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Lichborne: Unholy death knights get some gifts in patch 5.2

Lichborne Unholy death knights get some gifts in 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.

Given that I have been talking the past few weeks about unholy's woes and some things Blizzard will probably never give us, I wanted to spend this week talking about some of the good things Blizzard has given us. Luckily, Blizzard decided to give us the greatest Christmas gift of all: Meaningful balance and mechanics changes to the unholy death knight on the upcoming patch 5.2 PTR.

Plague Strike delivers both diseases

Applying diseases when Outbreak is on cool down has been one of the most awkward parts of playing unholy ever since Scourge Strike was switched to a single rune model. Applying via the usual Plague Strike/Icy Touch model leaves orphaned runes that cannot easily be spent on a standard strike that fits into the basic unholy priority system, throwing off the rotation in a pretty jarring manner and making fights with multiple target switches a bit of a pain. However, in patch 5.2, Ebon Plaguebringer will allow Plague Strike to apply both Frost Fever and Blood Plague.

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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: Death knight class achievements

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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.

Like just about every Blizzard fanboy these days, I have been playing a lot of Diablo III. And while playing it, I have indeed been looking to complete achievements whenever I can. A lot of Diablo achievements are similar to WoW achievements, but one category Diablo III has that WoW doesn't is class achievements.

This is understandable. There are a lot of reasons WoW doesn't have class achievements. It's harder to level multiple characters and get them all. It's harder to implement flashy achievements that could force you to put a group at a disadvantage. People could focus on gaining achievement points rather than winning a battle. That said, I still think there's some merit to the idea.

One of the best reasons to have class achievements, I think, is as a possible teaching tool. There's still not a really solid, in-game way of teaching you how to play your class, but a few achievements that rewarded you for using certain skills in certain ways might just be a good start. Sure, you could just cheese them anyway, but if you tried to get them legitimately, you could very well find yourself learning how to play along the way. This week, we'll brainstorm a few death knight achievements and see how they could help a lot of people play the class better.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: The care and feeding of pets


Welcome to Lichborne, your weekly peek into the world of the death knight from WoW.com's resident undead slave, Daniel Whitcomb.

While we're not strictly a pet class, per se, no-one can deny that we probably have the largest menagerie outside of Hunters and Warlocks, depending on how we're specced. It could stand to be a bit more diverse (where's my glyph of the geist, Blizzard?), and it could stand to smell a bit nicer, but it does the job quite admirably. As a long time lover of the use of death knight pets, I've decided that this week is as good as any other to take a peek at those pets, both the common and the talented.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Guides, Talents, Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Unholy issues in Patch 3.2

If there's one thing that researching the Death Knight class changes for patch 3.2 has done for me, it's reconfirmed my hatred of all these extra annoying little combat stats. You know expertise, armor penetration, haste, all those little things they added to the game for seemingly no other reason than to make determining best in slot gear a master's thesis level task or to make quest rewards suck worse than they first appear. Really, I long for the days when your choices were hit rating, AP, and spell power, heal power and spell or physical critical strike rating.

I mean, I guess if I sat down and thought about it, I can deal, especially since the system tweakage has also bought us more awesome stuff like consolidated spell power and critical rating. Still, times like this, I really long for the old days. In particular, I'm talking about the Unholy tree.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Talents, Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: It's been one week (of 3.1)

It's been one week. The barenaked ladies. Get it? Get it?Welcome to Lichborne, the weekly Death Knight column. This week, Daniel Whitcomb continues to make sense of just what the heck they're doing to us on the PTR.

So we have one week down in the PTR. We've had a chance to get more familiar with the Death Knight changes, both the documented and undocumented, and to see how they'll affect the way we play once 3.1 goes live.

Of course, by the time 3.1 goes live, they could be changed pretty extensively, but for now, it's a good idea to check out where they are right now, and not only predict where they might go, but let the developers know by our feedback, based on testing, where we think the class should go. With that in mind, let's take a look at the current state of the class on the PTR, where we're going and where we want to be heading.

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

Death Knight class change analysis for patch 3.1

The next round of class changes for 3.1 has gone up, and Death Knights, of course, got a blurb of their own. The changes are probably slightly less sweeping than some other classes, but interesting all the same. Ghostcrawler's word on Death Knights lately has been that they're probably a bit high on DPS, and that they want to encourage more people to spec Blood and Frost over the overwhelmingly popular Unholy. I'm not sure these changes in particular did that, but one thing they did do is give a couple of nice potential buffs to Death Knight tanks. Let's look at them one by one.

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

Lichborne: One more round of Death Knight changes in 3.0.8


Welcome to Lichborne. Your host is inflicted with the space plague this week, but has done his best to write for you people anyway, so be grateful, you hear?

We've covered 3.0.8 pretty extensively, between Mike Sacco's coverage of the initial round of changes and our week before last discussion, but the devs weren't done yet. With 3.0.8 likely to make it to live servers in the next week or two, this is probably a good time to discuss the Death Knight tweaks that have gone in the last few PTR updates.

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Filed under: Patches, Items, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Instances, Bosses, Death Knight, Inscription, (Death Knight) Lichborne

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

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