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WoW - PvP Melee Choices: The Death Knight

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Martí Micolau
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For this new edition of the "melee choice in PvP" series, let's take a look at the heroic class of World of Warcraft, a class that made its appearance on November 13, 2008, with the release of the expansion Warth of The Lich King. This character has the particularity of starting directly at level 55. It is, you will have recognized it: the death knight.



Within the precincts of Acherus, nestled in the Eastern Plaguelands, he returns from the dead, to sow curses and disease on Azeroth. Taking with him an army of zombies, he destroys everything in his path and where he goes, nothing repels. To accomplish his misdeeds, the death knight has two damage specializations: the frost specialization and the unholy specialization. Although these two specializations are not identical in the way they inflict damage, their playstyle, strengths and weaknesses remain quite similar. We will try as much as possible to approach them in a general way by stopping on the techniques that these two specializations have in common.

Its strong points

His pressure : the main utility of the Death Knight is the intense and constant pressure he will put on his opponent. Initially, it inflicts damage thanks to the diffusion of diseases and its summons of creatures in unholy specialization, and thanks to direct damage in frost specialization. The unholy death knight has a certain advantage in that he is able to spread diseases on several targets thanks to Pestilence and thus inflict multiple damage. But also, the death knight has a very great singularity. In addition to its damage, it inflicts a form of pressure that it is the only class available. With the Necrotic Strike ability, he places a powerful healing absorption on his target, which also reduces casting speed. This absorption, cumulative and not very visible at first glance, is therefore particularly surprising and devastating for opposing healers.



Its resistance to controls : the death knight is a real leech. When he has chosen his prey, it is very complicated to get rid of it, or for other opponents to come to the aid of their teammate. Against magical controls, the Death Knight can use his anti-magic shell and become unresponsive to it. In addition, he also has a spell that can remove a stun effect and be immune to it for several seconds: Icy Toughness. Likewise, faced with the effects of fear, charm, and sleep, the death knight can choose the Changeliche talent which, again, makes him immune to it. To top it off, he can also acquire Desecrated Earth which this time makes him immune to all control effects. Suffice to say that the Death Knight can under certain conditions be an unstoppable war machine.

His weak points

Its mobility : despite many techniques to avoid controls, the death knight is very sensitive to immobilizations. It does not have any speed enhancement and cannot deal with immobilization effects on its own. He does, however, have the means to bring his target back to him with the Death Grip (twice with PvP gear), and ... that's it. It is therefore a class very easy to distance which will have, in the context of clashes with several like arenas, to associate with a paladin, a hunter or a shaman to benefit from their effects of freedom.

Its controls : To increase his dominance and pressure against healers, the death knight has strangulation, which can be upgraded to stun through the suffocate talent. Outside of this control, the Unholy Specialization Ghoul also possesses a stun. The final possibility of control is found in the Merciless Winter talent, which can be avoided by many classes and which involves sacrificing the useful Desecrated Earth talent. In short, the Death Knight will often have to settle for one or two checks. This is clearly not where the class will derive its strength.



The game of the Death Knight is based on an intense focus of his target, he is currently a very dangerous class and the worst enemy of healers. At first glance, you might think that playing a death knight consists of focusing on an opponent and punching him until his death. There are a few niceties, though, especially when it comes to the Unholy Specialization that makes her richer. This specialization indeed involves the management of the ghoul and its transformations, which somewhat modify the effect of spells. It also involves disease management; we must ensure that they are correctly applied to each of the targets.

Also, the Death Knight is constantly in the throes of a dilemma. We could see that he had many spells to protect himself from controls, but it turns out that those same spells are for the most part also his survival spells, his defensive spells. The whole difficulty will therefore lie in using these techniques sparingly, wisely, not launching them recklessly so as not to find yourself defenseless in the face of sudden assaults.



To conclude, I would say that the death knight is a two-level class, a beginner player will more certainly play the frost specialization, with the efficiency easier to access but also more limited, while the ungodly will be longer when taken in hand but will inflict monumental damage, especially in instanced PvP formats, if mastered by an experienced player.



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