DK cooldown guide


New Member
I've been getting a lot of Questions concerning proper use of Unholy cd's lately. So here is a guideline that can also apply to DRW as blood.

As an Unholy DK, you only have two cooldowns - Army of the Dead and Summon Gargoyle. Maximizing their use is essential to maximizing one’s dps.

Army of the Dead

Similar to a Blood or Frost DK’s Ghoul or your own Gargoyle, Army of the Dead will take a snapshot of your AP, haste, and hit at the time summoned. Changes in these stats after you have cast the spell will have no effect on the summoned minions, and other stats – crit, ArP, and the like – will have no effect period. On top of this, your Army of the Dead ghouls will receive the 90% AoE damage reduction from your Night of the Dead talent that your other pets receive.

The most optimal time to use Army of the Dead will vary from boss to boss, but is typically right before the beginning of an encounter. Using it mid encounter can lead to lost dps time, as the spell is channeled, and can also open the possibility of the spell getting interrupted by a fight mechanic, hurting the value of the spell. That said, if you are unable to cast it before the fight begins (or if it comes back off cooldown mid-fight) it is still worth casting mid-fight – ideally during a phase transition or similar period of down-time, but even on a Patchwerk-esqe fight it would be worth it – simply not as large a gain as using it immediately before the pull.

One note about Army of the Dead is that although the summoned ghouls will not taunt a boss, they will taunt most adds present on boss encounters. Keep this in mind as it can cause a wipe if used inappropriately… or prevent one if used intelligently.

Summon Gargoyle

Summon Gargoyle isn't terribly complex in its use. Your Gargoyle scales with your attack power and haste based on the moment it was cast, and will retain those exact stats for its entire duration. Try to wait on using it until all of your procs coincide, however, don't let this make you miss an opportunity to cast it. Summoning your Gargoyle three times in a fight is better than only summoning it twice, regardless of procs. As such, figure out how many times you'll be able to use it based on the fight length. Try and use it at some point during Heroism's duration - it needs to be popped AFTER Heroism is cast, while the buff is active on you, to benefit (unlike a Moonkin's treants). This is also the time to pop your Potion of Speed.

Also remember, your Gargoyle has horrid AI. It will not attack Yogg-saron’s brain if summoned within the brain room (but will attack the brain if you summon it before entering the brain room) and will (usually) only melee XT Deconstructor’s Heart. Get familiar with odd instances such as these; know when your Gargoyle will and will not attack, so you don't waste 60 RP.

Your Gargoyle will follow the same commands you give your Ghoul (i.e, follow, stay, attack, etc), so you can move it out of AoEs such as Shock Blast – however you are best off simply waiting until immediately after such spells to go off to summon it.

Hope this helps. And remember if you have any questions in game hit me up on bigsword or regis.