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asches
12-08-2009, 04:20 PM
So,

post 3.3 despite the reduction to dodge within ice crown citadel im thinking that unholy might be on par with blood in terms of survivability, if you think of bone shield as a cooldown rather than something you try to maximize uptime with. given the increased amount of magical resistance i think there are probably cases where it would even pull ahead. Im not sure though really.

my issue with blood at the moment however is that im nervous about my threat, just because of the whole rune strike thing, because even though it's doing more damage, if you get unlucky with rng at the beginning that's a fair amount of threat you dont get. combining that with instances where there isnt a rogue or a warrior in the group and i wonder if maybe just relying on the heavy magical damage, while lower than blood in terms of threat if blood is performing well, isnt a bad idea because it's average will be more consistent and less dependant on group buffs.

i was wondering what anyone's thoughts were on this in general, and if someone could help me with ideas speccing. id believe reaping is back in for the extra ss, as well as extra disease length (assuming no glyph of disease but i dont think youd take that), but im not sure on the rest.

KnThrak
12-09-2009, 12:49 AM
Oh careful if Blood is making you think about threat, I found Unholy to be nearly universally lower on threat than Blood.

I <3 <3 it though, as it can cause damage if you sink a point into the permanent pet (500+ DPS from the ghoul is nothing to ignore in a 10man raid), and it has an additional cooldown which can actually make a difference (neither Lichborne nor Mark of Blood are really "tank" cooldowns).

Just play with it for a bit, it's interesting. Biggest issue for me is trying to get some extra crit for Wandering Plague, since without some crit Unholy seems nearly the weakest spec on AoE (now that Unholy Blight is just single target).

Satorri
12-09-2009, 04:56 AM
Aye, your statement seems to suggest that Unholy was somehow inferior to Blood before. I'd disagree. At that, since 3.2 put the cooldown on Bone Shield back to 1 minute, it doesn't even feel as exposed as it used to.

The one thing that makes me a little sad is that the reduction to avoidance actually impairs the use of Bone Shield a little. I don't expect it will be a terribly big deal, but enough to amount to a reduced uptime.

As for how you spec, there are a couple versions I recommend. I'm actually in the process of preparing something on this though, so I don't want to take the time to write it all up again here. Short answer, you can do very well with Reaping and a heavy ScS usage build.


Oh, and Knthrak, I've found Unholy can still burn heavily on AoE's. If you have Wandering Plague you're sitting even more pretty.

Sterbefall
12-09-2009, 06:51 AM
I was previously unhappy with Unholy's ST threat, but I'm fairly happy now (and no complaints from DPS yet).

As for AoE, Unholy is still the strongest spec because of a strong DnD, strong diseases, and Wandering Plague.

I still mourn the loss of the original UB. Made one fantastically sticky for fights with lots of randomly spawning adds (OS3D).

(I do find Tankadin AoE threat a tad ridiculous now, our paladin tank was doing 6k DPS on the intro trash, completely absurd.)

mummutiamat
12-31-2009, 11:40 PM
I have looked around at a few of the other unholy tanks and they all seem to go for vicious strikes and outbreak, and eventually scourge strike. While scourge strike may be considered the bread and butter of unholy DPS. However, it seems that this is a blatant waste of points for a tank. This may simple be because I am a DW tank. But scourge strike does far less damage and threat generation that death strike for the same cost of runes.
After spending countless gold on respecs and time in the field testing the threat generation with them. The build I have found that generates the highest amount of threat is http://talent.mmo-champion.com/?deathknight#3hWxz0nPwvI7rm,S9p3eO,10958
It doesn't include bone armor, this is a great CD for tanking and is a great addition to the spec. I was working strictly toward threat, and recommend taking one point from wandering plague to populate bone shield.

I've also noticed that most spec's out there don't use glyph of disease. Based on their build and glyph choice they likely are using a rotation such as IT - PS - BS - SS - Pest... and going between SS and BS until the diseases drop then repeat it. However, with DS being a higher netting threat generator as well as a good way to take a little stress off your healers, it would appear to me that using glyph of disease and spamming DS after applying the diseases is a better use of runes. The rotation thus becoming:
IT - PS - BS - DS - BS - pest - DS - BS.... and so on, only repeating the DS and BS until the diseases need refreshing.

I also choose to use the glyph of icy touch instead of bone shield (not because i don't have the talent, because I don't use it even when I do have the talent) but because the Unholy spec is largely a spell damage based spec. It therefore seems prudent to do anything to increase the damage of your diseases.

Speaking to many of the spec's I found that go for neither black ice nor desolation; I ask why? Again, this is a spell/disease damage based spec, 8% extra frost and shadow damage can do nothing but help your agro gain. And desolation... well while your diseases are ticking away and you are between DS spams, you have blood runes to burn. Use BS and you have just increased all damage output by 5%, which translates into higher threat generation.

To put my next threat generation numbers in perspective here is my armory link to see what kind of gear i'm runnning to get these numbers:
The World of Warcraft Armory (http://www.wowarmory.com/character-sheet.xml?r=Uldum&n=Mummutiamat)
I'm using tankadintps to get a report of the numbers.
With my current build i'm bouncing between 4000 - 4400 tps on average using the giant skellies in icecrown. They have enough HP to get a decent rotation going and don't hit so hard that I can't heal my self when they do finally hit me. These seem to be the maximum numbers I can reliably put out with unholy spec. I've tried the other builds using SS but my threat goes down to 3500-3700 tps.

It would appear, as I have read elsewhere, that Unholy simply has a lower average net threat generation than blood. Wearing the same gear, my blood spec puts out 4500-4800 tps on average. I hope these insights can help some of the other DK's out there with their choice in build and save them the countless gold I've gone through to pick this spec. Feedback on these ideas is always appreciated.

Satorri
01-01-2010, 07:19 AM
Even without talents, ScS should never do less damage than ScS unless you have a very high-end weapon *and* are hitting a target with no diseases on it.

DS does 75% weapon damage plus ~223.
ScS does 50% weapon damage plus 400, increased by 25% for each disease on the target. So if you have all 3 diseases up, that's 87.5% weapon damage plus 700.

Add in Outbreak and that's bumped to 105% weapon damage plus 840. Factor in Vicious Strikes and you're buffing ScS roughly by another 7.8% overall damage/threat.

Regardless of weapon choice, ScS will always win and talenting it improves that. If you're dual wielding as an Unholy Knight, that means strike damage is just weaker and you'll see smaller differences because your strikes will hit for ~36% less with equivalent weaponry (assuming a slow main-hand).

DS may still retain survival value because it will heal you, and again, if you're dual wielding the damage difference will likely be small enough that if the heal is sufficiently effective it will get you more threat on the strike. However, that requires that you get effect from the heal, and otherwise DS will do less damage and threat.

If you aren't using Bone Shield in a tank spec then you might as well just tank in a dps spec. Bone Shield is the one physical mitigation tool that Unholy has beyond the H3T (5/5/5) tanking talents. If you don't have it you will take significantly more damage. If that doesn't matter then all this talk of talents is pretty meaningless to tanks. This same thing should be applied to your "even when I have it, I don't use it comment."

The reason you won't see many Unholy tanks with Black Ice is because of the consideration of what you have to trade to get it. First, Rage of Rivendare and Bladed Armor are both superior values point for point, and that is easy to compare directly(I've don it on TS several times before). That puts you 10 in Blood and 50 in Unholy. 5/5 in Toughness leaves you with 6 points remaining and no chance of having all the choice talents in Unholy unless you're skewing to different style choices like you have.

I don't know what specs you're looking at that don't have Desolation, but I'd be willing to wager your research is not terribly comprehensive.

It's great that your personal, and fairly unusual style works for you, but I wouldn't presume to dictate that others are doing it wrong. I promise that if you swapped to an equal level 2-hander, shifted points to drop Black Ice, fill Bladed Armor, take Vicious Strikes, Outbreak, Scourge Strike, and Bone Shield. Then *use* Bone Shield on cooldown, use Scourge Strike the way you're using DS (swapping the DS glyph for Bone Shield), and changed nothing else, you would be easier to heal and generate more threat.

But you don't have to, that's the beauty of the game. You're free to play it your way.

I can tell you that your style will not fly in a high-end raid against geared participants. What you will find is that you will be struggling against dps on threat without generous help from Rogues and Hunters to support you. You will also be a bear to heal and frequently get hammered in high spike damage situations for your lack of mitigation talents.

If you want to read more about what I've spent hours and countless gold on, here's my Unholy section:
http://www.tankspot.com/forums/f14/59900-comprehensive-guide-death-knight-tanking.html#post337867

I didn't discuss dual wielding with Blood/Unholy, but I can short-hand it here to say unless you can counter the loss of about 36% on all of your melee attacks (auto-swings, RS, BS, PS, and in your case DS) with your non-melee attacks and special procs (Blood-caked strikes, IT, Diseases, BB, DnD, and Death Coil), you will not do more threat (your focus, right?) with dual wielding than 2-handers if you aren't Frost.

I can appreciate making the most of what you have, but don't try to make it a superlative, "why haven't other DKs figured this out yet??"

mummutiamat
01-01-2010, 04:09 PM
Please don't get me wrong. I know my writing style tends to be very "matter of fact." Its a failing because I choose to use statements without the polite words in between. I had not intended to say... everyone is doing it wrong. Simply showing what I've found in my experience. And when I said: I ask why... i meant it... I was always confused why they wouldn't take certain points.

Answering simply from experience with my particular build and not to start a war of I'm rightness.

For threat generation on DW tanking I've found that leaning toward high avoidance makes up for much of the threat generation for simply not hitting as hard as a two hander. Having a fast main hand and high avoidance allows for a relative spam of rune strike. I'm sitting on 35k hp in unholy with 68% avoidance (counting in the racial passive of NE's). I know this is a very unusual spec, but the only time i've had issues with it is when I have dps beat me to first hit on a target.

As for healing... I've never had a healer complain about my healability. In fact most healers say i'm one of the easiest tanks to heal. Again, this is likely due to the amount of avoidance I try to run with. I agree fully that the bone shield is an extremely useful talent for unholy, don't get me wrong. But to say I'd be doing just as well in dps spec seems a little exaggerated... if its used as a CD, which would seem to be the appropriate use for it, then its by definition not a constant mitigation. I know I'm splitting hairs here.

I can't speak to the difference in 2H - DW with a full ScS build as I've no equal item level 2h at this point to make a decent comparison. I did run a number of rotations using only ScS instead of using DS and found it still did less damage and I netted less threat from it. And in general with the builds I use, which I've been told are unusual many times, tend to come out to about equal threat generation between 2h and DW so long as I can maintain enough avoidance to keep runestrike running. I know for a fact in a fight which is mostly magic damage and few melee strikes this build would fail to hold agro. But I try to make it a regular chore to go out with a few high agro dps and make sure that the spec's i'm running actually works for me.

My assumption, is due to the fact that I am using lower damage weapons its the black ice, and so on are actually what are giving me a good amount of my threat. I am confused still why it wouldn't be better overall, but using it in conjunction with rage of rivendare (5/5) and bladed armor (4/5) can only help... 10% damage from rivendare, 8% from black ice, + the added AP from 4/5 from bladed armor adding disease damage through impurity I'm netting high numbers from my diseases... from tankadinTPS I see my threat breakdown as follows:
Runestrike - Death strike - auto hit - frost fever - blood plague

I read a little hostility in the previous post, so please understand i'm not trying to claim expertise simply attempting to offer my... modest knowledge to the collective and hopefully offer alternatives to what I've seen out there

I've picked up a lot of backlash for being a DW non-frost tank but it works very well for me. I see a lot of people completely dismiss it as an option to DW tank in other specs.... I guess i TRY to go out of my way to show it is viable.

Jaeden
01-02-2010, 01:40 PM
The one thing that makes me a little sad is that the reduction to avoidance actually impairs the use of Bone Shield a little. I don't expect it will be a terribly big deal, but enough to amount to a reduced uptime.


I was of the same opinion that you are, but ran into two things that makes me feel better:

1. I parry...a lot :P and still dodge pretty well at 12% ;)

2. This thread made me think of something I hadn't considered which is looking at it as a defensive cooldown, like UA, IBF would be. I'll have to test that :D

Satorri
01-04-2010, 05:20 AM
My assumption, is due to the fact that I am using lower damage weapons its the black ice, and so on are actually what are giving me a good amount of my threat. I am confused still why it wouldn't be better overall, but using it in conjunction with rage of rivendare (5/5) and bladed armor (4/5) can only help... 10% damage from rivendare, 8% from black ice, + the added AP from 4/5 from bladed armor adding disease damage through impurity I'm netting high numbers from my diseases... from tankadinTPS I see my threat breakdown as follows:
Runestrike - Death strike - auto hit - frost fever - blood plague

I'm not going to rehash the math here, I've done it twice before, you may be able to find it. But in plain English/logic, let me explain the dynamic of the 3.

RoR vs Black Ice is easy, and sensible. RoR is +2% *all* damage per point, Black Ice is +2% Frost/Shadow dmg per point. No-brainer there, right? Especially adding the 1 Expertise per point.

Bladed Armor ends up winning out because we are tanks. Combining Tougness and Frost Presence means that even a weakly geared tank can get 150 AP per point in Bladed Armor. That AP trickles down to all your skills, every one of them, and some like RS actually double dip.

For a quick example, since you mentioned diseases, Blood Plague does 0.0759 times your AP each tick. So, if we take a base of 5k AP, it does 380 per tick. If you take Black Ice one point at a time, that's 387 per tick, or +7 damage. If you take Bladed Armor, assuming you have 28k armor, it will give you 156 AP per point. On Blood Plague that is +12 dmg per point.

Even on a case by case, Bladed Armor gets you more improvement per point, and Black Ice only applies to Frost and Shadow damage, whereas your AP applies to every threat move you have.

Malichay
01-19-2010, 10:34 PM
Hello All i been a member for a while now and i really Enjoy reading all posts :)

To the point !

Rolled A Frost tank to lv and stayed frost a bit into 80, but got tired so went unholy cause it was simply more fun. But now since i cleared Toc and toc 25 and is progressing in Ic i went Frost again, and sure its good for treath but still boring. Our healers h8 dk tanks since we can go from 100% Hp to 30% and i dont know what to say about that. Blood is just outta questing since that masheable spec is a nono for Ic. But my question, Is unholy a good tanking spec for Ic with the 20% Dodge debuff? Or are Dks tanks like droods worthless in Ic :P Treath is never a issue btw for a dk tank No matter What spec.

Have most 245 gear and some Ic 41k stam unbuffed

Proletaria
01-20-2010, 12:02 AM
Blood is just outta questing since that masheable spec is a nono for Ic.

What in the hell has every new dk to these boards been reading that would lead them all to come to this absurd conclusion?

Blood is strong in ICC. It is arguably STRONGER than frost, and certainly better than unholy for nearly every encounter avalible.

Please stop posting this nonsense.

Satorri
01-20-2010, 06:35 AM
Malichay, read the posts above before asking the same questions the original poster did, and subsequently had answered.

Swam
01-21-2010, 11:40 PM
Right now I am running with an unholy and frost tank specs. Depending on the situation. I find I prefer frost overall for threat and survivability but There are times when unholy's magic fizzling abilities really come in handy. While it cant pump out quite the threat I normally do with frost I can still do a fair job.

Edgewalker
01-22-2010, 08:49 PM
There are times when unholy's magic fizzling abilities really come in handy.

When? In almost ever scenario I can think of Acclimation would be better, or DS heals would have a larger effect on survival.