Normal mode Gurthalak or Heroic mode Ataraxis for Unholy?

Today, I will specifically be comparing Gurthalak obtained from normal mode Madness of Deathwing and Ataraxis obtained from heroic mode Warmaster Blackhorn for unholy. Of course, the analysis would give the same results if I had compared the looking for raid version of Gurthalak and normal mode Ataraxis. Also, I’m writing/posting this from a train, so sorry in advance for the typos and such!

In the past few days, some people pointed out over on the Elitist Jerks forums that mastery seemed to be valued a little more than crit with their gear. These people seemed to all have Gurthalak from normal mode Madness of Deathwing equiped. Since the ultimate goal of every progression focused raider is to kill Madness of Deathwing on heroic, I guess the few questions that need answering are the following:

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Is Anti-Magic Zone useful?

Now that Unholy is viable for decent DPS in Dragon Soul, and is probably even better than frost for a lot of fights, one can ask if it is really useful to use a spec that includes Anti-Magic Zone (5/1/35) or if it is just better to go for the higher DPS specs like 7/1/33 or 5/3/33.

The Tooltip of Anti-Magic Zone reads: Places a large, stationary Anti-Magic Zone that reduces spell damage done to party or raid members inside it by 75%.  The Anti-Magic Zone lasts for 10 sec or until it absorbs (10000 + 2 * AP) spell damage.

At level 85, raid buffed in Heroic Firelands gear, and considering that the proc from Fallen Crusader (+15% Strength) might or might not be up, the maximum theoretical absorb should be between 55-60k spell damage. It doesn’t seem like a lot to say the least… But there is a trick, and a big one! It is actually possible to absorb much more damage, and I will try to explain as simply as possible how it works, when it should be used, and why it is very important to spec into it.

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Trinket Comparison for Unholy in 4.3

There always seems to be some sort of confusion among raiders on how to choose a trinket based on the choices available. Trinkets are often itemized with a huge chunk of a particular stat that’s provided in the form of a proc that doesn’t have 100% up-time. They can also give some kind of bonus damaging attack that’s often hard to compare to regular stats. How can these items be compared? Well, although it requires a little bit more math than your regular armor or weapon slots, it is still straightforward and can easily be done in an excel spreadsheet.

The first thing to do when one wants to rank items for his/her particular spec, is to understand how are the different stats comparing to each other. For Death Knights, SimulationCraft is, in my opinion, a decent tool for that. After importing my own character into this simulator, it is possible to obtain the average DPS expected on a Patchwerk-type fight, and most importantly, the stat weights. For my character, with the gear I had at the time of writing this post (Mix of Heroic Firelands gear and some ilvl 397 items), the results are as follow:

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Frost or Unholy in Dragon Soul?

Hey guys, and welcome to this new blog about Death Knights! I will start things up with a discussion about what spec to choose in Dragon Soul. Of course, this is my own opinion and could be proven wrong in the next few weeks, so take it with a grain of salt!

This whole week, from the official WoW forums, to the Elitist Jerks forums and even in trade chat, you can often see the same question being asked by Death Knights: Should I spec Frost or Unholy in Dragon Soul? This is a question that haven’t been asked since tier 11 and almost every Death Knight raiding seriously in Firelands had to spec Frost dual wield to stay competitive. These past few days, a good number of Death Knights in top raiding guilds have started switching to Unholy, but most are still specced Frost. Most are now specced unholy (as of December 9th).

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