Latest Patch – My Commentary

If, by some odd chance, you haven’t yet read up on what the actual changes of beta build 12604 are, head on over here to familiarize yourself.

Otherwise, keep reading!


First with the new, then with the old:

Hand of Doom is an excellent addition for PvP, as goes without saying. The only issue is it’s impossible for an Unholy spec to get both this and On a Pale Horse / Endless Winter, and it’s impossible for a Frost spec to get both this and Resilient Infection / Unholy Command. Somethings got to give somewhere. Now, of course you can’t get every desirable PvP talent in any one build, but both options in each scenario seem like a high trade-off either which way. But perhaps this is the sort of decision Blizzard wants PvPers to make with the new trees? Who knows. Any which way, in Unholy’s case, I’m thinking a Blood sub-spec is the clear winner, while for Frost it’s a bit more questionable – it really comes down to how common cleanses are and thus how valuable RI is. Who knows; certainly not myself.

Scratch all of that. I was thinking it was tier 2, not tier 3, when typing this up, for whatever reason. Horrible oversight of mine. In that case, I have no clue what the point of the talent is! Blood PvP might be a possibility, I suppose, but Blizzard has said before that although they don’t mind Protection PvP specs, they don’t plan to go out of their way to ensure their viability. Thus, following that chain of logic, why would they add this new talent to Blood where only Blood can get it? The PvE uses seem terribly limited, tank or otherwise. Who knows. I’ld either move this down to tier 2 or, better yet, combine it with Endless Winter.

The reduction in point cost to Crimson Scourge, Sanguine Fortitude, and Blood Parasite are excellent improvements. Previously, it was difficult to get everything in the Blood tree you would want as a tank – and impossible to do so while also picking up Runic Empowerment and/or Morbidity. Between these slimmings and RE becoming baseline, the latter of which I’ll get to later, the tree flows much better. You can get everything which is essential from a “numbers” perspective, while leaving you with a couple of points for “fun” talents – such as the aforementioned Blood Parasite. Although some specific talents still need work, the new tree as a greater whole now fits much better in the Cataclysm design philosophy. Hopefully Frost and Unholy will see some similar modifications soon.

As to the rearrangement of several talents, I’m rather indifferent to it all. All of the moved talents are still above tier 2, and thus only reachable to Blood – so if you’re going to get both two talents anyways, and their cost is identical, it hardly matters if they trade places. It doesn’t hurt, sure, but I don’t see how it helps much. Perhaps future changes will make it all fit together. Or perhaps I’m just missing something right now. No big deal either way.


Oh, Frost. Where to start, where to start.

Runic Empowerment becoming baseline was already foretold, but it’s a welcome change all the same. Aside from a way to know when it goes off, which is bound to come out in the form of add-ons if nothing else, I would still like to see something addressing the oddness of the specs having to use PS and/or IT when their non-respective rune procs. Perhaps Blizzard just expects people to hold off on the procs and use those runes towards DS, Ob, or FS as appropriate to the spec? Unfortunately, that introduces it’s own issue of rune de-synchronization though. Numerous ideas have been floated as to how to resolve the IT/PS problems without creating even worse ones, so it’s not as if it’s not possible to do. There’s just no way of knowing what Blizzard’s thoughts on the matter are – it’s entirely possible they see the use of IT/PS as perfectly fine. Time will tell.

Festering Strike is excellent. It’s the perfect compliment to a single-rune Scourge Strike. Not only should it help boost Unholy’s dps, it will also help alleviate (although not actually solve) the spec’s current GCD problems. The wording is a bit ambiguous – can it boost the duration of diseases limitlessly, or does it have a cap similar to GoSS – but even if you ignore the latter aspect, it’s still a perfectly fine strike, and the side effect (however it may end up working) is intriguing and fitting for Unholy, if nothing else. The one thing I would like to see is it’s inclusion into some Unholy talents. Between that, NS, DSim, and Outbreak, it’s odd that not a single one of our new abilities are actually boosted by any of our talents.

Chains of Ice. As anyone who is familiar with me at all knows, I claim to be no expert on PvP matters, and there’s no question this is 100% a PvP change. I think it’s a decent one, especially considering the synergy with Festering Strike, but I could be completely wrong.

Nerves of Cold Steel taking Runic Empowerent’s place is doesn’t affect Frost, but makes Unholy DW all that more real of a possibility. The introduction of FS dials that change down a notch, but this change just cancels it out. Something needs to be added to Unholy to make it really scream 2H, or dual-wielding is going to happen at this point. Even adding an ICD to Sudden Doom (likely) wouldn’t be enough to alter this.

The buff to Chill of the Grave was the sort of thing I expected to see ages ago during Alpha. With the new rune system, it just makes sense.

Improved Icy Touch is still horrible from whatever perspective you look at it. Yeah, the damage got doubled, but it’s still ranked below almost every single other raw dps talent there is, and the only reason people will take it is because Icy Reach is a weaker option. On top of that, even if its damage contribution was up to par, its a terribly bland talent. “X% damage increase to one skill! Oh, and that one skill is one you only use once every 30 seconds at most! And the main reason you use that main skill is for its dot, not its direct damage, and the talent only affects the latter!”. Yeah. I can’t see this making it out of beta alive.

Reintroducing On a Pale Horse is great news for leveling. No other comment necessary.


AMS losing its cost is a nice little boost. Doesn’t mean much in the scheme of things, but a free buff is a free buff. Why complain?

Ebon Plaguebringer getting slimmed down is a nice start, but it goes without saying that Unholy still has a ton of bloat and needs a lot more fat cut before the tree even somewhat resembles Blizzard’s new vision of talents. A start is a start, though. It shows that the problem is recognized. As long as there’s follow-up changes in a similar vein, it’s a great sign of things to come.

My thoughts on Dirge echo my thoughts on Chill of the Grave: should have happened when all of our rune-based abilities got their damage boosted.

My thoughts on Virulence echo my thoughts on Improved Icy Touch! Still an incredibly weak talent, number wise, and still an incredibly bland talent, mechanic wise. Doesn’t adhere to the Cataclysm talent philosophy. Its death is just a matter of time. I’ll happily write up the obituary if it will speed up the process.


Armor specialization is a nice touch. 5% str wouldn’t be enough of a bonus to put leather ahead of plate presently on an individual basis, but making the boost all-or-nothing solves this. Is a leather piece better than a plate piece if the latter has an extra 5% strength to its individual stats? No. But is a leather piece or two better than a plate piece or two if the latter gives you an extra 5% strength to your overall stats (i.e, all your gear)? Yes.

Dark Intent is pretty lovely. 3% haste and 9% periodic damage/healing for the warlock and a friend. Who can argue with that? The best part is, as beta currently stands, Unholy is the best recipient (discounting the lock herself) of the buff! This could easily change, especially if our mastery gets tweaked (as it hopefully does), but it’s still promising. Blizzard could have easily stuck in a “spell” modifier before the haste or the periodic damage wording, thus ruling us out, but they were kind enough to give us our chance. I welcome it.


To sum up my thoughts on this patch – a good start. There just needs to be more changes like these to come, and by the time Cataclysm goes live months from now, we should be in excellent shape!

55 Responses to Latest Patch – My Commentary

  1. Azerius says:

    2hand frost has a really crap start to the tree, we get to take Imp IT and Icy Reach, 2 talents that are so boring its not funny, next tier you actually get a utility choice, OaPH or Endless winter and with endless winter being so bland id go for the MS.
    As soon as your past that everything is cookie cutter.

    Is there even any real choice present in a 2hand frost build?
    8/31/2 pick between MS or no-cost interrupt

    Cmon Blizz start making the DK revamp FUN!

    • Consider says:

      It’s no worse than it was last patch. Yeah, it’s an issue which needs fixing (as many still do), but at least it isn’t a new problem developing or one devolving. *That* would be trouble. The fact that it just hasn’t been touched one way or another likely means Blizzard just hasn’t gotten to it – which makes sense, since they’ve still yet to address most of the structural problems of Frost and Unholy.

  2. Nessad says:

    No luck learning spells, right Consider? ^^

  3. Exxile87 says:

    I’m really liking the look and feel of Frost as a whole. It’s been my tree since WotLK was in beta, and it’s looking like I’ll still be rolling it come Cataclysm.

    In your opinion, which tree feels most true to the intended design so far? Blood, Frost, or Unholy? Also, have you done enough tanking in the beta to get a feel for the tree and give your feedback as to how it will compare to the other tanking classes?

  4. Branith says:

    Consider you posted: “Nerves of Cold Steel taking Runic Empowerent’s place is doesn’t affect Frost, but makes Unholy DW all that more real of a possibility. The introduction of FS dials that change down a notch, but this change just cancels it out. Something needs to be added to Unholy to make it really scream 2H, or dual-wielding is going to happen at this point. Even adding an ICD to Sudden Doom (likely) wouldn’t be enough to alter this.”

    Im not the math wizard you and some of the other EJ posters are but doesnt this change, at least in theory give us 2 options for UH? First you can be a 2H’er and you will be more focused on a “strike” playstyle. Especially considering the fact that now in theory with Festering Strike we *should* never have the need to reaply diseases (if they add ebon plague to outbreak and epidemic) or blood strike. Or you could go with a DW build setup concentrating more on magic damage (more procs with Sudden Doom) and white damage.

    To me it looks like a wash, you either get more free Death Coils or you get harder hitting strikes!

    • Consider says:

      You either get free Death Coils and additional auto-attack damage or harder hitting strikes. With the way the trees are currently set up, the first is poised to win.

      Currently, you just trade off between auto-attack and harder hitting strikes… and the latter just barely wins out. When you add in the additional Death Coils and pet damage (GF is shaping up to be worthwhile with its latest buff), the already precarious balance is going to be blown to bits! I could write up a math-heavy post showing such, if people would like, but it’s pretty obvious when you remember 2H Unholy only pulls ahead of DW Unholy by a couple hundred on live.

      (Even if FS doesn’t have a cap, you’ll still need to refresh diseases every 2 minutes or so. You’ll just do so with Outbreak if you’re not gcd capped, but it will still need to be done eventually)

      • Branith says:

        please write something up to show us. Like I said now that we picked up a new strike, which should in theory allow us to revert to a WotLK modeled Blood talent spec rotation , we are gaining alot more strike damage which to me appears to offset the more frequent SD procs of a DW setup.

        Basically it comes down to this: Does harder hitting Festering Strikes outway more white damage + Sudden Doom Procs? And in my limited knowlede, based on “first looks” appears it may. Having to forego Blood Strikes in our rotations looks like a huge boon to strike damage.

        Please clarigy if im wrong by all means, and thanks for doing the work.

      • Roth says:

        An inelegant solution to the DW/2h issue: make Sudden Doom proc on 2h weapons only.

  5. Branith says:

    Forgot to add, isnt it the Icy Talons talent that is pushing up the DW as it currently stands in live? and with that loss in Cata maybe it should balance itself out. Anyways I would love a math based post explaining why I am wrong so I could support UH being a 2H tree if math proves DW will win out, but if they can be with a few percentage like they are now on live id love to have the option to either DW or 2H.

  6. Baadshah of Dawnbringer says:

    The changes are definitely a good start, and I’m glad to see the issue of Unholy’s bloat had begun to be addressed. Aside from everything you’ve already stated (no need for me to repeat!), I see there being two main problems with Unholy still:

    *Ebon Plague. It needs to being caused by our diseases so that this nonsense of it not synching up goes away. With warlocks getting Jinx (and I’m assuming Moonkins will get something similar), I see no reason why it can’t spread through Pestilence like it does now.

    *Balancing around the need for 3/3 in Magic Suppression and other “interesting talents. Here, I am referring to slightly more situational ones like Ghoul Frenzy and Desecration. With the way pet scaling is being revamped in Cataclysm and the return of CC, GF might become a little more attractive in the right situation (we’d be sacrificing a Scourge Strike for it). This could also lead well into Blizzard not wanting vastly different specs for PvE and PvP.

    As for warlocks- I sincerely hope lock players out there realize the buff is indeed best spent on an Unholy DK!
    In my previous guild, I was able to get a rogue to use Tricks of the Trade on me whenever I asked for it. Using Glyph of Disease, I was able to roll the %damage modifier forward over and over again, which made it a lot of fun even in single target (the DPS increase was beyond Dark Death). Unfortunately in my current guild the rogues simply refuse and don’t see the point 😦

  7. Jonneh says:

    Pretty terrible to put ‘fun/pvp utility’ talents in the blood tree. Thats a bit mental.

    All in all, although there are a few good things to come out of this.. its really not the kind of sweeping change we were looking for. Kind of looks like a quick pass over all our trees to thin them out again and boost under-budget talents. Both objectives seem to have fallen well short of the mark, sadly.

    Nevermind eh, still early doors yet.

    • Jonneh says:

      Oh, but I am pleased about the new strike. No more blood strikes for us ever? Saves on bar space anyway, I confess its been a concern of mine lately.

      • Roth says:

        We will still Blood Strike unfortunately, at least on the opening rotation.

        BS or SS
        BS or SS

      • Baphomette says:

        Wait, would you not use your first set of runes for IT PS ScS FeS BS? This whole FB strike has thrown me off 🙂

        I would expect FeS to cap at three applications simply because the rogue/druid equivalent glyphs are also three. My question is how FeS is going to affect chains in the PVP ruleset where the duration is most likely capped at ten seconds.

  8. Boneitis says:

    Been trying to wrap my mind around how much FS will adjust our opening rotation.

    Looking at it from an “all diseases already there, full rune bars” perspective, it works out quite nicely. If it ends up that FS is part of reaping, even nicer.

    But I get the feeling that, if FS can’t keep up diseases indefinitely (the wording now is ambiguous), then we have an awkward start to the rotation, and subsequently a total breakdown of a smooth rhythm to it every time we need to reapply diseases.

    If it turns out it just refreshes diseases till the end of time, we can start with outbreak or use ERW or something (assuming they fix ERW) to reset after diseases are in place, and we’re good. But I’m seeing a lot of downtime in an apply-disease chunk of rotations, and a bunch of off-set rune cooldowns thereafter when I try to plot out how a rotation would go. It’s a bit disconcerting.

    It’d also be a bit strange to see blizz go back to that kind of ‘one disease application per fight’ setup, since they had that with the old scourge strike glyph and removed it once already.

  9. Branith says:

    IT PS ScS FeS BS? If you go that route yes you will have a blood rune free, but as long as they fix the Ebon Plague problem your opening should look like this: outbreak, ScS,FeS,ScS,FeS rinse and repeat.

    On trash you’ll still need to to BS though.

    • Zibi says:

      That first rotation of yours doesn’t leave a blood rune free, and you forget that it’s been proven quite a few times so far that IT/PS are better to use damage-wise to apply diseases, regardless of the simplicity of using outbreak. And we’re not operating on the exact same rune system we’re on now, so that’s another thing people have to consider with regards to rune rotations.

      IT PS SS FeS BS= F/U/U/FB/B = 2xF 2xU 2xB runes

      • Jesabelle says:

        “you forget that it’s been proven quite a few times so far that IT/PS are better to use damage-wise to apply diseases, regardless of the simplicity of using outbreak.”

        This was proven when FS did not exist. Now that FS exists and is on Reaping (according to MMO’s DB), this changes the math. It may still be that IT/PS are better, but the math needs to be done again.

      • Zibi says:

        True enough, but it’s also a GCD with no damage to take into account for that math, which usually makes it pretty hard to overcome.

  10. kc102 says:

    Unholy is the only tree, out of the ones I’ve played with, that feels complete. That you’re not missing points.

    With both Blood and Frost, it feels like you want points in X, but have to have them in Y, Z and §. With Unholy, I’ve been thinking:
    But if, as Consider said above, GF becomes worth it, I’d go…

    Theorycrafting Beta specs is fun!

  11. Leviatharan says:

    It’s interesting to see how the Unholy DK tree has evolved into a spec suspiciously similar to the Blood spec as it is now in Wrath.
    But I have to wonder about the Unholy rotation in Cata, since for a good bit of the opener in your rotation, you’ll be leaving a Blood rune untouched until that Frost rune from your initial IT comes up so you can hit FeS for a second time, unless you hit a BS immediately after that IT and then burn the new Death Rune on a FeS later, leaving another 10 sec before it can be used for Scourge Strikes… it’s confusing to keep track of. Either way, I’m not sure if that means ‘no more blood strikes ever’. We’ll just have to see what the rot looks like to be sure. 😛
    I also find it amusing we’ll be able to Death Coil after only two or three attacks. Wonder how much of our rotation that’ll change. More GCD’s filled, anyway.

    • raxxnamas says:

      I may very well enjoy UH DK’s again, if it will let me train Festering Strike!

    • Jonneh says:

      I worry that, as a 2 rune strike and with unholy being a single rune strike… will we not suffer the same fate of death strike and heart strike, where the former just becomes a more useful global than the latter?

      I mean, its too early to doomsay it all but.. I don’t really see how else it can be balanced. There would have to be some major new gimmick with SS to make it worth using runes on. Assumably as a single rune strike it’d have to hit for less than a two rune strike… wouldnt it?

      I guess we’ll have to wait and see before we draw any conclusions.

  12. Gordak says:

    I’m really shocked at the Chains of Ice change reducing it to a 60% slow where desecration and chilblains are a 50% makes it a a lot less useful if at all.

    Chains of Ice was the most iconic DK skill in pvp and a very needed skill for DK’s to have any chance of success in the Arena, changing it to a 60% slow feels to me almost like they removed it completely, will have to see if the new skill we get and increased burst(hopefully) makes up for the loss.

    • Alrenous says:

      I’m not up on the arena scene, but what about the idea that FeS will make chains last eternally? Don’t forget about the general nerfing of dispels, either.

      ‘Course I have no idea if it will actually end up that way, I just want to know what it will be like if it does. I entirely agree that I’d prefer not to use a 60% CoI at all, especially considering desecration can’t be dispelled, double especially considering we’ll have so many death runes to ScS with.

      I suppose there’s a point, as I just remembered we’ll have half as many chains as before, so this could be an attempt to mitigate that.

      I think it should be a glyph. This is a perfect change for a glyph.

      • Gordak says:

        Well after doing some more reading, some ppl say that CoI is undispellable now in beta, if that is the case we do lose an iconic ability but over all it’s a buff to CoI…

        I know this is not really a PVP related blog but would be nice to see it confirmed.

      • Alrenous says:

        Yes, CoI is now a physical debuff. Which is indeed kind of cool – it’s like it forms actual physical chains made of ice to burden the target.

        I still prefer the root, since it basically performs the role of charge.

  13. Rebellion says:

    Consider, could you please go into more detail what you mean by :

    “Something is up on beta. FS/Ob/HB all took heavy dmg hits, but tooltips and etc the same? FS is part due to a BotN change, but the rest…? “.

    As for the changes, a first step indeed. I’m not sure I like the FeS solution that much, though. First of all the rune setting makes no sense, because the strike has a clear Unholy characteristic with a little, very little frost influence. It’s a bit too much “deus ex machina” forced out of their magic top hat. Clearly shows their new rune mechanic forced them into a corner so that the only way out was to create a strike that used the useless runes and make the unholy rotation a hybrid of frost in cataclysm ((free-)procs) and blood in WotLK(4 death runes).
    It’s like Obliterate would suddenly turn into B/U strike and the rest of the time we were to use HB (if it were not for the CD) as a filler for frost dps, which could very well happen, as HB is still nowhere near a final solution because of their no-aoe-31pt credo..
    If they put a few talents in unholy to make the strike more benefical (which I think they will) it will look even more suspicous.

    The CoI change is also not to my liking. Its now just another hamstring clone. The “first a root, then a slow” mechanic was what made CoI interesting in the first place.

    The rest of the changes are A Ok. Unholy is still 2 points too heavy to allow even a minor chance for personal descions. The culprit in my eyes is the extremly lackluster 2nd tier of unholy that has only one usefull talent. They should either put nholy Command in the first tier or even better (for tanks) Morbitiy and put one of the minor but still necessary other talents in its place. Corrupting Strikes for example is one of the possibilites as it has zero use to the other trees and would just help unholy to fill a few gaps. That is of course under the asumption that virulence is still not the best of all talents.

    • xtatik says:

      It does make a bit of sense that FeS requires a Blood and Frost rune because it does extend the duration of Blood Plague and Frost Fever. I always thought it was a bit strange that they have us apply a disease called “Blood Plague” with Unholy runes…

      As far as the early Unholy talents go, you are completely right. Right now Unholy is very bottom heavy and very bloated in the higher tiers. We have to waste in the first two tiers just to get down to the next tier and tanks have to waste five just to pick up Morbidity. Early Unholy definitely still needs a lot of work.

      I would like to see them just remove/replace Corrupting Strikes, though. The fact that it boosts Scourge Strike makes it useless. Why have a talent that boosts a strike that only Unholy can get and in a place that only Unholy has access to? They’d be better off just making the damage increase baseline. The Plague Strike part of the talent doesn’t really affect us much anymore now that we won’t be using Plague Strike nearly as often. If they removed it, it wouldn’t hurt us much.

      • Roth says:

        Corrupting Strikes serves a purpose though. It tells new DK players ” youre Unholy, so you should be using skill X and Y a lot.’ Corrupting Strikes does that very well. What they really need to do now is replace Plague Strike with Festering Strike.

      • xtatik says:

        Doesn’t the fact that players get Scourge Strike as they spend their first talent point kind of clue them into the fact that they should be using Scourge Strike?

        Festering Strike makes sense, though. There is absolutely nothing in Unholy that would inform a player that they should be using it. I think it’s listen under the Frost tab on the spell book too, isn’t it? So I could see how that could confuse a new players.

    • cold says:

      Didn’t have the time to check why but my Froststrikes and Howling Blasts definitely hit for considerably less.
      Using ~277 Icc gear @ lvl 80 + shadowmourne I used to crit for ~13k on average before the server went offline. Now my froststrikes crit for ~9k, howling blast is even a little bit further below at around 8k. Couldn’t really find a difference on Obliterate though, maybe a couple hundreds lower but nothing I would say for sure.

      • cold says:

        have to correct my self here world server went down once again for us euros and now my Obliterate also crits for close to 6k less, I somewhat hope this is bugrelated.

  14. Alrenous says:

    You don’t use strangulate to pull casters into your DnD?

    Also, if they hit their healing design goal, then bosses such as Devourer of Souls change strangulate into “heal yourself for 15% of your health, saving healer mana.” With the many free GCDs blood has, the fact it’s not off the GCD isn’t currently an issue.

    I believe there is a UI element that tells you about RE procs. Combat text – energy gains. I can’t actually train RE, so I can’t test it properly.

    I don’t follow your logic on dirge and chill. Runic power was halved and DC etc damage was doubled. The change just makes it easier to peg your RP.
    Well, except for the undocumented RP changes. Sadly the bug that gave everyone at least 130 max RP is gone. Strikes are generating 5 more RP, but DC, not just FS, took a hit from the nerfbat.
    Presumably blizzard didn’t like the effective near doubling of max RP.

    Dark intent can’t be cast on the warlock himself.

    FeS is supposed to be added to reaping, so unholy will indeed be just like wrath blood.

  15. Maelan says:

    I, for one, welcome our new Warlock overlords.

  16. Anaroth says:

    Wow I go away for a couple of days on a work trip, and they go and change everything up.

    Festering strike is quite interesting, and even if it doesn’t stack indefinitely, presumably it stacks at least 3 times, and so you can keep up epidemic extended diseases with just it and outbreak (assuming you have the gcds). Although it all depends on the mechanics for ebon plaguebringer. I’m not sure if I like the lack of disease based damage scaling, but it doesn’t really matter if it’s in the right ball park damage-wise.

    For unholy it’s a pretty clearly a good rotational choice, although it does only save you once GCD every two rune refreshes (assuming you’re using SS with the death runes). Maybe they need to reduce PS and SS’s GCD for unholy. Ultimately I’m still not sure I like the feel of unholy, this doesn’t really change the ae situation (in fact it arguably makes it worse, although I guess you could use the death runes on blood boil)

    It doesn’t seem that useful for frost, or blood though, although i guess you could do a weird 2xDS 1xFsS base rotation if they added it to DRM 😛

  17. Baadshah of Dawnbringer says:

    If the goal is indeed to give Unholy a Blood DPS-esque theme in Cataclysm, I welcome the move.

    Ask any DK who has had experience with Blood DPS (myself included) what they enjoy so much about the spec, and the answer is the play style itself. You line up your procs and cooldowns and basically go to town with incredible burst potential.

    Now at the moment, Blood DPS just isn’t cutting it in ICC (our first Shadowmourne wielder was considering going Blood, but realized Unholy would just be better), and we know that Blood won’t be viable for DPS any more in Cataclysm.
    Incidentally we also know that the “free AoE” abilities of several classes (which is currently quite central to Unholy and what makes it so unique) are being taken away.

    So it makes perfect sense that they’d replace what’s lost from Unholy with what will be lost from Blood. In the process, it also creates an interesting new play style when you factor in Runic Empowerment, Sudden Doom, etc.

    Don’t get me wrong- I am trying my best to enjoy Unholy in its current incarnation as much as possible because I love how unique it is. I will definitely mourn the loss of both trees in their current incarnation when Cataclysm comes, but I also think this move has the potential to make the new Unholy DPS spec very enjoyable.

    • Branith says:

      Me personally I always hated the blood playstyle, doing the single rune strike as your primary strike always felt counter-intuitive.

      now dont get me wrong I will look forward to play testing that style, as I have always enjoyed UH the most, but im also looking forward to 2H Frost.

  18. Nessad says:

    For those that want to try the new strike, you need to drop 1 of your professions to be able to train anything. Just got it and I going to test it for a while.

    • Nessad says:

      And apparently it generetes death runes on the blood AND frost runes used. Like death rune mastery. Unsure if it’s inteded

  19. Rix says:

    Since there seems to be many “hidden” aspects to Festering Strike does it get a disease bonus? Seems kinda lonely without it, especially since OB is has 10% more weapon damage and benefits.

    • Nessad says:

      No. It’s actually very straighforward. The death rune part is on reaping and I didn’t knew about it. There is no visible cap in disease time, it does around the same damage of SS without diseases, and for soloing it does a fairly good job (IT PS SS FeS BS DC DC Please be dead); I just didn’t check if it clips diseases, because it looks like it reapplies diseases with the new time. Knowing blizzard by now, probably not.

  20. Arc says:

    I’d like to see some more interaction with diseases, at least for Unholy. It’s exciting to watch these iterations to the class and try to guess at their reason and vision. I don’t see much about diseases though, and I really would like to feel like I want to put diseases on my enemy rather than I have to put diseases on my enemy just for extra strike damage. Some sort of interaction would be great.

    Blood could get healing or partial healing from its diseases or have the bloodworms proc’d by diseases instead of strikes.

    Frost has chilblains and icy talons. It’s a one-sided affair, but icy talons creates decent synergy.

    Unholy has Ebon Plaguebringer, but it’s also one-sided. They lost Wandering Plague. Maybe Sudden Doom could instead have disease ticks give a chance to make the next Death Coil a critical hit. Maybe striking a diseased target could cause your Ghoul to go into a frenzy.

    • Arc says:

      I’m not sure how I forgot to mention Death Strike. Like Icy Talons, the healing component there is a good example of current synergy with diseases, especially for Blood.

      I guess I just want to see more of that sort of thing.

      • kc102 says:

        >>”Maybe striking a diseased target could cause your Ghoul to go into a frenzy.”

        That, or variations of it, would be awesome.

      • Sag says:

        I think that the issue blizz might be having with DKs, at least frost and unholy, is that there really isn’t alot of free space for cool active abilities. I think it would be fun if disease crits gave a free Blood Boil. Bring some of that AoE back into unholy. Sadly that would require a GCD to hit BB, BB isn’t really that strong to begin with, and we don’t have the time to hit something that isn’t going to be a priority in our rotation.

        I am curious, and I haven’t seen this posted, but how does AoE change things? I mean what is our AoE rotation, IT-PS-Pest-DnD-SS-DC-???. I think that leaves a frost rune unused though. Currently I have heard it is not worth it to even both with AoE, as everyone’s AoE sucks, but I am confident that Blizz can get the numbers to work. I just want to see how it is different.

  21. Minaka says:

    If you manage to reply to Ghostcrawler’s comment, let us know, ok?

  22. Leviatharan says:

    I concur that Improved Icy Touch should do something more useful for PvE DKs who will hardly use IT more than twice a min, or PvP DKs who use Glyph of Chains of Ice and would rather not dual-wield.
    Maybe if it increased the duration of Chains of Ice slightly as well, ie bonus 2-3 seconds per point? (Not a bad idea… for PvP.)
    Or increased the damage of Frost Fever slightly, a la Glyph of Icy Touch? (Probably the best option overall, since this is all we use IT for anyway. Plus, GoIT can receive a change that way to be more useful to all specs… like Frost itself…)
    Or increased the attack speed reduction again? (Though Blizz removed it for their own reasons, so this may not be an option to them.)
    Or caused Chains of Ice and Icy Touch to generate slightly more Runic Power, a la Chill of the Grave? (Not to sound repetitive, of course; probably the worst option though.)

    As for Virulence, useless as it may be to DKs, it doesn’t us hurt any to have it since it makes it more likely that our Icy Touch won’t miss and permanently wreck our rotation (unless it’s a fight in which we can just hit Outbreak, but it was still a waste of a rune). We’ll really only be using 2 points of it to get further down the tree, which is still more spell hit than what we get by putting 3 points in on Live.
    But, maybe if they added a secondary ability to it that reduced the cooldown of a rune if the ability missed or something? That would fit in nicely with Hit-rating theme of the talent.

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