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Thread: 3.0.8 Frost Tank Build (7/53/11)

  1. #1
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    3.0.8 Frost Tank Build (7/53/11)

    Razzuvious’ Unbreakable Barrier of Morbidity ( 7/53/11 Tank Spec)
    http://www.wowhead.com/?talent=jbxZGgxzGeb0hoVostcgz (Link to Wowhead.com Talent Calc)
    http://www.wowarmory.com/character-sheet.xml?r=Onyxia&n=Razzuvious (Link to my character, for armor comparing purposes of others)

    Let’s start off with Glyphs, a huge question many of us Death Knights ask is “What Glyphs should I be using, and why?” I have an answer:

    Major Glyphs
    Glyph of Dark Command: Increase the chance for your Dark Command ability to work successfully by 8%.
    This glyph is highly important for one reason, it helps our only taunt ability become more effective. A lot of Death Knights get the misconception that Death Grip is a taunt, it is not. It generates no threat and most Heroic/Raid mobs are immune to it anyway.

    Glyph of Unbreakable Armor: Unbreakable Armor grants an additional 15% armor.
    This glyph is amazing for mitigation, after applying the glyph your Unbreakable Armor now grants a 40% Armor increase as well as the 10% Strength and 5% Parry. The more armor the less damage you are going to take. For instance: My Death Knight (Razzuvious) while having this popped get up to 41,000+ Armor giving him approximately a 75% damage reduction from melee. That’s huge, further down in this explanation of the spec and how to use it; I will include a useful macro with this ability. (See Below)

    Glyph of Icebound Fortitude: Your Icebound Fortitude costs no runic power.
    I would have to say that this glyph speaks for itself, having an instant cast zero cost damage reduction ability allows for the spending of Runic Power on threat producing effects.

    Minor Glyphs
    Glyph of Pestilence: Increases the radius of your Pestilence effect by 5 yards.
    This glyph plays a huge part in the ensuring your diseases reach all targets for AoE Tanking. Sometimes you will find yourself pulling a group with one or two casters in it that seem to stand just out of range of the normal 10yd radius. This glyph fixes that problem.

    Glyph of Raise Dead: Your Raise Dead spell no longer requires a reagent.
    This glyph is amazing! Being able to raise a ghoul every 5min without costing you 5g per stack of 20 Corpse Dust! With that being said this allows some ease on your pocket book as well as helpful with a Ghetto Lay on Hands Macro I have created for us Death Knights. I will include this macro further down. (See Below)

    Glyph of Horn of Winter: Increases the duration of your Horn of Winter spell by 1 min.
    This glyph is pretty self explanatory it increases the duration of our amazing buff by 1min. Having to refresh every 3min as opposed to every 2min is a blessing in disguise. That and there just isn’t really any other good Minor Glyphs for the Death Knight. Maybe Blizzard will grant us something better in the future.

    Here I’m going to list off the macros I have come to use and love. At the moment there are not many, but as I mess around with mixing and matching different abilities I will try to keep this guide updated.

    Macros (Tanking/Self Heal/Threat Generation)
    Lich King’s Blessing: A macro designed to summon your ghoul then sacrifice it for a 40% total health heal by pressing the same button twice. (Heal can crit)
    #showtooltip
    /castsequence reset=300 Raise Dead, Death Pact


    Lich Coil: A macro that uses your Lichborne ability then casts Death Coil on you for a quick heal. (40 Runic Power)
    #showtooltip Lichborne
    /cast Lichborne
    /cast [target=player] Death Coil

    Lich Coil (Spam): Identical to Lich Coil above, but this will add a cast sequence for the spamming of self heal until you dump all of your Runic Power. (Resets after 3min)
    #showtooltip Lichborne
    /castsequence [target=player, reset=180] Death Coil, Death Coil, Death Coil

    Unbreakable Seal of the Pantheon: A macro designed to use Seal of the Pantheon’s triggered armor boost and Unbreakable Armor simultaneously.
    <Top Trinket Slot>
    #showtooltip Unbreakable Armor
    /use 13
    /cast Unbreakable Armor

    <Bottom Trinket Slot>
    #showtooltip Unbreakable Armor
    /use 14
    /cast Unbreakable Armor

    Iced Blade: A macro using both Frost Strike and Rune Strike simultaneously for amazing threat increase vs. single mobs and bosses. (60 Runic Power)
    #showtooltip Frost Strike
    /cast Rune Strike
    /cast Frost Strike

    Frozen Will: An emergency macro that will pop All of your Defensive cooldowns, or at least the ones not on cooldown. There will also be a small self heal in the mix.
    #showtooltip
    /cast Icebound Fortitude
    /cast Unbreakable Armor
    /cast Lichborne
    /cast [target=player] Death Coil


    Ok now that all the fun stuff is out of the way let’s talk about the build. I designed this build for heavy damage mitigation and the ability to AoE just as good if not better than our Unholy counterparts. Just at a glance you can see that I’ve taken this spec deep into the frost tree and for good reason too. I played around with a few other multi tree specs but none that have come close to the mitigation I have desired paired with the AoE tanking capabilities. This spec includes a few of the more decent tanking talents such as: Lichborne, Rigid Dreadplate, Hungering Cold, Unbreakable Armor, and Epidemic. Of course I have the standard 5/5/5 base talents. Also Morbidity is a wonderful talent which reduces the cooldown of your Death and Decay to 15 seconds, which is amazing for AoE trash pulls and bosses with non-elite adds. Butchery in the blood tree is pretty much a necessity for our threat per second and AoE control simply because it gives us a constant Runic Power per 5sec much like the Warrior talent that gives them Rage per 5sec, this allows us to use our Rune Strikes, Frost Strikes, Hungering Cold, Death Coils, Mind Freezes etc, so freely without too much worry of running out of Runic Power. Granted it doesn’t allow you to just spam abilities aimlessly, but if you’re a button mashing spammer do us all a favor and reroll as DPS. I’ve selected Epidemic and Unholy Command in the unholy tree to increase the duration of diseases for less runes spent on refreshing disease, and to reduce the cooldown on the Death Grip ability, simple yet refined choices. Now we look at some damage increasing talents I chose, more damage means more threat, Glacier Rot and Black Ice go hand in hand allowing your Howling Blast and Frost Strike to hit that much harder and generating that much more threat. I have also put 2 points into Runic Power Mastery giving us a Runic Power pool of 120 which is perfect for the rotations listed below. Icy Reach another great ability giving you further range on Icy Touch, Howling Blast, and Chains of Ice, which allows you to stand further away from your group giving you more time to snag a mob heading towards your Healer or Ranged DPS. Killing Machine great great threat producing talent; big criticals generate huge amounts of threat and this talent helps produce a lot of criticals. Annihilation is a talent that allows us to utilize Obliterate as a primary solo mob threat producer, thus by removing the eating of diseases from the ability. The last talent I’d like to talk about is Hungering Cold this ability is an up in the air kind of ability, it is definitely not a necessity to have as a tank, but the first time you use it to freeze everything while the Healer catches up on healing the group; you’ll never want to leave home with out it.

    As you can see there are a lot of talents that I bypassed and skipped for a few reason, the spell resistance talents just aren’t worth spending points into. The amount resisted with those talents isn’t enough to be a viable form of mitigation. We have Anti-Magic Shell for heavy spell damage fights. Also notice that I did not put any points into Icy Talons, some of you may be wondering why. I see too many Death Knights running around using 2handers with Icy Talons, which to me is just not the brightest idea. See as a 2hander tank we need the high top end damage to hold agro, our threat is solely dependent on our damage and the faster a 2hander moves the less top end damage it does. Also I would not recommend dual wield tanking, in fact I myself laugh at dual wield tanks simply because the amount of parries against you on a boss increases thus increasing the amount of damage you take in a boss fight. When a boss parries you they have a chance to increase their attack speed by up to 40%, I see too many dual wield tanks suddenly take insane amounts of burst damage which inevitably can cause the group to wipe. All that burst damage puts too much stress on our healers, as tanks our job is to make things go smooth not increase the difficulty. So that being said 2-Hand tanking is the way to go, not to mention the Rune of Stoneskin Gargoyle (25 Def, 2% Stamina Increase to 2-Hand Weapon) is an amazing enchant for us, +25 Def calculates out to approx. 75 Def Rating which allows us to stack avoidance (Dodge/Parry) and Stamina in other slots; simply a must have for Death Knight Tanks. Those of you die hard dual wielders more power to you but I would highly suggest you go DPS, that’s what a dual wielder was born to do anyway.

    This build is not solely built around managing your mitigation cooldowns like a lot of other tank specs, well that may not be 100% true if you are not yet def capped (535 for Heroics, 540 for Raids) then rotating Lichborne, Icebound Fort and Unbreakable Armor is not a bad idea at least until you get your gear up to par with what your doing and depending on the type of healer you have eith you. The only fights where timing with the mitigation cooldowns becomes important, are Heroic and Raid Bosses, but for any seasoned player that’s a given. Bosses are just that bosses, meaning they don’t play around. So here is my Boss Rotation that I use in Heroics and 10 Man Raids:

    Round 1: Icy Touch Howling Blast (while boss is still running to you) Death and Decay Plague Strike Icebound Fortitude
    Round 2: Iced Blade (See Macro list above) Obliterate Obliterate Obliterate Iced Blade
    Round 3: Icy Touch Plague Strike Blood Strike Blood Strike Plague Strike Unbreakable Seal of the Pantheon (See Macro list above, if you do not have the Trinket to do the macro; just pop Unbreakable Armor)
    Round 4: Iced Blade Obliterate Obliterate Obliterate Iced Blade
    Round 5: Rinse and Repeat

    That is the basic rotation I use on bosses, of course not all boss fights are a simple tank and spank so the rotation can vary. But each tank will figure out what works best for him/her with each boss as they learn and become more comfortable tanking. Also I did not list the Lich Coil (See Macro list above) amongst the rotation, that ability/macro is solely used during Enrage phases on bosses or extremely long boss fights in Raids. But bouncing between Icebound Fortitude and Unbreakable Armor will work just fine for Heroic bosses.

    Now let’s delve into the AoE side of tanking. With this build I have made it so that as frost we can still AoE tank just as effectively as our Unholy Tanks can. Using a lot of Death and Decay paired with the use of Pestilence and Howling Blast. The Killing Machine talent enables Howling Blast to crit more often than not, increasing your threat to the group of mobs you are tanking. During AoE tanking it will make it worlds easier for the healer if you do pop your mitigation cooldowns; it is however not a necessity to do so. You will be able to tank trash just fine without your cooldowns. Here is my AoE Tank Rotation that I use for just about everything:

    Round 1: Death and Decay Hungering Cold Howling Blast Blood Strike Blood Strike Icebound Fortitude
    Round 2: Plague Strike Pestilence Blood Strike Howling Blast Howling Blast Iced Blade (See Macro list above) Unbreakable Seal of Pantheon (See Macro list above, if you do not have the Trinket to do the macro; just pop Unbreakable Armor)
    Round 3: Death and Decay Howling Blast Pestilence Iced Blade
    Round 4: Howling Blast Howling Blast Blood Strike Blood Strike
    Round 5: Rinse and Repeat (Since Hungering Cold will probably be on cooldown, substitute in Icy Touch + Pestilence and remove a
    Blood Strike from Round 1, then just alternate between your Hungering Cold and Icy Touch + Pestilence rotations.)

    That is just about how I handle my business there. Following these rotations has made for a good time, not only are we holding agro but we are also dishing out some DPS. It’s a very enjoyable path to follow, I hope this guide and build will help you to become a better tank!


    Walk with me in Hell!


    -Razzuvious


  2. #2
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    ive started to play with frost since the patch and found ...

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

    The World of Warcraft Armory

    ... spec AMAZING. tho i use major glyph of OB, FS and IF

    the threat for single target sits at 6-8kTPS easily (some times it taps 9-10kTPS) and AoE threat over 5k with pest/HB target tabbing

    my health sits over 31k unbuff and can hit over 40k raid buff pretty easily.

    its really worth a shot next raid for all DK tanks

    the only time i need to change specs is for tanking Sarth but other then that i cant seem to find anything better

  3. #3
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    Thanks Harliequinn I will definately keep that in mind and i may give it a shot, it looks pretty impressive. For now though i think im gonna stick with what i got for now at least until i can swap gear pieces out. You definately outgear the crap outta me lol

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    A few things:

    Glyph of Dark Command is overrated. Rarely should you need to taunt, and it's affected by hit rating. Death grip isn't a taunt, but it's good for 3 seconds should a Dark Command fail. I've almost never had a Dark Command fail on me, even when running with 80 hit rating and tanking 4H.

    Hungering Cold is little more than a trash ability. During high AoE situations it's unlikely it's going to "let a healer catch up", with the possible exception of a 5 man. Your DPS is already going nuts on the adds, you're not saving anything.

    I'm sure there are some strategies where it's useful, but like AMZ, unless you're setting up the strat around it, you're not going to use it to it's full potential.

    Quote Originally Posted by Razzuvious
    Also notice that I did not put any points into Icy Talons, some of you may be wondering why. I see too many Death Knights running around using 2handers with Icy Talons, which to me is just not the brightest idea. See as a 2hander tank we need the high top end damage to hold agro, our threat is solely dependent on our damage and the faster a 2hander moves the less top end damage it does.
    Wrong, Wrong, Wrong.

    Haste has no effect on the top end of your weapon. It increases your weapon speed by 20% at the same damage. It merely lowers your swing speed so you get more swings in. In other words, if your damage is 1500-2000 at 3.4 speed normally, it would be 1500-2000 damage at a 20% lower speed (probably around 3.0). It is a threat (and damage) increasing talent, and if you aren't running with an Enhancement Shaman (or another frost DK), you should spec into it.

    I guess this is more of a style thing, but bundling Rune Strike only with Frost Strike is silly, you're missing out on a lot of swings. Macro it with just about everything - constantly using Rune Strike keeps your RP lower, so you wouldn't need the two points in RPM. I also don't think you need any points in dark command, but to each his own.
    Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. -Seneca
    Everyone marvels at a square egg, but only the chicken understands the PAIN.

  5. #5
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    If glyph of dark command is overrated, what should i replace it with given my set up? on another note, Hungering Cold for me is honestly just a time saver on getting frost fever on a grp of mobs quickly. Only in some cases have i realy used it to freeze things in place. The only fight i can think of that it has benefitted is the First boss in Heroic Gundrak. The snake bosses adds can get overwhelming and my diseases are usually the only things on them so i jus tell the dps to focus in on boss while i freeze everything. Its all communication really.
    As for bundling Rune Strike and Frost Strike together i found it was the best to go. Just based on how often Rune Strike pops, i generate about 60 RP by the time it pops, and FS and RS pop at the same time. So im not losing any strikes at all. but you are correct its a style thing =)
    The 2 points in RPM really on have 1 use. being that with 120 runic power if i allow it to max then i pop lichborne and 3 death coils on myself. Quik heals when pots are on cooldowns.

  6. #6
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    dark command is pretty bad, i think i have had 2 taunts resist total since 80. if it fails use your grip

    use IT-Pest instead of hungering cold, it does the same thing.
    and them blast it with a howling blast and you wont lose aggro

    #showtooltip Blood Strike
    /script UIErrorsFrame:UnregisterEvent("UI_ERROR_MESSAGE")
    /cast Rune Strike
    /script UIErrorsFrame:RegisterEvent("UI_ERROR_MESSAGE")
    /cast Blood Strike

    (im at work, but i think this is the macro)
    replace the ability for each one, but add this to every spell, and then you can just use FS when you have RP to burn and you can focus more on your rotations

  7. #7
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    PLEASE!

    I dont understand why people keep insisting that Death Grip does not work as a taunt. I mean, cant you guys just log in, pick a buddy and try it out, then stop spreading misinformation?


    I first encountered this totally false statement on the official forums, it hurt to read full pages of people insisting that Death Grip only puts your threat on top for 3 seconds.
    They all seem to be very slow tanks if mobs keep running away from them after 3 seconds.

    Death Grip is NOT a mocking blow. It is a glyphed mocking blow. Please all you people log in and actually learn things by doing instead of repeating something you read somewhere.
    Also most bosses are immune to the grip effect, the taunt still works though and this one is the important part. So we actually have 2 completely viable and fully working taunts.


    Which is why I feel the Dark Command glyph is a waste. I know, some top end raiding guilds dk will probably insist on it being mandatory but personally I have not encountered one single situation where missing one of my two taunts made us wipe or really hurt at all.

    Myself I use Icebound Fortitude, Obliterate and Frost Strike glyph. It works extremely well for me, the Unreakable armor glyph let me sit armor capped with the shamans and priests armor buff so I exchanged it and UA is my least important cooldown anyway so I dont really miss it.
    the advantage I see on the IF glyph is not that I can spend a little of my runic power for frost strikes but that I have total control when to use it because sometimes you just dont have the gcd to produce more rp.

    Minor glyphs look ok... I have to admit right now I am not even sure what my third glyph is.. they are indeed all very minor lol.
    I know I was thinking of using the glyph that makes deathcoil healing return 50% of the rp or something like that.. havent picked that up though, not even sure it was a minor glyph.

    Regarding the spec that is posted: I think there are some really important things missing.Butchery is nice to have, but I wouldnt take it as a frost tank, chill of the grave should be enough. Unholy tanks cannot get enough rp but as frost you dont rely on it as much because you can almost never fit more than one frost strike as a rune dump anyway if you keep your rotation clean. Of course I may be wrong because the frost strike glyph obviously helps a lot with that

    Any way, one point in unholy command and two points in butchery are far better used for Bladed Armor, if you pull the point out of HC you can even spec into 4/5 BA which is the very least I would invest into it no matter which spec.

    As mentioned I am not really rp starved so to me it seems Rune Power Mastery is another 2 points to better use elsewhere. For example 2hand weapon spec.



    I see too many Death Knights running around using 2handers with Icy Talons, which to me is just not the brightest idea. See as a 2hander tank we need the high top end damage to hold agro, our threat is solely dependent on our damage and the faster a 2hander moves the less top end damage it does. Also I would not recommend dual wield tanking, in fact I myself laugh at dual wield tanks simply because the amount of parries against you on a boss increases thus increasing the amount of damage you take in a boss fight


    Sorry but this is completely wrong. Haste does not affect the weapon damage. Your weapon will do the exact same damage as before - only you will hit a lot faster, therefore doing 20% more damage with autohits. This talent works VERY well with Killing Machine too, for obvious reasons.
    If there is an enhancement shaman in your raid - skip it, you dont need it. If you are not raiding with an enhancer and you skip this talent - you are doing it wrong.
    Also it is not only your benefit, if your raid cannot get the buff elsewhere this will be a HUGE improvement to your raids melee dps.

    One thing yet, if you want to aoe (maybe)as good as an unholy specced dk you need 5/5 Bladed Armor to get the most use out of your howling blast and death and decay.IMO it wont be enough though, Unholy is just better for trash tanking ^^
    Last edited by Mufuti; 02-04-2009 at 05:38 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mufuti View Post
    PLEASE!

    I dont understand why people keep insisting that Death Grip does not work as a taunt. I mean, cant you guys just log in, pick a buddy and try it out, then stop spreading misinformation?


    I first encountered this totally false statement on the official forums, it hurt to read full pages of people insisting that Death Grip only puts your threat on top for 3 seconds.
    They all seem to be very slow tanks if mobs keep running away from them after 3 seconds.

    Death Grip is NOT a mocking blow. It is a glyphed mocking blow. Please all you people log in and actually learn things by doing instead of repeating something you read somewhere.

    Also most bosses are immune to the grip effect, the taunt still works though and this one is the important part. So we actually have 2 completely viable and fully working taunts.
    Ok so do you wanna tell me how you came to the conclusion of a glyphed mocking blow and where you came up with that DG is a full taunt?

    Mocking blow Glyph Glyph of Mocking Blow - Spell - World of Warcraft

    DG Death Grip - Spell - World of Warcraft

    Seems to me that the exact wording states that it Taunts the target for 3 seconds... And to be perfectly honest, before I was geared, if a dps was still higher than me on the threat meter... the mob would pull back off me. I think its you who is the one that needs to log in and learn something. And hell, I did all this from work...

    The thing you are right about though, is that the effect of DG on bosses does come up Immune but the taunt still works.

  9. #9
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    people just see TARGET IS IMMUNE and think its the taunt, its the snare aka the pull that is make the immune come up

  10. #10
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    There were a few instances where I had Death Gripped while attacking the mob, and lost aggro before DC was up again, while attacking the mob inbetween. While it wasn't a full-blown test, I've had it happen, so I just assumed (combined with the tooltip wording).

    It could have been that I genuinely lost aggro, who knows.

    In a quick test I just did a few minutes ago, it does indeed seem to work like taunt.

    Edit: And I'm aware that the "immune" was the DG "movement", because they still come to me anyway.
    Last edited by ttocs; 02-04-2009 at 06:26 PM.
    Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. -Seneca
    Everyone marvels at a square egg, but only the chicken understands the PAIN.

  11. #11
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    Ok. Was the test by yourself? Best thing is to maybe party with someone, have them hit a mob, you DG and do Nothing else, let the 3 sec pass, and see what the mob does. Id put mony on that the mob goes back to highest aggro.

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    it was a quick one that probably wasn't very good in the middle of this run. When I'm done I'll do a better test
    Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. -Seneca
    Everyone marvels at a square egg, but only the chicken understands the PAIN.

  13. #13
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    OK, just tested it two more times after our run, on storm giants in HF.

    Mage pulled with AB, did about 1.6K threat both times, I DG'd, was put at 1.9K threat. Detargeted him, did nothing for 8 or so seconds, still didn't go back to mage. I did 0 damage, and performed nothing other than the Death Grip. Mage was in my group and everything.

    It seemed like it used to go back to #1 on threat before, ninja change in 3.0.8 maybe?
    Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. -Seneca
    Everyone marvels at a square egg, but only the chicken understands the PAIN.

  14. #14
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    it does taunt.
    ive bumped it a few times in naxx heroic and pulled the boss around to me
    its not the best taunt to use for taunting, but it works well as a backup mainly because of the CD timer.

    Death Grip and Dark Command both taunt for 3secs

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    Awesomeness... I will have to scower some of the "hidden" in 3.0.8+

  16. #16

    Good Post

    Good posting on tanking. It took me until reading this to figure out how to heal with death coil. lol My DK tanking has been going very well with some great gear drops lately. Best thing about DK tanking is we can all make our DK a little different than the other. Ive decided to use a little bit of blood with a large amount of frost talents. Unbreakable armor i think is a must have. Anyways heres a link to my DK tank, tell me what you think or any suggestions.

    http://www.wowarmory.com/character-s...g+Blade&n=Khaa

    I figured all healing attributes are the job of healers if your tanking a 25 man.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Razzuvious View Post
    Razzuvious Unbreakable Barrier of Morbidity ( 7/53/11 Tank Spec)
    http://www.wowhead.com/?talent=jbxZGgxzGeb0hoVostcgz (Link to Wowhead.com Talent Calc)
    http://www.wowarmory.com/character-sheet.xml?r=Onyxia&n=Razzuvious (Link to my character, for armor comparing purposes of others)

    Lets start off with Glyphs, a huge question many of us Death Knights ask is What Glyphs should I be using, and why? I have an answer:

    Major Glyphs
    Glyph of Dark Command: Increase the chance for your Dark Command ability to work successfully by 8%.
    This glyph is highly important for one reason, it helps our only taunt ability become more effective. A lot of Death Knights get the misconception that Death Grip is a taunt, it is not. It generates no threat and most Heroic/Raid mobs are immune to it anyway.

    Glyph of Unbreakable Armor: Unbreakable Armor grants an additional 15% armor.
    This glyph is amazing for mitigation, after applying the glyph your Unbreakable Armor now grants a 40% Armor increase as well as the 10% Strength and 5% Parry. The more armor the less damage you are going to take. For instance: My Death Knight (Razzuvious) while having this popped get up to 41,000+ Armor giving him approximately a 75% damage reduction from melee. Thats huge, further down in this explanation of the spec and how to use it; I will include a useful macro with this ability. (See Below)

    Glyph of Icebound Fortitude: Your Icebound Fortitude costs no runic power.
    I would have to say that this glyph speaks for itself, having an instant cast zero cost damage reduction ability allows for the spending of Runic Power on threat producing effects.
    .
    You've got here 3 tanking glyphs, while ignoring a whole class of glyphs-- DPS

    IBF and UA are both "fine". Taunt is basically useless. I've never had a resisted taunt cause me any problems (and I've tanked everything in the game). You can always use death grip as an extra taunt if you REALLY have to.

    You may want to lower yourself to just 1 mitigation Glyph and look at some other options

    Obliterate - damage increase of 20%
    Frost Strike - cost reduction of 20% (8rp)
    Icy Touch - generate an extra 10 RP

    if you on average cast 3 IT per minute, you generate more RP than IBF glyph saves you. Ditto if you do 3 frost strikes. I'd actually look at both of these glyphs, since RP = damage and threat (and more rune strikes).

    Now, about your spec

    Butchery provides 24 RP/minute. A solid idea, but your theory is that RP = damage. Why not instead take Bladed armor (more AP, which is more damage) or 2h Spec (4% more damage). I don't have the math in front of me, but I'm POSITIVE I'd take 4% to all damage over 24 RP/minute.

    As for Frost Talents. Icy Reach is very optional. its nice to hit the mob sooner, but really not necessary, and it only helps for the first 2 seconds of the fight.

    Runic Power Mastery- I've seen this used effectively in some DPS rotations, but tanking you'll either be firing off Rune Strikes or Frost strikes-- I never find myself with so much RP that I want RPM. Further, if you do have that much RP, you can cut some of the RP generating talents (Butchery, Chill of the Grave) AND RPM for more threat/damage talents.

    Unholy talents -- the 1 lonesome point in Unholy command is pretty bad. 5 seconds off an ability you won't use much is, umm... bad. That point would be better served in Virulence (so fewer IT/HB/DND are resisted) or spent in blood for more threat. Also, Morbidity is only "ok" for frost. You'll get so much AOE splash damage threat from Howling Blast that optimizing for it is better than morbidity. Also you won't be using death coil much (except for your healing macros) since Frost Strike is clearly superior.

    If you want the ability to heal yourself so badly, why not look into Rune Tap/Imp Rune Tap. These don't require long cooldowns like the whole "sac your pet" or "turn into undead and DC myself".

    Quote Originally Posted by Razzuvious View Post


    Also notice that I did not put any points into Icy Talons, some of you may be wondering why. I see too many Death Knights running around using 2handers with Icy Talons, which to me is just not the brightest idea. See as a 2hander tank we need the high top end damage to hold agro, our threat is solely dependent on our damage and the faster a 2hander moves the less top end damage it does.



    This is, umm, SO wrong, its hard to put into words. A good idea when posting about what haste does is to actually read what haste does. White damage makes up a significant portion of a DKs damage, as well as the haste from this ability providing for more rune strikes (perhaps-- depends on circumstances). You should take your character to the DK starting zone, autoattack the mob for awhile, then spec into IIT and see if your DPS goes up or down, and see if your top end hits go down. They don't.

    Quote Originally Posted by Razzuvious View Post
    Also I would not recommend dual wield tanking, in fact I myself laugh at dual wield tanks simply because the amount of parries against you on a boss increases thus increasing the amount of damage you take in a boss fight. When a boss parries you they have a chance to increase their attack speed by up to 40%, I see too many dual wield tanks suddenly take insane amounts of burst damage which inevitably can cause the group to wipe. All that burst damage puts too much stress on our healers, as tanks our job is to make things go smooth not increase the difficulty. So that being said 2-Hand tanking is the way to go,



    This is a very simplistic arguement, dating back to the days of parry gibbing and shield block charges leading to crushing blows. I'll break it down for you.

    1- yes, the boss might parry. This is why tanks stack expertise, so we don't get parried as much (or dodged).
    2- DW tanks tend to favor spell based attacks for most of their rotations. Spells don't get parried.
    3- DW tanks would priortize slow weapons. DW slow/slow provides appx the same number of chances for the boss to parry as a warrior with a 1.5 speed weapon spamming devastate/shield slam/revenge every GCD. Further, many of the DK autoattacks will be rune strikes which cannot be parried, and a goodly number will miss. If you run the math you'll see we're in no worse shape than warrior tanks.
    4- given your gear level I doubt you see that many DW tanks "suddenly take insane burst damage". This is a straw man arguement the facts don't support.
    5- DKs "usually" have cooldown coverage, meaning either bone shield or IBF or UA or a trinket is up and running. This, combined with the higher armor value than warriors and higher pure avoidance (dodge/parry/miss) means the boss's "40% haste" is less likely to connect, and won't hit nearly as hard when it does.
    6- Dual Wielding DKs (i'm unholy) do a lot more passive damage all the time- meaning we're generating threat every second of the fight-- Having DND and UB running (and runes to pestilence) means picking up new mobs is easy. Those abilities (plus 2 diseases which hit 43% harder) mean nonstop threat which won't end with an unlucky string of parries or misses


    Quote Originally Posted by Razzuvious View Post

    not to mention the Rune of Stoneskin Gargoyle (25 Def, 2% Stamina Increase to 2-Hand Weapon) is an amazing enchant for us, +25 Def calculates out to approx. 75 Def Rating which allows us to stack avoidance (Dodge/Parry) and Stamina in other slots; simply a must have for Death Knight Tanks. Those of you die hard dual wielders more power to you but I would highly suggest you go DPS, thats what a dual wielder was born to do anyway.
    Those of you die hard 2hers more power to you, but I would highly suggest you go DPS, that's what a 2hander was born to do anyway.

    Do you even know your class? +25 def skill is FAR more than 75 def rating. If you do the math, you'd know that 25 def skill is appx 1% each of dodge, parry and "miss", so with SG you're trading 1% avoidance for 2% stam -- All else being equal. If you are recommending trading 4% non-diminished parry for a bunch of "parry/dodge rating", which suffers diminishing returns, then you clearly don't understand tank gearing.

    There are advantages to SG, but primarily its there to help new level 80 DKs get into tanking-- otherwise the usual "540 def" is hard to come by.

    Quote Originally Posted by Razzuvious View Post

    Round 1: Icy Touch Howling Blast (while boss is still running to you) Death and Decay Plague Strike Icebound Fortitude
    Round 2: Iced Blade (See Macro list above) Obliterate Obliterate Obliterate Iced Blade
    Round 3: Icy Touch Plague Strike Blood Strike Blood Strike Plague Strike Unbreakable Seal of the Pantheon (See Macro list above, if you do not have the Trinket to do the macro; just pop Unbreakable Armor)
    Round 4: Iced Blade Obliterate Obliterate Obliterate Iced Blade
    Round 5: Rinse and Repeat
    You would generate far more threat (and have an easier time) with a far simpler rotation that doesn't rely on gimmicks. Further, this rigid "4 round" rotation doesn't allow for things like "saving the cooldowns for the enrage" which you should be doing. Plus, different glyphs and talents (see Blood, above) would give you more RP to convert regular attacks to rune strikes (rather than waiting for your "Iced Blade" macro). Prioritizing more Icy Touch(and the glyph) would do this-- every icy touch providing enough RP for 1.25 Rune Strikes).

    A far better (and simpler) rotation of

    Round 1 Blood Tap, IT, OB, OB, BS, Runic Dump/HB if rime proc'd
    Round 2 repeat round 1 (minus the blood tap)

    this saves a ton of talent points that you can put into Bladed Armor, 2h spec and subversion for large gains in crit chance and damage. The damage Plague Strike does compared to talented/glyphed Obliterate is very low, especially considering the (up to) 27% crit chance you can give it.

    The macros you provided give some good food for thought(putting raise dead/sac on the same button) and I'll give some of them a try.
    Unholy Tank

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    171
    The IT,PS,OB,BS,BS Rotation does more tps/dps than the IT, OB, OB, BS rotation

    about the build

    Runic Power Mastery - no
    Hungering Cold - nope
    Icy Reach - ummm no
    Unholy Command - fun but no
    Butchery - for a frost build ummm no
    Morbidity - for a frost build possible but points can be better spent elsewhere

    Glyphs -

    Get rid of:

    Dark Command (definately)
    Unbreakable Armor (personal opinion)

    Pick up:

    Obliterate
    Icy Touch or Rune Strike (whatever your preference)
    Last edited by Merko; 02-05-2009 at 05:47 AM.

  19. #19
    Join Date
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    Thank you for the exhaustive write-up Razz. It really helps me discern sound personal choices from choices made on misunderstandings of mechanics. I really like your macros, sharp stuff.

    I think your spec is just fine, honestly, though there is one small change that I think you might see a major threat improvement from: take the points from Runic Power Mastery, Icy Reach, and Unholy Command, and put them into Bladed Armor. With your gear that will be worth about 800 AP on your baseline, and when you pop glyphed UA (which I am a big fan of) you will see a massive threat buff as well as a big physical survival buff.

    There is a common misconception about haste, in that it reduces damage from each swing but increases your swing speed netting a gain in damage but a loss in single swing damage. This comes because of a misunderstanding of haste and AP are applied.

    AP is applied to weapon dps, not weapon damage, through this formula:
    Code:
    Weapon Damage = (Weapon DPS + AP/14) * Weapon Speed
    
    Weapon DPS = Avg Base Weapon Dmg/Weapon Speed
    Haste does not reduce your damage per swing and work out to a net gain, it simply increases your number of swings delivered, and it is certainly no harm to your instant weapon damage strikes. The reason to not take those talents is because you run with a shaman who's keeping improved Windfury Totem up for the raid, or because it is not your goal with your talents/gear/strategy to boost white damage (sadly we cannot reduce our global CD with haste on our gear, and these talents are specifically melee haste).

    As for Glyphs, I've never needed a glyphed Dark Command, it never seems to be resisted, and as such I'm assuming it is on the melee hit scale meaning the glyph makes it never miss with no hit gear, but we have plenty of hit rating available to us on tank gear now. Glyphed UA is wonderful, I would surely keep that. And Glyph of IBF I'm in a gray area on. It is very nice to not have to wait for RP to pop it, and arguably removing the cost is a minor reduction in RP spending if you pop IBF on CD. That being said, I think you can benefit better from other glyphs, especially as Frost. Glyph of Oblit is a major buff to the ability if you use it well, and you definitely could if you're focusing on single target threat and boss tanking, which this spec is prime for. Glyph of IT makes for some very nice RP gains to boost your FS ability or even buy you that IBF when you really need it, and it is still giving you RP gains otherwise. Math-wise Glyph of IT would be overall more productive that IBF, and unless you're RP starved you won't notice the free IBF cost for convenience. Glyph of FS is also VERY nice. It now buys you 8 RP back from every would be FS. This means that it is almost as much of a gain as IT depending on how often you FS, you can also FS at a lower threshold, AND it gives you more versatility on mixing in more FS's without harming your ability to RS or IBF.

    One small note on your macros, if you haven't already macro'd RS into BS, IT, PS, and OB/HB at least, I'd highly recommend doing so now. Personally the only moves that I never ever macro RS to are RP ones, since they can burn the other move before RS and RS is always your most effective threat per RP. That being said, I also don't macro RS into everything so that I have some control over RP spending to leave some available on demand for IBF and AMS (and sometimes to get UB applications or CE pops, the latter of which is silly aoe threat in many situations, but that's Unholy =D).

    I have to say, despite all the commentary that you inevitably garner from posting your spec/glyphs/thinking for the DK tank community to pick apart, I really love seeing conscientious DKs out there who are thinking for themselves and finding what works best for them.

    Keep up the good work. =)
    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?!?

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    4,930
    And Merk, I'm surprised with you, I would've thought you'd be all over glyph of UA!

    How can you resist a 1 min CD, 20 sec duration, that puts you to the armor cap, gives you ~6% more parry, and boosts your AP by another 500-600? =)
    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?!?

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