Current 3.2 Patch Notes reflecting DK Changes
* Due to significant talent changes, all death knight talents will be reset for players.
* Blood Strike: The bonus damage this ability receives from diseases on the target has been increased to 50% per disease.
* Chains of Ice: Now reduces movement by 95% instead of 100%. The main effect of this change will be that targets of Chains of Ice will not have to re-issue a movement command to continue moving.
* Frost Presence: 10% bonus health reduced to 6% bonus stamina.
* Frost Strike: This ability can now be dodged, parried, or blocked. Weapon damage bonus reduced to 55%, down from 60%.
* Icebound Fortitude: Cooldown increased to 2 minutes.
+ Dancing Rune Weapon: This ability now has a fixed duration of 12 seconds (which can still be modified by its glyph) and a fixed cost of 60 runic power.
+ Veteran of the Third War: Stamina bonus reduced to 1/2/3%.
+ Blood of the North: Reduced to a 3-point talent. Increases Blood Strike and Frost Strike damage by 5/10/15%. There is now a 33/66/100% chance whenever you hit with Blood Strike or Pestilence that the Blood Rune will become a Death Rune when it activates.
+ Lichborne: Duration reduced to 10 seconds, and cooldown reduced to 2 minutes.
+ 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.
+ Toughness: This talent now grants 2/4/6/8/10% armor instead of 3/6/9/12/15%, placing it in line with similar abilities of other classes.
+ Desecration: This talent has been reduced to 2 points for 25/50% snare and no longer increases damage done by the death knight. It has also been moved one tier earlier in the tree and its spell effect has been made more transparent.
+ Desolation: New talent. This talent is in the position formerly occupied by Desecration. It causes Blood Strikes to increase all damage the death knight deals by 1/2/3/4/5% for 12 seconds.
+ Scourge Strike: Weapon damage bonus reduced to 40%, down from 45%. Damage increased by 10% per disease on the target, down from 11%.
+ Summon Gargoyle: The gargoyle now flies lower to the ground, making it susceptible to melee attacks. This ability now has a fixed duration of 30 seconds and a fixed cost of 60 runic power.
+ Unholy Blight: This talent has been redesigned. It no longer deals damage to nearby targets. Instead, when you deal damage with Death Coil, the target will take periodic damage for 10 seconds equal to 30% of the damage done by Death Coil. This damage accumulates in the same way as Ignite and Deep Wounds.
Feel to PM me any advice or changes you'd like to see on this post, I would greatly appreciate formatting suggestions.
Patch Notes for 3.1
Cookie Cutter builds as of 3.1
Unholy / Blood
12/0/59 - Similar to the pre 3.1 cookie cutter build this is supposedly the more effective build to start out with, and will phase out as you get Uldaur gear, however this is still up for debate so it's indisputable advantage is that you have threat reduction. Whether or not threat reduction is necessary is up for debate however.
Unholy / Frost
0/10/61 - A build shown to scale with gear better than the Unholy / Blood counter part the lack of threat reduction is cause for concern.
Blood / Unholy / Frost
7/10/54 - Seems to be a decent spec I don't know that there is much information for or against it, but people are using it and it's viable enough. Also the two points in Morbidity are able to be shifted around where ever.
Personal Choice Talents
Here are some Talents that while listed as the Cookie cutter build contain a level of flexibility depending on play style and can have points taken from or emptied out of all together:
Improved Unholy Presence - Hard to calculate it's worth, and worthless on pure tank and spank fights with no movement. The DPS added is lower and more situational than most the other talents listed here; but it also adds survivability and utility on certain fights. Do not underestimate this talent there are a lot of places to use it in Ulduar and it still increases your DPS somewhat.
Morbidity - Increased damage to Death Coil is a small damage increase and Death and Decay's cooldown reduction isn't always worth it, take at your discretion but definitely not a talent that's required.
Epidemic - Taking into account the glyph of scourge strike, this provides a better chance for your diseases to be refreshed by SS instead of having to manually refresh them yourself. Also an increase in fights where there are multiple mobs and when you may have to be out of melee range for a longer period of time. You should at least have one point here, but two is just as good as any of it's alternatives (But it does suffer from diminishing returns in a sense)
Places to move said talent points
Necrosis - Necrosis yields a higher DPS per point thank Dark Conviction (Around .2% per point), so maxing it out would be the recommended place to put those points first. It's simply a % off your white hits, no longer gaining the benefits of any buffs but is still an very good talent.
Dark Conviction - Shown to provide less DPS on single boss targets would be recommended to have points put into it after Necrosis maxed.
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.
In regards to Ghoul Frenzy:
After an SS (If you do it after Blood strike x 2 you'll lose a death rune) pop blood tap and Ghoul Frenzy in order to keep yourself with your rotations while increasing your pet's haste by 25%.
When blood tap is down utilize the death runes in your rotation to cast ghoul frenzy and your strongest single rune nuke (I believe Icy Touch) this will make up for the DPS loss of a Scourge Strike.
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 Dark Death
Glyph of Unholy Blight - When there becomes a DPS increase worth breaking T7, Glyph of Unholy Blight will take precedent.
Glyph of Pestilence
Glyph of Horn of winter
Glyph of Raise Dead
Thanks very much to Methods for these #s, these are not taking ghoul frenzy into consideration but should at least provide the closest assumption to the stat values in regard to AP for Unholy.
In regard to any confusion about the jump of specific stats, the original postings did not take into consideration the ghoul who gains a hefty amount from the DK's stats.
Gear - This information will be updated based on the BiS thread that has been started, thank you to Norg for starting discussion focused on gear.[i]
Unholy & Frost
Legs: **** (For Unholy to get past 8% hit, in yellow socket obviously)
Feet: **** (For Frost where >8% hit is less important)
Cloak: Drape of the Skyborn
Wrist: Armbands of Bedlam
Waist: **** (in blue socket obviously)
Legs: **** (in blue socket, then use in the yellow slot)
Stolen from the BiS Thread that has arisen -
Chest: +10 stats
Cloak: Since the buff to haste in 3.1, haste is now better than agility for all specs (?)
Wrist: +50 AP (or +15 expertise if it helps you get capped and you value that highly)
Hands: +44 AP (or +20 hit if it helps you get capped and you value that highly)
Boots: Icewalker is probably preferable to +32AP if you can use the hit (?). A run speed enchant may also be preferable for high movement fights (assuming no IUP), certainly if your tanks have one
Weapon: Unholy & Blood use Fallen Crusader; Frost uses Razorice
Always use unless otherwise stated, and obviously one instead if you get one
If you are not a jewelcrafter, use 2x in blue slots to activate the meta gem
**** denotes best placement of and is also likely to be a good spot for the aforementioned purple gems
A section where I'll post that mathematical findings support certain talent and gear choices over the voices against them. Remember that these are not set in stone and discussion is always appreciated, but try not to go over points that have already been discussed. If you have nothing new to add to a discussion then don't bother.
Glyph of Disease vs Glyph of Scourge Strike
Math Supporting the value of IUP, and 2/2 Epidemic - Out of context but provides some of the reasoning behind the DPS gained from IUP. Keep in mind that it's smaller than what is said here, but provides many other benefits and is a choice for any DK, not required but not bad either.
DPS increases for Necrosis versus Dark Conviction, Necrosis wins out
Dark Death vs Unholy Blight Glyphs
Unholy Based Macros!
Since there is no main page of updates on macros in the macro thread I will put any macros that seem useful to Unholy (So no hysteria macros) here and give credit to their original poster from that thread or this one:
Its very basic, just targets a healer, and leaps at them, and stay in place.
#showtooltip Leap /cast [target=healersname] Leap /petstay
Cloudgatherer - Put whichever ability you want there and it will turn on (! keeps it from turning off) Rune Strike when up. Be careful not to overuse this as you can drain your runic power but as DPS that should be less of an issue than tanking
#showtooltip /cast someAbility /cast !Rune Strike
- death pact if you have a pet up
- raise ally with the alt key
- summon a ghoul if you don't have a pet
#showtooltip /cast [target=pet,exists,nomodifier:alt,nodead] Death Pact; [modifier:alt] Raise Ally; Raise Dead
Sarf - Should allow you to cast raise ally on someone without having to find and target them
/cast [target=party1,exists,dead] Raise Ally; [target=party2,exists,dead] Raise Ally; [target=party3,exists,dead] Raise Ally; [target=party4,exists,dead] Raise Ally
Cast death coil on your target or heal your pet with it while holding shift (Or whichever key you want to use)
#showtooltip /cast [mod:alt,target=pet] Death Coil; Death Coil
Pop a speed pot and let the Gargoyle benefit!
#showtooltip Summon Gargoyle /use potion of speed /cast Summon Gargoyle
A simple button to press for Blood tap and Ghoul Frenzy. -[i]Included the fixed version of this macro
#showtooltip Ghoul Frenzy /cast Blood Tap /stopcasting /cast Ghoul Frenzy
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.
Q: Why are we putting points into Desecration instead of Dark conviction
A: Now that Scourge strike procs Desecration, in a standard rotation it should nearly always be up, except for cases where you have to be out of range or when casting icy touch. Because of this it is just below a 5% DPS increase, depending on the fight itself, whereas Dark Conviction put at roughly .6-.5% DPS per point (so 3-3.5% at 5 points) is far inferior to Desecration.
Q: Is Glyph of Disease any good?
A: It's useful for AOE, but far inferior to any of the available options particularly Scourge Strike, it comes out to be a dps loss since even though it's refreshing your diseases (And if you don't refresh right after a disease tick you will LOSE damage) it's also not doing any damage.
Q: Put points into Icy Talons instead of <insert talent>
A: Doesn't stack with raid haste buffs so no, don't do it.
Q: What determines partial resists?
As an additional note, what is *actually* responsible for partial resists on bosses is weapon skill. For example, if you tried to scourge strike a level 80 mob with 1 weapon skill, aside from parries/dodges, the strikes you DID land would be mitigated in half (which is actually the most a SS can resist, it will always hit for at least half damage)... until you're weapon skill was at or near max. Since Raid bosses count as your level +3, and there is currently no way to raise weapon skill beside the level max, you will always see partial resists in raids.
Another side note, when you see a strike that says, say "Your SS hits X for 4000 (200 resisted)", you wouldn't have originally done 4200 damage, but actually quite a bit more. The (X resisted) is actually before modifiers/buffs/talents/crits, so in reality, if half a strike was resisted, you might actually see something like "Your SS hits for 2.5k (1.9k resisted)". Just some food for thought. I can't tell you how many time's I've seen 5500(900 resisted) when my SS crits that don't resist always break 8k.
[TABLE=head]Ability|AP Mult|Static Addition
Death and Decay|4.75%|+?