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kingcomrade
04-14-2010, 04:39 AM
I've made a DK alt just to farm some frost badges to buy saronite, and of course I made him a tank since those are most in demand. I had a LOT of fun levelling, DKs are just plain fun toons to play, but now that I'm in heroics I'm having aggro issues on both single targets and aoe.

The way I'm playing is Frost, with glyph of howling blast. I'm HBing mob groups as we encounter them, then 2x blood boiling. I'm using just a single disease. Since this isn't a raid spec I went down Unholy for corpse explosion since this helps a bunch in heroics (otherwise there's no aoe RP dump) and it's also one of the most fun and satisfying spells in the game. However when HB and my Blood runes are on CD and there's no bodies to explode what should I be doing? Right now I'm just tab-targetting and using frost strike and obliterate and hoping for an HB proc.

On single targets I'm going 2 disease with icy touch instead of HB, and prioritizing rune strike over frost strike. I know since I'm 2H (I don't have 1 handed weapons, I'm a relatively new 80 with only around a 4.2k GS and my only weapon is Garfrost's 2 Ton Hammer, I can't get any others to drop) Obliterate doesn't hit quite as hard.

The most success I've had on single targets is icy touch spam, converting my blood runes and using them for icy touch. This leaves me with extra unholy rules I can't use for anything besides plague strike, but it seems to generate much more solid threat. When I'm doing Oblit/HB I seem to get bosses pulled off me a lot more.

On multiple targets, I'm also considering using my death runes for icy touches instead of obliterates. Right now it seems like Icy Touch is a Taunt++. It totally screws up my rune usage, again leaving unholy runes sitting there (since I use frost strike over plague strike), but I don't care as long as I've got aggro.

Remember this toon is for 5 mans, I'll have a separate spec if I ever get him geared enough to raid. Would it be worth switching to Blood? It seems like Blood is a tab-target spec to me.

Dragonscurse
04-14-2010, 06:49 AM
Do you have the glyph of obliterate or glyph of disease? If so you should try a 2 disease rotation, your obliterates will hit harder and not consume diseases making it more effective for single target tanking but, icytouch is probably more effective if rime doesn't proc. (Even your Blood Boils will hit harder!) The more obliterates the higher chance for rime to proc. Also starting with Death and Decay is an option if your starting aggro is low.
ps. If the dps is high enough in the group you're in the 2 disease rotation isn't worth the time and you can ignore it.

My poorly typed 10 cents hope it helps (i probably rushed it a bit)

Satorri
04-14-2010, 07:09 AM
This thread belongs here: http://www.tankspot.com/forumdisplay.php?175-HALP!-I-need-advice

Sounds to me like you're doing alright, and know what you're dealing with.

Blood will make you work harder for multi-target threat, but I don't think it has too big an upside on single target threat. Do you have an armory link so we can see the whole picture?

Chamenas
04-14-2010, 07:22 AM
Are you using Death and Decay? Even with Howling Blast, I would highly suggest dropping Death and Decay down before doing anything else. Howling Blast and Blood Boil are snap threat. Your threat will jump up, but since no subsequent damage occurs (except a pittance from Frost Fever) you won't be generating any additional threat, while the DPS will be. Death and Decay is a sustained threat that will carry you over until you can Howling Blast and Blood boil again. Meanwhile, your Runic Power should be used on Rune Strike and Frost Strike, with the Priority being to the first of the two. Assuming you've done your Death and Decay, a Howling Blast, a Blood Boil, another Howling Blast and maybe another Death and Decay (depends on if you have it talented or not) you can start beating on targets with Obliterate to try and proc Freezing Fog, a talented ability which will give you free Howling Blasts for more threat.

kingcomrade
04-14-2010, 07:43 AM
Sorry for posting in the wrong section. There's a DPS section and a Healing section but I didn't see one called Tanking.
Yeah, I have DnD talented. I don't use a second one, usually. If I get an unexpected pat I empower rune weapon and use it, though.
I think my problem is just that I'm 4k GS and I often get grouped with 5k hunters and rogues. The rogues have been good about tricks but the hunters don't misdirect very much, and I've heard from a hunter who raids with my main that Hunters have some sort of huge opener that can grab aggro off tanks really easily.
Actually, now that I think about it, it's moonkin with their lightning storm that pulls aggro off me the most in aoe situations.
On trash I don't use rune strike simply because it's slow, I want to spread around the aggro as much as I can.

Fathom
04-14-2010, 09:25 AM
So YMMV with this advice, since it's admittedly been a fair while since I've been undergeared as a tank so it's possible that I may be riding on gs (but I've been playing roughly the same way since pre-uld so I don't think that's the case).

I'm a reasonably similar situation 2h frost tank (yeah, I'm an oddball, but it gives me flexibility to pick up utility talents and I'm rolling in single target threat already, so the boost from dw seems unnecessary), and I don't use the HB or DnD glyph.

Group pulls I either start with IT>PS>Pest>HB>BB or DnD>IT>PS>Pest mostly dependent on whether I can I can get the first 2-3 gcd's off without a dps going nuts on a random mob (e.g. if I'm aggressively pulling and have 15-20y lead on my dps I'll go with the former, for mobs that run at our group, like HoR, or are already close I use the latter). The DnD-less rotation seems like it's a little light on snap threat, but you frequently get a KM proc in those first few GCD that lets HB lock in the mobs, and the double diseases keep the threat building afterwards. Once things are going I settle into Pest>BB>HB>Ob and swapping targets every rotation to Pest off a mob with fresh diseases.

Single target fights I run a pretty standard double disease oblit rotation without epidemic, since 3.3.3 it's providing so much threat it's almost broken. You may be doing it already, but it's such a fundamental issue I'll risk saying the obvious, hit RS as often as possible. The vast majority of dk single target threat issues are caused by not mindlessly hammering your RS key often enough. I say this because I used to be a tank that thought I could have the key off to the side and click it when it lit up, moving it to a bind on my mouse that I spammed throughout the fight added a good 1k tps (about 20-25% threat boost at the time back in naxx/uld) to my rotation.

The main thoughts I have on your situation overall are:
a) DnD is low return for rune investment for frost, compared to other abilities (especially without t10 2 b) Having both diseases running adds substantial threat over the course of a pull
c1) A rotation that never obliterates is at a significant disadvantage, Rime procs matter more than you expect.
c2) Glyph of oblit which is probably the best single target threat rune available to you
d) Even without the glyph of disease you can run a similar no-IT/PS rotation on aoe packs if you tab target, which both frees up runes, and spreads your RS/Oblit threat around
e) You're very deep into unholy to have corpse explosion which makes me think you're missing big threat talents from blood like Bladed Armor and 2h Weapon Spec (boost to RS and Ob, your best 2 threat strikes)
f) (this is very ymmv) 2h Frost frees up a lot of talent points, and you may want to consider Icy Talons and IIT, it's a decent threat boost both to white hits and to the frequency of KM procs and RS opportunities.

Leucifer
04-14-2010, 10:05 AM
The most success I've had on single targets is icy touch spam, converting my blood runes and using them for icy touch. This leaves me with extra unholy rules I can't use for anything besides plague strike, but it seems to generate much more solid threat. When I'm doing Oblit/HB I seem to get bosses pulled off me a lot more.

Honestly, I use Dark Command a LOT as it has a real quick cooldown for a taunt.

My "oh shit" pull preferences are.....

1) Dark Command - it works and uses no runes.... happiness
2) Deathgrip - it works better on casters and again, uses no runes
3a) Icy Touch - doesn't pull THAT hard, but works. usually have to pop more than 1
3b) Blood Boil plus Diseases.... if more than one mob to grab.
4) Empower Rune Weapon + DnD -- becomes number one option if more than 2 mobs are running
Kind of option of last resort, because after this.... I'm wiped on runes

uglie
04-15-2010, 03:14 AM
macro RS to your melee strikes first off, i.e. blood strike, PS, OB,FS. no need to spam it separately when its been macroed. good opening rotation for aoe situations: DND, glyphed HB, blood tap, PS, pestilence, while waiting for runes to refresh frost strike once or twice, by then runes will be coming off CD. For single target: IT, PS, OB, BS, BS, FS and rinse and repeat. make sure to use OB as much as possible while keeping up BOTH diseases.other than that and a spec check. dps that far out gears you will easily pull off you no matter what you do. its just a fact of life

Nurasha
04-15-2010, 04:24 AM
If you're only using the spec for heroic runs and you only single-disease, how about a glyph of icy touch? That should give you a fairly decent increase of aoe tps. DnD is a quite useful tool for AoE and I mention this because you didn't and I thus interpret it as you don't use it.
But as uglie wrote, any dps who far outgears you will pull the targets off of you no matter what you try to do.

Satorri
04-15-2010, 06:28 AM
Glyph of Icy Touch is lukewarm as a tank, unless you're using an Unholy build with Wandering Plague aiming to heap on the AoE threat. In that case you can squeeze a fair amount of value out of it, but for Frost it is a little light.

If you're trying to crank out AoE threat, it may outperform some of the other options, but if you're having that much trouble I don't think it will do the job alone (and glyphing DnD even only using it once per pull will probably get you more mileage).

Still would be nice to see an Armory to get a glimpse of the whole picture, spec, gear, gems, enchants, etc.

Pestiilence
04-15-2010, 10:02 PM
I never did see your Armory, but here is mine, use a build like this. http://www.wowarmory.com/character-talents.xml?r=Rexxar&cn=Pestiilence&gn=Edge+of+Chaos

I have several key macros :
I have Deathchill macro'd to my HB and IT
#showtooltip Howling Blast
/cast DeathChill
/cast Howling Blast

I also have Unbreakable armor macro'd to several attacks
#showtooltip Blood strike
/cast Unbreakable armor
/cast Blood Strike

Do you have any racials? I am an Orc so I have Blood Fury macro'd as well.
I am sure you have Runestrike macro'd to everything else right?
I also have Blood Tap macro'd to my Blood Boil and Pestilence

#showtooltip Blood Boil
/cast Blood Tap
/cast Blood Boil (or Pestilence)(2 different macro)

Drop Corpse explosion it is fun but not much good for anything else.

Open up like this.. move in mark the first target with a skull, so the dumb dps at least start on one target if they are single targeting.
Then Cast Death & Decay
wait a second for them to group up, I usually strafe around to the back of the mobs to force them into a tighter group, casters like to hang back so this generally brings them into melee range.
Cast Howling Blast (with Deathchill = insta crit and lots of threat)
Cast Blood Boil ( Without Blood tap macro you are out of runes, but if you macro it, now you have a Blood rune again)
Cast Blood Boil again
Now all your runes are spent along with Blade barrier being engaged. More than likely you will have some rune power, so hit Froststrike on the nearest target or skull if you marked it.
I don't generally worry much about Runestrike and having rune power for it, it pretty much takes care of itself. Frost strike a few more times and look for Obliterate to come available. Use it and tab or change targets. I use healthbars (so should you if you don't) to see
what target is loosing the most health. I will switch to that target and start hitting it. About now you should have HB available and BB, use them.
Now if you did what I told you and moved to the back of the group of mobs, you should have a good view of your dps group, and be in a position to taunt any targets that might start to run towards dps. With the changes to Icy touch, all you should need to do is change targets to the lowest health hit him with a strike and Icy touch and move on.
Pest

kingcomrade
04-16-2010, 01:53 AM
I'm Draenei. I use cooldowns mostly pre-emptively and I use them one at a time in a chain if I need it. See, my main is a priest, and a healer. I have a pretty good grasp on which pulls in heroics are going to be the most trouble. The abom room before the first boss of DTK, for example, or obviously the gauntlet in PoS.

Right now my glyphs are oblit, frost strike, and howling blast. The reason for frost strike is pretty simple. Most mob pulls come in 3s. That means DnD, HB, BB, then I tab target (actually I have nameplates turned on, I find it's faster and more precise for me) each one and hand out a frost strike, while without the glyph I could only hit 2 before I had both a rune and a RP empty tank.

I don't find myself using corpse explosion nearly as much in WotlK dungeons as I did when tanking BC instances just do to their design and the fact that most mobs die around the same time to aoe, but I just can't make myself get rid of it. There are still certain situations where it's useful, like the tunnel in PoS.

Satorri
04-16-2010, 05:24 AM
Drop Corpse explosion it is fun but not much good for anything else.

CE is fun, it only lost its usefulness in Ulduar (almost all Mechanical and Elemental) and ToC (no trash). In 5-mans, ICC, and anything t7 if you happened to run it, it is great fun and a strong way to spend your RP if you have multiple opponents.

That said, it is hardest to work in for Frost. In order for it to be worth more damage than FS it needs to hit more targets than DC for Blood/Unholy, but if you're dealing with threat needs it's actually very convenient, I would only question how many points you have to spend in Unholy to get to it (3 potentially waffly, unless you're taking Morbidity for pacing in 5-mans). I would think it would be easier for 2-handed Frost, but a little awkward for Dual Wield Frost since there are so many delicious talents to be taking.

Mend
04-16-2010, 10:18 AM
kingcomrade

Congrats on deciding to be a tank, its a lot of fun in the long run.

1st check out this gear guide for non-raiders (http://www.tankspot.com/showthread.php?65116-Non-Raiders-Guide-To-the-Best-Tanking-Gear), it should net a gearscore somewhere in the low 5000's which is more than enough for farming badges.

In heroic's I've always used DnD, Howling Blast(Glyphed), blood boil.
You can see that it uses every rune you have but will give you a huge starter on threat.

A few tips:
- Make sure to spend your killing machine proc's on Howling Blast for several targets, and Frost Strike for single targets.

- Death Chill + Howling Blast is great for any unexpected mobs or your team accidently pulling patrollers.

- Blood Boil and Howling Blast are your main prioritie after you spend your 1st set of runes on the beginning pull.

- Using a Two disease rotation as frost is a good threat boost but its usually not worth it when it take an extra GCD to maintain. Use it on boss' and tough trash packs.

And if dps overgear you than ask for a misdirect once in a while, it will make tanking much easier for you and dps'ing much easier for them when not having to worry about aggro.

Leucifer
04-16-2010, 12:16 PM
For running heroics, I find that UH is a great spec to go with. The diseases going around are great aoe threat, especially combined with the Improved D&D from the 2 piece t10 that you can get from VoA.

UH is simply evil for it's AoE. I tested a build with Impurity, Black Ice maxxed out, Glyph of Icy Touch, and with Ebon Plgue..... just crazy. Part of my little test, I went running through ICC at the area near Crusader's Pinnacle.... thwapped IT and PS on one mob.... ran to the next... hit pestilence... run to the next... pestilence again.... and just ended up with a train of bodies all the way up to the tourney grounds.
I only hit deathstrike on rare occasion (I think 2 or 3x) just to bump my health up. In heroics.... AoE agg was NEVER an issue, just with the diseases up and running. The problem I ran into was my healers had trouble keeping up sometimes, and if they did.... it went south in a hurry. Bone Shield is nice while it lasts. I guess you could pop bone shield and then ibf in a rotation of sorts.... but I REALLY try to hold onto ibf for the times when I REALLY need the damage mitigation.

UH can be fun though. :)

Satorri
04-16-2010, 07:46 PM
Some people seemed to have lost sight of the power of Unholy next to its conceptual unpopularity in ICC thanks to the value that Avoidance has on Bone Shield uptime.

Unholy is a very powerful tanking when well-managed.

Leucifer
04-21-2010, 11:05 AM
Some people seemed to have lost sight of the power of Unholy next to its conceptual unpopularity in ICC thanks to the value that Avoidance has on Bone Shield uptime.

Unholy is a very powerful tanking when well-managed.

Unholy can be a real monster for threat generation. For me, the problems with the build are:

1) Scourge Strike - Uses a FU pair which is not going to be as readily available as in a Blood Spec with Death Rune Mastery (http://www.wowhead.com/spell=50034). This is by far one of the STRONGEST talents available as it can convert 4 runes to death runes. Additionally, that FU pair is needed for Death Strike, which I really feel is necessary to use if you're tanking. For an Unholy build, Death Strike represents a 15% max health heal (5% for each disease.... Frost Fever, Blood Plague, Ebon Plague). That's a nice heal to supplement whatever the healer is throwing at you and takes some of the pressure on them off. Scourge Strike is so seductive though cause it can hit like a Mack truck. But for tanking, it's utility, to me, is questionable.

2) Bone Shield - Even with the Glyph, the down time on this is horrible. It's very helpful and can absorb a TON of damage in some situations (20% off heavy hits is great.... and due to how it procs, it's great when you have a pack of mobs swarming you.... it'll give damage relief from the mauling). But, realistically, when you're being pounded on, you're only going to see it up for 14-16 seconds. It's almost like a cooldown in that sense though. For the remaining 45 sec that you'll be waiting for it to go "live" again, you're back to "basic" DK. And again, it costs one unholy rune.... which is sorely needed for Death Strike, Scourge Strike, or if you need to lay down diseases again for whatever reason.

3) Some "Meh" Talents - Some talents like Reaping (http://www.wowhead.com/spell=56835#comments) just don't have a fantastic payoff for the investment. 3 points to convert a single rune into a death rune? It could be the difference between having Bone Shield up or having that one extra needed rune for a Death Strike, but at the same time, when this procs..... that rune is not immediately available! Add to that Necrosis (http://www.wowhead.com/spell=51465), which for a tank, is going to suck to some degree. I know, you're thinking, "OMG! That's such a great talent.... and Rune Strike is an auto-attack!!! You're crazy!!!". Nope nope and nope. Rune Strike does not benefit from Necrosis. Check out the comments on WoW forums, WoWHead, and EJ. Post Patch 3.3, it no longer works off Rune Strike. Another is Desecration (http://www.wowhead.com/spell=55667) which subjects mobs in a circular area around the DK to a slowing effect. Here's the issue: the mobs that are THAT close to you are generally NOT the ones you have to worry about moving away from you as unholy. Your threat at that range is usually insane. This talent is FAR INFERIOR compared to Chillblains (http://www.wowhead.com/spell=50040), which will affect a mob so long as they have been hit by frost fever, a relatively EASY thing to do. When it had the damage bonus attached, it was sincerely worthwhile. Since that was split off into Desolation, no longer.

A couple things about the Unholy tank build.....
You should consider keeping up a rotation of Desolation (http://www.wowhead.com/spell=66817) and Reaping (http://www.wowhead.com/spell=56835) if you want to have any death runes available. At the very least, you need to be working in Desolation (http://www.wowhead.com/spell=66817) into your "filler" strikes to keep the damage and threat up. Also, if you do not have Glyph of Disease (http://www.wowhead.com/item=45805) as an Unholy Tank..... slap yourself now. Due to the cost to refresh diseases.... you can't afford to NOT have this. We're talking the difference between one frost, one unholy, and one blood rune JUST TO RE-ESTABLISH DISEASES..... versus the one blood rune with the glyph.

Really though, Unholy is all about the diseases. Get them up, get them circulating, and keep them up. Work in some Death Strike / Scourge Strike, keep Bone Shield up as much as you can, and keep up the diseases.

Satorri
04-21-2010, 02:47 PM
Leuc, this is a little uncharacteristically short-sighted of you.

1.) DS is only slightly more appealing to Unholy than it is to Frost (which does not use DS). DS is not appealing in general because it offers very poor threat, particularly compared to ScS which is your go-to FU spam. "Uses a FU pair which is not going to be as readily available as in a Blood Spec with Death Rune Mastery (http://www.wowhead.com/spell=50034)" DRM does not make FU pairs noticeably more accessible, it makes FU pairs usable for Blood rune abilities. This has no bearing on Unholy. ScS is a threat tool. Imp DS gives Blood the ability to use DS as a threat tool, but that is unique to Blood.

2.) Bone Shield *is* a CD. It is the Unholy analogy of Vamp Blood and Unbreakable Armor. Where they are on a fixed uptime, however, Bone Shield can be stretched. Even with Chill of the Thrown in ICC you can still expect it to be up 15-20 sec minimum. In some situations, particularly when not group tanking (read: bosses and single target trash) it is possible to have pretty staggering uptime. Outside of ICC it is not unreasonable to see it last 30-40 sec with good avoidance, sometimes it will last the full CD. It is a variable though. The point worth critiquing here is that Unholy has no other talented damage reduction values, and it does not rely on self-heals as Blood does (though it is worth noting that the only *actual* physical damage reduction Blood gets is from WotN). It makes for some periods of higher damage, but pre-ICC my blind tests with healers had them unable to distinguish Blood from Unholy based on damage taken.

3.) You pick on the "meh" talents. That's like criticizing Blood for having Vendetta, Bloodworms, Butchery, etc. None of the talents you mentioned are actually necessarily required in a build, but of the ones you did: Reaping is the DRM analogue. Its purpose is not to give you instant death runes like Blood Tap, it is to give you a third FU pair or additional runes with which to use Bone Shield (like DRM for Blood). Necrosis does not need to affect RS to still be a decent value, melee auto-swings still represent a healthy proportion of your threat, though it is true it was sad to lose the benefit of Necrosis on RS. That is why they fixed it in 3.3.3. If you check the patch notes under Bug Fixes you will find: "Rune Strike: This ability can now proc Necrosis and Blood-Caked Blade."

Finally, Desecration is a convenience, but since you wanted to liken it to Chillblains, let's compare. Chillblains affects anything with FF, which has 2 ways to apply, Pestilence and glyphed HB. Without Icy Reach HB has a 10 yrd splash (Icy Reach bumps it to 15/20 yrds). Pestilence without glyph will reach 10 yrds, 15 yrds with. Desecration has a 10 yrd footprint. So, all the same on reach. The difference is that where Chillblains requires 3 pts (and you to be spec'd Frost, have the free points and want the slow) and leaves a lingering slow, while Desecration requires 2 pts (and be Unholy, have the points, want the slow, blah blah) and creates multiple ground patches for slowing enemies, one for each use of PS and ScS which you use constantly. It serves its purpose fine, if you want it.

As for the value of Glyphed Disease for Unholy? It is fine but no more so than for anyone else, about as good as for Blood and slightly more than for Frost. See my more developed response here: http://www.tankspot.com/showthread.php?59900-Comprehensive-Guide-to-Death-Knight-Tanking&p=337867#post337867

There are plenty of places to poke holes in Unholy's weaknesses, but I don't think you really hit them here, and you tried to create some that I don't think really exist.

Leucifer
04-21-2010, 04:54 PM
Satorri.....

Maybe I'm off my rocker a little more today than most days. :D

1) Ok. You win on the Scourge Strike issue.... mostly. Still, I argue that having the FU pairs as death runes loosens up things, as the lead off is almost ALWAYS DND - IT - PS. That sets them off in a stagger. What if you pop IT during a fight an additional time because you needed to snap at something that jumps in as an add? You've upset that rotation further and now you'll be waiting even longer for a FU pair to be available.

No rotation survives intact through a whole fight. Let's be honest. Death runes are our little trump card that allow up to game the system a bit. The flexibility of having 4 "omni" runes versus having any set in stone.... opens up options for the DK.

Still.... I'll give you the point. +1 Satorri

2) I'll agree with the uptime outside of ICC. It just varies with the amount of trash. Just don't forget, if you ever have a mob dance around behind you.... dodge/parry go right out the window. Bone Shield's life expectancy in those situations drops drastically.

And yes..... that is one of the glaring soft spots for unholy. It's Bone Shield or nothing. You MIGHT be able to stretch for Rune Tap (why?) but by your point in #1, you lose out on death strike as a major tool. Pick and choose. And when your ONLY tool IS a cooldown..... oof. Even warriors and pally have shields to soften the blow some. And bears got their new pretty toy.

I'd agree with the pre-ICC blind healer tests..... BUT, what did the tanks experience? The healer might not feel the difference, but I guarantee the tank noticed a difference. I did. And it's part of what brought me back to blood spec. My healers were pretty much "OMG.... wtf did you do???" across the board. Especially with the changes to WotN.

So.... point two.... I refuse to concede on. Draw?

3) Hey! Why you gotta go picking on Vendetta?! ;) lol! Yeah. That is about the biggest waste I've seen. Bloodworms .... you know... they're weird. Great for dps... but it shocks the tank now and then when a mob specifically targets a bloodworm! Those little guys only do how much damage????
It has me wondering how much agg they pull! Anyone with them can tell you.... heck... I'm willing to take video to prove it. As for their utility.... maybe taking that one hit off you, but for a tank, meh. Butchery is pretty garbage. I'll accept that.

Reaping IS the DRM analogue.... but the return on investment is meh. Rotating that with Desolation to me makes sense, as you're getting a two-for-one in that case..... but on it's own.... it's weak.

TOTALLY missed the 3.3.3 notes on Necrosis working with RS again. O_O
Will check that out.

As for Desecration.... I'll give you that. I just honestly think Chillblains has better value since you're going to pop frost fever and try to drop pestilence as a tank. You'd be crazy not to. Even if you have the base IT, frost fever on it's own still drops attack speed of a mob by 14%.

My thoughts on Glyph of Disease is it's a must have for any build, as for any tree all of our abilities benefit from diseases being on target. To be able to refresh diseases on "all" targets for the cost of one rune, you can't beat that value.

Yeah. This wasn't my best work, was it? lol

Still, I think we can agree, of the three trees, right now, unholy is the weakest for survival.

On a final note: how awesome would it be if Blizzard moved Bone Shield, as is, into the new Blood Spec "tank tree"? I doubt it'll happen that way, but wow!

Muffin Man
04-21-2010, 06:31 PM
With the disclaimer that I only dps on my DK, I've noticed that absorption seem to prolong bone shield uptime. Is this true or a trick of the eye? I know as dps there's a lot of times when I'll take untargetted damage and bone shield will still be intact.

Satorri
04-22-2010, 05:55 AM
Still, I argue that having the FU pairs as death runes loosens up things
No no, I totally agree on that. It's something I love about Blood's style, and while I don't think it's a deal-breaker for other specs, I do miss it. This is the same feeling why I love glyph of disease, as it only uses one rune and syncs disease durations, combined with the omni-runes... =)



The healer might not feel the difference, but I guarantee the tank noticed a difference. I did. And it's part of what brought me back to blood spec. My healers were pretty much "OMG.... wtf did you do???" across the board.
Well, no, the play style is different, the shift in what you do is different, but the healers see what I see as far as damage taken. The main difference is that as Blood you can directly respond to damage taken and prop your health up. It's no mystery, I've pulled logs many times, the healing from Blood makes it feel and appear as if you are taking less damage than the mitigation of Frost or Unholy would allow, but when I've played with Unholy (again, haven't in ICC), I managed to take less damage as Unholy. The trick is that Unholy, like Blood, requires more active involvement in your survival *because* your only talented physical damage is a CD. If you manage it well it is very powerful (by manage well I mean pre-buff and rebuff very sharply). It is pretty labor intensive though to keep everything stacking *and* keep on top of Bone Shield. Power Auras was a big help for that.

The discomfort of Unholy and why I haven't been itching to play with it in ICC is that while with Blood you *always* have your heals, and Frost *always* has the passive mitigation/avoidance, when Bone Shield is down you don't have any other passive protection. I found the way to make that not an issue was to 1.) play your gear to improve Bone Shield coverage, avoidance goes a long way, and 2.) use trinkets and other CDs to cover the blackouts. Since avoidance goes so far, Chill of the Thrown can feel like it's countermanding your efforts. Combine that with the fact that most people are reluctant to take any avoidance where they could get stam/health or armor, regardless of spec, and you get the idea why Unholy is unpopular and hard to play in ICC. Really I think it is worse in your head than it is in practice if you really play into it, but if you don't like the idea it is probably not fun to play either.




Reaping IS the DRM analogue.... but the return on investment is meh. Rotating that with Desolation to me makes sense, as you're getting a two-for-one in that case..... but on it's own.... it's weak.
Ha ha, it's not weak, it is utility. If you don't use the utility it is wasted. An extra ScS (or two, if you can save one pair from being broken by Bone Shield refresh) every couple rune sets is hardly weak, like you said, hits like a truck. You can't criticize Reaping and hold up DRM as godly. =P


As for Desecration.... I'll give you that. I just honestly think Chillblains has better value since you're going to pop frost fever and try to drop pestilence as a tank. You'd be crazy not to. Even if you have the base IT, frost fever on it's own still drops attack speed of a mob by 14%.
No doubt, you will get slows if it is possible from Chillblains. By the same stretch you can get the same out of Desecration as you will be PS/ScS all the time. The difference is not one of universal superiority, is my point, they are just useful in slightly different fashions each with their own style. For Chillblains you get lingering slows with diseases which is easy to cover, but its downside is late joiners, anything that gets missed by diseases, and rolling spawns. That is where Desecration is strongest, since things just have to enter the patches to be slowed. The weakness of Desecration is when you are kiting in a forced pattern, frequently moving away, etc. If you leave the zone you lose the slow. So, each has its strong area and its weak area.


My thoughts on Glyph of Disease is it's a must have for any build, as for any tree all of our abilities benefit from diseases being on target. To be able to refresh diseases on "all" targets for the cost of one rune, you can't beat that value.
I love it too, but I still won't call it a "must have." More people do without it than people who do, and they're doing just fine. It is a wonderful value for easing disease management, but I find that can be diminished by Frost and Unholy. Unholy has very hard hitting PS *and* IT, while Frost has a zippy IT. The glyph works well enough, but if you're used to not having it you won't notice.


Still, I think we can agree, of the three trees, right now, unholy is the weakest for survival.
I haven't seen enough to believe that. People have thought that for a while without it being true, I don't think it has seen nearly enough attention to be so sure. I will agree that it *feels* the weakest in concept. All this talk makes me want to go play it out in ICC and see what happens, though. I have a rocking avoidance set on the build at the moment that could probably support it rather well too. I need to get another t10 piece for that set so I can rock the improved DnD with Unholy, that would be fun.


On a final note: how awesome would it be if Blizzard moved Bone Shield, as is, into the new Blood Spec "tank tree"? I doubt it'll happen that way, but wow!
They were talking about that, though I suspect it was just an idea rather than an already worked out swap. I think they would like to they just need to make sure it isn't imbalanced. I promise if they moved Bone Shield as is to Blood, also left as is? Blood would be pretty much an unstoppable Juggernaut.

Leucifer
04-22-2010, 01:47 PM
No no, I totally agree on that. It's something I love about Blood's style, and while I don't think it's a deal-breaker for other specs, I do miss it. This is the same feeling why I love glyph of disease, as it only uses one rune and syncs disease durations, combined with the omni-runes... =)
yup yup!



Well, no, the play style is different, the shift in what you do is different, but the healers see what I see as far as damage taken. The main difference is that as Blood you can directly respond to damage taken and prop your health up. It's no mystery, I've pulled logs many times, the healing from Blood makes it feel and appear as if you are taking less damage than the mitigation of Frost or Unholy would allow, but when I've played with Unholy (again, haven't in ICC), I managed to take less damage as Unholy. The trick is that Unholy, like Blood, requires more active involvement in your survival *because* your only talented physical damage is a CD. If you manage it well it is very powerful (by manage well I mean pre-buff and rebuff very sharply). It is pretty labor intensive though to keep everything stacking *and* keep on top of Bone Shield. Power Auras was a big help for that.
I'd agree. Unholy is a much more "proactive" tank build. You need to keep one step ahead. Unholy is also "monster" at dealing with magic damage. AMZ in some spots is just wicked fun. I'd also agree that is it a bit mopre labor intensive in some ways. It's NOT as far as AoE agg. You can crank out the diseases and just watch stuff stick to you. Survival with the unholy tank, yeah.... I'll buy in with that idea.



The discomfort of Unholy and why I haven't been itching to play with it in ICC is that while with Blood you *always* have your heals, and Frost *always* has the passive mitigation/avoidance, when Bone Shield is down you don't have any other passive protection. Hence, why I believe it is the weakest. If you can't survive.... you can't keep up aggro.



I found the way to make that not an issue was to 1.) play your gear to improve Bone Shield coverage, avoidance goes a long way, and 2.) use trinkets and other CDs to cover the blackouts. If you're a tank and you're not trying to increase your avoidance... something's wrong. Actively trying to increase your avoidance with gems/chants/ whatnot... is a bit of a different matter. Even then, there's only so far you can go with it without paying a price in other aspects of performance. As for #2.... damn. You got me there. Hadn't really thought of that. Then again... my trink selection is meh.


Since avoidance goes so far, Chill of the Thrown can feel like it's countermanding your efforts. Again, really feel it hurts DK tanks a lot.


Combine that with the fact that most people are reluctant to take any avoidance where they could get stam/health or armor, regardless of spec, and you get the idea why Unholy is unpopular and hard to play in ICC. Really I think it is worse in your head than it is in practice if you really play into it, but if you don't like the idea it is probably not fun to play either. Not so sure about that. It's just that stacking stam gives better bang-for-the-buck.... well, emotionally anyways. Seeing that I have an extra 0.5% dodge and parry isn't as rewarding as seeing that I have another 1000 health on my bar. And again, if you throw everything into increasing avoidance (which was directly nerfed), what other tank-benefits are you missing out on? Is that 1% avoidance boost worth the loss of health? We could argue and say, yeah, over the course of the fight it is. Problem is.... RNG. Having 1000k more health is something that is "tangible".... whereas with avoidance... I'm still dealing with RNG and "hoping that luck goes my way". It's an emotional thing, or at least largely so.



Ha ha, it's not weak, it is utility. If you don't use the utility it is wasted. An extra ScS (or two, if you can save one pair from being broken by Bone Shield refresh) every couple rune sets is hardly weak, like you said, hits like a truck. You can't criticize Reaping and hold up DRM as godly. =P
Ok. Economically, it's weak. 3 talent points for..... up to 2 death runes versus..... 3 talent points for up to 4 (and two with each proc!). Yeah.... it can be enough to allow that bone shield to be refreshed. DRM isn't "godly", but I believe it to be a better return on investment.... especially for where it sits in the tree.



No doubt, you will get slows if it is possible from Chillblains. By the same stretch you can get the same out of Desecration as you will be PS/ScS all the time. The difference is not one of universal superiority, is my point, they are just useful in slightly different fashions each with their own style. For Chillblains you get lingering slows with diseases which is easy to cover, but its downside is late joiners, anything that gets missed by diseases, and rolling spawns. That is where Desecration is strongest, since things just have to enter the patches to be slowed. The weakness of Desecration is when you are kiting in a forced pattern, frequently moving away, etc. If you leave the zone you lose the slow. So, each has its strong area and its weak area. Valid points. I still think this ability is more geared towards PvP as a nice tool to slow down players from either getting away from you... or to slow down rogues from getting behind you time and again. Good points though.



I love it too, but I still won't call it a "must have." More people do without it than people who do, and they're doing just fine. It is a wonderful value for easing disease management, but I find that can be diminished by Frost and Unholy. Unholy has very hard hitting PS *and* IT, while Frost has a zippy IT. The glyph works well enough, but if you're used to not having it you won't notice. I'd also argue that a lot of people don't play the class very well. And yeah, I'd agree... it's less of an issue for the frost build which hinges more around frost fever and can probably work fine without blood plague. I'd say for unholy, it's got great value because it reduces the amount of labor involved in running that spec. Oh.... that and it ties in directly with that Reaping talent so well. ;) I'd personally advise any tank that they should strongly consider it unless they have a plan as to how to keep diseases rolling on targets and feel comfortable with managing their resources a little more tightly.



I haven't seen enough to believe that. People have thought that for a while without it being true, I don't think it has seen nearly enough attention to be so sure. I will agree that it *feels* the weakest in concept. All this talk makes me want to go play it out in ICC and see what happens, though. I have a rocking avoidance set on the build at the moment that could probably support it rather well too. I need to get another t10 piece for that set so I can rock the improved DnD with Unholy, that would be fun. Well, I'd love to know what you find if you do try it.
Part of the problem, I'd agree, is the reluctance to give the build a try. Especially in ICC where the pressure is on for the tank TO SUCCEED and not be just "testing a build". Depends on the guild/group you have and if they're up for a little experimentation. The improved DnD with the t10 set has got to be sweet, but honestly, with the unholy tank builds I've tried.... the diseases themselves become the workhorse. I really think that the t10 set DnD improvement was a slight "nod" to the blood spec tank.
Still, I'd love to hear what you find out.



They were talking about that, though I suspect it was just an idea rather than an already worked out swap. I think they would like to they just need to make sure it isn't imbalanced. I promise if they moved Bone Shield as is to Blood, also left as is? Blood would be pretty much an unstoppable Juggernaut. Yeah. I think it was just an idea tossed out as to how they might shift talents from one tree to another to make the blood tree "the" tank spec. Oh yeah.... if it were kept intact and the blood tree was kept intact also.... it'd make for one REALLY hard to kill DK. Think.... BS is up... that drops.... pop IBF.... throw in Vampiric Blood after that..... maybe Rune Tap....after a minute is up... pop bone shield again. And if you managed to get past all that, you'd still have WotN to back you up.
I think that would DEFINITELY put the DK in the same sweet spot the pally tank sits in currently.

Now to end the interminably long post......... lol

Satorri
04-23-2010, 07:11 AM
Chill of the Thrown hurts all tanks the same. You could argue that Unholy takes it a little harder than the other class/specs, but in reality the loss of avoidance is 90-95% the increase in damage taken from having less avoidance, and the remainder is its effect on Bone Shield. Remember, Bone Shield only ever affects the same number of hits by design, the way affects more is when hits stack up on top of each other. Really that doesn't change as much as you'd think with Unholy. Quicker stripping also comes from taking faster swings, which is another element of the design on a fair amount of ICC.

Psychologically, Bone Shield is more uncomfortable when you see that it isn't on, but the functional effect is less than you might think.

And yes, slows are aimed at PvP, all of them. There are places where it helps, but not many tanks actually spec into them for all the places they don't work (combined with the stringent point spending we usually see to get the most appealing talents for raw buffing rather than utility).

KnThrak
04-24-2010, 07:12 AM
To be fair before I bit the bullet and specced Blood to get comfortable with timing my selfheals (a concept I absolutely adore) to get prepared for Cata early on, I did a lot of fiddling to get Unholy to work well.

I learned the following simple rules:
- You have neither the +Mitigation of Frost nor the +HP of Blood. Be aware of that, there's nothing you can do about it.
- You have nothing you can stack against Will of the Necropolis or Acclimation, which are both potentially fight-deciding in the right situations. This is the biggest issue, you lack a deep tree tanking talent.
- For proper AE threat you need to maintain a higher critchance than other tanks so you need to actively see about using Crit/Sta gems for yellow sockets if the bonus is worth it, or using a +crit weapon.
- Bone Shield. Misused, it's virtually useless.
+ 6% Magical Mitigation. At Sindragosa, Lana'thel or BPC, you laugh at the feedbly 2% allmitigation and the 3% HP Frost respectively Blood have. Oh and then you pop your 100% AMS avoiding debuffs entirely since the whole damage got soaked. ;)
+ AMZ. Used wrong, it's another AMS. Used right it absorbs ~105k damage at Festergut at Pungent Blight, a lot lot more if things go bad and you actually use it to save people.
+ AE threat? 20% setbonus to DnD + 25% extrascaling + potentiall the glyph. After speccing to Blood I felt like I may as well not try to AE tank, the difference makes blood look extremely pitiful (though I got used to it and manage fine now). This gets better once you have 25%+ raidbuffed crit and your Wandering Plague kicks in.
+ Single target threat? Yes, Frost hits better with Icy Shieldslam, but yours is only slightly behind it. Again, +25% scaling works wonders.
+ Bone Shield. Properly used it beats VB and UA.


So yeah, I suppose all in all Unholy is "the weakest" tanking tree.
But not by much, and you need to keep perspective.

Your primary decisionmaker should always be your raid's needs, do they need 10% AP, Windfury or CoE? Well then your spec is already laid out in front of you. ^_^
If not and you are free to choose, for some magic-heavy fights or fights where the killing damage is magical, Unholy beats the other two specs more often than not, 6% passive reduction, better AMS, additional AMZ.

If you're having aggro issues, modern Unholy may be an idea. Icy Touch and DnD hit so unbelievably hard with +25% scaling, it changes a lot of things. And that's before you notice Necrosis works off Rune Strikes. <3 <3

Azzazello
04-26-2010, 02:30 AM
anyone tried dropping scourge strike(along with related talents) as unholy and just use glyphed death strike for fu pairs? works wonders for me but i am limited to heroics and occasional 10men. this is the only build i could use to actually carry bad groups with my gear - t9 + skeleton key and 5m drops

Satorri
04-26-2010, 07:59 AM
- You have nothing you can stack against Will of the Necropolis or Acclimation, which are both potentially fight-deciding in the right situations. This is the biggest issue, you lack a deep tree tanking talent.

+ 6% Magical Mitigation. At Sindragosa, Lana'thel or BPC, you laugh at the feedbly 2% allmitigation and the 3% HP Frost respectively Blood have. Oh and then you pop your 100% AMS avoiding debuffs entirely since the whole damage got soaked. ;)

for some magic-heavy fights or fights where the killing damage is magical, Unholy beats the other two specs more often than not, 6% passive reduction, better AMS, additional AMZ.

You kind of contradict yourself here, but end up in the right place. I assume you mean there is no 9th tier 3 pt survival talent? Magic Suppression + AMZ can trump Acclimation in some situations if you use it well, like you pointed out. Just because you don't have the talent in the bottom of the tree isn't particularly meaningful. I have generally lamented that Unholy has *no* other physical survival tools than Bone Shield (beyond the standard 4 1st tier talents).

Acclimation is a powerhouse against fights with a constant flux of magic damage. Sindragosa is the sort of fight is shines on because it is pretty easy to keep stacked, and a full stack is ludicrous damage reduction against that frost damage (albeit hard to gauge). Unholy has a strong baseline with 6% reduction (matching the other 3 tank classes), but it excels at burst scenarios with both its suped up AMS and AMZ.

Also, I would go so far as to say even a misused Bone Shield is nothing wasteful, so long as you actually use it, which is where it can lose effectiveness.


- For proper AE threat you need to maintain a higher critchance than other tanks so you need to actively see about using Crit/Sta gems for yellow sockets if the bonus is worth it, or using a +crit weapon.
A bit over-stated. You benefit from Crit if you use Wandering Plague, yes, and getting more is nice to that end. You do not *need* it, and you don't actually even *need* Wandering Plague to do fine AoE threat. Diseases with a fully buffed DnD, even before the 2 pc set bonus is fine.


+ Bone Shield. Properly used it beats VB and UA.
Also over-stated. I've done a lot of math on this. If you gauge based on healing saved (i.e. reducing how much healing you need to counter the damage taken to mark them all on an even field), Vamp Blood always tends to win out in total effect, but it doesn't do so by reducing damage taken which is its vulnerability and why, I expect, it has that slight scale benefit. Unbreakable Armor is a more powerful CD than most give it credit for, but it tends to be the smallest total effect of the three just behind Bone Shield. The thing is they are each unique.

Vamp Blood buffs your health (increased margin from death) and increases the effect of each heal. Thus less healing input is required to keep the tank alive through the same level of damage. It also double buffs most of the Blood tanks most powerful self-heals, nomnom.

Unbreakable Armor, in the same vein as the Frost tree, is a strong, unwavering, passive survival buff. More reduction from armor, more avoidance from Strength. The net effect isn't as powerful on each hit as a Bone Shield reduction, but it has guaranteed coverage, making it comfortable to use with minimal attention.

Bone Shield *can* have a very generous damage reduction, provided the player is smart and sharp on pre-buffing and refreshing it. It is balanced up from UA, I am fairly certain, *because* it requires player attention to maximize. Most abilities that can scale from negligible/non-existent to fully powered depending on how the player uses it are balanced to a slightly higher budget to allow for players to be human and not get the best possible outcome. The trick with Bone Shield is that it only ever soaks 4 periods of damage (as many hits as you can squeeze into 2 sec, basically). If you're up against trash, this is golden. If you are up against a single opponent it can be fairly limited unless you're dealing with multiple stacked hits. Shining examples include Hodir's Frozen Blows, Gormok's Impale stacking with melee, and potentially the joys of say tanking Valanar and Taldaram (if their swings are in phase) while eating the damage flying around the room. If you're dealing with bosses that just smack you or stop swinging to do their specials, Bone Shield is moderate and predictable in scale (4 hits, though Festergut actually gets good value out of it, albeit shorter, when his swings are fastest as multiple hits will land in the consumption ICD).



anyone tried dropping scourge strike(along with related talents) as unholy and just use glyphed death strike for fu pairs?
Even glyphed, without Imp DS it will hit quite weakly compared to ScS. Combine that with the fact that you have many talents in Unholy that specifically buff ScS and it is just not a good match. That isn't to say it's never worth DS'ing as Unholy, you can still get a nice 15% heal out of it, but it will never be worth comparable threat, except possibly by strong effective healing. To that end I wouldn't bother with buffing the damage (you can spend glyphs to get more total damage benefit elsewhere rather than buffing a weak hit just to make it a little less weak).

If you want to use DS more often in place of ScS, I'd suggest finding a threat buffing glyph that buffs a strength, rather than a weakness, and just accept that you will lose a fair amount of threat if you don't get good effective healing from the hit.

KnThrak
04-26-2010, 08:36 AM
Hrm, I had the experience with Unholy that until I took Wandering Plague and hit ~25% raidbuffed crit, my AE threat was so/so-ish. Certainly not bad, but nothing better than Blood had and slightly weaker than Frost by direct comparison against someone's alt who had similar gear to mine.

Then I got WP, and also changed some yellow sockets I was filling anyways to Crit/Sta from Hit/Sta, and got a weapon which had a ton of +crit (the Citadel Enforcer's), and all of a sudden my AE threat started motoring compared to the other specs.

Granted I suspect the thing is that without WP I am balanced against them so ofc once I add it and have crit to make it work, I win out, always.

Still it was a very noticeable effect I did not foresee before I had the talent.



Oh and on the note of Tier9: Yes, exactly that.
I consider AMZ roughly equivalent to Rune Tap - not in power, not in use, but in value to the tree as a whole. Both need four talents and the other three do still benefit you, indirectly with Rune Tap by beefing up the Tap further, directly with Magic Absorbtion.

But this still leaves WotN vs Acc vs <nothing>. Not that I truly mind, I think Unholy works, but it's a weird little design inconsistency because on a meta-talent-level, the tree-setups aren't all that different.

Satorri
04-26-2010, 08:52 AM
No doubt though, Wandering Plague is loverly for AoE threat. It does give crit nice bonus value. If nothing else it lets your diseases crit, essentially, and that is a decent buff (Unholy diseases could be some 6-10% of your total threat, so buffing that with crit chance in raids will add 8-16% to that, so figure ~1-1.5% increased threat on single targets). Where it really shines is scaling not from your crit chance but from the number of things you are tanking. The more you tank the heavier the damage becomes as every tick of each disease will not just crit, but the crits explode. So the more targets you have the more ticks and the more procs you see exploding. It has always been one of my favorite talents in concept, I was always disappointed at the value for tanking because we have low crit chance and get no other real benefit from stacking crit (unlike Bears, /envy).

I only meant though that there is no magical turning point in your own crit, every bit of crit should be roughly the same value as the last. High crit *and* high head count, though? It's comical.

I suppose it is all moot now, but if they had tried to carry on 3 tank trees, I definitely would've had a campaign going to add some other physical mitigation to Unholy, perhaps something that triggers when Bone Shield falls off, something that raises the baseline when it isn't up. It is not a nice feeling to be vulnerable when you don't have Bone Shield up (though like I said previously, it's a worse psychological issue than a functional one).

Leucifer
04-26-2010, 04:31 PM
All I can say on Unholy AoE is this:

Frost Fever (http://www.wowhead.com/spell=59921) + Blood Plague (http://www.wowhead.com/spell=59879) + Ebon Plaguebringer (http://www.wowhead.com/spell=51161) + Impurity (http://www.wowhead.com/spell=49638) + Black Ice (http://www.wowhead.com/spell=49664) + Wandering Plague (http://www.wowhead.com/spell=49655) + Glyph of Icy Touch (http://www.wowhead.com/item=43546) + Glyph of Disease (http://www.wowhead.com/item=45805) + Glyph of Pestilence (http://www.wowhead.com/item=43672) = PURE FREAKING AWESOME :D:D:D:D:D

That's five smileys (stars) for just how sick that combination is.
Try it sometime if you have a little spare gold.

Satorri
04-27-2010, 06:03 AM
Ha ha ha, I love it too, especially if you can get a bunch of stuff. Take those geist pulls in the Plague wing? Ha ha ha ha MASSIVESPLOSION!

uglie
04-27-2010, 10:39 AM
AHHHH the geist pulls. LOVE IT!! As a frost tank on those pulls, I've personally hit about 15-18k dps with timing KM procs and freezing fog procs even without the t10 2pc set bonus or glyph. I personally love power auras addon for the timing of KM and freezing fog procs. I have to say thats about the highlight of the raid session. Along the same lines of the geist in the plague wing are the many many whelps in ony.