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Death Knight Updates in Patch 9038

Author: inwowgold Source:

Frost tree to get some buffs
Disease damage went down a little, which will lower's Unholy's overall dps. Dancing Rune Weapon was doing a huge portion of blood's dps. We thought it was cooler to let it hit hard but be out less often.
When we made these changes, Blood's dps was higher than Unholy's, which was higher than Frost's. Frost is probably still a little light as I write this so they may get more buffs.
New Icy Touch damage to be switched to Obliterate and Howling Blast
n our most recent tests, Frost's dps is still below Blood and Unholy. Icy Touch should make up some of those differences, but it will probably require more. We suspect Blood and Unholy just get a lot of bonus damage from talents like Bloody Vengeance and Ebon Plaguebringer that Frost can't quite yet match.
We think what we might end up doing is shifting some of that damage from Icy Touch to Obliterate and Howling Blast. We got Frost's dps up a lot, which is good. It's also cool to see Icy Touch feel like a nuke again. We just want to back off of it a little and buff the double rune abilities.
Death Knights having less mitigation than the 3 other tanks?
Druids mitigate a lot more damage at the moment than warriors do without any block at all. If DKs are low, improving their armor will have a similar effect. We just have to be careful, because DKs do have a lot of cooldowns, and it's possible they'll mitigate too much if we overcompensate.
Now, it's possible that block might eventually surpass druid armor for mitigation, but that makes a lot of assumptions based on fights, item levels and content in general that doesn't exist yet. We have done some comparisons based on theoretical gear, but it's going to be theoretical for many months.
Also remember that while avoidance is still dangerous to rely on as a tank, it is less dangerous than it used to be since bosses won't be doing back to back crushing blows. Druids were amazing tanks in BC even with crushing blows, and only started to fall down because they ran out of gear to improve their mitigation, hit the armor cap, and ran into Sunwell Radiance.
DK Tanking - Block & Parry
Thott is correct that warrior block gains more from Strength than DK parry does. But we don't really want DK parry to reach crazy levels. A death knight with 80% parry is probably a very bad tank, not a great one. Block on the other hand always does a great job of mitigating physical damage, as long as it continues to grow.
Abilities like Forceful Deflection are intended to make up for differences such as not having a gun or shield with mitigation stats on it. To actually get death knight mitigation where it needs to be, they are going to need a lot of block like a plate-wearer or a lot of armor like a druid. The second option is far more likely.

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