Hey guys I know I was supposed to give you a break down of haste vs mastery for UH and show you how master is far superior 2ndary stat but I think it will be a bit more fun to give you run down of DK changes in 5.2 and what to expect from them. Needless to say I will make UH DK stat priority very soon as well.
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This blog actually coming out too long so I will separate it into 2 different topics. Survivability changes which is this topic and UH DK pressure changes which I will work on as soon as I am done with this Blog.

  • So those are the changes:

  • Death Siphon now heals for 150% of the damage dealt (was 100%).(still garbage for PvP)

  • Conversion now costs 5 Runic Power plus 5 per second thereafter (was 10 Runic Power plus 10 per second).(amazing)
  • Unholy
  • Reaping now also applies to Icy Touch. (amazing)
  • Summon Gargoyle no longer costs Runic Power.(quality of life change)
  • Gargoyle Strike now deals Shadow and Nature damage (was Nature only).(about time)
  • Ebon Plaguebringer now causes Plague Strike to inflict Frost Fever, in addition to its other effects.** (hidden buff with new rotation changes)

I will go through all the changes explaining you what I am expecting to change here and how those changes are a hidden buff to UH DKs.

Lets start with healing talents that are getting buffed:

Death Siphon -
(Quick verdict if you do not want to read - Garbuuuuuge!)
Death Siphon now heals for 150% of the damage dealt (was 100%).
Heals for 150% of the damage dealt instead of 100%. 50% extra healing is nice but I think it will be still garbage for PvP as a talent choice. Here is the math around it:
I am 485 Item Level full malevolent with some tier gear upgrades and T2 weapon and fully mastery stacked. My Death Siphon in PvP hits for 13.5k on average, with out a massive damage procs or activated trinket. Granted it can go up to 16-18k with all the damage procs. The healing that we can expect from Death Siphon is roughly around 20-27k with no MS effect on us.

The strength of Death Siphon is the ability to heal while kiting the enemy and give us some runic power for lichborne heal.

However,

Necrotic Strike hits for around 13k physical damage and right now does roughly 30-31 absorption with up to 35k physical crits and 60k absorption with all proc. Using Death Siphon over Necrotics will completely obliterate any counter offensive pressure and it won't be enough to heal us through burst for 1 main reason - we can only get Death Runes every 15 seconds in UH presence with out blood tap procs.

Thats why I think the ability overall falls short of being anything remotely viable for PvP. It is still good option for PvE so unless they do something drastically to it I think it will be a mediocre talent for the rest of its talent's life. Possible good changes is Death Siphon putting up HOT on us that heals for some % or maybe make Death Siphon some sort of the heal based on Disease Damage or even make it a DOT (not disease) that ticks for 3-4k dmg and heals us for 4 times that amount every 3 seconds (so roughly 5.6k healing per sec which is 1.2%)

**Conversion:
**Conversion now costs 5 Runic Power plus 5 per second thereafter (was 10 Runic Power plus 10 per second)****

(Quick verdict for those who do not want to read - amazing!)

This change has layers upon layers of hidden buffs and is amazing!

Lets start with the new vs old uptime of conversion in blood presence. My average rune regen I think is around 9.5 but I will round it up to 10 for easy calculations (thats with mastery stacking) in addition I will not include this at the start of the fight and with out empower runic weapon ability. Just pure raw sustain survivability when we need it. I am also including death strike in this equation because when we are getting cleaved we will need all the heals we can get and rune of falen crusader procs which is realistically to expect over 20 seconds of combat. So here we go:

Over 20 seconds we can do 2-3 death strikes from frost / UH Runes 1 death strike from blood runes and 2-4 blood boils with 1 horn winter which totals runic power at roughly 90- 130 (110 average). (why disparity - well thats will depend at what current rune stage are you going to start trying to heal yourself. you can have 5 seconds left on all of your runes with some runic power or you can have at least 3 available)

With old conversion we could get average 11 ticks which is almost half the uptime to the total of 33% heal including 1 rune of fallen crusader proc with extra 3% heal and 3.5 death strikes which is 24% heal - our total healing comes down to 60% healing over 20 seconds which is roughly around 3% heal a second (gasp! possible 2nd which with 1 exception though we literally trading 80% of our pressure for that where 2nd which is a passive activated heal)

With new conversion we could get average of 22 ticks I will put only 20 because we are basing our results over 20 seconds which means we have whole 10 runic power left! (total healing from conversion is 60%) with death strike and fallen crusader proc heal we getting up to 87% which is 4.35% healing a second.

You say whats the difference? We literally gained extra 1.35% healing or DPS needs to do extra (435k hp * 1.35%= 5750) 5750 damage per second. With blood presence HP buff this is literally half the 2nd which change.

This is huge when we are getting trained by physical DPS.

Some possible short comings of Conversion: It is also toggle ability and cannot be activated while we are CCed stunned and so on. It is sustain healing and falls short when we are getting bursted down really hard. We are sacrificing huge chunk of our damage in order to keep it. It also drains our runic power which makes lichborne less effective when it is used for healing. So it definitely has its limitations as this the best defensive scenario during which we won't out put almost any offensive pressure (for those who are wondering whats the difference it is UH presence 7.8 second rune regen no necros and no big strikes + death coils blood taps I am sorry I am too lazy to calculate this as it can get really messy with a lot of different variables).

**When can Conversion be used: **
I think it can be used really well in duels, 2v2 and 3v3 scenarios. In 5v5 and RBGs I still think that Death Pact will be a superior talent choice because of the levels of burst increase in those PvP brackets. Also in some 3v3 we will need death pact over conversion with the levels of the burst (fighting mage / destro lock / warrior / feral / rogue (yes their opener burst is amazing)) if team consists of those 2 classes put together then Death Pact would be a superior choice if DKs are getting bursted down.

vs Dot cleave teams (and they are having a come back due to DOTs scaling with gear Nadagast streamed 2500 shadow play and I would imagine Boomkin Lock will be viable as well) new conversion will be a must to have in order to save your healer's mana and help him prioritize his / her healing over your other partner or even healer himself.

Some talent / glyph choices difference:
When we are picking conversion lich borne becomes less effective as I already stated due to its requirement to heal through runic power. Therefore lichborne could be used as a CC escape and potential heal burst with procs up but vs teams that do not have excessive amounts of fears we can possibly go AMZ or Purgatory. Which further increases our capability to peel with AMZ (i think we can go AMZ vs RMP, RLS, Boomin X) basically any major magical damage dealers. Even vs Death knights it becomes amazing.

Glyph of Icebound Fortitude: If you check out my armory:
us.battle.net/wow/en/character/illidan/…
I am usually running with glyph of icebound fortitude which basically reduces our survivability by a bit but gives us an extra trinket vs stun. With conversion against physical damage dealers I think that IBF's damage mitigation value increases as it further increases damage threshold that we can tolerate with conversion up (think about it this way conversion = damage that is healed through if conversion heals for 10k that we will need to take more than 10k DPS in order to keep losing HP) Extra 20% of IBF with conversion up will increase our damage threshold by 20% and I think that IBF will become a decent ability vs melee cleaves when they are popping all offensive CDs on us if we decide to go Conversion.

Shifting presences glyph also becomes invaluable here as conversion becomes extremely effective in blood presence and shifting presences will help us go Defensive when we need to with out losing our runic power for some immediate healing and will also help us to keep our offensive pressure up when we switch from blood presence to UH / Frost.

Spec Synergy: I think blood DKs will benefit from it the most as conversion is another amazing heal added to them as a runic power healing dump. Imagine blood DKs with Death Strikes + conversion (ouch that might be a bit too much so I am asking you guys not to ruin healing for UH and Frost by going mongoloid Blood DKs vs 1200 noobs, not mater how alluring possible trolling with healing could be.
Unholy 2nd best to benefit from conversion - because conversion drains offensive power of the DK, Unholy has a lot of passive damage through higher diseases ticks and pet attack therefore UH will see a lesser damage reduction from Conversion heals.
Frost benefits the least from Conversion but it has a bit higher healing threshold due to 2 permanent death runes that will allow them to squeeze 1 extra death strike over 2x rune rotation.

Racial Synergy:
Undead further becomes an extremely viable option for UH DKs due to the touch of the grave procs with conversion up, and also if we decided to spec out of Lichborne to AMZ I think Will of the Forsaken could be possibly good replacement for that.
Tauren Synergy - stomp gives us 2 ticks of conversion up which is 6% healing while DPS is stunned which could be a game breaker, but also 5% extra health will increase conversion healing by a good portion.

Synergy with healers:
I feel like conversion will work extremely well with Hots as all the hots are is basically an increased threshold for DPS to go through in order to do an effective damage. Imagine conversion + rejuvenation + 3 bloom stacks+ regrowth + wild growth up all of those with Resil Stacking DK and in blood presence. How much of active DPS other team has to go through in order to bring the DK down (being math nerd here is my estimates - 7k regrowth, 21k life bloom 15k rejuv, 7k wild growth = 56k every 3 seconds or 18.6k every second if we add BP + conversion we will get 18.6 + 430*0.03=18.6 + 12.9k = 31.5k active healing per second with 10% extra mitigation from blood presence we will get up at roughly 34.6k effective damage per second tolerable ( conversion + blood presence also doubles the effectiveness of druid's hots).

So Druids, Shamans will synergyze with conversion even more (maybe to some extend monks). (it will also help hpallies and disc priests but not as much as HOTs (those are kinda my thoughts)

Final thoughts. I have been begging blizzard to reduce cost of conversion to 5 RP (even saying reduce healing to 2% to make it more balanced(my 11 page from november 18th post: us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/…)
Blizzard exceeded my expectations by far. I think that conversion is definitely a welcome change to our sustain survivability. It won't be easy to use as we will need to predict burst on us and use it BEFORE major swaps on us since it only then can compete with Death Pact. I think it will also put a bigger gaps between good DKs out there and not so good.