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Thread: DK tank aggro issues

  1. #1

    DK tank aggro issues

    I've made a DK alt just to farm some frost badges to buy saronite, and of course I made him a tank since those are most in demand. I had a LOT of fun levelling, DKs are just plain fun toons to play, but now that I'm in heroics I'm having aggro issues on both single targets and aoe.

    The way I'm playing is Frost, with glyph of howling blast. I'm HBing mob groups as we encounter them, then 2x blood boiling. I'm using just a single disease. Since this isn't a raid spec I went down Unholy for corpse explosion since this helps a bunch in heroics (otherwise there's no aoe RP dump) and it's also one of the most fun and satisfying spells in the game. However when HB and my Blood runes are on CD and there's no bodies to explode what should I be doing? Right now I'm just tab-targetting and using frost strike and obliterate and hoping for an HB proc.

    On single targets I'm going 2 disease with icy touch instead of HB, and prioritizing rune strike over frost strike. I know since I'm 2H (I don't have 1 handed weapons, I'm a relatively new 80 with only around a 4.2k GS and my only weapon is Garfrost's 2 Ton Hammer, I can't get any others to drop) Obliterate doesn't hit quite as hard.

    The most success I've had on single targets is icy touch spam, converting my blood runes and using them for icy touch. This leaves me with extra unholy rules I can't use for anything besides plague strike, but it seems to generate much more solid threat. When I'm doing Oblit/HB I seem to get bosses pulled off me a lot more.

    On multiple targets, I'm also considering using my death runes for icy touches instead of obliterates. Right now it seems like Icy Touch is a Taunt++. It totally screws up my rune usage, again leaving unholy runes sitting there (since I use frost strike over plague strike), but I don't care as long as I've got aggro.

    Remember this toon is for 5 mans, I'll have a separate spec if I ever get him geared enough to raid. Would it be worth switching to Blood? It seems like Blood is a tab-target spec to me.
    Last edited by kingcomrade; 04-14-2010 at 04:44 AM.

  2. #2
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    Do you have the glyph of obliterate or glyph of disease? If so you should try a 2 disease rotation, your obliterates will hit harder and not consume diseases making it more effective for single target tanking but, icytouch is probably more effective if rime doesn't proc. (Even your Blood Boils will hit harder!) The more obliterates the higher chance for rime to proc. Also starting with Death and Decay is an option if your starting aggro is low.
    ps. If the dps is high enough in the group you're in the 2 disease rotation isn't worth the time and you can ignore it.

    My poorly typed 10 cents hope it helps (i probably rushed it a bit)

  3. #3
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    This thread belongs here: http://www.tankspot.com/forumdisplay...-I-need-advice

    Sounds to me like you're doing alright, and know what you're dealing with.

    Blood will make you work harder for multi-target threat, but I don't think it has too big an upside on single target threat. Do you have an armory link so we can see the whole picture?
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    Are you using Death and Decay? Even with Howling Blast, I would highly suggest dropping Death and Decay down before doing anything else. Howling Blast and Blood Boil are snap threat. Your threat will jump up, but since no subsequent damage occurs (except a pittance from Frost Fever) you won't be generating any additional threat, while the DPS will be. Death and Decay is a sustained threat that will carry you over until you can Howling Blast and Blood boil again. Meanwhile, your Runic Power should be used on Rune Strike and Frost Strike, with the Priority being to the first of the two. Assuming you've done your Death and Decay, a Howling Blast, a Blood Boil, another Howling Blast and maybe another Death and Decay (depends on if you have it talented or not) you can start beating on targets with Obliterate to try and proc Freezing Fog, a talented ability which will give you free Howling Blasts for more threat.

  5. #5
    Sorry for posting in the wrong section. There's a DPS section and a Healing section but I didn't see one called Tanking.
    Yeah, I have DnD talented. I don't use a second one, usually. If I get an unexpected pat I empower rune weapon and use it, though.
    I think my problem is just that I'm 4k GS and I often get grouped with 5k hunters and rogues. The rogues have been good about tricks but the hunters don't misdirect very much, and I've heard from a hunter who raids with my main that Hunters have some sort of huge opener that can grab aggro off tanks really easily.
    Actually, now that I think about it, it's moonkin with their lightning storm that pulls aggro off me the most in aoe situations.
    On trash I don't use rune strike simply because it's slow, I want to spread around the aggro as much as I can.

  6. #6
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    So YMMV with this advice, since it's admittedly been a fair while since I've been undergeared as a tank so it's possible that I may be riding on gs (but I've been playing roughly the same way since pre-uld so I don't think that's the case).

    I'm a reasonably similar situation 2h frost tank (yeah, I'm an oddball, but it gives me flexibility to pick up utility talents and I'm rolling in single target threat already, so the boost from dw seems unnecessary), and I don't use the HB or DnD glyph.

    Group pulls I either start with IT>PS>Pest>HB>BB or DnD>IT>PS>Pest mostly dependent on whether I can I can get the first 2-3 gcd's off without a dps going nuts on a random mob (e.g. if I'm aggressively pulling and have 15-20y lead on my dps I'll go with the former, for mobs that run at our group, like HoR, or are already close I use the latter). The DnD-less rotation seems like it's a little light on snap threat, but you frequently get a KM proc in those first few GCD that lets HB lock in the mobs, and the double diseases keep the threat building afterwards. Once things are going I settle into Pest>BB>HB>Ob and swapping targets every rotation to Pest off a mob with fresh diseases.

    Single target fights I run a pretty standard double disease oblit rotation without epidemic, since 3.3.3 it's providing so much threat it's almost broken. You may be doing it already, but it's such a fundamental issue I'll risk saying the obvious, hit RS as often as possible. The vast majority of dk single target threat issues are caused by not mindlessly hammering your RS key often enough. I say this because I used to be a tank that thought I could have the key off to the side and click it when it lit up, moving it to a bind on my mouse that I spammed throughout the fight added a good 1k tps (about 20-25% threat boost at the time back in naxx/uld) to my rotation.

    The main thoughts I have on your situation overall are:
    a) DnD is low return for rune investment for frost, compared to other abilities (especially without t10 2 b) Having both diseases running adds substantial threat over the course of a pull
    c1) A rotation that never obliterates is at a significant disadvantage, Rime procs matter more than you expect.
    c2) Glyph of oblit which is probably the best single target threat rune available to you
    d) Even without the glyph of disease you can run a similar no-IT/PS rotation on aoe packs if you tab target, which both frees up runes, and spreads your RS/Oblit threat around
    e) You're very deep into unholy to have corpse explosion which makes me think you're missing big threat talents from blood like Bladed Armor and 2h Weapon Spec (boost to RS and Ob, your best 2 threat strikes)
    f) (this is very ymmv) 2h Frost frees up a lot of talent points, and you may want to consider Icy Talons and IIT, it's a decent threat boost both to white hits and to the frequency of KM procs and RS opportunities.

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    The most success I've had on single targets is icy touch spam, converting my blood runes and using them for icy touch. This leaves me with extra unholy rules I can't use for anything besides plague strike, but it seems to generate much more solid threat. When I'm doing Oblit/HB I seem to get bosses pulled off me a lot more.
    Honestly, I use Dark Command a LOT as it has a real quick cooldown for a taunt.

    My "oh shit" pull preferences are.....

    1) Dark Command - it works and uses no runes.... happiness
    2) Deathgrip - it works better on casters and again, uses no runes
    3a) Icy Touch - doesn't pull THAT hard, but works. usually have to pop more than 1
    3b) Blood Boil plus Diseases.... if more than one mob to grab.
    4) Empower Rune Weapon + DnD -- becomes number one option if more than 2 mobs are running
    Kind of option of last resort, because after this.... I'm wiped on runes
    No one tanks in a void.........

  8. #8
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    macro RS to your melee strikes first off, i.e. blood strike, PS, OB,FS. no need to spam it separately when its been macroed. good opening rotation for aoe situations: DND, glyphed HB, blood tap, PS, pestilence, while waiting for runes to refresh frost strike once or twice, by then runes will be coming off CD. For single target: IT, PS, OB, BS, BS, FS and rinse and repeat. make sure to use OB as much as possible while keeping up BOTH diseases.other than that and a spec check. dps that far out gears you will easily pull off you no matter what you do. its just a fact of life
    Last edited by uglie; 04-15-2010 at 12:20 PM.

  9. #9
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    If you're only using the spec for heroic runs and you only single-disease, how about a glyph of icy touch? That should give you a fairly decent increase of aoe tps. DnD is a quite useful tool for AoE and I mention this because you didn't and I thus interpret it as you don't use it.
    But as uglie wrote, any dps who far outgears you will pull the targets off of you no matter what you try to do.

  10. #10
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    Glyph of Icy Touch is lukewarm as a tank, unless you're using an Unholy build with Wandering Plague aiming to heap on the AoE threat. In that case you can squeeze a fair amount of value out of it, but for Frost it is a little light.

    If you're trying to crank out AoE threat, it may outperform some of the other options, but if you're having that much trouble I don't think it will do the job alone (and glyphing DnD even only using it once per pull will probably get you more mileage).

    Still would be nice to see an Armory to get a glimpse of the whole picture, spec, gear, gems, enchants, etc.
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  11. #11
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    I never did see your Armory, but here is mine, use a build like this. http://www.wowarmory.com/character-t...=Edge+of+Chaos

    I have several key macros :
    I have Deathchill macro'd to my HB and IT
    #showtooltip Howling Blast
    /cast DeathChill
    /cast Howling Blast

    I also have Unbreakable armor macro'd to several attacks
    #showtooltip Blood strike
    /cast Unbreakable armor
    /cast Blood Strike

    Do you have any racials? I am an Orc so I have Blood Fury macro'd as well.
    I am sure you have Runestrike macro'd to everything else right?
    I also have Blood Tap macro'd to my Blood Boil and Pestilence

    #showtooltip Blood Boil
    /cast Blood Tap
    /cast Blood Boil (or Pestilence)(2 different macro)

    Drop Corpse explosion it is fun but not much good for anything else.

    Open up like this.. move in mark the first target with a skull, so the dumb dps at least start on one target if they are single targeting.
    Then Cast Death & Decay
    wait a second for them to group up, I usually strafe around to the back of the mobs to force them into a tighter group, casters like to hang back so this generally brings them into melee range.
    Cast Howling Blast (with Deathchill = insta crit and lots of threat)
    Cast Blood Boil ( Without Blood tap macro you are out of runes, but if you macro it, now you have a Blood rune again)
    Cast Blood Boil again
    Now all your runes are spent along with Blade barrier being engaged. More than likely you will have some rune power, so hit Froststrike on the nearest target or skull if you marked it.
    I don't generally worry much about Runestrike and having rune power for it, it pretty much takes care of itself. Frost strike a few more times and look for Obliterate to come available. Use it and tab or change targets. I use healthbars (so should you if you don't) to see
    what target is loosing the most health. I will switch to that target and start hitting it. About now you should have HB available and BB, use them.
    Now if you did what I told you and moved to the back of the group of mobs, you should have a good view of your dps group, and be in a position to taunt any targets that might start to run towards dps. With the changes to Icy touch, all you should need to do is change targets to the lowest health hit him with a strike and Icy touch and move on.
    Pest

  12. #12
    I'm Draenei. I use cooldowns mostly pre-emptively and I use them one at a time in a chain if I need it. See, my main is a priest, and a healer. I have a pretty good grasp on which pulls in heroics are going to be the most trouble. The abom room before the first boss of DTK, for example, or obviously the gauntlet in PoS.

    Right now my glyphs are oblit, frost strike, and howling blast. The reason for frost strike is pretty simple. Most mob pulls come in 3s. That means DnD, HB, BB, then I tab target (actually I have nameplates turned on, I find it's faster and more precise for me) each one and hand out a frost strike, while without the glyph I could only hit 2 before I had both a rune and a RP empty tank.

    I don't find myself using corpse explosion nearly as much in WotlK dungeons as I did when tanking BC instances just do to their design and the fact that most mobs die around the same time to aoe, but I just can't make myself get rid of it. There are still certain situations where it's useful, like the tunnel in PoS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pestiilence View Post
    Drop Corpse explosion it is fun but not much good for anything else.
    CE is fun, it only lost its usefulness in Ulduar (almost all Mechanical and Elemental) and ToC (no trash). In 5-mans, ICC, and anything t7 if you happened to run it, it is great fun and a strong way to spend your RP if you have multiple opponents.

    That said, it is hardest to work in for Frost. In order for it to be worth more damage than FS it needs to hit more targets than DC for Blood/Unholy, but if you're dealing with threat needs it's actually very convenient, I would only question how many points you have to spend in Unholy to get to it (3 potentially waffly, unless you're taking Morbidity for pacing in 5-mans). I would think it would be easier for 2-handed Frost, but a little awkward for Dual Wield Frost since there are so many delicious talents to be taking.
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    kingcomrade

    Congrats on deciding to be a tank, its a lot of fun in the long run.

    1st check out this gear guide for non-raiders, it should net a gearscore somewhere in the low 5000's which is more than enough for farming badges.

    In heroic's I've always used DnD, Howling Blast(Glyphed), blood boil.
    You can see that it uses every rune you have but will give you a huge starter on threat.

    A few tips:
    - Make sure to spend your killing machine proc's on Howling Blast for several targets, and Frost Strike for single targets.

    - Death Chill + Howling Blast is great for any unexpected mobs or your team accidently pulling patrollers.

    - Blood Boil and Howling Blast are your main prioritie after you spend your 1st set of runes on the beginning pull.

    - Using a Two disease rotation as frost is a good threat boost but its usually not worth it when it take an extra GCD to maintain. Use it on boss' and tough trash packs.

    And if dps overgear you than ask for a misdirect once in a while, it will make tanking much easier for you and dps'ing much easier for them when not having to worry about aggro.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthem View Post
    For running heroics, I find that UH is a great spec to go with. The diseases going around are great aoe threat, especially combined with the Improved D&D from the 2 piece t10 that you can get from VoA.
    UH is simply evil for it's AoE. I tested a build with Impurity, Black Ice maxxed out, Glyph of Icy Touch, and with Ebon Plgue..... just crazy. Part of my little test, I went running through ICC at the area near Crusader's Pinnacle.... thwapped IT and PS on one mob.... ran to the next... hit pestilence... run to the next... pestilence again.... and just ended up with a train of bodies all the way up to the tourney grounds.
    I only hit deathstrike on rare occasion (I think 2 or 3x) just to bump my health up. In heroics.... AoE agg was NEVER an issue, just with the diseases up and running. The problem I ran into was my healers had trouble keeping up sometimes, and if they did.... it went south in a hurry. Bone Shield is nice while it lasts. I guess you could pop bone shield and then ibf in a rotation of sorts.... but I REALLY try to hold onto ibf for the times when I REALLY need the damage mitigation.

    UH can be fun though.
    No one tanks in a void.........

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    Some people seemed to have lost sight of the power of Unholy next to its conceptual unpopularity in ICC thanks to the value that Avoidance has on Bone Shield uptime.

    Unholy is a very powerful tanking when well-managed.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satorri View Post
    Some people seemed to have lost sight of the power of Unholy next to its conceptual unpopularity in ICC thanks to the value that Avoidance has on Bone Shield uptime.

    Unholy is a very powerful tanking when well-managed.
    Unholy can be a real monster for threat generation. For me, the problems with the build are:

    1) Scourge Strike - Uses a FU pair which is not going to be as readily available as in a Blood Spec with Death Rune Mastery. This is by far one of the STRONGEST talents available as it can convert 4 runes to death runes. Additionally, that FU pair is needed for Death Strike, which I really feel is necessary to use if you're tanking. For an Unholy build, Death Strike represents a 15% max health heal (5% for each disease.... Frost Fever, Blood Plague, Ebon Plague). That's a nice heal to supplement whatever the healer is throwing at you and takes some of the pressure on them off. Scourge Strike is so seductive though cause it can hit like a Mack truck. But for tanking, it's utility, to me, is questionable.

    2) Bone Shield - Even with the Glyph, the down time on this is horrible. It's very helpful and can absorb a TON of damage in some situations (20% off heavy hits is great.... and due to how it procs, it's great when you have a pack of mobs swarming you.... it'll give damage relief from the mauling). But, realistically, when you're being pounded on, you're only going to see it up for 14-16 seconds. It's almost like a cooldown in that sense though. For the remaining 45 sec that you'll be waiting for it to go "live" again, you're back to "basic" DK. And again, it costs one unholy rune.... which is sorely needed for Death Strike, Scourge Strike, or if you need to lay down diseases again for whatever reason.

    3) Some "Meh" Talents - Some talents like Reaping just don't have a fantastic payoff for the investment. 3 points to convert a single rune into a death rune? It could be the difference between having Bone Shield up or having that one extra needed rune for a Death Strike, but at the same time, when this procs..... that rune is not immediately available! Add to that Necrosis, which for a tank, is going to suck to some degree. I know, you're thinking, "OMG! That's such a great talent.... and Rune Strike is an auto-attack!!! You're crazy!!!". Nope nope and nope. Rune Strike does not benefit from Necrosis. Check out the comments on WoW forums, WoWHead, and EJ. Post Patch 3.3, it no longer works off Rune Strike. Another is Desecration which subjects mobs in a circular area around the DK to a slowing effect. Here's the issue: the mobs that are THAT close to you are generally NOT the ones you have to worry about moving away from you as unholy. Your threat at that range is usually insane. This talent is FAR INFERIOR compared to Chillblains, which will affect a mob so long as they have been hit by frost fever, a relatively EASY thing to do. When it had the damage bonus attached, it was sincerely worthwhile. Since that was split off into Desolation, no longer.

    A couple things about the Unholy tank build.....
    You should consider keeping up a rotation of Desolation and Reaping if you want to have any death runes available. At the very least, you need to be working in Desolation into your "filler" strikes to keep the damage and threat up. Also, if you do not have Glyph of Disease as an Unholy Tank..... slap yourself now. Due to the cost to refresh diseases.... you can't afford to NOT have this. We're talking the difference between one frost, one unholy, and one blood rune JUST TO RE-ESTABLISH DISEASES..... versus the one blood rune with the glyph.

    Really though, Unholy is all about the diseases. Get them up, get them circulating, and keep them up. Work in some Death Strike / Scourge Strike, keep Bone Shield up as much as you can, and keep up the diseases.
    No one tanks in a void.........

  18. #18
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    Leuc, this is a little uncharacteristically short-sighted of you.

    1.) DS is only slightly more appealing to Unholy than it is to Frost (which does not use DS). DS is not appealing in general because it offers very poor threat, particularly compared to ScS which is your go-to FU spam. "Uses a FU pair which is not going to be as readily available as in a Blood Spec with Death Rune Mastery" DRM does not make FU pairs noticeably more accessible, it makes FU pairs usable for Blood rune abilities. This has no bearing on Unholy. ScS is a threat tool. Imp DS gives Blood the ability to use DS as a threat tool, but that is unique to Blood.

    2.) Bone Shield *is* a CD. It is the Unholy analogy of Vamp Blood and Unbreakable Armor. Where they are on a fixed uptime, however, Bone Shield can be stretched. Even with Chill of the Thrown in ICC you can still expect it to be up 15-20 sec minimum. In some situations, particularly when not group tanking (read: bosses and single target trash) it is possible to have pretty staggering uptime. Outside of ICC it is not unreasonable to see it last 30-40 sec with good avoidance, sometimes it will last the full CD. It is a variable though. The point worth critiquing here is that Unholy has no other talented damage reduction values, and it does not rely on self-heals as Blood does (though it is worth noting that the only *actual* physical damage reduction Blood gets is from WotN). It makes for some periods of higher damage, but pre-ICC my blind tests with healers had them unable to distinguish Blood from Unholy based on damage taken.

    3.) You pick on the "meh" talents. That's like criticizing Blood for having Vendetta, Bloodworms, Butchery, etc. None of the talents you mentioned are actually necessarily required in a build, but of the ones you did: Reaping is the DRM analogue. Its purpose is not to give you instant death runes like Blood Tap, it is to give you a third FU pair or additional runes with which to use Bone Shield (like DRM for Blood). Necrosis does not need to affect RS to still be a decent value, melee auto-swings still represent a healthy proportion of your threat, though it is true it was sad to lose the benefit of Necrosis on RS. That is why they fixed it in 3.3.3. If you check the patch notes under Bug Fixes you will find: "Rune Strike: This ability can now proc Necrosis and Blood-Caked Blade."

    Finally, Desecration is a convenience, but since you wanted to liken it to Chillblains, let's compare. Chillblains affects anything with FF, which has 2 ways to apply, Pestilence and glyphed HB. Without Icy Reach HB has a 10 yrd splash (Icy Reach bumps it to 15/20 yrds). Pestilence without glyph will reach 10 yrds, 15 yrds with. Desecration has a 10 yrd footprint. So, all the same on reach. The difference is that where Chillblains requires 3 pts (and you to be spec'd Frost, have the free points and want the slow) and leaves a lingering slow, while Desecration requires 2 pts (and be Unholy, have the points, want the slow, blah blah) and creates multiple ground patches for slowing enemies, one for each use of PS and ScS which you use constantly. It serves its purpose fine, if you want it.

    As for the value of Glyphed Disease for Unholy? It is fine but no more so than for anyone else, about as good as for Blood and slightly more than for Frost. See my more developed response here: http://www.tankspot.com/showthread.p...867#post337867

    There are plenty of places to poke holes in Unholy's weaknesses, but I don't think you really hit them here, and you tried to create some that I don't think really exist.
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  19. #19
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    Satorri.....

    Maybe I'm off my rocker a little more today than most days.

    1) Ok. You win on the Scourge Strike issue.... mostly. Still, I argue that having the FU pairs as death runes loosens up things, as the lead off is almost ALWAYS DND - IT - PS. That sets them off in a stagger. What if you pop IT during a fight an additional time because you needed to snap at something that jumps in as an add? You've upset that rotation further and now you'll be waiting even longer for a FU pair to be available.

    No rotation survives intact through a whole fight. Let's be honest. Death runes are our little trump card that allow up to game the system a bit. The flexibility of having 4 "omni" runes versus having any set in stone.... opens up options for the DK.

    Still.... I'll give you the point. +1 Satorri

    2) I'll agree with the uptime outside of ICC. It just varies with the amount of trash. Just don't forget, if you ever have a mob dance around behind you.... dodge/parry go right out the window. Bone Shield's life expectancy in those situations drops drastically.

    And yes..... that is one of the glaring soft spots for unholy. It's Bone Shield or nothing. You MIGHT be able to stretch for Rune Tap (why?) but by your point in #1, you lose out on death strike as a major tool. Pick and choose. And when your ONLY tool IS a cooldown..... oof. Even warriors and pally have shields to soften the blow some. And bears got their new pretty toy.

    I'd agree with the pre-ICC blind healer tests..... BUT, what did the tanks experience? The healer might not feel the difference, but I guarantee the tank noticed a difference. I did. And it's part of what brought me back to blood spec. My healers were pretty much "OMG.... wtf did you do???" across the board. Especially with the changes to WotN.

    So.... point two.... I refuse to concede on. Draw?

    3) Hey! Why you gotta go picking on Vendetta?! lol! Yeah. That is about the biggest waste I've seen. Bloodworms .... you know... they're weird. Great for dps... but it shocks the tank now and then when a mob specifically targets a bloodworm! Those little guys only do how much damage????
    It has me wondering how much agg they pull! Anyone with them can tell you.... heck... I'm willing to take video to prove it. As for their utility.... maybe taking that one hit off you, but for a tank, meh. Butchery is pretty garbage. I'll accept that.

    Reaping IS the DRM analogue.... but the return on investment is meh. Rotating that with Desolation to me makes sense, as you're getting a two-for-one in that case..... but on it's own.... it's weak.

    TOTALLY missed the 3.3.3 notes on Necrosis working with RS again. O_O
    Will check that out.

    As for Desecration.... I'll give you that. I just honestly think Chillblains has better value since you're going to pop frost fever and try to drop pestilence as a tank. You'd be crazy not to. Even if you have the base IT, frost fever on it's own still drops attack speed of a mob by 14%.

    My thoughts on Glyph of Disease is it's a must have for any build, as for any tree all of our abilities benefit from diseases being on target. To be able to refresh diseases on "all" targets for the cost of one rune, you can't beat that value.

    Yeah. This wasn't my best work, was it? lol

    Still, I think we can agree, of the three trees, right now, unholy is the weakest for survival.

    On a final note: how awesome would it be if Blizzard moved Bone Shield, as is, into the new Blood Spec "tank tree"? I doubt it'll happen that way, but wow!
    No one tanks in a void.........

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    With the disclaimer that I only dps on my DK, I've noticed that absorption seem to prolong bone shield uptime. Is this true or a trick of the eye? I know as dps there's a lot of times when I'll take untargetted damage and bone shield will still be intact.

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