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Thread: Unholy AOE Spec

  1. #1

    Unholy AOE Spec

    Check out this unholy tank spec i have been messing around with in heroics and tell me what you think

    Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft

    I basically took the unholy dps spec for 3.3 and moved some of the points around to make it more tank centered. I skipped reaping since in the unholy dps threads on elitistjerks they say that it isnt a dps gain over necrosis till you have mostly ICC gear.

    Thanks for any suggestions in advance!

  2. #2
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    Well, it looks like about the best AoE threat that you could hope for from an Unholy spec. It sacrifices some key single target buffs, but if all you care about is AoE...

    One small thing, after Heroics and Naxx you will get very little use out of Corpse Explosion, next to none at all, actually. Though, at that point I don't think you'll want or need a min/maxed AoE threat spec either.

    To that end, is there a reason beyond fun and curiosity that you're trying to make a super-AoE spec?
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  3. #3
    Actually I have found that a strong aoe spec makes adds on the gunship battle even easier so it's fairly useful there and corpse explosion works there as well

    since I only tank I'm running my mt raid spec and an aoe heavy spec

  4. #4
    Have you tried running a Frost spec while picking up Morbidity? I would think being able to keep DnD up constantly while having Howling Blast for a little more burst AoE gen. (if you couple it with Deathchill) would create a stronger AoE-focused spec. My primary concern is that although it's a great talent, Wandering Plague might not get much benefit seeing as you have a lower crit rate as a tank.

  5. #5
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    Wandering Plague is a little less impressive as a tank, but still quite powerful. In addition to raid buffs (8%), Ebon Plaguebringer gets you 3% more general crit.
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  6. #6
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    Assuming you want an aoe tank spec, here is what I would do

    Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft

    Explanations (assuming PURE AoE, with no little regard to single target)
    Unholy Blight - You will not be casting Death Coils with your RP, Save for Corpse Explosions, runestrikes and defensive Cooldowns (IBF/AMS).
    BCB - BCB does not work with runestrikes, but necrosis does. There's a point on BCB to move ahead in the tree.
    Bone Armor - If you are tanking that many mobs, Bone armor disappears quite quickly. The premise of Bone Armor tanks is to have a really high avoidance rate to avoid being struck, and therefore have higher bone armor uptime, but with the Chill of the Throne debuff, that is not gonna happen.
    Scourge Strike - It's a very powerful SINGLE TARGET ability, I put that point into black ice. In practical terms, it's one of the best points spent in unholy. In the absence of Scourge strike, you would death strike which get significant bonuses from having 3 diseases, and also heals you slightly.

    With this spec, you would do the following:

    1) DnD + IT + PS + Pestilence
    2) DnD + Death Strike + Bloodboil + Corpse explosion if available
    3) DnD + Death Strike + Pestilence + Corpse explosion if available
    4) Repeat 2) and 3) over and over

    Alternatively, you could try this spec
    Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft
    and try to leverage Death runes for more blood boil as follows
    1) DnD + IT + PS + Pestilence
    2) DnD + Death Strike + Bloodboil + Corpse explosion if available
    3) DnD + Bloodboil + Pestilence + Corpse explosion if available
    4) Repeat 2) and 3) over and over

    But I suspect that taking out 3 point in black ice to get Death Rune Mastery would not make it as powerful as the former spec.

  7. #7
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    I was toying around with the idea of a heavy AoE-focused Unholy spec (personally, I don't think you need to give up things to have it do perfectly fine AoE threat, but it's a fun exercise in talents).

    Here's what I was playing with:
    Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft

    I toyed with the idea of Dark Conviction vs Black Ice and decided I'd rather have the bonus crit to focus on buffing Wandering Plague (crit'ing diseases popping will be a big deal). I took Imp IT because if you're tanking a large pack, de-hasting them will be very valuable to survival (fewer hits taken and maybe a bit longer stretch on Bone Shield duration). If you're not concerned about survival, then I'd move those to Dark Conviction, actually. I'm not positive that it would go farther than Black Ice without checking, but the math in my head works like this.

    2% Shadow and Frost damage is a 2% increase in Disease, DnD, CE, and BB damage for AoE minding. That's nice.

    Wandering Plague makes it so first, diseases can crit (crit chance translates to an increase in damage with them too, already buffs the other 3). But, every time a disease crits it doubles in damage on the main target, AND adds that doubled damage to each additional target in range. So, if you have 2 targets the disease does 4x damage when it crits, 3 targets is 6x damage when it crits. If you're tanking 8 targets, 1% crit from Dark Conviction is a 16% increase in disease damage, in addition to being a 1% increase in DnD, BB, and CE. So, if 16% of your disease damage is worth more than 1% of DnD, BB, and CE combined (in other words the 2% gain from each point of Black Ice) then Dark Conviction would be better.

    The only place I'm not sure of that is DnD which, glyphed and possibly with the t10 2pc bonus, will do abhorrent threat.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Horacio View Post
    Who f-ing divided by zero?!?

  8. #8
    I am actually still using the spec i posted earlier and doing mainly heroics with it and as i stated before tanking the horde ship in the gunship battle. I am ending up 2nd in dps in almost all my heroics. It makes for extremely fast runs where people can AOE their faces off. My single target threat is enough to hold off all but the most extremely geared dps in a 5 man setting. Glyphing DnD with the t10 set bonus would be insane threat.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyperios View Post
    I am actually still using the spec i posted earlier and doing mainly heroics with it and as i stated before tanking the horde ship in the gunship battle. I am ending up 2nd in dps in almost all my heroics. It makes for extremely fast runs where people can AOE their faces off. My single target threat is enough to hold off all but the most extremely geared dps in a 5 man setting. Glyphing DnD with the t10 set bonus would be insane threat.

    Hyper, overall, does your unholy hold good threat? Never seen/ran across an unholy tank before and I think I might respec just to try it out. Just want to know before I waste 50g :P

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    Quote Originally Posted by weisskrutz View Post
    Hyper, overall, does your unholy hold good threat? Never seen/ran across an unholy tank before and I think I might respec just to try it out. Just want to know before I waste 50g :P
    The basic difference in the threat output of unholy vs frost and blood is the early spikiness. Unholy takes an extra gcd to generate optimal aoe threat, since "it-ps-pest-d&d" is more threat than "d&d-it-ps-pest" because of Ebon Plague.
    It shouldn't be a problem single-target, and for heroics the latter, while suboptimal, will suffice. Neither is a problem for anything that lives longer than the duration od a d&d anyway.

  11. #11
    I have a DK alt that I've been playing around with as tank so forgive me if this comes off as a odd question.

    All these specs have 3 points in wandering plague, wont that be less effective due to the low crit chance of prot gear?

  12. #12
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    Yes and no Soldead. A typical Unholy tank build will have 3% boosted crit chance from Ebon Plaguebringer. Other than that it is only raid buffs and any crit rating or agility you have on your weapon or enchants/gems (most won't gem for Crit, but if you're making an AoE spec, Shifting Agi/Stam purples for red slots may not be a bad idea. Raid buffs will get you you 8%, so 11-13% crit chance (adding in base Agi and possible Agi enchant) is pretty reasonable to expect.

    I said above, it's not a game winner in general, but the point of this discussion was to make a powerful AoE threat tool, and Wandering Plague is still pretty awesome for that. Essentially it makes your diseases able to crit, right? Except every time they crit they also splash on as many targets as are stacked on top of them. So if you are tanking 4 things, every tick of every disease has a chance to crit for essentially 5x damage.

    I wouldn't focus on this for a typical balanced or single target build, but so long as we're aiming to max out AoE threat, it's not a bad choice.
    The (Old) Book on Death Knight Tanking
    The New Testament on Death Knight Tanking
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    Quote Originally Posted by Horacio View Post
    Who f-ing divided by zero?!?

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by weisskrutz View Post
    Hyper, overall, does your unholy hold good threat? Never seen/ran across an unholy tank before and I think I might respec just to try it out. Just want to know before I waste 50g :P

    Yeah it holds good enough single target threat for heroics, i wouldnt try to tank a raid boss with it. I almost always end up 2nd on dps in heroics with it even with decently geared groups.

  14. #14
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    Unholy in general? Can have fantastic single target threat.

    I don't know about this build though, having not put it through the paces. Hyperios holds those keys. =)
    The (Old) Book on Death Knight Tanking
    The New Testament on Death Knight Tanking
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    Quote Originally Posted by Horacio View Post
    Who f-ing divided by zero?!?

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    These threads still never cease to amaze me. I think the major problem Death Knights have with heroic tanking is their inability to judge when a situation requires pestilence or not. For the basic pull DnD + Blood Boil + Blood Tap + Blood Boil - DS - Repeat will lock every mob onto you, regardless of the gear level of your companions. Raw Blood boils are still your best tool as a blood spec for AoE snap threat, and it's the refusal to use them without two diseases up that get a lot of blood tanks in trouble. In addition, you can start most pulls (if you properly use DS) with 2 blood runes + 4 death runes, and AoE tanking actually becomes beyond trivial at that point.

    As for this spec, you lose out on some pretty key talents, namely Vicious Strikes. You also got Black Ice over 2 handed weapon spec, which is just a pure damage downgrade (you are trading 4% all damage for 4% frost and shadow damage). Desolation doesn't really fit into a pure AoE threat spec, it's 5 talent points and requires you to weave in blood strike.
    It also seems to me that frost would be your best bet if you wanted the fll spectrum of AoE abilities. You can open with DnD, follow with Howling Blast (and Glyph for it too if you really wanted ease of use), use Blood Boils to follow up, and still use Corpse Explosion. Wandering Plague isn't reliable enough as a tank with our crit levels.

    Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft

  16. #16
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    This is my first time on the boards but have read them for awhile now since I have both a Warrior and DK tank. I am also wanting to build an unholy tank spec for my DK since I enjoy the tree so much.

    I wanted to get clarification about Two handed weapon specialization from what Edgewalker said. The way I understand the tooltip 2hand specialization only increases damage for attacks that use your 2 handed weapon, is that wrong?

    I know with my warrior, 1 hand specialization tooltip says physical damage is increased when a 1 handed weapon is equipped. So I take that as all damage done is increased which is similar to the paladin 1 hand spec talent.

    This would affect my Unholy build that I want to use if this is true. Thanks

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edgewalker View Post
    These threads still never cease to amaze me. I think the major problem Death Knights have with heroic tanking is their inability to judge when a situation requires pestilence or not. For the basic pull DnD + Blood Boil + Blood Tap + Blood Boil - DS - Repeat will lock every mob onto you, regardless of the gear level of your companions. Raw Blood boils are still your best tool as a blood spec for AoE snap threat, and it's the refusal to use them without two diseases up that get a lot of blood tanks in trouble. In addition, you can start most pulls (if you properly use DS) with 2 blood runes + 4 death runes, and AoE tanking actually becomes beyond trivial at that point.

    As for this spec, you lose out on some pretty key talents, namely Vicious Strikes. You also got Black Ice over 2 handed weapon spec, which is just a pure damage downgrade (you are trading 4% all damage for 4% frost and shadow damage). Desolation doesn't really fit into a pure AoE threat spec, it's 5 talent points and requires you to weave in blood strike.
    It also seems to me that frost would be your best bet if you wanted the fll spectrum of AoE abilities. You can open with DnD, follow with Howling Blast (and Glyph for it too if you really wanted ease of use), use Blood Boils to follow up, and still use Corpse Explosion. Wandering Plague isn't reliable enough as a tank with our crit levels.

    Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft
    I think you missed the point. It isn't about holding aggro, it's a trivial discussion about doing as much aoe DPS (not threat, DPS), presumably to speed through trash. In this scenario, you kind of have to ignore people pulling threat, and anything other than an unholy spec (unless you claim that a Frost or Blood can out AoE an AoE Unholy spec.).

    Speaking of blood specs is hijacking this thread towards bloodspec lovers!

  18. #18
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    Unholy's threat has come a long way since last patch, and i'd certainly say it's got promise for aoe threat. With that being said, it's got hands-down the worst mitigation for an add-tanking situation. Bone-Shield charges will be eaten just as fast as they can drop off. Unholy has no passive physical damage reduction or health bonuses, and it clearly sits as a second fiddle for surviving anything but very slow melee attacks or magic damage.

    I can certainly see niched encounters for unholy in ICC (in upcoming wings, certainly not now), but on the whole it's the weakest spec for trash tanking, add tanking, and physical encounters like overlord, marrowgar (currently seems to be bugged, he can wipe out all BS charges in a fraction of what is supposed to be it's minimal uptime), and the Airship Captain. Not by reason of lacking threat, it has made huge strides in that department, but solely by it's inability to survive well without bs running (and Chill of the Throne combined with relatively faster hitting bosses has all but destroyed the viability of this cooldown).

  19. #19
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    5mans frost would beat em all as unholy has a slow ramp up just as blood and mobs are dead before unholy can pull ahead

    raids just work together with the other tanks. don't need some crazy spec, just some teamwork or occasionally give the rogues hysteria so you get their tricks and always blame hunters a wipe so they misdirect everything on you in the hope you won't make it, that way even blood has rock solid threat.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Satorri View Post
    Wandering Plague is a little less impressive as a tank, but still quite powerful.
    The big issue for me was the reliability at first.
    I'm up to ~15% crit without Feral Aura now, 20% with it. It's getting there, especially once the 3% crit debuff is on a target it's good for single threat, too.

    For AE, the key really was to get to 20% buffed crit. It needs to proc early enough to secure some threat, and getting it reliably critting as a tank is a mess of itemization. :S
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