Why the Scourge Strike Redesign is Amazing

26 10 2009

Around when the DK Q&A came out, I was pretty unhappy with Armor Penetration as a whole. Back then, I was Frost specced (in those days Obliterate was not the primary source of damage) and thought that I would never want to see ArPen on my gear. Ever. When 3.2 hit and I started Dual Wielding, things changed. Obliterate was a lot better than it was and as a result so was ArPen. Since then I’ve switched to Blood and ArPen is the best stat besides Strength, but that’s beside the point.

The worst thing that happened to DKs since Wrath was when Unholy Death Knights started using Obliterate. Deep Unholy, that is (not counting the 32/39 builds of old that used Howling Blast). Why, you ask? Well, on the surface Obliterate and SS aren’t very different. They’re both use an Unholy and a Frost Rune and hit for some % of weapon damage plus some other damage.

It’s the texture that matters

To me, though, SS and Obliterate feel different. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I feel like casting Death Strike, Obliterate, and Scourge Strike each have unique associations. In this comparison, Obliterate is on the generic side since its only unique aspect is that it removes diseases (which can be talented away). Its respective glyph is also a flat damage increase rather than one that’s dependent on other factors.

Moving on, though, I think it’s important that each talent tree uses different strikes or else they’ll all start feeling the same. So when I read that Scourge Strike was being redesigned in 3.3 into an attack that initially does physical damage and then shadow damage based on the physical part, well, I was happy. I used to be despondent about how ArPen sucked for 2/3 specs, but Blizzard has managed to quietly make it useful while maintaining each tree’s uniqueness. Well played, Blizzard, well played.

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5 responses

27 10 2009
Ezma

I’m currently blood myself.. it’s the spec I seem to eek the most dps out of with my current gear set.. but I am really excited for the SS changes. I’m hoping it will really give unholy the boost it needs to make it usable to me. I found my last foray rather “meh”.

A shame. I really miss Ratface.

27 10 2009
frogi

I loved Unholy spec before they killed it with the change to UB but I am now excited to go back to it. Its also great to see that they changed, messed up, and are now changing it to be different to Obliterate but the same BOOM! smash feel with a disease/magic WHOOPAH!

You know what I mean, like you say kudos to Blizz.

Happy Halloween also! I’m going to be a banana.

28 10 2009
BigFire

Well, my DK is still trying for flavor of the month… Blood Tank and Dual Wielding Frost DPS. I don’t think I have the gear for DW Frost tanking yet.

29 10 2009
Gravity

I like the change too, I think each tree should have an iconic strike even if only for flavour reasons.

2 12 2009
waananii

I’ve actauly already respecced to unholy, in order too relearn the rotation (I haven’t touched the spec since 3.1′s UB nerf really). Its a nice change from the dry rotation I’ve been using in blood for the last 5-6months, I’ve found I’m doing as much DPS single target in DW Unholy as I am in DW frost and Blood, and am anticipating the new changes too SS.
The fact that the shadow parts damage increases based on the physical parts damage is cool, plus the fact that both parts can crit seperately (both parts critting is supposed too be a MASSIVE amount of damage, and I’m hoping too see Unholy as more than just an AoE spec.

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