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  1. #1

    Advanced DK DpS Raiding Guide

    Mysterious Note: The following guide assumes you have basic knowledge of your Death Knight and know the basic priority and gearing/stat choices. If you are unfamiliar with basic DK knowledge this guide is not for you. I encourage you to read the following guides from Elitist Jerks, and Icy Veins before perusing my guide on how to maximize dps in PvE raid settings.

    http://icy-veins.com/frost-death-kni...-pve-dps-guide
    http://elitistjerks.com/f72/
    _________________

    The following is the written portion of my guide. For a more specific and detailed guide including talent/glyph discussion please watch my video guide linked below.



    This guide is presented in three different parts;
    1. Cool Down Usage
    - How to best manage your cool downs as a frost death knight
    - Taking advantage of macros
    2. Advanced Priority System
    - Knowing what spell to use and when to use it
    - Soul Reaper management tricks
    3. Micro Managing
    - Swing timer management
    - Watching Procs
    _________________

    Cool Down Usage
    As for most classes, managing your cool downs is a major part in deciding whether you will do good damage or amazing damage especially for frost.

    Frost Death Knights use a number of cool downs including Pillar of Frost, (racials), Empower Rune Weapon, Raises the Dead, and Army of the Dead with the most important being Pillar of Frost. Lining up your cool downs is very important because of the simple reason that the more cool downs up the more damage you will do. If you scatter your cool downs out individually you will do less damage because nothing is stacking. Now how do we go about making sure all our cool downs go off at the same time? Simply clicking each CD individuality is not only a waste of valuable GCDs which lower your dps but also makes you lose ticks of your other CDs you popped before the one you just popped.

    The best way to take advantage of every millisecond of your CD is to make macros. The only important macro I will be covering in this guide is as follows.

    #showtooltip
    #show
    /cast Pillar of Frost
    /use 14
    /cast Blood Fury
    /Cast Raise Dead

    Using this macro you will pop all of your major cool downs as well as trinkets and racials at the same time. /use 13 and /use 14 represent your trinkets which are the number of the slots in your character profile they represent. It is very important that your stat increasing CDs are casts before Raise the Dead. Your ghoul even in frost, gains a portion of all stats and buffs on you at the time you cast him; thus the more buffs and stat increasing things such as potions on you the more damage your ghoul will do as a result for the 1 minute duration he is out. Pillar of Frost is only a 1 minute CD which means you will be able to use it again before your 2 minute CDs come off CD thus meaning you should always use PoF as soon as it comes off CD. Save a rune if you see it is coming off cool down.

    There are other useful macros DKs can use but most of them are not really dps released and will not be covered in this guide.

    Advanced Priority System
    Again, this assumes you have basic knowledge of the frost priority system. Frost Death Knights have a pretty simple priority but sometimes even for the most advanced DKs it can be hard to decide which ability to use when you are faced with weird situations.

    As you know, we want to spend most of our time making sure we are hitting our hardest hitting ability which is Obliterate for 2H frost and FS for DW. Though this is not the case when we are faced with Rime procs and the sub 35% stage when we can start using Soul Reaper on the boss.

    Even though OB is our hardest hitting ability Rime procs are always ahead in the priority for 2H frost. We want to make sure we spend that rime proc (free Howling Blast) first because if we hit obliterate we might overlap the Rime proc we already had thus not only losing an extra free damage dealer but also losing valuable regeneration time on our runes. Obliterate is a very limited skill already meaning we can only use it so many times before having to wait for runes to use it again. That is why it is crucial to make sure Rime goes ahead of OB. For DW frost is is a different story because OB is lower than FS on the priority due to the hidden benefits of the new Threat of the Tharssarian (which I talk about in the video).

    Soul Reaper is not only our new 87 ability in MoP but is also a new execute ability which vastly out powers any other classes execute because of the time we get to start using it. Most classes get to use it at 20% as where we get to start using it at 35%. Though this may sound fun there are many bugs that still exist for Soul Reaper that have yet to be addressed in the current 5.1 patch notes.

    Soul Reaper currently resets our swing timer which is actually a really big deal which I will talk about in the last part of this guide. It also drastically ruins the rotation and priority of 2H frost users though may still be ok for unholy and DW. For more detailed information about SR please visit my other thread.

    http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/to...4340417?page=1

    If you are 2H frost this next section about Soul Reaper is for you. Soul Reaper like I mentioned up above is kind of wonky for 2H frost users because OB relies on 1 unholy and 1 frost rune and in most cases you will find yourself low on runes especially towards the end of a fight. The result of using Soul Reaper will make you never having any runes to use on your hardest hitting ability which is Obliterate and sometimes even wasting Killing machines on FS because there not enough runes available. I strongly suggest in my opinion not to use Soul Reaper as 2H frost unless you can do 2 things because most of the time if not done correctly can actually result in a dps loss. The first thing being that if you can cast SR and still have runes up for OB then go ahead and use it. The second being if you see that Pillar of frost is coming off CD make sure to save a rune for PoF.

    Micro Managing
    To the contrary to what most people believe Death Knights are actually pretty hard to play and that is simply because they have a lot of micro managing they have to deal with. Another good example of this would be enhance shamans. Sure we may only have 2 and a half buttons to push but there are a lot of small things we have to consciously look for it we want to truly do good damage.

    Lets start with our swing timer. Like I stated up above there is a current bug that makes SR reset our swing timer which is actually a huge deal for 2H frost Death Knights. We reply on our auto attacks which as you know has a chance to grant us a Killing Machine proc which gives a 100% chance to crit with our next OB or FS. Due to another delay bug a lot of the time we may find ourselves using KM procs on FS by mistake instead of OB. Because of this we have to compensate by installing a swing timer. Having a swing timer allows us to watch when our next auto attack is coming so that way we can make sure we can see if we get a KM proc first before we waste an OB which could of been a crit or use it on a FS which does considerably less damage in 2H.

    Another important part of micro managing is watching your procs and debuffs on the boss. It is best to download an addon such as class timers or weak auras which will allow you to see when things such as trinkets or weapon enchants (Fallen Crusader) take effect on our character. When we are able to not only line up our procs with CDs but with other external cool downs such as blood lust or heroism we find ourselves doing a lot more damage than if we were to just let things go by 1 by 1.

    _________________

    That is going to wrap up this guide guys. Remember to watch my full guide video for more detailed explanations and game play example including talent and glyph selections for optimizing dps.

    Good Luck.

    UPDATE: I made another video comparing plaque leech and unholy blight.

    Last edited by GamerLCD; 2012-11-27 at 04:51 AM.

  2. #2
    High Overlord Strifus's Avatar
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    I had no idea about the swing timer reset from SR, I'll make sure I keep an eye on the swing timer if I get the chance to use SR.

    Overall pretty nice, helpful guide. Well explained too.

  3. #3
    Brewmaster Advent's Avatar
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    I wish someone would do this for unholy. =(

  4. #4
    Kind of strange how less than a week ago you started a thread asking for help with your dps and now you're making an "advanced dps guide" but at least it all seemed to be pretty accurate, only thing to point out is that plague leech is actually higher dps than unholy blight in a pure single target situation when used properly, and the difference between unholy and 2h/dw frost isn't anywhere near as much as you made it out to be. But with that said it's a good video and will definitely be useful to a lot of people.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Kuroshi View Post
    Kind of strange how less than a week ago you started a thread asking for help with your dps and now you're making an "advanced dps guide" but at least it all seemed to be pretty accurate, only thing to point out is that plague leech is actually higher dps than unholy blight in a pure single target situation when used properly, and the difference between unholy and 2h/dw frost isn't anywhere near as much as you made it out to be. But with that said it's a good video and will definitely be useful to a lot of people.
    Just because I ask for help doesn't me i'm completely clueless. But thanks for your honesty.

  6. #6
    Plague Leech is the top DPS talent at the moment, it depends on your play-style. If you can micro-manage your runes with Blood Tap and Plague Leech then that's the top Min/Max at the moment, especially for Frost DW which is the top spec according to Sims. And yes again Blood Tap does pull ahead of RE and RC. Pets now don't take screen shots of your stats anymore.
    Last edited by Skullbound; 2012-11-19 at 07:18 AM.

  7. #7
    Mechagnome Italiandk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuroshi View Post
    Kind of strange how less than a week ago you started a thread asking for help with your dps and now you're making an "advanced dps guide" but at least it all seemed to be pretty accurate, only thing to point out is that plague leech is actually higher dps than unholy blight in a pure single target situation when used properly, and the difference between unholy and 2h/dw frost isn't anywhere near as much as you made it out to be. But with that said it's a good video and will definitely be useful to a lot of people.
    Sorry Gamer but I was going to say the same thing :P

    But after all is a good guide, not perfect but still a good guide.

    Two things:
    - where is your swing timer?
    - your rune tracker is fun & cool but do you think it's also useful? I mean, it has no timers for runes so you have to check your action bars to see when OB or w/e will be ready to use again.
    Death Knight -> Italiandk
    Shaman -> Cashrain
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    Mage -> Icydeath

  8. #8
    Good guide cheers.

    A question tho, coud you gife your opinion onto why you choose RE over RC or BT? Personnaly i use BT and it just feels and according to my own numbers, higher in dps.

  9. #9
    High Overlord Laroux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Advent View Post
    I wish someone would do this for unholy. =(
    I would do one for unholy since I have high parses for it, but since my youtube account was banned for featuring music in some vids that I put up some time ago. I am kinda lazy on creating a whole new one atm. :/
    I thought of typing a post on it but you really need a video for unholy there is more to cover regarding ghoul macros and positioning ghoul cleaves.

  10. #10
    Legendary! Treelife's Avatar
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    Not watched past 3mins, yet, I'm just finding it hard to understand why this 'advanced' video is basically saying use Unholy Blight.

    On a 1.5min CD it's basically Outbreak for 10seconds extra. In an AoE or multiple target situation I could understand it, as Unholy. But Frost? More specifically DW Frost, getting a Death Rune back for another Howling Blast 3 times in that duration is going to get you more damage.

    As for 2H, you can use that when you need a rune with KM procced and Outbreak/Symbiosis (WM:Plague) is up, sure it's more micromanagement but it sure as hell beats just another outbreak. In the worst case scenario you can refresh your BP for free by using PL > PS.

    Gonna' watch the rest now, will edit if I find anything else worth commenting on.

    Edit:

    AFAIK, Blood Tap is actually simming top, and not only that it is extremely useful for on-demand burst, for bursty AoE (Feng HC phase) or simply being more in control of your runes, being able to gain a rune for when KM is procced for example. Personally I find it a lot smoother than the other two as well.

    The PoF Macro shouldn't have Raise Dead in it, you should use RD before (it updates auto now) so you have an extra GCD of DPS during PoF/Trinkets/etc.

    Don't pre-pot before AotD. Same reason as above for the most part, and you're wasting 5sec of the pot time.
    Last edited by Treelife; 2012-11-19 at 01:48 PM.

  11. #11
    In my opionion, the most important thing for these sort of "theorycrafter guide" atm is: look out for new stuff in the forums everyday. Guides tend to be outdated very quickly at the moment and big stuff isn't even updated on sites like icy-veins (dw+BT).
    If you really want to be advanced you cannot rely on guides alone. You need to use forums like this and look out for new stuff, try it yourself, sim it yourself and even experiment with the sim I guess

  12. #12
    Your fro is legit

  13. #13
    Nice video. It's good to see people having a positive input into the community

    PL > UB though.

    Also how you pop your initial CDs is a little off - you should run in attack the boss for a few seconds for your trinkets/weapon enchant to proc then go nuts with CDs.

    i.e. My initial pull for instance

    AotD, HoW, DA, Pre-pot, *tanks pulls*, while running into mellee range I spam 2 x HB then a plague strike, then an obliterate

    by this point both trinkets usually have proc'd (DMC/LeiShi)

    I then Plague Leach, Pop my CD macro (Pillar, Blood Fury, Raise dead), then outbreak and go to town spamming nothing but Oblit/FS/Rime for the next 20 secs maximising every GCD and popping ERW if the fight is over 5 Mins. Else I'll delay ERWs use until I am really rune starved or if I'm starved during another Pot/CD/Trinkets phase.

    Doing this method I'll sit @ around 200-240K dps (391 ilvl/389 weap) for the first 30-40 secs of the fight. Insane opening burst even more so if combined with lust.

  14. #14
    To be completely honest I've never really understood how Plague Leech could be a dps increase when it's basically like a reverse Blood Tap except with the sacrifice of diseases on the target. Sure it gives a death rune but then if outbreak is on CD then you basically just lost the free death rune by having to re-apply plague strike. Not only that, but is it meant to be used on CD or just when outbreak comes out CD?

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by GamerLCD View Post
    To be completely honest I've never really understood how Plague Leech could be a dps increase when it's basically like a reverse Blood Tap except with the sacrifice of diseases on the target. Sure it gives a death rune but then if outbreak is on CD then you basically just lost the free death rune by having to re-apply plague strike. Not only that, but is it meant to be used on CD or just when outbreak comes out CD?

    Use PL when your DoTs (Mostly BP) has about 4 or less seconds left and you have an Outbreak available. Otherwise, if you get a Rime Proc use it at about 4 or less seconds I guess(if I'm not mistaken) or at anytime you need a rune on demand, in order to get RP out of your PS and so you can FS. If used perfectly it is a DPS gain. And it's EXTREMELY AMAZING for DW Frost.

  16. #16
    Legendary! Treelife's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GamerLCD View Post
    To be completely honest I've never really understood how Plague Leech could be a dps increase when it's basically like a reverse Blood Tap except with the sacrifice of diseases on the target. Sure it gives a death rune but then if outbreak is on CD then you basically just lost the free death rune by having to re-apply plague strike. Not only that, but is it meant to be used on CD or just when outbreak comes out CD?
    As I said in my reply, even if Outbreak is on CD, you get to refresh your BP for free (PL to get the rune, PS to spend the rune). There are multiple ways to use it, though.

    • To refresh your diseases as said above
    • To get a rune on-demand when Outbreak or WM:Plague is ready, and use it for something like Oblit when KM is up instead of waiting or using it on FS, or simply HB if DW Frost.
    • Burst. Another HB when you need to kill something NOW (Feng HC new phase as I also said above).
    Probably others I'm forgetting or just don't know about too.

  17. #17
    You will use plague leach in the following situations:

    -You have a rime proc
    -You have Outbreak off CD
    -You have Symbiosis off CD

    This gives you 1 extra death rune per 25 secs or 1 extra Obliterate every 50 seconds ~3200 dps gain. This is around a 2300 dps gain over UB.

    Diseases also act in that they take a snapshot of your current stats when they are applied and tick for that AP for the rest of their duration. In this regard we can take advantage of this even more so by sometimes delaying the use of Plague Leach if you have Trinkets/CDs coming up and getting uber strong buffed diseases on the target (much more important for UH but still good use as frost).

  18. #18
    Legit question to everyone in this thread. How many fights in this current raiding tier do you think favour Plague Leech as potentially higher DPS than Unholy Blight?

  19. #19

  20. #20
    I thought I would point out a couple of things people may not realize. There is a bug with plague leech, that when it's used it forces the boss to spin and look at you. It doesn't generate aggro, just a brief fixation effect. Normally, it's not dangerous, but it can cause issues with getting fixated by the boss on Garaj'al specifically. If you have ever noticed the boss periodically turning toward you for no reason, its most likely this bug.

    The druid symbiosis ability Wild Plague: Mushroom meshes nicely with plague leech. You can use plague leech twice with free disease refreshes in the 30 seconds that the mushroom is up. However, Wild Plague: Mushroom counts as a guardian and will replace your frost ghoul if it is up. Likewise, summoning the ghoul will despawn the mushroom. So usually you want to use it in the first 30 seconds after your ghoul has disappeared, 1:00 to 1:30 into the fight roughly.

    Finally, probably the most difficult for people to grasp, sitting on runes, runic power, or blood charges and waiting, even when those things aren't capped is a dps loss. Every time you use one resource you generate another. One way to think about it is that sitting on any resources, even when not capped, is going to lower the average resources you generate during the fight. When the fight ends, all the cumulative resource generation that you have pushed back during the entire length of the fight is lost.

    Of course there is , generally a tradeoff, you usually push back using resources so that you can use those resources on harder hitting abilities. For example, it turns out using a single unholy rune on plague strike rather than waiting for a second rune to come up and using obliterate is a dps loss. However, contrary to most peoples thinking, frost striking even if it uses up a KM proc (Frost 2H) is a dps gain over waiting even 1 second to obliterate.

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