SS – One Rune, or Two?

With the World of Raids write up, it’s been “officially” confirmed that Blizzard is currently experimenting with Scourge Strike costing only one rune – just an Unholy – in Cataclysm. Of course, we’ve known this for weeks, but considering that it’s a relatively radical change to the philosophy of the DK trees and the playstyle of Unholy, it’s nice to have any shred of uncertainty removed.

My question is; what to make of this change? Which is better game design, Scourge Strike costing one or two?

For the sake of simplicity, assume that the (direct) damage of a single rune Scourge Strike plus an Icy Touch is equal to that of a double rune Scourge Strike. From what numbers we’ve seen, that’s essentially the case anyways, but just something to keep in mind when reading below.

A single rune iteration of Scourge Strike would lead to:

  • More RP generated. SS would only generate 15 (with Dirge), while it currently generates 20, but when you factor in IT, you come out ahead by 5. Thus, even if the damage is equal per rune spent, a single rune SS would still mean more dps indirectly, via additional Death Coils.
    • Of course, this does lead to more GCDs, something I’ll get to below.
  • Greater value for Reaping. Reaping has been a very ‘iffy’ talent for the past several patches, and this could be (part of) Blizzard’s answer to that problem. If they balance the damage of a single rune SS around the IT to make it equal to a double rune SS, then that means that two single rune SS would easily beat one double rune SS – and that’s where Reaping comes in.
  • Runic Empowerment being more attractive. RE is an excellent talent in the sense that it mixes up our rotation by giving us a proc and in the sense that it helps fill some of the empty GCDs the new rune system creates. An area where it may or may not be as well designed in is DPS which, let’s be honest, is what it ultimately all comes down to. Bringing up a single Frost or Unholy rune is rather unattractive for any of the three specs – these two runes are designed to be used in pairs, either via DS/Ob/SS or when applying diseases. By giving Unholy something it can do with a single Unholy rune (and Frost something it can do with a single Frost rune), you eliminate part of this problem and make the damage of the talent more potent.
    • Of course, it’s still awkward if RE procs a Frost rune for Unholy or vice versa, but it will likely be balanced appropriately as such.
  • More GCDs used. SS + IT takes more time than SS. Simple as that. This isn’t necessarily a good thing, however, if we do end up being GCD capped… as it currently appears will be the case.
  • More emphasis on IT. We would be using it much more often, which might make talents like Imp Icy Touch more attractive – and IIT certainly needs a little something extra. Still, the downside is that we would place a higher premium on spell hit (thus detracting from other more desirable stats) and that disease times wouldn’t sync up.
    • It should be noted that it doesn’t actually matter if diseases sync or not. It doesn’t affect our dps in the least. It’s simply one of those things which ‘look nice’ for the OCD among us. Besides, they could always create a glyph which lets SS apply Blood Plague, which would solve this issue anyways – although such a glyph likely wouldn’t be worthwhile from a raw dps point of view.

On the other hand, maintaining the status quo with a double rune SS means:

  • Less GCDs used. Considering that GCDs will be even more valuable in the expansion, using less will be a direct dps gain which may not be inherently apparent by the current state of the game. As well, using less will keep our current de-emphasis of Expertise going, which means more of other stats.
  • More burst damage possible. If you already have your Blood runes converted to Death runes, you’ld be able to chain five SS’s with ERW, compared to the six (plus four IT) which you would be limited to if it costed only one. Even if the two combinations gave roughly the same damage over time, the former is clearly capable of more damage in a shorter time period. The PvP implications are obvious, but being capable of more burst in PvE certainly wouldn’t hurt on adds like Valkyrs or Tentacles.
  • More physical damage. With the removal of armor penetration, this doesn’t matter near as much as it otherwise would, but it’s still something to keep in mind. We scale worse with weapon damage/dps than almost every other melee class, for obvious reasons (pet + spells). Switching to a single rune SS would just add to this issue, since the damage difference between the two versions gets lumped into IT.
  • Weaker talents. By this, I mean several talents – Reaping, Improved Icy Touch, Black Ice, Dirge – have decreased value with a double rune SS relative to a single rune SS. This isn’t a bad thing though, not with our potential bloat.
    • Or whatever you wish to call it when you can’t choose all the damage increasing talents available and, thus, have to choose the greatest ones available, leading to no actual choice when it comes to talents. I don’t want to get too off-topic here, and thus will save the subject for another post, but suffice is to say that having too many damage increasing talents doesn’t lead to more choice, but less. If I can spend all 71/76 available points on damage increasing talents, why would I need a 72nd/77th talent available which is weaker than the other 71/76 already there? You don’t; it may as well not exist. It’s a tricky situation, certainly – providing talents which are attractive but can’t be reduced to X dps/healing/mitigation, in place of having ‘filler’ talents which people hate or in place of everything being a damage talent which leads to no choice but simple math – and I sympathize with Blizzard. But bloat just means a lot of talents; it can be a lot of good talents just as easily as a lot of bad talents, and both are just as detrimental.
  • More intuitive design. Cataclysm is simplifying a lot of facets of the game, and most of it is for the better. The base DK design is that you apply diseases with IT/PS, use Blood runes on BS, use your UF strike in the form of Obliterate, and dump runic with Death Coil. Repeat forever. Each tree then slightly modifies this design via substitution – Blood replaces BS with HS and Obliterate with DS, Frost replaces Death Coil with Frost Strike, and Unholy replaces Obliterate with Scourge Strike. Of course, it’s a bit more complex than that thanks to the subtleties like procs (Rime, Death runes), cooldown usage, and so on, but so long as you understand that core rotation, you really can’t screw up that much, regardless of which spec you go to and from. Keeping SS at two runes maintains this design… changing it to one blows it up.

Personally, I don’t quite see the logic in changing Scourge Strike to a single rune, largely because of IT, not SS. Having that one Frost rune is just so awkward in so many ways. If we had something we could do with it, then I would welcome the change, but as it is, it’s such a radical shift for little upside. Unholy and Frost runes are meant to be used in pairs, be it when applying diesases (IT + PS) or via a UF strike. They are not meant to be used independent of another, and I’m not sure why Blizzard is looking to mess with something that’s actually rather well-designed and user-friendly in it’s current state.

Very curious for thoughts from others on this subject, as it’s an incredibly interesting one (in my opinion) and something which hasn’t gotten much of any discussion!

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32 Responses to SS – One Rune, or Two?

  1. Leviatharan says:

    Its probably just the OCD in me, but I prefer the 2-rune style of Scourge Strike. Mostly cause I can just replace it at the beginning/end of a rotation with a PS+IT combo and still keep the neat flow of runes so they’ll be available at the expected time.
    But in Cata this obsession will be rendered nill anyway when we get Runic Empowerment, and Reaping would probably be a greater DPS bonus as 1-rune anyway.
    My question though is: Why should it matter how much RP we generate if we have a 15% chance at a free runic dump anyway? And since we may end up using Unholy Pres after all- as in more auto-attacks- this basically becomes inevitable anyway. So that’s a terrible reason.
    And really, if I wanted to use a Death Rune-based rotation, I’d become a blood tank at launch. Remember that nice flow I mentioned? They kinda mess it up too.

    Now what I’d really be fine with is if they kept it like it is in Alpha, but added a (medium?) glyph that made it like it is currently on live. (I would say talent, but then I remembered that bloating might become an issue.)

    I’m just… kind of mixed about the whole thing.

    • Consider says:

      RP matters because we have to choose between Dirge, Magic Suppression (assuming AMS doesn’t generate RP base) and Morbidity, at one point. If RP is a complete non-factor, then Morbidity is the obvious choice. If it isn’t, then you have to decide between Dirge and MS – and MS is likely to be the superior talent, regardless of the cost of SS.

      I certainly understand your mixed thoughts on the whole thing. Just a strange direction for Blizzard to take.

  2. Baphomette says:

    I prefer the two rune implementation. That said, Scourge Strike would be interesting as a U if it were replacing Plague Strike and we were using Obliterate as our FU.

  3. Kraav says:

    LIke I posted in other thread discussions here, SS needs to just replace Plague Strike straight up for Unholy builds if the cost stays at x1 Unholy Rune. There are way way way too many abilities looking for unholy runes. Im talking pvp here as well because you have to add Necrotic Strike to the mix which is currently x1U.

    Will blizz do it is the question.

  4. Baadshah of Dawnbringer says:

    Assuming SS does make it to Live at the reduced cost of one Unholy rune, I sincerely hope our Frost rune dump doesn’t turn out to be Icy Touch.
    Now I’ll admit I am quite OCD and love seeing my NeedToKnow bars showing perfectly synced diseases (which is also part of the reason I love Glyph of Disease), BUT: I would never make this kind of wish without it having a practical reason.

    To begin with, using Icy Touch so often would mean Frost fevers disease ticks would be quite hampered. Of course, I’m keeping in mind the fact that we’ll have Runic Empowerment AND faster ticking (due to Haste scaling) diseases, but even that is unlikely to cover the potential loss of ticks if we’re using Icy Touch for ever Frost rune available.
    Plus I can see it becoming quite boring in its own way when you never have to worry about Frost Fever falling off and just substitute a Scourge Strike for a Plague Strike when Blood Plague is about to fall off.

    To continue, I fear the repercussions this will have in PvP. If the WoW forums are any indication, the memory of Shadowfrost and Dual-Wielding Unholy (in both PvP and PvE) lives on. I can predict a lot of people complaining about DKs using a ranged attack way too often. This will then lead to yet another nerf or SS becoming double runed again (hence the “Every patch a new flavor” continuing).

    If a single rune SS + IT is meant to do comparable damage to what a double rune SS might do, IT would definitely have to be stronger than what it is right now. What is there to stop Unholy DKs from (re)abusing this?

    As you’ve stated, the current Cataclysm design definitely helps us move more towards a priority system, for which I’ve very grateful. I can see an additional challenge for DKs trying to maintain a double rune SS with Runic Empowerment procs, but that’s part of what will make it fun as well. Making it single rune, at this point, just sounds like more of a hassle than anything else.

    I should add, I’d also be curious to see if they decided to add something other than Icy Touch as a Frost Rune dump, but something tells me this will not be the case.

    • Waffle says:

      I wouldn’t worry about disease clipping. As far as I know, in Cataclysm, DoTs that are refreshed before the time runs out will simply have their durations extended instead of being completely refreshed, so clipping will not occur.

    • Jake says:

      Baadshah from what I can remember they are removing clipping from the game. My way of understanding it is that if you cast IT on the target, the duration of the disease is just refreshed back to maximum, but the ticks are uninterrupted so you won’t need to worry at all about clipping. Could be wrong and Consider could come and tell me what’s what though of course.

      My personal feeling about this is that I welcome the 1 rune SS, I think that as you have said it will provide more RP, use more GCD’s (I actually LIKE pressing something every GCD), and makes more use of Reaping – I would really hate either not taking the talent or even worse, taking the talent but then needing to wait for a Runic Empowerment proc on a frost rune to then use SS which could bollock up the runes anyway OR even worse waiting for two blood runes to fill up as death runes which I don’t even know if that is possible in any case. Just my two cents =)

      • Baadshah of Dawnbringer says:

        You’re right of course. I’d completely forgotten about clipping being removed. Alright, that somewhat explains their plan.

        I’m going to assume this DOESN’T mean the damage will be carried over like Ignite (since that risks overly powerful DoTs again, especially if the Icy Touch glyph remains the same); just that the duration gets extended and the disease continues to tick on reapplications.

        In this case, what bearing does this have on the way diseases scale with Attack Power (I know it’s being removed from gear, but it’ll still be mechanic in game)?
        For instance, right now disease look at AP at the moment of reapplication. You used to be able to “roll” very high AP values with GoD, but the glyph now checks AP every time you refresh diseases.

        So in Cataclysm, will each subsequent reapplication of Icy Touch mean that it keeps rechecking AP values for every time you refresh it?

        And I still have to wonder about PvP- doesn’t extensive use of Icy Touch (a ranged ability) still constitute breaking out of our “design matrix”, especially when you consider that Unholy is also gaining lots of free Death Coils?
        I’m not necessarily saying I’d have a huge problem with this (since I almost never PvP), but I can see it becoming a major source or whining on the forums.

  5. Roth says:

    The change to 1 rune attacks makes sense to me. The reason I say that is because some of our abilities were EXTREMELY high weapon damage (140% weapon damage on Scourge Strike…and that doesnt even take into account the disease modifiers.) When I first read that all I could think was “holy s**t, were going to absolutely ignite ppl in pvp.”

    In essence, I think blizzard realized that 140%+ damage strikes was going to be a bit TOO bursty.

    And if we step back for a moment and think about how much gear has inflated, I think that makes sense. Just look at the heroic versions of ToGC 25 weapons vs ICC 25 weapons:

    Dual-Blade Butcher – 811-1217 weapon damage, 3.60 speed
    Cryptmaker – 948-1407 weapon damage, 3.60 speed

    Thats a massive jump for 19 ilevels. And seeing as dungeon blue gear in Cataclysm appears to be around ilevel 300, youre looking at an even bigger gear jump for most ppl (going from 264 to 300). Now, I realize everyone’s HP is going up tremendously in the expansion…but all facets of competitive ppl will feature teammates. So if Im hitting someone with 140%+ weapon damage strikes…when you add in the damage of my teammates…thats a hell of a lot of damage.

    TL:DR version: With blizzard emphasizing 3v3 arena and rated BGs, giving DKs 140%+ weapon damage strikes (before disease modifiers) is just too bursty from one player.

    Blizzard stated that they wanted us to hit slow and hard like Warriors. Well if thats the case, then we need to look at Warrior abilities to get an idea of how hard we are going to hit.

    Mortal Strike – 100% + 380 (+10% from a glyph)
    Slam – 100% + 250
    Heroic Strike – 100% + 495
    Cleave – 100% + 222
    Whirlwind – 100% (being changed to 50% in Cata though, correct?)

    In essence, our strikes are being brought in line with Warrior abilities (ie, around 100% weapon damage).

    The real monkey wrench in all of this, for all specs, is Runic Empowerment. If I could be so bold to make a prediction, this is what I think may happen if our strikes do indeed become 1 rune.

    Blood
    1.) DS changed to 1 unholy rune. Weapon damage lowered to 100-120% to compensate.
    2.) Frost runes procced by Runic Empowerment will be used on Icy Touch or Obliterate. Icy Touch threat modifier reduced.
    3.) Death Rune Mastery changed. “Whenever you hit Pestilence, Blood Boil or Heart Strike, your Blood Runes will become Death Runes.”
    4.) Improved Death Strike has 1 point removed (back down to 2/2) or the numbers on the talent nerfed.

    Frost
    1.) Obliterate changed to 1 Frost rune. Weapon damage lowered to 110-130% to compensate.
    2.) Unholy runes procced by Runic Empowerment will be used on either Plague Strike or Death Strike.

    Unholy
    1.) SS changed to 1 Unholy rune. We already know the weapon damage.
    2.) Frost runes procced by Runic Empowerment will be used on Obliterate.

    I hope Im completely wrong because I personally prefer the 2 rune attack model. But those changes are the only logical direction I see our strikes going if Runic Empowerment is meant to be a mainstay of all specs (which it WILL be considering its tier 1 Frost).

    • Sag says:

      I was wondering/hoping maybe Blizz would do something like this. If the two rune strikes were changed to 1 rune strikes, possibly we’d have the a situation similar to blood. Where the “Improved” spammed strike is only 1 rune. Of course then blizz would need to figure out what to do with DS. I would also assume that frost’s HB would become a frost rune only as well.

      I also wonder if changing reaping & Blood of the North to operate like Death Rune Mastery would be an option at that point. It would solve a lot of issues and the possibly clunky operation of the rune system. Not necessarily fixing everything, but at least providing many more options on what button to hit. Would this be OP? I don’t think so. Would it remove some flavor? Possibly…, but the idea then becomes that the tree you spec into, those runes are the important ones. Meaning Blood wants to use Blood rune abilities (ok that might be the outliner), Frost wants to use frost rune abilities, UH wants to use UH rune abilities. I think it could fit, and some death runes would still have to be spent reapplying diseases.

    • Nyth says:

      I’m not sure you can just flat out compare warriors and DKs like that. I know they want to make DKs more like warriors, but there is still a major difference.

      DK use, if you look at it, 4 different resources. Namely Frost Unholy Blood runes (deathrunes don’t count as separate resource) and RP.
      Warriors use only one.

      The fact we might have a 140% weapon damage strike is countered by the fact that resource is only available to us once every 10 seconds (ignoring haste stuff for a second).

      Also I don’t see why every spec should follow the same philosophy. I think pulling them apart might be a good change for the DK class.

      Blood maintains its currently rather unique style, where FU are not the main nuke, but rather a setup for B nukes.
      Frost keeps its biggest hitting FU strike, although might need a decent substitute for single unholy runes, or give Plague Strike something that makes it more interesting to use for frost.
      Unholy gets a play style that revolves around all single rune abilities. It might need a F only attack to replace icy touch with.

      That wouldn’t be really bad in itself.

      Although I’m still a fan of SS remaining UF, mostly because this seems to complicate things. And seems to require more attacks to be brought in.
      A rotation revolving around icy touch spam is not something I would look forward to.

      • Roth says:

        Well, you have to keep in mind that we have disease modifiers on our strikes. Im not saying the strikes are meant to do exactly the same damage…but I think theyre meant to be roughly similar. To have 140%+ weapon damage strikes, which then have disease modifiers, just seems like too much burst from one player.

  6. Roth says:

    Tbh, I dont think Blizzard will stick with the 1 rune model. It will require far too much change for one class, imo. Its easier to work with the damage of 2 rune strikes instead of changing around an entire system for 1 rune strikes.

    • Sidh says:

      They are changing a lot for deathknights already. Don’t see a reason why they can’t change strikes. That actually might be their intention from the start considering they ‘fixed’ obliterate’s disease removal. 1U for SS and DS and 1F for Oblit is what I would expect in the end.

    • Sag says:

      “It will require far too much change for one class, imo.”

      See warlocks. While the basic spams are not changing their new shard system will alter their play style significantly. Playing both classes I don’t see how they would be that different.

      • Roth says:

        Yes, theyre changing the shard system. Which is roughly equivalent to changing our Rune system. But to change our Rune system AND the cost of our abilities…thats a lot of change for one expac.

        Not to mention were undoubtedly going to see ANOTHER SS change (they cant help themselves).

      • Anonymous says:

        They should change the hell out of SS right now. It’s alpha, developers playground, It would be a good time to see what works and what doesn’t and what might be broken, and what could actually work in a balance. Much better now than when Cat actually comes out.

      • Sag says:

        wow apparently I completely forgot to add my infomation to my last comments…

  7. Bactide says:

    The single-rune model seems logical in light of the new rune system – runes refresh more slowly, so we’d want to use less at a time. But, in practice, it just doesn’t make sense. There is no reason from a design perspective that Unholy DKs would be hitting IT that frequently, other than our progression of rune attacks is simply out-of-whack. Honestly, there simply is no logical reason for a DK of any spec to be “refreshing” diseases at any time except at the very end of their duration.

    The Death Knight class clearly was designed to set your two diseases, and forget about them until their duration was up (Blood) or nearly up (Frost/Unholy). They made changes to eliminate DW IT-spam specs because, at the base conception a DK really should not be hitting IT when there already is frost fever on the mob. The same applies to Frost DKs with Plague Strike, as an aside. It’s a very very clunky and counterintutitive design. The purpose of IT and PS has never been the damage, but the fact that they apply the diseases, and Blizzard has gone to great lengths to make sure this was the case. A single-rune SS does significant work to undermine that effort.

    I do not think it works, but I also do not think a FU attack works well with the new rune system either. There needs to be a realistic solution that allows DKs to apply both diseases and then forget about them until it comes time to refresh them, without handcuffing us with double-rune abilities.

    Perhaps the answer, genuinely, are deep-tree talents that allow IT for Unholy and PS for frost to refresh the duration of all of your diseases on the target. Then we can drop Epidemic completely from the talent trees. Essentially, that would make the “extra” frost/unholy rune that Unholy and Frost ultimately will have at various points in their rotation serve as DPS, but have a purpose that’s beyond LOLICYTOUCHSPAM kinda mentality. Essentially, make it the GoD, but tailored to spec, and better functionality in single-target scenarios. That kills two birds with one stone, for me, since hitting Pestilence on a single target just to use the glyph never made much sense.

    I’m sure there are other interesting solutions out there. I just see this particular solution as serving a few purposes including eliminating the issue discussed in this post, as well as a fairly-useless talent and a work-around glyph.

    • Musashi Blaker says:

      I like your idea about that IT talent for unholy and PS for Frost ideas, i would love to see those in, or maybe they become a new medium glyph or GoD becomes one, it reminds me of Cut to the Chase for Mut Rogues, where your Env. and Evis, refresh the Duration of SnD to its max, which is the only thing i like about Mut.

  8. Nyth says:

    Quote: “Personally, I don’t quite see the logic in changing Scourge Strike to a single rune, largely because of IT, not SS. Having that one Frost rune is just so awkward in so many ways.”

    This a thousand times over.

    I think the change of SS to a single rune wouldn’t be so bad if there was an alternative for icy touch. And to be honest I am somewhat surprised after the icy touch spam spec back in 3.1 they want to return to this system.

    Spamming a disease applier as a base attack is in my opinion JUST NOT FUN. And I hope that if the single rune SS stays they make something cool for 1 frost rune.
    Hell, there are a hundred things you can think up something like: “An instant attack that gives an instant 30 energy to your ghoul”. (Assuming ghoul is still waiting on energy for claws). I know it’s a bit out of the box, but something like that is what we need.

    I mean the frost rune is ok for PvP where you’ll just use chains of ice, but I’m not looking forward to spamming icy touch in PvE (if i’d go unholy).

    What I do like about single rune unholy though, and I can’t see Consider referring to that on the fly (although this might fall under the “Intuitive” header) is that it breaks up the similarities between Unholy and Frost a bit more.
    Unholy and Frost are currently (disregarding glyph of disease and non-reaping for a minute) almost the same in their rotation. it’s both: Apply diseases, FU nuke, Blood to death rune conversion, FU nukes.
    If there would be some more mix-up in that I think that would be a positive change as well. Especially now that blood is truly unique as well.

    • Roth says:

      They wont want us to spam IT. If theyre going to a one rune strike system, then theres a 101% chance OB will be changed to 1 frost rune.

      • Musashi Blaker says:

        I doubt that, gaining the ability to keep diseases and have the damage it does and be one rune while a frost dk has Frost Strike from Runic Power (or is it 1 Frost rune now?) as well, i doubt it. as for spamming IT, have you even been keeping up on the rune system changes, spamming IT is a good way to have your DPS go down the crapper, especially if they make it one frost rune.

      • Consider says:

        Then that leads to Frost wanting to ‘spam’ PS! Similar problem.

      • swiftelf says:

        True enough.

      • Alrenous says:

        Alternatively, they could solve it by scrapping runic empowerment.

      • Roth says:

        @ Musashi Blaker

        Um, no offense intended, but have you been paying attention to the changes? Obliterate wont be removing diseases anymore. And if Runic Empowerment is going to proc Frost runes, that means Unholy will have Icy Touch as its only option to spend that rune. Which means we will be spending 5 points on Epidemic to lengthen…Blood Plague (since Icy Touch would be our only single Frost rune ability). Given the lengths blizzard has gone to prevent Shadowfrost specs, it wouldnt make much sense to not give us OB as a single Frost rune.

        What will likely happen is theyll nerf the baseline damage and give Frost a talent that greatly enhances the damage it deals, similar to Corrupting Strikes, and place it far down the Frost tree.

        @ Alrenous

        I could see that happening. Runic Empowerment doesnt work in a 2 rune strike environment and theyll have to change quite a bit just to suit a 5 point, tier 1 Frost talent that may just not be worth the trouble (in their eyes).

      • Roth says:

        @ Consider

        Not really. Frost would use Death Strike, since the chances of that not becoming 1 Unholy rune (if OB and SS are changed to 1 rune) is high unlikely.

      • Anonymous says:

        @Roth

        I agree with pretty much everything you said and I’ve already suggested that oblit become one frost rune to make the rotation easier, this way first round you apply diseases and the second time around you use your other strikes to multiply disease damage. Seems like that would make balancing it fairly easy. I am curious about what to do about DnD. If that were to become one UH rune then frost could seriously dominate in AoE situations with DnD – IT – PS – BB/BS – BB/BS – HB(which I think could become one frost rune). I do use the word dominate loosely because DK AoE should be weaker than casters.

      • QXQ says:

        I honestly disagree that Runic Empowerment doesn’t work in a 2-rune strike environment. Let’s take Frost for example, and suppose we get an extra Unholy rune, the least desirable bonus rune in this case. The options, aside from using PS early, are:

        1. Sit on the Unholy rune and wait for a Frost rune (or Death rune) RE proc for an OB. Nice thing here is as long as you have a full Unholy rune, you can’t proc another one with RE. Having a charged rune go unspent for a while is not a big problem in the new system. If we’re patient enough, eventually we’ll get to spend it. This is the worst case.
        2. Spend DU to use OB. This essentially lets you upgrade a non-free HB to an OB, considering that, without RE, after opening of IT,PS,OB,BSx2, we’re looking at HB->OB with the three runes you’ll get next (DFU). Frost gets enough RP to do FSx2 at this point, thanks to the presence, mastery, and talents. If RE procs at this point, no matter which one it is, we get to use 2 OB’s (and probably will proc Rime in the process so we can cast HB anyway).

        That said, I don’t see Obliterate EVER going to 1 rune, regardless of how valid or not the above actually is. It’d be way too much like Blood Strike at that point, moreso than it already is, but the 2-rune cost for bigger damage currently make it feel different. I could imagine, however, a damage skill that costs 1F being added.

        Anyways, more directly on-topic, I like the idea of a 1U SS, but it’s pretty much GCD hell for Unholy, so much so I wonder if Unholy would run in Frost Presence just to gain some GCD relief. Even ignoring haste (but not the 10% rune regen presence bonus), when I pretend to play out the priority rotation (I made a JavaScript for this; I was bored this weekend) it was a struggle to spend all the resources before they cap. It could end up that 1U SS is a failed experiment, but I think the real problem is just that Runic Empowerment is too good, especially considering the synergy with Sudden Doom (don’t even THINK about dual-wielding UH).

  9. Musashi Blaker says:

    I think it would be best to have it become a single rune, i never liked having to drop reaping to gain more dps, it wasn’t fun and made it seem very boring, plus it adds a safety net for less compentent players while giving skilled players more dps with more scourge strikes etc, because they aren’t using their wild card to save their rotation from their screw up, that and it never made sense why heart strike was a single rune Spec Strike compared to Oblit. and SS for Frost and Unholy being a 2 rune strike.

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