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Later… June 28, 2010

Posted by Bezurk in Death Knight, Other.
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Detriment - Shadow's Edge

Nom.

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Shadow’s Edge June 18, 2010

Posted by Bezurk in Death Knight, General, Raiding.
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Now, as you probably know, Shadow’s Edge is the axe forged out of the stupid amount of Primordial Saronites, along with Festergut and Rotface’s blood, and (for some reason, as a ‘template’) Light’s Vengeance, Artha’s old bashy stick. It’s the axe all Death Knights, Warriors and Paladins aspire to. After the long quest chain involving the end-wing bosses in 25 mans, killing 1000 mobs, and generally doing what Mr. Boss Mograine tells you, you get that even lovelier axe…. Shadowmourne (even if a part of me dies inside when a Paladin gems it with Armor Pen).

My Death Knight, Detriment, was fortunate enough to get the acids today in a ‘good’ ICC 25 PuG. Of course, that meant doing the 5-minute quest to kill an elite with 150k HP as well as about 10 billion ghouls, and of course I did it in my Unholy PvP spec, and bad PvP gear. It got done in the end, anyway. Then-

WHAAAAAAA!!111!!! zomg 25?!!!?!

I have 3 Primordial Saronite currently. While, if I work at it, I can manage at least 4 saronites a week through grinding randoms on my various 80s, the weekly raid and VoA when the oppurtunity arises, this will still take over a month to grind out. Ooof.

I’m not the sort that has money pouring out of every orifice either, so I could (maybe) buy another couple a week. That’s still just under a month. Just a little speculation (alright, outright QQ), but surely Blizz you could look at lowering the cost of the Primordials? Or make them easier to get? Kthx

But then, assuming they did do that (which they probably won’t), it would lose some of its prestige. You can look at it as a ‘wow’ weapon (Yes, it is in WoW), or ‘wtf did that guy buy gold llolololllool’, but judging by the stats, the epic factor and the questline, it’s looking like an awesome weapon and worth the gold / emblems / lucky rolls.

For tanking.

New 80 Tank? June 1, 2010

Posted by Bezurk in Death Knight, General, Guide, Paladin, Warrior.
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Now, it is possible to tank as a new level 80 (although if you go PuGging don’t expect the DPS / healer to help you out/ not rofl that you don’t have 50k hp unbuffed / haven’t got Kingslayer even though they only dinged last week) contrary to what you may have heard. With heroic farming being incredibly easy now thanks to the LFD tool, and the shortage of tanks, it’s possible to be ICC ready inside a week.

But –

Before then, you are going to have a challenge on your hands. As a new 80 tank you will need perseverance if you want to tank endgame content. It’s going to hurt initially. Battlegroup dependent, you will encounter lots of elitist  pricks (or just a few), or even just general pricks. It’s a hard life as a new 80. Give it a week and you’ll be laughing.

Anyway… in this post we will be looking at the stats for tanks, and the  gear for plate tanks (sorry Druids 😦 ) so they are ready to heroic when they hit 80. A little note: as a tank it’s worth doing some research about your class since you need to know what you are doing as a tank – it’s obvious if you screw up, so go check out something like Tankspot.

Quite simply, tanks look for various stats, to improve health, threat generation and mitigation (or avoidance). There are primary stats and secondary stats:

Primary Stats

Stamina – More Stamina = more hit points. A high priority for a tank, but don’t make the mistake of purely looking for stamina.

Dodge Rating / Parry Rating – This increases your chance to dodge or parry a melee attack respectively – this increases your ‘Effective health’ – a good way to explain this is take 2 tanks. One has 50,000 HP and no avoidance, the other has 30,000 and 20% of each avoidance. Both are hit for 100 melee swings doing 10,000 damage each. Tank 1 must be healed for 1,000,000 as all attacks hit them – Tank 2 takes 600,000 as 20% of the attacks are dodged, and 20% are parried. Thus, Tank 2 has more Effective Health.

Shield Block Rating (Warriors/ Paladins only) – This increases your chance to block a melee attack. Note Shield Block Value is different (see below).

Shield Block Value (Warriors/ Paladins only) – This increases the amount of damage you block when you block a melee attack.

That covers the stats you need for mitigation and health. Onto

Secondary Stats

Strength – This increases your damage – more damage = more threat. For Warriors/Paladins it also increases their Shield Block Value (1 block value for every 2 Strength).

Hit Rating – This increases your chance to hit an enemy creature (or more accurately, reduces your chance to miss). More hits = more threat, if you miss an attack it equals no threat.

Expertise Rating – this reduces the chance your attacks will be dodged or parried – same idea as hit, as dodged or parried attacks cause no threat.

That basically covers the stats you want as a tank. Very rarely will you look for other stats (apart from Death Knights, with their non-Defense weapons, who may look for Armor Pen or Haste to maximise threat). On a side note, it’s worth remembering Agility – while not a recommended stat, it does grant Armor and Dodge (alongside a small amount of Crit) – for this reason Mongoose can be chosen as a valid tank enchant. But that’s going on a tangent.

Anyway, here’s a list of good pre-80 gear to aim for, assuming you can’t get crafted items or runs in ToC / ICC normal 5-mans, along with their respective enchants.

If you want links, copy the name of the item / quest / enchant into Thottbot or Wowhead or a similar site. Yes, I’m lazy sometimes. A note: This is assuming Best-in-Slot avoiding BoE items, purely from quest rewards / dungeon drops / reputation rewards. Also, I’m only recommending easily available and cheap enchants, as you will most likely replace gear quickly when you start heroics.

 There are BoE items available that are superior, and by all means utilise them (i.e. go and find a Blacksmith with 425+ skill, take some Eternal Earth and a lot of Saronite Bars to them and /y Make Stuff!!!)

Head: The Crusader’s Resolution – From: The Crusaders’ Pinnacle, quest reward (Icecrown) – Enchant: Heavy Borean Armor Kit OR Arcanum of the Stalwart Protector

Neck: Amulet of Deflected Blows – From: Skadi the Ruthless, Utgarde Pinnacle

Shoulders: Pauldrons of Reconnaissance From: Halls of Stone, quest reward (Halls of Stone) – Enchant: Heavy Borean Armor Kit OR Lesser Inscription of the Pinnacle

Back: Flowing Cloak of Command – From: Salramm the Fleshcrafter, The Culling of Stratholme – Enchant: Titanweave

Chest: Silver-Plated Battlechest – From: Junk in My Trunk, quest reward (Utgarde Pinnacle) Enchant: Greater Defense OR Mighty Health

Wrist: Svala’s Bloodied Shackles – From: Svala Sorrowgrave, Utgarde Pinnacle – Enchant: Major Stamina

Hands: Gauntlets of Vigilance – From: The Reckoning, quest reward (Storm Peaks) – Enchant: Armsman (Note: Daunting Handguards are better if you can get a Blacksmith to craft them).

Waist: Girdle of Obscuring – From: Mage-Lord Urom, The Oculus – Enchant: Eternal Belt Buckle (+ Cobalt Frag Bomb tinker for Engineers)

Legs: Special Issue Legplates – From: Argent Crusade, Honored – Enchant: Jormungar Leg Armor

Feet: Slaughterhouse Sabatons – From: Salramm the Fleshcrafter, The Culling of Stratholme – Enchant: Greater Fortitude (Note: Toxin-Tempered Sabatons from Honored reputation with  Knights of the Ebon Blade are identical – sorry DKs, only Shield Block Value here. Ho hum.)

Ring 1: Dragonflight Great-Ring – From: Ley-Guardian Eregos, The Oculus

Ring 2: Gal’darah’s Signet – From: Gal’darah, Gundrak

Trinket 1: Seal of the Pantheon – From: Loken, Halls of Lightning

Trinket 2: Variable (Jewelcrafting / Alchemy trinkets are viable, failing that then Crusader’s Locket, from Defending the Vanguard, quest reward (Icecrown) unless you have another old tanking trinket).

Weapons (Warrior / Paladin)

Weapon: Eternally Folded Blade – From: Volkhan, Halls of Lightning – Enchant: Titanium Weapon Chain (it’s cheap and offers some easy hit rating)

Shield: Leeka’s Shield – From: Mal’Ganis, The Culling of Stratholme – Enchant: Defense

Weapons (Death Knight)

Dual Wield:

Weapon 1: Crescent of Brooding Fury – From: WANTED: Ragemane’s Flipper, quest reward (Zul’Drak) – Enchant: Rune of the Nerubian Carapace

Weapon 2: Crimson Cranium Crusher – From: The Champion of Zul’Drak, quest reward (Zul’Drak) – Enchant: Rune of the Nerubian Carapace

Two-handed: Dreadlord’s Blade – From: Mal’ganis, The Culling of Stratholme – Enchant: Rune of the Stoneskin Gargoyle

Ranged / Relic:

Ranged: Weighted Throwing Axe – From: Changing the Wind’s Course (Horde) / Sirana Iceshriek (Alliance), quest reward (The Storm Peaks)

Libram: Venture Co. Libram of Protection – From: Vendors, Grizzly Hills (30 Venture Bay coins)

Sigil: Not much, but Sigil of the Frozen Conscience is probably best, failing using the original Sigil of the Dark Rider – From: Vendors, Grizzly Hills (30 Venture Bay coins)

That more or less covers it. With these items, you’ll be the best you can be (mostly), without BoE items, expensive enchants, and running ToC 5 normal / ICC 5 normal (which, if you random and don’t want to do dungeons the old fashioned way of walking in and out, only become available at 80 anyway).

Hope this guide helped you out 🙂

Death Knight Rune Management May 15, 2010

Posted by Bezurk in Death Knight, General, Raiding.
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I’ve taken to tanking on my death knight a fair bit now – it’s quite interesting, and something of a departure from the way a Warrior works. In the endgame,  a warrior spams Heroic Strike while using Revenge, Shield Slam, Devastate, Shockwave and Rend (and the occasional Thunder Clap). But Death Knights have the limitation of Runes and Runic Power.

While Blizz intends to fix this in Cataclysm, currently managing your runes is key to playing a death knight halfway decently. Currently, mine is dual specced for Blood and Frost tanking.

Why, you ask? Blood has excellent single-target capability through high damage via Heart Strike and Death Strike. Death and Decay alongside an improved Blood Boil make it possible to AoE tank – but it’s difficult to get instant AoE threat while you set up diseases. Personally, I like it for tanking bosses within raids that follow a largely tank-and-spank strategy while not having lots of adds.

Incidentally, that’s another thing – a Warrior can let Rend drop without suffering much, and Sunder Armour just happens while you deal threat via Devastate – but you must watch for your diseases dropping off (possibly one of the best glyphs ever: Glyph of Disease, refreshing diseases on your current target – essential for a fight that’s lasting longer than 20 seconds), because it incurs a heavy TPS (threat per second) loss; first, through the DoTs Frost Fever and Blood Plague not being active on the target, and secondly because Blood Boil and Heart Strike damage increases when your diseases are active.

Now, Frost doesn’t have the active cooldowns of Blood, or the self-healing, or quite so much single target TPS. But it does have excellent AoE capability (including instant aggro-grabbing threat) and it has the passive mitigation that Blood lacks. This means you can hold aggro on those pesky Warriors/ Paladins / <insert high damage instant AoE class here> that Whirlwind or Divine Storm straight off the mark.

This is going on a bit of a tangent from my initial point, however – Death Knights are limited heavily by their runes. On a ~10 second cooldown individually, 2 of Blood, Frost and Unholy runes means that you have to watch and understand how your runes work. On the surface it seems simple – but it’s actually quite difficult to get the hang of. Abilities like DnD offer that good high-threat AoE, but at a cost of 1 of each rune it’s expensive. Then each spec has access to a 1 Unholy 1 Frost ability (Death Strike / Obliterate / Scourge Strike for Blood / Frost / Unholy death knights respectively), which, while expensive, does a lot of damage – and for Blood, Death Strike gets you those all-important Death Runes. Then you have single-rune abilities, which you need to understand what each applies, how they work in conjunction with each other… and a miss / dodge / parry for those under hit and expertise caps messes up this carefully researched and planned rotation…

To cut my incessant rambling short, it takes a lot of work to maximise your capability as a Death Knight, against common belief. Working out when 6 runes will come off cooldown while watching runic power to see if you need to pop Icebound Fortitude – it’s quite intense. And it’s damn good fun. But I look forward to the rune changes, so that instead of 6 individual runes, 3 sets of runes will be available – if it works right, it should make the death knight a lot more forgiving to play.