The spec: Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft
For Frost DPS, use a two handed weapon. Period. The dual-wielding tri-spec is a different thread.
Why bring a Frost DPS DK to a raid?
Horn of Winter (Str and Agi buff)
20% melee haste to the raid (essentially brings enh shaman buffs)
Decent OT ability, even when DPS specced (Lichborne, Unbreakable Armor)
Numbers to know:
Hit cap: 9%/295.11 rating
Spell hit cap: 17%/445.91
Expertise cap:21 skill/172.15 rating
These to hit/expertise caps don't include talents like Virulence and Misery or racial abilities like Draenei's Heroic Presence or any of the various racial expertise skills. The expertise cap does include Tundra Stalker (since this is the Frost DPS thread).
Spells used by Frost:
IT = Icy Touch (causes Frost Fever)
PS = Plague Strike (causes Blood Plague)
BS = Blood Strike (used to convert blood runes to death runes with the talent Blood of the North)
OB = Obliterate
HB = Howling Blast
FS = Frost Strike (uses Runic Power)
Spells not used by Frost:
The Frost DPS rotation doesn't include Death Strike or Death Coil. That's not to say you should never Death Strike (to recover health if you know your healers can't help you) or Death Coil (for instance, if you're out of melee range for Frost Strikes), just that they aren't used if you're looking to maximize your DPS.
When DPSing, use Blood Presence. The 15% boost to damage is better than Unholy's GCD reduction.
100% disease uptime
Highest damage rune attack (Obliterate)
Blood Strike to convert blood runes to death runes
PS -> IT -> BS -> BS -> OB -> FS
PS -> IT -> OB -> OB -> FS
(Blood tap on the opening rotation for a death rune)
IT -> OB -> OB -> BS -> FS
IT -> OB -> BS -> OB -> FS
During the FS section, Frost Strike until out of Runic Power. Use Rime procs to cast HB during this time as well.
The second rotation still needs some testing, but the math suggests that dropping a PS and a BS from the rotation gets an extra OB and FS strike in.
Stat (rating) Frost
1 AP 1.0000
1HIT 2.4046 (until capped)
1EXP 1.2453 (until capped)
1DPS (wpn) 10.3610
DPS TOTAL 3152.79
Icy Touch: The damage loss hurts us more than other specs, but the extra Runic Power is too nice to pass up.
Obliterate: This one is a no brainer.
Plague Strike: A very minor DPS boost. Feel free to swap this out for something else you find more useful.
Pestilence: Great for AoE situations. Good for all PVE DKs.
Horn of Winter: Reduces the cost by 10 RP. Especially nice if you don't run with an enh shaman.
Third slot: Glyph to taste.
Open questions for this thread:
- Runeforging: Cinderglacier, Razorice, or Fallen Crusader? Has anyone done any modelling with these?
- Should we refresh diseases before they expire? Do we lose DPS from not allowing them to tick completely?
- Possible 0/50/21 or 3/47/21 Gargoyle build? You get a pet ghoul but lose out on 6% dmg to Frost Fever infected mobs and 3 expertise. Does the addition of pets and longer disease timers make up for this? (I suspect not.)
- Obliterate vs. Howling Blast: What's the weapon damage cutoff when Obliterate scales better than Howling Blast?
- Why PS before IT? Glacial Rot vs. Tundra Stalker. What's the exact difference? Is it big enough to overcome the fact that you can IT from range much sooner than you can PS?
- How important is being hit capped (especially spell hit capped)?
- When do you use Empower Rune Weapon, Death Chill, and trinkets?