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Unholy DK Arena Basics (5.2)

Unholy DK Guide

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#1 Warrccx

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 04:52 AM

Unholy Death Knight Arena Basics:


Hello, my name is Warrcc and I have decided to put together a small guide on the basic things you need to know/ have as Unholy for arenas (this is mainly aimed at new players just starting and I guess people who are just looking for easy to find info on the basics for their alt dk).  Just as a warning I am in no way, shape or form a top player, I just saw a few threads/ posts asking for how to gear as a dk and seeing as the old DK guide has not been updated since S9, I figured I would make one and I apologize for any mistakes in advance.









Talents:


1st Tier: I would honestly just say to use Roiling Blood the majority of the time because it turns blood boil into pestilence.  The only other talent you could take in this tier is Unholy Blight which I've seen a few high rated DKs running recently which is a 1.5 min CD that applies both of your diseases to all targets within 10 yards of you for 10 seconds.

2nd Tier:  It completely depends on what you are facing and what you are running.  Against any wizard cleaves you pretty much have to run AMZ and there are alot of melee/caster/healer setups I would suggest running AMZ for.  Lichborne can be used against comps with tons of fears and when you don't have a tremor totem on your team and want to keep up offensive pressure, in addition you can use death coil to heal yourself when Lichborne is up.  The 3rd choice is purgatory which I can only possibly suggest running against maybe a high burst comp like thugcleave if they're going on you over the other choices, outside of that I would run AMZ the majority of the time or Lichborne.

3rd Tier:  Alright for this tier of talents the one you will more than likely use the majority of the time is asphyxiate. this turns your strangulate into a 30 sec CD 5 sec stun that can turn into a silence if stun is DR'ed on the target.  Another viable choice if you run a comp that has several stuns would be chillblains for the root on chains of ice or if you need more mobility running death's advance.  Honestly asphyxiate is really good right now so you will want to use it most of the time.

4th Tier:  This tier is essentially survivability talents, the one that will be used a good majority of the time is conversion.  Conversion when activated will turn 5 runic power per second into 3% of your health until it is cancelled or you run out of runic power which is extremely good if you're being trained.  The other option is Death pact which sacrifices half of your ghoul's health to heal you for 50% of your own health which is very good to use against high burst comps that go on you.

5th Tier:  For this tier I would only run Blood tap since this talent allows you to store charges that you can use to automatically activate a death rune which means you can save up the charges and stack a ton of necrotics up very quickly.

6th Tier:  For the last tier Desecrated Ground seems to be the best option at all times, this talent is basically a 2nd trinket since it gets you out of any CC outside of silences, disarms, and roots and if you stay in the area it drops on the ground when it activates it prevents you from being CC'ed for an additional 10 seconds.


Glyphs:


There are several useful glyphs that DKs can use, such as Dark Simulacrum, Anti-Magic Shell, Shifting Presences, Icy Touch, Unholy Frenzy, Death and Decay, Pestilence, Icebound Fortitude and Strangulate for majors.  Most of the time you will want to run Icy touch since it turns your Icy touch into a offensive dispel with damage, Anti-Magic Shell for almost anytime there is someone with magic related damage on the other team, and Shifting Presences to keep most of your runic power when you switch between unholy presence and blood presence so you can continue to keep conversion up after you switch presences etc.  Another Glyph that you will want to run the majority of the time is Dark Simulacrum, which reduces the CD of Dark sim by 30 seconds and increases the duration of how long you keep the spell you copy with it by 4 seconds.  Depending on what you are facing you can switch out glyph of AMS, Dark sim, or shifting presences for the other listed glyphs I typically like running glyph of unholy frenzy against melee cleaves that train me over AMS to get rid of the self damage component of unholy frenzy.  Running glyph of Icebound Fortitude is very useful against mage teams since it allows you to get out of deeps more often.  The only minor glyph that is necessary is glyph of Death's embrace which gives you back 20 runic power whenever you use death coil to heal your ghoul.









Macros:

Arena Targeting & Arena Focus

/target arena1
/target arena2
/target arena3

/focus arena1
/focus arena2
/focus arena3

Arena 1,2,3 Macros

/cast [target=arena1] Strangulate
/cast [target=arena2] Strangulate
/cast [target=arena3] Strangulate

/cast [target=arena1] Death Grip
/cast [target=arena2] Death Grip
/cast [target=arena3] Death Grip

/cast [target=arena1] Dark Simulacrum
/cast [target=arena2] Dark Simulacrum
/cast [target=arena3] Dark Simulacrum

Focus Macros

#showtooltip Strangulate
/cast blood tap
/cast [target=focus] Strangulate

/cast [target=focus] Icy Touch


/cast [target=focus] Death Grip

/cast [target=focus] Gnaw

/cast [target=focus] Mind Freeze

/cast [target=focus] Leap

/cast [target=focus] Chains of Ice

Other Macros

#showtooltip
/cast Blood Presence
/cast Unholy Presence


#showtooltip Raise Dead
/cast [nopet] Raise Dead; !Dark Transformation


#showtooltip Lichborne
/cast !Lichborne;
/cast [target=player] Death Coil

/cast [@pet] Death Coil









General Gameplay Tips:




Offensive Gameplay: As unholy, when you open you will want to use plague strike to apply your diseases to your target then chains into icy touch to slow & purge your target into additional to converting your runes to death and then blood boil twice to get 2 more runes converted into death runes and scourge strike with the last unholy rune.  After that you want to use death runes on necrotic strike and use death coils with your runic power unless you are being trained in which case you wanna try to keep a decent amount of runic power to keep conversion running.  If you are not being trained or targeted very often you can go in unholy presence but just be careful because you have to be ready for any swaps onto you and be ready to immediately toss up conversion / be in blood presence.  Also for the use of cooldowns you usually want to wait until you have your trinkets procced to pop unholy frenzy & summon gargoyle together so the gargoyle does more damage and you can maximize your damage output and it is best to have 5 stacks of shadow infusion up at the same time you pop unholy frenzy + gargoyle so you can dark transform your ghoul at the same time.  You will also want to use empower rune weapon whenever you are trying to dump out tons of pressure because it will allow you to stack a ton of necrotic strikes on your target.  Another suggestion for offensive play is just making swaps to the other team's healer every 30 seconds with death grip into asphyxiate on the healer (if you are running asphyxiate of course), doing this will typically force defensive CD's each time you do it.

Defensive Gameplay:  Defensively DKs have several abilities such as icebound fortitude, AMS, AMZ, conversion, death pact.  

Anti-Magic Shell:  You will want to use AMS whenever you see casters dumping tons of damage into you and you have no way to prevent the damage from going off or your healer is CC'ed, of course this ability allows you to get runic power when you absorb the damage.  I'd like to add that AMS can also be used offensively to prevent casters from being able to peel you for the most part, allowing you to keep up pressure on your target but it can be risky if you don't have AMS when the other team's casters go offensive.

Anti-Magic Zone:  Essentially the same thing as AMS as with AMZ use it whenever casters are doing tons of damage that you can't stop or your in danger due to your healer being CC'ed or if a team makes a swap to your healer you can just drop it on them to help deal with the incoming damage.

Death Pact:  If you are running Death pact from the 4th tier of talents, you will want to basically just use this talent when you know you are going to take a ton of burst damage and your healer is in CC or can't keep up with the damage.

Conversion:  If you have conversion from the 4th tier of talents, you will just turn this on whenever you are being trained to help keep yourself alive

Blood Presence:  You should be in blood presence if you are being trained to help reduce damage and survive.  

Icebound Fortitude:  For Icebound Fortitude you want to use it whenever you are taking tons of damage or to help prevent damage like with a rogue kidneying you in a bomb just IBF it and run out of the bomb or a mage deeping you while your healer is sheeped etc.

Pet Management:  As a DK you need to manage you ghoul to make sure it isn't in a bad position or randomly chasing players behind boxes so make sure you bind pet attack follow move to etc. and do not have your pet on anything other than passive.  Make sure if a team is trying to kill your ghoul or you ghoul is taking any damage to use death coil to heal it back up it allows for quicker stacks to use dark transform on it since the death coils used for healing refund like 20 runic power each time and make sure you use huddle to help it survive through people just trying to train it into the ground.

Dark Simulacrum:  One of the biggest abilities that separates high rated DKs from low rated DKs is the use of Dark Simulacrum.  This ability allows you to copy almost any ability to an opponent uses that has a mana cost.  Its great for copying defensive CDs like pain sup, divine shield, etc and for copying offensives like dark soul from warlocks and even for copying CC's such as cyclone, polymorph, HoJ, and etc.  This ability takes a lot of getting used to be able to predict when opponents will use big CDs like pain sup and being able to time it to copy it but once you become more knowledgeable about this skill and predicting when opponents will use certain abilities it can help to completely turn around games.



Gearing & Gemming


Gemming varies based on what you are facing and what comp you are playing so you can either go max resil or max strength.

Yellow Sockets: Mystic Sun's Radiance or Resplendent Vermilion Onyx
Blue Sockets: Vivid Wild Jade or Tense Imperial Amethyst
Red Sockets:  Resplendent Vermilion Onyx or Bold Primordial Ruby
Meta: Reverberating Primal Diamond

Stat Priority for UH in pvp is : str > resil > pvp power> hit 3% > exp 3%> mastery > haste > crit or
  str > resil > pvp power> hit 3% > exp 3%> haste > mastery > crit

I'll just post the enchants you should use as well for each slot:
Shoulders: Greater Tiger Fang Inscription
Cloak: Enchant Cloak -Superior Critical Strike
Chest: Enchant Chest - Super Resilience
Bracers: Enchant Bracer - Exceptional Strength
Gloves: Enchant Gloves - Superior Strength
Legs: Angerhide Leg Armor
Boots: Pandaren's Step

For DK trinkets I'd highly recommend running the Str Shado-pan assault pve trinket and the tyrannical proc trinket or Relic of Xuen, The Spark of Zandalar or Fabled Feather of Ji-kun (The pve procs are just insane for arenas atm).

Armories:
here are some armories of top rated DKs in the world for examples of how to gem & gear.
http://us.battle.net...us/Mes/advanced
http://us.battle.net...Biotox/advanced
http://us.battle.net...lrathz/advanced
http://eu.battle.net...othérx/advanced

Streams:

Very few DKs seem to stream so I will only link Biotox's stream & Zetoxz's stream unless anyone has any other suggestions for DK streams to link.



http://www.twitch.tv/biotoxz

Biotoxz typically plays at high mmr as a dk on bg9 and is very good at answering questions from his viewers and giving advice/tips for DKs.  For sure the best streaming pvp dk atm.


http://www.twitch.tv/zetoxisbad

Zetox is a R1 DK who I believe just recently came back to the game but streams from bg9 as well.



For now, this is the end of the guide and if its acceptable I will try to continue to update for 5.3 and so on.  Please feel free to tell me if I am missing anything or if you have any suggestions on what to add or get rid of and as I stated at the start this guide is directed towards new players to help them learn how to play Unholy and not for experienced players.  Hope you enjoy.

#2 Forumz

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 09:28 AM

View PostWarrccx, on 18 May 2013 - 04:52 AM, said:

Macros:

/cast [target=arena1] Strangulate
/cast [target=arena2] Strangulate
/cast [target=arena3] Strangulate

Just pointing some things out: this is useless because you almost always strang the enemy healer. (it is also somewhat odd to put 123 macros in a 'basics' guide but that's for another time)

View PostWarrccx, on 18 May 2013 - 04:52 AM, said:

Focus Macros

#showtooltip Strangulate
/cast blood tap
/cast [target=focus] Strangulate

This type of macro is basically retard-proofing. If you really want to play dk you need to know when your runes are up and when they're not. Both BT and Strang are off GCD so there is no need for this macro at all.

View PostWarrccx, on 18 May 2013 - 04:52 AM, said:

/cast [target=focus] Death Grip

If you've macro'd something 123 there's no need for another bind but for focus. You already have the ability to use it on the person you want.

View PostWarrccx, on 18 May 2013 - 04:52 AM, said:

/cast [@pet] Death Coil

A better macro would be

/cast Huddle
/cast [target=pet] Death Coil

Because when you want to heal your pet, you generally want to make it take less damage as well so you don't have to use all of your resources on it.

View PostWarrccx, on 18 May 2013 - 04:52 AM, said:

Death pact you just basically want to use when you know you are about to take a huge amount of burst damage and conversion you want to use whenever you are being trained.
You can't have both DP and Conv at the same time.

Other than that it's a decent startup guide for people looking to start playing Unholy, so props for that!
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#3 Warrccx

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 02:55 PM

View PostForumz, on 18 May 2013 - 09:28 AM, said:

Just pointing some things out: this is useless because you almost always strang the enemy healer. (it is also somewhat odd to put 123 macros in a 'basics' guide but that's for another time)
Honestly you're better off having arena1,2,3 macros for strang since most people run asphyxiate the majority of the time and its extremely good for peeling since its a non-dispelable stun, so I wouldn't suggest just running a focus one for strangulate. (strangulate macros automatically work for asphyxiate without having to change them at all)

View PostForumz, on 18 May 2013 - 09:28 AM, said:

This type of macro is basically retard-proofing. If you really want to play dk you need to know when your runes are up and when they're not. Both BT and Strang are off GCD so there is no need for this macro at all.
Honestly there isn't really a need for this macro since most of the time you have a separate bind for blood tap but its just an extra measure to make sure you're able to immediately strang at any given point. (you of course would not run this macro at all if you were running asphyxiate as it has no rune cost)

View PostForumz, on 18 May 2013 - 09:28 AM, said:

If you've macro'd something 123 there's no need for another bind but for focus. You already have the ability to use it on the person you want.
I don't run arena1,2,3 death grips myself since it is much easier to just focus grip and change targets /target arena1,2,3 to grip a second target if need be but some players might prefer it so I figured I'd post the macros and it can be semi-useful with the dk 4p to grip in 2 targets quickly and land a aoe stun or fear on the entire team pretty much.

View PostForumz, on 18 May 2013 - 09:28 AM, said:

A better macro would be

/cast Huddle
/cast [target=pet] Death Coil

Because when you want to heal your pet, you generally want to make it take less damage as well so you don't have to use all of your resources on it.
Going to have to disagree with that you're better off having a macro to death coil heal your pet and then having a separate one for huddle, seeing as huddle is a 45 second CD and against a lot of teams you will be wanting to heal your ghoul more often than that and you want to be able to heal your pet without blowing its shield wall on minor damage to it.  Mostly saying this because dot oriented classes/ specs typically throw up dots on your ghoul and it isn't exactly huge damage and you can just use death coil heal to keep it up through the dots and you obviously should save huddle for until they actually try to go on the ghoul.

View PostForumz, on 18 May 2013 - 09:28 AM, said:

You can't have both DP and Conv at the same time.

Other than that it's a decent startup guide for people looking to start playing Unholy, so props for that!
Yep that is terribly worded on my part to make it seem like you can have both my mistake and I'll fix it asap.

#4 Udderly

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 04:40 PM

Nice job on the guide.  Only major suggestion I'd make is to break up your 'general gameplay' section a little bit.   Currently, that part reads as a wall of text, and might be easier for new players as a bulleted list or something of the like.

Great effort overall tho!

#5 Aspira

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 06:02 PM

Death's Embrace doesn't give you RP back when you heal yourself anymore. :(

You didn't mention Glyph of Icebound Fortitude as well, I find it very strong vs mages. 1.5 minute cd and the 2set bonus gives you enough RP to use it more or less every time you get deeped. Also didn't see anything on Glyph of Dark Sim which is really powerful.

Very good guide though +rep

#6 Warrccx

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 06:24 PM

View PostAspira, on 18 May 2013 - 06:02 PM, said:

Death's Embrace doesn't give you RP back when you heal yourself anymore. :(

You didn't mention Glyph of Icebound Fortitude as well, I find it very strong vs mages. 1.5 minute cd and the 2set bonus gives you enough RP to use it more or less every time you get deeped. Also didn't see anything on Glyph of Dark Sim which is really powerful.

Very good guide though +rep
oh yeah I feel like an idiot for just completely forgetting glyph of dark sim ty. Honestly I had no clue about death's embrace not giving you back RP anymore I haven't run lichborne for anything outside of a fear break since conversion became so good so thank you for that as well.

#7 Forumz

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 09:43 PM

Lichborne is worth it when you are not gonna need AMZ. So basically against Kittycleave or KFC. but then again why would you lichborne vs that only to get feared by their pally if you don't instacancel. xD

Edit: oh and if you're playing a tunnel-the-healer comp like TSG or Vanguards you should run LB as well for another CC breaker. Unless you're fighting castercleaves because they rape stuff every 30 seconds (every working castercleave right now has a mage in it)
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#8 Warrccx

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 02:45 AM

alright updating the gameplay section to try and make it a little bit more viewer friendly.




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