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Posts with tag reaping

Lichborne: Learning to live with 3 weird death knight quirks

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 the end of the year coming up, it's a good time to sit back and reflect. This week, my reflections on the death knight class have tended towards those little quirks, those mechanics that come up week after week in discussions, pet peeves to some people, things they may want changed, or things that are just a bit weird. This week, we'll look at three of these in particular, why they're sources of such controversy and frustration, and speculate on whether or not Blizzard might consider changing them in the upcoming patch 6.0.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Why patch 5.2 is a great time to be a death knight

Lichborne Why patch 52 is a great time to be a 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.

With patch 5.2 in full swing, we've had time to take stock of the changes, not just in terms of new content, but in terms of the buffs and nerfs our classes received. I'm just going to come out and say it. As a class, death knights feel about the best they've been since the Wrath era. There's a lot of great stuff to be excited about, so let's go down the list.

Unholy is fun again

Unholy has, as a spec, been sort of on the outside since Cataclysm. Blizzard's revamp, which put unholy on a different rune spending scheme from the other specs and pulled it even further away from weapon damage and toward special ability damage, created a unique melee spec, but the complications and weaknesses that came with that spec were a bit much for many people, and with frost generally beating it in both DPS and simplicity, the spec gained a reputation for being played only by the most hard headed diehards.

Patch 5.2 came along and bought with it a much needed unholy revamp. The addition of Frost Fever to Plague Strike alone has helped make unholy's rotation smoother and more intuitive, as well as made target switching feel at least a little less punishing. AoE is still a little more awkward, but with Icy Touch on Reaping, you can at least get through that first setup and get to the main AoE rotation a lot more smoothly.

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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: Notes from the Twitter developer chat


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

While paladins got some of the biggest bombshells in last week's big developer Twitter chat, there was still quite a bit of juicy information for death knights. Reading between the lines, it's pretty obvious we're getting some major tree revamps, especially in the frost tree, what with On a Pale Horse being added and Runic Empowerment being made baseline. The answers also bought some interesting insights into some of the various decisions being made as our class takes shape in Cataclysm. A few of the answers definitely merit some deeper discussion, so let's get to it.

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

Lichborne: Unholy DPS 101


Welcome to Lichborne, your weekly peek at the world of the death knight. This week, we're looking at what may be the most volatile, versatile, finicky, and powerful of the death knight dps specs.

1. What is unholy DPS?

Unholy DPS is one of the biggest roller coasters you can step on as a death knight DPSer, in that almost every major patch has bought huge changes to the tree, sometimes making it totally overpowered, sometimes slamming it down into the dirt, sometimes making a basic unholy spec look like a convoluted Escherian nightmare. In Patch 3.3, it's leveled off into a solid, dominant powerhouse that combines stronger diseases and physical damage with the added bonuses of a cool pet and a very powerful magical debuff. It's essentially the choice for any death knight DPSer who wants to maximize their DPS.

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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

Lichborne: Emblem of Frost gear for death knights


Welcome to Lichborne, the Death Knight column. This week, Daniel Whitcomb is really regretting turning on his boombox in Acherus at the new year's party.

By now, I assume a good portion of you have managed to get on your daily heroics at least a couple times a week, maybe even have an ICC raid or three under your belt. If so, you're starting to amass enough Emblems of Frost to maybe possibly think about buying a piece of gear. Of course, the problem with Emblem of Frost gear is that it's a little bit more expensive than, say, Emblem of Triumph gear. You're not going to get away with gearing up quite as fast, at least not until all of ICC is open and you have a good group for the place. No 25-emblem tier gear here. So that also makes it important, especially for the more casual player, to pick what you buy carefully.

Let's take a look at the various options.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Instances, Guides, Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Patch 3.3 Roundup for Death Knights

Welcome to Lichborne, WoW.com's weekly Death Knight column, where your host, Daniel Whitcomb, continues to be caught in a bad romance with Unholy DPS.

So we're back on the scene after a lazy and luxurious extended Thanksgiving holiday, and just in time for patch 3.3. Death Knights got their fair share of changes, some minor bug fixes and some rather large adjustments, including, of course, the obligatory complete rebalancing of unholy DPS. That said, with 3.3 the last major patch before Cataclysm, we can hope for some normalcy with the whole issue. Or we can expect Patch 3.3.1, either way.

Regardless, since we're just starting out on patch 3.3, now's a good time to run down what patch 3.3 means for us, including a postmortem on the latest unholy DPS changes, and some advice on what to do with yourself in patch 3.3. Read on.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, News items, Instances, Quests, Raiding, Classes, Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: The latest Patch 3.3 PTR death knight changes in depth


Welcome to Lichborne, WoW.com's death knight column.

Remember when I said that it looked like Patch 3.3 was going to be relatively quiet for us? I may have spoken too soon. There's been a pretty major shakeup to Unholy DPS (again), and there's one or two other changes we might want to discuss, including news of some armor tier bonuses. Let's get to it.

Scourge Strike Rebalancing: The Neverending Story

So before we delve into this change, let's take a moment to review the star-crossed history of Scourge Strike. Scourge Strike is meant to be the basic Frost/Unholy attack of an Unholy death knight, and the hardest hitting of their attacks. In theory. Here's the thing with Scourge Strike: It does shadow damage. That means it completely bypasses all armor, meaning it does a lot more effective damage than you might guess just from glancing at the tool tip. The problem back in the early days of the class is that it was doing far too much, easily outstripping Obliterate. So, Blizzard nerfed the damage, and all was well for a while.

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

Patch 3.3 PTR: Death Knight patch notes and undocumented changes


Given the massive amounts of death knight changes in the last few patches, Patch 3.3 almost feels like a drought. Of course, that may be good news if you're a bit tired of adjusting your rotations and glyphs every patch. Then again, don't rest yet. Sure, there's only a few changes to Death Knights (so far), but they're big enough that they deserve some discussion. Let's look at them one by one.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, News items, Talents, Buffs, Enchants, Death Knight

Lichborne: Unholy issues in Patch 3.2

If there's one thing that researching the Death Knight class changes for patch 3.2 has done for me, it's reconfirmed my hatred of all these extra annoying little combat stats. You know expertise, armor penetration, haste, all those little things they added to the game for seemingly no other reason than to make determining best in slot gear a master's thesis level task or to make quest rewards suck worse than they first appear. Really, I long for the days when your choices were hit rating, AP, and spell power, heal power and spell or physical critical strike rating.

I mean, I guess if I sat down and thought about it, I can deal, especially since the system tweakage has also bought us more awesome stuff like consolidated spell power and critical rating. Still, times like this, I really long for the old days. In particular, I'm talking about the Unholy tree.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Talents, 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

The Queue: The patoot edition

Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Alex Ziebart will be your host today.

Hey, everyone! How did you all hold up over the last week? A whole week with Adam? Did you miss your ray of sunshine? No? Oh... well, that's okay. I'm back anyway! If you don't read Ask a Lore Nerd, I was more or less out of the office the last week moving into my swank new apartment, so that's why I haven't been around. It's all good now though, so Adam and I are back on our rotating schedule.

We also have a cool little guest appearance from our resident Death Knight Daniel Whitcomb, so that'll be a treat! Hopefully!

Cholestria asked...

Are there any titles I can achieve with my level 1 bank alt? She has an outfit from the Brewfest and usually participates in any of the holiday she can, but all the titles seem to require some leveling. Is there any title she could get without leveling?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Talents, Death Knight, The Queue

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