4.0.1 Unholy (2H) DPS Spec

With the launch of Patch 4.0.1 tomorrow we all get to L2P again, as our collective worlds are getting rocked into a new 41-point talent model that adds new abilities, changes the way we DPS and includes different stat weights and some changes to our gemming. I have made no claims to be a beta tester nor have I even bothered with exploring the PTR, so consider this post my plan for tomorrow.

Now while I have been protesting the changes because I never got a beta invite (/stubborn), I do keep up with many sites who specialize in this type of thing. My favorite Death Knight blog is Consider This, which is a great analysis of the numbers used to formulate the spec that I will be using and also the basis of me again wanting to play Unholy. And as has been the case on every DPS spec I’ve posted, my primary source of the reasoning behind them is Elitist Jerks. I am not a number parser, I just do what they tell me to do really freaking well.

Without further ado, my plan for logging in tomorrow evening in terms of PvE:

4 / 0 / 32 (Level 80)

This build is the closest thing to what I am running now, and makes use of the new abilities like Contagion, Dark Transformation, Runic Corruption, Shadow Infusion, Sudden Doom and Unholy Frenzy. This build currently is designed to end up as 7/0/32 + 2 (Level 85). While these new abilities appear like a lot, the class still seems to function similarly where many talents mimic the dynamics of what we have now. For more intricate details of why to use this spec and a better explanation of the new abilities, again visit Elitist Jerks (EJ).

The glyphs function different now where players will have 3 Prime, 3 Major and 3 Minor. The Minor glyphs are irrelevant for the most part, meaning you can put whichever glyph you want to and not really hurt or benefit yourself either way. My Major glyphs are going to be Glyph of the Anti-Magic Shell, Glyph of Pestilence and Glyph of Blood Boil; with my Prime glyphs being Glyph of Raise Dead, Glyph of Scourge Strike and Glyph of Death Coil.

The rotation that we have come to know and love so well is now going to a priority system like many other classes, which is a welcome change in my opinion because I usually went this way when fights would break down anyway – if anything I found myself improvising in battle much more than following a tit-for-tat rotation. The new priority system simply ranks as:

Single Target:
Dark TransformationSS if both Unholy and/or all Death runes are up > FeS if both pairs of Blood and Frost runes are up >
DC if SD, 100 RP, will overcap RP with anything else or if RC isn’t up > SSFeSDCHoW.

FeS = Festering Strike, a new ability that deals X% weapon damage and increases the duration of Blood Plague, Frost Fever and Chains of Ice effects by up to 6 seconds. Also, all single target situations should take place in Unholy Presence.

Multiple Target:
Dark TransformationDeath and Decay > SS if both Unholy and/or all Death runes are up > BB + IT if both pairs of Blood and Frost runes are up >
DC if SD, 100 RP, will overcap RP with anything else or if RC isn’t up > SS > BB > ITHoW.

A major difference, when AEing you’ll want to be in Frost Presence. In both cases you’ll want to prioritize keeping your diseases up as has been the case since I’ve played a DK.

In terms of stat weights, it still remains mostly similar in that:

Hit to cap > Strength > Haste > Crit > Mastery > Expertise to cap > Agility.

Gems are changing to where all colors have a stat that we can benefit from, where Red gives Expertise/Strength, Yellow gives Crit/Haste/Mastery and Blue gives Hit. How these stats will shape out will depend on you as you level up and change gear – just use the above quoted strength chart from EJ.

Hopefully this is enough information to start you off tomorrow evening, however do take it upon yourself to explore various websites to learn why you are using these abilities versus copying what someone else does word for word. I will likely adjust my talents as I get going and will come back to this post to edit them, so whatever you are reading at this point is still accurate as long as post has not been released after the one noted in the title.


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