Regional Flag[Guide]Death Knight 101 (Updated for 7.03)Source
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Hakuteiken
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#1 - 2014/05/22 11:27:00 AM
This if for all the really new Death Knights; my guide on the class overall. In this guide I'll be covering our resource system, what abilities you have, how they work and what they do. I'll also throw in some suggestions on gameplay that should make things somewhat easier for you.

It's worth nothing that Death Knights, at lower levels, are ridiculously powerful which is a state of affairs I found to be really dull when leveling my latest Death Knight; it's not much fun when you're immortal and killing things with 2-3 attacks, but anyway, here goes.

First thing's first; Resources

-We have two different resources; Runes and Runic Power.
We have a total of 6 runes which can be used for any attack that costs Runes; Obliterate, Howling Blast, Festering Strike, Marrowrend etc.
-Runic Power is generated from used runes and the amount of runic power generated is based on the rune cost abilities, for example, Howling Blast cost 1 rune, and therefore will generate only 10 runic power, Marrowrend costs 2 runes and will generate 20 runic power.
Pretty straight forward on paper. Now we get to how they interact with each other.

Runes begin a regeneration cycle of no more than 10 seconds when used; Haste will decrease this time but not by much.
If all 6 runes are used in succession, the first 3 runes to be used will begin their recharge, while the remaining 3 will not. The second set of 3 runes will begin their recharge only when the first set is completely recharged.

There are certain talents and built in passive abilities to speed this process up; these talents and abilities differ from spec to spec.

Blood - Soulgorge; consumes Blood Plague from everything in 30 yards to increase rune recharge.
-Blood Tap; restores 1 rune per use, limited to 2 charges.
Unlike Frost or Unholy, there is no passive ability that will assist the rune recharge time.

Frost - Runic Empowerment; passive, has 1% chance per runic power spent to activate on Frost Strike. After some time testing, I've found it's about 50% chance (5 in 10 Frost Strikes).
-Murderous Efficiency; using the Killing Machine effect has a 50% chance to to restore 1 rune.
-Horn of Winter; restores 2 runes and generates 10 runic power.
-Hungering Rune Weapon; Horn of Winter restores 2 runes and generates 10 runic power while Hungering Rune Weapon restores 1 rune and 5 runic power instantly and then restores runes and runic power every 1.5 seconds for 12 seconds.

Unholy - Runic Corruption, passive, has 1.25% chance per runic power spent to activate, granting 100% rune regeneration for a short time. Requires Death Coil. After testing I've found that this works out that +/- 1 in 3 Death Coils will activate Runic Corruption.

Abilities - How They Work

Each ability a Death Knight has has a rune or runic power cost. The following are abilities that cost only 1 rune and will generate 10 runic power per use.

-Blood Spec:Heart Strike, Death's Caress, Rune Tap, Death and Decay (if talented)
Note: Heart Strike generates 15 runic power.
-Frost Runes; Howling Blast, Frostscythe (if specced),Remorseless Winter,
-Unholy Runes; Scourge Strike (Clawing Shadows, talent), Death and Decay, Epidemic (talent), Outbreak, Chains of Ice, Defile(talent)

The following cost two runes and will generate 20 runic power when used.

-Blood Spec: Marrowrend
-Frost Spec: Obliterate
-Unholy: Festering Strike

Unholy retains Army of the Dead at a cost of 3 runes which generates 30 runic power.

Runic Power - will activate Runic Empowerment or Runic Corruption via the use of Frost Strike or Death Coil respectively.

-Death Coil; usable Unholy spec. It's a ranged attack with 30 yard range and costs 35 runic power. This will also restore 10 energy to your ghoul per Death Coil fired.
-Frost Strike; exclusive to Frost spec, single target melee attack.

Death Coil and Frost Strike are often best used when you're at, or approaching, 100 runic power, but are ideally used when spaced out across your "rotation" which brings me neatly to the next part of the guide.

Abilities - What to use and When

This will require in-depth guides of their own but there are certain universal abilities you can make use of.

-Anti-Magic Shell - use to soak high incoming magic damage; it generates runic power.
-Icebound Fortitude - use when you're taking high damage or are about to, or to break and become immune to stuns.
-Death Grip - when you need to close the distance to your target or interrupt a crucial cast. The adds on Kilrogg Deadeye is a good example of the uses of Death Grip
-Wraith Walk - useful for closing distances and clearing root or slow effects.

I'll be preparing basic guides for Blood, Frost and Unholy specs, but those aren't coming before Legion release.
For now, as I said, this was meant to cover the very basics of the class for people who haven't played Death Knight before.

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#7 - 2014/05/23 03:49:00 PM
Lovely guide, thanks Hakuteiken!