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Thread: 3.1 Frost tank rotation/opener?

  1. #1

    3.1 Frost tank rotation/opener?

    Hi fellow frost tanks... after 3.1 has hit the streets, we're faced with a changed rotation (or i am atleast).

    I used to be able to hold rocksteady agro in any heroic instance with:
    IT-Pest-HB as primary opener.

    After 3.1 HB don't seem to me to bring the same result, thus after the same rotation i have found myself with mobs swinging at other targets than me. I experiemented a bit with it by opening with;
    HB-BB-BB-(wait for CD's)-IT-Pest. And had somewhat better results, but still it's not optimal imo.

    so my question to you guys, is what do you do? do you use DnD at all? Because i never used DnD before as Frost tank. And now i feel like i need to use it to get agro secured. All in all i feel that 3.1 really messed up a lot of things and im looking for optimal ways to fix:
    1) rocksteadyagro from 3-5 mob groups
    2) sustained tps to keep up with 3-5k dps people
    3) rotation to keep sufficient thread levels on single target (this however hasn't proved to be a problem yet)

    btw my spec is 12/54/5
    My personal testings along with contributions from below posters, i've gathered the following info:

    Working spec:
    13/53/5

    Major glyphs:
    Glyph of Howling Blast
    Glyph of Icebound Fortitude
    Glyph of Disease

    Working opener/rotation:
    3 or more targets:
    HB-BB-BB-OB-HB (primary focus is to keep rotating HB-BB)

    Single target/MT:
    HB-OB-BS-BS-(wait)
    OBx3

    General:
    With all rotations runic power dump with Frost strike and have all abilities macroed with Rune Strike.

    Result:
    • High initial agro on all mobs.
    • All mobs infected with Frost fever for attack speed debuff.
    • Sustained high agro on all mobs with little to no efford.
    • With T7 gear + some heroic stuff and a TitansteelDestroyer or something similar you should average 3-3.5k TPS with np on most heroics. Somewhat higher single-target in raid-situations.
    Last edited by Bloodyhelln; 04-29-2009 at 07:55 AM. Reason: Added preliminary conclusion and some formatting

  2. #2
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    Heres what Ive been using in heroics and raids and Ive really only had trouble if DPS start before I get my diseases up.

    DnD, pull, IT, PS, Pest, bloodtap, BB.

    If DnD isnt up or if Deathchill is up, Ill substitue IT+PS for a HB opener. The non-crit HB doesnt hit as hard as it used to, so I find disease+BB to give more solid agro.

    I like DnD as a great way to keep inital agro on you if your healer has a HoT or reactive healing spell on you. I never use it on single targets.

    I will admit Ive noticed some problems when mages will jump in and start AoEing right away or a hunter opens with Multishot before Im in position. That opening rotation should give you great agro on your target and pretty good agro on everything else. If signal target DPS are focusing on something you arent, they'll pull agro but its there fault in that case. To be honest thats most likely your issue. If DPS cant wait a GCD to AoE then they are going to pull agro. Ive been getting into the habit of popping Hungering Cold(with glyph) here, which helps alittle (and shows me if they are outright focusing on a target that Im not).

    I agree though our initial opening AoE agro has dimished, however I think our single target threat has got up over the course of an encounter.

  3. #3
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    Hi there!

    I´m a frosttank too, so heres how I open on multi-mob packs.
    Depending on possible CC I pull with IT - DnD - PS - Pestilence

    It might make sense to switch DnD and PS when still pulling the pack to another corner. We want them to get every tick of DnD

    Now all my runes are on cooldown. Be sure to use pestilence only out of range of cc´d mobs.

    RS at all times when up, if not -> FS

    It often makes sense to safe some runic power for a mind freeze instead of casting another FS.

    Next series would be HB - BB - Ob - possible FS - and pestilence again

    As you can imagine I do use the Glyph of disease. Thats how I open

    I never had sustained problems by now against 4k dps people if they focus on my [skulled] target without any rotation. A taunt or two should be well enough while taking down the first mob. BB and HB as well as your dots should be more than enough aggro on the rest of the pack to hold them

    a) vs heal aggro
    b) vs possibly AoE
    c) when switching to the next target cause of a decent aggro advance vs single target dds

    I´m on 11/55/5

    That´s how I do it

  4. #4
    Hmm... well the beauty about pre 3.1 frost spec was that you didn't really need DnD to hold agro. I will hope till someone proves me wrong, that it's still possible to do. I will run some Heroics and test out different openers and post additional info if i find any. But feel free to post whatever works for you guys.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bloodyhelln View Post
    1) rocksteadyagro from 3-5 mob groups
    2) sustained tps to keep up with 3-5k dps people
    3) rotation to keep sufficient thread levels on single target (this however hasn't proved to be a problem yet)

    btw my spec is 12/54/5
    What I typically do for 3-5 mob groups is drop death and decay, IT>PS>Pest on a mob to spread diseases and then immediately howling blast when my initial runes are off of cooldown. This usually secures the mobs (and I often get a KM proc crit on the first howling blast). After that I typically use IT>PS>pest>BB>HB to keep diseases up and then OB>BB>BB>HB. If I get a rime proc I usually use HB immediately and substitute any remaining FU pairs with obliterate.

    For single target sustained threat I open with IT>PS>BS>BS>OB, then HB(if there's a rime proc)>FS, OB>FS>OB>FS>OB>FS and repeat. I alternate obliterates and frost strikes to make better use of my killing machine procs and I use HB immediately after rime procs in my triple obliterate spam.

    This has net me pretty good threat (6k-7k average as 10/51/7) on single targets. I find if you use the frost strike glyph (and you need to with this rotation imo) the runic power expenditures are low enough to weave frost strikes around your rotation gaps to make good use of KM procs and eliminate dead time in rune cooldowns.

  6. #6
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    Feb 2009
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    hello,
    on packs of 2 mobs:

    - pull cross first with death grip, apply IT+PS
    - when second, the skull comes, do Pestilence and switch to skull
    - BS and HB, then losts of FS (with the 32 rp FS glyph) while reapplying IT+PS with Pestilence
    - OB and HB when Rime procs

    on packs with more mobs:
    - cast Death and Decay in front
    - Death grip skull, apply IT+PS and FSs
    - Pestilence when other mobs are into DnD, raise up Blade Barrier with either BB or BS
    - HB+OB and HB again when Rime procs

  7. #7
    Cool to see so many replies on this. I'd like to mention too that after my 1st post i went back and respecced i picked 13/51/7. What i changed was:

    took Icy Reach (to ease up the gathering of mobs with HB).
    Dropped Deathchill (on-demand crit are always good, but had to trade something off).
    Dropped Runic Power Mastery (with RS macroed to all buttons i should rarely hit max RP).

    Anyway. I did notice one thing from my 2 heroic runs yesterday. My overall DPS has dropped from around 1.8-2k to 1.3-1.4k (pre 3.1 vs. post 3.1). That probably explains some of the treat issues i have now.

    Is WowWebStats Tps Calculator updated to 3.1 and reflects the correct threat weights? Not that i know of any changes really, just curious if the tool is still reliable for checking how much threat each ability does.

    Hidon mate your spec must be missing 3 points, where did you put them?
    Last edited by Bloodyhelln; 04-21-2009 at 01:59 AM. Reason: Clarifications and typos.

  8. #8
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    If you're primarily concerned with AoE threat, a glyphed DnD to pull, followed by a glyphed HB and then a Blood Boil will get you pretty solid initial aggro.

    Ya, its a lot of glyphs to waste, but with dual specs, an aoe tank spec and an mt tank spec is not uncommon. In Ulduar, however, the only spots I've really had reason to use AoE threat generation are the Thorim event and the trash jormungar going to Hodir.

  9. #9
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    I have removed IT, PS, DnD and pestilence from my rotation entirely. I use Glyph of Howling Blast to apply Frost Fever which automatically makes BB hit for it's maximum. My standard AoE opener is HB-BB-BB-OB-HB, rinse and repeat while casting HB from Rime procs.

    Solo tanking rotations prioritize OB over HB unless FF is about to fall off. BB is also replaced with BS. If you get the lucky Rime procs, and I have, you can use all your UF runes only for Obliterates for an entire fight.

    No Frost tank should go without Glyph of Howling Blast.

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

  10. #10
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    lol can't find this glyph on my server yet. (Glyph of howling blast)

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inaara View Post
    I have removed IT, PS, DnD and pestilence from my rotation entirely. I use Glyph of Howling Blast to apply Frost Fever which automatically makes BB hit for it's maximum. My standard AoE opener is HB-BB-BB-OB-HB, rinse and repeat while casting HB from Rime procs.

    Solo tanking rotations prioritize OB over HB unless FF is about to fall off. BB is also replaced with BS. If you get the lucky Rime procs, and I have, you can use all your UF runes only for Obliterates for an entire fight.

    No Frost tank should go without Glyph of Howling Blast.
    How do you find your single target threat with a single disease? I used to roll with an IT>OB>OB>BS type rotation but I found after 3.1 that it did less threat than an IT>PS>BS>BS>OB, OB>OB>OB type. Maybe I didn't give it enough of a chance.

    Also do you find your frost strike usage drops significantly without the frost strike glyph? I'd have to ditch that one for howling blast as I don't see myself every giving up my IBF glyph or Oblit glyph.

  12. #12
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    Well given IBF is useless to tanks now since its designed for PvP, Id say you can remove it. 3.1 changed it from being free to giving a flat ammount of damage reduction (instead of scaling with defense).

  13. #13
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    Actually Mecer, we've been discovering it doesn't work as well all expected. It appears to raise the baseline from which Def increases your dmg reduction, meaning now with the glyph it has a full 45-50% dmg reduction for an uncrittable tank.
    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. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Satorri View Post
    Actually Mecer, we've been discovering it doesn't work as well all expected. It appears to raise the baseline from which Def increases your dmg reduction, meaning now with the glyph it has a full 45-50% dmg reduction for an uncrittable tank.
    Out of curiousity, how did you test that? And is it considered a bug or intended to be that way? If what you say holds true, i should get my IBF glyph back asap :P

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Hidon View Post
    How do you find your single target threat with a single disease? I used to roll with an IT>OB>OB>BS type rotation but I found after 3.1 that it did less threat than an IT>PS>BS>BS>OB, OB>OB>OB type. Maybe I didn't give it enough of a chance.

    Also do you find your frost strike usage drops significantly without the frost strike glyph? I'd have to ditch that one for howling blast as I don't see myself every giving up my IBF glyph or Oblit glyph.
    Interesting rotation, i must admit. I gotta try that out and see if it works for me too. I tanked naxx25 yesterday and both on patchwerk and grobbulus i had difficulty keeping my threat in safe zone, meaning that i had 2 dps'ers right at my tail all the time, and that's not something im used to. So i gotta give ur rotation/glyph setup a try. Will submit more when i have more input.

  16. #16
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    Bloody, I didn't discover it, but it's been tested by several people now using the Black Dragon Shrine lava in Dragonblight.

    It has not been admitted as a glitch by Blizz yet, so for the time being I'm chalking it up to poorly worded tooltip. If that changes I'm sure you'll hear about it on the boards, otherwise, go to town on the glyph. =)
    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?!?

  17. #17
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    Same problem here and i never used dnd before 3.1. But i now use it on all mob pulls. After getting the glyph of howling blast i seemed to be building threat a little faster. Still have to have dps give me the few seconds before they drop the hammer. Something i never had to worry about before. I've been tryin the new HB glyph rotations but find my self going back to using IT PS PEST alot just because of cd's. Thats prolly due to my build. Ill tweak that out a little. But in the end no one pulls mobs off me still so im happy and rest of group is as well have fun

  18. #18
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    I am frost tank as well, for my rotation I do the following. Howling Blast, Icty Touch, Plague Strike, Pestilence, Blood Boil.

    There are many different circumstances so its not always the same, its more of a "what my fingers are used to tapping".

    Depending on what you are tanking you may do it differently.

    For single targets though I always use same rotation. Howling Blast, Oblitirate, Blood Strike, Blood Strike. Then when ruens come back I do 3x oblitirate (sinse I have 2 death runes) and howling blast on every rhyme proc. Frost strike for RP dump, rinse and repeat.

  19. #19
    I ran a VH run yesterday with the HB-BB-BB opener. It showed very nice results. Now and then i had some mobs hit others, but i think it was mostly casters that sometimes seem to target others regardless of agro or something. Anyway I wasn't really worried about threat atleast. Since i logged it to wws, i checked it up against WowWebStats Tps Calculator and it showed me doing around 3.2k TPS which is quite ok id say. I then jumped into a gate to ebon hold to test on dummies and my DPS on 3 targets was at around 1.7-2k which is about the same as before 3.1 patch, so all these factors give me a pretty good reason to belive this is a good setup to work with.

    Im born pessimist, so i will run some more tests ofc. and try to find some high dps people to run with and challenge the opener. I'll post additional info as i gather.

  20. #20
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    @Inaara - some of us have to keep IT in our rotation, at least every 30 seconds, to proc the sigil for increased defense. Sure, I'm over 540 without it, but I try to help my healers any way I can.

    I've been using the aoe opening metioned several times above - HB, BB, IT, PS, Pest, Tap, BB. As long as the dpsers are behaving themselves, nothing will get pulled off, as long as you keep the HB+BB rotations going. This has worked for me in heroics and 10-mans, with dps pushing 3k.
    Makepõ - Cold Hearted
    Bryenne - Disc Jockey.

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