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Lichborne: On Blood leveling and Beta

Welcome to Lichborne, where every week Daniel Whitcomb makes sense of the amazing, ever-changing betatastic Death Knight class

So here's yet another example of how mutable Death Knights are at the moment: This week, I decided to spec Blood all week and make a genuine effort to learn all the ins and outs I could so that I could bring you a good solid overview of Blood for this weekend's column.

Then build 8820 came along, and Blood, while having the same basic mechanics, got a rather big hit to its health regeneration and DPS abilities, and I'm left trying to figure out the extent of the damages. In the end, I don't think Blood was horribly nerfed in this build, but it might have been slightly overnerfed.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Leveling, 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

WWI '08 Death Knight Demo: Blood spells and talents


The Blood tree was originally designated as the primary DPS tree, and a lot of the talents still reflect that, such as Dark Conviction, the ever-present critical strike talent, and Dancing Rune Weapon, the 51 point talent.

However, it's also worth noting that the Blood tree provides quite a few healing skills and talents which may end up making it a useful type of tanking tree via allowing the Death Knight to keep himself healed and keep a bit of grief off his healers: for example, Death Pact will be useful for finishing off a ghoul who's about to die anyway and getting a bit of health back. Below is a selection of some of the spells and talents available to Death Knights in the WWI demo.

Blood Spells:


Blood Presence:

Requires level 55
Costs 1 Blood Rune
Instant cast, 1 second cooldown
Description: Strengthens the Death Knight with the presence of blood, increasing damage done by 15% and healing the Death Knight by 4% of damage dealt. Only one presence may be active at a time.

Blood Strike:
Requires level 55
Costs 1 Blood Rune
Instant cast, 1 second cooldown
Melee range
Description: Instantly strike the enemy, causing 60% weapon damage plus 55 for each disease effect on the target.

Blood Tap:
Requires level 64
Description: Immediately activates a blood rune and temporarily converts it into a death rune. this rune counts as a blood, unholy, or frost rune. lasts 10 seconds.

Death Pact:
Requires level 66.
Description: Sacrifice an undead minion, healing the Death knight for 1200 health

Blood Talents:

Rune Tap
Requires 10 talent points
Instant cast, 1 minute cooldown.
Description: Converts 1 Blood Rune into 10% of your maximum health.

Dark Conviction
Requires 10 talent points
Costs up to 5 talent points
Description: Increases your chance to get a critical strike with melee weapons by 1% per talent point.

Improved Rune Tap
Requires 15 talent points, Rune Tap
Costs up to 3 talent points
Description: Improves Rune Tap's health gain by 15% per talent point

Vendetta
Requires 15 talent points
Costs up to 2 talent points
Description: Heals you for 3% of your total health per talent point whenever you kill a target that yields experience or honor

Scent of Blood
Requires 20 talent points
Costs up to 3 talent points
Description: After being struck by a ranged or melee critical hit, you gain the Scent of Blood effect, causing your next 2 melee hits to steal life from the enemy. lasts for 12s. this effect can not occur more often than once every 12 seconds (Note: the effect of putting more than one talent point in this skill is not yet listed in the description).

Blade Barrier
Requires 20 talent points
Costs up to 3 talent points
Description: Whenever you have no runes active, your parry chance increases by 5% per talent point for the next 8 seconds.

Mark of Blood

Requires 20 talent points
Costs 1 Blood Rune, 1 Unholy Rune
Instant cast
30 yard range
Description: Place a mark of blood on an enemy. whenever the marked target is healed, all party members receive 5% of that healing (up to a maximum of 5% of the Death Knight's health). if a marked target that grants experience or honor is killed, all party members are healed for 10% of their total health. Lasts 3 minutes.

Hysteria
Requires 30 talent points
Costs 1 Blood Rune, 1 Unholy Rune
Instant cast, 2 minute cooldown
30 yard Range
Description: Induces a friendly unit into a killing frenzy for 30s, increasing their physical damage by 20% but causing them to suffer damage equal to 1% of their total health every second.

Heart Strike
Requires 40 Talent Points
Costs 1 Blood Rune
Requires melee weapon
Next Melee
Description: A debilitating attack that lowers the target's total health by up to 20% for 30 seconds.

Dancing Rune Weapon
Requires 50 talent points
Requires Runic Power
Requires melee weapon
Instant, 1 minute cooldown
Description: Unleashes all available runic power to summon a second rune weapon that fights on its own for 1s per 5 runic power, doing the same attacks that you do.

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

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