Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Anub'arak: A dps DK perspective

The final fight in Trial of the Crusader is the Traitor King, Anub'arak. We've all fallen through the floor by now. How do we DKs provide the pwnage? It's actually one of the more straightforward fights:

Pull: Just run in. Be a bit behind the tank so you don't get cleaved while the tank is turning him. Icy Touch while running in. Plague Strike. Regular dps rotation blah blah (we got it Hine). Get proc-buffed pets out and diseases rolling as per normal. IF you are on hard mode, you have to be stingy with your permafrost, so you'll likely be asked to Death Grip an orb to Anub's hip. The adds will be tanked here to allow aoe/cleave damage to take the adds down. When you get two adds, pestilence and Death and Decay to hit both them and the boss (or just pest and howling blast as frost). If adds are tanked seperately, usually just the ranged will dps them and melee stays on boss.

If you're not completely foolish with aggro on Anub, the biggest risk of dying here is not paying attention and getting hit by spikes in P2 or going totally nuts on adds in P2 and getting too many stacks of their acid drenched mandibles debuff.

Phase Two: Try to spread diseases to as many scarabs as possible. I find Death & Decay doesn't add much dps because the scarabs don't clump all that much and seem to constantly move out of the aoe area, but I will use it if I get three or more relatively stationary adds. Just dps them down.

Phase Three: As soon as the Leeching Swarm starts, your raid should go all out. Bloodlust/Heroism should be popped here. Use your potion of speed. Get your gargoyle/dancing rune weapon/ghoul out, and army of the dead. We let adds submerge, but they can still be tanked on a death-gripped frost patch on Anub's rear if you get more than one set. If you get too low, and aren't 100% sure of your healers, you can always Death Strike to get a little health back. A dead DK does no dps!

Heroic: If you're on heroic, the fight is much the same, but the health and damage of Anub is of course increased. You'll get double the Nerubian Burrowers (big adds), and of course, only 6 orbs for permafrost, basically two per phase one. Anub will need to be kited, so if you get chosen, you'll have to run! Switch to unholy presence if you don't have a speed enchant and get going! Anub picks up speed, so be careful. The kiting mechanic has been documented elsewhere and isn't specific to DK dps, so I'll leave it at that.

Your dps should be decent at least. If your raid groups the adds on Anub, you'll do very well since every spec does nice extra damage on those adds. On phase two however, we aren't extraordinary. Melee have to run all over, while ranged tend to be able to stay in one place a little more and pick their targets. You'll get cleave damage if you're blood, and tons of disease damage if you're unholy. On normal, my dps can be low - in the 6-7k range. If I can convince my guild to work more on clumping adds in both phases, it should jump up significantly.


  1. I'm curious about the start of your rotation. What's your reasoning behind applying diseases as you run in, instead of after proc's are up. Is it really worth using the runes at the start? I use power auras to track my major procs and attempt to get them going before applying any diseases.

    For blood, I start with DS, HS, HS, IT, PS, DC, HoW, DRW, Ghoul, and then HS for blood/death runes, pestilence to roll diseases and that's about it. All my major procs are usually up right at the start of the fight from the initial DS/HS combo and it gets my diseases rolling with tons of damage.

    For Unholy I do pretty much the same thing but use SS, BS, BS, IT, PS to start. Same principle behind it.

    I guess I could start with IT/PS as I run in, but might that throw off my runes at the start and possibly cause me to miss that window where all my procs are up?

  2. Good comment/question, and this is the type of nuance that is debated endlessly at EJ. :) So keep in mind I have reasons I do it the way I do, but I can't guarantee it's 'right.' :P

    You probably remember that 'forever' the EJ experts were saying PS > IT was the way to go. I never followed that trend. You don't see that any more. Why? The tiny buff PS > IT gave was inferior to the extra gcd and rune you get using IT when out of melee range.

    Same basic reasoning here. I actually always have enough runic power before the pull, so at 35 yards, I DC, then IT as I run in. I don't start with SS (or DS) because I find that I almost never have trouble getting my procs to line up at the start anyway, and that would be the only reason to do it. (per the theorycrafting body, starting with SS or DS would be done to help get procs lined up, but is otherwise a dps loss since you're doing it without buffing the strikes with diseases up).

    Per your earlier comments/questions, I use MSBT to give me an auditory notification of procs, but bleeding hearts is a FAR superior tool for lining up your buffs. Depending on the fight, I just use a 'normal' rotation until I get my target attack power - usually 10-12k attack power in 25 man - then start rolling diseases. This happens during my first rotation 90% of the time. SS/DS first would only increase this at best by 5%. I prefer to have a rotation that is better 95% of the time (90% better because the the procs line up just as well, and the extra 5% because using SS/DS first still sometimes doesn't get all your procs and is a dps loss to IT > PS).

    There's my logic, flawed as it may be.

    Thanks for the contribution Tiger.

  3. Well, the reasoning behind PS > IT was used for frost builds because Glacier Rot makes IT hit harder on diseased targets. It doesn't seem to make sense for Blood or Unholy, unless you want to get just a little bit more damage while running in to the target. I guess it wouldn't hurt, unless you have to delay disease application while waiting for the rune to refresh.

    For blood, I like using DS first to get Abom's Might proc'd as well Sigil of Virulence. Two HS's following the DS almost always proc the 2pc T9 bonus, and somewhere in those 3 hits + autoattacks Greatness goes off too. At that point, if somehow I'm missing a buff and it's a fight where my diseases won't ever be dropped (Jaraxxus for example), I might pop ERW just to get another chance at a proc with a few more HS's. Somehow it's always the 2 pc T9 bonus that's stubborn. When all procs are up I pop my Hysteria macro, apply diseases, summon my ghoul/DRW and go nuts. This usually gets me full powered diseases rolling on the target in under 10 seconds from the start of the fight.

    For Unholy I can see the advantage of getting Unholy Blight rolling on the target with the initial DC, which I think I'll start trying. I still like using SS > BS > BS to start though, so I can proc the sigil and 2 pc T9 bonuses before diseases are up.

    Either way, I'm glad our tanks grab aggro quickly because I've seen my DPS spike over 15k initially from some realllly huge HS/DS hits near the start of the fight :)

  4. As you're saying, you feel you need it to get your procs up, and that's fine.

    In my raid last night, I got all my procs lined up 100% of the time on the first rotaion. Never failed to get fully-stacked diseases rolling with my rotation...

    Could be more of a problem with blood as you suggest, although I really haven't noticed much of a problem with blood when rolling diseases either.

    In any case, it's looking like the buffed Scourge Strike and nerfed 4-pc bonus will eliminate this spec for most bossfights in the (coming soon) Icecrown Citadel.


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