Welcome to the second installment of Death Knight talent analysis here at Dreadblade. This week I will be
fighting with people who argue that Anti-Magic Zone is useless looking at Tier 2 talents available to level 57 Death Knights. I consider this tier to be our utility tier. Each talent offers some benefits to your character and raid. Let’s dive in.
Lichborne – Draw upon unholy energy to become undead for 10 sec. While undead, you are immune to Charm, Fear, and Sleep effects, and Death Coil will heal you. (No cost, 2 min cooldown)
Anti-Magic Zone – Places a large, stationary Anti-Magic Zone that reduces spell damage done to party or raid members inside it by 75%. The Anti-Magic Zone lasts for 10 sec or until it absorbs at least 136800 + ((STR * 4)) spell damage. (No cost, 2 min cooldown, base absorb scales with level)
Purgatory – An unholy pacts grants you the ability to fight on through damage that would kill mere mortals. When you would sustain fatal damage, you instead are wrapped in a Shroud of Purgatory, absorbing incoming healing equal to the amount of damage prevented, lasting 3 sec. If any healing absorption remains when Shroud of Purgatory expires, you die. Otherwise, you survive. This effect may only occur every 3 min. (No cost, passive activation)
This tier of talents has me seriously torn into little bits. I like all the talents in this tier, and can see myself using all three on a pretty consistent basis. Obviously, this means I’m going to have to carry around that talent swapping reagent. The loss of the original effect of Glyph of Death Coil makes Lichborne (LB) a weaker talent than it would be on live, but it’s not without its uses, especially in PvP. LB prevents Sap, Polymorph, and Hex while breaking (and preventing) Seduce, Fear, and Mind Control. When in use you do run the risk of being exploited by a Paladin with Turn Evil. At this time it looks like Control Undead will not be able to be used against DKs with LB activated as it is a charm effect. Anti-Magic Zone (AMZ) is an iconic Death Knight ability that
drives me into fits of ecstasy can be extremely powerful when used properly. Based on the raw numbers it seems to be slightly more powerful than the same ability currently on live, and now we can put this ability wherever we want (within 30 yards of your location). In addition, Unholy specced Death Knights will gain more damage absorption thanks to Unholy Might. Purgatory (PG) is a recent addition to our talent tiers, and may tae a few read-throughs before it’s clear what exactly it does. Based on my command of the English language and a few attempts to kill myself on beta, when you take a physical or magical attack that would normally kill you, you have 3 seconds to be healed (by yourself or others) by the overkill amount, or else you die. The ability is perfectly named. Basically you have a 3 second mulligan on a potential killing blow. To be fair (from a PvE perspective) this is pretty much only a tanking talent. But I’m a tank. So we’re cool.
I’m pretty sure about the use of my talents in this tier in relation to PvE. I’ll be starting Mists leveling with Purgatory, including dungeon runs. When learning new bosses and dungeons I would rather have the mulligan than the situational group cooldown (AMZ). LB just doesn’t appeal to me in PvE without the boost to healing granted by the old Death Coil glyph. Once I’m raiding I’ll probably be swapping out these utility talents based on the fight and our level of progression with it. Luckily I work with healers that almost never let the tank die before a wipe is imminent (seriously, I think I can count on one hand the number of times an accidental tank death caused a wipe this entire tier, and I think they were all when we single tanked Madness).
If I was to look at Dragon Soul, I can name two fights that I would use AMZ no questions asked (Yor’shaj, Ultraxion), and three encounters I would use PG instead (Morchok, Hagara, Spine). For Zon’ozz, Blackthorn, and Madness I see value in both talents depending on my spec or role, and what part of the encounter we were having trouble with.
Highest value here reside with LB and PG. LB is currently a go-to talent for PvPing DKs and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. PG is intriguing in a PvP setting. In a random BG where healing is sometimes non-existent I think you would be silly to use this talent, but it definitely has value in an RBG/Arena team situation where you trust your teammates to do your job. Personally I will be using LB in battlegrounds and PG in my arena teams.