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Thread: Unholy not a viable raid spec?

  1. #1
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    Unholy not a viable raid spec?

    So, recently I hear from a friend who's been raid MT/OT-ing since DKs came out that Unholy isn't viable for raiding/ICC MTing due to a lack of mitigation and Chill of the Throne. She runs Frost, 2h. True/not true?

    I'd like to spec into the tree that takes more effort to play well; I like a challenge. From the research I've been doing here and on EJ over the past few days, it seems Unholy is that tree. However, I'm starting up a guild with the gf and would like to RL/MT it. (Stop me now if RL and MT is a really bad idea. My current main is an 80 Resto-Shaman semi-Ulduar geared.)

    If Unholy can't do what I would need it to, and I'd be better off speccing Frost, I want to know before I hit 80 so I can work for the appropriate gear once I start hitting heroics.

  2. #2
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    1) RL & MT are not a good idea unless you're a really skilled player and leader. It's just so much to handle at time. If you want to, spread the task a bit with your GF, let her do DPS assignments, loot, ... and stick to organise tanks (and possibly their healers as you should know a bit about healing)
    2) Chill of the Throne affects all tanks equally. I'm more than interested to hear how Unholy would suffer more from it than other DK specs? In fact as Frost has the only avoidance talent I can think of atm, they get hit harder as they take relatively more dmg than if they had e.g. armor
    3) It seems to me that person is totally min/maxing damage reduction without seeing the other things. For starters 2H Frost isn't optimal anymore for quite some time now, as the threat gain from DW is enormous while parry gibbing in decent gear is negligable (and can be made up with using a tanking weapon OH). Not to mention that it holds no real benefit in damage reduction over the other specs, except for the fact that Frost Fever can be applied on packs of mobs more easily.
    4) Unless you're already farming Putricide, playing the style you play the best and enjoy the most is far more beneficial than that 1% min/max EJ spends 50 pages on.


    PS: Not saying EJ is bad, but they tend to assume the person playing the char is perfect at following the min/max rotations.
    Last edited by Airowird; 01-17-2010 at 05:33 PM.
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  3. #3
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    Unholy tank is weaker than Blood or Frost, in ICC. I wouldn't use it. Outside ICC, I think it's fine.
    Bone Shield scales positively with avoidance, so you get less uptime with it in ICC.
    The DK tank site: pwnwear.com.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by GravityDK View Post
    Unholy tank is weaker than Blood or Frost, in ICC. I wouldn't use it. Outside ICC, I think it's fine.
    Bone Shield scales positively with avoidance, so you get less uptime with it in ICC.
    yet, there are numerous situations where the internal cooldown on the charges will soak the avoidance loss, so the problem isn't half as big as it seems.

    In the end? All three trees work very well, thank you. It's hard to quantificate them right now.

  5. #5
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    Thanks so much for the quick responses! I'll stick with Unholy then, and keep a set of DW weapons for a Frost off-spec. I do enjoy playing both!

    Hmm. I'll talk to her about exactly how we're splitting up responsibilities. I wasn't planning to take everything on myself. That would be stupid and more-so, insulting to her intelligence. I'll definitely mention everything you've said though, thank you.

  6. #6
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    Unholy does the worst single target threat and lacks the burst aoe threat of frost, or really the burst threat of blood (which is all that is important in the threat game).

    Unholy has the worst cooldown for ICC, as it scales with avoidance, you will likely not reach the 20/60 uptime of Unbreakable or the 15/60 uptime and overall utility of Vampiric Blood. In addition Blood has a higher stamina scale + self heals + easily usable raid heals and frost also has a 6 second add to IBF, +3% miss, +-2% damage taken.

    Unholy DK DPS are the most prevalent, so you very likely lose the utility of either Icy Talons or 10% AP + Hysteria, as you would be doubling with another DK.

    It's not really a question of %s of viability... Unholy tanks are far and away the worse tanks in every spectrum.
    Also 2H frost DKs aren't really all that uncommon. You have more diversity with talents and the TPS difference is minimal at worst.

  7. #7
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    In my view, it really depends on your raid make up. If you are the only DK in raid, Unholy tank is a good choice as you will bring a valuable buff your range dps.

    However your rogue and hunter will have to be on the ball to tot/md as much as possible. The 10% AP can be provided by a hunter and 20% haste can be provided by an E. Shammy.

    If there is already an Unholy dps dk in raid, there really aren't much reason to go unholy unless it is a magic heavy boss fight. Both Blood and Frost is good in ICC and you have less TPS problem to worry of.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by GravityDK View Post
    Unholy tank is weaker than Blood or Frost, in ICC. I wouldn't use it. Outside ICC, I think it's fine.
    Bone Shield scales positively with avoidance, so you get less uptime with it in ICC.
    Gravity is correct. Unholy is much weaker than frost or blood both in it's lack of passive stam (blood) or mitigation/avoidance (frost) to physical damage, which makes up the vast majority of tank damage in ICC. Add to that situation the fact your secondary CD is melted in second flat and you have yourself a very sub-par spec indeed. Now, on the threat side of things, you're just fine (assuming you're togc geared). In my own unholy experience (see below), my single target threat was only 5% or so below blood and well within acceptable levels for my dps with regular tricks that i would get anyhow.

    I took unholy through icc 10 and 25 (the first wing only, granted) and was astounded at the number of mobs and spells that ate my BS charges much faster than i anticipated (i recall something like a 3 second minimum to eat a charge, but the reality was more like 5-8 seconds before they were all gone).

    The avoidance cut from chill of the throne only amplifies the issue of (possibly bugged) spells and attacks eating bs charges faster than they should. Plain and simple, if you're doing WELL as an unholy tank, you would be doing a heck of a lot better as frost or blood. With that being said, if your raid really needs ebon plague from you then that raid-buff may well be worth gimping your personal effectiveness for since the content really isn't hard on tanks at present, and things like putricide, festergut, and probably queen are more significantly dps checks.

  9. #9
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    Do you think adding an internal cooldown to bone shield, to prevent rapidfire loss of charges, would help?

    Say 5 seconds.. a charge is removed and another cannot be removed for the next 5 seconds. That guarantees it lasts.. what.. 20 seconds? (it's 4 charges with the glyph right?)

    Maybe a worthy suggestion to help bring Unholy back in line with Frost/Blood.

  10. #10
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    There is an internal cooldown to bone shield, but it's not that high as far as I know.

  11. #11
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    I think you need to recognise the distinction between viable and optimal.

    I've had my DK alt as unholy for ages. I cleared ICC10 with it this week and there was no point where I felt it was totally un-viable. However most of the fights stress physical damage, and where Unholy has the edge imo is not bone shield but in magic heavy fights (thanks to magic suppression and AMZ). For the bosses we are killing now, from a pure survival (and ST threat) point of view, I would tend to agree that unholy isn't optimal. The thing that might swing that is Ebon Plague. It's a strong asset to the group, not only buffing casters but also other DKs, very strong in multi-target fights.

    I also raid lead and MT at the same time. It makes both jobs a lot harder. If you haven't led raids before, I would advise sticking to one job or the other to begin. I would also recommend that you delegate as much work as you can as a matter of course.

    Since we are talking in the 'future speculative' (not having reached level 80 is going to somewhat limit your ability to raid) then I would suggest keeping an open mind and trying each of the 3 trees to find what suits you best. Read some of Satorri's walls of text, starting here: http://www.tankspot.com/forums/f14/5...t-tanking.html

  12. #12
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    There was once speculation it had an internal cooldown of 2.5s, but, like Proleteria I have seen it eaten up (in recent tests) much more quickly than that.

    I also found it's threat to be around 5% less, both in simulations and in real situations in-game.

    Swelt's point is key: if you're the only Unholy DK in the raid, that in itself is an advantage because of the RDPS your debuff gives to caster dps. You could argue that it's worth taking an unholy DK just for the debuff, if there's no Unholy DPS DK in the team.

    I really like unholy, I wish it had more oomph.
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  13. #13
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    I am a main tank/raid leader. I find that it works out alright, but I'm also really big on delegating tasks. I explain the fights and do a lot of the callouts, organize changes to strategies and get the final calls on things. However, I always assign a healer to do the healing assignments, I usually give Master Looter to someone else who is very familiar with the looting system, and if there are multiple callouts or I know I'll be too distracted through tanking, sometimes I'll delegate a callout to someone I know well also.

    For example, on Rotface, my raid members suck at noticing debuffs or slime sprays on their own, so we call them out on Vent. Doing the callouts for both slime spray and the players with the debuffs ends up being too much for me to keep track of while maintaining my own performance, so I give the debuff callouts to one raid member, while I do the callouts for the slime sprays.

    Nothing wrong with being both a raid leader and a main tank simultaneously. It just helps a lot to delegate responsibilities, while maintaining your final authority.

  14. #14
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    Agree with Reev, main-tank raid leading without at least one other shot-caller in the raid is probably a bad idea. Generally you're going to be paying a good deal more attention to what you're going to be doing yourself than say... a ret paladin, mage, lock, hunter, rogue, or some other class that is running a relatively static and simple rotation.

    I raid lead while tanking, but more often than not I let one of my officers call time-critical things during encounters that i might miss.

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