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Posts with tag merciless-combat

Lichborne: Addressing ability bloat in death knight skills

Lichborne Addressing ability bloat in death knight skills
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.

Recently on Twitter, Lead systems designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street was asked what issues he'd fix if he could immediately wave a wand and make it better. One of the ones he mentioned was ability bloat. Ability bloat is the term used to describe a class needing to press too many buttons simply to perform the basic tasks expected of them in group PvE and PvP content.

Ability bloat is certainly something that's been on my mind as well, so this week we'll consider the possibility of ability bloat in death knights and figure out various ways to address it. Much like how talents were pared down for Mists, I wouldn't be surprised to see abilities pared down in major ways for the next expansion, and we might as well start anticipating it.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

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

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

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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