Patch 4.0.1 and leveling (Part 1:DKs, Mut Rogues, Feral Druids and Demo/Destro Locks)

kayeich's picture

As Jiyambi knows, I'm currently working on some leveling guides for paladin, death knight, and rogue, as well as a general guide on tanking (mostly just working on paladin right now, though have the other three started).

I figured I'd put my thoughts together on a blog, without worrying about prettying up as a guide on classes and where I see that they stand from a leveling perspective, and fish for opinions/thoughts from other people, or just serve as a rough temp guide. Mostly just wanted to take a break from working on the paladin guide.

This blog entry just covers DKs (all specs), Assassination Rogues, Feral Druids, and Demo/Destro Locks. It's just a rough guide on the order for talent points and glyphs to pick up.

Keep in mind that talent specs are in many cases -not- optimal for level 80/endgame, just for leveling.

In case people aren't aware, I also want people to know that Dual Talent Specialization costs 100g, down from 1000g in live. It still requires level 40, though current beta builds have it at level 30.

Links to class stuff

  1. Death Knight
  2. Druid
  3. Rogues
  4. Warlock


Death Knight
With patch 4.0.1 changes, all three trees are perfectly viable for leveling, and all of them get some sort of movement bonus, but Unholy is no longer the clear winner. If you're leveling a DK, you generally should have heirlooms available, as it's unlikely that you leveled a class to 55 then ditched it to play a DK. Keep in mind that there's a mailbox in the starter zone, so even though you're 'instanced', you can still mail yourself heirlooms and glyphs.

General spec thoughts:
BLOOD - You're the proper spec to tank as you level (although the others can for the most part tank non-heroics), you get a 15% movement bonus with Bone Shield glyph, and the self-healing and ability to solo elites/group-quests is unmatched from the other trees. Bone shield does drop off though, so the movement bonus isn't constant, and it doesn't apply to mounts. It's better suited for instance-leveling than quest-leveling, although the Butchery talent helps a great deal with quest-leveling.

2H-FROST - Great spec for leveling. Easily supported by heirlooms, great dps, has movement bonus to -mounted- speed (you'll spend sooooo much time mounted while leveling), and gets movement bonus to run speed at level 70.

DW-FROST - It's a pretty strong-spec, with most of the benefits of 2H-FROST...that loses some of it's power when you consider the rarity of one-handers with strength (including heirlooms), and lack of quest rewards with one-handers in the starter zone. It's also pretty weak until you can finally pick up Threat of Thassarian talent.

UNHOLY - Do you like pets? Because that's what this spec is all about. The dps is great, but there's soooo many pros/cons to pets it's not worth going into. Like 2H-frost, it's got strong dps throughout leveling, but gets a movement bonus to run speed instead of mount speed. It's a bit stronger with AoE-grinding than 2H-Frost though, even if it otherwise moves slower than 2H-frost.

Leveling Choice:
2H-Frost with a Blood dual tank spec would be my choice. Unholy with a Blood dual tank spec is also pretty darn good.

Talent Choices:
BLOOD (questing)
2/2 Butchery
3/3 Bladed Armor
2/2 Improved Blood Tap
3/3 Blade Barrier
1/1 Bone Shield (pick up bone shield glyph)
3/3 Blood-Caked Blade
2/2 Abomination's Might
2/2 Blood Parasite
2/2 Improved Blood Presence
1/1 Rune Tap
3/3 Toughness
1/3 Scent of Blood
3/3 Improved Death Strike
2/2 Crimson Scourge
1/1 Dancing Rune Weapon
3/3 Epidemic
2/2 Icy Reach

Glyphs to pick up:
Prime - Death Strike, Heart Strike, (75) Rune Strike
Major - Bone Shield, Death Grip, (75) Doesn't matter (probably Pestilence)
Minor - Blood Tap, Path of Frost, (75) Resilient Grip

BLOOD (instance/dual spec)
3/3 Bladed Armor
3/3 Blade Barrier
2/2 Improved Blood Tap
2/2 Scarlet Fever
2/2 Abomination's Might
3/3 Toughness
2/2 Improved Blood Presence
1/1 Bone Shield
2/2 Sanguine Fortitude
1/1 Rune Tap
1/1 Vampiric Blood
2/2 Blood Parasite
1/3 Scent of Blood
3/3 Improved Death Strike
2/3 Will of Necropolis
1/1 Dancing Rune Weapon
3/3 Epidemic
3/3 Will of Necropolis
2/3 Scent of Blood

Glyphs to pick up:
Prime - Death Strike, Heart Strike, (75) Rune Strike
Major - Dancing Rune Weapon, Death Grip, (75) Bone Shield
Minor - Blood Tap, Resilient Grip, (75) whatever

2H-FROST
2/2 Icy Reach
3/3 Runic Power Mastery
2/2 On a Pale Horse
3/3 Annihilation
3/3 Killing Machine
2/2 Chill of the Grave
1/1 Pillar of Frost
1/1 Improved Icy Talons
2/2 Brittle Bones
1/3 Rime
2/2 Improved Frost Presence
3/3 Rime
1/1 Hungering Cold
3/3 Might of the Frozen Wastes
2/2 Merciless Combat
1/1 Howling Blast
2/2 Butchery
3/3 Epidemic

Glyphs to pick up:
Prime - Frost Strike, Icy Touch, (69, erase Icy Touch) Howling Blast, (75) Obliterate
Major - Chains of Ice, Hungering Cold, (75) Death Grip
Minor - Blood Tap (the other two can be whatever)

DW-Frost
3/3 Nerves of Cold Steel
2/2 Icy Reach
2/2 On a Pale Horse
3/3 Annihilation
3/3 Killing Machine
2/2 Chill of the Grave
1/1 Pillar of Frost
2/2 Brittle Bones
2/3 Rime
2/2 Improved Frost Presence
3/3 Rime
1/1 Improved Icy Talons
1/1 Hungering Cold
3/3 Threat of Thassarian
2/2 Merciless Combat
1/1 Howling Blast
2/2 Butchery
3/3 Epidemic

Glyphs to pick up:
Prime - Frost Strike, Icy Touch, (69, erase Icy Touch) Howling Blast, (75) Obliterate
Major - Chains of Ice, Hungering Cold, (75) Death Grip
Minor - Blood Tap (the other two can be whatever)

UNHOLY
2/3 Virulence
3/3 Epidemic
3/3 Morbidity
3/3 Virulence
1/2 Desecration
1/1 Unholy Frenzy
2/2 Runic Corruption
3/3 Shadow Infusion
3/3 Rage of Rivendare
1/3 Magic Supression
2/2 Improved Unholy Presence
1/1 Dark Transformation
1/1 Unholy Blight
1/2 Contagion
2/2 Ebon Plaguebringer
3/3 Sudden Doom
1/1 Summon Gargoyle
2/2 Butchery
2/2 Contagion
2/3 Bladed Armor

Glyphs to pick up:
Prime - Raise Dead, Scourge Strike, (75) Icy Touch or Death Coil
Major - Pestilence, Anti-Magic Shell, (75) Blood Boil
Minor - Death's Embrace, Blood Tap, (75) doesn't matter


Druid
I'll mostly assume that you're going for kitty while questing and possibly bear while in instances (although you can stay kitty). Offering talents/glyphs for both. I'll probably cover mana druids in some other blog entry.

KITTY+BEAR (to level 29)
2/2 Feral Swiftness
3/3 Furor
3/3 Fury Swipes
2/2 Primal Fury
1/1 Feral Charge

KITTY (31-79)
3/3 King of the Jungle
1/2 Feral Aggression
1/1 Leader of the Pack
2/2 Nurturing Instinct
2/2 Feral Aggression
1/2 Brutal Impact
1/1 Survival Instincts
2/2 Primal Madness
2/2 Endless Carnage
3/3 Rend and Tear
2/2 Blood in the Water
1/1 Berserk
3/3 Heart of the Wild
2/2 Natural Shapeshifter

Glyphs to pick up:
Prime - (25) Tiger's Fury, (50) Shred, (54, replace TF) Rip, (75) Berserk
Major - (25) Rake, (50) Feral Charge, (75) Ferocious Bite
Minor - (26, can't get at 25) Dash, (50) Aquatic Form, (75) whatever

BEAR (31-79)
3/3 Thick Hide
1/2 Feral Agression
1/1 Leader of the Pack
2/2 Feral Agression
2/2 Infected Wounds
1/2 Stampede
2/2 Natural Reaction
1/1 Survival Instincts
2/2 Endless Carnage
3/3 Rend and Tear
1/1 Pulverize
2/2 Stampede
1/3 King of the Jungle
3/3 Rend and Tear
1/1 Pulverize
1/2 Endless Carnage
1/1 Berserk
3/3 Heart of the Wild
2/2 Endless Carnage
2/3 King of the Jungle

Glyphs to pick up:
Prime - (25) Mangle, (50) Lacerate, (75) Berserk
Major - (25) Maul, (50) Feral Charge, (75) Faerie Fire
Minor - Doesn't really matter


Rogue
Combat spec used to be the best for leveling, but being able to get mutilate at level 10 combined with Deadly Momentum and Quickening, make Assassination outclass Combat for leveling by tons. Combat is also currently lagging behind Assassination at endgame, and the planned 'fix' looks to be a boost to Mastery...which you don't get until level 80.

So you probably will continue to benefit from Assassination the most for leveling. Combat might be attractive if you grabbed the 1H-mace heirlooms so you could also level an enhancement shaman or fury warrior/dw-frost dk (although them being agility kind of sucks with patch changes for warrior/dk), or some such, and don't want to buy the dagger heirlooms. Though really, I'd recommend getting the daggers (or even doing without heirlooms). Assasination is -that- good right now.

ASSASINATION (to 47)
2/2 Deadly Momentum
3/3 Lethality
2/2 Quickening
3/3 Puncturing Wounds
1/1 Cold Blood
3/3 Vile Poisons
1/3 Ruthlessness
2/2 Seal Fate
3/3 Ruthlessness
1/3 Coup de Grace

ASSASINATION (do a lot of instances, 49-57)
2/2 Murderous Intent
1/1 Master Poisoner
3/3 Coup de Grace

ASSASSINATION (mostly quest/solo, 49-57)
1/1 Overkill
3/3 Coup de Grace
1/1 Master Poisoner
1/2 Murderous Intent

ASSASSINATION (59-79)
2/2 Venomous Wounds
3/3 Cut to the Chase
1/1 Vendetta
3/3 Precision
2/3 Relentless Strikes

The only difference between the pug/quest specs is really how you fill the points from 49-57, and a point in Murderous Intent vs Overkill at level 59+. When you hit 80, you want to switch one point from Deadly Momentum to fill the respective missing point, and when you get enough hit (through gear or reforging), switch a point from Precision to Relentless Strikes. And then you're at the heroic/raiding cookie-cutter spec.

Glyphs to pick up:
Prime (quest) - (25) Mutilate, (50) Rupture , (75) Vendetta or Backstab
Prime (instances) - (25) Mutilate, (50) Backstab, (75) Rupture
Major - (25) Sprint, (50) Feint if you pug or Vanish if you quest, (75) Cloak of Shadows
Minor - Doesn't really matter. I recommend Blurred Speed, Safe Fall and Poisons, though order depends on you. While you're leveling lockpicking, definitely grab Pick Lock (25) and Pick Pocket (50).


Warlock
Pre-patch 4.0.1, Affliction was king for leveling (or at least to level 50 when you could get Felguard, where Demo became competitive).

After patch...things have changed. Affliction just doesn't seem as good for AoE-grinding anymore, and with stuff like Supression being passive instead of Affliction...well, affliction isn't what it used to be. Meanwhile, new spells like Soul Harvest gained at level 12 makes Destruction a lot more attractive (used to be bad because of downtime from high mana-consumption), and gettingthe Felguard at level 10 for Demo instantly makes that attractive.

The entire warlock talent trees are a bit weird though, destruction is particularly bad, as some of the talents you get at low levels boost spells that...you don't get for 30+ levels. It's fine when they boost multiple spells, including low level one, but just -weird- and awkward when it doesn't. An example is the Improved Soul Fire talent for Destro. You can get it at level 17...and soulfire at level 54. And the talent -only- boosts Soul Fire. Stupid design, if you ask me.

It also means some respeccing at level 54 if you're Destruction, if you want to make the most of your talents at any given time. It's pretty darn good though, a good deal better than Affliction, right now, in my opinion, particularly in instances. The simpler way though is going to be Demonology, but really, respec cost is what, 1g first time?

DEMONOLOGY
3/3 Dark Arts
2/3 Demonic Embrace
2/2 Mana Feed
2/2 Demonic Aegis
1/2 Fel Synergy
3/3 Impending Doom
3/3 Demonic Embrace
2/2 Fel Synergy
1/1 Hand of Guldan
3/3 Molten Core
1/2 Demonic Rebirth
1/1 Inferno
2/2 Ancient Grimoire (assuming you do quests for them)
2/2 Decimation
1/1 Demonic Pact
2/2 Cremation
2/2 Demonic Rebirth
1/2 Improved Funnel (or 1/1 Aura of Foreboding. Filler point, really)
1/1 Metamorphosis
3/3 Bane
2/3 Shadow and Flame

Glyphs to pick up:
Prime - (25) Felguard, (50) Immolate, (69, replace felguard) Metamorphosis (75) Incinerate
Major - (25) Shadow Bolt, (50) Life Tap, (75) whatever
Minor - Whatever, though Drain Soul is nice for some mana recovery.

DESTRUCTION
3/3 Bane
3/3 Shadow and Flame
2/2 Improved Immolate
2/2 Improved Searing Pain
1/1 Shadowburn
3/3 Backdraft
1/2 Aftermath
2/2 Soul Leech
2/2 Burning Embers
1/1 Nether Ward
1/1 Shadow Fury
2/3 Fire and Brimstone

At this point, you're level 53, and you want to respec to this when you hit level 54:
Level 54 spec. It basically trades 2/2 Improved Searing Pain, 1/2 Aftermath, for 2/2 Improved Soul Fire and 1/2 Emberstorm.

Continuing from 55:
3/3 Fire and Brimstone
2/2 Emberstorm
2/2 Empowered Imp
1/1 Bane of Havoc
2/2 Nether Protection
1/1 Chaos Bolt
2/2 Improved Life Tap
3/3 Dark Arts

Glyphs to pick up:
Prime - (25) Conflagrate, (50) Imp, (75) Immolate
Major - (25) Shadow Bolt, (50) Life Tap, (75) whatever
Minor - Whatever, though Drain Soul is nice for some mana recovery.

Comments

Destro warlock

the respecc cost is only like 12s first time so its no problem at all respeccing at 54! just wanted to add this Smiling

Benhir's picture

This seems very good.

This seems very good, I can't wait for the priest part! The new patch has killed the mana regen at least for me Laughing out loud

Jiyambi's picture

I like that you've used the

I like that you've used the blog format to quickly get some content out without worrying about formatting. Thanks for this!

Really looking forward to your guides, the Paladin one is shaping up beautifully Laughing out loud

kayeich's picture

Thanks. Paladin guide is

Thanks. Sticking out tongue

Paladin guide is exhausting, I needed a break from it, but wanted to post something in meantime. Smiling

All the icons I was using there are a pain to edit/upload/link, and the tables are an extra headache to get right since I'm using crap like rowspan/colspan tags, and trying to make sure it doesn't have problems with smaller screen resolutions. I'm probably going to change my current format around a little and put less of them (if people want to see the icons, they can mouse over the spell name anyway).

With luck, I'll hopefully finish it this weekend. Shouldn't be too hard since my ICC raid group fell apart and I've got nothing to do with my saturdays anymore. Sad

Jiyambi's picture

Oh trust me, I feel your

Oh trust me, I feel your pain - my tree guide took me FOREVER to complete.

Still need to update that thing >_<