Dual Wielding DKs: Demystifying the Myth.
DK Dual Wielding: Can it be done? Does it Exist!?
ADDENDUM: This is pure, and complete theorycraft. As it stands now, there has been no tests by myself or by any individual with the gearset needed to make dual wield DK tests versus two handers. Until the gearset is put to the test, this is purely speculative!!! Please don't take this as a end to the debate..this is more theorizing about the possibility that DKs dual wielding can potentially be as good as two handed tanking.
Alrighty, now that people have been debating this for ages, it’s time for us to figure out the issues at hand. To be honest, I’ve tried to avoid this as I’m not the strongest tank in the game, however I did start this little match to a roaring fire and many people are still talking about it to this day.
Of course, I mean the dual wield versus two handed weapon fighting for tanking as a Death Knight.
Once upon a time, Death Knights were given two options: Use two one handers or use one two hander. This was how Blizzard decided to make Death Knights. See Highlord Morgraine? Two handed swords. See the 4 Horsemen? Well..they usually have two handers. Conflict!
However, with the introduction of both abilities, people started to think about the following: could you potentially dual wield tank as a death knight and have it viable?
The theory comes out of this:
Entrance of the Expertise skill has caused people to gripe about weapon skill being lost, but many tanks started musing the use of this rather underrated skill. For DPSers, this meant a way to lower pesky dodges while attacking from behind. For tanks however, this skill also had a very nice addition: lowering parry chances done against them.
It is important to understand why dual wielding never worked for a warrior in the first place. First, the shield gave so much armor that it was ludicrous to even bother thinking of putting a second weapon for threat purposes. You just became too squishy. Furthermore, the introduction of Parry enhanced attacks was introduced in 2.0 and that made the debate about dual wield tanking dead: every time your attack was parried, you sped up the mob’s attack speed and with crushing blows in the game, that would seriously be bad (At this point, only paladins had a surefire way to actually get out of the crush issue, however they can’t dual wield, the poor suckers.)
In comes the Death Knight Hero class, which allows people to dual wield, like a warrior, or use a two hander. They are also deemed to be a tank class, given a presence which pretty much acts like a shield. Interesting. However, this class now works a lot like a druid as it cannot block and must use avoidance. Hrm...this brings an idea up!
Musings of the Tonypablos:
By this point, I’ve been visiting Tankspot and playing around with my DPS warrior. I was so discouraged with how the DPS warrior was going that I had decided to switch over to my Death Knight like I originally had thought. However while leveling, my mind came back to dual wielding and it’s possible use in a tanking situation. Let’s face it: tanking with two weapons is so much cooler than one two hander.
It is as this point that I started thinking about it.
My first thought was to get rid of Parry Gibbing ideas. Studies have shown that most if not all bosses have anywhere between a 12 to 14 percent chance of parrying an attack. This is not good when you have two weapons hitting and they both have the same percentage for you to get parried. The key here is getting rid of this as this would cause more chances for you to get wtfpwned by some hard hitting attack.
Furthermore, Crushing blows were removed from the game come 3.0. With this removal of the system, this effectively removed the primary concern of dual wielding: get parried, get the chance of getting smacked in the face by a crushing blow causing your healers not to react fast enough to heal you. This was no longer the case, and the damage that was coming in was a simple melee attack...which could be avoided. Death Knights are avoidance tanks. Everyone agrees with this statement right? Everyone repeat after me (Death Knights are avoidance tanks). Repeat that till it’s stuck in your head. Now, with that in mind, we should potentially be able to avoid a melee attack that was sped up by our innate stats. By having enough parry and dodge, this should allow us to avoid any big hits. At most, you would be a solid normal damage shot and if your healers are any good, they’d be fast to catch it (Yes, I presume your healers are that good. Mine are.)
So, what we have now is this:
If bosses can’t crush, and can only do one normal damage, then a normal damage could definitely be healed through even if you get parried. Let’s face it, you’re going to get parried with a two hander at one point unless you reach the cap as well. Let me state this: You will parry less with a two hander. No doubt about it. You will get parried less than a two hander UNTIL you cap, where it doesn’t matter. However, the question is this: Can you afford to take an extra hit?
The answer? Probably. Why? Because you’re working on the idea that you’re an avoidance tank. I will be listing a set of gear that you can work on getting that works with dodge, parry and expertise that will be pretty strong in it’s own way. However it’s noted that a lot of this is very circumstancial; you have to have the proper gearset to get to the cap. Is it important to get to the cap? Yes. Can it be done before hitting the cap? Probably, depending on how your stats are evaluated.
Now, let’s get to the point:
Dual Wield tanking would prioritize their stats as the following:
- Defense cap
As nice as Stamina is, it could be ranked about the same spot as strength, but sometimes lower than dodge/parry. Now this is going to get people to scream “YOU NOOB!” but think about it: If you’re an avoidance tank..well your whole point is to avoid damage. Besides, nowadays all our pieces come with Strenght/Stam, so it really doesn’t matter. =/
Again, you’re bound to get hit. Don’t ignore your stamina because when you get hit, you’re going to take damage. And it’s a bit more than Warriors, paladins and druids right now so be cautious.
Now, threat wise, you’re going to be using Runestrike a whole lot more. You might wanna macro every single damn button you will push to light up Runestrike because trust me, as an avoidance tank, this will light up more often than you think. The theory behind how Dual Wield can potentially out threat two handers is thanks to quicker Runestrikes by dual wielding. However this will potentially be offsetted by the fact you’re going to miss. A lot. With both weapons. However, a lot of your attacks are spell hit based anyway which means you’re really shooting for 17% spell hit. Hopefully tank gear will come with hit rating. (Sorry Sattori, I’m still not convinced it’s melee hit as of yet. Show me that WWS soon damnit. =) )
A lot of people will argue with this idea. Heck, we’ve seen it already happen on the forums. Many people will say that we’re stupid and that even Blizzard stated that two handers are the way they want DKs to go and they will purposely nerf dual wielding if it ever gets beaten in the method of tanks.
This post is not in any way whatsoever to discredit which way is better tanking. This post is to show that dual wield tanking IS viable under the right conditions. It just requires people to look a little bit more on the expertise side instead of pushing solely on avoidance. However, not only do you gain avoidance by reducing the chances of a boss to parry your attacks by stacking expertise, but you also raise your tps because you get rid of that parry chance and you get rid of the dodge chance as well. That is always something people need to think about behind their heads when it comes to an expertise piece.
Any comments and talks are surely suggested and wanted and again, this is more of an informational tool for people who want to dual wield. Look, DKs are the most flexible class I’ve had the pleasure to play. Play the class the way you want.
Let’s recap real quick:
-Both are viable, however both require different sets of idea and priorities. I would sorely push on at least getting half of the expertise needed, which is 27, before attempting to DK dual wield. This will at least lower the chances of you getting parry gibbed by half, and raise your TPS decently.
- In a min/max setup however, dual wielding will always fall short of damage mitigation. Why? Because it always will be about double the chances of you to get parried by a boss compared to your single two hander. Until you remove the parry chances from the board, two handers will be the more solid mitigation type of tanking. Threat however, is up in the air at this point and I personally think dual wielding could potentially pull ahead here. Numbers would be nice, but by this point, if you guys haven’t realized that i’m not a math geek, I don’t know what else I can say other than I DON’T DO MATH!!! X.x
I sincerely hope this informs a lot of people about this topic. If you have any questions about dual wield tanking, don’t hesitate to ask.
Go with a frost spec honestly. No offense, but you sorely need the mitigation talents in frost to pull this off properly. This is because you could potentially take 50% more damage if you are very unlucky (Pray to the gods you’re not.) Suggested spec I’d like to say is the following:
http://www.wowhead.com/?talent=j0EZGgezheb0hoVosx0x0h (Bite me, I’m at school and this computer has IE 5..so outdated x.x)
Possible rotations with this could be IT > PS > BS > BS > HB with a FS dump
The reason you’re using HB instead of OB is because it doesn’t reflect weapon damage, which is what you’re losing going from a two hander to two one handers. That is also the reason why you put 3 points in Unholy instead of the normal two in Epidemic: You’re going to be reusing your rotation a lot before Epidemic would come into play.
By all means if people have a better idea..hit me up with it. I was just writing how it could be doable. Not a sure all be all guide about it lol
Gear to hit up for dual wield (Aka Dream Gear):
Some of this gear may be interchangable from time to time. Also, Kaze didn't list any belt or bracers. That'll be left to preference for any player for perhaps higher avoidance items instead? Hint hint? Also, no trinkets have been placed. Again, higher avoidance ftw?
*many thanks to Kaze for posting this up when he did because without him and listening to my ranting, this would really never of gotten off the ground.