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Lichborne: A final look at the patch 5.4 patch notes for death knights

Lichborne The death knight and patch 54
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 certainly discussed the patch 5.4 changes for death knights in the past, this week is the big week when patch 5.4 finally comes out and we put it all in action. With that in mind, today will be devoted at look at the patch notes from a death knight point of view and making some quick pronouncements about what we can expect when the servers the come back up.

The short version of the changes is this. All 3 specs are buffed overall, DPS more so than tanking. In PvE, blood is about the same, while unholy and frost specs are close enough together that you can either stick with your usual choice, or go with whatever you have the best weapons for. Unholy is slightly behind frost, but not so much that you'll suffer greatly.

For a more in-depth look at what's changed, read on.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: The latest patch 5.4 news for death knights

Lichborne The latest patch 54 news for death knights 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.

It's been a few weeks since we last discussed patch 5.4 from a death knight perspective. In that time, we have seen the dreaded fix to the RPPM bug for rune regeneration, but we have also seen unholy buffs as compensation. The first numbers pass for death knights also brings a good chunk of buffs to the death knight. Let's dive in and take a look.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Death knight group utility in Mists of Pandaria

Lichborne Death knight group utility in Mists of Pandaria
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.

Death knights are not always the first class you think of when you think group utility. They don't have a long-term crowd control method, they can't summon food or Healthstones, and they don't have one of those long term castable stat buffs like Mark of the Wild or Power Word: Fortitude.

That said, you shouldn't sell them short. We have a lot of little things we contribute to a group in a ways people may not think of. This week, we're going to look at some of the buffs, debuffs, and group utility moves death knights contribute, with an emphasis on things that or new or significantly changed in Mists of Pandaria.

Bringing the Buffs

Horn of Winter has long been a valuable buff that you should never neglect, and it's changed in some interesting ways in Mists. Instead of a flat buff to strength and agility, it now adds 10% attack power to you and your group. This ends up being pretty handy since it should scale as gear levels increase.

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

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: Heroic Cataclysm dungeon-delving for death knights


Welcome to Lichborne, your weekly source for news, guides, tips and opinions on the death knight class.

OK, I'm not usually one to use tired old catchphrases, but forgive me, I'm going to use one right now: You are not prepared. That pretty much sums up Cataclysm heroics, especially as they are now on beta. Chances are, you've grown used to the easy stuff we have in Wrath. Not only are Wrath heroics a little underbalanced, and not only have patches specifically made them easier and faster to run, but at this point, we're running things in tier 9 and 10 gear that were made for people in pre-tier 7 gear, and we're steamrolling them.

All this ends with Cataclysm heroics. I cannot stress this enough. You see that picture up there, at the top of this article? You'll be seeing that a lot. Cataclysm heroics are hard. They are hard enough that the random dungeon finder may end up being something you want to avoid in favor of creating your own group so that you can work together and get the proper balance of crowd control and skill. While some of the difficulty comes because we'll all be in dungeon blues, some of it is because the dungeons are genuinely set up to be harder, with harder-hitting mobs and bosses with mechanics that require you to use utility moves to have a chance of beating them.

With this in mind, I have a few tips for you on getting ready for the new heroics. Trust me, you'll need them, if you don't want to spend all day wiping to the first trash pack in your first random heroic.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne, Cataclysm

Cataclysm Beta: Build 12984 death knight changes

In the wee hours of the morning, an (as yet unimplemented) beta build found its way out onto the internet for dissection by the usual datamining suspects. As has become a happy habit with the past few builds, there are death knight changes to be had. Now, these changes don't solve all of our problems. In fact, some of them exacerbate a few of them. However, a couple of the changes are amazingly good, and I'd call this patch, overall, another step in the right direction. Let's take a look at what changed and what it means for the death knight playstyle. As a warning, this patch has not yet been placed on the beta as of this writing, so things may still change from what's here.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Death Knight, Cataclysm

Cataclysm Class Changes: Death knight analysis

I'll be completely honest: If I were to describe the death knight update with three words, it would be these: We need more. PvP-focused death knights will likely be pleased with the new revealed skills, but for PvE death knights, all three hold little to no PvE applicability. The new rune system's original explanation is somewhat convoluted, and while I think I have a handle on it after some extensive testing and theorycrafting, we really can't say much about how well it will work until we know more about how our abilities will be rebalanced. The talent discussion mostly focused on telling us what we learned a few days ago when we were told blood will be the only tanking tree.

Essentially, given this update, a large part of me wishes they had just held off until the beta. Right now, we just don't have enough information to make anything more than vague educated guesses about how the new rotations and abilities will play off of each other. That said, it's still worth a look at what's going down, so let's start it up and see what we can surmise.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Death Knight, Cataclysm

Cataclysm class skills previewed in Icecrown Citadel

Every one of us has been sitting at our computers with bated breath, eagerly waiting to see the new spells and abilities coming to our favorite class in Cataclysm. The truth, however, is that we've already seen many of these before. Some of these class previews started in Icecrown Citadel, not on the forums.

What are we talking about? In Icecrown Citadel, there's a mob in the Upper Spire region of the raid zone called Val'kyr Heralds. They summon other mobs called Severed Essences, which are clones of members of your raid. They don't use all of your exact spells, but they fit each class. With the exception of one (Focused Attacks), each of the unique spells Severed Essences possess have ended up being a new spell for their class in Cataclysm.

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Filed under: Paladin, Cataclysm

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