This is a thread to compile and answer both common and uncommon specific questions about death knights. A copy of each question will be kept and organized in this OP. Feel free to ask any dk related questions, but if question is anything along the lines of "I'm not doing as much damage as I should" or "What am I doing wrong", please use http://www.mmo-champion.com/threads/...-My-DK-DPS-MoP instead.
Question and answer archive:
Q: Which dk abilities use spell crit chance?
A: Howling Blast, Death Coil, Death and Decay, and Stormlash (from a shaman in same party/raid) all use the spell crit chance instead of the melee crit chance, meaning they generally crits 5% less than your melee abilities. They are spells after-all, so I don't believe it's a bug, and balance-wise, I'm sure it's taken into consideration. Every other ability, including diseases, should use the melee crit chance.
Q: Is soul Reaper static or dynamic? The dot, is it static, in the form when you apply the dot, will it will do damage from the procs you had when you applied it or will it benefit from your procs at time in which it deals damage?
A: It updates dynamically.
Q: Is it worth using SR for the haste buff?
A: SR is only 50% extra rune regen for 5 seconds. With a generously low rune regen of 7.5 seconds, that shaves 2.5 seconds off the rune regen time for 5 seconds. In that 5 seconds, you generate 3 runes, but would normally generate 2 runes (5/7.5 *3). So the net gain is 1 rune, and you spent 1 rune to cast SR in the first place (and 1 GCD).
The haste buff is more of a consolation prize if the enemy happens to die early, but you should try to avoid it whenever possible and cast it on the enemy that will actually live to take the shadow damage.
Q: Does AotD scale with bloodlust?
A: Yes. Ghouls attack speed scale with your own, which scales with BL.
Q: Does pestilence spread DoTs with your current AP, or the AP on your current set of diseases?
A: Pestilence and roiling blood always take your current AP when spreading diseases.
Q: What is disease gaming?
A: Disease gaming means reapplying diseases before they fall off, when you have more AP/crit/mastery and they would do more damage. It's mostly an unholy tactic.
Q: Is disease gaming worth it for frost?
A: Yes, but only for blood plague. You need about 2500 more AP than your current diseases PER SECOND that you have left with blood plague as 2-hand frost. As DW frost, you need about 350 more AP than your current diseases PER SECOND that you have left with blood plague. More detailed info can be found here.
Q: What is the spec balance in 5.4?
A: For ST, all of the specs are very close. DW frost is simming slightly higher in most cases, but all 3 specs can pull comparable damage, and you'll get the most damage out of whatever spec you play the best.
Q: Is DW viable?
A: DW is perfectly viable for frost, in the case of unholy it's viable with DW weapons about 60 ilevels higher then a 2-hand, and for blood it's viable with the same weapon ilevel increase as unholy. Though, if you have such amazing 1-hand weapons, you should just go frost.
Q: Where can I find a frost guide?
A: MMOC does not have an up-to-date guide at this time.
You can, however, find frost guides on:
I suggest the EJ or IV veins guide, but I'm a little biased, being author of one and consultant for the other. I have not personally read the noxxic or battle.net one.
Q: Is Soul Reaper a DPS gain for 2H Frost?
A: Yes, but a small one.
Q: Should I be hitting Obliterate every time I have the runes available for it? Should I be Obliterating even if my RP is high?
A: No, the most important part of playing a dk is not wasting resources. Runes are not wasted unless they are not regenerating at all now, this allows us to "bank" one of each rune in reserve without losing anything, and you should try to avoid overcapping on runes or runic power (or t5 procs or km procs or rime procs). If you have 76+ runic and you are not about to cap on runes, don't oblit, use FS instead.
Q: Is it worth holding back runes to get oblit to line up with KM?
A: Short answer:
This issue, whether or not to hold off on using km procs in order to shift more of them over from FS to oblit received a lot of attention and discussion in 5.0-5.1. Euliat provided a fantastic mathematical analysis and rundown (which is quite a good read), and you can find it here.
Q: When do I use howling blast over soul reaper as DW?
A: At the SR breakpoint:
(((Weapon min damage + weapon max damage)/2) *1.3 + (2.4 *(X/ 14)))*1.15*1.04*0.68 + (60000 +1.2X)*1.15*1.05 = (499 + 0.8487X) * 1.10*1.05*1.15 *Mastery value
X = AP, solve for X to get the breakpoint. Example with 200% frost damage from mastery and a 580 DW weapon:
Q: Which one of the 75 tier talents (rune regeneration) is the best for unholy?
A: BT gives you the most control, and therefore damage, if done right. RC is a better option for those who don't want to micro BT.
Q: What's wrong with my threat?
A: Optimal threat comes from gear, rotation, and on occasion, fight mechanics. Check out the blood guides here or on EJ to learn about gearing and rotation, and make sure you understand the fight for any effect that may have on threat.
Q: How do I properly build up resources to get the most out of DRW?
A: DRW can be used as both a defensive and an offensive CD. Defensive-wise, you get the most out of it by using it before a long string of melee damage, or pairing it with army for less damage taken.
Offensive-wise, you can bank a 2-set of DSs, a near full runic bar, which both slam pretty hard, and an outbreak, for double diseases. If you want to really bring the pain, popping ERW right after the first 2 DSs let's you machine gun off 4 DS and 3 RS, which fills up most of DRW and does a massive amount of damage, but ERW can be useful as a defensive as well. If ERW is on CD or you need it for something else, simply use DS and RS as much as possible, apply diseases, and otherwise follow your normal rotation.
Gearing and stats:
Q: What are the best trinkets?:
A: You can find trinket rankings at Frost, and Unholy.
Q: Why did haste become so bad?
A: There were several factors that reduce haste's value for 5.4:
1. Haste no longer scales with rppm trinkets/zandy.
2. RC bug removed from the game, stopping it from multiplying with haste to further make the trinket uptime go down.
3. The new PL generates 2 runes every 25 seconds instead of 1, and is basically free if managed right. These extra free runes make haste less necessary to GCD cap.
5. The new AMS glyph reduces the average CD on AMS, allowing you to get more runic from it.
6. The new CD trinket does the same thing.
7. The amp trinket means you need less haste to achieve the same rune regen effect.
8. The T-16-2set, if haste is your highest stat, leads to pushing you above the GCD capped threshold.
Most of these factors do not yet affect people. Even the PL/trinket change alone is enough to drop haste down a bit, and perhaps below crit. Best way to find out if it affects you is to sim yourself.