This topic is made to answer the small questions you might have about Death Knights. Bigger questions which might need further discussion should have their own topic. When i put in more and more information, this turned into more of a guide. But i still want you to ask questions so the guide can be even better.
If you have a question concerning Death Knights, then just ask it here. Any question will do! I, or anyone else who know the answer, will then as soon as possible give you a hopefully good answer.
Everything in the OP so far is assumed you are level 80.
Please keep your post on topic.
---- Spec / Glyphs / Rotation / Stat Weight
---- Spec / Glyphs / Rotation / Stat Weight
---- Spec /Glyphs / Rotation / Stat Weight
-- General Info
---- Hit and Expertise cap /Gems / Armor Penetration / Enchants / Runeforge / Presence / Stats Worth
---- Spec / Glyphs / Rotations
---- Spec / Glyphs / Rotations
---- Spec / Glyphs / Rotation
-- General Info
---- Defense Cap / Defense / Parry from Strength / Parry/Dodge Rating Value / Diminishing Returns / Threat / Hit and Expertise cap / Threat Suggestions / Rune Strike Macro
---- Spec / Glyphs / General Info about frost
---- Spec / Glyphs / General Info
-- General Info
---- Hit in PvP / Gems / Combos / Macros / Add-on
I. The DPS "Guide"
Q: Could you give me a good Unholy DPS build + Rotation?
A: A common Unholy build is 12-0-59. (Some points might vary from player to player, due to personal preferences). This spec is good for DK's with pretty much any level of gear.
Your rotation for unholy should be:
After that it's priority system going like this: Diseases>SS>BS>RP Dump
The RP Dumps includes a priority to keep Unholy Blight and then use Death Coil with the remaining RP. Replace a RP Dump with Gargoyle when it's appropriate.
If you use Ghoul Frenzy, then use it with Blood Tap. So you don't come out of your rotation.
If you want to know more about Unholy DPS and a stat weight for unholy, then i suggest checking out these links: Unholy DPS, Stat Weight for Unholy
Q: Could you give me a good Blood DPS build + Rotation?
A: A common Blood build is 51-0-20 (Some points might vary from player to player, due to personal preferences). This spec is not suggested to pick when your gear level are quite low. To get good results with blood, then it's prefered that you have a good weapon and some armor penetration. Weapons are most important for Blood, due to the large influences they have on Death Strike and Heart Strike.
Your rotation for Blood should be:
After that it's priority system going like this: Diseases>HS>DS>DC
Use your RP Dumps on Dancing Rune Weapon when it's appropriate. It's prefered to use Hysteria with Dancing Rune Weapon when you can, which should be every second Dancing Rune Weapon if you can time the Cooldowns properly.
Risen Ghoul should be up as often as possible.
If you want to know more about Blood DPS and a stat weight for blood, then i suggest checking out these links: Blood DPS, Stat Weight for Blood
Q: Could you give me a good Frost DPS build + Rotation?
A: A common Frost build is 17-51-3 (the third glyph is either Glyph of Howling Blast or Glyph of Icy Touch). This build is good for a large range of gear.
Rotation using Glyph of Howling Blast:
Note that HB should replace OB at any time where it looks like the duration of Frost Fever is about to expire. Due to the inherent OB spam nature of this rotation, it is heavily reliant on the generation of Rime procs. When Rime is procced, there are two things that must be considered before the proc is used:
1. How much time is left of the Frost Fever timer?
2. How many Obliterates do I have left in my rotation?
If you're using Icy Touch Glyph, then your rotation should be something like this:
It important to note that the your Death Runes are much better spent on 2x IT than on OB. This is because while 2x IT will result in marginally less damage than OB, you will generate 25 more RP. The gain from this RP gen (and the additional FS it will eventually allow) far outweighs the damage loss from missing one OB.
While this rotation can be done in Blood Presence, it is generally a better idea to use Unholy Presence. This is because the use of many single rune attacks requires many GCDs in order to fit everything into the rotation while leaving time for FS spam.
If you want to know more about Frost DPS and a stat weight for frost, then i suggest checking out these links: Frost DPS, Stat Weight for Frost
Q: What's the Best build?
A: What talent build you have is very personal. You should play with a build that suits your playstyle. Blood, Frost and Unholy are all good builds, you'll be able to do well with any of them. Some do say though that Unholy, 0-10-61, with the best possible gear is theoreticly the best.
If you're very intrested in having the best build, then you might enjoy having the best gear aswell. For further infomation concering gear, check out this link: Best Gearing
Q: What is the Hit/Expertise cap?
A: The soft hit cap is 263, 8%. The soft expetise cap is 26, 6.5%.
Q: What should i gem for?
A: Strength, and that goes for all specs.
Q: I've heard you should gem Armor Penetration as blood?
A: Then you are correct. It has been shown to be a DPS increase to change to Armor Penetration gems when you reach 6200 AP (raid buffed) and 30% ArP (counting 10% from Blood Gorge). This obviously just goes for blood.
Q: What enchants should i have as a DPS Death Knight?
A: To answer this question, i'm using a list taken from Elitistjerks. It's both easy and clear to see what to enchant.
- Head: Arcanum of Torment, 50 AP, 20 Crit Rating
- Shoulders: Greater Inscription of the Axe, 40 AP, 15 Crit Rating
- Chest: +10 stats
- Cloak: Since the buff to haste in 3.1, haste is now better than agility for all specs
- Wrist: +50 AP
- Hands: +44 AP (or +20 hit if it helps you get capped)
- Legs: Icescale Leg Armor, 75 AP, 22 Crit Rating
- Boots: Icewalker (12hit/crit) is probably preferable to +32AP if you can use the hit. A run speed enchant may also be preferable for high movement fights (assuming no IUP), certainly if your tanks have one
Q: What Runeforge Weapon Enchant should i have?
A: For DPS you should always have Rune of the Fallen Crusader, this goes for any talent build.
Q: What should i use, Blood Presence or Unholy Presence?
A: In most cases, then you should use Blood Presence. But for a double disease, Icy Touch heavy frost build. Then Unholy Presence is prefered. Due to the large amount of single rune attacks. For almost all other cases, then Blood Presence should be used.
Q: What is the diffrent stats worth for DPS?
A: They are worth something like this:
1 Strength = 2 Attack Power
14 Attack Power = 1 Weapon DPS
62.5 Agilty = 1% Critical Strike
45.91 Critical Strike Rating = 1% Critical Strike
32.79 Hit Rating = 1% Hit
II. The Tanking "Guide"
Note: No rotation is perfect and usable in all situations. Good DK tanking requires dynamic rotations and quick responses to changes in encounters. However, in an unrealistically static encounter where all attacks land, there are intelligent rotations. Additionally, these builds do not include RP dumps. It is assumed that you are Rune Striking whenever possible and not allowing yourself to reach maximum RP by using your tree's RP dump.
Q: Could you give me a standard Frost Build and some useful information for that?
A: Frost is a strong tanking build and my personal favorite. It has very good single target threat (Though blood may be a bit stronger, assuming they have sunders on the target). It's also great at AoE tanking, but a little bit unreliable. With Killing Machine and Rime procs, then Frost beats Unholy at AoE tanking. Though the procs might not come when they are needed. Frost also have good damage reduction, from Frigid Dreadplate, improved cooldowns like Unbreakable Armor and Guile of Gorefiend.
Unfortunatly Frost doesn't give any raid utility, unless you spec Improved Icy Talons.
Standard frost build: 15-51-5 (Some points might vary from player to player, due to personal preferences) The Glyphs included are those to generate the highest amount of threat.
Single Target Rotation - IT-BS-OB-(Blood Tap if no Death Rune)OB RPDUMP = RS/FS
Alt-Single Target Rotation - HB-BS-BS-OB OB-OB-OB RPDUMP = RS/FS (assumes HB Glyph)
Multi Target Rotation - DnD-IT-PS-Pest then TAB-HB/Pest/BloodBoil RPDUMP = RS/FS
Q: Could you give me a standard Blood Build and some useful information for that?
A: Blood is a great single target tanking build. With lots of health and possibly the best single target threat. They also bring very good raid buffs, such as Abomnimations Might and Hysteria.
Unfortunatly they are quite dependent on Sunder armor/Expose armor to generate their best threat. This isn't much of an issue on 25-man as it is on 5/10-man. Blood also have the least good AoE tanking. They also lack the tanking cooldowns which Frost/Unholy gets (Unbreakable Armor/Bone Shield)
Blood build: 55-8-7 - with one point up for grabs.
Note: I'm not confident this is the most standard Blood tanking build. If you know a standard blood tanking build, then please say so or PM me!
Single Target Rotation - IT-PS-DS-HS-HS DS-DS-HS-HS RPDUMP = RS/Deathcoil
Multi Target Rotation - DnD-IT-PS-Pest then TAB-HS/DS/Pest/BloodBoil RPDUMP = RS/Deathcoil
Q: Could you give me a standard Unholy Build and some useful information for that?
A: Unholy is the most reliable AoE tanking build, Unholy Blight and Wandering Plague really keeps up good AoE damage. Not to mention the damage that diseases do!
Unholy got some nice cooldowns aswell, such as Bone Shield and Anti-Magic Zone and they of course give the raid the awesome Ebon Plaguebringer disease.
Unfortunatly Unholy is considerd the least good Single Target threat build. It's still enough, just lower then the other two.
Unholy Build: 13-8-50
Note: I'm not confident this is the most standard Unholy tanking build. If you know a standard unholy tanking build, then please say so or PM me!
Single Target Rotation - IT-PS-BS-BS-SS SS-SS-SS RPDUMP = RS/UnholyBlight/Deathcoil
Multi Target Rotation - DnD-IT-PS-Pest-UnholyBlight then TAB-SS/Pest/BloodBoil RPDUMP = RS/Deathcoil
Q: How much Defense should i have?
A: To become uncritable, then you need 540 Defense. It's very important to reach 540 Defense if you're a tank. Defense should not be seen as Defense Rating. 4.91850 defense rating equals one point of defense skill. You shouldn't have a problem reaching the Defense cap. There are quite a lot of Defense/Defense Rating you can get from enchants and gems, if you lack it from your gear.
Q: Does defense do anything after reaching the Defense cap?
A: The defense cap is only so you are uncritable. Defense always gives mitigation (dodge, parry, miss). Defense gives the following mitigation:
122.9625 defense rating = 25 def skill = 1% miss/dodge/parry chance = 3% avoidance
122.9625/3 = 40.9875 defense rating hence equals 1% avoidance
40.9875 defense rating = 8.333 skill (as a comparison)
As you can see, it's not the end of the world if you are over the defense cap. Though it's prefered to gem/enchant for other things when you've reached the defense cap.
Q: I heard you got Parry from Strength, how does that work?
A: Quite simple really. You have a Passive Skill called "Forceful Deflection". It gives 25% of your Strength to Parry Rating.
Q: How much is Parry/Dodge Rating worth?
A: On level 80, then they're worth something like this:
39.34799 dodge rating = 1% dodge chance
49.18499 parry rating = 1% parry chance
Q: What is Diminishing Returns?
A: The basic idea is something that you get less and less out of over time. An easy example is the DR on a spell like fear. The first time you cast it on someone, it lasts for 10 secs or so. The next time, 6 seconds. Then 4 then 2 then eventually it doesn't work anymore. Dodge and Parry don't exactly work like this, but the idea is the same. The more you stack, the less each is worth. It works on a curve, so you have to stack a TON of each to even get CLOSE to the cap.
However, it is a well know fact that you can stack dodge higher then you can stack parry. So if you have two pieces of gear that are similar and one has dodge and the other has parry, the one with dodge is worth more then the one with parry. This is because Dodge caps out at 88%, where as Parry is 47%. This means the curve is more aggressive on Parry then Dodge.
Q: What is threat and how do you get threat?
A: Threat is what keeps the mobs on you and off your healer. Healers don’t like being beat on, and they don’t really have a sense of humor about it. Neither, for that fact, do the DPS which are going to ride your threat for maximum damage.
Threat is created by a couple of things.
1. Damage. Easy enough here, the more damage you do, the more threat you create.
2. Healing. If you heal yourself, you create threat split among all the mobs your tanking at about half per point. Not as good as damage but threat is threat.
3. Abilities. A few abilities create more threat. The first is Frost Presence which increases the threat of ALL your attacks. I shouldn’t have to say that, but you’d be surprised. The second is Death and Decay, which is an AOE attack that creates damage at an increased threat multiplier. The third is rune strike, which does increased damage and threat instead of your normal white swing. A real bargain at 20 rp.
The idea is to do more threat then the rest of the party/raid. Again, seems simple.
Q: What is the Hit/Expertise Cap for tanks?
A: The hit cap is 263 hit rating, also 8%. The expertise cap isn't as easy though. 26 expertise, 6.5% is enough to break bosses dodge. But bosses can also parry while you stand infront of them. Their parry is 15%, which means you need lots of Parry to break the cap. But it's not worth gimping your gear to reach it. 26 expertise, 6.5% is what you should aim for.
Q: I'm having trouble with threat, can you give me some suggestions to help me?
A: Getting closer to the hit cap and the expertise cap is always good options. Use more abilities which generate more threat then normal, such as Rune Strike and Death and Decay. Of course getting a better weapon will increase your threat quite a lot.
You can also tighten up your rotations. If you’re just spamming IT that’s most likely your problem. Good rotations will use different skills and more then one attack for the max amount of damage/threat you can squeeze out of BBFFUU every 10 seconds.
If you’re DWing, stop. Try a 2 hand weapon and see if that helps.
Macro RS into all of your attacks so you can use it as much as (inhumanly) possible. With the changes to this ability to increase threat this is going to be a huge boost for any single target tanking.
If you are unholy, spec out to something else. It’s generally agreed by the community that unholy kicks out less single target threat due to the fact they have a perma-ghoul and gargoyle that adds damage to the tree that doesn’t actually translate into threat for the tank.
Q: How do i macro Rune Strike?
A: Like this:
/cast Blood Strike
/cast !Rune Strike
If you now have Rune Strike ready when you try to use Blood Strike, then Rune Strike will be used. You can of course change the macro to the spell you feel fit better for your needs. Be careful though, this will increase your Rune Strike usage quite a lot and because of that increase the RP you use. So just keep in mind that you need RP for Icebound Fortitude and Unholy Blight (if you have it specced)
If you want to know more about Death Knight tanking, then i suggest these threads: DK endgame tanking and DK bacics
III. The PvP "Guide"
Please note. I'm not so experienced in PvP, so please correct me if i say anything wrong
(Pretty much started with arena only a couple of days ago. Got 1700 rating in 3v3..! :P)
Q: What is the spec you should have in PvP as a Death Knight?
A: All three specs are accually quite good. Frost/Unholy is a lot more popular in arenas, but Blood works very well in BGs due to the large amount of self healing it has.
Q: Could you give me a good Frost PvP build?
A: I've gone very fond of Frost when i do Arena, after looking around on diffrent sites and other pvp frost DKs. Then i've noticed that 17-51-3 is very popular, and works great for me.
Some people rather use Glyph of Chains of Ice over Glyph of Hungering Cold.
It uses Chains of Ice to keep Frost Fever up and is very Obliterate/Frost Strike heavy. Hungering Cold is an Excellent talent if used properly. It has the best effect to be used when as many as possible of the opposing team are close around you and when you have heavy pressure on a member of the opposing team. A well timed Hungering Cold can easy win you a arena game.
Frost also has a excellent burst. Having 4x Frost+Unholy runes, 2x Death Runes and 130 Runic power. If you then can keep your enemy close to you.. then anyone you meet will be nervous. (4x FS, then 3x OB, then at least 2x Frost Strikes after that)
Frost do lack a bit of the defensive capability that Unholy has though. (More on that under Unholy)
Q: Could you give me a good Unholy PvP build?
A: A very popular Unholy PvP build is 0-17-54 (Note, some points may vary from player to player. Anti Magic Zone is a talent which many pick up)
Unholy also uses Chains of Ice to get up Frost Fever and uses Scourge Strike/Death Coil for damage. The biggest diffrence between Unholy and other PvP builds are the Ghoul.. it has a really mean 3-sec stun and is very good at taking down totems. Gargoyle is also a very good talent to keep heavy pressure over its long duration.
I hinted with some improved Defensive Capabilities over Frost. Pet Stun, Totem killing bot(pet), Desecration (awesome to slow down anyone without the ability to take it away), Anti Magic Zone (if you pick it up) and Lower Cooldown on Death Grip are the ones i was refering to.
Unholy do lack Hungering Cold though, and i do feel that Frost have a better burst without having to rely on Gargoyle to put up your highest pressure.
Q: What is the best PvP build in arena, Frost or Unholy?
A: Unholy i think is the spec most people would call the best. Frost being quite close aswell. It's pretty much comes down to personal feeling.
Q: Do i need Hit in PvP?
A: The hit cap in PvP is 5%, and it's prefered that you cap it if you're going serious in Arena at least. If you just do BGs, then it's not that needed.
Q: What should i gem for in PvP?
A: You should gem Strength and Spell Penetration. Spell penetration is needed to take away the resists you might get on for example Scourge Strike or Strangulate. 75 Spell Penetration is good, but 130 is prefered.
Q: What should i team-up with in 2v2/3v3?
A: For 2v2's is prefered that you have a healer with you, a paladin or resto druid would probably be prefered. It also works if you play with a good Frost Mage.
In 3v3's there is a lot of diffrent combos to play. Healing Paladin, Hunter, Death Knight is a popular one now after eMG's success in the MLG tournament. Warrior/Retri Paladin, Resto Druid/Healing Paladin, Death Knight is also a good combo.
If you have a good 2v2/3v3 combo not mentioned, please say so then! (I know i've missed a lot)
Q: Can you give me some useful macros for Arena?
Casting Strangulate properly can make or break a game. So having a macro to cast Strangulate on your target you have focused is awesome. Very easy to write aswell!
/cast [target=focus] Strangulate
Ghoul Leap & Stun
/cast [target=target,exists,harm] Leap
/cast [target=target,harm] Gnaw
/cast [target=target,exists,noharm] Leap
/cast [target=player] Leap
If you have a enemy target this will make your pet leap to the enemy target and use gnaw.
If you have a friendly target this will make your pet leap to the friendly target.
If you have no target this will make your pet leap back to you and put your pet on follow.
This can be useful when your pet is about to die and you want it to leap back to your healer. It can also be used if you want your pet to leap back to you and follow. Or it can be used to leap to the enemy target and stun it for another interrupt.
Stun your target
#showtooltip Death Grip
/cast Death Grip
Makes you use Death Grip and your ghoul uses Gnaw to stun your target next to you.
(You have to spec Ghoul Mastery for it to work)
Ghoul Ranged Stun
Ghoul Totem Killing!
/target Earthbind totem
/target Disease Cleansing Totem
/target Tremor Totem
/target Grounding Totem
Makes your Ghoul kill totems. Feel free to shuffle the order of the totems around, as it will stomp the bottom one first, and then move up the list, if there are more than one of them out there. (Only one per button click)
Death Coil Heal
#showtooltip Death Coil
/cast [target=player] Death Coil
Uses Lichborne and casts Death Coil to heal yourself.
(You have to spec Lichborne for it to work)
OH SHIT button
#showtooltip Hungering Cold
/cast Unbreakable Armor
/cast Icebound Fortitude
/cast Hungering Cold
Fun macro to use when you are in deep deep trouble. It will use the abilities from the bottom up and only one ability per click.
Q: Can you give me some useful add-ons for Arena?
A: An add-on pretty much any arena player should have is Gladius. I highly recommend this for any arena player.
More add-ons will probably come
Please, if you know something that should be up here under the PvP section, then please don't hesitate in saying so.
Update, and improve, the DPS Section
Update , and improve, the Tanking Section
Update , and improve, the PvP Section