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Vlad

glyphs Blood Death Knight: Mists of Pandaria Rotation Changes, Talents, and Glyphs (Patch 5.0.4)

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This article is no longer being updated. Please check our Blood Death Knight guide, which is fully compatible with Mists of Pandaria, and is being constantly updated. Thank you.

In preparation for the updates to our guides for Mists of Pandaria Patch 5.0.4, we are releasing articles such as this one, explaining what has changed for a particular class and spec, and what the new rotation is likely to be.

Keep in mind that this is still a work in progress (both from Blizzard's side and from our own) and that this article assumes you are at least somewhat familiar with the Cataclysm version of the Blood Death Knight rotation and playstyle (such as from reading our guide).

We will first list the most important changes to the Blood Death Knight Cataclysm abilities, and then we will proceed to explaining the (likely to be) optimal rotation. Keep in mind that we do not document every single change or new ability, only those that impact the rotation.

Finally, we will give you some information about the most useful talents and glyphs you should choose.

New Abilities

  • ability_rogue_bloodyeye.jpgScent of Blood is a very important new mechanic (it existed in Cataclysm too, although it was only remotely related to the current version). It is a stacking self-buff, that procs each time you perform a melee attack. It increases the healing and minimum healing done by your next spell_deathknight_butcher2.jpgDeath Strike by 20% per stack, up to a maximum of 5 stacks. Moreover, each time you gain a Scent of Blood stack, you also gain 10 runic power.
  • inv_misc_bone_skull_01.jpgControl Undead allows you to take control of any hostile Undead mob (only one mob at a time, however). Bosses are immune to this ability. The mob's attack speed and casting speed are diminished, but it retains all of its abilities. You cannot summon your ghoul (spell_shadow_animatedead.jpgRaise Dead) while you have a controlled mob, although you can control a mob while your ghoul is active, having both up at the same time.
  • ability_deathknight_soulreaper.jpgSoul Reaper is a nuke, with "execute" properties. It deals 100% weapon damage and applies a debuff on the target, lasting 5 seconds. If, when the debuff expires, the target is below 35% health, it deals a moderate amount of Shadow damage. The ability's damage, when the target is not below 35% health, does not make it worth casting. Finally, if the target is killed while the debuff is active, you gain 50% haste for 10 seconds.
  • Tier 1 talents offer a choice between ability_creature_disease_02.jpgPlague Leech and spell_shadow_contagion.jpgUnholy Blight (and ability_deathknight_roilingblood.jpgRoiling Blood, although this is a passive ability). We discuss these talents in greater depth in the Talents section.
  • Tier 2 talents offer a choice between spell_shadow_raisedead.jpgLichborne and spell_deathknight_antimagiczone.jpgAnti-Magic Zone (and inv_misc_shadowegg.jpgPurgatory, but this is a passive talent). We discuss these talents in greater depth in the Talents section.
  • Tier 4 talents offer a choice between ability_deathknight_deathsiphon.jpgDeath Siphon, spell_shadow_deathpact.jpgDeath Pact, and ability_deathknight_deathsiphon2.jpgConversion. We discuss these talents in greater depth in the Talents section.
  • Tier 5 talents offer a choice between spell_deathknight_bloodtap.jpgBlood Tap and two passive spells, inv_misc_rune_10.jpgRunic Empowerment and spell_shadow_rune.jpgRunic Corruption. We discuss these talents in greater depth in the Talents section.

Changes to Existing Mechanics

  • The base global cooldown is now 1 second by default. Previously, this was a feature of spell_deathknight_unholypresence.jpgUnholy Presence.
  • spell_deathknight_butcher2.jpgDeath Strike cannot be parried.
  • inv_misc_horn_02.jpgHorn of Winter now grants 10% increased attack power to all raid members. This is due to the old buff of Horn of Winter (549 Strength and Agility to all raid members) having been removed. Horn of Winter now also lasts for 5 minutes, instead of 2 minutes (3 with the appropriate glyph).
  • spell_deathknight_frostfever.jpgFrost Fever and spell_deathknight_bloodplague.jpgBlood Plague now last 30 seconds.

Removed Abilities:

  • spell_deathknight_bloodtap.jpgBlood Tap has practically been removed. There is a new spell with the same name in Mists of Pandaria, although it has nothing to do with the Cataclysm version of Blood Tap.
  • spell_shadow_raisedead.jpgLichborne has been removed as an easily-attainable spell. It is now one of the 3 mutually exclusive tier 2 talents.
  • spell_shadow_deathpact.jpgDeath Pact has been removed as a default spell. It is now one of the 3 mutually exclusive tier 4 talents, although it has been slightly changed (it is more powerful now).
  • spell_deathknight_deathstrike.jpgBlood Strike has been removed (although it was not part of the Blood rotation anyway). It is now only available to Unholy Death Knights.

Rotation

The rotation for Blood Death Knights remains largely unchanged in Mists of Pandaria (see our Cataclysm guide for more details).

Firstly, the introduction of ability_rogue_bloodyeye.jpgScent of Blood does not change much. The buff stacks with every successful melee attack, so you will benefit from it passively without any need for action. The only implication is that you will probably end up prioritising Hit Rating and Expertise Rating to ensure that all your melee attacks land.

Secondly, in case you choose inv_misc_rune_10.jpgRunic Empowerment as your Tier 5 talent (which, we believe, is going to be the best choice), you will want to always have one Blood rune available, so that Runic Empowerment will always refresh an Unholy or Frost rune, which you can then use on spell_deathknight_butcher2.jpgDeath Strike. In the event that you choose spell_shadow_rune.jpgRunic Corruption instead of Runic Empowerment, then this is no longer a concern.

Finally, because ability_rogue_vendetta.jpgScarlet Fever causes Blood Boil to refresh the diseases on targets it hits, Blood Boil is the most efficient means of keeping up diseases against single targets.

Multiple Target Rotation

When against 2-4 enemies, your go-to ability will be inv_weapon_shortblade_40.jpgHeart Strike, which provides much higher damage than spell_deathknight_bloodboil.jpgBlood Boil. Against more than 4 targets, Blood Boil pulls ahead. Of course, in both cases, you will want to have both your diseases up on the targets, and you will maintain them by using Blood Boil.

Cooldowns

Nothing significant has changed in terms of defensive cooldowns for Blood Death Knights (spell_deathknight_bloodtap.jpgBlood Tap has been removed, and spell_shadow_raisedead.jpgLichborne and spell_shadow_deathpact.jpgDeath Pact are now part of mutually exclusive talent choices with other useful survival talents). Death Knights retain their characterstic of having many active mitigation abilities.

Talents

Tier 1 talents offer a choice between 3 talents that are related to your diseases. ability_creature_disease_02.jpgPlague Leech can have a minor influence on your survivability, granting you a Death Rune by consuming your diseases on the target. This can then be used to cast a spell_deathknight_runetap.jpgRune Tap.

The other two talents simply make it easier to spread your diseases, and do not affect your tanking ability directly. They may have usefulness when you encounter adds.

Tier 2 talents offer a choice between 3 survival talents.

spell_shadow_raisedead.jpgLichborne allows you to heal yourself with spell_shadow_deathcoil.jpgDeath Coil for 10 seconds every 2 minutes.

spell_deathknight_antimagiczone.jpgAnti-Magic Zone places a protective barrier at a target location, reducing the magic damage taken by any raid members inside it by 75%. The zone lasts for 10 seconds, or until it absorbs a fixed amount of damage (rather low). It is unchanged from its Cataclysm version (except that it can now be placed at a targeted location), and it will remain useful for reducing the damage of a powerful AoE attack, and less useful for reducing damage that comes in over time.

inv_misc_shadowegg.jpgPurgatory allows you to survive an attack that would otherwise kill you, every 3 minutes. The amount of damage that is prevented from reaching you (i.e., the amount of damage that would have been the "overkill" portion) will be turned into a healing absorption effect on you, lasting 3 seconds. During those 3 seconds, you cannot die, and all damage done to you is added to the healing absorption effect. If, after 3 seconds, you were not healed for that amount (so, if the absorption effect still exists), you will die.

The mechanics of the encounter you are progressing on will determine your choice. Anti-Magic zone is useful as a raid cooldown any time there is a big magic damage attack that you want to mitigate. Purgatory can be useful in allowing you to bypass encounter mechanics, while Lichborne simply allows you to help out the healers by keeping yourself alive during times of heavy damage.

Tier 3 talents offer a choice between 3 crowd-control and utility talents.

spell_shadow_demonicempathy.jpgDeath's Advance will probably be the default choice unless encounter mechanics require something else, simply due to the fact that it offers a passive 10% increased movement speed at all times.

spell_frost_wisp.jpgChilblains will be useful when there are adds that must be kited.

ability_deathknight_asphixiate.jpgAsphyxiate, which is an improved spell_shadow_soulleech_3.jpgStrangulate (half the cooldown, no rune cost, stun instead of silence, when possible), will mostly have PvP applications and, unless there is a specific encounter where it is for some reason particularly beneficial, it will not show up in PvE.

Tier 4 talents offer a choice between 3 self-healing talents.

We believe that spell_shadow_deathpact.jpgDeath Pact will be the default choice in most situations.

At the same time, ability_deathknight_deathsiphon.jpgDeath Siphon is quite powerful and, despite the fact that it costs runes, making it compete with spell_deathknight_butcher2.jpgDeath Strike (and providing considerably less healing than Death Strike), it can be used at range, which may be useful in some situations.

ability_deathknight_deathsiphon2.jpgConversion is currently the least appealing talent.

Tier 5 talents offer a choice between 3 talents that improve your rune regeneration.

In terms of efficiency, the choice will come down to either inv_misc_rune_10.jpgRunic Empowerment or spell_shadow_rune.jpgRunic Corruption, though we believe the former to be the best choice (although it makes the playstyle somewhat more difficult).

Tier 6 talents offer a choice between 3 crowd-control talents.

In a rather disappointing turn of events, the tier 6 talents have no effect on your actual DPS performance. These talents are heavily PvP-centric and we believe that for PvE the choice will be largely irrelevant.

The stun provided by ability_deathknight_remorselesswinters2.Remorseless Winter may be of some use against trash, preventing you from taking damage from the mobs for the duration of the stun.

Glyphs

While many Death Knight glyphs are interesting and have applicability for PvP or questing, in terms of PvE performance, there are only a few Major Glyphs that we consider worth mentioning.
  • inv_glyph_majordeathknight.jpgGlyph of Dancing Rune Weapon greatly increases your threat generation while inv_sword_07.jpgDancing Rune Weapon is active, but reduces the damage that it deals by 25%. Using this glyph will depend on which you prefer between threat and DPS.
  • inv_glyph_majordeathknight.jpgGlyph of Icebound Fortitude allows you to use spell_deathknight_iceboundfortitude.jpgIcebound Fortitude much more often, but reduces its duration by 75%. This can be useful on fights where you need to mitigate high damage regularly (and often), but when this damage is not sustained.
  • inv_glyph_majordeathknight.jpgGlyph of Vampiric Blood increases the healing you receive during spell_shadow_lifedrain.jpgVampiric Blood by 15%, but causes Vampiric Blood to no longer grant health.
  • inv_glyph_majordeathknight.jpgGlyph of Death Coil grants your spell_shadow_deathcoil.jpgDeath Coil the ability to be cast on allies. When doing so, it will place a damage absorption shield on them.
  • inv_glyph_majordeathknight.jpgGlyph of Anti-Magic Shell allows your spell_shadow_antimagicshell.jpgAnti-Magic Shell to absorb all the magic damage taken (up from 75% without the glyph), up to 50% of your maximum health. In practice, this will allow Anti-Magic Shell to absorb slightly more damage, in some situations, improving your survivability.
This concludes our Blood Death Knight preview for Mists of Pandaria. We hope you have enjoyed reading it and that it proved useful to you. As always, we are looking forward to reading your opinions on the matter!

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My notes:

- Scent of blood is not new, but it was changed for 5.x.

- Scent of blood has a 100% proc chance with a 2H weapon, but procs less with a 1H via the PPM mechanic. So you can't game the system using a 1H for extra RP.

- Improved blood presence is not new, blood spec had +20% rune regen in 4.x

- Horn of winter lasts 5m, up from 2m (3m glyphed) in 4.x

- Blood single-target rotation uses Blood Boil to refresh diseases

- Plague leech is worth 1D rune every 60s and is thus the optimal T1 talent choice. Unholy Blight is nice for 5man/scenario content where you need to apply diseases more often than once per minute.

- Anti-magic zone is changed from 4.x, it is now targettable at range and not automatically centered on the player

- Purgatory also adds damage done to the player to the healing shield while it's up. You cannot die while the heal shield is up, period.

- Blood can't use conversion or death siphon. Death siphon heals less than half a death strike and doesn't work with blood shield. Conversion consumes runic power that would be used for rune strike to generate runes via the T5 talent choices. Death pact is the only valid choice for blood, except in extremely situational circumstances.

- Remorseless winter is nice for trash. The stun means the tank takes less damage.

- Glyph of outbreak should not be used. Blood has unlimited-duration diseases on single-targets. At the very most it's worth 1D rune every minute using plague leech, trading off for 40 runic power. This glyph is not mathematically worthwhile for DPS or tanks.

- Glyph of death coil should not be used in PvE. The shield is extremely small, and death coil costs 1/3 more than rune strike, hindering damage mitigation.

Edited by rodalpho

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Haha, Vlad was afraid you'd manage to find inaccurracies in his article :P

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My notes:

- Scent of blood is not new, but it was changed for 5.x.

Yes, I'm aware of that. The ability has changed so radically though (the most important and innovative part of it is entirely new), that I felt I should list it as a new ability. I'll reword it so that both of us are happy :)

- Scent of blood has a 100% proc chance with a 2H weapon, but procs less with a 1H via the PPM mechanic. So you can't game the system using a 1H for extra RP.

Yup, all too true. I don't think anyone will be dual-wielding as Blood, though. It hasn't been viable in Cataclysm and I don't really see why it would change now.

- Improved blood presence is not new, blood spec had +20% rune regen in 4.x

Right you are, my bad. Fixed now.

- Blood single-target rotation uses Blood Boil to refresh diseases

- Anti-magic zone is changed from 4.x, it is now targettable at range and not automatically centered on the player

- Horn of winter lasts 5m, up from 2m (3m glyphed) in 4.x

- Remorseless winter is nice for trash. The stun means the tank takes less damage.

Added this. Thanks!

- Plague leech is worth 1D rune every 60s and is thus the optimal T1 talent choice. Unholy Blight is nice for 5man/scenario content where you need to apply diseases more often than once per minute.

This is consistent with what we write in the article. I have to ask, though, how do you efficiently re-apply diseases in order to make regular use of ability_creature_disease_02.jpgPlague Leech?

- Purgatory also adds damage done to the player to the healing shield while it's up. You cannot die while the heal shield is up, period.

While you are right about this, the implication that you are "immortal" for the whole 3 second maximum duration of the shield is erroneous. The only way you are surviving, thanks to inv_misc_shadowegg.jpgPurgatory, is if you quickly receive a lot of healing so as the ensure that the healing absorption shield is gone before 3 seconds go by. In most controlled cases (i.e., when you are using Purgatory to counter a fight mechanic, and your healers are prepared), you will be spammed with heals as soon as it procs. This will remove the shield almost instantly, so you'll really only have it for a very short time.

I've added the part that the damage you take while the shield is up is added to its absorb duration. Thanks :)

- Blood can't use conversion or death siphon. Death siphon heals less than half a death strike and doesn't work with blood shield. Conversion consumes runic power that would be used for rune strike to generate runes via the T5 talent choices. Death pact is the only valid choice for blood, except in extremely situational circumstances.

ability_deathknight_deathsiphon.jpgDeath Siphon only costs one rune, though. More importantly, it can be used at range, which spell_deathknight_butcher2.jpgDeath Strike cannot. It might not be the best choice, but I can still see it possibly remaining viable (especially if you consider potential future tweaking).

I've reworked this section a bit :)

- Glyph of outbreak should not be used. Blood has unlimited-duration diseases on single-targets. At the very most it's worth 1D rune every minute using plague leech, trading off for 40 runic power. This glyph is not mathematically worthwhile for DPS or tanks.

Fair enough. I'll remove it from the list, for now.

- Glyph of death coil should not be used in PvE. The shield is extremely small, and death coil costs 1/3 more than rune strike, hindering damage mitigation.

The whole point of this glyph is that allows you to help others!

Thanks for all your feedback. I appreciate it a lot.

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Sure, happy to help.

Actually dual-wielding is completely viable in 4.x. It murders your threat, but threat isn't a major concern these days unless you're hugely undergeared. In return for losing a lot of threat, you get to use two tanking 1H weapons, which improves your mitigation. Nobody does it, because it's not really necessary and threat can be difficult in the first 10s or so of a fight, but it is viable. DK threat is lower in 5.x due to low single-target DPS, so it may be an issue there.

Blood applies diseases via unglyphed outbreak.

You are truly immortal while the purgatory shield is up. Nothing can kill you. Of course if you aren't healed enough to remove the shield, you die when the 3s duration is up. And you can die during that 3s period if the shield is quickly removed from heals, you end up at low health, and a DoT tick or something kills you.

And finally, tanks aren't concerned with helping others-- that's a healer or maybe DPS concern. No tank would ever give up damage mitigation to put a tiny shield on another player. I suppose it might be situationally useful while off-tanking, when you don't have threat and aren't taking damage. But it's such a small shield that I frankly doubt it.

Edited by rodalpho

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Sure, happy to help.

Actually dual-wielding is completely viable in 4.x. It murders your threat, but threat isn't a major concern these days unless you're hugely undergeared. In return for losing a lot of threat, you get to use two tanking 1H weapons, which improves your mitigation. Nobody does it, because it's not really necessary and threat can be difficult in the first 10s or so of a fight, but it is viable. DK threat is lower in 5.x due to low single-target DPS, so it may be an issue there.

Blood applies diseases via unglyphed outbreak.

You are truly immortal while the purgatory shield is up. Nothing can kill you. Of course if you aren't healed enough to remove the shield, you die when the 3s duration is up. And you can die during that 3s period if the shield is quickly removed from heals, you end up at low health, and a DoT tick or something kills you.

And finally, tanks aren't concerned with helping others-- that's a healer or maybe DPS concern. No tank would ever give up damage mitigation to put a tiny shield on another player. I suppose it might be situationally useful while off-tanking, when you don't have threat and aren't taking damage. But it's such a small shield that I frankly doubt it.

I had forgotten to click edit on my post, so if you read back and didn't see any of the changes I had talked about, that's why.

Regarding dual-wielding, I said it's not viable exactly for the reasons you mentioned. :)

For Purgatory, while you are effectively immortal for 3 seconds, as I said, if you actually stay immortal for all 3 seconds, it means you will die when they end. The only way to ensure that you don't die from the absorption shield is to pump a lot of healing into yourself as soon as the shield goes up. The sooner you get rid of the shield, the safer you are, and the less time you spend actually being invincible :)

And what I meant about tanks helping others is exactly that - off-tanks or tanks in exceptional situations (like there is nothing dealing damage to the tank for 30 seconds or 1 minute, and certain boss abilities target raid members and deal a lot of damage to them). The shield might be small, but it's still something. I'm obviously not suggesting that, in the brunt of a fight where the tank is taking massive damage, they start healing DPS players :)

Thanks so much for all your posts!

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There are a few things that caught my attention, but I realize this guide was posted almost a month ago and many changes have been made since.

If you plan on updating this I would consider a few points:

Blood Tap:

This is currently a fully viable choice since it is no longer on the global cooldown. It actually offers far more flexibility and reliability than the other options. As you can bank up to 12 Blood Charges, and refreshing a rune only costs 5, you can actually refresh two runes at once to get another Death Strike in when you really need it. I just thought that the way you presented it in your guide doesn't fully reflect the possibilities of this talent choice.

Glyph of Dancing Rune Weapon:

I'd just like to point out that this is just as useless as some of the PvP glyphs. With the changes to vengeance and more specifically the ramp-up changes to it. Threat is long gone as something to struggle with as a tank, not to mention the huge resource cost barrier to use this ability during a pull. I just can't think of any scenario in the game where this talent would be useful.

Death's Advance:

Worth noting that this speed increase stacks with almost every other speed increase. Together with boot enchant you'll run 119% faster at all times.

Heart Strike vs Blood Boil:

You mention that against more than 4 targets you'd want to use Blood Boil. This isn't actually true all the time. Blood Boil scales far better with your attack power and Heart Strike scales with your weapon damage. This means that at certain AP levels, when Vengeance kicks in, Blood Boil will sometimes be superior even on 2 or more targets.

Here is a simple spreadsheet displaying attack power and weapon damage affecting the damage of these abilities. It won't be uncommon reaching far above 100k attack power in a raid setting.

Control Undead:

This ability can be dangerous! You can't use the controlled minion to use Death Pact, and while controlling you can't actually summon your good old ghoul. I learned this the hard way.

Lastly, In your rotation section you might want to mention Crimson Scourge, and that it's generally better to use the proc for Death and Decay over Blood Boil in terms of raw damage.

Edit: I'd also suggest mirroring these guides in their respective class forums! I'd have never expected to find them in the news section to be honest.

Edited by Wake

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There are a few things that caught my attention, but I realize this guide was posted almost a month ago and many changes have been made since.

If you plan on updating this I would consider a few points:

Blood Tap:

This is currently a fully viable choice since it is no longer on the global cooldown. It actually offers far more flexibility and reliability than the other options. As you can bank up to 12 Blood Charges, and refreshing a rune only costs 5, you can actually refresh two runes at once to get another Death Strike in when you really need it. I just thought that the way you presented it in your guide doesn't fully reflect the possibilities of this talent choice.

Glyph of Dancing Rune Weapon:

I'd just like to point out that this is just as useless as some of the PvP glyphs. With the changes to vengeance and more specifically the ramp-up changes to it. Threat is long gone as something to struggle with as a tank, not to mention the huge resource cost barrier to use this ability during a pull. I just can't think of any scenario in the game where this talent would be useful.

Death's Advance:

Worth noting that this speed increase stacks with almost every other speed increase. Together with boot enchant you'll run 119% faster at all times.

Heart Strike vs Blood Boil:

You mention that against more than 4 targets you'd want to use Blood Boil. This isn't actually true all the time. Blood Boil scales far better with your attack power and Heart Strike scales with your weapon damage. This means that at certain AP levels, when Vengeance kicks in, Blood Boil will sometimes be superior even on 2 or more targets.

Here is a simple spreadsheet displaying attack power and weapon damage affecting the damage of these abilities. It won't be uncommon reaching far above 100k attack power in a raid setting.

Control Undead:

This ability can be dangerous! You can't use the controlled minion to use Death Pact, and while controlling you can't actually summon your good old ghoul. I learned this the hard way.

Lastly, In your rotation section you might want to mention Crimson Scourge, and that it's generally better to use the proc for Death and Decay over Blood Boil in terms of raw damage.

Edit: I'd also suggest mirroring these guides in their respective class forums! I'd have never expected to find them in the news section to be honest.

Thank you for this post. I'm sorry that I wasn't able to get back to you sooner. You are right, the guide is somewhat out of date. I've gotten around to updating the old Cataclysm guide for 5.0.4/MoP, so I'll be sure to incorporate everything you've said there :)

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      Actually for Number 4, I prefer to use WeakAuras - I track a lot of information on my Healing Frames and I have to cut something from all this or things get too messy.
       
      You can find the WeakAura for tracking Raidwide CDs in our WA thread.
       
      If you can see what other Healers are doing during the fight, it makes it much easier to choose the ‘right’ targets for your heals and not get into situations when you Riptide somebody who already has a Druid’s HoT and a Priest’s Shield. Same with Raid CDs: if your raid is not too communicative, you don’t want to be in a situation where you drop your HTT while a Holy Priest has already begun to channel Divine Hymn.
       
      If you are still struggling with mana issues, check that you have a Spirit enchant on your weapon (even if it’s 630 ilvl) and the DMF trinket. Remember that you can always chose Elemental Blast in your Talents for help in refilling mana. Bring mana potions with you. I know that it’s obvious, but from my experience of checking logs, a lot of the people complaining about mana issues did not use mana potions during encounters.
       
       
      COMMON TALENTS AND GLYPHS: (top)
       
      TIER 1:
       
      STONE BULWARK TOTEM
       
      Unlike in MoP, I can’t see any appropriate usage for SBT in Highmaul.
       
      How does it work?
       
      When you summon it, it grants you a 10-second Shield that absorbs (Spell power * 0.875 * 4) damage. After that 10-second period is over, it casts a smaller shield of (Spell power * 0.875) on you every 5 seconds (overriding the previous shield, even the large, initial one, if it is still active). This smaller shield absorbs exactly 4 times less damage than the first shield and lasts for 10 seconds.
       
      So for example, for my current Spell Power 4748 (647 ilvl), I will get a shield that absorbs 16618 damage and after the initial 10 seconds, a smaller shield that absorbs 4154 damage 4 times over a 20 second period.
       
      From what it seems, its worth maybe a bit more than one Riptide or one Healing Wave.
      We don’t have spiky damage in WoD that forces us to use every bit of constant damage mitigation because we wouldn’t be able to cast a healing spell in time. So, from my PoV, we should use talents that allow us to mitigate a big amount of unpredictable damage or to ignore predictable damage when we have to continue casting.
       
      NATURE’S GUARDIAN
       
      I would advise taking it for people who get ‘tunnel vision.’
       
      If you always get caught by fire on Twin Ogrons or Suppression Field on Ko’ragh, take NG - it will give you a couple of seconds to run away and heal yourself when you actually might already be dead. Obviously, it’s much better to move out of stuff and avoid unnecessary damage but, well, nobody is perfect! ^^
       
      ASTRAL SHIFT
       
      Perfect talent if you are able to plan your actions.
       
      AS reduces all damage for 40%. You should use it when the raid is taking heavy damage from boss mechanics. Force Novas, Expel Magic: Frost, Cleave… Almost every boss uses abilities that you can mitigate with this talent.
       
      TIER 2:
       
      Actually the only talent in this tier that can help us in Highmaul is WINDWALK TOTEM.
      There are no adds that have to be rooted in any fight here and even on trash most of mobs are casters, so it’s more efficient to CC, stun or interrupt them.
       
      TIER 5:
       
      In my opinion, the only reasonable choice for most of the fights in this tier would be RUSHING STREAMS.
       
      ANCESTRAL GUIDANCE was nerfed so heavily in WoD, that even while having a 2 min CD, as a major raid CD it converts only 20% of your direct healing to healing on up to 3 nearby injured raid members. It’s such a minor amount of healing that I wouldn’t recommend it for any fight.
       
      CONDUCTIVITY is a very situational talent, simply because it demands a big part of the raid to stay in one spot long enough to fully utilise it. The only fight in Highmaul where people are mostly stacked in one spot is The Butcher. I personally think that additional healing from RS is still better than a possibility not to cast HR on CD. But it’s up to you.
       
      TIER 7:
       
      CLOUDBURST TOTEM or HIGH TIDE
      You should choose whatever is more comfortable for your play style. I checked both of talents in all the Highmaul fights and have to say that there is no significant difference in output numbers if you understand these talents mechanic and plan your behaviour in encounters.
       
      There are a couple of encounters where one of the talents may be slightly more beneficial and I mentioned this in Encounter Specifics, but generally, just play with what you are feeling more comfortable.
       
      Remember that while there are talents that seems preferable to take with CBT or HT, they are not mandatory.
      For example, you can take Echo of the Elements with High Tide, because Unleashed Life empowers your Chain Heal too and additional Riptide without CD will help you to manage High Tide usage easier.
      Or, it's not mandatory to take Totemic Persistence with Cloudburst totem if you prefer not to drop Water totems together but one by one.
       
      MAJOR GLYPHS:
       
      GLYPH OF HEALING STREAM TOTEM - all fights in Highmaul, except for The Butcher and Mar'goc with Arcane spells have a magic damage component that may be reduced with this Glyph. Even in the Kargath fight, where the boss has only physical abilities, the adds and Pillars add a magic damage component.
       
      GLYPH OF HEALING WAVE - with the new healing style in WoD, we are using HW a lot. So why not get free self heals?
       
      GLYPH OF SPIRITWALKER’S FOCUS - reduces the cooldown of Spiritwalker's Grace by 60 seconds but reduces its duration by 7 seconds. I prefer it above Glyph of Spiritwalker's Grace.
      The reason for this is that in almost all the fights in Highmaul, we have ground abilities from which we have to move out or knockbacks after which we have to run back to our spots. Mostly they are short but frequent. I see many situations where 8 seconds casting on the move every 60 seconds can be more beneficial than being able to cast on move every 2 minutes.
       
       
      ENCOUNTER SPECIFICS (top)
       
       
      KARGATH BLADEFIST (top)
       
      This is the fight with very low raid damage in both Normal and Heroic versions.
       
      TALENTS:
       
      Tier 1: Doesn’t matter
       
      Tier 2: Doesn’t matter
       
      Tier 3:
      Call of the Elements or Totemic Persistence.
      If you are aiming for Cloudburst Totem in Tier 7, Totemic Persistence could be your choice. I prefer Totemic Persistence with CBT because it gives you the flexibility to use other Water Totems without ruining your CBT timings.
      You can use Call of Elements in this fight too but there is no specific advantage to it. CoE is very good when you have to use a utility Totem twice in a row due to fight mechanics (Tremor, Windwalk, Capacitor, etc.) or when the overall damage is so high, that even one more HST could help. There’s nothing like this on Kargath.
       
      Tier 4:
      Elemental Mastery: we don’t need additional CDs for this fight.
      Ancestral Swiftness: no real need for additional Haste or instant casts.
      Echo of the Elements: I would say that this is our talent of choice on Kargath. A chance for additional Riptides or an Unleash Life without CD definitely increases our healing output.
       
      Tier 5:
      Rushing Streams. No reason for Conductivity - the raid is never stacked.
       
      Tier 6:
      Unleashed Fury: your choice if you are aiming for single target healing in this fight. Not valuable if you chose High Tide in Tier 7.
      Primal Elementalist: An acceptable choice. There is nothing to heal for most of the fight, so you could use elementals for DPS!
      Elemental Blast: I can’t see any reason for having mana issues in this fight, so I wouldn’t take this talent.
       
      Tier 7:
      Cloudburst Totem: This is my preferred Talent for this fight. Damage on the Raid is low, so it feels better to single target heal while CBT will redistribute our healing to the raid.
      High Tide: The only reason to take this talent on Kargath, in my opinion, is when you are assigned to go upstairs. It’s problematic enough to time CBT there, people are running all over the place, so it might be easier to Riptide the group and Chain Heal them.
       
      MAJOR GLYPHS:
       
      GLYPH OF HEALING STREAM TOTEM
      GLYPH OF HEALING WAVE
      GLYPH OF SPIRITWALKER’S FOCUS (you can take something else instead but I don’t see anything really useful)
       
       
      THE BUTCHER (top)
       
      This is the fight with very high raid damage in both Normal and Heroic versions, especially for soaking groups.
      My guild uses a very specific tactic for this boss:
      We have two healers for 2 soaking groups (5+5 people) - myself (Restoration Shaman) and Disc Priest. Our Restoration Druid stays on the raid full time while our Holy Paladin prioritizes the Tanks. Sub-30%, our Healers come into the soaking groups to help minimise the damage, 2 healers in each group.
       
      TALENTS:
       
      Tier 1: I take Nature’s Guardian for accidental (or not accidental Sub-30%) Cleave damage.
       
      Tier 2: Doesn’t matter
       
      Tier 3:
      Call of Elements or Totemic Persistence.
      If you are aiming for Cloudburst Totem in Tier 7, Totemic Persistence could be your choice.
      I prefer High Tide for The Butcher. According to my assignment, I will have at least 5 heavily injured people during the entire fight. It’s clearly worth the constant use of Chain Heal.
      So Call of Elements is my choice here. The overall damage is very high, so even one more HST could help.
       
      Tier 4:
      Elemental Mastery: I wouldn’t take it. The other two talents are much more useful.
      Ancestral Swiftness: If you like to cast faster and to have an ‘oh, shit’ instant cast once every 90 seconds, this is a good choice.
      Echo of the Elements: A chance for additional Riptides or an Unleash Life without CD definitely increases our healing output. Remember that Unleashed Life empowers Chain Heal too so you can benefit from EotE when taking the High Tide talent.
       
      Tier 5:
      Rushing Streams or Conductivity.
      I prefer Rushing Streams but if you are good in handling Conductivity full time on melee - why not?
      You can find the WeakAura for tracking HR with Conductivity talent in our WA thread.
       
      Tier 6:
      Elemental Blast: I would say that this is our talent of choice for the Butcher. The fight is very intense and we’ll need every possible bit of mana.
       
      Tier 7:
      Cloudburst Totem: you can choose this it if you prefer single target healing. If you are using spells wisely, CBT will nicely redistribute your healing to all the injured people.
      High Tide: This is a very good talent for this fight. You will always have a lot of injured people and the power of High Tide will be fully utilized.
       
      MAJOR GLYPHS:
       
      GLYPH OF HEALING WAVE
      GLYPH OF SPIRITWALKER’S FOCUS (for knockbacks)
      Other possibilities:
      GLYPH OF FLAME SHOCK (a bit more of passive self healing)
      GLYPH OF RIPTIDE - if you don’t have a Resto Druid in the raid, it can be a possibility. If you can’t manage your High Tide CH targets without blanketing the raid, it’s a possibility too. But frankly, the amount of Riptides you'll have with the EotE talent should be enough to fully utilize High Tide.
       
       
      TECTUS (top)
       
      This is a fight with very intense movement for the entire raid, including healers.
      The tactic that my guild uses for this boss involves the whole raid spreading out in a big circle around the boss, no stacking.
      We have the assignments for raid healing CDs during Tectonic Upheaval for every Healer too.
       
      TALENTS:
       
      Tier 1: Nature’s Guardian for accidental ‘standing in crap’ damage or Astral Shift for Tectonic Upheavals.
       
      Tier 2: Doesn’t matter
       
      Tier 3: Call of Elements or Totemic Persistence.
      If you are aiming for Cloudburst Totem in Tier 7, Totemic Persistence could be your choice.
      Many people prefer CBT for this fight because of constant movement and obstacles that cause loss of LoS for direct target heals.
      Call of Elements can be a good choice too. One more HST in the moments when you have to run from Crystalline Barrage or around Earthen Pillar could definitely help.
       
      Tier 4:
      Elemental Mastery: You can take it if feeling like one more CD is needed but it will burn your mana really fast.
      Ancestral Swiftness: If you like to cast faster and to have an ‘oh, shit’ instant cast once every 90 seconds, this is a good choice.
      Echo of the Elements: A chance for additional Riptides or an Unleash Life without CD definitely increases our healing output. Remember that Unleashed Life empowers Chain Heal too so you can benefit from EotE when taking the High Tide talent.
       
      Tier 5:
      Rushing Streams is the only choice here really.
       
      Tier 6:
      Unleashed Fury or Elemental Blast.
      If you are able to cast a lot and burn your mana quickly or if you took Glyph of Riptide for this fight, then take Elemental Blast.
      If you prefer single target spells and CBT, take Unleashed Fury - 50% increased heal is really good - you can cast less and pay more attention to your movement.
       
      Tier 7:
      Cloudburst Totem: you can choose this it if you prefer single target healing. CBT will also nicely redistribute your healing to all injured people when you’re moving around!
      High Tide: good talent for people who are good in positioning or with Glyph of Riptide. You will have a lot of injured people in this fight and the power of High Tide will be fully utilized.
       
      MAJOR GLYPHS:
       
      GLYPH OF HEALING STREAM TOTEM
      GLYPH OF HEALING WAVE
      GLYPH OF SPIRITWALKER’S FOCUS (so much movement)
      Other possibilities:
      GLYPH OF FLAME SHOCK (a bit more of passive self healing)
      GLYPH OF RIPTIDE - if you don’t have a resto druid in raid, it’s a possibility. If you are not very good in finding safe spots and move a lot, it’s a possibility too.
       
       
      BRACKENSPORE (top)
       
      By the tactic my guild uses for this boss, we have assignment for every healer. On Heroic progression you will need two healers assigned to heal mushrooms (one healer in Normal).
      I have to say that a resto shaman with Cloudburst totem assigned to Mushrooms can do miracles ^^. I was able to pull 11% of total healing from CBT on this fight.
       
      TALENTS:
       
      Tier 1: Nature’s Guardian for accidental ‘caught in crap’ damage or Astral Shift for Infesting Spores.
       
      Tier 2: doesn’t matter
       
      Tier 3: Call of Elements or Totemic Persistence.
      If you are aiming for Cloudburst Totem in Tier 7, Totemic Persistence could be your choice.
      Call of Elements can be a choice too. One more HST on Infesting Spores - why not?
       
      Tier 4:
      Elemental Mastery: no need really and it burns your mana too quick.
      Ancestral Swiftness: if you like to cast faster and to have ‘oh, shit’ instant cast once in 90 sec. - it’s your choice.
      Echo of the Elements: I like it on this fight. More UL for mushrooms!
       
      Tier 5:
      Rushing Streams talent would be the best choice here really. Conductivity is very arguable, imo. While there are periods when all the raid is stacked on mushroom, I’m not sure that this time is long enough for using this talent.
       
      Tier 6:
      Unleashed Fury or Elemental Blast.
      I would take Unleashed Fury, especially if assigned to mushrooms. 50% increased single heal is really valuable here. If you are healing the raid, Elemental Blast could be your choice too, but frankly, you can refill the mana from blue mushroom.
       
      Tier 7:
      Cloudburst totem: best choice for healing mushrooms. CBT will nicely redistribute your healing on mushroom to the raid.
      High Tide: good talent if you are healing the raid.
       
      MAJOR GLYPHS:
       
      GLYPH OF HEALING STREAM TOTEM
      GLYPH OF HEALING WAVE
      Other possibilities:
      GLYPH OF FLAME SHOCK (a bit more of passive self healing)
      GLYPH OF RIPTIDE - if you don’t have a resto druid in raid, it’s a possibility, but remember that it’s weak and burns your mana fast.
       
       
      TWIN OGRON (top)
       
      This is the fight with intensive movement for all the raid, including healers.
      By the tactic my guild uses for this boss, the ranged dps and healers are mostly stacked together and move together, except of moving of fire and Pulverize.
      It would be nice if your hunters will cast Aspect of the Fox, so you could cast when moving from the fire.
       
      TALENTS:
       
      Tier 1: I would advice Nature’s Guardian here, especially if you are not very good in moving out of fire.
       
      Tier 2: doesn’t matter
       
      Tier 3: Call of Elements or Totemic Persistence.
      If you are aiming for Cloudburst Totem in Tier 7, Totemic Persistence could be your choice.
      Many people prefer CBT for this fight because of movement it demands.
      Call of Elements can be a good choice too. One more HST for fire times or Pulverize could definitely help.
       
      Tier 4:
      Ancestral Swiftness: don’t think that more Haste could be very useful in this fight.
      Echo of the Elements: A chance for additional Riptide or Unleash Life without CD definitely increase our healing output. Remember that Unleashed Life empowers Chain Heal too, so you can benefit from EotE when taking High Tide talent.
       
      Tier 5:
      Rushing Streams talent is the only choice here really. I don't think that there is enough time of stacking in one spot to benefit from Conductivity.
       
      Tier 6:
      Unleashed Fury or Elemental Blast.
      I would advice on Elemental Blast, this fight is way mana intensive and has more raid-wide than single damage.
       
      Tier 7:
      Cloudburst totem: chose it if you move a lot. CBT will nicely redistribute your healing to all the injured people in the time when you are moving around.
      High Tide: good talent for people who are good in positioning themselves. You will have a lot of injured people in this fight and the power of High Tide will be fully utilized.
       
      MAJOR GLYPHS:
       
      GLYPH OF HEALING STREAM TOTEM
      GLYPH OF HEALING WAVE
      GLYPH OF SPIRITWALKER’S FOCUS (so much movement)
      Other possibilities:
      GLYPH OF FLAME SHOCK (a bit more of passive self healing)
      GLYPH OF RIPTIDE - if you don’t have a resto druid in raid, it’s a possibility. If you are not very good in finding safe spots and move a lot, it’s a possibility too, but remember that it burns your mana!
       
       
      KO’RAGH (top)
       
      This is the fight with a high damage from both the boss mechanics and not paying attention.
      One of the fights where you should use shaman utilities.
      Remember that there are two main healing strategies for this encounter regarding dealing with Expel Magic: Frost: you can heal through it or move away if you don’t have enough HPS throughput.
       
      TALENTS:
       
      Tier 1:
      Nature’s Guardian, if you are not very good in moving out of things.
      Astral Shift if you are able not to forget to use it on Expel Magic: Frost or Expel Magic: Fire.
       
      Tier 2: Windwalk totem! Use it to help the raid to get away from Frost Orbs.
       
      Tier 3: Call of Elements or Totemic Persistence.
      If you are aiming for Cloudburst Totem in Tier 7, Totemic Persistence could be your choice.
      Call of Elements can be a good choice too to reset the cooldown of Windwalk totem. Especially if you don’t have druids for Stampeding Roar.
       
      Tier 4:
      Ancestral Swiftness: not sure that more Haste will really shine in this fight, but it worth a shot if you like it.
      Echo of the Elements: A chance for additional Riptide or Unleash Life without CD definitely increase our healing output. Remember that Unleashed Life empowers Chain Heal too, so you can benefit from EotE when taking High Tide talent.
       
      Tier 5:
      Rushing Streams talent is the only choice here really. Not enough time stacking in one spot to benefit from Conductivity.
       
      Tier 6:
      Unleashed Fury or Elemental Blast.
      I would advice on Elemental Blast, this fight is way mana intensive and has more raid-wide than single person damage.
       
      Tier 7:
      Cloudburst totem: chose it if you like it.
      High Tide: just the same.
      Both talents are valuable for this fight.
       
      MAJOR GLYPHS:
       
      GLYPH OF HEALING STREAM TOTEM
      GLYPH OF HEALING WAVE
      GLYPH OF PURIFY SPIRIT (Purify Spirit has 2 charges now. Useful for Expel magic: Fire dispels)
      Other possibilities:
      GLYPH OF SPIRITWALKER’S FOCUS
      GLYPH OF FLAME SHOCK (a bit more of passive self healing)
      GLYPH OF RIPTIDE - if you don’t have a resto druid in raid, it’s a possibility, but remember that it burns your mana and cuts healing output of Riptide!
       
       
      IMPERATOR MAR’GOK (top)
       
      This is a very long fight with a high damage from both the boss mechanics and not paying attention. There are many boss abilities that will do a raid-wide damage if people handle them in wrong way.
       
      TALENTS:
       
      Tier 1: I would recommend Astral Shift here. Use it on Force Novas or when you are Fixated.
      You can take Nature’s Guardian too, but there’s enough raid damage, so I think it’s better to mitigate.
       
      Tier 2: You can use Windwalk Totem on Slow debuff, but I think that it’s better to just dispel it.
       
      Tier 3:
      Call of Elements or Totemic Persistence.
      If you are aiming for Cloudburst Totem in Tier 7, Totemic Persistence could be your choice.
      Call of Elements can be good for another HST too. It is a long fight, so you’ll be able to use it at least 3-4 times.
       
      Tier 4:
      Ancestral Swiftness or Echo of the Elements: both talents are valuable for this fight. Chose what you are more comfortable with.
       
      Tier 5:
      Rushing Streams talent would be the best choice here. Not enough time stacking in one spot to benefit from Conductivity.
       
      Tier 6:
      Elemental Blast.
      The encounter is more than 10 min. long. You will definitely run out of mana without this talent.
       
      Tier 7:
      Cloudburst totem or High Tide: both talents are valuable for this fight. Chose what you are more comfortable with.
       
      MAJOR GLYPHS:
       
      GLYPH OF HEALING WAVE
      GLYPH OF SPIRITWALKER’S FOCUS
      Other possibilities:
      GLYPH OF FLAME SHOCK (a bit more of passive self healing)
      GLYPH OF RIPTIDE - if you don’t have a resto druid in raid, it’s a possibility, but remember that it burns your mana and cuts you healing output of Riptide!
      (top)
    • By tarokor
      Recently looked at starting to tank with my pally again and was looking through your site regarding tanking. On the Paladin protection page one of the Major glyphs you recommend is shield of the righteous however unless i am going blind it is no longer available as a glyph. Was it renamed or removed and if renamed what is it now called.
      Cheers guys
      ps:- apologies if i am blind, have searched the majors 3 times thou and cannot find it lol