Advice for a new Frost DK for PVP

90 Night Elf Druid
8680
I've been playing WoW for a few years now and I've done mostly PVE, but a little PVP on my main, a Resto Druid, and my alt, a Prot Pally. I wanted to do something different and I've made a Frost DK which I'm going to use solely for PVP. I've had a lot of fun with it so far, making it to level 67, and I was hoping for any advice for using a Frost DK in PVP combat. Things like:

Should I use a Two-Hand Sword or should I dual wield?

I have a pretty good rotation for killing enemy, but what is the best?

Anything else you think might be of aid...
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90 Undead Death Knight
5840
you should just not play a dk if you want to pvp
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90 Undead Death Knight
8735
http://www.skill-capped.com/#1077
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90 Undead Death Knight
7830
Dual Wield has much higher controlled burst and sustained pressure than 2H. Due to Blood Tap, you will have stronger caster pressure by way of on-spot Icy Touch dispels and Necrotic Strikes.

2H has crazy random burst and will outperform DW in the 2-3GCD spotlight, where most burst comps are shining anyways. With Killing Machine procs you can end the fight at any point, just not any point of your choosing.

Important things to know: Blood Presence is just as strong, if not stronger, a defensive ability than Icebound Fortitude when you're getting focused. If you swap before Death Pact, you get a sizable heal increase.

Strangulate has a long cooldown, but don't be afraid to use it defensively. I'd rather survive two minutes and be unable to line up a kill than die right off and screw it up forever.

Necrotic Strike slows ticks of HoTs and DoTs as well as spellcasting. Against any caster it should be being used, particularly in a duel situation where your partner(s) have died.

Icy Touch deals only about half of Howling Blast, don't suck at deciding what to use and when.

Hungering Cold is trash as a stun. On the other hand, it is amazing at forcing GCDs that don't involve murdering you and making people use valuable escapes, so you can use it to set up kills if you're good with it offensively.

Transmog is important. Appearance is everything. Anyone who says otherwise is a tool and a coward.

PvP 1H Swords deal less top-end damage by several thousand than any other 1H weapon in the game. They compensate for this with better low-end damage. To make up for the loss of random burst, I went with double axes and Razorice - Cinderglacier. It's not the same as 2H, but it's as close to the best of both worlds as I'll ever be.

Death and Decay placement will save your team. Getting people out of stealth can save lives. I even drop my Enduring glyph for DnD glyph against druids, because it's such a wide AoE snare and it can't be shifted. Anyone who says this does not separate 1800 from 2200 is definitely a tool.

Cannibalize can and should be used in the Arena. It's a pretty strong heal.

First Aid is important. I often regret not leveling it. Not enough to level it, though.
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90 Tauren Shaman
6295
Dual Wield has much higher controlled burst and sustained pressure than 2H. Due to Blood Tap, you will have stronger caster pressure by way of on-spot Icy Touch dispels and Necrotic Strikes.

2H has crazy random burst and will outperform DW in the 2-3GCD spotlight, where most burst comps are shining anyways. With Killing Machine procs you can end the fight at any point, just not any point of your choosing.

Important things to know: Blood Presence is just as strong, if not stronger, a defensive ability than Icebound Fortitude when you're getting focused. If you swap before Death Pact, you get a sizable heal increase.

Strangulate has a long cooldown, but don't be afraid to use it defensively. I'd rather survive two minutes and be unable to line up a kill than die right off and screw it up forever.

Necrotic Strike slows ticks of HoTs and DoTs as well as spellcasting. Against any caster it should be being used, particularly in a duel situation where your partner(s) have died.

Icy Touch deals only about half of Howling Blast, don't suck at deciding what to use and when.

Hungering Cold is trash as a stun. On the other hand, it is amazing at forcing GCDs that don't involve murdering you and making people use valuable escapes, so you can use it to set up kills if you're good with it offensively.

Transmog is important. Appearance is everything. Anyone who says otherwise is a tool and a coward.

PvP 1H Swords deal less top-end damage by several thousand than any other 1H weapon in the game. They compensate for this with better low-end damage. To make up for the loss of random burst, I went with double axes and Razorice - Cinderglacier. It's not the same as 2H, but it's as close to the best of both worlds as I'll ever be.

Death and Decay placement will save your team. Getting people out of stealth can save lives. I even drop my Enduring glyph for DnD glyph against druids, because it's such a wide AoE snare and it can't be shifted. Anyone who says this does not separate 1800 from 2200 is definitely a tool.

Cannibalize can and should be used in the Arena. It's a pretty strong heal.

First Aid is important. I often regret not leveling it. Not enough to level it, though.


Do you Copy and paste this offten? Iv seen this on here 100x.
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90 Human Death Knight
6630
I have a macro set up for death pact as well when I am taking high damage

/cast Blood Presence
/cast Summon Ghoul (I always forget the name :/)
/cast Death Pact

That way I can just spam click it if I am trouble. It is also nice to hear I am not the only dw frost dk out there :3
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90 Undead Death Knight
7830
I wrote that before I went to lunch. That's just common Frost DK advice.

I'm willing to claim responsibility for making it common knowledge that DW has better burst and caster pressure than 2H, though.
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90 Blood Elf Death Knight
12105

Do you Copy and paste this offten? Iv seen this on here 100x.

the question is asked on a near daily basis i wouldnt be surprised if he had to copy paste it alot
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55 Goblin Death Knight
4705
12/10/2012 02:31 PMPosted by Trenk
I'm willing to claim responsibility for making it common knowledge that DW has better burst and caster pressure than 2H, though.


Incorrect.

12/10/2012 12:09 PMPosted by Trenk
2H has crazy random burst and will outperform DW in the 2-3GCD spotligh
Edited by Jäckßäuer on 12/10/2012 3:16 PM PST
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90 Human Death Knight
6155
Roll another class.
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90 Orc Death Knight
9945
12/10/2012 03:09 PMPosted by Jäckßäuer
I'm willing to claim responsibility for making it common knowledge that DW has better burst and caster pressure than 2H, though.


Incorrect.

2H has crazy random burst and will outperform DW in the 2-3GCD spotligh


iit really depends

do you fight casters that need no dispelling?
do you fight casters without touching Necrotic strike?
do you fight casters with minimal use of chains?

If you do OB -OB -OB all day err day

and on the flip side

do you have to sit in Blood Presence the entire match?

If you do DW gets just as gimped in comparison

In the end play what you want or just grab a 2hnd and hope for Unholy's viability to return
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90 Human Death Knight
3935
Dual Wield has much higher controlled burst and sustained pressure than 2H. Due to Blood Tap, you will have stronger caster pressure by way of on-spot Icy Touch dispels and Necrotic Strikes.

2H has crazy random burst and will outperform DW in the 2-3GCD spotlight, where most burst comps are shining anyways. With Killing Machine procs you can end the fight at any point, just not any point of your choosing.

Important things to know: Blood Presence is just as strong, if not stronger, a defensive ability than Icebound Fortitude when you're getting focused. If you swap before Death Pact, you get a sizable heal increase.

Strangulate has a long cooldown, but don't be afraid to use it defensively. I'd rather survive two minutes and be unable to line up a kill than die right off and screw it up forever.

Necrotic Strike slows ticks of HoTs and DoTs as well as spellcasting. Against any caster it should be being used, particularly in a duel situation where your partner(s) have died.

Icy Touch deals only about half of Howling Blast, don't suck at deciding what to use and when.

Hungering Cold is trash as a stun. On the other hand, it is amazing at forcing GCDs that don't involve murdering you and making people use valuable escapes, so you can use it to set up kills if you're good with it offensively.

Transmog is important. Appearance is everything. Anyone who says otherwise is a tool and a coward.

PvP 1H Swords deal less top-end damage by several thousand than any other 1H weapon in the game. They compensate for this with better low-end damage. To make up for the loss of random burst, I went with double axes and Razorice - Cinderglacier. It's not the same as 2H, but it's as close to the best of both worlds as I'll ever be.

Death and Decay placement will save your team. Getting people out of stealth can save lives. I even drop my Enduring glyph for DnD glyph against druids, because it's such a wide AoE snare and it can't be shifted. Anyone who says this does not separate 1800 from 2200 is definitely a tool.

Cannibalize can and should be used in the Arena. It's a pretty strong heal.

First Aid is important. I often regret not leveling it. Not enough to level it, though.


2h burst is very controlled. 2h has higher burst than DW, while DW technically has higher sustained. Anytime however that you are getting peeled or can't stick to a target 2h will have higher sustained.

I just completely disagree with going DW over 2h. Either DW or 2H you are bursting when you pop pillar of frost, on use trinket, and empower runs weapon. Saying 2h has random burst is pretty ridiculous.

Also the reason why 1h pvp weapons have less damage is because they have 4k pvp power which is huge.

Also try to stay away from comments about separating 1800 and 2200 when your hugest rating is 1835.

Other than that it was a great post.

Note: also it is remorseless winter not hungering cold.
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90 Blood Elf Mage
6760

2h burst is very controlled. 2h has higher burst than DW, while DW technically has higher sustained. Anytime however that you are getting peeled or can't stick to a target 2h will have higher sustained.

I just completely disagree with going DW over 2h. Either DW or 2H you are bursting when you pop pillar of frost, on use trinket, and empower runs weapon. Saying 2h has random burst is pretty ridiculous.

Also the reason why 1h pvp weapons have less damage is because they have 4k pvp power which is huge.

Other than that it was a great post.

Note: also it is remorseless winter not hungering cold.


I tend to agree with this.
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90 Undead Death Knight
7830
@Influencce

My highest rating is indeed piss. I'm comfortable saying a major part of this was poor DnD placement. The comment on people being tools probably should have alerted you to it being in a joking manner, but I will maintain that it's definitely an important part of advancing in PvP. I prefer to think of myself like a coach instead of a fighter - you know, 'cause I know the theory but can't actually perform.

2H does have higher random burst. The explosiveness of KM procs on Obliterate as 2H far exceeds any sort of proc-based burst that DW can pump out. Even with Fallen Crusader, Cinderglacier, and KM proccing at the same time, your Frost Strike will probably just be reaching the amount that an un-FC'd 2H KM will do.

This is because of the following:
Again assuming weapon damage is sitting at a comfortable 100 and our damage multiplier is 2x when we crit, I will do the math based on armor intervals of 25%, 35%, 45%, and 50%.

2H Frost: 2((Weapon Damage*354%)+((Weapon Damage*354%)*25%))

2(354+88.5) = 885

25% Armor (885*.75): 663.75 (730.125)
35% Armor (885*.65): 575.25 (632.775)
45% Armor (885*.55): 486.75 (535.425)
50% Armor (885*.5): 442.5 (486.75)

DW Frost: 2(((Weapon Damage*147%)+(Weapon Damage*147%)*30%)+((Weapon Damage*147%)*30%)*10%)))

2(147+44.1+ 19.11)

At All Armor Values: 420.42

This means at every armor value, Dual Wield Frost has less spike burst than 2H Frost, sometimes by a rather large percentage. I expect this is intended to be mitigated by the fact that they proc quite a bit more often.

TL;DR: Dual Wield Frost loses out to 2H in KM burst.


If you're looking at burst as a full rotation (I mean for this to be three Obliterates and six Frost Strikes), DW outperforms 2H on every armor class but cloth.

The first thing we'll go over is raw, flat damage over the course of a burst rotation. The rotation I will be using as an example is three Obliterates (using your full runic bar) followed by six Frost Strikes (using 90 Runic Power). For the sake of my sanity, we will assume weapon damages to be 100 and Mastery to be sitting at a comfortable 30%.

2H Frost: Obliterate deals 354% weapon damage with an additional 12.5% damage per disease. The Might of the Frozen Wastes bonus is added in parentheses after the initial calculation.

(Weapon Damage*1062% + ((Weapon Damage*1062)*25%))) + ((Weapon Damage*642%)+(Weapon Damage*642%*30%)).

(1062+265.5) + (642+192.6) = 1327.5 + 834.6

25% Armor (1327.5*.75): 1830.225 (2013.2475) damage

35% Armor (1327.5*.65): 1697.475 (1867.2225) damage

45% Armor (1327.5*.55): 1564.725 (1721.1975) damage

50% Armor (1327.5*5): 1498.35 (1648.185) damage

Dual Wield Frost*: Frost Strike deals 147% weapon damage.

((Weapon Damage*720%) + ((Weapon Damage*720)*25%)) + ((Weapon Damage*882%)+(Weapon Damage*882%*30%) + (((Weapon Damage*882%)+(Weapon Damage*882%*30%))*10%)

(720+180) + (882+264.6) + 114.6 = 900 + 1146.6 + 114.6

25% Armor (900*.75): 1936.2 damage

35% Armor (900*.65): 1846.2 damage

45% Armor (900*.55): 1756.2 damage

50% Armor (900*.5): 1711.2 damage

*All DW damage is calculated assuming a full stack of Razorice is on the target. It may safely be said that you would likely not begin your full burst rotation without it.

This sees DW Frost on the back leg at 25% armor, roughly even at 35%, and comfortably in a lengthening lead at 45% and 50%. The gap only lengthens if you tack a Horn of Winter on at the end and you get an extra Frost Strike off.

TL;DR: Dual Wield Frost deals more damage in the same amount of GCDs as 2H Frost, except against those with the misfortune to be sitting at 25% armor.


If you give a flat damage buff (IE flat AD and flat strength) to everything and they improve using the same multipliers, it stands to reason that DW will have higher controlled burst.

I will cede that I messed up the name. I had a nostalgia moment. God I miss Hungering Cold.

Edit: A good point was brought up, though. Lower runic power gen and a more costly Frost Strike means DW will suffer much more than 2H from having to sit in Blood Presence.
Edited by Trenk on 12/10/2012 6:09 PM PST
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90 Human Death Knight
3935
@Influencce

My highest rating is indeed piss. I'm comfortable saying a major part of this was poor DnD placement. The comment on people being tools probably should have alerted you to it being in a joking manner, but I will maintain that it's definitely an important part of advancing in PvP. I prefer to think of myself like a coach instead of a fighter - you know, 'cause I know the theory but can't actually perform.

2H does have higher random burst. The explosiveness of KM procs on Obliterate as 2H far exceeds any sort of proc-based burst that DW can pump out. Even with Fallen Crusader, Cinderglacier, and KM proccing at the same time, your Frost Strike will probably just be reaching the amount that an un-FC'd 2H KM will do.

This is because of the following:
Again assuming weapon damage is sitting at a comfortable 100 and our damage multiplier is 2x when we crit, I will do the math based on armor intervals of 25%, 35%, 45%, and 50%.

2H Frost: 2((Weapon Damage*354%)+((Weapon Damage*354%)*25%))

2(354+88.5) = 885

25% Armor (885*.75): 663.75 (730.125)
35% Armor (885*.65): 575.25 (632.775)
45% Armor (885*.55): 486.75 (535.425)
50% Armor (885*.5): 442.5 (486.75)

DW Frost: 2(((Weapon Damage*147%)+(Weapon Damage*147%)*30%)+((Weapon Damage*147%)*30%)*10%)))

2(147+44.1+ 19.11)

At All Armor Values: 420.42

This means at every armor value, Dual Wield Frost has less spike burst than 2H Frost, sometimes by a rather large percentage. I expect this is intended to be mitigated by the fact that they proc quite a bit more often.

TL;DR: Dual Wield Frost loses out to 2H in KM burst.


If you're looking at burst as a full rotation (I mean for this to be three Obliterates and six Frost Strikes), DW outperforms 2H on every armor class but cloth.

The first thing we'll go over is raw, flat damage over the course of a burst rotation. The rotation I will be using as an example is three Obliterates (using your full runic bar) followed by six Frost Strikes (using 90 Runic Power). For the sake of my sanity, we will assume weapon damages to be 100 and Mastery to be sitting at a comfortable 30%.

2H Frost: Obliterate deals 354% weapon damage with an additional 12.5% damage per disease. The Might of the Frozen Wastes bonus is added in parentheses after the initial calculation.

(Weapon Damage*1062% + ((Weapon Damage*1062)*25%))) + ((Weapon Damage*642%)+(Weapon Damage*642%*30%)).

(1062+265.5) + (642+192.6) = 1327.5 + 834.6

25% Armor (1327.5*.75): 1830.225 (2013.2475) damage

35% Armor (1327.5*.65): 1697.475 (1867.2225) damage

45% Armor (1327.5*.55): 1564.725 (1721.1975) damage

50% Armor (1327.5*5): 1498.35 (1648.185) damage

Dual Wield Frost*: Frost Strike deals 147% weapon damage.

((Weapon Damage*720%) + ((Weapon Damage*720)*25%)) + ((Weapon Damage*882%)+(Weapon Damage*882%*30%) + (((Weapon Damage*882%)+(Weapon Damage*882%*30%))*10%)

(720+180) + (882+264.6) + 114.6 = 900 + 1146.6 + 114.6

25% Armor (900*.75): 1936.2 damage

35% Armor (900*.65): 1846.2 damage

45% Armor (900*.55): 1756.2 damage

50% Armor (900*.5): 1711.2 damage

*All DW damage is calculated assuming a full stack of Razorice is on the target. It may safely be said that you would likely not begin your full burst rotation without it.

This sees DW Frost on the back leg at 25% armor, roughly even at 35%, and comfortably in a lengthening lead at 45% and 50%. The gap only lengthens if you tack a Horn of Winter on at the end and you get an extra Frost Strike off.

TL;DR: Dual Wield Frost deals more damage in the same amount of GCDs as 2H Frost, except against those with the misfortune to be sitting at 25% armor.


If you give a flat damage buff (IE flat AD and flat strength) to everything and they improve using the same multipliers, it stands to reason that DW will have higher controlled burst.

I will cede that I messed up the name. I had a nostalgia moment. God I miss Hungering Cold.

Edit: A good point was brought up, though. Lower runic power gen and a more costly Frost Strike means DW will suffer much more than 2H from having to sit in Blood Presence.


That is the problem with theory...it is just that just theory. In arena nothing works out perfectly...you are constantly getting peeled, CC'ed, and rooted. So every single time you can connect on a target you want to be putting as much pressure in the short amount of time you can before you are once again peeled.

The other issue is that you are not calculating in certain class talents...for example DW main damage comes from howling blast and frost strike. These are magical. A mage for example decreases spell damage by 35%...might be 25% now.

So against a mage for example 2h is a LOT stronger than DW. Also against a mage you are generally only on them for very short periods of time before they are able to kite away. I am not sure about you, but any mage team we face that is usually our main kill target.

A warrior is another example...they have second wind that is generally ticking for 11k per sec when they are below 35% health. So that means when you are going for a kill you have to put as much burst in the shortest amount of time. This is another area where in my opinion 2h works out because in 3 globals you can put out enough damage to land a kill.

I am not going to go into every class...but as you can see there is a lot more to consider that is not that easy to just turn into a mathematical equation. The more experience you have the more people realize how difficult it really is to quantify.
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90 Undead Death Knight
7830
2H is already far superior on cloth targets such as mages, so IMO that does not change much. Warriors are a strong example, but my counterargument there is that I can fit in a Soul Reaper without losing control of my rotation as DW, whereas when I ran 2H I always felt that SR was clunky and hard to work into those situations because I often used my runes just putting them down to 35%.

You're right that theory is just that: theory. In a perfect Patchwerk fight, DW will pull ahead by the margins I listed, and that's not really ever going to happen in an Arena unless you're fighting teams even worse than mine. Typically, before I left off my DK to go to a Monk, I was able to connect pretty reliably because I could cycle in Chains of Ice pretty well. My main issue was CC, but if my partners were on the job I could usually keep on the target for the duration of my rotation. This could be construed as the other team's fault, but I flatter myself that I was a part of it too.

I can understand wanting to drop as much damage as possible in the 2-3GCD window that you're burning your target and that this is much more likely with 2H than DW, but I still espouse that if you're not getting peeled hard, DW is stronger. If you are, you're not contributing much other than being the body block anyways.

For the most part, at entry level PvP, you'll be on your target enough to be a threat whichever weapons you choose. Having run with both, I can personally vouch for that. Overall, I really think that personal choice will play a big part. I really outperformed my 2H play when I went DW, and I think comfort with the specc has a huge role in that. If I got up to your rankings, I'd definitely give it a go as 2H on your advice because you have more experience. In the ratings that a new Frost is likely to see, I'm a staunch believer in the comfort zone.

Also, if you could clear something up for me? Howling Blast does, I'm pretty sure, less damage than Obliterate. On the other hand, Oblit uses two runes. With this in mind, I often find myself sitting on UH runes when I'm not Obliterating. Should there be another ability that I'm using?
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90 Human Death Knight
3935
2H is already far superior on cloth targets such as mages, so IMO that does not change much. Warriors are a strong example, but my counterargument there is that I can fit in a Soul Reaper without losing control of my rotation as DW, whereas when I ran 2H I always felt that SR was clunky and hard to work into those situations because I often used my runes just putting them down to 35%.

You're right that theory is just that: theory. In a perfect Patchwerk fight, DW will pull ahead by the margins I listed, and that's not really ever going to happen in an Arena unless you're fighting teams even worse than mine. Typically, before I left off my DK to go to a Monk, I was able to connect pretty reliably because I could cycle in Chains of Ice pretty well. My main issue was CC, but if my partners were on the job I could usually keep on the target for the duration of my rotation. This could be construed as the other team's fault, but I flatter myself that I was a part of it too.

I can understand wanting to drop as much damage as possible in the 2-3GCD window that you're burning your target and that this is much more likely with 2H than DW, but I still espouse that if you're not getting peeled hard, DW is stronger. If you are, you're not contributing much other than being the body block anyways.

For the most part, at entry level PvP, you'll be on your target enough to be a threat whichever weapons you choose. Having run with both, I can personally vouch for that. Overall, I really think that personal choice will play a big part. I really outperformed my 2H play when I went DW, and I think comfort with the specc has a huge role in that. If I got up to your rankings, I'd definitely give it a go as 2H on your advice because you have more experience. In the ratings that a new Frost is likely to see, I'm a staunch believer in the comfort zone.

Also, if you could clear something up for me? Howling Blast does, I'm pretty sure, less damage than Obliterate. On the other hand, Oblit uses two runes. With this in mind, I often find myself sitting on UH runes when I'm not Obliterating. Should there be another ability that I'm using?


I completely agree that you should play what you feel more comfortable playing...comfort is a huge deal when it comes to arena play, because it means you will not be needing to look down at your bars to know which ability to push.

You ideally want to be able to run your entire rotation without even looking at your bars.

As for the howling blast question I am actually not sure. I have yet to do any such testing since i am getting my toons completely geared and upgraded before i buy another set of weapons. Even still I will probably buy another 2 hander to do a weapon swap macro for disarms before I get weapons for DW.

Over past seasons it was more damage to run with howling blast since generally DKs went with mastery. Add that to 10% from razorice and two howling blasts were generally hitting harder against most players than one obliterate....unless they were cloth. Now things are a bit different so I could be completely wrong. I would have to do my own testing to make sure.

I think another big reason why I got 2h is because I like the ability to be able to switch unholy. Unholy at the moment is a decent spec, but you just don't know when they might buff a spec. Next patch could hit and unholy could get a huge buff, and if you were DW you would not be able to take advantage of that. Plus certain comps work better as unholy...i guess i just like options.
Edited by Influencce on 12/10/2012 7:36 PM PST
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90 Undead Death Knight
7830
Hm. Thanks for the reasoning on HBlast! Was good conversation on the other topics, too. I'm not a fan of UH, mainly because of the cluster that is controlling the pet, so DW wasn't a hard choice for me to make. Mighta stuck 2H if I'd known about the upgrades, though.
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90 Undead Death Knight
10730
12/10/2012 10:12 AMPosted by Créature
you should just not play a dk if you want to pvp


I agree reroll, don't even look at us
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