Lots of solid changes in all 3 trees for death knights in this most recent build. I really like the way the class is headed for both its DPS and tanking roles. One of the most talked about issues with the class has been its inability to function at the same level as other tanks. At this point it’s hard to really tell if the class will reach that point, but it’s looking promising.
The frost presence armor increase is a great start. Based on these most recent changes in addition to several videos and sources I’ve seen of death knight tanks in action it’s looking like the class will be fine. Threat wise there don’t appear to be any major issues left, the largest complication will be finding the gray area of ideal avoidance, damage mitigation, and DPS.
This past week has been packed with loads of changes, especially for tanks. It’s a clear priority for Blizzard and one I’m confident will end in a solution which meets the needs of all 4 tanking classes.
- Blade Barrier – Changed to when you have no Blood runes. (Old No runes)
- Heart Strike – Damage increased. (Now Rank 6 60% weapon damage plus 220.8, and an additional 110.4 bonus damage per disease.) (Old Rank 6 50% weapon damage plus 184.0, and an additional 92.0 bonus damage per disease. )
- Dark Command – Range increased to 20yds (Old 5yds)
- Frost Presence – Armor contribution from items increased to 65%. (Old 45%)
- Frost Strike – Now cannot be dodged, blocked, or parried.
- Black Ice - Frost damage doubled (Now 6/12/18/24/30) (Old 3/6/9/12/15). It no longer affects Shadow damage.
- Tundra Stalker – Passive Icy Touch damage lowered by 25%, expertise increase doubled. (Now 5/10/15/20/25% increase to icy touch damage, and 2/4/6/8/10 expertise) (Old 20/40/60/80/100% increase to icy touch damage, and 1/2/3/4/5 expertise.)
- Rune Strike - Runic Power cost lowered to 10, and damage increased, now only useable after an attack is dodged or parried. Can’t be dodged, blocked or parried. (Damage Now – 200% weapon damage plus [200.0 * AP * 10.0 / 10000.0].) (Old 65% weapon damage, and only usable after a critical hit with an ability that causes a disease)
- Blood-Caked Blade – Chance to proc doubled. (Now 10/20/30%) (Old 5/10/15%)
- Scourge Strike – Damage lowered. (Now Rank 4 60% of weapon damage as Shadow damage plus ogx 190.5, and an additional 95.25 bonus damage per disease.) (Old Rank 4 60% of weapon damage as Shadow damage plus 226.8, and an additional 113.4 bonus damage per disease.)
Death Knight Presences
Death Knight presences can be best described as equivalent to warrior stances. There are 3 stances a death knight may enter.
- Blood Presence - Increases damage done by 15% and heals the Death Knight by 2% of damage dealt. Only damage dealt to targets that grant experience or honor can trigger this heal.
- Frost Presence – Increases armor by 45%, increases health by 10%, reduces spell damage taken by 5%, and increases threat generated by 45%.
- Unholy Presence – Increases attack speed by 15%, increases movement speed by 15%, and reduces the global cooldown on all Death Knight abilities by 0.5 sec.
Death Knight Blood Abilities
|Blood Boil||Blood Rune||None||Trainable||Causes any of the Death Knight’s diseases on the target, and all enemies within 30 yards of the target, to painfully erupt, dealing 117 to 143 Shadow damage.|
|Blood Strike||Blood Rune||None||Trainable||Instantly strike the enemy, causing 50% weapon damage plus 66 and an additional 33.0 bonus damage per disease.|
|Blood Tap||15% of base health||1 Minute||Trainable||Immediately activates a Blood Rune and temporarily converts it into a Death Rune. This rune counts as a Blood, Unholy, or Frost Rune. Lasts 20 sec.|
|Dark Command||None||8 Seconds||Trainable||Commands the target to attack you, but has no effect if the target is already attacking you.|
|Death Pact||40 Runic Power||2 Minutes||Trainable||Sacrifices an undead minion, healing the Death Knight for 20% of his/her maximum health.|
|Pestilence||Blood Rune||10 Seconds||Trainable||Causes 65 to 79 Shadow damage to the target and all targets within 10 yards and spreads any diseases on the target to the additional targets.|
|Strangulate||Blood Rune||30 Seconds||Trainable||Strangulates an enemy, silencing them for 5 sec, and deals 180 Shadow damage at the end of the effect.|
|Rune Tap||Blood Rune||1 Minute||Talented||Converts 1 Blood Rune into 10% of your maximum health.|
|Mark of Blood||Blood Rune||3 Minutes||Talented||Place a Mark of Blood on an enemy. Whenever the marked enemy deals damage to a target, that target is healed for 4% of its maximum health. Lasts for 20 sec.|
|Hysteria||Blood Rune||2 Minutes||Talented||Induces a friendly unit into a killing frenzy for 30 sec. The target is Enraged, which increases their physical damage by 20%, but causes them to suffer damage equal to 1% of their maximum health every second.|
|Vampiric Blood||Blood Rune||1 Minutes||Talented||Increases health generated through spells and effects by 50% for 20 seconds.|
|Heart Strike||Blood Rune||None||Talented||Rank 6: Instantly strike the enemy, causing 50% weapon damage plus 109, and an additional 54.5 bonus damage per disease. Prevents target from using haste effects for 10 sec.|
|Dancing Rune Weapon||50 Runic Power||2 Minute||Talented||Unleashes all available runic power to summon a second rune weapon that fights on its own for 10 sec plus 1 sec per 5 additional runic power, doing the same attacks as the Death Knight.|
Death Knight Blood Abilities and Spells
|Chains of Ice||Frost Rune||None||Trainable||Shackles the target with heavy chains, reducing their movement to zero. The target regains 5% of their movement each second. Lasts for 20 sec.|
|Empower Rune Weapon||None||5 Minutes||Trainable||Empower your rune weapon, immediately activating all your runes and generating 25 runic power.|
|Horn of Winter||20 Runic Power||None||Trainable||The Death Knight blows the Horn of Winter, increasing total Strength and Agility of all party or raid members within 30 yards by 155. Lasts 2 min.|
|Icebound Fortitude||20 Runic Power||1 Minute||Trainable||The Death Knight freezes their blood to become immune to Stun effects and reduce all damage by 50% for 12 sec. Does not remove existing Stun effects.|
|Icy Touch||Frost Rune||None||Trainable||Rank 5: Chills the target for 90 to 96 Frost damage and infects them with Frost Fever, a disease that reduces melee and ranged attack speed by 14% for 12 sec.|
|Mind Freeze||20 Runic Power||10 Seconds||Trainable||Strike the target’s mind with cold, interrupting spellcasting while also preventing any spell in that school from being cast for 4 sec.|
|Obliterate||Frost Rune, Unholy Rune||None||Trainable||A brutal instant attack that deals 100% weapon damage plus 217, and an additional 108.5 bonus damage per disease, but consumes the diseases.|
|Path of Frost||Frost Rune||None||Trainable||The Death Knight’s freezing aura creates ice beneath his/her feet, allowing him/her and his/her party or raid to walk on water for 10 min. Works while mounted. Any damage will cancel the effect.|
|Rune Strike||15 Runic Power||5 Seconds||Trainable||Instantly strike the target for 60% weapon damage. Only usable after the Death Knight performs critical hit with an ability that causes a disease.|
|Lichborne||None||3 Minutes||Talented||Draw upon unholy energy to become undead for 15 sec. While undead, you are immune to Charm, Fear and Sleep effects, and your horrifying visage causes melee attacks to have an additional 25% chance to miss you.|
|Deathchill||None||2 Minutes||Talented||When activated, makes your next Icy Touch, Howling Blast, Frost Strike or Obliterate a critical hit.|
|Howling Blast||Frost Rune, Unholy Rune||6 Seconds||Talented||Blast the target with a frigid wind dealing 192 to 208 Frost damage to all enemies within 10 yards. Deals double damage to targets infected with Frost Fever.|
|Unbreakable Armor||Frost Rune||1 Minutes||Talented||Increases your armor by 25% and total strength by 10% for 20 seconds.|
|Frost Strike||40 Runic Power||None||Talented||Rank 6: Instantly strike the enemy, causing 30% weapon damage plus 80.1 as Frost damage.|
|Hungering Cold||60 Runic Power||1 Minute||Talented||Purges the earth around the Death Knight of all heat. Enemies within 10 yards are trapped in ice, preventing them from performing any action for 10 sec and infecting them with Frost Fever. Enemies are considered Frozen, but any damage other than diseases will break the ice.|
Death Knight Unholy Abilities and Spells
|Anti-Magic Shell||20 Runic Power||15 Seconds||Trainable||Surrounds the Death Knight in an Anti-Magic Shell, absorbing 75% of the damage dealt by harmful spells and preventing application of harmful magical effects. Damage absorbed by Anti-Magic Shell energizes the Death Knight with additional runic power. Lasts 5 sec.|
|Army of the Dead||Blood Rune, Frost Rune, Unholy Rune||20 Minutes||Trainable||Summons an entire legion of Ghouls to fight by your side. The Ghouls will swarm the area, taunting and fighting anything they can. While channeling Army of the Dead, you will take less damage equal to your Dodge plus Parry chance.|
|Death and Decay||Blood Rune, Frost Rune, Unholy Rune||30 Seconds||Trainable||Corrupts the ground targeted by the Death Knight, causing 52 Shadow damage every sec that targets remain in the area for 10 sec. This ability produces a high amount of threat.|
|Death Coil||40 Runic Power||None||Trainable||Fire a blast of unholy energy, causing 148 Shadow damage to an enemy target or healing 222 damage from a friendly Undead target.|
|Death Gate||Unholy Rune||1 Minute||Trainable||Returns you to Ebon Hold.|
|Death Grip||None||35 Seconds||Trainable||Harness the unholy energy that surrounds and binds all matter, drawing the target toward the Death Knight and forcing the enemy to attack the Death Knight for 3 sec.|
|Death Strike||Frost Rune, Unholy Rune||None||Trainable||A deadly attack that deals 60% weapon damage plus 178.2 and heals the Death Knight for a percent of damage done for each of <his/her> diseases on the target.|
|Plague Strike||Unholy Rune||None||Trainable||A vicious strike that deals 30% weapon damage plus 30 and infects the target with Blood Plague, a disease dealing Shadow damage over time. The strike removes one heal over time effect from the target.|
|Raise Dead||None||5 Minutes||Trainable||Raises a Ghoul to fight by your side. If no humanoid corpse that yields experience or honor is available, you must supply Corpse Dust to complete the spell. If the corpses of friendly players are raised, they will have control over the Ghoul. You can have a maximum of one Ghoul at a time.|
|Acherus Deathcharger||None||None||Trainable||Summons a Deathcharger, which serves as a mount. Speed is increased by 100%.|
|Corpse Explosion||Unholy Rune||None||Talented||Rank 5: Cause a corpse to explode for 220 Shadow damage to all enemies within 20 yards. Will use a nearby corpse if the target is not a corpse. Does not affect mechanical or elemental corpses.|
|Summon Gargoyle||30 Runic Power||3 Minutes||Talented||A gargoyle flies into the area and bombards the target with Nature damage modified by the Death Knight’s attack power. Persists for 1 sec per 8 runic power up to 1 min.|
|Anti-Magic Zone||Unholy Rune||2 Minutes||Talented||Places a large, static Anti-Magic Zone which can protect any party members inside it. The Anti-Magic Zone absorbs 75% of the damage dealt by the next harmful spell. Absorbs up to 10000 damage. Lasts 30 sec.|
|Bone Shield||Unholy Rune||1 Minute||Talented||The Death Knight is surrounded by 4 whirling bones. While at least 1 bone remains, he or she takes 40% less damage from all sources and deals 2% more damage with all attacks, spells and abilities. Each damaging attack that lands consumes 1 bone. Lasts 5 mins.|
|Scourge Strike||Frost Rune, Unholy Rune||None||Talented||Rank 4: An unholy strike that deals 65% of weapon damage as Shadow damage plus 196.95, and an additional 98.475 bonus damage per disease.|
|Unholy Blight||60 Runic Power||None||Talented||Rank 4: A vile swarm of unholy insects surrounds the Death Knight for a 10 yard radius. Enemies caught in the area take 37 Shadow damage per sec and are considered diseased. Lasts 20 sec.|
A few new glyphs added in the most recent beta build. Very disappointing to see the glyph of preparation has been changed (previously it reduced the cooldown of prep by 2 minutes). A 3 minute preparation would have been pretty insane though (new talent reduces it by 2.5/5 minutes).
Make to check out wotlk glyphs compiled for additional class inscription glyphs.
- Glyph of Resonating Power – Reduces the rage cost of your Thunder Clap ability by 5.0.
- Glyph of Rune Strike – Increases the critical strike chance of your Rune Strike by 10% but increases cost by 5.0 runic power. Down from 50.
- Glyph of Fading – Reduces the mana cost of your Fade spell by 30%. Down from 50%.
- Glyph of Spirit of Redemption – All heals cast while Spirit of Redemption is active have a 20% chance to increase the remaining duration of Spirit of Redemption by 5 sec. Down from 20 sec.
- Glyph of Preparation – Your Preparation ability also instantly resets the cooldown of Blade Flurry, Dismantle, and Kick.
- Glyph of Garrote – Reduces the duration of your Garrote ability by 3.0 sec and increases the total damage it deals by 20%. Down from 45%.
- Glyph of Aimed Shot – Reduces the mana cost of your Aimed Shot ability by 20%.
- Glyph of Aquatic Form – Increases your swim speed by 50% while in Aquatic Form. Up from 20%.
- Glyph of Thorns – Removed.
- Glyph of Regrowth – Increases the healing of your Regrowth spell by 20% if your Regrowth effect is still active on the target. Down from 50%.
- Glyph of Exorcism – Your Exorcism also interrupts spellcasting for 2 sec.
- Glyph of Flash of Light – Your Flash of Light heals for 50% less initially, but also heals for 140.0% of its inital effect over 15 sec.
- Glyph of the Warhorse – Removed
- Glyph of the Wise – Reduces the mana cost of your Seal of Wisdom spell by 50%.
Korrath from the WoW forums made a great informational post regarding more FAQs for the Death Knight class. Lots of great info here, particularly regarding individual skills and spells (some still receiving lots of changes on the beta) and how they can be most effectively used.
Also, make sure to check out part 1 for more Death Knight FAQs.
Q: Why doesn’t Bladed Armor work with Frost Presence?
A: Frost Presence has a 30-second pulse that it uses to periodically check armor changes. Wait a little bit and it will kick in.
Q: Why does Summon Gargoyle suck?
A: It doesn’t, but it isn’t very useful when soloing and questing. The gargoyle has a fairly short cast time for its gargoyle strike; the spell hits about as hard as Death Coil, and happens every couple of seconds. It’s terrific for extended DPS in instances and groups since you have a steady influx of runic power and don’t have much down time. While you are questing, half the time is spent killing and the other half is spent running, which makes the gargoyle less useful.
Q: What’s a death rune?
A: A death rune is a rune that can be used as either unholy, frost or blood. It has lower priority than your other runes, meaning that if you have a Frost rune and a Death Rune available and cast Icy Touch, it will choose your Frost Rune first.
Q: Why does Corpse Explosion suck?
A: It needs love, and will hopefully get it soon. Currently, it isn’t worth using unless there are 6 or more targets in the area to explode.
Q: How is Dual Wielding?
A: Works for some builds, it probably won’t get much better than it currently is due to how attack power scales with white damage and yellow damage. There are a lot of divided thoughts on this. Do what you like.
Q: What’s the best spec for (tanking/DPS/PvP)?
A: Play the game, try things out, discuss. This is beta and this is a brand new class, there isn’t four years of back theorycraft and empirical testing for this class. There isn’t four seasons of previous arena history to base conjecture off of. There are a multitude of specs for blood, frost and unholy tanks, DPS and PvP, and the talent trees change every single patch.
Get out there and try it. That’s what the beta is for.
Q: I don’t know what to do, I just copied a premade DK and I’m all confused!
A: Try creating a new death knight, and do all of the starting quests. It’s an excellent method of trying things out, without all the skills overwhelming you.
Q: I’m still all confused!
A: Read more, post less. (like part 1 of my Death Knight FAQ!)
Q: Why did Blizzard make _______ suck?
A: Blizzard’s designers have budgets for everything. Sometimes they need to rein in the power in order to make things fit into the budget. It’s a sort of behind-the-scenes method of homogenizing all of the classes, in order to ensure that some semblance of balance exists.
Q: Balance? HA! This class sucks, this game sucks, the designers suck, yadda yadda
A: Yet you still give them money each month… Read more, post less.
Q: I just made a Death Knight and I don’t have any talent points! Where are they?
A: You initially start out with 0 talent points and as you complete quests in the starting area you are awarded them along with money/items. By the time you finish the Scarlet Enclave you will have the correct amount of talent points for your level.
Q: Necrosis is only doing 1 damage, is it bugged?
A: Nothing is wrong! Don’t panic, it’s just how necrosis works. Necrosis is based on the damage you do with your weapon. So if you hit a target dummy (it only has 1 hp) necrosis considers that a 1 damage attack and only hits for 1 damage as a result.
Q: Hey, I need mods, what are good ones?
A: Jaime keeps a thread with DK-Centric mods here:
Q: I am STUCK on a HORSE! How do I turn it in?
A: Press 1.
Q: Aren’t we supposed to be overpowered? We are a hero class!
A: Death Knight as a “hero” class is in reference to the player and not the character. As far as game mechanics go, the Death Knight is just any other class in the game, albeit a new one. The “hero” qualification means that the class is more complex (not more powerful) than “standard” and you are beginning play later in the leveling curve. You have 25 levels to learn the inner workings of your class to play on a competitive level, every other class has already had 70 levels to learn. This requires a player comfortable with such a handicap placed upon them.
Q: Some guy totally made his ghoul explode, but my ghoul pet bar doesn’t have explode, what gives?
A: In order to make your ghoul explode, you need both the Master of Ghouls talent and Corpse Explosion. That will enable you to make your poor, innocent ghoul who implicitly trusts and loves you unconditionally, explode.
Q: Corpse dust sucks!!! It is too expensive and I hate it, will it ever go away?
A: No. Deal with it.
FAQ credits: Sunny, Ratri, Rabinahau
Special Melee Attack hit cap: 9% (Strikes)
Two-hander melee hit cap vs. a boss: 9%
Dual wield melee hit cap vs. a boss: 28%
Spell hit cap vs. a boss: 17%
Hit rating for 1%:
This means that if you get 9% hit to ensure all of your melee attacks land you will still need 5.75% more hit or 151 more hit rating to reach the spell hit cap. If you are 2H capped and have Virulence, and a 3% hit debuff on the boss (Such as Misery or Imp. Faerie Fire) you will be spell hit capped as well.
Our melee attacks and spells have a critical damage bonus of 100%.
Hit rating does NOT increase the amount of critical strikes you will have on a target. It reduces the number of times that you will miss the boss.
It takes 45.91 critical strike rating to generate 1% melee or spell critical strike. The reason that hit is such a good stat until capped is because it is so much cheaper to hit 1% hit rating wise than 1% crit. Once you hit the two hander hit cap hit is no longer worth gemming or enchanting.
Haste rating does not reduce our GCD. Our GCD is only affected by Unholy Presence.
Our abilities scale with AP. Spell damage does nothing for us.
Lots of interesting changes here, more than anything it just looks like buffs across the board. All in all the class is really coming together nicely. Most of the talents synergize well with each other making for a very dynamic and well designed class. The only issue I can see with Death Knights, especially after this most recent round of buffs…well, where does it end?
Death Knights have more utility than any other class on top of great damage…oh, and they can function as a tank! I understand it’s a hero class, so it should be distinctly different, but with a class as jammed packed full of amazing talents, skills and utility, where does it end and can the class truly be balance for both PvP and PvE?
I’m not so sure, but knowing there is still many changes in the coming weeks prior to patch 3.0.2′s release I think many of these issues will be thoroughly addressed.
– Death Coil, Frost Strike, Death and Decay damage increased.
– Strikes that scale with diseases changed so that the weapon damage, not just the flat damage, scales with the disease.
– Double rune abilities damage increased: Obliterate, Howling Blast, Scourge Strike, Death Strike.
– Unholy Blight no longer causes Blood Plague, but had its cooldown removed.
– Several attack power coefficients increased.
– Bloody Strikes and Scent of Blood swapped places.
– Bladed Armor now turns armor into Strength (which then is turned into Parry).
– Master of Ghouls’ Ghoul now lasts until killed or similarly dismissed.
– Ravenous Dead no longer affects Ghoul duration, but grants your rotting little buddy 60% more of your Str and Sta. (Stam goes from 30% of yours to ~50% of yours. Strength goes from 100% to 160%.)
– Frost Presence now grants 10% total health in addition to its current bonuses.
– Blood Gorged, Rage of Rivendare and Tundra Stalker all grant 1/2/3/4/5 expertise.
– Veteran of the Third War increased to 6/6/6 Str / Sta / Exp to match warriors.
– Will of the Necropolis no longer grants expertise and now lowers Anti-Magic Shell cooldown.
– Pestilence has no target limit. (It still has a radius limit.) Pesilence glyph now increases area.
– Death and Decay no longer has a cower component, but a glyph can add that back.
– Frigid Dreadplate now has a 100% chance for 2/4/6% miss but only on the DK.
Rewards for the selfless buffer
– Abom’s Might now grants 2% Strength at all times.
– Improved Icy Talons now grants 2% haste at all times.
– Ebon Plaguebringer now grants 3% crit at all times.
– Lichbane now does 2% weapon damage as Fire, and double damage to undead.
– Swordbreaking and Swordshattering add disarm duration reduction.
– Spellbreaking and Spellshattering add silence duration reduction.
– Cinderglacier reduced to 2 charges.
Some interesting death knight news straight from the Blizzard forums. Both of these tid bits are courtesy of Blizzard staff member Ghostcrawler. These posts clear up a good bit of information regarding both death knight rotations and death knight tanking.
Death Knight Rotations
We’re almost ready to show the updated death knight talent tree. It was quite an overhaul but we’re pretty excited about it. In case the talent trees go out before a new data push, I wanted to explain what we’re trying to do here.
We revamped the DK to have a standard rotation that used all the runes intelligently. Then we tweaked a lot of other abilities to be able to swap out one for another with similar rune costs. Some talented abilities can be used situationally for this purpose, while others just flat out replace one of the core abilities. I don’t want to give the impression that “standard rotation” means the DK loses all its depth (or that the game forces you to use this rotation at all). On the contrary it feels like you are making an intelligent decision about what to do next instead of just randomly pounding abilities when they light up.
1) Icy Touch — 1 Frost — Pull a mob and get a Frost Fever disease on it.
2) Plague Strike — 1 Unholy — Get a Blood Plague disease on the enemy.
3) Blood Strike — 1 Blood — Do extra damage for getting both diseases up.
4) Blood Strike — 1 Blood — Do extra damage for getting both diseases up.
5) Obliterate — 1 Frost, 1 Unholy — Your diseases are going to expire soon, so time for a big hit.
6) Death Coil — Runic Power — You probably have enough Runic Power by now.
Those are the basics, but you can swap out those moves as you see fit. If you’re wounded, instead of Obliterate for Step 5, you can Death Strike instead for the same cost. Or you can Chains of Ice. Or Howling Blast. If you are deep Blood, you can Heart Strike instead of Blood Strike for bigger damage and an all new debuff. If you are deep Frost, you can use Blood of the North to earn 2 Death Runes and then get 2 Obliterates next time around. Or you can Frost Strike instead of Death Coil, especially if the target is really wounded and you also have Merciless Combat.
We are trying to fix the Unholy Rune demand in a few ways:
– Degeneration is now an upgrade to Plague Strike. It was such a situational ability (but a very good one in that situation) that we thought it was a good opportunity to merge it with something else. The risk is that serious PvP players will feel like it’s mandatory to only go Unholy. If this happens, we’ll try something else, like making it core again. The runeforge idea is also intriguing.
– We’re going to try Chains of Ice as 1 Frost. Certainly not too many people seem to be complaining that the DK has too much CC. :)
– Raise Dead doesn’t cost any runes. The cost was irrelevant outside of combat and hard to work into a rotation once in awhile.
– Empower Rune Weapon activates all your runes and provides some runic power. Its cooldown is probably long enough to handle this.
– This isn’t a recent change, but remember that with Annihilation more available you can sometimes save a Plague Strike when you Annihilate. Likewise, with the Icy Touch change, you can still get a disease out without spending an Unholy.
It probably feels like we are focusing predominantly on the DK’s PvE options for now, which is probably true. But PvP will start to get a lot more testing as some of the new features (arenas, Wintergrasp) come online.
Death Knight Tanking Changes
When you see the new talent trees, there will be several significant tanking changes that I wanted to explain. Don’t worry — they’re all good.
1) Forceful Deflection is gone. Why? It is now a core ability all death knights get!
2) The top of each tree has a really desirable tanking talent. We figure it’s not painful to spend points in tier 1 of any tree. You can, and probably should, get all of these.
3) Near the bottom of each tree is another really desirable tanking talent. You will still be able to grab this talent and sub-spec into other trees, but you won’t be able to get the gold medal in more than one tree.
4) These talents are more predictable and more under your control. For example, we changed Unbreakable Armor to have a 30 / 60 / 100% chance of boosting your armor by 25% whenever both Frost runes are inactive. To balance this, there is a 90 sec internal cooldown (which we will show in a debuff aura). So you can choose when you want the armor buff. Hold that second Frost Rune until just before the enrage or whenever. Stack it with Icebound Fortitude or Anti-Magic Shell (or both) for truly amazing mitigation.
5) I am not trying to imply there are only 2 tanking talents per tree. The point is that there are some talents we can assume all DK tanks will have, and some others that will be more variable (but ideally equal in utility).
6) No, Blade Barrier is not the ultimate tanking talent in Blood. :)
7) With the disease changes, getting diseases on multiple enemies is much easier than before. We’re also positioning Pestilence to be better at multi-target tanking. A much improved Death and Decay will be nice for pulling, but it’s not Consecrate.
Forceful Deflection is bonus Parry Rating equal to 25% of your Strength. There is one “rank” and you start with it at level 55.
The concern about saving your Runes for the bonus mitigation is totally valid and we’re just going to have to try it out. We didn’t want the bonus to be up for a very short period of time, and we didn’t want the bonus to be trivial but up nearly all the time. We think it’s okay to have to surrender a little bit of dps (in the form of saving a rune you might have used for Obliterate) in order to boost your survivability periodically — to some extent that is what tanking is all about. You also have core abilities like IBF that you can use if you get caught with the ability on cooldown.
Part of the DK tanking style is that you have high enough dps to generate sufficient threat. Still we recognize that you can get into a situation where say the ret paladin is catching up to your threat level too fast and you need to do [something] to really pour on the threat. If we find that a few DK abilities need to generate extra threat, we can go that route.
The guys over at wowdb.com have uncovered the complete listing of all current death knight abilities and spells currently on the beta client. By this point we’ve all heard about lots of these, but it’s great to see everything in one place. Hats off to those guys.
If you haven’t seen the new talents make sure you check those out here, death knight talent tree.
- Anti-Magic Shell
- Anti-Magic Zone (Talents)
- Blood Boil (Rank 4)
- Blood Presence
- Blood Strike (Rank 6)
- Blood Tap
- Bone Armor (Talents)
- Chains of Ice
- Corpse Explosion (Rank 5 — Talents)
- Corpse Explosion (Hmm)
- Dancing Rune Weapon (Talents)
- Death Coil (Rank 5)
- Death Gate
- Death Grip
- Death Grip (Requires Runic Power)
- Death Grip (Hmm)
- Death Pact
- Death Rune Mastery (Rank 3 — Talents)
- Death Strike (Rank 5)
- Death and Decay (Rank 4)
- Deathchill (Talents)
- Degeneration (Rank 3)
- Empower Rune Weapon
- Frost Presence
- Frost Strike (Rank 5 — Talents)
- Frozen Rune Weapon
- Heart Strike (Talents)
- Howling Blast (Rank 5 — Talents)
- Hungering Cold (Talents)
- Hysteria (Talents)
- Icebound Fortitude
- Icy Touch (Rank 5)
- Improved Corpse Explosion (Rank 2 — Talents)
- Lichborne (Talents)
- Mark of Blood (Talents)
- Master of Ghouls (Talents)
- Mind Freeze (Rank 4)
- Obliterate (Rank 4)
- Pestilence (Rank 5)
- Plague Strike (Rank 6)
- Raise Dead
- Rune Tap (Talents)
- Rune of Cinderglacier
- Rune of Frostfever
- Rune of Lichbane
- Rune of Spellbreaking
- Rune of Swordbreaking
- Rune of the Fallen Crusader
- Strangulate (Rank 5)
- Summon Deathcharger
- Summon Gargoyle (Talents)
- Unholy Blight (Rank 4)
- Unholy Presence
- Will of the Necropolis
Earlier today a new ability was uncovered for the Death Knight, runeforging. Being some of the very first beta testers, the guys over at worldofraids.com were of the first to test out all the new changes to the beta client. Including this intesting change that allows the Death Knight to exchange the runes in his weapon, so long as he’s within Ebon Hold.
- Rune of Lichbane – Affixes your rune weapon with a rune that has a chance to strike undead for extra Fire damage and stun them for 5 sec. Modifying your rune weapon requires a Rune Forge in Ebon Hold.
- Rune of the Fallen Crusader – Affixes your rune weapon with a rune that has a chance to heal you for 3% and increase total Strength by 30% for 15 sec. Modifying your rune weapon requires a Rune Forge in Ebon Hold.
- Rune of Spellbreaking – Affixes your two-handed rune weapon with a rune that deflects 5% of all spell damage. Modifying your rune weapon requires a Rune Forge in Ebon Hold.
- Rune of Frostfever – Affixes your rune weapon with a rune that has a chance to inflict a disease that causes Frost damage and lowers attack power by 10% for 20 sec. Modifying your rune weapon requires a Rune Forge in Ebon Hold.
- Rune of Cinderglacier – Affixes your rune weapon with a rune that has a chance to increase your Frost and Shadow spell damage by 10% for 15 sec. Modifying your rune weapon requires a Rune Forge in Ebon Hold.
- Rune of Swordbreaking – Affixes your two-handed rune weapon with a rune that increases Parry chance by 3%. Modifying your rune weapon requires a Rune Forge in Ebon Hold.
Just when we thought we’d seen the last of the major World Wide Invitational’s updates here comes another! The guys over at http://www.worldofraids.com/ had a chance to cover the event, and more specifically, actually test the death knight class. Needless to say…this is going to be one fun class to play!
Butchery (Rank 0/2)
Whenever you kill an enemy that grants experience or honor, you generate 10 runic power. In addition you generate 1 runic power per 3 sec.
Bladed Armor (Rank 0/5)
You gain 5 attack power for every 1000 points of your armor value.
Improved Blood Strike (Rank 0/3)
Increases the bonus damage your Blood Strikes cause to diseased targets by 30%.
Subversion (Rank 0/3, Requires 5 Points in Blood Talents)
Increases the critical strike chance of Blood Strike, Pestilence and Obliterate by 1% and reduces threat generated while in Blood or Unholy Presence by 8%.
Forceful Deflection (Rank 0/5)
Whenever you kill an enemy that grants experience or honor, you generate 10 runic power. In addition you generate 1 runic power per 3 sec.
Rune Tap (Rank 0/1, Requires 10 Points in Blood Talents, Instant – 1 Blood – 1 min Colldown)
Converts 1 Blood Rune into 10% of your maximum health.
Dark Conviction (Rank 0/5, Requires 10 Points in Blood Talents)
Increases your chance to get a critical strike with melee weapon by 1%.
Improved Rune Tap (Rank 0/3, Requires 1 point in Rune Tap, Requires 15 Points in Blood Talents)
Increases the health provided by Rune Tap by 15%.
Spell Deflection (Rank 0/3, Requires 5 points in Forceful Deflection, Requires 15 Points in Blood Talents)
You have a chance equal to your Parry chance of taking 10% less damage from a direct damage spell.
Vendetta (Rank 0/2, Requires 15 Points in Blood Talents)
Heals you for 3% of your total health whenever you kill a target that yields experience or honor.
Scent of Blood (Rank 0/3, Requires 20 points in Blood Talents)
After being struck by a ranged or melee critical hit, you gain the Scent of Blood effect, causing your next 2 melee hits to steal life from the enemy. Lasts for 12 sec. This effect cannot occur more often than once every 12 sec.
Blade Barrier (Rank 0/3, Requires 20 points in Blood Talents)
Whenever you have no Runes active, your Parry chance increases by 5% for the next 8 sec.
Mark of Blood (Rank 0/1, Requires 20 points in Blood Talents, Instant – 1 Blood – 1 Unholy – 30 yard range)
Place a Mark of Blood on an enemy. Whenever the marked target is healed, all party members receive a 5% of that healing (up to a maximum of 5% of the Deathknight’s health). If a marked target that grants experience or honor is killed, all party members are healed for 10% of their total health. Last 3 minutes.
Bloody Vengeance (Rank 0/5, Requires 5 points in Dark Conviction, Requires 25 points in Blood Talents)
Gives you a 1% bonus to Physical and Shadow damage you deal for 30 sec after dealing a critical strike from a weapon swing, spell, or ability. This effect stacks up to 3 times.
Blood Rune Mastery (Requires 25 points in Blood Talents)
When you strike a diseased target, there is a 10% chance that the time it takes for your Blood Runes to activate will be cut in half for the next 5 sec.
Infested Corpse (Rank 0/3, Requires 30 points in Blood Talents)
When an enemy that grants experience or honor dies while suffering from one of your diseases, its corpse has a 10% chance of producing 1 Bloodworm. Bloodworms attack your enemies, healing you for the amount of damage they deal for 20 sec or until killed.
Hysteria (Rank 0/1, Requires 30 points in Blood Talents, Instant – 1 Blood – 1 Unholy, 30 yd range – 2 min cooldown)
Induces a friendly unit into a killing frenzy for 30 sec. increasing their physical damage by 20%, but causing them to suffer damage equal to 1% of their total health every second.
Veteran of the Third War (Rank 0/3, Requires 30 points in Blood Talents)
Increases your total Strength by 2% and your total Stamina by 1%.
Sudden Doom (Rank 0/5, Requires 35 points in Blood Talents)
Your Blood Strikes have a 4% chance to make your next Death Coil consume no runic power if cast within 8 sec.
Blood Aura (Rank 0/2, Requires 35 points in Blood Talents)
Increases the amount Blood Presence heals you by 10%. While in Blood Presence, increases the total Strength of all party members within 45 yeards by 2%.
Will of the Necropolis (Rank 0/3, Requires 40 points in Blood Talents)
Increases your expertise by 2. When you have less than 35% health, your total armor increases by 10%.
Heart Strike (Rank 0/1, Requires 40 points in Blood Talents, 1 Blood – Next melee, Requires Melee Weapon)
A debilitating attack that lowers the target’s total health by up to 20% for 30 sec.
Might of Mograine (Rank 0/3, Requires 40 points in Blood Talents)
Increases the critical strike damage bonus of your Blood Strike, Plague Strike and Obliterate abilities by 20%.
Blood Gorged (Rank 0/5, Requires 45 points in Blood Talents)
When you are above 75%, your melee damage is increased by 2%.
Dancing Rune Weapon (Rank 0/1, Requires 50 points in Blood Talents, Requires Runic Power, Instant – Requires Melee Weapon – 1 min cooldown)
Unleashes all available runic power to summon a second rune weapon that fights on its own for 1 sec per 5 runic power, doing the same attacks that you do.
Improved Icy Touch (Rank 0/5)
Reduces the cooldown of your icy Touch spell by 1 sec and increases the critical strike damage by 5%.
Glacier Rot (Rank 0/3)
Diseased enemies take 5% more damage from your Icy Touch, Mind Freeze and Frost Strike spells.
Frostbite (Rank 0/3)
Gives your Icy Touch and Mind Freeze spells a 5% chance to freeze the target for 5 sec.
Toughness (Rank 0/5, Requires 5 Points in Frost Talents)
Increases your armor value from items by 2%.
Block Ice (Rank 0/5, Requires 5 Points in Frost Talents)
Increases your Frost and Shadow spell damage by 2%.
Icy Talons (Rank 0/5, Requires 5 Points in Improved Icy Touch, Requires 10 Points in Frost Talents)
You leech heat from targets of your Icy Touch, so that when their melee, ranged and casting speed are reduced, yours speed up by 3% for the next 20 sec.
Frozen Rune Weapon (Rank 0/1, Requires 10 Points in Frost Talents, Instant – 1 Frost)
Imbue your rune weapon with frost, causing 29.9 to 92 additional frost damage, based on the speed of the weapon. Also has the chance to cause your target to be vulnerable to Frost damage. Lasts 10 minutes.
Nerves of Cold Steel (Rank 0/3)
Increases your chance to hit with one-handed melee weapons by 1% and increases the damage done by your off-hand weapon by 5%.
Death Rune Mastery (Rank 0/3, Requires 15 Points in Frost Talents)
Whenever a rune activates, it has a 2% chance of converting into a Death Rune.
Chill of the Grave (Rank 0/3, Requires 15 Points in Frost Talents)
Your Icy Touch, Chains of Ice and Frost Strike generate 25% additional runic power.
Killing Machine (Rank 0/5, Requires 15 points in Frost Talents)
After landing a melee critical strike, there is a 20% chance your next Icy Touch, Mind Freeze or Howling Blast spell will be a critical strike.
Deathchill (Rank 0/1, Requires 20 points in Frost Talents, Instant – 2 min cooldown)
When activated increases your critical strike chance with Frost spells and abilities by 100% for the next 6 sec.
Frigid Dreadplate (Rank 0/3, Requires 1 point in Frozen Rune Weapon)
Enemies who hit you in melee have a 5% chance to become unsettled, decreasing their attack speed by 50% for the next swings.
Runic Power Mastery (Rank 0/3, Requires 20 points in Frost Talents)
All of your runic power spells and abilities behave as if you had an additional 10% runic power.
Chillblains (Rank 0/3, Requires 25 points in Frost Talents)
Adds a Chill effect to your Icy Touch and Mind Freeze, reducing movement speed by 10% for 2 sec.
Frost Rune Mastery (Requires 25 points in Frost Talents)
When you freeze a target, there is a 50% chance that the time it takes for your Frost Runes to activate will be cut in half for the next 5 sec.
Annihilation (Rank 0/3, Requires 25 points in Frost Talents)
Increases the critical strike chance of your melee special abilities by 1%. In addition, there is a 30% chance that your Obliterate will do its damage without consuming a disease.
Howling Blast (Rank 0/1, Requires 30 points in Frost Talents, Instant – 1 Frost, 20 yd range – 30 sec cooldown)
Blast the target with a frigid wind dealing 278 to 302 Frost damage to all enemies within 10 yards. Deals triple damage to frozen targets.
Unbreakable Armor (Rank 0/3, Requires 30 points in Frost Talents)
Whenever you use a Frost Rune, you have a 5% chance of increasing your armor by 30% and your Parry chance by 30% for 10 sec.
Endless Winter (Rank 0/1, Requires 30 points in Frost Talents)
The slowing effect of your Icy Touch lasts and additional 2 sec and the freezing effect of your Chains of Ice lasts and additional 1 sec.
Aneurysm (Requires 3 points in Chillblains, Requires 35 points in Frost Talents)
The Chill effects of Icy Touch and Mind Freeze lasts an additional 1 sec. In addition, Mind Freeze consumes no runic power.
Merciless Combat (Rank 0/3, Requires 35 points in Frost Talents)
Your frost spells and abilities do an additional 20% damage when striking targets with less than 20% health.
Frost Aura (Rank 0/2, Requires 35 points in Frost Talents)
Increases your Frost Resistance by 22. While in Frost Presence, increases the total health of all party members within 45 yards by 2%.
Acclimation (Rank 0/3,Requires 40 points in Frost Talents)
When hit by a spell, you have a 10% chance to boost resistance to that school of magic for 18 sec. Stacks up to 3 times.
Frost Strike (Rank 0/1, Requires 3 points in Merciless Combat., Requires 40 points in Frost Talents, 1 Frost – Next melee, Requires Melee Weapon)
A strong attack that deals weapon damage as Frost damage. Has a 10% chance to freeze the target.
Guile of Gorefiend (Rank 0/3, Requires 40 points in Frost Talents)
Increases the critical strike damage bonus of your Obliterate, Mind Freeze, and Frost Strike abilities by 20%, and increases the duration of your Icebound Fortitude by 2 sec.
Tundra Stalker (Rank 0/5, Requires 45 points in Frost Talents)
Your spells and abilities deal 2% more damage to targets under the effects of Icy Touch, Chains of Ice or Hungering Cold.
Hungering Cold (Rank 0/1, Requires 50 points in Frost Talents., Requires Runic Power, Instant – 1 min cooldown)
Unleashes all available runic power to eradicate all heat from around the Death Knight, freezing enemies within 10 yards and preventing them from performing any action for 2 sec per 10 runic power. Enemies are considered frozen, but any damage will break the ice.
Epidemic (Rank 0/2)
Increases the duration of diseases caused by you, or your ghouls by 3 sec.
Virulence (Rank 0/3)
Increases your chance to hit with your spells by 1% and reduces the chance that diseases you cause can be cured by 10%.
Improved Death Coil (Rank 0/5)
Increases the damage and healing of your Death Coil spell by 5%.
Vicious Strikes (Rank 0/3)
Increases the critical strike chance by 1% and critical strike damage by 1% of your Plague Strike, Death Strike and Degeneration.
Ravenous Dead (Rank 0/5,Requires 5 Points in Unholy Talents)
Increases the total Strength of you and your Ghouls by 1% and reduces the cooldown on Raise Dead by 30 sec.
Unholy Command (Rank 0/2,Requires 5 Points in Unholy Talents)
Reduces the cooldown of your Death Grip ability by 5 sec and the cooldown of your Blood Boil ability by 2 sec.
Improved Plague Strike (Rank 0/3, Requires 10 Points in Unholy Talents)
Increases the damage done by your Plague Strike ability by 5%.
Lichborne (Rank 0/1, Requires 10 Points in Unholy Talents, Instant – 5 min cooldown)
Draw upon unholy energy to become undead for 30 sec. While undead, you are immune to Charm, Fear and Sleep effects, and your horrifying visage causes melee attacks to have an additional 25% chance to miss you.
Necrosis (Rank 0/5, Requires 10 Points in Unholy Talents)
Your normal melee swings have a 20% chance to deal an additional 5% Shadow damage.
On a Pale Horse (Rank 0/2, Requires 15 Points in Unholy Talents)
You become as hard to stop as death itself. The duration of all Stun and Fear against you is reduced by 10% and your mounted speed is increased by 10%. This does not stack with other movement speed increasing effects.
Ferocious Dead (Rank 0/3, Requires 5 points in Ravenous Dead, Requires 15 Points in Unholy Talents)
Raise Dead lasts an additional 30 sec. Army of the Dead lasts an additional 1 sec, and Death Pact grants a heal over time effect for 15 sec equal to 50% of the amount healed.
Dirge (Rank 0/3, Requires 15 points in Unholy Talents)
Your Plague Strike, Degeneration, Raise Dead and Summon Gargoyle generate 25% additional runic power.
Shadow of Death (Rank 0/5, Requires 15 points in Unholy Talents)
Increases all your attributes by 1% and whenever you die, you return to keep fighting as a Ghoul for 45 sec.
Corpse Explosion (Rank 0/1, Requires 20 points in Unholy Talents, Instant – 20 yd range, 10 Runic Power)
Unleashes all available runic power to cause a targeted corpse to explode for 3.6 Nature damage per 10 runic power to all enemies within 20 yards.
Impurity (Rank 0/5, Requires 20 points in Unholy Talents)
Your spells receive an additional 4% benefit from your attack power.
Unholy Rune Mastery (Requires 20 points in Unholy Talents)
When you strike an enemy with Degeneration or Plague Strike there is a 10% chance that the time it takes for your Unholy Runes to activate will be cut in half for the next 5 sec.
Improved Corpse Explosion (Rank 0/2, Requires 1 point in Corpse Explosion, Requires 25 points in Unholy Talents)
Exploded corpses cause 25% additional damage and have a 50% chance to cast a disease on enemy targets that deals 36% of th eexplosion damage over 9 sec.
Magic Supression (Rank 0/5, Requires 25 points in Unholy Talents)
You take 1% less damage from all magic. In addition, your Anti-Magic Shell absorbs an additional 5% of spell damage.
Bone Armor (Requires 25 points in Unholy Talents, Instant – 1 Unholy – 1 Frost, 30 sec Cooldown)
The caster is surrounded by 4 Whirling bones. each bone reduces the damage from the next spell or melee attack by 40% but is then consumed. Lasts 5 min.
Improved Magic Supression (Rank 0/1, Requires 5 points in Magic Supression, Requires 30 points in Unholy Talents., Instant – 1 Unholy, 20 yd range – 2 min cooldown)
Places a large, static Anti-Magic Zone which can protect any party members inside it. The Anti-Magic Zone absorbs 75% of the damage dealt by the next harmful spell. Absorbs up to 10,000 damage. Lasts 30 sec.
Blood-Caked Blade (Rank 0/5, Requires 30 points in Unholy Talents)
Your normal melee swings have a 2% chance to infect a target with plague, dealing shadow damage over time.
Crypt Fever (Rank 0/5, Requires 35 points in Unholy Talents)
Your diseases also cause Crypt Fever, which reduces an enemy’s attributes by 1%. Crypt Fever lasts for 18 sec and can stack up to 3 times.
Unholy Aura (Rank 0/2, Requires 35 points in Unholy Talents)
Increases your Shadow resistance by 22. While in Unholy Presence, increases the movement speed of all party members within 45 yards by 5%. This effect stacks with other movement improving effects.
Wandering Plague (Rank 0/3, Requires 40 points in Unholy Talents)
When your diseases damage an enemy, there is a 5% chance they will also damage other enemies within 8 yards. This spell ignores targets with effects cancelled by taking damage.
Ebon Plaguebringer (Rank 0/3, Requires 5 points in Crypt Fever, Requires 40 points in Unholy Talents)
Your Crypt Fever morphs into Ebon Plague, which increases vulnerability to magic by 1% in addition to reducing attributes by 5%. Ebon Plague lasts for 18 sec and can stack up to 3 times.
Summon Gargoyle (Rank 0/1, Requires 40 points in Unholy Talents, Intant – 30 yd range, Requires Runic Power, 5 min cooldown)
A Gargoyle flies into the area and bombards the target with Shadow damage modified by the Death Knight’s attack power. Persists for 1 sec per 8 runic power up to 1 min.
Rage of Rivendare (Rank 0/5, Requires 45 points in Unholy Talents)
Your spells and abilities deal 2% more damage to diseased targets.
Unholy Blight (Rank 0/1, Requires 50 points in Unholy Talents, 10 Runic Power, Instant – 1 min cooldown)
A creeping swarm of unholy insects surrounds the caster for a 10 yd radius. All enemies caught in the swarm take 34 damage, and are plagued with a disease that can stack up to 3 times. Persists for 1 sec per 10 runic power.