With Raise Ally being changed to a combat rez on the PTR, I’d like to talk about something we’re going to get called on more as DPS – even if that doesn’t go through. I’d like to talk about utility.
By utility, I mean things that we do in combat that are not DPS. As crowd control and planning become more important, getting the most out of our utility will be just as important, and in some fights more important than maximizing our dps.
The closest thing we have to crowd control is Hungering Cold. It has no range, costs 40 runic power, is deep enough in the Frost tree that you have to be Frost specced to have it, and for all that only lasts ten seconds. It does infect targets with Frost Fever though, slowing them somewhat, but we are not a crowd control class.
We have two slows, however. Chains of Ice will cost you a Frost rune, but will slow the target by 60%. That’s our go-to snare. It will infect the target with Frost Fever and Ebon Plague if you have it. Our other slow is Desecration, in the Unholy talent tree. Fully talented, it creates a zone that slows enemies by 50% and lasts 20 seconds whenever you use Plague Strike, Scourge strike or Necrotic strike. Always. Great for the fight against Arthas, and your Grim Batol group will love you and put you on adds, but you can’t not do it, which will make repositioning the boss a pain in the ass for the tank.
Our main utility in a group is interrupts – understandable, as we were intended, originally, to be anti-caster melee tanks. Our bread-and-butter interrupt is Mind Freeze, which Frost DKs can cast for free with Endless Winter, but costs the rest of us 20 runic. It has a ten-second cooldown, so will be the interrupt that we use the most.
Strangulate is a silence that interrupts for 3 seconds on non-player targets. Two minute cooldown, but no runic or rune costs. Also, people tend to forget that Death Grip also interrupts when used in mid-cast. Plus, us Blood Elves get Arcane Torrent, yet another interrupt/silence that gives us nearly enough runic for a Mind Freeze and doesn’t have to be targeted.
I like to start with an Arcane Torrent as my first interrupt, as I may not have the runic for a Mind Freeze. Mind Freeze is second, then alternate with Strangulate and watch my cooldowns. I try to keep Death Grip in reserve for emergencies, as that will have the target attacking me for 3 seconds and an immune target won’t be interrupted.
Now, where in all this will we fit Raise Ally? Seriously – when we have our battle rez, I see us as prioritizing the druid in the group, then the healer, then the tank. You might want to work out a battle rez order in your raid, but 5 mans shouldn’t be much of an issue. As far as successful raiding goes, anything that will prevent a wipe is fine by me – but I just can’t get my head around gaining the ability to bring others back to life.
We’re not just about topping the DPS charts, and we haven’t been since Cataclysm dropped. I’d rather be third on DPS and first in interrupts if it keeps the group from wiping. And now we’ll be able to battle-rez. I wonder when we’ll get our heals.