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Thread: Least gear-dependant starter DK spec?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Least gear-dependant starter DK spec?


    I just got back into WoW after taking a break for over a year. I used to offtank in MC (pre tbc) as a warrior, but the DK class really caught my eye. Anyhow, I'm in a small guild of friends and I'm working my way up to 80, and I'm just wondering what would be my best option for starting to tank the 5-mans with basically blues and greens and some crafted gear off the AH? None of us will be geared up so I don't know if I should go blood to try and take pressure off the healer or frost for extra mitigation or unholy to pick up adds with aoe.

    I'm currently unholy for leveling, but I'm open for any tanking spec with dual spec.

    Basically what spec is going to give a budding guild the best chance to succeed at normal difficulty 5-mans in Northrend?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    I wouldn't say I'm an expert on DK tanking but every tree seems to be good enough for 5 man content.

    I just started tanking on my Blood DK he's at 75 and I have just the crafted armor available to me (a mix of cobalt and tempered saronite.) I managed to tank UK, Nexxus, and AN on normal the other night without trouble. The healer complained of being bored on several fights.

    Just make sure you are Def capped at 540 and have 26+K HP and you should do fine in Heroics with a good group.

    Check here fro a good starting point on specs

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    North Carolina
    From what people have told me can be summed up as "WTF Are you doing!?". I am an unholy tank, and ADORE it. More importantly, not all my points are in unholy. I'm sitting at 25/10/36
    Yes, I am frost dps. And yes, I am always being told that I am backwards.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Yardley, PA
    You can't really go wrong with any of them - use whatever you want. I leveled unholy, so I started tanking as Unholy. Some theorize that at lower gear levels, Frost is one of the better ways to go. Blood can work because of the self-healing.

    Edit: And frost DPS isn't terrible.
    Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. -Seneca
    Everyone marvels at a square egg, but only the chicken understands the PAIN.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Angrakhan View Post
    None of us will be geared up so I don't know if I should go blood to try and take pressure off the healer or frost for extra mitigation or unholy to pick up adds with aoe.
    Least gear dependent are probably Frost (extra mitigation) or Blood (increased healing). At very high levels of avoidance, UH can keep up Bone Shield long enough to make UH's mitigation competitive or superior, but I don't think that's until Ulduar gear levels, or around there.

    I've not tanked as Blood (my offspec) or UH (my 55-80 leveling spec), but I like Frost's snap AoE alot: DnD + (glyphed) Howling Blast + Blood Boil = best AoE snap aggro available.

    Frost is probably the easiest to start with due to the extra mitigation (except against magic), superb AoE, and the need to only keep one disease up (the only Frost ability that benefits from Blood Plague is Obliterate). Glyphed Howling Blast lets you cut out both Plague Strike and Pestilence completely, saving their GCDs for Frost Strike or whatever and their runes for Blood Boil/Strike. Frost is also likely to cause less pug drama, since some uninformed out there think Frost is the DK tank spec.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009

    Re: Deathknight Least gear-dependant starter DK sp

    In your case, the best spec is probably a blood or a frost one, as other people have already said.
    Blood is nice for the extra health and healing (most fresh 80s and leveling tanks have problems being healed due to lower mitigation and likely undergeared healers). Blood is weaker due to a lack of AoE, and if you do go blood, get morbidity in the unholy tree or I will eat your soul.
    Frost is also a nice choice because it has extra mitigation (3% melee miss and magic resist, although most people do skip acclimation seeing it as a gimmick) and adds icy talons, which is melee dps crack when you don't have an enhance shammy lying around. It has higher AoE, but less healing, so it may be weaker than blood if you have a bad healer.

    Earlier someone linked to the basic talents page, any of those builds are great.

    Side note: Unholy tanking is amazing. I love it. But I wouldn't reccomend it for leveling because it is semi gear dependant and not as healer friendly. If healing isn't a problem, then by all means go unholy. I don't care how overzealous that mage is, unholy AoE is freaking impossible to pull off of.
    If you want to go unholy, try my build:
    Rune tap isn't much, but in basic 5 mans and leveling instances it can be a lot of help.

    I can't link any frost or blood builds because... well... I suck at them
    Good luck with leveling and tanking, and take a look at that link from Arkunsun. If any of those builds don't suit your needs, feel free to make your own. Any Dk build can be a "tanking" build so long as it has the 5/5/5.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    College Station
    I found leveling and tanking as unholy extremely rewarding. Sure I am missing out on some of the health of blood and some of the mitigation of frost..

    But I kill everything. In groups. Solo group quests, etc.

    It's all in how you spec and plan for it.

    Take Anaire's spec from above:

    The World of Warcraft Armory

    They enjoy it, but it isn't planned out well. They skip over critical abilities and take some that don't truly assist in your tanking abilities, or aren't worth the points they have spent at the detriment to truly helpful abilities.

    For instance, neither Heart Strike nor Scourge Strike is taken, you would have either Death Strike or Obliterate as your big whammy. however, no points in annihilation and not enough points into blood to take improved death strike.

    For better assistance, let us know what level you are and check out the Tankspot spec guides linked a couple posts above. We(I) can give you a couple nudges of where to tweak and what to look out for.

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