Why Grip isn't enough

Certain Death Knight players including myself have been banging on the raid buff/utility drum for a long time. With a new season looming ahead it is a topic I wanted to revisit and tackle some of the common counterarguments.

-Why does it even matter?

A feeling of job security essentially. As a DH player you can feel comfort in knowing that almost regardless of how well your class is performing it will be desirable.

-But Grips are more than desirable they are mandatory!

Yes, Blizzard has accommodated us by designing atleast 1 fight per tier that makes grip necessary. But what about every other boss? There is incentive to bring a DK regardless to get them geared.
But what happens if it’s the 4th boss out 10?
And your RL tells you sorry you are benched for prog from now on DK just isn’t good this tier.
Or the opposite it’s boss 8/10.
But you aren’t in the best fastest RWF guild and by the time your guild gets there someone could easily have geared a DK alt alongside. Even if they are undergeared this is supposed to be the one fight where our direct performance isn’t as important.
What about pugs? Mythic isn’t really meant to be pugged sure. But what if you are just trying to get into a last boss HC group?

-What are you complaining about between frost/unholy DK has consistently been at the top of the meters every tier

But is that fair to the other classes? Should Monks just forever be tuned worse than DK because they have a raid buff and we don’t? Ideally should not every class have their fair share of time in the sun and in the dumps?

-You have AMZ/AMS/DA DKs are incredibly tanky!

Tankiness doth not metaness maketh. DH is incredibly mobile and that has value but you don’t bring one because of it. BM Hunters can do their entire rotation while on the move but does that guarantee them a raid spot?

AMZ is a raid defensive and isn’t unique in that regard. DA really just makes up for our lack of mobility otherwise. AMS is a personal. But yes it does occasionally make a fight easier for the entire group. It’s more unique in it’s use case but not entirely unlike having an immunity in that regard.

-Warlock Gate isn’t useful every fight but they don’t complain.

Alright I don’t actually think anyone has ever made this argument and for good reason. But I wanted to talk about it. Gateway sits at a similar level of raid utility to grip. It is near mandatory for certain fights if not completely so.

Yet you wouldn’t ever consider dropping a warlock from your raid for other fights though because they bring healthstones. soulstone and a summoning portal all which are universally useful.

Imagine for a moment if we took soulstone away from warlock and gave it to DK. Would you still want a Warlock every fight? Yes. Would you now also suddenly want a DK for every prog fight? Also yes.

Not that this is an actual suggestion I would ever make but it’s interesting to consider. Priest for instance also has Mass Dispel alongside their raid buff which can similarly make or break your ability to do a specific fight.

-But you have additional utility with Insidious Chill!

Yeah um that’s nice but literally nobody notices if it’s there. How do I know this? Because it doesn’t get taken most of the time since it’s mutually exclusive with double grip/dnd/da (without losing damage). A class tree redesign is honestly probably in order.

If you’ve made it this far then hey thanks for reading!

While I highly doubt we are going to see any changes going into next patch it’s not impossible. And if atleast one person at Blizzard reads this or this helps get the ball rolling leading to eventual change I’d be estatic.

EDIT: apparently you can’t reply to your own post unless someone else does first so addendum.

-The social reason

I wanted to tackle another element of this discussion. Earlier in my post I mentioned what if your RL just decides to bench you after the grip boss? And you think well they wouldn’t do that. If they did they would just find themselves without a DK for next tier. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a problem.

DK is usually brought so it’s fine people who disagree might say

Your guild might also have a Hunter who always gets brought to raid for instance.

Why? Because they are an incredible player on of the best in your guild. They are always there and on time. They really got into crafting and can make every item your group might want. Oh and they are married to the GM.

There are plenty of reasons why someone can end up being brought regardless. But that doesn’t mean balance isn’t necessary.


I have entirely focused on raiding for this post. But if you spend any time in M+ you might have noticed some problems. Class imbalances in utility suddenly find themselves magnified when you can only bring 5 players.

This is a much deeper problem than just giving DK a generic +% Y buff. But it’s yet another thing to consider on why it might be beneficial.

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Chill bro it’s a PvE.
You can kill npc boss with 20hunters or what ever classes as long as you follow mechanics.

Unfortunately I’m not so good at the game as to be able to beat Mythic without raid buffs being an issue.

Bah who cares about Mythic tho. Still even if you are the most chill person that enjoys the finer pleasures in life. Is Grip not a rather iconic ability that just fulfills the fantasy of being an unstoppable killing machine so well? How about a Priest’s mass dispell perhaps being able to single handedly cleanse an entire group?

Wouldn’t it be great if we had another one of those abilities?

DK fine in raids. Theyre just old, but that’s all. Someone complain about raids at dk? Anyway main problem it’s Defile and M+ utility. And in M+ all dk utility almost dead, except BR (everyone have now if they want) and personal survive ability. About grip. Druids have better mass grip, than dk. In raids no one care about utility, dk just take their personal aug+pi and do ST dmg.

Defile is definitely a problem agreed. Raid buffs and utility do matter. If your guild lacks a warlock you look for one raiding without is nigh on insanity. Infact you better find two just incase one can’t make it.

DK gets by all the same still having something more consistently desirable never hurts. I’ve given my opinion on the DK do big dam dam in the OP

lol I forgot this one existed tbh. Doesn’t say much about it’s use.

I guess we are fine… I’ve had some decent parses this season, some juicy orange 90th+ percentile, sure. Yeah I get PI + aug prio, cool whatever. Yet somehow it doesn’t feel rewarding.

Where I get stuck is where does a class like DK fits in the current iteration of the game? We’re meant to be the big guns, hard to kill, the kind of scary and selfish class… In a game that’s all about collaboration, tactics and creating synergistic builds? In raids, performing strats optimally is more important than 100% uptime on your rotation. Sure if you nail it, you can shave off a minute or two of a fight, or completely trivialize a phase.

There have been a few posts about returning auras, which I’d be up for (here’s an old copy paste from a previous post)

Unholy Presence: makes all ticking dots get used X% faster (great synergy with warlocks, shadow priests for example), basically a group version of our talent Plaguebringer

Frost Presence: Increases critical damage by X% (would be phenomenal for classes that rely on those big crits to do damage).

Blood Presence: Increases all health draining/leech effects on the targets by X%, or, reduces enemy shield effects by some % of sorts.

Admittedly my blood one my be less inspired of the 3… The idea here is make sure DKs have some sort of cool utility that would make other players go “great, I love it when we have a dk in the team” just like they do with warlocks since you’ve mentioned them loads… Right now I feel like everyone’s reaction when they see us is “great now I don’t get PI on pull”.

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