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Lichborne: 5 Abilities death knights could lose in Warlords of Draenor

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.

On Twitter a few days ago, Technical Game Designer Celestalon asked on twitter what abilities people would hate to see cut in the great button bloat purge. Interestingly enough, when I saw the tweet, the first thing that come to my head was abilities I would LOVE to cut. Still, the tweet was inspirational enough that today I figure we can talk a bit about some abilities. What active, button pressing abilities could death knights stand to lose? What abilities would we like to see stick around even if they seem perfect for chopping? Here's 5 skills I think the devs may be taking a hard look at. Feel free to add any you think I missed in the comments.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: The Underhold raid loot for death knights

Lichborne The Underhold loot for death knights
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.

The Underhold is the third section of the Siege of Orgrimmar, and will be opening up for Flex raiders this week. With that in mind, today we'll look at the loot that drops for the 3 bosses contained within. As before, the same disclaimers from the last two weeks apply. While "Best in Slot" is all well and good, "Best in Slot" also assumes you are playing at the top of your game, using very specific rotations, talents, and glyphs, and using cooldowns at the proper times, and that the gear you're picking up is mostly heroic or heroic warforged gear. Also, upgrades are upgrades, so if you're wielding Raid Finder gear from Throne of Thunder, even non-optimal flex gear from Siege of Orgrimmar is probably going to be an upgrade. Keep that in mind when grabbing gear as well.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Gates of Retribution raid loot for death knights

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.

The second tier of Patch 5.4's Siege of Orgrimmar, Gates of Retribution, brings us to the Horde capital itself. There are four bosses to kill and much death knight loot to plunder. The disclaimers from last week's loot guide still apply. While best-in-slot guides are all well and good, keep in mind that what is "best" for you will change based on your skill level, talent choices, and your current gear, and that new gear at a higher item level, even if not optimal, may still be an upgrade over what you had before. With that in mind, let's dig in.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

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

Three needed changes to the death knight leveling experience

Lichborne 3 needed changes to the death knight leveling experience
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.

So With patch 5.3 not holding much in the way of new content for me, I've been spending my new found free time leveling a brewmastery monk. I must say, it's been a blast. Certainly, I didn't get my entire toolkit at level 10, but I got enough to get by, and as I've leveled almost exclusively by tanking dungeons, I've almost never felt that I was missing something essential to my job.

By contrast, leveling a new death knight in early Mists in order to update and rewrite leveling guides, my experience was different by leaps and bounds. Depending on your spec, a new death knight could be missing vital, near-mandatory pieces of their toolkit for 20 levels. I know I'm not alone in seeing an issue with this, and in fact this column was in part inspired by Magdalena (who just got a namesake item in game) pointing it out twitter this morning.

With that in mind, today I'm going to make a couple suggestions on slight tweaks to the death knight leveling experience to make sure new faces to the class have a smooth leveling experience that properly equips them for the end game.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Possible new death knight glyphs and trinkets in patch 5.4

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.

Over the past couple of weeks, Blizzard added a few interesting new items to the patch 5.4 PTR in the forms of new glyphs and possible trinket drops for the Seige of Orgrimmar raid. Now, in both cases, these are pretty tentative. The trinkets don't have proper names yet, and the glyphs are all marked as NYI (Which stands for not yet implemented). This means they may not make it to live servers, or may not make it in the same form. Still, the information's intriguing enough that it's worth taking a look at it.

New beglyphings

Glyph of Regenerative Magic is looking like a very strong choice that may make it into a lot of glyph slots. If you misfire your Anti-Magic Shell and it doesn't completely absorb all possible damage, this glyph gives you a second chance by reducing the cool down. I can see this being useful on magic-damage-heavy boss fights and PvP for sure.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

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: Patch 5.3 and the death of festerblight

Lichborne Patch 53 and the death of festerblight
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 a recent update on the patch 5.3 PTR, Blizzard applied an update that applied some unexpected changes to the death knight unholy tree, most of them nerfs.
Blizzard
Death Knight

Unholy

This has, unsurprisingly, left many death knights at a loss. After patch 5.2 seemed to cure unholy's woes and allow it to at least be a viable and fun alternative to frost, these nerfs came as a surprise. Frost is so far still the more damaging death knight DPS spec in patch 5.2, so the idea that unholy is the one that got nerfs was somewhat discouraging.

That said, it might not be as bad as you think. It's worth noting that in the long run, the Scourge Strike buff should cancel out the nerfs to Festering Strike and Unholy Might, at least in theory. This brings to mind one question as to what this shifting of damage toward Scourge Strike is actually meant to accomplish. Essentially, the main purpose here appears to be a nerf to festerblight.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Unholy death knights get some gifts in patch 5.2

Lichborne Unholy death knights get some gifts in 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.

Given that I have been talking the past few weeks about unholy's woes and some things Blizzard will probably never give us, I wanted to spend this week talking about some of the good things Blizzard has given us. Luckily, Blizzard decided to give us the greatest Christmas gift of all: Meaningful balance and mechanics changes to the unholy death knight on the upcoming patch 5.2 PTR.

Plague Strike delivers both diseases

Applying diseases when Outbreak is on cool down has been one of the most awkward parts of playing unholy ever since Scourge Strike was switched to a single rune model. Applying via the usual Plague Strike/Icy Touch model leaves orphaned runes that cannot easily be spent on a standard strike that fits into the basic unholy priority system, throwing off the rotation in a pretty jarring manner and making fights with multiple target switches a bit of a pain. However, in patch 5.2, Ebon Plaguebringer will allow Plague Strike to apply both Frost Fever and Blood Plague.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Guide to PvE unholy death knights in Mists of Pandaria

Lichborne Guide to PvE unholy death knights 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.

With Mists of Pandaria less than a month, it's a good time to get caught up on your chosen class' mechanics and playstyle in order to get a good start in the new expansion. With that in mind, we've spent the past few weeks discussing the various specs and how they'll play. This week, we add to the collection with a guide to unholy death knights in PvE. As a reminder, the following guide is for the basics of the class and spec.

Unholy basics

Unholy, much like its sister trees, remains more or less unchanged in basic look and feel. Of course, there's enough tweaks that there's stuff to learn, but if you liked the way unholy played back in patch 4.3, you'll like the way it plays in patch 5.0.4 and Mists of Pandaria. The biggest change you'll notice is that the new version of Ebon Plaguebringer no longer has the magic damage debuff or the third disease. They have upped the damage on our strikes to compensate, but it's one more little piece of unholy look and feel that's gone.

Unholy is, of course, played with a two-handed weapon enchanted with Rune of the Fallen Crusader, as you will need its power to get the most damage from your strikes, and in Unholy Presence. You will also want to make sure you have your ghoul out as much as possible, as it makes up a not insignificant amount of your damage. If you don't want to deal with a pet or want to dual wield, you're better off switching to frost DPS.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Guide to PvE blood death knights in Mists of Pandaria

Mists of Pandaria Guide to PvE blood death knights 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.

With Mists of Pandaria fast approaching, we continue our basic guides to the specs as they stand in the expansion. This week, we catch up with blood tanks. As a reminder, the following guide is for the basics of the class and spec.

Blood basics in Mists of Pandaria

Blood has changed remarkably little in Mists of Pandaria. Our basic setup is still using Death Strike to get our Blood Shield up, while trying to keep threat at the same time. Vengeance is now based off the amount of damage you've taken in the last 20 seconds, which won't be a huge deal but may lead to some attack power and threat spikes in the long run. Be aware that, especially at the start of a fight, you may need to work slightly harder for threat.

The two things you will probably notice the most are the 1-second global cooldown and the loss of 30-second Outbreak. The GCD change was one that was very much needed for DPS death knights but wasn't really an issue for us. However, since Blizzard decided to make that GCD change global to the class, we do have to deal with it. It may cause some noticeable downtime. That said, it will also allow you to fit in more emergency health-gaining cooldowns faster, so it may be a fair trade. Overall, it's something that should be easy to get used to and may work to our advantage more often than not.

A 30-second Outbreak is a little more of a solid nerf, in that you will have to deal with Outbreak's being on cooldown just when you need it most, but Blizzard has taken most of that agony out of the equation, since Scarlet Fever now allows Blood Boil to refresh diseases. Just be sure not to let diseases completely drop, and you're golden.

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

Death knight glyph changes in patch 5.0.4

Glyphs in Patch 504 Death Knights
When the new 5.0 patch flips over on Aug. 28, will you be ready with glyphs? Blizzard is recycling old glyphs instead of making new spell IDs and charring old ones. Some glyphs are staying the same, some are new, but some share IDs with old Cataclysm glyphs.

Below is our list of new or changing glyphs for death knights. This is not a list of changing tooltips, just which glyphs you ought to have if you want to automatically have the new glyphs when the patch flips over.

There are no brand new death knight glyphs.

Glyphs that are changing into new majors:
Glyphs that are changing into new minors:

It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!

Filed under: Death Knight, Mists of Pandaria

Lichborne: More death knight glyphs in Mists of Pandaria and patch 5.0.4

Lichborne More death knight glyphs in Mists of Pandaria and Patch 504 TUESDAY 14TH
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.

Last week, we started our discussion of the redesigned glyph system for Mists of Pandaria. This week, we'll finish out that discussion, covering the remaining major glyphs as well as minor glyphs.

The glyph system continues to look remarkably alien compared to what we have had before, but there are still some familiar glyphs, as well as a few long sought-after cosmetic additions. As we mentioned last week, there are very few mandatory glyphs, so a lot of this is going to come down to your personal preferences and playstyle. Be sure to read part 1 of this guide if you haven't already, then read on for the rest.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Death knight glyphs in Mists of Pandaria and patch 5.0.4

Lichborne Death knight glyphs in Mists of Pandaria and patch 504
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 redesigning the glyph system for Mists, Blizzard's taking away the prime glyph tier. More than that, though, they've essentially gutted the system, removing many glyphs and changing others in incredibly drastic ways. In the case of death knights, what this has done is leave us with very few mandatory]glyphs and even fewer glyphs that greatly affect our ability to do our jobs or climb higher on the damage meters in any meaningful way.

With this in mind, lets take a look at death knight glyphs in Mists of Pandaria as they stand. You will be able to use three major glyphs and three minor glyphs at any given time. There's a lot of glyphs to cover, so we'll do this in two installments. We'll cover most of the major glyphs today, and next week we'll finish off the major glyphs and talk about the minor glyphs.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Observations on new death knights in Mists of Pandaria

Lichborne Observations on new death knights 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.

With a new expansion coming out, it's a perfect time to try out a new character. New skills, new spells, and new mechanics all mean there will be new ways of playing and new ways of looking at things, and sometimes you just want a fresh start. Of course, there are only a few people dedicated or crazy enough to play multiple characters of the same class on a regular basis, but sometimes, I find that leveling the same class more than once gives you insights and helps you remember the basics.

With this in mind, I've started a couple new death knights of my own on the Mists of Pandaria beta. And while there's a lot for new death knights to learn, it's interesting to note what lessons this old death knight learned and what subtle differences herald for the class.

It's easy to become talented

In the original plan for creating a death knight, you got chunks of talent points to spend when you completed certain quests. In theory, this allowed you to slowly build up a talent build as you would when leveling a fresh character, getting small chunks of talent points to distribute bit by bit. In practice, I feel it was a bit more confusing than that. A level 55 character with no talent points getting those talent points from random quests with no real rhyme or reason to when or how they came wasn't a deal breaker, but it really felt like you didn't quite have a handle on your talent points until you were finally caught up at around level 60 or so.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

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