Rolling Diseases: How to Effectively Spread the Plague

18 10 2009

Note: this post is primarily about Blood DPS (though it is also applicable to Frost, which often uses Glyph of Disease).

Rolling diseases is the term used for casting diseases while you have temporary buffs (such as Greatness, Fallen Crusader, Unholy Might, Unholy Force, etc.) that increase your Str/AP and then refreshing those buffed diseases with Glyph of Disease/Pestilence. The way Pestilence works with GoD is in the wording: “Your Pestilence ability now refreshes disease durations on your primary target back to their maximum duration.” Compare this to Glyph of Howling Blast: “Your Howling Blast ability now infects your targets with Frost Fever.” The HB glyph causes HB to apply Frost Fever while GoD allows Pestilence to refresh the diseases already applied to your current target.

Keep in mind that the decision to use Glyph of Disease (over Glyph of Dark Death) depends on how many on use/chance on hit AP/Str procs you have. The major ones you can get are: Darkmoon Card: Greatness, 2p t9, Sigil of Virulence, that sort of thing. The more you have, the better Glyph of Disease will work for you.


But Shop, how can I get all my procs to align?

The short answer is that you can’t. The long answer is that there are a few tricks that can help you set up your procs to align.

1) At the start of your fight, use HS-HS-DS (with the option of BT to get a 3rd HS if Unholy Might doesn’t proc) to get as many procs going as possible, then apply diseases.

2) Download and configure Procodile, an addon that can monitor internal cooldowns (ICD) of buffs (as well as the buffs themselves, but I use other addons to cover that). When you have it set up to track all the ICDs of your buffs, if you don’t get all your buffs up at the start of a fight, you can see in advance if and when multiple proc cooldowns will line up again. Considering how important this can be for your DPS, Procodile is a worthwhile investment.

How does Pestilence fit into your rotation?

If you are spell hit capped, you can wait until the last possible second to refresh your diseases. If you’re not, it’s best to leave yourself at least one GCD before your diseases fall off when you refresh. This way if your Pestilence misses you don’t lose your buffed diseases. Aside from this, fit Pestilence in wherever necessary, and where possible refresh disease right before you use DRW so you don’t waste a GCD on a Pestilence while DRW is up.

The ideal rotation for Blood with GoD is to use the traditional 20 second rotation (IT-PS-DS-HS-HS-DC // DS-HS-HS-HS-HS-DC-DC) and simply cast Pestilence before the 21-second diseases run out. This is, however, in an ideal situation and you should be thinking ahead about what might happen to cause you to be away from the boss. One example is Icehowl: you want buffed diseases to stay up as long as possible but are frequently knocked away from the boss.

Some final tips:

  • First priority in your rotation is keeping buffed diseases going; if they fall off it’s not always easy to get them going again
  • Know when you will be away from the boss so you can refresh in advance
  • Cast Pestilence as little as you can while still keeping diseases up (i.e. don’t refresh halfway through disease timers without a good reason to)
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8 responses

21 10 2009

Good idea, I hadn’t thought about that.

One thought though, I would replace the Death Strike Glyph instead of Dark Death with GoD. My reason for this is based on the rotation. In a 20 sec rotation you only use Death Strike twice, whereas you use Death Coil a minimum of 3 times, and that is only if you don’t get any Sudden Doom procs. I average at least 2 Sudden Doom procs a rotation for 5 Death Coils total. So, in my humble and usually worthless opinion, I would replace the Death Strike Glyph with Glyph of Disease rather than the Dark Death Glyph.

But you only posted half the info, you posted your opening 20 sec rotation, what would be the 2nd and subsequent 20 sec rotations? I would think something like this:

Following: DS-HS-HS-HS-HS-DS-DC-DS-HS-HS-HS-Pest-DC-DC (I think…)

On a related topic, last night I finally got the T9.25 4 pc bonus and I have to admit, it is a lot more than I thought it was. I hated that 4 pc bonus when compared to T8 4 pc bonus for Blood. It is not worthless after all evidently.

T8 disease damage (based on recount) last night on North Beasts
Frost Fever – 845 DPS average
Blood Plague – 790 DPS average

T9 Disease Damage on Lord Jaraxxus
Frost Fever – 980 DPS Average/2011 Crit Average/2956 Max Crit/31.3% Crit average
Blood Plague – 962 DPS Average/1989 Crit Average/2765 Max Crit/38.3% Crit Average

Those numbers were pulled from Recount after each fight. I got the last 2 Badges I needed to get the gloves and equipped the 4pc T9.25 (was running 2/T8.5 and 2/T9.25). Those also added up to a significant increase in my overall DPS average. So much so, that on 10/Ony, after our regular 25 man raid, I averaged 7.4k when last week I averaged 6.8k on the same encounter.

One of the other raiding DKs in my Guild got the 4 pc before I did because he is Unholy. I was the top DK on the meters until he got it and he shot past me be a considerable amount. That is what brought my attention to it. That is mostly due to him having a lot more disease modifiers than I do, but his numbers are even more impressive. Somewhere in the 1800 DPS average with a 4k+ crit PER disease.

If I didn’t love being Blood so much, I might consider switching….

22 10 2009

The real final tip is this…

Don’t do it.

Rolling diseases when done perfectly in optimal conditions is about the same dps as using better glyphs for blood DPS in all conditions.

22 10 2009

Do you have any kind of proof to back this up? Also, rolling diseases aside, Disease is a good glyph anyways since you have to cast IT/PS less.

23 10 2009

I have been trying this out since you made the post Shop.

During that time I have done 3 raid nights and a couple heroics and of course HHM every day.

I don’t think I like it too much, but that is just me.


- I find myself staring at the rune cds a lot instead of paying attention to what is happening around me. With the rotation being more of a priority rotation over a static rotation it is just adding another degree of complexity to some encounters that are already complex enough. Granted, we ran into a brick wall in 25/ToGC known as FCs and that probably isn’t the best place to test something like this out. But I had been using it since we started a fresh clear in there, so by the time I got to FCs I think I was fairly comfortable with it.

- I can’t really see a DPS gain or a loss using it. If there is, it is minimal. I hate to say definitively there is a gain/loss in DPS using it, because in all honesty, I may be screwing something up, because it requires some degree of attention be paid to procs and CDs.

- In my opinion, I see the possibility for a DPS increase due to the fact it is freeing up an FU attack, basically using this disease turns your rotation (for Blood anyway) into the good ol’ Diseaseless rotation. The hard part is getting it started. I tried this out on the dummies and then used it in ToGC (after many different variations).
The hard part was having the patience for that pause because you need your runes to come of CD before you can start the full on rotation. Like I said, it basically becomes the Diseaseless rotation with the final DR being used for Pestilence in the 2nd half of your 20 sec rotation. I tried pushing to use more DRs for HS but ended up either cutting it too close (i.e. 1 sec left on diseases) or diseases falling off before I could refresh with pestilence due to GCD. So the rotation above that I was using was leaving you some breathing room with 3-4 secs left on the timers when you refresh with Pestilence and not having your FUs on CD.

- The problems I ran into was on the First Boss of Northrend Beasts this worked awesome since you are so static in your positioning. However, start adding movement to the equation as in the 2nd and third Beasts and you start losing diseases and have to start over anyway. Lord Jaraxxus was easy since you stay on the boss 80% of the time and only strafe to get out of the way of fire/infernals/etc. But once you get on something as movement intensive as Faction Champs, it breaks down into losing diseases due to fears/stuns/polymorphs and any other CC that smacks you in the head.

-All in all, my impressions were that this is one of those things that if you can spare the attention to watching your runes and procs, go for it. If you need to focus your attention on things happening outside your toon, then don’t do it. After about our 10th wipe to Heroic FCs, I dropped it and put my old glyph back in and went back to my old rotation.

-On a side note, our Unholy DK was also trying this and he liked it. It allowed him to drop a SS, since it still sucks, and weave in some Obliterates. For him it did increase his DPS slightly. He felt the same as me though that adding a complexity to an already complex fight was counter-intuitive and resulted in a DPS loss. But then his build boosts the damage of Icy Touch and Plague Strike so much that combined they probably do the same damage as an FU attack, and the Pestilence spreads those diseases to all of the other FCs as opposed to only refreshing them on his primary target. By the way, he replaced the SS glyph with the disease glyph.

Sorry for the book, but wanted to provide reasons for my impression other than just saying “don’t do it.”

29 10 2009

In 3.3, the EJ DK DPS theory is currently saying that Dark Death beats Glyph of Disease, but for a while the theory was favouring Disease glyph. For tanks however, I think Disease is going to be a better option (will test that soon). They are very similar.
Rolling high-powered diseases is important!

30 10 2009

While the DPS benefit is only marginal and requires additional micro-management, the utility benefit is quite substantial.

Any moment in which you have more than a single target (such as Anub’arak), Glyph of Disease wins by a long shot.

30 10 2009

I also found it invaluable for heroic Jaraxxus-25. Since you have to Pestilence so often to get diseases up on Nether Portals and Volcanoes, having GoD keeps your diseases rolling on Jaraxxus.

In hectic fights like this, it’s less about keeping buffed diseases going and more about keeping them up as much as humanly possible.

4 11 2009

Increasing the DPS of the dots, even if it is by 100%, is not going to be a very noticeable difference. According to recount, my diseases are about 8% of my overall damage combined. The loss in DPS due to losing a glyph would not compensate for the DPS increase with diseases, let alone surpass it. It is something fun to think about and play with, but it just does not seem very practical.

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