Unholy Basic Facts Cheat-Sheet
This is the new cookie-cutter unholy build.
Note: This rotation requires the Scourge Strike Glyph. Replace the next SS in your cycle with a PS->IT when your diseases have fallen off. If you only have 3 seconds or less at SS1 (and ONLY SS1, since it's followed by two BS) on diseases, then replace it with PS->IT. Obviously, at the start of a fight, replace the first SS show with a PS->IT. Item(s) in parenthesis are optional and typically require 4pc T7.
Regarding using RP, the general consensus is that you want to dump RP and delay the next strike if it is going to push you over RP cap. Use Unholy Blight if it's not currently up, otherwise use Death Coil.
A typical AOE rotation:
Glyph of the Ghoul
Glyph of Scourge Strike
Glyph of Icy Touch
Glyph of Pestilence
Glyph of Horn of winter
Glyph of Raise Dead
(Approximate, courtesy of Methods)
The following is raid buffed for 2H specs pre hit and expertise cap:
The new after cap (melee) hit and before cap exp conversion should be:
Regarding Spell Penetration:
Spell penetration lower spell resistances of target. Almost all bosses have 0 resistances therefore making spell penetration useless for PvE.
Partial resists comes from level difference between you and boss and cannot be avoided in any way.
Spell AP Multipliers:
Note: Numbers for DOTs are PER TICK.
[TABLE=head]Ability|AP Mult|Static Addition
Death and Decay|4.75%|+?
(As of T7 -- Naxx/Malygos/Sartharion)
While I hesitate to do this, "is X better than Y" comes up too often. This should give you a decent idea of what to shoot for; in some cases, you may need to swap pieces for another to get hit/expertise capped depending on race. Please note this is strictly for a 2H unholy DPS build. A "(?)" after the item denotes reasonable sidegrades.
Just as a note, there is a reason I do not use the T7 chestpiece. It is the worst itemized piece in the entire set for a 2H build (though haste is pretty good for DW).
Trinket AP Equivalence:
(As of T7 -- Naxx/Malygos/Sartharion)
It's probably a good idea to get some updated math on trinkets in here. So as to avoid reinventing the wheel, I'm using Yo!'s formulas on the trinkets from the enhancement shaman threads; there's a nice post on the Enhance TTT where you can see those formulas and someone kindly even put Yo!'s formulas into a convenient Google Document where you can replace the EP values with our own relevant values.
The most recent solid EP values I've seen are in Method's 12/16/08 post in this thread for Unholy+Ghoul. His numbers assume you're below expertise cap, at melee hit cap, but not at spell hit cap. I like those assumptions as it's really easy to hit melee hit cap without trying so I don't like overvaluing items with hit by assuming I'm under melee hit cap. The numbers in the DK TTT post are way outdated and, in my opinion, pretty off. Method's numbers are:
AP: 1; Str: 2.792; Crit: 1.176; Hit: 1.12497; Haste: 0.8464; Exp: 2.5835; AP-R: 0.7165; Agi: 0.9231; Armor: 0.0278.
Using those numbers in Yo!'s formulas gives the following top 10 list:
- 310 (320 would be on-target full-time, so this one is arguable and generally viewed as lower in practice than Bandit's Insignia)
has a 15s internal cooldown and affliction locks generally say it procs every 20s. I suspect we'll see it proc about every 30s, although if someone with it can correct that with dummy test numbers, please feel free. Given that Bandit's Insignia procs about every 50s and the proc is buffed in the same way, I'll just use Yo!'s formula for Bandit's Insignia with substituted values and EP values:
(95*1.176)+[(1+.34)*(788+1312)/2]/30 * 2 = 205.52
If those assumptions are correct, it's not terrible, but it's not very good either. If those assumptions are slightly off and it procs a bit more, it could easily move above Loatheb's Shadow into #5 after Card, Fury, Bandit's, and Mirror.
Q: How much DPS should I be doing? <Here> is my armory/WWS/WMO.
A: This type of question is heavily frowned upon. The answer depends on gear, skill, group comp, the skill of others in your raid, and a million other factors for that specific fight. In fully endgame gear (meaning almost everything is best-in-slot) some unholy 2H DKs are able to dish out 5.5k+ dps.
Q: What presence should I DPS in for PVE?
A: Generally speaking, blood. As unholy 2H, you have lots of free time between attacks due to the nature of the cycle; this allows you to sit in blood presence and get the most out of each. Also, you already have unholy aura (at least, you should) for the movement speed. There ARE some specs which prefer unholy presence, namely 2H frost (for extra GCDs, to get extra frost strikes in before diseases wear off), but the vast majority of PVE DPS specs prefer blood presence.
Q: When is the best time to use Gargoyle?
A: Gargoyle actually gets it haste and other stats from its owner. Recent tests suggest that the best time to use gargoyle is actually DURING (meaning cast it while you already have the buff) a bloodlust, at a point when as many of your procs/cooldowns are available. Just keep in mind in its current state that the gargoyle's 13k or so hp disappear VERY quickly in AOE fights, so you have to balance the ability to gain buffs versus it dying.
Q: Why is everyone saying the hit cap now is 8%? It was 9% in BC!
A: The rogue and hunter threads have put a lot of time into this, and have proven the current phyiscal hit cap is 8%. The spell hit cap remains at 17%. As such, make sure you shoot for about 263 hit rating instead of 295.
Q: What's the best horde/alliance race for PVE?
A: For horde, orc is best hands-down. 5 expertise to a weapon skill, a 322 AP "trinket" every 2 minutes with no MS effect anymore, and 5% more pet damage (works on ghouls, gargoyles, and DRW). Slap yourself if you're a raider, play horde, and didn't pick an orc.
For alliance, you can really choose between Human, Dwarf, and Draenei depending on your guild's needs and personal preferences. Strictly speaking in terms of ilvl points saved with a single weapon type, Dwarf is the best, due to the +5 expertise to maces instead of the human's +3 to maces/swords. Humans are more versatile however, and the Draenei hit aura has raid implications (if your raid doesn't have enough hit auras).
Q: Is there any point in picking up Ebon Plague if I already have a moonkin or warlock with imp COE in the raid?
A: An emphatic "YES"! Warlocks will flat out lose dps applying COE, and moonkin cannot typically spread the debuff to multiple targets as well as we can.
Q: Is Unholy Blight really worth getting?
A: While you wont see numbers as large, you need to keep in mind that UB has a higher base damage AND AP multiplier than DC. Sure, it can't crit, but it scales MUCH better.
I guess I'll kick off the discussion as well. After clearing Naxx-25 and Sarathion twice, I've noticed some interesting things...
-Ghoul survivability seems to have increased dramatically. It appears they have given them the same avoidance they gave to hunter and warlock pets. While you can still expect it to die fairly often, as long as you're smart about which kinds of packs you summon them on (for example, the Warriors that whirlwind at the beginning of the Death Knight wing are not a good idea) you can expect to make use of it. This is especially true on bosses.
-I remember having a discussion in the old forum with Zurai about Gargoyle, and that I was told it never melee'd. Well, either it was changed back or WWS is lying. Also, WWS often doesn't count ghoul damage... note that I had it out all of patchwerk and its isn't shown at all in WWS (and the significant damage was not awarded to me). On patchwerk I only used it once (still had my bars messed up and spent a good 30 seconds realizing it wasn't on my bars and then fishing in the spellbook for it, further gimping my DPS), and it did 22 casts and 3 melee swings, not the ideal 25-26 casts people were mentioning. This doesn't make Gargoyle useless... it's still an amazing talent. But perhaps it will put it closer to being in line with DRW for blood.
-I have found the best time to use Empowered Rune Weapon is about 40 seconds into a gargoyle, after you have just applied diseases. This usually allows you to sneak in an extra scourge strike and get a damage boost.
-Gargoyle damage appears (I can't confirm 100%, but it's something I believe I've seen) to be based on AP when you first used it. So, like a DOT, it's damage is based on when it as cast...meaning you should probably use it at the end of your AP cooldowns, so you can sneak in an extra death coil or two with higher AP.
-I feel we may have undervalued outbreak's worth. While virulence is good, I find myself using pestilence and bloodboil quite a bit, even on some boss fights. That being said, on a pure burn fight like patchwerk, Virulence is still better hands-down.