Frost DK update for 4.1

The patch updates from 4.1 for the Death Knight class has changed Frost dps significantly. A Frost DK should review the new EJ notes which seem accurate to my quick testing (repeat wiping on Neferian) in last night’s raid.

Important updates:

  • Blood Strike is now removed from the rotation / priority, as Blood of the North gives Frost Death Knights all their Blood runes as Death runes. I love this, it feels so much better to be managing one less resource, and instead trying to balance the use of those extra runes for Obliterate strikes.
  • Unholy presence is now the default presence. This changes all the previous information for DPS as Frost, and is probably the biggest change in the update. It may also not stay that way, depending on what the percieved issues are with the Frost presence being almost redundant. I also really like this as it gives a great movement boost, which so many raids need. It is however still a huge debate in progress, being based upon all sorts of parses of combat logs. It may be that in a stand and spank fight the Frost presence might pull ahead, rather than Unholy presence which is excellent for movement fights. My bias is based upon doing kiting and high movement fights. I’d expect that eventually an optimal will be found.
  • Check your Glyphs, especially the Hungering Cold glyph. I’m finding that as Frost DK my job is often to kite something, so this glyph is very powerful as you can ignore the normal resources needed to trigger it. I’ve changed from the standard build to have better CC options for our raid, and hopefully the increased control will be a suitable compensation for a reduction in dps.

Still to test is which of the off-spec talents are actually better, give the balance of diseases increased duration vs the persistent dps increase from other talents.

Unholy vs Frost presence for PvE DPS

A quick note to help clarify something obvious. Cataclysm has totally changed the choice of which presence to use. We are in a new and highly logical world where the two choices are Frost or Unholy. Please do not use Blood Presence for DPS any more, its a Tank Presence now.

Update 26-Sep-2011: Use Unholy presence for DPS. The rest of this post is based upon old information, and has changed. I would not expect an update to this now until after patch 4.3, or even in the next expansion.

From now onward the choice of DPS presence is between Frost and Unholy. Generally if you are an Unholy DK, then use Unholy Presence especially where fights require a lot of movement. When doing AoE where you have time to switch out of Unholy, and will not be moving back to single target quickly you can switch over to Frost Presence.

Also if you’re a Frost DK then use Frost presence for dual-weild and Unholy for using a two handed weapon (see links for proof). This is a deliberate change in style so that the spec matches the presence.

So the DPS rule is now: 2h weapon = Unholy, x2 single handed weapons = Frost.

I posted a long time ago in Wrath about which presence to use, but that post is now totally out of date. I’m posting this now because my old post still gets a lot of traffic and it needs to be corrected, and also because I’m starting to play a DK again and I’m having to retrain myself as well. Heck – I still switch to Blood sometimes by habit.

Apologies if this is stating the obvious. Happy Killing.

Unholy vs Blood Presence for PvE

Update (3 May 2011): Patch 4.1 has changed Frost Death Knights again, so now the use of Unholy presence is viable and desirable, but the jury is still out on exactly which circumstances require which presence. For now use Unholy for Frost, especially if you have a need for high movement.

Old info (9 March 2011): Cataclysm has totally changed the choice of which presence to use. Please do not use Blood Presence for DPS any more, its a Tank Presence now. I have written an updated post on this topic, but the content is repeated here.

From now onward the choice of DPS presence is between Frost and Unholy. Generally if you are an Unholy DK, then use Unholy Presence especially where fights require a lot of movement. Also if you’re a Frost DK then use Frost presence for dual-weild and Unholy for using a two handed weapon (see links for proof). This is a deliberate change in style so that the spec matches the presence.

So the DPS rule is now: 2h weapon = Unholy, x2 single handed weapons = Frost.

Original post is below.

dk-symbolI ping’ed a question about Unholy vs Blood presence for Death Knights in PvE, to Skeleton Jack. The response left little doubt in my mind of his opinion.

Noted SJ, I won’t ask again. 🙂

heya SJ,

How about this old topic: Unholy vs blood presence, as a blood spec dk

I was doing HoA (? big boss that is a 4 minute dps race), and was told to switch from Blood to Unholy. Could the reason be the fight being very short? The reason I ask is that I thought that blood was better overall, and increased the damage on all abilities.

I’ll have to try some target dummies. And then I remembered you posting something along the lines of “blood always for dps pve” and it got me thinking.

cheers,

Andrew

The response goes:

DO NOT USE UNHOLY PRESENCE TO DO PvE DPS OR I SWEAR TO GOD I WILL BEAT YOU WITH A STICK!!!

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Unholy love for PTR 3.0.8 Notes

Overall I like this patch. Lots of changes, with the highlights that I like the most:

  • Death Knights on any Realm – does this mean you have a 55 on one realm, and then you create a 55 on another? If so that’s strange but good for allowing re-balance. Not that I need anothert DK, but its good regardless.
  • More graveyards is a good thing, and hopefully we get a few more places to run from in Northrend and Outland too.
  • Run speed while dead has been increased, yay.
  • Most of the DK changes are great, but a touch of love for the Frosty tanks might have been good. I can see the Unholy changes really helping, and I love the fact that Horn is now no cost and gives RunePower. I can’t see Gargoyle as a real option still, the RP cost is too high compared to chat the Ghoul can do.
  • Swipe for Feral cats at 71 is wonderful.
  • Tapping a target makes it yours, and any action that Aggros is a tap. Woot.

All the notes after the fold, and yes, I see the improvements while being dead as very worth while. Its part of how I manage Aggro. 🙂

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