4.0.1 Death Knight DPS guide
For the purposes of this guide, it's for Unholy spec Death Knights, as I find frost a wee bit boring and too random.
Anyway. This guide is designed to help you with your Unholy Death Knight's spec, Glyphs and rotation, as much as I can, with the new priority system now in full swing with the new patch.
This spec is the most viable at the moment, up to Cataclysm for Unholy Death knights. The point that's in Unholy Command you can use to your leisure, I just find the Deathgrip CD shortened better for situational purposes. It could go in Resiliant Infection if you really want, but again, it's situational.
DPS in this spec is done in Unholy Presence, as it gives the nice shiny haste that's once again useful for Death Knights, and the Rune Regeneration being sped up lets you hit with abilities quicker.
Current Glyphs that are best for us go as follows:
Glyph of Scourge Strike
Glyph of Raise Dead
Glyph of Death Coil
Glyph of Pestilance
Glyph of Anti-Magic Shell
Glyph of Blood Boil
Minor Glyphs are your own personal preference, but I currently use:
Glyph of Horn of Winter
Glyph of Raise Ally
Glyph of Resiliant Grip
Gems are pretty obvious, pure Strength in most cases, (Bold Cardinal Ruby) Apart from a Sovereign Dreadstone to possibly activate your Helm Meta, which should be a Chaotic Skyflare Diamond. Other choice are of course JC exclusive gems, and a Nightmare Tear.
Enchants I won't go into, as you should know how to enchant your own gear at this stage. DKs don't even need a weapon enchant, we get a free bumped-up Crusader one! Yay!
With the Highbourne being spread everywhere in major cities, we can runeforge stuff. Ironic thing is, The unholy mastery, extra disease damage, is pretty rubbish. If you're above the Hit cap (Elitist Jerks now posts this as 5.83% with the patch) Then reforge all extra Hit into Haste, as more Haste means your Runes will refresh faster.
Okay, the main one. Now it's no longer fixed - it's priority based, but there's still things to consider.
Basically, your opener should be; Blood Tap, IT, PS, SS, FS, SS. Now you want to use "/cancelaura Blood Tap" or it can mess up the generation of death runes on the second rotation. I've bound it to Death Coil in a macro. You should use one Death Coil at the end of your first rotation to remove Blood Tap buff, regardless of whether you have Sudden Doom or not.
Obviously save your main CDs (Gargoyle, Unholy Frenzy) for Bloodlust/Heroism, unless you know they'll come off CD before your raid pops them.
After the opener, the main things to keep in mind are;
You should Death Coil whenever you have the Runic Power to do it, but never when Runic Corruption is up. (don't let Runic Power build to 100 and then spam two/three Death Coils in a row as you might overwrite the current buff, wasting it's usage.)
Use Death Coil whenever Sudden Doom procs, but again not if Runic Corruption is up, hold off a few seconds so you don't waste it and can refresh it.
Other than that, your main rotation becomes a Festering Strike + Scourge Strike nukefest. Ideally, if you use your runes and procs properly, it should be 1 Festering Strike, and 4 Scourge Strikes.
So, trimming that down, it's using the opener when you have to (re)apply diseases, timing your Death Coils right to get maximum Rune regen, and popping Dark Transformation whenever you get to five stack on your ghoul and it's avaliable.
I hope this has been helpful, I've had a few people ask me in guild what to do, and lots of people on the server who aren't in the guild either. If anyone's got comments or suggestions, feel free to flame on and I'll change as needed :)
Nice post, this is pretty much what I've gone for as well.
A couple of points I'd like to add.
Elitist Jerks recommend that for multiple targets Death & Decay is added after the application of the diseases along with adding Blood Boil and Icy Touch instead of Festering Strike. Not sure I can see the value of another application of IT though, but they obviously know better than me :D
I always liked the idea of adding Anti Magic Zone as a raid utility in the cases of heavy magic targets. However as no one has suggested taking it I assume that the extra dps and mitigation from other talents is better.
One other point I've noticed is that the wonderful Dark Transformation is pretty much a waste in solo play at level 80 as I've never got to 5 charges of Shadow Infusion before the mob goes down. It works in HC dungeons but I've never tried the new spec out in raids. Presumably it may come into its own with the harder hitting mobs in Cata.
Adding the second icy touch is done to avoid sitting on an unused frost rune (assuming you've used pestilence to spread diseases), which is a dps loss. The only alternative is waiting until you have a blood rune back to use festering strike. To be honest I'm not sure why you couldn't go PS->IT->Pest->DnD->BB->BT->FestS, then /cancelaura. I may be misunderstanding how BT works, but doesn't it immediately activate a spent Blood Rune?
Any one have a Frost DPS Levelling guide?
I can do a small one, but my knowledge of the class is TINY.
As for levelling, I'd say don't worry about setup, specs etc. Just get to 80, fast!
Oh, and I won't be a tank, thanks. :)
nice post contagion, really helpful, shame i still wont get newhere near ur dps =)
still prefer frost to unholy - nothing like running into a group of 2-3 allys and HB them to death - with 32% mastery bonus - I currently crit for 14k on HB
Frost may do less DPS than unholy but I suspect that with mastery froststrike / HB combos will change the rotations around
^^ Describes DPS'ing in a HC perfectly. Good fun!
KM + HB = OMFG :p
Blizzard: "Yeah we're nerfing AoE across the board as we feel it has become too crucial. Cleave specs are being gutted"
Post Patch Blizzard: "Boy we sure did nerf AoE good, those rets and warriros are so angry lol"
10,573 Fury Warrior whine threads later: "Fury Warriors aren't top DPS anymore, WTF GUYS SORT IT OUT. K we'll just buff fury single target shed loads so they out damage everyone again."
Blizzard: "I love these new AoE reductions, instances are so much more fun now without classes just AoEing and laughing as they do insane cleave dps. LOL JK FROST DKS LOL"
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