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Legion Class Preview: Death Knight

by - 2 years ago

The Death Knight Legion class preview blog post went up today detailing a big change to the Runes resource system, as well as some other minor changes “for clarity.” Below, we’ve summarized the changes to each of the class’s specs, including ability, talent, and rotation changes.

Key Notes

  • Runes are being simplified from Blood, Frost, and Unholy types to 6 of one type that can be spent the same way as previous ones were, with 3 recharging at a given time
  • Each spec will have its own disease “with a unique trait”
  • Most spec differentiation will come with more spec-specific talents
  • Unholy is being retooled to better show the fantasy of using diseases

Blood

Blood largely remains the same, although, as with the other specs, some minor changes will be made for clarity.

  • Death Strike will now cost Runic Power instead of Runes
  • Bone Shield will be the “primary complement” to Death Strike for more flexibility and a tighter class fantasy (instead of Rune Tap)
  • Blood Strike will now generate more Runic Power
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment (Official Post)

Core Combat Changes

  • Blood Strike
    • 1 Rune, Melee Range, Instant
    • Instantly strike the enemy, causing moderate Physical damage and infecting the victim with Blood Plague.
    • Generates 10 bonus Runic Power.
    • Blood Plague
      • A disease that deals minor Shadow damage and heals the caster for 1% of their maximum health every 3 sec for 30 sec.
  • Marrowrend
    • 2 Runes, Melee Range, Instant
    • Smash the target, dealing strong Physical damage and generating 3 charges of Bone Shield.
    • Bone Shield
      • Surrounds you with a barrier of whirling bones that reduces all damage you take by 25%. Each damaging attack consumes a charge. Lasts for 30 sec or until all charges are consumed.
  • Death Strike
    • 40 Runic Power, Melee Range, Instant
    • Focuses dark power into a strike that deals strong Physical damage and heals you for 50% of all damage taken in the last 6 sec (minimum 7% of maximum health).
    • If you are below 35% health when this is cast, all Runic Power is consumed, increasing the potency of the healing effect.
  • Mastery: Blood Shield
    • Each time you heal yourself with Death Strike, you gain 40% (with Mastery from typical gear) of the base amount healed as a Physical damage absorption shield.
    • Also increases your Attack Power by 20% (with Mastery from typical gear).
  • Death and Decay
    • 1 Rune, 30 yd range, Instant, 30 sec cooldown
    • Corrupts the ground targeted by the Death Knight, causing moderate Shadow damage over 10 sec to targets within the area. While you remain within the targeted area, your Blood Strike will hit all nearby enemies.
  • Crimson Scourge
    • Passive
    • Your successful autoattacks on targets infected with your Blood Plague have a 25% chance to reset the cooldown on Death and Decay.

 

Select Talent Changes

  • Bonestorm
    • 15 Runic Power per sec, Instant, 1 min cooldown
    • A whirl of bone and gore batters nearby enemies 3 times per second to deal minor Shadow damage, healing you for 1% of your maximum health per strike.

Frost

Frost also seems to be largely unchanged, as the fantasy and gameplay are already pretty tight. The biggest change they highlight is that Killing Machine now only affects Obliterate to make its use “feel more meaningful.”

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment (Official Post)

Core Combat Changes

  • Howling Blast
    • 1 Rune, 30 yd range, Instant
    • Blast a target with a frigid wind, dealing minor Frost damage to that target, and minor Frost damage to all other enemies within 10 yds, infecting all targets with Frost Fever
    • Frost Fever
      • A disease that deals minor Frost damage and has a chance to grant the Death Knight 5 Runic Power every 3 sec for 30sec.
  • Obliterate
    • 2 Runes, Melee Range, Instant
    • A brutal attack with both weapons that deals massive Physical damage.
  • Frost Strike
    • 20 Runic Power, Melee Range, Instant
    • Chill your weapons with icy power, and quickly strike the enemy with both weapons, dealing massive Frost damage.
  • Rime
    • Passive
    • Your Obliterate has a 45% chance to cause your next Howling Blast to consume no Runes, generate no Runic Power, and deal 300% additional damage.
  • Killing Machine
    • Passive
    • Your autoattacks have a chance to make your next Obliterate automatically critically strike.
  • Remorseless Winter
    • 1 Rune, Instant, 30 sec cooldown
    • Radiate extreme cold, dealing moderate Frost damage to all enemies within 10 yards of you over 10 sec.
  • Mastery: Frozen Heart
    • Increases all Frost damage done by 40% (with Mastery from typical gear).

 

Select Talent Changes

  • Glacial Advance
    • 1 Rune, Instant, 12 sec cooldown
    • Summon glacial spikes from the ground that advance forward, each dealing moderate Frost damage to enemies near their eruption point.

Unholy

Unholy will receive the biggest changes of the three specs, although still not as big as many of the other classes already discussed in the series. To keep with its fantasy, they want the spec to focus more on using diseases, and have developed a new mechanic to give Festering Strike back its kick.

Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment (Official Post)

Core Combat Changes

  • Outbreak
    • 1 Rune, 30 yd range, Instant, 6 sec cooldown
    • Deals minor Shadow damage and surrounds the target in a miasma lasting for 6 sec that causes the target and all nearby enemies to be infected with Virulent Plague
    • Virulent Plague
      • A disease that deals moderate Shadow damage every 3 sec for 21 sec. It erupts when the infected target dies, dealing moderate Shadow damage, split evenly between nearby enemies.
      • The disease also has a 30% chance to erupt each time it deals damage.
  • Festering Strike
    • 2 Runes, Melee Range, Instant
    • Deals massive Physical damage and infects the target with 1 to 3 Festering Wounds.
    • Festering Wound
      • A pustule-ridden lesion that may be burst by Scourge Strike, dealing moderate Shadow damage and generating 3 Runic Power.
  • Scourge Strike
    • 1 Rune, Melee Range, Instant
    • An unholy strike that deals strong Physical damage and strong Shadow damage. Triggers a single stack of Festering Wound, if it is present on the target.
  • Death Coil
    • 30 Runic Power, 40 yd range, Instant
    • Fires a blast of unholy energy at the target, causing strong Shadow damage to an enemy, and restoring 10 Energy to your Ghoul.
  • Sudden Doom
    • Passive
    • Your autoattacks have a chance to make your next Death Coil cost no Runic Power.
  • Dark Transformation
    • Instant, 1 min cooldown
    • Transform your Ghoul into a powerful undead monstrosity for 20 sec. The Ghoul’s abilities are empowered and take on new functions while the transformation is active.
  • Death and Decay
    • 1 Rune, 30 yd range, Instant, 30 sec cooldown
    • Corrupts the ground targeted by the Death Knight, causing moderate Shadow damage over 10 sec to targets within the area. While you remain within the targeted area, your Scourge Strike will hit all nearby enemies.
  • Mastery: Dreadblade
    • Increases all Shadow damage done by 50% (with Mastery from typical gear).

 

Select Talent Changes

  • All Will Serve
    • Passive
    • Your Raise Dead spell summons an additional skeletal minion, and its cooldown is removed.

Class Changes Overview Blog Schedule

Next up, Shamans will be in the spotlight.

  1. Sunday (11/8): Hunter
  2. Monday (11/9): Priest, Mage, Paladin
  3. Tuesday (11/10): Warlock, Death Knight, Shaman
  4. Wednesday (11/11): Warrior, Monk, Druid
  5. Thursday (11/12): Rogue

Seth Harkins

PC gamer and lover of (most) things Blizzard. In his off time, he writes bad fan fiction, tends to his growing number of house plants, and enjoys a love-hate relationship with two cats.