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Posts with tag death-strike

Three needed changes to the death knight leveling experience

Lichborne 3 needed changes to the death knight leveling experience
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 With patch 5.3 not holding much in the way of new content for me, I've been spending my new found free time leveling a brewmastery monk. I must say, it's been a blast. Certainly, I didn't get my entire toolkit at level 10, but I got enough to get by, and as I've leveled almost exclusively by tanking dungeons, I've almost never felt that I was missing something essential to my job.

By contrast, leveling a new death knight in early Mists in order to update and rewrite leveling guides, my experience was different by leaps and bounds. Depending on your spec, a new death knight could be missing vital, near-mandatory pieces of their toolkit for 20 levels. I know I'm not alone in seeing an issue with this, and in fact this column was in part inspired by Magdalena (who just got a namesake item in game) pointing it out twitter this morning.

With that in mind, today I'm going to make a couple suggestions on slight tweaks to the death knight leveling experience to make sure new faces to the class have a smooth leveling experience that properly equips them for the end game.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Patch 5.4 set bonuses and legendary cloaks

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.

While we haven't seen many major death knight class changes for death knights on the patch 5.4 PTR since the last column, we have seen a lot of information on items that we have yet to cover. With that in mind, today we are going to examine the new tier 16 set bonuses for death knights, along with Wrathion's new legendary rewards.

Celestial Blessings

Rather than weapons (unless Gorehowl gets made into a legendary, which seems possible), we'll be getting legendary cloaks this patch. The final reward from Wrathion's quest line will include cloaks with some very intriguing procs.

Flurry of Xuen is a proc that will let DPS do extra damage as weapon damage over time. While the language suggests its channeled, it looks like it won't prevent you from using other abilities. It does, however, require the enemies to be in front of you, so once you have this, you will need to pay more attention to your positioning -- which you should be doing already, to be fair.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: DPS stats for tanking death knights

Lichborne DPS stats for tanking 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.

So Rossi bought this up in his last column, and I feel like it is a valid question. If haste is a valid gearing strategy for Paladins, why shouldn't it be for the other tanks? The idea of haste and critical strike as being valid, even desirable stats for a tank seems almost anathema, but as of Mists, especially, it's worth a look. Paladins even have a gearing strategy built around haste. Are they the only ones? Should death knights be considering haste and critical strike rating? Should Blizzard be looking at ways to make haste and critical strike rating more desirable for tanks? We'll consider those questions this week.

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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: The hidden skills of of the tank

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.

DPS guides are usually pretty straightforward. You have your damage rotation, your stat priorities for gear, and maybe an extra section with some tips on using some of your more esoteric abilities. Tank guides get a little bit more slippery, though. Sure, you can cover some of the same stuff you cover in a DPS guide, included stat priorities and tips and tricks for using specific abilities, but a tank will operate on a different level. They need to know when to use their defensive cool downs. They need to know when specific boss fights may require them to switch up gear. In some cases, they need to know certain intangible things about a boss and about raiding or grouping that it doesn't seem like DPS quite need to deal with. These aren't things that will ever really involve using Death Strike, but they may be just as important to being a successful tank as Death Strike ever will be.

This week, we'll take a look at some of these intangible things and discuss ways to make sure you're on top of them. Most of this will apply primarily to pickup groups, since at the raiding level, it's easier (or at least necessary) to make sure even healers and DPS know this stuff. But if you're in Raid Finder, boy howdy will you want to keep this advice in mind.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Switching death knight specs for patch 5.2

Lichborne Switching specs for patch 52
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 a new patch comes, especially one with some major class changes like patch 5.2, it becomes a good time to reflect on your play style and priorities. Does your spec serve those priorities? With a new patch coming, it's a good time to experiment with new stuff. You can do it pretty easily on the PTR, and when the patch goes live, the game's got some fresh new content, so it's as good excuse as any to jump into a new spec and get used to it while killing trolls for all these new quests. You'll also be getting new gear, so changing up gearing priorities becomes easier.

Today, we'll take a quick look at all the death knight specs, with some of their pros and cons, so you can make a solid judgment call as to whether to switch and try something new, or stick with the familiar. This isn't meant to a complete guide to playing each spec, just a quick overview so you can decide if the play style and responsibilities of the spec are right for you.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Patch 5.1 for death knights

Lichborne Patch 51 notes 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.

Patch 5.1
contains relatively few direct death knight changes, but those changes it has are large enough to talk about. PvE escapes relatively unscathed and gets a few nice goodies, but PvP takes a bit of a hit. Today, we'll talk about what patch 5.1 has in store for death knights thus far.

The death of Death Strike in PvP?

So far, there is one single class change for death knights in the patch notes, but it is a doozy. Death Strike's bonus healing from taking damage will no longer apply to damage received from PvP combat.

This doesn't mean, of course, that death knights are completely without healing in PvP now. They should still successfully get the minimum heal and the shield it provides. It does mean, however, that they lose a lot of self healing, enough that a lot of people are working on their frost and unholy PvP skills once again.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: What do I do at level 90? And 2 other burning death knight questions

Lichborne 3 common death knight questions
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.

Reading a guide is all well and good, but sometimes, even after you read, you still have questions or need clarification. This week, I've taken 3 questions I see death knights ask a lot at various places around the web, and provide some advice and clarification.

Why don't tanks need so much hit and expertise?

If you've been reading the column, you've probably noticed that I have de-emphasized hit and expertise when discussing blood death knight tank gear and strategy. This is for a very good reason. Certainly, active tanking is the rule of the day in Mists, which means in theory that tanks should want hit and expertise so their abilities land. In theory, if your Death Strike doesn't land, you don't get the healing or the blood shield, right?

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Leveling tips for death knights in Pandaria

Lichborne Leveling tips for death knights in 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.

By the time you read this, Mists of Pandaria should be out and playable in Europe (coming soon to the US), and there's probably even a few of you who will have hit level 86 or 87. With the new talent and specialization system, I expect figuring out how to level will be easier than ever, if only because it's a lot more difficult to go wrong. Still, there's a few recommendations to make that may help you hit level 90 just a bit faster, and we'll go ahead and dispense some of that advice today. Note that all advice here is for leveling only, and may not apply to end game dungeon running or raiding.

Choosing your leveling spec

I would recommend you choose either two-handed frost or blood as your leveling spec. Blood is strong enough and has enough self-healing and emergency defense tools that will probably never die. That said, your DPS won't be as high as you might like. Frost will allow you to kill things faster but still gives you some decent survivability options in the form of Death Strike and, if you talent in to it, the Lichborne heal trick. If you do level as blood, make sure you are either queuing for dungeons as a tank, or have a secondary frost or unholy spec ready to switch to when you DPS a dungeon. Blood is still not great DPS, and your dungeon group will need better than what you can put out as blood.

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

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: More death knight glyphs in Mists of Pandaria and patch 5.0.4

Lichborne More death knight glyphs in Mists of Pandaria and Patch 504 TUESDAY 14TH
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.

Last week, we started our discussion of the redesigned glyph system for Mists of Pandaria. This week, we'll finish out that discussion, covering the remaining major glyphs as well as minor glyphs.

The glyph system continues to look remarkably alien compared to what we have had before, but there are still some familiar glyphs, as well as a few long sought-after cosmetic additions. As we mentioned last week, there are very few mandatory glyphs, so a lot of this is going to come down to your personal preferences and playstyle. Be sure to read part 1 of this guide if you haven't already, then read on for the rest.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Death knight glyphs in Mists of Pandaria and patch 5.0.4

Lichborne Death knight glyphs in Mists of Pandaria and patch 504
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 redesigning the glyph system for Mists, Blizzard's taking away the prime glyph tier. More than that, though, they've essentially gutted the system, removing many glyphs and changing others in incredibly drastic ways. In the case of death knights, what this has done is leave us with very few mandatory]glyphs and even fewer glyphs that greatly affect our ability to do our jobs or climb higher on the damage meters in any meaningful way.

With this in mind, lets take a look at death knight glyphs in Mists of Pandaria as they stand. You will be able to use three major glyphs and three minor glyphs at any given time. There's a lot of glyphs to cover, so we'll do this in two installments. We'll cover most of the major glyphs today, and next week we'll finish off the major glyphs and talk about the minor glyphs.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Observations on new death knights in Mists of Pandaria

Lichborne Observations on new 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 a new expansion coming out, it's a perfect time to try out a new character. New skills, new spells, and new mechanics all mean there will be new ways of playing and new ways of looking at things, and sometimes you just want a fresh start. Of course, there are only a few people dedicated or crazy enough to play multiple characters of the same class on a regular basis, but sometimes, I find that leveling the same class more than once gives you insights and helps you remember the basics.

With this in mind, I've started a couple new death knights of my own on the Mists of Pandaria beta. And while there's a lot for new death knights to learn, it's interesting to note what lessons this old death knight learned and what subtle differences herald for the class.

It's easy to become talented

In the original plan for creating a death knight, you got chunks of talent points to spend when you completed certain quests. In theory, this allowed you to slowly build up a talent build as you would when leveling a fresh character, getting small chunks of talent points to distribute bit by bit. In practice, I feel it was a bit more confusing than that. A level 55 character with no talent points getting those talent points from random quests with no real rhyme or reason to when or how they came wasn't a deal breaker, but it really felt like you didn't quite have a handle on your talent points until you were finally caught up at around level 60 or so.

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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

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