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Thread: Rune Strike or Crit Frost Strike?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008

    Rune Strike or Crit Frost Strike?

    What’s the best threat per runic power between a rune strike (with 2 piece tier 8 +10% crit) or a killing machine/deathchill frost strike? Mathz appreciated, my frost strikes are usually in the 4100+ normal hit with 8300+ crit range.

    No glyph on frost strike.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Rather than math, I'ld look at a WWS or Recount, and compare total damage output. Relative to each other, Rune Strike generates 50% more threat than Frost Strike. Thus, Frost Strike needs to go 50% more damage to make it superiour for threat.

    The advantage of looking at it from damage is you bypass GCD conflicts, KM procs, playstyle and/or spec variations. IMO, I tend to find FS beating RS, but it looks more like Runic Power starvation (IE, the player dumps all RP into FS, and RS isn't eligible to trigger). Adjusting your playstyle to allow that 20 RP 'floating' can significantly improve RS hits, and thus the generated threat. Note that FS is losing the 'can't be blocked/parry/dodged' in 3.2, which makes RS even better if you manage your RP accordingly.

    I wish that there were 'combative' training dummies that did 1pt melee swings so we could more accurately simulate tanking, rather than only DPS.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2008

    Rune Strike ________________________ damage × 1.5
    Frost Strike _______________________ damage

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    College Station
    The correct answer is both.

    Rune Strike works on your melee hit, so macro it into your abilities so it will be used whenever it comes up.

    Whatever Rp you have when you are ready to dump, Frost Strike.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    OP is talking about a critic FS (with Km or deathchill).

    So, you need to take your average RS damage, multiply by 3 (x2 because RS is 20 RP and FS without glyph is 40, and x1.5 because of RS threat modifier) and compare it to your FS critic damage.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    From a randomly picked Ignis report (first frost tank I could find, don't expect much from the sample):

    Avg FS crit: 5079.1
    Dmg per RP: 127

    Avg RS hit: 3081.3
    Avg RS crit: 6632
    Avg RS: 3553 (assuming 20% crit rate, 7.75 parry, I made them up because the values in the log were too low)
    Dmg per RP: 178

    From the DPS point of view, FS is the clear winner, from the TPS pov RS is the winner but not by much, from the RP efficiency pov RP wins (because it costs half as much).

    But if you want to theorycraft it, assuming 4k AP, 12% Crit rating, WorldCarver, Glyph of RS, T8 set bonus, soft capped expertise and capped hit:

    Weapon Dmg = Base WD + (3.3 * AP/14) (I'm assuming FS and RS are normalized, but it shouldn't make a big difference if I'm wrong).

    RS avg hit = 4048 (wowhead formula, 10% from T8 set bonus, 15% from Tundra Stalker)
    RS avg crit = 8096
    RS avg = 4624 (7.75% dodged) (RP efficiency = 231 DMG/RP)

    FS avg hit = 2077 (wowhead formula, 10% from Black Ice, 20% from Glacier Rot, 15% from Blood of the North, 15% from Tundra Stalker)
    FS avg crit = 5089 (45% bonus from GotGF) (RP efficiency = 127 DMG/RP unglyphed, 159 DMG/RP glyphed)
    FS avg = 2439 (no avoided) (RP efficiency = 61 DMG/RP unglyphed, 76 DMG/RP glyphed)

    The resuts are very similar to the ones obtained through the logs, crit FS wins for DPS and RS wins for RP efficiency, but this time RS wins for TPS over a KMed FS by quite a bit, this is probably because the difference is not that big to begin with so it's very sensitive to glyphs and gear.

    PS: I really can't understand the FS values you mentioned in the OP, they seem too high for a tank and they don't seem to include the 45% GotGF.

    PS2: The wowhead formulas for RS and FS seemed dodgy, if someone knows them to be wrong please let me know.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    To simplify, Tundra Stalker, AP, base crit chance, Annihilation, Dark Conviction, etc will all buff both equally.

    For buffs:
    FS = Black Ice (+10%), Glacier Rot (+20%), and BotN (+15%), and Killing Machine (as you asked, we'll just use guaranteed crit, so with GoG 245% dmg)
    RS = added AP effect in base dmg (0.15*AP, we'll just use 4k ap), but does +50% threat

    Base Dmg:
    FS = 60% weapon dmg + 150
    RS = 150% weapon dmg + 600

    Let's call weapon dmg X since you'll be using the same weapon damage for both. Damage will be, with modifiers:

    FS = (0.6X+150)*1.10*1.15*1.20*2.45 = 2.23X + 558
    RS = 1.5X + 600

    Factor threat, 2.0735 from Frost Pres applies to both the same, RS gets 1.5x additional factor:

    FS = 4.62X + 1157
    RS = 4.67X + 1866

    Factor in RP costs, 40 and 20 respectively (and I'll throw in because I'm curious, the effect of the glyph on FS), and you get:

    FS (no glyph) = 0.116X + 29
    FS (glyphed) = 0.144X + 36
    RS = 0.234X + 93

    (this will be in threat/RP)

    Remember that this does not factor the crit chance of RS at all and assumes that every FS is a crit. So, a non-crit RS will always be more RP-efficient threat than FS no matter what, even with every buff you can get for FS including the glyph.
    The (Old) Book on Death Knight Tanking
    The New Testament on Death Knight Tanking
    Quote Originally Posted by Horacio View Post
    Who f-ing divided by zero?!?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    TY! The next question is whether a crit howling blast is better than an obliterate against a single target.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Quote Originally Posted by Pylae View Post
    TY! The next question is whether a crit howling blast is better than an obliterate against a single target.
    While it likely is superior for that single global cooldown, you have to keep in mind that the howling blast is consuming a resource (killing machine) which could be otherwise used. As long as your frost strike's crit damage gain is higher than your howling blast, it's better to use the obliterate to preserve the killing machine, and spend the proc on frost strike.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    That's a tricky question, but let's see if I can apply the same method to make the balance a little more clear:

    *I am not going to guarantee crit, the values should be comparable directly, and I'll touch on KM once I've put the numbers out*

    As usual, Tundra Stalker is a wash as it will buff both, Merciless Combat is the same. The threat buff from bonus RP from CotG is also the same. Both will get the 45% crit damage bonus from GoG, but I won't factor crit averaging until later.

    For Buffs:
    OB = +4% weapon dmg(2h Spec), +3% crit (Annihilation), +9% crit (Subversion), +15% crit (Rime)
    HB = +10% dmg (Black Ice). +20% dmg (Glacier Rot)

    AP applies differently to the two moves, so I'm going to leave it as a factor "A"

    Base Dmg:
    OB = (80% weapon damage + 467.2) + 12.5% per disease
    HB = 518-562 + 20% of AP

    Weapon damage is applied to weapon DPS, but for simplicity sake we'll just imagine the weapon speed is the same as the normalized value so we can apply AP directly with a small factor addition. Again Weapon Dmg = X and Attack Power = A. Again we'll assume both diseases up.

    OB = (1.04X + 0.25A + 467.2)*1.25 = 1.30X + 0.32A + 584
    HB = (0.20A + 440)*1.10*1.20 = 0.26A + 581

    Already, obviously, OB has a noticeable damage edge, even taking out 2h spec will not reduce that edge. If you factor in crit chances for adjusting the average, from talents OB will also have an 18% higher crit chance (27% higher if you have Subversion). The OB glyph will further widen that margin by a whopping 20%. Add on that 15% of your OB's will give you a free HB to further buff it's damage value. Threat is applied equally to both, so that doesn't need further addition, but for the sake of comparing KM procs:

    With GoG, HB crits will hit for 245% normal damage, as will FS crits. I'll pull down the FS numbers from above (slightly adjusted to be in equivalent terms, we'll leave out 2h spec).

    HB (KM) = 0.64A + 1423
    FS (KM) = 2.23X + 0.90A + 558

    Again, threat is multiplied the same for both. In order for HB to be a better use of KM procs than FS:

    X < 388 - 0.12A

    Or in plain english, your weapon's average damage would have to be smaller than 388 less 12% of your AP. Since your AP will be a reasonably high number (at 1500 AP, very low for an 80 DK, that 12% is already 175), and weapon damage for a level 80 blue 2h is already 609, give or take. We can safely say:

    Frost Strike is always the better use of a KM proc on a single target.

    Which brings me to the important part:
    Blizzard has carefully balanced the abilities (both relationships) so that against a single target HB is not your best choice (until it's free from a Rime proc, then whoalookout). However, as soon as you add a second target it gets substantially closer:

    HB (reg, 2x targets) = 0.52A + 1162
    (total output compared to OB = 1.3X + 0.32A + 584)

    So, for purely total output, this is already better if X < 445 + 0.15A (thanks to AP scaling this is pretty much always true).

    HB (KM, 2x targets) = 1.28A + 2846
    (total output compared to FS (KM) = 2.23X + 0.9A + 558)

    Again, pure total output, this is now better so long as X < 1026 + 0.17A (again AP scaling makes this never fail, but the base value is already pretty huge, Uld25 hard mode weapons X is about 900).

    The real key is that it doesn't matter what your damage totals are, what matters is that you put threat where you need it. In any situation where it us just you against one target (boss for example), OB and FS for KM procs will be better than HB. If you have more than one target, HB will do slightly less threat, but on every single target in range, and the aggragate threat/damage will make it a more worthy spend of the KM proc.
    The (Old) Book on Death Knight Tanking
    The New Testament on Death Knight Tanking
    Quote Originally Posted by Horacio View Post
    Who f-ing divided by zero?!?

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