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Thread: Tanking- Unholy vs. Frost

  1. #1
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    Tanking- Unholy vs. Frost

    Hey everyone.
    I have a death knight that is going to be hitting 80 very soon. I was wondering which spec would give me the best TPS while maintaining some "survivability" (for if I don't have the best healer). Here were the two main specs I was considering:
    As unholy:
    Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft

    As frost:
    Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft

    Yes, I would be using a 2h weapon while tanking (Titansteel Destroyer) which is why I have 2 points in "2h Wep. Specialization" in both specs.

    Any and all tips and help would be much appreciated. Thanks

  2. #2
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    Right when you hit 80, I'd say get a good frost spec going. It provided 3 percent extra avoidance, and 6 more seconds on IBF. I'd do the following spec that will help you maintain threat and have some descent cooldowns.

    Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft

    You can change a few points out for flavor, but mostly on trash use the following rotation.

    DND > IT > Pest > Blood Tap > HB > Dump
    HB > Pest > change targets and Pest again > HB > Dump

    For Single target tanking.

    PS > IT > HB > BS > BS > Dump
    HB > OB > FS > HB > Dump
    then restart

  3. #3
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    2H weapon specialization is tempting in all specs, but you'll get more benefit from specing into Bladed Armor - the AP will affect everything, whereas 2H spec only affects strikes.

    Bloodfrenzy's spec is a good start. I would start taking points out of virulence to round out Bladed Armor as you get upgrades (and more +hit).
    Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. -Seneca
    Everyone marvels at a square egg, but only the chicken understands the PAIN.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the input. I just have a question about the rotation- wouldn't it be better if I did OB instead of HB (since they take the same number of runes) when I am attacking a single target? Or am I missing something?

    I've also heard that DnD isn't that great to open a pull with, even with many trash mobs. I have been hearing the rotation of IT->PS->Pest->HB->BB->Dump. Is this better?

  5. #5
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    I've always found DnD, even as frost, good to use. I usually open with DnD > IT > PS > Pest > Blood Tap > HB. The DnD makes sure I get aggro on every mob at once, instead of dealing with possible pulls. When Pest does zero damage in 3.1, this becomes more prevalent.
    Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. -Seneca
    Everyone marvels at a square egg, but only the chicken understands the PAIN.

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  7. #7
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    I'll respond to the HB / OB question for single targets...

    While OB appears to do more damage, OB is a physical attack. As such, it suffers the singular weakness of all physical attacks; it is mitigated by armor.

    HB, being a Frost attack, is not mitigated by physical armor. I believe that OB scales a little better with gear, however, since you're "hitting 80 soon" we have (rightly) assumed that you are not in 'purps'. For the time being, HB is going to hit much harder. So much so, in fact, that you'll want to use it even on single target pulls.

    You don't have to take our word for it, though. Go spec frost (which, incidentally, is my recommendation as well, for the same reasons that the previous, very knowledgeable poster mentioned. 3% increased miss, IBF duration, and you get 2 extra cooldowns (Lichborne and UA) to bring to your rotation, making this spec much more forgiving at lower gear levels) and hit a target with your diseases, then OB, then HB. You'll be surprised. Then you'll realize that Chilblains causes HB to crit on ALL surrounding targets, and a small smile will creep over your face. Don't worry, this is normal.

    Edited to add: I use DnD on single target pulls if I'm worried about threat, it's THAT good. You can get by without it, but it really helps to a cement mobs to you during a pull in that crucial time between your initial aggro, and the damage from Pest (which is insignificant) and then your first disease ticks. What you don't want, is for mobs to peel off and go after the healer. You get them back, and by the time you do you've lost your main target to a DPS'er, and your trash pulls are anarchy.

    DnD does respectable damage and has a baseline +Threat mechanic. It may not be an optimized ability for DPS/rune (although it can be a HUGE source of damage), but your job is simply to hold aggro and make everything easy to kill. What does it matter if you could apply those runes differently to do a little more damage? No one cares about your DPS.

    Fixed your spec: Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft

    Talons is nice, but definitely not critical. It's not as beneficial as Bladed Armor. You also skipped Chilblains, which is fine, but 100% crit on a 2min cooldown is awesome, when you consider how much fun it is to hit 5 targets for 5k/ea with HB (till 3.1, that is. (better gear up so you can go Unholy by then.))

    Finally, I took out Epidemic and bought you more Threat. Virulence is a HUGE gain, especially at lower gear levels, and every spec should have it till they're hit capped. You'll have to manage your runes more carefully, but since you're only worrying about 1 disease and not 2, it's easier to throw a Pestilence out (1 less rune and GCD to manage). Just make sure you're switching targets, so that every other pestilence refreshes the disease on your first target, capiche?
    Last edited by Andaris; 03-11-2009 at 09:15 PM.

  8. #8
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    I used to be a hardcore Unholy advocate. Quite frankly though, it's way way too much button pushing. I've gone through a wad of gold, but this is the spec I recommend in frost tanking.

    Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft

    A lot of people will say you need annihilation, or virulence or epidemic, but you don't. Especially when you're just starting on heroics.

    Oblit, even with a good weapon, still does less damage overall then a good HB. It's the core of my rotation.

    On trash, I go DnD->it->pest->HB, and i've got more aggro then I know what to do with.

    On bosses I do the samething. Making sure I get runic strikes in when they're up, and making it a point to through out BS to keep blade barrier up. It's a lot less button pushing.

    Not to mention the increased haste for the group means your entire group is doing more damage.

    Glyph DnD, Unbreakable armor and icebound fortitude, and you'll be laughing. Also it's nice to pick up a glyph of the ghoul, for those oh shit moments. Just summon the ghoul, and death pact.

  9. #9
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    Hum... completely dropping OB, that never occured to me as an option, but you may have a point there. I'll try that out to see how it fits in.

    Small question to Omoh, why do you take merciless combat over deathchill? I never tried this, but if HB was to replace OB, how sweet would it be to make a macro

    /cast deathchill
    /cast howlig blast

    This way you'll toss a crit HB every 2 minutes without having to think about it, and that builds much more aggro than Merciless Combat would (especially since MC will boost your aggro when the mob is 2/3 down).

    Is morbidity really useful here? Especially since you probably won't be using death coil, having FS. I can see it being usefull in cases where you incidentally pull a patroll, but I doubt you'll be using D&D in mid-combat much in other cases (and pulling a patroll is better managed with hungering cold actually but hush that's my personal opinion).

  10. #10
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    Because he has Killing Machine which is missing in your build. Deathchill is a waste of a talent point. You also have to realize that when the boss hits low % everyone else is doing more damage as well. It's possible for someone to catch up near the end. Either way doing more damage is good.

    True Knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing.
    Agg's tanking guide

  11. #11
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    My Frost Spec

    I use this with perfect ease in any heroic and Naxx10. For pulling purposes, I hardly use DnD anymore - Grip one to you, IT > PS, Pest when the rest of the group runs up, HB > BB. Much more snap aggro than dropping DnD. I will use DnD if I'm charging a group, or dealing with a gauntlet type situation (Skaaldi in UP, for example), but rarely drop it a 2nd time. As mentioned above, Hungering Cold followed by a HB (especially while a Killing Machine proc is up) generates a ton of threat as well for minimal rune useage.

    I concur with everyone else here, though, frost is by far the easiest tank spec to run with until you get into raid content. The mitigation talents and threat through spell damage (rather than physical) offset the lack of high level gear.
    Makep§ - Cold Hearted
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeango View Post
    Hum... completely dropping OB, that never occured to me as an option, but you may have a point there. I'll try that out to see how it fits in.

    Small question to Omoh, why do you take merciless combat over deathchill? I never tried this, but if HB was to replace OB, how sweet would it be to make a macro

    /cast deathchill
    /cast howlig blast

    This way you'll toss a crit HB every 2 minutes without having to think about it, and that builds much more aggro than Merciless Combat would (especially since MC will boost your aggro when the mob is 2/3 down).

    Is morbidity really useful here? Especially since you probably won't be using death coil, having FS. I can see it being usefull in cases where you incidentally pull a patroll, but I doubt you'll be using D&D in mid-combat much in other cases (and pulling a patroll is better managed with hungering cold actually but hush that's my personal opinion).

    As said above. Deathchill is a useless talent. A guaranteed crit every 2 mins... not such a big deal. I crit all the time as it is with HB.

    As for the merciless combat talent use. Think about when the warriors in the raid start being able to spam their executes... It's nice to stay on top of the threat in boss fights, and using the talent allows me to maintain 2200 dps through most heroics. More damage = more threat.

    And yes morbidity is useful for me. My guild likes to try and clear 25 and 10 man Naxx in a single night. Which means not much waiting around between pulls. Since they all hit pretty hard, I need the DnD to always be up to help with threat. A simple IT->pest->hb doesn't help on aoe aggro when your guild leader is a 5k dps DK hitting a different target then you are.

    Plus for heroic HoS and Azjol, it's nice to be able to pop it out whenever ya want.

  13. #13
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    Sweet, thanks everybody for all your input, you have made my life so much easier .

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