Closed Thread
Page 29 of 32 FirstFirst ... 19 27 28 29 30 31 ... LastLast
Results 561 to 580 of 635

Thread: Comprehensive Guide to Death Knight Tanking

  1. #561
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    35
    Thank you for your suggestions and I already said I am going to get teh Frost Emblem Cloak, 3 more days for that, if I dont get into any ICC groups.

    I want to stay Dual Wield, thats just a personal thing, and I am not disputing that I may benefit from a Two hander, it's just not going ot make or break me for my raid level.

    I prefer the Shoudler enchant I have with "some" avoidance stats, teh Stam isnt a huge upgrade. I am goingot get the cloak enchant tonight when my GF gets home, I prefer the additional 10 Str, adn 10 Agi over the extra 175 Health on Chest, and again the gloves is a toss up..180 health vs 240 armor.

    Im not worrying about the set bonus, I was contemplating the other shoulders, but with my Dual Wield I was a bit reluctant to giv eup the hit, although yes I am 90% sure I will upgrade to the other shoulders soon enough.

    After I buy the cloak, yes I was looking at teh gloves as my next upgrade.

    All in All, I think I'm headed in the right direction, aside form some personal play/fun choices I make that may not be exactly "flowcharted and mathed" to the max.

    ANd yes I should probably have posted this in a Gear thread, you're right it is off toppic so I'll move my posts to a more pertenant thread.

  2. #562
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    785
    Well strength is almost completely ignorable as a defensive stat, it's really 10 agility versus 175 health on the chest part, which is drastically swayed in the direction of the raw health.
    Really the same thing with the 30 stam shoulders versus dodge/defense.

    The biggest upgrade for you from Frost Emblems would be the Corroded Skeleton Key over Essence of Gossamer, then probably the Belt over your current Belt, assuming you get the cloak I am about to link. It is easily obtainable from the Frost Lord Ahune fight - http://www.wowhead.com/item=54801.

    The Black Heart comes from a 5 man dungeon.

  3. #563
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    4,930
    Quote Originally Posted by Gothmogg View Post
    When do you completely ignore avoidance in favor of straight EHP, be it Stamina or AC? Is it a personal decision, based on your guildmates abilities or is there an actual thread to point out these facts, if you are not ICC 25 progression geared, or in that range?
    Personally, I don't. I didn't at the start, and I don't now. You *can* start going purely for EH right from the get-go, there's no reason to wait for it later on. There is value in having avoidance for several of the fights, and potentially the best way to figure out what works for you is to go in and try. If you are comfortable with the fights but your group is working to practice up to clearing it comfortably, that gives you some time to swap a piece here or there to see how it feels. It's probably expensive to do that with gems, but if you have avoidance trinkets you can get a nice smaller swing there (usually on the order of 2k health for 2% avoidance).

    Take the written advice, but in the end, always trust how things work for you when you actually play it out. There are loads of X-factors that aren't accounted for in our theoretical discussions that become very important in your specific group. Many of the advisors also have a lot of assumptions backing up their suggestions that might not be fair assumptions for you and your group (like healing style, aptitude with movement and positioning, healer attention/reflexes, etc).
    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?!?

  4. #564
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    35
    Thank you guys, much appreciated. The changes I made feel pretty comfortable, although on the surface they seemed counter intuitive. I guess I'm just an Avoidance Junkie ;-), and it's hard to break the habit *chuckle*.

  5. #565
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    21
    Hi guys,

    I just converted my secondary DPS blood spec to tanking (here is the char, here is my current talent build -- I find blood DPS just not nearly as fun as Unholy, and I always pull bigger numbers with Unholy too). As you can see, the gear is rather suboptimal, and despite high GS for a new equipment set, not very well-balanced: I am neither hit-capped nor expertise soft-capped for example, and I still use DPS trinket and sigil; I am a brand-new DK tank. So, in thinking how to make sure I don't lose threat, and in general to squeeze maximum utility from my crappy tank gear, I was giving a serious thought to abusing the "Icy Slam" for that purpose, using it on every Death rune. This should give me mondo single-target threat, which would then permit some threat abilities to be dropped in favor of more survival abilities and better AoE threat.

    So, my question is: what threat abilities could I drop with the least detrimental consequence? The options seem to be:

    Subversion
    Bladed Armor
    2H weapon specialization
    Dark Conviction
    Bloody Strikes
    Bloody Vengeance
    Blood Gorged

    Clearly Dark Conviction and Subversion seem like the most obvious choice, in that they gives me least threat per skill point (the latter because I would be using IT instead of HS a lot, so HS crit buff would greatly diminish in value). Each of those amounts to around 1% extra threat per skill point.

    2H Specialization provides a moderate 2% per skill point damage boost.

    Bladed Armor currently provides on the order of 20% of my AP, and at around 4% per skill point it seems like quite a valuable talent.

    Bloody Strikes still seem like a decent talent -- even with the diminished use of HS, I will still be using two HS almost every runeset (except to apply glyphed pestilence for disease refresh instead of IT/PS, so that with the saved FU pair I can do an extra DS and then utilize two resulting Death Runes for more IT), that that's over 1% extra threat per skill point.

    Bloody Vengeance seems like a decent talent ATM, although given its ramp-up time and the uneven nature of most boss fights, it's not as good as it looks on paper. However, if I drop Dark Conviction and my crit goes to around 5%, Bloody Vengeance would also plummet in value to around 1% threat boost per skill point.

    Finally, Blood Gorged provides around 2-4% threat boost per point, which seems like a good amount.

    However, I have never done any DK tanking before, only bear, so I am sure I am missing something obvious. Can anyone look over my musings above, and let me know if I got something horribly wrong?

    Currently I am thinking about dropping Bloody Vengeance and Subversion (gotta keep Dark Conviction for tree structure reasons) and picking up Spell Deflection and some more points into Morbidity, plus Corpse Explosion, for better AoE threat (and because as Unholy DPS, I am in mad puppy love with Corpse Explosion, and because CE has higher AP coefficient of BB). This is the 52/8/11 build I am thinking about (I haven't seen it anywhere before, has it been done?) I could also move 3 more points from Dark Conviction into Blood Worms, but I am not sure it's worth the bother, unlike Spell Deflection and the extra unholy AoE abilities.

    Basically, I am aiming to abuse the new bigger, longer, and uncut IT threat multiplier to squeeze out maximum survival and AoE threat from my currently suboptimal tank offset gear -- IT/HS/DS with DRM for single-target threat, Pestilence/DnD/BB/CE (SPLORK!) for AoE threat. Seems like you can't go wrong -- more single-target threat, better and easier AoE threat, and more survival skills; almost seems too good to be true. Are there are stupid holes in my plan?

    Thanks in advance guys.

    P.S. Funny story... when downing the puppies in the Plague Wing, I used CE on Zombies right after Precious died, and the Precious' corpse blew up. The entire raid started wondering where it went, and if someone ninja-skinned it.

    P.P.S. it seems that this build, with IT as the primary single-target threat generator, would obviate the need for the Disease glyph -- Frost Fever would always be up and constantly refreshed, and Blood Plague can be reapplied with a single use of unconverted Unholy rune. This would permit one to confidently replace Disease glyph with Rune Strike glyph (my other two major glyphs are Death Strike and Vampiric Blood). In fact we could possibly skip PS altogether, except for self-healing, because IT, the primary threat builder, doesn't get the diseases bonus, unlike the FU and B strikes -- and of AoE abilities only DnD benefits from diseases beyond the first.

    Also, an interesting alternative here would be to remove anything from Unholy beyond Tier 1, ditch another talent, possibly Heart Strike (which will rarely be used in this build), and instead go for full Icy Talons. +4% Frost damage and +20% melee haste, on top of IT spam, gotta be an absolute single-target threat monster; or would it be better to go for the full 5 points in Black ice (i.e. instead of +4% Frost damage/ +20% haste, to take +10% Frost damage/+8% Haste)? Anyway, this will synergize nicely with the abovementioned single-disease method, since we are losing Epidemic to get here. Here is this talent tree, 51/15/5. I shall call it... "Iceblood". Heh. Originality galore.
    Last edited by danilche; 06-29-2010 at 10:12 AM.

  6. #566
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    PDX
    Posts
    1,366
    Quote Originally Posted by Satorri View Post
    Take the written advice, but in the end, always trust how things work for you when you actually play it out. There are loads of X-factors that aren't accounted for in our theoretical discussions that become very important in your specific group. Many of the advisors also have a lot of assumptions backing up their suggestions that might not be fair assumptions for you and your group (like healing style, aptitude with movement and positioning, healer attention/reflexes, etc).
    I love that statement. It's how I've been approaching it for years.

  7. #567
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    4,930
    Quote Originally Posted by danilche View Post
    What threat abilities could I drop with the least detrimental consequence? The options seem to be:

    Subversion
    Bladed Armor
    2H weapon specialization
    Dark Conviction
    Bloody Strikes
    Bloody Vengeance
    Blood Gorged

    Currently I am thinking about dropping Bloody Vengeance and Subversion (gotta keep Dark Conviction for tree structure reasons) and picking up Spell Deflection and some more points into Morbidity, plus Corpse Explosion, for better AoE threat (and because as Unholy DPS, I am in mad puppy love with Corpse Explosion, and because CE has higher AP coefficient of BB). This is the 52/8/11 build I am thinking about (I haven't seen it anywhere before, has it been done?) I could also move 3 more points from Dark Conviction into Blood Worms, but I am not sure it's worth the bother, unlike Spell Deflection and the extra unholy AoE abilities.

    Seems like you can't go wrong -- more single-target threat, better and easier AoE threat, and more survival skills; almost seems too good to be true. Are there are stupid holes in my plan?
    Lots to respond to, and many angles.

    Here's what I gleaned and what I am working off of: You want to cut some stuff to get better survival and rely more on IT with its obscene threat.

    Before my spec advice, I would say to be careful about doing that too ruthlessly. IT can be abused but doing so comes at the cost of damage. Tank damage may not be huge, but it is still a nice contribution. You can shave 1-2k off your dps for superior tps, but it becomes a question of whether or not it is really worth it, especially given the current ICC buff and the fact that a great many fights are barely testing tank survival any more (unless you're packing sub-par healers).

    So, on specs! Your current spec looks oddly familiar. Your proposed spec would be fine in that you would trade heavier HS threat for more frequent DnD and the joy of CE (totally with you, I had my own mad puppy love for it that got squashed by two tiers of raid content with little or no trash I could actually use it on). So, you'll trade the focus'able threat for an AoE buff. Not really any survival change, nothing wrong with that.

    If you want to pick up more stuff like Spell Deflection, I'm not a big fan of losing anything on your list, but we can compare them quickly to get a sense. I'll give the relative factors and if you have Recount, parses, or memory of those you can get a sense of how big a gain/loss they would be.

    First, Bladed Armor should be one of the last you drop, and the same is true for Bloody Vengeance and Bloody Strikes. Bladed Armor is a huge buff at about ~180 AP per point give or take for your personal armor. That works out to about 5% damage on any weapon-based attacks (HS, DS, RS, etc) and a varying amount on your other spells. It is huge, not to put too fine a point on it. Bloody Vengeance is +3% dmg per pt on HS, DS, RS, melee swings, PS, etc. Bloody Strikes is worth 15% HS damage and 10% BB damage per pt, not to be trifled with.

    Blood-Gorged is a double-whammy. It is 2% to all damage per pt (not just melee strikes) so long as your health doesn't dip, that on its own is easily worth the purchase, but it also gets the ArP bonus which will be worth some 1.2% physical damage (strikes) per pt. The compound value is terrific.

    Subversion, by comparison, is worth about 3.45% HS damage per point. This is probably the low man on the list you mentioned. 2-hand spec will pass it up, even though it is only 2% per point it will trickle down to everything based on weapon damage (HS, DS, RS, etc).

    If you want more survival (pretty much just Spell Deflection and Imp Blood Pres) Morbidity wouldn't be a huge loss. 5 sec less frequent on DnD is a convenience issue more than anything else, and personally the only time I've noticed that is tanking adds on LK (though I've stopped running heroics, so take that with a grain of salt). 5% DC damage lost won't probably be noticeable.

    I would not recommend Bloodworms. They're fun for the idea, but they're a bit weak in practice. They scale poorly, they die in a stiff breeze, and in some situations they can open you up to more damage through parry-haste (in ICC it is really only a problem on Sindragosa). Ironically, the places where they could give you the most trouble are also the places where they are least likely to survive (by fortunate placement of cleaves that will drop their life expectancy).

    Imp Blood Pres is a heal and as such a boon to survival, but the value is small enough that I would sooner take a superior threat value than put your investment in this for better survival. It is definitely the last survival talent I would take.

    Quote Originally Posted by danilche View Post
    Also, an interesting alternative here would be to remove anything from Unholy beyond Tier 1, ditch another talent, possibly Heart Strike (which will rarely be used in this build), and instead go for full Icy Talons. +4% Frost damage and +20% melee haste, on top of IT spam, gotta be an absolute single-target threat monster;
    Take advice from Edge on this one. If you want to crank out a heavy threat monster build don't go into Frost, dig into Unholy. A couple points in Black Ice and 20% melee haste will get you a *little* more DC, DnD, Disease, and BB damage (read: a few small contributers), and the haste will boost your auto-attack damage and maybe *maybe* get you a little more RS usage.

    In Unholy the combination of Morbidity, Epidemic, Necrosis, and BCB will give you some delicious threat boosting. You won't get there without cutting out a fair amount of Blood though, especially deep-tree stuff like WotN.

    Generally, I'm happy with less threat-focused stuff, just solid Blood spending and smart play (possibly with some dps gear mixed in if you want to amp it up).
    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. #568
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    21
    Quote Originally Posted by Satorri View Post
    Lots to respond to, and many angles.

    Here's what I gleaned and what I am working off of: You want to cut some stuff to get better survival and rely more on IT with its obscene threat.
    Yup.

    So, on specs! Your current spec looks oddly familiar.
    it should. I based it on advice from this guy, Satorri, you may have heard of him. I read your writeup on Dk tanking religiously.

    Your proposed spec would be fine in that you would trade heavier HS threat for more frequent DnD and the joy of CE (totally with you, I had my own mad puppy love for it that got squashed by two tiers of raid content with little or no trash I could actually use it on). So, you'll trade the focus'able threat for an AoE buff. Not really any survival change, nothing wrong with that.
    Well, no, I expect the IT abuse to actually give me better single-target threat. Wouldn't it?

    In my admittedly brief testing so far, IT seems to hit for roughly similar amount of threat to DS, and about double the threat of HS.

    First, Bladed Armor should be one of the last you drop, and the same is true for Bloody Vengeance and Bloody Strikes.
    Bloody Vengeance plays off of Dark Conviction's crit. if Dark Conviction goes away, Bloody Vengeance's value gets cut in half. So if I have to take away one or the other, i would rather lose Bloody Vengeance, because losing Dark Conviction incurs the cascading BV loss due to diminished crit. My crit rate is already a measly 10%, taking away Dark Conviction will make it 5%. At 5% crit, the BV buff will keep dropping off on a regular basis i think, making its value even less.

    Imp Blood Pres is a heal and as such a boon to survival, but the value is small enough that I would sooner take a superior threat value than put your investment in this for better survival. It is definitely the last survival talent I would take.
    Hmmm... Yah, I overlooked it completely. Still, extra +5% healing per point is significant, no?

    Take advice from Edge on this one. If you want to crank out a heavy threat monster build don't go into Frost, dig into Unholy. A couple points in Black Ice and 20% melee haste will get you a *little* more DC, DnD, Disease, and BB damage (read: a few small contributers), and the haste will boost your auto-attack damage and maybe *maybe* get you a little more RS usage.
    Remember, I plan to rely on IT for single-target threat -- this makes Black ice rather valuable. Or am I missing something? +10% Frost damage would mean +10% threat from IT, right?

    In Unholy the combination of Morbidity, Epidemic, Necrosis, and BCB will give you some delicious threat boosting. You won't get there without cutting out a fair amount of Blood though, especially deep-tree stuff like WotN.
    Nah, I want the survival stuff. The whole point of doing this was to retain good single-target threat while improving survivability. AoE threat is icing on the cake.

    The really tricky part in relying on IT for threat would be dancing around the FU pairing. it's gonna be very easy to accidentally get have a lonely Unholy rune left over just sitting there...

    Generally, I'm happy with less threat-focused stuff, just solid Blood spending and smart play (possibly with some dps gear mixed in if you want to amp it up).
    I like to make my life easy. I read your thoughts about Unholy tanking for example, and the very idea of doing something that complicated scares me right off. I like the lazy man's way out -- the IT build is supposed to be it: better single-target threat (IT spam with Death Runes), easier AoE threat (DnD+CE), and extra survival.

  9. #569
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    785
    If you are blood with a majority of blood talents and gargoyle or crusader on your weapon, IT abuse will only grant you a tiny amount of additional threat at the cost of IT heals, DPS, and a tight rotation. You will also be forced into talents that are otherwise worthless. You can be a MONSTER threat producer with a normal blood rotation and still benefit from all of your talents, normal weapon enchants, and great self heals.

    http://www.wowhead.com/talent#jcyRVh...ostZ0ghbxc:GdL is the highest pinnacle of Blood TPS/DPS/SelfHeals mixed with a (sort of) core of survival talents. The key to blood threat is maximization of global cooldowns and properly using your abilities and DR pairs at the right time. There are a lot of cooldowns to manage, and getting Hysteria/Dancing Rune Weapon paired with refreshed diseases is pretty key to getting the highest numbers. Anticipation/Necrosis/Blood Caked Blade are a key to the Unholy side of the tree because they all work in tandem with Rune Strike, which will be your second highest threat ability (sometimes first) next to Heart Strike.

    It's tempting to look at Black Ice / Killing Machine / Icy Talons, but you are really only getting Killing Machine and Black Ice out of the deal because generally in a raid situation you will have the % haste elsewhere. Killing Machine and Black Ice also (beyond being clunky to use with IT spam and a Blood Spec) are meant for working together with a 10% frost damage increase on your weapon, Tundra Stalker, Guile of Gorefiend, Merciless Combat, Rime... you simply lose too much from the frost tree going blood and gain too little to make IT spam worth it. You CAN make an IT spam spec, it just doesn't mix well with 40+ points in blood.
    That isn't to say that a pure frost spec isn't amazing TPS also, just don't try to mix it with blood and expect great results.
    For a direct comparison -

    The #1 TPS parse by a Blood DK, BQL, Edgewalker - http://www.wowmeteronline.com/combat...1683509#threat
    TPS : 17,254 ( 17,781 )
    DPS : 7565 , Act. DPS : 7825
    Healing Done : 383,572

    #1 Legitimate Frost TPS Parse by a Frost DK - http://www.wowmeteronline.com/combat...6536448#threat
    Threat Stats ( TPS : 18,772 ( 19,228 ) (Supplemented with 3 Tricks of the Trade)
    DPS : 5620 , Act. DPS : 5761
    Healing Done : 145,814.


    The difference in threat narrows for harder hitting bosses as specs streamline, but the healing gap widens.
    For Hardmode Sindragosa using - http://www.wowhead.com/talent#jcEMVh0IcbofssxhxZ0gh:Gdi , a "traditional" tanking spec.

    #1 Blood DK Parse - http://www.wowmeteronline.com/combat...7150769#threat
    Threat Stats ( TPS : 10,032 ( 10,099 )
    DPS : 4637 , Act. DPS : 4676
    Healing Done : 679,540

    #1 Frost DK Parse
    Threat Stats ( TPS : 10,271 ( 10,367 )
    DPS : 4201 , Act. DPS : 4244
    Healing Done : 115,616


    It's not a worthwhile tradeoff to switch to a frost based IT spam in my personal opinion just based on the DPS and healing loss.

  10. #570
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    21
    Quote Originally Posted by danilche View Post
    I like to make my life easy.
    So, I just ran a couple of heroics with the Icy Touch build, and then VoA-25. Earlier I ran a few heroics with the standard Blood tank build. My impressions so far, based on limited data:

    1) The threat is massive. Just massive. I have to be really careful not to pull from the other tank.

    2) Tanking on the IT build is a lot more complicated than regular Blood tanking, and A LOT more complicated than bear tanking (the only tanking I have done previously was feral); though AoE tanking is actually easier because of CE and extra DnDs. Still, now I have a lot of extra things to keep track of. I can no longer just spam HS after the DS sequence -- now I have to watch whether I am going to consume a blood or a death rune. I have to chunk out my Death rune consumption in pairs (in regular Blood, they are paired automatically).

    So it's easier than regular Blood in that I have a much easier time holding threat (I am preparing for the time when I have to told threat against our guild's 15k DPS Fury warrior, hehe), but more complicated to play.

  11. #571
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    21
    Quote Originally Posted by Edgewalker View Post
    If you are blood with a majority of blood talents and gargoyle or crusader on your weapon, IT abuse will only grant you a tiny amount of additional threat at the cost of IT heals, DPS, and a tight rotation.
    Dps and rotation you are toally right about, as I have found out today -- managing the runes becomes a lot more complicated. What do you mean by IT heals though? Do you mean my idea about single-disease thing? I decided that it's not worth it, I often have an idle Unholy rune anyway, so even if i don't use Pestilence to refresh diseases, i can just refresh them with a semi-free Plague Strike. Yes, the rotation tightness suffers, it feels like it's all over the place, like a goblin contraption, but the TPS numbers are really cool. I prefer to think or this "rotation" as artistic rather than loose.

    BTW, just as a note -- I have no intention of taking Frost tanking, since in Cata it will just go away, and for me tanking is a secondary spec anyway.

    You will also be forced into talents that are otherwise worthless. You can be a MONSTER threat producer with a normal blood rotation and still benefit from all of your talents, normal weapon enchants, and great self heals.

    http://www.wowhead.com/talent#jcyRVh...ostZ0ghbxc:GdL is the highest pinnacle of Blood TPS/DPS/SelfHeals mixed with a (sort of) core of survival talents.
    You sacrifice Toughness and Rune tap to achieve the higher threat though. Isn't that kinda weakening both the self-heals and the survival aspect of the build? OTOH, if you outgear the content, you won't really care...

    The key to blood threat is maximization of global cooldowns and properly using your abilities and DR pairs at the right time. There are a lot of cooldowns to manage, and getting Hysteria/Dancing Rune Weapon paired with refreshed diseases is pretty key to getting the highest numbers.
    I hear you, but I am nowhere near the gear level to look for a placement on the DPS chart. I just want to be able to hold threat against guildies who far outgear me, while improving my survival abilities. As you can see from my earlier char link, my tanking gear is all over the place.

    It's tempting to look at Black Ice / Killing Machine / Icy Talons, but you are really only getting Killing Machine and Black Ice out of the deal because generally in a raid situation you will have the % haste elsewhere.
    yeah, I am skipping Icy Talons for now. On the other hand extra boost to IT damage, from Black ice, would be nice. Killing machine is too deep into Frost tree to be comfortably reachable, IMO, though it's a seriously sweet talent.

    It's not a worthwhile tradeoff to switch to a frost based IT spam in my personal opinion just based on the DPS and healing loss.
    As I mentioned, I have come to a conclusion that foregoing PS altogether is not worth it, so my IT build should incur no self-healing loss, if I understand you correctly. As to DPS... i will worry abut it when my gear is on par with our top DPS' gear. For now I just want to not lose threat.

    So I guess in the final analysis I am thinking of this IT-oriented build (with possible Black ice instead of Unholy AoE talents) as a way for an undergeared tank to hold his own against overgeared DPSes.
    Last edited by danilche; 06-29-2010 at 05:09 PM.

  12. #572
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    785
    I think I misunderstood your goal.
    If you are seriously undergeared and threat is the huge issue, DW Frost really is better for an undergeared player.

  13. #573
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    21
    Quote Originally Posted by Edgewalker View Post
    I think I misunderstood your goal.
    If you are seriously undergeared and threat is the huge issue, DW Frost really is better for an undergeared player.
    I am not terribly undergeared -- GS over 3k from wow-heroes -- but my guild's top Fury warrior is a total threat whore, and I have seen better-geared and more experienced tanks lose threat to him. In fact, on my pally healer I keep a finger on Salvation for him at all times.

    I am interested in putting out more threat than my gear would permit under more standard builds, without compromising survivability and even hopefully enhancing it, and I don't really care about incurring a DPS loss. The raid's top DPS dying because the tank lost aggro is a bigger DPS loss than any variations to my build.

    DW Frost may be a more tried-and-true solution for this problem, but since Frost tanking is going away in Cata, I am trying to just get into Blood tanking now, and stick with it.

    Basically my thinking is that the IT-spamming-oriented build can put our huge (for his gear) threat, while simultaneously picking up extra survival abilities, and perhaps getting some AoE ease-of-use for free -- at the cost of a rather messy and complicated single-target rotation and a somewhat larger attention requirement (gotta keep track of when to use IT and when to use HS, and to keep FU pairs intact). I realize that this "rotation" ugly and unrefined, but in my admittedly limited testing I also noticed that the threat I put out in huge.

    A single IT appears to put out roughly as much threat as a DS, and on the order of twice the threat of HS, in my case. During two full mid-rotation runesets, this means that instead of 2xDS + 8xHS, i will put out 2xDS + 4xHS + 4xIT, or something around one-third increase in total threat generated; shave off 5-10% for the droped threat talents, and you still get extra quarter or one-fifth single-target threat. I would need to do better quantification on this, but the napkin math seems to take this shape; and this is accompanied by increased survivability, and yet-unqauntified improvement to the AoE threat (extra DnD, plus Corpse Explosion).

    The key to easily conceptualize it is to think of it as a standard HS rotation, except that where every time you would use HS with a Death rune (and ONLY with a Death rune), you would use IT instead. This way we keep all the standard DSes and their healing, both diseases, and the FU pairs remain intact (when you spoke of lost healing, did were you thinking of using IT over raw Frost rune, instead of DS over FU pair?) The IT rotation would never use IT over Frost rune, except during the initial disease application, as that would leave a lonely Unholy rune good for nothing but wasteful Plague Strikes, and 2xIT+1xDS is better than 2xIT+2xPS.

    Anyway, in VoA today for example I noticed that with the IT rotation, i was very significantly out-threatening the second tank, a warrior who outgeared me. Now this is just VoA, but I am not ready to jump into ICC yet, not until I at least have all the basic tank gear in place (and not until I properly wrap my mind around this syncopated IT rotation). Until then it's gonna be pizzacake runs.

    I will stick the gear and rotation into Kahorie's and see if I can come up with a better quantification.
    Last edited by danilche; 06-29-2010 at 10:58 PM.

  14. #574
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    4,930
    Quote Originally Posted by danilche View Post
    Well, no, I expect the IT abuse to actually give me better single-target threat. Wouldn't it?
    Yes. IT will improve your threat generation, but in your talent trade you were only exchanging single target threat from HS to AoE possibility. If you're deadlocked on abusing IT, the loss of Subversion won't be particularly noticeable.

    Quote Originally Posted by danilche View Post
    In my admittedly brief testing so far, IT seems to hit for roughly similar amount of threat to DS, and about double the threat of HS.
    It can be worse than that. Sometimes when I want to make my co-tank laugh I will just spam IT on Death runes instead of HS. Each one has been hitting on the order of 35-40k threat per rune. I can pretty easily out-pace his threat and blow past him. DS is routinely getting about 8k threat from damage and up to 11k threat from healing if the full heal goes off, but I average some 55-65% overhealing on DS. So, at best DS is half the threat for double the rune cost. The healing of course is the bigger reason to use it, nomnom. HS will hit for some 10-11k threat without critting for one rune. If it hits a second target the total threat is still less than half that of IT.

    I've moved away from IT abuse quite a bit though because I just don't need it, and I would sooner contribute all the damage I can to speed up hard mode kills and take some pressure off my healers. If you want/need the threat it is a nice way to cheat the system, but in the long run I would be prepared to play it straight for the nicer total package of sufficient, less comical threat, and definitely superior damage.

    Quote Originally Posted by danilche View Post
    Bloody Vengeance plays off of Dark Conviction's crit. if Dark Conviction goes away, Bloody Vengeance's value gets cut in half. So if I have to take away one or the other, i would rather lose Bloody Vengeance, because losing Dark Conviction incurs the cascading BV loss due to diminished crit. My crit rate is already a measly 10%, taking away Dark Conviction will make it 5%. At 5% crit, the BV buff will keep dropping off on a regular basis i think, making its value even less.
    You can't have Bloody Vengeance without Dark Conviction. =) But to compare values, 5% crit is a little less than 5% damage buffing on anything that can crit (all but diseases). Bloody Vengeance is a flat 3% buff per pt per stack (and with all the crit talents, Dark Conviction, Subversion, Imp DS, it is very easy to maintain the stack) to HS, DS, RS, melee swings, and PS which would constitute more than 80% of your total damage/threat normally. That said, since you are dropping Subversion and spamming IT in place of HS, you won't miss Bloody Vengeance as much (though you will on RS and the melee swings which will still be significant threat contributers).

    Quote Originally Posted by danilche View Post
    Hmmm... Yah, I overlooked it completely. Still, extra +5% healing per point is significant, no?
    Nope. Half the itemization on Imp Blood Pres is wasted on a tank. You only get the bonus to incoming heals while in Blood presence.

    Quote Originally Posted by danilche View Post
    Remember, I plan to rely on IT for single-target threat -- this makes Black ice rather valuable. Or am I missing something? +10% Frost damage would mean +10% threat from IT, right?
    Yes. It will be a boost to IT damage directly, though depending on where you take the points from it is a loss from the other sources. IT may be a laughable single tool, but it won't be your whole arsenal, just the most noticeable element. It *might* work out for you in the math, but be mindful of what you're giving up for the buff.

    Quote Originally Posted by danilche View Post
    The really tricky part in relying on IT for threat would be dancing around the FU pairing. it's gonna be very easy to accidentally get have a lonely Unholy rune left over just sitting there...
    The smoothest way I've found to integrate the abuse is simply to use it as your go-to skill on Death runes. If you use it on fresh Frost runes you will have nothing to do with the Unholy runes but PS. Which is fine, but the aggregate value of DS and then 4 ITs makes rather more sense to me. Then if and when you decide it is time to graduate from the IT crutch, you can just sub that back to HS.
    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?!?

  15. #575
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    21
    Quote Originally Posted by Satorri View Post
    It can be worse than that. Sometimes when I want to make my co-tank laugh I will just spam IT on Death runes instead of HS.
    Indeed, that's what I have been doing -- IT on Death, instead of HS. I tried IT on availability yesterday, before I figured out the Death Rune rule, and it just makes rune tracking even more complicated, and generates less threat to boot.

    Quote Originally Posted by Satorri View Post
    The smoothest way I've found to integrate the abuse is simply to use it as your go-to skill on Death runes.
    Yeah, that's the way I eventually settled upon -- use IT instead of HS on Death runes. It's a lot easier to conceptualize that way, and doing it so works better than using raw Frost runes, because it doesn't leave dangling Unholy runes.

    I have been running randoms all morning, though, and I think i got the hang of single-target threat. Surprisingly, my problem turned out to be AoE threat, through I think this is a DK tanking problem, not the IT rotation problem (I don't use IT rotation in AoE anyway).

    I only tanked on bear before, and compared to DK AoE tank, Bear AoE is easy mode (in single-target target the difference in complexity is not as glaring). In Bear you just spam Maul and Swipe, with occasional Roar and Bash thrown in; some Lacerates and Mangles if you are feeling creative, but it's not necessary. Pretty much every move stands on its own. With DK I end up dropping DnD, then IT/PS/Pestilence, then DS to build up Death runes, then spamming BB and CE... a lot of preparation, it's a damn Rube Goldberg machine compared to feral tanking.

    Nope. Half the itemization on Imp Blood Pres is wasted on a tank. You only get the bonus to incoming heals while in Blood presence.
    DOH! My bad.

    If you use it on fresh Frost runes you will have nothing to do with the Unholy runes but PS. Which is fine, but the aggregate value of DS and then 4 ITs makes rather more sense to me. Then if and when you decide it is time to graduate from the IT crutch, you can just sub that back to HS.
    Yeah, I am thinking about it. The standard Blood rotation is certainly easier to keep track of -- at its core, it's just build up death runes, then spam HS until it goes dark or diseases need refreshing. IT-spamming rotation helps me hold threat against better-geared DPS (and survive better in places where better-geared DPS run), and frees up skill poitns for survival use, but the cognitive cost is non-trivial, though I think that's more of a function of DK tanking than IT specifically.

    Still, it might be worth it putting this on the front page of the thread as specifically a trick for lower-geared tanks to hold their own threat-wise against much better-geared DPS. The Unholy DPS thread for example does something similar with the Unholy/Blood build, presenting it as a good build for low gearing levels.

    P.S. A thought just struck me... it should be easy enough to simply make a macro which casts IT and then HS, and use it instead of HS in general. This way, each time you would use HS and a death rune is up, you would cast IT instead. Using this macro, you don't have to actually change your single-target rotation, you push the same buttons, just gotta be careful to not hit HS when unconverted Frost is available. Something like this should do the trick (take out Blood Fury if not an orc):

    #showtooltip Heart Strike
    /console Sound_EnableSFX 0
    /cast Blood Fury
    /cast !Rune Strike
    /cast Icy Touch
    /run UIErrorsFrame:Clear()
    /console Sound_EnableSFX 1
    /cast Heart Strike

    A macro like this, used in place of HS, should allow low-geared tanks hold threat against much better-geared DPS, using standard Blood rotation. It may occasionally consume a raw Frost rune if you aren't careful -- but if you hit DS each time an unconverted FU pair comes off CD, this will never happen.

    BTW, I wanted to thank you for the excellent and in-depth guide. It gave me the oomph to finally go dual-spec and add a tank build to my beloved Unholy DPS.

  16. #576
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    785
    The rotation isn't really any more difficult than the blood rotation when you are cheesing IT... it's just a single substitute of IT instead of HS when you have death rune pairs. It really doesn't change at all.
    The problem I have with telling people to abuse IT is that you CAN hold agro over 99% of geared DPS using a standard rotation. I think it may be better to suffer until you get a normal rotation and throw in ITs when you need a little burst, not work an entire strategy around an overpowered and flawed mechanic that won't exist in the future of DK tanking.

    Also if you enjoy Frost tanking, you should do it now! Blood tanking has changed a lot in the Alpha already, and likely will go through even more changes soon, so I wouldn't worry about going blood because you will have to be blood in the future.

  17. #577
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    21
    Quote Originally Posted by Edgewalker View Post
    The rotation isn't really any more difficult than the blood rotation when you are cheesing IT... it's just a single substitute of IT instead of HS when you have death rune pairs. It really doesn't change at all.
    The difference is that with HS, you can simply spam HS heedlessly -- you will never accidentally break up an FU pair, preventing DS from going off. With IT spam you can, so you have to cast IT only when no raw Frost runes are up. it's not much of a complication, but still something.

    For example if you have 2 Death runes up and an FU pair up, you can keep spamming HS without worry, but you can't cast IT because then you'd break up an FU pair.

    So in terms of cognitive investment, the "IT on Death Runes" system is better structured and less complicated than straight IT spam and lacks the latter's ricketiness and looseness, but it's still more complicated than the standard HS-centered Blood rotation.

    The problem I have with telling people to abuse IT is that you CAN hold agro over 99% of geared DPS using a standard rotation. I think it may be better to suffer until you get a normal rotation and throw in ITs when you need a little burst, not work an entire strategy around an overpowered and flawed mechanic that won't exist in the future of DK tanking.
    Hmmm, are they taking away the IT threat multiplier in Cata?

    Anyway, see above my macro idea -- it lets you use standard Blood rotation, with the macro in place of HS, and the only complication is that you can't cast it when a raw Frost rune is up; but if a raw Frost rune is up, it should be a part of FU pair, and you should be casting DS anyway.

    I wonder if it's possible to make a macro which will only fire IT if a Death rune it up and available for use... I will ask in the macro forum.

    Edit: Just looked over WoW API, and yes, there is a way to do it, using GetRuneType and GetRuneCount API functions, but it won't fir in a standard macro space. SHould be doable with some macro addons though.

    Edit #2: Nope, not gonna work -- it's easy enough to make a conditional script which detects if any unconverted Frost runes are up, but the CastSpell API function is protected, and cannot be called by user, so we won't be able to make the IcyTouch cast contingent upon the result of that conditional.

    Also if you enjoy Frost tanking, you should do it now! Blood tanking has changed a lot in the Alpha already, and likely will go through even more changes soon, so I wouldn't worry about going blood because you will have to be blood in the future.
    To me, tanking balances on the edge of "work". It's complicated, and it's a lot of responsibility. As someone said, "tanking is a job, healing is a responsibility, DPS is a game". I tank because I like the flexibility of dual-speccing, and because my guild needs it, but I don't really want to pick up another tanking style just for the pleasure of it. It sounds like you and Satorri actually enjoy tanking, but to me it's too much like work.
    Last edited by danilche; 06-30-2010 at 10:05 AM.

  18. #578
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    4,930
    I think the responsibility is what enhances the enjoyment for me. DPS can be fun but the two things that can mire it down for me in ultimate enjoyment is that you can be one of the least pivotal members of the group, and the element where you are working with little risk/reward for your job.

    To tank it is your job to get out and grab stuff. Protect your team while they do their part. It requires a very high level of attention and situational awareness to do the best you can, and it requires you to apply a sufficient effort to everything which requires constant reassessment. A dpser can get highway hypnosis in blind rotations, but a tank has to be constantly aware of the status of their responsibilities. I love that. It only becomes "work" when you don't enjoy the challenges you're facing.

    I love healing too, though that's yet another different beast.

    As for what spec you tank in? Stick to what you enjoy, but don't let what is coming months down the road make your decisions for you. If Frost seems interesting, give it a go. I don't even think it is fair to say that Blood is the same thing now as it will be in Cataclysm. There are enough changes previewed already to expect it to be a new thing as well, in large or small degree. Play what is appealing, deal with the change when it comes.

    And yes, most anything can feel like rocket science after Bear tanking, ha ha ha.
    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?!?

  19. #579
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    35
    Sorry folks, I may be out of th eloop, can someone give me a brief synopsis of why Frost tanking will be eliminated in Cata? I really like Frost, it appeals to me and I'll be pretty dissapointed if they take it out entirely.

  20. #580
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    21
    Quote Originally Posted by Gothmogg View Post
    Sorry folks, I may be out of th eloop, can someone give me a brief synopsis of why Frost tanking will be eliminated in Cata? I really like Frost, it appeals to me and I'll be pretty dissapointed if they take it out entirely.
    Blizzard has declared that they are doing away with the great DK experiment, the attempt to make each tree suitable for either DPS or tanking. In Cata Dks will be like warriors are now -- one tanking tree (blood) and two DPS trees (frost and unholy).

Closed Thread

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts