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Thread: Death Knight AOE Spec, MT Spec and Rotations

  1. #241
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    I've been thinking a lot about initial threat and how most DK tanks believe we're lacking on that at the moment compared to other tanks. I've never really believed this to be true, but I knew my threat could be better if I moved some points around. I push 3-4k in 10 mans, and more in 25. I don't expect to beat my warriors in TPS, of course.

    I was wondering what any Unholy tanks out there thought of my current spec from a TPS point of view:

    WorldofWarcraft.com -> Info -> Classes -> Death Knight -> Talent Calculator

    I've MTed and OTed 25man Naxx successfully so far with this spec, but my TPS is incredible at the moment. Some points could probably be better spent elsewhere, but I'm not sure yet. To touch on some unorthodox talents missing:

    - I really do miss Imp. Icy Touch, but Lichborne + Pale Horse... not so much for 10/25 Mans. My gear has subsided the need for an extra ohcrap button. Patchwerk particularly is no longer a concern.

    - I really didn't feel AMS/AMZ that useful anymore outside of heroics. As Sattori mentioned, it can be more than situational, but I feel the mechanics REALLY need a change, i.e., make it like how I can drop DnD wherever I want, in a limited range.

    - I also agree with Sattori on corpse explosion. Great for initial aggro and chain pulls. I will definitely be keeping this.

    I'm concerned about Necrosis vs BCB vs Impurity. If you had to take 2 of the 3 talents, which would it be? I've never really understood Impurity other than as an obvious DPS increase.

  2. #242
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    Unholy Tank here.

    A few things on talents that i have played arround with.

    CE is useless right now. Does pitiful damage and is very unreliable for threat in 10 mans or Herorics. Although it was greatly amusing when I did use in 25 mans to blow up the dead melee :P

    BCB: This is an awesome threat talent when you are past the point of worrying about getting killed. Sitting in almost full Naxx 25 gear im not really worried about dying, im more worried about threat and moving through the instance faster. Also, I am ussually DPS on the one tank fights, so this is also a nice DPS boost there.

    Gargoyle: Get him, use him, love him. That is all.

    Necrosis: I like this talent as right now, most of my damage done is from RS and Necrosis scales nicely with RS damage. This may change after the patch, but only time will tell.

    Outbreak: Its very lack luster and i will prolly be dropping it soon. BB does very little damage as it is, and im only using pestilance to spread the diseases.

    AMZ/AMS: I personally like these 2 talents and use them in my 25 man build on a regular basis. There not game changing, but 5% less damage taken from spells and another CD for spell damage are nice.

    I am still out on Wandering plague for tanking. My problem is that I am trying to balance threat vs. mitigation vs. being a DPS/OT. If I was just MTing everything and never DPSed, then wandering plague is crap. My crit in tank gear is like 5. Impurity would be better most likely, although I have seen math on that not being so hot either.

    As far as the ghoul, it looks like it might be worth having even as a tank. 500 to 800 extra DPS in a 25 man is very nice. plus, then I wouldn't feel so bad about taking Ravenous dead.

    Hopefully duel specs comes soon so i dont have to balance specs and glypths. /sigh
    I cast the spells that make the people fall over.

  3. #243
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    Long time reader, first time poster.

    I just had to finally register and ask. What am I doing wrong to only be putting out between 2500-3500 tps? On crits and such, obviously, It'll jump to the 5-6k range, but as far as consistency, currently I cannot keep above 3500+ tps average on boss fights.

    Here is my Armory: The World of Warcraft Armory
    Don't mind the Defense - it saved when I was goofing around with gear for the upcoming patch.

    I don't think my talent pick is horrible at all.

    Rotations are: IT - PS - BS - BS - SS - UB - SS (or something like that)

    AoE Threat, I'm fine, in fact that's probably the best thing I can bring to the raid at the moment, but single target tps is bugging the hell out of me.

  4. #244
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    If u have problem with single target tps, try out a Frost or Blood specc(escpecially after the patch), those two can handle better the single target encounters. On this forum it was stated a lot that unholy is better for AoE tank and OT, anyway u can tank single targets with it but that will be a bit harder than with the other two specc.

  5. #245
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    Im really interested in tanking and plan to play frost cause i just love the frost tree since i started to pvp with it.

    i just have a few questions for those of you who have been DK tanking.

    1) how important do you guys think Blood of the North is?
    2) if i don't take BotN it leaves me open to take some other stuff, would Vicious Strikes be worth it? my ability to heal myself is rather poor so this could improve it; it might be situational tho.
    3) expertise/def gems worth it to help avoid parry haste?
    4) your gems of choice for each colour?

    with BotN Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft
    w/o BotN Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft
    two points in VS could be spent elsewhere like shortening your 2nd taunt down to 25secs, or in the blood tree for 2hnd which i think is lackluster.

    aoe:1 D&D, Icy Touch, Pestilence, Blood Tap, Howling Blast
    aoe:2 D&D, IT, PS, Pest . . . HB, BB, BB, Oblit . . . IT, PS, Pest, HB, BB

    single target: you should know by now.

    info on rotations taken from Print Page - What is the proper Frost Tank DK spell rotation? all credit goes to those who posted on that thread, good info.

  6. #246
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    Well, off the top, I'm with you in that I love the frost tree, though admittedly I've enjoyed it less for tanking than I do for DPS. That could easily change in the next patch.

    I prefer not to leave home without BotN tanking or DPS, but that is apparently a personal choice as I've seen a lot of people leave it out. I find it's very helpful for A.) smoothing my threat generation when I use BS every other rune cycle, B.) with the coming patch it allows me to spam HB on the second cycle, big ouchies, and C.) as a tank, death runes are very valuable versatility when you can get them. I am a staunch believer that you shouldn't adhere to rotations, it weakens you. You need to be flexible and smart to tank as best you can as a DK.

    Rather than just following a cast progression, you need to know what diseases are up (or missing), what moves you can cast, and select the best move for the situation. Be adaptive as the fight changes.

    I love expertise, and it is a very valuable stat for tanks, period. That being said, Frost needs it the least of the 3 trees, since 4 of your main threat abilities (IT, HB, FS, and RS) are not parriable or dodgeable. That means no hit chance benefit and no parry haste protection. Expertise is still valuable for your melee swings (less for 2-handers since you'll have fewer swings), Oblit if you throw it, and BS/PS. I've found myself mixing up gems. So far I haven't been socketing for avoidance, since I feel quite strong on that side of things, and I've been more interested in getting serious stamina, and keeping my expertise well covered. When they become available I'll probably be balancing agi/stam and exp/stam in my gear for the sake of the tanking beauty of Agi (dodge, crit, armor), sadly there are no Shifting Twilight Opals in the game yet. =( Strength is never a bad socket, since it will directly affect your threat and still give you bits of avoidance at the same time. In general I don't like the idea of socketing for hit or crit (only through Agi on the latter), but with Frost, depending on the state of your gear, hit might end up being a worthwhile socket if you don't mind trading some survival for the improved threat. That's one of those things you need to find a balance for. So far I've also been pretty fortunate avoiding socketing heavily for def, since I've gotten some good pieces and enchanted for it heavily.

    I like your specs, they're pretty spot on with what I would do. I think you're right that Vicious strikes improves your ability to self-heal a bit (Frost being by far the weakest on that front), though you might find trading a point to Rune Tap a pleasant ability to have. That being said, my preference would be to have BotN over Glaciar Rot, which is the big trade off you're getting there (with the one point in Black Ice as well, which I might find another way to pick up in your BotN build).
    The (Old) Book on Death Knight Tanking
    The New Testament on Death Knight Tanking
    -----------------------------------------
    Quote Originally Posted by Horacio View Post
    Who f-ing divided by zero?!?

  7. #247
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray View Post
    CE is useless right now. Does pitiful damage and is very unreliable for threat in 10 mans or Herorics. Although it was greatly amusing when I did use in 25 mans to blow up the dead melee :P
    Generally, I'd agree, it's not a game winner, and I don't use it in regular rotation. I do find it helpful for supporting threat on large aoe pulls, and I have found it to be very handy for snap pickups (i.e. mob joins the pull and goes dashing for the ranged section when your DG/taunt are on CD, just target and blowup a nearby corpse for a quick threat tap). Really it's one point that I don't feel is wasted, but surely a personal choice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray View Post
    BCB: This is an awesome threat talent when you are past the point of worrying about getting killed. Sitting in almost full Naxx 25 gear im not really worried about dying, im more worried about threat and moving through the instance faster. Also, I am ussually DPS on the one tank fights, so this is also a nice DPS boost there.
    I agree that this and Necrosis are nice threat, though they are single target threat, which I tend to stress less. I don't usually have trouble on single targets, and I like to boost my aoe threat/damage more, but then I'm usually filling the aoe tanking role, so again, personal slant. For sure, though, beginning tanks should be wary of BcB for the extra parriable swings (not THAT big a deal, but it is a trade of reduced survival for increased threat).

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray View Post
    Gargoyle: Get him, use him, love him. That is all.
    Blech. It will boost your sheet damage, that's all. No threat for you, and if you're being relied on for damage, then your dps section needs to get their stuff together. My priorities as a tank: 1.) Survive, 2.) Hold threat, 3.) Do damage. I'll always trade #3 for more of 1 and 2.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray View Post
    Outbreak: Its very lack luster and i will prolly be dropping it soon. BB does very little damage as it is, and im only using pestilance to spread the diseases.
    Another illustration in our different priorities. =) I'll take every increase, and the PS/BB/Pest buffs all add up to be sure. They're about to take Pest off, and boost the bonuses to PS/BB to 45% which makes it even more delectable to me since Pest really doesn't do much damage to increase anyway. My BB's on the other hand are worth an extra 700-1.4k flash of threat on everything I'm tanking, even without great buffs, so in an aoe pull I'm all for it (for my talents/gear, actually, it does more total threat/damage than BS if it hits 3 targets, crit or no).

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray View Post
    AMZ/AMS: I personally like these 2 talents and use them in my 25 man build on a regular basis. There not game changing, but 5% less damage taken from spells and another CD for spell damage are nice.
    I agree on the first and disagree on the second. Used well they ARE game changing. AMS with Magic Supression shifts AMS from being a way to reduces your damage for a moment, to encouraging me to step into void zones, taunt spell shots, etc in a smart fashion. Used at the right time it's worth a full RP bar or two, sometimes more RP than I can spend with not just a damage reduction, but immunity. AMZ is a VERY valuable tool, but it requires preparation/coordination, or a quick thinker to really get the most out of it. The thing to remember is that it will soak 75% of the spell damage for everyone inside on a single shot, no matter how big. If there is a massive aoe splash, this will take 75% of the whole total if you can cram everyone inside, even if it is beyond the tooltip total. I really enjoy it for being able to drop it for ranged/melee/healers or single targets who know when they get a debuff they can jump inside and make it a non-damaging thing. I've also used it to allow the group to cross a painful aoe zone like a poison cloud or void zone when they got cornered. Small things, quick thinking, but its utility is variable entirely with the tank dropping it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray View Post
    I am still out on Wandering plague for tanking. My problem is that I am trying to balance threat vs. mitigation vs. being a DPS/OT. If I was just MTing everything and never DPSed, then wandering plague is crap. My crit in tank gear is like 5. Impurity would be better most likely, although I have seen math on that not being so hot either.
    Indeed, the only way I would get this would be if I was expecting to spend 50% or better of my time in dps gear. Normally I'm always in tank gear in a raid, so I just can't stomach it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray View Post
    As far as the ghoul, it looks like it might be worth having even as a tank. 500 to 800 extra DPS in a 25 man is very nice. plus, then I wouldn't feel so bad about taking Ravenous dead.
    Ravenous Dead earns its value for me with the Str increase, the ghoul is a nice bonus, but DK's need to be smart about keeping them up when you can (which I am often not because I'm a cheap bastard and don't buy corpse dust =D).

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray View Post
    Hopefully duel specs comes soon so i dont have to balance specs and glypths. /sigh
    Can't come soon enough. =(
    The (Old) Book on Death Knight Tanking
    The New Testament on Death Knight Tanking
    -----------------------------------------
    Quote Originally Posted by Horacio View Post
    Who f-ing divided by zero?!?

  8. #248
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    I've been running HCs with Frost for a week now, and BotN seems a must have talent there and I would spend talent points on death runes in every specc of mine. It gives u a great flexibility. Also I would skip Endless Winter and pick Glacier Rot, I dont remember when I casted Chains of Ice in instance last time. My current specc look like this: Frost Talent
    With this specc I dont have much problem in every situation, I can hold aggro on single targets when there are full epic ppl on my side, although I just started gearing up. Also I try to avoid DnD with this specc, but in a lot of situations, when the dps cant wait with aoe or there is a ninja patrol incoming I have to pop it despite that.
    Now I am thinking about dropping the aura, couse it wont to do much when Impr GotW comes in raids and maybe i will pick two-handed weapon spec or i will max BotN and get Rune Tap.
    In addition I started to craft some specc for raid OT-ing, which can easily aoe tank and its dps is nice at the same time. That would be my Unholy Specc. I picked Butchery becouse of the Gargoyle and CE will come for runic power after the patch also. I cant deny that I am attracted to the little Ghoul guy, like a lot of other Unholy tanks out there, although it does not much, but becouse of being dps at the same time this 1 point wont harm anything. Anyway I am not sure that the fella will outlast a single fight couse of the massive aoe at some places, and it will lead to another talent the Night of the Dead after patch, but that would be 3 points instead 1, so I am a little bit confused about it. Maybe i will drop it and max Impurity. And I have some doubts about CE also, but i think i will grab it now and compare the pre and pro-patch version then decide on it. In the case of AMZ, I hesitated over it a lot, then i decided there is no other groundbreaking talent on this tree and for 6 points i could get Rune Tap or Lichborne, but why not getting AMZ when I will be anti-magic OT and becouse of being OT I dont have to be a fully perfected mitigation beast, but I have to support my raid on different fields, like bringing some extra dps and anti-magic for the raid.
    I'd like to see ur two cents about these thoughts.

    Regards

  9. #249
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maci View Post
    Also I would skip Endless Winter and pick Glacier Rot, I dont remember when I casted Chains of Ice in instance last time
    this was picked up not cause of the CoI part but the free RP silence cause if if you tell someone to interrupt the spells they aren't aways able to, so this allows me too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maci View Post
    Now I am thinking about dropping the aura, cause it wont do to much when Impr GotW comes in raids and maybe i will pick two-handed weapon spec or i will max BotN and get Rune Tap.
    i really don't believe 4% is worth two points, it is a horrible talent i think, and rather use those two points elsewhere.
    whats the change to GotW that is making you think of dropping the aura? and do you mean mark of the wild? and which aura? frost aura and Acclimation are stupid good, idc what people say about not many bosses casting much but having 2stx of shadow and a 3stx of nature resist up on me really does seem to help with damage, resisting 2k worth of 7500frost bolt cause i've proc'd the buff up cause of mage shield is rather nice.. pvp point of view.

    one thing im not sure people know about Acclimation is once you have a stack of one spell school it doesn't stop working, really you could have them all if a shaman, pally, lock, mage didn't kill you before you had the chance to get them all up.. lol

  10. #250
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    I meant Gift of the Wild, which gives u around 75 resist for all, and as i saw it didnt stack with Frost Aura, so that would be 5 plus resist for 2 points, if I am not wrong, anyway if there is no druid around it will help a lot. Yep, Acclimation is a very nice talent, I would pick it with any frost build.

    And with Endless Winter, maybe I misunderstood that talent, but I read it like if you casted a Chains of Ice after it your Mind Freeze and Icy Touch would cost no runic power.
    Last edited by Maci; 01-04-2009 at 02:51 PM.

  11. #251
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    Endless Winter lets you apply Frost Fever with Chains of Ice, and makes your interrupt (Mind Freeze) cost no RP so you can do it any time it isn't on CD. Not bad, but I'd take Glaciar Rot before it too.

    And Two-handed Specialization is a little slippery. It increases your 2-hand weapon damage by 2/4%, which has a trickle down effect. It increases your melee damage (for that it is multiplicative with hasted swing damage), but it also increases damage slightly by moves that are based on weapon damage (BS, PS, HS, RS, FS, ScS, Oblit, etc) which keeps it from being a somewhat trivial buff. That being said, I'm generally more interested in other talents with my tanking specs, and I'd only pick this up if you're looking to buff up your single target threat by a notch.
    The (Old) Book on Death Knight Tanking
    The New Testament on Death Knight Tanking
    -----------------------------------------
    Quote Originally Posted by Horacio View Post
    Who f-ing divided by zero?!?

  12. #252
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    Maci, as you said dropping frost aura for GotW is a great move that will free up 2 talent points elsewhere for yourself. As your raid starts pushing big dps numbers (4k+) you will want to start consider dropping the Imp Icy Talons and using those points elsewhere in your build because the DK single target threat problems really becomes a beast to overcome. (i even found going 2/3 acclimation, using that point to fill out 5/5 botn beneficial as well)

    p.s. if you want a good lawl... check out my ingame spec... on a side note it is the spec that helped me survive Sartharions 70k+ flame breaths and really goes to show that DK's with some creative use of in game abilities + combinations of certain classes using there abilities together there is no reason a tank should die.

  13. #253
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    Ha, nice. That's working for you? Impressive, it doesn't look overwhelmingly sound on paper, but that should just go to show there's more in practice than you can account for in theory.
    The (Old) Book on Death Knight Tanking
    The New Testament on Death Knight Tanking
    -----------------------------------------
    Quote Originally Posted by Horacio View Post
    Who f-ing divided by zero?!?

  14. #254
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    LOL no thats was my spec for tanking sartharion with the 3 drakes up (i respec only for that one fight)... threat is at no point a problem since dps is going after the 3 drakes for the first 6 minutes of the fight.

    I just had to find a way to mitigate big *fire damage* hits coming in 10-20 second intervals for approximately 90 seconds and find a way to get max stam possible

  15. #255
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    I just have some comments about the Unholy spec,
    For one i personally find it easier to alternate BS>SS>BS>SS as it becomes a little more user friendly to get those blood runes off cooldown when you continue the rotation. Also on a similar note I've noticed blade barrier reapplies itself every 3 seconds until there is actually a blood rune off its' cooldown, so there's actually a window where BB can be up and your blood rune(s) off cooldown which can be pretty useful for the GCDs.

  16. #256
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    Just respeced after a long while being blood dps build to Frost tanking now im old warrior MT , it is a slight different in tanking but i ran a few heroics last night and didnt have any problems in threat with my guild mates but i felt me rotution was all over the place and i reckon i can get better threat with a bit of work
    spec is The World of Warcraft Armory

    i mainly want it to get more heroics in and in the long run start tanking in naxx and upwards as are tanks in the guild are lazy and don't seen to want to improve anyone else gear int he guild , but is there any room for improvment in the spec things i maybe should pick up and drop others and what spell rotution is best suited for AOE and single target tanking ?

    aoe wise i was using : DnD -IT-PS-pest-BB-HB , and so on .
    single target was : IT-PS-bs-OB-bs

  17. #257
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    single target rotation

    for the best threat rotation assuming 5/5 botn

    it - ps - bs - bs - obl - obl - obl

    Using the 2 blood strikes back to back you will find is very important and make your life much easier

    For those times you get missed,dodged,parried since those death runes will reset to blood runes when that happens. Unfortunately if your timers are a off by splitting up your blood strikes you may have a death rune + a frost rune get used. This will not allow you to correct for that miss with 2 quick blood strikes and instead will throw off your rotation.

    with your frost spec as well you should macro runic strike to your it,ps,bs,obl (i personally keep it off howling blast because of changes in my aoe rotation)

    your aoe roation is fine, i would hit hb before your first bb tho


    spec changes to increase threat (assuming aoe threat isn't the problem because it shouldn't be with how hard hb hits)

    -2/2 glacier rot

    -take out 2/3 morbidity since your only benefitting from half the talent since death coil is no longer your rp dump of choice.

    -get the 5th talent point in tundra stalker


    Other than that it is great to see you've done some research

    If your going into some raiding you can be a little creative with your spec by dropping imp icy talons and frost aura, in 25 mans i'm having a lot of success and some definate tps increases with The World of Warcraft Armory but this is 25 man raid buffed with an enhancement shaman in my raids.

    Also if your looking to keep acclimation remember as long as you have 1 point in the ability it can proc of periodic damage so this is a great ability to have and move your points around in as blizzard changes the spec around in the future.

    *added* macroing your deathchill to your first obliterate will make your opening rotation hit like a truck and will make the rest of your boss fight feel a lot easier since if will give your threat a nice boost right off the start
    Last edited by Merko; 01-06-2009 at 08:14 AM.

  18. #258
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    cheers merko ill have a look into all you have said and change as i move on , enjoyed my few heroics in frost and as i said wasnt having too much argo issues but though i could be higher in threat with different rotations

  19. #259
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    Ok so, I am new to these forums and just forums in general. I have an 80 DK tank and was woundering how I could improve my spec, not completely change it but just improve on it some.
    The World of Warcraft Armory
    I have already decided to take the point out of unbreakable armor and put it into bone armor instead because it will increase threat some and mitigation better than unbreakable armor.

  20. #260
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    your best bet is to pick a tree you like, and then make sure to get the 5/8/5 at the base...by trying to pick up a little bit of everything your really spreading yourself thin from a the threat and survival standpoint

    master of ghouls is useless for a tank as well since it doens't contribute to your personal threat or survival in any way.

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