Damien

Frost Death Knight 7.1

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This thread is for comments about our Frost Death Knight guide.

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The simplified rotation should not suggest leaving out soul reaper.  It deals shadowfrost damage in 6.0, so it's very strong, esp. for mastery-stacking dual wield.  Leaving out obliterate is a good suggestion, as I've read a couple theorycrafters saying it looks like maybe a +/- 1% difference to use oblit or not (esp. under heroism when you're GCD locked, allows you to avoid resource capping, since letting unholy runes rot is no longer worth it.)

 

 By contrast, leaving out soul reaper hurts your DPS a lot.  The T16M (mythic) simcraft profile shows the DPET of soul reaper at over 3.5x that of howling blast.  http://www.simulationcraft.org/reports/Raid_T16M.html#player1

 

Suggesting that as a simplification is just not helpful, because if there's one thing you're going to be sloppy with, soul reaper should not be it.  "Below 35%, using soul reaper on cooldown is the most important part of your rotation, for all specs."  -- Mendenbarr.  quoted from his quick guide to lvl90 DK dps.  In the comments, a last-minute buff to oblit led to the statement that mastercomplex is probably very slightly better.  But obviously mastersimple doesn't mean leaving out soul reaper anymore.

 

 Soul reaper is really easy to use, esp. as dual wield, since it just replaces a howling blast.  It hits for substantially more than a HB, so there's no point trying to gloss that over.  Making it easier to use soul reaper right on CD is part of why blood tap is a good choice.

 

 Also, some people are suggesting running more haste than before, even as dual wield. e.g. changing to Garrosh pants instead of Malkorok pants, if you have them.  http://tanncraft.wordpress.com/2014/10/11/6-0-2-death-knight-dps-results/  suggests a haste soft-cap of 430 rating for DW frost.

 

 With RP from AMS nerfed a lot, it's not like you'll be GCD-locked very much of the time.

 

 Mendenbarr's results put haste > 1/2 str, so all red sockets should be filled with 10haste/10mastery gems.  (Keen vermillion onyx cut, formerly exp/mastery).  I'm not suggesting giving up any mastery for haste, just str, since you would have been using str/mastery gems otherwise.  (Not worth skipping any socket bonuses now, not even 4 haste bonuses in rings, I think.)

 

 If you do get to the point where you're wasting resources on real fights, then you need to wear less haste by either swapping pieces, or gemming back to str/mastery.  If you're not getting the rune-regen benefits of your haste, you're just getting the KM procs and white damage, and that's nice but not as valuable.

Edited by Karsteck

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I'm running about 400 haste just from having haste on a few pieces and putting 10haste/10mastery gems in all my red sockets. It seems like a good amount of haste to play master simple about the same way it used to be, except I definitely noticed that during bloodlust/hero I had to use a lot more obliterates because I was regenerating runes faster than I could burn them during lust.

 

Sometimes even without hero/lust I had to obliterate once or twice just because the Unholy runes were getting ahead of me.

 

One thing I did notice is that Rime seems to proc a lot more often off obliterates. I don't know if it's always been 45% chance, but it definitely seems worth it to obliterate more often if nearly half the time you get a free howling blast from it anyways.

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One thing I did notice is that Rime seems to proc a lot more often off obliterates. I don't know if it's always been 45% chance, but it definitely seems worth it to obliterate more often if nearly half the time you get a free howling blast from it anyways.

 

 Rime's been 45% for all of MoP, at least.  It's a big part of what makes oblit worth using.

 

 I didn't try on anything but a target dummy yet, but even 440 haste (from switching gems and 2 pieces of gear) still left me with a lot of dead time (mastercomplex).  Mastersimple fills more GCDs to use the same runes, since HB + PS is 2 GCDs.  But as I understand it, mastercomplex is slightly more dps.

 

 I'll have to get a feel for when it's worth letting the rotation slide and ending up with an unholy rune that I can't spend except by dumping it with plague strike, vs. when I can oblit without risking worse mistakes with my rotation.  (like oblit with 2 death runes would be really bad, consuming KM would be somewhat bad.  Can often just wait for KM to proc again without capping runes or RP, though.)

Edited by Karsteck

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I did some math with my logs and posted a thread about mastersimple. Obliterate is abolutely the best use of an unholy rune, unless diseases are about to fall off, or you're plague leeching, and outbreak's cd has more than 6 seconds left.

 

KM proc on an obliterate is a loss, but there were a few occasions where I didn't have the RP to frost strike when a KM proc was up anyways. This is probably partially an issue of needing to save RP for killing machine unless I'm capped, but at the same time I wonder how much of a loss it really is if Obliterating would mean higher stacks from our 2pc bonus. getting 10 stacks has always been a bit of rng, but it's actually fairly difficult if not impossible to keep 10 stacks rolling now with mastersimple.

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I have amended the simplified dual-wield rotation to reflect the true loss of DPS, which is much greater now. That said, while I agree that incorporating Soul Reaper in there is not hard, to do so would defeat the purpose of the simplified rotation. It's still only meant as a gateway to a better Frost rotation.

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I did some math with my logs and posted a thread about mastersimple. Obliterate is abolutely the best use of an unholy rune, unless diseases are about to fall off, or you're plague leeching, and outbreak's cd has more than 6 seconds left.

 

 

 

hang on, we're using outbreak now?  I guess if oblit + whatever rime is worth on average is more than HB + PS, and we have the GCDs, then that makes sense.

 

KM proc on an obliterate is a loss, but there were a few occasions where I didn't have the RP to frost strike when a KM proc was up anyways. This is probably partially an issue of needing to save RP for killing machine unless I'm capped, but at the same time I wonder how much of a loss it really is if Obliterating would mean higher stacks from our 2pc bonus. getting 10 stacks has always been a bit of rng, but it's actually fairly difficult if not impossible to keep 10 stacks rolling now with mastersimple.

 

 2pc stacks from KM procs, not consuming it.  That's why there's a haste soft-cap for fitting in an extra autoattack into the window to refresh stacks.  KM proccing while already up (refreshing the KM buff to full duration) will add a stack of the 2pc buff.  Consuming KM with an oblit should be worth it if you're too low on RP to FS anyway.

 

 

 

I have amended the simplified dual-wield rotation to reflect the true loss of DPS, which is much greater now. That said, while I agree that incorporating Soul Reaper in there is not hard, to do so would defeat the purpose of the simplified rotation. It's still only meant as a gateway to a better Frost rotation.

 

 Simplified rotations like leaving out rupture as combat rogue should only be suggested when they're only a couple percent DPS loss at worst.  Nobody would suggest leaving Execute out of a warrior DPS guide.  If you're reading a guide at all, you want to know what you should be pressing.  Leaving out oblit is something worth suggesting as a simplification, but leaving out soul reaper doesn't reduce complexity much.  It's not a good choice for being one of the first things to let slide on a complex fight when you need to pay attention to more stuff.

 

 Soul reaper went from hitting for slightly more or even slightly less than HB depending on mastery, to hitting for a LOT more.  The guide's recommendation must change.

 

 If you're going to be making rotation mistakes, it should be something like not having runes ready for soul reaper when it comes off CD, not leaving it out on purpose.  I'd guess that not optimizing your rotation around consuming killing machine with FS right away would be less bad than skipping soul reaper.  Since you'd still consume killing machine.  Some with oblit, some with FS.

 

 So I'd suggest to people that need more attention on some fight, less on their rotation, that getting more casual about saving runic power when you don't have KM procced would be something you could afford to let slide.  You can keep pressing buttons and HB / FS will keep happening (and soul reaper), even if you end up letting some unholy rune regen time go to waste, or dump some RP without KM procced.  Being sloppy like that probably hurts you DPS less, and saves you more attention, than just forgetting about soul reaper.

 

 One thing I sometimes do when things get complicated is start tapping my blood tap button without really paying attention to whether it's optimal to blood tap then.  Lets me keep pressing buttons while I pay attention to the fight.  I don't macro blood tap, because I don't want to pop up a F rune when I already have 2 B (death) runes that I need to spend one of so they can be regening.  Or so I can get runes depleted so I can use plague leech closer to on CD, esp. if adds are going to spawn soon, and I want to get more gas in the resource tank before that, rather than plague leech while I'm missing out on multi-target howling blasting.

Edited by Karsteck
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dual wield rotation doesn't make sense. 

 

 

  1. (step 5)Use your Death and Frost runes on wow_icon_spell_frost_arcticwinds.jpg Howling Blast.
  2. (step 6) Use your Unholy Runes on wow_icon_spell_deathknight_classicon.jpg Obliterate.

 

if you're using all your death and frost runes on howling blast how will you ever have nothing else to do but still be able to obliterate? 

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dual wield rotation doesn't make sense. 

 

 

  1. (step 5)Use your Death and Frost runes on wow_icon_spell_frost_arcticwinds.jpg Howling Blast.
  2. (step 6) Use your Unholy Runes on wow_icon_spell_deathknight_classicon.jpg Obliterate.

 

if you're using all your death and frost runes on howling blast how will you ever have nothing else to do but still be able to obliterate? 

 

 They're in that order because it's more important to make sure your F and D runes are recharging than your U runes, but you do want all 3 rune pairs recharging to generate maximum runic power per minute.  On the pull, you'd probably oblit, HB, HB, as the quickest way to get your runes recharging.  Or you'd open with HB/PS, HB, HB, without outbreak.  Saving outbreak for sometime when you're going to have wait time in your rotation.

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dual wield rotation doesn't make sense. 

 

 

  1. (step 5)Use your Death and Frost runes on wow_icon_spell_frost_arcticwinds.jpg Howling Blast.
  2. (step 6) Use your Unholy Runes on wow_icon_spell_deathknight_classicon.jpg Obliterate.

 

if you're using all your death and frost runes on howling blast how will you ever have nothing else to do but still be able to obliterate? 

As Karsteck correctly pointed out, the idea is that you want to have all your runes recharging, but it is more important to have Frost and Death runes recharging than Unholy runes. The idea is to never Obliterate without an Unholy rune. When you have an Unholy rune, you use it with another Frost or Death rune to Obliterate.

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Thanks for the guide, it's very helpful. I had a question, though. The guide suggests that, at the very highest levels of play, Blood Tap is the best choice for 2H Frost. However, the rotation provided for 2H Frost assumes the user has chosen Runic Empowerment. Any chance we could get an explanation of why Blood Tap is optimal for 2H Frost, and/or a 2H rotation that reflects having Blood Tap?

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Ok I had a question too, for the Glyph Runic Power, wouldn't you be able to use the Glyph Pillar of Frost to slow yourself to proc Runic Power for the boost to runic power? Or am i reading that wrong, because if these two work together i think they will be much better than the other options for a dps increase.

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Interesting.  I just came back to WoW, haven't played since Wrath, and I came up with this exact rotation on my 2h frost DK.

From my experience, if you aren't geared, Dual Wield feels really underwhelming.  I had roughly 2 blue 1h weapons of equal item level to my 2h, and the DPS just doesn't compare.

I don't understand prioritizing crit over mastery in 2h builds.  I feel like I get a lot of KM procs and that mastery feels better. 

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Thanks for the guide, it's very helpful. I had a question, though. The guide suggests that, at the very highest levels of play, Blood Tap is the best choice for 2H Frost. However, the rotation provided for 2H Frost assumes the user has chosen Runic Empowerment. Any chance we could get an explanation of why Blood Tap is optimal for 2H Frost, and/or a 2H rotation that reflects having Blood Tap?

 

For DW frost, Bloodtap is the better choice because it's easier and more consistent for gaming your unholy runes and turning them into death runes which can be used for howling blast.

 

for 2H all runes can be used for obliterate so it is most important to use the talent with the highest rune regen rate, which is Runic Empowerment. But even with higher haste where bloodtap may sim higher, the rotation won't actually change, and you can just macro blood tap onto frost strike without any loss of dps, whereas macro'ing blood tap for DW is a dps loss every time you use it on something other than an unholy rune.

 

The most important thing is too make sure if you are using RE that you have a fully depleted rune ready for a proc any time you frost strike, and for Blood tap that you have a fully depleted rune and use blood tap before reaching 12 charges. basically not wasting procs is the most important thing

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Ok I had a question too, for the Glyph Runic Power, wouldn't you be able to use the Glyph Pillar of Frost to slow yourself to proc Runic Power for the boost to runic power? Or am i reading that wrong, because if these two work together i think they will be much better than the other options for a dps increase.

 

I'm going to test this tonight. I've found one or two other people asking this question, but nobody has answered it yet, that I can find. If it does work, you could also use Death's advance to essentially remove the slow effect as well. I'll post my findings after I jump into the beta tonight to try it.

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Interesting.  I just came back to WoW, haven't played since Wrath, and I came up with this exact rotation on my 2h frost DK.

From my experience, if you aren't geared, Dual Wield feels really underwhelming.  I had roughly 2 blue 1h weapons of equal item level to my 2h, and the DPS just doesn't compare.

I don't understand prioritizing crit over mastery in 2h builds.  I feel like I get a lot of KM procs and that mastery feels better. 

 

It all comes down to 2H doing 40% extra damage with obliterate, and crits being double damage for DK's. even though 1/3 of our obliterates are already crits from KM procs, it's still more of a gain to add more crit than to have mastery which only buffs howling blast, frost strike, and frost fever and does 0 for obliterate. If anything, even if you were in a situation where you're at like 80%+ obliterate crits then haste > 600 rating would probably still be better than mastery, except maybe in heavy aoe/cleave situations where you're howling blasting a lot even as 2H, but if there's a boss fight like that you should go DW.

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For DW frost, Bloodtap is the better choice because it's easier and more consistent for gaming your unholy runes and turning them into death runes which can be used for howling blast.

 

for 2H all runes can be used for obliterate so it is most important to use the talent with the highest rune regen rate, which is Runic Empowerment. But even with higher haste where bloodtap may sim higher, the rotation won't actually change, and you can just macro blood tap onto frost strike without any loss of dps, whereas macro'ing blood tap for DW is a dps loss every time you use it on something other than an unholy rune.

 

The most important thing is too make sure if you are using RE that you have a fully depleted rune ready for a proc any time you frost strike, and for Blood tap that you have a fully depleted rune and use blood tap before reaching 12 charges. basically not wasting procs is the most important thing

 

 

 You're making a logical error about blood tap (for DW).  Unless you sit there with both U runes full (regardless of one of them currently being a death rune), you're getting the same amount of U runes per minute with BT or gamed RE.  i.e. exactly the base rune regen rate, with no more and no fewer due to procs.  Turning a U rune into a D rune doesn't turn any of your U rune-regen into D runes, it just puts your extra procced rune there, forcing you to spend it before your still-U rune finishes regening if you want to avoid capping U runes.  (Avoiding capping on U runes is still your lowest priority, so KM, soul reaper, and avoiding capping F and D runes or RP are still more important.  Better to dump RP and THEN spend your U rune if you can't avoid one or the other capping.)

 

 Using BT to generate extra D runes in the F or D pairs is fine, too, as long as you don't let them cap and lose out on the rune-regen for those pairs.

 

 The reason you shouldn't macro BT is because popping a rune up when you aren't about to spend it could lead to capping on runes while consuming a KM proc.  Or if you have 0 F, 2 D, and you BT, HB will spend the 1 F before you can spend one of the 2 D runes to start them regening.  If you're in that state with KM procced, you want to KM but absolutely not BT.

 

 Also, BT is a good way to make it easier to use soul reaper right on CD.

 

 And if you have a lot of haste as DW, if you are close to GCD locked, the consistency is important.  You'll cap on resources during a lucky streak of RE procs, or starve during a drought. (e.g. in my 585 frost gear, I have about 530, and can still avoid capping anything almost all the time, using mastercomplex.)  It's also hard to use all your KM on FS without potentially wasting RE procs, if you have multiple KMs proc in a row, and thus want to do 3 or 4 FS in a row.  With RE, the first or 2nd might have procced your only fully depleted rune, so you'd be wasting potential procs after that.  With BT, if you're at high RP and BT charges, it's prob. a good idea to pop a BT right then in case you need to keep dumping RP, and your rune might not be fully depleted when you hit 11 or 12 BT charges.

 

 

 If your haste% is a lot lower, like maybe first tier of WoD, RE might be more attractive for DW, since there will be more waiting time.  Less chance of capping resources during a lucky streak.  Although I'm not sure that's actually true, if you pool RP to wait for KM procs.  (still not capping runes or RP ever, just when you see some downtime coming, wait before you dump the RP you have).

 

 BT is nice for 2H because you can be ready to oblit in reaction to a KM without losing out on runes from spending RP.  With RE, you often need to oblit without KM just to get some fully depleted runes.  Often you'll have 1 rune up, 2 runes fully depleted, spending RP to proc runes.  Often KM will proc before a rune does, and then you are stuck spending it on KM.  Unless rune-regen is within a second or two of getting you another oblit, you risk losing out on a KM proc from the next autoattack.

 

 So basically, I'd say completely the opposite.  RE is very workable as DW, because it's really easy to game (just leave a U rune unspent at all times, dead simple).  You don't have to game it for 2H to control which kind of rune you proc, but the problem is you often have to leave yourself not ready to consume a KM proc.  If you really wanted to use RE, I'd suggest DW would be the spec to do it.  The simcraft T16M BiS profile uses blood tap for all 3 DPS DK setups, because it's better if you do it well.  They have blood using RC, I guess for more scent of blood?

 

 Non-macroed BT takes some learning, but if you have a good rune UI like compactrunes (highly HIGHLY recommend it), and a counter for your BT charges right next to it, you can do good things.  If you need to not be tunnelling on your runes during an attention-requiring part of the fight, just spam BT while you do your rotation.  I bind FS to backquote, BT to 1, oblit to 2, HB to 3, PS to 4.  So BT is right there in the middle of my buttons easy to press while moving and DPSing.

 

 Esp. if you also tank, it's a good idea to learn to BT.  Great way to keep a death strike banked up for when you need it.  And using the same RP->Rune talent for both your specs will help your sanity.

 

 Similarly to banking death strikes, un-macroed BT can let you save up howling blasts for adds, instead of being forced to spend runes according to RNG procs.

 

 Macroed BT can lead to resource capping that you could have avoided, but other than that I think it's an OK choice, on par with RE if I recall correctly.  I've never tried macroing it, myself.  I think people have made action lists to simulate macroed BT, so you can see in theory how much patchwerk DPS it costs to macro it, vs. managing it optimally.

 

 I'm not sure whether I'd suggest stepping up from mastersimple to mastercomplex, or un-macroing BT, as the first step for players that want to do better DPS when they can spare the attention for it.  Being able to unload more HB on adds when needed might make more difference.  mastercomplex is more helpful when you need to spend runes faster, like with good gear (high haste), and/or under heroism.  (or if there are phases where you can't spend runes, so you end up sitting on 6 full runes more than just on the pull.)

Edited by Karsteck
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One thing I don´t understand. Whis Patch 6.0.2 there was a sentence into the Notes as follow "All specializations now receive a 5% bonus to specific secondary stat bonuses received from all sources. This bonus is granted through new passive abilities or additional effects added to existing passive abilities." For Frost DK they recommended Haste. But why a DW DK needs now mastery and a 2H DK Haste? I´m a little bit confused because what happens whis Mastery Frozen Heart in this case?

I have in the moment 330 Haste; 398 Mastery and 636 Crit. Maybe I´m wrong but I think I will increase now haste to max i can get instad of Crit...is it right?

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I don't seem to see a recommendation for Runeforging

Duel wielding DPS: Rune of Razorice and Rune of the Fallen Crusader.

Two handed DPS: Rune of the Fallen Crusader.

Two handed Tank: Rune of the Fallen Crusader.

From my experience anyway!

 

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What priority does defile have for 2H frost dks?

Same as DW, just under Soul Reaper. The guide is updated to fix the missing line :)

 

When will we see an update for level 100? Thanks

It has been since the day the expansion went live.

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      A Team Within a Community
      Our raid team is one of four within the larger guild of <Karma Horde>, which was formed back during WotLK. As such, the guild and Discord are very active and social. There are always people around online and in-game. The community atmosphere is welcoming and friendly to players of all levels. The guild enforces a Code of Conduct that has zero tolerance for hate/offensive speech.

      We care more about the people we play with than their item levels or progression rankings. We want players who are going to log in on non-raid nights and be down for all the other things we're into: pushing mythic+, doing world quests, PVP shenanigans, achievement hunting, hyper-competitive fishing.. there's so much to do and so many ways to enjoy the game. This is our favorite hobby and we'd like to play with you if it is yours, too.

      Progression Goals
      We are 1/11 Mythic, Heroic AOTC Antorus progression.
      We strive for a fun environment that takes the challenges of mythic seriously and giving the content the respect it deserves. Our aim is, as all mythic teams, full clear of content but with always keeping the friendly spirit of camaraderie alive. Performance matters, but so does staying positive and finding the fun in the difficulty of a raid.
      We do not require mythic raid experience to join our team but we do expect mythic-level dedication and accountability from all of our raiders.

      Raid Days/Times
      Our mandatory raids are:
      Tuesdays 8:45pm PT - 11:45pm PT
      Thursdays 8:45pm PT - 11:45pm PT
      Optional:
      Sundays 8:45pm PT - 11:45pm PT
      Sundays are for raiding the previous raid difficulty.

      Recruitment Needs
      DPS: Will consider all specs, but would love to add a Shadow Priest, Rogue, and Mage.

      The Nitty Gritty
      If you're intrigued, please check out our wiki on the <Karma Horde> subreddit. This will give you a deeper dive into the raid team.
      https://www.reddit.com/r/FTH/wiki/tequilasundown

      Contact Us
      You can reach us on bnet: joat#1832 & lambkill#1856
      or Discord: joat#6049 & saever#4432
    • By Starym

       
      The first part of this huge interview, featuring how to get better at M+, class balance and more.
      In this first of a two part interview, the champs go into class balance, how to get better at M+, their thoughts on the affixes, the dungeons and much more.
      The Mythic+ crew of Jdotb (Resto Druid), Shakib (Veng DH), Darkee (WW Monk), Mittbitt (Balance Druid) and Marvink (Aff Warlock) shattered a large number of records recently and decided to have a chat with us on the most successful thing to come out of Legion, the Mythic Keystone Dungeon system. In the first part of this mythic interview, the dungeoneers talk about how to get better at running M+, class setup and balance, affixes, the dungeons themselves and more. With a huge amount of experience under their belts there's no one better to discuss the issues surrounding WoW's latest endgame activity, so let's dive right in.

      Let's start simple: why do you do it?
      Darkee: I do it for the challenge and prestige.
      Jdotb: For the challenge and fun of it. Having a stable team makes m+ a lot more enjoyable.
      Marvink: It’s a source of end-game replayability that lets you push your limits outside of raids. Pushing actually feels like raiding in a smaller more close-knit environment, and you get to constantly try to beat even yourself with the scaling content.
      Shakib: The moment of glory at the end of a world first run.
       
      For people that are just starting out running higher and higher M+ runs, as well as for those that want to get into the WF race, what would be your advice to them?
      Jdotb: A few things: first, try to find a group that you can run with all the time so you can develop solid communication and start building some in-house strats. Being on the same page as your group is incredibly important. Five pretty good players being vocal, knowing what mobs will be pulled, etc. will beat five all stars that haven’t played together. Second, make a lot of equipment sets and get comfortable switching among them. One for avoidance cap, one for trash aoe, one for pure single target, etc. It helps a lot to tailor your equipment to each specific encounter. Third, watch vods and steal strats.  You can find other groups doing a lot of really innovative stuff if you pay attention.  Don’t try to reinvent the wheel every dungeon.

      Shakib: The best advice I can give to anyone trying  to become better at M+ is to play with the same people. It doesn’t have to be the same exact 5 people every single time since some people might not be able to ALWAYS play. I personally play regularly with 10-15 people. Sure, I try to stick with the same 5 as much as possible during a push week and that would be the best scenario for everyone, but it can be hard sometimes so at least having people you know or have played with before helps a lot. Having to explain the strats to a new person will slow down your progression and might even make it not enjoyable.
       
      What would be the top 3 tips you would give to other high M+ teams?
      Jdotb: Sometimes you will have to replace people if you want to push for world firsts. It sucks, but it’s necessary. Prioritize playing with people that are available all the time. It’s hard to overcome playing infrequently even if it’s with really good people. Always be open to new strats for your runs.  If someone asks, “Why do we…” or “Why don’t we…”, take the time to really consider if there isn’t a better way.
      Shakib: At the highest level of m+ you have to treat 90% of the mechanics as if they are going to kill or nearly kill you. Mechanics that you used to ignore now become deadly. This applies for bosses and trash. Communication is key. I do think that having people that call out CC throughout the dungeon is very important. At a very high lvl overlapping a 6 second silence with a stun can result in a wipe, especially in huge packs where 1 cast goes off and the dungeon is over.
       
      You mostly use the same setup for your runs, could you talk about the choices there and why your class/spec is the best for this type of play? 
      Darkee: Windwalker brings high damage and “good enough” survivability. It really shines in mass aoe pulls due to our exponential scaling with Spinning Crane Kick. This allows the other 2 dps to bring more single target focused builds. We also have exceptional burst damage for high priority short lived adds (one example being the adds that shield the third boss in Seat).
      Jdotb: Four of us (Shakib, Mitt, Marvin and Jdotb) have been running together for several months. Darkee is a recent addition. His spec (Windwalker) does the most dps of any class in m+ right now by a country mile. Windwalker defensives are ok but not great, but Windwalker dps is so good that it doesn’t matter. The common theme among the rest of us is that our classes are very good at living.
      Marvink: Our group composition just sort of fell into place. For me, affliction will always have its place in high dungeons. Their damage is very competitive but a large portion of their appeal is the insane personal self-sustain. Having one less person the healer has to worry about a lot of the time helps quite a bit. As there are many dungeons with demons this expansion, Banish is very helpful in some dungeons on Bolstering and Bursting week allowing you to pull a little larger than you would without it. And don’t forget the important Arcway buff through enslave demon.
      Shakib:  Vengeance demon hunter: While dh’s don’t bring much group utility (ex: BoP, Leech aura, Battle res…) we bring an insane utility toolkit (trash control) and the strongest overall damage during a dungeon for a tank spec. We also have very good self sustain, especially during Metamorphosis, which almost makes us invincible. The great self-sustain lets our resto druid have even more globals to dps.
      Restoration Druid: The reason that druid is one of the two top pick for a healer spec is mainly because of their survivability via bear form and Barkskin. On top of that they are able to heal pretty much any situation while dealing a pretty decent chunk of damage if they pick the talent Feral Affinity. Ironbark is a very nice external on a short cooldown. Typhoon during a sanguine week is a lifesaver. Brez is definitly a big plus.
      Affliction Warlock: This spec is currently great at everything. They have a multitude of talents to pick from which our lock swaps between depending on the dungeon. Their damage is top tier while also having insane survivability (several defensives, the self-healing from drain is powerful, lets you somewhat ignore some mechanics while healing through them). Really good utility also for many situations. Stun, gateway, the decurse from the infernal pet but most importantly they can enable huge pulls by equipping Sacrolash's Dark Strike which slows every enemy affected by Corruption by 60%. This allows us to do some big pulls where I kite and the dps take care of the pack without having to deal with mechanics (mostly used in dungeons like Neltharion’s lair, Blackrook and seat). Healthstones <3
      Balance druid: Once again, same as resto druids you are basically never worried of a balance druid dying during intense damage taken periods because of their bear form. Brez and Typhoon are also nice to have. While not having a low cooldown interrupt can be an annoyance on heavy casting fights like Medivh in Upper Kharazan, Solar Beam is extremely strong for huge caster pulls - 8 seconds of silence is HUGE.
      Windwalker monk: This is a recent pick up, while windwalkers have always been a really good dps pick for m+ they were lacking survivability to justify bringing them. With the start of the new tier windwalker monks have been destroying dps meters which made us pick Darkee as our 5th. They always have cooldowns up. Leg sweep is the best aoe stun in the game. We also really like playing with 1 melee in our comp.
       
      If you had to pick the single strongest and weakest class and spec for pushing high M+, what would they be?
      Darkee: I think class balance is more like a tier list rather than clear-cut winners and losers. However, if I had to choose the best/worst, Mistweaver would be the worst. There are many contenders for best but my vote goes toward affliction lock. Strong damage, very strong survivability and they bring utility in the form of healthstones/gates/summons/soulstone.
      Shakib:  Affliction warlock is definitely the strongest overall spec. Good at everything, great survival, great utility. I can’t think of a downside of bringing a warlock. I would usually bash on Shadow priests but I think enhance shaman is the weakest key pushing spec in the game, not only are they melee which makes them more vulnerable to dying in big packs but they also have probably the weakest defensive toolkit in the game. From what I’ve heard they have really good single target and 3-4 target cleave but after that pretty much any other class is better.
       
      Do you feel Blizzard have done a good job with class balance throughout Legion? And do you have high hopes for BfA in this regard?
      Darkee: This answer would just be salt coming from a windwalker main (Rank 1 Krosus parse getting beat by rank 830 warrior parse). However, I think balance will be much easier in BFA with the removal of tier sets.
      Marvink: M+ has basically always been ruled by how much AoE burst you can get, you can always pull more if you have the damage. There’s always been some sort of mix of classes and trinkets that just rule the scene and not much has been done to limit the effectiveness of them outside of raids, one gets changes and another one takes its place.
      Shakib: The class balance has been decent throughout the xpac, the main balance that I would like to see is defensive changes. The defensive toolkit a class has is usually the main reason they are brought into a high m+ dungeon. Blizzard has surprised me several times this expansion when it comes to dungeons. Never did I think there would be this many changes done to balance dungeons out, it’s not a perfect balance but at least we know that they care about dungeons a lot more than before. They even hotfixed some of the bugs or “exploits” that were happening pretty quickly recently. Especially having a dungeon tournament hosted by blizzard themselves so my hopes are very high for BfA and future expansions.
       
          
      Let’s start from the most obvious: rank the dungeons in order of difficulty on the highest M+ numbers.
      Mittbitt : (Most difficult) Seat of the Triumvirate - Some of the trash is always brutal regardless of affixes, and the the last two bosses can make or break your key.
      Maw of Souls - The trash is not too controllable and does significant damage to all players, and the second boss can get fairly chaotic. Also the timer is not generous at all.
      Neltharion’s Lair- Ularogg Cragshaper, and Dargrul eat up a significant amount of time overall for the key by getting an undesired transition or add. Also the trash in the dungeon is very strong, specifically the scorpions at the end.
      Darkheart Thicket- Dresaron and Shade of Xavius can be quite scary, more so Xavius requires a great deal of durability.
      Halls of Valor -Hyrja can be a big block in whether or not you can complete the key, and some of the trash can be quite difficult if not dealt with correctly.
      Black Rook Hold - The bosses can be challenging, however the trash gets hard to deal with quickly.
      Upper Karazhan - Each boss has their own element making them difficult, however Shade and Mana Devourer can get messy and require extra coordination to kill.
      Lower Karazhan - Overall I don’t feel that this dungeon is exceptionally difficult, however the Mounted Strike can chunk anyone in melee range of Attumen the Huntsman, and unless you have a comp to cheese Garrotes, Moroes can get sketchy quickly.
      Eye of Azshara - The only two scary bosses in here are Lady Hatecoil, and Wrath of Azshara. Although not too difficult the winds pushing players around is obnoxious and can get very dangerous very quickly.
      Vault of the Wardens - The trash and the mini bosses are quite dangerous, other than that avoiding extra phases on Glazer are one of the essential parts to getting more time available in the key.
      The Arcway - Getting left side at the beginning of they key makes the timer much more relaxed and makes it the easiest key, unfortunately we did not get left side on our timed 27. What makes this key particularly difficult is Ivanyr, Nal’tira, and the large amount of time that Advisor Vandros takes up.
      (Least difficult) Court of Stars - Overall the trash is not too difficult, and mainly only the second boss is frightening as the damage caps early on the last boss, and the first boss is straightforward.
      Shakib: Lower-arcway-vault-court-upper-eye of azshara-blackrook hold-cathedral-darkheart-neltharion-halls of valor-maw-seat.
       
      If you could change a few dungeons which would they be and how would you change them?
      Darkee: Something needs to be done about that entire archer area in Blackrook. Getting through it with me only dying twice is considered a success. I would make it so you can’t out-range shoot but drastically lower the damage it deals.
      Marvink: I’d remove the very far back Warden spawn in Seat, and add a profession to the Starlight Rose Brew in Court of Stars. I’d also make Hyrja only able to cast the ability she’s currently linked to, not if she just has stacks.
      Mittbitt : I would reduce the amount of role play in some dungeons, such as the Court of Stars boat ride and talking, Neltharion’s Lair waterfalls and maybe even the shuffling of the rocks on Ularogg Cragshaper.
      Shakib: Court of stars: The rng on the buffs is interesting and cute at low lvl keys but becomes frustrating when you need a perfect buff combination (on top of having people change professions just to maybe have it up during your 1 run) to finish a key in time. I think in m+ it should either be a set combination of buffs or just disable all of them just like we saw in the MDI.
      Seat: similar to CoS, the warden locations should be set spawns.
      Arcway: Having a 50/50 on the door that’s open at the start is another point that can greatly impact the dungeon time (maybe less if warlocks wouldn’t be able to control the OP chaosbringer pet on the left side of the dungeon). Maybe a decent fix would be a toggle left/right as you start the keystone depending on the side you think your comp can clear faster on.
       
      Which is your favorite and least favorite dungeon to run?
      Darkee: My favorite is Upper with Court being a close second. Least favorite is easily Blackrook.
      Marvink: My favorite dungeon by far is Court of Stars. I despise Halls of Valor (I’m look at you Hyrja).
      Mittbitt : My favorite dungeon to run is currently Vault of the Wardens. I enjoy the layout of the dungeon and how it allows me to optimize my cooldowns. My least favorite dungeon to run is Upper Karazhan, I do not enjoy the bosses, nor the tuning for the dot on Mana Devourer.
      Shakib: Favorite dungeon is hands down Lower Kharazan. There’s nothing I love more than pulling big and lower is a goldmine of huge trash packs. Turns out dh’s are also quite strong at doing exactly what I love :). (Seat is really close behind.) My least favorite dungeon has to be Neltharion’s lair. Even though it is a pretty straight forward dungeon there’s something about the environment and the mob type that just gets to me.
       
      What are the easiest affixes and do they vary from dungeon to dungeon?
      Shakib: I would say that the Sanguine, Volcanic, Fortified set of affixes is the easiest for 12 out of the 13 available dungeons. The one that stands out as not a “harder” dungeon but just much slower. A LOT of time gets wasted during the scavenger hallway. I would say that the easiest set of affixes for Blackrook Hold is Teeming, Quaking, Fortified, the pulls are usually really big pulls so adding a couple mobs here and there doesn’t slow you down as much as people may think in there, at least not as much as Sanguine.
       
      Are there some affix combos you just will not get out of bed in the morning for?
      Darkee: Teeming Explosive is a bad joke. Explosive in general is just not fun. It doesn’t help that monks deal 50% less damage to them during our main cd, and our main cd is up at the start of every big pull. I just don’t play unless I have to during Explosive.
      Jdotb: Obviously some of the affix combinations are particularly disgusting, but we’ll run keys most every day regardless. We’re fiends. At the very least, affixes like Bolstering and Tyrannical make you appreciate the Volcanics and Fortifieds.
      Marvink: Bolstering, Explosive, Tyrannical. Not my cup of tea for that amount of trash management, and marathon boss fights are never fun.
      Mittbitt : I will always get out of bed for some mythic plus regardless of the affix combos, however the affix combo that least excites me is Bolstering, Grievous, Tyrannical.
       
      What do you think of the current affixes as they are now? Which should be changed or even removed completely and are there any you’d like to see added in BfA?
      Jdotb: Tyrannical is the big offender at the moment. You don’t have to dive very deep into the analytics to see that all the highest keys are on Fortified weeks. The 40% hp on Tyrannical is the problem - it just makes the bosses take waaaaay too long. The damage bump is fine where it’s at, but the hp buff needs to be cut to at most 25%, maybe even 20%. Bosses are already the hardest parts of high keys because of scaling; making them do more damage AND live almost half again as long is insurmountable.
      Bolstering is probably a bit too punishing. If you screw up, you can’t really undo it without wiping. If the Bolstering buff had a duration (maybe 10-15s) or a cap (maybe 10 stacks) it would be a lot more palatable.
      Explosive starts to feel a little overwhelming on high keys because the orb health scales with the key level so instead of just requiring a global cooldown, the orbs now need people to focus them for several casts.
      Volcanic is a joke now that probably needs to be reworked. It isn’t threatening and half the time it doesn’t even require you to move.
      Quaking for the most part is ok but can be devastating on boss fights where you absolutely need your Prydaz, Xavaric's Magnum Opus shield up to live through certain mechanics. There isn’t a way to play around that currently. If Quaking always did damage to your hp pool directly instead of eating shields, I think it would improve the affix a lot.
      Mittbitt : I feel that Tyrannical needs some tuning, possibly by dropping the hp that bosses receive and beefing up trash more. However, Tyrannical boss hp and abilities get out of control much sooner, and honestly are the least enjoyable mythic plus weeks where we typically farm 20-24 keys.
       
      What’s your favorite, least favorite and funniest “trick” you’ve used in the past to get that tier done in time?
      Jdotb: My favorite trick would have to be keeping the cats in the front of DHT from jumping. That made the instance so much less frustrating.
      Least favorite trick is delaying on the second platform of Viz’aduum. He always targets me with the disintegrate so I have to spend a minute or two running back and forth between two spots.
      Funniest trick was probably taunting Ularogg to keep him from going underground (has since been fixed) - if you were successful, he would instantly punch you really hard and probably kill you on higher keys, so the taunt “winner” would usually be the dead guy.
       
      That's it for the first part of this interview, we had to cut it up into two for, well, obvious reasons! Huge thanks to the Mythic + crew for the insightful answers and you check back in a few days when we finish this up with their thoughts on addons, raiding and its impact on M+,  the Mythic Dungeon Invitational, their suggestions for the future of M+ and much more!
    • By Stan

      Call of the Scarab micro-holiday is back with new temporary faction mounts. The event is active through January 23, 2018 and the mounts last for 7 days.
      2018 Updates
      Players who have completed Antorus, the Burning Throne raid need to talk to Rhonormu near the gong to enter the correct event phase of Silithus. The Scarab Lord Black Qiraji Resonating Crystal mount received a brand new model this year. You can find more information here. Two new mounts can be purchased for 1 Abyssal Crest during the event. Ruby Qiraji Resonating Crystal can be purchased from Warlord Gorchuk. Sapphire Qiraji Resonating Crystal can be purchased from Field Marshal Snowfall. The mounts are not permanent and last for 7 days. Blizzard (Source)
      *1/21- The Call of the Scarab Micro-Holiday is now live. Players who have completed Antorus , the Burning Throne and who are in a different phase can speak to Rhonormu near the gong to enter the correct event phase.
      On January 23, 2006, a bloody war was triggered by a simple sound: the banging of a gong. No rallying fanfare, no bloodthirsty yell; just an eerie silence. Those long, uneasy seconds of dread. The calm before the storm.
      Standing shoulder-to-shoulder before the Scarab Wall, no one could have predicted what would happen—an epic ten-hour battle that claimed the lives of thousands of Azeroth’s bravest—or fully comprehended the effect it would have.
      ACTION FIRST, FACTION SECOND
      That’s not to say the battle at the gates of Ahn’Qiraj came as a surprise. When the menace of C’Thun turned into an urgent threat, leaders across the world pored over plans and forged unlikely connections as pressure mounted. Both factions knew war was coming and personal glory was a hubris no-one could risk. Any notion that one army could defeat General Rajaxx and his colossal battalion was soon abandoned as fantasy.
      It was a unique time: scattered armies with varying allegiances were thrown together and faction pride was put aside. Let’s be clear: the battle at Ahn’Qiraj was won purely on the principle “united we stand, divided we fall.”
      WARMONGERING VS. GOLD HUNGERING
      This uneasy alliance was not without its critics. Some showed their disapproval by shunning the war effort altogether, but others expressed opposition through acts of aggression. Rogue elements on both sides, unwilling to stomach this perceived betrayal of their faction, did not sit idle. Just as neutral auction houses became a tool for factions to share resources, they also became virtual battlegrounds. Crucial resources were picked up for next-to-nothing and sold on for personal gain. As with all wars, those who profit aren’t always the brave.
      The sheer scale of that war effort is almost unimaginable when we live in a time of extended storage and fast mail. But back then, backpacks and cloth stacks were smaller. Getting precious resources gathered, sorted, and sent took many hours. And it took several weeks to source bandages, food, and equipment—resources that were in high demand and would soon dwindle.
      THE IMPORTANCE OF REMEMBRANCE
      There are parallels with current events that are impossible to ignore: once more, we Azerothians stand united against the Burning Legion as they wreak havoc across the Broken Isles. We attempt to put aside a complex, bitter history in order to defeat a common enemy. We eye each other suspiciously, even as we fight side by side.
      We would do well, in these dark times, to remember the courage and spirit of those who were there at the Gates of Ahn’Qiraj. We must have long memories if we’re to make quick work of the demon forces we now face.
      From January 21–23 we ask that you join us as we remember the fallen and celebrate the victory. All of Azeroth are invited to a special holiday, ‘Call of the Scarab,’ where we will gather to perform acts of remembrance and share our factions’ pride.