Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Tuesday Maintenance Boredom - DK tanking...the In's and the Out's

It's that time again! While we all anxiously await the servers coming up, I sit here contemplating my Death Knight:

I Finally hit the defense soft cap thanks to the Waistguard of Living Iron. Time to start tanking heroics. I need 3 more defense rating to be un-critable during a raid. That should be easily accomplished once the servers come back up and I get the tanking runeforge. My next major gearing concern will be stacking stamina. A lot of stamina should come from replacing my high defense blues with something a bit more rounded (Read: Epics).

I am more undecided than ever on what to spec for tanking. Unholy is losing some of its luster with the heavily nerfed bone shield. Blood gets a boost but will it be enough? Frost was a solid tanking spec pre-patch and is getting better aoe threat with the removal of howling blast cooldown.

My only concern with frost tanking is the fact that i have already ran across a few mobs in instances that a frost immune. Nothing to get your party killed faster than mobs that are immune to 3/4 of your damage and abilities. I am also not sold on frost tanking cooldowns. UNbreakable armor is UNderwhelming, sure it seems nice on paper until you realize that it only works against physical damage, and even then 25% more armor is not a very high mitigation increase.

Compared to bone shield giving you a flat 20% mitigation against ALL damage. Not to mention the fact that bonesheild can last longer at high avoidance levels.

Blood comes in as the dark horse. Vampiric Blood is very strong and lasts longer than either of the other tanking cooldowns. However, it doesnt actually mitigate or avoid anything. With Vampiric Blood you are heavily reliant on the healers to take advantage of the buff. If your healers are stunned, silenced, or otherwise incapacitated your fancy tanking cooldown just did nothing to prevent what could be a wipe. Even after your healer dies you can pop bonesheild or Unbreakable armor to try and whittle away the last of a mobs hitpoints, With Vamp blood you have nothing.

The current plan is 12/51/8 It came down to 1 simple thing, Economics. I am already glyiphed for frost and the gold reserves are to low to be going out and re-glyiphing.

Blood Talents:
Blade Turning- A must have tanking talent. 10% parry that is up almost all the time.
Bladed Armor- Looks to be pretty good for threat, as a Tank I expect to have a lot of armor =)
Two-Handed Weapon Specialization- Another threat boost 4% may not seem like much but that is to every swing/attack.

Frost Talents:
Toughness- A must have tanking talent.
Imp. Icy Touch, Icy Talons, and Imp. Icey talons- Reduces enemy attack speed (avoidance/mitigation) and increases my attack speed (threat). The point in Imp. Icy Talons is because as a tank I KNOW I will be grouping, and a boost to the dps on my run means a faster run for everyone.
Black Ice- More damage/threat. Yes Please
Annihilation- Obliterate is the Frost/Unholy attack you use on single targets as frost. We can't have that taking our disease off!
Lich Borne- I really didn't want to put a point here, but hey tanking cooldowns are tanking cooldowns and I needed a point to move further up the tree.
Frigid Dreadplate- 3% avoidance active all the time (even while stunned) I'm Sold.
Chill of the Grave- Need that runic power to fire off your Frost strikes
Deathchill- Another one that I didn't really want to spend the point in, But a crit howling blast for 5k+ on all enemies is a great way to start an aoe pull.
Rime- Extra crit and resource free aoe damage. nuff said.
Howling Blast- The Frost AOE. It is getting its cooldown removed in 3.0.8. It already does 20% of my damage in a typical instance run...
Blood of the North- Who cares about blood strike damage? Needed for frost rotations ( 2 frost runes just isn't enough =)
Unbreakable Armor- Tanking cooldown, sub-par in my mind, But hey we are down here anyway.
Frost Strike- Frost RP dump, hits like a truck.
Guile of the Gorefiend- I'll take bigger crits and extra time on cooldown you use almost every pull.
Tundra Stalker- The requisite flat damage increase of the tree.
Hungering Cold- After getting the goodies I wanted from blood and unholy I had a point left over. Seems more useful than one point spent in the other options. Very situational. Arguably very cool as well!

Unholy Talents:
Anticipation- Another must have tanking talent.
Morbidity- The one thing i missed the most when I had 0 points in Unholy. Waiting for DND to cooldown is annoying, and can cause problems when you need to group up waves of enemies.

If you see flaws in my reasoning or something glaringly wrong with this build please let me know.

Song of the Day
Bang Bang
Bang Bang [Bomber]

P.S: I just got an Iphone. The thing is amazing, I have some nice WoW apps on there but if you have any favorite apps drop me a line so I can check them out!


P said...

The servers are back up and 3.0.8 is not live. =(

Darraxus said...

Even though I have to go to work, servers being down still suck. I usualyl check my mail, the AH, and do the cooking daily before work.

thedoctor said...

dude, I am pretty excited that you will be able to start tanking.

As a healer, I rather be healing a frost or unholy spec tank then a blood tank. Reason being is what you already said....If the healer dies, or fights where you take alot of dmg (King Dread in Heroic Drak'Tharon)the blood cool down isn't going to do much.

I think the frost is a good way to go.