Death Knight DPS and Tank Review

As you may be aware my DK Sember runs around with a dps and tank spec. Regardless of the fact I rarely tank. (Being under geared with overgeared dps is a recipe for frustration when it comes to threat) With badges converted to points I am feeling better about tooling both her specs.

DPS: Unholy

It is amazing how dedicated I can be to a spec on a toon and my DK is no different. I was Unholy dps and decided to stick with it. I loved playing it in LK and with the patch don’t see a compelling reason to forsake my unholy ways. Psst the title is a link to the spec…

Here are our basics. We need some of that thing called hit to actually connect our attacks with our attackers. For the DK our target hit  number is 8%. Over this number and you are wasting itemization points, under this number and you aren’t connecting with the baddies to hurt the baddies (and your job is to hurt baddies, ya know incase you were confused) All things are secondary to getting hit capped.

Next we want some haste, so we can hit the baddies faster and more. More hitting them is better dps and shorter fights. Lets face facts swinging giant two handed weapons is hard work, undead knight or not. Global Cooldown is our soft cap, but fps/lag, abilities etc affect this so going a bit over is good and unlike hit not wasted.

Finally, we round things up with some crit. We want our to hits to land bigger and better on the baddies. Big numbers make us strut around like the big bad dps monsters we are. We won’t sacrifice the first two for crit but pick it up when you can.

When it comes to gemming that means. Bold Cardinal Ruby for our Reds, Fierce Ametrine for our Yellows, Etched Dreadstones for our Blues (assuming you are below hit), and Chaotic Skyflate Diamond for our Meta. (It should go without saying that you adjust gemming to make Meta requirements)

This means you could become over the hit rating. What to do? What to do? Reforge! Reforge your hit on gear over to haste to get below that 8% cap. If you are over hit cap, over haste cap, and don’t know what to do; reforge to crit. (not sure this is a likely scenario but it could be I dunno what you are wearing)

Glyphs: Our Prime Glyphs nicely all increase our DPS (which is good since this is a DPS spec)With the addition of 3 more glyphs I wanted then to give me a minor glyph to do something fun and weird. Turn our normal ghoul into a zombie or something…I have zombies on the brain lately.

Prime: Raise Dead, Scourge Strike, Death Coil

Major: Anti-Magic Shell, Pestilence, Blood Boil

Minor: Blood Tap, Path of Frost, Horn of Winter

Rotation: Changes for Multi target will be in italics. I know this is dorky but I have index cards with rotation single/mutli for each spec (I have this for all my toons) As with most DPS these days your don’t have a rotation so much as a priority list.

Get your Diseases up and running

Death and Decay

Dark Transformation off Cooldown

Scourge Strike

Festering Strike (Bloodboil and Icy Touch)

Death Coil

Keep using SS/FS and DC as filler until you need to refresh or cooldowns pop. If you end up with an extra Bloodrune work in a Blood Strike or convert it over with Blood Tap.

I know it looks like a lot to keep track but in practice I didn’t find it different that what I was doing before. Watching my diseases to make sure they were up, tossing strikes based on which runes were up, and Death Coiling when I had the runic power. The only big difference will be adding in Dark Transformation. Oh and stay in Unholy presence to maximize your dps. You’re unholy, show it to them!

Tanking: Blood

I knew it was coming, the change to Blood being the only tank spec, so I already had Sember specced Blood to try and get a feel for it. ( I leveled Frost tanking originally)

Our stat needs begin the same. 8% hit, because baddies can’t be threatened by you if you can’t hit them in the first place. Get to hit, get there now, just do it.

We aren’t your swishy dodgy tanks. We aren’t your sword and board tanks. We are your massive health pool to suck the hits up with tanks. Blood craves blood. I mean Blood tank need big stamina filled health pools.

Blood tanks are masters of blood mastery. The Mastery for blood was well done and really worth getting. (reforging will help with this).

Last, you have expertise/dodge. The cap is 26. Easy peasy don’t worry about it. Don’t focus on it. If you gear, it will come.

Really I’d keep it to. Hit to cap, Stamina for health, and mastery for all else. Short, sweet, and easy to remmeber. If only it made a good rhyme.

Now, let’s translate that into gem speak. Sold Majestic Zircon(blue slots) (nom nom) for everything unless your set has +9/+12 stam. Guardian or Accurate Dreadstones(red slots) depending on need and Regal Eye of Zul (yellow) for any lack of dodge you may have. (remember this is all individual based on your current gear)


Prime: Death Strike, Death and Decay, Rune Strike

Major: Same as Unholy but switch Anti-Magic Shell for Dancing Rune Blade

Rotation: Or how to make them hate you more and faster. Again Multitarget changes in italics.

Get your Diseases up and running

Death and Decay

Rune Strike

Death Strike

Blood Boil

Heart Strike

Blood Boil (if 3+ baddies)

Runic Empowerment behooves you to keep your runes on CD. Use them, keep them on CD, and make those baddies hate you more than anyone else! Hurt baddies hurt!

*coughs* Right so now is the time to dust off your DK if you haven’t played them in awhile and enjoy your plate wearing dps and threat magnets. Expectations are pretty low in random dungeons with the pre-expac slump. Try it! Enjoy yourself and pwn some mobs!

Published in: on November 19, 2010 at 12:38 pm  Leave a Comment  
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