After spending most of WotLK in a DPS role (outside of some Uld10 pala tanking), I decided to try out a Death Knight since tanking with my face rather than a shield seemed pretty bad-ass.
DW frost tanking immediately grabbed my attention, as it seemed fun and original. However, convenient it doesn't seem to be at all times. So here we go.
I'll try and keep this as short as I can. However, I do have a number of questions.
It seems this spell is almost worthy of being called a taunt. Since I am a fairly fresh lvl 80 on this toon, I am OT'ing most of the time. Here I run into issues, especially with a warrior MT. One Icy Touch (or Plage Strike>Icy Touch) seems to negate their whole opening threat building rotation. Leaving me pretty much standing doing nothing at the start and after each taunt sequence if the fight requires it. Seems like the Icy Touch buff has made it a bit too potent, no?
Whereas warrior tanks struggle to keep threat off me, in Heroics DPS warriors seem to have no problem taking it. With the speed at which you can run them these days, not having the reduced D&D cooldown gets me into a taunt juggling rotation more than anything else. Can I do anything about this without changing my spec? I follow the standard rotation when possible, but when D&D is on CD I am usually left with spamming Blood Boils/Howling Blast.
As you can see on my armory, I am currently using the ToC10 slow axe as MH, and the HoR HC tanking axe OH. Reason for the OH axe (apart from the sword from PoS not dropping) is the stam gain over Nighttime, and the defensive stats, as well as the expertise racial. After reading countless guides saying slow DPS weapons are favored, but faster tanking weapons in the OH are acceptable, whereas others walk the path of claiming slow weapons or gtfo, I would like to be clear on this once and for all.
You can apply Frost Fever with Chains of Ice, or Howling Blast, since you have that glyphed. That will avoid the massive threat spike built into Icy Touch.
As an Orc, just get a pair of slow axes and call it a day. Slow/slow is the way to go on fights that matter, and for fights that don't the difference is not enough to worry about.
Slow/fast is almost certainly bad advice today. Remember that we didn't always have Threat of Thassarian, or a big boost to offhand damage from the buff to Nerves of Cold Steel. It would be one thing if we were comparing a slow 232 weapon to a fast 264 (or maybe even 251), but for weapons of the same ilvl, I don't think there's any comparison.
For Heroics, DKs have a specific threat generation pattern: DnD, IT, PS, Pestilence. Then dps comes in and does whatever it likes to. If they charge in before my DnD is down, they do get aggro and if they don't switch to the target I'm attacking (and I skull it) they retain their aggro untill they or the mob is dead. Either way the problem solves itself. With cureent GS, however, the only ones who are likely to die because of this are particularly AoE-happy mages, who keep their AoE long after my DnD expires and get torn to pieces. Either way it isn't the tank's problem, really.
As for weapons, there's a simple rule: fast for avoidance, slow for threat. It is extra painfull for fast weapons, since with those your Rune Strikes effectively becomes "Pillow Strike". Second problem with fast weapons is patty-haste, which exists pretty much everywhere outside ICC. If you hit fast and have low expertise (soft cap will do fine though), you get hit back often and soon die of spike damage. For this purpose slow/fast is good and slow/slow is even better. But I don't really see any point in going DW with two slow weapons, since you get no avoidance but only a fun attack animation and some additional Single Target threat. This happens at the cost of 6 talent points and potential RP starvation, which is not a fair trade if you ask me.
This being one of the very rare occasions in my 5 years of WoW that I actually get an item I have my mind set on within 2 months, I have put aside any doubts I had on DW tanking and am sure I will remain doing it.
As far as the rotation for Heroics goes, threat is still an issue. I am contemplating using my secondary spec for the purpose of a reduced D&D cooldown, which will sadly be at the cost of my DW frost DPS spec. Needless to say, this is a compromise I'm not entirely comfortable with. So here is my question: Is there a proper option to have the reduced D&D cooldown without sacrificing anything vital in another tree?