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DW Builds 3.2 -Revenge of the Offhand

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Patch 3.2. is live, and with it a brand new option for Deathknights. This thread will be used as a source of consolidated knowledge regarding all DW builds.

CONTENTS

Common Abbreviations

Specs with glyphs, runeforges, rotations and statweights.

Minor Glyph

Consumables & Cooldowns

Hit Rating

Points of Discussion

Edits/Changes

I. COMMON ABBREVIATIONS

AoE = Area of Effect

AMS = Anti-Magic Shell

BB = Blood Boil

BP = Blood Presence

IT = Icy Touch

DCh = Deathchill

DK = Death Knight

DnD = Death and Decay

DPS = Damage per Second

FC = Rune of the Fallen Crusader

FF = Frost Fever

FS = Frost Strike

GCD = Global Cooldown

HoW = Horn of Winter

KM = Killing Machine

OB = Obliterate

PS = Plague Strike

RP = Runic Power

UA = Unbreakable Armor

UP = Unholy Presence

BcB= Blood caked blade

ToT= Threat of Thassarian

DC = Death Coil

II Specs with glyphs, runeforges and rotations.

Frost specs:

- All Frost specs in 3.2. will strive for a Slow/Slow weapon setup. It appears that each .1 weapon speed is worth roughly 5 weapon dps. Please see this post. In a nutshell, your only available slow option would have to be vastly inferior to justify using a fast offhand. Realistically this situation will never occur.

- Builds using a blood subspec have been shown to be inferior to the unholy subspec flavor. This is mostly due to bladed armor's poor scaling, and the already high crit rate on various abilities. Dark conviction is simply not that valuable to a frost build.

-Unbreakable armor is a quality investment for a single point, most of the builds in this section don't have it due to problems with the simulator using it correctly. Feel free to alter the below builds by a point to obtain unbreakable armor.

SPELL HIT is currently a debated topic. You will probably obtain max dps by ignoring the spell hit cap and sticking to other stats, however, a single poorly timed miss can result in a tremendous dps loss for some priority/rotations. A prime example is letting your "buffed" stack of dots roll off due to a missed pestilence. Also, be aware that a howling blast cast with a killing machine proc can miss. Spell hit comes down to theoretical max dps vs ease of rotation. Choose which you want and go from there.

Currently, there are two main types of frost builds, with or without Improved icy talons. Below are the most popular version of each. Please see the note above regarding Unbreakable armor.

0/53/18

The most promising frost DW spec at the moment. Getting all of the strong frost talents, as well as picking up the talents in unholy that scale well with dual wield.

The rotation focuses on the power of obliterate. Killing Machine and Rime procs are to be used together to get the optimal dps. If rime procs hold it until you get a KM proc, if KM procs save it for a Rime, or let it be consumed by the FS dumps at the end of a rotation.

You can use the generic rotation, if you want to keep things easy. The priority rotation pretty much comes down to the same, but includes the various procs that the frost tree processes.

A guideline for the priority rotation is: Burn your runes first, leave the RP for free GCD when your runes are on cooldown. The only exception is when both KM and Rime have procced.

Rotation:

IT PS OB BS BS Dump

OB OB OB Dump

Priority Rotation (most important at the top):

- Frost Fever

- Blood Plague

- Killing Machine + Rime

- Obliterate

- Blood Strike

- Frost Strike

Presence: Blood presence

Runeforges: FC/RI

Sigil: Awareness

Stat weights for 0/53/18 are:

[table]AttackPower |1

Strength |2.68

Agility |1.42

CritRating |1.84

HasteRating |1.26

ArmorPenetrationRating |1.58

ExpertiseRating |2.97

BeforeMeleeHitCap<8% |3.52

SpellHitRating |0.99

WeaponDPS |6.77

WeaponSpeed |258.06

After spell hit cap |0.80

2T8 |158.33

4T8 |115

2T9 |120

4T9 |410

[/table]

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

3/51/17

This spec sacrifices IIT in order to improve personal DPS. As such, it can skip the 6 points used for (Improved) Icy Talons, letting it pick up every other DPS talent in the frost tree and leaving 3 points for utility talents. It uses Glyph of Disease to maximise the usage of Obliterate and Rime procs. One point could be moved from BCB to UA if preferred.

Glyph of Disease

The main reasons for using Glyph of Disease is to maximise the number of Obliterates (which should be our hardest hitting attack), as well as utilizing as many Rime procs as possible. It also provides slightly more disease damage than other rotations due to Pestilence not clipping the disease ticks. The rotation used should look something like this once Diseases are set up:

OB -> OB -> BS -> Pest -> Dump

OB -> OB -> (Dump) -> OB -> Dump

Due to the way Pestilence refreshes diseases, it is important that you reapply FF once using IT in order to get the TS benefit on your FF ticks, and possibly to add any additional proc bonuses to it.

You do not want to stretch the Dump sequences too much, as you only have a 1 second window to refresh your diseases (assuming 200ms, you have 2 GCDs at the end of each of the above lines).

Rime procs should be used with KM whenever possible (it benefits from KM far more than FS due to it's innately lower crit chance), so if you have GCDs to spare before your next Obliterate you're better off using FS until you get a KM proc. If you do not have KM by the last GCD before your next OB you should use up your Rime proc as long as you're below ~95-100 RP.

While the GCD usage will vary some depending on your luck with Rime procs, this rotation should perform better in Blood Presence (as long as you're not soaking large amounts of RP, and even then it's debateable)

Your runeforges should be FC/RI, as once RI is stacked up it outperforms the other options by a quite large degree.

Due to the large amounts of OBs used as well as the mechanics of ToT, Sigil of Awareness is by far the best option.

Simulation data and theorycraft

Stat weights for 3/51/17 are:

[table]AttackPower |1

Strength |2.61

Agility |1.39

CritRating |1.77

HasteRating |1.32

ArmorPenetrationRating |1.61

ExpertiseRating |2.94

BeforeMeleeHitCap<8% |3.55

SpellHitRating |0.99

WeaponDPS |6.77

WeaponSpeed |274.19

After spell hit cap |0.80

2T8 |156.67

4T8 |126.67

2T9 |133.33

4T9 |403.33

[/table]

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Unholy Specs

-Unholy builds have been shown to be on par with the new frost ToT builds. We are maintaining a list here because they are capable raiding builds, and will be very useful to anyone needing to switch to provide Ebon Plaguebringer for any reason.

-Unholy builds use a Slow / Highest DPS Weapon setup. Offhand speed does not matter.

Statweights

For 0/17/54

[TABLE]AP |100

Strength |306

Agility |54

Crit |121

Haste |124

Armor Pen |84

Expertise |118

Hit until 11% |388

Hit post 11% |115

Weapon DPS |636

[/TABLE]

For 15/0/55+1

To be determined

0/17/54

This spec is commonly referred to as the "death coil spam" build. It uses only single rune attacks, and generates massive runic power in order to fuel death coil. This Spec will take the most advantage from the new Unholy Blight spell. This spec also features a near 100% uptime on ghoul frenzy. Downsides include lower disease damage due to clipping.

Priority: Diseases (BP, FF) > DC > IT > BS > GF > PS

Rotation: If you strongly prefer a rotation, modify the spec to include 2/2 dirge, which will allow you to run the following rotation. (without dirge, you are 10 RP short for the last DC in line 2) Keep in mind that using dirge & the rotation is a very small dps loss. (about 20 dps)

PS IT BS DC GF IT BS DC

PS IT IT DC DC PS IT IT DC DC

Presence: Unholy - You need a lower GCD to fit all the single rune attacks.

Runeforges: FC/FC

Sigil: Vengeful heart

15/0/55 (+1)

This is a new build in 3.2.2, this build takes full advantage of the 4 piece tier 9 bonus due to using blood presence. The focus here is to fill every GCD with quality attacks, and take advantage of blood boil and the newly added crit chance to SS via subversion. This build will out damage the previous 3/13/55 build under all circumstances, due to how good crit has become with the 4 piece bonus. This spec has one free talent point, I recommend putting it in improved unholy presence. The 8% movement speed you can get matches the speed gained through boot enchants, allowing you to use a dps boot enchant instead.

Rotation: PS, IT, SS, BS, BB, DC, DC, PS, IT, SS, BB, BB, DC, DC

Presence: Blood

Sigil: Virulence

Runeforge: FC, FC

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

III Minor Glyphs

Minor Glyphs are more a personal choice than a major decision. The most commonly used minor glyphs are:

Pestilence

Raise dead

Blood tap or Horn of Winter

IV. CONSUMABLES & COOLDOWNS

Flask: Flask of Endless Rage

Primary Potion:Insane Strength Potion (To be used in conjunction with Unbreakable Armor)

Secondary: Unholy builds gain a large benefit from Potions of speed, used when summoning gargoyle.

All cooldowns should be timed with Bloodlust (which your raidleader should be calling at the start of every fight). If for some reason you are saving Lust (Mimiron P2, for example), use cooldowns (sans potion) immediately at the beginning of the fight and then again during Bloodlust. Heroism / bloodlust must be active prior to casting gargoyle, the same goes with a haste potion.

You should be saving Blood Tap for when you use UA, so as to not affect the flow of your attacks. This can be done after using UA with a Frost Rune, or before if all your runes happen to be on cooldown.

V. HIT RATING

This is a common question for new Deathknights venturing into DW. Here are the basics:

Special attacks require 8% hit to ensure no misses against level 83 opponents. The talent nerves of cold steel effects this chance, reducing the requirement via gear to 5%. This means, contrary to what some might think DW builds actually require less hit to cap their special attacks than our two handed brothers. Special attacks include: Blood Strike, Plague Strike, Frost strike, Obliterate. (and others that we don't care about as DW)

Spell hit cap is 17% against level 83 opponents. The talent Virulence provides 3% hit for spells, the Druid talent Improved Faerie fire, or the Shadow priest talent Misery will further reduce this requirement by 3% (Hit debuffs do not stack.) The final result brings the requirement via gear down to 11%, at which point no spell will miss. Spells include Howling blast, Icy touch and Death coil.

White hits have a hit cap of 27%. The talent Nerves of cold steel reduces this by 3%. At this point, no white hits (or any attack for that matter) will miss. This cap is not reasonable to reach for any DK, and should not be attempted. However, keep in mind that gaining hit over the spell hit cap still has a dps value as it will allow more white damage, more blood caked blade procs, and more Killing machine procs.

VIII. EDITS

[1] Thread Launched - Credit Darkside for thread format.

[2] Removed AMS section, replaced with simulator section.

[3] 3.2. Live - Updated info.

[4] Added Hit rating and statweight sections.

[5] Amended spell hit statweight & added a brief word about it.

[6] 3.2.2 live - Updated info.

[7] 3.3 "soon" final edit.

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Edited: Figured out the SotVH calculations

Some information cleaned up and reposted from the frost DPS thread. Credit goes to Amroo for catching my dumb mistake.

Setup and assumptions:

  • This build
  • Using 2x [item]Shortsword[/item]
  • Target dummy is above 35%
  • Frost fever is kept up
  • AP is constantly 3506, no procs
  • Rank 6 FS is 55% weapon damage + 138
  • SotVH is listed as 113 damage to FS
  • Normalized 1h speed is 2.4

The following formulas predict my FS MH damage perfectly, and OH damage without the sigil:

WPN = weapon_base + AP / 14 * 2.4

FS_base = .55 * WPN + 138 + 113**

FS = FS_base * 1.1 * 1.1 * 1.2 * 1.15

FS_crit = FS * 2.45

**This 113 is the sigil's bonus, remove it if not using it.

Multiply FS_crit by an additional 1.03 if using a crit meta, and multiply any result by 0.575 if calculating the offhand.

Conclusions

  • SotVH still gets multiplied by talents
  • SotVH applies the full 113 damage to the mainhand
  • OH strike damage is not 65% of normal like the talent might lead you to think, it is 50% base * 1.15 = 57.5% of normal. This also applies to white damage, and is probably not news to long-time DW DKs, but was new to me.
  • SotVH applies 115% of its bonus to the OH. The full bonus is applied without being affected by the OH penalty, and then the 1.15 Nerves of Cold Steel multiplier is applied to it as well as the the offhand damage. This is unusual, since the sigil bonus damage is not affected by the OH penalty that NoCS lessens. In other words, the OH FS calculation is ((.55 * (weapon_base + AP / 14 * 2.4) + 138) * .5 + 113) * 1.15 * 1.1 * 1.1 * 1.2 * 1.15. Another way of looking at it is that the sigil effectively adds 242.95 damage to FS before talents (~405 damage after talents).

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What I am not sure about is how the sigil is applied to the OH. Between assuming that the sigil's bonus is reduced by the OH penalty and assuming the OH gets the full bonus without penalty, the latter gets me numbers closer to my expected values. However, I am inclined to think that there is some additional weirdness going on, since the formula is accurate to within a couple of damage (rounding errors) for MH with and without the sigil, and OH without it. When calculating damage on the OH, using the sigil, it's more like 30 points off given the weapons and AP I tested with. The exact formula to determine the OH contribution from SotVH will require more testing.

Off high? Or off low?

Edit: If its low, are you multiplying the 15% in from Nerves of Cold Steel on the high estimate?

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Good idea.

I did some testing too on PTR, all speccs without merciless combat and debuffs on the target.

For singletarget, the best specc seemed to be (for me) to go deep frost and take perma ghoul.

Specc: 0/45/26

Glyphs: Obliterate, Ghoul, FS

Rotation: frost (normal) with both diseases up

Advantage: Seems to have a high single target DPS potential, probably close to the highest for dw

Disadvantages: Low AOE-potential, no burst talents, ghoul to keep an eye on.

Comments: This specc isnt finalized yet since there are a few talents i would like to specc (eg UB, Rime has only 1/3).

Second specc was simply deep frost for howling blast, rest unholy:

Specc: 0/53/18

Glyphs: OB, FS, (HB)

Rotation: first one was frost with both diseases up, second one was OB-OB-BS-BS OB-OB-OB and HB to keep frost fever up

Advantage: Both speccs have good AOE-potential, no ghoul, they already have some theorycraft in the background for 2H-frost

Disadvantage: Damagepotential seemed to be considerably lower singletarget than with ghoul ( i am talking about 5-7%)

I also testet some other speccs like 31/40/0 or 0/41/30 (DC Spam+ghoul), but they didnt seem to work out that well.

Subspeccing blood generally doesnt seem to work well since the shorter diseases dont seem to allow "good rotations". Subversion seems to be the only talent worth using the 3 points for.

Just to clarify, just test the rotations above zourself, maybe i wasnt optimizing dps or some speccs simply benefit more from raidbuffs and so on. Its not that easy to test since again and again, other players are debuffing the dummy or the dummy is at 1HP, making necrosis damage practically non existing.

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I still have some questions regarding the offhand weapon.

Threat of Thassarian: New 3-point talent. When dual-wielding, your Death Strikes, Obliterates, Plague Strikes, Blood Strikes and Frost Strikes have a 30/60/100% chance to also deal damage with your off-hand weapon. Off-hand strikes are roughly one half the effect of the original strike.

In particular the "Off-hand strikes are roughly one half the effect of the original strike".

I think it would be good to know what the effect means exactly? What is "roughly one half". Is it a hard 50%, or is it actually higher (or lower), or does it actually scale with something?

Is the damage "one-half of the original strike" based on your main weapon damage, or based on the off-hand damage? I know there is now an edit with clarification on this. Has this been actually tested?

Has anyone tested a slow versus a fast offhand to see how much of a difference it makes for the off-hand strikes? If the offhand damage is indeed used, how much of a dps difference does it makes considering that you gain dps on the strike offhand damage but then loose dps on BCB and necrosis by using a slow offhand?

Is the difference in the strike damage enough to warrant going automatically after a slow offhand? Or does slightly better stats on similar dps but fast weapon would tip the balance? Or is the difference significant enough to warrant using a lower dps slow offhand over a higher dps fast offhand?

It certainly has a huge impact on itemization as to whether we will become slow/slow DW or whether there is no difference between slow and fast for the offhand.

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I also testet some other speccs like 31/40/0 or 0/41/30 (DC Spam+ghoul), but they didnt seem to work out that well.

.

I don´t understand why you decided to go for a 0/41/30 test instead of a 0/44/27 with GoG instead of the 3 points in Impurity. Being your OB the main rune attack and with the buff on BS... a 45% crit dmg bonus seams much more apealing than those 3 points in Impurity.

The spec would look like this 0/44/27

Standard 2 disease rotation.

I will try to get some testing on this but I think it could easily outperform deep frost DW builds on single target fights. Im not that sure how it stands against a ghoul+frost strike build (like the one you posted) but I would say both are really close.

On DW 3x/4x/0 builds Im totally agree with you, they arent looking good, its hard to find synergy and there are to many placeholders. Time and testing will tell.

Edit: wrong link

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I still have some questions regarding the offhand weapon.[...]

Everything is explained in the second post. Why didn't you read it? I did and it was well worth it.

The offhand strikes, so slow it better. I'd say it's speed>stats>dps, but mostly stats and dps go hand in hand. The ilvl239 weapons e.g. aren't good. My sheet was correct about the strikes, so feel free to test it out yourself.

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I don´t understand why you decided to go for a 0/41/30 test instead of a 0/44/27 with GoG instead of the 3 points in Impurity. Being your OB the main rune attack and with the buff on BS... a 45% crit dmg bonus seams much more apealing than those 3 points in Impurity.

The spec would look like this 0/44/27

Standard 2 disease rotation.

I will try to get some testing on this but I think it could easily outperform deep frost DW builds on single target fights. Im not that sure how it stands against a ghoul+frost strike build (like the one you posted) but I would say both are really close.

On DW 3x/4x/0 builds Im totally agree with you, they arent looking good, its hard to find synergy and there are to many placeholders. Time and testing will tell.

UA is WAY too good to not take it. I'd take one point out of Impurity for it.

Also that point on a generally useless HC would look so much better on KM.

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UA is WAY too good to not take it. I'd take one point out of Impurity for it.

Also that point on a generally useless HC would look so much better on KM.

WOOT!!!, sorry... bad link posted!, my fault.

This is: 0/44/27

Sorry again.

From a pure DPS point of view... yes, that point in HC looks better on KM. I took HC becouse this build is weak on area fights, at least you get some utility. Im one of those who dont feel bad for spending one talent point in utility and loosing a 0,001% DPS increase :-). KM in this build is almost a filler.

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@Aesoc: Wouldn't it be easier to figure out how the sigil applies to the offhand if you tried to remove as many multipliers as possible? At least to start with, and then recount as you add each multiplier.

The most logical way it would apply in my eyes is to the base FS damage just as for the MH, meaning

(OHWPN*0.575)*0.55 + 138+113(Sigil) * various multipliers.

I wish I was on the PTR's so I could test some myself :( I'm sorry if this qualifies as "Untested or Unproven speculation".

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I think I finally figured it out, and updated my above post to reflect what I found. Nerves of Cold Steel seems to be increasing the sigil's OH contribution by 15%, even though the sigil bonus damage isn't affected by the OH penalty in the first place. This is obviously a good thing for our DPS, but smells like a bug to me. If anyone has the inclination to repeat my tests and double-check my numbers, it would be appreciated. I've rerun the numbers enough times that I am fairly confident, but I'm also quite good at making stupid mistakes.

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I think I finally figured it out, and updated my above post to reflect what I found. Nerves of Cold Steel seems to be increasing the sigil's OH contribution by 15%, even though the sigil bonus damage isn't affected by the OH penalty in the first place. This is obviously a good thing for our DPS, but smells like a bug to me. If anyone has the inclination to repeat my tests and double-check my numbers, it would be appreciated. I've rerun the numbers enough times that I am fairly confident, but I'm also quite good at making stupid mistakes.

That doesnt sound like a bug, it sounds like its consistent with other damage multipliers. Mechanically Nerves of Cold Steel is probably not a change to the offhand weapon penalty, but an after the fact damage multiplier like other talents, such as Tundra Stalker, Blood of the North, Black Ice, etc.

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That doesnt sound like a bug, it sounds like its consistent with other damage multipliers. Mechanically Nerves of Cold Steel is probably not a change to the offhand weapon penalty, but an after the fact damage multiplier like other talents, such as Tundra Stalker, Blood of the North, Black Ice, etc.

It might be a bug, it might not be. Nobody here knows, so we may as well move on. Aezoc's math is solid, I'm going to consider the SotVH mechanic solved for now. There is no sense in debating things we can't control, such as if something is intended or not. If a new build changes a proven mechanic, I will adjust the OP but for now we will stand on math and now worry about things we can't control.

Good work so far, hats off to Aezoc. Lets use his work as an example of how we should tackle each object in the OP. I'll be working on Unholy blight mechanics as soon as it is fixed on the PTR.

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Subspeccing blood generally doesnt seem to work well since the shorter diseases dont seem to allow "good rotations". Subversion seems to be the only talent worth using the 3 points for.

Shorter diseases can still guarantee you a perfect rotation. You just have to use less Obliterate.

Assuming 100ms ping, with IT GCD being 1.49s due to a little haste. Abbreviation used: Skill(current time - current RP after use) In Blood Presence:

IT(0 - 25)PS(1.5 - 35)BS(3.01 - 45)BS(4.52 - 55)OB(6.03 - 75)FS(7.54 - 43)FS(9.05 - 11)

OB(11.5 - 31)OB(14.52 - 51)IT(16.03 - 76)PS(17.53 - 86)FS(19.04 - 54)FS(20.55 - 22)

OB(21.5 - 42)BS(23.01 - 52)BS(24.52 - 62)OB(26.03 - 82)FS(27.54 - 50)FS(29.05 - 18)

IT(30 - 43)PS(31.5 - 53)OB(34.52 - 73)OB(36.03 - 93)FS(37.54 - 61)FS(39.05 - 29)

Anyway you get the idea. You can see that diseases will almost never drop off and if you shift your IT/PS combo around that much you can squeeze out the maximum amount of OB.

In practice, you just have to watch the diseases timer (Get an addon for it) and your runes in order to decide what to do. I believe this was what the 17/51/3 2H frost used to do when they use 2 diseases rotation (at least the frost 2H DK in my guild does, and his dps is insane). Even if diseases drop off sometimes, just use Icy Touch asap (you can blood tap for it) and continue.

Most of the questions could be answered by using a simulation program.

About the confirmation of offhand procs, someone could always get a proc watch addon, do some napkin maths and make a comparison. I don't see any reason why offhand strikes wouldn't proc Fallen Crusader since it's a separated enchant, and offhand does separated strikes. About Killing Machines, I thought Blizzard once stated that it would only proc on main-hand and it is capped at 5ppm. I don't see any other effects (trinket etc) that does not have internal cooldown, making offhand procs completely useless.

If someone can confirm Fallen Crusader procs on offhand strikes the same manner it does on main hand, then Rune of Razorice is better put on main hand. It has the effect increase the damages by 2% as frost damage so it will be beneficial for all strikes done on main hand. Rune of Fallen Crusader would proc at the same rate on either offhand or main hand if they have the same speed because they deal the same amount of strikes / instant strikes per the amount of time. The question still stands as is it better to have 2xFC or RI/FC combo for various builds, and they could be solved easily by using a simulation program.

(Sorry I know I talked a lot about the simulation program, but feel free to do any maths if you wish. Just my opinion that some of the comparisons would be extremely complicated - like the Unholy vs Frost, or RI/FC vs. FC/FC).

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I don´t understand why you decided to go for a 0/41/30 test instead of a 0/44/27 with GoG instead of the 3 points in Impurity. Being your OB the main rune attack and with the buff on BS... a 45% crit dmg bonus seams much more apealing than those 3 points in Impurity.

The spec would look like this 0/44/27

Standard 2 disease rotation.

I will try to get some testing on this but I think it could easily outperform deep frost DW builds on single target fights. Im not that sure how it stands against a ghoul+frost strike build (like the one you posted) but I would say both are really close.

On DW 3x/4x/0 builds Im totally agree with you, they arent looking good, its hard to find synergy and there are to many placeholders. Time and testing will tell.

Edit: wrong link

So far 0/44/27 is floating around quite a bit, but when looking at the builds I'm confused as to why you wouldn't dump the 1 pt in Unholy Blight and just pick up Frost Strike instead. I've been thinking along similar lines and Frost Strike seems like a stronger option. I'm thinking a build like this would work better:

0/45/26

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I did testing with a blood build of 23/48/0

Because of the high number of death runes available in this build the 15 second disease timer isn't that detrimental as you can refresh diseases almost any time you wish.

I did 4 tests. All with my current gear with the following changes

T7.5 Legs instead of t8.5

Fury of the Five Flights instead of grim toll

Broken Promise with Fallen crusader in Main Hand

Angry Dread with Cinder Glacier in Off Hand

Stats:

1491 STR

4048 AP

174 Hit Rating

138 haste Rating

39.95% ArP

29.07% melee crit

20.36% spell crit

5 expertise

All 4 tests were in Unholy Presence.

I Did not use ghoul or any form of cooldowns in any of the tests

The first test was 3.5 minutes last 3 were 5 minutes each.

Ranges are the lowest number from any test to highest both of the other 2 tests were in between.

All 4 of my tests had very similar damage breakdowns

Blood Strike 36.9%-39.9%

Frost Strike 24.7%-25.2%

Melee 14.7%-16.2%

Obliterate 10.7%-11.7%

Icy Touch 2.6%-3.1%

Both diseases 2.4%-2.8%

Plague Strike 1.8-2.2%

Blood Strike Damage ranges

Hit: 54.5%-61.8%

Min: 451-500

Avg: 1302-1404

Max: 2061-2142

Crit: 32.4%-41.6%

Min: 1133-1689

Avg: 3385-3445

Max: 4926-5242

Dodge: 4.0%-5.9%

Frost Strike Damage ranges

Hit 50.7%-54.1%

Min: 644-710

Avg: 1154-1225

Max: 1734-2007

Crit: 39.8%-44.9%

Min: 1649-1783

Avg: 2825-3034

Max: 4203-4864

Dodge: 2.9%-6.3%

From this Nerves of Cold Steel definitely works on all attacks as my 5.31% hit chance didn't see any missed specials

Blood Strike is a better investment of a Death Rune than IT. IT averaged about 1500 for me (counting both crits and normal hits) With Blood Strike hitting hitting harder than Frost Strike the half a Frost Strike added onto IT doesn't make up for the Blood Strike when main hands are only considered, let alone with offhand hits.

I believe it is very likely that strikes proc Cinder Glacier. I had Cinder Glacier procs occur much more than Killing Machine procs with CG procs occurring at least once and often twice during one 15 second disease interval.

With Fury of the Five Flights off hand attacks only stacked it when they don't hit at the same time as the main hand. Strikes only added one stack.

With Grim Toll and Mirror of Truth I used [iTEM]Broken Promise[/iTEM] in my main hand and [iTEM]Club[/iTEM] in my off hand to create a overwhelming difference between off hand and main hand hits. I then witnessed a proc of Mirror of Truth from an offhand crit (mainhand miss, offhand glancing, offhand crit, mainhand hit, was the section of hits that procced the mirror). I also witnessed a proc of grim toll immediately after an off hand hit. The Grim Toll proc could have just been server lag but the fact that the mirror of truth procced when only my offhand had crit signifies that offhand hits/crits can proc trinkets.

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Ok, I took a stab at the Blood Strike vs. Obliterate for Death runes ordeal.

Right now, Rime Procs produce 5RP. For now, let's ignore the 2pT9 set bonus.

For testing, we need to include HB in our OB damage because of Rime Procs. Average calculations for BS, OB, and HB should be as follows:

BS: (non-crit avg damage * proportion of non-crits) + (crit avg damage * proportion of crits) = Expected Avg Damage of a BS.

OB Option 1: (((non-crit avg damage * proportion of non-crits) + (crit avg damage * proportion of crits)) * 2) + (Expected Avg Damage of a HB * .15(Rime Proc Chance)) + (Expected Avg Damage of a FS * .15(Rime Proc Chance) * .15625(The number of FS a Rime Proc produces from RP)) = Expected Avg Damage of an OB.

OB Option 2: ((non-crit avg damage * proportion of non-crits) + (crit avg damage * proportion of crits) + (Expected Avg Damage of a HB * .15(Rime Proc Chance)) + (Expected Avg Damage of a FS * .15(Rime Proc Chance) * .15625(The number of FS a Rime Proc produces from RP))) * 2 = Expected Avg Damage of an OB.

HB: (non-crit avg damage * proportion of non-crits) + (crit avg damage * proportion of crits) = Expected Avg Damage of a HB.

FS: ((non-crit avg damage * proportion of non-crits) + (crit avg damage * proportion of crits)) * 2 = Expected Avg Damage of a FS.

There are two options for OB. OB Option 1 is both swings of OB have only 1 chance to Proc Rime. OB Option 2 is each swing of OB has a chance to Proc Rime.

If there is enough time without pushing back other GCDs and 2 BS > 1 OB, then 2 BS.

Testing Circumstances

  • Spec used: 10/53/8 (2 points spare in this for Merciless Combat, Removed for testing).
  • I did 100 strikes (100 MH, 100 OH) of BS and 100 of OB, as well as 100 of HB and 100 of FS (For the contribution that it has VIA OB Rime Procs).
  • Weapons: 2x[item]Shortsword[/item], No FC on either for Consistent Uptime.
  • No Trinkets used.
  • OB Glyph was included and so was 4pT8.
  • Tested on a Test Dummy.
  • No Horn of Winter.
  • 0/5 Killing Machine used for the Howling Blast test (KM procs would be used on FS in a fight).
  • 5/5 Killing Machine used for the Frost Strike test (KM procs would be used on FS in a fight).
  • SotVH used.
  • Just did a Dump system at the end for FS, Didn't pay attention to KM Procs

Recount Totals

OB Crit: Avg = 2309, % = 43.5%

OB Non-Crit: Avg = 1010, % = 56.5%

BS Crit: Avg = 2081, % = 29%

BS Non-Crit: Avg = 860, % = 71%

HB Crit: Avg = 4764, % = 12%

HB Non-Crit: Avg = 2150, % = 88%

FS Crit: Avg = 2290, % = 57.5%

FS Non-Crit: Avg = 939, % = 42.5%

Remember, These are averages of OH and MH, So OH hits lower on average than this and MH hits higher.

Now for the Calculations:

BS: ((860*.71)+(2081*.29))*2 = 2428.18

OB Option 1: (((1010*.565)+(2309*.435))* 2)+(2464.16*.15)+(3431.65*.15*.15625) = 3600.183297

OB Option 2: ((1010*.565)+(2309*.435)+(2464.16*.15)+(3431.65*.15*.15625))*2 = 4050.236594

HB: (2150*.88)+(4768*.12) = 2464.16.

FS: ((939*.425)+(2290*.575))*2 = 3431.65.

So now let's see if 2 BS > 1 OB.

2428.18*2 = 4856.36

4856.36 > OB Option 1 and 2

So short answer is Yes, 2 BS is better than 1 OB.

Now let's go into a little more detail.

Things I found on the PTR and things to make note of

  • MH Misses/Dodges would not use runes but still do OH Damage.
  • It seemed impossible to keep a rotation as long as PS>IT>OB>BS>BS>Dump>OB>OB>OB>Dump. Changing to OB>OB>BS>BS Would be even harder because of Length. Including Rime procs is a lot harder. (The difficulty may be due to Lag on the PTR)
  • OB has a higher Weapon % than BS, so think about that while choosing.

For sake of Rotation lengths, It might be best to Keep it OB>OB>OB instead of OB>OB>BS>BS if you want to stay in BP (We might do better DPS in UP). It could also be worthwhile to look into the Disease (I know Frost and Blood have looked into it for 2H and proved it wasn't a DPS gain, though there is a possibility that we are different). Remember to take everything I've shown here with a grain of salt and Interpret the data yourself. We alos need to look into the idea of not including HB for Rotation's Sake. Hope this helps.

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@ syrellia:

You are correct in saying that shorter disease rotations can indeed compete. Correct me if I'm wrong, but 2h frost currently has three builds, all of which are neck and neck, and one of them does infact use short disease rotations? I'm not going to update the OP with anything in regards to Epidemic vs short rotations until someone proves it one way or the other. Thank you for pointing out that we need to consider all options.

@ Concept84:

The Frost strike VS Deathcoil issue needs to be tested, instead of posting what we "think" will be better lets do some actual testing. Frost strike has had a reduction in power, and a build that uses deathcoil would be able to take advantage of the new UB and would place a lower value on expertise as a result of using UB. There is no way to argue at this point for one or the other, but we sure can test things.

@ Atheistgod:

Your numbers for Frost strike vs Blood strike are troublesom. I'm sure the numbers you are reporting are accurate, but a max frist strike crit of 4000ish seems very low. Is it possible that Recount is only looking at the first strike? If your numbers are correct, it very well might mean that BS is the best option for a deathrune, as it will do more damage than the icy touch + extra RP.

Nice observations regarding offhand procs, the Fury of the five flights issue makes me think that there is a very short internal cooldown on procs, which makes sense when applied to your observation about MH and OH hits landing at the same time. If the hits land at the same time, only one charge is applied to FOTFF, however, if a short delay is put inbetween each hand does infact proc a charge. This clearly shows that offhand hits are capable of proccing various things, can you please edit in a clipped SS of the combat log? I will consider this a closed issue and have the OP point to your Screenshot.

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[...] I believe it is very likely that strikes proc Cinder Glacier. I had Cinder Glacier procs occur much more than Killing Machine procs with CG procs occurring at least once and often twice during one 15 second disease interval.

With Fury of the Five Flights off hand attacks only stacked it when they don't hit at the same time as the main hand. Strikes only added one stack. [...]

[...] There are two options for OB. OB Option 1 is both swings of OB have only 1 chance to Proc Rime. OB Option 2 is each swing of OB has a chance to Proc Rime. [...]

Because of that, OB most likely doesn't have an increased chance to proc Rime.

Strikes proc stuff, that has always been the case.

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@Kyruski:

In your calculations, why are you multiplying the crit damage portion of each attack by a factor of 2?

Ex: ((860*.71)+(2081*.29))*2 = 2428.18

I would assume that the average damage would simply be the weighted average of the crits/non-crits.

[e]: It would appear as if I can't read.

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@Kyruski:

In your calculations, why are you multiplying the crit damage portion of each attack by a factor of 2?

Ex: ((860*.71)+(2081*.29))*2 = 2428.18

I would assume that the average damage would simply be the weighted average of the crits/non-crits.

That is actually multiplying the sum of the Avg Non-Crit/Percentage + Avg Crit/Percentage by 2. If you notice, the Crit+Non-Crit is inside the Parentheses. This is because Recount Counts each time you use BS or OB as 2 because of the Swings, 1 for MH and 1 for OH. So without multiplying, it becomes the Average damage of (MH+OH)/2, so multiplying by 2 bings it back closer to the Actual of the two combined hits.

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Recount counts main hand and off hand separately. Those max numbers are main hand hits only.

I forgot to take a screenshot of the first occurrence but I was able to get another such situation.

Remember I'm using [iTEM]Broken Promise[/iTEM] in mainhand and [iTEM]Club[/iTEM] in offhand so mainhand hits for about 600-800 offhands hit for about 200.

Crit of offhand procs Reflections of Torment

croppedmirrorprocoffoffg.jpg

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I was asked to figure out if Death Strike heals for 10% or more because of the offhand attack. In testing this I came across the issue that Death Strike still only hits with the mainhand. For some reason ToT does not work on Death Strike on the PTR.

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@Kyruski: The blood strike specific portion of your testing will need to be redone next PTR patch, as the bonus damage from diseases is being cut in half (50%->25%). Also, I believe the better test is whether 2x BS > 2x IT + FS, as that's currently the ideal way to spend those death runes as frost. I guess with the FS nerfs the value of 2x IT + FS might need to be re-evaluated compared to Ob, however. And I can confirm that CG (all proc-based rune enchants, actually) do proc from strikes. The easiest way to test this is to gradually face away from the dummy until you can no longer hit it with auto attacks. If you do it incrementally enough, you should still be able to use special attacks. Spam them for a few seconds until you get a proc, and voila.

Blood strike - Is it now doing enough damage to justify using Death runes for BS instead of other attacks?

Unfortunately I don't think this question has a simple yes/no answer. It's actually a bit of a chicken and egg problem, in that we only care about the answer for the highest DPS DW build, but we're not sure yet which that is. I'll take a stab at this for deep frost, but 23/48 and deep unholy would need a separate set of calculations.

Assumptions

  • BS damage is increased by 25% per disease, using the latest patch notes.
  • Not factoring in any sigils, since SotVH likely won't be BiS next patch
  • Using glyphs of IT and FS
  • For ease of calculation, assume paired weapons of the same speed and DPS. This lets us calculate total BS/FS damage by multiplying the MH damage by 1.575
  • Assume raid buffs and spell hit cap. BS/FS are mostly affected by the same buffs - BS will gain 4% damage relative to FS (Blood Frenzy), and IT will gain 13% damage.
  • I'm ignoring crit chance for now, because it's pretty complicated, especially with KM procs. But see below on why I don't think that affects the outcome.
  • Given the glyph choices, the comparison is really 2x BS vs. 2x IT + 93.75% of a FS

Weapon damage = wpn_base + AP / 14 * 2.4

BS damage = (0.4 * wpn + 305.6) * 1.5 * 1.1 * 1.575 * 1.04

FS damage = (0.55 * wpn + 138) * 1.1 * 1.1 * 1.15 * 1.2 * 1.575 * .9375

IT damage = (236 + AP * .1) * 1.1 * 1.15 * 1.15 * 1.2 * 1.13

Feel free to plug in various AP and weapon damage numbers. There is no one answer, even given the assumptions listed, because the BS option scales worse with AP but better with weapon damage. However, what I consider to be all sane values ITx2 wins handily. Now, I didn't consider crit. Ignoring Dark Conviction, IT has 15% crit from talents, FS has 3%, and BS has 12%. If we generously assume that 1% crit = 1% increased damage (it's less, but bear with me) and we ignore the crit that IT and FS get, then with 5500 AP and two 2.6s ilvl 239 weapons, 2x BS is better than 2x IT + FS. Except we haven't considered armor. BS is affected by it, 2x IT + FS isn't. Again, this is somewhat subjective because everyone will have a different idea of what a reasonable amount of ArP is, but if we assume the boss has even 10% damage reduction from armor, then 2x IT + FS pulls ahead again by a decent margin.

Conclusions

I think that calculating the exact average damage of each option will require a full-fledged spreadsheet, or ideally, an updated simulator. However, I feel that the scenario above is proof that for the average case, ITx2 is a better use of death runes for a 51 frost spec that is glyphed for IT and FS, since it outperforms 2x BS in a situation that is very favorable for 2x BS (only 10% reduction from armor, and ignoring IT/FS damage increases from crit). This raises several new questions though, like whether the current deep frost glyphs will still be the best choices in 3.2, and how deep frost stacks up to 23/48 overall. So while I don't have time to calculate the answer to this question for the various other specs, hopefully this will prove useful in getting the ball rolling.

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Everything is explained in the second post. Why didn't you read it? I did and it was well worth it.

The offhand strikes, so slow it better. I'd say it's speed>stats>dps, but mostly stats and dps go hand in hand. The ilvl239 weapons e.g. aren't good. My sheet was correct about the strikes, so feel free to test it out yourself.

Edit - I was screwing my own results because I had SoA equipped, nevermind.

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