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In-Depth Death Knight PvP Guide - by mbXtreme


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#1 mbXtreme

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 05:43 PM

Hey Guys and welcome to my In-Depth Death Knight PvP Guide!



This Guide contains:
1. What Spec?
2. Stats
3. Reforge
4. Enchants
5. Gems
6. Talent Trees
7. Glyphs
8. Presence
9. Pet Control
10. Macros
11. Useful tips


1. Unholy? Master Frost or Regular Frost?

"Should I go Unholy or Frost? What weapons should I use?

Here are some basic minds about both Specs:

Unholy DK Pros:

Mobility
Death's Advance

Survivability
100% Resisting Anti-Magic Shell
Anti-Magic Zone for Support
More Deathcoil Selfheal

Unholy DK Cons:

No Burst Class

Frost DK Pros:

Constant High Dmg
Hungering Cold
Chains of Ice Freeze

Frost DK Cons:

Mobility

Survivability
75% Absorb Anti Magic Shell
Less Heal trough Death Coil

Frost DW or Frost 2H?

Frost DW Pros:
Less Hit = More Mastery
A bit extra Burst with Frost Strikes
10% More Frost Damage (Rune of Razorice)
Higher Uptime of Killing Machine
Higher White Damage

Frost DW Cons:
Huge Amounts of Downtime
Low Runic Power gain
Lower Survivability because of Missing Runic Power
Can't use Necrotic Strikes that much to stay above the Damage of Frost 2H

Frost 2H Pros:
High Runic Power gain
Higher Survivability
Better Constant Damage

Frost 2H Cons:
More Hit = Less Mastery
Missing 2nd Runeforge for 10% more Frost Damage

Both Frost and Unholy Specs are viable to play, also above 2,2k Arena.
It depends on the Setup of your Team. If you play a Tripple DPS Comp or comps with Burst dmg you will most likely go Regular Frost. If you have a non-breakable CC combo like TSG or others you can go Master Frost for insane AOE pressure. If you play with any Casters you will most likely play Unholy. In my opinion, Frost is nice to play but a well played Unholy DK is more viable.


2. Stats

Okay now lets start with our Character.

Note that the stats, gems and enchants stay the same, doesn't matter if you have Vicious, Ruthless or Cataclysmic PvP Gear.

First of all we are going to take a closer look at the Death Knight Stats and Stat Prioritys.
In General you will need 5% Hit wich is about 600.63 Hit Raiting and 195 Spell Penetration (Spell Penetration stops important abilities like Death Grip and Chains of Ice from getting resisted). The rest of our Stats depends on the following:

As a Unholy DK you will need:
5% Hit > 195 Spell Penetration > Resilience | Strength > Haste > Mastery > Crit

As a Master Frost DK you will need:
5% Hit > 195 Spell Penetration > Resilience | Strength > Mastery > Haste > Crit

As a Regular Frost DK you will need:
5% Hit > 195 Spell Penetration > Resilience | Strength > Haste > Mastery > Crit

The difference between Master Frost and Regular Frost Death Knights:

As a Master Frost Death Knight you will mainly use Howling Blast / Frost Strike and Necrotic Strike. It's a badass AOE Spec and mainly used in Rated Battlegrounds or non-breakable CC Setups in Arena.

As a Regular Frost Death Knight you will mainly use Obliterate / Frost Strike for Single Target Burst.

To reach those caps you will have to buy:

Neck: Cataclysmic Gladiator's Choker of Accuracy
wich gives you Hit Rating

Ring: Cataclysmic Gladiator's Signet of Accuracy
wich gives you Hit Rating

The rest of the Gear depends if you play Unholy or Frost.


3. Reforge

Like explained above, the Stat Priority depends on your Spec.
If you play Unholy you will have to reforge all Mastery, Crit and Expertise into Haste.
If you play Master Frost you will have to reforge all Haste, Crit and Expertise into Mastery.
If you play Regular Frost you will have to reforge all Mastery, Crit and Expertise into Haste.

Feel free to take a look at my Character:
http://eu.battle.net...alacar/advanced


4. Enchants

Head: 60 Strength and 35 Resilience (Arcanum of Vicious Strength)
Shoulders: 50 Strength and 25 Resilience (Greater Inscription of Vicious Strength)
Cloak: 70 Spell Penetration (Greater Spell Piercing)
Chest: 40 Resilience (Mighty Resilience)
Bracers: 50 Strength (Major Strength)
Gloves: 50 Strength (Mighty Strength)
Waist: Free Socket (Ebonsteel Belt Buckle)
Legs: 190 Attack Power and 55 Critical Strike Rating (Dragonscale Leg Armor)
Feet: 50 Haste (Haste) as Unholy or Master Frost, 50 Mastery (Mastery) as Frost
Weapon: Rune of the Fallen Crusader

Arcanum of Vicious Strength and the Greater Inscription of Vicious Strength: PvP Vendor
Dragonscale Leg Armor: Leatherworker or Auction House
Ebonsteel Belt Buckle: Blacksmither or Auction House
Rune of Fallen Crusader: Runeforging
All other Enchants: Enchanter


5. Gems

Now we are going to take a look at our Gems:

Red: Strength (Bold Queens Garnet / Inferno Ruby)
Yellow: Strength and Resilience (Resplendet Lava Coral / Ember Topaz)
Blue: Spell Penetration (Stormy Deepholm Lolit / Ocean Sapphire)
Meta: Strength and Crit Effect (Reverberating Shadowspirit Diamond)

If you cannot afford the 2 epic Stormy Gems you will have to take 3 Stormy Ocean Sapphires into the Gloves, Waist and Legs. If you have the option to take Stormy Deepholm Lolits you will place them into the Gloves and the Legs because you want the 10 Strength Socket Bonus of the Waist. If you lack Resilience you can place it into the Legs to get the 20 Resilience Socket Bonus.


6. Talent Trees

You can adjust them for your own Playstyle for example instead of Bladed Amor you could use Blade Barrier and so on but this are the Specs i am currently using:

As a Unholy Death Knight you will use the 0/8/33 Spec:

LINK (Including Glyphs):
http://www.wowhead.c...fuRkd:sVk0VczMm

As a Master Frost Death Knight you will use the 3/31/7 Spec:

LINK (Including Glyphs):
http://www.wowhead.c...dbufM:Mac0VqzMm

As a Regular Frost Death Knight you will use the 3/31/7 Spec:

LINK (Including Glyphs):
http://www.wowhead.c...d0ufM:Mma0VqzMm


7. Glpyhs

As a Unholy Death Knight you will use:

Prime Glyphs:
Glyph of Death Coil
Glyph of Raise Dead
Glyph of Scourge Strike or Glyph of Icy Touch

Major Glpyhs:
Glyph of Anti-Magic Shell
Glyph of Strangulate
Glyph of Death Grip

Minor Glyphs:
Glyph of Death's Embrace
Glyph of Resilent Grip
Glyph of Horn of Winter

As a Frost Death Knight you will use:

Prime Glyphs:
Glyph of Frost Strike
Glyph of Howling Blast
Glyph of Icy Touch < for Master Frost
Glpyh of Obliterate < for Regular Frost

Major Glyphs:
Glyph of Anti-Magic Shell
Glyph of Strangulate
Glyph of Hungering Cold

Minor Glyphs:
Glyph of Death's Embrace
Glyph of Resilent Grip
Glyph of Horn of Winter


8. Presence

You will play Unholy, Master Frost and Regular Frost in Unholy Presence.
The only Spec you will not play in Unholy Presence is Blood.


9. Pet Control

Another important step to become a better PvPer is the manual control of you pet. That means that you control wich target it's going to attack and also when it's going to use Gnaw or Leap.


10. Macros

To play your Death Knight even more effective you should write some Macros.
Here is a list of Macros i am currently using:

All in One Death Coil Macro:
#showtooltip Death Coil
/cast [nomod] Death Coil
/cast [mod:alt, @pet] Death Coil
/cast [mod:shift] Lichborne
/cast [mod:shift, @YOURNAME] Death Coil
Use:
Death Coil at Target

Shift + Use:
Activate Lichborne, Death Coil on Yourself

Alt + Use:
Death Coil at Pet

This also works perfectly in the Frost Version with Frost Strike:
#showtooltip
/cast [nomod] [color=#4a8fd0][b]Frost[/b][/color] Strike
/cast [mod:alt, @pet] Death Coil
/cast [mod:shift] Lichborne
/cast [mod:shift, @YOURNAME] Death Coil
Sacrifice Macro:
#showtooltip Death Pact
/target Ebon Gargoyle
/cast Death Pact
/targetlasttarget
/cast [mod:shift, @Pet] Death Pact
This Macro will use Death Pact on your Gargoyle if he is activated, on your Ghoul if your Gargoyle is not up. If Both are up it will Sacrifice the Gargoyle or with Shift + Use the Ghoul (if you have Summon Ghoul  ready it's better to Sacrifice your Ghoul then)

Pet Gnaw Macro:
#showtooltip Gnaw
/petattack
/petattack [mod:shift, @focus]
/petautocaston [nomod] Claw
/petautocastoff [mod:alt] Claw
/petautocastoff [mod:shift] Claw
/cast [mod:shift, @focus] Leap
/cast [mod:alt] Gnaw
/cast [mod:shift, @focus] Gnaw
Use:
Claw on, Attack Target

Alt + Use:
Claw off, Gnaw at Target

Shift + Use:
Claw off, Leap at Focus, Gnaw at Focus

Cancelaura Macro:
/cancelaura Lichborne
/cancelaura Hand of Protection
/cancelaura Ice Block
/cancelaura Divine Shield
Yes, Ice Block and Divine Shield because of Dark Simulacrum.
Feel free to add every Spell you want to cancel!

Unholy Frenzy Macro:
#showtooltip Unholy Frenzy
/cast [nomod, @YOURNAME] Unholy Frenzy
/use [nomod] Cataclysmic Gladiator's Badge of Victory
/cast [mod:shift, @HEALERNAME] Unholy Frenzy
Use:
Unholy Frenzy on yourself

Shift + Use:
Unholy Frenzy on your Healer

Focus Macros:
/focus
Focus Strangulate (with Blood Tap)
#showtooltip Strangulate
/cast Blood Tap
/cast [nomod] Strangulate
/cast [mod:shift, @focus] Strangulate
Focus Death Grip
#showtooltip Death Grip
/cast [nomod] Death Grip
/cast [mod:shift, @focus] Death Grip
Focus Chains of Ice
#showtooltip Chains of Ice
/cast [nomod] Chains of Ice
/cast [mod:shift, @focus] Chains of Ice
Focus Mind Freeze
#showtooltip Mind Freeze
/cast [nomod] Mind Freeze
/cast [mod:shift, @focus] Mind Freeze

11. Other Useful Tips and Tricks:

Dark Simulacrum:
Push the opponent to blow a big CD - for example: I like to grip a Mage and use Dark Simulacrum because every Mage knows when a DK death grips, it's safe to blink. This actually makes them blink, gives you a blink, and you're right on top of them again.

Taunt:
Using Taunt on Healers to keep them Infight and prevent them from Drinking and also to Prevent Damage on the Main Target of the Opponents team by taunting water elementals, gargoyles and other Pets. It is also worth to mention if for example a Mage casts Polymorph on you and you taunt another Pet (Death Knight Ghoul, ...) right before it to hit you out of the sheep.

Dark Transformation:
The Transformed Ghoul will interrupt the Target and immobilize it for 2 Seconds when Leaping / Charging to it. This is also pretty nice to set up a awesome CC Chain: Dark Transformation Charge - Gnaw - Strangulate

Death Grip:
Use this on warriors while Bladestorm is up, it's the only thing you can really do to relieve pressure during these abilities. Its important that you dont waste a Death Grip on small distances.

Hungering Cold:
Match Hungering Cold with Aura Mastery (or you have a sexy tauren like me to warstomp) - Aura Mastery works for you aswell since its a Raid Cooldown. For example: Death Grip - Chains of Ice - Aura Mastery - Hungering Cold

Lichborne:
Lichborne is more then just a fear-breaker. You can prevent Seduce, Sap, Polymoph, Hex, Fears and also Mind Control. If you are in Seduce, Fear or Mindcontrol you can also use it to break it. But be carefull! always make sure that you cancel the Lichborne by making a "/cancelaura Lichborne" macro to prevent shackle of priests and turn evil from paladins.



Thx for reading my Guide,
I hope you enjoyed it and also learnd one or two things.

Have Fun!

Edited by mbXtreme, 30 April 2012 - 02:01 PM.

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#2 Neeeks

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 07:54 PM

Some of the added colours to the text are real painful to try read. Other than that nice guide. +rep

Edit, After fixes it looks really nice.

Edited by Neeeks, 27 April 2012 - 08:23 PM.


#3 mbXtreme

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 08:12 PM

View PostNeeeks, on 27 April 2012 - 07:54 PM, said:

Some of the added colours to the text are real painful to try read. Other than that nice guide. +rep

I will change that in a sec ;)
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#4 Itsnel

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 08:36 PM

I'm a master frost! nice guide xd

#5 Vapourizer

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 11:31 AM

Neat guide dude :)
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#6 mbXtreme

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 03:04 AM

Added Video-Guide!
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#7 FTRouslan

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 08:24 PM

You may want to consider a DW 8/31/2 alternative spec to master frost, since it doesn't make use of necrotic strike often, yet uses howling blast constantly.

http://www.wowhead.c...Rdfzb:Macq0V0mM

It's a much better 2s spec for sure than 3s, since some specs rely more on additional snares that desecration easily fits the niche. However, chillblains is enough for 2s and 5s. It opens a lot more kill opportunities and assists in the generation of runic power, a problem that often cripples DW frost (the most effective version of "masterfrost" due to its inherent quality of having a crapload of mastery).


Once again, like you've said, some points can be moved in order to facilitate one's composition or playstyle. Especially Butchery and Improved Frost Presence. I've experimented with rime, and I think if you go into an obliterate heavy build, it's actually worthwhile since it tremendously aids with sticking onto targets. However, obliterate is a rather awkward move. I've seen it crit either absurdly high (31k on a 4500 resil retribution paladin), or absurdly low (almost everything else in every other situation with all procs/cds up).


I enjoyed the guide though, good work! The only other suggestion I could make, is a comparison between "regular" frost, which was the norm before 4.1, and "masterfrost", which I thought was the strongest comp in today's arena. That's one of the reasons I still enjoy frost, since there's a myriad of ways to design the spec depending on your needs, instead of 1 solid cookie cutter spec.


One last tip I would love to mention, is that death grip is a phenomenal tool to use against resto shaman teams. With the right positioning, you can basically keep intense AoE pressure (careful with breaking CCs) while at range. When you feel a shaman is going to spirit link totem, you can grip him and root his teammates, isolating spirit link and thereby either prolonging the shaman's dire situation, or even outright forcing the cooldown in vain if you are lucky enough to death grip when the resto shaman attempts to spirit link totem.


For emphasis, great work!
Nasty, brutish, and about 6'1".

View PostFTRouslan, on 24 October 2014 - 12:06 AM, said:


do you have a shitlist in ranked order of people you want to possibly delete?

View PostNameswapro, on 24 October 2014 - 12:09 AM, said:

My friend, they are long gone.
That's why there is a deleting option. You delete people you don't want to see anymore.

#8 Secksonlegs

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 07:13 AM

Some comments of mine :

Quote

Chest: 40 Resilience (Mighty Resilience)
Geming Str/Resilience in Yellow
I find the resilience you get from doing this having very little to no effect on my survivability so I'd rather gem red epic gems everywhere (outside of spell pen blue ones) and use peerless stats on my chest for maximum damage. I guess it's a matter of preference  :) Nice job otherwise :P

Edited by Secksonlegs, 03 May 2012 - 07:16 AM.


#9 Klonken

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 09:48 PM

nice i just started on my dk and i have such a trouble since i only played blood when lvling and just basicly tanked/got boosted =) so macros are really appriciated, are u using any other macros like offensive ones with trinket/gargoyle or something?

#10 Pericth

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 11:55 PM

Nice! No small talk - staight to the point guide!

#11 Vengeânce1296684277

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 12:08 AM

Awesome guide, very useful tips =). Thanks for taking the time and effort to put that together!

Edited by Vengeânce1296684277, 15 July 2012 - 12:13 AM.


#12 Nelehx

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 04:55 PM

nice guide m9, but can u pls be more specific what spells 2 use as frost , the advanced rotation is killing me
swe ofc ^^

#13 FTRouslan

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 05:33 PM

View PostNelehx, on 11 August 2012 - 04:55 PM, said:

nice guide m9, but can u pls be more specific what spells 2 use as frost , the advanced rotation is killing me

Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image

rinse repeat yw
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View PostFTRouslan, on 24 October 2014 - 12:06 AM, said:


do you have a shitlist in ranked order of people you want to possibly delete?

View PostNameswapro, on 24 October 2014 - 12:09 AM, said:

My friend, they are long gone.
That's why there is a deleting option. You delete people you don't want to see anymore.

#14 ROKMODE

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 06:02 PM

This is the kind of stuff people want to see. We need more guides and such to attract people to this site. Good job :)
Expect bias in posts because
Wotlk is the best thing since sliced bread

#15 FTRouslan

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 01:05 AM

Why does every frost DK go into desecration instead of Hand of Doom/Blade Barrier/Possibly Scent of Blood?

Seriously, it makes Frost DKs 50% more viable. Basically you run around peeling and death striking in blood presence (unless you're not getting trained AT ALL) until 1 minute CDs are up. The additional 6% damage reduction and the ability to line up MORE CC which synergize well with your most powerful burst cooldown (pillar of frost) is the only way I see frost being viable outside of triple dps.

What do you get when you go into desecration? NOTHING YOU DON'T ALREADY HAVE. You get useless disease damage and a weird AoE slow. We don't have issues in regards to AoE slowing.

When you go into the blood tree, you make progress into solving the main issues frost DKs have; survivability, CC, and utility. Runic power generation in the case of DW frost.

It's pretty awful knowing that your only reliable CC can be trinketed everytime it's up. Unless you run with an hpal or a partner that is constantly trained while playing against bad teams, you'll probably never land a hungering cold without extreme difficulty. Almost not worth the effort.
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View PostFTRouslan, on 24 October 2014 - 12:06 AM, said:


do you have a shitlist in ranked order of people you want to possibly delete?

View PostNameswapro, on 24 October 2014 - 12:09 AM, said:

My friend, they are long gone.
That's why there is a deleting option. You delete people you don't want to see anymore.




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