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Posts with tag mark-of-blood

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

The Wrath of the Lich King Death Knight roundup


Good Thursday morning, everyone. I'm sure by now that many of you rushed home from your midnight openings, installed the game, and started up a new Death Knight. Many others may, like me, be expecting to do that tonight after work or school, while others are looking at rolling a Death Knight in a few weeks or months after the rush has died down or they get a main to 80. Whatever your plans, if you're playing a Death Knight anytime in the future, you'll want to read on. We have a nice selection of some of the best news, information, and analysis of the Death Knight class after the break, including a lot of information that the new Death Knight will find useful.

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Filed under: Items, Tips, Leveling, Guides, Talents, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Lichborne: Unholy Blight, or I spent 51 points for this?

Welcome to this week's edition of Lichborne, where Daniel Whitcomb is totally bumming out that he won't be getting a sweet axe on his Death Knight.

I know a few of you have been asking for some good solid builds for powerleveling your Death Knight through Outland and through to Northrend, and I'm hoping to deliver soon enough, but unfortunately, it's hard for me to recommend something when it could very well change another couple times before release.

We're getting down to the wire, though, so it's likely the trees will solidify soon, and I'm hoping to have some recommendations on good Death Knight builds in the next week or two. For now, I've decided to take a look at one of the 51-point Death Knight talents to give you a taste of how things change in Beta. Specifically, I'm talking about Unholy Blight.

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

Skill Mastery: Mark of Blood


While Blood is not quite as as powerful as it once was, it remains, at the least, a solid DPS tree and one quite a few Death Knights will probably choose to level with. The wide array of self healing abilities means that a Blood Death Knight has a very hard time dying, and nothing interrupts a good grinding session quite like a death.

In Skill Mastery today, we'll look at one of the Blood Death Knight's signature talent abilities, the 21-point talent Mark of Blood. Mark of Blood is placed on an enemy, and every time that enemy deals damage, their target is healed for 4% of their max health. It costs 1 Blood Rune. It lasts for 30 seconds, and has a cool down of 3 minutes.

It's a straightforward skill to use. Throw it on your target and keep fighting. Using it effectively, however, may take a little bit of thought. Here's some tips to figuring out the best way and time to make your mark:

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Talents, Buffs, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

Tips for new Death Knights from a fellow tank, part 2


Dear corpsified bundles of beautifully-armored joy (but more particularly those who tank Azjol Nerub while wearing Expedition Bracers of the Bandit),

We had a little bit of controversy in the first installment, so I'm just going to state this as baldly as possible; if you hated what I wrote last time, there's a good chance you'll walk away from this one thinking I eat babies. Delicious, delicious babies. While I never mean to offend people, I reserve the right to tell them the truth, or at the very least a highly entertaining and plausible lie.

Truth, she be at times an ugly mistress. And she ain't gettin' any prettier as we move from DPS to tanking.

Tanks have significantly more responsibility, both in groups and raids, and they face the competing directives of maximizing mitigation (to keep their healers happy) and maximizing threat production (to keep their DPS happy). I've healed dozens of Death Knight tanks at this point, and while the average pugged DK tank has gotten noticeably better, there are still a few trends you'd want to be aware of as a healer. The problems in beta right now are made worse by Blizzard unintentionally overselling the ease of tanking on a Death Knight in 5-man runs. Many people seem to have interpreted the statement that they should be able to tank well with Blood, Frost, or Unholy specs as being tantamount to saying they can tank well regardless of how their talent points are spent in those trees.

Any experienced tank can tell you right now that this is not true, but people believing that it is is how you wind up with 11K-life Death Knights taking 7-8K enraged hits from Keristasza in the Nexus. If you've never tanked before but you're interested in tanking on a Death Knight -- or pragmatic enough to know you'll probably wind up tanking a certain number of 5-mans on your DPS Death Knight -- I hope this article helps you avoid what I went through in May 2007 when I started tanking and sucked at it.

I came to the beta to slowly lose my mind trying to heal insane tank damage and gulp Extra Strength Tylenol. And I'm all out of Extra Strength Tylenol.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, How-tos, Instances, Expansions, Features, Humor, Raiding, Guides, Classes, Talents, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King

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

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: 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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