I have a DK in my guild that has been trying out a new spec for tanking post 3.1, as his previous spec was nerfed. He's got a very interesting hybrid build, and since I know very little about DKs, I wanted to get some informed opinions on if it was viable. I'm extremely concerned about his lack of cooldowns, and as he may (rarely) be asked to sub in on some tanking in 25s Uld, I'd like some more confidence that its a viable spec. If its not, what are some other options, and where can I/he find more information on them.
Thank you for any help, his talent spec can be found here:
Hrmm this is an interesting spec indeed. I'm trying to find a fault with it and see only two:
1. As you mentioned there is a distinct lack of CD's. However, this is about half as big of a deal as it would have been pre-3.1 because all relevant tanking CD's have had their cooldown's doubled. Nevertheless, he will be missing the nice "oh crap" buttons that are extremely useful situationally (i.e. I'm a blood tank and generally try to time VB with a predictable string of incoming damage)
2. The single target threat of this build will most likely be quite low (most effective ST threat talents are deep in their respective talent trees)
Question: What role will this tank be most likely to be performing? Primary single-target threat on raid bosses, aoe tanking add tanking, or secondary tanking?
Regardless of the answer to that, I have the following suggestions:
1. Outbreak and Vicious strikes are really only worth it if you go deep unholy for scourge strike. Even with the buff to Plague Strike damage, it's damage output is still somewhat underwhelming.
2. It seems he went up to 21 points in UH strictly for Unholy Blight. That's fine, but he needs to have a more intelligent allocation of the points to get there (I would scrap vicious strikes, outbreak, and unholy command for (literally) any of the other talents depending on whether he wants more AE threat, slight avoidance (ravenous dead), or more single target threat.
3. In frost, he has 2 points into glacier rot with the only one of those 3 skills that could be benefited by it being icy touch, which is not a major source of single target tps as it is. Not many better places to put those points if you're trying to get to IIT. (Do you guys raid with another frost DK or an enhance shammy?)
Overall here are the pro's and cons of this build misappropriated points aside:
Pros: It offers a respectable level of AoE threat while having a high effective health (Veteran of the third war) as well as avoidance (Frigid Dreadplate). It also provides Improved Icy Talons which if he is the only DK specced that far into frost or enhancement shaman, would be an excellent raid dps boost.
Cons: In general, this spec seems to go up each tree to arrive at the following 3 talents:
-Veteran of the Third War (for stam boost)
-Improved Icy Talons (for raid dps utility)
-Unholy Blight (for aoe dmg)
The main problem with this spec is there is no cohesiveness/synnergy between the talents and the lack of on-use cooldowns. Especially with the addition of Dual specs with 3.1, it is a much better idea to specialize instead of generalize specs. He could go deep frost for a single-target off-tank build and pick up IIT or he could go deep blood with 21 in Unholy for an effective health/ aoe tank build.