Saturday, May 29, 2010

Secrets Of Deathknight PVP

By Alex Shiltron

Knowing your moves is the foundation of good Deathknight PvP. Some of your most important moves are your spell interrupts. The basic spell interrupt is Mind Freeze. Most talent lines reduce the cost of this spell, making it a fairly low cost option, particularly when compared to the interrupts of other melee classes. Another option is Strangulate, which has great range but a long cool-down of two minutes. Save at least one of your interrupts for a coordinated healer lockout in group PvP. When using Mind Freeze, it's important to make sure you lock out the spell school you intend to: for healers it's always holy or the nature line of spells that are for healing. When it comes to damage dealing spell casters, try to lock out their favorite line.

Deathknight are masters of controlling and restricting enemy movements. Chains of Ice is a powerful slowing spell, and classified as such for the purposes of other classes' snare resisting talents - for example, Chains of Ice doesn't activate the Arms Warriors' second wind talent. The spell can be used effectively in combination with Deathgrip to keep an enemy away from your healer almost indefinitely. Watch out for Gnomes though, who can break free of Chains of Ice with greater ease than other races. Deathgrip can also be used to position enemies in front of a stationary hidden ally to execute stealth combination attacks. Another viable tactic is to use Chains of Ice in combination with Deathgrip to keep ranged enemies within melee range, where you can overwhelm them with strike attacks.

Next up for ways to improve your PvP skills is to get a handle on your baseline defensive spells. The most powerful of these is Icebound Fortitude, which with its glyph offers a 40% damage reduction shield. Another powerful baseline move is Death Pact, which consumes one of your undead minions and restores 40% of your health - think of it as a Deathknight's answer to the Paladin's Lay on Hands spell. For protection against magic there is Anti-Magic Shell, which baseline shields you from 75% of incoming spell damage for five seconds; when improved with talents you can gain full protection from magic and unlock Anti-Magic zone.

In addition to baseline defensive spells, which are all improved by their respective talent lines, are talent unique spells. The most potent of those spells is arguably Rune Tap from the Blood talent tree. Rune Tap, with full talent support and its related glyph, becomes a potent 30% self heal, as well as a 10% group heal on a very quick 30 second cool-down. In Frost we find Unbreakable Armor, a spell that boosts your armor by 25% and your strength as well - it does give a noticeable edge in melee versus melee combat situations. Last but not least, we have the most popular talent line, Unholy, with its two unique defensive spells, Anti-Magic Zone, which absorbs roughly 20,000 damage from spells with a bubble shaped dome that you can hide group members under, and Bone Shield. Bone Shield offers a slight damage increase and a 20% damage reduction on a one minute cool-down.

Professions can be used to get an extra edge in battle, with jewelcrafting and blacksmithing being a popular combination since you get superior gems and free sockets to set them in. Engineering is a strong overall profession that gives you a nice mix of additional powers, like nitro boosted boots, rocket launching gloves, parachutes and even a mind controlling feature for your helmet. Alchemy is another good choice, particularly for battleground enthusiasts, since flasks last though PvP deaths. In terms of picking your stats, other than of course stacking resilience for PvP, the popular Arena Junkies site has this to say on stat priority: "Hit capping (roughly 5%), spell penetration capping (approx 135 rating), strength, crit, agility/haste".

In terms of popularity for PvP, Unholy is the current top dog. The talent line can be vastly improved by dipping slightly into Blood for improved Rune Tap, not only giving you more use for Blood runes but giving you fantastic healing potential. However, it's a definite trade off, as you'll have to sacrifice your improved powers over ghouls in order to make this variant viable. Unfortunately in PvP, due to the frantic nature of battle, you won't really have much of a rotation, so instead focus on key-binding the attacks that have been most enhanced by your chosen talent line. Any talent tree can be somewhat viable for PvP, but Unholy is generally considered to best play to the strengths of the Deathknight class. - 34829

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