I love to tank, and as such have pretty much always played a Warrior. One of the things about that class that always bugged me was it's problems with tanking multiple mobs, prior to the TC buff.
One of the common ideas floating around these forums is that Unholy spec seems to be the best for multi-mob tanking, as far as DKs go. I can't dispute that but I thought I would do some testing for the Frost tree, to see what abilities and synergies I could come up with that would allow a Frost DK to multi mob tank.
One of the first things I noticed is that Pest causes deases to 'bounce' between mobs. This coupled with the AOE ability of HB got me thinking. As far as I can tell the standard for multi mob tanking as frost spec has been to rely on the base damage of HB coupled with BB to keep agro from large packs of mobs.
However, not only does Pest cause deases to 'bounce' it resets the debuff timer of thoses deaseses on the new targets. This means that a Frost spec DK should be able to 'bounce' Frost Feaver to several mobs, using our blood runes, and then HB them every 6 secs for max damage. Pest only hits three mobs, which means we have to use it judiciously and one the right mobs to keep it up and make sure we have it available on the highest number of mobs possible. However, if we are focused on threat, and controling a pack of mobs, rather then just controling one mob or dealing damage to one target, this should allow us to effectivly tank large groups of mobs.
To see if this would work, I tried it out with some multi mob packs I gathered in HP, and on the dummies in Org, it did.
What I think this gives the Frost spec DK is a reliable rotation of tabing between multiple targets, casting Pest on those mobs that have Frost Feaver up. Droping HB everytime we have the runes and the cooldown is up, not only for some decent threat but also for some great damage. This leaves FS for our main target, and allows us to forgo the continued use of DC and DG for threat, leaving these two abilities as our 'Oh S...' buttons for when we get runners.
All this theory crafting and minor testing aside I have not reached Northrend with my DK, and as such cannot test these rotations or theories in those settings. If anyone out there has any inclination to do so, please do.
Edit; I am reposting this from the Beta DK forums for the thoughts of the TS community. You guys are the most knowledgable group of people I know of when it comes to tanking so ...
Last edited by Ironminded; 09-03-2008 at 08:10 AM.
So the basic idea is to use Icy Touch to get Frost Fever up and start spreading the love around with Pestilence, while hitting Howling Blast on every CD? Does this mean no other abilities are being used (strikes, Icy Touch, etc)?
Even assuming you can spam Pestilence on every GCD, that only works out to 60 dps. I'm not sure how DK threat works (does it all rely on the frost presence buff, or is there some innate threat to abilities?), but that doesn't seem like much, even if Frost Fever has high innate threat when applied. The HB's work out to 200 DPS, which does look pretty sweet.
Consider, however, that an Unholy DK has Unholy Blight, Wandering Plauge, Ebon Plaguebringer, Desecration, and Rage of Rivendare to work off of. I seriously doubt that HB alone will be able to make for the difference.
That being said, I'd expect some nerfs to Unholy AoE threat (it looks seriously OP right now), and what you posted here is definitely a viable source of AoE threat. I'm not sure it'd be able to keep up with heavy AoEing, but it's solid, and a heck of a lot better than what Blood has.
I'm curious, have you done any testing of the threat output of Frost vs. Unholy? All I have here is speculation, and I'd love to see some real numbers on this stuff