Alpha – Unholy Talents
May 27, 2010 40 Comments
Although it’s difficult to completely analyze any one tree without taking into account the changes of the other two, there’s simply too much here to try and do otherwise. Tackling all three at once would be suicide. Since Unholy is currently the least modified tree, it’s what I’ll start with.
Reminder: Complete trees can be viewed here.
- Blood-Caked Blade
- Moved to Blood
- Bone Shield
- Moved to Blood
- Corpse Explosion
- Made baseline
- Resilient Infection – “When your diseases, other than those applied via Pestilence, are dispelled, you have a 50/100% chance to have their cost refunded.
- Unholy Frenzy – “Induces a friendly unit into a killing frenzy for 30 seconds. The target is enraged, which increases their melee and ranged haste by 10%, but causes them to lose 3% of their maximum health every 2 seconds.”
- Currently no resource cost and a 3 minute cooldown.
- Sudden Doom – “Your autoattacks have a 5/10/15% chance to make your next Death Coil cost no runic power.”
- Epidemic increased from a two-point talent to a five-point talent. Moved up two tiers.
- Outbreak renamed Corrupting Strikes. Now increases the damage of Plague Strike and Scourge Strike by 10/20/30%, up from increasing the damage of Plague Strike by 10/20/30% and the damage of Scourge Strike by 7/13/20%.
- Virulence no longer provides disease dispell protection.
- Morbidity moved down two tiers.
- Night of the Dead no longer provides AoE reduction for pets.
- Presumably baseline.
- Magic Suppression no longer provides passive magic damage reduction. Still increases AMS by 8/16/25%. Now causes AMS to provide RP when it absorbs damage.
- Considering AMS already provides RP when it absorbs damage, it’s most likely that it no longer does so without the talent.
- Anti-Magic Zone reduced to a 45 second cooldown (down from 2 minutes).
- Improved Unholy Presence no longer reduces the refresh time on runes, but instead grants 3/6% haste.
- Note: Based on the new Imp Blood Presence, BP appears to be the tanking presence. FP and UP are both changed, although who knows by what extent.
- Ghoul Frenzy had its duration and heal doubled.
- Reaping moved down two tiers.
- Wandering Plague damage reduced from 33/66/100% to 17/33/50%.
- Ebon Plaguebringer now increases magic damage taken by 3/6/9%, down from 4/8/12%.
- Scourge Strike redesigned. Now costs one Unholy rune (down from one Unholy and one Frost) and has a base 100% weapon damage modifier (up from 70%).
- Because you know it has to change every at every opportunity.
My first impression: Quite incomplete, but one hell of a start.
Losing Anticipation and Bone Shield were givens, thanks to Blood becoming the sole tanking tree. And, let’s face it – BS was (and currently is) too strong of a dps talent. No one likes to admit one of their skills is overpowered, but it’s absolutely true. 1 talent point for 20% damage reduction and 2% damage, both nearly passive with nearly 100% uptime? It’s way too good. Combined with AMS, IBF, and plate level health it meant we were essentially the dpsers least suspectible to raid damage deaths, no matter how bursty the damage. And 2% damage for 1 point is simply way overbudget.
BCB going to Blood is kinda random, so who knows why it was done. Corpse Explosion being removed (or made baseline) makes perfect sense, considering no one would currently spec into it.
Resilient Infection is solely a PvP talent, of course, but an utterly useless one at that. It would be great if, you know, Unholy Blight didn’t exist. Diseases being removed can easily be applied – but doing so still costs a gcd, even if it doesn’t take any resources. Simply preventing the diseases from being removed in the first place seems infinitely more intelligent. Perhaps a true PvPer could correct my mistaken impression, or perhaps Blizzard designed the talent without UB in mind (and thus plan to now change one or the other accordingly).
Unholy Frenzy is nice. It is very, very nice. Obviously, it’s a slightly watered down version of Hysteria, but that’s not a bad thing – not in the least. Being able to give yourself (or another) 10% haste on demand, at no cost, can’t be complained about, especially when you consider haste is likely to leap up in value (due to it affecting rune refresh time). It goes without saying that this will be a must for any Unholy build (and, likely, any Frost build, due to its low position in the tree).
Sudden Doom has always seemed like it should be in Unholy, to me anyways, and it’s nice to see it moved their – and the fact that it makes the next DC free instead of shooting one off instantly makes no difference, considering the rune system change. Making it proc off autoattacks instead of BS/HS means we’ll get, on average, at last one proc per 15 seconds, and means it further enhances the value of haste (which seems as if it will be Unholy’s stat-to-stack). Fun, fun.
Epidemic seems a bit weak, when you remember that diseases will inherently last 30 seconds. Spending 5 talent points to go from 30 -> 45 isn’t near as good a deal as spending 2 talent points to go from 15 -> 21. We’ll spec into the talent regardless, as we have to max it out to reach the third tier. Beats having to take Virulence.
Magic Suppression being changed has to mean that AMS no longer inherently provides RP, otherwise it’s completely nonsensical. How does this make MS as a dps talent? If it takes all three points to make AMS cap your runic, then you can look at it as giving 33 RP/point every 45 seconds, which should make it better than Dirge (under the new rune system). If it takes less points to provide capped RP, than it becomes even better. Suffice is to say, unless they make the conversion factor at 3/3 worse than the current one, MS will become a must have for PvE. Amusing, to say the least!
AMZ having it’s cooldown reduced is nice, although it’s still likely to remain a PvP-only talent, even with MS being taken in PvE. We simply won’t have the points to spare.
IUP will be a must. I don’t quite have the specifics yet, but it does appear that Unholy will run in UP (while Frost runs in FP and Blood in BP). As such, 2 points for 4% haste is most likely a good deal.
Scourge Strike costing a single rune is odd. Don’t get me wrong – considering the buff to Corrupting Strikes (Outbreak), and the increase to its base damage, SS will do fantastic damage for that price. But what does it mean for our rotation? More specifically, what do we do with all of the leftover Frost runes? Just spam IT? Seems rather clunky. Perhaps it’s simply a typo, or there’s some other change not yet implemented. More SS damage is never a bad thing.
As to the rest of the talent changes – little to say.
What this means?
Between Sudden Doom and Runic Empowerment (which I’ll talk about more when I go over the Frost changes), and then all of our new sources of haste (Unholy Frenzy, Unholy Presence, and Imp Unholy Presence), we’ll have no trouble filling the gaps in our rotation the new rune system brings. That said, our rotation will, without a doubt, be a priority system, which is generally more enjoyable.
Unfortunately, Unholy is as bloated (if not more so) than ever. It’s impossible to get all the dps increasing talents, which seems a bit odd considering Blizzard wants there to be choice and wants us to be able to get “fun” stuff (like AMZ or Ghoul Frenzy).
Without knowing more specifics – such as the cooldown on Pillar of Frost, the damage->RP conversion of Magic Suppression, and other such areas – it’s hard to do more than that educated guess.
All in all, I must say, I’m quite pleased.
Update: Confirmation that Pillar of Frost does, indeed, have a 60 second cooldown, which places it at an uptime of approximately 33%. Suffice is to ay, a must have, and thus our build will, without any doubt in my mind, be some variation of the above linked 0/21/55. The only question is how we spend 4 points between Desolation, Dirge, Magic Suppression, Morbidity, and Sudden Doom, with three of those points having to go in the first four of those talents.