Archive for the Death Knight Category

Death Knight Tanking in Cataclysm

Posted in Death Knight with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 1, 2009 by Randul the Dwarf

A bit of a depature from the norm today, rather than talk about the normal Warrior stuff, I’m going to talk a little about Death Knights.

My primary alt, who is quickly becoming more of a secondary main is Kered, a Death Knight.  He is dual-specced, DW Frost and Unholy Tank.  After reading an article over at wow.com entitled Lichborne: What Cataclysm might mean for Death Knights, I decided to throw my opinion into the ring.

The author talks about each of the upcoming changes individually, but the one I really want to talk about is his take on Defense going the way of the dodo.  The devs stated that tanks will receive their crit reduction in the way of talents, much like Bear Druids do.  He has a problem with what this could mean for DKs, in that it could mean DKs have to pick one talent tree for tanking.

My question is, why is this a bad thing?  Every other tanking class in the game has to pick one tree to tank, why shouldn’t DKs?  Originally the developers wanted to try this new heroic class that could do any of the class roles from any talent tree, but I think they probably found this wasn’t the best situation.

I suggest picking a tree and making it the tanking tree.  This would actually be unfortunate for me, as my preferred dps tree is Frost, which would likely be the tanking tree.

The other option available is to make the crit reduction talent on the first tier of one of the trees.  I think that makes it too easy for any tree to get it for pvp though, which would be kind of a big deal.

One of the commenters suggested changing Stoneskin Gargoyle from +25 Defense & some Stamina to -6% Critical Strike chance.  I think, if they want to continue with any tree for any role, this is probably the best solution.  It severely limits what enchants a Death Knight can have on their weapon, but it does what folks want it to do.

Additionally, a note on Dual Wield Frost

A few people have been getting to my site by searching the terms, Reaper of Dark Souls for Dual Wield Frost.  To answer your question, yes…get those weapons if you don’t want to buy the Titansteel Bonecrusher.  As far as purchasable weapons, they are really good.  They are pretty well itemized and they aren’t too expensive.

If you can get your hands on the Titansteel Bonecrusher, it’s quite a bit better as a mainhand.  The Bonecrusher is Main Hand only, so you’ll need something for your offhand even if you get it.  The Reaper of Dark Souls is good for this at least.

When I first went DW Frost I went with dual wielding two Reapers.  After that I did Heroic Trial of the Champion until I managed to get my grubby hands on Aledar’s Battlestar.  I probably would have got a Bonecrusher, but my guild was using Titansteel to make epic gems.

Right now I’m main-handing the Battlestar and offhanding the Reaper.  I have in my possession Maexxna’s Femur and Hatestrike which, according to Rawr, are very slightly better than the Reaper, but I’m digging the Reaper’s hit.  I’ll probably keep the Reaper until I can get my hands on Razorscale Talon or another Battlestar.

Oh and btw, Dual Wield Frost is VERY fun.  Love it.

Dual Wield Frost…Two Thumbs Up!

Posted in Death Knight, World of Warcraft with tags , , , , , , on August 10, 2009 by Randul the Dwarf

I said I would try out DW Frost this weekend, and I didn’t lie.  I dusted off the old Death Knight who had, in all honesty, fallen into a state of disrepair.  Oh sure, I dusted him off for some alt-Naxx runs every now and then, but I just didn’t play him except to Arena with the wife.  (and I haven’t done that in 2 or 3 weeks)

So I open up his talent pane and say to myself, “Self…what are we gonna do here?”  I started with his pvp spec.  2-Handed Unholy.  Unfortunately for me, I made a real mess of the thing.  I need to go in and respec this weekend, because it’s not even close to good.  I intend to do this (0/17/54).

Then I opened up my Frost talents to do his second spec.  So I took all the good DW Frost talents and then went into the Unholy tree to go get Blood Caked Blade.  I ended up with this spec.  (0/53/18)

Alright!  I’ve got my spec, I’m ready to roll!  So I head up that place where the Sons of Hodir hang out.  Wait.  I don’t have any 1-handed weapons!  Nooo!  I check the Sons of Hodir quartermaster and sure enough, he has an axe.  I didn’t buy it though.  60 gold was a lot of money for poor Kered.

I checked wowhead and found the Reaper of Dark Souls, sold by the Knights of the Ebon Blade quartermaster.  15 gold!  Alright, a steal!  So I fly over there and go to buy it…60 gold.  Apparently I was looking at the wrong thing on wowhead.

I gave up at this point and switched to Randul to send myself some money.  2 Reapers of Dark Souls later and I’m in business.  I do some Argent Tournament quests and lo and behold…Frost is fun!

I’m a fan of reactive abilities.  I enjoy the way Arms plays on Randul with Overpower & Execute being things that I have to be paying attention to.  DW Frost is similar with abilities like Rime and Killing Machine.  Except Frost is even more fun, cause I can use the abilities anytime, they are just better with those abilities proc!

Good times!  So far, I have to say DW Frost is fun and interesting.  I’m looking forward to the change of pace and seeing what I can do with it.  My next goal on Kered is to make myself a Titansteel Bonecrusher and get another epic 1-hander to replace those blue swords.

A Change of Pace

Posted in Death Knight, Raiding, Tanking with tags , , , , , , , on April 10, 2009 by Randul the Dwarf

Knowing that I am a Tank, most people would probably see the title of this post and assume I’ve switched to a DPS spec or a PVP spec, right?  In the words of Lee Corso, “Not so fast, my friend!”

Last night we started our weekly raid an evening early.  Easter weekend is going to complicate things, so we thought we’d spend Thursday and Friday raiding this week.  Some of us thought we’d do Malygos, others thought we’d do Naxx.

Personally, I voted for Malygos.  I had two reasons.  1) We have yet to kill Malygos and I’d like to clear all content (10-man) prior to Ulduar showing up.  2) I didn’t think we’d be able to do a full Naxx clear in two evenings when people had to work the next day.  (My wife works on Saturdays until noon)  MOST of our gear upgrades are going to come from Sapphiron and Kel’Thuzad, so if we don’t get a full clear we aren’t going to get a lot in the way of upgrades.

However, the guild voted a 50/50 split on what to do, so we put the decision in the hands of a coin and Naxxramas won.

When we took the vote, I happened to be on my Death Knight, Kered and I happened to be tanking specced.  Here comes the change of pace.  Instead of taking Randul back into Naxx with no hope of an upgrade, I asked if anyone had a problem with Kered off-tanking since Jamason, our other MT was in the raid that evening.  Kered is undergeared, but we are a good group and I am a good player so we decided it was alright.

When it was all said and done we cleared Plague Wing and Military wing in just over 2 hours.  I know that’s probably not a speed run for everyone, and honestly it isn’t even super great for us, but it was above-average.

After six bosses, Kered had 4 new pieces of gear.  Did I mention his only tanking epic prior to this run was the Titansteel Destroyer?  I would normally feel a little bad about getting all this loot, but it was just going to be disenchanted anyway.  The two end bosses for the wings both dropped DK, Rogue, Mage, Druid Tier Tokens.  As we have no druid and the rogue & mage in our raid already had both pieces, I gots me some Tier Tokens.

Kered was originally supposed to be my DPSer, but I certainly don’t mind tanking with him.  I like tanking and I’m good at it.  It’s definitely different though.  Here are my observations:

  • Mad DPS.  Kered, in fairly crappy gear, out-dps’d Randul’s tank dps by about 200-300 dps.  Randul usually hovers between 1000 – 1200.  Kered hovered between 1200-1500.  That makes a pretty big difference.  Trash goes down quicker, bosses go down quicker.
  • Spike damage.  Kered can take some serious damage spikes.  While my dps and aggro was high on Kered, I never felt quite as safe on him as I do on Randul.  I should keep in mind, however, that Kered doesn’t have the gear Randul has.
  • Cooldowns rule.  There were some close calls, especially on 4-Horsemen.  I was getting REALLY low when all of a sudden I’m hitting icebound fortitude and cruising back to full health.  It’s one of those situations where I KNOW I would have died without it.
  • Healer confusion.  Both my wife and the other priest we had in the raid last night commented on how it seemed I didn’t take hits for a LONG time.  Personally, I don’t really understand it, but I’ll take their word for it.  DK’s do concentrate on avoidance, but Kered’s avoidance is still lower than Randul’s.  A lucky string of avoidance I suppose.
  • Don’t be a Deathtard.  For the entire gauntlet after Noth, I was in Blood Presence.  For those keeping track, Frost Presence is the tanking presence because of improved Armor, Health & Threat.  Blood gave me more dps and extra healing.  Huzzah!

What’s in store for tonight and the future of Kered?  For the future, truthfully, I don’t know.  I’m still rolling main spec DPS.  I probably won’t change that for the time being.  That being said, I do have a level 70 Rogue and a level 68 Hunter just waiting to start working to 80.  How many DPS do I honestly need?

The fact of the matter is, our guild has two tanks and our raid has three.  Usually only two can make it on a given night, and I am the most dependable.  For the time being, I’ll be tanking in raids.  Whether or not that is Randul or Kered remains to be seen.  I had no trouble tanking the two easier wings of Naxx on Kered, so he might stick in there for a while just so tanking upgrades aren’t going to waste.

For tonight?  Once again, I don’t know.  Our Pally Tank also has a level 80 DK.  He’s better geared as DPS than I am, but I don’t know about his tank gear.  If he’d like to try to get some gear and tank Naxx tonight, I’d be happy to hop on Randul and let him off tank.  If he isn’t comfortable tanking on a class he’s never tanked on, I’ll probably roll with Kered again.

This is already a long post, so I’m going to wrap up with a quick recap of what pieces of gear Kered obtained last night.

A quick explanation.  I took the DPS Tier Shoulders because as of now, Kered is a DPS character.  He was just filling a tanking role last night.  I chose the Tanking Tier Chest because I had already looted the Chestguard of the Risen Soldier that night, which is a very good DPS chest.  Trying to stay flexible here.

That’s it for now.  Join me next week for Tank Fight of the Week: Grand Widow Faerlina.