Patch 3.1: Death Knight Changes – Glyphs and Runes

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Welcome to the first of several of The Stoppable Force’s look at the death knight changes coming in patch 3.1! The following will be a combination of the official patch notes and the unofficial changes found by digging through the files, and updates may follow in the coming days.

We’ll start with glyphs - everyone needs ‘em, and just a few of them are changing. My source for all changes is MMO Champion, as usual. Without further ado, here we go:

Glyph of Strangulate – Reduces the cooldown of your Strangulate by 60 sec. (Old: Increases the range of your Strangulate by 20 yards.)

Better for PvE, I’ll give you that… but to be honest, Strangulate doesn’t work most of the time that you’d need it to in PvE. Mind Freeze, however, usually does. It’s also kind of interesting that this comes at the same time as the removal of the DoT from Strangulate. Probably to save us from having a long-distance silencing DoT spell.

Glyph of Icebound Fortitude – Your Icebound Fortitude now always grants at least 30% damage reduction, regardless of your defense skill. (Old: Your Icebound Fortitude costs no runic power)

Hmmm. I’m torn on this one. While the new implementation does basically make it a better Barkskin, the old one meant it was always available in case of emergencies even if we’d dumped all our runic power elsewhere.

Glyph of Unbreakable Armor – Increases the amount of damage absorbed by Unbreakable Armor by 1%. (Old: Unbreakable Armor grants an additional 15% armor)

They just can’t decide what to do with the Glyph of Unbreakable Armor, can they? Unbreakable Armor itself has changed; see the post on Frost changes for that.

Glyph of Plague Strike – Your Plague Strike does 60% additional damage. (Old: 20% additional damage if a disease was on the target)

This plus the change to Plague Strike might finally make it worth using. Maybe. I still don’t see it making its way into my rotation but it is nice to see it not sucking again.

Glyph of Death Strike – Increases your Death Strike’s damage by 2% for every 5 runic power you currently have. The runic power is not consumed by this effect. (Old: 2% regardless of runic power)

Kind of a mix of the first iteration of Death Strike, and the horribly underpowered current Death Strike, the new Glyph of Death Strike is… still probably not that great for leveling. (I say that now, but you know, someone’s going to find a way to make this move a primary damage-dealing ability one of these days. The DK community’s ingenuity never fails to surprise me.)

Glyph of Hungering Cold new – Reduces the cost of Hungering Cold by 10 runic power.

Fitting, given as how this is now waaaay up higher in the tree.

Glyph of Unholy Blight new – Increases the duration of Unholy Blight by 10 sec.

Good for Unholy DKs; one less fiddly thing to keep up at all times.

Glyph of Death Coil new – Reduces the cost of Death Coil by 8 runic power.

Good for everyone, really, since Death Coil is a go-to runic power dump - but especially for Blood DKs, for whom it’s the primary runic power dump.

Glyph of Blood Boil: Now only applies a snare to diseased targets.

A change necessary since Blood Boil now does damage to all targets within its radius, but bonus (and, glyphed, a snare) to diseased ones.

Glyph of Pestilence – Your Pestilence ability now refreshes disease durations on your primary target back to their maximum duration.

Simply an extension of the new change to Pestilence. Theoretically you could apply your diseases once then use a combination of moves other than Icy Touch and Plague Strike to keep them up. Handy for tank DKs, maybe, who could use this to build a lot of threat by constant disease ticks + Blood Boil while working other moves into their rotation. Or not. It’s just a thought. I don’t think Glyph of Pestilence will be so mandatory for raiding DKs now, though.

Glyph of Howling Blast new – Your Howling Blast ability now infects your targets with Frost Fever.

Handy, especially if you can cast it twice in a row and Frost Fever has fallen off for some reason - you can apply Frost Fever, then immediately hit Howling Blast again to do extra damage to a target with Frost Fever.

Rune of Cinderglacier now procs per minute instead of a 5% chance.

Given how often this went off, it always felt like a ppm mechanic anyhow, but now it definitely is.

Rune of Razorfrost now affects Frost damage done by the DK only, but stacks up to 10%.

One: the patch notes are wrong again; it’s Razorice. Stacking this is excellent. I wonder if a deep-Frost dual-wield build might want to use this and Cinderglacier in tandem for mad damage on Howling Blast?


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