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World of Warcraft – DK in 4.2 – Buff, Nerf, Facts, Speculation, Unholy, Frost and Blood, yes i mean Blood!

June 19, 2011 Leave a comment

Ok, With patch 4.2 coming to World of Warcraft in the coming weeks, we saw frost DK getting getting nerf to the ground. Words from mmo-chammpion suggested that Blizzard is done at this point and i aspect no more further chance to the patch notes. Making me a really sad panda.

So far latest patch notes (June 16, 7:16 p.m. PDT.) suggest the followings:

1) Obliterate base damage has been reduced to 150% weapon damage, down from 160%.
2) Hungering Cold now has a 1.5-second cast time.
3) Might of the Frozen Wastes now increases two-handed weapon damage by 3/7/10%, down from 4/8/12%.

4) Unholy Might now increases Strength by 20%, up from 5%.

5) Glyph of Dark Succor has been redesigned. Rather than placing a 15% maximum health floor on Death Strike healing while in Frost or Unholy Presence, it causes the next Death Strike within 15 seconds after killing a foe that yields experience or Honor Points to heal for at least 20% of the death knight’s maximum health (still requires Frost or Unholy Presence).

6) Death Knight Bug Fixes

7) The talent Killing Machine can now properly be triggered from off-hand attacks as well as main-hand attacks.

Now, it’s some pretty straight forward change, frost dk doing too much damage, while unholy dk doing insufficiently as compare with frost, and the rest of the nerf, especially those to frost dk, mostly due to PVP reasons.

Blizzard recently explained the reasons on many of their changes. (I copied their comment and incorporated them into the post, for the sick of completeness)

They added the cast time to Hungering Cold for PvP reasons. Blizzard quoted: “It is one of the most powerful forms of crowd control in the game, especially in Battlegrounds, and yet was impossible to prevent.”

The nerfs to Obliterate and Howling Blast were made because Frost damage was too high in both PvP and PvE. Note that these values were hotfixed — you shouldn’t see damage drop further when 4.2 goes live.

The Glyph of Dark Succor change was to keep Death Strike from providing so much healing in PvP.
The Might of the Frozen Wastes change was a small tweak to help keep one-handed Frost relatively competitive with two-handed style.

The Unholy Might buff was to help catch Unholy up to Frost in PvE.

Now, I see 3 things in PVP perspective, 1) Frost DK doing too much damage and controls hence Blizzard nerf it, 2) DK healing too much with Death Strike with its Glyph, 3) Blizzard want to promote dual wield Frost, fan service i assume.

Since it’s no point QQ”ing the changes, lets look at some potential solutions available for DK next season / patch.

But before that, there is a few things which is essential for you to understand about DK:

1) Without the current Deathstrike Glyph, Dk probably will get train all games, and without the massive deathstrike self heal, it will be very hard for dk to keep up the health pool.

2) Frost DK will do even more damage next patch, due to + stat in new tier of gear, due to frost main damage skills correlate with weapon damage.

3) With Unholy might buff, Unholy DK will probably par in terms of damage with frost in 4.2, however, with the buff to Paladin in 4.2, we could see more Paladin in arena and hence limiting the usefulness of Ghoul (cc’able), as well as many of the bugs associates with pet.

4) Frost will get bigger burst windows than Unholy Dk, due to unholy DK massively rely on its pet and its flying companion. We could argue, more consistent burst available by Frost, however, more consistent damage by unholy due to death advance.

Now, since we’re done with some basic speculation, here’s some potential solution to Dk in 4.2:

1) Reroll another class, pretty straight forward yet a very hard decision to make.

2) Play Unholy – Pretty straight forward too, direct buff to unholy might makes unholy come back in 4.2, this compliment well with the new tier of gears that give more strength stat, making this very good buff.  However, as i mentioned earlier, the rise of Holy Paladin, will makes it a nightmare for unholy pet.

3) Play Frost – Now, this is down to personal preference. I play frost in 4.1, and always a fans of frost dk. Why frost you may ask. Well, besides the obvious disadvantage i mentioned in 2) about holy pally,  and about frost DK correlation with weapon damage. This allow new tier of weapon, enhancing frost DK even more. The nerf to Hungering Cold make it difficult for grip+hungering cold, but its really not a too big deal, 1.5 sec cast is fast enough. Even if it get interrupt or silence, great, you just give your healer some breathing space.

Now, how can mastery stacking frost DK compromise? I would like to try a haste stacking frost build in 4.2, this is my views, with more haste, you get more flexibility for more deathstrike, you get faster cast for hungering cold, you get more chain of ice. Now, dont get me wrong, Mastery stacking may still work, just in my opinion, with the buff to healing crit in 4.2,

“All healing critical strikes now heal for 2 times a normal heal (+100%), up from 1.5 times a normal heal (+50%).”

In 4.2, Burst might no longer work, hence frost Dk might fall into a more supporting role. More  chain of ice, more interrupt, more of everything, more self heal too with deathstrike. And if your one of the desecration frost DK (I am one of them), you help your teammates on massive slow effect too with more necrotic strike, more mortal strike effect and slow.

4) Now, what makes me wrote this uber long piece? Well, i read a post at AJ about Blood Dk feasibility in 4.2, many condemn the idea, but… but… it sounds interesting.

Now, here’s why:

a) Dk gonna get train alot in 4.2

b) No more.

What’s good potentially about a Blood pvp spec. Some one mentioned about Blood Dk a joke if the other team realized it’s a Blood DK and not attacking the DK. No attack to Dk, hence no vengeance stacking, it means little damage boast. So, what is a good pvp blood spec for 4.2?

I envision its gonna be something like this:

http://www.wowhead.com/talent#jMGzfsdrksz0hZfM

The spec is mainly focus on dealing damage, sacrificing many defensive talents.

2x blade barrier is sufficient to advance to tier 2

1x scarlet fever and no points in Scent of Blood

1x in Sanguine Fortitude, 2x in Blood Parasite, and 2x in Improved Blood Presence

1x in Will of Necropolis, no point in Crimson Scourge.

Frost tree: 3x Nerves of cool steels, Unholy tree: standard desecration with Virulence

Now, imo, Duel Wield Blood DK gonna blossom with this spec. Blood bakes cake (BBC) gonna give 30% chance on melee attack for extra 25% weapon damage and potentially more damage with disease on the target. Now with DW, its gonna be more BBC. Extra damage also comes with Blood parasite, and with DW, more worms gonna spawn and also potentially lessen your healer pressure to heal. Although i’m not sure, Blood worm heal might subject to the crit heal buff, making it even more tastier. 3x Nerf of Nerves of cool steels allow extra damage for offhand and lesser hit rating require. Giving more room for other damage stats. Now, the combination of Toughness and Bladed Armor + new tier gear makes a minor buff to Blood damage. Moreover, Abomination might, also gives additional 2% strengths buff. Coupled with desecration, the slow effect will help closing in your target and help your team in many ways.

Now, this is something not confirm, i read in AJ thread and i recalled too i read it somewhere in MMO-champion, Dancing Rune Weapon deal 100% damage instead of the current 50%, now that’s potentially massive damage buff. Now before you get over excited, this changes is not in the official patch note, so, lets pray.

Now, this post is long enough, what are you waiting for, go use up your stack up conquest points and get your self dual wield one handed weapon.

Ah, lastly, don’t flame me if my speculation gone wrong.

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