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Monday, March 12, 2012

Death Knight Talents in Mists, or, "Death Pact is the Renegade choice" Part 2

Continuing from part 1 we get to the aptly named "PART 2!!!!!" which I personally find to be among the more interesting choices compared to 1. The best part of this whole talent experiment is that so far, even though there are only six choices, I feel as though I am actually making decisions.

Level 60

The level 60 tier is all about survival, and from the standpoint of Death Knights it is the first solo-talent choice you'll make as you make the 15, 30 and 45 choices at creation.
Note: As of this writing I am under the impression that Death Siphon actually costs a death rune, and does not appear on the Blood Mastery.

Blood: As Death Siphon is not apart of the blood mastery and would cut into your mitigation I would not go that route, and since the Ghoul is on a 3 minute cooldown I don't like the idea of having a defense require two GCD's (and have a longer cooldown). Instead I would go with Vampiric Blood, no RP cost on a defensive cooldown seems to fit for me.

Frost: Since Frost has numerous Death Runes available I think I would chose Death Siphon over Vampiric Blood since, assuming Siphon scales well, it will provide more on-demand healing and as Frost I am mostly more worried about getting nickel and dimed down due to strain on healers.

Unholy: Because the ghoul is always out and the modern Death Pact will not kill my ghoul I like it as a defensive; a quick heal for half my health without loss of the ghoul.

Level 75

This is probably the most important tier for the class and I find it interesting that DK's won't get these abilities until much later in the game, but that's a subject for another day. In this case I am choosing between a spectrum of risk/reward with Blood Tap being low risk low reward, Runic Empowerment being high risk high reward, and Corruption being in the middle.
Blood: There is nothing I dislike more as a blood tank than playing rune-tetris to try and keep my blood runes off cooldown and my death runes ON cooldown, so this will rule out Runic Empowerment for me. Yes it can lead to strings of high mitigation but I dislike anything that is unreliable when tanking. This leaves the choice being between Runic Corruption and Blood Tap...and while Blood Tap can be saved up for a sudden burst of healing if I need it, I am going to go with Runic Corruption for the long-term mitigation.

Frost: Of the three options all look great for Frost; I should note that it appears Frost Presence has increased runic power generation even more so I am liking it for Frost DPS but we'll have to see what the numbers say. Since Frost gets Death Runes automatically I think I like Runic Empowerment; the high-reward nature means Frost will still enjoy high burst...though there would be staunch competition from Runic Corruption.

Unholy: Don't fix what isn't broken, I love Runic Corruption for unholy because it has such synergy with their talents....Sudden Doom is still on the calculator so I think I will stick with Runic Corruption as my go-to for unholy.

Level 90

Here we are at the last tier, this is probably the most "fun" of all the tiers since you are getting a really interesting and powerful ability regardless of which you choose...really, all of them are good. The utility of each will also depend on what fights look like in Mists, which I will have to hold off on commenting until Beta begins.
Blood: For Blood I like all three really, the latter pair give some powerful AoE that will help build threat and keep it for no cost, while the first is magnificent for pulling. For now I think I will go with Gorefiend's on the assumption that threat is going to remain more or less the same; high initial threat from the Grasp combined with a Death and Decay and a few disease spreading Blood Boils ought to make it hard for anyone to take threat away.

Frost: I can't resist taking Remorseless Winter as a Frost DK, it fits so well to become the eye of the storm; not only that it adds some nice CC and while it doesn't do quite as much overall damage as Desecrated Ground, it will stay on YOU so you don't have to worry about enemies walking out of it.

Unholy: For Unholy I like the thematic feel of Desecrated Ground, a 2 minute, high damage cooldown out to suit me just right, and it works well with Death and Decay.

Note: One added point; if I am a DPS DK and the raid has no other, I would probably take Gorefiend's grasp to support the tank, since it can be targeted on anyone.

Hope everyone enjoyed, I'll consider doing either Hunter or Priest next, feel free to add comments or criticisms!

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