6.0.2 Death Knight DPS results

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Hello there! It’s been almost 4 months since my last post. I haven’t been able to post due to time constraints, but I’ve been following DK’s closely.

​​​​​​​As you may know, the Warlords of Draenor pre-patch (6.0.2) is going live next week, on October 14th. Every class has gone through extensive changes, and Death Knights are no exception. In this post I’ll tell you what these changes are, how they affect us, and how we should gear until WoD lands. Keep in mind this is for 6.0.2 only (lvl100 results soon).

Important: My simulations show higher dps numbers than other sim results I’ve seen around due to shortened encounter duration and optimized gear. I’ve spent quite some time trying different pieces and gems/enchants until I found the “sweet spot”, so I’m pretty confident these contain the best gear sets for single target. Raid encounters (which may include adds, movement, downtime and several mechanics) are another story so, like always, take these simulations with a grain of salt.

10/12 update: Added haste soft caps for DW, Unholy and 2H.

2nd 10/14 update: Looks like hotfix changes to DKs were reversed. These results should still be accurate.

DW Frost

Key changes:

  • Frost Strike now costs 25RP, up from 20RP on Frost Presence.
  • Soul Reaper now deals Shadowfrost damage.
  • Raise Dead has been removed for Frost spec.
  • DoT bonuses on abilities (like Obliterate and Scourge Strike) have been removed.
  • Death coil has been removed for frost.
  • Pestilence has been removed and merged into Blood Boil, rendering Roiling Blood moot. Roiling Blood has been replaced with a new talent: Plaguebearer, which extends the duration of Frost Fever and Blood Plague, or adds an stack to Necrotic Plague.
  • New attunement (5% bonus to specific secondary stat bonuses received from all sources): Haste.
  • Anti-magic shell’s runic power generation has been reduced.
  • Rune of Cinderglacier has been removed.
  • Army of the Dead now deals 75% less damage.
  • Horn of Winter no longer generates Runic Power, has no cooldown, and lasts 1 hour.
  • Rune of the Fallen Crusader now increases Strength by 20% (up from 15%).

Tl;dr: Haste has gained value due to the AMS nerfs, increased cost of FS and RP gen removal from HoW. Obliterate is worth using again to dump unholy runes in single target (get used to it; you’ll continue using Obliterate in WoD). You’ll have to unbind Horn Of Winter (no more RP), and put Soul Reaper back on your action bar. Forget about easily getting bars full of RP when soaking, so use AMS wisely (I recommend using an absorb cancelaura macro too). Remember ghoul is gone, and that Army of the dead is a dps gain only if you can precast it at around -6 secs.

DW Frost DPS results, DPET and stat weights in BiS gear (588 ilvl – 3 to 4 minute encounter length):

[Talents: Plague Leech, Blood Tap]
DW Masterfrost: 21742 dps
DW Mastersimple (dropping Oblierate and using DnD and PS instead): 21634 dps
Scale Factors: Str (8.53) > Mastery (6.83) > Haste (6.01) ~= Crit (5.89)
DPET chart: click here

Haste soft cap: ~430

Note: Many were reporting Haste > Mastery > Crit weights for DW. Those values are skewed by the very low haste amounts found on the old, non-6.0.2-optimized T16M BiS gear. By picking up a slightly higher amount of haste, you’ll quickly see it dropping in weight.

Unholy

Key changes:

  • Unholy Frenzy has been removed.
  • DoT bonuses on abilities (like Obliterate and Scourge Strike) have been removed.
  • Pestilence has been removed and merged into Blood Boil, rendering Roiling Blood moot. Roiling Blood has been replaced with a new talent: Plaguebearer, which extends the duration of Frost Fever and Blood Plague, or adds an stack to Necrotic Plague.
  • New attunement (5% bonus to specific secondary stat bonuses received from all sources): Multistrike.
  • Anti-magic shell’s runic power generation has been reduced.
  • Army of the Dead now deals 75% less damage.
  • Horn of Winter no longer generates Runic Power, has no cooldown, and lasts 1 hour.
  • Rune of the Fallen Crusader now increases Strength by 20% (up from 15%).

Tl;dr: Unholy has gone through mainly unchanged. Haste is more valuable due to obvious reasons, and Festerblight is dead due to dynamic dots (…for now). AoE still requires planning ahead with Icy touch, but Blood Boil and D&D are hitting quite hard, so it’s not too bad.

Unholy DPS results, DPET and stat weights in BiS gear (589 ilvl – 3 to 4 minute encounter length):

[Talents: Plague Leech, Blood Tap]
Unholy: 21661 dps
Scale Factors: Str (8.97) > Mastery (7.66) > Crit (7.07) > Haste (6.35)
DPET chart: click here

Haste soft cap: ~240

Note: Again, very small variations in gemming/enchanting greatly affect stat weights. Mastery pulls slightly ahead and, as with DW, haste shows a steep drop in value once you reach certain amounts.

2H Frost

Key changes:

  • Frost Strike now costs 25RP, up from 20RP on Frost Presence.
  • Soul Reaper now deals Shadowfrost damage.
  • Raise Dead has been removed for Frost spec.
  • DoT bonuses on abilities (like Obliterate and Scourge Strike) have been removed.
  • Death coil has been removed for frost.
  • Pestilence has been removed and merged into Blood Boil, rendering Roiling Blood moot. Roiling Blood has been replaced with a new talent: Plaguebearer, which extends the duration of Frost Fever and Blood Plague, or adds an stack to Necrotic Plague.
  • New attunement (5% bonus to specific secondary stat bonuses received from all sources): Haste.
  • Anti-magic shell’s runic power generation has been reduced.
  • Rune of Cinderglacier has been removed.
  • Army of the Dead now deals 75% less damage.
  • Horn of Winter no longer generates Runic Power, has no cooldown, and lasts 1 hour.
  • Rune of the Fallen Crusader now increases Strength by 20% (up from 15%).

Tl;dr: Mostly unchanged from MoP (bar ability pruning), 2H is in better shape than in 5.4 but still suffers from the same scaling issues. Will be great for leveling (due to Obliterate’s sheer power), but will require buffs to keep up.

2H Frost DPS results, DPET and stat weights in BiS gear (588 ilvl – 3 to 4 minute encounter length):

[Talents: Plague Leech, Blood Tap]
2H Frost: 20249 dps
Scale Factors: Str (7.36) > Crit (5.85) ~= Haste (5.53) > Mastery (5.17)
DPET chart: click here

Haste soft cap: ~580

Note: Same as Unholy, but this time it’s a fine balance between Crit and Haste.


I hope this post helps you in setting up your character for 6.0.2. It’s not going to last long, but it’s always better to be appropriately geared.

A similar post with WoD-relevant data is in the works, so stay tuned!

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20 comments

  1. Can you put down a bis list for frost dw? Not that I’m intended to search for bis in 4 weeks, but maybe I can replace something I kept for other specs.
    Expecially the weapons.. are Norushen’s still the best?

  2. BiS is almost the same, the only thing that changes is the gemming/enchanting, the weapons (SC forge hammer instead of Xifeng) and the legs (legplates of unthinking strife instead of legplates of willful doom).

    1. Thank you warmly for the infos.
      I play since January ’14 and even if I’m the 10th dk on my server (according to wowprogress) I’m not that familiar with all the stats and mechanics of the game (what an ignorant dps am I). I’ve always followed askmrrobot as a bible so now I’m a little afraid that my dps won’t be that good with the new patch. I’m just scary to screw everything up, so I really thank you for this post, I’ll take your weights and see what will come out. ^^

      1. Depends on the haste on your gear. If you still need some haste to avoid downtime, I’d go with the Jagged Pike. If you have too much haste on your gear, go with Gar’tok.

  3. So tomorrow, when 6.0 come, we will have DW frost as the best choice in single target scenario and UH in every AoE scenario?

    Btw, thank you for your work.

  4. For the haste softcap, what’s the %? 20 haste = 1%, so for DW, we need to hit 21.5% haste? That seems kind of low.

  5. the 240 haste soft cap for unholy seems very low? where does this comes from, is the extra rune regen from more haste after 240 just not wanted or needed?

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