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Posts with tag blood-tree

Lichborne: Death knight beta diaries, part 3: Blood leveling in Vashj'ir


Welcome to Lichborne, your weekly source for news, guides, tips and opinions on the death knight class.

As things currently stand in Cataclysm, much of the death knight's famous ability to take tons of punishment and get health back, even in DPS mode, has been removed with the removal of health stealing from the main DPS presence. Unholy and frost death knights will find themselves resorting to using the less damaging (for them) Death Strike while leveling to stay alive and lessen downtime.

Of course, there is one spec that still maintains much of the health-stealing power of our Wrath heyday: blood.

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

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

Lichborne: Blood tanking 101


Welcome to Lichborne, your weekly journey into the world of the death knight. This week, we're getting ready for Cataclysm in our own round about way.

While sometimes less considered by the WoW population at large, blood tanking has long been known to serious players and theorycrafters as an incredibly dominant raid tanking spec, thanks to incredibly high health pools. It will also be the sole tanking tree for death knights in Cataclysm. While it is certain that the tree will change extensively under this new system, it is likely to have a lot of the same elements in place that make it distinctively blood tanking, even in the new expansion, so it might not hurt to start practicing with it now.

Whatever your reason for trying blood tanking, this guide is here to help you take the first few steps along that path. Remember as this is a 101 guide, we won't necessarily being doing hardcore theorycrafting, and we may simplify a few basic concepts that can be a bit more nuanced for an experienced, high-end blood tank.

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

Lichborne: Blood DPS 101


Welcome to Lichborne, your weekly look into the bloody business of being a death knight. This week, said business is especially bloody as we take a look at the most popular death knight tree.

According to recent armory analysis, blood is the most popular death knight spec. It's not hard to see why, it's a simple yet robust tree that provides lots of power with a minimum of fuss. If you're interested in getting in the DPS side of the tree but aren't sure where to start, or if you're just looking to brush up on the basics of the tree, this is the Lichborne for you. While this guide doesn't necessarily cover some of the more advanced aspects of the tree, it does covers the basic ways to get the most out of your gear, rotation, and spec as a blood DPSer.

1. What is blood DPS?

Blood is the death knight tree that focuses the most on pure physical damage. It also has superior health regeneration. Like all three trees, it can be used for both tanking and DPS, but we'll focus on DPS for this guide.

2. Blood DPS Benefits
  • Superior single target damage.
  • Superior self healing and health stealing abilities mean you probably die less and can survive through a less than stellar healer or tank more consistently than many other DPS.
  • Some very nice group and raid melee buffs in the form of Hysteria and Abomination's Might.
3. Blood DPS Drawbacks
  • Not quite as much AoE potential as the other two trees.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

A Death Knight's first dungeon: Dos and don'ts, part one

Since day one of Wrath of the Lich King, people have been rolling Death Knights. While many seem to be getting along just great, many others are in need of guidance.

This will be a two-part article, and will focus on the things that you will need to know when working with others in a dungeon setting.

Today, I will be discussing the basic things that any meleer should know when entering a dungeon.

Many Death Knights have never had a melee character, and may not know how to avoid aggro while dealing high damage and staying out of the tank's way.

In part two, I will discuss your AoE abilities and their place in a dungeon setting, as well as covering the buttons you should never, ever push while in an instance.

I will also run down some very basic rule of thumbs for your gear and talents, as well as including a discussion about some of the group-oriented talents that you could acquire.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Expansions, Features, Guides, Classes, Alts, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

The Wrath of the Lich King Death Knight roundup


Good Thursday morning, everyone. I'm sure by now that many of you rushed home from your midnight openings, installed the game, and started up a new Death Knight. Many others may, like me, be expecting to do that tonight after work or school, while others are looking at rolling a Death Knight in a few weeks or months after the rush has died down or they get a main to 80. Whatever your plans, if you're playing a Death Knight anytime in the future, you'll want to read on. We have a nice selection of some of the best news, information, and analysis of the Death Knight class after the break, including a lot of information that the new Death Knight will find useful.

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Filed under: Items, Tips, Leveling, Guides, Talents, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Lichborne: Talents for catching up


Welcome to Lichborne, where Daniel Whitcomb is doing some last minute agonizing over what face to give his Death Knight on Thursday.

So there are quite a few of us, I imagine, who are still on track to switch to a Death Knight, or at least play one quite extensively, immediately when Wrath of the Lich King hits the live servers. But the fact remains that you'll be 15 levels behind everyone to start, and if you have friends to catch up to, you're going to want to get up there pretty quickly, most likely. Even if you plan to take it slow, you'll still want a good effective leveling build, most likely. So today, we'll look at three solid solo DPS builds from each tree, and discuss how to use them most effectively for grinding and leveling.

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

Skill Mastery: Mark of Blood


While Blood is not quite as as powerful as it once was, it remains, at the least, a solid DPS tree and one quite a few Death Knights will probably choose to level with. The wide array of self healing abilities means that a Blood Death Knight has a very hard time dying, and nothing interrupts a good grinding session quite like a death.

In Skill Mastery today, we'll look at one of the Blood Death Knight's signature talent abilities, the 21-point talent Mark of Blood. Mark of Blood is placed on an enemy, and every time that enemy deals damage, their target is healed for 4% of their max health. It costs 1 Blood Rune. It lasts for 30 seconds, and has a cool down of 3 minutes.

It's a straightforward skill to use. Throw it on your target and keep fighting. Using it effectively, however, may take a little bit of thought. Here's some tips to figuring out the best way and time to make your mark:

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Talents, Buffs, Death Knight, 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

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

Death Knight Gameplay Movies: Frost and more Blood leveling

We bought you Jadefury's Unholy and Blood Death Knight game play videos yesterday, and now he's released another batch. This time, his Death Knight is a bit higher level, and he puts two new talent builds through their paces.

In the video above, he focuses on the Frost tree. You can see the control that Frost provides specifically - the freezing effects actually seem to last a remarkably long time, certainly long enough to set up a nice chain of abilities and spells for maximum damage. A Hungering Cold followed by a Deathchill and finished up with a Howling Blast can be particularly devastating. Jadefury also points out that if you have any lingering diseases on any of your targets, you can use Blood Boil to quickly wipe them out, doing extra damage and making them susceptible to being frozen again.

Frost, reports Jadefury, is probably the least solo-friendly build. Because you need to go very deep into the frost tree to get all the abilities you need for maximum control and damage, You can't get the self-sustainability talents in the Blood tree such as Vendetta. That said, Frost should still be amazing for groups, since you'll be able to provide some very passable crowd control and damage, and I myself am still looking forward to seeing what a good Frost Mage/Death Knight team can do in PvP.

Now that his Death Knight is a bit higher level, Jadefury also released a second Blood tree video that showcases a higher level build.

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

More leaks from the Alpha forums on Shamans, Warriors, and Death Knights

Deathknight.info has just posted another batch of info from the Alpha forums, this time with Wryxian and Slorkuz talking about Shamans, Warriors, and Death Knights. Primarily, they focus on the tanking abilities of Death Knights and Warriors and delve into some possible improvements to the Shaman Enhancement tree in WoTLK, including possible new talents:

Shamans

Enhancement Shamans, says Wryxian, will probably see further review. It looks like a lot of the new Enhancement talents will see some changes as well:

  • Weapon Specialization (which gives special abilities based on which weapon type the Shaman uses) will likely be removed
  • Improved Shamanistic Rage (which made Shamans using SR immune to all movement impairing effects and stuns at 2 points) will also probably be removed.
  • Wryxian mentioned a possible replacement for Weapon Specialization: Each melee critical hit would give a stacking buff that reduces cast time by 20% and lasts for 15 seconds. That would mean that at 5 stacks, you'd get a free instant cast spell.
  • Feral Spirit, the 51 point enhancement ability that summons ghost wolves to aid the Shaman, may be getting a second look as well.

For Enhancement DPS, they hope that totems and shocks make up for the lack of melee abilities to keep it interesting, though they may consider a new melee move for Shamans as well. In addition, he promises new totem changes soon.

Read on for some juicy information on Warriors, Death Knights, and Blizzard's vision for tanking in WoTLK.

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Filed under: Shaman, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Expansions, Classes, Talents, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Rumors

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

Hands-on with the WWI '08 Death Knight demo

One of the most anticipated features of the Worldwide Invitational for us here at WoW Insider was the promise of playable WoTLK demos, so you know our team was all over that as soon as they hit the convention floor. We got a chance to sit down at a Death Knight demo station for a while, and we're bringing you all the information we got from the experience on how WoW's new class is shaping up. Follow the links of a look at the gameplay, skills, and talents of the Death Knight:
If you missed the Worldwide Invitational in Paris, WoW Insider has you covered. Check out our complete roundup for articles covering every angle of all the new WoTLK news from the WWI, and check back with us for more features and analysis later today!

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

Blizzard changes the description of the Death Knight talent trees

Curse has noticed a very intriguing change to the Death Knight information page. The descriptions of each of the talent trees has been changed. Here are the old descriptions:

  • Blood: Talents in this tree focus on damage dealing abilities. Blood Presence increases damage output by a percentage.
  • Frost: Talents in this tree focus on tanking abilities. Frost Presence increases threat and lowers damage taken by a percentage.
  • Unholy: Talents in this tree have a variety of functions including summons, diseases, and PvP-focused abilities. Unholy Presence increases attack speed and reduces the global cooldown on death knight abilities.

And now, the new descriptions:

  • Blood: Talents in this tree focus on weapons, armor, and strikes.
  • Frost: Talents in this tree focus on control, counters, and combos.
  • Unholy: Talents in this tree focus on spells, summons, and diseases.

This is quite a drastic change, but what could it mean? Let's look at the possibilities after the break.

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

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