Tuesday, February 15, 2011

DK PvP/DPS Guide Update

As promised, a look at what I'm doing on my DK for a Frost PvP/DPS type spec and playstyle. I'll copy the changes into this post like I've done for my other guides, and post the entire thing as a page linked on the left side. Comments will point to here.

The Spec

With that in mind, I went with a 3/31/7 spec.

It's important to note that my aim is to be able to do two things well with this spec. The first, I'd like to be able to DPS in a PvE environment competitively. The second, I'd like to feel useful in PvP Battlegrounds. Thus, some points are chosen for that sort of utility, even though I know it makes my spec not "the best" raiding spec or "the best" PvP spec. It's a hybrid spec. For instance, my PvP needs are what entice me to spec into Chillblains and use the Glyph of Hungering Cold. You may want to go another route if you're wanting a pure raiding spec.

In the Frost tree, I laid off Icy Reach, Chill of the Grave, and Endless Winter. I may swap the points I spend in Butchery for CotG just to see which generates more RP. I'm happy with Butchery right now though and don't feel RP starved. I ignore the 2H Might of the Frozen Wastes since I'm DW, and also put a point in On a Pale Horse. It's nice to be just a bit faster in BGs.

In the Unholy tree, I extend my disease length and put two points in Unholy Command (mostly in order to get to T2 but it doesn't hurt for PvP). In the second tier I pick up Desecration. My playstyle in PvP revolves around controlling and slowing the opposing players. With the combination of Desecration and Chillblains (Plus Hungering Cold and Chains of Ice thrown in), I've found it pretty effective. Especially when protecting siege vehicles and such.

In the Blood tree I just take Butchery and put my last point in Bladed Armor. I may eventually take points away from Desecration and fill up Bladed Armor (maybe even just one point) if I feel that I'm overdoing the "slowing" approach. For now, though, I like it.

The Glyphs

  • Major Glyphs - Pillar of Frost, Chains of Ice, Hungering Cold- Here's where it gets a bit murky. Hungering Cold for free is good stuff in a BG. It works as both an interrupt and a freeze. I find it incredibly useful. After that, I didn't find myself using Pest as much anymore and went with Pillar of Frost instead for an extra escape. I also didn't find myself needing the extra Strangulate seconds (and wondering how many times I actually procced it since I use Mind Freeze as my interrupt), so I went with Icy Chains, which I use all the time. I contemplated Dark Succor for the healing, but, again, I just don't find myself using it enough. Your mileage may vary.

The Rotation

Intro: Howling Blast > Plague Strike > Necrotic Strike > Blood Strike > Obliterate > Frost Strike

Added NS into my "setup" phase. Also added a bit about DS:

You also get Dark Simulacrum, which is a very neat spell to use, especially in PvP. Basically it lets you steal any spell that uses mana and then use it. Cool stuff and the possibilities are endless. Have fun with it and throw it in when you can. I like to steal heals in PvP and heal myself. One little bug I've noticed is that DS doesn't really work inside of a macro. I had to have it on it's own key to get the second spell to work, or it'll just tell me that "I haven't learned that spell." It'll do the original cast of DS well enough, just not the "borrowed" cast. I don't know what it is about being in a macro that messes this up, so I've just put it on it's own key straight from the spellbook.

The Stats

Strength > Hit (until melee cap) >= Expertise (until cap) > Mastery > Crit > Haste > Agility > Hit (to spell cap)

Wrap Up
I've been having a blast with this chica in BG's. Having leveled this later as an alt, I find myself a bit behind the gearing curve of the general PvP public, but I can still hold my own. With the changes in 4.0.6 we retain our ability to eat mages for lunch, and also gained some added protection against stuns (and rogues). Good stuff.


  1. Ran TB last night. I'm not really sold on the glyph of PoF. I hate that it makes me immobile. I may change that one back to Strangulate and just try to be better about getting the proc. Any thoughts?

  2. May I ask why NS is in the setup but not in the priorities? Do we just hit it once then forget about it?

  3. "Utilize BS to keep Death Runes coming"

    What is BS?

  4. This is an older post. For the newest advice, see the link on the left hand side. It is not perfect, but to answer your questions directly...

    I use NS up front and then refresh it whenever I refresh Plague Strike (I have the two buttons macro'ed). I'm not very clear about how much it benefits us though (plus I'm not usually fighting things that last long enough to worry about it since I'm not really raiding on this toon).

    BS is Blood Strike, but that quotation doesn't apply anymore. I believe I got rid of it in my latest updates. If I'm just being blind, please let me know.

  5. Thanks for the prompt reply. I checked the link on the left (http://killingemslowly.blogspot.com/p/frost-dk-dw-dpspvp-primer.html) and the BS ref is still in there.

    Is that macro a castsequence or is one of them off the gcd?


  6. No problem. I found the BS ref hiding in there (missed it last night), and got rid of it. Since blood runes are converted straight to death ruins via the frost talent tree now, there's really no reason to use it.

    I don't macro a whole lot and just generally play "whack-a-mole" with what's off CD (or how much RP I have). I do have PS & NS macro'ed in a castsequence so that I just spam that key when PS needs a refresh (it keeps me using NS, but I don't really try to keep it up).

    Does that answer the questions?

  7. Oh and definitely let me know if I missed anything. I obviously don't get to go over my DK stuff as much as I do my Warlock, but I want to keep the guides at least helpful. Catching mistakes is a good thing, IMO. Thanks!

  8. Thanks for that. My only problem at the moment is that I do seem to spend a lot of time rune and runic power starved. Do you find this?