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Posts with tag death-pact

Lichborne: Reviewing death knight talents for patch 5.4

Lichborne Reviewing death knight talents for the patch 54 revamp
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.

Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street has indicated that Blizzard is pretty happy with the new Mists of Pandaria talent design, and I have to agree with him. While it does suck to wait 15 levels between new talent choices while leveling a new alt, otherwise the new talent system allows real flexibility and interesting, meaningful choices, arguably more than we had under the 51 or 31 point talent systems, where almost every tier had a clear best choice for whatever role you were playing.

That said, there's always room for improvement, and the devs have mentioned they plan to use patch 5.4 as another opportunity to go over talent trees and bolster talents that see less use or otherwise feel underpowered. With that in mind, this week we'll look at the death knight tree and pick out some candidates for a patch 5.4 redesign.

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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: Tier 15 set bonuses and other death knight changes for patch 5.2

Lichborne Tier 15 set bonuses and other death knight changes for patch 52 TUESDAY
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.

In the weeks since the patch 5.2 PTR has been up, death knight changes have held pretty steady. The announced unholy changes have stayed in place, and so far seem to be working out much as expected, making the spec a little easier to handle and overall promising to put unholy in a better place once patch 5.2 comes out. That said, there have been a few other tweaks added, as well as the revealing of the tier 15 raid gear set bonuses. Today, we'll dig into these changes and see how they're stacking up.

Tier 15 death knight DPS bonuses
I'm going to be honest, I'm a little bit in love with the current 2 piece DPS bonus, if only for the flavor. A few columns back, I mentioned that one of my wildest dream updates for death knights would be a Wild Imps style ghoul summoning, and the 2 piece tier 15 bonus is sort of probably the closest we'll come to that. We'll need more solid parses to see if stacks up damage bonus wise, but in flavor, I'm pretty excited for it. The biggest issue here may be if the summoned pets end up dying prematurely to mobs before they can do their damage.

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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: Guide to PvE blood death knights in Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria Guide to PvE blood 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 fast approaching, we continue our basic guides to the specs as they stand in the expansion. This week, we catch up with blood tanks. As a reminder, the following guide is for the basics of the class and spec.

Blood basics in Mists of Pandaria

Blood has changed remarkably little in Mists of Pandaria. Our basic setup is still using Death Strike to get our Blood Shield up, while trying to keep threat at the same time. Vengeance is now based off the amount of damage you've taken in the last 20 seconds, which won't be a huge deal but may lead to some attack power and threat spikes in the long run. Be aware that, especially at the start of a fight, you may need to work slightly harder for threat.

The two things you will probably notice the most are the 1-second global cooldown and the loss of 30-second Outbreak. The GCD change was one that was very much needed for DPS death knights but wasn't really an issue for us. However, since Blizzard decided to make that GCD change global to the class, we do have to deal with it. It may cause some noticeable downtime. That said, it will also allow you to fit in more emergency health-gaining cooldowns faster, so it may be a fair trade. Overall, it's something that should be easy to get used to and may work to our advantage more often than not.

A 30-second Outbreak is a little more of a solid nerf, in that you will have to deal with Outbreak's being on cooldown just when you need it most, but Blizzard has taken most of that agony out of the equation, since Scarlet Fever now allows Blood Boil to refresh diseases. Just be sure not to let diseases completely drop, and you're golden.

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

Lichborne: Guide to PvE frost death knights in Mists of Pandaria

Lichborne Guide to Mists of Pandaria PvE frost 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.

With patch 5.0.4 barreling down on us and the release date for Mists of Pandaria itself a mere month away, we've probably seen our new class specs and mechanics get about as solid as they're going to get. With that in mind, we'll start in our guides for all death knight specs. Note that these guides will cover primarily the basics of group PvE for each spec.

This week, we cover frost DPS.

Stat weights and other basics

Frost hasn't changed much mechanically from Cataclysm, at least on the surface. We still have the same strikes and spells serving the same basic function. You can now switch more freely between dual wielding and two-handed frost, as you get both Threat of Thassarian and Might of the Frozen Wastes by default. Frost Presence is now the best DPS presence for frost death knights, in a move that should make literal-minded death knights happy. In addition, the runic power regeneration on Frost Presence helps make up for some the runic power generation talents we lost in the revamp. Your stats priorities are also more or less in the same order they were for Cataclysm, with a few minor changes and caveats.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Passing time until Pandaria on your death knight

Lichborne Passing time until 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 a release date finally forthcoming for Mists of Pandaria, we have less than two months until the expansion drops and even less time until we reach patch 5.0.4. With all that in mind, how do you pass the time until then? This week, we'll take a look at a few things death knights can do to look and feel their best when the expansion drops.

Solo to swell your stables

Soloing is a time-honored death knight tradition, and with the expansion winding down, it's the perfect way to pass the time. When choosing your soloing target, you may factor in nostalgia, transmogrification needs, or just plain ease of access. Another popular reason is grabbing mounts and pets. In the Cataclysm era, both Vortex Pinnacle and The Stonecore normal modes drop a mount.

Soloing same-level dungeons can be a bit hairy, but considering these two were in the game at the start of the expansion, you should find that even with Dragon Soul raid finder gear, you'll barely break a sweat in blood spec. As a bonus, both of these mounts will be going account-wide in Mists of Pandaria, so you'll be grabbing some possible stylish mount options for your alts as well.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: The latest Mists of Pandaria beta updates for 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.

Since the last time we talked, we have seen a couple of new updates to the Mists of Pandaria beta. There haven't been many earth-shattering changes for death knights, but some of the changes have been significant enough that it's worth talking about both what they mean for the class and what they may imply about future updates.

It's difficult to say where Blizzard is going with our class in Mists, if only because they haven't said much. They've started talking on the beta forums, but they haven't directed anything at the death knight class yet. This isn't completely surprising. Our class is not in a horrible place right now, and the beta's young. Chances are we'll get our turn eventually.

That said, having developer feedback is useful for figuring out how to mold your own feedback. Knowing what a developer intends with a certain change can help us test that change with a better understanding of how it fits in to a larger vision. In absence of that, however, we can still look at the implications of these changes to see what we come up with.

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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: Analyzing patch 5.0 death knight talents

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 you probably know by now, Blizzard has drastically overhauled the talent system for patch 5.0, giving everyone a ton of automatic level-ups and then a choice between three talents every 15 levels. This week, we'll take a look at the talents they previewed for death knights at BlizzCon 2011: what they mean, how they work, what looks good, and what sort of sucks. As a reminder, these talents are all a work in progress that can and will change before patch 5.0 goes live, which could easily be over half a year from now. With that in mind, we'll focus more on mechanics and philosophy and less on math. Math can always be tweaked.

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Filed under: 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

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 Cataclysm 101 guide for death knights

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.

Last week, we discussed the basics of what you'll need to do to get your level 80 death knight up to level 85. But what if you're planning to roll a brand spanking new worgen or goblin death knight to start Cataclysm off right? This week's column is for you. We'll go over the basics of the death knight class, so you can get a good handle on how the class works and what each tree does so you can make your way to the top.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

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

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