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Duel Wield is just mechanically superior to 2 Hand

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Hey, this is something I've noticed since the patch, and would like some feed back as I've not seen much directly addressing this.


As I guess you know, depending on if you're DW or 2H the damage of Frost Strike and Obliterate is increased by 50% respectively. So if you're Duel Wield you prioritise Frost Strike among all else, and is you're 2 Handed you prio Obliterate.  


The issue arises with Killing Machine, and that it is much easier to use KM procs with FS than Ob as FS uses Runic Power so you can use Howling Blast and Plague Strike to build RP to use FS or mainly a KM FS. Whereas with Ob, you have to sit and wait for Runes to refresh to use Ob, even though you may have Frost, Unholy or Death Runes resulting in you being able to use Howling Blast or Plague Strike the combination a lot of time results in not being able to use Ob.


This means with DW you have very little downtime compared to 2H, as well the added benefit of using FS more so you gain blood tap stacks faster plus use the Blood Tap as soon as you can. Again compared to 2H where you are deterred from using FS for fear os munching a KM proc, and ofc when KM has proced you don't want to use it on FS so you sit waiting for Runes to refresh. 


I hope I'm not missing something, but it clearly seems DW is more efficient, I haven't extensively compared DPS, but in practise 2H seems very off.

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It's kind of a slippery slope when you start comparing how easy it is to play a spec vs. how much dps it can potentially do.


- Unholy is top dps right now in sims, but in practice the top 100 for most fights is almost a 50/50 split between unholy and frost. Unholy's rotation has been simplified but I personally find I'm still better at frost so that's what I stick with. for me DW frost does more dps, for others Unholy is better. I've beaten unholy on meters, and I've been beaten by Unholy on meters.

- For DW frost master complex is theoretically the highest dps of any frost subspec. I made another thread a couple weeks ago going over why Obliterate is the best use of an unholy + X rune. but mastersimple is far easier to play, and if you make mistakes with mastercomplex then you could potentially do the same or maybe even better dps with master simple.

- 2H frost is easier to play than mastercomplex as well, but probably just slightly more difficult than mastersimple to play 100% efficiently, as you've pointed out above. but if you do play 2H efficiently it will be better dps than master simple, but less dps than mastercomplex and unholy.


That's why it's such a tough debate, it really depends on the individual player. based purely on the dps seen in the top 10% of players the top dps choice is going to be



DW frost mastercomplex

2H Frost

DW frost mastersimple


but depending on how good you are at the spec your personal results may vary.

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- For DW frost master complex is theoretically the highest dps of any frost subspec. I made another thread a couple weeks ago going over why Obliterate is the best use of an unholy + X rune. but mastersimple is far easier to play, and if you make mistakes with mastercomplex then you could potentially do the same or maybe even better dps with master simple.


I'm not up-to-date on all the subspecs, so I've not heard of DW Frost Master Complex, and can't see to find anything on it, do you have a link to a list of subspecs, or a quick tl;dr? As I've only recently got back into raiding, and am planning to Mythic in WoD so wanna get totally up-to-date and all thats going on, hence this post to try and ensure I'm not fucking up. 

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Master complex is the way the frost DK guide is written for DW


In a nutshell master complex is when you use obliterate to burn unholy runes. master simple is when you use all your unholy runes on plague strike.


Master complex is a little bit more difficult to play optimally, but it comes out ahead for two reasons.

1.) obliterate has a 45% rime proc chance, which gives you a free howling blast. mathematically obliterate+ 45% chance of howling blast > howling blast + plague strike.

2.) the haste threshold for becoming rune capped is very low for master simple(generate runes faster than you can use them). as it is right now at level 90 around 400 haste is already pretty much rune capped, and during hero/lust you'll definitely waste a lot of runes or RP. Obliterating whenever you have an unholy rune + 1 of any other rune burns through the runes faster, generates RP faster, and keeps your runes regenerating.


If you have low haste it won't matter though. at 540ilvl you'll have less of a dps loss with master simple than at 580+ ilvl where high haste is actually an issue for master simple.

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There is one issue in Warlords of Draenor that may tip the balance in favor of using a 2h weapon and it's this: the crafted Blacksmith weapons (item levels 630/640/655) are a part of the Warlords Crafted Set of 3.  Would a Frost DK want to use up two of the three slots in the Warlords Crafted Set to stay with dual-wield or would he switch to using a 2h weapon and save a slot for a piece of crafted gear (item levels 640/655/665)?

Edited by wingram

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