Sunday, September 26, 2010

Death Knight Changes - Part Two

Let's talk talents.

This is now the dedicated tank tree. We gain Bone Shield from the old Unholy tree, Toughness from Frost, a -10% damage debuff added to Blood Boil, Crit Immunity from Blood Presence (bai bai def cap), free Icebound Fortitude, reduced CD on Strangulate, and finally Crimson Scourge; in addition to buffing Blood Boil's damage, if you use Plague Strike (since a single Unholy rune isn't super useful in an AOE tank situation) and the target is already infected with Blood Plague, your next BB is free. Additionally, Rune Tap is now improved by default, and a number of talents now cost less.

We lost...almost all of our DPS talents, as to be expected from a tanking tree. We retain Abom's Might to provide a raid buff (beyond horn), and remain a cooldown-focused tank. All in all, I'm generally pleased, although there honestly weren't that many changes to Blood from a tank perspective. Bone Shield isn't bad as long as it's viewed as another short cooldown instead of something to try and maintain for a damage buff.

Lastly, Blood's Mastery is Blood Shield: whenever you use Death Strike, you gain a shield that absorbs damage equal to 50% of the healing. I like this a lot, as it ensures you get the most out of your DS healing rather than risk some (or all) going to overhealing.

Frost gains On a Pale Horse (+mounted speed) from Unholy, a 4% increased physical damage taken debuff, a late-tier talent option for 2h Frost, and Pillar of Frost: essentially a tweaked Unbreakable Armor; it still increases Str by 20%, but rather than improve armor it now prevents against movement effects such as knockback. This fits the fact that Frost is now a dedicated dps tree; there is no longer a need for survivability talents. One final change of note is that Howling Blast now (again) has no cooldown.

In addition to losing a ton of passives, Frost loses Acclimation (magic resistance), Toughness, and Deathchill; the latter is the only DPS loss, as it was a free crit for your next Icy Touch, Frost Strike, Howling Blast or Obliterate on a 1m cooldown. Beyond that, the tree lost nothing interesting that was of any use for DPS. Frost's Mastery is Frozen Heart, a simple 20% increase to all Frost damage done. All told, they've done pretty well with Frost imo. Removing the cd on Howling makes the build more AoE friendly, while adding a 2h option (while maintaining dw) gives the tree a lot of versatility.

A lot of fun new stuff in the Unholy tree (which is good considering how many of it's old talents ended up in Blood and Frost). First off we've got Resilient Infection, a PVP talent that refreshes your runes when your diseases are dispelled. Next is Runic Corruption, which changes your Runic Empowerment to grant you +50% rune regeneration (instead of simply activating a random rune). Unholy also gains Hysteria, which is now renamed Unholy Frenzy. The final two new Unholy talents are ghoul related: first is Shadow Infusion, which applies a stacking (5x) 10% damage buff on your pet every time you cast DC. Next is Dark Transformation, which consumes all 5 stacks of Infusion to transform your pet for 30 seconds. These two really flesh out the role of the Unholy DK as the Warrior/Necromancer hybrid.

Gone are Bone Shield, On a Pale Horse, Wandering Plague, Crypt Fever/Ebon Plague, and a ton of passives. Surprisingly, Antimagic Zone remains (as does improved AMS), retaining the iconic PVP utility of the Unholy DK. The Mastery for Unholy is 20% increased disease damage; this is as unimpressive as Frost's, but with the rest of the changes it's hard to be too disappointed.

That wraps up my overview of the DK Talent changes coming for Cata. As with all unreleased content, this info is subject to change at any point. If that happens, I'll keep you guys posted.


  1. I never got into liking my DK so it sat at level 55

  2. Do you know when official release is?

  3. ah i might have to resubscribe for cata :O

  4. Im not too thrilled with the DK changes... now Ret Pallies on the other hand.. oh boy lol

  5. DKs are not fun. Play a warlock instead! P.S. cant wait for expansion

  6. There isn't an official release date announced yet.

    I've got a warlock Flippy, DK is just my main...

  7. I might have to recover my account come cataclysm >.<

  8. Rofl, my DK is sitting on the name Blafrican and I refuse to give it up.

    Ugh, was so hard to cancel my wow account...

  9. I sold my wow account to a friend, but he was going to give it back... until he got it banned for botting. Oh well, that's one way to get over an addiction.

  10. Ugh. WoW has become such a noob's paradise that I don't even want to go anywhere near it.
    Like, mounts at 20? Really? Mounts used to MEAN something. Now it's like OH HEY HERE YA GO!
    The game has lost its appeal to me, and the only people left are addicts.
    >_< Star Wars: The Old Republic ftw.

  11. WoW has become a noob fest. Still a fun game..Though ive become so bored of the same thing and can not wait for cata to come out.

  12. Any word on more details coming soon?

  13. Cawlin, there's this other game I think you'd like. It's been out for a while, but I hear its pretty fun. Its called Everquest; heard of it?

  14. ive been thinking about a dk
    i have a blood elf pally as my main.
    how easy is it to play as a dk?

  15. boo death knights!!

    yay warriors!

  16. i got a GM hunter alliance side bad ass shaman on gilneas and rolling a warrior now

  17. I like this, awaiting your next update!