In an earlier post entitled Talents Can Be Deceiving, I discussed a few talents that seem excellent on the surface but in fact can be troublesome/not worth the space in practice. Today I want to discuss the Glyph of Disease, partially in response to a comment on my glyph post over at Big Hit Box. The commenter stated that the Disease glyph is currently not worth using due to its buggy nature.* Despite this, I believe the glyph will still be a DPS loss for all current DPS specs. As per usual, I’ll begin with Frost.
*Current bugs include not proccing Icy Talons and sometimes diseases falling off too early.
But I want my Icy Touch…
Current (and past) Frost rotations have often excelled using only one disease, applied through Icy Touch. These rotations often involve the IT glyph, which means you will want to cast IT, rather than avoiding it. Since the Disease glyph is all about not having to waste two GCDs on re-applying diseases, it’s really not very effective here. Even double-disease Frost rotations, which often focus on Obliterate more than Icy Touch, will still not want to give up the extra RP from the IT glyph. Similarly, the Obliterate and Frost Strike glyphs contribute more to your DPS than Disease would.
What about the Scourge Strike glyph?
Unholy is probably the best candidate for the Disease glyph, though in my opinion it still isn’t worth it. The obvious glyph to switch out for it is the Scourge Strike glyph, which itself is only a way to re-apply diseases. The problem with getting rid of it is that you will no longer have the chance to chain long strings of SS – SS – BS – BS / SS – SS – SS. Since Unholy’s best damage comes from SS, you want to maximize its use. The other problem with Glyph of Disease, which applies to all specs, is that you’re essentially using a rune and doing 0 damage with it. It also generates less RP than its counterparts in Icy Touch/Plague Strike. Unholy gets extra RP from PS because of Dirge, while Pestilence will only be generating 10 RP. You also have to sacrifice the (minor) DPS of one Blood Strike per rotation in favour of Pestilence.
Death Strike doesn’t care about your diseases
Blood is different from the other two specs in that you don’t need diseases up to be doing full damage with two of your main nukes, Death Strike and Death Coil. This means that allowing your diseases drop off before you’re finished with your second set of runes isn’t really a big problem. The Disease glyph would require you to always refresh diseases before they run out, which would only complicate Blood rotations. You also lose out on a Heart Strike, your main nuke (unlike Frost and Unholy, who lose only a single Blood Strike, which makes up a much smaller % of total damage). Like Frost, you also lose DPS on any glyph you might replace with the Disease glyph.
Tanking might possibly sort of want the glyph
Unless you’re a Frost tank using Glyph of Howling Blast, the Disease glyph does have some applications. Mostly for tanking large packs of adds. In the end, however, it is largely a convenience, since you can simply tab target and cast pestilence on a secondary target to refresh diseases on all other targets. If you’re tanking a large amount of mobs, likely with a combination of DnD, Unholy Blight, Howling Blast and Blood Boil, having diseases fall off on one target is probably not worth fixing with a glyph slot. There are better glyphs.
So even though it’s current incarnation is quite buggy, I don’t think this glyph is worth using barring an overhaul of the way it works.