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Mists of Pandaria Talent Analysis: Death Knights, Talent Four- Fatal Recovery
By Nick M. Facer
Published on 11/24/2012
The last of the set of quickly-gained Talent options for Death Knights is the fourth selection, one that's going to make a huge difference in your durability.

In the fourth talent options, Death Knights will find some added durability that can be a real help in a pinch.

Death Pact (Instant cast, 2 minute cooldown):
Sacrifice 50% of the health of an undead minion and heal 50% of your maximum health to yourself.

This talent is for Death Knights who frequently find themselves below half health.  Those with a lot of Stamina boost will find the effect heals a huge chunk of health all at once, and while the two-minute cooldown makes it an inconsistent bonus, there’s no denying that when a Tank needs a large heal right now, 50% of maximum health is far more than they’re likely to find much of anywhere else.  The caveat of requiring an active minion isn’t too banal considering that the ghoul minion isn’t as consistently used by non-Unholy Death Knights and therefore is probably ready to summon right when the heal is needed as a simple one-two that will both add extra damage in the independent form of the minion and take off some of the threat from the Death Knight without cutting into their aggro-management.

Death Siphon (40-yd range, Instant cast, 1 Death Rune): Deal (4612-5359 at level 90) Shadowfrost damage to your target and heal an equal amount of health for yourself.

Far less powerful than Death Pact in terms of self-healing but much more consistent thanks to its use of a Rune cost than a Cooldown, Death Siphon suffers the minor hangup of requiring a Death Rune specifically.  If a Death Knight isn’t generating Death Runes often enough to have them whenever they want the heal, this talent’s utility becomes a bit inconsistent, but that’s unlikely.  The healing isn’t really quite as large as a Tank would like, but that doesn’t by any means make it even slightly unusable.  Most Death Knights will find the healing from this very usable, and tacking on matching damage at a long range is equally nice in a different direction entirely.

Conversion (10 Runic Power, and 100 Runic Power over the course of every subsequent second): Until you run out of Runic Power, you heal 3% of your maximum health every second and cannot generate Runic Power through any method other than spending Runes.  This effect can be canceled before it ends itself.

As it relies only on the Death Knight having Runic Power and has no cooldown time, Conversion is the most potentially consistent heal of the three talents available here.  That said, it does require regularly using it to gain the maximum benefit, and given that Death Knights have other abilities which consume Runic Power, it can be a bit of a drag while it’s active.  It also doesn’t do much to heal the Death Knight in the immediate sense- since the healing is all continuous over time it isn’t going to save Death Knights from sudden damage spikes.  Its reliance on the Death Knight’s maximum health makes it stronger for Tank Death Knights, but that doesn’t necessarily make it better than its compatriot talents.

DPS Death Knights are likely to find that their talents of choice here are Death Siphon and Conversion- Death Siphon provides some damage while it heals the user, meaning it’s less of a cut into damage-dealing time, though it does consume some resources that might be needed for dishing out the hurt.  Conversion, on the other hand, is more of a fire-and-forget-over-time that will keep the Death Knight healing as long as they continue swinging, so there’s some argument between the two as to which is a better option.

Tank Death Knights are going to most likely be deciding between Death Pact and Conversion- Death Siphon loses a little ground comparatively when talking about a character who’s got a considerably larger amount of health in them.  It’s likely that Conversion is going to be chosen over Death Pact in most instances, because while Death Pact can be a huge change in Health, Death Knight tanks tend to have a really consistent level of incoming damage because they don’t rely heavily on Block or Parry compared to their reliance on the self-healing from Blood abilities and Blood Presence.