I’ve been raiding as Unholy for the better part of, oh, 3 months, and the spec is great at what it does. Sustained DoT based damage which happens to be great on mobility fights and aoe, which ICC has a lot of. I’ve been very pleased. So why did I spec Frost Dual Wield recently?
1: Burst damage is insane. My DPS in heroics, for example, suffers because the full effect of my dots rarely last. Frost DW doesn’t need to worry about dots. The spec feel vastly different to Unholy, which has a sedate, snowball-rolling-downhill kinda feel. Frost is quite the opposite, it’s all bout the big hits right now, when you need ’em. The benefits to this are fights like Putricide where you have to burn an ooze down really fast. Play smartly and you can line up sufficient death runes to land 3 Obliterates and a couple frost strikes in quick succession.
2:Frost feels more engaging. There isn’t really a rotation-based gameplay to this, but rather about reacting to procs and prioritising attacks. It’s far more frantic. For those players who enjoy a more active role in their dps, this is great.
There are, of course, downsides. No permanent pet and weak dots mean if the Frost DK isn’t on top of his target at all times, he’s losing valuable DPS time. And Unholy really does have a huge advantage in the form of Bone Shield which quite drastically improves a DK’s life expectancy.
I’ll be evaluating the spec a little more over the next few days to determine whether it’s superior for personal raid dps. The haste buff is nice to have since we have no (regular) enhancement shaman, but losing out on 13% extra damage to casters is a bit harsh. Not sure how this’ll impact 10man raiding, but the 13% extra damage in 25mans would be massive and probably speccing Frost would be non-viable if the guild was 25man progression focused. ‘Fortunately’, it isn’t. 10 man is how we roll, and i’m sure the ret pally and occasional rogue benefitting from a huge haste buff will more than make up for the loss of dps to the one moonkin and occasional warlock.