Saturday, January 01, 2011

A Johnny Moment with DK Tanks

WoW theorycraft is pretty straightforward. However, occasionally you stumble across something clever and unusual. Something Johnny would appreciate.

I had one such moment when looking at Death Knight tank theorycraft recently.

I was looking at DK tank builds, and came up with a nice Blood/Unholy build. Then I popped over to Elitist Jerks to see how far off accepted theorycraft I was. I was surprised to the see that the suggested DK tank build went 6 points into the Frost tree to pick up Lichborne.

Spending 6 points to pick up a fear break seemed unusually situational to me. So I kept reading. And it turns out the real reason behind Lichborne is kind of cool.

Lichborne turns you into an undead for 10 seconds. Death Coil can be used to heal undead. And [Glyph of Death's Embrace] makes the heal very cheap.

It all gets combined into a macro that essentially turns Lichborne into a quasi-tank cooldown, helping the DK to heal herself back up after a big hit:
#showtooltip Lichborne
/cast Lichborne;
/cast [@player] Death Coil

Pretty clever, in my opinion. A moment for Johnnies to appreciate.


  1. Although I am no longer playing WoW, an ex-guildie over gchat was discussing precisely the same little trick for his DK MT.

  2. That's a pretty neat idea. Somehow I doubt Blizzard thought of it, so it will get nerfed. A shame.

  3. I don't think they'll nerf it. The Lichborne Heal trick has been around since WotLK, it's a good trick for PvP as well, and I can't imagine Blizz isn't aware of it after this long to the point that someone didn't realize where it is in the tree would give tanks access to it.

    That being said, never say never and knock on wood, eh?

  4. It's a very useful trick and adds another button to push in case things go south.

    You also should be using Glyph of Dark Death which increases Death Coil damage and healing by 15%. Currently my Death Coils heal me for about 30-35k or so. Seeing as I have about 160k hp this is extremely helpful in reducing healer mana usage.

    Now if only they made RP generation via Anti-Magic Shell baseline again, I'd be in paradise.

  5. i was omw to lvl'ing my DK tank when i was in limbo right be4 cata dropped. i was diggin' it too. sure, on my main i have concecration, but dropping DnD just seemed more fun to me for sum reason. i like the animation better?

    anywho, not sure when i'll get back to him. i'd LOVE to have him already @ cata, but he's @ 64 collecting his rest all the while i'm pimping out my pink soldier!

    thx 4 the heads up on this though. i'll keep it in mind.

    Arrancar - Lightning's Blade US.

  6. Blizz has known about it. It was in the arena specs for unholy, though the lower cost for a healing DC was usually not included, it didn't matter. Self heals in the last few arena seasons were awesome to have, esp ones that were as powerful as a DC heal.

  7. So THAT'S why I can't seem to keep enough of that glyph on hand. Just picked up dual-spec on a DK that I intend to use for a tank spec - will be sure to try this.

  8. What you might not have considered with your original 'Johnny' vs. 'Timmy' vs. 'Spike' is that the real difference between MTG and WoW isn't complexity so much as change.

    'Spike' reacts badly to change. Never having a very firm grasp of theory, they just proceed as they always have and presume it's right. In contrast, change is 'Johnny's' element. Johnny loves change because he's the first to recognize the core efficiencies - which 'Spike' then copies.

    With the release of Cataclysm, you'll see all sorts of these Johnny vs. Spike conflicts being resolved slowly in Johnny's favor. Look at the trend for Discipline Priests with Atonement/ToT vs. Heal-spec'd SoS builds or the 8/3/31 vs. Enhancement-based Resto Shaman.

    In both cases, the latter 'Spike' builds are giving way to the former 'Johnny' builds precisely because the Spikes of the world are realizing that when everything changes, it's the Johnnies who figure things out first.

  9. Welcome to 2 years ago!

  10. Looks like they are neutering the Lichbourne/Death Coil trick just a hair with the 4.0.6 patch.

    "Glyph of Death's Embrace no longer refunds Runic Power when self-healing via Lichborne."