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Posts with tag killing-machine

Lichborne: The problem with Killing Machine and DPS stat weights

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 patch 5.4 coming along on the PTR, one thing that came into my brain as I reviewed the latest changes is thinking about what death knight issues weren't addressed, in this patch or others. Some class changes in this patch are inevitable, because you do want all classes to have a good experience and be well balanced going into the final raid of the expansion, the shining centerpiece of it all. At the same time, though, there's still problems, problems that may not be addressed until patch 6.0, if at all. Today, we're going to discuss one of those problems, namely, Killing Machine, and the deeper flaws it may magnify in the current frost death knight stat priority.

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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: 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: Tier 15 set bonuses and other death knight changes for patch 5.2

Lichborne Tier 15 set bonuses and other death knight changes for patch 52 TUESDAY
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 the weeks since the patch 5.2 PTR has been up, death knight changes have held pretty steady. The announced unholy changes have stayed in place, and so far seem to be working out much as expected, making the spec a little easier to handle and overall promising to put unholy in a better place once patch 5.2 comes out. That said, there have been a few other tweaks added, as well as the revealing of the tier 15 raid gear set bonuses. Today, we'll dig into these changes and see how they're stacking up.

Tier 15 death knight DPS bonuses
I'm going to be honest, I'm a little bit in love with the current 2 piece DPS bonus, if only for the flavor. A few columns back, I mentioned that one of my wildest dream updates for death knights would be a Wild Imps style ghoul summoning, and the 2 piece tier 15 bonus is sort of probably the closest we'll come to that. We'll need more solid parses to see if stacks up damage bonus wise, but in flavor, I'm pretty excited for it. The biggest issue here may be if the summoned pets end up dying prematurely to mobs before they can do their damage.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Mists of Pandaria beta first impressions for death knights

A Death Knight in the Jade 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.

Having finally had a chance to play the Mists of Pandaria beta, I'll be looking this week at the basics of the experience for a level 85 death knight coming into Jade Forest, the first zone in the leveling experience.

The setup

Upon logging in to Mists of Pandaria for the first time, you will, of course, have to choose new talents. With the talent system being so radically changed, there's really no around it. Luckily, it's a relatively painless process. Having played around a bit with most of the choices, I'm not sure if many of the choices are that dynamic, but your mileage may vary.

On tier 1, you may see some blood death knights going for Unholy Blight to have a nice bit of runic power AoE, but other than that, the three choices are pretty clearly split between the three specs. That said, it's not a horrible tree, either. You can pick some cool stuff that'll help with your desired role and keep on playing, and I like that. It's just not going to be a free choice, per se. At the moment, it just appears that there's almost always a clear winner for most situations on any given tier based on your preferred spec, role, and playstyle.

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

Lichborne: The state of the patch 4.2 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.

Now that patch 4.2 has been out for a few weeks, it's a good time to look at the fruits of our nerfs. Patch 4.2 saw a surprising amount of death knight changes, from the nerfing of Obliterate to the last-minute buffing of Unholy Might. Nearly as conspicuous was the near complete lack of blood tanking changes.

With all of this in play, we definitely expected some shakeups when patch 4.2 went live; now, it's time to take a look at how those shakeups have played out. Most stuff went more or less as expected, but there have been a few surprising twists. We'll tackle it all after the break.

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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

Looking at death knight changes testing in PTR Patch 4.0.6

There are changes on the upcoming 4.0.6 PTR for death knights. Actually sorting through them may prove a little difficult, as the official patch notes and the datamined information sometimes say two different things. In short, though, we can say that blood has received a bit of a survivability hit, but a nice threat boost; unholy has both become a more solid 2H damage tree and received a sizeable (but expected) DPS nerf; and 2H frost has gotten a nice boost that may actually make it viable in endgame raiding, depending on how the numbers hold out.

Remember, though, that this is the PTR, and things may (and probably will) change before this thing goes live. With that in mind, let's take a look at what the changes say.

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Filed under: News items, Death Knight

Lichborne: A guide to death knight spell alerts


Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights.

One pretty cool change coming to Cataclysm is the advent of spell alerts, on-screen notifications that direct you to a button you really should be pushing when you get some sort of class-specific proc or buff. Of course, many high-level players have had this for a long time in the form of player-made UI mods, but now newbies, UI minimalists, and people who just get confused by UI mods get a chance to have them, too. This week in Lichborne, we'll discover what spell alerts death knights get and discuss how best to apply them in battle.

Generally, when a spell alert goes off, you'll hear a sound and see a certain graphic envelop your character on screen. If you have scrolling combat text turned on, you'll also see green or yellow text describing the buff. Finally, the button for the affected ability or abilities will light up on your action bar, telling you exactly what you need to push. Once you understand all this, it's pretty easy to anticipate the effects, but let's take a quick look at what you'll see so you know exactly what to expect and what to do.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Tweaking your frost DPS talent build

Welcome to Lichborne, your weekly look at news, tips and strategy for the death knight class, with your host, Daniel Whitcomb.

Last week, we took a look at frost DPS. At that time, I posted a basic DPS build for beginning frost DPSers to provide a good balance of DPS and utility. As I mentioned back then, though, the basic frost DPS build is pretty nice in that it does allow a bit of flexibility in your build; that is, there are a few places where you can swap around points a bit depending on your gear level and personal needs. We'll also take a quick look at optimizing sigil usage, which should come in handy for blood and unholy DPS as well. But first, let's take a look at those frost talents.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: The Future of Death Runes in Patch 3.2

Welcome to Lichborne, the Death Knight class column, with your host, Daniel Whitcomb, who's still wearing mourning black for AE Unholy Blight. And also because black looks awesome.

I admit to being a bit underwhelmed by the Death Knight Q&A. To be fair, this is primarily because most of the things covered were already in the 3.2 patch notes, and the rest was pretty common sense stuff. However, one little comment by Ghostcrawler did catch my attention: His praise of Death Runes.

This caught me more than a bit by surprise, since, if anything, the Death Knight changes in Patch 3.2 seem tailor made to discourage the use of Death Runes, at least for Frost and Unholy.

Between the damage buff to Blood Strike and diseases, and the nerf to Scourge Strike, we have a pretty good chance of seeing people move away from using Death Runes. The major reason to use Blood Strike in both trees right now is to create Death Runes so you can use higher damage abilities on your next refresh cycle. If Blood Strike becomes the higher damage ability, it's not worth it to use the Death Runes on something else. There's a off-chance, I suppose, that you might want the Death Runes handy for an emergency use of Ghoul Frenzy, in theory, but that chance is so slim that no-one's going to want to waste the talent points in Reaping, at the very least.

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

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: Howling Blast and other patch 3.0.8 follies

Welcome to Lichborne, WoW Insider's weekly Death Knight column.

Yeah, I definitely have to put out a mea culpa here. Alas, Lichborne is a little bit late again. I have a valid excuse, I swear. It involved a flaming plum pudding, a flailing geist, and a sudden snowstorm at the Shadow Vault over in Icecrown. But after an emergency eye transplant by a Forsaken Death Knight who used to be a member of the RAS, I'm back in the saddle and this week's column is only a few days late.

Anyhow, this week I thought I'd take a look at the deeper implications and meanings behind some of the Death Knight changes coming our way in 3.0.8. Our newest Mike has summarized and analysed quite a few of them, but I have just a few more things I want to say, especially about a new change that was added in a recent PTR update.


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

Lichborne: A Death Knight statistics primer

Death Knight Itemization: This guy is doing it wrong.
Welcome to Lichborne, the weekly Death Knight column by professor Daniel Whitcomb, who totally has a PhD in Death-Knightology from Ebon Hold University. It's the truth, I swear.

I've seen a lot of people asking these questions as we've been getting into the expansion: Now that I am trying to gear by Death Knights, what stats should I get? What's good for a Death Knight? Which armor should I take. We've started getting in that somewhat in the last few columns, with advice on reputation gear and starting zone gear, but I figured today we should delve a little bit more into the why of Death Knight stats.

Today's column will double as a little bit of primer on how Death Knights get their power, and what stats you should be looking for on armor in general to make your Death Knight the best it can be. It's not completely in depth, but it should get you well on the road to understanding just how Death Knights get all that awesome power and sexiness.

We'll have 3 sections today. The Good are stats that are excellent choices for DPS, Tanks, or both. The So-So are stats which still do us some good, but are pretty situational or conditional in their usefulness. The Outcasts are those stats that you should avoid -- Well, I'd say avoid like the plague, but we're Death Knights. We like the plague around here. So I'll just say you should avoid them.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Raiding, Leveling, Guides, Talents, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, (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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