Did someone recommend Vicious Strikes for something other than Unholy?
Let's see where you're stuck, with the move highlights of what you want/don't want, Goros, we can go from there.
Fathom, I agree, the Enhanced totem is better, but 6 points is a big investment for the *tank* to get an extra 4% to the group (and 9% to you). It's helpful, yes, but (without doing the math) I am not usually a big fan of the stretch with all the other talents available.
This issue has been discussed many times before but a new 3.2 tree deserves a new analysis.
Originally Posted by Fathom
Assumptions: You really really want to get to Tundra Stalker.
Let's start with a bare bones frost build:
Note the frost tree is very tight, almost to the point of self-explanatory. You may question Deathchill, Chill of the Grave, Glacier Rot, Rime, Merciless Combat - but I've used these to get to Tundra Stalker. Other options to get to Tundra Stalker are acclimation, hungering cold, or the improved icy talons. I left HB out for the sake of dicussion.
We conveniently have 6 points left - our options are as follows:
Improved Icy Talons (6 points)
Two-handed Weapon Spec (2 points)
Scent of Blood (3 points)
Howling Blast (1 point)
Epidemic (2 points)
Morbidity (3 points)
This is a very, very, very high cost.
From a 10 man perspective - If you don't have an enhancement shaman I recommend asking one of your DK's to go DW Frost (the DPS is very competitive). If your dps DK is blood it is easier for the DK tank to go blood and provide abom's might then it is for the DK tank to be frost and provide Improved Icy Talons.
I agree, I don't necessarily want Imp Icy Talons, but given my choices of talents that are open in order to move to the bottom of the frost tree, my choices are limited, and it takes vicious strikes essentially out of play.
The must haves are 5/5/5 (obviously) and in the frost tree the must haves are IIT, Black Ice, Annhiliation, KM, Frigid Dreadplate, Glacier Rot, Deathchill, and Improved Frost Presence. This is where it locks up. You can't move farther down the tree without 2 more points in something above it.
The obvious must haves below this point are UA, Blood of the North, Guile of Gorefiend, Frost Strike, Tundra Stalker, and HB. Where do the points go to move down the tree, if not into something relatively worthless imo..
One of my builds I would like to see Accimation and the other needs morbidity for keeping a D&D available at all times (3/3 morbidity = no d&d downtime other than runes, as it lasts exactly as long as cooldown).
I love Bladed Armor (adds 695 AP with current gear unbuffed) and 2h Weapon Spec because of the extra damage, but the question becomes is subversion a better fit worth sacrificing the base damage boost? 1 point in vicious strikes isn't going to make or break this build, but i see the point of 15% extra damage to PS. I could skip the 2/2 into 2h weapon spec and move 3 points into subversion to gain the 9% crit, but which is going to be more beneficial? 4% base damage vs an extra 9% crit chance? does it play out?
So, the question becomes where are the points better spent? Runic Power Mastery, Lichborne, Nerves of Cold Steel, Endless Winter, Merciless Combat (debatable), and hungering cold are all a complete waste of points IMO, which really leaves icy talons or chillblains to allow a continuation down the tree. Only 2 points are needed to hit the next tier, then you take 1/1 UA and 3/3 in blood of the north, and you are stuck again either dropping a point into a useless talent, or into icy talons or chillblains in order to move farther down the tree.
Once you hit the next tier, again...3/3 into Guile, 1/1 FS, and then either a 4th point into IT, or a point into something else (which is easy if speccing acclimation into both builds, but that wasn't the plan).
Then 5/5 TS and 1/1 HB and done...it's just a tight tree to move down without getting stuck with garbage talents IMO. I know as a tank you should always take mitigation where you can, but acclimation isn't necessarily the best thing to put points into because it's highly situational and of limited use to have 3 points stuck in it at all times.
Caveat to this whole post: I MT in a guild with no regular resto shaman, and inconsistent frost dk dps at best. I've also had IIT in my tank build for months. It's possible that I'm terribly terribly biased when it comes to this talent.
Originally Posted by Satorri
I guess this is my sticking point, 6 points really isn't that big a stretch when several of those points can be used make the point requirements to get down the tree to pick up tundra stalker and HB (which I don't think is a stretch to say is kind of mandatory for people going into a deep frost build).
As dhthomps said, these points are going into:
Improved Icy Talons
Two-handed Weapon Spec
Scent of Blood
And I'd add Chill of the Grave, Merciless Combat, and Acclimation to that list.
While I'm not going to suggest that Imp Icy Talons is required, and if you have someone to provide you with an equivalent buff without taking it, more power to you. But I will argue that IIT is a competitive use of points given the your other options as frost. None of the alternatives (except for Acclimation which has it's own issues) are mitigation talents. In fact, most of them are single target threat talents, an area where frost is hardly weak. I don't think it's a stretch to argue that 4% melee haste to the raid is worth sacrificing some single target threat (especially when you're not even moving points out of single target threat talents, simple into a slightly less optimal single target threat talent.
Frankly, given most of the options, I think IIT stands up pretty well. Half of Morbidity goes to waste on Frost, and the other half is lackluster (and that's being charitable, personally I think Morbidity is an utter waste for frosts, but YMMV). Merciless Combat gives you extra threat at the end of the fight where you least need it. 2h Spec has the same issues IIT does of not effecting all of your damage but without the raid utility. Epidemic, Scent of Blood, and Chill of the Grave are all nice, but not so incredibly good that I see taking them over IIT as a no brainer.
And I'd also point out that having that 4% extra melee haste ends fights sooner. Faster boss kills mean less time tanking stuff with your face and fewer opportunities for something to go wrong.
I think there is merit in all there arguments, but I'm looking to be a niche tank with high magic mitigation (to the point of taking 3/3 acclimation, and using the stam/2% magic resist meta and the 4% magic resist weapon runeforging 'chant)
My AOE spec I toss in morbidity because it allows me to do timed COT runs and gives me the ability to generate instant threat when either HB or D&D is on timer (for whatever reason).
Scent of blood should never be needed for a Frost Tank, as there are talents with "more bang for the buck" and the glyph of icy touch if you REALLY need the RP (the sigil with the +53 def from IT every time it's used for 30 seconds actually gives you more avoidance than stacking equivalent amounts of dodge/parry, or it used to) so it pays off to keep IT in the rotation as well as to generate instant RP - depending on glyphs and talents, one casting of IT can generate 25 RP.
I also question the usefulness of Epidemic (the same as I question the usefulness of glyphing HoW). It seems to me that since you should have both IT and PS in your rotation before they run out on timer, it's a lazy man's utility. HoW gives you runic power when you use it, so using it more is good. Even though the damage from Blood Tap is minor, as a tank taking the least amount of damage possible seems to be important, so I glyph that instead.
It's all in how you play as a tank, but I don't see much use in many of those talents. I would almost argue that glyphing BS and then taking 1 point in chillblains will benefit more than IIT if you have another form of haste buff in the raid since 20% damage on a rotation item is a big deal.
I'm conflicted, and testing a lot of stuff out. As soon as I get time to test everything I want to, I'll post results.
I do have a general question, however. Has anyone seen any concrete benefit to taking the RS Glyph? 10% extra crit seems like a waste when as a tank you aren't stacking Crit anyway...what's the big deal with 17% crit instead of 7%? If we ran around with 30% or 35% crit at all times like DPS specs I can see the value, but for the amount of RS's you'll be firing off does it really equate to more threat, or is it better to have oblit and bs glyphed?
Actually, Goros, the 10% crit works out to be a solid 10% increase in damage when you have 200% crit damage. The relative increase from increasing your crit chance isn't terribly meaningful based on what your base crit chance is. 10% crit is 10% crit.
For Blood it does have a nice added benefit of helping stack Bloody Vengeance sooner, though this is a marginal value.
Thanks. I think I'll try with the Glyphed RS and see what happens.
Any thoughts on Glyphed BS combo'd with 1 point into chillblains?
It's very hard to rely on in PvE. Heroics is fairly reasonable, but any boss and some trashes will be immune to the snare so the effect won't work.
I expect you'll get more consistent and overall better net effect from something else.
As Frost you shouldn't have a hard time finding threat glyphs. If you're running a 2-disease rotation FS and OB are easy choices, and you can either use IT for more RP for FS, or HB to make sure you never run off Frost Fever, or RS for solid single target threat buffing. Personally I tend not to glyph UB since the extra 300 dmg absorbed per hit is a little lackluster next to what other glyphs can do.
That's all it absorbs? Well wtf...been wasting a major spot for far too long, apparently.
As for the other stuff, that's all basics that I would hope any Frost Tank should know.
I was just thinking that if BS is in the rotation, that its damage is so lackluster. But you are (as always) correct, there are places to spend talents that will give more bang for the buck.
Hopefully I'll be able to escape RL this weekend and try out the 5 different talent trees i'm looking at currently.
I switched to glyphed IT, FS, and RS. I stopped using Obliterate and switched to DS... only way I could almost justify DW Frost tanking in certain encounters.
Whenever I give people spec advice (including glyphs), I've always had the following philosophy since Vanilla wow:
when you have a choice, always choose talents that will benefit you 100% of the time over talents that will benefit you only some of the time.
Glyph of UB is a perfect example. a glyph that buffs a cooldown that you use, at most, once a minute will not be as effective as a glyph that passively buffs another one of your bread and butter abilities 100% of the time. In order to create a bigger net gain, the bonus this glyph gives to UB would have to be enormous. When in doubt, don't buff cooldowns, buff abilities.
talents and glyphs that give static modifiers compared to situational or temporary boosts are generally superior. obviously there's the issue of "relative" net effect over time, but it's a philosophy that's always worked for me, for all classes, all roles, and all specs.
For Glyphs I use RS, FS, and Disease. I've actually considered dropping FS and switching to OB because I feel like I'm swimming in RP between DW SoB procs and even only 1/2 Chill of the Grave.
Here's a question: does the off-hand strike damage from ToT receive the 20% damage buff from the OB glyph? would it be passively buffed due to the naturally larger MH strike or is it a direct buff?
Originally Posted by lyd
That is absolutely terrible advice in WoTLK though. Encounters are entirely based off cooldown abilities, and the DK is one of the most heavily CD oriented classes.
I like the spirit, though not the resolution Lyd. I'll take a big buff to something I use a lot over an equivalent buff to something I use less often, in general. But glyphing/talenting CDs isn't a bad idea. Glyphing Vamp Blood for example, same deal, and arguably the same scale, it's just a matter of what you're trying to accomplish with the glyph. In general though, sometimes you can get a better buff overall glyphing something you use less often if the scale is big enough.
For me I was surprised to find DS glyph doing more than RS for me as Blood, only because of how much I'm DS'ing.
Glyphing RS over OB with a dual wield Frost build I think is actually the backwards way to go about it. RS is weaker when you're dual wielding, slightly, so don't buff the weak tool when you can buff one of your strongest by a slightly larger amount. The 20% Oblit buff from the glyph applies to the whole strike (both hits), and since you'll spam that all day long (nummy extra Rime procs from two chances to proc per use) it really gets its use.
I generally refuse to drop FS as a glyph though for the improvement to FS use (nerf and all). It lets you use it earlier and more often and I have yet to really feel like I have more RP than I can use. Though to be fair I'm not tanking Frost that much any more.
there is no survival cooldown that will not get you through a high-damage situation without being glyph'd or talented. the added survivability from extending cooldowns or increasing their effectiveness is generally marginal, and in terms of net survivability is less effective than the alternative.
example: OB glyph versus the old IF glyph. The only time the old IF glyph was even an issue is when you might not be able to cast it due to 0 RP. the net effect of not having this glyph is you lose a RS every 2 minutes. so 3-5 runestrikes compared to a static 20% damage buff to OB? the static buff will outpace the loss of 3-5 RS's in both dps and tps over the course of a 6-10 minute fight. I think the fact that they even changed it is indicative of the fact that it simply wasn't useful compared to its alternatives.
there is a caveat here: blizzard has folded alot of cooldown-improving talents into other abilities which are useful: for example: guile of Gorefiend also improves Critical Strike damage. I think this is indicative of the fact that most players simply weren't taking cooldown talents precisely because they were a waste of points compared to static bonus talents. so as far as talents go, most of this concern has been washed away by design changes. But as far as glyphs go, I will always buff a rotation ability or a survival stat before I buff a cooldown. no question.
EDIT: Satorri, If i drop anything for the OB glyph it would probably be FS. As i said, I feel like i actually have too much RP right now, in the sense that I can't dump it all before my runes come off cooldown and i re-start my rotation. I think what i'll do is replace it and see what happens to my dps/tps and my RP generation. If it's good, i'll stick with that instead.
Two misdirected assumptions:
1.) Spike dmg periods corresponding to tanking CDs is good, but not necessarily cause to glyph (as Lyd pointed out)
2.) Just because you don't need the glyph to get through the spike, doesn't mean the extra value is wasted.
Actually, I'm going to change my tune a little here: Vampiric Blood is, in my eyes, the *best* tanking cooldown out of the 3 trees, and 10 additional seconds of more max health and bigger heals is significant. so I will admit that Vampiric Blood Glyph is an exception to my rule.
Because the glyphs as they are implemented are generally bad or pointless from encounter design. I only had an issue with the advice, as a lot of talents that provide benefit for only a short period can be more beneficial than a talent that works out to be better overtime.
Originally Posted by lyd
You technically don't need to use talents at all, and you could still tank a majority of encounters (in regards to saying you don't need to improve CDs to get through spikes). Not really a good argument.
I agree with the philosophy in general, but there are too many exceptions to use it as overarching advice.
I'm a unholy tank in the making and I have what seems to be considered a rather strange build (or at least from what I've been reading on here).
I'm only lvl 76 at the moment but I thought I'd get in on tanking experience on the way up to 80. I'm currently dual wielding since it seems there are very few 2h weapons (that I could find) over the huge number of 1h weapons. I'm unholy and my spec is going to be the following once I hit 80:
Is dual wielding Unholy tanking a general no go??
I'm looking at the link and it looks like a cookie-cutter 2h frost tank build.
Generally speaking(and in my opinion), you can't DW effectively without going down the frost tree and taking both dual wield talents (3/3 Nerves of Cold Steel and 3/3 Threat of Thassarian). You give up damage and hit when you avoid these talents.
If you go down far enough into frost to take 3/3 ToT, you give up most of the attractiveness of Unholy due to a shortage of talent points, and if you don't keep going down frost, you lose some great damage and threat enhancers like Guile of Gorefiend and Tundra Stalker as well as losing out on FS, which is a great RP dump and does damage equivalent to Glyphed OB.
My bad, was looking at another spec and just copied the link in the address bar after changing it :P
Here's the new link: