Unholy Commonly regarded as the DK PvP tree, all trees are viable in a battleground environment, so the choice merely becomes a matter of preference or playstyle. Unholy is a micromanagement spec that demands paying attention to your pet as well as your debuffs on an enemy. Here are some of the best PvP talents in the tree:
- Unholy Command A talent that appeals to most PvP players, this gives an offensive pull every 25 seconds and allows you to immediately swap to another opponent. It's also usable as an interrupt in a pinch, so a shorter cooldown opens up your options considerably.
- Desecration This is perhaps one of the most annoying death knight abilities in PvP because it's a basic proc and is an AoE effect that requires opponents to get out of the area or put up an immunity. It's a great investment that simply procs and requires no upkeep, which is great because you'll have other things to worry about.
- Shadow Infusion and Dark Transformation Unholy gives ample opportunity to dump your runic power into Death Coil, so the bonuses from Shadow Infusion are just gravy. What we're really after is Dark Transformation, which transforms your ghoul into a true terror for 30 seconds and all its abilities become boosted versions. It's something of a death knight version of the hunter's Bestial Wrath. While the replacement abilities are cool, what you're after in PvP is Monstrous Blow, which is a 4-second stun, and Shambling Rush, which is both an interrupt and a 2-second root. Just be mindful that Shambling Rush is a Leap replacement and has a minimum range, preventing its use in melee. These abilities are pretty simple to use -- see a stack of five Shadow Infusions? Turn that ghoul into a behemoth. Profit. Glyph of Raise Dead (Prime) should ensure that your monstrosity hits stronger and stays longer on the field.
- Magic Suppression and Anti-Magic Zone Although not necessarily no-brainers in a PvP spec, these talents provide an additional layer of mitigation against the damage type to which death knights are highly susceptible. Magic Suppression also provides another means to generate runic power for more Death Coil goodness. Glyph of Anti-Magic Shell (Major) can also extend immunity to magical crowd control and other harmful effects to 7 seconds.
- Unholy Blight Because your diseases play an integral part in your playstyle, it's imperative that they aren't dispelled. Unholy Blight prevents any such dispel shenanigans as long as you consistently dump your runic power into Death Coils, which should naturally be empowered by Glyph of Death Coil (Prime). More than in PvE, your Death Coils will work to keep your ghoul alive on the field, so always be ready to use it defensively as well as offensively.
Patch 4.0.1 leading up to Cataclysm
sees the three death knight specs playing completely differently from one another, which is an exciting change. This is a trend among all classes, which should make the battlefield extremely colorful. These PvP-centric talents and glyphs should help complement your choices of DPS-increasing or mitigation talents. Choose well, because you won't be able to pick everything up. For the most part, abilities that require you to establish a rhythm in order to gain a DPS boost aren't too viable in PvP. As always, be prepared to sacrifice some DPS for utility.
In our next installment, we'll take a look at the best PvP talents and glyphs for druids. We'll also make sure to poke some fun at their new tree form
, while we're at it.
Zach delivers your weekly dose of battlegrounds and world PvP in one crazy column. He talked about how to prepare yourself for Cataclysm in the weeks to come, as well as how to build your battleground premade. Also get excited as he discusses the shape of Cataclysm battlegrounds PvP.