Archive for Death Knight

WOW, What a Weekend!

Posted in World of Warcraft with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 7, 2010 by Randul the Dwarf

This weekend was quite possibly one of the biggest in my WOW gaming career.  Okay, so it’s not a career, but you get the idea.  I’ll open up with the big news, albeit only slightly bigger than the other news.  (To me!)

Kered the Kingslayer

That’s right, my ragtag band of merry men (and women) the Dinner Goat crew finally killed the Lich King.  We started raiding as a group in Wrath with Naxxramas and followed through all the way to the Lich King.  We certainly had some bumps and bruises along the way, but the bottom line is we did it!

Grats go out to Jamason, Waspblood, Hoofz, Lissik, Emalie, Koffka, Kalisen, Gruffee, Tolzer and, of course, Kered for owning the Lich King in the face!

The true beauty of the moment was that we did it ourselves.  We didn’t recruit anyone to the guild for the purpose of successful raids.  No one left to go find a raid group that was more skilled.  A group of friends managed to achieve our ultimate goal for the expansion.

While it was a great moment, it was bittersweet as well, for a few reasons.

  1. My wife, Beatris, did not get in on the kill.  She’s been having a very hard time raiding lately, as our son is rarely asleep by the time the raids start.  So my happiness was mixed with sadness for her missing the event.
  2. I didn’t even know what was happening!  I was in Frostmourne when we hit 10% and thought we had wiped.  I knew what was going to happen, but without actually seeing the LK’s lifebar I really thought something had gone south.
  3. Not that this is the most important thing to me, far from it, but there was not even the possibility of loot for me.  You see, I am a Dual Wield Death Knight, and that’s the ONLY spec that 10-man Lich King doesn’t have a weapon for.  Stupid?  I agree.  Of course, the 2-hander dropped, but I didn’t even roll against our Retadin for it.  That would have been quite douchy.

So now our goal is to get all the folks in the guild who missed the kill, but are geared and experienced enough to go in, their Kingslayer title.

Calduin hits 80!

A little background on this will explain why it is pretty monumental in it’s own right.  Calduin was my second WOW character, and first Alliance character.  My first character was a Troll named Kakascha, but I quickly migrated to the Alliance side and created Calduin.

I leveled Calduin to about 30 before I even created another Alliance character, but he was pretty much backburnered at that point.  Not one, not two, but three characters who were all created after Calduin hit 80 before he did.

Poor Calduin sat unfinished at the end of TBC.  A lowly level 67 when 70 was the cap.  /frown  Finally, however, he is at his level cap.  Finally, he has seen some endgame.  (He was in a 10-man ToC last night)  Finally…Calduin has his day.  This is completely true, as he is the character I am playing most, and plan on playing the most right now.

So congratulations to Calduin, my Night Elf Hunter.  You truly got me interested in this game, but over the months and years I had forgotten you.  I ask now, that you serve me well as you did so long ago.  In return, I promise to acquire phat lewtz for you and get you achievements.  I cannot promise you the coveted Kingslayer title, as you are just too poorly geared, but I will work hard to make sure you are ready come Cataclysm.

Having said that, there’s no way Calduin will be my first or even second player to level in Cataclysm.  Those spots are already taken by characters that bring DPS AND utility, such as the Warrior, DK or Shaman.  I will level you though, Calduin, and you will see 85 before the next-next expansion comes out!


Edge of Ruin vs Marrowstrike…really?

Posted in World of Warcraft with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 23, 2010 by Randul the Dwarf

Administrative Note:  I wanted to get on a schedule of Monday, Wednesday & Friday posts, but I was sick yesterday and therefore no post.  I will try to get one out tomorrow and stick to that schedule.

I was looking into terms people searched to get to my site, and was shocked to see that people are STILL debating which is better…Edge of Ruin or Marrowstrike.  While that debate was interesting in it’s time, it is no longer relevant and I’m going to answer the question here and now.


Neither.  Tyrannical Beheader is the way to go.  Yes, it’s a harder instance and yes it’s still Heroic, but if you really want to farm something once every day, farm Heroic Pit of Saron for this weapon.

That’s the easy perfect scenario answer.  This world is rarely a world of perfect scenarios however, so the best answer I can give is, go with what you have.

If you happen to get Heroic ToC and Edge or Marrowstrike drops, roll on it.  (Unless you are a Fury Warrior, in which case do not roll on Marrowstrike.)  If you have Edge of Marrowstrike drops…roll if you aren’t rolling against a Hunter or Druid.  If you want to be nice that is, if you just want the lewtz go for it.

Having said all of that, there is a weapon that is extremely farmable that is comparable to both of these weapons.  Garfrost’s Two-Ton Hammer.  It drops out of NORMAL Pit of Saron and is the same iLevel as Edge and Marrowstrike.   It lacks the Armor Pen of those weapons, but it can have more STR when gemmed properly and is slower, therefore it hits harder.

For Tanking

Now we get into the shady area of Death Knight tanking.  Of the four weapons I’ve mentioned so far, Edge of Ruin and Garfrost’s are out.  Edge really lacks the Stamina and has no gemming option to fix what it lacks.  Garfrost’s has a gem socket, but has lower Stamina than Marrowstrike and lacks all the delicious goodness that Marrowstrike’s agilitly offers.

So that brings us to Marrowstrike & Tyrannical Beheader.  This is one of those gray areas where you have to decide what is more important to you, Stamina or Armor/Avoidance.

Tyrannical Beheader offers more Stamina (when gemmed properly) than Marrowstrike.  36 more Stamina to be exact.  However, Marrowstrike offers a whopping 106 Agility which provides Armor and Dodge.  (I don’t have specific numbers as to how much Armor/Dodge the 106 Agility has at the moment)

Most people would probably go with the Tyrannical Beheader’s Stamina.  Personally, I am using Marrowstrike and TB is sitting in my pack.  More because TB is ungemmed than any actual preference.  I will say this, however, in a primarily magic-based fight, TB will be stronger than Marrowstrike hands down.  In a physical fight, it is really going to depend on your character.

Hope this helps, look for a post with my awesome kid’s picture later today.

Oops! Here are your achievements!

Posted in World of Warcraft with tags , , , , , , on January 7, 2010 by Randul the Dwarf

I logged in after church last night just to check mail and see who was on.  My wife decides to get on Facebook for a little bit, so I think to myself, “What the heck, I’ll run a random.”

I log onto my Death Knight Kered and queue as DPS.  I just didn’t feel like tanking last night.  I sit in the queue for about 3 minutes and a dungeon pops.  Hey, that was fast!

I zone into Drak’Theron Keep and I have to admit, I’m pretty happy with the situation.  No, there isn’t anything I can use in that dungeon, but it should be decently quick and stress free.  Turns out I was right.  We had good dps, a good tank, and no one died, so I’m assuming the healer was solid.

I get the Consumption Junction achievement and the Heroic Drak’Theron Keep achievement.  Who knew I hadn’t run DTK?  I certainly didn’t.

I zone back into Dalaran and the wife is still on her computer so I throw caution to the wind and run another random.  I zone into Halls of Stone……..AGH!  I hate this instance.  It’s not that it’s that hard, it’s just annoying to me.  I feel the same way about Occulus.  Not hard, just annoying.  I’m not the type to zone in and drop though, so I decide to give it a shot.

The tank, healer & ret pally were “ok”.  Nothing exceptional, but not bad either.  The mage there was actually geared appropriately, so they could use stuff from the bosses.  I have no problem with that, it’s what Heroics are for.

We wiped a couple times on stupid things.  The ret somehow managed to aggro the rock boss from half an instance away and he walked over and owned our faces while we were fighting trash.  The warrior tank didn’t los pull a couple groups of adds, so we ended up with 3 groups of adds casting chain lightning at us, wipe.  I’m pretty sure there was another one, but I can’t remember how it went down now.  On the last one the wife had gone to bed and I was seriously contemplating dropping group, but I decided to stick it out.

We down the Maiden and I get the achievement.  Nifty, I was surprised I hadn’t got it already.  We do the Brann encounter and get the achievement.  Cool.

We get to the last boss and everyone dies but the healer, and yet we somehow manage to drop him.  DING DING DING DING DING!  Uh, what?

Apparently I had never run HoS before either.  I get the regular HoS achievement, the Heroic HoS achievement, the Northrend Dungeonmaster achievement, the Looking for More achievement AND the Champion of the Frozen Wastes achievement/title!  Pretty sure I got a stonekeepers shard achievement there too, there was some sick achievement spam.

So grats to me, for 1) actually playing my DK and 2) sticking out a mediocre group to get some unexpected achievements.

DPS Meme Thingy

Posted in World of Warcraft with tags , , , , on November 19, 2009 by Randul the Dwarf

So, I was tagged by That is Amazing (WoW)! to do this DPS Q&A thing.  I’m going to do it.  I’m not going to tag anyone else because…to be quite frank, all of the people in what I consider my “circle of blogs” have already done it or been tagged.

On with the show…

Started over at

What is the name, class, and spec of your primary dps?

Kered, Death Knight, Dual-Wield Frost

What is your primary dpsing environment? (i.e. raids, pvp, 5 mans)

Mostly 5-mans, but I get to throw him in on the occasional alt 10-man run from time to time.

What is your favorite dps spell/ability for your class and why?

Howling Blast…when Rime and Killing Machine both light up at the same time, I love hitting that Howling Blast button and seeing the free auto-crit…especially in an aoe situation.

What dps spell do you use least for your class and why?

I’m going to go with a talent that is in the tree I use, but I haven’t specced into.  Hungering Cold.  It’s primarily a pvp talent and I don’t currently pvp with Kered.

What do you feel is the biggest strength of your dps class and why?

I can put out some prime-time aoe when I want to.  The why is pretty self explanatory.

What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your dps class and why?

Threat.  My current spec doesn’t have the threat reduction talent, so I pretty much always have to be aware of how much threat I’m putting out.

In a 25 man raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best dps assignment for you?

Blowing stuff up.  If there is interrupting to be done, I can excel at that as well.

What dps class do you enjoy dpsing with most and why?

There are other dps classes?  I wasn’t aware.  I suppose it would be anyone that buffs me nicely, so pallies & shaman are nice.

What tanking class do you enjoy dpsing with least and why?

I don’t think the class really matters, it’s the players that suck.  I’ve had overgeared pallies not able to maintain threat while undergeared pallies did fine.  Same with every other tanking class.

What is your worst habit as a dps?

Probably tunnel vision.

What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while dpsing?

Bad tanks.  Being a good tank, bad ones drive me crazy.

Do you feel that your class/spec is well balanced with other dps?

If, by balanced you mean I am usually outdpsing everyone else that has similar gear levels, then yes…we are quite balanced.

What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a damage dealer?

Recount and boss death frequency.  If the boss dies, I’m doing fine.

What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your class?

They are ezmode.  Yes, Death Knights are easy to play.  No, Death Knights are not easy to play at a high level.

What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new dpsers of your class to learn?

I suppose gearing issues, but I dunno really.  It’s hard for someone who actually takes the time to research and learn about a class to understand those who don’t.

What dps class do you feel you understand least?

Warlocks, they are the only class I’ve never played.  Not even at level 1.

What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in dps?

Power Auras is probably the best addon for any class with procs.  Omen helps me not die.  Recount helps me judge my performance.  OmniCC gives me a nifty little counter on my buttons to let me know when my Cooldown is up, that’s helpful.  DeadlyBossMods is essential for anyone raiding, dps or not.

Strength over other stats or balanced stat allocation, and why?

Hit to 8% then STR, STR, STR and more STR.


New Feature: Ask the Dwarf!

Posted in World of Warcraft with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 21, 2009 by Randul the Dwarf

I’ve been rolling the idea of a Q & A feature around in my head, so I thought I’d go ahead and kick it off.  The new feature, Ask the Dwarf will feature questions from my readers answered by Randul the Dwarf.

The field is wide open, so use the comment system to ask questions about…well pretty much anything.  This feature can be as humorous or as serious as you, my readers, desire.  It all depends on the questions asked.

I’m going to start out with some questions derived from the Search Engine Terms people used to get to my site.

Q. Can I convert Emblems of Valor back to Emblems of Conquest if I go from Conquest to Valor?

A. Nope!  That’s your punishment for downgrading to begin with.

Q. Which is better?  Mercy’s Hold or Fireproven Gauntlets?

A. The answer is here, but I’ll just say Mercy’s Hold are much better, especially for a Warrior like me.  Warrior’s value Expertise highly for the threat it generates and the survivability of not getting parried.  Mercy’s Hold loses 25 Strength and 10 defense rating, but it makes up for it with 3 more dodge rating, a socket & 35 expertise rating.

Q. What is the best runeforge for the Titansteel Destroyer?

A. Well, that’s a Death Knight question, and therefore dumb, but I’ll answer it anyway.  The best Runeforge for DPS is the Fallen Crusader.  The best for Tanking is Stoneskin Gargoyle.

Q. Why can a dk buy tank legs with emblem o?

A. I’m going to complete this question with what I THINK they may have been asking about.  Why can a Death Knight buy tank lets with Emblems of Conquest that have Block on them?  Because Blizzard hates Death Knights and doesn’t want them to get perfectly itemized free epics.  Seriously though, they aren’t perfectly itemized for anyone.

Random Thoughts

Posted in World of Warcraft with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 22, 2009 by Randul the Dwarf

The Tankard O’ Terror

Do I really want my Human Death Knight dual wielding a couple of beer steins?


Will he if I can get them?


I get that Blizzard loves their holidays.  I love the holidays.  They are a lot of fun and actually give people something to do other than dailies.  Having said that, who thought it would be fun to have people running around fighting with mugs?

Kered is a powerful war veteran who became a Death Knight and developed an attitude problem.  What part of that screams “Mugs of Death!”?  It’s one thing to put these items in the game.  It’s quite another to make them the best possible item for Mace Dual Wielders outside of raids.  This item is just too powerful for how easy Coren Direbrew is.  End of story. 

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go farm Direbrew to get my hands on two Tankards O’ Terror.

Okay I’m back…moving on.

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Why Death Knights are Heroic

Posted in World of Warcraft with tags , , , , , , on September 17, 2009 by Randul the Dwarf

Part 2 of Who Am I will be postponed until tomorrow, as this post came into my head last night and must be let out.

I was listening to an archived recording of the WoW Radio podcast Casually Hardcore when they started talking about how the Death Knight class is no longer a “Heroic” class.  In their opinion, a Heroic class should be more powerful than the rest of the classes.  I can’t say that I know Blizzards intent from the beginning, but I imagine this was not it.

According to the Casually Hardcore crew, DKs started out as a Heroic class because they were overpowered, but now that they are pretty well balanced, they are no longer heroic.  I disagree.  I think the Death Knight is still a Heroic class and I will tell you why.

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