Monday, October 17, 2011

It had to be part 1 1/3! Beware too many details!

 How to play Death Knight: Part 1, 1/3.

I’ll briefly explain the difference between gearing in cataclysm compared to wrath of the lich king. In WOTLK, we used a sort of mix between pve and pvp gear. The whole idea behind that was because the off pieces in PvP did not give Strength, which is what death knights needed a lot of back then. In WOTLK the stats you wanted back then were pretty simple; strength, crit and hit rating to the cap.

Now in Cataclysm the gearing have become a lot simpler compared to the constant of grind of PvE gear in raids. In Cataclysm you’ll only need to grind max 1-2 PvE items at all times and most of the time – you don’t even need a single piece of PvE gear! You’ll mainly be focusing on the gear that is bought via Honor or Conquest points. That is because in Cataclysm they’ve added strength to off pieces as well as dps trinkets.

With Cataclysm strength, agility and intellect have become the most dominant with the most benefit in the game. A lot of math has been made on the subject and strength, agility and intellect seem to be twice as strong as any off stat (haste, mastery, crit, expertise and spirit). That is why you’ll most likely see that any of the three main stats being mentioned as the best stats in gemming in other guides.


As I just explained above it is mainly the ideal idea to get full PvP gear. If you were to start at complete scratch as my series follow though then I’d suggest you to farm the full PvP gear and I’ll below explain which stats you’d weight higher than other. Beware this is my personal opinion and this is what I feel most logical and reasonable when dealing with min/maxing.

˃ Hit to Cap> Haste > Mastery > Crit > Expertise.

As I did explain above about strength being one of the strongest stats in the game it certainly also applies to Death Knights. It is because it applies to everything that you’ll be using in any PvP/arena environment, such as your Strikes (Necrotic, Scourge, Blood and Festering), Death Coil, Death and Decay, Blood Boil, your pet and the list goes on. That is why strength is such an amazing stat for Death Knights.

Hit to Cap is the next on the list; it pretty much says it all if you’re a somewhat experienced PvP or PvE player. Though I’ll still quickly get around it, as pretty much any melee you’ll need 5% hit or 600 hit rating to achieve the complete yellow cap in PvP combat. What I mean by yellow cap is your abilities will not be able to miss vs. other players, all though there are a couple of cases where you might be able to miss abilities vs. night elves but the odd chance is about 2%.

Haste, this is my absolute favorite stat with Unholy. Haste reduces the cooldown on your runes, so you’ll basically be spamming more spells. You might think “That sounds kind of bad, why would you wanna do that?” and a simple answer goes to that; more abilities = more death coils = more damage!

Mastery with the Unholy spec increase your unholy damage which seems like an amazing deal some might say, all though the reason why you don’t pick it as unholy (unless you can’t get rid of it) is because your rotation as Unholy is pretty limited you won’t be spamming an ability every global cooldown. That is why you want to optimize your uptime with damage going out via haste.

Crit is the next on the list and I have to say, this stat is completely awful for unholy with the other stats being more appealing this one is easily ignored and with good reason. The stat gives of course the higher burst damage in a shorter time frame, but with the same reason for not picking mastery it is more spells we need going out then higher damage.

Expertise is a PvE stat and has no home in any PvP build for Death Knights; you’re simply sacrificing too many other good stats for a small percentage to avoid dodge/parries.

Moving on to frost!

˃ Hit to Cap>
Mastery > Crit > Haste > Expertise.

Strength is the same reason as for Unholy; it applies to all your damage and is the biggest benefit of all the stats in the game you can get.

Hit to Cap is also mandatory for the Frost spec, it helps with the misses and increases your damage output in the end.

Mastery, yes you’ve probably noticed haste is no longer the best off stat, no I haven’t wrote it wrong. The reason is because as Frost your runic power generation is incredible! You’ll most of the time be spamming your abilities like there is no tomorrow, not even the global cooldown seems to be in the way of frost. That is why you need more damage to your spells as Frost and that is where Mastery comes in the picture.

Crit, I know you’re wondering what it is doing there but as I just explained, haste is not an amazing stat for Frost so we’ll need something else to replace it with and we’ve got crit! It helps out on Howling Blast spamming in 3v3/5v5 and rbgs. You’ll notice yourself being top damage dealer with a strong build of mastery and crit.

Haste, not the best stat but if you can’t avoid the stat (example PvP legs) then reforge some of it away for some mastery and let the remaining stay put.

Expertise is again no use for the Death Knight in PvP, so reforge some of it away and let it stay the same way as haste.

Spell Penetration is also an amazing stat that you’ll need as Death Knight it is the sole purpose to avoid getting your spells resisted, such as Strangulate, Chains of Ice and Death Coils. You’ll need 195 Spell Penetration as a Death Knight to be capped in PvP.


The reason I left it behind is because it is a very stat in World of Warcraft and needs to be well balanced with your gear. You want to maintain a high set of strength, haste/mastery depending on your spec, but you also need resilience. I’ve always had the idea that resilience is not something you can tell people to get a specific amount of. You need to test things out and feel where your safe zones are with resilience, what you and your partners feel comfortable with. You might be wondering what if I were to say what is a good amount to get, I’d pretty much always recommend 4000+ resilience seeing Death Knights are vulnerable to high burst/high pressure. I myself feel much comfort playing with 4200-4300 resilience as Unholy and 4500-4600 as Frost. The reason being I like to have so high for Frost is because you don’t get the talent Deaths Advance as Frost and it lowers your mobility, so to make up for that I plug in abit more resilience.
You might not be able to achieve the high amount of resilience I’m running with because I’ve got full Ruthless with 400 blacksmithing for the 2 extra sockets and 525 Jewel crafting for the Jewel crafting gems.
I’m afraid that I’ve been writing a lot more than I expected to, so I’ll call this the end for Part 1, 1/3.
Thank you for reading with me though this wall of text.
Next I’ll be covering enchants and gems.


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