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  1. #1

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    Patch 4.3 Unholy Vs. Frost DK (A self-help guide to completing your comp.)

    "Should I go Unholy or Frost? What weapons should I use? Is it wrong I sometimes wish I could use mindFreeze on my girlfriend???(Okay okay smashing a girls mind with cold might be a bit extreme but they can talk for hours and casting strangulate would probably just land me in jail.)" These questions get asked about three times a day so I figured I would layout all the pros and cons so people can decide for themselves.

    Firstly, what is it your comp. is looking to do? Are you a zerg triple dps comp. or more of a wear and grind comp. like unholyplay? Are you a caution to the wind type guy or an unstoppable force whose best friends are a ghoul and evil bat?

    Frost DK's
    There is one major bonus to going Frost over Unholy. Frost has almost zero (0) ramp up time. As soon as you see something you can put out max damage from start to finish. Front end damage is very important in arenas (think mage/rogue openers). Whichever team has more of it can really gain momentum quickly if they aren't controlled. See how I emboldened "controlled"? Unfortunately for Frost Dk's they are extremely susceptible to control. (Blizzard decided to model them after my best friend whose easily locked down by anything wearing a cute outfit...now that Transmog is out I guess you can say that's almost everyone.)

    Mobility: I would say the greatest factor to their being controlled stems from their lack of mobility. Once IceboundFortitude is gone, that mobility basically becomes zero. This is where you need to ask yourself, do I have teamates that can alleviate this condition a bit? Do I have a paladin on the team that can throw me a Freedom when needed? Do I have a hunter that can toss me a Master's Call? Things like this make Frost more viable in circumstances that would normally not allow it.

    Survivability: Another issue that needs to be dealt with is that they have very limited survivability (AMS, IceBound, PetSac, and death strike). While that may seem like a pretty long list of defensive cd's you need to look at them to value their worth. AMS & PetSac. don't work while silenced and that's exactly what the DK will be when being killed. Even then, PetSac heals for a mediocre 40k on a 2 minute CD (Pet summon is a 3 min. CD so bend your mind around that one...) and AMS only stops 75% of incoming magic damage. IceBound is great in that you can't be stunned while it's active but with only a 20% damage reduction I don't see it as game changing being on a 3 min. cd. Death-strike was heavily nerfed since last season and now only heals for about 12k while consuming loads of runes thus simultaneously shutting down your offensive pressure. So what is a Frost DK to do? Partner with people that will add to your survivability. Ret Pallies can throw in a Hand of Protection or Word of Glory. Hunter's can RoarOfSac. when you are about to be destroyed etc.

    Utility: Utility is a very small chapter in a Frost Dk's book... (Hungering Cold will almost never go off with its tremendous cast time and I don't think I ever want to see a melee class try to learn how to juke...Strangulate is also on a tremendous cd). Some builds do go into the blood tree for the 1 min. strang. but currently I can't warrant losing desecration and a shorter grip cd for it. This being said, your main CC is raw damage. Force people to spend their globals defensively or run the risk of dying! Also, partner with people that have a good amount of CC

    ***Edit*** I forgot to mention that HowlingBlast can be aimed and that any high rated players even attempting to run frost in the higher brackets will do so as to not break their teamates CC.***

    Unholy DK's
    What could possibly be worth more than never ending insanely high front end damage? How bout tools that help remedy all the existing problems I stated above? While this sounds great, there is a small price to pay for it. Unholy Dk's don't have the instant "OMG this kid is wrecking my face" damage but instead it's more of a "wtf my heals don't work...it's saying heals are zero...im dying...can someone do something...ouch that pet hurts...how come it just got huge?...this isn't good....ok blowing cd's....ok it's really getting bad...is that a giant bat?...um I died..". Lets take a look at the bonuses to running Unholy as opposed to Frost:

    Mobility: All I can say is Death's Advance is one of the greatest talents there is and unfortunately Frost can't get it. Once you deplete your 2 unholy runes, you can't be slowed more than 25%. That means no rogues crippling you into submission, no healers kiting...it's AMAZING. This is only enhanced by other teamates as stated above with tools like master's call and freedom. Also, your pet and gargoyle will always keep pressure on the target when you yourself are peeled or stun-locked.

    Survivability: This is greatly increased with the benefit of larger self heals from your self Death Coils, you get a full immunity when popping AMS instead of 75%, you get Anti-Magic Zone which is an AOE defensive shield against magic, your ghoul will be on a shorter summon by 1 min., and your death strikes will be a bit higher (I think it's due to using a 2-handed weapon but I could be mistaken).

    Utility: There are two tremendous additions to a dk's utility when he rolls unholy. He now has a pet-stun (yay a CC that he can get off) on top of the normal strangulate, and Unholy Frenzy. This is absolutely devastating against caster comps. Most dk's will use this on their healer to break any CC-chains he might be put in that break upon damage...lasts 30 seconds and can only be removed by rogues via shiv, hunter's via tranq, and druids via their gayness.


    Summary:
    If your DK dies too easily have him switch to Unholy. If you need more burst and like the idea of shorter games try Frost and run dual wield. Who doesn't like getting double the Killing Machine Procs and super spikey burst? Most comps. work better with an Unholy DK but Frost is definitely viable to 2.2k depending on the comp. you run and the synergy your team has.

    If you have any questions about rotations and when to use what there are 2 videos on the site that explain both in great detail. One is for Frost on when to use Obliterate and the other is an unholy guide. Also, if someone can verify whether it's using a 2hander opposed to dual wielding that gives you greater death strikes that would be great! Woot
    Last edited by bkunzig; 04-19-2012 at 11:54 AM.

  2. #2

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    Nice post you got here. I totally agree that frost isn't useless, but I would suggest unholy for anyone playing 2s no matter the setup. Also you forgot to mention the possible interupt from using leap in dark transformation. Another problem with unholy that's worth mentioning is that you got priests and paladins being total twats locking out our garg and ghoul, can totally mess up our damage.

  3. #3

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    Booom

  4. #4
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    Finalrequiem is on a distinguished road
    theres a bit more to both specs then listed, and alot of it comes down to your personal playstyle, but this is very accurate.

  5. #5

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    Nice piece. Couple of comments
    - For Rated BGs there is a more clear cut answer. With the bias toward dotcleave Frost is the spec of choice.
    - Frost is easier to play, with UH there is more to manage.

  6. #6

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    desecratexp is on a distinguished road
    I'm sure there are tons of threads on this but can you point out the benefit between DW vs 2H Frost? I'm currently doing 2H frost but I really want to know what I would really gain in going DW over having my 2H. I hear 2H can stack many more NC's on the opponent and DW is more of KM procing.

  7. #7

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    desecratexp is on a distinguished road
    think I'm finding my answer on my own through the threads so far.

  8. #8

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    Running dual wield is great in bg's because you're almost always on a target and that allows your auto-attacks to proc Killing Machine twice as often (you have double the auto-attacks since you have double the weaponry). This allows for much more burst and great swaps. The reason most don't run dual wield in arena is because you aren't swapping every couple seconds and your necrotics will be much larger with a 2 hander than with 2 one handers.
    Last edited by bkunzig; 07-09-2012 at 05:43 PM.

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