EJ Guide – Cata Frost’s Up

After much confusion as to who was actually undertaking the oh so exciting (sarcasm here, I assure you!) task of the thread and sorting that all out, I’ve thrown up the preliminary Cataclysm version of the Elitist Jerks Frost DK dps guide. It’s viewable here, for those interested.

I will note, it’s still very much a work of progress – more so than the Unholy version – but, of course, even what isn’t nearly complete or polished by my standards is still perfectly informative and decent enough for most use. I can’t emphasize that enough; although happy with the job I did on relatively short notice in a quite small span of time, I’m not terribly pleased with how it is yet. Heavy edits will follow, I assure you, but I need my sleep for now.

The one thing I am really on the fence about and would love feedback on is how similar to keep (or not to keep) the format compared to the Unholy guide. Obviously the two specs have different needs, and thus one will have certain sections which the other doesn’t, and vice versa – of course. I mean aside from that. I just can’t decide how different to make it. Stick with the Unholy format, as it closely resembles now, so as to make it easier for those who go from one to another, and because that format has been quite successful and highly commended? Or differentiate it more in various ways since it is a different spec with different needs and such?

Tough decision, and a dilemma which I worded horribly, but that’s the reason I must run off and rest!

Perhaps a clearer mind in the morning will make it easier to sort out.

44 Responses to EJ Guide – Cata Frost’s Up

  1. Polymortis says:

    Totally like the unholy format, ive raided frost for a looooong time (enjoyment and purposefully).

    Ive always found the unholy format better.
    Also im glad you have taken it over, you fill in all the missing bits of information that has previously been left to your imagination or to find out on your own.

  2. Magdalena of Turalyon says:

    So far, so good- you’re following the Unholy thread format almost to a tee, which is understandably difficult given that you’re juggling two specs here.

    One minor suggestion I’d like to make is giving your Reforging and Gemming sections the same treatment you’ve given Enchants (i.e. table format).
    This is purely for the sake of visual simplicity (i.e. you have lazy readers!), and even if you decide it’s not worth doing so, the content is excellent. I also fully understand if you’d be hesitant to do so with Reforging since it’s not as cut and dry as Enchants.

    Basically, I think you’re managing to differentiate between the two specs (since that’s really what they are) very well and will continue to do so if you stick to the current format.
    I think I speak for many of us when I say (and this is with all due respect to previous Frost authors like Darkside) that we’re quite happy you’ve picked this up.

    P.S. Suggestion for a (semi distant) future post: A list of “essentials” for DPS DKs looking to maintain consistent Unholy and Two Handed Frost specs for on-demand switching!

  3. Drvas says:

    Hi Consider! In your guide you said

    “At level 85, you need 960 hit rating to be melee capped; 840 hit rating as a Draenei. This affects all of your melee attacks, white and yellow, preventing them from missing.”

    Is it a typo or there is no longer a penalty for dual-wielding? Dont we need something like 24 or 27% hit to cap our white attacks?

    • Consider says:

      I’ll clarify for DW. Yes, you need much higher hit to cap your offhand attacks, but it’s relatively unimportant so long as your mainhand/yellow is capped.

  4. Lciee says:

    Great post as always Consider. I am also happy with the format following the UH thread. What I would like to suggest is possibly seeing more information regarding DW vs 2h. Which is ultimately better? Does iLvl of weapons come into it? If both 277 weapons available for example which would be superior etc.

    • Consider says:

      I have a section planned for debating it, yes, yes. They’re almost identical at level 80, for that matter.

      • Gosox says:

        In terms of dps or priority? I haven’t tested in awhile (2-3 patches) but last time I checked 2hand was up by 500 or so dps. Granted some things have changed like lowering RP generation but i’m not sure. I plan to do more testing tonight.

  5. vel says:

    Thank you very much for taking over responsbility for frost! Great work, it is much appreciated.
    In the frost priority list, you mention obliterate as second highest after dieseases, which ist of course fine, and then again at a relative low priority between rime and bs – but you already use it at every possible opportunity at highest priority, seems it slipped in there (or did I miss some arcane reason for that?). I still wish they removed OB from killing machine again, our prio system was way more fun before…

    • vel says:

      Dumb me, should read the explaining text before opening my mouth. You want avoid to have wasted rime-proc, and want FS to consume KM, so it basically boils down to:
      Diseases > OB if (both sets of U and F are full) > FS if (Rime and KM) > Rime > OB > BS if (two blood runes) > FS > BS > HoW
      Now I’m not too sure about the FS if (Rime and KM) part, doesn’t it unnecessarily increase the probability that you waste a KM proc on something different than Obliterate? Also, where does FS fit in if RP nears saturation? Before or after Rime, depending on our GCD situation I’d guess. Speaking of which, if the GCDs are still bothersome despite the RP-gen nerf, maybe a small section discussing unholy-presence vs frost-presence might be worth it?

    • Consider says:

      It’s only second highest priority if both Unholy and Frost (or both Death) runes are up. Otherwise it falls down back between Rime and BS.

  6. Baphomette says:

    This is great to see, although I still think you might be better served with a single DPS DK thread — less duplication.

    Was a little surprised to see iBT over Virulence, and while I can understand the reasoning you’ll need to revise that 1128 cap in Basic Combat Mechanics upwards. Not being spell hit capped has bugged the crap out of me throughout Wrath, and I can already see it being worse in Cata. No F runes returned for missing with HB like there is with IT, as I recall from 3.1…

    Still hoping for some form of built in spell hit and spell penetration, and for Endless Winter to get something else. They fixed Blood up nicely with the iBT and RS changes alone, surely it’s not too late for Frost >_>

    • Consider says:

      A single thread wouldn’t work so well. Balancing 2H and DW of the same tree in the same thread was annoying enough, in several cases, and adding in Unholy would be a nightmare. Aside from the Cataclysm Changes section thread (which will only be there for the first couple months, at which point I’ll replace it – probably with a “Why go Unholy over Frost?” and “Why go Frost over Unholy?” section for their respective spec), they don’t really have that much in common. Yes, some stuff like race/profession descriptions are similar, but not ultimately the same, and the hierarchy certainly varies. It just wouldn’t work out well.

      • Baphomette says:

        Welp, whatever you’re happier maintaining — the class community benefits tremendously from you doing both. :3

  7. Insolence says:

    Hey nice start.

    You think there’s anyone that would be interested in writing a PvP Guide for EJ?

    • Sag says:

      I’m sure that there is someone who is interested, but I haven’t seen enough of the pvp gear to know if it is even worth trying yet. With resilience only going to reduce total damage by 20% it’s going to be interesting, esp if resilience has a heavy weight on gear.

      Off hand I am thinking tank/healer combos are going to be very strong due to dispel and what I have read of vengence mechanics. Also tank/healer vs tank/healer is going to be a very annoying fight. Lastly without resilience reducing crit% and crit damage I still think people are going to get blown up very fast, which is why I think tanks could be strong since they get a 6% change crit reduction automatically.

      On the note of vengence mechanics, Consider, if I use AMS to block a major magic attack will that stop me from getting the %damage buff to vengence? I have not seen this question asked anywhere. I imagine no, and that both PW:S and Sacred shield are given the same treatment.

      • Seamus says:

        The reason they were able to remove the crit de-buff of resilience was due to the enormous buff to hp everyone will enjoy in Cata. If folks are dying very quickly expect resilience to be re-buffed or some other action to increase TTK,

        GC has made it clear they want pvp combat to last significantly longer.

        Other than that I’m with you as far as interest in Blood PVP. I think Unholy will still be superior because it has access to so many toys but I PVP in Blood spec even today. I just prefer the play style and ‘deal’ with the short-comings. It definitely has advantages in some scenario’s though.

      • Baphomette says:

        If the damage from PVE gear with an extra DPS substat outweighs its equivalent PVP gear with Resilience, they will probably re-tweak the value of Resil it as they did in S7. Blizzard wants PVP gear to be BiS, and if the half-tier advantage in ilvl doesn’t make a big enough difference they don’t have anything else to easily adjust.

  8. bermm says:

    Thanks for picking up the Frost thread, I would recommend you keep the same format as the Unholy thread. I think the vast majority of us are use to that style and how it is layout. Once again thanks

  9. Mysiana says:

    Very nice work, indeed. Keeping the format between the threads is actually a very good idea, particularly for people newer to the class trying to decide which spec(s) to run – it allows them to flip easily between the two and compare (even as a veteran player).

  10. Zeran says:

    Since I would have to dig up my Ej credentials to pm you, I decided to point it out here. Hey Consider, Gnomes?

    • Jonneh says:

      Are you asking where gnomes come in as a race option, or why they are where they are? Or pointing out that the line about Gnomes being copied from the unholy thread clearly says ‘Gnomes are a relatively weak race for Unholy DKs’ ?

      Gnomes suck. 😀

    • Consider says:

      Over half of the PMs I received concerning typos/mistakes/etc of the thread were about Gnomes. I simply assumed no one cared about the race! Fixed though!

  11. otherDK says:


    Great work here, this is going to be very useful. I just have one question, though: you say to grab the major glyphs of Pestilence and Blood Boil for AoE situations, but under the AoE rotation you don’t mention using those abilities at all. How does that work out?

  12. Futhark says:

    Your rotation section is excellent. EXCELLENT! I’ve been preaching that this is how it works since RE was introduced, and I’m glad to see you are on board with GoHB as well. Well done.

    Minor nitpick: HB doesn’t consume KM anymore. I’m sure you’ll hear that plenty. 😛

  13. Seamus says:


    Unless you can somehow improve the amazing format you have with Unholy, keep it!

  14. Andeus says:

    Thanks for the guide.

    Ever since WotLK release I was always intrigued by Frost but since I hate DW I never got around to try it. Shame though that now that 2H Frost is viable it seems like it’s behind Unholy, DPS-wise.

    Oh well, still got 2 more months, they can fix it.

  15. Rokunecrosis says:

    I know that you get this a lot but…. Thank you.

    Both your UH and Frost posts are great. I think the formats are perfect for spelling out a lot of complex information. You did a great job balancing meaningful information and toning down “this is what I do…” opinions. I also like the very specific facts and backup to those facts that saves me time on the research end so I can spend more time playing and making tweaks that are good for my playstyle.

    I could write a tomb on this – but I think I will just say – thank you for both posts (esp. unholy) – and thank you for taking the ridiculous amount of time to get it right.

    — PS> One thing that I would REALLY find interesting on your blog would be your thoughts on how Frost and Unholy DKs under 4.0X and Cata match up. I know in Wrath that they eventually equaled out (for the most part) and that it came down to play style… I guess I am curious based on your experiences with both what you think. If its a lame idea – then please disregard.

    (on a positive note – it has to be somewhat nice that a complete stranger pops out of nowhere and ASKs for your opinion… )

  16. Eyvind says:

    Long time reader of both this blog and your EJ threads finally deciding to post. I’m a little confused on the use of blood tap. In a comment further down in the EJ thread you mention using it with a BS bug to get a free Oblit. I’m not aware of what this is, could anyone enlighten me on the details?

    • Eyvind says:

      Upon checking the thread again, I found my answer in the new replies. Feel free to ignore/remove my comment.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the hard work, Consider.

  18. Grave says:

    Does 2h frost become a clear winner if you have a smourne?

  19. Kin says:

    Hey Consider, I was curious and I don’t know if it’s even possible to get this answer, but in Cata will runeforges remain better than regular enchants for us?

  20. Archaeon says:

    Hi. First of all I’m sorry for my english, i could make a few mistakes in this comment.
    I wanted to say that i’m following this blog for some time now, and I find it ever clear and very, very informing.
    There’s only one thing i wanted to ask, dunno if it has been asked already: what about blood? I mean, someone has the idea of writing some kind of guide, FAQ or something like that? Because i can only find precious few informations about gameplay in Blood. Of course the beta isn’t finished and all may change, but it would be good for all the tanks out there if a guy who knows his stuff could write one! 🙂

  21. Tom says:

    Dk Frost is a viable DPS spec at lvl 80 during the 4.0.1 patch or the Unholy is clearly a winner?
    According to this guide : http://manaflask.com/Daniie/blog/4889/ . Unholy is the only viable choice. Your opinion?

    • Consider says:

      There’s some inaccuracies in that guide. Or the Frost version, anyways.

      Unholy is slightly superior at level 80, yes, but not by that significant a margin; no more than the amount by which Frost currently beats Unholy on live. Frost is perfectly viable.

  22. Anonymous says:

    With the patch about to go live I was looking through the talents and noticed that the frost death rune mechanic does not include festering strike. Do you think this is an oversight by Blizzard? I know that if I play a frost PVP spec i’ll definitely be using it in combination with necrotic strike, and having death runes from it for the additional utility or damage would always be a nice deal.

  23. DisRuptive1 says:

    I’d like to see the first half of your post with just the basic information that’s easy to understand at a glance so people can pull up your guide to confirm what glyph they should use, what spec they should use, or how they should reforge. The second half of your post can be a more in depth discussion. Assume that everyone reading the first half of your post has already read the second half. For the people who have never read your post, they can read the second half of your post to figure out why a spec is the way it is, why you should runeforge one way or another etc. Also, I’d put the abbreviations at the end of the post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: