I’m going to touch on the DK talents first, as that’s the one I’ve spent more time looking at currently. You may remember my original DK talent analysis from a couple months ago, and it looks like a few things have been changed and updated… for the better! \o/
Tier 1: Rolling Blood – Vile Spew – Unholy Blight
First thing you might notice is that Corpse Explosion is now gone… /sadface. Another thing you may notice is that Outbreak is no longer on this tier of talents. That’s actually a *good* thing, because it’s been rolled back into the baseline abilities. Your DK will recieve it at 81, just like s/he currently does. Now then. This tier is suddenly much more awesome than it was four months ago. All of these talents are ways of spreading around the love (and by love, I mean diseases. Yes, that’s right folks, it’s a VD joke. I’m such a classy blogger) on AOE packs. While we’ve never had much issue with disease spreading (because of Pestilence), this makes it a LOT more interesting way of doing things. If Blizzard was going for “flavor” abilities in their talents, they got a running start with tier 1 DK abilities. Rolling Blood is the same as it was a few months back, but the addition of Vile Spew and the change/return of Unholy Blight make things *way* cooler. Vile Spew is clearly intended for unholy DKs (with their permanent ghoul pets), and offers a rune-free, minor RP cost to AOE diseases across an entire pack. Also, it appears to not have a cooldown… that may or may not change, but it’s pretty sick. Unholy Blight is much closer to it’s original form, but instead of doing damage it afflicts everyone in the area with your diseases. AWESOME. I was among one of the more sad people when Unholy Blight was changed from an AoE dot to the pathetic little death coil addition it is now. Great changes here, and fun things to think about.
Tier 2: Lichborne – Anti-Magic Zone – Icy Grip
Two out of three stayed the same, but Bone Shield is now rolled back into a blood-specific ability. It probably works for the better this way, as it would’ve only been situational at best for non-tanking DKs. Icy Grip, however, is more of a pvp-flavored talent I think. It brings some interesting utility for yoinking a flag-runner or picking a healer off of his buddies. An interesting change, but not one that has much effect in PvE overall, I don’t think. Sorry folks, i’m no pvper, so I have really very little to say on that subject.
Tier 3: Death’s Advance – Chillblains – Asphyxiate
This tier remains unchanged from the original release. Good flavor and situational abilities, nothing make-or-breakish either way. Although it is ALWAYS fun to see NPC’s abilities folded into a player’s ability (Asphyxiate was originally an attack The Black Knight in ToC5 did)… makes for fun times.
Tier 4: Death Pact – Death Siphon – Vampiric Blood
The talents here are the same, but a couple key changes are worth pointing out. Death Pact has had it’s wording clarified to note that it doesn’t NECESSARILY kill your ghoul pet. Also, it used to cost 40 RP, and that appears to have been removed. Death Siphon used to cost a death rune, but now it appears to have no rune or RP cost… and no cooldown. Expect that to be changed. Vampiric Blood is exactly the same, far as I can tell. Overall, tanks will still probably take Vampiric Blood, unless Death Siphon REALLY rolls out with no sort of limitation other than the GCD.
Tier 5: Blood Tap – Runic Empowerment – Runic Corruption
Blood Tap is still kind of weird to me. It did have it’s cooldown (apparently) removed, in favor of putting a cap on the number of charges you can have. It’ll be interesting to see how this fits in to any of the spec’s rotations. Runic Emp and Runic Corr are exactly the same as they were 4 months ago, and that is exactly the same as they are currently in game… only now you have a choice instead of it being baked into your spec. It’ll make for an interesting differential in your preferred spec, I think. Fun little choices, if you ask me.
Tier 6: Gorefiend’s Grasp – Remorseless Winter – Desecrated Ground
This tier is exactly the same as it was 4 months ago, with a bit of wording changes that don’t really affect the ability itself any. I have to say though, looking at the talents from a raider’s perspective, i’m not sure how much I like “Desecrated Ground” in it’s current iteration. I think, overall, Remorseless Winter is the much better ability as it follows YOU around instead of being slapped on the floor like a consecration. (Seriously, do paladins even consecrate anymore?) Also, the uneven cooldowns between the two of them do little more than to increase my confusion. With the increase in the number of movement-based fights, I don’t see Desecrated Ground continuing to be useful other than the occasional stand-and-nuke fight they’re giving us… maybe once a tier these days. Gorefiend’s Grasp is totally going to be a tank talent, with some added pvp spicyness to it. The fact that it pulls in AND damages is pretty damn sexy.
Now, that’s all of the talents for DK’s, thus far, but I would be extremely remiss if I didn’t mention this one little addition to the DK’s ability list.
We get a fucking execute, people. Holy shit.
Soul Reaper: Required level 87. 6s cooldown. Strikes an enemy for 50% weapon damage and afflicts the target with Soul Reaper. After 5s, if the target is below 35% health, this effect will deal 46,549 additional Shadow Damage. If the endmy dies before this effect triggers, the DK gains 50% haste for 5 seconds
Does that ability sound familiar to anybody else? Holy shit on a stick, we’ve got another Lich King ability. AND it’s an execute. There are no words.
ETA: It would appear there were a few oversights in the costs of some abilities.
“The death knight abilities Death Siphon, Soul Reaper, and Necrotic Strike cost 1 Death Rune. They are not free.” Source found here.