1. #1

    Unholy Dk Dps Guide by Wheva on US Detheroc

    Unholy Dk Dps
    Due to forum whiners, entitled casuals, and keyboard turners, blizzard changed the Death Knight completely so the used to be “spammy” play where every GCD counted is now gone. As you may of noticed by now we have gaps in our rotation where we cant do anything. Why blizzard is being gay and doing this to us, I don’t know, but I do know how this new Death Knight is supposed to be played. (atleast for the unholy spec)

    Specs: The specs I make are the most optimal at the current time, if you wish to edit them to your liking that is up to you.
    9/0/32-2H- With the 2H style of play you will be able to obtain every dps optimal talent and still have a few talent points left over. The main difference between 2H and Duel Wield is Duel Wield uses Dnd(Death and Decay) for single target dps, 2H does not.
    6/3/32-DW- The DW style of play limits your customization unlike the 2H spec. With this spec you will be using DnD(Death and Decay) for single target aswell as AoE and instead of Glyph of Scourge Strike you will be using Glyph of Death and Decay

    Glyphs:

    -Recommended-
    Prime: Prime Glyphs usually give you flat out damage bonuses
    - Glyph of Scourge Strike(2H)/ Glyph of Death and Decay(DW)
    - Glyph of Death Coil
    - Glyph of Raise Dead
    Major: I call these the “Utility Glyphs”
    - Glyph of Anti-Magic Shell
    - Glyph of Pestilence
    - Glyph of Blood Boil
    Minor: Minor glyphs usually are “personal” glyphs, you choose them based on your play style, these are the most optimal minor glyphs in a PVE environment.
    - Glyph of Horn of Winter
    - Glyph of Blood Tap: we use Blood Tap a lot, it helps you fill those empty gaps with abilities so for you to take no damage when you cast it would be very beneficial to your healers
    - Glyph of Raise Ally: This glyph can be situational at time but it can be more frequently used then some other glyphs like Glyph of Death Embrace. Just helps your bad dps who dies a lot (like me) to deal more damage in their “second life”.

    -Optional-
    Prime: None
    Major: None
    Minor: if you wish to use one of these I would replace Glyph of Raise Ally with it
    - Glyph of Death's Embrace: this is optimal in limited situations, like fights where your ghoul will be taking lots of damage. Then this would be a good glyph since it will be saving you Runic Power.
    - Glyph of Path of Frost: This glyph can be useful for like when your doing TB dailies and want to escape from people who gank and camp you for no apparent reason by jumping into the river. Though if there were a boss that had alot of fall damage, this glyph would be godly.
    - Glyph of Resilient Grip: This is more of a tanking/pvp glyph then anything, but if you find some use for it, then hell for it

    Rotations:
    Wait…..what? STOP USING THEM!!! Get the entire idea of a rotation out of your head. If you use a rotation you are Bad!!!
    Back in Wotlk we could use a rotation because Unholy used to have Zero procs so it we could spam 3421255111 all day long. But now that we have procs which can proc at any given time we don’t have that leisure anymore.

    Priority Systems:
    A priority system is basically the most basic form of rotations. A standard rotation most classes use is actually based off a priority system. So a standard rotation is just what the Priority System Cast Sequence would look like if it was done perfectly.
    Example: Our old rotation in Wotlk was PS-IT-BS-SS-BS-DC-DC-SS-SS-SS-RP Dump-repeat.
    Now look at the Wotlk Priority System……
    0.) Bone Shield
    1.) Diseases
    2.) Desolation(which came from BS)
    3.) Scourge Strike
    4.) Death Coil
    5.) Blood Strike
    6.) HoW
    Now think about it in your head, if you would do that System, how would it turn out? If you feel like doing the Math the old rune CD was 10 Sec.
    It would turn out to be PS-IT-BS-SS-BS-DC-DC-SS-SS-SS-RP Dump-repeat.

    So now that we have procs, we have to start using priority systems since Priority Systems can prioritize procs and a Rotation cannot.

    These Systems will look complicated at first but you, they are relatively simple
    X= Number of Death Runes Y= Time Left on Diseases Z= Amount of Runic Power

    2H System:
    0.) Dark Transformation
    1.) Sudden Doom proc = Death Coil
    2.) Y < 11sec = Outbreak > Plague Strike-Icy Touch combo
    3.) X > 3 Death Runes = Scourge Strike x6
    4.) X < 4 Death Runes = Festering Strike
    5.) Scourge Strike
    6.) Festering Strike
    7.) Death Coil
    8.) Blood Tap
    9.) HoW
    -If you get a Dark Transformation Proc then you use it Immediately. Dark transformation only costs a single Unholy Rune and increases your ghoul’s damage by a significant amount, so Dark Transformation does a lot more damage than any other Unholy Spell.
    -Even though Scourge Strike and Festering Strike usually hit harder then Death Coil. Sudden Doom procs quiet frequently so to use it as much as possible is important so you can get more Sudden Doom Procs which will result in a dps increase.
    -Without diseases up Unholy is terrible. So putting up and keeping up diseases should be one of the most important things. With the new spell Outbreak, which costs no runes, at our disposal, it’s important to use that over the PS/IT combo which does cost runes. On a single target fight this wouldn’t matter but most fights they require you to swap targets and since Outbreak has a 1min CD, you may need to use the PS/IT combo sometimes.
    -As 2H Scourge Strike is your highest damaging ability, so to prioritize this next makes sense. But to make sure your diseases remain up for aslong as needed and to get the maximum number of Scourge Strikes, you prefer to use Festering Strike over Scourge Strike till you get enough runes to cast 6 in a row. But make sure you use your Unholy Runes during the Festering Strike part of the Rotation as Scourge Strikes
    -Because of the new Rune System, Rune use can be priceless, to make sure you use runes effectively you got to use them whenever they are up which doesn’t leave room for Death Coils till you have used all your runes
    Important: You should try to space out your Death Coils. Because of Runic Corruption (tier 3) every time you cast death coil our runes will regenerate 100% faster for 3sec (2 GCDs) so if you should try to use Death coil every 2-3 GCDs and keep that Runic Corruption buff up as long as possible.

    X= Number of Death Runes Y= Time Left on Diseases Z= Amount of Runic Power

    DW System:
    0.) Death and Decay
    1.) Dark Transformation
    2.) Sudden Doom proc = Death Coil
    3.) Z > 90 = Death Coil
    4.) Y < 11sec = Outbreak > Plague Strike-Icy Touch combo
    5.) X > 3 Death Runes = Scourge Strike x6
    6.) X < 4 Death Runes = Festering Strike
    7.) Scourge Strike
    8.) Festering Strike
    9.) Blood Tap
    10.) HoW
    -As DW you do something that may see Unorthodox. You use Death and Decay for Single target. Now why is this? Well since we don’t have Threat of Thassarian like frost DW, our Scourge strikes really don’t hit that hard so Death and Decay is a lot better use of an Unholy rune. Now the reason why its so high up on our list is because of the long 30sec CD, you want to use it as often as possible
    -If you get a Dark Transformation Proc then you use it immediately. Dark transformation only costs a single Unholy Rune and increases your ghoul’s damage by a significant amount, so Dark Transformation does a lot more damage than any other Unholy Spell.
    - As DW, Death Coil will be your new Scourge Strike, so its important to use every possible Death Coil, which means to get RP cap results in Waster Death Coils and to not use a Sudden procs can result in a Death Coil loss. Since Sudden Doom procs quiet frequently, use it as much as possible is important so you can get more Sudden Doom Procs which will result in a dps increase.
    -Without diseases up Unholy is terrible. So putting up and keeping up diseases should be one of the most important things. With the new spell Outbreak, which costs no runes, at our disposal, it’s important to use that over the PS/IT combo which does cost runes. On a single target fight this wouldn’t matter but most fights require you to swap targets and since Outbreak has a 1min CD, you may need to use the PS/IT combo sometimes.
    -Because of the new Rune System, Rune use can be priceless, to make sure you use runes effectively you got to use them whenever they are up which doesn’t leave room for Death Coils till you have used all your runes.(DW Only) Unless you reach RP cap which is at around 90 Rp since after that any Rp you gain may become useless
    Important: You should try to space out your Death Coils. Because of Runic Corruption (tier 3) every time you cast death coil our runes will regenerate 100% faster for 3sec (2 GCDs) so if you should try to use Death coil every 2-3 GCDs and keep that Runic Corruption buff up as long as possible.


    Stats:
    Strength ≥ Hit till 8% > Haste > Crit ≥ Expertise to cap > Mastery

    Strength: As always Strength is our best stat. Because of Rune of the Fallen Crusader and Strength Increasing Talents, Strength will always give you the largest damage boost from any other stat.

    Hit: A unholy DK’s hit cap is 8% due to Virulence giving us that extra 3% spell hit and also making us spell hit capped at the same time, which is 11%. Now to be spell hit capped in Cataclysm is probably in most cases more important then any other stat due to the amount of interrupting required. The 11% spell hit allows us to have a guaranteed (wont miss) interrupt which frost Dks don’t have. This is probably the biggest piece of Utility an Unholy Dk has so take advantage of it.

    Haste: Haste is doing very well for it self in the Unholy Dk world at this time. Since 4.0 they made it so haste also allows melee to press more buttons instead of range. The way they did this for Dks is they made it so haste increases our RRR or Rune Regeneration Rate which helps alot of Runic Corruption. It also increases the amount we Auto Attack so that means more Sudden Doom procs. The Final thing is that every single one of our Summons benefits 100% from our haste and so it just becomes an overall amazing secondary stat. The only bad thing I can think of about haste is that there is a “soft cap” where the value diminishes. Though this “soft cap” can’t be reached yet with any current gear so theres nothing to worry about, yet.

    Crit: Crit is just behind haste in the ratings since our Ghoul benefits 100% from crit and it makes it so more Auto Attacks crit more often so all those extra Auto Attacks from haste benefit from crit. Also I mean, who doesn’t like to see those big numbers fly down their screen?

    Expertise: As always Expertise a pretty terrible stat for us, the only way you can see Expertise as good is if you reach Haste cap, which isn’t even reachable yet, then getting to expertise cap will be important since at that point in haste you will be GCD capped.

    Mastery: Sadly for unholy and mastery just don’t mix. Due to the fact that 1 Mastery = 8% increased Disease damage and diseases just don’t do that much damage unfortunately. Also mastery rating has the same conversion rate as crit so it really doesn’t stack very easily.



    Reforging:
    There is no perfect science when it comes to reforging so you have to do the math yourself and find out which pieces to reforge. When you do find out which items to reforge, the guide below will show you how you should reforge based on whether or not you need hit.

    Hit/Haste Item
    1.) Need Hit = Do nothing
    2.) Over Hit cap = Hit -> Crit

    Hit/Crit Item
    1.) Need Hit = Crit -> Haste
    2.) Over Hit cap = Hit -> Haste

    Hit/Expertise Item
    1.) Need Hit = Expertise -> Haste
    2.) Over Hit cap = Hit -> Haste

    Hit/Mastery Item
    1.) Need Hit = Mastery -> Haste
    2.) Over Hit cap = Hit -> Haste
    Note: Hit/Mastery items are probably the worst piece of gear for an Unholy Death Knight due to the fact that it hard to change either stat to the stat we wish. Like if you are already Hit capped then these pieces of gear do nothing for you since the optimal way to Reforge it is to reforge the hit, which leaves you with Mastery, our worst stat. The only reason you should even want a Hit/Mastery piece of gear is for the Hit.

    Haste/Mastery Item
    1.) Need Hit = Mastery -> Hit
    2.) Hit Capped = Mastery -> Crit

    Haste/Crit Item
    1.) Do Nothing, there are most likely other pieces which you can reforge for hit, a Haste/Crit item can be rare and they are perfect for us.

    Haste/Expertise Item
    1.) Need Hit = Expertise -> Hit
    2.) Hit capped = Expertise -> Crit

    Crit/Mastery Item
    1.) Need Hit = Mastery -> Hit
    2.) Hit capped = Mastery -> Haste

    Crit/Expertise Item
    1.) Need Hit = Expertise -> Hit
    2.) Hit Capped = Expertise -> Haste

    Enchants:

    Head: Arcanum of the Wildhammer
    Shoulders: Greater Inscription of Jagged Stone
    Cloak: Enchant Cloak - Greater Critical Strike
    Chest: Enchant Chest - Peerless Stats
    Wrists: Enchant Bracer - Greater Speed
    Gloves:Enchant Gloves - Mighty Strength
    Legs: Dragonscale Leg Armor
    Feet: Enchant Boots - Haste/Enchant Boots - Precision

    -Viable Profession Enchants-
    Head: None
    Shoulders: Lionsmane Inscription
    Cloak: Swordguard Embroidery
    Chest: None
    Wrists: Draconic Embossment - Strength
    Gloves: None
    Legs: None
    Feet: None

    Gems:

    Meta:Chaotic Shadowspirit Diamond (when the change is made - confirmed by Draxxari)
    Red: Bold Inferno Ruby
    Yellow: Fierce Ember Topaz
    Blue: Etched Demonseye

    Consumables:

    Flask: Flask of Titanic Strength
    Potion: Golemblood Potion
    Food: Beer-Basted Crocolisk/Fortune Cookie/Seafood Magnifique Feast

    Cool Downs:
    For Unholy we have 2 different Cds, using them correctly can be huge and can increase your damage significantly.

    Unholy Frenzy:
    Unholy Frenzy is basically the new version of Hysteria and just like Hysteria it should be used correctly with its partner Cooldown Gargoyle like DRW when it was in the blood tree. The main thing you need to know about Unholy Frenzy is that is does stack with Heroism/Bloodlust/Time Warp, but to stack them isn't a good thing. Since it will Haste cap you and the benefits from Unholy Frenzy will be wasted since you will get less haste due to the diminishing value of haste once it reaches cap. Stacking Unholy Frenzy and Heroism will also GCD cap you, bascially that means you will have so much haste that you will be able to use all the runes that the haste refreshes so they become wasted. So the important thing to do is use it as a second Herosim. Find out when you will using Heroism on that fight, and use it accodingly. So if your raid uses it at the start of a fight, use it right after heroism is done then use it again towards the end of the fight with Summon Gargoyle.
    Note: Unholy Frenzy technically benefits Warriors more then Death Knights so if you have a Fury Warrior in the raid group I suggest using it on them instead of yourself. Below is a macro which will help you with that.

    #showtooltip Unholy Frenzy
    /cast [modifier:shift,target=Name of Warrior] Unholy Frenzy
    /cast [nomodifier] Unholy Frenzy
    /cast [nomodifier] Summon Gargoyle


    This Macro will make it so when you hold shift and then click the macro it will put Unholy Frenzy on the warrior instead of yourself and if you just plainly click it, it will use Unholy Frenzy and Gargoyle together. You may need to double click/hotkey to get it to cast both Unholy Frenzy and Gargoyle.

    Summon Gargoyle:
    Summon Gargoyle is exactly the same as always. It will take a snap shot of your stats at the time of summoned and apply them to the Gargoyle accordingly so it benefits from Procs and Cool Downs like Unholy Frenzy. The new thing recently discovered about Gargoyle is called "Gargoyle Twisting". Gargoyle Twisting is right before you use Gargoyle you turn your character 90 Degrees in either direction then use Gargoyle. What this does is it will summon your gargoyle farther away from the boss so this way your Gargoyle will use only spells and wont waste any valuable casting time on meleeing the boss. This can increase your damage a lot so its a great skill to practice and master.

    Ghoul Management

    Terrible AI:
    To put this into simple terms. Blizzard is Lazy and they wont give Ghouls or pets a proper AI so its now our job to fix it. What a surprise. At this current time when you put a spell on auto-cast the ghoul doesnt cast it every time that spells is available at the exact second its available like its supposed to. So why is this important? Because ever since Dark Transformation came out your ghoul's Claw ability has become a HUGE part of our dps. So for your ghoul not to cast Claw the second its available is wasted time and energy (the ghoul's resource). The to fix this problem with the AI can be a large dps boost.



    Dark Transformation:
    The proper use of Dark Transformation can be the difference between a good Unholy DK and a Bad one. The very second Dark Transformation is available is should be used. Every second that your ghoul is at 5 stacks of Shadow Infusion is wasted potential Dark Transformation time, because every second wasted is a second which Dark Transformation could of been up. The reason for this is that after you use Dark Transformation; Shadow Infusion doesn't start stacking again till Dark Transformation is over. So when you don't use Dark Transformation the second its wasting Death Coils and time since those aren't being applied towards future/more Dark Transformations.

    The way we fix these two issues are macros.

    #showtooltip Scourge Strike
    /cast [target=target,harm,nodead][] Claw
    /cast Scourge Strike
    /cast Dark Transformation
    <----- Optional

    This Macro makes it so every time Claw is available it is used by your ghoul. Also the [target=target,harm,nodead] part of the macro makes it so your ghoul is always on your target instead of the first target you happened to be on during that combat session. This also helps with Dark Transformation procs. Now dont rely on this macro 100% to do your Dark Transformation Procs for you, when you get the power aura (shown above) for Dark Transformation you should still try to manually cast it yourself, this macro may just save you a few keystrokes your lucky.

    #showtooltip Dark Transformation
    /cast Blood Tap
    /cast Dark Transformation


    This macro is optional but it can help you when you manually cast Dark Transformation. Its like the new Bone Shield macro we used to use. So when you dont have the runes to use Dark Transformation blood tap will refresh a rune so you can us.
    Note: Have this macro as a second button to press just in case Blood Tap isnt up or you dont need Blood Tap to cast Dark Transformation.



    Sudden Doom
    Sudden Doom can confuse some people about usage but the best way to use it is to once its available. This way more Sudden dooms can proc which in result in more free death coils which will be a damage increase. Also, as I mentioned above you want to use your death coils every 2-3 GCD because of Runic Corruption. This will allow you to save more Runic power for later Death Coils. Most of the time without Sudden Doom procs you wont be able to generate enough RP to cast death coil every 2-3 Cds so free ones will refresh Runic Corruption and allow you to have a substantial saving of Runic power so you can keep Runic Corruption up as much as possible.
    Last edited by Boubouille; 2010-12-31 at 12:20 AM. Reason: Finnished

  2. #2
    Scarab Lord Raugnaut's Avatar
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    This is a very decent guide. There is one glaring issue I see, though, and that is the issue of Glyph of Death's Embrace. Death Coil refunds 20 RP when used to heal.

    Now, with this glyph, DC costs 14 RP whenever it is cast at your ghoul. Since your ghoul will occasionally need healing, this is a much worthy investment then, say, Glyph of Horn of Winter or Raise Ally. Also, last time I checked, this DC can proc RC, so RC for 14 RP is a huge plus. It also procs Shadow Infusion on your Ghoul. And, finally, if used with Sudden Doom, you gain 20 rp for additional Death Coils. This minor glyph, if used correctly, can be a significant dps increase.

    Oh, if you commonly end fights with 100 rp, you can also dump 5 death coils on your Ghoul and start out the next fight with Dark Transformation up. I generally increase my overall dps throughout a run by 2k. HUGE dps increase

  3. #3
    Not updated for 4.0.6

  4. #4
    Blademaster
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    May this be updated for 4.0.6 PLEASE?

    It would be of great help, not that it isn't already.

  5. #5
    Blademaster
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    Good guide, an update would be epic though

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