With the allure of the Reins of the Infinite Timereaver strong, I’ve been finding myself having quite a bit of fun smashing through any and all time walking dungeons since their release. I’m not going to deny it, when it comes to running these dungeons Blood Death Knights are well and truly on the over powered end of the spectrum. Making some smart gear choices and full use of your Death Knight tool kit will see you blasting through time walking dungeons with ease and with bigger numbers flashing across your screen.
Death Knight Best In Slot (BIS) Time Walking Gear… sort of
Thankfully I hadn’t vendored or disenchanted my older raid gear so I was pretty well set from the day Time Walking hit, but in case you’re not a hoarder like myself, here’s an overview of the gear I use and you should probably try and track down.
First up, scaling can be kind of weird in Time Walking. The scaling of the legendary ring being a prime example. In Time Walking, you are better off equipping the 715ilvl version of the ring rather than the genuine orange Thorasus, the Stone Heart of Draenor. Reason being, the proc from the 715 version remains a flat +15% stat increase while the on use effect from the legendary version is scaled down to a barely noticeable damage increase of 1-2% on use.
Speaking of weird scaling leads me on to the ‘must have’ time walking tier sets…
First up, you will need two pieces of the Firelands Tier 12 Tank set (Elementium Deathplate Battlearmor) set for the set bonus: “Your melee attacks cause Burning Blood on your target, which deals 800 Fire damage every 2 sec for 6 sec.” Personally I opt for the shoulders and gloves of this set.
Three pieces of Throne of Thunder Tier 15 DPS set (Battleplate of the All-Consuming Maw) for the set bonus: “Your attacks have a chance to raise the spirit of a fallen Zandalari as your Death Knight minion for 15 sec. (Approximately 1.15 procs per minute)”. I take the helm, chest and legs. For some reason if you’re packing three pieces, those little troll zombies just dish out huge amounts of pain!
Tank wise I’m inclined to recommend the Indomitable Primal Diamond (“+20 Stamina and chance on being hit to gain 20% reduction to damage taken”) for the sole reason that the damage reduction it provides is not affected by the time walking stat squish. If you’re tanking a 20% damage reduction can let you pull of larger trash pulls a little easier, and if you’re random queuing solo it can make your life a lot easier. I have also played around with the DPS legendary meta gem – Capacitive Primal Diamond – but the damage it provides doesn’t seem to be worth the trade off for the hefty damage reduction that the Indomitable Primal Diamond provides. On a few Dungeons I ran during a recent Wrath of the Lich King time walking event Lightning Strike accounted for roughly 2-2.5% of my total damage single target and significantly less on large AoE pulls.
Discordant Chorus and Bone-Link Fetish combination can pull some significant numbers on large AoE packs. The cleave proc has the added benefit of proc’ing the T12 burning blood DoT on everything it hits. That’s important.
Weapon of choice – Shadowmourne. Besides giving you a cool oppurtunity to blow the dust off your old legendary that’s been sitting in the bank for years, Shadowmourne is the Death Knight weapon of choice for Time Walking (even during Cataclysm weekends). The proc has crazy up time and the AoE damage done via Chaos Bane is a nice side effect. If you don’t have access to Shadowmourne, Shin’ka, Execution of Dominion from Mists of Pandaria with the legendary gem equipped is a nice substitute. While in Ice Crown Citadel it’s also worth grabbing Ashen Band of Endless Might (for Wrath Time Walking and below in any case). Another socket plus an attack power proc are worth grabbing.
Cloak wise grab Gong Lu, Strength of Xuen from your bank if you have it, proc is decent (even in Blood specialization) and it has a socket. If you missed out on picking up the legendary cloak from Mists of Pandaria two alternative options are Sentinel’s Winter Cloak (available from a vendor in Dalaran for gold) or Reinforced Mirror Cloak (drops off Durumu in Throne of Thunder). Besides being easily accessible, with weird scaling the Sentinel’s Winter Cloak has the edge on the Durumu cloak even in Cataclysm time walking dungeons due to more strength and bonus armor.
Boots, belt, wrist and neck wise. Sockets are king. My picks are Treads of Crushed Flesh (from Dragon Soul), Bracers of Destructive Strength (crafted), Demonbane Waistguard (vendor) and Moonjade Necklace (Throne of Thunder).
For gems and enchants, gem wise throw Bold Cardinal Rubys in every socket you have available. Enchant strength or multistrike if there is no strength enchant available for that slot. Don’t forget that if you’re using the Mists of Pandaria and Cataclysm gear you can also use the shoulder and leg enchants (for example, Greater Tiger Fang Inscription and Angerhide Leg Armor.
You may be able to find some better options here if you truly want to min/max to the max, but the key takeaway is get the tier, get the trinkets, and get as many sockets as you can, everything else is icing on the cake. Speaking of icing and cake…
Time Walking and the Death Knight Tool Kit: The Icing on the Cake
The first spell you may normally ignore but should really drag from your spell book is Control Undead. You can also make liberal use of Dark Simulacrum (so glyph it!). Here are a list of prime Control Undead/Dark Simulacrum candidates I’ve found (I’ll add to it as I find more):
Ahn’kahet: The Old Kingdom: My day is brightened every time I see the loading screen for Ahn’kahet: The Old Kingdom. Here’s why. While lesser classes cower at the thought of them, Death Knights should look upon the Ahn’kahar Spell Flingers as their best friends. Thanks to Control Undead the Spell Flingers you can almost literally one shot bosses. In Time Walking the Spell Flinger ability Shadow Blast hits for 80% of the targets health, any target, bosses included. Super pro bonus time saving tip, release the Spell Flinger prior to pulling a boss and allow it to cast Shadow Blast on you and Dark Simulacrum it (AMS it as well). Now Control Undead the Spell Flinger again and start it channeling its Shadow Blast. As the cast is about to end fire off your Dark Simulacrum Shadow Blast as well. The boss is then dead.
Pit of Saron: There is so much stuff in here to mind control you can just go crazy with it. I like to grab a Wrathbone Laborer at the start as it seems to pull decent damage, plus it’s a massive skeleton whacking things with a shovel so bonus style points. The leaping ghouls prior to the second boss are also a decent option as well. I’ve toyed with the Ymirjar Flamebearers and Ymirjar Wrathbringers but they don’t seem to be quite as effective.