Death Knight Glyphs and Runeforges – Patch 3.1.0

April 21, 2009

Surazc – Death Knight Tank

They’re small, sometimes overlooked, and aren’t included in the box.   But when used properly they are game changers. It’s time to get out the special doll and point to where the bad man put his…

Glyphs and Runeforges

Runeforge Changes

  • Rune of Cinderglacier now procs per minute instead of a 5% chance.
    • Good. This change needed to be made for the rune to be anywhere near effective
  • Rune of the Fallen Crusader: This weapon enchant now provides only 15% strength, but its chance to proc is doubled.
    • So now it’s at basically 100% uptime but the strength gain was reduced to minimize burst damage.
    • PvP change
  • Rune of Razorice now affects Frost damage done by the death knight only, but stacks up to 10%.
    • Frost DPS change. Intended to be placed on two weapons to get the % up as fast as possible.
    • Makes Frost the largest burst damage spec for DKs


  • Glyph of Blood Boil: This has been replaced with Glyph of Heart Strike, which adds a snare effect to Heart Strike.
    • I guess a ranged snare was too powerful to have when it was not from a frost rune. Good thing that this speed debuff will be undispell-able just like Chilblains. Entirely a PvP glyph
  • Glyph of Dancing Rune Weapon: Increases the duration of Dancing Rune Weapon by 10 seconds.
    • PvE blood glyph. Keep the blade out longer, do more damage with it for less RP. Important for DPS efficiency
  • Glyph of Dark Death: Increases the damage done by Death Coil by 15%.
    • Blood DPS Glyph. It’s their only RP dump, might as well make it more useful
  • Glyph of Death Strike: This glyph now increases Death Strike damage by 1% per 2 runic power, but has a limit of 25% increase.
    • Almost restored to its former glory. The DS glyph is back in style. Great for PvP when you’re not being told to burst and for farming alone.
  • Glyph of Disease: Your Pestilence ability now refreshes disease durations on your primary target back to their maximum duration.
    • Huge Glyph. Transforms 1 Blood rune (least valuable) into X Frost / Y Unholy Runes depending on what you get caught in the AoE. A must have for any DPS spec.
  • Glyph of Howling Blast: Your Howling Blast ability now infects your targets with Frost Fever.
    • If Blizzard didn’t incorrectly implement Icy Talons then this glyph could be mainstream for Frost DPS DKs
  • Glyph of Hungering Cold: Reduces the cost of Hungering Cold by 10 runic power.
    • Still horrible.
  • Glyph of Icebound Fortitude: Icebound Fortitude now grants at least 30% damage reduction, regardless of defense skill.
    • Still horrible, but less than before
  • Glyph of Plague Strike: Bonus lowered to 20%.
    • Why you would ever glyph this skill is beyond me. Perhaps it’s because it’s raw DPS, but I still say this Glyph is not worth it.
  • Glyph of Strangulate: This glyph has been changed to reduce the cooldown by 20 seconds.
    • AWESOME. PVP Change to the maximum.
  • Glyph of Unbreakable Armor: Increases the amount of damage absorbed by Unbreakable Armor by 20%.
    • Reduces the amount of suck and fail that UbA produces by 20%
  • Glyph of Unholy Blight: Increases the duration of Unholy Blight by 10 seconds.
    • More bang for the buck. Lets you throw out a Death Coil every other rotation, also allows UB to overlap better with Gargoyle.

Miscellaneous Changes

These are two very important changes I think I need to address here separate from everything else.

  • Ebon Plaguebringer: Multiple death knights can now use this debuff against a target without overwriting each other.
  • Necrosis: The damage from this ability will no longer benefit multiple times from damage increasing effects.

The Ebon Plaguebringer change we knew about but I don’t think you really understand how strong this change really is. The more unholy DKs you stack the more damage your casters will do. Raise eRDPS by stacking one class? Didn’t Blizzard want this to NOT happen? Expect this to change.

Necrosis’s change is interesting in that it will only be affected by one singular damage increasing effect… but what they mean by this is that only ONE buff to your damage will modify Necrosis’s damage. In other words, only ONE AP booster (probably going to be GBoM) will add the value of its contribution to Necrosis. This was done more or less for balance purposes only.


Death Knight General Changes – Patch 3.1.0

April 20, 2009

Surazc – Death Knight Tank

Now let’s turn our unwavering gaze on some subtle, or overlooked changes in the midst of all this 3.1 excitement…

Armor Penetration

Is it now worth it?
When Blizzard took a look at their current implementation of the Armor Penetration stat I think they realized a very important problem: Placing a worthless stat on tier pieces would make players unhappy. I say armor penetration is worthless because it simply does not scale in PvE very well and that’s going easy on the term “worthless.”

As a prime example let’s look at Patchwork (the DPS optimal scenario): He has enough armor to reduce the damage you do on your melee attacks by about 30% of their physical value. As a Tank, I pop obliterates with raid buffs for about 2300 non-crit on his dome; against a target with 0 armor (made possible with a cooperative warrior) the very same obliterate hit for about 3500 damage.

In relative terms Patchwork has less armor mitigation than your standard Naxx tank, half as much to be exact (As I cannot find a published value for Patch’s armor mitigation, I have no choice to assume my testing is accurate, if you have better numbers please let me know!). If you are one of those weird DPS people who decided to aim for ArPen and got your magic number up to 50% then you would be mitigated against about 15% less than everyone else hitting with physical abilities. Whoopdie freakin’ doo!

Compare your damage to the person who went with expertise and got around the 8% rear quarter dodge (assuming their hit capped). You will do 15% more damage but miss 8% more of your attacks. Total, you’re only getting away with an increase of 7%. If you would have just gotten up to the expertise line you would pump out 1% extra damage.

Now that Blizzard is giving all classes 25% more bonus from ArPen the question of worth actually comes into play. The benchmark by which I determine worth is always in the latest raid instance (Ulduar ATM) and thus far it seems like bosses have a marginally higher amount of physical mitigation which makes armor penetration just as worthless as it was before the patch. If Blizzard puts some more armor on their bosses then of course this opinion will change.

Flip Side: You could argue of course that with the bonus amount of ArPen you get that you can now squeeze out some more damage by jumping onto a fresh DR curve if you’re already expertise and hit capped. This is a very viable argument and the ONLY instance which I would recommend flipping into ArPen. The curve looks better than Haste…


Armor Pen is no longer viable!
… At least it did look better until you see the extra haste bonus. If you’re a DK then forget everything I just said above this section of the post: If you have to choose between getting your haste rating up and getting ArPen up, it looks like haste is the winner. The reason for this is simply that you will now get more of a bonus out of the haste than you will the ArPen; 5% more of a bonus to be precise.

Of course if you’re any kind of decent you will remember that Haste rating was sooooo nice that Blizzard took it off the DK epic sigil from Heroism Rewards and replaced it with critical strike rating.

The end idea is that even though Haste and ArPen are both getting buffs, both are still equally worthless to Death Knights as most of our attacks are yellow damage and bypass mob armor to an extent.


Changing the % based damage stacking really sucks. It used to be a great way to get the most amount of burst damage that you could if needed. I guess this just means that one physical DPS guy gets to have his +% damage buffs rotated instead of stacked.

Overall: a neutral change.

Death Knight Talent Trees and Skills – Patch 3.1.0 – Unholy

April 19, 2009

Surazc – Death Knight Tank

With 3.1 upon us, I have dove in and looked around at all the changes with the current build. Here I will be giving you my take on each of the changes for Death Knights tree by tree.

Doesn’t matter who smelt it, YOU dealt it! It’s stinky, toxic, and will kick major ass. That’s right! It’s time to talk about…


Is the hot chick at the party

Unholy has been given breast implants and a cooch that emits pheromones in such volume that all DKs go rabid when they get near it. This is not an overstatement at all. I will explain why at the end of this section.

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Death Knight Talent Trees and Skills – Patch 3.1.0 – Frost

April 18, 2009

Surazc – Death Knight Tank

With 3.1 upon us, I have dove in and looked around at all the changes with the current build. Here I will be giving you my take on each of the changes for Death Knights tree by tree.

Put on your mittens and earmuffs — mine are made from baby polar bears.  It’s time to go…


Wait… I thought I was a tank class

When I first posted the build 9347 notes I knew that Blizzard would screw up my class almost beyond recognition and the most recent (most likely LIVE) notes confirm this. Lichborne has been reduced entirely to a PvP talent and Unbreakable Armor blows royal cock for tanking. DKs have, at best, been relegated to dedicated OT duty in case shit hits the fan.

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Death Knight Talent Trees and Skills – Patch 3.1.0 – Blood

April 17, 2009

Surazc – Death Knight Tank

With 3.1 upon us, I have dove in and looked around at all the changes with the current build. Here I will be giving you my take on each of the changes for Death Knights tree by tree.

Hmmm, let’s start with…


Got some ROIDS

I was really hoping that Blood got the buff it needed to become viable against Unholy in terms of sustainable damage and my prayers were answered… to an extent. Let’s take a look into the world of the Blood DKs and how everything just got turned upside down for them.
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No One Said Being Good Is Easy – Part 6

April 8, 2009

Surazc – Death Knight Tank

My highly-paid counter-snipers earned their bonuses so I return to conclude with this thought:

I Am Better than You

The dilemma of being better than most of your server

Fixing The Server’s Players

Specifically: Players who are bad

Do not try and be politically correct about this topic. If you do, you will find that you can’t say anything. There are players of this game that are (somehow) terrible at its game elements. Maybe they have a physical handicap that prevents them from playing at the same level as those of us fortunate enough to have not been crippled by an accident or born handicapped. Maybe they’re just terrible at the game.

No matter what the reason may be, address these people directly and with no bullshit. Ask them if they know what they’re doing (or did) wrong. Start off cordial, progress to educational, and then if they resist, to hostility. A good example follows:

You: “Terbad, do you know what you did wrong that fight?”
Terbad: “No, is there something I should know about the boss?”
You: *Facepalm* “Yes Terbad, you aren’t supposed to stand in the blue lightning that comes from the sky. It kills you rather quickly.”
Terbad: “Oh, I thought it was a ray of power which makes you stronger.”
You: “Nope, it just kills you, let’s try again and this time, stay out of it.”
*** Terbad fails again ***
You: “I thought I told you not to stand in the lightning!”
Terbad: “I didn’t stand in the lightning, but I couldn’t avoid the purple circle on the floor!”
You: “Yes you could have… you could have strafed left.”
Terbad: “How can you watch both our characters at the same time!?”
You: “I have my camera zoomed out as to have a better view of the battlefield.”
*** Terbad is kicked from the group ***

That is a pretty solid recollection of my run-in with a rogue who thought that the blue drakes in Occulus 2nd boss healed you when they breathed their lightning on the platform as commanded by the boss you are trying to kill. Turns out he not only did not know anything about Occulus, but he also didn’t know anything about the game. He had actually bought his character on eBay — as the friend he invited to come with us on the run would later tell us.
The moral of the above story is that some people you can teach and some you can’t. The ones you can teach may be willing to learn. If they are, keep them around… they’ll figure it out and become average raiders. The ones you can’t… get rid of. Put them on ignore, get them out of your guild, get out of the way of their Failtrain. You don’t want to be anywhere near it when it crashes at LOLZ MPH into the wall.


Thanks for reading! Please send all praise, constructive criticism, anger, and psychotic behavior in the form of comments to Surazc. Or money. Money is good too.

Part 5

No One Said Being Good Is Easy – Part 5

April 7, 2009

Surazc – Death Knight Tank

Well, the cloning tanks are smashed, the death ray is on the fritz, and the Colombian Cartel’s shipment will be late, but at least I can still say:

I Am Better than You

The dilemma of being better than most of your server

You are in the same boat as I am, like it or not…

People like US

Admit it or not, you are in the same boat as me. Elite and Casual joined hand in hand ‘till death (or that little X in the top right of your screen) do us part. You are part of the Blizzard train until it either de-rails and kills us all, or comes to an all-stop and the conductor kicks us out on our asses.

I encourage each of you to look at your guild mates. Find the people that consistently do things wrong, or slow, and chew them out. “We are a friendly laid back guild,” is not an excuse to ask for AVERAGE game play or class action. You are a friendly laid back guild whose player population won’t get to see all the content in the game first, but you will see it when Blizzard nerfs it into the floor.

This can only happen if your guild plays at the MIDDLE OF THE CURVE between “Skilled/Devoted” and “Terrible/Idiotic.” If you have a couple of severely weak links in the guild chain, cut them out of the raids. Not the guild, just the raids. Believe me: you will make more progress if you’re carrying less dead weight through the hallways.


I am one, you do not have to be like me

You may be able to tell by the way I write that I am a complete asshole. I don’t care, it’s part of my personality… a flawed part, but part of who I am. Don’t bother contemplating the source of my being an asshole. It isn’t related to WoW.  I’m an ass in the game because I’m an ass in real life, and that’s all you need to know about it.

I come from this angle because being good doesn’t mean that you have to take an aggressive attitude about being good. This is something that I do quite frequently, and it doesn’t exactly make for the best first impressions. It does, however, get my points across more frequently than being nice about them. It is far easier to defend a point (or to take one down) if you adopt the aggressive attitude and not the passive one.

To put it another way, if you want to carry groups through instances then be my guest… I will do no such thing.

Come back for the conclusion of Surazc’s rant saga in Part 6: “Fixing the Server’s Players.” Hopefully, he doesn’t mean with chemical weapons.

Part 4