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Advanced Death Knight Tactics [MoP]


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#1 Mendenbarr

Mendenbarr

    Oh, I never leave home without my party cannon.

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  • 180 posts

Posted 20 October 2012 - 12:58 AM

Last updated 9/8/13






 

Contents

Frost




Cooldowns and Timmy


Cooldown stacking is a common practice in wow. This means using as many cooldowns at the same time, for the multiplicative gain. For example, if you have 1 cooldown that increases your damage by 10%, and another that increases your damage by 20%, the total increase, if used together, would be 32% (1.1*1.2), instead of the 30% if used separately. For this reason, most people have one button to pop all of their cooldowns, lining them all up, to make them do that much more together, and this is generally a good idea.

However, one cooldown available to death knights has a slightly different set of rules. Our risen ghoul benefits from all of our cooldowns, if we have 20% more strength from pillar, so does he, but he also costs a GCD. The last thing you want to do is "waste" an entire second of the those cooldowns waiting for the GCD used to summon Timmy to end. On top of this, it takes him a few seconds to crawl out of the ground, time in which he should of been benefitting from your cooldowns. For these reasons, it's optimal to use raise ghoul a second or two before popping your cooldown macro.





2-hand Frost



Priority 1: Not wasting resources


This means you are always able to generate new resources, and never "capped" on any resources. Frost dks have 5 "resources" to worry about.
All of this section's rules ONLY apply when you're not wasting resources, and at times you'll have to make decisions on which resources to waste, as you won't be able to not waste them all. At these times, waste whatever is worth the least.


Runes


Runes regen over time, without you needing to do anything. The rate changes based off your haste, but what's important is that the regen stops when you are rune capped. The solution to this is to avoid, whenever possible, getting rune capped. Think of dks as having 3 runes, not 6. We have 1 frost, 1 unholy, and 1 death. When a rune is charged 50%, you can spend that 50% on an ability, but the rune continues to recharge. However, when a rune is 100% charged, you have both frost runes up, it stops recharging. To avoid this is simple, always spend runes before they reach 100%.
To spend unholy runes, you generally use Plague strike if the target is missing blood plague, or obliterate if it isn't.
To spend frost runes, you use soul reaper if it's off CD, and the target is sub 35%, and you otherwise use obliterate.
To spend death runes is the same as spending frost runes.


Runic Power


Runic power is generated while using abilities, namely abilities that use up runes, as well as horn of winter. Runic power is capped at 100, and the ability that generates the most is obliterate, giving you 24 runic power. To avoid capping runic, always use it before it reaches 100%. That means don't use obliterate at higher than 76 runic, and don't use any other rune abilities at higher than 88 runic.
To spend runic, use frost strike.


Rime procs


Rime procs are generated using obliterate, and give you a free howling blast. You can hold onto a rime proc as long as you want, assuming you don't wait the entire duration, or use obliterate during it, which has a chance of overwriting the proc. In practice, you rarely, if ever, go the full duration without having a free GCD to use it, so just don't obliterate with rime up.
To spend rime, use howling blast.


Tier 5 talent procs


Your tier 5 talent will proc on using frost strike, and depending on which you choose, you can change your play-style.
RE: Don't use frost strike when you don't have a rune below 50%
RC: Don't use frost strike when you have any rune at 100%
BT: Don't use frost strike when you have 11 or more charges.


Killing Machine procs


Killing Machine procs on melee hits, and is used up by turning your next obliterate or frost strike into a crit. Killing machine is also the interesting proc, because you want to use it up as soon as possible to avoid overriding a proc, but you can't stop meleeing, and you also want to wait to use it on an obliterate instead of a frost strike. In general, it's more important to use up the proc to avoid missing out on the next one, but given the choice between using it on an obliterate or a frost strike, choose obliterate every time.


Mastering rime procs


Rime procs are free damage, and should never be ignored. However, they can be put off. Rime, along with to a lesser degree horn of winter, are the main abilities we use on a regular basis, which do not use up KM procs. This means that we can spam them, HoW and then rime for example, without worrying about wasting a KM proc. However, if we use frost strike after rime or HoW, any procs generated during that GCD will most likely get used up on the frost strike. In addition, while obliterate procs more rime, frost strike doesn't. For this reason, it's normally optimal to wait on a rime proc until you've used up as many of your frost strikes as possible, and then to obliterate soon after. If killing machine procs during the frost strike spamming, with rime up, you want to hit the rime proc, and then obliterate.


Mastering diseases with plague leech


Diseases are invaluable for death knights, especially frost, but not for their damage. Diseases do make obliterate much stronger though, and you should never use obliterate without both diseases up. However, missing blood plague when you frost strike is ok, most of the time. We have two ways of applying diseases (not counting unholy blight, which you can't take at the same time as plague leech), and two ways of losing them. We can apply them with outbreak, on a 1 minute cooldown, or with plague strike and howling blast, each costing a rune. We lose them if they are not reapplied for 30 seconds, or if we use plague leech to turn them into a free rune. However, plague leech is not always optimal.
Once every minute, when outbreak is no longer on cooldown, or is a few seconds from coming up, you can follow a plague leech with outbreak for a free disease refresh and 2 runes. However, if outbreak is on cooldown, the best way to reapply diseases is to try to get a rime proc in the 10 seconds before the diseases falls off. If you do, you want to hold off on using the rime proc until blood plague nearly runs out, use plague leech, reapply frost fever with rime, and then use one of the free runes on a plague strike, which you would have to of done anyway.


Mastering Symbiosis


On occasion, you will receive an extra ability, not typically present in a death knight's arsenal. This ability is wild mushroom: plague, and at it's core is a longer version of unholy blight with a longer cooldown. Running a 3 minute cooldown, and a 30 second duration, this placeable mushroom sends diseases to everything within 10 yards, and ticks every 3 seconds. At first glance, you can simply use it to avoid the need to plague strike, starting a fight with outbreak, using WM:P when diseases fall off, and then outbreak is up again for the next round. The ticks of the diseases also make it interesting to combine with plague leech. Leech off the first set of diseases for a free rune, and then pop WM:P. 25 seconds later, leech it again, only to have WM:P reapply without you even needing to hit a button. Because of the 3 second ticks, you may need to hold off on an obliterate for up to 3 seconds, but hey, free rune! When that set of diseases runs low, simply go back to your normal diseases spreading abilities until WM:P comes off cooldown. Fun fact, if you manage to D-sim wild mushroom: detonate, you can detonate your disease mushroom! This seems to destroy them and do about ~30k AoE damage around your mushrooms, and isn't that useful.


Mastering Soul Reaper


Soul reaper is a definitive part of all death knight's rotations, and getting the most out of it has it's own special rules. Only worth using after 35% (45% with t15 4-set), soul reaper packs a medium punch. The most important thing about soul reaper is getting off as many as possible when the target is in his/her execute phase, but soul reaper does not make up a huge amount of frost's damage, and will not make or break your dps. Given the choice between using a KM oblit or an SR, pick KM oblit every time.







To wait or not to wait.



Below is the old sections on waiting to increase dps, for reference. They are currently outdated. There has been a lot of discussion recently on whether or not waiting is worth it, and there will always be more discussion, but for the time being I'm convinced it's no longer worth it.
Euliat has provided a very good analysis here.


Spoiler






Dual-Wield Frost



Priority 1: Not wasting resources


This means you are always able to generate new resources, and never "capped" on any resources. Frost dks have 5 "resources" to worry about.
All of this section's rules ONLY apply when you're not wasting resources, and at times you'll have to make decisions on which resources to waste, as you won't be able to not waste them all. At these times, waste whatever is worth the least.


Runes


Runes regen over time, without you needing to do anything. The rate changes based off your haste, but what's important is that the regen stops when you are rune capped. The solution to this is to avoid, whenever possible, getting rune capped. Think of dks as having 3 runes, not 6. We have 1 frost, 1 unholy, and 1 death. When a rune is charged 50%, you can spend that 50% on an ability, but the rune continues to recharge. However, when a rune is 100% charged, you have both frost runes up, it stops recharging. To avoid this is simple, always spend runes before they reach 100%.
To spend unholy runes, you generally use Plague strike if the target is missing blood plague, or obliterate if it isn't.
To spend frost runes, you use soul reaper if it's off CD, and the target is sub 35%, and you otherwise use howling blast.
To spend death runes is the same as spending frost runes.


Runic Power


Runic power is generated while using abilities, namely abilities that use up runes, as well as horn of winter. Runic power is capped at 100, and the ability that generates the most is obliterate, giving you 24 runic power. To avoid capping runic, always use it before it reaches 100%. That means don't use obliterate at higher than 76 runic, and don't use any other rune abilities at higher than 88 runic.
To spend runic, use frost strike.


Rime procs


Rime procs are generated using obliterate, and give you a free howling blast. You can hold onto a rime proc as long as you want, assuming you don't wait the entire duration, or use obliterate during it, which has a chance of overwriting the proc. In practice, you rarely, if ever, go the full duration without having a free GCD to use it, so just don't obliterate with rime up.
To spend rime, use howling blast.


Tier 5 talent procs


Your tier 5 talent will proc on using frost strike, and depending on which you choose, you can change your play-style.
RE: Don't use frost strike when you don't have a rune below 50%
RC: Don't use frost strike when you have any rune at 100%
BT: Don't use frost strike when you have 11 or more charges.


Killing Machine procs


Killing Machine procs on melee hits, and is used up by turning your next obliterate or frost strike into a crit. Killing machine is also the interesting proc, because you want to use it up as soon as possible to avoid overriding a proc, but you can't stop meleeing, and you also want to wait to use it on an frost stike instead of an obliterate. In general, it's more important to use up the proc as soon as possible to avoid missing out on the next one, but given the choice between using it on an obliterate or a frost strike, choose frost strike every time.




Mastering unholy runes


In the case of dual wield, even before stacking mastery, 2 howling blasts hit harder than an obliterate, and as such howling blast takes a far more prominent spot in our priority. Unfortunately, while both frost and death runes can be used for said howling blast, unholy runes cannot, often leaving us with 2 ugly green runes to get rid of before we can go back to spamming HB and FS. (single target)
There are three ways to get rid of unholy runes, let's see which is the best.
Death and decay: 88.6k dmg
Plague strike:48.6k dmg + FP*2, 54k + disease, 22k per 3 seconds
Obliterate: 175k dmg + FP*2, 54k +45% chance for free HB, 117.6 = 292.6k dmg
HB: 261.4k *FP, 27k dmg

Obviously your best bet is double HBs whenever possible, but let's say you have 1 unholy and 1 frost/death, what should you do?
In order from best to worst:
  • Using plague leech, plague strike and 3 howling blasts gives 831.6k dmg
  • Using plague strike and HB gives 530k dmg IF diseases are about to fall off
  • Using DnD and HB gives 350k dmg
  • Using plague strike and HB gives 310k dmg
  • Using obliterate gives 292.6k dmg
  • Ignoring the unholy rune and just spending the frost/death on HB gives 261.4k dmg

While it's true you can use plague strike and howling blast at half disease duration and count the 50% refresh as 110k dmg, it prolongs the ability to fully refresh diseases via the top option for 15 seconds, and is therefore not a damage gain. If blood plague is not just about to fall off, count it as if it isn't refreshing at all. This includes times when you use PL to take BP off early.

So, if diseases are about to fall off, plauge leech is off cd, or dnd is off cd, use the above options to remove unholy runes, otherwise just use obliterate if you have to.

Note: Due to DW's current state of being close to GCD locked most of the time, we need to reexamine the way to deal with unholy runes. While the above-mentioned list is accurate in terms of numbers, obliterate is more complicated than it seems. Obliterate has two possibilities, it either does 175k in one GCD, or 436k dmg in 2 GCDs. While we can average this out easily, as done above, the GCD cost has to be considered. Using DnD/HB or PS/HB does slightly more than obliterate on average, but costs 2 GCDs. Using obliterate over DnD is a gain if you are GCD capped. Depending on luck, you'll either gain free damage with the rime proc, or gain a GCD which will avoid overflowing resources which will be a damage gain. If you are not GCD capped, DnD/HB and PS/HB wins out.


Mastering Frozen Power


Our new 4-set changes our rotation around slightly when pillar of frost is up, which should be a little less than half the time if you're lucky enough to get your hands on that CD trinket. It procs for about ~27k damage in BiS gear, once for HB, twice for PS/FS/oblit, and 0 times for DnD. As such, even when we're not GCD capped, we end up no longer using DnD when frozen power is up, instead deferring to PS/HB when not GCD capped and obliterate when we are GCD capped. Pillar is an even better CD to pair up with AMS with the 4-set, and you'll want to get out as many FSs as possible, and end the pillar with a fair number of runes and only 20 runic (banked for a km proc).



Mastering blood tap


Blood tap micro-management is very interesting, and useful. Whenever you use frost strike, you add 2 blood charges to a bank, and whenever you use blood tap, you trade 5 charges for a death rune. The first step to correct micro-management is to avoid allowing the blood charges to be wasted via over-capping, or letting the charges fall off. This simply means don't use FS when you have 11 or 12 charges, and don't go 30 full seconds without using FS or blood tap. After doing that, it's ideal to find the opportune moment to use those built up blood taps. I've found two cases where it's worth not using them as soon as you have a free GCD.
Pairing blood taps with unholy runes, when DnD/PL are on CD, and diseases are not about to fall off, allows for very easy management of said unholy runes, and helps to avoid the case of overzealously spamming HB and not having the second rune to pair with the unholy rune.
Saving blood taps for times with your trinket procs are up, or lust, or potions, or burn phases, or multiple targets to hit with HB, or when CDs ure up, leads to a damage increase. If you are GCD capped when you have procs up, you're doing it right.





Waiting DW style


The arguments and strategy behind waiting for DW are nice and simple. They are also easy to prove, and are currently in the default simcraft profile. Bank between 20-39 runic when you don't have a KM proc. That's it. Spend all your runes as soon as possible, don't hold on to blood charges (generally, see above), don't bank more than 39 runic, but save enough for one FS in case KM procs.




DW simple rotation


Due to SR and oblit's weakness in 5.4, it's possible to just leave them out of the rotation and change the rotation into this:
> FS if KM/high runic
> HB
> FS
> PS
A much much simpler rotation, this is a minor (.5-10%) damage loss, varying based off how much mastery you have. The more mastery, the less of a loss it is.






Unholy



Festerblight in 5.4


Alas, Festerblight is dead as of 5.4
It will forever have a place in my cold, unbeating heart.

The reason festerblight was viable in 5.2/5.3 was feather. We went from a combined total of 8k str in T14 gear to about 30k, from feather/shadopan or feather/rage. That's an increase of 275% more strength than the prior tier. At the same time, ilevel went from 517 to 549 (for US, same rules apply for Asia, just 8 ilevels higher), which was 32 more ilevels. 32 ilevels increase stats by a ballpark of about 30%, so you would expect 8k to become about 11k, but we got 30k instead.
Right off the bat, for 5.4, feather has been nerfed 20%. It now provides 16k str instead of 19k str for the 549 version. On top of that, the two new trinkets, at 580 ilevel, have a combined str of about 30k, and it would need to be about 30% higher (because of the ilevel jump) to break even with festerblight's gain now. We would need about 40k str from trinkets alone to get festerblight up to the same, small gain it is now. It had already fallen from it's peak in 5.2 with the tricks nerf for 5.3

This logic is confirmed by sims, if you take the simC profile linked in the festerblight section of the unholy guide, and run it against traditional unholy now, you'll see that it is a single target loss.
And that doesn't even count the fact that near every fight this tier is full of target swaps and cleave and AE, all of which is unfriendly to festerblight. On top of that, the we can't benefit from the PL buff with festerblight.

That's not to say festerblight is NEVER viable. It's possible that if damage only matters in a certain phase, (think lei shen p3), that it's worth sacrificing some of your single target damage in order to get that higher burst at the end. It's also within reason that there is a fight with a large damage buff at the start that doesn't come back up. I'm not aware of any such circumstances yet, but if any show up, I will update the guide.

Keeping up high diseases, and then refreshing them when new trinkets proc, is still viable, and optimal, and it's called disease gaming. Festerblight is all about keeping one set of diseases rolling the entire fight, and that is not viable.

Legacy:
Spoiler











Encounter specific tips, tricks, talents, and glyphs


Feel free to discuss more tricks in the thread, and I will update the OP. Please test any that are untested, should you get the opportunity, and report your findings back. Trying to gather info for 5.4! Submit your tips and tricks! These are all SUGGESTIONS, and not required for the fight unless otherwise noted.

Siege of Orgrimmar



Immerseus


Talents:
- Purgatory since everyone is spread 10+ yards/AMZ on the explosion at the end.
- Chillblains to slow the Sha Puddle.
- Can DG/gorefiends the Sha Puddle, and the little adds on heroic.
Glyphs:
- Death and Decay to help slow the Sha Puddle.
AMS:
- Can use on CD on Sha Bolt or Swirl or Erupting Sha
Interrupts: None


The Fallen Protectors


Talents:
- AMZ for Dark Meditation, also possibly Inferno Strike.
- Asphyxiate to have extra interrupts for Corruption Shock or Sha Sear otherwise Death’s Advance.
- Gorefiend’s Grasp for adds during Sun Tenderheart’s Desperate Measures phase.
AMS: Can use probably once per Desperate Measures phase.
- Rook Stonetoe Desperate Measures Inferno Strike.
- He Softfoot Desperate Measures Mark of Anguish if DKs are in the add tanking rotation.
- Sun Tenderheart Desperate Measures Dark Meditation or Shadow Word: Bane (probably want to save it as a defensive here since raid damage is high).
Glyphs:
-Don't have tranquil grip so you can taunt the gloom into the middle.
Interrupts:
- Need to interrupt Corruption Shock when the Embodied Gloom is out or Sha Sear when Sun Tenderheart is out.


Norushen


Talents:
- AMZ, if your group stacks.
- Death’s Advance/Asphyxiate for an extra stun.
- Can death grip the large adds.
AMS:
- Should use on CD, as a defensive given the high amount of periodic raid damage.
- Main Room: Icy Fear every 3 seconds or if soaking Expel Corruption.
- DPS Trial: Burst of Anger can be absorbed for extra dps.
Glyphs:
-Glyph of Regenerative magic is amazing. Glyph of tranquil grip so the adds don't kill you.
Interrupts:
- You can interrupt the little adds below, and should on your primary target.


Sha of Pride


Talents:
- AMZ for Swelling Pride early in the fight when no one has corruption and at the end for Unleashed.
- Death's Advance to get to prisons faster or for run outs during Swelling Pride and Self Reflection.
- Gorefiend’s Grasp to group up the Reflection adds for AoE.
- Gorefiend/DG work on Manifestations of Pride.
AMS:
- Can use on CD for Swelling Pride and Unleashed.
Glyphs:
- Glyph of Death Grip for the big adds.
Interrupts:
- Should interrupt Mocking Blast.


Galakras


Talents:
- AMZ for the CD rotation during Galakras, can also use during the first phase during the minibosses to help with raid damage.
- Asphyxiate for extra interrupts for the shaman adds or as a stun on the bonecrushers, Death’s Advance isn’t useful unless you’re on Tower duty or if you have a hard time running away from Crusher's Call (second miniboss).
Gorefiend’s Grasp to group up the adds during the first phase for easier AoE.
Glyphs:
- Phase 1 requires a lot of gripping so Glyph of Death Grip or Glyph of Unholy Command might be useful.
- Glyph of Dark Succor might be useful, especially on heroic, to help with survivability.
- Even if Dark Sim works on the adds, Glyph of Dark Simulacrum isn’t useful because they die too quickly and will be stunned/interrupted.
- Glyph of tranquil grip!
AMS:
- AMS can be used on CD with a number of abilities including the poison puddles from the first miniboss and the fire from the Proto-drakes.
- AMS should be used as a defensive during the Galakras phase.
Interrupts:
- Must interrupt Dragonmaw Tidal Shaman casting heals.


Iron Juggernaut


- Pure single target
- AMZ is great for shock pulse in p2.
- Death’s Advance to have increased mobility.
- Pillar of Frost immunes Shock Pulse.
- Goblin Glider can also counter shock pulse.
AMS:
- Cannot be used to soak crawler mines (because they’re physical).
- Can soak Laser Burn/demo cannons in phase one, and whenever in P2 for a full runic bar.
Glyphs:
- Glyph of Regenerative Magic is great here.
Interrupts: None


Kor’kron Dark Shaman


Talents:
- Purgatory (no uses for AMZ since people aren't stacked).
- Death’s Advance in case you get caught in a bad position.
AMS:
- Should use primarily as a defensive as any magic damage is either avoidable or unpredictable.
- Can maybe AMS soak Foul Stream.
- Can use AMS on Toxic Mist.
Glyphs:
- Glyph of Dsim, and use it on CD on the wavebinder.
- Might be a good fight to try the new Glyph of Regenerative Magic or Glyph of Icebound Fortitude to increase survivability.
Interrupts: None


General Nazgrim


Talents:
- Purgatory since the raid will not be stacked.
- Death's Advance for all the damn running around.
- Grip adds away from healing totem.
- Gorefiend’s Grasp as an extra grip for emergencies.
- Most spells should be Dsimable
AMS:
- No magic abilities should ever go off without being interrupted so no AMS soaking on this fight.
Glyphs:
- Phase 1 requires a lot of gripping so Glyph of Death Grip or Glyph of Unholy Command is useful.
- Glyph of tranquil grip or the adds will murder you.
Interrupts:
- Need to interrupt Arcane Shock and Magistrike from the arcweaver.
- Need to interrupt Empowered Chain Heal from the shaman.


Malkorok


Talents:
- Pure Single target, adds cleave adds on heroic.
- Purgatory since the stack phase is physical damage.
- Death’s Advance to have increased mobility/ be mostly immune to the add's slow.
AMS:
- Can be used on CD for full runic/
- Can probably be used to soak Imploding Energy/Essence of Shaarj if melee need to help soak.
Glyphs:
- No special glyphs.
Interrupts: None


Spoils of Pandaria


Talents:
- Purgatory since everyone is loosely spread.
- Asphyxiate to stun and interrupt the adds.
- Gorefiend’s Grasp may be useful to group up the adds or possibly Remorseless Winter if they're stunnable.
AMS:
- Can probably use AMS on cooldown since there are a number of soakable abilities.
- Can AMS Massive Mogu Crate abilities: Shadow Volley, Molten Fist, Jade Tempest, orFracture.
- Can AMS Massive Mantid Crate Pheramone Cloud.
- Can AMS Mogu Shadow Ritualist (Stout Mogu Crate) Torment.
- Can maybe AMS Soak Gusting Bomb or Encapsulated Pheramones on the Mantid side since there are less sources of magic damage.
Glyphs:
- Would be a really good fight for Glyph of Dark Succor.
- Also could try Glyph of Regenerative Magic or Glyph of Icebound Fortitude to increase survivability.
- Could try Glyph of Dark Simulacrum if we find that Dark Sim works on any of the caster adds.
Interrupts:
- Can interrupt Harden Flesh and Torment from the Animated Stone Mogu (Lightweight Mogu Crate).
- Need to interrupt Forbidden Magic from the Mogu Shadow Ritualist (Stout Mogu Crate).


Thok the Bloodthirsty


Talents:
- Purgatory is best because the primary AoE damage is physical. There’s a chance AMZ might be useful in the phase 1 with elemental damage but probably not.
- Death’s Advance in case you are selected for Fixate.
- Need to check if Desecrated Ground prevents the ice tomb from forming.
AMS:
- AMS can only be used during phase 1.
- During the first phase 1, it might be possible to AMS Shock Blast.
- Frost phase 1, AMS might prevent stacks of Icy Blood from being applied.
- Fire phase 1, AMS can be used on Burning Blood.
- Nature phase 1, AMS can be used on Corrosive Blood.
Glyphs:
- Can try Glyph of Regenerative Magic or Glyph of Icebound Fortitude to increase survivability.
- Need to check if Glyph of Pillar of Frost prevents the ice tomb from forming.
Interrupts: None


Siegecrafter Blackfuse


Talents:
- Purgatory since the raid is spread.
- Death’s Advance to have increased mobility if targeted by beams.
- Crawler mines can be gripped.
AMS:
- Very few options to AMS soak on this fight.
- Can AMS Electromagnet pulsing damage.
- Might be able to AMS soak the Laser turret fire path.
Glyphs:
- No special glyphs.
Interrupts: None


Paragons of the Klaxxi


Talents:
- Purgatory since everyone is loosely spread, only use for AMZ is Catalytic Reaction: Blue.
AMS:
- This boss could have AMS used on CD or not at all depending on the combination of bosses up at once.
- Can AMS Xaril the Poisoned Mind’s Choose Catalyst ability.
- Can AMS Iyyokuk the Lucid’s Insane Calculation: Fiery Edge.
- Can AMS Ka’roz the Locust’s Hurl Amber.
Glyphs:
- Can try Glyph of Regenerative Magic or Glyph of Icebound Fortitude to increase survivability.
Interrupts: None


Garrosh Hellscream


Talents:
- Purgatory since most abilities require a loose spread.
- Most likely will want Asphyxiate for extra interrupts on the Wolf Rider. If interrupts aren’t an issue, Death’s Advance for the realm phase.
- Gorefiend’s Grasp is useful for phase one adds and grouping up the realm adds (not a good idea to use on phase two/phase three adds unless there’s a stun rotation like Lei Shen).
AMS:
- There doesn’t seem to be a use for AMS during Phase 1 if Chain Lightning is interrupted properly.
- Can AMS Crushing Fear, Embodied Doubt, and Ultimate Despair in the realm phase.
- Can use AMS during the Whirling Corruption in phase two and phase three.
- Don't AMS the Consumed Faith, it will immune it.
Glyphs:
- Glyph of Death and Decay is a good idea for the minion adds in phase two.
- Need to check if Glyph of Pillar of Frost prevents the ice tomb from forming.
Interrupts:
- Need to interrupt the Wolf Rider Ancestral Chain Heal and Chain Lightning.







Old Raids


Spoiler
Spoiler





DK news reference



03/13/13
Spoiler


03/12/13


Spoiler

03/05/13
Spoiler

03/04/13
Spoiler
Spoiler




Spoiler



02/22/13

Spoiler


02/21/13
Spoiler



02/20/13
Spoiler


02/19/13
Spoiler

Note


All damage data taken from BiS sim, adjust your own math for your own numbers.
I'm always looking for more to add to this post, if you have any tips or tricks that you use to play a death knight better, and some sort of math or logic to back them up, please share them here. We can do more, and better, as a community then we can do alone.


Planned sections


Both, swing timers and you
Both, Openers
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10/19/12: Created
10/20/12: Added mastering GCDs section
10/22/12: Added mastering symbiosis section
11/06/12: Added how long is it worth waiting section
11/14/12: Updated note and fixed minor spelling and grammer issues throughout the post
11/20/12: Added encounter specific tips, tricks, talents, and glyphs and fixed more spelling errors
11/22/12: Touched up encounter specific tips, tricks, talents, and glyphs, and removed suggested spec due to controversy/started working on DW section
11/24/12: Added DW section, including priority 1: not wasting resources, mastering unholy runes, and mastering blood tap, as well as planned sections
12/13/12: Touched up encounter specific tips, tricks, talents, and glyphs, added title and header, added mastering soul reaper section for 2hand, formatted a bit.
12/29/12: Revamped waiting into its own section and hopefully discussion, added tips on when to army for some fights, added Waiting DW style section, touched up certain sections.
12/30/12: Done with waiting, I've been convinced by Euliat that it's no longer a benefit on live for going for.
12/31/12: Added DW trinket section and the value of upgrades, and a table of contents!
01/07/13: Added note for unholy rune section under DW.
01/15/13: Changed name to Advanced Frost Tactics, as I'm no longer focusing only on priorities, and updated note.
01/16/13: Removed massive simcraft spoiler list and added it as a reply to the post, and added DW weapon section.
01/18/13: Updated tips/tricks section.
01/23/13: Updated tips/tricks section.
01/25/13: Added 2hand weapon section.
02/05/13: Removed SR note on spirit kings, as I've been informed it's been fixed.
02/08/13: Added more planned sections.
02/15/13: Added Festerblight and unholy section, renamed to advanced death knight tactics.
02/17/13: Updated Festerblight with addon info and links.
02/20/13: Added dk news section.
02/26/13: Added cooldown section
02/28/13: Added tsulong tip back, and a new heroic sha tip.
03/05/13: Updated for 5.2! Proofread through the entire post and made the following changes; updated 2-hand km section, removed staggered comment from rime section and changed some other wording, added UB note to PL section and fixed grammer error, added Dsim note to WM:P section, updated SR section concerning the new 4-set, added a to-do list, updated DW's not wasting resource system, re-did math on mastering unholy runes section with 5.2 changes and gear, added notes on all weapon and trinket sections about being updated to 5.2, adjusted festerblight opening for 5.2, as well as trinket section, and wording throughout,and added new bosses for encounter specific stuff.
03/07/13: Added my observations from two nights of raiding. Skipped bosses I didn't get a chance to see yet. Please PM with tips/tricks/talents/glyphs!
03/18/13: Added festerblight revamp. Added tortos tip.
03/20/13: Added unholy trinkets, and some more encounter tips.
03/21/13: Added more tips fo ji-kun.
04/01/13: Added more tips
04/02/13: More tips! Keep sending em to me!
04/03/13: Typo.
04/03/13: Updated FB profile
04/08/13: Added Tricks of the Trade section to Festerblight
05/07/13: Added festerblight in 5.3/5.4 section.
05/11/13: Updated with UM revert
06/07/13: Cleaned up festerblight since most of the changes got reverted, and vastly updated tricks section.
08/16/13: Added ra-den tips. Better late than never!
09/08/13: Updated for 5.4, adding new sections, revised text in older sections, and killed festerblight.
10/07/13: Added a bunch of new tips for SoO.

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#2 Jessamy

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 03:41 AM

Getting obliterate to crit as often as possible involves sitting on runes. Simply don't spend them unless you are about to lose a resource, via over-capping, or tier 5 talents, or you have killing machine procs.

The oposite treatment for frost strike is to never use frost strike when killing machine is up, even if you have the runic for it. Only use frost strike when you are about to overcap runic, or you don't have killing machine.

This sounds like smart play -- managing your abilities to get the most use out of procs. However, it's in direct conflict with your first priority, not wasting resources. You list 5 resources to manage, but forgot to include a hidden 6th, time (or gcds, if it makes more sense to think of it that way to you). The more time you spend attacking, the better.

That's not to say that trying to use the correct skill when killing machine is active is wrong. Just make sure you don't do so by waiting while you could use one of your abilities. In general, it's better to push the wrong button than spend time waiting for the right button to become available. (This general rule holds for all dps classes, not just DKs.)

#3 Mendenbarr

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 04:57 AM

This sounds like smart play -- managing your abilities to get the most use out of procs. However, it's in direct conflict with your first priority, not wasting resources. You list 5 resources to manage, but forgot to include a hidden 6th, time (or gcds, if it makes more sense to think of it that way to you). The more time you spend attacking, the better.

That's not to say that trying to use the correct skill when killing machine is active is wrong. Just make sure you don't do so by waiting while you could use one of your abilities. In general, it's better to push the wrong button than spend time waiting for the right button to become available. (This general rule holds for all dps classes, not just DKs.)


It's most definitely more complicated than it sounds. I'm finding it rather counter-intuitive, personally. The strategy also revolves around a fact that will not be true forever, but it's true now. That fact is that we have quite a fair number of GCDs, at present gear levels, that don't get used for anything. Under the traditional priority, and for most classes, these "free gcds" happen when you have no resources left to spend. You have no runes up, you have 8 runic power, you have no rime procs, and HoW is on CD, for example. I'm trying to propose moving those free gcds to in-between frost strikes, instead of at the end of a big spam, or to when you have KM procced but not enough runes.

From a logical perspective, if all 5 resources listed are not capped, you are generating attacks at 100% of the possible amount of attacks generated. It doesn't matter if those resources are used as soon as they are up, or 3 seconds later. This obviously changes if you're about to hit a stop dps phase, about to switch targets, about to kill the target, and for a multitude of other reasons. For most boss fights however, this is not the case.

Perhaps I should make a section on managing GCDs, as you are quire correct it's one more resource to manage. If you hold off on anything, and can't spend resources fast enough in the GCDs you have, that counts as over-capping. It takes a bit of getting used to, but I'm personally noticing a definitive improvement over the traditional spam tactics.


Edit:
Ignoring KM procs being overridden, and proper management of resources to avoid wasting any, I can't see any way this would reduce overall damage at all. KM procs being overridden is the biggest concern I have with this play-style, but considering that using 2 KM procs on a FS is about equal to 1 proc on an Obliterate, I'm still confident it's a damage increase. I'm not, however, confident enough to write a sim around this play-style, or adapt an existing one. Logic feels right, but I'm hoping for feedback on the subject.

#4 xbit

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 05:33 AM

From a logical perspective, if all 5 resources listed are not capped, you are generating attacks at 100% of the possible amount of attacks generated.


True

It doesn't matter if those resources are used as soon as they are up, or 3 seconds later.


Not necessarily. You're forgetting to consider potential future resource caps. If you wait too long, even if you never waste any resource during that waiting, a sequence of good RNG can cause you to generate more resources than you are able to spend, causing waste. As an example, consider a case where you have 70 RP, KM is up, you have no capped runes, and you can Obliterate in 3 seconds (at which point you still won't be wasting any regen). Based on what you said, you should hold off and wait for that Obliterate to eat the KM. Assume even further than your KM isn't overwritten in that window.

But, what happens when your runes are in the state where you have 1F 1D fully depleted, 1U is up the other FU pair has 3 seconds remaining on regen, and the other D has 4 seconds remaining. You wait for 3 seconds, Obliterate. Rime procs. You use Rime. KM procs (and the D rune just came off CD so you can Obliterate). Except now your RP is at 94 so you can either Obliterate the KM and waste 18 RP or FS and waste the KM.

If you had used FS on the KM immediately you wasted the KM, but could then have Obliterated the next KM and not lost the 18 RP in the process. Net gain. Furthermore, the early FS could have procced a rune which could have caused another Obliterate and potentially another Rime proc. Alternatively, RNG could have worked out such that the second KM didn't proc and you could FS as normal, in which case you would have been worse off by not waiting.

This isn't exactly easy to reason your way out of because there are a lot of corner cases whose probabilities are non-trivial to calculate. Sims indicate that waiting is almost universally a DPS loss, so I trust that the probabilities work out in favor of not waiting. If you can find a case where adding a wait to the simc action priority results in a DPS gain I would be interested in seeing it.

#5 Mendenbarr

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 05:32 PM

Not necessarily. You're forgetting to consider potential future resource caps. If you wait too long, even if you never waste any resource during that waiting, a sequence of good RNG can cause you to generate more resources than you are able to spend, causing waste. As an example, consider a case where you have 70 RP, KM is up, you have no capped runes, and you can Obliterate in 3 seconds (at which point you still won't be wasting any regen). Based on what you said, you should hold off and wait for that Obliterate to eat the KM. Assume even further than your KM isn't overwritten in that window.

But, what happens when your runes are in the state where you have 1F 1D fully depleted, 1U is up the other FU pair has 3 seconds remaining on regen, and the other D has 4 seconds remaining. You wait for 3 seconds, Obliterate. Rime procs. You use Rime. KM procs (and the D rune just came off CD so you can Obliterate). Except now your RP is at 94 so you can either Obliterate the KM and waste 18 RP or FS and waste the KM.

If you had used FS on the KM immediately you wasted the KM, but could then have Obliterated the next KM and not lost the 18 RP in the process. Net gain. Furthermore, the early FS could have procced a rune which could have caused another Obliterate and potentially another Rime proc. Alternatively, RNG could have worked out such that the second KM didn't proc and you could FS as normal, in which case you would have been worse off by not waiting.

This isn't exactly easy to reason your way out of because there are a lot of corner cases whose probabilities are non-trivial to calculate. Sims indicate that waiting is almost universally a DPS loss, so I trust that the probabilities work out in favor of not waiting. If you can find a case where adding a wait to the simc action priority results in a DPS gain I would be interested in seeing it.



Let's look at the case you provided following the old priority, and the new one.

Case new:
70 runic, 1F 1D fully depleted, 1U is up the other FU pair has 3 seconds remaining on regen, and the other D has 4 seconds remaining, KM up. You wait 3 seconds, instead of using FS. 1 obliterate with KM. Rime procs, and you suggest using rime, however, I'd say hold off on the rime proc until before you need to obliterate again. Since KM in not up the second after the first obliterate, you can safely tap FS for a non-crit. We're assuming KM procs at this point, so now you use rime, and then obliterate. You hold off on a GCD where you could be using obliterate, because you used FS before the obliterate to use up the proc, but you don't overcap runic. You start at 70, jump up to 94, down to 74, and up to 98. At this point, you are dangerously close to capping runic, so you want to tap out as many FSs as possible, waiting for that next proc. 90% of the time, you can get off 2-4 FS or more before that happens.


Total: 2 KM obliterate, 1 FS, 1 Rime, no over-capped resources, no wasted resources.


Case you:
But we're not done yet! Let's take the same case as above, but use rime when you suggest, leaving us with 94 runic, the runes for an obliterate, and a KM proc. The solution is simple. Use frost strike! You do end up wasting the KM proc, but you waste the second one, and not the first one. Admittedly, this isn't better than the traditional spam strategy, however, you break even. I've yet to find a case where you can't break even by playing perfectly, and many many cases where you can go higher than even. I'm sure there is a case where this is a loss, but it's rare enough to hardly ever show up.

Total: 1 KM obliterate (first one) 1 obliterate. 1 KM FS, 1 Rime, no over-capped resources, no wasted resources.

Case traditional:
You'd use the first KM proc on the FS, since you have the runic for it now. Then, on the second one, you would use obliterate.

Total: 1 KM obliterate (second one) 1 obliterate. 1 KM FS, 1 Rime, no over-capped resources, no wasted resources.

#6 Dossou

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 02:09 AM

The way I play is essentially not ever waiting for anything with 1-2 exceptions.

1. Obliterate with KM up before end of next swing/GCD
2. If not waiting causes me to have a Frost pair or an Unholy pair not on CD

In my opinion waiting on Obliterates isn't really worth it unless one of the above conditions is the case.

Mendenbarr's statement about never using Killing Machine Frost Strike isn't really correct at all. If you're sitting on RP with no runes up and KM procs, you're wasting more potential procs by not using Frost Strike. My first condition applies this rule. I monitor my swing timer when I have a KM proc stored but no runes to Obliterate. If OB will be available before my next swing, I save the KM for OB. If not, I use Frost Strike. In my gear, my swing timer is ~3 seconds unbuffed, so it's not very difficult to track and hold/use KMs appropriately.

I also disagree with you when you say don't Obliterate with Rime up. The same tracking your swing timer applies here. If KM is procced and your next swing is about to land, it's best to use that KM with Obliterate even if you have Rime procced to avoid wasting a potential 2nd KM proc. However if you can safely use 2 Globals before your swing hits, Rime and then KM Obliterate is the way to go.

What it all boils down to is optimizing your usage of KM procs and ensuring you don't waste any.
When I got a swing timer and starting using to store/use KM procs for Obliterate my DPS increased by a noticeable margin.

Of course the practicality of monitoring a swing timer with the high speed of 2H frost with as the expansion goes on with more and more haste becomes increasingly difficult, but right now it's pretty reasonable.

P.S. Mendenbarr - Epeen Bot - RaidBots - Web Tools for WoW Nerds

#7 Mendenbarr

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 06:38 PM

The way I play is essentially not ever waiting for anything with 1-2 exceptions.

1. Obliterate with KM up before end of next swing/GCD
2. If not waiting causes me to have a Frost pair or an Unholy pair not on CD

In my opinion waiting on Obliterates isn't really worth it unless one of the above conditions is the case.

Mendenbarr's statement about never using Killing Machine Frost Strike isn't really correct at all. If you're sitting on RP with no runes up and KM procs, you're wasting more potential procs by not using Frost Strike. My first condition applies this rule. I monitor my swing timer when I have a KM proc stored but no runes to Obliterate. If OB will be available before my next swing, I save the KM for OB. If not, I use Frost Strike. In my gear, my swing timer is ~3 seconds unbuffed, so it's not very difficult to track and hold/use KMs appropriately.

I also disagree with you when you say don't Obliterate with Rime up. The same tracking your swing timer applies here. If KM is procced and your next swing is about to land, it's best to use that KM with Obliterate even if you have Rime procced to avoid wasting a potential 2nd KM proc. However if you can safely use 2 Globals before your swing hits, Rime and then KM Obliterate is the way to go.

What it all boils down to is optimizing your usage of KM procs and ensuring you don't waste any.
When I got a swing timer and starting using to store/use KM procs for Obliterate my DPS increased by a noticeable margin.

Of course the practicality of monitoring a swing timer with the high speed of 2H frost with as the expansion goes on with more and more haste becomes increasingly difficult, but right now it's pretty reasonable.

P.S. Mendenbarr - Epeen Bot - RaidBots - Web Tools for WoW Nerds


I can definitely agree that maximizing damage is all about proper usage of procs. You play-style seems to involve not wasting a single KM proc, by using them as soon as you get them. However, would you not agree that, when comparing the damage increase of a km proc used on a frost strike, compared to a km proc used on an obliterate, would you not agree that the proc is "half" wasted?

By choosing to not wait for obliterate, you surely are using more KM procs per minute, but is it enough to make up for the fact that some procs are only doing half the damage they could be doing?

In regards to your criticism on rime, there may be a legitimate concern there, so let's look at some math. Assuming you are not GCD capped, you have rime procced, let's say you have both death's recharging, and one frost and one unholy up, and KM just procced. Following my rules, you would use rime first, and that would take a full GCD, during which there is a chance you proc KM again, overwriting the proc.

The average amount of procs wasted is (KM PPM)/60 = KM PPS (procs per second)
KM PPS * value of KM proc = loss

Whereas, following your suggestion of using the obliterate before the rime:
Rime proc chance * value of rime = loss


Now we can delve into messy numbers.
Sub in your own numbers if you want to.

KM is 6 PPM before haste, and while I'm unable to check at the moment, being with no power, I believe 2hand frost has around 40% haste, with 6k haste rating. That means that you'll get 6 *1.4 PPM, or 8.4 PPM. 8.4/60 gives us PPS, which happens to be 0.14 PPS. Assuming you manage to use 60% of procs on obliterate, and 40% on FS, and that oblit hits for 60k noncrit and 120k crit, with no major str cds, and that FS hits for 30k noncrit and 60k crit, .4*30 + .6*60 = 48k, being the average value of a KM proc.

0.14 * 48k = 6.72k dmg being the loss of using rime.

.45 * 50k (HB's dmg) = 22.5k dmg being the loss of not using rime

I'll update the numbers to be more accurate when I get power back, but the difference seems big enough that slight alterations won't make much of a difference.


While I appreciate the criticism of my proposed frost tactics, I'd appreciate it even more if you had some math or at least in-depth reasoning to back up your criticisms.

P.S. Extenuating circumstances, which I would love to go over in detail sometime as we're on the same server, prevent me from personally being able to show the fruits of my labor so early in a tier. These circumstances, in fact, are preventing me from properly testing this method of frost tactics, for lack of a better name, at the level it deserves to be tested. So I feel the need to ask, based of the point of this thread, did you even try anything in it?

#8 Dossou

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 09:12 PM

I can definitely agree that maximizing damage is all about proper usage of procs. You play-style seems to involve not wasting a single KM proc, by using them as soon as you get them. However, would you not agree that, when comparing the damage increase of a km proc used on a frost strike, compared to a km proc used on an obliterate, would you not agree that the proc is "half" wasted?

By choosing to not wait for obliterate, you surely are using more KM procs per minute, but is it enough to make up for the fact that some procs are only doing half the damage they could be doing?

In regards to your criticism on rime, there may be a legitimate concern there, so let's look at some math. Assuming you are not GCD capped, you have rime procced, let's say you have both death's recharging, and one frost and one unholy up, and KM just procced. Following my rules, you would use rime first, and that would take a full GCD, during which there is a chance you proc KM again, overwriting the proc.

The average amount of procs wasted is (KM PPM)/60 = KM PPS (procs per second)
KM PPS * value of KM proc = loss

Whereas, following your suggestion of using the obliterate before the rime:
Rime proc chance * value of rime = loss


Now we can delve into messy numbers.
Sub in your own numbers if you want to.

KM is 6 PPM before haste, and while I'm unable to check at the moment, being with no power, I believe 2hand frost has around 40% haste, with 6k haste rating. That means that you'll get 6 *1.4 PPM, or 8.4 PPM. 8.4/60 gives us PPS, which happens to be 0.14 PPS. Assuming you manage to use 60% of procs on obliterate, and 40% on FS, and that oblit hits for 60k noncrit and 120k crit, with no major str cds, and that FS hits for 30k noncrit and 60k crit, .4*30 + .6*60 = 48k, being the average value of a KM proc.

0.14 * 48k = 6.72k dmg being the loss of using rime.

.45 * 50k (HB's dmg) = 22.5k dmg being the loss of not using rime

I'll update the numbers to be more accurate when I get power back, but the difference seems big enough that slight alterations won't make much of a difference.


While I appreciate the criticism of my proposed frost tactics, I'd appreciate it even more if you had some math or at least in-depth reasoning to back up your criticisms.

P.S. Extenuating circumstances, which I would love to go over in detail sometime as we're on the same server, prevent me from personally being able to show the fruits of my labor so early in a tier. These circumstances, in fact, are preventing me from properly testing this method of frost tactics, for lack of a better name, at the level it deserves to be tested. So I feel the need to ask, based of the point of this thread, did you even try anything in it?


I don't think I need math to back up the fact that I play the way I state and consistently push Top 10 Ranks. I did 107k on Gara'jal going down twice (I didn't log myself though) and 86k on Spirit Kings. Gara'jal would have been Rank 1 and Spirit Kings was Rank 1. Like I said, maximizing your KM procs is a DPS increase over delaying for Obliterates unless you're not autoswinging in between. I really can't even monitor autoswings that accurately during Spirit Kings because there's actually mechanics.

Your PPM on KM is pretty inaccurate accounting for many DKs having extremely varying levels of haste. For example, someone without a Heroic Weapon is still probably gemming str over haste. I had 8k haste before I got Tier which dropped me down to 7k, still well above your estimated 6k. This leads to more autoswings, more KM procs, and therefore more Frost Strike crits, therefore more damage.

Additionally, the fact that you are assuming waiting for Obliterates with KM procced, why are you assuming only 60% accuracy of this in your math?

Using Math to value doing certain things that rely on KM procs to be accurate have little to no meaning due to the fact that Frost is so RNG based. Running 50k iterations with my gear simmed, the difference between my lowest and highest sims was 26k. TWENTY-SIX. That's an insane amount of RNG over a 6-7 minute fight.

When you ask if I've even tried anything in this thread, the answer is yes, I have tried most everything because there isn't anything advanced about it. It's just basic frost raiding information. I'm trying hard not to knock on you but there really isn't any new information in this post.

#9 Mendenbarr

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 10:47 PM

I don't think I need math to back up the fact that I play the way I state and consistently push Top 10 Ranks. I did 107k on Gara'jal going down twice (I didn't log myself though) and 86k on Spirit Kings. Gara'jal would have been Rank 1 and Spirit Kings was Rank 1. Like I said, maximizing your KM procs is a DPS increase over delaying for Obliterates unless you're not autoswinging in between. I really can't even monitor autoswings that accurately during Spirit Kings because there's actually mechanics.

Your PPM on KM is pretty inaccurate accounting for many DKs having extremely varying levels of haste. For example, someone without a Heroic Weapon is still probably gemming str over haste. I had 8k haste before I got Tier which dropped me down to 7k, still well above your estimated 6k. This leads to more autoswings, more KM procs, and therefore more Frost Strike crits, therefore more damage.

Additionally, the fact that you are assuming waiting for Obliterates with KM procced, why are you assuming only 60% accuracy of this in your math?

Using Math to value doing certain things that rely on KM procs to be accurate have little to no meaning due to the fact that Frost is so RNG based. Running 50k iterations with my gear simmed, the difference between my lowest and highest sims was 26k. TWENTY-SIX. That's an insane amount of RNG over a 6-7 minute fight.

When you ask if I've even tried anything in this thread, the answer is yes, I have tried most everything because there isn't anything advanced about it. It's just basic frost raiding information. I'm trying hard not to knock on you but there really isn't any new information in this post.


I want to clear the air and say I meant no disrespect towards you or your play-style. No one is doubting that you get very impressive results in logs.

However, unless I am mistaken, the point of elitist jerk's forums is to have a place to discuss theory-crafting of class mechanics. I'm unaware of another thread, or website, where anyone is discussing, in detail, the benefits OR problems with waiting on runes. I brought up this issue because I feel it's a damage increase, and I've presented both logic and math to support that.

Like I said, maximizing your KM procs is a DPS increase over delaying for Obliterates unless you're not autoswinging in between.


The auto-swing is a chance for KM to proc again, before you've used the current proc, over-riding it and causing a dps loss, because a KM proc becomes worth 0 (The wasted one)

Using a KM proc on FS instead of Oblit is a damage loss for that particular attack. The KM proc becomes worth (FS crit - FS hit), instead of (oblit crit - oblit hit)

Those are facts, not up for debate.

What we can argue about is which is a bigger loss.


Using Math to value doing certain things that rely on KM procs to be accurate have little to no meaning due to the fact that Frost is so RNG based. Running 50k iterations with my gear simmed, the difference between my lowest and highest sims was 26k. TWENTY-SIX. That's an insane amount of RNG over a 6-7 minute fight


While RNG may change your priority around, as well as the situations that you have to deal with, the nice thing about math is that is averaged out. The averages have meaning, and value, if we can interpret them correctly. I believe I prefaced my calculations with, the numbers are about to get messy. Luckily, I also put in all the formulas, so it should be easy for anyone else to calculate if it's a gain or a loss for their own particular haste value.

Some interesting math ~
0.14 * 48k = 6.72k dmg being the loss of using rime with 6k haste
.45 * 50k (HB's dmg) = 22.5k dmg being the loss of not using rime

In order to have enough haste to have not using rime be worth it,
x * 48k = 22.5
22.5/48 = x
x = 0.46875
0.46875 * 60 = 28.125 PPM
or 470% haste
or 178500 haste rating

We should chat sometime!

#10 Qaajn

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 12:02 AM

Since you are discussing optimal proc usage, I wanted to throw out a somewhat crazy idea here. It was something that struck me with the pandaria changes to frost.

How much worse is it to actually DPS in Unholy Presence as a 2-hand Frost DK?

While this may sound completely crazy at first, think of it for a moment. You lose 20% runic power regen, and your Frost Strikes now cost 35 runic power instead. In exchange you get 10% faster rune regeneration and attack-speed. It sounds like a really bad trade, but is it that bad? Especially if used during periods of heavy haste.

Ponder this:
  • 2H-frost rely heavily on Obliterate, you get "more" of those (for simplicity ignoring less use of t5) .
  • You want to use as many KM procs as possible on Obliterate, and the increased attack-speed give you more procs.
  • You want to avoid using KM with Frost Strike. And you obviously do fewer of those.

I did some very minor tests at 85, and surprisingly the DPS weren't that much behind. I also realised that the changes had taken the fun away from frost entirely, along with never liking unholy, so now I run 2x blood and can't even try it out myself, as I have no gear even if I respec.

Though the result is most likely that it's worse, I believe the discussion and the increased understanding of how the abilities work together make it worth evaluating still. Particular interest might be if this scale linearly with gear? Is there certain conditions where using unholy aura may be better?

#11 Dossou

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 12:55 AM

Since you are discussing optimal proc usage, I wanted to throw out a somewhat crazy idea here. It was something that struck me with the pandaria changes to frost.

How much worse is it to actually DPS in Unholy Presence as a 2-hand Frost DK?

While this may sound completely crazy at first, think of it for a moment. You lose 20% runic power regen, and your Frost Strikes now cost 35 runic power instead. In exchange you get 10% faster rune regeneration and attack-speed. It sounds like a really bad trade, but is it that bad? Especially if used during periods of heavy haste.

Ponder this:

  • 2H-frost rely heavily on Obliterate, you get "more" of those (for simplicity ignoring less use of t5) .
  • You want to use as many KM procs as possible on Obliterate, and the increased attack-speed give you more procs.
  • You want to avoid using KM with Frost Strike. And you obviously do fewer of those.

I did some very minor tests at 85, and surprisingly the DPS weren't that much behind. I also realised that the changes had taken the fun away from frost entirely, along with never liking unholy, so now I run 2x blood and can't even try it out myself, as I have no gear even if I respec.

Though the result is most likely that it's worse, I believe the discussion and the increased understanding of how the abilities work together make it worth evaluating still. Particular interest might be if this scale linearly with gear? Is there certain conditions where using unholy aura may be better?


You get 4 Frost Strikes for every 7 if you were in Frost Presence, which means less Runic Empowerment, which means less Obliterates overall.

#12 Qaajn

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 02:10 AM

You get 4 Frost Strikes for every 7 if you were in Frost Presence, which means less Runic Empowerment, which means less Obliterates overall.


While it has a clear effect, it may not be as big as you think. Napkin math:

45% of the FS will return 1/2 of an obliterate. During 1 "rune recharge period" you gain 1.5 Obliterates

In unholy presence:
To get the 140 RP you need for 4 frost strikes, it takes 7 obliterates. Time taken to generate the runes needed to cast 4 FS: runespeed/UnholyAura*(7OB-4FS*45%/2)/1.5

Frost presence:
To make 7 FS you need 140/24 OB (5.8333). Time required to generate those runes: runespeed*(140/24OB-7FS*45%/2)/1.5

This show how long the rune cycles to generate 140 RP are. The relation is always the same, regardless of haste, unholy being 30.2259% longer. But since frost generates runic power 20% faster, we have to compensate for this to get the relation on rune generation. This make the final result that frost get runes 8.5216% faster then unholy.

Which is very much noticable, but perhaps not as vast as first assumed. And while you do lose out on frost strikes, you get more autoattacks for more KM, and a larger portion of those would also go to OB, due to less overall FS use. While under normal use, frost would obviously be the better option, with enough haste, you will fill out your free GCD, losing the option to decide what to KM and not cap. (OB:FS ratio would be <5:6 due to some runes not used for OB). So at one point, with enough haste, Unholy could still win out. But I think I reached the limit of my napkin math here... Perhaps it's not something normally usable, but the insight and the special-case might make it interesting enough to simulate.

#13 irongnome

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 12:24 AM

I think there is something very basic here that we are missing.
The feedback loop.

As we are all aware, holding on to resources as a DK is a DPS loss. If you don't spend your runes, you don't generate runic power. If you don't generate runic power, you don't generate RE/RC/BT procs. If you don't generate procs, you lose out on DPS that is directly quantifiable as a percentage of your DPS equal to the amount of time you held Vs not having the talent at all.

So here is my problem. I don't have the math to quantify RE/RC/BT. It was something that literally want to make me rip my hair out. I also don't see this math accounted for in the OP's defense of the priority list detailed within. You are only comparing abilities against each other 1:1 without accounting for the opportunity cost.

I will try and take another crack at the problem in order to see what exactly that opportunity cost is but no promises. I would also try and take a stab at the problem via simulation using simcraft but I would need to compile version 505-5 in order to give you accurate results due to 505-4 (the latest public download) has a bug in it that affects frost.

#14 Mendenbarr

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 06:15 AM

.

As we are all aware, holding on to resources as a DK is a DPS loss. If you don't spend your runes, you don't generate runic power. If you don't generate runic power, you don't generate RE/RC/BT procs. If you don't generate procs, you lose out on DPS that is directly quantifiable as a percentage of your DPS equal to the amount of time you held Vs not having the talent at all.


While I felt the same way at first, surpringsly, this is not always the case.

Let's say you do nothing during a fight. Of the five resources listed, the only one you would be generating is runes, which would be capped, and therefore wasted. You don't generate runic unles you use abilities, you don't generate t5 procs unless you use fs, you don't get Rime procs unless you obliterate, and km doesn't proc unless you are meleeing. Spending those runes generates the runic and Rime procs, and auto-attacking and spending the runic generates km and t5 procs. We're very proc based.

Over the course of a fight, of any particular duration, we will only regenerate a certain numbers of runes. As long as you spend these runes before they get capped, you will not waste any, or generate any less than if you had used them the instant they became available. Every rune you use gives a certain number of runic, always the same a,out as long you are not runic capped. Every fs gives a chance at a t5 proc, this chance doesn't decrease if you wait a second, it only decreases if you "cap" on the way it generates, for example having no completely uncharged runes with re, or having 12 charges of bt.

Holding onto to your resources is NOT a dips loss, overcapping them it.

The math concerning the t5 profs is rather simple

100 runic = 5 fs = 5* .45 runes (using re as an example) = 2.25 runes.
100 runic always gives an average of 2.25 runes, as long as you don't cap anything.





In regards to up vs fp, I'd like to share more thoughts on that when I don't have to type everything out of an iPad, but it is worth a look.

Edit: Powers back on, heres UP vs FP.

Assuming RE for math
UP = 10% rune regen and attack speed
FP = 20% runic and FS cost 20 instead of 35

1 cycle is the time it takes to generate each rune 10 times (without unholy pres).

no pres cycle:
10 frost, 10 unholy, 10 death, 300 runic, 3.857 runes via T5, 38.571 runic
15 obliterates, 8.571 frost strikes, 1.928 oblits, 1.102 frost strikes, 7.617 rime procs, and let's say 5 HoW, for 50 more runic, which is 1.428 frost strikes,
All in all, about 17 obliterates, 11 frost strikes, 8 rime procs, and 5 HoW.
That's 41 GCDs, and I'd guess that cycle would take around 80 seconds.

frost pres cycle
10 frost, 10 unholy, 10 death, 410 runic, 9.225 runes via T5, 110.7 runic,
15 obliterates, 5 HoW, 20.5 frost strikes, 4.612 oblits, 5.535 frost strikes, 1.24 oblits, 1.5 frost strikes,
All in all, about 21 obliterates, 28 frost strikes, 9 rime procs, and 5 HoW.
That's 63 GCDs, and I'd guess that cycle would take around 80 seconds.

unholy pres cycle
11 frost, 11 unholy, 11 death, 380 runic,
16.5 oblits, 10.857 frost strikes, 2.442 oblits, 1.39 frost strikes,
Note: also contains 10% more auto-attack dmg and therefore KM procs.
All in all, about 19 obliterates, 12 frost strikes, 9 rime procs, and 5 HoW.
That's 45 GCDs, and I'd guess that cycle would take around 80 seconds.

The clear winner, with an 80 second cycle, is frost presence. But what if you have a 63 second cycle? (6.3 sec rune recharge rate) Then frost presence still wins, and is actually ideal, because you're perfectly GCD capped. However, as you'd be GCD capped, you wouldn't be able to game KM procs at all, or barley, and lucky rime/T5 procs would be wasting resources.

With frost pres, you ratio of oblits to frost strikes is .75 to 1, whereas for unholy presence, the ratio is 1.583 to 1.

Conclusion: Somewhere between a rune recharge time (not using unholy pres) of 6.3 seconds and 4.5 seconds, unholy presence becomes a dps gain over frost presence. More calculations would be needed to find exactly where, but I'm not sure where to start frankly.

#15 Qaajn

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 01:07 AM

Conclusion: Somewhere between a rune recharge time (not using unholy pres) of 6.3 seconds and 4.5 seconds, unholy presence becomes a dps gain over frost presence. More calculations would be needed to find exactly where, but I'm not sure where to start frankly.


Very interesting to see some more detailed math and analysis on this!

Assuming ~40% haste from gear and bloodlust of 35%, we get a rune recharge of 5.29 seconds outside of unholy. This gets us decently into the lower half of the interval where unholy may take over from frost. With no special boss mechanics used, it seems as if this might need to be considered for use in some fights, especially once gear increases and more haste is available. I imagine it might not be so hard to simulate this if you are familiar with it. With frost being GCD capped and unholy closing approaching, I imagine you don't have to pay special attention to "timing" KM much either in the simulation. Don't forget about the increase in attack-speed in unholy, I assume it will have a decent impact on the final numbers, though the time used for switching presence need also be accounted for.

#16 Ellianne

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 09:57 PM

I love how this entire thread is totally based on hard statistics garnered through actual logs and simulations... oh wait...

Over every single 2h frost dk's cycle till the end of time you will average 2.25 runes. However that doesn't change the fact that in a particular snapshot of time, say 1 fight, you may get an over abundance of runes or a drought of runes.

The theoretical dps gain you get by holding onto your resources is easily wiped out by the fact you could potentially go into a rune drought thus leading to less frost strikes and overall less runes generated.

There is a reason that sims have such a GIANT variation in dps distributions. It's called RNG and it's something you need to account for.

#17 Brushmonkey

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 04:26 AM

I love how this entire thread is totally based on hard statistics garnered through actual logs and simulations... oh wait...

Over every single 2h frost dk's cycle till the end of time you will average 2.25 runes. However that doesn't change the fact that in a particular snapshot of time, say 1 fight, you may get an over abundance of runes or a drought of runes.

The theoretical dps gain you get by holding onto your resources is easily wiped out by the fact you could potentially go into a rune drought thus leading to less frost strikes and overall less runes generated.

There is a reason that sims have such a GIANT variation in dps distributions. It's called RNG and it's something you need to account for.


This is certainly the case with RE and RC, but the amount of runes gained through BT is entirely consistant, and you can choose when the runes appear. The only random resources are km and rime, and you can at least predict when rime will occur or be overwritten. There should never be an unpredictable gcd shortage.

I've found there is dps increase to be had from a degree of waiting for km procs to use on obliterate, but the more gear lvl progresses the less important it will get and the more difficult it will become to execute without stumbling over excess runes.

#18 Mendenbarr

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 10:36 AM

I love how this entire thread is totally based on hard statistics garnered through actual logs and simulations... oh wait...

Over every single 2h frost dk's cycle till the end of time you will average 2.25 runes. However that doesn't change the fact that in a particular snapshot of time, say 1 fight, you may get an over abundance of runes or a drought of runes.

The theoretical dps gain you get by holding onto your resources is easily wiped out by the fact you could potentially go into a rune drought thus leading to less frost strikes and overall less runes generated.

There is a reason that sims have such a GIANT variation in dps distributions. It's called RNG and it's something you need to account for.


The thread is based off logic, with minor numbers and math where needed.
And whether you get twice the runes you get on average, or half the runes, it's still logically a damage increase. RNG exists in our rotation, but doesn't change the fact that obliterate hits harder than frost strike, and it certainly does not change the fact that killing machine is better used on obliterate than on frost strike.
The entire first section on the OP is all about not wasting resources, and notes to adjust for RNG. Assuming you follow that, no rng in the world will stop waiting at the proper times to be a damage increase.

#19 irongnome

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 02:47 PM

I think the entirety of this thread can be summed up as follows (no offense intended, just for clarity's sake):

Get a swing timer addon.
Hold off for a few milliseconds at the end of a white swing and NOT spam frost strike.
Game KM procs as much as possible on Oblits in that manner.
Otherwise just follow the same priority list in the main frost thread (ie. not capping runes or runic power)

If i missed something, please expand upon it.

#20 Italiandk

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 03:25 PM

I think the entirety of this thread can be summed up as follows (no offense intended, just for clarity's sake):

Get a swing timer addon.
Hold off for a few milliseconds at the end of a white swing and NOT spam frost strike.
Game KM procs as much as possible on Oblits in that manner.
Otherwise just follow the same priority list in the main frost thread (ie. not capping runes or runic power)

If i missed something, please expand upon it.


I'm tracking Swing Timer with Weak Auras and it's actually more than "hold off a few milliseconds" to see if KM occurs or not. It's actually like 0,5 second (I waited "few milliseconds" after the swing occurred, I saw no KM procced, I OBed and KM procced).




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