Friday, March 11, 2011

4.0.6. 2h Unholy Spec Update

With the latest patch, my previous 2h UH spec is out of date, so I thought I'd take a moment and update it for 4.0.6. There aren't a huge amount of changes, but there's enough that it's probably worth going over here. The main changes, however, aren't to the spec but to the way we play UH. I'll try to go over some changes in mentality as well as updating the spec in general for PvP.

The Spec
So, first and foremost, the spec can be found here. It's almost identical to the previous, however, as you can see, two points have been taken out of Improve Unholy Presence and put into Death's Advance. DA is a new talent found in 4.0.6 which prevents UH DKs from being significantly slowed while both their Unholy runs are up.

It's absolutely worth speccing into however, unfortunately, in order to keep all the utility in the frost tree that we basically need for self-heals and a free Mind Freeze (both bread and butter in PvP), a dps talent had to go out of the UH tree. I took IUP because I felt it was probably the smallest decrease to dps, however I could be off – I'm not much of a theory-crafter, so if someone out there can runs the numbers and finds that it is not, I'm happy to update the spec once again.

Glyphs remain the same as in my previous post, however they should now include Glyph of Dark Succor, a new glyph implemented in the latest patch, which makes Death Strike (only when used out of blood presence, this isn't a buff to Blood DKs, sadly) heal a minimum of 15% of your health when used.

This means that on top of Lichborne/Death Coil self-healing, and Death's Pact (in a pinch – losing your ghoul can hurt UH a lot), we can now use DS to heal ourselves quite a bit. While this is a reduction to dps numbers when used in place of SS, it keeps you alive, which is a major plus in my book.

A New Unholy
That's it for changes to the previous spec. Now let me try to explain how these affect our play-style. First, you should realize that UH was nerfed big time in the last patch, so if you haven't already noted this yourself, you're going to be doing much smaller numbers than you would have in 4.0.3. This doesn't necessarily mean you should play differently, but it means you should be aware that you won't be able to faceroll what might have once been an easy class for you to kill.

The biggest change to our play, though, comes with Death's Advance. This keeps us at 100% speed, even when we should normally be slowed (although this is a 15% drop from the 115% we get in UH Presence) when both our UH pairs are up. So what does this mean for us? It means that when we need to book it out of somewhere, popping ERW can save your skin. The free refresh of all your runes will mean that as long as you don't use an UH rune, you'll run at normal speed.

As another bonus, if you Chains of Ice the person you are running away from, you'll generally be able to escape more or less unscathed, since they'll be stuck in your slow. It's worth noting here that you won't be immune to stuns and fears, however AMS and IBF will both make you immune to stuns (IBF) and fears (AMS) if you're trying to escape a class capable of those forms of CC.

Dark Succor makes a change to the rotation as well, where if you are low on health, or cognisant of the fact that you will be soon, you can use DS in place of SS in your rotation to top yourself up on HP before returning to your full dps cycle. This works well when you have your Abomination or Gargoyle (or both!) up as they can make up for some of the dps lost to heal yourself.

There are no earth-shattering changes to UH, besides the fact that we've been nerfed quite a bit. But it's worth taking note of them, since taking advantage of them can definitely give you a major advantage.

That's it for me! Practice safe Death!


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