Dual Wielding Come 3.2

2 08 2009

Dual wielding is fun. It comes with a few inherent benefits: less competition for weapons, especially 1-handed swords (which you’ll only fight rogues for) and overall better physical DPS scaling. The downside, apparently, has been a revamp of the way the Frost tree works. From the fall of 32/39 spec to what’s live at the moment, for any spec going deep into Frost (i.e. not the 10/61 Unholy spec or the 17/54 Unholy DW spec), Frost Strike has been the highest source of damage in any given encounter. This is especially true with regards to the ITx6 Machinegun rotation, which sacrifices use of Obliterates in favour of Icy Touches (for more RP and therefore more Frost Strikes).

But in 3.2, according to the testing going on in the EJ DW thread, Obliterate has become the strongest ability in Frost’s arsenal. This is a little bit disappointing, for a couple of reasons. First, it makes Frost play more like Unholy in that you’re focusing your rotation on maximizing a U/F rune ability rather than on an RP ability. This has led to a new priority system that looks something like this (with a spec that looks like this), from highest to lowest priority:

  1. FF
  2. BP
  3. HB (if Rime + KM)
  4. OB
  5. BS
  6. FS

There’s also some talk of the Glyph of Disease making a comeback for DW (since it allows for an extra Obliterate/GCD for Howling Blast), but I’m not sure how well this will hold up in practice, given the target-swapping nature of many boss encounters these days. Disregarding that, though, the Disease glyph does not re-apply Improved Icy Touch, so if you’re the one bringing the 20% haste buff, you’ll need to be using IT anyways, making it a the glyph a waste. So what glyph choices are there for this spec, then?

The two obvious choices are Obliterate and Frost Strike, two of the spec’s main strikes. Things aren’t as clear cut for the third slot. The options are:

  1. Glyph of Icy Touch (more RP for Frost Strikes, with the downside that there are very little extra GCDs in this rotation, meaning you might not be able to use all the extra RP anyways)
  2. Glyph of Plague Strike (minor damage boost)
  3. Glyph of the Ghoul (requires speccing into Night of the Dead to be worth it, probably inferior to PS)
  4. Glyph of Howling Blast (since this rotation uses both diseases, the utility of being apply to skip Pestilence in AoE rotations is lost)

My initial instinct (if the Glyph of Disease becomes impractical/you have to buff the raid with IIT) is to go with Icy Touch, since having extra RP around can be helpful for interrupting, popping AMS/IBF and using Death Coils when you’re forced out of range of the boss. None of the other glyphs provide significant DPS boosts, so in this situation I’ll lean towards utility (just as currently I run with the Howling Blast glyph over the Obliterate one in my ITx6 spec).

I’ll come back to this topic as I learn more/when 3.2 hits. On a side note, there’s also the worry that DW will overtake the current top DPS spec (2h Blood) and end up being nerfed so that it doesn’t pull a 32/39 and blow every other spec/rotation out of the water.

Update Aug. 4/09: As far as Runeforges go, you should be using FC/FC unless you’re up against a fight that’s single-target enough to allow you to hit the boss without intervals longer than 20 seconds (the length of a Razorice stack), in which case you should use Razorice. You’ll also want two slow weapons for Frost DWing.

Goodbye, loyal sword?

Goodbye, loyal sword?

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One response

3 10 2009
:o

I’d suggest Glyph of Disease as third slot.

It’s not only great when there’s more than one target, it’s also really useful single-target, and uses just one GCD instead of two to reapply diseases.

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