The Fringe Benefits: Beyond Death Knight Raid Buffs

25 10 2010

In the process of forming my Cataclysm raid group, there has been a lot of discussion of what classes we need to get all available buffs. As a primarily Frost specced Death Knight, I bring a few things: 20% attack speed debuff (Frost Fever), 4% physical damage taken debuff (Brittle Bones) and 10% ranged/melee attack speed (Improved Icy Talons). This isn’t much, and a lot depends on having other melee/hunters in the raid to benefit. If I’m in a 10-man with mostly casters, I’m not helping much at all.

The Fringe Benefits

Falling down

AMS will save me, right?

This buff-induced unhappiness got me thinking about what else I bring to the table as a Death Knight. These things won’t be unique to DKs, particularly, but they are still important considerations when dreaming up an ideal raid group.

  • Survival. Few DPS classes have as many ways to stay alive as Death Knights do. Paladins and Druids come to mind because they can heal themselves in a pinch, but that’s far more reactive than most DK survival tools. The abilities involved are: Death Strike, also a reactive tool; Anti-Magic Shell, now with 7-second glyphed goodness; Death Pact; and Icebound Fortitude. These survival tools benefit a lot from knowledge of the fight. To use some old-timey examples: Death Striking after Gluth’s decimates, Icebound Fortituding in preparation for XT’s tantrum… you get the point.
  • Slows. Chains of Ice, while not as awesome as it used to be, is still a potent slow. And there are fights where this matters. Mimiron’s Bomb bots, for example. I also read there was an ooze that needed slowing in the Omnitron Defense System encounter. Awesome!
  • Army of the Dead. Hey, don’t look at me like that. I swear this spell will be the lynch pin of an encounter some day.
  • Interrupts, taunts, emergency tank, Death Grip, lions, tigers, bears, etc.

My point in all this is that a class is more than the three or four buffs it brings and some DPS/tanking/healing. No matter how much our gear is standardized between classes, or however much we’re reduced to numbers and buffs, each class inevitably brings its own stuff to a raid.

Note: I also posted this as a Blog Azeroth Shared Topic idea, so if you have your own blog, check it out!


Anti-Everything Shell?

2 06 2009

As I recently posted a comment here saying that AMS should only grant RP when taking magic damage (which I thought was the case) I feel this is probably pertinent information. While AMS only absorbs magic damage, it will actually give you RP from any damage taken. This screenshot is an example:


This discovery (new information, at least to me) won’t make any significant difference to DPS DKs. You can now AMS through XT’s Tympanic Tantrums to gain RP, though you’ll be wasting the cooldown in case you get light/gravity bombed. There are other situations where you take physical damage, such as from adds in Thorim’s arena or the Freya encounter, when there are simply too many for tanks to pick up and hold immediately. If you notice you’re getting hit, and don’t think you will need to absorb any incoming magic damage, by all means pop AMS and get some free RP.

For tanking, you now have another avenue for getting lots of RP quickly. The downside is that as a tank, you often want to have AMS up to protect you from the crazy amounts of magic damage that bosses put out. So I would keep in mind that AMS can energize you from any type of damage, but always think before you use it so you don’t become vulnerable and make your healers work extra hard.

edit: This appears to have been fixed and no longer works.