Patch 4.0.6 for Death Knights (w/ thoughts on 2H Frost)

For the full patch notes click here, but copied from that here’s how this patch will affect our class:

Death knights

  • Death Coil damage has been reduced by roughly 10%.
  • Icebound Fortitude now breaks stuns when used, in addition to providing immunity to them.
  • Necrotic Strike’s absorption effect is now reduced by the target’s resilience. In addition, its debuff duration has been reduced to 10 seconds, down from 15.
  • The spell hit bonus previously given by Virulence (Unholy) has been rolled into the Runic Focus passive effect that all death knights possess.
  • Talent specializations
    • Blood
      • Bone Shield now has 4 charges, up from 3
      • Crimson Scourge has been redesigned slightly. Instead of a 50/100% chance to make the next Blood Boil free when Plague Strike is used on a target with Blood Plague, the talent now gives a 5/10% chance to provide a free Blood Boil when the death knight lands any melee attack on a Blood Plagued target.
      • Heart Strike now deals 175% weapon damage plus 15% per disease, up from 120% plus 10% per disease.
      • Improved Death Strike now increases the damage of Death Strike by 30/60/90%, up from 15/30/45%.
      • If Death Strike is used while a Blood Shield is already active, the new absorb will stack with the old one instead of replacing it.
      • Scarlet Fever now applies via Blood Plague, rather than Blood Boil.
      • Will of the Necropolis no longer refunds a Blood Rune when it resets Rune Tap’s cooldown. Instead it makes the next Rune Tap free while Will of the Necropolis is active.
    • Frost
      • Chilblains now also causes Chains of Ice to root the target for 1.5/3 seconds.
      • Howling Blast now deals 40% less damage to all targets other than the primary target of the spell.
      • Hungering Cold now has a PvP duration of 8 seconds.
      • Might of the Frozen Wastes now also increases all melee damage by 4/8/12% while wielding a two-handed weapon.
    • Unholy
      • Blightcaller (Mastery) has been redesigned and renamed Dreadblade. It increases all Shadow damage by 2.5% per point of mastery.
      • Dark Transformation now increases pet damage by 80%, down from 100%.
      • Death’s Advance (new talent): While both Unholy Runes are depleted, movement-impairing effects cannot reduce the death knight below 75/100% of normal movement speed.
      • Desecration is now also triggered by Necrotic Strike.
      • The ratio of runic power return from Magic Suppression has been reduced by roughly one third.
      • Rage of Rivendare now increases strike damage by 12/24/36%, down from 15/30/45%.
      • Runic Corruption procs while the aura is already active now add 3 seconds to the existing aura duration, instead of simply refreshing/overwriting the existing aura.
      • Shadow Infusion now increases pet damage by 8% per stack, down from 10%.
      • Sudden Doom is now triggered only from main-hand auto attacks, and is normalized according to weapon speed rather than having a fixed percentage chance.
      • Unholy Might (passive) has been reduced to a 5% Strength increase, down from 10%.
      • Virulence has been redesigned. It now grants 10/20/30% additional disease damage.
  • Glyphs
    • Glyph of Dark Succor (new glyph) raises the minimum healing done by Death Strike from 7% to 15% of maximum health, but only while in Unholy or Frost Presence.
    • Glyph of Death’s Embrace no longer refunds Runic Power when self-healing via Lichborne.
  • Runeforging
    • Swordbreaking and Swordshattering now reduce disarm duration by 60%, up from 50%.
  • Death knight bug fixes
    • Blood of the North is no longer incorrectly increasing Blood Strike damage by 10%.
    • The tooltip for Blood Presence was giving an incorrect value and has been corrected.
    • The amount of bonus damage Blood Strike was receiving per disease was inconsistent with its tooltip and has been amended.
    • Crimson Scourge will no longer proc if Blood Plague is not present on the target.
    • Death Grip has a minimum range requirement of 8 yards against players, but this was not stated in the tooltip. The tooltip has been updated.
    • Desecration should stay in place while on the Alliance Gunship in Deepholm.
    • When a character is raised as a ghoul with Raise Ally, there is no longer a considerable pause after losing control of the ghoul before being returned to the corpse or graveyard.
    • The Scourge Strike tooltip is now correctly augmented by Rage of Rivendare.
    • The shadow portion of Scourge Strike was receiving more than 10% increased damage from Frost Presence and has been corrected.
    • The shadow portion of Scourge Strike no longer incorrectly still receives a 13% spell damage increase from Earth and Moon.
  • Glyph fixes
    • The Chains of Ice tooltip is now correctly augmented by Glyph of Chains of Ice.
    • Glyph of Raise Ally now correctly affects the risen ally’s health.
    • The Vampiric Blood tooltip became awkwardly worded after applying Glyph of Vampiric Blood. We made the words less awkward.

Thoughts on Frost
In terms of PvP this patch does a lot for us, most notably being the change in Necrotic Strike (which was already in except for the Desecration) and for Frost DK’s the 40% reduction of damage to additional targets hit by Howling Blast. These 2 changes seem to be dominating a lot of the class threads right now and they do have good reason, however I think the most overlooked change is the addition of root to Chains of Ice.

One of the most important roles of Death Knights in PvP whether in Arena or Battlegrounds is as a utility role, and one of the things DK’s do as well as AE damage is to peel targets off of their primary target. With the 1.5-3 second root addition to CoI, the perpetual motion version of CoI that fails to create separation from healers many times due to Hamstring/Desecration-like abilities has changed to something almost guaranteed to get the benefactor out of melee range immediately. As of right now it appears not to suffer from diminishing returns, and if I were a betting man I would say that the ability will be changed again before it is all said and done. DK mobility issues were addressed by this and by the changes to Icebound Fortitude (removes  stuns, makes you unstunnable) – and frankly I feel it’s a little much. I actually feel dirty being able to root people right now.

If for some reason you were Unholy sub-spec prior to the patch, the Virulence change in my mind has been a long time coming as I feel like it was originally implemented to provide a way of reaching caps easier for a non-casting class. With the obvious changes to stats and different weights in available gear I think that this talent became worthless and in its implementation now becomes a favorable talent again.

The Unholy sub-spec is a possibility that some are talking about, though I still feel like having Hand of Doom (60 second Strangulate) is more important than Desecration. Strangulate is trinketable now, but in my opinion having that on a 1 minute timer and trinkets being on a 2 you still have a number of effects people will need to trinket out of to where strangulate should still be effective. Hungering Cold, Chains of Ice, Howling Blast and Strangulate should all go together nicely to keep people popping trinkets, just be careful not to have both on someone for a trinket pop.

Glyph of Dark Succor will be a glyph needing to be used by all DK’s. Without the ghetto Lay-on-Hands of Lichborne anymore the ability to regenerate 15% of your maximum health with a frost & blood rune will be a sort of change in methods for DK’s, as regenerating these in a rotation will likely prove more efficient than trying to heal to full after being considerably low. Death Striking twice at the end of the fight is hardly viable to staying alive, but I guess at the same time it could give you that extra chance to Death Pact or may provide time on Anti-Magic Shield…I dunno. I plan to replace the 5-yard Death Grip extension glyph in favor of Succor, though a popular idea has been to replace the 40 runic cost of Hungering Cold on account of frost dk’s always having runic power. I don’t like that but to each his own.

There are 2 new enchants on the Honor vendor in Orgrimmar (obviously Stormwind for you fluffy DK’s), and with them it isn’t out of the realm of possibility of reaching 3800 resilience – you know, essentially rendering you to godmode until everyone catches up in epics. I realize I didn’t copy this part of the patch notes on the blog entry, but consider this an FYI and something you should do right away.


One Response to “Patch 4.0.6 for Death Knights (w/ thoughts on 2H Frost)”

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