Saturday, February 28, 2009

Another little tidbit...

  • Abomination's Might: This effect can now also be caused by Death Strike.

So, it looks as though someone may have actually seen what I've been theorizing with the Death Strike Tank model over the last while and taken it to Blizzard to say that more should be done to compliment it.

This is another modification to the Death Knight for the betterment of the Death Strike Tanking model.

Again, I'll keep updating as information becomes available.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Interesting development...

*New Talent* Improved Death Strike, Tier 8, 2 talent points - Increases the damage of your Death Strike by 15/30%.

This... could make things very interesting for the Death Strike Tanks.


Glyph of Death Strike -- Increases your Death Strike's damage by 2% for every 5 runic power you currently have. The runic power is not consumed by this effect. (Old: 2% regardless of runic power)

Additional damage, all around?! Why not!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

How to... DEATHSTRIKE!!! (On Hold)

In light of the upcoming 3.1 patch, and the contents of this post, I am forgoing further installments of the "How to..." series of articles, as it will become pointless in about a month or so.

I will however be covering changes as they are reported through various sources. So that should keep my blog active, even if I haven't been lately.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Been distracted...

So, I've been distracted as of late. I got a new video card last week and kinda went on a TF2 Binge, which means that I've been lacking in my WoW activities. So, today I picked WoW back up and finally ground out level 77. And got my flying skill and mount.

Have I mentioned that I hate Zul'drak? No? Well... I do. Point blank, I hate that place.

So, now that I have my mount I might play a bit more, and get to work on the second part of my "How to..." series.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


How to... DEATH STRIKE! (Part 1)

So, here I am going to start my own series of articles about the Death Strike Tank, how it functions, and it’s purpose in a raiding environment. And the first question that should be answered is...

“What is a Death Strike Tank?”

It is a Blood Build that focuses on the use of Death Strike, and other health related abilities, for the express purpose of survival. By focusing on using Death Strike and these abilities you provide your own self-healing which gives your healers a bit of breathing room where their jobs are concerned.

“You talk about “health related abilities”, but what are they?”

Now, you are getting ahead of me. First I should explain what abilities are core to the function of the Death Strike Tank.

  • Death Strike
  • Heart Strike
  • Rune Strike
  • Icy Touch
  • Plague Strike
  • Death and Decay
  • Pestilence
  • Vampiric Blood
  • Icebound Fortitude
“Wow, that’s quite a list there. Mind going over them all?”

Sure thing.

Death Strike - A deadly attack that deals 60% weapon damage plus 178.2 and heals the Death Knight for a percent of damage done for each of his or her diseases on the target.
1 Unholy 1 Frost, 5 yd range, Instant

  • This is the bread and butter of the Build. It is the single most effective ability for relieving the pressure from your healers. And although it’s only 60% weapon damage, when you use the Glyph of Death Strike at max Runic Power you can increase this to 90% weapon damage.
  • The threat derived from Death Strike is: ((Base damage + Healing x 0.5) x Presence)
  • The healing component is figured out based upon the number of diseases on the target, starting at 150% for 1, 200% for 2, 250% for 3, and so on.
  • As noted in a previous article the Gift of Arthas Elixer counts as a disease for the purposes of Death Strike

Heart Strike – Instantly strikes the target and his nearest ally, causing 60% weapon damage plus 220.8 and an additional 110.4 bonus damage per disease.
1 Blood, Melee, Instant
  • Additional Damage and Threat is what this ability is. There isn’t much more to it.
  • Useful in multi-mob tanking due to its “cleave” mechanic
  • Threat is dealt as per damage
  • Gift of Arthas counts as a disease for the purposes of damage
Rune Strike - Strike the target for 150% weapon damage plus [ 15% of AP ]. Only usable after an attack is dodged or parried. Can't be dodged, blocked, or parried. This attack causes a high amount of threat (150%).
20 Runic Power, 5 yd range, Next melee
  • Great threat generator. Threat is generated as ((Damage Dealt x 150%) x Presence)
  • Scales with avoidance. The more you Dodge or Parry the more it activates.
  • Guaranteed hit (As long as your hit capped).
Icy Touch - Chills the target for 227 to 227 Frost damage and infects them with Frost Fever, a disease that reduces melee and ranged attack speed by 14% for 12 sec.
1 Frost, 20 yd range, Instant
  • Main application is to apply a disease for Death Strike and Heart Strike
  • Threat is as per damage dealt, multiplied by presence
Plague Strike - A vicious strike that deals 30% weapon damage plus 113.4 and infects the target with Blood Plague, a disease dealing Shadow damage over time. The strike removes one heal over time effect from the target.
1 Unholy, 5 yd range, Instant
  • Main application is to apply a disease for Death Strike and Heart Strike
  • Threat is as per damage dealt, multiplied by presence
Death and Decay - Corrupts the ground targeted by the Death Knight, causing 62 Shadow damage every sec that targets remain in the area for 10 sec. This ability produces a high amount of threat.
1 Blood 1 Unholy 1 Frost, 30 yd range, Instant, 30 sec cooldown
  • AoE threat generation reigns in supreme with this ability, coming in at ((Damage Dealt x 2) x Presence)
  • Best AoE threat mechanic available to Death Knights and should be used as part of your opening cycle to establish threat for the fight
  • Best when used on “Trash Mobs”
Pestilence - Causes 54 to 66 Shadow damage to the target and all targets within 10 yards and spreads any diseases on the target to the additional targets.
1 Blood, 5 yd range, Instant
  • Primary application is to spread diseases amongst your targets in AoE situations
  • Threat is deal as: (Damage x Presence)
Vampiric Blood – Temporarily grants the Death Knight 15% of maximum health and increases the amount of health generated through spells and effects by 35% for 20 sec. After the effect expires, the health is lost.
1 Blood, Instant, 1 min cooldown
  • This is the number 1 panic button for Death Knights. This ability allows for obscene amounts of health regeneration and healing, and when Glyphed it can last for up to 30 seconds of it’s 1 minute cooldown.
  • Threat generated through the healing is applied directly to the healer of the damage, so if your healing buddy throws down a massive critical heal on your sorry pincushioned but, it has a chance to make your friend look tastier than you.
  • Best application is when used in conjunction with other abilities as a “Oh Crap!” macro, since it doesn’t share GCD with other abilities.
Icebound Fortitude - The Death Knight freezes his or her blood to become immune to Stun effects and reduce all damage taken by 20% plus additional damage reduction based on Defense for 12 sec. Does not remove existing Stun effects.
20 Runic Power, Instant, 1 min cooldown
  • Another key component in the “Panic Button” section of Death Knight tanking.
  • This ability comes as a baseline ability available for all specs
  • When coupled with a Glyphed Vampiric Blood you end up with 42/60 seconds of enhanced tanking.
  • The additional damage reduction mechanics haven’t been figured out precisely yet, but it is speculated that as you approach or pass 540 defense the reduction is close to 35%
  • Best application is when used in conjunction with other abilities as a “Oh Crap!” macro, since it doesn’t share GCD with other abilities.
And so that rounds out the basic abilities that you would be using most often as a Death Strike Tank. What do you think?

“I think I need to rest my head a bit, that’s too much!”

Alright then, in that case... You go and rest your head and I’ll be back later with Part 2, where we will cover Talent Choices!

3.0.9 and no changes...

So, they rolled out patch 3.0.9 this morning, and there are no changes that affect Death Knights. It's kinda odd really. I would have thought that something would have come in, but there wasn't much to this patch.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Necrosis proof, just because...

As it seems that this question will continue to come up on the MMO forums, at least until the knowledge becomes more wide spread, I am going to use this blog as a reference point for the proof that Necrosis affects Rune Strike.

And so there you go. As you can see Necrosis works with Rune Strike, and while the threat generated by Necrosis is not multiplicative of Rune Strike (x 150%) it is additive. It's still additional threat.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Changes to DK in 3.1 and how it can affect a DS Tank...

So, some proposed changes to come out in 3.1 for the Death Knights has been announced. The unholy community probably won't be happy, and it sounds as though Frost is getting an overhaul, but Blood should be reasonably unaffected. Let's take a look, shall we?

* Gargoyle and Unholy Blight have swapped talent positions. Gargoyle’s damage has increased and runic power cost per time has decreased.

Doesn't really affect the Death Strike Tanking model. Actually come to think of it, it does affect us a great deal, or at least it can. It will grant us a decent amount of AoE threat generation. So, this is definately a good change.

* Pestilence – this spell no longer causes damage but just spreads diseases. Blood Boil is intended to be the general area attack, and has been changed to be castable on targets with no diseases on them, but does extra damage if diseases are present.

This one is interesting as Pestilence used to be a good half-decent amount of AoE damage for a build that doesn't have the greatest in AoE threat generation. This also begs the question about how Bloody Strikes will be modified since it's current effect enhances Pestilence damage.

* Unbreakable Armor now absorbs a flat amount of damage that increases as your armor increases. It no longer boosts armor.

Again, not affecting the Death Strike build, but I am sure that frost tanking will not enjoy this as the scaling element from additional gear later on will not benefit from this any longer.

* The Frost tree has been shuffled. Among other things, PvP talents such as Endless Winter are closer to the top of the tree where Blood and Unholy death knights can access them.

Not terribly concerned about PvP, so I can't see how this might affect the overall build.

* Sudden Doom – this talent now procs a Death Coil rather than requiring an additional button click. It works similarly to shamans’ Lightning Overload.

This, this is a big one. And I'll explain as you keep reading.

* Magic Suppression and Blood of the North have been reduced to 3 ranks for the same benefit.

Not really affecting the Death Strike build once again.

* Blood Gorged now grants armor penetration instead of expertise.

This is a huge, absolutely huge change and nerf. The loss of expertise is absolutely damaging to threat and increases Parry Haste hits. Although they aren't as huge a factor as they used to be, they are still always dangerous. However we can use this to our advantage.

We can move the points from Blood Gorged down into Sudden Death. The chance of a free Death Coil every time you use Heart Strike isn't a bad thing. It's more threat that isn't mitigated by armour, and if a few points are shifted around in the unholy tree you can get a greater benefit of damage from it.

The reason for this is that Armour penetration isn't what it was in TBC, and isn't as effective anymore. Mind you it has yet to be determined what amount of penetration they are putting in if they keep it like this.

I think the biggest benefit from the proposed changes is the Unholy Blight move. The additional AoE threat generation was greatly needed for Blood and the Death Strike (As many people have been all to happy to point out that overhealing doesn't generate threat) Tanks.

It will be interested to see what other developments occur as time goes on.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Gift... from Arthas?

It's funny really. That an Elixer called Gift of Arthas can grant a benefit to Death Knights. More specifically a Death Strike tank. Like me!

I came across this rumor the other day that this elixer may or may not count as a Disease where Death Knight abilities are concerned. Well, as it turns out, appearently it only counts for some. The one that matters most to me obviously is Death Strike, so I took it upon myself to test this out.

I have to say a deep thanks to the great priestess that helped me acquire the potion, as I am not an alchemist and they are not really sold on the auction house on our server, this couldn't have been accomplished without her help.

And so... onto the show! Below is a picture of a typical Death Strike critical for me. This is under normal circumstances without any buffs other than Horn of Winter.

And this one is of a Critical Strike with the debuff from the Gift of Arthas.

So, as you can see the Gift of Arthas works incredibly well for Death Strike synergy. Not bad for a Guardian Elixer eh? Score one more point for the Death Strike Tank!!!

This just in...

I was looking over the data from my recount and appearently this elixer also affects my Heart Strikes! I was an increase of approximately 100+ damage on average from additional fights.

The first one is with the Gift of Arthas Elixer, the second without. I ran this test a couple of times just to make sure and what you see are the best results.

This, for me at least, is an absolutely amazing discovery!

Monday, February 2, 2009

So... Here we have the results of a very long Amphitheatre of Anguish quest chain.

The reason it was so long was because we had to do all the bosses except one twice. People kept getting ahead of themselves which forced us to wait on the next person.

What I found to be most interesting was that I didn't even need to hit a panic button. Didn't need to use a cooldown, nothing. The druid in our party (Whymsical) healed 56.7% of the damage I took, and I healed off 42.7% of it. The DK that joined us at the last minute to flesh out our party to five was level 80, using a Blood spec. I'm incredibly suprised that I managed to keep as close to him as I could.

Biance was a BM hunter I think, and Auranoris was a Balance Druid.

Overall, I'd say that my strategy for a Death Strike Tank has been effective so far. Now, with my shiney new axe... onto bigger things!

So I did it...

I spec'd into the frost theory... and...

It just doesn't feel right. The DPS is amazing! Much better than what I was pulling out normally, but it just doesn't have the right feel. Oh well, just another 150g...

But, from this I deduced that I don't need the 5 points in Toughness, as it only grants a 2% damage reduction overall, and have freed up more points into Blood.

Picking up Vendetta which can be highly beneficial during AoE pulls when each mob dies, and Hysteria. Hysteria I linked into an "OH SHIT!" button along with Vampiric Blood and Icebound Fortitude to increase healing received during that moment of Panic.

Though I'm currently in debate as I have 2 points left over and I don't know exactly where to put them.

I have the option of additional Strength (3%) and Stamina (2%), or Will of the Necropolis for more "Oh Shit" safety.


Just got 76 after soloing Malas the Corrupter.

But now the problem is that I am tempted to respec. A friend of mine has been playing with a Icy Touch/Frost Strike SpamKnight build.

It shows somw promise, and could even be potentially viable to tank. But, do I really want to lose the survivability that shows with Death Strike?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Hour of the Worg...

Few days ago I accomplished this as a fresh level 75, without having done the Amphitheatre of Anguish quests yet. So, no super weapon.

I solo'd the Hour of the Worg quest, somehow establishing a 76.7% avoidance rate, and almost 1k DPS. It was amazing!

Just wanted to boast about it.

Where it all began.

Over on MMO-Champion I read a thread where a guy was talking about using Death Strike as his main ability. I did some research and came out with some really good theorycrafting.

The above link is the thread that started a lot of it. And is where I continue to build on the theory of the Death Strike Tank. At some point in the near future I plan on putting more of it in the blog, to maybe make the intentions of it a little more clear.

I also plan on using this blog to keep track of the things that I've done.

As of this posting I am currently running at level 75, and having one hell of a time.

The beginning...

So... here is the beginning of the von Deathstrike blog.

Let's get a little history out of the way before we delve any further.

Aurich von Death Strike is a Death Knight, born of the second war where he fought alongside Anduin Lothar on the fields of what is now the Blasted Lands. He fell in that glorious battle, and his soul became trapped by one of Gul'dan's death knights. His soul was later transfered to another body and put into service by Arthas.

He has recently broken free of the Lich Kings hold and is seeking vengeance for the wrongs he was forced to commit against his own kind. A vengeance that shall never be satisfied.

This is... Aurich von Death Strike.