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Posts with tag unholy

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: 2009 in review for death knights


Welcome to Lichborne, where Daniel Whitcomb has decided that Boom Boom Pow is our class anthem for the new year, if only because those chickens are totally jackin' our style.

So here we are, at the end of 2009. This marks the first full year of the Death Knight class, and it's definitely been an eventful year as Blizzard's balanced and rebalanced our class to help us fit into the ranks of the more established classes. We've been called flavor of the month and overpowered. I dislike the former label on philosophical grounds but grudgingly admit that the latter label has probably been correctly applied at certain points in time. Still, overall we've definitely had the ride of our lives over the last year as the devs have worked on a patch by patch basis to get us all figured out and settled in. Lets look at each tree and look back at the highlights and lowlights.

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

Lichborne: Death knight leveling 68-80


Welcome to Lichborne, WoW.com's column for all things deathly, knightly, and death knightly.
So, death knight. You're through with Outland. You just dinged 68 in Nagrand and want to move on to whiter, snow covered pastures. Maybe those pastures are in Northrend. Maybe those pastures are in Alterac Valley. Either way, let's discuss getting through those final levels and pushing you through to the end game.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, Walkthroughs, PvP, Leveling, Guides, Death Knight, Battlegrounds, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Analyzing the latest Patch 3.2.2 PTR changes


Avast ye swabbies! Welcome to Lichborne, where Death Knights rule the Seven Seas and the rest of ye lubbers walk the - Oh. Wait. Talk like a Pirate Day is OVER? Well, dangit. At least I still have this cool buff for a few more hours.

These past few weeks have bought a flurry of updates the Patch 3.2.2 PTR servers, and a lot of the updates have a lot to do with Death Knights. Since we were the most changed class in Patch 3.2, it might be expected that we got a good amount of tweaking in 3.2.2 to complement and compensate the Patch 3.2 changes. Thus, it would behoove us to take a look at said changes and see where they'll leave us coming into the likely rapidly approaching patch.

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

Lichborne: What Cataclysm might mean for Death Knights

Worgen Death Knight concept fanart
Welcome to Lichborne, the Death Knight column that dares ask the hard-hitting questions of Blizzard. Questions such as: Can I make a Worgen Death Knight now? Pretty please with sugar on top?


We've now had about a week and a half to digest all the new information from BlizzCon about the Cataclysm, and while it's not a complete picture of what we can expect from the expansion, there's enough information now that we can make some pretty good educated guesses about the direction of the game and the new theorycraft of being a Death Knight. Let's take a look at we can learn from the latest information.

New Races


The new races definitely have some pretty awesome racials. The Worgen's plus damage racial will make them a very solid choice for a DPS Death Knight, and the sprint will be excellent for closing distance in PvP, especially when paired with Lichborne or Icebound Fortitude to avoid CC. Even the skinning racial will be nice for a leveling Death Knight who decides to take some time out to level the money making gathering tradeskills.

Goblins are definitely going to be a nice little convenient race, with low buy and sell prices and a free bit of banking. Combat-wise, the Rocket Boots should be nice for closing distances or running away.

As far as whether these races will end up being the "best" races for Death Knights, I don't think I can say. Part of this is because I think the idea of a "best race" is, to at least some degree, rather subjective, but also, the devs strongly hinted they'll take a look at everyone's racial abilities as they move into Cataclysm, so its certainly possible that other races will get some new or upgraded racials that will keep pace with the awesomeness that are the new races' racials.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Talents, Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne, Cataclysm, Worgen, Goblin

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

Patch 3.2 Death Knight changes


Death Knights are among the most-changed classes in the first PTR version of patch 3.2, which is not terribly surprising for such a young class. Because of such significant changes, all DKs will receive a free respec.

Blood Strike will scale more from disease (up to 50% per disease), while Frost Strike is receiving significant nerfs: it can now be dodged/blocked/parried, and only gets a 55% bonus from weapon damage, instead of 60%.

On the tanking front, one of our major cooldowns was nerfed, although DKs are still probably the king of tanking CDs (disgustingly powerful new Ardent Defender aside). Icebound Fortitude's CD was doubled to 2 minutes. Veteran of the Third War's Stamina bonus was cut in half, and Toughness was cut by a third.

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Filed under: Patches, Death Knight

Lichborne: PvP pointers for Death Knights


Welcome to Lichborne, Your weekly peek into the world of the Death Knight.

Death Knights have it pretty good in PvP. Thanks to big whomping two-handers and magic damage strikes and spells, we can do massive burst damage and tear through armor defenses pretty easily. On the control front, we have Strangulate, Mind Freeze, Chains of Ice, and, depending on spec, maybe even a few other ways to silence, slow, or shut down an enemy player. Finally, our plate armor and defense cooldowns assure that should we the unlucky target of the burst train, we can hold out a lot longer than many.

Still, it's not just being a Death Knight alone that gets you PvP fame and godhood. It does help to have the right talents, gear, and strategy. So we're going to talk about that a bit, focusing mostly on the talents. Here's two popular PvP Talent builds.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, PvP, Guides, Death Knight, Battlegrounds, Arena, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Leveling through Outland (Levels 58-68)


Welcome to Lichborne, your weekly look at the mechanics, issues, and zen of the Death Knight class.

With 3.1 sort of leveling out for now, It's probably a good time to switch our views to leveling. It's a good a time as any to welcome any new Death Knights into the fold and give them a few tips for getting through that silly old Outland content and into Northrend.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, How-tos, Quests, Leveling, Guides, Talents, Alts, Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: A Patch 3.1 talent build cookie platter for Death Knights

When I said I wanted a new build, this wasn't exactly what I meant.
Welcome to Lichborne, your (usually) weekly (I swear) source for Death Knight news and tips.

So now that Patch 3.1 is underway, the basic cookie cutter tank and DPS builds have begun emerging. The Patch 3.1 nerfs really haven't slowed us down in any major way, and with dual specs in, we're doing better than ever on the whole versatility front. In recognition of this, let's give you some straight information, no chaser. Here's a handful of cookie cutter DPS and Tank builds for each tree to get you on the right path to DPS or tanking dominance in Patch 3.1, or both if you've dropped that 1000 gold. All of these builds also included recommended glyphs at the link as well.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Instances, Raiding, Leveling, Talents, Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Top 3.1 specs so far from 3D Armory

Not to be outdone by TalentChic, the folks at 3D Armory also sent us their lists of what the most popular builds are in the game after patch 3.1, and since everybody seems to be build-hungry lately (and why not -- we each get two!), here they all are.

Warrior: Fury 18/53/0.
Paladin: 0/0/0, which means you need to log in, Paladins! Also 51/5/15 for Holy.
Hunter: 0/0/0 wins here, too, but Survival (6/14/51) comes in next.
Rogue: Combat 15/51/5.
Priest: 14/57/0 for Holy.
Death Knight: 17/0/54 Unholy.
Shaman: Elemental 57/14/0.
Mage: 0/53/18 Fire.
Warlock: 0/41/30 Destruction.
Druid: 14/0/57 Restoration, which surprised me.

Keep in mind that these are from only a small sample of the game, so they're not the most popular specs in the game, just the most popular among those surveyed by the 3D Armory. And unfortunately, unlike TalentChic, it doesn't look like there's any way to see where the points are going, just the distribution of points among the trees (though that reminds us that Blizzard probably has some amazing point-by-point stats on how popular talents are).

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard, Raiding, Classes, Talents, Wrath of the Lich King

Dedicated dual wield tree for Death Knights a possibility

A few days ago, Bornakk responded to yet another thread regarding dual wielding for Death Knights. I read it, shrugged, moved on with life, but I found myself digging up the thread again because I started to warm up to the idea Bornakk put forth: They're considering (that's the key word here) "something like making the frost tree the dual-wield tree" and letting the strikes hit with both weapons like Mutilate and Stormstrike.

Bornakk says balancing both Dual Wielding and 2Handers in each talent tree has been exceptionally challenging, and I think we've seen that firsthand. Talents aimed for one build make their way into another, and things quickly get out of hand. Turning one of the trees specifically into the Dual Wielding tree (whether it be Frost or Unholy or whatever) is something I can get behind, even if it runs counter to what they've been trying to do with the talent trees since the Wrath beta.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Death Knight

Lichborne: More emergent builds on the 3.1 PTR

The builds and changes and tweaks seem to be coming faster and more furious, but at the same time seem to have settled down to changing things in a very final and deliberate way, if that makes sense. Whether we're a week or a month from 3.1 going live though, things are likely to change a little bit.

Still, my gut tells me that most of the major tree shifts and mechanics changes are probably out there, and it's just a matter of tweaking numbers. So it may be a good chance to take a look at what newish builds are getting some buzz in the Death Knight community for being the new hotness in 3.1. In specific, let's look at a Blood Build that reacts to some of the latest changes for that tree, and a stacked Unholy build.

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

Death Knight changes in WoW Patch 3.1 PTR build 9733

Although this wasn't the biggest PTR patch in the world (they're coming smaller and faster now, perhaps suggesting that 3.1 is near), there were still some notable changes for my new favorite melee class. The changes for Death Knights are as follows:

  • Frost

    • Howling Blast cooldown has been reduced from 10 sec to 8 sec.
    • Rime now resets the cooldown on Howling Blast when it procs, in addition to its previous effects.

These Frost changes are a clear buff to deep Frost DPS builds. Which was needed, because nobody plays Frost 2h.

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Filed under: Patches, Death Knight

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