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Posts with tag hungering-cold

Lichborne: 2012 predictions for death knights and how they actually shook out

A picture of a death knight from the Mists of Pandaria beta, standing in front of a pagoda in a bamboo forest.
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 it was for, to some extent, all classes, 2012 was a busy time for the death knights, as one expansion ended and another began. As the news of Mists of Pandaria began pouring in, I started making some predictions. As the Mists beta progressed, I started mentioning things that I felt, or that the death knight community felt, needed to change or would change. This week, I figured it might be interesting to look back on some of those old articles and see what exactly happened, and how far off the mark I was (or wasn't).

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: New changes to your DPS choices in patch 4.2

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 4.2
has been a surprisingly tumultuous time for death knights. We've received a veritable avalanche of nerfs, some of which were just hotfixed right into game after a few days on the PTR. Even as we enter the last few weeks of patch 4.1, Blizzard's thrown a couple more changes our way, as well as an explanation for the reasoning behind all the class changes.

Whether you agree with Blizzard's reasoning on them or not (and, in the interest of full disclosure, I should say I really don't), the death knight changes will definitely have impact on how you play and what you do as a DPS death knight in patch 4.2. Let's take a look at the latest changes and see what type of impact they may have on your play as a DPS death knight.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Further death knight nerfs hit the patch 4.2 PTR

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've already talked a bit about some of the changes coming for death knights on the patch 4.2 PTR, it's been a few weeks, and we've seen more changes inbound. Not only that, some changes have slipped onto live servers a little bit early. A lot of these changes have some serious repercussions for PVP and PVE DPS death knights, so it's certainly worth it to take a look at these changes, not only for their immediate impact, but for what they say about the history and future of the class and Blizzard's attitudes toward the whole thing.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: 3 things death knights need in patch 4.1

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.

Now, before you get too excited about the title, we still don't know when patch 4.1 is dropping, much less when it's coming to the PTR, so don't think this is any sort of announcement. That said, it's never too early to wish and speculate. I won't deny it, I love death knights and I love balanced classes, but not everything I want for death knights is ironclad. A lot of what I want would probably turn them into horribly overpowered machines of death and destruction, powered by the tears of lesser classes. That said, as I've played my death knight day by day, there are a few things I've noticed time and time again, quality of life issues that could really use some TLC from the dev team -- things that I am relatively sure wouldn't overpower us if fixed up.

This week, I'm going to discuss three death knight issues I've noticed in Cataclysm and how I think Blizzard should fix them with the next major content or class balance patch.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, 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)

Lichborne: A death knight primer for tanking 5-man dungeons

Welcome to Lichborne, the weekly death knight column. This week, your host is in a bit of a tanking mood. Those Emblems of Frost don't earn themselves!
So when the Dungeon Finder came out, it was pretty cool even for DPS. A 10 minute wait for a DPS slot for a 5-man dungeon is pretty insanely awesome. If nothing else, it was certainly faster than the old way of sitting in Dalaran for 2 hours picking your nose and watching the LFG channel.

Now that the dungeon finder has been around for a while though, things are getting a bit stickier for DPS. My server averages around 15-20 minutes for a level 80, and I've heard some battlegroups are up to 30-45 minutes, even at prime time. To make matters worse, tanks and healers can continue to boast instant or near-instant queues almost everywhere, leaving the poor DPS green with envy.

Now technically, this is how it's almost always worked. Tanks and Healers get groups pretty quick, DPS has to wait around. And all told, the dungeon finder system is still pretty cool, and you still get a group faster than the old way. That said, now that we've had a taste of true power, I'm sure we're all loathe to lose it. Luckily, death knights have an out: We can go tank.

Whether you're a DPS DK considering going tank for shorter queue times, or a 5-man DK tank newbie looking to up their game, this column's for you.

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

Lichborne: Death Knight Tanking


Welcome to the first post-Wrath installment of Lichborne, the weekly Death Knight column. Join Daniel Whitcomb on the bleeding edge of a new and untried class.

So Wrath is upon us, and we can finally start leveling our Death Knights on the live servers. That's right, this time it's for keeps. I'm pretty excited about that. One thing, though, that I haven't gotten to do yet on live servers is tank a dungeon. It's not that I don't want to, it's that 98% of the people leveling through Outland right now are Death Knights, so finding a healer is a bit difficult. Still, I did my fair share of tanking on Beta servers, and I played a Druid tank for years, and I'm figuring I'll do my fair share of tanking again at 80. Thus, I decided that this week is the perfect time to start getting ready to tank, even if Utgarde may be the first instance most Death Knights will get a group for.

Let's get down to the basics:

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Filed under: Tips, Raiding, Bosses, Guides, Talents, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, (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

The Art of War(craft): Dreaming about Death Knight PvP


I know, I know. It's too early to actually figure out how Death Knights will work in PvP. Humor me for a bit. The new class, with its juicy talents and abilities, even if they will get changed before Wrath of the Lich King hits the shelves, have got me really excited. They have some pretty cool spells and a new resource mechanic that promises to shake things up as far as gameplay is concerned. I'm not big on alts, and I play mostly on my main and a secondary toon that really needs more love, but I actually want to make a Death Knight. I'm not an alt-o-holic, but I think I'll be taking it all the way to Level 80.

Of course, while I tell all my friends that I'm finally making a toon I'll be happy to tank with, what I'm really thinking about is PvP. I had initially wanted to make a Death Knight class when the game was announced, Death Knights being my favorite Hero in Warcraft 3. I thought Warlocks were the going to be it, considering the Death Coil spell, but I ended up never making a Warlock at all. But now here's the real deal. Plate armor, badass Rune weapons, Deathchargers, and all things ooky, spooky, and vile. Sounds like a lot of fun to me.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, The Art of War(craft) (PvP)

Death Knight Gameplay Movies: Frost and more Blood leveling

We bought you Jadefury's Unholy and Blood Death Knight game play videos yesterday, and now he's released another batch. This time, his Death Knight is a bit higher level, and he puts two new talent builds through their paces.

In the video above, he focuses on the Frost tree. You can see the control that Frost provides specifically - the freezing effects actually seem to last a remarkably long time, certainly long enough to set up a nice chain of abilities and spells for maximum damage. A Hungering Cold followed by a Deathchill and finished up with a Howling Blast can be particularly devastating. Jadefury also points out that if you have any lingering diseases on any of your targets, you can use Blood Boil to quickly wipe them out, doing extra damage and making them susceptible to being frozen again.

Frost, reports Jadefury, is probably the least solo-friendly build. Because you need to go very deep into the frost tree to get all the abilities you need for maximum control and damage, You can't get the self-sustainability talents in the Blood tree such as Vendetta. That said, Frost should still be amazing for groups, since you'll be able to provide some very passable crowd control and damage, and I myself am still looking forward to seeing what a good Frost Mage/Death Knight team can do in PvP.

Now that his Death Knight is a bit higher level, Jadefury also released a second Blood tree video that showcases a higher level build.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Machinima, News items, Expansions, Leveling, 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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