View Full Version : Death Knight Frost Tanking Help

08-06-2010, 10:40 PM
Hey yall,

I have been researching and studying the guides here on tankspot and elsewhere for a few months now, trying to better my Frost Tank, and I have come to a brickwall of confusion! My main is a hunter, so DPS has always been my thing, but I really LOVE tanking with my DK and just cant seem to get over the slump I have hit.


Ok, first of all... when running most 5 man (and a few 10 man weekly bosses) with guildies, I have almost no issues... but it's my guild! WE know how to work together... it's LK randoms where I am totally starting to fail! If there is any melee dps in the group with over 5600 gs I cant keep aggro off them! Single target aint so bad, dark command is my friend! but mobs get really tough.

I am working hard to upgrade gear, just not having luck with drops. I have read that 2 slower dps weps are better, and I have read the opposite! If I need dps weps, is it worth it to take a step back gearwise from what I have now as acquiring 2 nicer dps weps will be hard work (the ones i need are in hHoR i believe, which I avoid like the plague!)?

I use a program called RAWR which tells me for threat I should be wearing a DPS helm? That can't be right can it?? (confusing) And WHAT is the best chant for a helm anyway? Should I not be gemming for all stam yet at my level (5092 gs)

I know it isnt my rotation/use of tools... I LOVE everything the DK has up it's sleeve! And I aint afraid to use it! I do flipflop between the single/double disease method, havent decided which is best for me yet. I CAN tank hHoR and as long as the healer is good I can pull it off, just hate that place.

A friend of mine who has a druid and a pally tank (both are pretty awesome) tells me I should be sneaking Agilitiy into my stats for threat, now he doesnt have a DK tank so i'm not so sure about that one. Any thoughts on that??

I have also read about Morbidity in another forum post here, that this would be helpful for aggro... but I dont know if that was in reference to FROST tank... and if it is a good idea, where do I sacrifice points to get it??

I am sorry if this is a lot of questions, but I have tried to figure out as much on my own as I could before invading the forums here, I am just out of ideas and hoping someone can help!

Thank you in advance....

08-06-2010, 11:16 PM
holding aggro from ppl that outgear that much with just naturally pull off you. It's not that you're doing it wrong, assuming you are doing everything right, its just a gear issue.
now as far as your weapons go. 2 nighttimes from H FoS would be a HUGE threat boost for you. before i went 2h weapons i was using 2 1h weapons. started out with 2 rimefangs and having the same issues as you then switched to 2 nighttimes.
spec is good. thats not going to be you're problem.
i'd have to say get the 2 nighttimes and a lil bit better gear and see how that helps your threat.

08-06-2010, 11:58 PM
Fast weapons are definitely not doing you any favors, I agree. Using two DPS weapons, or at least a 2.6 speed mainhand, would be a significant boost to threat. You CAN tank with fast weapons now that Icy Touch puts out insane threat, but it's not recommended (at least that's what I've read).

You also should take the 3 points from Subversion (9% crit on Oblit, meh) and put them into Morbidity, which is an amazing talent for AoE tanking, allowing you to keep up DnD much more often.

Single-disease for several mobs (because it lets you open up with HB + DnD + BB, offering much better snap AoE threat than the traditional method with Pestilence). Dual-disease for single-target (because it buffs Obliterate, and of course because Icy Touch has such a tremendous threat modifier nowadays).

The proper helm enchant is 37 stam 20 defense, available from Argent Crusade I think.

Agility is a fantastic stat for Bears (obvious), and a pretty good one for Paladins because they have a higher Agi:Crit and Agi: Dodge ratio than the other two plate classes (not so obvious). DK's and Warriors don't get as much, and thus typically won't gem it over dodge rating. Besides, you get plenty of crit from Killing Machine and Rime.

Also, when you factor in the 1% from your spacegoat racial and the 3% from talents, you're over the melee hit cap. Lose a few hit gems for more stam, it will make little to no difference in your threat.

edit: stupid smiley

08-07-2010, 12:51 AM
Aye, what the other guys said, throw the rimefangs into the lake and get some dps weapons. DK tanks should never use fast tanking weapons. It sort of sucks for us, since we're not getting the stats but our threat depends on slow dps weapons. A few other things, you're on a nice amount of defense, so you can lose the shoulder enchant and get the +30 sta/+15 resi enchant from SW. Also get the armor enchant for your cloak and +275 health enchant for your chest.

If you still continue to have threat problems, suggest you switch your sigil to the sigil of virulence. You can buy it from the emblem of triumph vendor and it is amazing for threat. I tanked much of ToC with it and it did not really bother me much, health-wise. For gems, get rid of those exp/hit gems. They are rubbish. Get +30 stamina instead. If you feel your hit drops too low, get some Extreme Snapper meals to buff yourself up.

08-07-2010, 01:42 PM
You can try this on you multiple mobs and see if it works for you, you could take one point out of bladed armor and make it be 4/5 and put it in deathchill. Then when you are presented with a mob drop death and decay, pop death chill, HB and then BB then cycle through them with frost strike, icy touch and rune strike when it is up, and BB as often as it is up. That will give you tons of snap agro from the HB and BB, because the HB will crit on most of them in the mob.

08-07-2010, 03:37 PM
Will make me sad to toss the rimfangs, I worked hard to get them and they just look so damn cool LOL, but OK i'll do that right away. I actually started out tanking with a tyrannical beheader, but decided to go with the duel wielding instead and now the beheader is my DPS wep.

Gonna go with morbitiy (have to say a quicker CD on DnD would be REALLY awesome!). The exp/hit gems in my chest were to get the +12 stamina socket bonus... so scrap those for stam gems? Got it.

Thank you all for the valuable info!

One last thing I NEED answered... am I really still supposed to be using IT for single target? Because i'm pretty sure it was the guide here on tankspot that claimed IF i have glyph of HB I didnt have to use IT, HB will work the same way throwing FF and generating threat...?

Much appreciated.

08-08-2010, 12:10 PM
They added a huge threat modifier to Icy Touch a little while ago. Nowadays it's huge threat, I've actually been expecting them to nerf it a bit.

08-08-2010, 07:58 PM
Harmacy is right. In 3.3.__ they added huge threat to Icy Touch (kind of like a warrior's revenge if you want to thing of it like that).

And good job for dumping the rimefangs. Wanna know whats easier to get? If RNG is on your side, you can get 2x Nighttime and throw that defense runeforging on them. Might hurt your defense slightly, but should help your threat immensely.

I dont believe HB will act as IT for the threat, but it will act as the frost fever. But if you really need threat, HB acts as great snap aggro in itself.

09-20-2010, 03:05 PM
Took FOREVER to get both axes out of FoS, but I did notice I was holding aggro a bit better after I got them. Then I managed to snag my 2nd pc of T10 and the coin trink out of ICC25. Now the pesky dps warriors are no longer a problem no matter what gs they have! I am very happy with how this toon is shaping up, and am set to MT ICC10 for the first time tomorrow night (woohoo!).

My question now is, what is the hit cap for a DW frost Tank and how important is reaching that cap for a tank? I assume it means you miss less, which is better for aggro? The main concern I have is once-in-awhile my taunt misses. Not a huge deal in 5mans, but in ICC when tanks are swapping, it's important that it works everytime! Will reaching hit cap stop this from missing, or is it just gonna happen no matter?

Thanks again for all the help!


09-20-2010, 03:10 PM
hit cap for dual wield is so high you will never hit it as a frost tank unless you gem for it, which you should not. I was never over 12% hit and I was fine. the caps I believe are 17% and 24(7)%.

also these will help you a lot if you haven't already checked them out. Satorri's is amazing and covers all three trees. my guild is a bit older and less in depth but for frost tanking it is still relevant.


09-20-2010, 03:11 PM
Glyph of Dark Command, get it, learn it, love it.

09-20-2010, 04:59 PM
Thanks Swam! I used that first link to learn all about tanking before I even spec'd for it, love that guide! As for the second, I hadn't seen that, so I appreciate it.

Glyph of Dark Command, get it, learn it, love it.

Is that really worth replacing my current glyphs with?? I thought I had the best glyphs for my spec, wouldnt replacing one screw something up?


09-20-2010, 05:18 PM
Well, you're stating problems with taunting. You don't have many options to improve this besides the glyph or gearing for hit (not really feasible).

09-20-2010, 11:20 PM
Raid encounters have a lot of required taunting going on where missing your taunt can have dire consequences. Taunt uses the spell hit mechanics so you need to hit 17% hit to not miss a taunt. It's not impossible and it'll benefit you in that your diseases wont miss either but it also means you'll be giving up a lot of survival to reach that. It's so much easier to hit 8% or 9% hit and fill out the rest required for taunting with the glyph. You have 2 taunts in Dark Command & Death Grip but i still prefer having the glyph.

You dont need to get to the hit caps like a dps as tank. Still it's still a good idea to try to hit at least 8% including talents & racials. Otherwise you'll start missing both your diseases and your threat moves.

09-21-2010, 09:40 AM
Wow, 17%! Ok, so i'll replace runestrike with DC glyph since i'm pretty sure the other glyphs are more important :)

Also forgot about the racial bonus since she is Dranei.

Thanks guys!


09-21-2010, 10:13 AM
Mmm, Runestrike is, at least for blood, far and away our #1 threat increasing glyph. I wouldn't drop it, but I don't know anything about frost tanking (dual wield + parry haste risk on bosses just doesn't appeal to me).

09-21-2010, 12:00 PM
Don't want to disappoint ya, but I'd start farming some blood tanking gear. As one might (or might not) have noticed, Blizzard is making Blood the mandatory tanking spec as of patch 4.0.1, which is now being tested on the PTR. (May I add that I'm very pleased about the changes!).

So really, my advice: go with what u have now and start faming some 2H / Blood tanking gear.

09-21-2010, 03:16 PM
I am aware of the upcoming changes, but figure I might as well enjoy frost while I can because I do prefer it. :)


09-24-2010, 11:00 AM
Some may disagree with me on this but I think you may have a bit of a rude awakening when switching to blood tanking for 5 mans. HB is great snap aggro, and blood has no snap aggro. Also, get rid of the corpse tongue coin, it's just a giant piece of worthless garbage.

09-24-2010, 11:22 AM
For trinkets, try to stick with armor or stamina trinkets. Dodge and parry are too random to give you the stability you need as a tank.

Rune strike -incredible for threat
Dark command - more reliable taunts
Howling blast - 5 man and trash glyph. Great for aoe threat as it applies frost fever to all mobs with one gcd
Unbreakable armor - better for raid bosses and survival

If you can afford to switch out HB and UA between trash and bosses, that would be ideal. Otherwise, you kinda hav a tough choice.