Cata BiS – Frost 2H

Remember, Unholy BiS can be found here, Frost DW BiS can be found here, and the stats weights from which all of these sets were generated can be found here.

This is a bit delayed, I know; apparently a number of items got some of their socket bonuses/colors/stats changed around. Glancing through the previous lists, everything should still be perfectly accurate, save for the reforging aspect, which I’ll likely have to tweak once I actually put it into the EJ thread. The items themselves are what’s most important, and there shouldn’t be any differences there – at the most, one item a list, an that’s easily remedied.

One thing to note which was brought up in comments in one of the previous BiS posts: trinkets. All Catalcysm trinkets appear to have an approximate 16.67% (1/6) uptime, which is half the current normal of 33.33% (1/3). On top of that, the budget of the proc/use of a trinket appear to be the exact same as the budget of the passive stat – for instance, if a trinket has 200 passive whatever, the proc would equal out to be 200 of a stat (which, when combined with the uptime, means the value would be 1200). It’s a topic I can delve into more at a later date if so desired, but for now, simply something to keep in mind.


A few notes:

  • I didn’t include any profession specific BoP epics. I never do, for obviously reasons; you can’t have every profession!
    • Even though everyone can use archaeology and thus Zin’Rokh, due to the RNG nature of obtaining the item, I believed it best not to include it. Obviously if you get lucky enough to stumble upon it, it’s BiS.
  • I didn’t include most profession BoE epics. They all require Chaos Orbs to craft; Chaos Orbs being the Cataclysm version of Frozen Orbs. Considering Chaos Orbs are only available from heroics and they happen to be BoP, even though you can pay someone else what is sure to be a ton of gold initially to craft using them, it doesn’t seem appropriate to include them in a pre-heroic list, as someone still has to be doing the heroics.
    • Darkmoon Card: Hurricane is the exception to this rule, as it doesn’t require orbs, interestingly enough.
  • I did include Justice Point loot, as one can see. Although they’re mainly earned via heroics, you do get them from normal dungeon dailies, not to mention everyone should have 4k points stockpiled from level 80.
  • No, the relic is not a mistake. There’s very, very few options there.
  • Conquest (i.e, Arena) gear was excluded here, for what I think are obvious reasons.


Only one thing to say here: I didn’t include Valor Point rewards. Considering you start at 0 (unlike with Justice Points in the pre-Heroic setup) and can only get 75 a day at most, without raiding, it would take you three weeks straight to get your first item. Seemed silly to include them, although of course any strength items available from them would be BiS here.


Aside from the fact that I couldn’t find the specific boss half of the loot comes from, nothing to note.

[No Restrictions]

Aside from the fact that I couldn’t find the specific boss half of the loot comes from, nothing to note.


41 Responses to Cata BiS – Frost 2H

  1. Baphomette says:

    Said it before, will doubtless say again: thank you for the time and effort you put into this.

    I’m pretty much set on 2H Frost although I am worried about being behind on DPS–even if they have a list of DK things to fix, I don’t think spec imbalances are anywhere near the top!

    • masterfrog says:

      how do you get 75 valor a day? only way i know to get valor without raiding is doing first random herioc of the day for 70 valor , where is that extra 5 coming from

    • BloodyFox says:

      Hmm… my comment doesn’t show properly, well I guess I have to point it out again:

      Your reasoning for the value of a trinket’s proc is off. If it’s only up a sixth of a given time, wouldn’t that mean the stat it provides can only be accounted for a sixth of its stat weight value? With your given example of 200 DPS/AP/whatever this would mean 33,333… weighted value. I see no rime nor reason to your logic of multiplying it by six.

      • Maz says:

        You read it wrong.

        He says 200 *passive* bonus is more or less 1200 *on proc*. As uptime went from 1/3 of the cooldown to 1/6.

      • Karsa says:

        Because the uptime is 1/6 instead of 1/3, the *value* of the proc, while it is up, is 6 times the passive value. So if there is 200 “blah” on an item, there is 1200 “cool” for 1/6 of the time, so that over time it is like there is 200 of each. Compared to LK trinkets that were up 1/3 of the time, so instead of 1200 “cool”, there would have been 600.

      • ODK says:

        i was thinkin the same thing at first glance, but its just written differently than your thinking….

        he means if you have a trinket with 200 strength on it, the proc will probably be 1200, but its only up 1/6 of the time so its ~ worth the same as the 200 strength

      • ODK says:

        forgot to mention, and thats what the trinket values are in beta as well…. most of the entry level procs are around ~1225 proc or so of a stat for like 20 secs in 2min or somethin to that extent…

      • BloodyFox says:

        Still makes no sense whatsoever.

      • Consider says:

        Perhaps I worded it badly, but let’s use Heart of Solace as an example.

        The passive is 252 haste rating.
        The proc is 1512 strength… which, if it has a 1/6 uptime uptime, averages out to be exactly 252 strength.

        Half the budget is spent on the passive, and half is spent on the proc/use. Precisely half. Right now that’s not the case; procs/use effects have random potency, and thus evaluating trinkets is difficult. If uptime is held constant, and if the budget is always 50/50, deciding what trinket to use is a piece of cake. You can basically ignore the specific numbers, and pick the highest ilvl of your best two stats; i.e, str/haste, or what have you.

      • Gliere says:

        If I’m understanding you properly, you’re saying something like this:
        Assume some item has a proc for 1200 of a stat, and this stat has a weight of 3 dps per point and a proc uptime of 1/6. Then the value of this proc would be 1200 * ( 3 * 1/6 ).
        The way Consider wrote this is, for the same item, equivalent to ( 1200 * 1/6 ) * 3, although he made no mention of stat weights as they’re really not necessary for the discussion. Fortunately, multiplication is associative, and therefore these expressions are both equal to 600 dps in this example.

  2. Def says:

    Sure it does, a proc of 1200 which is up 1/6th of the time is worth the same as a proc of 200 which is up all the time.

  3. Dalavita says:

    A trinket has 200 strength as a passive, and a proc of 1200 strength on a 1/6 uptime.

    1200 * (1/6) = 200.

  4. Dalavita says:

    Thinking about it Consider, how come you have a 3.6 weapon as a BiS for 2h Frost when there are alternatives like the reclaimed Ashkhandi? Is it because of Motw enabling the faster weapon to get more swings in and thus more procs, or simply better secondary stats?

    • Consider says:

      Slower is better for 2H frost, it’s just not as important as it has been in the past or otherwise would be. Akirus pulls ahead because expertise + mastery trump crit + hit, and do so by a large enough margin to outweigh the slightly fast speed. That’s all. It’s a very, very small difference, and stuff like weapon racials could easily push one to use Ashkandi.

  5. Anonymous says:

    You mentioned in the other BiS post that when you released the 2H Frost BiS list that you would update us on the status of where the specs stand DPS-wise. You briefly mentioned that 2H Frost was ~10% behind. Did you plan on elaborating on that? Or is it really just that simple (which makes me a sad panda)?

    • Consider says:

      I can make a post tonight on the subject, but there’s not much to say. Unholy and Frost DW are, more or less, neck and neck, with Frost 2H a solid 10%+ behind. It’s really just that simple! I could go into the reason why this is the case, how Blizzard might go about fixing it (if they so choose), or what things will look like a couple tiers of gear down the road, but for now, that’s all there is to it.

      • Xfrost says:

        I’d be interested in how the specs scale/fare down the road 2-3 tiers later if you have the time to write it up 🙂

      • BloodyFox says:

        Well, Consider already mentioned it on Twitter. Frost 2H needs 8% Hit and 26 Exp, DW 5% Hit and 26 Exp and UH only 8% hit. Both Frost specs, especially 2H, need to sink a lot more of their CombatRating budget into these stats than UH does, simply as that. It also means that Frost 2H will do considerably worse than UH 2H at lower gear levels because of this need for Exp.

        Since the CR budget on items gets bigger and bigger with each tier of content, the difference will be alleviated to some extend over time, because you will always need 960 hit rating to be hit capped, which means you can spend a lot of hit rating you need on early tiers on other stats via reforging, later on.

        Is that correct, Consider?

  6. Xfrost says:

    Yeah i know its something like that, but i guess the big question is, will Frost 2H be able to close the gap (and perhaps surpass?) the 10% difference 2 tiers later? Or will it only close the gap to 2-3% below Frost DW / Unholy.

    Also if i remember correctly, Blizzard did say that hit requirements for bosses will scale up with each tier of content, or did they do away with that design intent?

  7. BloodyFox says:

    Hmm, that is correct. I did not account for this, though it is hard to make any predictions for this, since we have absolutely no idea to what degree bosses would scale with each consecutive tier, thus predicting how much additional CR we would have to sink into Hit and Exp.

  8. Dalavita says:

    If I had to guess as to why 2h Frost is behind, I’d put it down to these factors:

    DW Frost strikes simply hit harder due to ToT, and since it’s not GCD capped (I believe), it can run in frost presence, further giving it increased damage on all abilities, and getting more use out of improved frost presence compared to the UP 2h Frost spec.

    The combination of razorice and fallen crusader for DW frost.

    Less combat ratings needed to fill the Hit/Exp caps.

    Better stat scaling for just about every stat due to DW and other attributes.

    2h Frost having a badly designed mechanic, i.e one that doesn’t improve your damage, but adds additional strikes as a method of DPS increase, making a GCD capped even worse off.

  9. khh says:

    i might be wrong. but in my napkin math always showed having a high hit cap actually is a good thing since you are getting more of a stat that has high budget/dps rate

  10. ODK says:

    So how ya guys like havin 1/2 as many death strikes with 1/2 as much healing (1/4 the healing) than we had in Wrath……pretty fkin sad imho…..

    i was hoping they would maby INCREASE the healing by a few % and go figure, they dump it by more…

    again it seems like a nurf aimed at tanks, hurting dps more than anything….
    its nearly so weak its not worth useing, again if its the shield? then again thats a tank issue, but they are KILLING the healing for dps specs….. sigh….

    • Dalavita says:

      Wrath level of self-healing would have been overpowered in a Cataclysm setting with increased health and lowered damage. Death Strike has been readjusted, just like mana regen, healer health and stamina to health modifiders.

      • Wrath level of self-healing would be OP. But DK’s do have arguably the worst self-healing in the game now for any melee class and most dps specs. Especially Unholy. The fact that DS requires runes that would wreck an Unholy rotation is pretty significant. Rune of the Fallen Crusader favors DW in that you can increase your number of healing proc’s with it. Death Pact is trivial and a nice boost of healing for Frost and Blood, but an insane DPS drop for Unholy.

        Unholy needs something to supplement its healing imo. A glyph to change the DS cost (and perhaps the balance of the skill) to match FeStr so it functions as a drop-in. A change to FeStr that adds a hot effect based on Blood Plague damage perhaps (to give it flavor again)?

        I think Blood and Frost have great healing potential, perhaps needing a few number tweaks. I think Unholy is way behind, given the givens.

      • Sag says:

        Maybe I am wrong, but I was under the impression that RoFC was of PPM, so that the extra strikes that would be gotten from DWing would not proc RoFC more often. This is why RoFC is put on the offhand DW, because the extra misses won’t change its proc, whereas I think it is cinderglacier is put on main hand because it is a stacking affect that is best to stack quickly. Am I wrong in that?

      • Sag says:

        My apologies, I think it is razorice that should be on MH DW… Anyway, I agree with everything else you said. As UH your ability to survive sucks. Try pvping, if your pet is killed you’re screwed. If you are pvping an UH DK kill the pet, he’s then screwed.

      • ODK says:

        Dalavita, are you even on the Beta? yea they increased health pools and made all armor = to eachother, but they did NOT decrease damage incomming, the numbers are So very comperable…

        i actually feel like the addition of health was completely pointless, the damage comes in just as quick and just as hard….. theres a larger pool, but they just take it up with larger hits, i honestly think this whole more health less damage was a bait and switch (convince them its true and dont actually code the game in that manner)

        not to mention, wraths healing was 15% for specs that wanted to spend the points, they had already dumped us down to 10% (and the 30% you never reach unless your tanking)

        now theres going to be absolutely no reason for unholy to use death strike, your better off tryin to kill the npc than tryin to survive… the healers can do WAY the fk more than 7% and 7% is NOT going to help you survive an extra hit….

        as a dps, you take INSANE fkin damage from normal npc’s – nothing like wrath, ive been 1-2 shot by nearly every heroic npc while playing unholy….and for awhile there threat was such an issue i had to sit on my hands for 10 secs before starting combat or else i was tanking in dps gear….

        i was already REALLY annoyed with the stupid 40% dropped to 25% death pact, if damage was REALLY reduced in cata, then 25% may have been plenty, but normal quest npc’s will teach you that damage is NOT reduced – so now we have another MABY 2-3 hits with death pact, if your lucky…

        THEN taking away death strikes healing ballz too? this is getting to be way to much…

        and blood tap, that makes ALOT more sense, tho i felt the numbers i saw comming off 15% were pretty damn small compared to incomming damage, atleast its one of the TANK abilities where they have 50 dif ways to defend themselves not to mention pretty mcuh a dedicated healer in any quality group….

        hell, even rogues can outheal us now (from what i can tell while in dps spec)……that makes alot of sense…20% over 30seconds? wtf is that shit? for a class that can also do a million other things to drop aggro and not take damage…..

        i find this really redicilous…. i was so damn excited for cata and now every patch they add is just another disapointment makin me not evne care about cata (cept the content, but at this point id rather have played the content with old specs and tree’s)

  11. Dascylus says:

    Good news, everyone!

    Relics from Inscription just now updated to BoE instead of BoP!

  12. Magdalena of Turalyon says:

    I’ve been meaning to ask this for a while, but: For Two Handed specs (both Unholy and Frost), around what point does Shadowmourne become a clear DPS loss, compared to quest rewards/blues?

  13. K051 says:

    Regarding the new buff to bloodfury being 1100 ap is it now on par or ahead of goblin’s racial for both 2h and dw frost?

  14. Vuvuzela says:

    Hey people come join best buy cataclysm event chat,maybe some of you have better luck than myself and get to actually ask a death knight question that matters and not the “preformed” crap i see passing by in my screen which is info knows for months ;/

  15. Vuvuzela says:

    Meh i had 10 different firefox tabs in the chat ready to ask about virulence tier1+2 talents but of course my luck betrays me again 😦

    • Jhadur says:

      All you were going to see was the trained monkey questions. I submited 2 very pointed questions about dk design and Howling Blast balance and they got brushed away by the moderators.

      • Sag says:

        To be honest at least it was fair across the board. Only the mage one talked about technical/design issues. You could argue the warrior question, but yeah “Are there any plans for a new Lock mount?” Seriously? No other questions were out there about warlocks? “Is the Moonkin form for troll and worgen on the beta and ptr the final form or is it just a placeholder?” Yup game breaking that form is yo. So yeah I guess I’m ok as long as ALL of the questions pretty much sucked.

  16. Archaeon says:

    Mmm… completely off-topic, but i feel like asking.
    I may look like an idiot, but i noticed only now: Bryntroll, the Bone Arbiter has really low stamina compared to other weapons, even with a much lower ilvl… i mean, 161 stamina. I thought all gear had more stamina after 4.0.1.
    Why only this weapon seems to have been left out of that upgrade? Any answer?

    • Ðemøsthenes says:

      Wow.. 2-h Frost is getting slammed… Couple questions about it and then one off topic… IS 2h Frost still way to go as far as leveling? And any idea on when you may start posting about getting ready for Cata launch and power leveling? Off topic question.. Now with the changes to Orc racial does this place them ahead of Worgen as far as over all best race for DK dps?

      • Consider says:

        Yes, I would still advise 2H Frost for leveling purposes. I’ll be away a few days this coming week for Thanksgiving, but once I return I’ll start getting into those “cata prep” sort of articles.

        Race wise, Worgen is unquestionably superior for Frost. For Unholy, it depends. If you’re using an axe, then yeah, Orc pulls ahead. If you’re horribly geared (i.e, all greens), then yeah, Orc pulls ahead. if you’re raid geared and not using an axe, then Worgen likely wins out when you factor in the sprint.

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