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Some damage/threat tips
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I'm just gonna list some tips I've come up with, either by my experience or by talking with other players, to get the most damage/threat you can while still being useful beyond just damage if necessary.
1) Know the best rotation for your spec. For a frost or unholy, know either the 2/2 or the 1/3 (2/2 is better, 1/3 is easier to set up), and for blood know how to manage your runes. On Patchwerk, you should be able to pretty much maintain this rotation.
2) Don't follow your rotation religiously. Sometimes it's going to be better to use a rune on a cooldown, or you're going to miss part of your rotation while knocked back or CC'd. However, in those situations, know which of your abilities will do the most damage, so you can get the benefit of the cooldown without sacrificing as much. Depending on your glyphs and spec, these could be widely different abilities, it's more about you knowing what kind of numbers you generate (one of the easiest ways would be to get the addon Recount, and attack test dummies, then look at the breakdown to see how much damage each attack does).
3) Don't be afraid to save some runes. When I'm tanking VH, for example, there are some pulls which involve a single target that has adds steadily stream in (about every 10-15 sec, not entirely sure on the time). I try to at least save a blood rune early in my rotation to grab the mob with pestilence, and once my first set of runes is off CD, I try to maintain one of each for D&D, so that I can easily aggro the mob.
4) Know how many mobs need to be in the pull before X AoE ability will be extra damage over a single-target attack. It's harder to watch with DK's, because most of our abilities are pretty low key, but I've seen mages spam frostbolt on AoE pulls and blizzard/CoC on single target pulls. As a DK, you really shouldn't be using DnD unless there's multiple targets, and you should know the threshold at which each single target attack should be replaced (for example, I replace BS with BB when there are 3 or more mobs present).
5) When tanking, focus a little more on AoE, even if it's less overall damage (unless you want to tab-attack), as it will keep adds off the healer.
6) On multi-mob pulls, you should generally only apply diseases once. Pestilence will use 1 rune to spread them, so if you always target someone who has a disease up before you pestilence, then all but one of the mobs should have diseases up at all times. This is especially helpful on say a 3-mob pull that takes your group 20 seconds, because instead of starting off each by applying diseases, you just apply diseases to the first mob and spread them, and then you can just use high-damage attacks for the rest of the rotation.
None of these tips are focused on gear/spec, and I'd like that to be the focus of the thread, too. There's enough tips on those on the first page, anyway.
Gratz making a long thread to basically say nothing.
Yes, it is common sense. But then again, common sense isn't so common. A lot of DK's I see do very subpar DPS, mostly because they don't do these basic things.
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