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Defile may in fact be under rated

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So, this isn't a huge guide more something for the community to play with together. I'm thinking Defile may in fact be under rated and may actually be a strong talent, a very strong talent, I am daring to say at a certain percent haste (at least 20), defile may be better than soul reaper in realistic play. I know sims yes but sims can miss things. 

Stay with me.

Defile replaces your death and decay and frankly its damage is rather underwhelming, at first. However, with unholy dks the name of the game is synergy. This is where I believe defiles glory comes in. You marinate in your own defile and each tick (that it damages someone) your mastery increases stacking 10 times, this is getting me on average around 2000 mastery at 10 stacks. Once at 10 stacks, I have 5-6 seconds if not more, to take advantage of that buff. 

Why is that buff valuable? One word, your festering wounds. They do shadow damage. With bursting sores, they do aoe shadow damage. Scourge strike does partial shadow damage. Clawing shadows does pure shadow damage. Virulent plague is shadow damage. Death coil is shadow damage. So as we can see most our abilities are shadow damage, so this is a huge raw buff, think seraphim almost for pallys last expansion.

Now, this has amazing synergy with unholy, why? Apocalypse. At pull, drop defile, go about your rotation as normal while standing in your own soup. Apply diseases, transform zombro, get 8 stacks of festering wound for apocalypse. Now, we are ready but what's that? We should now have all 10 stacks of defile, so when we cast apocalypse all 8 wounds are going to burst, at (with burst sores) 50% bonus damage plus 2000 mastery increased damage. In addition now, your disease is doing more damage, your death coil dumps are doing more damage. In this short window everything is super powered.

Does it have any other synergy? What about scourge of the worlds? 5-6 second proc window, 5-6 second buff at max power, that's some more super powered scourge strikes. Even then, scourge of the world does interact with clawing shadows. Clawing shadows would receive much much more of a buff from defile than scourge strike. 

Even then, defile is shadowfrost damage, however, it seems to self buff itself. It moved very quickly to my 3rd highest source of damage.

Even then however, defile does have synergy in basic rotation. After your wounds are all popped, drop defile again. Now we have to reapply diseases, we may have to re transform zombro, but again as we build up those wounds, even to lower amounts we should now have that giant buff, if not at 10 stacks very close.

Now look at our stats. Haste we are good roughly at 20%. There are massive diminishing returns here. Crit is used to fuel castigator which is of course exceedingly valuable. Mastery by default of our gear we should already have large amounts, we just get that much more from defile. So, playing with defile, I would still mainly focus on crit. However, especially if switching to clawing shadows, even more mastery would be good. However, (me personally) i'm not seeking mastery at all and I'm sitting at 45%, DK gear by default has a lot of mastery. 

Now, I only played so much with this and it was on a target dummy. Real life, there are the same issues in WoD, you move out of the soup, you lose dps, you lose the buff (edit, i wonder if it stays if we move out? if we need to marinate to get stacks but they stay if we move, more testing) . On high movement encounters its no bueno. However, on many more stationary encounters, ursoc, dragons, elethe, nythendra, etc. You can make it work, there is a skill cap,

So, I need to test this more of course, however, by playing with defile I'm seeing very large dps increases. It's about using it right, and again ability timing, its almost like pooling resources in a way. With certain stats having diminishing returns (haste) I think defile has a lot more potential than we realized. We look at that 15k damage and laugh, basic death and decay does 10 times that, however, its not the initial damage of defile, its the synergy, and the buffs. 

So, i'm going to play with this more, however, I think we may have missed something, I see potential here, when used properly. As far as talent builds, I'm thinking

bursting sores

Pestilent pustules

Tier 3 is a good question. Castigator is really strong, are wounds are biggest source of damage, however, if clawing shadows damage is that much more, it doesnt' matter persay because we want to pool resources for defile window, so, this one is interesting.

Next 3 talent tiers don't seem to matter for this test

and of course defile goes here.

So, I welcome everyone to start playing with this. I think we may find there is something here. I could be wrong, it could have been a fluke, defile could have been hitting additional target dummies I didn't see, however, there is some very interesting damage results, there is some crazy good synergy, and I think there is a lot of potential.

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Although it's possible of being a good talent, I don't think it is i've done my own testing with it a while ago, I haven't done any recently. But I was finding it was only doing around 12% mastery buff or so, which for 5-6 seconds doesn't seem to be that much, our dot and deathcoil are both on the low end of our dps being around 10-11% of my dmg for me festering wounds being around 10+% so maybe lets say on the high end of 30% of our dmg is shadow dmg (not including defile) a 12% increase in dmg for only 5-6 seconds seems very minute. It's another question depending on how much damage defile it self does. But I believe that soul reaper still pulls ahead like it lows your GCD which is where the biggest portion of it's dps comes from like, when you pop lust and a soul reaper you have a like 0.3 second gcd (feels like it at least) and infinite runes and you can just spam your buttons and fast as you can press them. This haste also increases your auto attack speed, your pet attack speed your gargoyle cast speed, and with the potions of the old war presumeably you want to get as many casts as you can off in the duration of the potion (it says it copys your attacks) as well as the buff lasts as long as the +15% dmg you get from your army/apocalypse making full use of those extra GCDs your able to get off with the haste. So all this being said you have to assuming that defile needs to either give a larger buff or it needs to compensate for a lot of dmg and from what I've gathered from my own testing it doesn't seem to do all THAT much dmg at least in single target.

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Did a lot of testing. Here's where the power of defile lies, you do not need to be standing in it for the buff. As long as an enemy is marinating you see the damage increase. Your testing was correct, its about a 13% damage increase. Right now there is one fight where I think the dps boards can be destroyed by this, that's Il'gynoth. You have a big pile of puddle in front of eye, drop your defile on the horror or anywhere really, and start virulent plaguing and epidemic...ing and it'll demolish the enemies. Single target its not that strong per say. I found it was bleeding over to another target during testing. However, late mythic this tier or perhaps higher next tier, I see the 13% bonus damage being valued over soul reapers. Right now we don't have enough haste, the value of soul reaper for single target is too high, however, once we hit higher amounts say 40% haste, I think we'll see the value drops substantially.

So, for aoe situations, I think even now defile is the go to talent. It immediately starts boosting your damage and each time it ticks it resets its duration, so you have a total buffed time of 15 seconds 5 of which are at max mastery, each attack during though is still doing more damage. Even then outside of pve the pvp implications are outstanding, dump defile anywhere one person is standing and get that buff. Even then there are some EN fights that are really really add intensive. Soul reaper has a longer cooldown and requires a bit of setup to use. 

So right now I think defile does have a niche place in current content, however, longer term I think defile is going to become a lot more popular. 


looked at every buffed ability, the 13% overall is nice but for each ability it is a bit too small. So, it certainly could be played with on ily fight, it can do some good there but even then its focusing on dps meter and not mechanics, so there is a lot of potential to it, but right now, aside from a couple niche places, its not competitive, that one fight though, it can be amazing :)

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Although I do believe you to be possibly correct with that without taking into account legendaries. Once were that geared i'm expecting us to have 2 legendaries and with the fourth lesslon wrists, and the (i forgot it's name) the legendary that starts having dark transformation affect our gargoyle, and us having enough haste making it so that these 2 will be the BiS (because the other ones are for runes and since we'll have more haste the extra runes will be not needed). Dark arb will become the go to talent. Under the assumption of by then we have both those legendaries and nothing is changed on Defile , Soul Reaper. or Defile. Though if you don't have both these legendaries by then I imagine there is a very possible chance that defile will be the possible spec of choice. (for single target)



Edit: Also demonard Would you possibly be willing to talk with me about some stuff, nothing specific i'm just saying we could talk about this easier if it wasn't over a forum post, curse or discord or something. (mainly looking for text not really looking to talk atleast right now)


Edited by Drtain

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