View Full Version : Flexible DK Toon

06-15-2009, 04:25 PM
Background: I have 4 80s that raid, feral/resto druid, prot/holy paladin, holy/shadow priest and arcane/Frost mage (frost for kiting and replenish if desperate in non DPS races). Most of my lowbies are also dualspecced, because I enjoy the flexiblity, including 70 resto/enh shaman, 66 prot/arms warrior, and so on.

For my DK, is next in line to receive Dualspec. Currently my DK is a 70 unholy tank, but I'm considering getting a second tank spec in another tree to learn it as I get to 80. Here's where I'm going with this:

-Unholy spec would NOT have AoE talents, would focus on magic mitigation and single target dps. I figure unholy is strong enough that any aoe I put out will be sufficient that I will hold aggro, even if I'm not lightyears ahead of next AoE threat in Omen. I'm too used to having 200+% more threat over the next person, that big of a margin is not needed.
-Need to pick either Frost or Blood, for improved Single Target tanking over Unholy. Not sure which to pick yet, but I hear Blood DPS is more gear dependant than frost, making frost more attractive, and easier for the few times you do need to hold some aoe threat (OT dies and you are on Grobbulus/Anub'rekahn/etc.).
-Whatever second spec I pick, I should be able to pull respectable (if not best in raid) DPS in DPS gear, with unholy for trash like spider wing, and second spec for improved single target dps. I'm thinking blood edges out frost on Single target DPS

I am heavily AoE specced as an unholy given that DKs are stupidly OP until 80, but I'd like to get some discussion on
-DKs who are frost/Blood dualspecced to discuss the finer points between the two specs, in both DPS and tanking terms in raid situations. Again in-raid flexibility is the key.
-Possible unholy aoe viability without Aoe talents. Things like wandering plague and morbidity would be skipped, and maybe Unholy Blight and Corpse Explosion might be skipped. (Of the 4, I'm tempted to keep corpse explosion)
-Gargoyle - Take it or leave it? Bear in mind that I want single target TPS in this particular build. Currently I dont use gargoyle because I'm RP starved after RS, and I won't tweak a spec until I am level 80 with all talent points available.


06-15-2009, 05:00 PM
The beauty of frost is that it offers additional mitigation and avoidance, which can be very valuable when you're barely starting to gear up. Frost it is also very versatile because you can do excelent AoE and Single Target tanking, you don't really need this sort of flexibility if you plan on having two tanking specs. I haven't played much with frost for DPS, but personally I like frost play-style and I assume DPS is just as fun.

I'm not sure why you want an Unholy spec focused on single target tps (I assume you ment tps and not dps). As you know, unholy is simply not that great so there's a real danger of ending with a spec that is suboptimal for both single target and AoE, so you might as well go frost and be good at both.

I'm also a bit confused about what you want out of your 2 specs, and which roles you expect each of them fulfill. To illustrate, let me explain the guidelines I use to pick my 2 specs:

1) My primary role is tanking, but I also often dps in our raids, so I must have one very good tanking spec (single target and AoE), and one dps spec.

2) Since I'm only off-spec DPS, my dps spec doesn't have to be minimaxed, but my tanking spec does.

3) I must have one blood spec for soloing old content. I can solo as tank spec or dps spec, as long as I have improved Rune Tap.

If like me, you only have room for one tanking spec and you do need to minimax your single target threat, I suggest discarding the idea of an Unholy tanking spec, either blood or frost will perform much better. The thing about Unholy is that it doesn't really offer that much when compared to the other specs, AoE is very powerful but Frost is almost as good (if not as good) and already more than enough for any AoE scenario and it's also much better at single target threat. As I said before, frost has the extra benefit of helping out when you're lacking in mitigation/avoidance from gear, so it's very recommendable. I'm also not sure why you are considering gargoyle for a tanking build, pets dont contribute to your threat, so they are just useless for tanking. I could probably give you more specific advice if you could expand on what you want to get from your specs.

Blood is a bit dependant on stacking health and buffs (self and external) to your physical damage, it might be a bit confusing to jump right into blood without the right gear for it. IMO Frost is just the best one for starting out, by far.

An other issue you want to consider is your utility. The buff from Unholy is fantastic if you're caster heavy and you can let your lock do CoA instead of CoE, Unholy also offers AMZ and some ability for kiting, both of which are a bit too situational for my liking (keep in mind EP causes problems if you have another Unholy DK in your raid). Blood offers Abominations Might which is only useful if you dont have an enh shammy already, and hysteria which is a very nice dps buff you can use on yourself or on a DPSer for situations when you need to max DPS. Utility is the only real downside to a frost spec, imp icy talons is nice if you don't have windfury but it's really not that good a buff for yourself anyways.

06-15-2009, 11:06 PM
As far as your current thoughts are going, Unholy for single target threat isn't going to be exceptionally greater than the other two trees for a couple reasons.

Granted, it's my opinion that Unholy does provide the highest amount of threat generation of it's specced correctly... What it doesn't offer is a whole lot of physical damage reduction. I prefer it for heavy magic encounters and trash burning... but nothing else.

Blood is going to offer a very large amount of utility that the other two trees will lack. Mainly is capability in high damage situations, the drawback is it also relies quite a bit on your own damage. And is very much an all out melee build. Wherein you're not going to be using a lot of abilities that go through armor such as Scourge Strike, Howling Blast, etc.

Frost as mentioned is a very solid spec that isn't nearly as dependant on gearing and itemization. There are a lot more abilities in your arsenal that the other trees lack. My personal favorite is Frost Strike. Which in my opinion is the best Runic Power ability available to a Death Knight, and being that deep in the frost tree, with the correct talent points it easily trumps Death Coil, Unholy Blight, and Corpse Explosion. However obviously, Unholy Blight and Corpse explosion are great AoE RP Dumps. Frost Strike does massive amounts of damage and threat. Your next best friends are going to be Unbreakable Armor, and Deathchill. Very useful for threat generation. Since you are speaking along the lines of TPS, Deathchill is a great way to spike your Threat. Unbreakable Armor is just as much a threat cooldown as it is a defensive cooldown, so it has 2 very good uses.

Guile of Gorefiend is another one of frost's greatest talents. That extra duration on Icebound Fortitude is very useful especially when combined with a 4pc. set bonus. And of course, Howling Blast.

What this really boils down to is your role really. If your looking to be the most flexible tank, look at your utilities before your threat. Each spec very much has the capabilities of producing threat Single Target and AoE.

Blood has the ability of reducing stress on your healers and provides a lot of it's own trickling threat through self-healing.

Frost has heavy mitigation in the physical side of things, as well as the use of quite a few useful cooldowns.

Unholy is essntially a good build for magic reduction if it's specced correctly, and has the most magic reduction. Very little physical reduction. Unless you are absolutely confident with this build as being something that your healers can depend on, as well as the rest of your raid, I'd strongly suggest speccing in something else, despite my love for the tree.

06-16-2009, 06:57 AM
Thanks for the posts listed so far.

As you folks have correctly mentioned, Frost does sufficient AoE threat, which is why I don't plan on building an unholy aoe tanking build. Also, you realize unholy single target DPS/TPS quite frankly, stinks when compared blood and frost. However, you just can't beat it for magic mitigation (enter sarth/hodir/saph/etc., Maexxna when you don't have cure poison, and maybe even some other more obscure ones like plague wing bosses, etc.). Admittedly it won't get much use as compared to frost or blood, but when you need it, it's damn nice. For example, my mage has a 61 frost build dualspec which is insanely dumb for raiding EXCEPT for when you are trying to kite gluth chow (which I end up doing regularly, sadly). Otherwise, its arcane all the way (or I will go back to Frostfire when i get enough crit gear).

Knowing that it is suboptimal on single target, I want to build an anti-magic tank build what specs heavily into single target DPS/TPS, and any leftover points go into magic mitigation. As for kiting, i'd rather try chillblains over desecration personally for kiting chows or slimes, but I can't do everything, so I probably won't worry about kiting talents.

Molohk, what's the problem with 2 unholy DKs and Ebon Plague?

Re: Gargoyle, Duh, forgot pets dont add to your threat. Scratch that idea.

You folks seem to also end up doing a lot of double duty as DPS, and I wanted some idea as to how good DPS is with a TANK spec, assuming you switch gear. For example, on my feral druid, I don't lose much, only about 200-300 DPS when I switch to cat gear and go cat, despite being a bear-heavy build. If I go frost tank, how much DPS can I pull as compared to a full frost DPS build? Blood tank DPS in DPS gear, as compared to pure blood DPS spec? It boils down to how much DPS do you lose for the 15-20 tank essential talents you spend.

I'm determined to keep unholy, as I enjoy its tools, and I want to make it work for magic heavy boss fights without threatcapping the raid. I recognize that blood and frost have their own raid utility, but quite frankly, one of them will become my bread and butter spec.

06-16-2009, 07:08 AM
Actually I rarely ever DPS, I tend to stay a full time tank... unless I'm helping gear a few newer tanks.

As an unholy tank, which gets considerrably high DPS already, switching to DPS gear adds a fair amount.

I don't DPS as blood, ever. Not that I don't think it can DPS, our DPS DK is blood... but I don't know much about the DPS theory in blood, so I prefer to keep that my main tanking spec.

DPS as a frost tank isn't massively affected by DPS gear in my opinion. Granted, I haven't done a LOT of DPS as a frost tank, but my DPS PVP build is frost :P not that that counts for anything. But the lack of some talents in the frost tree for DPS are very noticeable. Much more than unholy or blood i would imagine... unholy being the lowest on my list, because the tanking build I used was very much a capable DPS spec, granted it wasn't amazing but it was easy to get 2.3k in tanking gear. 3+ in DPS.

What's this unholy build of yours going to look like?

I have a feeling it's very similar to the one I use. (I don't have points in Morbidity, Wandering Plague, or Corpse Explosion)