Unorthodox Glyphing

28 05 2009

I wanted to title this post “Rogue Glyphing” because unorthodox is kind of a lame word, but then people would think I was writing about Rogues. And we can’t have that.

Rogues begone!

Rogues begone!

Anyways, one poster (Erekose) over on Elitist Jerks has been conducting a one-man crusade in favour of replacing the Obliterate glyph with the Howling Blast glyph. It sounds insane at first, but when you look at the reasoning behind it as well as the rotations currently producing the best results for Frost, it starts to make more sense.

Reason #1: Obliterate is <10% of total damage

When using the ITx6 rotation (which goes something like this IT – BS – OB – OB – FS – BT – IT – FS – OB – FS / IT x6 [weaving Frost Strikes as always to maximize use of KM and avoid capping RP]), Obliterate ends up around 7-8% of total damage. If you’re confused (I’m still learning how to effectively use this rotation), watch this extremely helpful informational video (also by Erekose). A side note: the video puts forth the idea that having your runes refresh in pairs separated by 3-5 seconds leads to a smoother rotation. Erekose posted his WMO from a Mimiron fight, which you can see here (he also made it into the WMO Scoreboard, which lists top parses for each encounter), and my numbers on a recent Mimiron wipe correspond to Erekose’s. So the Obliterate glyph works out to being 20% of ~7%, which is somewhere around 1.5% damage. Not a big increase for a major glyph slot.

Reason #2: Utility

Almost every fight in Ulduar has some kind of AoE component, with the exceptions of Hodir, Ignis, Vezax and the Assembly of Iron. 9/14 is pretty good. On fights like Mimiron, you will be able to keep Frost Fever up on every part of Voltron in phase 4 without casting Pestilence, or worrying about when your diseases are going to fall off secondary targets. Same goes for Kologarn, Freya’s adds, Auriaya’s adds, Razorscale’s adds, etc. The HB glyph also allows you to apply Frost Fever to groups of mobs at a distance. This is especially helpful when it is difficult to get in melee range of an add, especially ones who die quickly, to cast Pestilence.

In sum, you gain:

  • A more efficient AoE rotation
  • Ability to apply diseases from range
  • More Blood Boils (don’t have to use a Blood Rune on Pestilence with the glyph)

And you lose:

  • Approximately 1.5% DPS, assuming this loss isn’t made up for in AoE situations (hard to gauge)

Deciding to use the HB glyph instead of OB is largely a matter of playstyle preference. If you are okay with using Pestilence a lot and having a slightly more complex AoE rotation, stick with Obliterate. If you liked the HB rotation in Blood Presence, you may want to give this new setup a try. Also, the existence and success of this rotation and glyph choice is another nail in the coffin of 4-piece t7 as well as Armor Penetration (this rotation does very very little physical damage, ~24% in Erekose’s parse). Avoid both if possible (though the tier 8.5 pieces are reasonably well itemized, except for the helm, regardless of crappy set bonus).

A caveat:

ITx6 rotations (and even the other Unholy Presence rotation I posted earlier, IT – PS – OB – BS – BS / OB – IT – PS – IT – IT, are far better when you have the Sigil of the Vengeful Heart. If you don’t, but want to run the ITx6 for some other reason (it still puts out competitive DPS), use the Sigil of the Frozen Conscience over Awareness.