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Posts with tag Blood-Presence

Lichborne: Proving grounds, proc rate bugs, and more patch 5.4 news

Lichborne Energy changes, proc rate bugs, and more patch 54 news
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.

Patch 5.4 continues on the test server, introducing new class changes, new features, and more. Today, we'll keep looking at what the latest changes are, both those specific to death knights and those that affect death knights. Do proving grounds prove useful to death knights? What's the latest one weird bug that does weird things for death knights? Read on for the answers to these and other questions.

A ghoulish energy

While most of the major death knight class changes appeared done a few weeks ago, Blizzard just dropped another one that should be a nice game changer for unholy death knights. Gnaw and Leap, as well as their Dark Transformation equivalents, no longer have an energy cost. This means more energy available for Claw, and the ability for death knights to use those two skills freely without having to worry that they won't have the energy.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Survivability for the DPS death knight

Lichborne Survivability for the DPS 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.

Death knights have long been notorious for their insane survivability since they were first introduced. Over the years, a lot of it has been nerfed, but a lot remains. While blood knight survivability feels somewhat obvious, it's a little harder to see what unholy and frost death knights have going for them. Today, we're going to examine how DPS death knights can use their skills to stay alive when the heat is on.

Anti-Magic Shell

Anti-Magic Shell remains one of the most versatile and underrated tools in our arsenal. By absorbing most of the magical damage from a massive magical attack, it allows us to stay in position longer than other classes, and save ourselves from own mistakes in some cases.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Why patch 5.2 is a great time to be a death knight

Lichborne Why patch 52 is a great time to be a 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 patch 5.2 in full swing, we've had time to take stock of the changes, not just in terms of new content, but in terms of the buffs and nerfs our classes received. I'm just going to come out and say it. As a class, death knights feel about the best they've been since the Wrath era. There's a lot of great stuff to be excited about, so let's go down the list.

Unholy is fun again

Unholy has, as a spec, been sort of on the outside since Cataclysm. Blizzard's revamp, which put unholy on a different rune spending scheme from the other specs and pulled it even further away from weapon damage and toward special ability damage, created a unique melee spec, but the complications and weaknesses that came with that spec were a bit much for many people, and with frost generally beating it in both DPS and simplicity, the spec gained a reputation for being played only by the most hard headed diehards.

Patch 5.2 came along and bought with it a much needed unholy revamp. The addition of Frost Fever to Plague Strike alone has helped make unholy's rotation smoother and more intuitive, as well as made target switching feel at least a little less punishing. AoE is still a little more awkward, but with Icy Touch on Reaping, you can at least get through that first setup and get to the main AoE rotation a lot more smoothly.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: 3 death knight tanking changes to watch out for in Mists of Pandaria

Lichborne 3 Death Knight tanking changes to watch out for in Mists of Pandaria
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.

On the surface, blood death knights seem relatively unchanged in Mists of Pandaria. With Bone Shield and Vampiric Blood off talents and back to being blood specializations, we have our usual toolkit in place. Death Strike still serves as our main source of damage absorption.

However, an expansion always brings with it unexpected changes, and there are a couple subtle little tweaks that may affect blood tank death knights more than you realize. Overall, of course, it's looking like we have at least another month of the Mists beta to go, so any of this could change at any time. Still, it's always nice to have the heads up. In the end, the large changes are the ones you see coming and the ones you can easily adapt to, but sometimes it's the ones you don't expect that can throw you off balance.

Today we'll look at a few of those changes, how they may affect your tanking style, and what Blizzard may or may not do before the expansion goes live.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Death knights remain in holding pattern in Mists of Pandaria beta

Image
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.

When one takes a two-week vacation, one generally looks forward to things having changed, even slightly, when one returns. This is especially sure when speaking of the Mists of Pandaria beta test. Strangely, that hasn't been exactly the case for death knights. There have been changes, certainly, but not as drastic as we might have hoped -- and not as well-explained, either.

Today, we'll take a look at a few of the more important changes and what they imply for our class. In addition, we'll see what Ghostcrawler did and didn't say about death knights in a recent post.

Plague Leech and disease issues

There've been a few changes to death knights, but the most interesting one comes with Plague Leech. This first-tier talent, which replaces Vile Spew, will allow you to generate a death rune by canceling the diseases from your target.

The nice thing about this skill is that it gives us another much-needed Blood Tap replacement now that Blood Tap itself has been turned into a somewhat more restricted talent. The bad thing about this skill is that it's probably going to become mandatory for min-maxing DPS death knights. If your diseases are about to expire anyway and you can eat them for an extra death rune, it's hard to see how that won't become a DPS increase. Once we all reach level 90 and the math has been sufficiently mathed, it seems relatively obvious that Plague Leech will be considered mandatory by the hardcore PvE community, for better or for worse.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne, Mists of Pandaria

20 observations from a leveling tank

My main is a druid tank and healer, but on occasion, I've returned to two low-level warrior alts and braved leveling in the Dungeon Finder. Most leveling groups are a bit like the proverbial little girl with pigtails: When they're good, they're very, very good ... and when they're bad, they're horrid.

The following is a list of somewhat random observations I have collected after several expansions' worth of tanking for low-level groups.

1. Don't take shortcuts on trash packs. The time you save sneaking past one of them will be eliminated by the time you'll lose when someone blunders into them and dies.

2. Someone will almost always blunder into them and die.

3. Despite common complaints on the forums, the vast majority of players are actually really nice people who are perfectly willing to tolerate mistakes and the learning curve. The actual occurrence of true, unforgivable jackasses seems to be about one per five groups, although this depends on when you're queuing.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Lichborne: BlizzCon cause and effect for death knights in patch 4.3

darkmoon arena
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.

So the past few weeks have actually been pretty exciting for death knights. We saw a lot of new info come out of BlizzCon, including getting a couple long-standing questions answered with new updates to the patch 4.3 PTR. Today, we'll cover the basics of what we discussed with the devs at BlizzCon and see what fruit those discussions have borne on the PTR itself.

Bloody questions

One of the first questions asked at the Class Q&A on BlizzCon 2011 day two was more of a laundry list of blood death knight grievances, such as our issues with spike damage and with avoidance working against mastery. While we have gotten a good bit of dev love on the forums on these beefs, it was actually pretty nice to see it answered candidly on stage, if only to see a dev give an on-the-spot, straight-up answer.

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Filed under: BlizzCon, Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: A death knight DPS guide to staying alive in PvE

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.

I know it's probably a bit weird to be talking about PvE DPS when the big story for PvE is the new cool stuff we can get by tanking -- but by now, the shine is probably off the apple for many Call to Arms participants. With bugs preventing us from getting bags and DPSers who refuse to follow kill orders or use crowd control, many have decided even the chance at a cool new pet isn't enough.

That's why, for everyone who's gone back to DPS and for everyone who never stopped DPSing, I want to offer a few quick tips for surviving in PvE. Maybe you're dealing with an inexperienced Call to Arms tank; maybe you're still working on recognizing your own threat levels. But whatever the reason, DPSers do die from time to time, and in Cataclysm, they seem to die faster and easier. Many of these tips will be death knight-specific, and some will be a bit more general.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Looking at death knight changes testing in PTR Patch 4.0.6

There are changes on the upcoming 4.0.6 PTR for death knights. Actually sorting through them may prove a little difficult, as the official patch notes and the datamined information sometimes say two different things. In short, though, we can say that blood has received a bit of a survivability hit, but a nice threat boost; unholy has both become a more solid 2H damage tree and received a sizeable (but expected) DPS nerf; and 2H frost has gotten a nice boost that may actually make it viable in endgame raiding, depending on how the numbers hold out.

Remember, though, that this is the PTR, and things may (and probably will) change before this thing goes live. With that in mind, let's take a look at what the changes say.

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Filed under: News items, Death Knight

The Art of War(craft): Must-have PvP talents for death knights in 4.0.1


Every week, WoW Insider brings you The Art of War(craft), covering battlegrounds and world PvP, and Blood Sport for arena enthusiasts. Want to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women? Battlemaster Zach Yonzon, old-world PvP grinder and casual battleground habitué, rambles on about anything and everything PvP.

So the bomb finally dropped. As expected, Patch 4.0.1 finally made it to live realms and players are scrambling to get used to everything new. For most players, that first free respec is used for PvE to enable them to join the latest PUG looking to down the week's raid boss. This is when reality bites -- that spec you've been fiddling around with over at Wowhead or wowtal.com isn't delivering the way you thought it would. That's OK. If you're doing some PvP, understand that there are a number of bugs out there, so things aren't behaving exactly as they should. Add to that the fact that the game is balanced around being level 85, that stamina is low, and resilience has taken a hit ... things are going to be somewhat wonky. So don't write off that spec you've theorycrafting on for weeks just yet.

Since specs are pretty complex and fluid at this point, we'll take a look at vital PvP talents instead. The fun thing is that at this point in the game, all specs are good to go for PvP -- although your mileage may vary. There isn't much room for variation, unlike before, when players could reach deep into two trees, especially for PvP. But inevitably, there are talents that are extremely useful in a PvP environment. Today we'll take a look at core PvP talents for each spec for death knights, just in case you were wondering what to do with those last few talent points. For this exercise, we won't bother discussing any 31-point talents because, well, you're supposed to pick those up, anyway.

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

Lichborne: The new blood tree in Cataclysm

Welcome to Lichborne, the weekly death knight column for the class undergoing some pretty cataclysmic changes to its setup and philosophy in the new expansion.

With the Cataclysm beta out of NDA, we've had a chance to take a look at some of the new death knight changes coming our way. I'm pretty sure (and hopeful) that they're not complete yet, but there's enough of it done that we have a relatively good chance of figuring out where it's going. We'll start our more in depth look into the new sole tanking tree of the death knight class, blood. Blood is shaping up to a very interesting tanking tree. If there's one way I can sum it up, it's this: For all that Blizzard's said they want to move away from the "AoE everything down" model, it's interesting that they've done a lot of work to shore up blood's AoE talents.

Let's take a look at some of the ways blood is changing in Cataclysm.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Cataclysm: Reaching uncrittable

For those of you who don't know much about tanking, we're going to talk quickly about a stat that won't exist in Cataclysm. This lowly stat is called defense rating, and it's something that tanks need quite a bit of. The nice thing is that it's on just about everything that tanks wear, which means at higher gear levels, we've got it coming out of our ears. The primary point of this stat is to reduce the critical strike ability for incoming melee hits from the standard of 6% to 0%. Druids currently don't need this stat, as they've got a talent called Survival of the Fittest, which means that bosses don't need to drop defense leather.

All in all, the stat is kinda boring, as while it does still do nice things after you reach the defense cap of 690 rating (or 540 skill), most people don't bother with it and stack stamina or other avoidance. So Blizzard decided that they're going to get rid of it.

Around BlizzCon 2009, we were told that the crit reduction we formerly got from defense rating was going to be tied into things that were available to all members of each tanking class. Examples used were baking it into Bear Form for druids, Righteous Fury for paladins, Defensive Stance for warriors and Frost Presence (or rather, Blood Presence in Cataclysm) for death knights. That means that if a retribution paladin or arms warrior wanted to tank, all he'd need to do was swap to vaguely appropriate gear (or just over to a sword and shield), pop his respective abilities, and away he'd go. That's not how it appears things went down, though.

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Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Death Knight

Are Death Knights autowin in PvP?


Here's a question I'm sure a lot of players have asked themselves when faced against those dreaded Death Knights. Critical QQ wrote an interesting post in his blog theorizing that the side with the most number of Death Knights will win. Think Ret Paladin during the first week or so of Patch 3.0. He posits that Death Knights are such a powerful PvP class that they tend to turn the tide of a battle. To a degree, it's actually true. The very first Arena Master was a Death Knight.

The blog post plays out several scenarios where Death Knights make a difference but doesn't get into too much detail. But the point he makes is clear, and some of you might have actually felt it whenever you played some Battlegrounds -- whichever side has the most Death Knights wins. I've never actually stopped to figure out the ratio of Death Knights in all my Battlegrounds games, but there's no question a Death Knight is a force to be reckoned with in PvP. But are they unbeatable?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Death Knight

Ask a Beta Tester: PvP questions and random things


Let's get right into the meat of things. Meethan asked...

Does Bone Shield stack with Earth Shield? If so can I see a screenshot?
Yes and yes.

There's been an idea going around about using a large group of Death Knights to continuously use "Death Grip" to lock players and keep them from running. Does this work?
I'm not able to convince enough Death Knights to try out this silly little trick, but it could work in theory. Death Grip is currently of the Physical school and does not suffer diminishing returns. It's like having several Warriors alternating Hamstring for a permanent snare, except more evil.

What's with the presences and auras? Do they count separately? Stack? Passive?
As of the current build, presences and auras are no longer connected (e.g., you no longer have to have Blood Presence up to have Blood Aura) and thus count separately. However, neither presences nor auras currently display as buffs (unlike Paladin or Hunter auras) which can be a little confusing, although Blood Aura has the Death Knight emanate an inappropriate green gassy mist [EDIT: Discograndpa correctly points out that this is a bug from the Bloodworms talent, and not Blood Aura. Thanks for the correction!]. Presences and auras stack and are passive effects.

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Filed under: Wrath of the Lich King

Lichborne: On Blood leveling and Beta

Welcome to Lichborne, where every week Daniel Whitcomb makes sense of the amazing, ever-changing betatastic Death Knight class

So here's yet another example of how mutable Death Knights are at the moment: This week, I decided to spec Blood all week and make a genuine effort to learn all the ins and outs I could so that I could bring you a good solid overview of Blood for this weekend's column.

Then build 8820 came along, and Blood, while having the same basic mechanics, got a rather big hit to its health regeneration and DPS abilities, and I'm left trying to figure out the extent of the damages. In the end, I don't think Blood was horribly nerfed in this build, but it might have been slightly overnerfed.

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

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