alone, and as a dwarf or orc, you get 40.5 expertise rating.

    Now, to cap this, you need to get the boss’s dodge rating lowered, which is calculated to be at 6.1% (If you're a dwarf using a mace or an orc using an axe), or 6.25% (If you're a human using swords or maces), or 6.5% (All other races) So, you need 4 expertise to get 1%, or 32.4 expertise rating. You want to multiply brings that number to 196, 203 or 211 respectively expertise rating to be capped.

    In short, the number you're looking for, on the spreadsheet, should be 26. (Talents included)

    No matter what, expertise is a huge number that you really should look into capping. It’s not as hard to cap as hit rating and should be looked at as much as strength should be until capped.

    4 – Crit Rating

    To beef up your damage, it’s always great to have a good crit rating to an item. More crits mean higher damage. Crit rating requires a whopping 45.91 points for 1% extra crit so don’t expect yourself to be insanely high in crit rating unless some items have that. In this retrospect, crit rating isn’t as important as the above stats because you really need a lot for it to make up for damage you could get out of the three other stats.

    5– Armor Penetration

    Armor Penetration is a really tricky beast. There are some people who love it and live with it, and it’s true, ArP is a very solid stat. Others simply don’t care about the stat and downgrade it’s importance. The biggest thing you need to remember is this: Any attack that has a physical ability linked to it will make ArP that much more important to you. ArP tends to fall lower in priority depending on the amount of physical damage that your spec does. Even Unholy now benefits from ArP thanks to the Scourge Strike change.

    Since 3.1.1's change to ArP, Death Knights now get around 25% extra benefit from it. This does boost it's importance and it's utility towards a Blood Spec'ed Death Knight. Frost also can benefit from this. Unholy is mostly a magic damage dealing strike dealing the most of it's damage, including the damage of it's DoTs, however with the Scourge Strike change, it now becomes more desirable to have ArP. Frost also has Magic damage in the form of Howling Blast and Icy Touch. Blood relies on it's physical strike however it still has both Death Coil and Icy Touch to worry about in it's rotation. With that in mind, ArP doesn't become stronger than Strength in most situations, including Blood. So long as you keep an attack which will do Magic Damage in your rotation, ArP loses it's utility and Strength will simply be better as it increases damage from ALL attacks and not any physical strikes.

    One can argue that the damage that Blood still does is 75% physical as the DoTs don't make much damage nor does Death Coil, but consider this: Sudden Doom can proc off of your Heart Strikes. All and all, it's still a decent chunk of your dps. 25% is being generous but you can see with the mechanics the Blood tree has, ArP loses it's power with some of your attacks.

    In short, ArP will be beneficial to Death Knights but never reach a point where it becomes the go to stat instead of Strength. Of course, if we begin looking towards the ArP cap, it’s importance greatly improves due to the curve of armor that the ArP stat removes. For Blood, for sure, ArP will beat Strength but you need to have a specific amount of attack power before you can really get to that point. If you don’t want to break your head and this is what the guide’s really for (Not one that min maxes every single stat), don’t value ArP over Strength. Period. Be happy if the gear gives you some.

    Stat conversions are as follows:

    For 1% armor ignore, you need 12.31 ArP against mobs.

    About 7 ArP on an item will equal to 1 ArP Rating. This means if you had 1000 ArP from selected items, you would have 142.8 ArP rating, or 9.2% armor reduction on creatures.

    6 – Raw AP

    Attack power is always nice but the problem with attack power is that it only scales with abilities. It also isn’t affected by BoK so you’re really looking at a one way ticket here. In Blood, Abom’s might really is a nice option that opens up some AP damage due to it increasing your ap by 10% but really, Strength just beats it for the simple case of your runeblade proc. However, there’s some times that the leather piece that no one wants has more ap than your strength + Bladed Armor ability will give you. Whatever gives you more AP, go nuts on it. But make sure it’s at least a decent upgrade. Strength’s still going to be the better stat over this.

    7 – Agility

    Agility is tricky. On one hand, it increases your armor AND your crit rating, but the numbers to do so is a little far fetched. You need anywhere between 52 and 62.5 points of agility for 1% of crit, which makes it less favorable of a stat over raw crit rating. Also, every point of agility increases your armor by 2. So, an item that has 45 agility will increase your armor by 90. That’s half of what you really need to even get 5 points from bladed armor. This makes raw AP better. All and all, Agility is a really mediocre stat.

    8 – Haste

    With 3.1, Haste was given I believe a 25% increase, just like ArP. However, this does not improve anything but your white attacks. We are on a rune system that has a regeneration that is set to 10 seconds. Each rune takes 10 seconds to reactivate after use, and haste does absolutely nothing. What Haste does do, is that it allows you to lower your global cooldown with the more you have. Also, in most situations, haste will always increase your white damage by a significant portion. But being Death Knights, we are bound, in our best situation, by the rune cooldown and haste has nothing to do with this. This leaves Haste once more the least likely stat to increase, even under Agility.

    A note for you all however: Potions of Speed make for a nice pot to use. A nice substitute would be the Potion of Insane Strength or the Potion of Invulnerability. One increases your strength by 125 and lowers your Defense down and the other increases your Armor by a fair amount and that helps with AP if you have Bladed Armor. However in my decision, Speed simply helps out the most. All three are fine.

    And that’s pretty much it for stats.


    Glyph of Disease mechanics: I simply cannot give any glyph of disease mechanics. To me, these mechanics are utterly flawed and very very precise to the point that one simple strike will throw your entire rotation off the loop. With Blood being so tight, some people will say it works just fine while others will argue that the glyph is a crutch for something that shouldn’t even thought about. I’m really on the latter side to be honest. I dislike the glyph very very much due to the fact it’s too precise of you never to miss or never to move. In a no movement, all out, max dps rotation, I can see how the glyph would really be good for you to use, but I’m sorry, there’s no longer any Patchwerk fights and as such, the glyph loses it’s lustre. As such, I will not cover any of the glyph rotations. Elitistjerks and the WoW forums have enough information if you are curious about it.

    BLOOD DEATH KNIGHT:

    Let’s get one thing straight with Blood: It is a very gear demanding spec. This is not a spec you want to try with the minimum amount of gear. Furthermore, I wouldn’t suggest anyone attempt to keep up with the two other trees damage wise until you’re at least fully cleared Naxx (Or have tier 7 equal gear which isn't too hard with ToC and H ToC) as well as purchased the Sigil of Virulence. (Best emblem Sigil by far and easy enough to get at 25 badges.)

    I rather not be too optimistic about numbers and this guide is more simple about requirements for builds. In the end, most builds will work fine and dandy, just quite suboptimal compared to other builds depending on when you decide to use the spec. Blood is definitely the one spec in our trees that requires a fair amount of minimum gear level to pull off the damage from this spec. My suggestion: Don’t bother until you’re in minimum the beginning of Tier 8 gear and with the Sigil of Virulence. Frost and Unholy will whip the snot out of this build with the lower amount of gearset you have. Be warned.

    SPEC:

    The spec for Blood has not really changed all that much since 3.1 where they made Death Strike the main FU of choice. With this in mind, the build really stays the same: 51/0/20


    http://www.wowarmory.com/talent-calc...00000000000000

    With that, you’re pretty much getting the essentials in Blood. Now some may question my decision on Blood Aura and Mark of Blood. Here are the reasons.

    a)Blood Aura: No matter what, there will be some fights where you’re going to get hit by some AoE and it’s going to hurt. And your healers will have to heal you. So why not lower the need of healing you twice when healing you once will give you that potential 10% extra! Furthermore…guess what other attacks you have in your skills. That’s right! Death Strike is affected by this heal, therefore you’re getting 10% more efficiency from it to boot. This might be one of the bigger reasons why we’re getting such overpowered heals. (Record of around 32k heal from a 24k Death Strike). Now this is not a set in stone and I may not be reading the skill right however any healing done to you is increased by 10%. Death Strike hits and heals you. Put 2 and 2 together and that will show you my argument.


    b)Mark of Blood: Ever have one of those times where you know the MT’s gonna take a lot of damage? And you wanna help out? There’s why you have Mark of Blood. Use one of your Death or Blood runes to pop that on the Boss to help your MT and your Healers. Remember, part of being good at your class is knowing when you can help and benefit your raid. If the MT dies, you’re gonna die next most likely and you may as well keep your MT quite happy.

    Of course, there are other things you could look at: Could always put 3 points in Bloodworms and have their DPS increase your total dps (Which is true, it would raise your DPS because the worms do damage.) however I find that if you have to use Bloodworms, they tend to die a lot, and I’ve seen a lot of AoE situations where those lil things just would not survive at all. Would be nice if you would have to target the worms like Totems to destroy them however a lot of people would probably QQ about that one so let’s just leave it at a ‘wish list’

    Added note: There is two things I wanna touch here: One is there is a glyph of disease build out there that seemingly is stronger than rotation build. It works on a priority system which emphasises Heart Strike, Death Strike, your diseases up, DC on time down, Ghoul when you got nothing else. This build is on par with the Blood rotation but is a little trickier to pull off. You always wanna make sure you have your diseases up and you simply make sure that you use your main attacks. I personally don’t feel comfortable with this type of play as I noted in the Glyph of Disease addendum up above therefore I won’t cover it. The rotation build suits our needs fine here.

    ROTATION:

    Alright, let’s get into the gist of it: Rotations are always key to good dps, however, KNOW WHEN TO PRIORITIZE YOUR SKILLS! If you know something’s gonna be big and you have Empowered Rune Weapon ready to be used, you might want to consider using two Death Strikes instead of 4 Heart Strikes to keep your health up. Or maybe you want to consider using Blood Boil to hit those extra targets to drop them down. (The Deconstructor adds come into mind when they come too close to him). Sunny, a Death Knight back in the day of testing, said to prioritize first over rotate, and in this case you have to keep that in mind. Be a smart raider: know when it will benefit you to do something else than a rotation. Rotations are meant to be the best possible way to pump out DPS on an ideal setting.

    Blood’s Rotation doesn’t change much from Pre 3.1 unless you did the silly Diseaseless build that shouldn’t of ever been put into the game because it was using bad mechanics of a class. Face it: We have diseases that are empowering our attacks. In that manner, we should NEVER need to forfeit those diseases for more damage.

    And with that in mind, here is the rotation:

    IT, PS, HSx2, DS, DC dump.
    Followed by:
    DS, HSx4 DC dump.

    The reason why we’re putting HS before DS is that we’ll have the Glyph of DS on as one of our three Major Glyphs and to get the most Umph out of our DS, we’ll want to have as much RP as possible in our Runic Power tank.

    WHEN TO USE HYSTERIA/DRW:

    What’s nice is that they lowered the CD of Dancing Rune Weapon to 1.5 minutes, which coincides nicely with Hysteria. At first, always wait till you have 100 RP. This may not happen on your first rotation, but it’s bound to happen on the second, and if it doesn’t, you have Horn of Winter to help you out there as well. At that point, Hit Hysteria, ensure that all your buffs are up, and hit DRW. This will make all your attacks hit harder while DRW is up which will, in turn, make it hit for the most damage possible that it can, cut down by 50% of your own damage.

    At this point, DRW will come back off it’s CD before Hysteria. Don’t forget to use it again! It’s a way to keep sustained DPS up because we don’t have a spiffy ghoul to rely on nor do we have constant damage going like Frost does. Once 3 minutes are up, your Hysteria may come off the CD earlier than DRW but not by much. Wait till both are back, then rinse and repeat.

    Note: It’s always best to wait till you have a Heroism up but don’t rely on it. It’s on a 1.5 minute cooldown for a reason: use it when it can be used.

    THE DEBATE BETWEEN UNHOLY BLIGHT AND DANCING RUNE WEAPON:

    There’s been some talk about dropping the 51 point talent for the 21 point talent in Unholy: Unholy Blight. Unholy Blight is a simple DoT that is stackable which shows up every time you Death Coil. This should lead to a better single target damage dealing ability right? Not...quite.

    1) Unholy Blight is a magical damage attack. Keep that in mind. We don’t go far enough in the Unholy tree to truly give Unholy Blight it’s damage possibility. The talents I can think up right now is Ebon Plaguebringer and Impurity, both which increase magical damage which affects UB. That alone weakens UB’s standpoint as a viable attack.

    2) Everything that we have in our Blood talent tree focuses solely on physical damage dealing attacks. Unholy Blight's magic damage just doesn't have the right feel to this type of play.

    Those two points alone make me hesitant about Unholy Blight being superior to Dancing Rune Weapon, even with the nerfs that it has suffered. I like my Dancing Rune Weapon even though he can be dumb and go in front of the boss and Parry some of his attacks. My statement stands: Go with DRW.

    GLYPHS:

    The Following Glyphs are used in this build:

    Glyph of Death Strike: Although we don’t use Death Strike for anything else but rotate our FU glyphs to Death Runes, we may as well give the attack a good chunk more damage than it does now. Also, more damage: bigger heals which is always nice.

    Glyph of Dark Death: This glyph not only empowers your dump attack, but it also empowers that one attack that may proc due to having so many Heart Strikes in your rotation! With the way that things are going as well with the Tier sets empowering Death Coil, this is a sure way to get the most out of your attacks

    Glyph of Dancing Rune Weapon: You might as well get more damage out of it so an extra 5 seconds out is always a great way to go.
    * You could replace either the DRW or Death Strike rune with the Glyph of Disease for the disease priority system. My suggestion would be DRW because you use Death Strike in your attacks every rotation whereas you don’t use DRW often (Every couple of minutes.)
    WHAT DOES A BLOOD DEATH KNIGHT BRING?

    Well for starters, he brings Abom’s Might, which is 10% extra attack power to the raid. This lets Hunters not worry about going Beastmaster which from what I understand, has been lacking in the DPS section. (Could be wrong, I don’t pay attention to Hunters) Furthermore, you are bringing a DPS that can watch his own health rather effectively and provide some interesting buffs: Mark of Blood being the big one to help out with your Main Tanks. This gives this Death Knight an added advantage to not only be a class that can DPS with the best of them, but moreso to push to the limit and not worry about dying so much due to the amazing tools the class has to keep themselves alive. Remember, a dead DPS is 0 DPS, and in that manner, the Blood Death Knight brings his own constant health regeneration.

    END NOTES:

    Blood changes from pre 3.1 to now have been moreso for the good. At this point, stat priorities may change a bit, giving ArP a more solid nod than usual. This will probably be better than Haste and about as high as Crit. The rest stay the relative same.

    Death Strike being the FU of choice is a great way to work the Blood build. It has a much better feel of belonging there and it just simply makes the tree fit nicely. The change from Obliterate to Death Strike was a good one, especially with the addition of the attacks in our Tier 7 as well as the Sigil of Awareness.

    If there is one critique of Blood, it’s that it’s actually somewhat difficult to get RP for this build. This is a very short RP build that doesn’t pump out the same RP numbers as most would think. It is essential in that manner to use your RP wisely as it becomes more of a decision making situation than any other: Should I use my RP to hit a death coil when DRW is nearly off it’s CD? Is Death Strike the next attack and if it is, should I use a Death Coil, possibly lowering Death Strike’s damage? These are all things a Blood Death Knight now has to watch and evaluate when DPSing. And it does make a difference. Play smart and a Blood Death Knight in the right hands will make a welcome addition to the party.

    FROST DEATH KNIGHT:

    Frost 3.2 has surely changed the mechanics of the Frost world right? ...well not really. To you Frost two handed enthusiastic, the mechanics of Frost are going to be the same to be honest. However, you will be focusing moreso on getting rid of your two hander for the much preferred dual wielding method. The reason behind is would be lain upon solely the Threat of Thassarian talent. This talent allows your offhand to do half of the damage your mainhand attack does. With the talent in mind, this pretty much gives your attacks the same amount of oomph as a two hander, however you can empower it far more with dual wielding capabilities and talents such as Necrosis and Blood Caked Blade, which no longer is normalized. The weapon suggestion for this build is slow/slow, unlike the Unholy counterpart of dual wielding, and focuses mostly on Obliterates being your strongest damage dealing ability in your rotation. Many people will be opting to go back to their Sigil of Awareness found in Naxxramas 25 or bought with 25 badges from the Valor vendor. However other than this change, your rotation system stays the same.

    SPEC:

    When first starting to raid, one would think they’d want to go down through the blood tree to get stat altering builds, right? Well, unfortunately, a lot of the Blood skills are not as needed as most would think. In fact, it is commonly agreed upon that past Subversion, Blood really doesn’t give much help. You are much better off branching in Unholy immediately. Some die hard Blood fans will not listen though, so I offer this build to start off. Note that I would not recommend this to even start with, but if you sincerely think your stats are far too low to actually matter, then by all means:

    12/51/8:
    The World of Warcraft Armory

    As you can see, we take Bladed Armor and Dark Conviction to boost up our AP and Crit rating. However Crit rating is not as needed as many people see. If you go down the Frost tree, you will see that we have a lot more focus on skills that will proc and make our next attack either free or a critical strike. This skill would be Killing Machine. With Killing Machine, crits come around far more often than most other builds and it is with that skill that makes crit slightly less essential.

    That’s as much as I will touch about Blood. The next two builds will focus more on Unholy branches.

    3/53/15
    The World of Warcraft Armory

    This build focuses on getting Subversion for not only the threat reducing talent (You will find the dual wielding build causes a lot of threat) but for the extra 9% extra crit strike chance on Obliterate as well. In a tree where there are a lot of abilities that cause your attacks to crit, it isn’t as noteworthy to think about, however Obliterate is your main source of damage and to crit more often is always a good idea. If you believe your crit is a bit low and you seem to be pulling too much aggro, this build could work for you.


    0/53/18
    The World of Warcraft Armory


    This would be my personal favorite build, as well as the one I’m running with at this time. With this build, you grab a full 3/3 Blood Caked Blade, which is point per point slightly better than Subversion in damage potential. The idea is that with BCB now not normalized, slow weapons that you will have will make the skill hit harder, which is always nice. Combined with the feel of how the Frost dual wielding tree works, it’s only fitting to have the BCB skill in your arsenal.


    ROTATION:

    Frost has lost it’s rotation system. This is the ONLY time I will ever state that you should work on a priority system based on the Glyph of Disease as it simply is much better DPS than a rotation based system. If you absolutely must, you can follow the basic rotation of IT, PS, BSx2, OB, FS dump, OBx3, FS dump. But I don’t suggest it anymore. Really, to be honest with you, you’re better off learning the priority system when it comes to this tree.

    The priority is rather simple:
    KM – Frost Strike
    Keep diseases up
    Obliterate
    Blood Strike
    Frost Strike
    Rime
    Horn of Winter

    Because of this, you wanna make sure to watch this rotation. You may want to set your UI in order to see it light up as they come up and are available. This would honestly be your best bet at this point but really, do yourself a favour and do this. The reason as well as I say use the Glyph of Disease on this is due to not having to use two runes and only one, and one that isn’t that high in the priority list. (That would be Blood Strike if you haven’t noticed.)

    That rotation above is simply based on single target. AoE’s a little different:
    Howling Blast
    Diseases up
    Pestilence diseases all over
    Death and Decay
    Obliterate
    Blood Boil
    Frost Strike
    Horn of winter.

    You’re pretty much using all the resources you have at your disposal for maximum AoE damage, and trust me, that’s a LOT of damage being thrown out.

    With this all explained, you honestly should be fine with a priority system. It isn’t as hard as some people would think so you may as well. Furthermore, this will open the door for the other disease builds that may excel in some areas (Blood in particular, if you master it, gives you an extra Heart Strike, which would give you more damage in the long run.) Make sure to take a look at this and try your hardest to learn it. It’s kinda like whack a mole: hit the button that is up at the time. Just make sure it’s set in the right method: 1’s 100 points, 6 is like..10. Very odd way of showing what I mean but trust me, it makes sense...well ok, maybe in my world.

    WHEN TO DEATHCHILL, RIME, KILLING MACHINE, AND UNBREAKABLE ARMOR:

    Deathchill: Use this for a guaranteed crit with either Icy Touch, Howling Blast, Obliterate or Frost Strike. Preferably, you would use this with Frost Strike on a single target as it will be your bread and butter in damage, however if there are AoE situations, a solid crit buff for Howling Blast while in an AoE position will definitely be your strongest DPS increase. Try not to use this when Killing Machine is up, it’d be counter productive. Know your situation and use it accordingly.


    Rime/Killing Machine: We’re back to hitting Rime dead last and using KM with Frost Strike. It’s simply worth the damage to combine the two together now for extra damage. Combine Killing Machine with Frost strike and use rime when you simply have little to nothing else to hit. Rime’s damage is not that much worth in single targets (Do realize that if you’re AoEing, Rime becomes a lot more amazing in the scale of things.)

    Unbreakable Armor: I still have not figured a right way to do this skill in a rotation to benefit me. I have been thinking of attaching it with Blood Tap and using it every time it’s up. I just haven’t figured out when would be the best time to do so without messing your rotation up too badly. Unbreakable Armor increases your strength by 10%. This is a great buff and gives you a decent amount of AP to boot. Let’s analyze:

    With 1000 Strength, using Unbreakable Armor will give you 100 strength or 200 AP bonus. And that’s just with ONE talent point. The more strength you get, the higher this goes. I’m sitting at around 1300 Strength unbuffed, which means 130 strength or 260 Attack Power. That’s as good as a Trinket Proc. Now you can see why I’m trying to figure a way to put this skill in our rotations. The best time to do it I think would be at the end of the second rotation to empower your Frost Strikes and have it at your cooldown. A macro would be useful here to use both Blood Tap and Unbreakable Armor at the same time.

    Some individuals love this ability and will get rid of one point in Killing Machine to get Unbreakable Armor. Whichever you feel like doing is entirely up to you, as both work just fine.


    GLYPHS:

    The Following Glyphs are used in this build:

    Glyph of Frost Strike: This lowers Frost Strike’s RP cost to 32 RP. This allows for a third Frost Strike to go through on a 100 RP scenario. Always nice to have, but can become a pain to dump if you don’t have enough time to dump it all. I’m still on the fence about this due to that and the fact that you have 130 RP as your maximum makes this even more painful to dump at a lower cost. The extra Frost damage is key to this build but you cannot neglect your rotation too much otherwise you could potentially be hitting your Frost Strikes without Frost Fever up and that’s a no no.

    Glyph of Icy Touch: The change to this glyph makes it so that you get 20% extra Frost Fever damage when applying it to an enemy. This lowers the RP that we got with the old glyph however ups the DPS. This is also a very nice addition to add more damage to your attacks.

    Glyph of Disease: This is a must. Replace with Icy Touch if worse comes to worse: you lose out on the damage that your Icy Touch does but you’re gaining a priority system that will outdps your normal rotation methods. I hate to say this but really, get this in your head fast: The Frost tree is made for a priority system and the system is by far the better one. This is not a murky water type deal like Blood is.

    Glyph of Obliterate: 20% extra damage to your FU is always a nice choice to have and a great tool to use. One of the must have glyphs with dual wielding at this point.

    WHAT DOES A FROST DEATH KNIGHT BRING?

    Frost Death Knights bring melee enhancing speed attacks to the raid. This is especially nice to have for any melee, as Haste benefits every class…except the Death Knight. It’s ironic that we have a talent which really only increases our white damage…and that’s about it. Rogues get more chances to proc poisons, Warriors get more rage with more white attack swings, Rets get the ability to smack things faster with their two handed (Not sure how else that benefits them) And Enhance shamans get the fun time of having more WFs proc with faster attacks. Death Knights? White damage only! Woo!

    Frost also brings a very strong AoE damage dealer. Frost’s power and rotation changes slightly when it comes to AoE by using Howling Blast over Obliterate. This alone makes for a great damage dealing ability. Who can complain about an attack that can crit every target around his focused target? AoE packs tend to really get hurt.

    Bring a Frost Death Knight if you require a speed buff or if you want a strong AoE presence. They can hold their own in single target DPS too.

    END NOTES:

    Frost has overcome some drastic changes to make things look rather interesting for a little while. The introduction of Frost Dual Wield gives another angle to play the class. The tree no longer looks at powerful burst as it’s key but like all dual wielding builds, looks to push on sustainability. You won’t win big burst fights such as XT where bursting the heart with cooldowns is always a great thing, however you will be always one of the higher DPS thanks to sustainability and the ability to keep constant damage pouring out.

    The major problem I have with Frost is unlike Blood and Unholy, we do not have a cooldown to use on command for extra burst. I suppose due to how the tree works, the on crit attacks are our on demand damage, however this is a control we do not have and is solely reliant on PPMs and other random factors that come into play. In short, Frost suffers from having no cooldowns to really push numbers hard and fast. I wrote up my thoughts about Frost versus Blood dps but you could easily put Unholy in Blood’s position and get the same thoughts about it. You can read this here, at Tankspot: Blood vs. Frost Dual Wielding.


    UNHOLY DEATH KNIGHT:

    Unholy Death Knights: Masters of Magic and DoTs. They are the tree in which focuses mainly on awesome DoT upkeep as well as strong magical damage. Unholy Death Knight are by far the most gear friendly of the trees in the manner that really, the only big thing you want to focus on here is AP and getting your spells to do more damage. AP will solely boost this tree’s damage and as such, relies less on specific gear setup. I would firmly suggest any new DK willing to push themselves to the limit on DPS to choose this tree. It’s main FU strike, Scourge Strike, is a magical damage attack that deals part shadow damage, part physical damage.

    SPEC:

    Due to how Scourge Strike takes a long while to get geared until it is actually more beneficial than attacking with skills including Necrosis, the first build focuses on having a rotation that doesn't include as much the Scourge Strike attack. The reason behind this is that you are doing as many attacks to allow Necrosis to proc and do more damage in the long run than simply following a Scourge Strike focused build.

    The World of Warcraft Armory

    Simply put, you drop Reaping, grab Necrosis and go from there. Epidemic allows you to do the full rotation without worries of your diseases and trust me it's going to feel weird at the first part when the rotation is explained. However it will be beneficial for you to follow it.

    Upon achieving two pieces of Tier 10 (Or get at least around half of your gear pushed in tier 10 content), Scourge Strike begins hitting stronger than Necrosis + other skills combined. At this point, you want to actually pick up Reaping and ditch the two extra Blood Strikes in your rotation. You also pick up Epidemic as always, and get rid of Necrosis completely:

    The World of Warcraft Armory


    As you can see, there are some interesting changes: For one, there is no Necrosis chosen and instead we went with two points in Morbidity to increase your Death Coil damage. The points in Morbidity will oddly enough outweight the two points you could put in Necrosis by a small bit therefore in a maximum dps setting, it’s better there. The rest is pretty average in the build that you would normally see. Your ghoul acts as a DPS increase as well. Keep an eye on him because it’ll hurt your DPS if the bugger dies. The gargoyle is also an increase of DPS with a decent CD on it so use it in burn phases.

    ROTATION:

    The rotation for Unholy is pretty much simpler now that most people will forego the Scourge Strike glyph for the much better Glyph of Icy Touch. Please refer to the new changes for this glyph to realize it’s potential in an Unholy tree.

    The rotation is as follows:

    Without Reaping:

    IT, PS, BSx2, ScS, (DC if you have the RP)
    ScS, BSx2, ScS, (DC until rune refreshes)

    With Reaping:

    IT, PS, BSx2, ScS, (DC if you have the RP for it)
    ScSx3, (DC until rune refreshes)

    Now, Death Coil has lost it’s power when it comes to Unholy and as such, it is acceptable to leave some RP left in your tank if you get to the point your runes refresh. Always use your runes over your dump; your dump is not the strongest of your attacks. Now some members will ask me what happens if I get a spot where I'm waiting for Runes? At that point, you want to use your cooldowns. Bone Armor, Horn of Winter, etc etc etc. That cooldown is meant for any skill that you need to refresh/reactivate. Use it wisely. It will usually show up in the first part of the rotation when waiting for the other runes to come off cooldown.

    WHEN TO USE BONE ARMOR/GARGOYLE:

    We get two abilities that will help our damage.

    Bone Armor: This armor will give us a bit more damage to our attacks (2%). Although it doesn’t sound like much, this is a passive shield that stays around you until the charges are used up. Which means it’s a Fire and Forget button. It also is a five minute buff therefore it really isn’t hard to keep track of. Proper use would be to use outside of battle and refresh when necessary through your rotation (Try using Blood Tap/Bone Armor after you have used a Blood rune rotation, preferably after the second Blood Strike in your first rotation).

    Gargoyle: Every 3 minutes, we get to summon a flying ugly mongrel called a Gargoyle. He loves to flap around and cough out some giant balls of goo at your enemies...or are they Shadowbolts? Meh, they do damage! Now the trick with the Gargoyle is this: With 3.2's changes to the bugger, he now no longer saps your RP while he's out which means you're going to get a full 30 seconds of him blasting your enemies to bits for 60 RP. It's a nice change as it means you no longer lose 80 RP just to keep him up. That's two extra DCs you can toss at your enemies as well.

    How he works is fairly simple. Picture a snapshot of your character screen showing statistics and whatnot. Well look at the AP section. The moment you activate your Gargoyle, whatever your AP is at, is what he’s going to attack with. Therefore the best time would be to use it when Trinkets as well as any speed enhancing abilities are fully functional. This means a good time would be during Heroism as he will get the speed buff for the full 30 seconds he’s flapping away.

    The downside of this is that he’s not very sturdy. He’ll easily get shot down if there’s any sort of AoE so you have to watch and gauge when to use him. If it’s a high intensive fight where there is constant AoE, you are better off not using him and sticking to a Death Coil rotation. It’s a sad fact but he won’t help you.

    THE GHOUL, A FRIENDLY PET!

    The great thing about Unholy is that down at the 25 talent tree mark, we get a spiffy ability that makes our Ghoul a pet. He gets some spiffy lil abilities and gets Strength and Stamina based on whatever you have. Ravenous Dead will give even him even more benefits to boot, and Night of the Dead, it’s needed talent before being able to access the Master of Ghouls talent, increases it’s AoE survivability by 75% by avoiding it. Adding a certain Glyph of the Ghoul, you will pretty much give him an increase of 100% of your Strength and Stamina. That’s pretty much double your stats that the lil bugger will have. That’s a pretty potent ally to have as a pet! Go on, try it with both, watch him nearly double your strength and you sit and cry because your undead corpse dropping follower is stronger than you and losing limbs while he hits people. (He doesn’t but you get the point.)

    The ghoul is an invaluable pet to the Unholy DK that adds a significant amount of DPS to your character. As such, keep him alive as much as you can and get acquainted with the follow command it has. There are some AoE attacks that will wipe him out in a shot and as such, you must control your pet well enough. Otherwise you have to wait 4 minutes for another one and that’s a drop in DPS for that little bit.

    He also gets a nice ability further down the tree that allows you to use an Unholy rune to activate called Ghoul Frenzy. Now, you must ask yourself again: When do I use it? Remember my idea about refreshing Bone Armor? Well this is where it comes in handy. After using your first rotation, immediately pop Rune Tap and then Ghoul Frenzy. This will not stagger your Blood rune too much due to it’s immediate use and it will allow you to give your ghoul some nice haste bonus to boot and heal it. Gotta keep the lil bugger happy, right?

    Proper Ghoul management will up your DPS by a significant portion. As an Unholy Death Knight, use the power of Unholy creation to your advantage: keep him alive and healthy.

    GLYPHS:

    Unholy Death Knights have a range of glyphs that they can use that are actually quite beneficial to them. Choosing 3 will be up to the Death Knight. The following Glyphs are used in the builds:

    Glyph of the Ghoul: 40% Strength and Stamina to the Ghoul. That’s a 100% increase of whatever your stats are. This gives your ghoul a nice boost and gives you in the end a boost in DPS. Nothing wrong with that, I would say.

    Glyph of Icy Touch: 20% more damage on your Icy Touch’s DoT damage. It speaks for itself when your DoTs are your strongest damage in your tree. Get it, you won’t be upset.

    Glyph of Dark Death: Empowering your Death Coils is a great way for a DPS boost as a dump. A strong choice if you want to get more dps out of your dump.

    Glyph of Unholy Blight: This glyph adds 40% to your Unholy Blight damage done. It's a nice addition to the DoT damage that will only scale as you get better gear as well. A sound investment.

    Glyph of Bone Armor: Some people will debate this one but nothing wrong with extra Bone Shield charges to keep your Bone Armor up longer. Remember that Bone Armor now has a 2 minute Cooldown so if it goes down during that time and it’s on CD, you gotta wait for it.

    WHAT DOES AN UNHOLY DEATH KNIGHT BRING?

    Unholy brings extra diseases to the board. I know for some classes, the more diseases upon your targets, the more damage it does. This alone makes it very worthwhile to have. Furthermore, Unholy Death Knights bring a flat 13% increased Magic damage to your raid. If your raid is caster heavy, this is a godsend to them. This tree does also bring some nice burst damage in the form of the Gargoyle and the lowered time on Army of the Dead which allows players to masterfully use their dead minions at the proper time for an increased amount of damage.

    END NOTES:

    Unholy has gone through a lot of changes and has become much more simplified like Blood is. With this, it loses it’s uniqueness in which was one of the harder trees to play and once you mastered it, you reaped the rewards. However it’s always a nice AoE damage tree which really excels at doing a lot of damage to a lot of creatures. Speaking from a vantage point, the only thing about Unholy will be slightly less damage single target as Unholy doesn’t have as many damaging attacks as say Frost or Blood. The people who are spec’ed Unholy in most of the parsings is not for it’s single target damage but is actually for the AoE possibility that really pushes the numbers up high. In the end, it’s slightly deceiving to believe that the tree can keep up on a single target situation with the two trees, but as soon as you add in more mobs, Unholy leaps ahead. This is not to say that Unholy does not hold it’s ground in a single target DPS situation. I’m just saying that it’s power is much better seen in AoE situations.

    Caveat: Unholy DW DPS:

    From what I’ve done research on, there is beginning to be less and less point in going Unholy DWing. Frost does just well as the DW tree and Unholy now really benefits from a two hander. In all case and points shown, it’s viewed as a DPS decrease to go with dual wielding instead of your two hander in the tree. There are diehard Unholy fans that will swear that it keeps up and it probably does depending on the situation and how you work your points. But to be honest, right now it’s not really worth the hassle to argue semantics: If you wanna dual wield, go Frost.

    GEMMING:

    Gemming follows a similar path that a Warrior would on the most basic of situations. Presume Blood is similar to Arms and Frost and Unholy more like Fury:

    META GEMS:

    Chaotic Skyflare Diamond:

    This Meta Gem adds 21 crit rating which is always nice for any Death Knight looking to help out. The key to this meta, however is the 3% extra critical strike damage. Which means ANY critical strike you do will be 3% stronger. This is where the magic works for your meta gem folks, and is considered our best.

    Relentless Earthsiege Diamond:

    This Meta Gem adds 21 agility which is not as strong for a Death Knight as pure crit rating would be. Seeing how we need a high number of agility to really pull off 1%, the crit rating gem usually is superior. The counter argument to this is that with 21 agility as a statistic, the gem can scale much better with Kings which is a buff most of you should have in your raid. Again, this gem has the 3% increase in critical strike damage which makes it a solid second choice if you can't find the first one to cut.

    Red/Yellow/Blue Gem selection:

    At this point, it's silly to list every gem combination possible in the game and give you the pros and cons. However here's the jist of it.

    Red gem slot: Bold Cardinal Ruby = 20 Strength (34 for a Bold Dragon's Eye for JCs if possible)
    Yellow Gem slot: Inscribed Ametrine = 10 Strength and 10 Critical Strike Rating
    Blue: Sovereign Dreadstone = 10 Strength and 15 Stamina

    Now, those selections are Best in Slot selections and will give you the MAXIMUM amount of DPS. There are two things that I want people to understand when it comes to gemming:

    1) In no way let your primary stats suffer because of a BiS gem. If you're missing 20 Hit, you can either regear yourself to get that hit or just shove a 20 hit gem in there. Hit and Expertise are pretty damn paramount in the build so if you don't have those capped, don't be afraid to gem. It isn't the greatest way to go DPS wise, however you're better off capping those primary statistics before buffing your strength.

    2) 90% of the time, unless the socket bonus is equal to 10 Strength, you're going to be using the Bold Cardinal Ruby. It is by far the greatest upgrade for you (You're looking at a flat 40 AP raise, excluding Kings helping this.). The only time you should ever really worry about socketing your gear for a bonus is for 10+ strength. Why? Because it will allow you to get the same amount of strength through the socket as well as the gem (10+10=20) and you will give a secondary stat a boost (Crit or Stamina in this case.)

    * Jewelcrafters: Ensure you have 3 +34 Strength gems somewhere in your gear! *

    Adding jewels will benefit your statistics and your DPS, however be smart about it: gem successfully!

    FINAL NOTES:

    This is still a work in progress. I fully accept people critiquing as well as giving advice about this class when it comes to DPS.

    In the end however, it comes to this: Play the Death Knight class the way you want to. All three specs are very powerful in their own way and it takes skill and effort to get all three to their maximum input. Of all things, this Compendium showed me more about how I play my class than any other has. You have a few options to play with:

    - A single target Power House that self heals to sustain himself and potentially his group and raid members

    - A dual wielding, sustaining, hard striking individual that focuses on hasting the party's damage output and striking through defenses with frost and physicality.

    - A master of DoTs, letting the damage accumulate through it's magic effects and giving casters more oomph to their damage.

    Enjoy yourselves, this class is a new class and a very enjoyable one.
    Last edited by Krenian; 05-13-2010 at 06:46 AM. Reason: 3.3 update!

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  2. #2
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    Is there any talk in gemming, as of which is a higher rank in dps, as well as which ones should be focused on

  3. #3
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    Sorry to be a chackin' noob, but could you include a small section on what abbreviations are what? Some of them I can figure out, but others not so much.
    Forth, and fear no darkness! Spears shall be shaken, shields shall be splintered! A sword day...a red day...ere the sun rises! Ride for ruin and the world's ending!

  4. #4
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    Should not be PS before IT? Assuming you take Glacier Rot on your specs.

    Another thing to ask: Have you tried Blood 50 - Unholy 21 with Gargoyle for DPS?

    In summary, TBC raiding is easy. 9/10 encounters can be summarized with 1 phrase. Stay out of the fucking fire.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miggie View Post
    Is there any talk in gemming, as of which is a higher rank in dps, as well as which ones should be focused on
    This can be a work in progress but what I can tell you is that you will definitely be looking at the same gems that a DPS warrior usually does.

    - Only socket for the color if the bonus gives the following: Strength, Crit, Hit (Only if you're under the melee yellow hit cap)

    Meta Gems:
    Chaotic Skyflare Diamond - Item - World of Warcraft

    This gem is the most solid choice. Why not the Design: Relentless Earthsiege Diamond - Item - World of Warcraft ? Simple. Agility is really not the greatest of stats for DKs. The crit rating will in the end give you more crit percentage than the agility.

    Gem Choices:

    Gem choices are always a disputed point and I loathe to give any gem choices because of this. My brutally honest suggestion is follow the Warrior DPS gem choices, they reflect a Death Knight to the tee. If you must have suggested gems, I would do the following:

    Follow the stat priorities above when gemming. If the socket bonus reflects a low priority stat, you may want to gem for the top priority (Strength). If you need to put a gem that gives you the meta gem requirement, attempt to follow a priority list: 1-2 or 1-3 or 1-4. If that doesn't work, 2-3, 2-4.

    So really it goes like this: Strength, Expertise and Hit (This is only if you are under the yellow cap for melee. Expertise is also an iffy stat to gem for however not missing a hit is always nice.), crit, ap, arp, haste being dead last.

    Quote Originally Posted by Turkson View Post
    Sorry to be a chackin' noob, but could you include a small section on what abbreviations are what? Some of them I can figure out, but others not so much.
    http://www.tankspot.com/forums/f14/4...ight-here.html

    Already done, please check this post. I have included the abbreviations commonly used for death knights.

    Quote Originally Posted by Narshe View Post
    Should not be PS before IT? Assuming you take Glacier Rot on your specs.

    Another thing to ask: Have you tried Blood 50 - Unholy 21 with Gargoyle for DPS?

    To your first question, if you are trying to pull out the maximum amount of dps, you start with IT > PS as you're running in, then switch over to PS > IT. However the difference of damage is not as much as people think it is and will only potentially give you 1 to 2 percent more in damage on IT. Some of the specs really don't have a strong focus on IT being a damage dealer therefore it's a matter of preference.

    If you're min/maxing everything, as you're running in, hit IT > PS as your first rotation, then, when you're settled in place, hit PS > IT instead for the remainder of the fight. You'll get a bit more dps out of that. However the dps gained is not as grand as people think therefore I just tend to stay with the IT > PS rotation.

    For the second question, yes I have and I am seriously having issues with that bloody Gargoyle.

    Don't get me wrong, he's a great DPS addition to any tree, but the bloody bugger always dies! I don't know why, I don't know how, but he comes in, does 3 or 4 hits and bam, the sucker's dead and it's a waste of a 3 minute cooldown for a little bit of dps. Now if the Gargoyle lived a little longer, I would completely agree with the thought that it would be the logical choice. But I found that both DRW and the Gargoyle really come around the same amount of DPS. Both have their pros and cons.

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  6. #6
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    Nice write up tony. I pretty much follow the standard melee itematizaion: Hit (to cap) -> Exp (to cap) -> Str This is true for all specs. Exp (before cap) > Str form a pure DPS point of view as Exp functions the same as Hit. For the secondary stats such as Crit and ArP, it really depends on what spec you are. For a blood spec ArP is amazing as 95% of your attacks are affected by armor (white, OB, HS). Where as for a frost or Unholy spec Crit is much better and ArP has little to no value.

    I am mostly a tank when it comes to raiding but I have played arround with DPS specs as I plan to be versatile. Here is what I have learned about specing:

    1. Every spec you run with will take epidemic, no questions asked. What that talent does is let you do a 2 full rotations before having to set diseases back up. This means more HSing, OBing, or SSing. which means more DPS.

    2. your blood spec looks good, but if your looking for pure DPS, drop blood aura for 2/3 blood worms. The worms dont do alot of damage, but they do damage and Blood aura doesnt and I have yet to be in a raid where the extra healing was really needed. One other change is to take 5/5 toughness. Increasing your frost dam is pointless and with BA, toughness gives AP, a small amount, but again its about getting as much dam as you can.

    3. Frost DPS spec I am no expert with frost DPS, but this carries all the solid talents for frost. Again, epidemic needs to be part of the spec. OB > IT/PS

    4. Unholy DPS talent Its a solid build with a few points you can move arround as you see fit. The big problem is that you can only run one unholy DK due to the bug with ebon plague. With Unholy, a large part of your DPS comes from you pet, so buffing him is good and picking of the ghoul glyph for post patch will be awesome.

    Speaking of glyphs, what were you using when you did your DPS testing? Also, if you could post WWS for say a patch fight that would be great. I like Patch better to gage DPS due to thaddious being a heavy movement fight along with unpredictable amount of buffs.
    I cast the spells that make the people fall over.

  7. #7
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    Hello, I have a doubt that using the presence (in the build of frost in the blood)?


  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Tonypablos View Post
    Death Knight Raid DPS Compendium (FR/BL/UH)

    1- Hit Rating (Yellow Cap)

    Aaaah hit rating, the bastard child that no one likes (Sorry for the analogy, a lot of people really dislike having to make their hit rating as high as it needs to be so it works). Hit rating directly affects every single swing you do. To the exception of Icy Touch and Plague Strike, every other skill used is directly affected by melee hit. Now, as of 3.0.1, all hit has been rolled into one, and confusion has come from it. Here is the breakdown for Yellow and White hit caps, as well as magic caps:

    You need 8%, or 263 hit rating to cap both yellow and white damage with a two handed weapon on a boss.

    This is the optimum number any dps wants to achieve as this guarantees you wonít miss (remember thereís always a 0.1% chance of missing. Youíll never remove this number so donít even try)

    - You need 23% or 754 hit rating or to cap your white damage with dual wielding. Yes, you need that much. (5% natural miss chance, 18% penalty when dual wielding) But wait, is that all you need? Nope. Thatís against a level 80 mob. You need a further 4% (27%) to be able to not miss on bosses, or a grand total of 886 hit rating. Yikes. O.O I pity the rogues.

    - Spell wise, you need 17%, or 446 hit rating to not miss with your spells. Virulence as well as raid buffs should hopefully cover you for the hit rating when it comes to spells as a DK. Unholy will find it easier to cap their spells, blood a bit harder due to not being able to access Unholy talents in that fashion (Although, Blood relies far less on Disease damage than Frost and much less than unholy, therefore capping this is not one of your highest priorities.)
    This isn't entirely correct, even dual weilding (yes you need that much to cap) you would be wasting more valueable stats to do so.

    PS/IT/HB/DC are all spells as far as I know and will be affected by the spell hit cap.

    With the exceptions of a Dual Weild Frost spec based around Howling Blast as the primary attack and Unholy spec you should only seek the 9% Maximum to cap specials for Melee.

    If you are running a Dual Weild spec with HB as your main attack or unholy you should seek 11% maximum with Virulence, if not specced for Virulence you should seek 14% but I would highly reccomend doing what ever you can to work Virulence in to those 2 specs as other stats will provide you with a more substantial dps boost.

    After 9% to hit for Blood and Frost 2 hand builds the contribution per point drops off substantially from hit, after 11% for a HB build or Unholy build with Virulence the contribution from hit per point drops drastically.

    I apoligize if this was the point you were trying to convey but it seems to me you are telling people they need alot more hit than they should be seeking.

  9. #9
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    Source: Tonypablos
    Death Knight Raid DPS Compendium (FR/BL/UH)
    - This section absolutely needs input because I can't seem to figure it out: AoE rotation. What is it and how do you incorperate such a rune intensive attack like Death and Decay, as everyone says to do. Call me crazy but I cannot find a solid AoE rotation that seems to work.
    The Unholy AoE rotation that seem to accepted by most people I talk to is

    DnD>IT>PT>Pest
    BB>UB>SS>*SS>
    BB>SS>SS>*SS

    Rinse and Repeat.

    There is some downtime as with most of the rotations, but this generally yields good AoE DPS. If there is better, please correct me, i am doing this from memory.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonypablos View Post
    8 Ė Haste

    For some classes, Haste does wonders: Rogues adore haste to hit faster. Warriors with TG will love haste for itís increase speed wielding two handers. DKs? Eeeeh, not so much. Haste affects one thing: Your white swing. Thatís it. It doesnít affect your global cooldown at all (Thatís what your unholy aura is for) nor do we have any spells that require casting time. In this retrospect, haste is a really bad stat for DKs. Now, Iím not saying forego an item that has haste; white damage is, after all, usually your number 1 damage dealing ability. All Iím saying is that you shouldnít focus on haste at all as other stats above give really more benefit. This is why Iím not even bothering to pick up that Sigil for 15 badges. Itís just not worth it. Rather have the Sigil that drops off in Naxx that increases the damage of Blood and Heart strike by some higher number. At this time I still use the Sigil you get from the start quests.


    DUAL WIELDING DPS:

    To be posted with more information once I've tested out the spec a bit more.

    END NOTES:

    This is still a work in progress. I fully accept people critiquing as well as giving advice about this class when it comes to DPS. I'm not the best person when it comes to paying attention to more than 2 or three things, and in my opinion, Blood suits my needs more (However, with the new Sigil, I'm kinda tempted to play Frost again.)

    In the end however, it comes to this: Play the Death Knight class the way you want to. All three specs are very powerful in their own way and it takes skill and effort to get all three to their maximum input. Of all things, this Compendium showed me more about how I play my class than any other has. You have three options to play

    - A single target Power House that self heals to sustain himself and potentially his group and raid members

    - A powerful, hard striking individual that focuses on hasting the party's damage output and striking through defenses with chill

    - A master of AoE damage and DoTs, letting the damage accumulate through it's magic effects and giving casters more oomph to their damage.

    Enjoy yourselves, this class is a new class and a very enjoyable one.
    I'm not sure what DW DPS build you are using, but while dual wielding haste actually becomes a little more more attractive as a gear stat. In the 0/32/39 spec you are relying upon your auto-attack crits to proc Killing Machine so that you can keep firing off potentially crit Howling Blasts every 6 seconds.

    Also Post 3.0.8 The Sigil of Haunted Dreams will be giving crit rating and not haste when it procs.

  11. #11
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    First of all I would like to thank you for the info you have provided.

    Question, though, what presence are you usually in when using the blood rotation you suggested? I almost always use blood simply because I find that I run out of runes too fast if I use unholy.
    Also I have found that not until the second rotation or after is my rune power high enough for more than one death coil, therefore throwing off the timing of everything by just enough to frustrate me. Unless I use the rotation ps>it>hs>hs>ob>erw>etc...
    Yes I open with PS because I am usually standing next to the tank on a pull so I do not have to worry about running in and losing time not doing damage.
    Obviously this only works every 3 minutes, so I usually try to have at least one death coil left over after a trash mob in case I have down time in my next rotation.
    My hit rating is capped and according to reecount my spells rarely miss. Also, my attacks are hardly ever dodged or parried even though my expertise is low.
    Am I doing something wrong or is this how it is supossed to work?

    Any comments or suggestions by anyone are welcome. Thank you in advance.

  12. #12
    The Blood rotations I have used are the following.

    1)PS>IT>HS>HS>OB>DC
    OB>HS>HS>HS>HS>DC Dump

    2)PS>IT>HS>HS>OB>DC
    OB>HS>HS>OB>DC Dump

    I think I there right, havent played Blood in a few weeks know and im at work doing this from memory.

    Notice I only put DC betweent he first and second parts of the rotation not DC dump. In the testing I have done you lose DPS dumping all your RP in a very tight rotation 1. If you DC multiple times past the first part of your rotation it will be unlikely you will get your last HS in before your diseases fall off.

    In Rotation 2 the one I like the most you have alot more breathing room and you will be able to reapply your diseases just as they are falling off unlike rotation 1 where your diseases will fall off during your DC dump. Your DPS should be similar or even increase if you are having trouble with rotation 1.

    The key to maximizing your DPS is using your strikes just as soon as they are coming off of cooldown. DC in no situation will out DPS your strikes and as blood it is more likely than not you will have an over abundance of RP and will have a hard time keeping it burned off. Focus on getting your strikes in ASAP and burn your RP at the very end of your rotation and not in the middle of it.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gorgrim Warcry View Post
    This isn't entirely correct, even dual weilding (yes you need that much to cap) you would be wasting more valueable stats to do so.

    PS/IT/HB/DC are all spells as far as I know and will be affected by the spell hit cap.

    With the exceptions of a Dual Weild Frost spec based around Howling Blast as the primary attack and Unholy spec you should only seek the 9% Maximum to cap specials for Melee.

    If you are running a Dual Weild spec with HB as your main attack or unholy you should seek 11% maximum with Virulence, if not specced for Virulence you should seek 14% but I would highly reccomend doing what ever you can to work Virulence in to those 2 specs as other stats will provide you with a more substantial dps boost.

    After 9% to hit for Blood and Frost 2 hand builds the contribution per point drops off substantially from hit, after 11% for a HB build or Unholy build with Virulence the contribution from hit per point drops drastically.

    I apoligize if this was the point you were trying to convey but it seems to me you are telling people they need alot more hit than they should be seeking.
    Thank you for your inquiry, and I'll try to explain a bit.

    The guide above is a guideline as to what people are going to want to look at if they absolutely maximize their amount of hit. Yes, I am somewhat hinting towards the fact that hit is a highly regarded stat, but if you look in my section below, I list a number of priorities in which people need to look at, which in turn lists exactly the numbers I suggest people to go: No more than yellow melee hit cap.

    The information that you linked was simply a means to show new people to the DPS class as to what are the maximum hitcaps for both Dual Wielding for white damage and two handers for white damage were. It was informational and in no means a statement to say that everyone should above all else reach those caps. If there is more confusion about this, I will rectify the post by stating the obvious but i hope people would be good enough to scroll down a bit more and see my priorities section.

    So yes, you are entirely right in your assumption: After 8% yellow hit cap, whether you are using a two hander or dual wielding, the importance of hit rating is drastically lowered, almost to the point where ArP is. Please notice the section about priorities I keep hinting about lower in the text.

    And yes, it's 8%, not 9. It's been tried and tested and most gurus will agree with an 8% yellow hit cap or two handed hit cap. Hope this clears the air.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahram View Post
    The Unholy AoE rotation that seem to accepted by most people I talk to is

    DnD>IT>PT>Pest
    BB>UB>SS>*SS>
    BB>SS>SS>*SS

    Rinse and Repeat.

    There is some downtime as with most of the rotations, but this generally yields good AoE DPS. If there is better, please correct me, i am doing this from memory.
    Thank you for the input, I will fix the guide to reflect this position. Keep in mind that this is really a work in progress and I still am relatively new to the whole AoE section. Unholy really isn't my cup of tea however many people enjoy it and I would be a fool not to mention it in the guide.

    Quote Originally Posted by xKhellendrosx View Post
    I'm not sure what DW DPS build you are using, but while dual wielding haste actually becomes a little more more attractive as a gear stat. In the 0/32/39 spec you are relying upon your auto-attack crits to proc Killing Machine so that you can keep firing off potentially crit Howling Blasts every 6 seconds.

    Also Post 3.0.8 The Sigil of Haunted Dreams will be giving crit rating and not haste when it procs.

    Dual Wield DPS has yet to be covered and will be in a future period. At this time, I'm still testing the water when it comes to this and I do agree, Haste gains a significant boost in importance when it comes to Dual Wield Fury, and I am clearly noticing the difference simply by being in Unholy instead of Blood for Dual Wield testings on dummies. I will be attempting a Unholy run dual wield and a Blood run dual wield to further test samples but you are quite correct. At this time, I'm using a 13/32/26 tri-spec as I didn't have 4/5 T7. However, this has changed and I will be trying the 0/32/39 spec next..when I have money to respec. These tests are draining my wallet.

    And come 3.0.8, I will be reassessing the Sigil of Haunted Dreams' utility. I am going to assume that in a Blood rotation where HS is predominant, this may potentially knock the Sigil of Awareness' position of best Sigil. However I am still under the impression that for both Frost and Unholy, the sigil will still come second against it. I'm just keeping everything informed the way it is right now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Akilleez View Post
    First of all I would like to thank you for the info you have provided.

    Question, though, what presence are you usually in when using the blood rotation you suggested? I almost always use blood simply because I find that I run out of runes too fast if I use unholy.
    Also I have found that not until the second rotation or after is my rune power high enough for more than one death coil, therefore throwing off the timing of everything by just enough to frustrate me. Unless I use the rotation ps>it>hs>hs>ob>erw>etc...
    Yes I open with PS because I am usually standing next to the tank on a pull so I do not have to worry about running in and losing time not doing damage.
    Obviously this only works every 3 minutes, so I usually try to have at least one death coil left over after a trash mob in case I have down time in my next rotation.
    My hit rating is capped and according to reecount my spells rarely miss. Also, my attacks are hardly ever dodged or parried even though my expertise is low.
    Am I doing something wrong or is this how it is supossed to work?

    Any comments or suggestions by anyone are welcome. Thank you in advance.
    I find it interesting that you're running into some problems when it comes to DC dumps as a blood spec'ed DK. While doing my runs, I rarely had problems when it came to RP.

    However, you're right. Going in an Unholy Presence truly makes things feel weird and gives a feel of 'downtime' as your runes simply exhaust that much faster. However, with dual wielding, I've found that just timing yourself and not exhausting every rune as soon as the GCD comes up makes this a little better. It's just controlling your instincts of hitting the button as soon as it lights up. My suggestion is stay in Blood and practice your rotation until you have the feel and it becomes 'innate'. Then begin the transition to Unholy and see if you can't just use the Unholy's benefit of haste.

    However, take note: I only suggest switching to Unholy if you are using a dual wield build. In the scenario of a two handed build, Blood will always trump unholy as you are looking for strong bursts of damage from your two hander, which is what Blood Presence gives you with the 15% increased damage. Dual Wield benefits more from the Haste to strike faster which somewhat reduces the penalty of losing that 15%. Tests are still needed to see if Unholy is truly the better dual wield build, but as it stands now, I've tested intensely and have found that a fast/fast combo with unholy currently beats my slow/slow blood weapons that have 20 dps above the fast/fast combination. This indicates that haste will play a rather powerful role in a dual wield build, just like any dual wielding class.

    Now, to go over your rotation, it is quite acceptable to open with PS instead of IT. In fact, in a min/max situation, you can definitely be certain that the start works out better. Glacial Rot is the reason behind this and I'm sure you know this yourself.

    To help with your rotation, ensure one of your glyphs is the glyph of Icy Touch which will give your Icy touch an extra 5 RP any time you use it. This will help with any rotation you seem to be missing. Also, don't be despared if your first rotation tends to lack the RP. You are setting your rotation up and it will truly set itself in place following the second 20 seconds. You have the right idea of using ERW to boost up your RP, but this immediately keys up all of your runes once more and this might make things a little fickle come your rotation restart. Be wary of this.

    The rotation I posted above has always generated enough rp so that I can cast two (Three if Sudden Doom procs) Death Coils at my dump. This is the norm. It does happen in some weird event that you may not have enough for more than one DC at the start of the fight. I've seen this happen from time to time but it's nothing to worry about.

    Also, look and make sure you have Butchery. Many people skip it because they do not fully read the description of the ability. However, the second part of this talent gives you an rp generation while you're in combat which will help smoothen out the rotation.

    Otherwise, head to a dummy and ensure you have the rotation down to a tee.

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  14. #14
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    You give very confusing write ups on stats. Particularly on Expertise and ArP.

    The way you have wrote the Expertise write up makes it sound like bosses have a different chance to dodge based on your race and weapon choice. All bosses have something between 6.25% and 6.5% chance to dodge, but it isn't exactly known from what I remember. At 25 Expertise skill you can see Dodges, but at 26 Expertise skill you will not. The best way to word this would be that you need 26 Expertise Skill to remove dodges from the attack table. Include that you get 5 Expertise Skill for being an Orc using an Axe or a Dwarf using a Mace, along with 3 Expertise for being a Human using a Mace or Sword. Something along those lines would really make it read easier.

    As for ArP, I don't think you really understand how the stat works. I did the ArP section for Corb's Fury guide so I would suggest taking a look there to get a solid footing. Against a fully debuffed raid boss 1% ArP gives a 0.34% increase in your damage that is mitigated by Armor. For an Unholy DK 60-65% of their is unmitigated by armor due to being magic based. With 60% damage from abilities that bypass armor it takes ~113 ArP rating to see a 1% increase in your overall damage. That makes it ~3 times worse than Crit rating.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jathine View Post
    You give very confusing write ups on stats. Particularly on Expertise and ArP.

    The way you have wrote the Expertise write up makes it sound like bosses have a different chance to dodge based on your race and weapon choice. All bosses have something between 6.25% and 6.5% chance to dodge, but it isn't exactly known from what I remember. At 25 Expertise skill you can see Dodges, but at 26 Expertise skill you will not. The best way to word this would be that you need 26 Expertise Skill to remove dodges from the attack table. Include that you get 5 Expertise Skill for being an Orc using an Axe or a Dwarf using a Mace, along with 3 Expertise for being a Human using a Mace or Sword. Something along those lines would really make it read easier.

    As for ArP, I don't think you really understand how the stat works. I did the ArP section for Corb's Fury guide so I would suggest taking a look there to get a solid footing. Against a fully debuffed raid boss 1% ArP gives a 0.34% increase in your damage that is mitigated by Armor. For an Unholy DK 60-65% of their is unmitigated by armor due to being magic based. With 60% damage from abilities that bypass armor it takes ~113 ArP rating to see a 1% increase in your overall damage. That makes it ~3 times worse than Crit rating.
    Thanks for the first suggestion, if it seems that it gets more confusing, I'll take a quick change to it and use your suggestion.

    As for the ArP stat...I do understand quite well what the stat does and have followed your work on Corb's fury DPS section. However in priority ranking, it is about the same rank as you're suggesting. It is hardly a stat people should look into unless you're a Blood Spec DK as all of your attacks are more Physical attacks. Even then, however the stat is lacklustre. I don't see the reason why you brought your second point on honestly. Because I state that it's not the greatest of stats in the text, and state that it's only seen as a bonus to an item, that's about it. If this needs more clarification, I can pretty much state it in the guide a bit clearer about how it's really not great of a stat. Anyway...

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  16. #16
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    Ok, thanks again for the advise. My only real concern was the beginning of a fight after my first OB as it seems that I only have enough RP for one Death Coil. The rest of the fight goes smoothly, though, as my RP does sometimes get up to max without being at the end of a rotation. Just that first part of the first rotation is pretty much the bane of my virtual self .

    Also, I have found that on some chain pulls or if adds come that were not originally invited it is possible for me to quite randomly/accidently begin to rotate my runes in such a way that I can cast HS up to 8 times in a row before ever having to redo my death runes. Is this a bad habit to let myself slip into or maybe only under the right circumstances?


    P.S: In my original question I stated that ERW is usable every 3 minutes when it is really every 5 minutes.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akilleez View Post
    Ok, thanks again for the advise. My only real concern was the beginning of a fight after my first OB as it seems that I only have enough RP for one Death Coil. The rest of the fight goes smoothly, though, as my RP does sometimes get up to max without being at the end of a rotation. Just that first part of the first rotation is pretty much the bane of my virtual self .

    Also, I have found that on some chain pulls or if adds come that were not originally invited it is possible for me to quite randomly/accidently begin to rotate my runes in such a way that I can cast HS up to 8 times in a row before ever having to redo my death runes. Is this a bad habit to let myself slip into or maybe only under the right circumstances?


    P.S: In my original question I stated that ERW is usable every 3 minutes when it is really every 5 minutes.
    Not at all. You see, you're prioritizing which is key for death knight DPS honestly. If situations arise where you can benefit and use your most damaging attack more often than usual, then there is really nothing wrong with that. However, in any fight where it's stationary, ensure yourself that you follow a decent rotation so your runes are fully used. This will allow just a smoother flow and a more consistant DPS.

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  18. #18
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    DUAL WIELDING DPS:

    To be posted with more information once I've tested out the spec a bit more.


    I see you have begun a dual wield spec. I have loved your guides before and have seen a lot of people rolling the 0/32/39 spec. I'd just like to know how your rotation for this spec will go. I am a Blood/semi-unholy kinda guy and dont know much about the HB specs. Any insight would be lovely. I can be emailed at hmscrack@hotmail.com, but i also keep my eyes on this post.

    P.S. - I have wondered for a while, what is so wrong with Desecration?

  19. #19
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    Tony, what about your thoughts on the up coming changes where they are taking the CD off Howling Blast and its new found viable for spammability with dps?

    I was just thinking that if all goes as planned, HB could replace Oblit entirely though my guess is that Oblit has a higher chance of criting than HB(?). With crit all rolled into one like hit is, there shouldnt be any reason HB couldnt crit as often as Oblit right? The only thing I can see as a draw back is the lower end damage being that much lower than Oblit could leave it as unattractive as when it had a CD.

    I mostly like the idea of the No CD HB for aoe threat gen while Im tanking :-)

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blueduck3285 View Post
    Tony, what about your thoughts on the up coming changes where they are taking the CD off Howling Blast and its new found viable for spammability with dps?

    I was just thinking that if all goes as planned, HB could replace Oblit entirely though my guess is that Oblit has a higher chance of criting than HB(?). With crit all rolled into one like hit is, there shouldnt be any reason HB couldnt crit as often as Oblit right? The only thing I can see as a draw back is the lower end damage being that much lower than Oblit could leave it as unattractive as when it had a CD.

    I mostly like the idea of the No CD HB for aoe threat gen while Im tanking :-)
    Howling blast spam is what the 0/32/39 Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft DW spec is completely built around. (mind 3 points can be moved around between reaping, virulence, and ravenous dead) Unless they change how often Killing Machine - Spell - World of Warcraft can proc the DPS of this build is just going to shoot up even further. I'm already able to give most of the DPS classes in my guild a run for their money in this build and they are all getting tired of listening to me talk about how crazy it will be once HB is cooldown free.

    HB coming off cooldown also buffs Frost Tankings AoE threat buildup as well.

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