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Posts with tag death-coil

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: Guide to PvE unholy death knights in Mists of Pandaria

Lichborne Guide to PvE unholy death knights 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.

With Mists of Pandaria less than a month, it's a good time to get caught up on your chosen class' mechanics and playstyle in order to get a good start in the new expansion. With that in mind, we've spent the past few weeks discussing the various specs and how they'll play. This week, we add to the collection with a guide to unholy death knights in PvE. As a reminder, the following guide is for the basics of the class and spec.

Unholy basics

Unholy, much like its sister trees, remains more or less unchanged in basic look and feel. Of course, there's enough tweaks that there's stuff to learn, but if you liked the way unholy played back in patch 4.3, you'll like the way it plays in patch 5.0.4 and Mists of Pandaria. The biggest change you'll notice is that the new version of Ebon Plaguebringer no longer has the magic damage debuff or the third disease. They have upped the damage on our strikes to compensate, but it's one more little piece of unholy look and feel that's gone.

Unholy is, of course, played with a two-handed weapon enchanted with Rune of the Fallen Crusader, as you will need its power to get the most damage from your strikes, and in Unholy Presence. You will also want to make sure you have your ghoul out as much as possible, as it makes up a not insignificant amount of your damage. If you don't want to deal with a pet or want to dual wield, you're better off switching to frost DPS.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Ghostcrawler discusses death knights

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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.

To say that the death knight community has been a little grumpy this past week is probably an understatement. Essentially, what happened is that we got a post from Ghostcrawler discussing some of our Mists of Pandaria beta issues, and in almost all cases, he wasn't quite on board with our complaints. This week, we'll hit some of the highlights of what Ghostcrawler said and what they mean for our class, as well as look at some of the changes we have seen coming from the beta.

It's not a disadvantage -- it's a feature

In the list of perennial death knight complaints, there are three that are probably pretty near the top and have been for a while. First, unholy pets and summons do not scale with mastery. Second, unholy has very little in the way of burst AoE. Finally, critical strike is incredibly undervalued for frost due to Killing Machine.

Ghostcrawler pretty much breezed through all three of these complaints with a classic "working as intended." That's not to say he didn't explain all three reasonings to some extent, but they all boiled down to the idea that the dev team is perfectly happy with the skills working this way, because they're all calculated differences that separate the death knight trees from each other.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

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

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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

Lichborne: Unholy first impressions in the Mists of Pandaria beta

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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.

The strange thing about talking about the unholy tree since Cataclysm is that nothing ever seems to change. Don't get me wrong, unholy's been on a roller coaster of nerfs and balances, it's true, but the basic gameplay stays the same -- and more importantly, the basic problems never really get fixed.

So as we come into Mists of Pandaria, where are we with unholy? It still has a relatively unique playstyle, with a pet and less difficulty keeping diseases up (but more difficulty applying them because of the rune spending issue), but this same playstyle gives it a lot of trouble, as weapon damage scales horribly and strength becomes more important -- some would say too important. This is how it continues to go with unholy.

Today, we'll take a look at the upsides and downsides of unholy as it currently exists in the Mists of Pandaria beta and maybe make some suggestions for things Blizzard could focus on fixing once the death knights' turn for class balancing comes around.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Testing notes and goals for death knights in the Mists of Pandaria beta

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 Mists of Pandaria beta test under way, I'm reminded of an interesting discussion I've seen going around the death knight community. Coming out of Wrath, we were most definitely seen as overpowered, and starting a few patches later, we started off on a balance roller coaster we've never quite disembarked from, getting nerfs, de-nerfs, tweaks, and even the removal or redesign of entire spells and systems.

Some argue that we could have avoided this by being more thorough and honest while beta testing in Wrath. By not only advocating for what we needed but being honest that some stuff (such as, say, the stun effect on Death and Decay) was overpowered, we might have avoided a lot of heartache down the road.

Whether you believe this is true or not, it does highlight the importance of beta testing. Blizzard certainly has its own internal numbers and testing methods, but for those of us lucky enough to get hands on in the beta, this is our chance to help make sure our class gets through this great period of balancing. This week, let's look at a few things we'll need to focus on when we finally get those invites and get to beta test our death knights.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: New Mists of Pandaria talent updates for death knights

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.

As I'm sure you've heard by now, Blizzard treated us to a nice new chunk of news this past week with an update to the Mists of Pandaria talent calculator. Death knights received some new talents and new skills as well as adjustments to old ones that definitely deserve some analysis. We'll start by looking at the talent tiers, then move on to some of the new modified skills we're seeing in this build.

Level 15 begins our journey with a couple pieces of very welcome news. Outbreak is back to a general class skill, once again taking its place at level 81 for all three specs. In its place for tier 1 talents is the old-school Unholy Blight, in all its AoE glory. That's right, you can once again have that awesome semi-permanent damage aura. Alas, this welcome change is accompanied by the similar removal of Corpse Explosion in favor of Vile Spew, an ability that will explode an undead minion for AoE damage and disease infection.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: The state of the patch 4.2 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.

Now that patch 4.2 has been out for a few weeks, it's a good time to look at the fruits of our nerfs. Patch 4.2 saw a surprising amount of death knight changes, from the nerfing of Obliterate to the last-minute buffing of Unholy Might. Nearly as conspicuous was the near complete lack of blood tanking changes.

With all of this in play, we definitely expected some shakeups when patch 4.2 went live; now, it's time to take a look at how those shakeups have played out. Most stuff went more or less as expected, but there have been a few surprising twists. We'll tackle it all after the break.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Death knight rookie tips and tricks


Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. Join World of Warcraft's first hero class as we head into a new expansion and shed the new kid on the block label.

Daniel Whitcomb, our death knight extraordinaire, is out on vacation and unable to fulfill his undeathly duties this week. In his absence, we're going to try something a little different. We're going to learn together, you and I. Veteran death knight players be warned, today's edition of Lichborne is aimed at the rookie death knight, though you may still learn something ... or teach us something, perhaps?

My main is not a death knight, but I do have a level 85 death knight alt. If I'm allowed to say so myself, I think that one of my strengths as a player is my ability to pick up little tricks of a class just by observing those around me. Just by watching my guildmates in heroics or my raidmates in ... well, raids, I can pick up an alt of a class I've never played and do a pretty good job with it. Not great right away, but pretty good.

Death knights were a fascinating class to try this with, because while they're easy to pick up and go, they're not a particularly straightforward class. You can push A button to achieve X result, but you're much better off pushing A and combining it with B (and possibly C) to achieve Y. The combinations aren't always obvious, especially to brand new players. I've picked up some of these tricks and polled our Twitter audience for more. Let's dig into them, shall we?

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: A guide to death knight spell alerts


Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights.

One pretty cool change coming to Cataclysm is the advent of spell alerts, on-screen notifications that direct you to a button you really should be pushing when you get some sort of class-specific proc or buff. Of course, many high-level players have had this for a long time in the form of player-made UI mods, but now newbies, UI minimalists, and people who just get confused by UI mods get a chance to have them, too. This week in Lichborne, we'll discover what spell alerts death knights get and discuss how best to apply them in battle.

Generally, when a spell alert goes off, you'll hear a sound and see a certain graphic envelop your character on screen. If you have scrolling combat text turned on, you'll also see green or yellow text describing the buff. Finally, the button for the affected ability or abilities will light up on your action bar, telling you exactly what you need to push. Once you understand all this, it's pretty easy to anticipate the effects, but let's take a quick look at what you'll see so you know exactly what to expect and what to do.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

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)

Encrypted Text: Smoke bomb vs. joke bomb


Every Wednesday, Chase Christian of Encrypted Text invites you to enter the world of shadows, as we explore the secrets and mechanics of the rogue class. This week, we talk about our upcoming Cataclysm ability at level 85: Smoke Bomb!

I've been poring over our Cataclysm class review over the past few weeks, trying to glean any hidden information out of the developers' commentary. I am glad to see an emphasis put onto more active defenses and several changes that should take our survivability to the next level. Most of their ideas are pretty simple: Combat Readiness is going to let us survive being focus-fired and force our opponents to choose another target instead. I still have one burning question about rogues in the next expansion, and it's one that I may not be able to answer until the beta testing begins. How powerful is Smoke Bomb?

When first saw it, my initial reaction was surprise. Blizzard was really adding yet another cooldown to my already taxed keybinding setup? However, after reading some of the developer feedback on the ability, I have the feeling that this could be the sleeper ability of Cataclysm. It's got the potential to do something truly unique: no other class can prevent targeting. While I had hoped for a Death Grip clone like Scorpion's Grapple, I think that once we learn to true potency of this spell, we'll be satisfied with our level 85 ability and its usefulness. The question still remains: What will Smoke Bomb be capable of?

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Blood Pact: Leveling a warlock, 40 to 60

Blood Pact is your weekly warlock digest brought to you by Dominic Hobbs. "Closer! Come closer... and burn!" ~ Keli'dan the Breaker

Once again Blood Pact turns its gaze towards those up-and-coming warlocks; those who are learning the craft, battling foes to hone their skills and sharpen their minds. I've said before that leveling a warlock is great fun and part of this is due to the diverse ways in which you can go about it. By the time you start getting a decent pile of talent points to spend you can shape your lock in many and varied forms. There's the unstoppable train of death that is the affliction lock, cursing and corrupting all around it as it passes smoothly through the world. The demonologist, pouring their power into their minion and pushing them into the fore while sitting back and calmly picking off their foes. And of course, the destruction warlock, blazing a trail of raw power in an explosive display of mental prowess over physical frailty.

Let's see how these locks in training are getting on.

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Filed under: Warlock, How-tos, Guilds, Instances, Leveling, Guides, Classes, (Warlock) Blood Pact

Blood Pact: Meet the minions, part 3 - the succubus and crowd control, page 1

Blood Pact is your weekly warlock digest brought to you by Dominic Hobbs. "A succubus is a devourer of souls, destroyer of hearts, tempter of men. A creature of profound evil and of singular mind. It cannot be brought into our world without a stimulus." ~ Gan'rul Bloodeye

Previously in 'Meet the minions' we have looked at the imp and the voidwalker as well as how to manage your minions and your threat. In this installment our demon of choice is the succubus and the game mechanic is crowd control; fear, seduce, howl, banish and a svelte demon with wings. But before I delve in I need to clarify something to Blood Pact readers.

For a while now I've had a demon trying to whisper words of doubt into my ear. He's been telling me that Blood Pact readers want PvP info in the column, that they cry out for it, they yearn for it, they need it; and that I can't deliver any. It's true that my knowledge and experience of PvP pretty much extends as far as being able to smell it early enough to avoid it. Don't get me wrong, I love researching for Blood Pact but in this case I'm not going to try, and for two reasons. First, nobody who cares about warlock PvP wants to have me school them on it, and second we have some first rate PvP experts at WoW.com who can do it better.

So I've sent the demon packing (literally; don't be surprised if you find more than the normal number of broken biscuits in future packets) and have started a campaign to convince our arena and battleground columnists to get with some lock love. So enough with the preamble, lets get on with the show.

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Filed under: Warlock, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, How-tos, Leveling, Guides, (Warlock) Blood Pact

Patch 3.3 PTR: Death Knight patch notes and undocumented changes


Given the massive amounts of death knight changes in the last few patches, Patch 3.3 almost feels like a drought. Of course, that may be good news if you're a bit tired of adjusting your rotations and glyphs every patch. Then again, don't rest yet. Sure, there's only a few changes to Death Knights (so far), but they're big enough that they deserve some discussion. Let's look at them one by one.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Talents, Buffs, Enchants, Death Knight

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