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

Posted in Strategy on February 9, 2011 by Vikt

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.


My PvP Status

Posted in Arena, Battlegrounds, Strategy with tags , on February 1, 2011 by Vikt

I wanted to start off this post with a really wise war quote, something like from “The Art of War” that I’ve seen elsewhere and could pretend that I’ve read it but I apparently lack that ability or desire to do so today. It’s really a shame too; this entry is going to cover about everything involving my DK existence to this point, largely in part because Snowpocalypse 2011 dumped 2” of ice and my power wavering in and out isn’t all that conducive to grinding arena ratings.

(Though I obviously did later find a Chinese translator and translate “Of The Horde”)

I think it’s nearly universal from the PvP community that this season has been amongst the most balanced that arena play has seen, and while not perfect many factors that have tilted odds one way or the other are the being addressed in the upcoming Patch 4.0.6. In terms of death knights I believe that Necrotic Strike did need an adjustment as its implementation likely led many players to be rated significantly higher than they should have been, though my thoughts on how it is being done (lower absorb, can drop Desecration) will have to wait until the change occurs. A successful silence chain previously could lead to a healer being dealt 40k worth of NS stacks to recoup, and at the rate DK’s could continually deal damage and stack more the ability was simply a royal pain in the ass.

The 2H Frost damage buff coming in the patch is a welcome addition, and while I do harbor that ounce of sympathy for those who spent more for DW I have to call bullshit on your forecasting ability that told you DW would do more damage. When looking at the frost talent tree you have mirror images to choose between MotFW and ToT, and under no pretense did you predict that DW damage would stack on your oblits. Sorry, you went DW because you 1) liked the look/idea or 2) copied off your favorite Arena DK. My idea certainly carried no more research to go 2H, my only thoughts were that if Frost didn’t compare with Unholy in arena that I at least purchased the right weapon to switch. Either way, I’m comfortable with the weapon decision being a choice in the Frost presence and I am even open to the idea that each spec excels in different areas, but in no way should DW outperform 2H consistently in everything.

Anyway, since Cataclysm I have ran a Blood spec for tanking and 2H Frost for PvP and initially could not be more happy with my decision. The Blood spec was a response to the constant need of tanks in end game PvE content, and thinking about every time I thought to myself that I would like to do an encounter (mostly VoA for me) I was cockblocked by several much more shitty DK’s. While not a raider, I rarely was beat out on DPS and even held more than my own earning my Bloodbathed Frostbrood Vanquisher – but even getting raids attempting to get my Brynntroll was next to impossible because of the abundance of DK dps. In Cataclysm, I vowed to devote the same amount of time to PvE as I did in Wrath – but the problem is I’m coming up on 2 months past release and I still could care less.

The Blood spec is fun, and while I haven’t tanked on it since mid-December I use it every day running dailies. I wear my full PvP setup (medallion and badge included) in Tol Barad, Deepholm and Uldum, and when Allies attack even 3-on-1 I have come up victorious. If the Blood spec had any Arena function at all I would keep it, but that said I am starting to lean heavily on the side that I want to try out Unholy instead of 2H Frost.

Ahh yes, this debate. Most “pros” will tell you that you need to run Unholy at higher levels and that Frost is the “nub” spec. Nah. Unholy provides constant pressure at all times, and when coordinated well can overwhelm teams with a transformed ghoul and a gargoyle. Frost can give insane damage almost instantly, but the higher I get in Arena I find my burst being peeled much more efficiently than it was at lower levels. My mind isn’t made up on what I am doing and will likely see how Frost performs following the content patch, but in the near future if you are an armory watcher you will likely see a change of some sort.

Speaking of “pros”, other than quickly claiming 1550 achievements across the board in Arenas and an 1800+ rating in 3’s, the highlight of my Cataclysm experience so far was beating this team from Mannoroth. In this scoreboard shot reveals some of the most revered players in the battlegroup, including Lopez, widely considered to be the best DK on the US-Ruin battlegroup (he runs Unholy if you’re wondering). Now in the past I have said that Strand of the Ancients victories should not hold a lot of weight because it is simply an awful battleground, but since our big victory occurred there I take all that back.

Kidding, but it was exciting to pair our guild up (we have a 1750+ achievement requirement for entry) against élite players and come out on top, even if they did let us steamroll to the orb after shutting them out in the first round.

Speaking of the 1750+ achievement, I never had it when I joined my current guild as I was let in without it because of some run-ins in battlegrounds and Wintergrasp with some of the members. I have always considered myself good at PvP, but if you’re reading this far into my post you know that people judge you almost solely upon your highest ratings as often as people mistake your gearscore for skill in a dungeon. It was refreshing to know that I have no difficulty grinding out this rating, though I am starting to understand why people get stuck at certain ratings. There is a noticeable difference in competition at 1800, and I have heard the same at every century interval after that. Now being that I only started season #9 with just over 100 wins, my recent addiction to rated arenas has me in line for the 300 win achievement within the next week or two.

Now with all that rating talk in Arenas, my goal this season was to acquire a ranking higher than 2200 in order to purchase the best weapons and armor. While I feel that I am going to be much better in arenas by the end of this season, I don’t believe that I will grind out a 2200+ rating in one of them. The best way in order to do this in the current implementation though is to via rated battlegrounds. In the above picture alone you see ___ players with a 2200+ ranking, and from all accounts that I have seen it is very difficult to lose points from a battleground, while every win seems to raise you without consequence. Many non-2200+ arena players are in line for the “heroic” Vicious Gladiator gear as of now because of rated battlegrounds, so my guild taking note has begun taking them a bit more serious. Vikt currently sits at 1096 (4 points from the “Scout” title) and is 17-7 so far in those.

Finally, if you already scoffed at the Vengefully Dedicated screenshot for Gladius being out of order with the Blizzard default, I am also in the process of changing my keybinds as well as my UI. So, the screens that you’ve seen for the better part of 2 years are going to change a bit as I’m working towards something a little more user friendly and using keybinds that are easier to manage – you know, now that I know what I actually need to use and how often. Before I was fine with having Empower Rune Weapon as Ctrl+C, however when bursting a target in arena I simply cannot pull this move off in the time, and thus need an easier keybind and then I need to make sure I don’t use it accidentally when I don’t need it…stuff like that.

Yay Warriors!

Posted in World PvP with tags on January 27, 2011 by Vikt

This was posted in a random bitch thread on Arena Junkies about the changes to warriors and the idea that Fury would be the talent spec of choice following Patch 4.0.6. To put this example in a quick perspective:

95800 damage in those 3 attacks * .2908 (res %) = 123658.64 damage

(yes I know I skipped a step in the math but it’s right)

Just throwing that out there for all the people that complain until soandso class gets nerfed. No matter what happens there is always going to be classes stronger than the curve, and in this case for the warriors upset with the changes do know that you potentially have an alternative that does not consist of finish leveling your mage alt.

Stood in the Fire

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags on January 23, 2011 by Vikt

Just wanted to share my experience in getting the achievement of being killed by Deathwing. I had just zoned into Twilight Highlands via the portal from Orgrimmar and was flying over the base to hit the elementals for the jewelcrafting daily when the entire zone changed to the orange-ish color you see in the screenshot above. I could see Deathwing tearing through the forest on his way to The Krazzworks, and when he got there he just hovered and lit that shit as you see above.

I didn’t get the achievement at first as I was chasing him from the moment I saw him, but when I later re-traced the path of destruction I flew through one of the fires still lit on the ground and received it. My health was only cut in half from the fire, so I guess I can say I’m so badass that I lived getting the killed by Deathwing achievement.

Shandris Feathermoon in Orgrimmar

Posted in World PvP with tags on January 22, 2011 by Vikt

From my thread Thursday on Shandris Feathermoon came an email submission of the occasion happening again, as training her to Orgrimmar is apparently becoming a daily event on Bleeding Hollow. After checking Youtube for her – I guess we’re not the only ones unleashing elf hell on everyone.

Video by AfterLife:

Screens sent by Mandazar:

Garrosh Hellscream vs Shandris Feathermoon

Posted in World PvP with tags on January 20, 2011 by Vikt

  • Title: “Warchief of the Horde”, formerly “Overlord of the Warsong Offensive”, “Leader of the Horde Expedition”, “Son of Hellscream”
  • Gender: Male
  • Race: Mag’har (Humanoid)
  • Class: Warrior
  • Health: 898,200 (103 Mp Cataclysm)
  • Affiliation: Horde, Mag’har, Warsong Offensive
  • Occupation: Warchief of the Horde
  • Location: Orgrimmar


  • Title: “General of the Sentinel Army”
  • Gender: Female
  • Race: Night Elf
  • Class: Warrior (RPG), Sentinel, Priestess (Novels)
  • Health: ???
  • Affiliation: Sentinels, Alliance
  • Location: Feathermoon Stronghold, Feralas

Place your bets ladies and gentlemen for the greatest faction leader bout since Jaina Proudmoore fought Warchief Thrall nearly two years ago in Orgrimmar.

The result?

whatwas with the ally elite boss in org today

…the world may never know.

*EDIT 1-22-11*
Video & Screens

Conquest Point Cap Chart

Posted in Arena, Battlegrounds with tags on January 19, 2011 by Vikt

I found this beauty today in an aggressive Arena Junkies forums read, meaning basically that things at work were ungodly slow and I had time to catch up on more threads than what just happens in the Death Knight discussion. The post at AJ regarding this chart as well as explanations, discussions and corrections can be found here.

At the moment I am sitting at 1801 so if nothing changes I assume to be able to earn up to 1950 points next week, which means I’ll have to see what kind of remaining points I have cause it may be enough to get another 2200+ point item (head/bp/legs).

Enjoy the chart, if you comb AJ be sure to +rep Felbent (US-Stormstrike) on the chart.

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