Unholy DK Tanking, Post-3.2
Hey. I've been an Unholy-tank for a long time, mostly as an off-tank for the guild's 10-man runs. We've worked our way through most of Naxx-10, and are getting ready to start in Uld-10. We've downed Archavon and Emalon as a guild.
Unfortunately, with 3.2, I took a MAJOR nerf to HP--in the area of 6k HP. I went from being 3k above the main-tank in HP, to 3k below. 33k to 27k, buffed. Understandably, the guild has concerns, and I agree wholeheartedly.
So, I should like some feedback on my spec--see if there's anything I can do to improve it. Later on, I'll be switching into tanking kit also, and my armory should reflect that.
And please remember--I do mostly 10-mans. We just don't have the numbers for 25s.
Without further ado, I give you The World of Warcraft Armory.
EDIT: Fix broken stuff.
Perhaps it's an Armoury error, but you've skipped Scourge Strike, other than that it looks fine (though admittedly I don't have much experience with Unholy tanking).
I'm more concerned with your gear, and lack of enchants. Even as an offtank you should try and put in the effort to get all your gear as prepared as possible, every little bit helps
You're above 540 defense so you can safely swap out those yellow defense gems. In general I try to always gem X+Stam, or pure stam. Parry is not worth gemming, you should swap those out for dodge+stam.
Shoulders: buy the pvp 30stam enchant.
Chest: drop the 16def and get +10stats.
Bracers: 40stam enchant. Add a socket.
Gloves: 18stam patch, or 2%threat
Boots: 22stam enchant.
With the ease of getting badges there's really no excuse for not replacing that starting trinket with Valor Medal of the First War or go farm normal ToC until The Black Heart drops. Replace your sigil with Sigil of Deflection (19 badges).
All that should boost your health substantially.
Vine: I did skip Scourge Strike. I used to have it, and our (undergeared) healers were having trouble keeping my HP up when I used it. I've gone back to using Death Strike as a result. When our healers are better-geared and able to handle me not using that self-heal as much, I'll go back and re-take SS. Right now, it's a point I can put elsewhere.
Thanks for the enchanting advice--I'm working on gathering mats. A lot of enchants require Abyss Shards, which are not cheap, and I'm bad with my dailies.
Also, where does the PvP Shoulder Inscription come from, and how do you get it? I am sad to announce that I'm totally PvP-clueless.
As for the Sigil, I've almost got enough Triumphs from running Heroic Dailies to get the Sigil of Insolence, so there's not much point in getting Deflection for what amounts to one more night of off-tanking.
Also, I went into Naxx10 last night, and didn't do nearly as badly as I had expected to. So, that's good.
Thank you very much for the advice, and I hope to hear again from you soon.
If you are using DS that much, you might consider swapping over to Blood spec wich has lots of self-healing, it's my preferred spec and is very strong on bosses.
The PvP shoulder enchant is bought from the PvP vendor in Orgrimmar (or Stormwind) for 10,000 honour, you can make that amount of honour just doing the Wintergrasp dailies.
I find that if u a PERMANENT MT, with no chance that u should have to take on alot of mobs, blood imo is good. imo blood seems to be the 1v1 tanking spec, while frost is more aoe, i still find though that frost is a good MT/OT build because you can pick up more mobs and have better AoE control,
also figlia, please direct yourself to wow-heroes.com as it is good to show what enchants are the best for you, and where you are likely to perform well in your gear, as the pvp enchant for shoulders has a rating with 15/15 along side of the Hodir enchant of Greater inscription of the Pinnacle, but the pinnacle has dodge and def instead of stam and res
Tell me about it. I lost ~8k buffed so I can definitely sympathize with you there.
Originally Posted by figliaperduta
While I can't say I have tanked as Unholy in 3.2, I was definitely an Unholy tank when I originally moved into Ulduar 10 man. While others have had greater success, I found that I was having trouble holding aggro while also taking larger hits from any physical attacks--though magical mitigation was substantially improved. Unfortunately, with Ulduar being the way that it is, most bosses have a large physical attack and a large magical attack, both of which can be deadly if you are only protected against one or the other.
Like I said though, some people have never had a problem tanking through hard modes as Unholy. Perhaps they know something I don't, or maybe they have amazing healers, I have no idea. What I do know is that the answer for me, geared fully in Naxx gear, heading to Ulduar, was Blood. The increased health pool and ability to self heal while also holding strong aggro allows for a tank that is well suited to mitigating both magical and physical damage without the expense of threat generation.
This concept has been trolled over and over all over these forums and others. Really, it all comes down to what you are comfortable with, and of course, appropriate gearing and gemming, as well as the actual build of each spec, no matter which tree. The only way to really find out which you like to play is to give each a try for a while and see how your healers feel, how your raid feels, and especially how YOU feel. Despite the fact that you will be taking in more damage as a Blood tank when compared to an equivalent geared Frost tank, the self healing can really help fill that gap and give your healers the impression that you are actually taking less.
Consider the following at your disposal:
@ 40k hp (These numbers get bigger as that number gets bigger):
Death Pact = ~16k heal
Rune Tap = ~8k heal
Death Strike = ~6k heal
Mark of Blood = ~ 32k heal over 20 seconds (debatable on the effectiveness, due to the fact that you have to live through the hit for it to do anything, and that if the mob doesn't hit you 20+ times within that 20 sec, you only get 4% x each hit that lands)
Add 35% to each of those while Vampiric Blood is up, and you have yourself a pretty nice arsenal of "oh-shit I'm at 10/20/30/40% life buttons".
Anyway, I guess I just wanted to empathize with you. Go with what you know or learn something new, but make sure you're comfortable or you won't be doing yourself or your raid any good.
Each of the trees is intended to use it's particular strike and the talents enhance them.
Unholy's strike is Scourge Strike and is intended to be used. Switch to Blood, or your healers need to step up their game.
The other alternative is to use a Unholy/Frost with OB as your strike, but still no DS.