It seems that Blizzard has given the go-ahead for sites to post some of the stuff they saw that the WWI. And it’s nice to see how accurate some of the leaked information was. Obviously there is still a lot of things that we don’t know, but what we do know is friggin’ sweet. On a sad note, Hunter talents and abilities are still unknown, so anything you have seen about it (you know, if you have been looking. Not that we have at all . . .) has been unconfirmed.But let’s talk about what we do know for a second. So before I continue, let me use my handy little image . . .
What I want to cover today is a quick look at the Death Knight abilities and their talents with some slight speculation on how things might work together. You can get a look at the Death Knight abilities right here.Some of the abilities that really stand out to me (other than, you know, all of them), so I am just going to pick a couple from each tree and then layout some theoretical talent trees.
Blood Presence: Strengthens the Death Knight with the presence of blood, increasing damage by 15% and healing the Death Knight by 4% of damage dealt. Only one Presence may be active at a time.
Hysteria: Induces a friendly unit into a killing frenzy for 30 sec, increasing their physical damage by 20%, but causing them to suffer damage equal to 1% of their total health every second.
Unholy Presence: Infuses the Death Knight with unholy fury, increasing attack speed by 15% and reducing the global cooldown on all Death Knight abilities by 0.5 sec. Only one Presence may be active at a time.
Degeneration (Rank 3): Instantly attack the target, dealing 60% weapon damage and inflicting a disease dealing 182 over 21 sec. Any existing heal over time spells on the target become corrupted, dramatically increasing the damage done by the disease and removing the healing effect. Stacks up to 3 times.
Frost Presence: The Death Knight takes on the presence of frost, increasing armor by 45% and threat generated by 25%. Only one Presence may be active at a time.
Obliterate (Rank 4): A brutal instant attack that deals 100% of weapon damage plus 494 and 183 additional damage for each of your diseases on the target, but consumes the diseases.
Wow. These things are awesome. Frost Presence? Druids, eat your heart out. Not to mention Blood Presence is incredible and a Blood-specced Death Knight could easily keep themselves alive on their own during most raid encounters, especially when you start combining it with talents that make it better and other selections of talents. Obliterate looks like it will be huge damage, especially with a brief glance at how easy it will be for the Death Knight to load a target up with diseases. And what DPS isn’t going to be begging for Hysteria when it comes to those “burn baby burn” phases of boss fights?
So how will this all work out with talents? Let’s lay out a couple builds with our speculation and what we know about how talents work right now. If you have a strong understanding of your current class’s talents and how mechanics work, you can look at these new trees and wrap your head around how things are going to work.The first thing I notice about the Death Knight talents is that everything scales. You don’t see any flat numbers like you do on Trueshot Aura. It’s all about percentages and scaling effects. Which means all the talents are going to be viable and are not likely to be out-classed as the game progresses.
And here we go . . .
Frost Tanking: 0/14/57 – Mages aren’t the only ones who get to spec deep Frost now. ;) And this definitely looks like the tree of choice if Death Knights want to soak up tons of physical damage.The Frost tree is just chalked full of awesome talents for tanking and PvP. And looking at other innate abilities such as Icebound Fortitude (Consumes all available runic power, causing the Death Knight to become immune to Stun effects and increasing armor by 50% for up to 12 sec. Does not remove existing Stun effects.), the Death Knight definitely has it’s own form of “Oh crap” abilities.
Including the 14 points in Unholy to pick up Lichborne. Then consider abilities that may or may not stack, such as Icy Talons and Frigid Dreadplate, and mobs are probably not going to be swinging very quickly. Also taking Frost Aura not only increase your Frost Resistance, but increase yours and your party’s health by 4%. See? Scaling numbers.
Unholy/Magic Resist Tanking: 0/51/20 – You know all those fights where your raid leader calls out for the Warlock tank? Don’t worry Warlocks, no more tanking for you! Fire Resist tanks? Yeah, we got that. Because if you are looking to be the magic resist tank for your guild, Unholy is without a doubt the way to go. Between Bone Armor, Magic Suppression, and Anti-Magic Zone it becomes easy to see why Death Knights can take over the resist tank role. Also, as an innate ability, Death Knights have Anti Magic Shell which reads “Surrounds the Death Knight in an Anti-Magic Shell, absorbing 75% of the damage dealt by the next harmful spell. Damage absorbed by Anti-Magic Shell energizes the Death Knight with additional runic power. Lasts 5 sec.”
Combine them all together . . . casters will hate you when the fight you and they will love you when they are by your side.And to top it off, they will be a great support class dealing decent damage (from what I can tell) and buffing other magic damage dealers through Ebon Plaguebringer. Oh, and having a Gargoyle is pretty sweet too. I am unsure if Black Ice will be worth the points, depending on how Death Knights end up gearing themselves. It might end up being more beneficial to try and take the points into the Blood tree to get Spell Deflection.
Blood PvE DPS: 55/16/0 – The stat-buffing talents in Blood looks straight up ridiculous to me. Venetran of the Third War, Might of Mograine, Blood Aura, Bloody Vengeance, toss in Bladed Armor and enough points into Unholy to get Lichborne and Shadow of Death.Seriously. as I mentioned, Death Knights specced into Blood can almost be self-sustaining. With free Death Coils, Rune Tap, and all Death Knights having Death Pact (Sacrifice an undead minion, healing the Death Knight for 2600 health.) and Blood Presence (as mentioned above). That’s a lot of health regen. And Mark of Blood on a friendly target such as, you know, the main tank perhaps? That’s a lot of residual healing for the party.
Unholy DPS: 18/53/0 – The build for an Unholy build focusing on DPS rather than tanking has a few more points to toss around, ignoring some of the survivability talents a magic resist tank might pick up. For example, Corpse Explosion and Improved Plague Strike are most focused on DPS. Then dropping 18 points into Blood for things like reduced threat generation, improved critical strike chance are excellent talents most DPS classes come equipped with. But combining Bladed Armor for more attack power with Impurity will make for great diseases.
I will wrap up this post, as its length is continuing to grow. You can see how well the Death Knight talents work together, easily building off each other regardless of what tree they are in. I could continue to post different builds, as I am really looking forward to trying out a DPS/PvP Frost build and throwing around the Unholy DPS build will be tons of fun.
Questions, comments, thoughts, post ‘em here!