General Advice - Blood MS / Frost Os

5 posts in this topic

back after a long break ( burned out in BC ) and decided to roll a DK and really enjoying it but hoping for some specific advice. As you can see from the 2 linked chars I understand stat priorities/gemming/enchants etc and also not new to tanking either.






Two things that are confusing me however is whether Blood Dks ever stop stacking mastery ( ie for example prot pally stops worrying about haste at 50% then stacks mastery and crit for the heals and dps/ef etc ), and rotations as I'm looking at the threads and things I thought you'd want are suggested as drops ( though I do understand that some are sub-optimal from playing rogue and hunter too, just the reasoning doesn't make sense to me ).


Main Advice if Possible and preferably with why it's advisable.


Mastery Breakpoint? Is there one for both Frost DW and Blood?


Rotation - are there any abilities I should drop for either spec and if so why?

( Please Note I know Blood Boil etc is only for grabbing adds / trash clearing and not for Single Target, and that at 90 I want Plague Leech over Roiling Blood; it's just there to make world questing easier )


Lichborne vs AMZ vs Purgatory for blood... is this just a fight by fight thing like barrage vs glaive would be for hunters?


Lichborne vs AMZ vs Purgatory for Frost - is there a default one or again down to raid need / mechanics?


Soul Reaper - yay or nay? Seems more of a trash ability like Marked for Death is for Rogues


Final piece of advice if anyone has any input is about Blood Shield - is there a good tracker for it that works well with ElvUI? Got my tanking Layout pretty much sorted but having something to show optimal point to strike would be nice, preferably something low memload and clear to see as I can live without it if needed and am trying to keep as much area visible as possible ( http://i.imgur.com/9J5qCWz.jpg is last uploaded ui, it's even cleaner now and I'm trying to keep it that way )


Thanks in advance, and don't be afraid to get technical ( though I don't sim so sim references will be pointless ) as most of it I should follow especially trade offs between 2 / 4 pc tier etc and gear levels.

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I can't really speak for blood since I haven't played it outside of doing challenge modes. I just know the general stuff about blood, and enough to off tank if ever necessary, but I'm sure there is someone else on the forums more fit to give advice than I am. I can help with the basics of Frost, although the icy-veins guide is a good starting place.


Mastery Breakpoint? Is there one for both Frost DW and Blood?

Again, I can't speak for blood, but there aren't any breakpoints for DW Frost. You just stack as much mastery as you can possibly get. Since all our mastery does is just increase our Frost damage, there is no cap.


Rotation - are there any abilities I should drop for either spec and if so why?

( Please Note I know Blood Boil etc is only for grabbing adds / trash clearing and not for Single Target, and that at 90 I want Plague Leech over Roiling Blood; it's just there to make world questing easier )

Actually I think Blood pretty much keeps Roiling Blood, even for single target. At least every Blood DK I know does. As far as Frost goes, you'll definitely want PL, though. For general Frost rotation, the icy-veins guide is pretty accurate. However, you'll want to drop Obliterate and Soul Reaper out of your rotation to spend your Frost/Death runes on Howling Blast and your Unholy Runes on Death and Decay or Plague Strike once you get enough mastery. There really is no specific gear level you get this at. It's just when your HB starts doing more damage than SR, and HB+DnD/PS does more damage than Oblit. Also, don't macro BT. It is an extremely bad habit and makes taking BT completely pointless. The point of taking BT is having an on-demand rune. Macro'ing it takes that away.



Lichborne vs AMZ vs Purgatory for Frost - is there a default one or again down to raid need / mechanics?

You won't be using Lichborne in PvE unless there is a fear mechanic that it can break, but since there aren't any this tier, you're stuck between the other two. Between AMZ and Purg, it's preference. AMZ is pretty good this tier since there are a lot of fights with AoE magic damage. So if your raid team needs a defensive to fill the gap, you can take it. If not, just take Purg.


Soul Reaper - yay or nay? Seems more of a trash ability like Marked for Death is for Rogues

It's actually really good at low gear levels. Until your HB starts doing more damage than it does, you'll be using it off cd sub-35%. Only use it if the actual tick is going to go off though. SR hits in two parts. The initial hit that applies the "dot", and then the actual tick. The actual tick is what is important since the initial hit hits like a wet noodle. You'll get a temporary haste buff if the target dies before the tick goes off, but it's not worth it. So only use it if that tick will go off.


Something you didn't mention, but is a key part in playing Frost, or any spec for that matter, is AMS. AMS soaking right now is an integral part of our DPS. It's an awful mechanic that isn't intended, but our DPS is based around proficient AMS soaking. Whenever you take magic damage while AMS is up, you get RP for the damage you take. This leads to more Frost Strikes, which lead to more DPS. So you'll want to be using AMS whenever there is magic damage going out, and sometimes that means even standing in bad to gain RP. This isn't me telling you to wipe your raid because you were being a scumbag and soaking something you shouldn't, but if your raid is in no danger of dying, soak. 


Also, at early gear levels, you'll still want to gem strength and get some haste. While AMS soaking alleviates some of the need for haste, it's still good to have some in the early gearing process. Strength is still our best stat. It's just at higher gear levels, our Mastery is only a little behind Strength, and since secondary stat gems have twice the value of main stat gems, we end up gemming secondary stats. Early on, the value of Strength is much greater, though, so you'll be wanting to get as much of it as possible.


That covers the basics. And I didn't cover 2h since you expressed interest in only DW, but I could answer questions about 2h if you would like.


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Blood doesn't stop stacking mastery either, to the best of my knowledge, if you go for a mastery build. Many DKs in BiS or near BiS gear go for an avoidance build for more dps.


Roiling Blood should be in your Blood spec in all fights aside from Juggernaut and Malkorok, where you would indeed use Plague Leech for more Death Strikes.


Soul Reaper is good for Blood, but for Frost, go with what Cupidx said above, he got it right.


Blood Shield Tracker is the addon I use, it's customizable, easy to read, and gets the job done.

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cheers guys.. more reading it seems again, and looked at BSTracker but wanted to make sure it was clean to use and also played well with ElvUI.


And as for rotation it boils down to once I get more mileage out of HB/PS I drop SR and OBL out if I understand you both right?


Thanks for taking the time and who knows... I may just get the hang of purgatory one day


( as for 2 Hander... until they give me 2005 era shammy enhance back I'll stick to DW and stave off my combat rogue cravings with it. I doubt I'll ever be hardcore raiding again so not fussed about which plays best, rather have fun )

Edited by DaVonMon

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Trying to cover some things for blood.


There technically is no mastery cap for blood, but it starts to get a littlebit overkill after a certain point.

I personally went for 200% mastery and the rest to parry, but I later went full avoidance as it was still quite safe and I'm able to dish out a little bit bigger numbers. When going for the avoidance build, favor parry over  dodge due to its interaction with melee swings and Scent of Blood. You could also try to balance the diminishing returns, but I feel it'd be smaller net gain.

For starters I'd recommend going mastery = parry > dodge and add or reduce mastery to the point where it feels right.



I've went with roiling blood in the first tier of talents as my default choice. Blood DKs have enough cooldowns and panicbuttons to render Plague Leech near useless. One more DS at the cost of the diseases isn't a very compelling option especially if you get the 4set and then there's ERW.



As Cupid said Lichborne is pretty useless atm. I'm a fan of utility so I take AMZ in all fights where the boss hits aren't too spikey. If the boss hits hard I go for Purgatory. Theres only so few fights without magical raid dmg so AMZ can be a really strong tool in your kit.



I definitely recommend using Soul Reaper. The damage is good but you can also abuse it for rune regen on adds that die quickly. 50% haste for 5 sec is actually not bad. You can use a blood rune this way to boost the regen of your other runes making the next DS available that much sooner.

Edited by Ceraius

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