Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Death Knight Class Blog Information

All right, time for my other favorite class. Death Knights are getting some pretty good tweaks, I think. The biggest change for all specs is that there will now be no distinction between types of Runes. Essentially, all Runes are Death Runes. They will still only recharge three at a time, presumably broken up into the old three pairs, only that you'll be able to spend any rune on any rune-spending ability. Also, all specs now have a single, unique disease.


Blood's getting some physical strikes back, and Bone Shield will now be an effect on a new strike, making it more of a rotational ability.

Blood Strike returns, costing one rune, infecting the target with Blood Plague, and generating an additional 10 Runic Power - this will be what you spend your runes on when you want more RP, and also to maintain the disease. Blood Plague deals shadow damage and heals you for 1% of your health every 3 seconds.

Marrowrend is a new strike that costs two runes, dealing a bunch of damage and gives you three charges of Bone Shield, making it something you'll probably want to maintain if you can.

Death Strike now costs Runic Power instead of runes, mostly working the same way, except that when you're below 35% it will consume all of your RP for a much bigger effect.

Mastery: Blood Shield looks mostly unchanged.

Death and Decay works the same, but if you use Blood Strike while standing within it, it will hit multiple targets (not sure what that means for Blood Boil, which is not listed.)

Crimson Scourge now only triggers D&D, and is triggered by autoattacks on targets afflicted with Blood Plague.

Sample Talent: Bonestorm (or should I say BBBBOOOONNNNEEEESSSSTTTTOOOORRRRMMM!!!!)

15 RP per second on a minute CD, dealing AoE damage and healing you for 1% each time it hits enemies.

So overall, I like that Blood is going back to more physical strikes. I worry a little bit about AoE threat, unless Blood Boil is still going to be there and just isn't listed. Death Strike costing RP instead of Runes is probably good, as it will feel more available in emergencies.


Obviously the big change is that Frost is now dual-wield only. But if they can keep things balanced, it should bring the best of both worlds.

Howling Blast is more or less identical to how it is now. However, Frost Fever will now have a chance to generate extra Runic Power.

Obliterate remains, doing "massive" damage.

Frost Strike also remains as the RP-spender.

Rime (hooray, they brought back that as the name of the passive!) works basically the same, but it increases Howling Blast damage by 300%.

Killing Machine now only affects Obliterate, which should keep it relevant in the DW rotation.

Remorseless Winter is now an AoE damage cooldown for Frost, potentially taking the place of Death and Decay, as it's on the same cooldown and has the same duration. But instead of a spot on the ground, it'll radiate from the DK, which should help with mobility.

Mastery: Frozen Heart looks the same.

Sample Talent: Glacial Advance

This looks like one of Anub-Arak's abilities, sending out spikes of ice up out of the ground toward a target and hitting anything that gets caught by them.

So my main concern would be ensuring that Mastery doesn't allow Obliterate to become irrelevant in the face of Howling Blast spam. They could do this by nerfing non-Rime'd HB or just making sure that Obliterate hits like a freight train (or a bit of both.)


Unholy is going to get a bit more of a focus on its diseases, though it doesn't seem to be losing its minion-summoning theme either.

Outbreak looks like it will be more rotational, dealing minor shadow damage and applying a dark miasma that infects the target and everything near it with Virulent Plague.

Virulent Plague deals shadow damage over time and will erupt when the target dies, or has a chance to when it deals damage, causing AoE shadow damage (though it's split, so it doesn't get absurd in crowds.)

Festering Strike is a 2-rune attack that does massive physical damage and puts 1-3 Festering Wounds on the target. The Festering Wounds can be burst by Scourge Strike, dealing shadow damage and generating RP for you.

Scourge Strike is still a 1-rune strike that deals physical and shadow damage, but it will pop a single Festering Wound if the target has one.

Death Coil now gives your Ghoul 10 Energy, but the empowerment thing has been reworked. It still is affected by Sudden Doom.

Dark Transformation is now simply on a 1 minute cooldown.

Death and Decay now makes your Scourge Strike hit all nearby targets, working pretty similarly to how it will for Blood (see above.)

And Mastery: Dreadblade seems to work the same as it did.

Sample Talent: All Will Serve

Gives you a skeletal minion in addition to the ghoul when you do Raise Dead, and removes the cooldown (though I assume you're limited to the two minions.)

Death Knight Analysis:

The biggest change here has got to be the unification of Runes. The main danger to this, of course, is ensuring that we don't just spend our runes on the same ability over and over. But I think there's enough synergy in Unholy at least to make you want to use different abilities. Blood should be ok too, as long as you need the RP from Blood Strike. I'm not sure what Frost will use as its default rune-spender. They do need to ensure that Obliterate doesn't fall out of the rotation as people gear up. Also, I really hope that Blood has other AoE tools than simply Death and Decay, as all tanks need some way to get snap-threat, and if it's on cooldown, you're up a certain river without a paddle. Still, nice to see that, like Ret Paladins, Blood is getting more of a focus on melee strikes.

Shamans will be coming later today. Tomorrow will be Warriors, Druids and Monks (no guarantee in that order) and Rogues are coming Thursday.

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