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Posts with tag unholy-dps

Lichborne: Switching death knight specs for patch 5.2

Lichborne Switching specs for 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.

When a new patch comes, especially one with some major class changes like patch 5.2, it becomes a good time to reflect on your play style and priorities. Does your spec serve those priorities? With a new patch coming, it's a good time to experiment with new stuff. You can do it pretty easily on the PTR, and when the patch goes live, the game's got some fresh new content, so it's as good excuse as any to jump into a new spec and get used to it while killing trolls for all these new quests. You'll also be getting new gear, so changing up gearing priorities becomes easier.

Today, we'll take a quick look at all the death knight specs, with some of their pros and cons, so you can make a solid judgment call as to whether to switch and try something new, or stick with the familiar. This isn't meant to a complete guide to playing each spec, just a quick overview so you can decide if the play style and responsibilities of the spec are right for you.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Why unholy death knights aren't popular

Lichborne Why unholy death knights aren't popular
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 the PvE side of the death community, one of the most hot button topics right now is unholy DPS. All through the Mists beta, there was a large clamoring for an overhaul to the spec that never really came, and while Blizzard did add some decent quality of life and power changes, overall, many death knights felt the base flaws remained.

As it's played out in Mists so far, unholy death knights do appear to be a much rarer creature than frost death knights at the raid level. In addition, while sims suggest unholy should only lag slightly behind frost, actual raid parses often show unholy lagging behind by a far larger margin.

What does all this mean? How does unholy continue to have these issues? This week, we'll look at some unholy spec issues, and consider how, or if, they should be fixed.

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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: 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

Lichborne: Unholy first impressions in the Mists of Pandaria beta

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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 strange thing about talking about the unholy tree since Cataclysm is that nothing ever seems to change. Don't get me wrong, unholy's been on a roller coaster of nerfs and balances, it's true, but the basic gameplay stays the same -- and more importantly, the basic problems never really get fixed.

So as we come into Mists of Pandaria, where are we with unholy? It still has a relatively unique playstyle, with a pet and less difficulty keeping diseases up (but more difficulty applying them because of the rune spending issue), but this same playstyle gives it a lot of trouble, as weapon damage scales horribly and strength becomes more important -- some would say too important. This is how it continues to go with unholy.

Today, we'll take a look at the upsides and downsides of unholy as it currently exists in the Mists of Pandaria beta and maybe make some suggestions for things Blizzard could focus on fixing once the death knights' turn for class balancing comes around.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: The state of the patch 4.2 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.

Now that patch 4.2 has been out for a few weeks, it's a good time to look at the fruits of our nerfs. Patch 4.2 saw a surprising amount of death knight changes, from the nerfing of Obliterate to the last-minute buffing of Unholy Might. Nearly as conspicuous was the near complete lack of blood tanking changes.

With all of this in play, we definitely expected some shakeups when patch 4.2 went live; now, it's time to take a look at how those shakeups have played out. Most stuff went more or less as expected, but there have been a few surprising twists. We'll tackle it all after the break.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: New changes to your DPS choices in patch 4.2

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.

Patch 4.2
has been a surprisingly tumultuous time for death knights. We've received a veritable avalanche of nerfs, some of which were just hotfixed right into game after a few days on the PTR. Even as we enter the last few weeks of patch 4.1, Blizzard's thrown a couple more changes our way, as well as an explanation for the reasoning behind all the class changes.

Whether you agree with Blizzard's reasoning on them or not (and, in the interest of full disclosure, I should say I really don't), the death knight changes will definitely have impact on how you play and what you do as a DPS death knight in patch 4.2. Let's take a look at the latest changes and see what type of impact they may have on your play as a DPS death knight.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: A look at the latest patch 4.2 news 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.

As I mentioned last week, there was one big issue that the patch 4.2 PTR hadn't addressed: the discrepancy between frost and unholy death knight DPS. Just like that, Blizzard seems to have heard and has in fact both changed the tier 12 set bonuses and added a few changes to the patch notes that mostly seem tailor-made to address that gap. Let's take a look at the changes and how the death knight class is shaping up in patch 4.2.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Tier 11 raid and valor point gear for death knights

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. Join World of Warcraft's first hero class as we head into a new expansion and shed the new kid on the block label.

With 4.1 on the PTR, I've been hearing the usual grumbling. Why should we raid anymore? We'll just wait for the next tier of raiding and get all new good stuff. This argument always sort of strikes me as a little bit off, but it definitely doesn't apply to this patch. Not only is patch 4.1 heroic gear only going to be item level 353, but we won't get a new raiding tier until patch 4.2. That means you probably have multiple months left in which the best gear still comes from raiding tier 11 content.

With that in mind, this week we'll look at all the item level 359 gear available in game and figure out what's best for the up-and-coming DPS death knight. This guide will primarily cover raid gear and valor point purchases, with BoE world drops and crafting and reputation purchases where they seem to fit well into the hierarchy of what to wear.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: 3 things death knights need in patch 4.1

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. Join World of Warcraft's first hero class as we head into a new expansion and shed the new kid on the block label.

Now, before you get too excited about the title, we still don't know when patch 4.1 is dropping, much less when it's coming to the PTR, so don't think this is any sort of announcement. That said, it's never too early to wish and speculate. I won't deny it, I love death knights and I love balanced classes, but not everything I want for death knights is ironclad. A lot of what I want would probably turn them into horribly overpowered machines of death and destruction, powered by the tears of lesser classes. That said, as I've played my death knight day by day, there are a few things I've noticed time and time again, quality of life issues that could really use some TLC from the dev team -- things that I am relatively sure wouldn't overpower us if fixed up.

This week, I'm going to discuss three death knight issues I've noticed in Cataclysm and how I think Blizzard should fix them with the next major content or class balance patch.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Unholy DPS in Wrath of the Lich King

Welcome to Lichborne, your weekly peek into the ins and outs of the death knight class.

With the last announced content patch of Wrath of the Lich King released, and the devs stating that they don't plan to make any major class changes until patch 4.0 and the Cataclysm expansion, It's a good time to start taking a look at how our trees have fared this expansion. Yes, I know that death knights were technically introduced this expansion. Certainly this means there's a comparative breadth to what we have experienced, but Wrath was a time of great change and turmoil for all of our mechanics and trees as well. Let's start our look back with Unholy, specifically by looking at two of its most volatile abilities: Unholy Blight and Scourge Strike.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

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

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: 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

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