Death Knight DPS Cycles / Death Knight FAQ Updated

author image by Jame | Story | 21 Comments | 07 Oct 2008

The Death Knight FAQ has been updated, an explanation of the Runeforging system was added as well as a link to my suggested Leveling Talent Builds, which also contains a list of DPS Rotations to use to do the most damage possible with your Death Knight while leveling.

Here is the direct link to the FAQ: Click Here
Here is the direct link to my blog article about DPS Rotations: Click Here

Feel free to leave comments/suggestions under the Death Knight FAQ guide or under my blog article. If you can’t post on my blog for technical reasons, then just post your comment here.

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    Mar 1, 2009 @ 20:04 pm

    unable to get max dpsi’ve been unholy since day one and leveled fine, but as soon as it came time for raids ive been unable to get my dps much over 2300dps. im not sure if its my talent tree or my gear
    but do you have any suggestions on how to raise it up?

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    Feb 10, 2009 @ 17:21 pm

    damn5k scourge strike? lol
    u should check my 8.5k then =D

    I tried playing as a DW DK…
    a lotta dps, but didnt enjoy too much.

    I rather deal a little less dps as unholy then play in a build that I dont really like 😉

    good luck with ur DKs
    take care

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    Nov 16, 2008 @ 15:22 pm

    It’s hard to say at thisIt’s hard to say at this point with all the latest changes. We’ll have to see how classes compare once we’ve got some level 80 raid parses with good epic gear.

    I’d say DKs are highly competitive in the DPS department. Unholy is still the highest dps spec.

    Check my blog for more articles and dps comparisons between the different specs.

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    Nov 16, 2008 @ 8:47 am

    These questions are killing me!I have been playing a ret paladin for 2+ years now and I’ve seen the class get buffed and nerfed. I’ve grown tired of him and his play style is a bit old. I’ve heard DK’s are extremely active in the melee department in all specs; is this true? I also want to know that if I were to put a DK into the same gear as my paladin, who would pull ahead? I love doing dps and doing a good amount of damage. I was able to top the dps and damage charts in raids with tons of work and time put in but it was worth it. Is there a chance I could possibly do the same with a DK? I love melee and doing a good chunk of damage, which spec should I look at?

    I know this was a nice collection of questions but I just want to make up my mind and start really working on a toon. Your help could relieve my headache!



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    Nov 10, 2008 @ 23:55 pm

    Then What would be major differencesIn as much as playing and leveling unholy as opposed to leveling blood?
    And how can you heal as well as blood and solo elites easier as unholy?
    Not calling you out just curious 8)

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    Nov 10, 2008 @ 22:16 pm

    Fine plan, but don’t beFine plan, but don’t be mistaken, Unholy is just as much melee as Blood 🙂

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    Nov 10, 2008 @ 13:13 pm

    Me ThinksThat I will level unholy then, my back ground has always been melee combat fury warrior, ret pally, feral druid and hunter so blood seemed better to me, but I believe i could pick it up much easier once I kinda have an idea of how to play the DK because of my melee background, where if I didn’t level unholy I would be far behind the curve in that regard.
    I love to dps and I d like to learn to tank with the DK, but in talking to you, you seem convinced that Unholy is still the way to go, so I’ll do that. What do you think about this plan?

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    Nov 10, 2008 @ 10:59 am

    Haven’t seen a nerf onHaven’t seen a nerf on bloodworms lately.

    Pestilence is an absolutely invaluable skill for AoE’ing.

    You can self-heal pretty fast as Unholy, your Deathstrike heals for more thanks to talents and having an extra disease and also being able to use an extra Death Strike in rotations thanks to Reaping.

    I actually found it even easier to solo elites at Unholy than as blood.

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    Nov 10, 2008 @ 3:38 am

    WOW5k that is hot sauce!!! :jawdrop:
    Bloodworms got a nerf I hear, is this true?
    What are your thought on pestilence I have heard its not that great?
    And as fat as re- healing your self in unholy how effective is it?
    I hear blood specd DKs have no problem soloing elites due to huge regen capabilities, is unholy the same way? 😕

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    Nov 10, 2008 @ 2:39 am

    About the first question : IAbout the first question : I don’t know :p

    2nd question:

    Scourge Strike does a lot more damage than Heart Strike. It’s normal because it costs 2 runes. Heart Strike only costs 1 Blood Rune, which is an advantage because you can cast 2 heart strikes for 1 scourge strike.

    However, that also means you use 2 Global Cooldowns, which are a precious ressource for DKs.

    So it’s hard to say which is better really, but my heart goes to Scourge Strike because I like big 5K crits at level 80 :p

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    Nov 10, 2008 @ 2:23 am

    Scourge Strike vs Heart StrikeFor one why is heart strike the only one with out a glyph?
    What are the major differences and advantages to one or the other? 8)

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    Nov 8, 2008 @ 21:12 pm

    Tanking!Tanking! :p

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    Nov 8, 2008 @ 20:54 pm

    AH ive been misled!Frost is used for what then?

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    Nov 8, 2008 @ 18:14 pm

    Not really, other specs canNot really, other specs can burst harder with Gargoyle or Dancing Rune Weapon.

    Frost DPS is overall significantly below the other two specs, so if you want to burst DPS, I’d stay away from frost 🙂

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    Nov 8, 2008 @ 18:00 pm

    Burst DMGIt would appear that frost is the only real burst dps spec tho? Do you agree? :jawdrop:

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    Nov 7, 2008 @ 23:34 pm

    Major – Glyph of DeathMajor – Glyph of Death Strike
    Major – Glyph of Vampiric Blood

    Minor – Glyph of Pestilence
    Minor- Glypn of Raise Dead

    I know, DKs really aren’t spoiled in the glyph department for now :/

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    Nov 7, 2008 @ 23:16 pm

    Blood vs Unholy 😛 Thank you so much for the help I agree with your talent tree fixes alot,
    what would be good glyphs and dps rotation then for said talent tree?
    Again I can’t thank you enough for all the help you have given and like I said your guide and help is the best on the NET :jawdrop:

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    Nov 7, 2008 @ 21:57 pm

    1. DKs do very competitive1. DKs do very competitive DPS in raids.
    2. I’d say Unholy for dps raid spec, but with the latest changes I’m not sure anymore.
    3. Yea, you open with plague strike when raiding, because plaguestrike triggers desecration (5% dmg on targets which stand on your unholy ground). But when leveling up, you just go with IT first, cause it’s more convenient (more range).
    4. Yes
    5. The blood tree is specced properly. But the rest isn’t. If you go that deep in the frost tree, might as well go 5/5 Icy Talons. 20% haste is huge.

    Unholy command is really not necessary for leveling, it’s good for pvp mostly.
    Scent of Blood isn’t that good either, you don’t need that much extra runic power when you’re blood speeced. Abomination’s might is better.

    Sudden Doom is just a bad talent imo. You don’t really care about a free Death Coil, you already have too much runic power and not enough GCDs to fit so much Death Coils in your rotation. Take 5/5 Bladed Armor instead.

    Black Ice is also not good for a blood spec. 5 talent points just to increase damage from one skill: Icy Touch, which doesn’t do much dmg. Take 5/5 Toughness instead, great synergywith 5/5 Bladed Armor too.

    Go for this build instead: You’ll do a tons more dps and have more survivabilty thanks to toughness.

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    Nov 7, 2008 @ 21:09 pm

    Blood to UnholyJame!!! I have been reading your blogs and using your site for 3 weeks now and I must say,” Great Freaking JOB!!!!”. Your site and insight is far and away the best about DKs out there! I have a few questions I hope you could answer.
    1. Will DKs dps be good in raids and what not from what I understand we do not have bust dps, and our damage isn’t on par with other dps classes? :jawdrop:
    2. Raid spec would be Blood or Unholy? }:)
    3.Dps rotations I have heard that opening with plague strike then icy touch is better dps due the disease plague strike gives?
    4. Do you still believe unholy is best way to lvl?
    5. Your thought of dps, and surviablity, downtime and leveling utility for this spec
    Any input would be greatly appreciated I understand your busy, I m trying to decide if I want to start DK as a main or stay with my Ret pally or Fury warrior for woltk!

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    Oct 15, 2008 @ 18:14 pm

    Thank you, glad to hearThank you, glad to hear that, please keep using my guides.

    About my Wotlk Leveling Guides, I already have started to work on them! I’ve already done a nice chunk of work on them and the first chapters are ready to be published.

    Keep checking our news page regularly if you want to know exactly when they’ll be released 😉

    Anyway, here’s a direct link to the release dates for the lazy ones, but you should read the stickies on our news pages at least every now and then! 😛

    [url=]Release Dates[/url]

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    Oct 15, 2008 @ 17:41 pm

    Hey just wanted to say..Thanks Jame, ive been using your guides for around two years now, to be honest a few of my friends bought levelin g guides a while back which were pretty crappy compared to the ones you have written, im managing to hit 70 in around 8 days with most classes with the exception of hunters at around 5-6 days using your guides. and i just wanted to say i appreciate the fact your writing them for us and letting em out for free 🙂
    thanks dude

    Are you going to start working on the 70-80 guide on WOTLK release?
    thanks 🙂

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