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Thread: 3.2.2 Death Knight Frost Tank Rotation Discussion & Questions

  1. #1
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    3.2.2 Death Knight Frost Tank Rotation Discussion & Questions

    Disclaimer: I've never played a frost tank. I've started researching them, and haven't found sufficient data on rotations. I have several questions, and so wanted to start a discussion here.

    EDIT: I tanked for the first time last night in mana tombs with my 68 DK. Turns out HB has a cooldown I missed when considering the rotations below. So, disregard the ones with multiple HBs which wouldn't fit in the 8 sec cooldown

    Key:
    IT = Icy Touch
    BS = Blood Strike
    PS = Plague Strike
    OB = Obliterate
    Tap = Blood Tap
    HB = Howling Blast
    PT = Pestilence
    BB = Boiling Blood
    D&D = Death and Decay

    1) Single Target Rotations

    I've seen 2 main rotations discussed.

    a) Single Disease

    open with: IT > BS > OB > (Tap) OB

    main loop: IT > BS > OB > OB

    b) Full diseases

    main loop part 1: IT > PS > OB > BS > BS
    main loop part 2: OB > OB > OB


    I am having trouble thinking of a single spec which would benefit from using the single disease rotation over the full disease rotation. They both have 4 obliterates per 2 rotations, but the full disease one will have each OB and BS do more damage. Further, I would be suprised if any spec was able to make IT > PS if frost fever were already applied but blood plague wasn't.

    Am I missing something?


    2) Multi target rotations

    I've seen several.

    a-c have no glyph of disease.

    a) HB glyphed single disease

    Open with: D&D > HB > BB
    main loop: HB > HB > BB > BB

    Not sure whether alternating that with HB > HB > HB would be better or worse.

    b) No HB glyphed, single disease

    Open with: D&D > IT > PT > BB
    main loop 1: HB > HB > IT > BB)
    main loop 2: HB > HB > IT > PT

    c) No HB glyphed, full diseases

    Open with: D&D > IT > PS > PT
    main loop 1: IT > PS > PT > BB > HB
    main loop 2: HB > HB > HB

    d) Glyph of Disease, full diseases, no HB glyphed

    Open with: D&D > IT > PS > PT
    main loop: HB > HB > PT > BB



    From what I've read, it seems the theorycrafters don't like having HB glyphed. It is pretty useless in single target fights, right? Or can you ignore IT after your opener and just rely on HB for diseases?

    GoD I also don't see very often in recommended glyphs. (Presumably because some other glyph grants more TPS, but has anyone really analyzed the different rotations?)

    So, what is a good multi target rotation? Again, if you look at b and c, you get the same number of HBs every 2 rotations. Wouldn't having blood plague on all targets be better than just getting in an icy touch since the target will already have frost fever applied?


    Also, when to switch from single target to multi target? I.e., I assume you wouldn't want to use multi-target on 2 mobs? Are rime procs of HB sufficient to hold aggro on 2 or 3 mobs? If so, why wouldn't they be sufficient on any number of targets?

    What about hybrid rotations? I.e., if facing 2-3 or 2-4 mobs, open with rotation c above, then switch to the single target rotation? The D&D would generate good AoE threat...

    Any theorycrafters who have analyzed the best rotations for TPS, and when to switch? (I.e., best TPS rotation vs 2 mobs? 3? 4? 5+?)
    Any speccing considerations in what rotation to use? Or is it just dependent upon which glyphs you are using?
    Last edited by morikal; 11-04-2009 at 07:54 AM.

  2. #2
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    On a single target, a single-disease HB-based rotation has inferior threat. I tested it once using Kahorie, was pretty clear. The new IT Glyph would not change that in 3.3.

    Other questions I'm not as conclusive (like GoD), so would have to double-check my instincts. I suspect FS and Oblit glyphs are better, and I know RS would be better.

    For AOE though, single disease would do fine because HB isn't multiplied by 2 diseases, but by frost fever, and I'd expect GoD would be better in that situation than Glyph of FS or RS; but you'd be talking about a spec/glyph combo that's biased for AOE (ie. you'd pick the talent for more range and glyph of HB and GoD).
    The DK tank site: pwnwear.com.

  3. #3
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    for me AoE is a throw up between
    DnD HB BB or HB Ob BB
    sKsBlaster/Blasterion for Stim Kill Smile and Last Light on Stim Kill Smile and MedivhUS

  4. #4
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    GoD theory crafting:
    (P = Pestilence)

    #1 GoD + Virulence:
    open with: IT > PS > OB > BS > P
    main cycle part 1: OB > OB > OB
    main cycle part 2: OB > OB > BS > P
    A missed strike is ignored, because you can't wait with Pestilence
    2 Cycle Total: 5xOB + BS + P

    #2 GoD, no Virulence:
    open with: IT > PS > BS > BS > OB
    main cycle: OB > BS > P > OB
    2 Cycle Total: 4xOB + 2xBS + 2xP

    #3 no GoD, Virulence:
    main cycle part 1: IT > PS > OB > BS > BS
    main cycle part 2: OB > OB > OB
    2 Cycle Total: 4xOB + 2xBS + IT + PS

    #4 no GoD, no Virulence:
    main cycle part 1: IT > PS > OB > BS > BS
    main cycle part 2: IT > PS > OB > OB
    2 Cycle total: 3x OB + 2x IT + 2xPS + 2xBS

    Comparing GoD:
    #1 vs #3
    OB + failed strikes vs IT + PS + BS
    Imo not worth the glyph.
    #2 vs #4
    OB vs 2xIT + 2xPS
    Hardly worth it either.

    Just cause I have numbers present:

    Comparing Virulence:
    #1 vs #2
    OB vs BS
    Worth 2 points
    #3 vs #4
    OB vs IT + PS
    Same thing again.

    That's all 2 disease rotations, as 1 disease rotation uses HB ofcourse


    On AoE pulls I usually use:
    Open: HB > IT > PS > P > BB > ERW > DnD > HB > BB
    By then they're usually dead anyway, if not:
    HB > OB > BB > P > Tab
    Quote Originally Posted by Ion
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blasterion View Post
    for me AoE is a throw up between
    DnD HB BB or HB Ob BB
    I found I liked the following (in my 1 tanking experience so far, so this may be crap):
    D&D on top of myself from 25 or so yards from the target
    death grip primary target
    while the other mobs are running over, hit IT
    once other mobs are in range (maybe have to wait half a second), hit PT
    blood tap, deathchill, howling blast

    once runes are off cooldown, work BBs, HB, and keep diseases up. If HB is on cooldown, use an OB

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by GravityDK View Post
    On a single target, a single-disease HB-based rotation has inferior threat. I tested it once using Kahorie, was pretty clear. The new IT Glyph would not change that in 3.3.

    Other questions I'm not as conclusive (like GoD), so would have to double-check my instincts. I suspect FS and Oblit glyphs are better, and I know RS would be better.

    For AOE though, single disease would do fine because HB isn't multiplied by 2 diseases, but by frost fever, and I'd expect GoD would be better in that situation than Glyph of FS or RS; but you'd be talking about a spec/glyph combo that's biased for AOE (ie. you'd pick the talent for more range and glyph of HB and GoD).
    I read that as of patch 3.1, HB is no longer multiplied by frost fever at all.

  7. #7
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    It doesn't get the doubling damage from FF, it still gets the benefit of Tundra Stalker.
    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?!?

  8. #8
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    I've found that Single Target, Singular disease tanking is better or at par with double disease rotations for frost. ^-^

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by WarTotem View Post
    GoD theory crafting:
    (P = Pestilence)

    #1 GoD + Virulence:
    open with: IT > PS > OB > BS > P
    main cycle part 1: OB > OB > OB
    main cycle part 2: OB > OB > BS > P
    A missed strike is ignored, because you can't wait with Pestilence
    2 Cycle Total: 5xOB + BS + P

    #2 GoD, no Virulence:
    open with: IT > PS > BS > BS > OB
    main cycle: OB > BS > P > OB
    2 Cycle Total: 4xOB + 2xBS + 2xP

    #3 no GoD, Virulence:
    main cycle part 1: IT > PS > OB > BS > BS
    main cycle part 2: OB > OB > OB
    2 Cycle Total: 4xOB + 2xBS + IT + PS

    #4 no GoD, no Virulence:
    main cycle part 1: IT > PS > OB > BS > BS
    main cycle part 2: IT > PS > OB > OB
    2 Cycle total: 3x OB + 2x IT + 2xPS + 2xBS

    Comparing GoD:
    #1 vs #3
    OB + failed strikes vs IT + PS + BS
    Imo not worth the glyph.
    #2 vs #4
    OB vs 2xIT + 2xPS
    Hardly worth it either.

    Just cause I have numbers present:

    Comparing Virulence:
    #1 vs #2
    OB vs BS
    Worth 2 points
    #3 vs #4
    OB vs IT + PS
    Same thing again.

    That's all 2 disease rotations, as 1 disease rotation uses HB ofcourse


    On AoE pulls I usually use:
    Open: HB > IT > PS > P > BB > ERW > DnD > HB > BB
    By then they're usually dead anyway, if not:
    HB > OB > BB > P > Tab
    Did you mean epidemic instead of virulence?

  10. #10
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    Right. Frosties need FF up to get all their sauce flowing.
    The DK tank site: pwnwear.com.

  11. #11
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    I run a 2 disease rotation. I can tell you that from a set-up perspective on aoe targets, it's inferior, because i need to set up my 2 diseases on one target, pestilence, then HB to maximize my threat. glyph'd HB is immediate snap aggro on packs. very useful tool.

    on single targets, 2 disease rotations are superior as far as i've seen , but i'm not sure that the margin is large enough to be of significant consequence. Honestly I don't have alot of experience running the 1 disease HB rotation myself, so I can't speak authoritatively on how well it scales with threat. there is also a good argument that the simplicity of the 1-disease rotation allows you to keep your rotation tighter, and moves you closer to 100% efficiency on your rune usage. both are definitely worth thinking about.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by lyd View Post
    on single targets, 2 disease rotations are superior as far as i've seen , but i'm not sure that the margin is large enough to be of significant consequence.
    I'd agree with this in as far as I have used a single disease rotation throughout ToC tanking and never had issues with threat. Your OB does do less dmg, but you are also not applying diseases so you free up an entire extra OB in a rotation.

    The key to the spec is when you apply FF with HB on rime procs. This is essentially a 'free' application of the disease with the HB glyph.

    To make the HB worth casting, you never want to cast one on a non-diseased target though. So you can't fish for rime indefinitely, you have to use a HB to reapply FF before it falls off.

    This spec has huge issues if you let FF fall off the mob.

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