it will not be soon.. . perhaps in another patch next to the upcoming one, but it is eminent that Death Knights will slowly be stripped of their AOE damage capabilities. it has already began. pestilence no longer does damage as it used to be. in a few months, unholy blight will be losing its AOE damage as well. and why, you ask, should this be happening to death knights?
you see, the very thing that makes a death knight so powerful in multiple mob fights, or bosses with lots of `adds`, is the fact that it can easily spread diseases with just a single rune. although the range in spreading diseases is fairly limited, a glyph can be used and the idea of keeping, or tanking, these adds very close together so that they can be burned down easily, is what makes the whole concept of pestilence quite deadly.
while mages, warlocks and shadow priests can easily burn down multiple mobs with AOE spells even better than death knights, they are not as free to use these same skills on boss fights with adds. if they do so, they will be gimping their damage output terribly. on the other hand this is where death knights excel.
with just a single blood rune, pestilence can be used once on an 18-second rotation without even affecting the death knights damage output. it would only make it even greater, especially when there are lots of mobs around it. and when it is talented, pestilence when used, causes the next rune to become a death rune. and gaining death runes is a must for all death knights. here’s why.
for an unholy death knight, for example, there are three ways to gain death runes. these are through the use of blood strike, blood tap and pestilence. if i am facing several mobs with the boss in a fight, i will usually start with the core diseases, such as frost fever and blood plague. ebon plague is gained when any of the unholy death knight’s diseases is succesfully applied to it. once these are all on the target, preferrably the boss, i would then use pestilence. by now all of my blood runes have been used up and awaiting to be re-activated after 10 seconds. i would then use blood tap, converting one blood rune into a death rune immediately. with a death rune active, and another one coming out of cooldown soon, i can either fire up a scourge strike or a blood strike. the general rule is to always have two death runes available. so blood strike you say? for me i don’t.
i have found out, and it’s not even hard, that during the first few seconds of the engagement, this is where almost all trinket and talent effects become active by chance. the chance of a darkmoon card: greatness’s bonus to go off, for example, almost always comes out at the start. a blood knight’s Abomination’s Might most likely will go off at the start of fights too. these effects have internal cooldowns. so make the most out of these bonuses. using a scourge strike will give you a very high chance of getting a big critical strike. follow it up with a blood strike. your other death rune should have been active by now. then blow up unholy blight or you could death coil. with multiple mobs around the boss, it is best to use unholy blight instead of a death coil. after this, go on with your priority rotation such as making sure your diseases are up, spamming scourge strike as much as possible, and so on.. .
with this happening and the WOW developer team actively pursuing its goal to make all hybrid’s damage lesser than pure damage classes, it won’t be a surprise when the changes to pestilence will soon be made. as with other hybrid classes’ AOE capabilities, it is only logical that a death knight, being a hybrid also, should have its damage kept in line with the rest. single disease rotations such as a frost knight with the howling blast glyph is already working and doing a very good damage output. frost knights can deal as much damage without even using death and decay and pestilence but just the glyph.
whether it will be removed or modified i don’t know. what will happen to pestilence in the next few patches we will soon find out. for sure the WOW developers will have some nasty trick up their sleeves, as they always do, to upset the very same people that give them their daily bread and butter.
- > disease free! February 26, 2009
- > my death knight 10/10/51 build May 19, 2009
- > Back To My Favorite Playstyle – Dual Wielding! August 21, 2009
- > DK = Doing Kewl February 19, 2009
- > Frost dual-wield DPS – A New Hope April 8, 2010