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Posts with tag frost-strike

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

Death Knight tanking overhaul


The ever-helpful Ghostcrawler hit the forums late yesterday with a slew of changes to Death Knight tanking in the form of both bug fixes and buffs. The single biggest "buff" is actually a fairly significant bug fix; Death Knights had half the untalented, ungeared dodge of a Warrior or Paladin, and that was definitely never intended. Between that and a change to Blade Barrier (it's currently activated with all runes on cooldown; it's being changed to activate with only Blood runes on cooldown), Death Knights should see a significant improvement to their avoidance. Threat generation is also getting a nice boost, as Blizzard recognized that Death Knights suffered badly whenever key moves failed to land. Rune Strike is becoming a reactive ability like the Warrior's Revenge, and Frost Strike can no longer be dodged, blocked, or parried. Death and Decay has also been changed to be more competitive with Consecration and Thunder Clap, which is consistent with the overall trend toward AoE tanking effectiveness.

I've healed a number of Death Knight tanks in 5-mans now (you'll be hearing from my grumpy self about this soon) and recognized a few early versions of these issues, certainly in the form of Blade Barrier's often-spotty uptime. While I'm glad that DK's are getting more consistent threat generation, I have to admit that my real concern is the amount of burst they seem to take (something others have noticed as well), so I'm keeping an eye on the tweaks being made.

Thanks to Doug for writing in!

Filed under: Druid, Paladin, Warrior, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Instances, Expansions, Raiding, Buffs, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Forums

Lichborne: Death Knight glyphs

Welcome to Lichborne, your weekly weekend look at the first hero class, the Death Knight. Daniel Whitcomb is back after dealing with some light administrative work back at the Ebon Hold.

Inscription seems to be coming on to the beta server in bits and pieces, especially when it comes to the much looked for glyphs. One or two classes seem to trickle in each build, and in the latest build, it is the Death Knight's turn. Today, we'll take a quick look at the new Death Knight glyphs, and figure out how useful they'll be to the various playstyles and specs of the Death Knight. As always, it's worth noting that these are beta numbers, so things could change by the time Inscription and Death Knights see the light of day on live servers.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Expansions, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Inscription, (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 Frost tree changes in latest Wrath Beta build

Between Blood's lack of downtime and Unholy's AE abilities and Ghoul control, Frost is starting to feel a bit like the unwanted orphan of the Death Knight trees. While it's heavy on the tanking talents and has some burst potential, we've been there done that, perhaps, already have Frost Mage alts, and so on and so forth.

Luckily, Blizzard recently made some changes to the tree on Beta which look like they may be nudging the tree in the right direction toward equality with the other two trees. Here's a concise list of the changes via MMO-Champion:

  • Improved Icy Touch now increase the damage of your Icy Touch by 10/20/30/40/50% and its damage against Frozen Targets by 20/40/60/80/100% (Old version : Reduces the cooldown of your Icy Touch spell by 1/2/3/4/5 sec and increases its critical strike damage bonus by 10/20/30/40/50%)
  • Nerves of Cold Steel has been moved from Tier 3 to Tier 2.
  • Annihilation has been moved from Tier 6 to Tier 3.
  • Aneurysm has been moved from Tier 8 to Tier 7.
  • Merciless Combat has been moved from Tier 8 to Tier 6.
  • New Talent - Blood of the North - Tier 8 (5 Points) - Whenever you use a Blood Strike there is a 20/40/60/80/100% chance that the Blood Rune will become a Death Rune when it activates
  • Frost Aura increases your Frost Resistance by 32/65 instead of 22/45.
  • Frost Strike prerequisites have been removed. (Merciless Combat was required before)

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

WWI '08 Death Knight Demo: Frost spells and talents


The Frost tree was originally designated the tanking tree, and the Frost Presence will likely still be the presence of choice for tanking Death Knights. Interestingly enough, very few of the other spells and talents in the Frost tree -- with the exception of Icebound Fortitude -- really scream "tanking." However, some of them do scream "crowd control," which may amount to the same thing in the end -- just freeze, slow, or silence extra mobs until you have a chance to focus on tanking them.

The "frozen" bonuses in some of the talents also suggest that Frost Death Knights may have a lot of good synergy with Frost Mages as well, assuming their frozen status afflictions are identical to each other. Below is a listing of some of the Frost spells and talents shown in the WWI Death Knight demo:

Frost Spells:


Icy Touch:
Requires level 55
Costs 1 Frost Rune
Instant cast, 6 second cooldown
20 yard range
Description: Deals 217 to 235 Frost damage modified by attack power and reduces the target's ranged, melee attack, and casting speed by 15% for 20 seconds.

Chains of Ice
Requires level 56
Costs 2 Frost Runes
Instant cast, 16 second cooldown
20 yard range
Description: Freezes the target in place for 3 seconds. the target regains 10% of their movement speed each second after breaking free of the chain

Frost Presence
Requires level 57
Instant cast
Description: The death knight takes on the presence of frost, increasing armor by 45% and threat generated by 25%.

Mind Freeze
Requires level 57
Requires Runic Power
10 second cooldown
Description: Strike the target's mind with cold, dealing 100 frost damage modified by attack power and interrupting spellcasting while also preventing any spell in that school from being cast up to a maximum of 4 seconds.

Obliterate
Requires Level 61
Costs 1 Blood Rune, 1 Frost Rune
Description: A brutal instant attack that deals 100% of weapon damage plus 330 and 122 additional damage for each of your diseases on the target, but consumes the diseases

Empower Rune Weapon

Requires level 68
3 Minute cooldown
Instant cast
Description: Empower your rune weapon, immediately activating one of each rune type

Icebound Fortitude
Requires level 72
Requires Runic Power
1 minute coooldown
Description: Consumes all available runic power, causing the Death Knight to become immune to stun effects and increasing armor by 50% for up to 12 seconds. Does not remove existing stun effects.

Frost Talents:

Frozen Rune Weapon

Requires 10 talent points
Costs 1 Frost Rune
Requires melee weapon
Instant cast
Description: Imbue your rune weapon with frost, causing 29.9 to 92 additional frost damage, based on the speed of your weapon. Also has a chance to cause your target to be vulnerable to frost damage. Lasts 10 minutes.

Deathchill
Requires 20 talent points
2 minute cooldown
Instant cast
Description: When activated, increases your critical strike chance with frost spells and abilities by 100% for the next 6 seconds.

Howling Blast

Requires 30 talent points
Costs 1 Frost Rune
30 second cooldown
Instant cast
20 yard range
Description: Blast the target with a frigid wind, dealing 278 to 302 frost damage to all enemies within 10 yards. Deals triple damage to frozen targets

Merciless Combat

Requires 35 talent points
Costs up to 3 talent points
Description: Your frost spells and abilities do an additional 20% damage per talent point when striking targets with less than 20% health.

Frost Strike
Requires 40 talent points, Merciless Combat
Costs 1 Frost Rune
Requires melee weapon
Next Melee
Description: A strong attack that deals weapon damage as frost damage. Has a 10% chance to freeze the target.

Hungering Cold
Requires 50 talent points
Requires runic power
1 minute cooldown
Instant cast
Description: Unleashes all available runic power to eradicate all heat from around the Death Knight, freezing enemies within 10 yards and preventing them from performing any action for 2s per 10 runic power. Enemies are considered frozen, but any damage will break the ice.


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

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