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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

Lichborne: Death knight regemming and reforging for patch 4.0.1


Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights.

Now that we've had a bit of time with patch 4.0.1, hopefully you've settled in to a decent rotation and spec and have begun to feel your way around the new system. Now that you've done that, there's one more step to take: figuring out the best way to reforge and regem your gear. Reforging can be done through certain NPCs in major cities and is a process whereby you take one secondary stat (the ones in green text) and reforge part of it into another stat. This process can be very useful for getting rid of extra stats past the soft cap or just plain getting rid of stats that aren't important for your class or spec. You can't reforge a stat into another stat that's already on the item, but otherwise, your possibilities are endless.

Gemming remains more or less how it always has. The one big, new curveball we've been thrown is the fact that hit gems are now blue. This is probably overall a win for DPS death knights, as it gives us a few more options to aim for gear bonuses without handicapping ourselves as much.

To understand how, when and if to regem and reforge your gear, you'll need to understand stat weights. While it's still pretty early in the 4.0.1 game (and therefore, it's not completely clear what stat weights are for every spec), the death knight community has still done enough math that we're relatively certain of the general order. With that in mind, let's look at every spec and figure out the best ways to regem and reforge.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Ruby Sanctum loot for death knights


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

With the state of pretty much every class on beta in limbo thanks to the forthcoming talent revamp, we're taking a break from beta stuff to ransack the Ruby Sanctum. Hopefully, we'll see the new trees on beta in the next week or so, so we have more to work with than speculating on exactly what "signature abilities" everyone will get. In the meantime, we have shiny new loot and a new boss to tackle in the here and now.

The Ruby Sanctum is ostensibly the last major raid of the Wrath expansion, and as such, ostensibly your last chance to get a few extra pieces of gear and uber yourself out before Cataclysm comes along and replaces everything with level 81 quest rewards. There are definitely some pretty prime upgrades to be had here, including a few straight-up best in slot drops, so let's get going and check out what you can grab.

As with previous gear guides, try to keep your stat weights in mind, and when it comes to the heroic versions of these drops, unless otherwise noted, it's usually safe to say the same stuff about the heroic version, except even more so. Also, comparisons here are normal to normal, or heroic to heroic. Heroic versions of ICC loot are, for the most part, probably still going edge out normal Ruby Sanctum loot.

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

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