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Thread: Death Knight AOE Spec, MT Spec and Rotations

  1. #141
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    I thought Veteran of War only gave 6% str and 3% stam not expertise but then I realized the talent page that Eddie used wasn't updated so the tooltip doesn't show expertise >.< and I never use just a set rotation i'm constantly using different rotations etc just for like Sunny said Priority situations but you didn't say one thing about my spec. Also i'll try pulling with DnD but like Icy Touch pulling is just so much more fun with the increased range on IT it makes it the same range as DnD and like you can IT pull and then throw down DnD while you wait IDK maybe i'm just used to it and works for me. Also, from parses i've seen DnD to do alot of my damage and therefor alot of threat it's like 25% of my damage if I keep it up on most pulls. It's just from my experience and it seems to work the best for me. So yea..if you could compare my Unholy spec to the Posters unholy spec as far as tanking goes i'd appreciate it. Thanks for the feedback.

  2. #142
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    Well, if you want to be technical DnD has a longer range since the range is to place the center of the AOE, though I'd never use it that way... =P

    As for your spec? I like it, it's just about spot on with what I'd do with a couple small exceptions:
    I don't take Reaping (though it does good things for your rotation if you're going DS/ScS heavy), I don't leave home without full Magic Suppression/AMZ, I don't go for Lichborne, good though it may be, and I trade off the joy of Wandering Plague for Bladed Armor and Rune Tap (even with the stack of crit rating on my tanking weapon right now I still have only 12% or so crit chance).

    That's all personal preference though, I don't think anything about your spec is ill-advised.

    (and current Vet of the 3rd War = 6% Str, 6% Stam, 6 Exp for 3 points, ayep)

    =)
    The (Old) Book on Death Knight Tanking
    The New Testament on Death Knight Tanking
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  3. #143
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    Satorri, hows unholy working out for you and what does your tree look like?
    I'm loving the frost spec for dragon fights ... (according to WWS report) As Sapph 25 man MT only took 426k damage for the full fight, sat at 77.2% avoidance and 38% frost resisted
    Last edited by Merko; 12-09-2008 at 01:13 PM.

  4. #144
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    Very nice, did they make Sapph no longer frost immune? I haven't run her since the beta and she was. Broke my heart.

    I went unholy because I've been running with a couple friends who are animals on dps, they push 2k tps on every target every couple pulls. Rather than complaining about their crazy aptitude I wanted to see what I could do with Unholy.

    Here's my current Unholy spec, I've figured out some revisions to it, though I haven't implemented yet just to save some cash =)
    Unholy Tank, take 1
    I took Night of the Dead in the hopes that I could find a good use for Army of the Dead, though I use it more often as a fun gimmick than a clutch tanking move. It can be nice to protract a fight gone bad, and it's probably actually worth a fair amount of damage in the right situation but the 3 rune cost makes it pretty bad as a clutch save.

    I push 4-5k TPS on every target in unlimited size pulls, and I can push just as much on a single boss target. I don't lose threat even when each of my dpsers takes their own target. Magic Suppression and AMZ are really crazy valuable for a lot of encounters and instance scenarios, and I've been enjoying using them to great effect. Contrary to some people's commentary Desecration has been a very nice buff and very useful for situational control. I've also loved the spec for dpsing, since I can switch into my (sadly inferior) dps set and still pull 1600-1800 dps in 5-mans.

    For a while I was tanking with this for a while, just to see what it would feel like:
    Frost/Heal Hybrid Test 1
    It is actually silly for single target threat and for survival, I was really quite hard to kill and I could tank things for a good minute or 2 after the healer died, no sweat. I like to keep Glyph of Rune Tap up since it can be terribly useful, often I will save the healer or a dps's life with a quick pop of that, and in my current tanking gear improve Rune Tap can heal me for 7k every 30 sec, which is silly good. My single target threat was quite strong, though the place I felt weak was always in threat pickup at the beginning of a group pull. To really cement threat (IT/PS+Pest followed by HB makes me nearly untouchable even without Tundra Stalker) it took me about 3 sec, and like I mentioned, I run with animals who tear stuff up straight out of the gate.

    I'm planning on rotating through a couple more pure spec tank builds to get a feel for them, and I have some other ideas for hybrids to try out, though right now Unholy just feels great for the group protection value.

    Frost is my first love, and I do plan on having that as my dps spec as I enjoy it the most there, but tanking, well, that I need to play with more. I'm thinking I'll go blood next, since I've tanked as full frost, but I've only ever gotten to speculate about serious tanking as full-on Blood.

    Here's the spec I'll probably start with:
    Pure Blood Test 1
    I'm pretty much expecting Bloodworms to go to something else, but I want to give it a shot and really gauge how much healing it provides. I've come to really appreciate the tanking value of self-healing, it does great things to your effective health (albeit harder to quantify like a nice flat avoidance value or armor buff).

    Of course I may have to trade some of my expertise gear to pieces with other stats since my tank set appears to be hit capped, and unparriable in most everything I've tanked...
    The (Old) Book on Death Knight Tanking
    The New Testament on Death Knight Tanking
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    Quote Originally Posted by Horacio View Post
    Who f-ing divided by zero?!?

  5. #145
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    I'd love some opinions on my future raid build: Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft

    Currently I'm finding AE tanking to be the biggest challenge with my current spec (Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft) at 73rd. I loathe using DnD but find that groups generally seem to think they can DPS any target they feel like, so I'm sometimes forced to open with it. Pestilence, HB and BB are then used, hopefully with some Rime procs, and tabbing targets to keep aggro.

    It all seems very random.

    Whatever happened to the days where CC was vital and DPS orders were key? I think I miss that, and that's coming from someone who is used to playing a rogue, not a tank.

    On bosses I have zero trouble. Between IB+UB and the parry/dodge buff of HoW and the 'oh shit' of LB, I'm virtually indestructible. Deathstrike and/or DC if I feel the healer is struggling and my CD's are down, but other than that it's cake. And we all know cake is yummy.

    I also go as DPS when someone else is the better tank choice or I just CBF. With a gear and presence change, I do phenomenal DPS. I love rogues but feel really sorry for them with so many other classes being so much better at DPS. With my above spec and just random blues/greens from quests, I out-DPS'd a rogue in T5 (we were both 71 at the time) by a whopping 10%.
    Last edited by Malisin; 12-09-2008 at 05:20 PM.

  6. #146
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    I know what you mean, I'm torn between missing how it took coordination to make pulls work before, but I also remember what a nightmare that was when you tried to pug something. Even one pug you needed to CC (which would of course severely limit your choices on who you brought) could destroy a group with ineptitude.

    I think your proposed build would be great for swapping back and forth between dps and off-tank, though some of your choices aren't what I would've gone with. Particularly, why Subversion, and why not Blood of the North?

    The two would actually work well together, but Subversion alone would be pretty lack luster with your build, and Blood of the North would crimp your rotations.

    Killing Machine is a great talent for dpsing, but in your tank gear you'll be short a LOT of crit, so it makes it a lot less valuable.

    Beyond that, it's a fun looking build, it'll be killer on threat to be sure.
    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. #147
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    Thanks for the reply.

    Quote Originally Posted by Satorri View Post
    Particularly, why Subversion, and why not Blood of the North?
    Obliterate was pointed out on these forums in one of the DK build posts to be a main threat generation attack. I've also found that between keeping the two debuffs up, and hitting obliterate all the time, BS is the most used other attack. So it just made sense to me to have Subversion.

    That and it allows me to switch to a DPS role whenever I need to.

    As for BotN, I just don't notice it's effect. If someone were to say it's absolutely brilliant and a must have over Killing Machine or pointed out the actual benefit for tanking of BotN, then I'd switch it around. But I notice KM all the time giving me crits all over the place and that's great for threat generation.

    In a raid I'd have the windfury buff so my auto-attacks with KM, even on a slow weapon, are going to give me a lot of crits on my frost abilities.

    By no means do I pretend to be an expert though, that's just my impressions and thoughts so far. I'm totally open to suggestions and criticisms

  8. #148
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    Well, I can hardly talk you out of Killing Machine, I love it too much, though my choice not to take it is a personal one.

    Blood of the North, though, you may have missed, also buffs Blood Strike damage by 15%. That you use it frequently makes this a pretty big buff, especially if you can get it with subversion. Personally I'd take Blood of the North before Subversion, just because I like the straight damage buff over the chance to crit, and the Death Runes give you versatility that can be a great value when you're tanking. You might not notice the difference when you don't have it, but you may find it helpful if you do.
    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?!?

  9. #149
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    I notice a lot of you take Two-Handed Weapon Specialization, and while it seems (from my limited testing) to affect attacks with the weapon (auto-attack, strikes, and the like) it doesn't seem to affect spells (as does the Prot Paladins' One-Handed Weapon Specialization). I was wondering perhaps if Dark Conviction would make a better use of those two points since the crit provided affects all of our abilities, especially in a Frost build containing Killing Machine.
    Last edited by Petersin; 12-11-2008 at 07:34 AM. Reason: Clarifying some ambiguity.

  10. #150
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    I have a similar build in mind.

    My only concern is AOE effectiveness. I am often asked to tank bosses and aoe trash packs. For now I am unholy but I would love some feedback on thoughts about Frost and it's aoe effectiveness on trash.

    I tried this build in Heroic Violet Hold. I consider this a great proving ground for builds as you really get to test cooldown efficiency. Jumping from portal to portal with zero downtime will really let you push the limits of your build and cooldowns. It was harder to deal with runners and the "late spawner" but doable.

    I am still not sold on Acclimation as it's use is situational AND 3 points that could be spent elsewhere. Anyone have some dirt on how effective it is?
    1. BotN = Death Runes = Good gravey
    2. Subversion is a tough sell. IF I ever become threat capped, I will spec into it. As of now, my TPS is fine and I have not seen a need to make spec adjustments.
    3. Runic Power Mastery. Same as above. I really have not found myself RP starved. 30 more RP is attractive but I will hold off until I require it.
    4. KM over Imp Icey Talons. - Until we get a shaman....I am taking one for the team. I will spec back into KM once we have a reliable shaman.

    Thoughts? Comments?

    KM over Imp Icy Talons?
    RPM that good?
    Acclimation?

  11. #151
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    Petersin, the Imp 2hand talent increases your flat weapon damage, which in turn increases your attacks based on weapon damage. That being said 4% weapon damage is not THAT big an improvement depending on your spec. Personally, I don't take it unless I'm blood spec dps, since I rely heavily on weapon-based damage there, and for my other specs and for tanking it's a secondary consideration.

    And, Gorrash. I think your spec is solid, I'd go with almost the same myself. The first thing you'll notice about Frost is that rather than constant and somewhat passive AOE threat like unholy you have massive spikes of aoe threat and they need to be targetted and used deliberately. The one weakness I see currently afflicting DK tanks is that we have no snap pickups on groups. If you're sharp you can drop a spike of threat, but if three mobs run off you can taunt/mock 2 and the third you have no taunt recourse. I love frost, though some people don't like the spikey nature of the threat.

    I too like Blood of the North too much to leave it off, the versatility is key, and the Blood Strike damage buff AND Death Runes for additional HB/OB's makes for a big threat buff. Subversion is a last consideration, if I had a couple points and no where to put them, but that's never the case with my tanking builds. RPM I like a lot for dpsing, but I skip it for tanking. It's value lies in allowing you to save up more, to go longer between dumps and to have more to use when you need it. This can be handy, but it's not quite vital, enough so that this is one I almost take every time, but don't often do. So long as you have no shaman Imp Icy Talons makes you a GREAT buff to the melee in your group, and it does good things for you single target threat. I always like Killing Machine, but I'm always on the fence about it in my tanking gear since my crit rating is weak, it is nice though in that it effectively amps your crit rating on your specials in the face of your low crit rating (be sure to save the procs for HB/FS though).

    The one change I'd make, I always take Frost Aura before Acclimation, but that's because I apply it to general potential. To compare, Frost Aura gives you passive resistance across the board, which is always on and is nice. Acclimation on the other hand is reflexive. This means that every time you take a type of spell damage it responds by buffing you against that type. It stacks up to better effect, but it is only more useful if you're taking repeat hits of the same sort of damage and you don't need the full protection from the beginning. It's not to say either is better or worse, but for the wide range of possibilities I like the idea of smaller but every present protection to the stronger but reflexive buff.
    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. #152
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    Thanks for the input Satorri.

    We do have some changes headed our way from a tanking perspective. I hope they are enough to strengthen the class so we can be more than "viable" on hard hitting bosses. I hope that it allows us to be superb just like the other tanking classes. Mind you that encounter and mechanics often dictate tanking class preference but as it stands I think DKs are "viable" tanks but there are better options in most cases.

    This in itself is bad. I don't mind OT or trash tanking. However, if I chase tank gear and spec as such my dps is weak by comparison. Even in Blood Presence with modest dps gear, I am still not putting out what I "could be". A Druid can bear OT and switch to Cat form and dps with the best of them. They also do this in nearly the same set of gear. So to be viable is not acceptable for me.

    With all these things in mind it is so hard to settle on a spec and or tree.

    What is everyone's thoughts so far on DKs tanking prowess? My feeling to date (I have tanked most of Naxx as OT and MT) is one of disappointment. I think we are fine in the threat department. It seems to be in the damage mit/avoidance area. We can do it however, coming from a Prot warrior I see many DKs weaknesses. My healers complain we take lots of spike damage and can be a challenge to heal. We do not have the benefit of a shield. Now let's just take block off the table and simply apply the stat loss we gain with that extra item. DKs are avoidance tanks and not having that item with those precious stats hurts. Anyone have thoughts or experience with 25man H-Naxx? How well do we scale? How well do we single target tank? Do the problems of spike damage remain?

  13. #153
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    I would like to say... if you are geared and tanking 25 man naxx as a DK, a good discipline priest makes you probably one of the most viable MTs in the game for 90% of raid bosses at the moment.

    at the moment, the mitigation they provide brings death knights everything they are missing + we keep the amazing avoidance that makes us death knights

  14. #154
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    The changes that they're making are intended to address this. We'll see where the lack of "bonus armor/trinkets" come into play, but the 20% multiplier increase should provide an across-the-board mitigation increase, should we take hits.

    Also, due to the fact that IBF and BS lower damage by 50 and 40% respectively, it also gives the illusion that we're spiking even more. It's one thing to be regularly taking, say 10% more damage. You'll notice it, but you'll adapt to it over the course of a fight. But, if you go from taking 10% more damage than a warrior/paladin, to then reducing the damage you take by half, then going up again.. the healers have to watch your cooldowns as much as you do if they want to accurately predict (as opposed to spamming heals).

    Edit: So, it's the both the fact that we're taking less damage with no cooldowns up, but also the fact that our cooldowns don't reduce as much damage that will make DK's less spiky.
    Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. -Seneca
    Everyone marvels at a square egg, but only the chicken understands the PAIN.

  15. #155
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    Well I will stay optimistic. I appreciate the feedback.

  16. #156
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    Overall, Frost or Unholy?

    Personal style aside, which is the best all around Tanking spec?

  17. #157
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    Honestly Nerith, I've been testing both a lot lately (my wallet hurts from the frequent respecs). Neither is better "all around" they each have strengths.

    The balance, as I've felt it with my play style:
    Unholy = great aoe burning threat. Once you get all your skills stacked up I out threat pallies on unlimited pull sizes, so long as they're not undead. Currently Bone Shield makes you very solid so long as you are smart about keeping it up, but I'm expecting the upcoming changes to make us more naturally resilient and make Bone Shield less of a crux for Unholy, merely a benefit. Unholy's biggest strength is it's magic durability. When I was considering DK tanking in theory I had always thought of this as more of a case-limited benefit. However, there is magic damage EVERYWHERE in the level 80 endgame (note: the abilities work on anything that isn't physical damage, not just casters and fireball/frostbolt/<<>>bolt spells), and this is actually something good.

    Frost = as hearty as Bone Shield is for protection, a sharp rotation on Unbreakable Armor, IBF, and one or two trinkets, makes a Frost Tank a lump of steel for taking damage. I never feel quite as hard to hurt as I do with frost spec. With a smart talent build and a helpful group comp, I get better aoe snap threat with frost than I do with any other spec, though over time my off-target threat is a bit lower than Unholy. All the same it isn't inadequate.

    For play style, I've found that Unholy is more readily the aoe tanking-for-dummies spec, a set it and forget it style of passive aoe damage. A skilled user can surpass the button mashers by far, but it takes less continual work to maintain your threat generation. Frost requires constant attention and pushing CD's. You rely on bursts of threat over continual passive burns, so you need to be on it and paying attention.

    Beyond those distinctions, there is no "best." Not really. The player skill out weighs the tree in every situation.
    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?!?

  18. #158
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    Which reminds me, actually, Merko.

    I've been playing out the specs to get a good feel for them pre-patch adjustment, and I've actually cemented my choice for tanking spec for the time being. My motivation however has nothing to do with the overall state of any of the trees, though. Blood is actually a hardcore single target tank, and the self-healing makes you so remarkably resilient that you can just keep tanking for a long while with heals down or obstructed. Frost can match the single target monster of Blood, but their strength lies more in the durability, armor ignoring damage, and the very few threat abilities that can be parried/dodged/blocked.

    Unholy, though, is the smartest choice for me right now. My typical tanking partner(s) is a prot warrior. He can aoe tank just fine, but he's even more of a beast on single targets. He's a wall when it comes to physical tanking, and so far as that goes we can use that to our advantage most of the time. Unholy gives me tools to round out our tanking potential, tools he can't quite offer the same. My aoe threat lets him not worry about the masses and be able to focus more on specific targets, my AMZ lets me protect the raid from small burns and flash spell damage moves, and my AMS lets me laugh off single target spell damage of any size (and clouds of insta-death, and otherwise one shot moves). For me, this is the best I can offer. If I were running with a Pally, or another Unholy DK, obvious the other trees would be the better match, but for me, Unholy is currently the smartest thing I can do.

    I'd like to hear more from anyone running a Blood spec for larger raid tanking. I'm curious to hear some experiences since I haven't gotten to test it that far. Especially, I'd like to hear experiences now so we can gauge the improvements from 3.0.8 (damn you PTR, let me in!).
    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?!?

  19. #159
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    What is the threat hold of Unholy vs Frost?

  20. #160
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    I am glad to see Satorri speak about Unholy tanking and how the choice came about. "The rounding out of the tanking potential". This is huge, we all have the specs we love to play as. I personally love to tank frost. But EACH build has its place and its strengths and weaknesses. The best thing for any DK to do is to see what your TEAM is lacking and what you can do to help. If I am running with DK dps as frost, they prolly have Imp Icy, which means I should skip them all and grab something else that could help the team. Essentially, we as DK's should be specing WITH everyone else and not just being selfish. I will respec if it means my TEAM will be better off, if I can help out more as another spec.

    I know it sounds corny but there is no I in Team <--- Look real close. This being said, there is no WRONG spec. I dont care what anyone else you, each build CAN/HAS tanked bosses that people said no frost can do it, no unholy can do it, no blood can do it (though blood is kinda mess, all that red and eww).

    Personally I am frost, Hi. I can AoE tank just fine, not as well as unholy but I can hold my own. I can single target like a champ (til my CD's are down and I am on blackout (all runes down and no runic power)). Rotation usually goes IT, PS, BS, BS, Oblit /and HB depending on if i get IT proc (single target rotation) fallowed by Oblit, Oblit, Oblit, Oblit and back to first set. AoE tanking, DnD, IT, PS, Pest, fallowed by HB, BB, and HB, with maybe an Oblit in there just for some added dps and threat on my target (usually the caster of the group) and the basic theme is to keep IT and PS on all my targets and HBing them whenever I can get the chance. BB used to be worth while, now that its about as usefull as a hand full of jelly (mmm, damn Im makin myself hungry). Hopefully in the near future blizz will bless us with some kinda AoE taunt and a bit more of an emph to our BB.

    I am also a bit of a... angry lil DK. I believe in creativity and flexibilty with DK's. Earlier in the thread I commented on DW, which I just so happen to do. Its great for Heroics on Casters but without my expertise I am still using 2H on melee bosses. For the new tanks out there, there are plenty of posts about this subject and some really good information in them. I pay particular attention to mentions of expertise and hit for DW. With this I leave all DK's some advice.

    DK's are, the most creative and flexible class blizz has ever made. We CAN DW and 2H DPS and tank. 3... not 1... not 2... but 3 Trees in which to tank and DPS. Please, if you post here, be respectful and keep the "no's, cants, and donts" at the door. Here in DK land we can do all things, just need alil know how to get there.

    Edit: Oh and there is alil discussion going on about DK threat found here http://www.tankspot.com/forums/f14/4...-concerns.html

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