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Death Knight changes in WoW Patch 3.1 PTR build 9733

Although this wasn't the biggest PTR patch in the world (they're coming smaller and faster now, perhaps suggesting that 3.1 is near), there were still some notable changes for my new favorite melee class. The changes for Death Knights are as follows:

  • Frost

    • Howling Blast cooldown has been reduced from 10 sec to 8 sec.
    • Rime now resets the cooldown on Howling Blast when it procs, in addition to its previous effects.

These Frost changes are a clear buff to deep Frost DPS builds. Which was needed, because nobody plays Frost 2h.

  • Unholy

    • Death Strike damage has been lowered, it now deals 60% weapon damage (down from 75%) plus 178.2 (down from 222.75) for Rank 5.
    • Night of the Dead has been moved from Tier 8 to Tier 4.
    • Ghoul Frenzy has been moved from Tier 6 to Tier 7.
    • Master of Ghouls has been moved from Tier 4 to Tier 6.

The Unholy changes are mostly about keeping the perma-ghoul out of the hands of non-Unholy DKs. As of the prior build, a Blood spec with Master of Ghouls was getting a lot of buzz, but this is no longer going to be possible - to get MoG, you'd have to skip basically everything past Heart Strike (i.e. Blood Gorged and Dancing Rune Weapon, as well as most of Might of Mograine), which is just too much to pass up. The nerf to Death Strike is also aimed at PTR Blood builds, which were using DS instead of Obliterate. Whether or not they still will be, Blood damage will be lower now. This doesn't bother me much - I'll be able to justify staying Unholy, which I like better anyway. I'm still not happy about all that armor penetration, though.


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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