May 31, 2010 14 Comments
Before I begin, a sincere “Happy Memorial Day,” specifically to those who have served or are currently serving. Utmost respect and appreciation for you all.
It’s been a couple weeks since I originally broached the subject, but with all of the recent Alpha leaks, we know a lot more, and thus it’s worth taking a second look at the new rune system and how it affects our rotation. For purposes of this post, I’m going to limit myself to Unholy, as it’s the easiest to discuss, but the conclusions which I draw at the end of the post hold just as well (if not better, in fact) for Frost and Blood.
To begin with, to make sure there are no misunderstandings, our current priority is: Diseases > DC if capped > Desolation > SS > BS > DC > HoW. Due to the static nature of our runes and the lack of procs, we end up with a rotation which goes PS – IT – BS – SS – BS – DC – HoW // SS – BS – SS- BS – DC – DC, repeat forever.
Visually speaking, it looks as follows:
With that shown, how many empty GCDs do we have currently?
One every 40 seconds, essentially, and that’s almost always consumed with a Death Coil, runic power courtesy of AMS or Revitalize. That’s it. We are completely GCD locked, which is part of the reason why haste is of such high important to us at the moment (although that’s partially due to the fact that everyone’s using Bryntroll or Shadowmourne), and part of the reason why the rune system is being changed – even if Blizzard wanted to add a talent along the lines of Runic Empowerment with how things currently stand, we would almost never be able to make use of its proc.
Thus, enter the new system.
From what we currently know of Alpha talents, abilities, and numbers, our Cataclysm priority will be: Diseases > DC if capped or SD procs > Desolation > SS > BS > IT > DC > HoW. Runic Empowerment procs don’t need to be listed separately, as you just use the rune brought up as appropriate under that priority.
At first glance, aside from the inclusion of Sudden Doom and the introduction of using IT outside of applying diseases, which is a byproduct of SS costing one rune, nothing appears different. Except for when you try to write it as a rotation (hint: you can’t) and when you visualize it:
*The exclusion of Outbreak is intentional; more on that later.
Please do ignore my horrific Paint-arrow skills. Basically, after that 43.5 second mark, if you were to continue and if you ignore procs (as I did), it’s going to look almost identical to the 9 second mark onward, the slight differences in runic power aside.
In other words; after you burn through your initial six runes, you essentially do 3 runic abilities (PS or SS, IT, and BS or SS), one runic power abilities (DC), and then have two empty GCDs, and this cycle repeats every ~9 seconds.
That means we’re going from 1 empty GCD every 40 seconds to 2 every 9. Wow! That’s a huge leap, right?
No, not so quick. We actually lose empty GCDs, not gain them.