Dreadblade – Mea Culpa

Ultimately, how much dps we gain or lose by the upcoming patch isn’t terribly important. After all, if it’s too much or too little… it really doesn’t affect us, when you think about it. It won’t change how we play, nor how we gear. It might change one’s odds of getting a raid invite, but the nerf definitely isn’t that drastic as to lead DKs – Frost or Unholy – to being benched for subpar players of now superior classes. Sure, you might have to come up with some quick retorts when joking around with the top dps of your guild when they notice they’re suddenly beating you, but such is life! In general, you’ll continue doing everything exactly the same as you have – minus a thousand or so dps.

The mastery change, however, is rather huge. It can change how we play, and it can change how we gear. Or it can’t. It all depends on just how potent the stat is, and that’s a subject which has received much debate.

There’s dozens and dozens of ways to calculate stat weights, but for the purpose of this post, I’m only going to go through two different methods: the simulator and parse dps. These two aren’t any more or less accurate than the alternatives, they’re simply the easiest for people to comprehend, and the cleanest to show in a blog post format. If so desired, I can go over the other ways one can calculate weights, but it would simply echo the results herein contained. Interesting topic for another day.

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4.0.6 – Quick Thoughts

This week has just been killing me, and I promise some in-depth writing/math this weekend, but to answer some of the questions I’m seeing asked a lot, I figured I would throw up this quick post. I hate making statements without support, but I do promise I’m fully confident of all the following, and simply don’t have the time to get into the “why’s” now, although, as said, Saturday and/or Sunday, it will definitely be done:

  • DW Unholy is undoubtedly dead. No question, and hopefully no explanation needed.
  • DnD is still a fundamental part of our Unholy single target rotation; in fact, it’s a larger dps gain than ever. Mastery and Rage of Rivendare see to it. Speaking of…
  • Unholy mastery is still bad. As bad as it was? No, of course not, but worse than crit/expertise, which is all that matters – it means we’ll avoid it as much as ever. The core issue is the ghoul; if, theoretically, it affected him, or if, theoretically, our ghoul didn’t exist,  the stat would be perfectly desirable. As is, it isn’t… not to mention the DC/RoR nerfs coinciding at the same time don’t really help.
  • Our Frost AoE dps got nerfed, precisely how it needed to be done – with no affect on single target performance. A+.
  • Our 2H Frost single-target dps got a huge buff; enough to make it worth looking into, although I think it should still fall a percent or two behind the other specs… a minor gap, in the scheme of things, but enough for min-maxers to ignore it all the same.
  • Our Unholy AoE dps is more or less unchanged. The new mastery plus Virulence basically balance out the loss of the old mastery and the reduction in ghoul dps.
  • Our Unholy single-target DPS got hit, and rather hard at that. DC nerfed by 10%, SI/DT nerfed by 20%, RoR nerfed by 20%, Unholy Might nerfed by 50%, disease damage nerfed by ~10%, the Magic Suppression nerf, and so on… yeah. The new mastery and the Runic Corruption buff don’t even begin to outweigh all of that. There’s much to be said about this, but I would argue Blizzard slightly overdid it, and will support that position with some maths, as promised, later. Did we need a slight nerf? Yeah, definitely. UM, SI, and DT would have probably been sufficient on their own. The DC and RoR changes on top of it was just unnecessary, and pushes the pendulum of balance to the other end of the spectrum.
  • Magic Suppression 3/3 is essentially a must now… which really, really sucks, since with the RC change, we would actually like a point in RPM. Perhaps it will be worth drawing from IBT, but I’m not certain yet. Whatever else, say hello to 0 choice in our spec once again, beyond that one point floating in t1/2! Would have loved to see the PvE applications of Death’s Advance as well. Alas.

Anyways, off to crash, but just some minor things I wished to address.

4.0.6 – PTR First Glance

The PTR is up for the next balancing (not content) patch. The DK changes, courtesy of Mmo-champion, are as follows:


  • Blood Strike damage is increased by 12.5% for each of your diseases on the target, up from 10%.
  • Heart Strike now deals 120% weapon damage, up from 100%.
  • Blood Boil base damage increased by 20%, from 297 to 357.
  • Blood Presence now increases armor contribution by 30%, down from 60%.
  • Death Strike now heals for 15% of the damage sustained, down from 25%.
  • Crimson Scourge now has a 5/10% chance to proc from melee attacks on a target infected with your Blood Plague. (Old – 50/100% chance to proc from Plague Strike)
  • Will of the Necropolis no longer regenerates a Blood Rune but makes your next Rune Tap free instead.


  • Runic Empowerment wording changed to add “successfully” use Death Coil, Frost Strike, or Rune Strike.
  • Rune Strike now deals 180% weapon damage, up from 150%.
  • Might of the Frozen Wastes now also has a 4/8/12% chance to proc from your melee attacks. 15/30/45% chance to proc from auto attacks remain the same.
  • Killing Machine no longer affects Icy Touch.


  • Scourge Strike now deals an additional 18% Physical damage done as Shadow Damage for each disease on your target. Up from 12%.
  • Unholy Might now increases your Strength by 5%, down from 10%.
  • Desecration now also affects Necrotic Strikes.

Suffice is to say… wow. Some of these changes are great, some are horrible. Some are justified, some less so. There is a lot here to take in for all three specs, although it’s obvious this is only the tip of the iceberg (as evinced most clearly by the lack of any sort of Howling Blast tweak, Unholy mastery change, and so forth). Unfortunately, this came out at a bad time of day for me, and I have to leave for work shortly, so I can only offer my initial thoughts and commentary to it all; math and more in-depth analysis will come later, of course!

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