Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Saurfang: a DPS DK Perspective

Tonight we get our second Icecrown Wing and woot! am I ever excited about it!
On the eve of seeing some down and dirty plagues, I'll post my 4th Icecrown Boss review for DPS DKs.
Saurfang is the first 'real' gear check boss. Your guild may have had a little trouble with Lady Deathwhisper, but if you got her, I'm sure you're past the Gunship and on to Saurfang! You need to get him dead before you can go back inside the Citadel, so let's get to it! There are some strict dps requirements to get him down, so do your part and soon enough you'll be running from slimes. :)

Saurfang is for the most part a tank and spank fight, so let's get to it!

Pull/Phase One: You should be up on the pedestal getting ready.
If you summon your army of the dead while Saur is monologuing, then they'll be down before the first blood beasts are summoned. Why is this important? Because if you aggro the beasts, they'll stay on the pedestal and melee you, giving Saurfang waaaaay too many marks too quickly.

You should be unholy for this fight. How often do I give you a specific spec? Trust me on this. But if not, let me elaborate. The only reason you can legitimately give to NOT be unholy is if you a) already have an unholy DK and b) your raid desperately needs the buffs from another tree. Otherwise, unholy it is because 1) the casters need to kill the blood beasts asap. You can pestilence diseases to them all, applying the 13% debuff simultaneously. Just wait to do so until the beasts are already leaving the pedestal to ensure you don't get agro. 2) the other reason you should be unholy is you don't have any primary attacks that are aoe. Blood's heart strike will hit the beasts and frost's howling blast will do the same so you'll have to either gimp your dps or risk pulling the beasts to you, neither of which are acceptable.

So, for this fight you should simply dps your merry heart out. blow your cooldowns. Save your haste potion, but use all your cds. When Saurfang is at about 15-20%, your raid will probably blow heroism/bloodlust, and your gargoyle should be back up. Hit potion of speed, gargoyle, and go to town. This being a tank and spank, your rotation should be simple. There are no other special dps tricks that I'm aware of, except to anti-magic shield when you get blood nova.

The only other points to remember are: pestilence when blood beasts are leaving the pedestal and chains of ice a blood beast if asked to do so.

Phase Two: There is no spoon. Just dps. The fight consists of dpsing and more dpsing, and being careful to not pull blood beasts.

DPS for DKs should be very good on this fight. There aren't any major dps buffs like on Twins or aoe craziness like on Onyxia or Faction Champs, but you get to sit there and smack the boss. DPS DKs should fare very well and compete with all other classes for second place behind any decent mut rogues.


  1. I have been avoiding using army on this fight because of the blood beast issue, I guess if you summon it early enough it shouldn't be a problem. I'll try that tonight. Is there any chance that they'll get hit with blood nova though and give him tons of energy? I haven't noticed blood nova in melee range, so maybe that's not an issue.

    As blood spec (we have an unholy DK already), all I do when beasts are coming out is throw up another DS or two, even if I have death runes, and wait for range to have aggro. I then go back to HS because my secondary hits won't pull aggro off our ranged players at that point (we typhoon right away and slow them down in traps, roots, etc.).

    Also, popping hero earlier in the fight makes more sense to me since everyone will be alive. Marked players should be allowed to die, so later in the fight you'll be down a couple people, reducing the effectiveness of hero. In 25 man we only get 2 marks anyways, and in 10 man, usually none.

  2. Question: Will unholy blight cause enough damage to pull aggro on the blood beasts when they first appear? Our guild reached the 25 man version of this fight for the first time on Sunday and I was a bit timid to use my death coils out of fear that one or more of the beasts might turn around and hit me in the head.

  3. @Tiger - great comments as usual!
    - yep, give the early army a summon. Works just fine. Never had them take a blood nova.
    -as I mentioned, unless your raid needs Abom's Might, unholy is THE way to go, from a min/max perspective. IF your raid is already downing Saur before 2 marks, however, it's clear you don't need to min/max. As you say, you can DS or BS as needed when beasts are up. But make no mistake, that's a dps loss and definitely a loss compared to unholy.
    -as far as hero goes, you are absolutely right. I wish I had the EJ thread that did the math on this - but truth is, hero is best done at the start of the fight unless fight mechanics specifically suggest otherwise. Yes, Saur enrages and you want to get through it quickly, but in general, heroism should be done at start - less marks = more win. On the other hand, I've done the fight with three different guilds now and they pop hero at the end. SO, save your haste pot for whenever it's popped.

    unholy blight has NOT been an aoe for a long time now. It only affects your death coil target, which is Saurfang. Feel free to go crazy on him with them. The only other aoe you have as unholy is wandering blight, but the dps and threat from that talent is negligible in this fight.


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