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Posts with tag Blade-Barrier

Lichborne: Preliminary patch 4.3 impressions for death knights

Night Elf death knight
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

With the patch 4.3 PTR up for a week now, I thought it would be a good idea to talk about its effect on death knights. It helps that I have been playing a decent amount of PTR over the last week, so I have a lot to talk about. Of course, the first thing we'll want to take about is the centerpiece of the patch, the ultimate and greatest feature of WoW to date, transmogrification.

After much trial, error, and agonizing, I've come to conclusion that Acherus Knight's Gear, the original green starting stuff we get upon creation, is truly the best look. For my personal set, I swapped in my Greaves of the Slaughter just because I didn't like the barefoot look, but other than that, it's pretty amazing. If you didn't save your own set, you may be out of luck, but I am hearing rumors that Darkmoon Faire could give us a chance to get the set again. Unfortunately, the Faire's not up for testing yet, so I can't confirm that at the moment.

Of course, you can only play pretty dress-up for so long before you need to go back to slaying monsters (and I say this as someone who absolutely adores playing pretty dress-up on my WoW characters), so moving on, we'll take a look at the rest of this thing.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: A death knight primer for tanking 5-man dungeons

Welcome to Lichborne, the weekly death knight column. This week, your host is in a bit of a tanking mood. Those Emblems of Frost don't earn themselves!
So when the Dungeon Finder came out, it was pretty cool even for DPS. A 10 minute wait for a DPS slot for a 5-man dungeon is pretty insanely awesome. If nothing else, it was certainly faster than the old way of sitting in Dalaran for 2 hours picking your nose and watching the LFG channel.

Now that the dungeon finder has been around for a while though, things are getting a bit stickier for DPS. My server averages around 15-20 minutes for a level 80, and I've heard some battlegroups are up to 30-45 minutes, even at prime time. To make matters worse, tanks and healers can continue to boast instant or near-instant queues almost everywhere, leaving the poor DPS green with envy.

Now technically, this is how it's almost always worked. Tanks and Healers get groups pretty quick, DPS has to wait around. And all told, the dungeon finder system is still pretty cool, and you still get a group faster than the old way. That said, now that we've had a taste of true power, I'm sure we're all loathe to lose it. Luckily, death knights have an out: We can go tank.

Whether you're a DPS DK considering going tank for shorter queue times, or a 5-man DK tank newbie looking to up their game, this column's for you.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Instances, Guides, Talents, Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Dual Wielding and Tanking on the 3.1 PTR

Nerfs stink.
Welcome to Lichborne, where Daniel Whitcomb is ready to help you roll with the punches (and Death Knight changes) coming from the PTR.

We had a new build hit the PTR this week, and with a week gone by, now's a good time to take a deep, focused look at the changes and see how they're shaking down. They're mostly pretty solid nerfs, and a lot of Death Knights aren't too happy about them. Still, beyond people concern about the fact that they are nerfs, the question remains: Were they merited, and where do they leave us? Let's discuss.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Talents, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Death Knight Tanking


Welcome to the first post-Wrath installment of Lichborne, the weekly Death Knight column. Join Daniel Whitcomb on the bleeding edge of a new and untried class.

So Wrath is upon us, and we can finally start leveling our Death Knights on the live servers. That's right, this time it's for keeps. I'm pretty excited about that. One thing, though, that I haven't gotten to do yet on live servers is tank a dungeon. It's not that I don't want to, it's that 98% of the people leveling through Outland right now are Death Knights, so finding a healer is a bit difficult. Still, I did my fair share of tanking on Beta servers, and I played a Druid tank for years, and I'm figuring I'll do my fair share of tanking again at 80. Thus, I decided that this week is the perfect time to start getting ready to tank, even if Utgarde may be the first instance most Death Knights will get a group for.

Let's get down to the basics:

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Filed under: Tips, Raiding, Bosses, Guides, Talents, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Tips for new Death Knights from a fellow tank, part 2


Dear corpsified bundles of beautifully-armored joy (but more particularly those who tank Azjol Nerub while wearing Expedition Bracers of the Bandit),

We had a little bit of controversy in the first installment, so I'm just going to state this as baldly as possible; if you hated what I wrote last time, there's a good chance you'll walk away from this one thinking I eat babies. Delicious, delicious babies. While I never mean to offend people, I reserve the right to tell them the truth, or at the very least a highly entertaining and plausible lie.

Truth, she be at times an ugly mistress. And she ain't gettin' any prettier as we move from DPS to tanking.

Tanks have significantly more responsibility, both in groups and raids, and they face the competing directives of maximizing mitigation (to keep their healers happy) and maximizing threat production (to keep their DPS happy). I've healed dozens of Death Knight tanks at this point, and while the average pugged DK tank has gotten noticeably better, there are still a few trends you'd want to be aware of as a healer. The problems in beta right now are made worse by Blizzard unintentionally overselling the ease of tanking on a Death Knight in 5-man runs. Many people seem to have interpreted the statement that they should be able to tank well with Blood, Frost, or Unholy specs as being tantamount to saying they can tank well regardless of how their talent points are spent in those trees.

Any experienced tank can tell you right now that this is not true, but people believing that it is is how you wind up with 11K-life Death Knights taking 7-8K enraged hits from Keristasza in the Nexus. If you've never tanked before but you're interested in tanking on a Death Knight -- or pragmatic enough to know you'll probably wind up tanking a certain number of 5-mans on your DPS Death Knight -- I hope this article helps you avoid what I went through in May 2007 when I started tanking and sucked at it.

I came to the beta to slowly lose my mind trying to heal insane tank damage and gulp Extra Strength Tylenol. And I'm all out of Extra Strength Tylenol.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, How-tos, Instances, Expansions, Features, Humor, Raiding, Guides, Classes, Talents, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Death Knight tanking overhaul


The ever-helpful Ghostcrawler hit the forums late yesterday with a slew of changes to Death Knight tanking in the form of both bug fixes and buffs. The single biggest "buff" is actually a fairly significant bug fix; Death Knights had half the untalented, ungeared dodge of a Warrior or Paladin, and that was definitely never intended. Between that and a change to Blade Barrier (it's currently activated with all runes on cooldown; it's being changed to activate with only Blood runes on cooldown), Death Knights should see a significant improvement to their avoidance. Threat generation is also getting a nice boost, as Blizzard recognized that Death Knights suffered badly whenever key moves failed to land. Rune Strike is becoming a reactive ability like the Warrior's Revenge, and Frost Strike can no longer be dodged, blocked, or parried. Death and Decay has also been changed to be more competitive with Consecration and Thunder Clap, which is consistent with the overall trend toward AoE tanking effectiveness.

I've healed a number of Death Knight tanks in 5-mans now (you'll be hearing from my grumpy self about this soon) and recognized a few early versions of these issues, certainly in the form of Blade Barrier's often-spotty uptime. While I'm glad that DK's are getting more consistent threat generation, I have to admit that my real concern is the amount of burst they seem to take (something others have noticed as well), so I'm keeping an eye on the tweaks being made.

Thanks to Doug for writing in!

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Instances, Expansions, Raiding, Buffs, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Forums

Death Knight tanking undergoing tweaks

The latest announced changes for Death Knights are out, and this time, they seem to be mostly concerned with tanking. There's two major philosophies that Blizzard seems to following for Death Knights: First, any tree should be able to excel at tanking at least to the 5-man level, and Death Knight tanking should be at least somewhat interactive.

In that vein, they're introducing two revamped late tree tanking talents to the mix. In Frost, Unbreakable Armor will be a usable ability that costs 1 frost rune, but will only increase armor by 25% and Strength by 5%. In Blood, Vampiric Blood (previously mentioned in last week's Lichborne) will be a 1 blood rune ability that increases healing received from all sources by 50%. Both abilities will not trigger the GCD, will last 20 seconds, and will have a 2 minute cooldown. Blizzard aims to balance these 2 abilities with Bone Armor (which will have an internal cooldown of 3.5 seconds, like Shaman shields) to create 3 viable late tree tanking abilities.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Raiding, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Lichborne: State of the Death Knight

Welcome to Lichborne, WoW Insider's newest class column. Every week in Lichborne, Daniel Whitcomb will explore the ins and outs of Blizzard's newest class, the Death Knight.

It's Wrath of the Lich King Beta time, and finally time to meet the new Death Knight class. Unfortunately, we can't really guarantee you'll be meeting the same class that you'll see in the live game, per se. It's not that the class isn't shaping up well or isn't quite distinctive, it's more that there's just so much that's changing.

The next build that's scheduled to hit the Beta servers is a perfect example. Not only will talent trees be changing extensively, with some talents becoming baseline and some baseline abilities becoming talents, some talents switching tiers, and others even switching trees, but the very way we inflict and stack diseases will be getting some tweaking as well. In addition, many of the Death Knight's baseline abilities, especially related to disease and damage rotations, are changing as well.

So with all these changes, what can you say about a class that's changing drastically on a weekly basis, and may look completely different from how it does now by the time Wrath goes live? Is it really possible to speak about an overarching unifying theory of Death Knights?

Well, let's try. Welcome to the first annual State of the Death Knight address.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Talents, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, (Death Knight) Lichborne

The Art of War(craft): Dreaming about Death Knight PvP


I know, I know. It's too early to actually figure out how Death Knights will work in PvP. Humor me for a bit. The new class, with its juicy talents and abilities, even if they will get changed before Wrath of the Lich King hits the shelves, have got me really excited. They have some pretty cool spells and a new resource mechanic that promises to shake things up as far as gameplay is concerned. I'm not big on alts, and I play mostly on my main and a secondary toon that really needs more love, but I actually want to make a Death Knight. I'm not an alt-o-holic, but I think I'll be taking it all the way to Level 80.

Of course, while I tell all my friends that I'm finally making a toon I'll be happy to tank with, what I'm really thinking about is PvP. I had initially wanted to make a Death Knight class when the game was announced, Death Knights being my favorite Hero in Warcraft 3. I thought Warlocks were the going to be it, considering the Death Coil spell, but I ended up never making a Warlock at all. But now here's the real deal. Plate armor, badass Rune weapons, Deathchargers, and all things ooky, spooky, and vile. Sounds like a lot of fun to me.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, The Art of War(craft) (PvP)

WWI '08 Death Knight Demo: Blood spells and talents


The Blood tree was originally designated as the primary DPS tree, and a lot of the talents still reflect that, such as Dark Conviction, the ever-present critical strike talent, and Dancing Rune Weapon, the 51 point talent.

However, it's also worth noting that the Blood tree provides quite a few healing skills and talents which may end up making it a useful type of tanking tree via allowing the Death Knight to keep himself healed and keep a bit of grief off his healers: for example, Death Pact will be useful for finishing off a ghoul who's about to die anyway and getting a bit of health back. Below is a selection of some of the spells and talents available to Death Knights in the WWI demo.

Blood Spells:


Blood Presence:

Requires level 55
Costs 1 Blood Rune
Instant cast, 1 second cooldown
Description: Strengthens the Death Knight with the presence of blood, increasing damage done by 15% and healing the Death Knight by 4% of damage dealt. Only one presence may be active at a time.

Blood Strike:
Requires level 55
Costs 1 Blood Rune
Instant cast, 1 second cooldown
Melee range
Description: Instantly strike the enemy, causing 60% weapon damage plus 55 for each disease effect on the target.

Blood Tap:
Requires level 64
Description: Immediately activates a blood rune and temporarily converts it into a death rune. this rune counts as a blood, unholy, or frost rune. lasts 10 seconds.

Death Pact:
Requires level 66.
Description: Sacrifice an undead minion, healing the Death knight for 1200 health

Blood Talents:

Rune Tap
Requires 10 talent points
Instant cast, 1 minute cooldown.
Description: Converts 1 Blood Rune into 10% of your maximum health.

Dark Conviction
Requires 10 talent points
Costs up to 5 talent points
Description: Increases your chance to get a critical strike with melee weapons by 1% per talent point.

Improved Rune Tap
Requires 15 talent points, Rune Tap
Costs up to 3 talent points
Description: Improves Rune Tap's health gain by 15% per talent point

Vendetta
Requires 15 talent points
Costs up to 2 talent points
Description: Heals you for 3% of your total health per talent point whenever you kill a target that yields experience or honor

Scent of Blood
Requires 20 talent points
Costs up to 3 talent points
Description: 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 12s. this effect can not occur more often than once every 12 seconds (Note: the effect of putting more than one talent point in this skill is not yet listed in the description).

Blade Barrier
Requires 20 talent points
Costs up to 3 talent points
Description: Whenever you have no runes active, your parry chance increases by 5% per talent point for the next 8 seconds.

Mark of Blood

Requires 20 talent points
Costs 1 Blood Rune, 1 Unholy Rune
Instant cast
30 yard range
Description: Place a mark of blood on an enemy. whenever the marked target is healed, all party members receive 5% of that healing (up to a maximum of 5% of the Death Knight's health). if a marked target that grants experience or honor is killed, all party members are healed for 10% of their total health. Lasts 3 minutes.

Hysteria
Requires 30 talent points
Costs 1 Blood Rune, 1 Unholy Rune
Instant cast, 2 minute cooldown
30 yard Range
Description: Induces a friendly unit into a killing frenzy for 30s, increasing their physical damage by 20% but causing them to suffer damage equal to 1% of their total health every second.

Heart Strike
Requires 40 Talent Points
Costs 1 Blood Rune
Requires melee weapon
Next Melee
Description: A debilitating attack that lowers the target's total health by up to 20% for 30 seconds.

Dancing Rune Weapon
Requires 50 talent points
Requires Runic Power
Requires melee weapon
Instant, 1 minute cooldown
Description: Unleashes all available runic power to summon a second rune weapon that fights on its own for 1s per 5 runic power, doing the same attacks that you do.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Expansions, Talents, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Worldwide Invitational

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