October 9, 2010

Fire Maging the Ruvi Way (in progress)

Posted in Theorycraft, Theorycraft and Numbers at 12:03 am by Aduial of WrA

Alright, this post is a lot later than I wanted it to be, but here it is. For starters…

A disclaimer: This may not be, and very well probably isn’t, the best spec for a raiding fire mage, or the best information for one. It may not even be the best for a leveling one, but it is what I am doing on my fire mage, and it has served me exceptionally well so far. My mage is currently in his 50s, and with all of this, I have zero mana problems and am usually top DPS by far, AOE or single target. I am definitely not saying this is “the best,” or “the right” way, just that it’s my way, a way that’s proven to work at least for me, and one that’s had multiple people ask me how I did it (in which I had to pretty much say all of this in whispers on the fly).

I will likely be looking all of this over and comparing more closely to the more generally accepted “what works” when I hit 80 on him and get him geared a bit (assuming Cataclysm isn’t out by then and making all of this unnecessary), and possibly tweaking it a bit here and there until then.

I should state for the record: I honestly haven’t looked at any of the cookie-cutter fire specs, and won’t until 80. Part of the way I play is until I hit cap is I “feel out” the character; I assign talents, glyph, and get gear according to what the class seems to call for on my way to 80 (or whatever the cap is) and then start looking around at places like EJ once I’m there. Until then I feel I have a lot more room to make mistakes on my own time, so to speak, and generally get a better feel for the class by experimenting than just being handed down a “This is how you should spec, glyph, this is your rotation, this is how you should move, walk, talk, breathe.” kind of thing.

One more thing before I jump head-first into this: My mage does have heirlooms, and I will get into what he has when I get to gear, but I can’t say for certain that this will all work as well for someone who doesn’t have heirlooms, or, at the very least, one of his trinkets. At one point when I’d played him I’d forgotten his trinkets and staff on another toon, and while he was still top DPS by a mile, he did OOM a lot more than he should’ve, and another spec might’ve solved that more than mine does.


The Spec
The Glyphs
The Stats/The Gear
The Rotation

The Spec

I will be going over every talent in detail to say why it’s in my spec, but if you want to skip all that and just grab it, here it is.

Fire (55 points)

Improved Fireball – To use Fireball without modifications, it’s a whopping 3.5 seconds to cast. Since I assume people leveling won’t be stacking haste, the only ways to bring it lower is by this talent and with a glyph (which is also used in this spec). Together it brings it down to something like 2.85 seconds, which is much more manageable, and in most trash fights I can get at least one off, several more on bosses. The other option here is to get Improved Fireblast and Incineration both maxed out, which I did until about level 30, and spam Scorch in between Fireblast CDs, which does work and takes less mana, but is lower DPS overall after the thirties or so.

Ignite – This early on is just a DoT, which, whoop-de-doo, things die too quick for it to be huge. But later on it becomes glorious. At about level 47, this will be a huge chunk of mana on AOE pulls, for example… or a decent chunk of mana, period, and I’ll get into that more when we get to Empowered Fire. But since almost all of your spells can crit, and crit is your god so you should crit pretty often, this DoT will be up. A lot. And it does work out to be a pretty good boost to DPS even if mobs do die before all four seconds are up.

World in Flames – Oh look, crit again. What’d I say about crit being your god? Yeah, here’s an example. You’ll notice a lot of fire spells mention critting or increasing your chance to crit. Anyway, on AOE pulls this is awesome if you’re doing it right. I’ve been able to lay down a Flamestrike and not have to do anything, between the damage of Flamestrike and Ignite, and still be top DPS. Though if you want to rub it in the other DPS’s faces how much more you can pull, feel free to Flamestrike then Blizzard, or just go wild and hit every AOE you have, since this boosts most of them. (Note, hitting all AOEs you have, especially Blast wave if it’s not glyphed, is not recommended.)

Pyroblast – A staple. This is one of the big spells (any puns not intended). It’s like a Fireball on steroids with a pretty good DoT, but a really long cast (5 seconds). This isn’t something you’ll be using on trash at all, pretty much reserved only for boss fights. The way I do it, that seems to work best, is when the tank’s getting ready to pull a boss, go ahead and start casting this. If the tank doesn’t pull, make sure you jump or press Esc in enough time to not pull yourself. There’s other ways to use this and other situations/reasons, and I’ll go into them more when I talk about your rotation.

Burning Soul – One thing you’ll likely notice early on is that fire is bursty. And the more burst you have, the more likely you are to pull aggro from the tank. This helps that–It reduces your threat by 20%, and on top of that, if you do end up pulling, it reduces the pushback while casting your fire spells by a significant amount. If for nothing else, get it for the pushback reduction; it’s helped me a lot to be able to keep casting even if I have a few mobs hitting me.

Improved Scorch – Pretty much absolutely necessary. Aside from the 3% crit chance on Scorch and Fireball, which is awesome, the biggest reason to get this is for the debuff it causes. At max, it gives your Scorch spells a 100% chance to make the target vulnerable to spell damage, and increases the spell critical strike chance against any targets with the debuff by 5%. You can have this buff on more than one mob, too. And, again, crit is your god, so that 5% increased crit chance with spells is pretty huge (and it’s not just for you, it’s for anyone who casts a damaging spell against that target, so increases the whole group’s DPS!)

Master of Elements – And here’s one of the reasons why crit is your god. With this, not only does your crit increase your DPS (which is sort of, you know, your job as a DPS), it is your mana. Every time you crit with a spell, you instantly get back 30% of that spell’s base mana cost, and trust me, that’s nothing to sneeze at.

Playing with Fire – This one’s a double-edged sword. I went ahead and filled out everything just shy of Burnout before grabbing this. It basically is a flat 3% DPS increase. I know, I know, “A 3% DPS increase? Why didn’t you get it sooner?” but the double-edged sword part of this is that is also makes you take 3% more spell damage. As often as I ended up tanking, casters especially, that works out to a big, fat “Ow.” It is worth it, in the end, but I did shy away from the extra damage to my person as long as I could.

Critical Mass – This is a simple, yet awesome talent. It increases the crit chance by your fire spells by 6%. And we all know what that means.

Blast Wave – Another spell in your arsenal, this one’s AOE. It’s decent-ish DPS, but it’s also a knockback (unless you glyph it, which I haven’t since I do PvP on occasion, and in those cases I want that knockback), and in most cases in PvE, knockbacks are bad. If you’re good enough you can do it to where the mobs will all die from the knockback, or you’ll knock a runner back to the tank, or a caster to them, but unless you’re good enough I recommend not even having this one on your bars for PvE (again, unless it’s glyphed, which removes the knockback).

Fire Power – This is what I picked up instead of Playing with Fire for a long while (since it came down to one or the other to start in). It’s a flat 10% damage increase to your fire spells, which of course is awesome.

Pyromaniac – It’s all about the crits, baby. Well, and the 50% mana regeneration while casting is pretty wicked, too.

Combustion – Hope you still have plenty of room on your bars, because here’s another spell to go on them. This one’s a CD more for boss fights. It increases your critical strike damage by 50% (so your crits do twice the damage), and each of your fire spells increase your chance to crit with fire spells by 10%. It lasts until you’ve landed 3 fire spell crits (DoTs don’t count), and has a 2 minute CD. Pretty awesome, huh?

Molten Fury – Having problems with runners? Not anymore, just target and blast. Okay, with this one, it increases your damage against mobs with less than 35% health by 12%, and that’s with any spell, not just fire ones, too. On boss fights that usually last a while, this can be a rather large DPS increase.

Empowered Fire – This one’s why you’ll be prioritizing Spellpower, too. Well, beyond the increase to DPS that SP gives you anyway. The damage of your Fireballs, Pyroblasts, and frostfire bolts is increased equal to 15% of your spellpower. Later on this is really nice. You also get 2% of your base mana whenever Ignite causes damage, which means if you’re critting like you should, you get even more mana back.

Firestarter – After you’ve got this then your AOE rotation changes up a bit. What it does is whenever you do damage with Blast Wave or Dragon’s Breath, your next Flamestrike is instant and costs no mana. So that’s a free flamestrike. You’ve got two options here, basically: Either run in and Dragon’s Breath immediately, then hit Flamestrike, OR Flamestrike, Dragon’s Breath, then Flamestrike again. I’ve been getting better numbers with the latter, but there isn’t always time on some AOE fights, so it’s a judgement call sometimes.

Dragon’s Breath – As you can probably tell from the last talent, this is kind of huge. It’s another ability in your repertoire, AOE, and calls forth the head of a dragon to smite your enemies. It also has an awesome firecracker sound. Aesthetics aside, it’s decent DPS for me so far, and the instant Flamestrike is priceless. Also could theoretically be used for CC, since it disorients the targets it hits for five seconds or until they’re damaged.

Hot Streak – I’ve been holding out on getting this one like I did Playing with Fire because I’m not satisfied with the size of my epeen my crit chance yet. If you crit two times in a row with Fireball, Fire Blast, Scorch, Living Bomb, or Frostfire bolt, you’ll get an instant Pyroblast for the next 10 seconds. Pyroblast being the long-arsed 5 second CD spell. So this is actually pretty awesome, and more likely than not it’d be useful (especially in combination with Combustion), but personally I’m waiting until after I get Living Bomb.

Burnout – This increases the damage of your crits (all spells, not just fire) by 50%. Remember what your god is? You should be critting enough that this’ll be a significant damage increase. The only downside is your non-periodic crits cost 5% more mana, which basically means every time you crit with a spell, but not with DoTs, your damage is 50% more but it costs 5% more mana (but you shouldn’t be having mana problems, so it shouldn’t be an issue).

Living Bomb – This is the fire end-talent. This is what we’re here for. What happens is the target we cast this on becomes a bomb. They take damage for 12 seconds, or until it’s dispelled, then they explode. Which, of course, does damage to anything nearby. In this case, they do damage to all enemies within 10 yards of them (our enemies, not theirs). Makes it all worth it, doesn’t it?

Arcane (16 points)

Arcane Focus – The first tier is honestly kind of useless for us. You probably aren’t casting many, if any, arcane spells, and since this talent only affects arcane (as does the other mainly-PvE talent in the first tier), it doesn’t particularly matter. I went this route because that is 3% hit for your arcane spells if/when you do cast them, and is conceivably more useful than 5/5 Arcane Stability.

Arcane Stability – I needed two more points to get to the next tier, so here they went. Not really useful for fire.

Arcane Concentration – This, however, is useful. Incredibly, so, really, and by this point if you’re having mana problems, this could help. A lot. Any time you damage an enemy with a spell, there’s a 10% chance you’ll enter a Clearcasting state. If you’ve never played a character that had Clearcasting before, it’s sexy, and you’ll soon learn why. It reduces the cost of your next damage spell by 100%. That means every time you hit an enemy, you have a 10% chance of your next cast to cost you nothing, and that is awesome.

Spell Impact – Where this applies to us, is it’s a DPS increase for some of our spells. Blast Wave, Fireblast, Scorch and Fireball are all boosted by 6%.

Student of the Mind – Probably wondering why I went this route, huh? Well, there isn’t anything in the fire tree that mentions Spirit, so this might seem like an odd choice. This is where we look at two things: 1) Spirit’s function in mana regen, and 2) Our later spells. For the first part, spirit increases our mana regen (duh). But it does this by a percentage of your intellect. I can’t remember the exact equation, but the more spirit you have, the higher the percent of your intellect you’re regenerating, and it’s easier to increase that percent than it is to increase your regen by what it’s a percent of. I’m not sure if that made any sense. Hopefully #2 will make more. Molten Armor is something we get at level 62, which is several levels before we’d be able to get this talent after filling out fire anyway. What it does is increases our chance to crit by 35% of our Spirit. So now you see this talent does increase a stat important to us, afterall!

Focus Magic – And here we have one of the biggest reasons for us to go into Arcane to finish out our spec. This is a 30-minute buff and cannot be cast on ourselves, it must be cast on another friendly target (might be party- or raid-only, I’m not sure on that however). What it does is increase their chance to crit by a flat 3%, and when they crit then we get a buff, which increases our chance to crit by 3% for 10 seconds. I remember getting this buff occasionally from mages in my random groups when I was on my holy pally, and let me tell you, it was absolutely awesome. If your healer is the type that uses crit and you give this to them, they will adore you.



I’ll have to finish this up later, but I wanted to post what I did have now. I should know by now not to give a date on when I’ll have something like this done because then of course life will suddenly get hectic and prevent me from doing much of anything I planned, and so this got neglected so much longer than I’d planned, and for that I’m sorry. So here’s what I have as, eh, a bit of a teaser? I guess? I will be finishing it up ASAP, though I can’t say when that is. Keep checking, though, if this interests you!

April 23, 2010

DnD is like TnT, always bad in the wrong hands

Posted in Tales from PUGland, Theorycraft and Numbers, Uncategorized at 7:25 pm by Aduial of WrA

Just a heads up, this post does contain a lot of ‘hyperlinks that don’t go anywhere’ as The Guy commented when he first saw this, due to me experimenting with alt-text, to preserve space as well as use less parentheses and breaks for (hopefully) more fluid reading. Alt-text is a different color than my normal links so that they can be more easily distinguished; you should be able to read the post just fine while ignoring the alt-text and still understand what I’m trying to say, however the words when hovered over will have some bit of information in them that could prove useful or, err, well, informative, such as actually naming my characters pre-emptively or others (with permission of course) to prevent confusion later on, or what an acronym stands for, or such. However it seems to take a bit longer for some browsers to register you are hovering over alt-text and display it (such as Firefox, apparently) than others, so it may take some patience before they’ll work sometimes.

So it turns out I don’t actually have too much to write about when PUGs are going fairly well, not abnormally too good or bad. Or at least, not enough that can be turned into a coherent post, despite efforts. However thankfully (or unfortunately), ended up with a PUG last night that just happened to be blogging material (or so I think), and can probably serve to touch on some of the topics I was wanting to touch on prior but couldn’t quite get organized enough to do so. And if you’re wanting a different view on what happened in the group, The Guy (who’s ended up with his own blog over at We Must Line our Anuses with Razors) has written up a post about it as well but has taken a far different approach to it, and includes some things I left out (beyond a whole different point of view, it includes the aftermath and the attack of level one alts). Plus he’s a better writer and so his would probably be better for a laugh than mine would.

So lately The Guy’s been wanting to level his druid to 80 in a hurry as well as play his warrior he just recently got faction-changed over to Horde, and I had a death knight just barely out of the starting area I’d rolled with a friend who ended up not playing hers and subsequently deleted, so I’ve been spending a lot of time on said death knight leveling with his warrior, so that I can be his pocket-tank for his druid, and just heal things with his warrior on my paladin once he could queue for Northrend dungeons. Pre-warrior-change I’d been tanking UK over and over on my paladin for his druid, and, well, there’s only so many times I can go through the same. freakin’. thing. before I start getting burnt out, and since my paladin is the toon I’ll be raiding on… Well, that wasn’t a good thing, so I had to stop. Thus, the plan with our warrior/death knight pair, so that we can switch off and have more options, and thus (hopefully, at least…) not get so burnt. Or at least, so I don’t get so burnt out on my toons. But anyway, we don’t stick to this religiously, and last night he was just kind of sitting around on his druid and I on my death knight, both of us wanting to level but not really wanting to do our normal options/options that were available to us… And then across our custom chat we’d used for our officers back in the day, Tree-Friend’s wanting to relearn how to tank, and was wanting me to heal him on my paladin and The Guy to DPS on Ithraen (his, errr, retribution? Paladin. Poor toon’s been every tree in the book, at this point, though…). Well, that didn’t quite work for The Guy since he was wanting to level his druid, and I was a bit too out of it at the time to feel up to healing safely (plus I’m kind of shoddy at healing most druids, anyway, they take damage differently than what I’m good at healing on her). Tree-Friend kind of grumbles and says he’ll ask the guild, since he hadn’t tanked in a long while and he was fairly crap at melee-anything, and thus (understandably) didn’t want to throw himself at the mercy of LFD.

Perhaps unsurprisingly since it was a raid night, most of the guildies were apparently occupied (and with our poor main progression tank having been hacked earlier that day and left with naught but a tuxedo, to boot), and he came back over the chat (since my DK is in my bank guild for now, as well as The Guy’s warrior) relaying the news, and that it looked like he’d have to go in solo afterall. But then I had an idea, since 80s can random into any regular Northrend dungeon, that would solve both his and The Guy’s issues: The Guy could heal on his tree, Tree-Friend tank regulars since he was wanting practice rather than heroics specifically, and I could DPS on my hunter. The idea went over swell, added to by the fact that on Aduial I could pull over 3k DPS easily, and help direct threat, whether by pulling off any over-eager DPS and Misdirecting to Tree-Friend, or just Misdirecting him and letting lose a quick AOE to help him build up some really quick threat on all the targets (yes, we kind of assumed he’d be a pretty bad tank, at least until he got back into the swing of things).

While Tree-Friend and I are switching to the agreed upon toons, Ith asks the guild if anyone wants to come, and we get a bite; one of the awesome death knights (well, awesomely fun person, about average playing-wise)  who we’ve ran with several times before, usually for extended periods of time, was willing to tag along, so we form the group and drop ourselves into LFD. At this point there’s three 80s and Ith’s druid at 72, so we end up getting plunked into Nexus with a warlock who didn’t notice until a few pulls in that there were even any 80s with a humorous comment about no wonder why his DPS was low. Things go swimmingly and I barely have to help Tree-Friend with aggro at all, and the lock splits after we finish the instance, and we drop ourselves into LFD again and get yet another warlock, though surprisingly this one was from our realm as well! However none of us noticed until the last boss-fight of the instance. After the instance this one sticks around, however our death knight friend has to go, so we queue up once again assuming there wouldn’t be any issues, and get dropped into another Nexus, which is where the core of the tale lies. In short: We assumed wrong.

The replacement for our death knight friend was yet another death knight, this one unsurprisingly not 80. We zone in and things start off with him commenting about how he didn’t think the dungeon would pop before his dinner was done, and proceeds to worry more about dinner than the dungeon he chose at the time to go into (which at that point we didn’t sweat since we could likely 3-man the dungeon without issue). He auto-followed Ith’s druid up until after the first boss (would be the second boss on heroic, the mage lady who splits) from what I could tell, since I was still paying a hefty amount of attention to Omen and making sure Tree-Friend wasn’t having any trouble, and the auto-following was brought to my attention by Ith asking us to wait and that the death knight had stopped following during the slinging portion of the boss fight. Death knight comes back and we get on with it though he keeps pretty much dragging his feet throughout until we get to the nature zone, at which point he apparently has noticed that the tank at least is 80 and seems to assume that means he can do whatever he wants.

We inform him that the tank is there for a reason, for practice and to relearn, that no he can’t go nuts, and he seems to shrug it off with comments of he has Frost Presence, and Icebound Fortitude, and Death Pact, and so supposedly wouldn’t die if he pulled anyway. Well, unfortunately, he proved that point because he insisted on pulling an out of the way mob (one of the large trees) for a quest, even though we told him there were still enough trees and that he would get all his quest items… And we let him tank it, without the three of us interfering. (He did get the last of his quest items off the next large tree, with one more that we had to kill on our way out, so his pulling was completely unnecessary.) At this point I’m not sure what is going through this guy’s mind, because I don’t hear him switch presences back, and I notice him start dropping Death and Decay where I hadn’t heard or seen it before.

A bit of an aside as to why I mention hearing: I play mostly by sound. I am legally blind in my right eye and my eyesight in my left isn’t perfect, either, due to a dog bite I’d received in said eye back in high school. I can still see but it isn’t the biggest part of my playstyle; I’ve learned what just about every spell sounds like, most procs that have sound, etc. to make up for this, and have been known to successfully play as both DPS and tank by sound alone. A death knight changing their presence has a very distinct sound, as does Death and Decay, the latter of which I have learned from experience to be very alert for if the tank is not a death knight. Obviously, in this case, the tank was not a death knight.

The first pull where he drops Death and Decay, I sort of ignore it, since I’ve partied with people before who just mis-clicked or such and dropped it on accident… Two pulls later, after two more DnDs and vigorous watching of Omen on my part, I comment, saying simply that, he would have less aggro and more DPS if he switched out DnD in favor of Blood Boil. We continue as he proceeds to tell me in a very condescending manner that he has a death knight with a gearscore of 5500, that I have no idea what I’m talking about, that talented it is better DPS, etc etc. At this point, The Guy has us stop, and we proceed to vote-kick him, and 4-man the last pull and the boss.

Now, here’s the part where The Guy’s and my reasons vary considerably. The Guy didn’t like the death knight being a prick; I don’t appreciate being told that I’m wrong for saying a tanking ability is for a tank, and not for DPSing. Funnily enough, he said the talent Subversion in the Unholy tree was what increased the DPS of Death and Decay to make it better than any other AOE for him. Subversion is not only in the Blood tree, it is as follows:

Subversion Rank 3
Increases the critical strike chance of Blood Strike, Scourge Strike, Heart Strike and Obliterate by 9%, and reduces threat generated while in Blood or Unholy Presence by 25%.

Okay, so perhaps that makes it viable in the sense that it doesn’t rip aggro from the actual tank, it still does nothing to increase the damage done by DnD.. Or the fact that he didn’t even have that talent (neither does he have the glyph that actually does increase DnD’s damage).

As I had commented post-kick, you can buff the damage or something of a lot of tank spells, anyway… but they are still tank abilities, and not to be used for DPS, especially if they have built-in high threat. Afterall, a DPS is meant to have high damage, not high threat, that is the tank’s job, and the DPS’s job to stay under theirs.

If you hadn’t noticed, yes, this is a sore spot for me. One of my pet peeves, if you will. And now if you will bear with me, I will get into why.

Math Time

For starters, on Death and Decay:

Death and Decay Rank 4
1 Blood 1 Unholy 1 Frost 30 yd range
Instant 30 sec cooldown
Corrupts the ground targeted by the Death Knight, causing 62 Shadow damage every sec that targets remain in the area for 10 sec.  This ability produces a high amount of threat.

Now, that is, at 80, 620 damage (unmodified by attack power), for 3 runes. Keep that in mind since, no matter your tree, one of your main abilities (Death Strike for Blood, Obliterate for Frost, Scourge Strike for Unholy) requires 2 runes. Now, at 620 damage for 3 runes, that equals roughly 206.7 damage per rune.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at Blood Boil:

Blood Boil Rank 4

1 Blood

Boils the blood of all enemies within 10 yards, dealing 180 to 220 Shadow damage.  Deals additional damage to targets infected with Blood Plague or Frost Fever.

Right off the bat, Blood Boil has the potential to be more damage, with up to 220 damage, and an average of 200 damage, for 1 rune. If you have at least one disease on the target, that number goes up:

From Tankspot:

With no diseases on the target:
Base damage is 180-220 (average 200)
Attack power coefficient is 0.060 (up from 0.04 pre-3.1)

With one or more diseases on the target (2nd or 3rd do not add more damage)
Base damage is 275-315 (a flat increase of 95)
Attack power coefficient is 0.095 (an additional 0.035 * AP)

So now you have up to 315 damage, with an average of 295 damage, for a single rune. Obviously, 295 damage is more per rune than 207 damage.

Taking a look at Attack Power coefficients, in other words how well the abilities scale with the death knight’s Attack Power, also from Tankspot:

Blood Boil _________  0.060 no diseases / 0.095 with diseases
Death and Decay ____  0.0475

Blood boil scales with the death knight’s attack power 126% better without diseases than Death and Decay does, and 200% better with diseases than Death and Decay.

For an example, to make these numbers a little more real and possibly make more sense… Let’s say Random DK is DPSing a pull of three mobs, and has 2000 Attack Power.

If he were to drop Death and Decay, he will use 3 runes to do so, gain 2 runes’ worth of Runic Power, and get 715 damage per mob over 10 seconds, so about 215 damage per second and 238 damage per rune.

If Random DK instead were to use Blood Boil without any diseases on the targets, he will use 1 rune, gain 1 rune’s worth of Runic Power, and get 300340 damage per mob immediately, so 9001020 damage per second and per rune.

If Random DK were to use Blood Boil with at least one disease on each target, he will use 1 rune, gain 1 rune’s worth of Runic Power, and get 465505 damage per mob immediately, so 13951515 damage per second and per rune.

Even if Random DK had the glyph that increases DnD’s damage by 20%, that only brings DnD up to 839 damage per mob over 10 seconds, therefore about 252 damage per second, and 280 damage per rune.

If Random DK has Bloody Strikes 3/3, then using Blood Boil without diseases is 354406 damage per mob, and 10621218 damage per second/per rune.

If Random DK has Bloody Strikes 3/3, then using Blood Boil with at least one disease on each target is 548600 damage per mob, and 16441800 damage per second/per rune.

So on top of the fact that Blood Boil is obviously better for multiple (read: more than two) targets, from a purely damaging standpoint, there’s the threat to consider.  According to Tankspot, Blood Boil’s threat is its damage, modified by presence, while Death and Decay’s threat is its damage times 1.9 then modified by presence. So whatever DPS (damage per second) you are producing with Death and Decay, you are producing almost twice as much TPS (threat per second) before modifying it according to presence, whereas Blood Boil is only your DPS then modified.

Death and Decay is a tanking skill only. If you are using it and you are a DPS death knight, it would be better overall if you used Blood Boil and went on with your rotation instead. Not only will you get more DPS from Blood Boil, you will be producing less threat. Bottom line: If it says the ability causes high threat, and you are not a tank, you should not use it.

*Note: All of the above math, aside from what was quoted and/or attributed elsewhere, was done by hand (well, with a calculator’s help) by me, and I am only human and wrote this during a round of insomnia. There may be mistakes. If you spot any, or if I left anything out, please feel free to comment/let me know.

After some consideration and discussion with Ithraen, I will likely be pulling the math part above out into another post at some point in time, and make it much more thorough, with some more talents that were brought to my attention as well as some other things. I will link them both to each other when that is done.

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