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Patch 3.1 PTR build 9658 Death Knight changes

Evidently, this is the build where they noticed that Death Knights could tank competently, and decided to do something about that. Where by "something" I refer to the six seven separate tanking nerfs that have ensued. Oh yeah, and they cut Fallen Crusader in half.

  • 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 15% (down from 30%) for 15 sec. I may be too invested in my class - I actually feel physically ill about this. FC was overpowered, yes, but not that overpowered.

  • Frost

    • Howling Blast damage has been doubled (from 259-281 to 518-562 for max rank), cooldown changed from 5 seconds to 10 seconds. So I guess we're meant to obliterate when HB is on cooldown, and just use HB once per rune set?
    • Frost Presence now reduces spell damage taken by 10%. (Down from 15%) This is reasonable on its own. Unfortunately, it gets considerably worse.
    • Guile of Gorefiend now increases damage done by your Blood Strike, Frost Strike, Howling Blast and Obliterate abilities by 5/10/15%. (Old - Critical damage only, 15/30/45%) Simple math: if your crit change is greater than 33%, this is a nerf; otherwise, it's a buff. I'm guessing that means it's a buff for most players.
    • Lichborne doesn't increase the chance of your enemies to miss you anymore. Heyo! Goodbye, defensive cooldown.
    • Update: Ghostcrawler has just posted that Unbreakable Armor is getting the same cooldown doubling that all our other analogous defensive cooldowns got. Awesome.
  • Blood

    • Dancing Rune Weapon now lasts 20 sec (up from 10sec) and last 2 (up from 1 sec) sec per 5 additional runic power but attacks for ?% reduced damage. As long as the "?" is not greater than 50, it's a buff. We'll see.
    • Will of the Necropolis now cannot occur more often than once every 15 sec. Not sure what to say about this. It doesn't seem overly significant. One more tanking nerf to throw in the bag, I guess.
    • Might of Mograine now increase all damage done by your Blood Boil, Blood Strike, Death Strike, Heart Strike, and Obliterate abilities by 3/7/10%. (Old - Critical damage only, 10/20/30%) Same as above - nerf if your crit chance is greater than 33%, buff otherwise.
    • Vampiric Blood cooldown has been increased from 1 min to 2 min. Not quite "goodbye, defensive cooldown," just "I'll see you half as often."
    • Blade Barrier now decrease damage taken by 1/2/3/4/5% for 10 sec. This is the one I'm really miffed about. Blade Barrier was an awesome, nigh class-defining ability, and this really cuts it down.
  • Unholy

    • Bone Shield cooldown has been increased from 1 min to 2 min. Of course, you have to hit every tree's cooldowns. It wouldn't be fair otherwise
    • Ghoul Frenzy cooldown has been removed. Most PvE DKs didn't seem like they were going to bother casting this anyway, because the cost screws with the Unholy rotation and the ability is just not very compelling. Removing the cooldown won't change that; still near-worthless.
    • Blood-Caked Blade proc limitation has been removed. (Old - This effect cannot occur more often than once every 3 sec.) It's almost shocking to see a straight buff at this point. This will help beleaguered DW builds a lot.
    • Outbreak now Increases the damage of Plague Strike by 10/20/30% (Down from 15/30/45%) and Scourge Strike by 7/13/20%. (Down from 10/20/30%) This is one nerf I think was merited. The previous iteration of Outbreak was tremendously strong.
    • Necrosis now affects all your auto attacks. (Old - Only Main-Hand) Another buff for DW builds, reinforcing the devs' claim that they don't want to abolish DW DPS, they just don't want it to be dominant.

The good news is that we've still got a ways to go before this patch hits live. The PTR is for testing, and they're testing this out. If DK tanks turn out to be about as resilient as a mage now, or if DKs are dumping Fallen Crusader to get Berserking left and right, they'll make additional adjustments. Or at least that's what I keep telling myself.

We also had a couple of glyph changes:

  • Glyph of Strangulate - Reduces the cooldown of your Strangulate by 20 sec. (Down from 30 sec.) Sure, whatever. I can see that this would be reasonable.
  • Glyph of Death Coil - Increases the damage done by Death Coil by 15%. (Old - Reduces the cost of Death Coil by 8 runic power.) Hmmm. The previous version cut the RP cost by 20%, so in terms of damage per RP this is a nerf, and probably therefore in terms of overall damage. Still, much better than the non-existent DC glyph we currently don't have.

Patch 3.1 brings us Ulduar, dual specs, significant changes to all the classes, and more! We've got you covered from top to bottom with our Guide to Patch 3.1.

Filed under: Patches, Death Knight

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