I’ve had a chance to test out DW Frost in some raids, so I thought I’d share some observations.
Problem #1: Blood Presence leads to an extremely tight rotation with barely any room to Frost Strike enough to avoid capping RP
Solution #1. Switch out the IT glyph for something else
If I’m not using the extra RP, the glyph doesn’t do anything worthwhile. Your best option for a replacement is Glyph of Blood Strike, but you need to have either a Frostfire Mage or a Druid with Infected Wounds (unlike Torment the Weak, the Mage talent, the BS glyph requires a movement slowing effect in order to activate). Failing this, you can go with Glyph of the Ghoul or Glyph of Plague Strike, as I mentioned in my previous DW post.
Solution #2. Try an Unholy Presence rotation
Like the previous UP rotation (ITx6) this works best in heavy movement fights (more speed) and fights with something to AMS extra RP out of. One example is Ignis’ Flame Jets – a predictable source of absorbable damage. I tested it out on a dummy and it’s actually quite easy to do, especially if you’re familiar with the ITx6 rotation (which was much more complex).
There are a few spare GCDs here and there (the rotation ran very tight in BP but is far looser than ITx6 in UP) that you should always attempt to fill with either Raise Ghoul or Horn of Winter. Note that while the IT glyph is largely wasted on a BP rotation, it’s pretty much mandatory for UP. One fringe benefit to UP is that you are able to make more efficient use of Rime and Killing Machine procs since you always have spare GCDs to put them in as well as to weave Frost Strikes on KM procs (though HB should always be prioritized if you have Rime + KM).
Solution #3: Be more flexible
These days, lots of encounters have you running around like a chicken with a giant yeti chasing after it. Since this rotation frequently gets lots of RP (especially in situations where Resto Druids have Revitalize or where you are able to get RP from AMS) and sometimes reaches dangerously close to the cap, you should use time outside of melee range to your advantage. If you’re running around, make sure you’re firing off Rime-procced HBs (and even non-Rime HBs if you know you won’t be in range for a while) as well as Death Coils. This strategy requires forethought, however.
For example, don’t use up all your RP on DCs if you’re going to be in melee range soon. On the other hand, if you know you’re going to be able to AMS your RP to cap, then you should definitely toss out some DCs to avoid getting back into melee range with 130 RP you can’t use.
Solution #3: Not every Rime proc means more DPS, even though it does damage
If you’re running in BP, you should really only be using Rime procs if they coincide with KM procs. The reasoning is because we are so GCD limited we already have trouble using up RP on Frost Strike, so adding in additional GCDs will cause more problems than the ~5k damage a Rime proc provides. Keep in mind that while you are saving Rime for KM procs, you should not be saving KM procs for Rime. If you’ve got time to dump RP into FS, do it – don’t wait. This spec requires using every GCD available immediately.
Problem #2: Unbreakable Armor is very difficult to successfully fit into a rotation
Solution #1: Don’t spec into it
The downside to this option is that you lose the only cooldown you have, so all you get is sustained damage and no controllable burst. This is bad for fights that require such controlled burst (XT, Yogg) but not a huge hit for fights that don’t (Ignis). You also get a free point, likely put into either Subversion if you need threat reduction or filling out BCB.
Solution #2: Macros
I’ve started using 2 macros to try and fit UA into my rotation, and even still I’m getting messed up stuff with having one Blood and one Death Rune up, which is bad. The first macro goes like this:
/cast blood tap
/cast unbreakable armor
Ideally you do this when your Frost Runes aren’t up so you avoid using a Frost Rune to cast UA. You should also do this when your other Blood Rune is down. Now, to avoid getting messed up when you lose the Blood Tap buff, you need a second macro.
/cancelaura Blood Tap
Since what BT effectively does is give you a buff that turns one of your Blood Runes into Death Runes for the duration (and when it falls off, the affected rune always goes back to being a Blood Rune, whether you just Blood Striked or Obliterated with it), leaving the buff active inevitably screws up your rotation down the road. You’ll find yourself with one Blood and one Death Rune, somehow or another. This situation should be avoided at all cost.
I feel like I should have 3 problems to talk about but unfortunately I can’t come up with anything else right now. If you have any questions about the spec or the rotation, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments or by e-mail.