I’ve been raiding with this spec for about two weeks now, and as I get more and more used to it (it takes a while) my DPS improves. When I first started with it, my DPS went down a bit from the dual-disease UP rotation, simply because the rotation is far less structured. Watching Erekose’s video also helped immensely, though it took a while for me to understand his advice. My personal best with the new rotation was tonight, when I felt it really started to click. The DPS is a bit skewed by the fact that the fight took a total of 2:35 and Hodir is the best fight for a Frost DK (we crit a great deal and so can take excellent advantage of Storm Power).
Anyways, here are a few tips that might help soften the steep learning curve that comes with Unholy Presence and this rotation. First, let’s look at the beginning of the rotation and what it’s built to do. For reference, it is IT – BS – OB – FS – BT – IT – FS – OB – FS. The purpose of such a seemingly complex starting rotation (rather than simply going OB – OB – BS – BS / 6x IT) is to set your runes up so they refresh in pairs, separated by 2-3 seconds. This is especially important for your Unholy and Frost Runes. Because you’re going to be using Obliterate to convert to Death Runes, and you want to use all available Death Runes for ITs, you always want to Obliterate with an Unholy and a Frost Rune. Having these refresh together makes it much simpler to do this.
Aside from keeping your runes in pairs, the most important thing to pay attention to is the 2-second window after a rune refreshes where you can still use it and have it come back in 8s rather than the 10 if you use it immediately. This gives you a window to use up some RP before continuing the rotation. In addition, you should avoid using Frost Strikes over rune abilities except in the following conditions:
- Killing Machine procced
- All runes are on cooldown
- You’re about to cap RP
If the choice comes down to slowing your rotation down and capping RP, you should use FS before continuing forward. It’s your most damaging attack (the whole purpose of the ITx6 rotation, which is sort of a misnomer since you won’t really be using 6 in a row, is to maximize Frost Strike through using weaker abilities that generate more RP). and you never want RP to go to waste.
Practice makes perfect
If you are confused, sit on a dummy and practice until are confident in your ability to get your runes to refresh in pairs. Even when you have been using the spec for a while, you can still screw it up mid-fight, or simply have it delayed by moving away from the boss. The benefit of this spec in these situations is twofold; it’s malleable, and not unforgiving if you screw up your rune pairs. In addition, since you’re using so many ITs being out of melee range isn’t always so terrible.
When you inevitably mess up, the best way to get back to good rune pairs is to Obliterate with pairs of Unholy and Frost Runes. Avoid using two Unholy as Death Runes because this will delay the rotation further. And most importantly, don’t panic and cap RP or start spamming Obliterate willy nilly. It’s a hard, but rewarding rotation.