Blog Archives

The Frost Death Knight – Patch 4.0.1

According to the Elitist Jerks website, Frost DPS in both 2H and Dual Wield spec are roughly equivalent.  The downside is that the specs do not lend any flexibility to the playstyle – every point is being used.

Talents

[Dual Wielding] | 3/31/2 (80) | 7/31/3 (85)

DPS in this spec is done in Frost Presence.  Obliterate will be where the lion’s share of damage is done, with Frost Strike and regular white damage following right behind.

[Two Hander] | 3/31/2 (80) | 7/31/3 (85)

DPS is done in Unholy Presence, with Frost Strike taking the lead as the primary source of damage, with Obliterate and auto attack following right behind it.

Glyphs

Prime

Major

  • [Individual’s Choice]
  • [Individual’s Choice]
  • [Individual’s Choice]

Minor

These apply to both 2H and DW specs.

Rotations

This is how the pros see it:

Single Target

Diseases > Ob if both Frost/Unholy pairs and/or both Death runes are up, or if KM is procced >
BS if both Blood Runes are up > FS if RP capped > Rime > Ob > BS > FS > HoW.

First thing first: as stated toward the beginning of this post, dual-wielding will perform this in Frost Presence while those using a two-hander will be best off using Unholy Presence. The reason for this difference is due almost entirely to MotFW; not only does the talent substantially increase the value of quicker attack speed, but it also GCD caps the spec by a moderate margin, which makes the 1 second globals of UP priceless.

Beyond that, everything is relatively straightforward:

Diseases come first, as always, with Frost Fever being applied by Howling Blast and Blood Plague being applied by Plague Strike. With Rime, you should never have to worry about FF… the odds of going without a Rime proc in a 33 second window are absurdly low. BP maintenance is simple enough – if you have an Unholy rune come up from an RE proc when diseases have about 6 seconds or less left, then go ahead and use it on PS, otherwise just use the next rune that regularly respawns, be it Unholy or Death. When doing so, you may be left with a Frost rune sitting by itself; it’s best to let it sit unless the other Frost rune is also up (or if you need to refresh FF), in which case merely HB.

After that, you prioritize Obliterate and Blood Strike if both runes of the relevant cost (UF/D or B) are up. The reason for this is the same as it’s always been – you don’t want to “waste” runes by sitting on them, when you could have them cooling down. On top of that, if KM is up, it’s always better to use it on Obliterate than on the alternative of Frost Strike. Ob simply hits harder.

Similarly, you want to FS if RP capped, as wasting runic is just as undesirable as wasting runes.

If Rime is up, then you obviously want to use it. There’s no need to worry about KM: Rime neither benefits from nor consumes the buff any longer. You never want to Obliterate back to back without having used a Rime procced by the first – and if you’re following this priority, that won’t occur, anyways, so not a worry.

If all of the above is taken care of – you have no more than one of each rune type up, KM isn’t active, you have less than capped RP, and Rime isn’t up – then you simply Obliterate and Blood Strike as you can. Remember, under the new rune system you can sit on runes so long as you don’t have both of a single type up, and you won’t lose any dps.

Following that, Frost Strike. Make sure you’re not Frost Striking when you don’t actually have all six rune on cooldown, as if you only have three, they’ll be recharging, and thus RE takes a hit. You need to have runes fully depleted for to make the most out of RE.

And, of course, when left with no other option… Horn of Winter.

Multiple Targets

The AoE rotation is actually quite different than the single target one:

HB if both Frost runes and/or both Death runes are up >
DnD/PS if both Unholy Runes are up > BS if both Blood Runes are up >
FS if RP capped > HB > BS > DnD/PS > FS > HoW.First off, Frost Presence is mandatory whenever adds are present, whether you be dual-wielding or using a two-hander. No exceptions.

There’s no need to specify applying diseases: you’ll constantly apply them with glyphed Howling Blast (which is your hardest hitting ability, of course) and PS (which you’re going to be tab “spamming” due to the fact that HB leaves you with leftover Unholy runes anyways). Using Pestilence just isn’t worth it when you consider all of that, on top of the whole 50% penalty going on – you might use it when you have a dozen adds up, but rare exceptions like that are it.. You’ll still prioritize DnD over PS whenever it’s off cooldown, of course, but that’s a given.

Following that, you still want to Blood Strike with your runes, not Blood Boil – the reason being BS converts to Death runes, while BB does not. Since a BS + HB > 2x BB, simple decision, although if you’re in a scenario where you won’t be AoEing for ~10 seconds (long enough for the Blood rune to come back up as a Death), then yes, BB does more immediate damage.

Then, of course, comes using runes on HB/BS/PS/DnD as appropriate, followed by the dumping of runic into Frost Strike for RE procs. Nothing fancy.

Stats

Pretty much what you’d expect:

Dual Wield
Hit to cap >= Expertise to cap > Strength > Mastery > Haste > Crit > Agility > Hit to spell cap

Two Hand
Hit to cap >= Expertise to cap > Haste > Mastery > Strength > Crit > Agility > Hit to spell cap

If you’re looking for more of an explanation of why things are set up the way they are, or looking for enchants and so on, you can get a fleshing out of this bare bones post over at Elitist Jerks

The Hunter – Patch 4.0.1

Being a Hunter is alot more than having a pair of sunglasses and a sweet mullet.  It’s about using your pet, using your gun/bow/bolt thrower, and using your head.  Each tree brings something different and awesome to the table.  Let us look further into what gifts Patch 4.0.1 has given the Hunter class, shall we?

Too bad.  We’re doing it anyway.

The Beast Master Hunter got some serious love in Patch 4.0.1, and not a moment too soon.  With the expanded stable slot, BM Hunters are more like Pokemon players than ever before.

Once upon a time, if you slapped all your points in one tree, you were thought to have something wrong with your brain.  Oddly enough, the 36/0/0 talent tree seems to be very popular with all the cool kids out there.  Does that mean there’s something wrong with their brain?  Probably.  However, over at Warcraft Hunters Union, Frostheim proposes a 31/2/3 talent tree.

While there’s no real shot rotation anymore, Frostheim suggests the following, uh, suggestions.  Don’t look at me like that.

  • Start fight with Hunter’s Mark, and by applying Serpent Sting
  • Always hit Kill Command when available (and your pet is within range) — you’ll want to save up your focus to always have enough ready.
  • Hit Focus Fire when your pet is full up on Frenzy Stacks.
  • Refresh Serpent Sting when it drops.
  • Use Arcane Shot to bleed of excess focus. This will be very often.
  • Use Steady Shot to regen focus.

Ah, the Marksman Hunter.  The long distance dealer of death and other unpleasant things.  The cool kids opt for a 3/31/2 tree, while Frostheim bucks the trend and offers up a 2/31/3 tree.  What’s right?  What’s wrong?  Try ’em both, Dual Spec is cheap like dirt (also, Your Mom – zing!) these days.

Rotation-wise, Frostheim suggests the following:

  • Start fight with Hunter’s Mark, and by applying Serpent Sting
  • Always hit Chimera Shot when it’s available — you always want to have enough focus saved up to hit Chimera as soon as it’s available.
  • Hit your free Aimed Shot proc (“Fire!”) whenever it’s available.
  • Use Arcane Shot to bleed off excess focus.
  • Use Steady Shot to regen focus. Note that you want to fire Steady Shots in pairs to maintain the Improved Steady Shot buff as much as possible.

Last, but certainly not least, is Survival Hunters.

For this one, Frostheim suggests a 0/5/31 tree.  However, the current most popular Survival tree is 3/2/31.  It seems to come down to where you want to put your remaining five points after you fill out the 31 points in the Survival tree.

Once again, Frostheim fires off some wisdom (see what I did there?  Clever, right?)

  • Start fight with Hunter’s Mark, and by applying Serpent Sting
  • Refresh Serpent Sting when needed.
  • Always hit Explosive Shot when it’s available if you can — this means you’ll need to try to have the focus saved up for it.
  • Fire Black Arrow when it’s available.
  • Use Arcane Shot to bleed of excess focus. This probably won’t happen often.
  • Use Steady Shot to regen focus.

Frost knows his stuff.  Check out his glyph suggestions, as well as other theorycrafting brainy stuff at the WHU site.

The Unholy Death Knight – Patch 4.0.1

Once upon a time, in a patch not long ago, Unholy DK’s did quite well for themselves as far as DPS.  Well fingers crossed, these changes will help keep that streak alive.  But be warned – the Death Knight you once knew has been changed.  So keep your head out of your butt and your mind on the business at hand (a.k.a. Killing Stuff), and one day soon you’ll be putting the HOLY back in Unholy.

Y’know, like “Holy Crap you’re doing alot of damage!”

It was clever, I know.  Shut up.

Talents

A 5/0/31 talent tree seems to be the most popular one out there, and even the spec at Elistist Jerks isn’t much different.  There are changes that can be made to the glyphs, using Glyph of Death and Decay & Glyph of Icy Touch for AOE fights.

Rotations

As far as rotations go, here’s what the pros are saying:

Single Target

Say good bye to the rigid, fixed rotations of the past, and hello to the priority-based playstyle of Cataclysm:

Diseases > Dark Transformation > SSif both Unholy and/or all Death runes are up > FeS if both pairs of Blood and Frost runes are up >
DCif SD, 100 RP, will overcap RP with anything else or if RC isn’t up > SS > FeS > DC > HoW.That likely looks much more intimidating and, in general, complicated than it actually is:

Keeping up diseases is, as it’s (almost) always been, the most important thing, partially for their own potent damage, but primarily because they boost everything else we do. While diseases may only last 33 seconds and Outbreak has an unreducable 60 second cooldown, Festering Strike will bridge the gap, making it so you never have to resort to IT or PS in regular play on a single target.

Then comes Dark Transformation, whose uptime needs to be maximized for optimal dps. DT boosts your Ghoul’s damage by a truckload – a straight up 100% buff overall, plus a 20% Claw specific boost, on top of Claw then cleaving. The second you can DT, you do – no exceptions unless, of course, your ghoul is unable to attack the boss at the time.

You never want to waste runes, which is why SS and FeS when both of their respective rune costs are up comes next.

Just as you don’t want to waste runes, you don’t want to waste potential Sudden Doom procs (by having it just override a yet-to-be-used current one), runic power, or potential Runic Corruption (by having back-to-back procs), which is why you prioritize DC here.

After all of the above is factored away you simply SS, FeS, and DC. The order doesn’t actually particularly matter unless the mob’s death is imminent – in which case you go in that order. If you can, you want to try and avoid back-to-back Death Coils, due to the aforementioned potential loss of RC uptime.

It’s worth noting that on a fight where a npc is constantly healing itself and you can count on the full absorb to be consumed (and the prevented healing would have meant that much more damage needing to be dealt), Necrotic Strike does replace Scourge Strike in your rotation.

A reminder: all of this is done in Unholy Presence.

Multiple Targets
The AoE rotation isn’t terribly different from the single target one:

Diseases > Dark Transformation > Death and Decay > SSif both Unholy and/or all Death runes are up > BB + IT if both pairs of Blood and Frost runes are up >
DCif SD, 100 RP, will overcap RP with anything else or if RC isn’t up > SS > BB + IT > DC > HoW.Whenever you apply diseases, you also want to then spread them with Pestilence. As long as there’s at least one mob up who will survive for their full duration (or, of course, more mobs who may live for less), Pestilence is worth it.

Death and Decay is an AoE juggernaut as much as ever (although, yes, Dark Transformation is still more important due to the cleave). As long as there are three mobs who will be in the effect for at least 8 ticks (or two mobs who will be in it for all 12 ticks, if you have it glyphed), DnD is worth using.

Blood Boil use, for Unholy, always results in a leftover Frost rune which one has no choice but to use for Icy Touch. The two, in combination, replace Festering Strike in your rotation. As long as there are three or more mobs present, BB + IT is worth using in place of FeS.

When AoEing, you should always switch to Frost Presence.

Everything else remains relatively unchanged.

More info over HERE.

The Warrior – Patch 4.0.1

Cataclysm doesn’t drop until December 7, but things are pretty chaotic in Azeroth right now.

Broken addons, bugged UI’s, brand new trees… quite frankly it’s enough to give a guy a throbbing migraine.  But I’m here to help, so here’s some class help for those who are spinning their wheels.  First, of course, is the new Warrior for 4.0.

General

Q: Will Plate Specialization and Mastery be available with the patch?
A: Yes, you can learn them from your trainer.

Q: Will Agility Amulets/Rings/Cloaks/Ranged Weapons break Plate Specialization?
A: No, as those items don’t have an armor type. You still want to replace them with Strength items if you can.

Q: Where the heck did all my Armor Penetration/Block Value/Block Rating/Defense go?
A: Blizzard converted them all into other stats. Depending on the item Armor Penetration became Haste or Crit while Block Value/Block Rating/Defense became Parry or Dodge.

Arms

Q: What is the best Arms spec?
A: Some variation of 31/4/1. You have a lot of leeway on Major and Minor glyphs.

Q: What about Blood and Thunder?
A: If you want more AoE damage go for it, take the points out of Battle Trance to get it.

Q: Why did you skip Sudden Death?
A: It doesn’t proc Execute anymore, only Colossus Smash,

Q: What rotation should I be using?
A: Maintain Rend, prioritize Mortal Strike > Overpower > Slam. Execute is only better than Slam at high levels of AP and when there’s a full 30 rage available. Don’t Slam or Execute if it will delay MS, and use Heroic Strike at 60+ rage.

Q: When do I use Bladestorm?
A: When you need to AoE. It’s not worth using for single targets.

Q: What good is Shattering Throw?
A: It can increase raid DPS during Bloodlust if there are a number of other physical DPS present. However, it’s a personal DPS loss.

Q: What are my stat priorities?
A: Get 8% Hit. After that, Strength > Crit > Mastery = Expertise > Haste.

Q: What should I reforge my Haste into?
A: Hit if you’re below the cap, otherwise Crit.

Q: What should I use to enchant my weapon?
A: Berserking.

Q: My raid leader wants me to use Sunder Armor, I don’t want to lose DPS.
A: Do it. It’s a DPS gain for the raid, and for you as well if no one else is willing/able. Screw your rotation and the DPS race; stack it immediately to full. No, it isn’t a better idea for the Rogues to use Expose Armor.

Fury

Q: What is the best Fury spec?
A: Some variation of 3/31/2. You have a lot of leeway regarding Major and Minor glyphs.

Q: What about Single Minded Fury?
A: There aren’t any one-handers with Strength on them currently which hurts Single Minded Fury significantly. Feel free to play around with it, but it won’t really take off until Cataclysm.

Q: I don’t like Rude Interruption, it sucks on bosses without interrupts.
A: If you’re dying for some specific utility elsewhere that’s your prerogative, but there are no other DPS talents to take.

Q: What rotation should I be using for Titan’s Grip?
A: Prioritize like so: Bloodthirst > Raging Blow (use Berserker Rage to activate if necessary) > Slam > Shouts. Use Heroic Strike at 60+ rage.

Q: Should I use Slam when I don’t have a Bloodsurge proc?
A: No.

Q: What about when I can Execute?
A: Execute to stack your Executioner talent, then resume your rotation replacing Slam with Execute when you need to maintain your stack.

Q: When do I use Death Wish and Recklessness?
A: Use Death Wish on cooldown, but try to line it up with Bloodlust whenever possible. Recklessness should only be used when Slam or a shout isn’t available and preferably during Death Wish or a confluence of procs.

Q: What good is Shattering Throw?
A: It can increase raid DPS during Bloodlust if there are a number of other physical DPS present. However, it’s a personal DPS loss.

Q: What are my stat priorities?
A: Get 8% Hit (including Precision), 26 Expertise. After that, Strength > Hit > Crit > Haste > Mastery.

Q: What should I reforge my Haste into?
A: Hit.

Q: What should I use to enchant my weapon?
A: Berserking.

Q: What about my offhand?
A: Still Berserking.

Q: My raid leader wants me to use Sunder Armor, I don’t want to lose DPS.
A: Do it. It’s a DPS gain for the raid, and for you as well if no one else is willing/able. Screw your rotation and the DPS race; stack it immediately to full.

Protection

Q: What spec should I use?
A: Some variation on 2/3/31. You have a lot of leeway regarding Major and Minor glyphs.

Q: Your build is terrible, I prefer-
A: Protection is less set in stone, depending on whether you’re running heroics are raiding. The prior build is a general raiding setup.

Q: What’s my maximum threat rotation?
A: Prioritize Shield Slam > Revenge > Victory Rush (with Impending Victory) > Devastate. Heroic Strike at 60+ rage.

Q: What about AoE packs?
A: Rend (if you took Blood and Thunder), Thunderclap and Shockwave become your top priorities. Use Cleave instead of Heroic Strike. Shield Block will greatly reduce your incoming damage.

Q: What are my stat priorities?
A: Stamina, Dodge and Mastery.

Q: Should I reforge Dodge for Mastery?
A: No.

Q: What about Parry?
A: Maybe. If you do, go all out as Mastery gets better the more of it you have. Just don’t reforge Dodge.

Q: My threat sucks, what should I do?
A: Expertise is your best single target threat stat before you hit 26 expertise, it gets more confusing after that. Strength is the best all around threat stat and for AoE. Look for tanking gear with these stats, or reforge some Parry for Expertise.

Q: I keep dying. What I am doing wrong?
A: You are probably still adjusting to the new changes, as are your healers. In addition, you may be undergeared, using a wrong strategy, standing in the fire, failing to use/time your survival cooldowns or have too few/bad healers.

Q: Who should get my Vigilance?
A: Your offtank in a raid. Whoever keeps pulling threat in heroics.

– Information via Elitist Jerks

Edit:  I have changed the Talent Calculator to the WowTal version.  That way, you can import the tree directly from the site to your character.

How easy, not to mention cool, is that!