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New Death Knight Abilities/Talents

July 23, 2010

Damn straight

Our elven hero is found searching through various records about the upcoming changes in his world…

A few things that I’ve stumbled upon while browsing through the interwebs have made me even more excited for Cataclysm. Yeap, there’s new news on the upcoming changes to the talent trees/beta skills and abilities for Cataclysm.

While other class news has been posted/talked about I don’t intend to even look at that silliness, we only give a damn about one thing and one thing only Death Knights. Yeah, hardcore, right?

The following was found on MMO-Champion


  • Festering Strike *New* – An instant attack that deals 150% weapon damage plus 840.54 and increases the duration of your Blood Plague, Frost Fever, and Chains of Ice effects on the target by up to 6 sec. / 5 yd range, Instant
  • Runic Empowerment *New* is now baseline – When you use your Death Coil, Frost Strike, or Rune Strike ability, you have a 45% chance to activate a random fully depleted rune. /
  • Chains of Ice now reduces movement speed by 60% for 8 sec. (Down from 95% + 10% movement each sec over 10 seconds)
  • Chill of the Grave now has a chance to generate 5/10 Runic Power. (Up from 2.5/5)
  • Nerves of Cold Steel is now a Tier 1 talent, down from Tier 2.
  • Improved Icy Touch now increases the damage of Icy Touch by 10/20/30%. (Up from 5/10/15%)
  • On a Pale Horse is back as a Tier 2 talent.


  • Anti-Magic Shell no longer costs Runic Power.
  • Ebon Plaguebringer is now a 2 ranks talent (Down from 3) and now increases damage taken from Disease by 15/30%. (Old – 10/20/30%)
  • Dirge now has a chance to generate 5/10 Runic Power. (Up from 2.5/5)
  • Virulence now increases your chance to hit with spells by 2/4/6%. (Up from 1/2/3%)


  • Crimson Scourge is now a 2 rank talent. Increases damage dealt by Blood Boil by 20/40% (Down from 15/30/45%) and 50%/100% chance to proc. (Up from 33/67/100%)
  • Improved Blood Presence is now a Tier 4 talent, down from Tier 5.
  • Blood Parasite is now a 2 rank talent with a 5/10% chance to proc. (Up from 3/6/9%)
  • Toughness is now a Tier 3 talent. Down from Tier 4.
  • Sanguine Fortitude is now a Tier 4 talent, down from Tier 3. 2 ranks instead of 3.
  • Hand of Doom *New* – Reduces the cooldown of your Strangulate ability by 60 sec.

Cut, that’s a rap, now for the commentary!

If you want to look more closely you’ll see a few abilities got nerfed, some got buffed a little, but there were a lot of changes in the Tiers of the talents and the amount of points needed to “max out” a talent. A lot of this is in the Blood Tree and there’s a bit of this seen in the Frost tree. My guess is that it’s mainly so that the PvP builds can get some of the survivability talents that are in Blood or Frost since many of those seem to have been moved around a bit. Maybe not, but that’s my guess.

Hand of Doom

This is a new talent in the Blood Tree that reduces the cool down on Strangulate by 1 minute. What does this mean? Well for one thing it means that it will be a lot easier for us to manage casters. Because of this Strangulate can be used every minute to silence any enemy of your choice.

Pulling caster mobs will go a lot smoother. We can silence them from far away more frequently, almost every pull if my estimate is correct. This will allow us to make a lot more cleaner pulls. We’d most likely have both Death Grip AND Strangulate up for each and every pull. A group of 2 casters would be no problem, and there would be very little possibility of our Strangulate being on cool down.

Festering Strike

We get a new ability, it costs 1 frost rune and 1 blood rune to cast. It is a single target attack, but what it does is what makes it spectacular and extremely useful. First of all, the attack itself does 150% weapon damage and 372 additional damage. However, after all that it extends the duration of your diseases and Chains of Ice  by 6 seconds.

Runic Empowerment

This was supposed to be a tier 1 Frost talent, however seeing as any self-respecting Death Knight would be grabbing it, it’s now given to every Death Knight as a baseline “skill” (passive ability).

It does the same exact thing as before, whenever Rune Strike or Death Coil is used there’s a 45% chance to activate a rune that currently is out of use. This means that runes can be regenerated before their expected time of being refreshed. This can mean extra threat for Tank or a bit more DPS for the DPSers. Either way you slice it we’d have taken it so why not just make the damn thing baseline?

Hooray for Blizzard being awesome?

Damn straight.

Happy WoWing


P.S. I’ll be leaving you all for about a week, I’m off to the south for a week. Until then I hope you all have a good time learning about the new changes for Cataclysm!

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