Wednesday, August 15, 2012

[DK] The Official 5.0 Talent Preview for DW-DPS

So here we are, on the precipice of another exciting WoW patch. The guys and I here at FI have been thoroughly slacking in our blogging duties but have been hitting the play time rather hard. We've been working on Heroic Dragon Soul with our guild so that plus real life pretty much consumes the free time I have. Luckily in order to prepare myself for the new patch (slotted for August 28th) I usually like to review my talents and I might as well blog about it. Every once in a while I'll miss something a reader will catch and I'm glad that I did.

A good place to start is here, which was my Blizzcon review of the talent system. Since then much of the talent tree has been changed some of the information is good - other parts are outdated. Keep in mind that many of the talents are granted to us at level 55 because well DUH that is where we start. The first three points will be available to us from the beginning. Here we go:

Level 15

My first round pick is Unholy Blight. First of all, it's a fun talent. You get to be Professor Putricides hallway! In addition to that it's simply a nice talent. You get a swarming cloud of bugs that apply your diseases to everything around you. Done. Roiling Blood is clearly a tanking talent. Plague Leech is interesting, however not very useful for us frosties. With our disease application coming from other sources the quick death rune we can regen here doesn't help us out that much. It might be useful for one more Death Siphon (more on that later) but as a method of applying diseases (which is what this tier is about) it falls short.

Level 30

This one is really a tough call and I guess it depends on you as the player. Personally I love to bring the utility of AMZ to the raid. It gives you the ability to bring a healer cooldown as a DPS. Anyone who has read my posts on DK's before knows my favorite aspect of the class is the neat survivability tactics we have. IN the spirit of disclosure, its overall usefulness is ultimately determined by the amount of AOE magic damage in the raid mechanics (and if the group can stack for it). If MOP continues in the tradition of Cata we'll see it plenty. 

Purgatory is an interesting read - great for the person who would rather have a pseudo-cauterize that gives you an off chance of surviving an otherwise fatal gib. The only downside is healers are not going to be paying attention to making sure you survive the duration, at least not as DPS. So in a best case scenario you take the damage and live - also the healers are able to land enough on you to stay alive. Worse case scenario you don't survive the healing absorb and it kept you alive another 3 global cooldowns. I'd rather have the AMZ honestly.

Level 45

This is a "no-blainer" choice. Asphyxiate is a pretty bad ass talent to have for all you wannabe Sith Lords - it's just not practical for the raiding DW DPS at this point in time. It just isn't. Chilblains still has all the same great benefits it always had (you can apply a slow to a whole group at once....) and not much has changed. Not even the way we apply it has changed, however we have a few more way to apply Frost Fever and in turn Chilblains. Asphyxiate is an in-combat CC against ONE target. It also acts as a silence but it's not an additional silence it just replaces Strangulate. All in all the total usefulness and utility of Chilblains remains unmatched.

Level 60

This is another pretty easy choice for us frosties arguably. Death Siphon for me is a clear winner. Here is why: it uses shadowfrost damage so it scales with frost mastery and also with your attack power. The heal is instant and can be used at range / on the move. Sadly using Death Siphon is a DPS loss for those who calculate what else you could utilize that death rune for - however this whole tier is situational for damage dealers. The only other choice would be Conversion. This costs 10 RP for a 3% heal then 10 RP per second for additional 3% heals. As soon as your RP supply runs dry the effect ends. In an ideal situation you can active this and continue to deal enough damage (and generate RP) to keep it up for a longer duration. In a normal situation you might be lucky to get a handful of those 3% heal ticks then you are spent. I'd rather have the ability to spam Death Siphon in an emergency situation while on the move or from afar and perhaps survive or finish off the boss.

Level 75

This one is a tough call. I mean really really tough. Where as the last tier was all about "tanking" abilities to stay alive, this tier is all about damage and making the most out of what we do. More specifically it's about our resource regeneration and ways to interact with that. So here we go - they are all viable however Runic Empowerment and Runic Corruption come out tied for first. First of all they both have a 45% chance to proc when we Frost Strike. Runic Empowerment will randomly activate a depleted rune. Runic Corruption will increase rune regenregen runes) and speeds it up. While the random extra rune from Runic Empowerment is also passive, it feels like it creates an unintended flow issue as well with the rotation. Perhaps this will change but for now I've tested them both and Runic Corruption is my bet.

Level 90

This didn't take me long to figure out.....Gorefiend's Grasp hand down. It's basically an "AOE Death Grip" you can cast on a player or enemy. You could cast this on your tank to help them coral up a roomful of adds. Just image the tank-thanks you'll be getting. Remorseless Winter might prove clutch during a specific fight (and I'm not ruling out the fact that I might be using it) but given I'll already have Chilblains for some in-combat control, it is just too situational. Desecrated Ground feels like a PVP talent that might have limited use in PVE but not enough to take away my point.

So there you have it folks. This is my initial plan for hitting 90 and getting into those heroics. These are obviously open to edit and depending on any changes Blizzard makes or anything I might have overlooked that very might well happen. While I'm not the biggest fan of of the new talent system, it is what it is and it's our job to make lemonade out of it.

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