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Thread: Looking for advice on 3.2 unholy Dk tanking

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Looking for advice on 3.2 unholy Dk tanking

    I'm looking for friendly advice on my build. I'm currently focused on heroics and naxx 10/25 pugs, just so it's understood where my progression is currently. I leveled my dk as unholy and really got to like it, my guild is small and we had no tanks so I decided to learn as much as i could. Most of that was here. If anyone can offer advice on gear/talents/etc. I'd really appreciate it. I want to continue to be the besst tank I can be.

    My armory link - The World of Warcraft Armory

    HP/Armor- 27.4k hp unbuffed 24k armor in frost presence

    Rotation- IS>PS>BS>BS>SS>RP dump for single targets
    DnD>IS>PS>Pest then continue into above rotation on group pulls

    I do try to be sure to never miss a rune strike. Thanks for the help.

    Edit: I should have noted that my goal here is to prepare to move on to Ulduar/VoA/and the new raid/heroic tanking
    Last edited by Evilrob; 08-09-2009 at 09:37 AM. Reason: Clarification

  2. #2
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    Aug 2009
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    just a tip if you want to never miss a rune strike is macro it into IS,PS,BS,SS its an easy way to make sure you never miss the chance to use it while still maintaining your roto.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    Your build isn't exactly a standard tank build:
    - Missing improved icy touch
    - Tanks don't need ghouls or gargoyles
    - Missing reaping, no death runes
    - Missing epidemic, short disease durations

    I'm using this build on my DK alt: Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft

    Glyph choices is a tricky one. Glyph of disease is nice if you are doing a lot of AOE tanking, like heroic farming. Rotations now, if you are trying to keep up desolation, are not that easy though, and glyph of scourge strike is nice for keep diseases up on your current main target. Or you can choose to use neither of those and just keep your diseases up the standard way.

  4. #4
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    My build is somewhat different I know,

    Imp. IT- I've heard mixed reviews on it and honestly don't see a major benefit from it. If anyone would care to show some numbers supporting it I'd love to see them (major reason why i like this site as i suck at working out the numbers).

    Ghoul - Personal choice as I solo on this spec(my only spec so far still saving for dual spec). And Gargoyle is similar reason just felt it was a nice set and forget dps spike for when that little extra bit might be needed.

    Reaping/Death Runes - Honestly i've never heard of an unholy tank build using these, I'll look into them more as i am curious now.

    Epidemic - Hadn't seen a use for this one as I always refresh my diseases before the duration runs out.

    I know there is only so much room for flair and personal style in the usual builds and i truly do appreciate the feedback so far. I'd like to maintain as much of the feel of unholy tanking I've come to truly enjoy and still bring my best to Raids and Heroics. That said i'm not against changing up some talents here or there to become a more successful tank.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Imp. IT- I've heard mixed reviews on it and honestly don't see a major benefit from it. If anyone would care to show some numbers supporting it I'd love to see them (major reason why i like this site as i suck at working out the numbers).
    It's pretty simple. Your target hits slower, so you take less damage.

    Ghoul - Personal choice as I solo on this spec(my only spec so far still saving for dual spec). And Gargoyle is similar reason just felt it was a nice set and forget dps spike for when that little extra bit might be needed.
    You're going to end up doing both tank and DPS half-assed with this logic. Neither contribute to your threat and should be avoided as a tank.

    Reaping/Death Runes - Honestly i've never heard of an unholy tank build using these, I'll look into them more as i am curious now.
    I'll be honest, I never did either. I always found it more useful to use Glyph of Disease and keep Pestilence/Blood Boil/Blood Strike in the rotation. Because of desolation, it's actually good to keep BS in there.

    Epidemic - Hadn't seen a use for this one as I always refresh my diseases before the duration runs out.
    Considering you don't have Glyph of Disease or Scourge Strike, this means you're repeatedly replacing potential SS with IT+PS.

    Here's my recommendation (though in my experience, Unholy's threat is unsuitable at the upper tiers of current content):
    Unholy Tank Build

    The stuff Swelt pointed out are all valid, but your biggest problem is that you're missing the biggest contributors to your threat and personal DPS: Vicious Strikes and Outbreak. Those 5 talent points boost your bread and butter strike with 6% crit chance, 30% crit bonus damage, and 20% damage (boosting PS is a nice bonus).

    The glyphs I chose should be fairly self explanatory.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Forgive me, it's a bit buried in some other stuff I'm working on, but the buff to the damage reduction of the melee de-haste is a very significant effect for saving the tanks health (re: Imp IT). Even beyond the obvious benefit of stretching time between hits (giving your healers the ability to get off heals more easily in time), look at it this way.

    If the boss hits you for 10k on each swing (after all relevant damage reduction), and his base swing time is 2.0 sec, that's a base incoming dps of 5k dps, yes? If you apply the unbuffed de-haste, that becomes 10k every 2.24 sec, or 4464 dps, so ~10.8% reduction yes? Now add the talent, for 3 more points it becomes 10k every 2.4 seconds, or 4167 dps incoming. So those talent points reduced your incoming damage by ~5.9%, almost 2% per point. If you factor avoidance (around 50%), you're looking at about 1% damage reduction per point, conveniently the same value as Anticipation at 1% dodge per point, or Frigid Dreadplate at 1% miss per point.

    That said, the only reason not to take Imp IT is that you have a DPS Frost DK, Feral Kitty, or another tank who has the fully talented de-haste and has been designated responsible for keeping it up.


    Forgive me, but if you haven't read about Unholy DKs using Reaping/Death Runes then you haven't done your homework. =) The conversion allows you the option to add another ScS on every other rune set, or to use those Blood runes for something else useful. It is a very valuable versatility, though not mandatory.

    Similarly for Epidemic, longer disease durations allows you to do more between each refresh. Generally speaking, regardless of tree, the more GCDs you can squeeze between refreshing your diseases, the better threat you can pump out. Working out that balance to get the longest stretch will optimize your threat nicely, or buy you time when you NEED to use a GCD for something defensive.

    It is clear, of course, that you're still starting out in this tanking, so spec is not a horribly big deal. Ghouls and Gargoyles do next to nothing for a tank as they are their own entities with their own threat, and provide no survival buffs for you. They increase raid dps only, which may become valuable, but only once you reach a certain (high) level of play. That said, starting off tanking Naxx and OS, you won't be really tested, so you have some leeway to play with it, see what happens. Just pay attention and learn and adapt as the challenge scales up. The advice here has been solid so far, of what will be important when you really get tested. You'll find those points that don't buff your threat or survival could be better spent elsewhere to help with your primary role.
    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?!?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Thanks for the responses, looks as though I still have a ways to go.

    @Satorri- thanks for the numbers in imp it. Question, i've noticed you and others say Unholy is currently suffering in current end-game content. If I dual spec and keep my current build for having fun/soloing/less serious content would blood or frost be a better choice considering my current gear and level of progression? I've heard blood tanking is highly gear dependant.

    Thanks for the feedback everyone.

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