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|Unholy Death Knight PvP Guide|(Legion)

Hello everyone,

This guide is intended for those who are fairly new to the death knight class and are looking for a great way to start.


What Has Changed With Death Knights?

1. The rune system is completely different and a lot easier to manage. In the past there were frost, death, and unholy runes, but now they are basically like having six death runes.

2. All Death Knight specs have a ranged kick of 15 yards, which is very nice because we lack mobility.

3. Abilities That Were Pruned Include: Desecrated Ground, Lichborne, Death Siphon, Death Pact, Icy Touch(along with its dispel), Plague Strike, Plague Leech, Strangulate was replaced with Asphyxiate, and one of the biggest prunes in my opinion was the presence pruning.

4. We have a great, utilizable talent tree for many different arena situations.

5. Death Knights have a new ability called wraith walk, which allows you to break roots and slowing effects, and increase your movement speed by 70% for 3 seconds. So, this is essentially a 3 second freedom every 45 seconds, just remember that any action you do, will cancel the effect.

6. Chains of Ice is now a 70% slow, up from 50%, which is a great tool to peel for your teammates.

7. We have a new ability that comes from our artifact weapon. This ability is called Apocalypse. It does a massive amount of single target damage and summons an army of undead minions that attack your target. These minions have special effects that they may place upon your target.

Effect 1: Pestilence - Is a Dot that does physical damage stacking up to 3 times.
Effect 2: Death - Increases damage taken by the DK by 5% per stack. Maximum 15% increase.
Effect 3: War - Reduces Healing by 5% per stack. Maximum 15% reduction.
Effect 4: Famine - Reduces damage dealt to the dk by 5% per stack. Maximum 15% reduction.

8. Glyphs are completely removed from the game, but you are able to buy cosmetic glyphs to make some of your abilities look cooler.

9. An important thing to notice is your artifact weapon talent tree as well. When you guys obtain your weapon make sure to read each piece because some of them are extremely vital tools for your kit in arena. An example of this for unholy is that your death grip reduces the targets movement speed by 50% for 6 seconds, so knowing this piece of information can potentially allow you to save a rune for d rather than utility.

10. Death Strike costs 45 runic power instead costing 2 runes like it used to. It can heal you for a minimum of 10% of your maximum health plus 20% of all the damage you took in the last 5 seconds.


Talents

Here are two lists of talents that I prefer to run on unholy death knight and below are explanations as to why I choose those talents and any tweaks that you could make for certain situations.

This is a list for the damage spec.
http://www.wowhead.c...ght/unholy/M8HM

This is a list for the necrotic spec.
http://www.wowhead.c...ght/unholy/MO50

Level 56 [Damage Spec]: I really like Bursting Sores for this talent choice because it makes your apocalypse burst hit a lot stronger with each wound that you burst which makes for a nice nuke every 1.5 minutes. The damage may not be as steady as All Will Serve, but that is another option to chose as well if you want more steady damage, plus its always nice to be able to spam res your pet because they pruned death coil being able to heal it.

Level 56 [Necrotic Spec]: I chose the All Will Serve Talents for this tier because you aren't really going to be getting the benefit from bursting a wound because necrotic doesn't burst a festering wound, it instead converts it into a necrotic wound.

Level 57 [Damage and Necrotic Spec]: I personally like Blighted Rune Weapon for this tier because it allows you to keep your wounds up on your target more often, rather than expending more runes to apply them, you can spend more runes to burst them or to necrotic them.

Level 58 [Damage Spec]: Clawing Shadows is ideal for this tree because the damage increase from scourge to clawing shadows is a lot higher. The only reason I know this is because I have tested many hours attack a dummy to ensure that this was true. You also have to take into consideration that clawing shadows is unaffected by armor and can be used from a distance, which is nice due to the lack of mobility that you have.

Level 58 [Necrotic Spec]: Castigator is the best option in this tier when playing the necrotic spec because the ideal of the necrotic spec is to apply as many festering wounds as you can in the fastest amount of time, so that you can convert these into necrotic wounds, so with every crit you are capable of placing a very high number of wounds on your target very quickly rather than expending more runes and wasting those runes on not necroticing.

Level 60 [Damage and Necrotic Spec]: Asphyxiate is the ideal ability in almost every situation because without this, you would only have a 2 second ghoul stun on a 1.5 minute CD, which is not ideal. I have testing if the question if the Sludge Belcher hits harder than the regular ghoul and the answer is no, they hit the same.

Level 75 [Damage and Necrotic Spec]: Corpse Shield is good in just about every situation and here is why. There is a little niche that you can do with this ability. When you pop corpse shield 90% of the damage you take is redirected to your pet...correct? When you pet dies from the effects of corpse shield, you cannot summon your pet again for another 30 seconds, but there is a solution to this problem. Right before your pet is about to die from corpse shield and if you are fast enough, you can dismiss your pet with a dismiss pet macro and will be able to summon a pet again. This works extremely well with the All Will Serve Talent. I can see where some would think "Spell eater is great for full caster teams", but my argument would be that if you could effectively use your corpse shield, then it is a better tool 100%. Another useful niche with this corpse shield is the fact that you can huddle your pet so that it stays up longer.

Level 90 [Damage Spec]: Necrosis for obvious reasons. It increases the damage of your scourge strike/clawing shadows after every death coil. Maximize your damage output by death coiling into clawing shadows after.

Level 90 [Necrotic Spec]: I personally like Infected Claws for this tier because it allows your pet to apply more wounds to your target and more wounds without the expenditure of your own runes means more necrotic strikes to absorb healing on your target.

Level 100 [Damage Spec]: I really enjoy Soul Reaper for this tier because not only does it do large damage, but has a niche as well. If you apply Soul Reaper before you use your Apocalypse ability, then it will give you the 21% haste buff immediately rather than expending 3 globals to obtain the haste. This haste is great because it allows you to put out globals faster and faster globals equals more damage. Defile can be good in certain situations, but this is still under testing.

Level 100 [Necrotic Spec]: Dark Arbiter is extremely strong when used in the right way, plus it doesn't go against the dps rotation of the necrotic spec, which is very nice. The ideal way to use this talent is when you have 100 runic power because the more you expend the more damage it does. It hits significantly harder than gargoyle even in its shorter duration. Defile is still under testing as well.

PvP Talents

Here are two lists of PvP Talents that I prefer to run on an unholy death knight and below are explanations as to why I chose those talents and any tweaks that you could make for certain situations.

This is a list for damage spec.
http://www.wowhead.c...ight/unholy/JuU

This is a list for the necrotic spec.
http://www.wowhead.c...ight/unholy/Juc

First Tier: Gladiator's Medallion is usually a go to vs teams that have spammable cc, like polymorphs, or fears. ORC OPTION: If the team has heavy stuns and you are an orc, then the Relentless talent would be the way to go.

Second Tier: Reinforced Armor is used in almost all situations because one, dks have the highest hp pool in arena, and two, Sparring is only really viable against pure physical melee teams, which rarely exist.

Third Tier: Most of you might not like this talent tree because there are two very good options on there. Dark Sim and Anti-Magic Zone. AMZ, which has been significantly buffed, has always been a great defensive tool for either yourself or your teammates. I personally choose AMZ because it is, literally, another entire defensive CD for your team and can save trinkets from your healer or defensives for your partners in general. Dark Sim is also viable, especially if you do not need the extra defensive CD.

Fourth Tier: Necrotic Aura when playing with things that would benefit from a magic damage amplification and Heartstop Aura with classes that wouldn't benefit from a magic damage amplification.

Fifth Tier: This tier is extremely amazing. Crypt fever is literally the highest dps ability that you will have versus teams that have a lot of hot healing, like resto druids and mistweaver monks. You will notice that it will top your dps meters, which is hilarious to me because a passive ability shouldn't do that much in my opinion, but it is what it is. It may seem weak versus classes that don't have many hot healing options, but is still the best option on that tier.

Sixth Tier: Unholy Mutation with your damage spec and obviously Necrotic Strike with the necrotic spec. DO TAKE NOTICE, that you can only necrotic strike a target and obtain your necrotic wound if there are festering wounds present on your target. If there are no festering wounds present, then you will not obtain the absorb and you will just be doing weak damage that doesn't do anything.

Gearing

I still think some people are confused on the whole gearing subject, so I am going to explain it to you guys, so you can benefit yourselves in the best way. The simplest way to explain how to gear in Legion for PvP purposes is to achieve the highest ITEM LEVEL GEAR that you could obtain. Regardless of the stats, each class has a predetermined PvP template of stats when they enter either a BattleGround or and Arena. This "Predetermined" Set of Stats increase with Item level, NOT WITH WHAT THE STATS ON YOUR GEAR SAY.

Here is an example: You obtain a 850 Ilvl piece that gives you mastery and crit and you are like "WoW this is great!" "My Best Stats!". Then 20 minutes later you receive a 855 Warforged piece that gives you haste and versatility. Go for the piece with the higher item level regardless of the stats on the gear, because those stats do not matter at all once you step into a PvP related experience.

To those DKs who want to do the most optimal damage in arena, you are going to have to get your pve pants on because the item level for mythic raiding gear gives your pvp stat templates a nice boost in arena if you are maxed out. Holinka estimated that the difference would be 5% or so, but that is very worth it in my eyes, especially in higher rated PvP.

Runeforging

1. Fallen Crusader

Rotation In PvP

There is no ideal rotation for a death knight in PvP because the way the rune system works. There is a lot of RNG built into the rotation, but the best way I can start you off is with this:

1. Make sure your target is slowed so you can keep on them. You will notice that you have the worst mobility in the game and that is supposed to be normal since we are supposed to do a massive amount of damage and pressure, but this is not the case anymore post Mists of Pandaria.

2. Sudden Doom procs can stack twice and are only usable with death coil. TAKE NOTE: This does increase the damage that your Dark Arbiter does.

3. It is ideal to use your Apocalypse ability with 8 festering wounds present on your target to increase the maximum damage that you to towards your target. Also try to apply your Soul Reaper before you use Apocalypse.

4. When running the Damage Spec, it is ideal to death coil to get your necrosis proc, then clawing shadows to have its damage increased.

5. The best way to get a feel for it is to literally attack a target dummy for an hour or so until you are perfectly comfortable and quick enough to maximize your damage.

Macros

Here is a list of macros that you could copy and paste for your benefit.

[] http://pastebin.com/JYV4eHc9

Death Knight PvP Stream

Follow to see when I am live. I am always willing to answer questions.

[] https://www.twitch.tv/neroxz123

comments

comments

#1 lol_awful

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Posted 14 September 2016 - 04:20 PM

So playing w/ the auto use trinket on the first honor row still lets you keep the 3 min trinket.. Is this intended? Totally worth. Feels like I didn't even lose desecrated ground.
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#2 xogen

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Posted 14 September 2016 - 05:49 PM

Have fun trinketing bait cc and then globalled in a stun. :) Thats what smart teams are gonna do who play long game and not zerg.

Also you use scourge strike with clawing shadows to hit targets who are not in melee to the guy above.
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#3 lol_awful

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Posted 14 September 2016 - 06:56 PM

use scourge strike with clawing shadows to hit targets who are not in melee to the guy above.


Why not use the trinket for the stun? lol, plus orc, but this is all theory since the season hasn't started. I don't do 3s anyway.

About your quote.. Do you mean you use clawing instead so you have range for the fuckers kiting us? I can't stand clawing for some reason.
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#4 johnjohn

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Posted 14 September 2016 - 08:15 PM

Dks rule
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#5 Bignosesp

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Posted 14 September 2016 - 08:58 PM

Also you use scourge strike with clawing shadows to hit targets who are not in melee to the guy above.


The guide states that you do not run Clawing Shadows when running the Necrotic spec. Instead, you run Castigator which makes sense because more festering wounds = more necrotic strikes.

Necrotic Strike costs 1 rune and Scourge Strike costs 1 rune. Being that you're not running bursting wounds there are no wounds that can be bursted with Scourge Strike so I would assume that since you want to convert all your wounds to Necrotic wounds there would really be no reason to even use Scourge Strike.

Hoping you can confirm this for me Nero!
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#6 lol_awful

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Posted 15 September 2016 - 12:19 AM

Word! I forgot that I don't have level 30 so no necro xD
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#7 xogen

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Posted 15 September 2016 - 11:50 AM

The guide states that you do not run Clawing Shadows when running the Necrotic spec. Instead, you run Castigator which makes sense because more festering wounds = more necrotic strikes.

Necrotic Strike costs 1 rune and Scourge Strike costs 1 rune. Being that you're not running bursting wounds there are no wounds that can be bursted with Scourge Strike so I would assume that since you want to convert all your wounds to Necrotic wounds there would really be no reason to even use Scourge Strike.

Hoping you can confirm this for me Nero!


With blighted rune wepon giving wounds and pets claw attack aswell I find I can use necrotic around 10-15 times at the start of the match festering striking only once. Also if you watch your crit in arena it's around 18%. Very low to go crit spec. Clawing Shadows is the superior choice by far. Also setupping 2 festering strikes is not a problem every 30sec.
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#8 moneky

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Posted 19 September 2016 - 07:46 PM

UH would feel so much better if necrosis would stack up to 3 instead of just 1, and bringing back healing for the ghoul.

(It's hilarious to use Corpse Shield and just see the ghoul dissapear before you can even do anything about it. xde)
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#9 Caricya

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 02:52 AM

UH would feel so much better if necrosis would stack up to 3 instead of just 1, and bringing back healing for the ghoul.

(It's hilarious to use Corpse Shield and just see the ghoul dissapear before you can even do anything about it. xde)

what's the difference, anyway you gonna buy the rating from wintraders ahah
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#10 Caricya

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Posted 23 September 2016 - 04:57 AM

anyone noticed?

http://www.wowhead.c...adly-durability

this trait doest works (for Icebound not works exactly)


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#11 MaReeo

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Posted 23 September 2016 - 08:27 AM

removed


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#12 Ownu

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Posted 24 September 2016 - 08:00 PM

I hate this classsssss


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#13 Relentless

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Posted 06 October 2016 - 01:17 PM

Does unholy get a lot better at 46 with necrotic strike? Because right now I feel absolutely worthless as a class / spec (and i know frost isn't any better).


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#14 Thickel

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Posted 15 October 2016 - 06:48 PM

Thank you for the guide. Very much appreciated!


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#15 drzy

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Posted 15 October 2016 - 11:38 PM

Does unholy get a lot better at 46 with necrotic strike? Because right now I feel absolutely worthless as a class / spec (and i know frost isn't any better).

Don't know if you've found out already but nah it doesn't. Frost will be decent in 7.1 on paper - but we'll have to see if it plays out that way.

 

Best advice I can give you is just to reroll


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#16 Relentless

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Posted 16 October 2016 - 03:30 PM

Don't know if you've found out already but nah it doesn't. Frost will be decent in 7.1 on paper - but we'll have to see if it plays out that way.

 

Best advice I can give you is just to reroll

Cheers, yeah kinda found out for myself. Kinda hard for me to reroll with the little time i have to play at the moment so think i'll just have to invest some AP in frost and hope that works out better.

 

Seems ok in 3s but 2s was just depressing, doing barely more damage than 1600 assassination rogues...crypt fever is so retarded as well doing 40% + of my damage versus druids / mw but then almost non existent versus disc / hpalas


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#17 Caricya

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Posted 17 October 2016 - 06:17 PM

play tsg with mw monk or dont waste own time ;/


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#18 a1entity

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Posted 17 October 2016 - 06:32 PM

play tsg with mw monk or dont waste own time ;/

I enjoy wasting my time playing demo shadowcleve.


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#19 Loopie

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Posted 01 November 2016 - 06:02 AM

Anyone knows why my global cds are so long ? i mean like .. i'm supposed to setup stuff to deal dmg or something... How i'm supposed to setup stuff when i have 2-3 sec uptime on a target from time to time and my GCD is 2-3 sec ?


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#20 Caricya

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Posted 02 November 2016 - 08:11 AM

cuz its legion, dk has no mobility, ty class designer for the Shit freedom , u cant attack during it, u can get roots into it, the best Spell in the game with 45sec cd xD, just delete it and give passive 15% speed and old Death's advance ( u cant be slowed below 70% of normal speed or somethin like this) for Unholy. Frost can be with shit mobility cuz it has insane dmg, unholy has decent dmg and zero mobility


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