3.1 PvP builds and why shadowfrost is dead
The new patch is bringing about huge changes the the DK class. While some people are whining about how the class has been destroyed, the only thing that we as the class on the chopping block can do is try to live through it and see a new advantage in the changes. From first look, unholy has gotten more powerful. Scourge strike damage is through the roof and gargoyle, being the new 51 point talent (finally) is scaling much better with gear level. Blood, despite some nerfs with DRW (needed to happen) still looks relatively strong. With the move of runic power mastery to t1 in frost a lot more blood talents have been freed up. Although i dont know much about frost, the switch between hungering cold and Howling blast certainly was a welcome one, as i dont know many people who thought that hungering cold was a decent 51 point investment (even if it is retarded if used at the right time).
Here are some specs that i have thought up for the new patch for PvP. They all can vary slightly to fit playstyle, so i will post the variations as well as what i feel will be the "cookie cutters" for s6.
with the changes in the frost and unholy trees, the shadowfrost build has been ousted. This will lead to a surge in traditional 19/0/52 and 20/0/51 builds like we saw at the beginning of the season.
One of the builds that i came up with is a basic unholy spec, with one point in necrosis being interchangeable with a point in corpse explosion, an ability that i use religiously.
Sadly, with the new changes to the Unholy tree, Mark of Blood is really not an option anymore unless you want to needlessly gimp yourself.
While the blood tree did not change too much, the abilities within certainly did. DRW is being used for sustained pressure now as opposed to quick burst switching (Double duration, half damage). Blood gorged now grants armor pen instead of expertise, something that IMO really needed to happen for blood dks, as they were kind of worthless against high armor targets without load of armor pen. Armor pen in and of itself has also been buffed, with an increase of around 20% effectiveness to melee classes (THANK YOU). Sudden doom is now a good talent imo aswell. It provides good pressure without draining runic power for your 130 RP DRW and helps to make up for some of the damage that is lost with the new DRW changes.
This spec looks something like this, with one point in scent of blood being interchangeable with a point in Icy Talons, it all depends on playstyle.
Now for the kicker: why shadowfrost is dead.
There are many things that made shadowfrost completely overpowered. The sigils increase in the base damage of icy touch by 203 (down to 111 if memory serves) allowed for 4.5-5k, 32 yard bursting that wasnt affected by armor. This, combined with gargoyle for pressure, allowed for some pretty ridiculous switching and, with the glyph of blood boil and desecration, borderline absurd, undispellable slows. With the changes in 3.1, a shadowfrost build would look something like:
Overall, the 0/20/51 build would be stronger, and although it will still be a contender, it is definitely not the end all, be all spec that it was during s5.
The changes to plague strike also affect this build negatively (along with every dk build, even if it was overpowered) and definitely do away with a lot of DK utility. With the gargoyle's being moved to the 51 point talent, Deathchill is no longer an option for shadowfrost builds. This allowed for a huge amount of pressure in a killing machine proc icy touch, deathchill icy touch combo and was one of the main reasons why shadowfrost could do as much damage and produce as much pressure as it did. Finally, the changes to Black ice (down to 20% from 30%) reduce the damage of your main nuke by 10%, one of the biggest blows to the spec.
While my dk got hacked and i am now picking up the shadowpriest class, i still like the dk class and am currently leveling up a Troll DK named Zilju (i will probably change my forum name to this) for Da mad Voodoo Shufflez Mon! =). I hope to continue to provide this community with updates and strategies as the class changes.
Last edited by Beardly; 03-25-2009 at 12:39 PM.