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Let’s Talk Specs

With 3.3.3 coming out soon, there’s going to be a few changeups in specs.

For Unholy DPS, I’m seeing 0/17/54 suggested for the new cookie-cutter spec. Looks like the Frost goodies scale better with gear than the Blood does, though Elitist Jerks is talking about a 10-100 dps difference, which I find trivial. Still, might change up.

I’m not noticing any more news for Frost DPS other than “dual wield”. The current baseline Frost DPS spec is still 0/54/17.

Blood looks like two main specs, both 51/0/20, depending on if you glyph Dark Death or Disease.

Tanking? Looks like they’re building the dual-wield Frost tanking spec.  I don’t know if it’s official that you’re going to have to DW to be Frost, but that seems to be what everyone’s thinking.

So, thinking about ditching my snap-aggro Frost 5-man tanking build and going with a Blood tanking spec or back to my Unholy comfort zone.

Let’s have some discussion, DKs. For one thing, I have no idea where PvP builds are going for 3.3.3.

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13 Responses

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  1. Whosmymain says

    I’ll have to be honest, I haven’t seriously tanked on—or really even seriously played—my death knight since Ulduar, but when I do I still love unholy. Even though each spec has changed pretty significantly over the expansion, unholy has always been my tank spec of choice.

    Currently, it has everything to do with my DK only tanking heroics. It’s my second alt, so he doesn’t see too much play, except for a random heroic here and there, and we all know how AOE focused those have become. And THAT is my sole reason for still prefering Unholy tanking: shorter CD on DnD.

    …And I think the bone shield looks cool.

  2. Levi says

    anyone else notice that that BElf is a chick? lol

  3. Needine says

    Well basicly i started out as a UH DK and i loved it it was so fun running around grabbing all mobs and AoE them down.

    but when it comes to starting tanking i still prefere my 2h DK frost tanking spec. its so mutch easier to play with.,Ywae3-,11159

    is my choice there is 2 points you can easy move around the 2 in Chill Of The Grave. recomendation for thoes are either in Blood: Scent Of Blood or in UH: Morbidity.

    My AoE rotation is : cast DnD infront of mob while i run towards him. cast HowlingBlast when im in range then BloodBoil. if something can grab aggro from you its a stupid DPS who starts to SingleTarget dps so be prep. to Tab / Taunt
    use Fortitude if needed don’t worry you regen Runepower fast.

    My single target rotation is : IT,PS, HB, BS,BS and wait for Fr+UH runes to be ready to OB (crit) then im homefree way ahead of anyone else.

    [Moody] I like that AoE rotation, but it gives me a huge rune blackout (what I call the Six Seconds of Terror). What do I do about that?

  4. Tomi says

    Considering DW frost tanking, there are some changes that your mentioned spec does not take into account. Currently the recommended spec is 11/54/6. Below is a web address. The difference is in Endless Winter, which has changed so it removes runic power cost from Mind Freeze (pretty awesome if you ask me, remember tanking Jaraxxus) and increases your Strength, leading to further better threat.

    [Moody] Looks like I’m respeccing both specs when I can log in. Free Mind Freeze and more Strength equals win. But will 2H Frost still be viable? I like the snap aggro of glyphed HB, but I keep hearing “dual wield”.

  5. arkan says

    “I’m not noticing any more news for Frost DPS other than “dual wield”. The current baseline Frost DPS spec is still 0/54/17.”

    Did you actually follow frost dps? It’s exclusively DW for a while now, and the fact EJ hasnt updated the Frost section with 3.3.3 specs yet doesnt mean 0/54/17 will be cookie – as a matter of fact you link to a an old talentbuild (endless winter unused?)

    [Moody] Yeah, take a look at my spec. What do I use for DPS? So no, I don’t follow Frost DPS closely. So, yes, I’ve been looking stuff up, and found precious little. But since EJ is falling down on the job so, why don’t you go over there and straighten them out, big guy?

  6. David says

    I wish there was a simpler way to merge DPS and PVP specs in Unholy. It’s to the point where I’m considering doing something like the 0/17/54 and just PVPing with it. It’ll probably be fine, but I’ll miss things like Desecration. Not really willing to give up my tanking spec for either one.

  7. Otoño says

    Nice, Moody. A link from!

    I’ve been looking at the talent changes, and am leaning toward returning to my old favorite — Blood tanking. I already put a custom spec together that I was using to solo old content, and will change it up some more to actually work better as a current content spec. Probably. I seem to be allowed to DPS in my new guild.

    There’s always been one OMG moment with Blood, and it’s when Will of the Necropolis has already gone off, and you’ve burned Icebound Fortitude, and you just have that, “Oh god, I’m gonna die, and there’s nothing I can do” moment. Now at least Will refreshes, and can even refresh from minimal damage. I like that we’re getting away from the big hits and more into repeated smaller hits. And I like that they’re making Blood tanks less squishy.

    If there’s one thing that I’ve been doing that really gives me warm fuzzies about tanking, it is doing the old content solo. There’s a guy who’s been posting some badass videos of him soloing different content, up to Magtheridon, and even Heroic Pit of Saron — and he’s Unholy! Colleen and I duoed Kara last week, and since she’s a Rogue, it wasn’t like it was a simple tank/healer combo.

    Soloing the old content isn’t about holding threat per se, but it does provide a nice controlled environment where you can practice rotations, see how things work — and if you die, it’s your repair bill, not the raid’s. Plus you get all sorts of fun achievements under your belt, and see old content you wouldn’t have seen otherwise. So yeah, give Blood a whirl, even if only for some solo fun — I think you’ll enjoy tearing through Outland heroics by yourself, especially when you have some ICC tanking gear.

    As for Unholy DPS, I am probably not going to switch to the frost subspec. Yes, it’s more DPS, but at the same time, I do very much enjoy the luxury of never being the guy ripping threat off the tank. That melee haste looks really attractive, but I don’t feel good about putting myself at risk — dead DPS is zero DPS.

    I have my first 25-man raid tonight, and the first 10-man on Thursday with the new guild. Wish me luck 🙂

    [Moody] Good to see you! Yes, I’m using the comment moderation system to respond, since I’m here.

    I like the idea of soloing content – if only because of my odd hours. And I hear you about the OMG moment, for my Frost Build it comes as I drop DnD, HB, maybe BB, and realize I have nothing but 40 runic for the next six seconds…

    I am going to think hard about that Blood build when I respec tomorrow morning. And good luck with your raids! Stop by and let us know how it goes!

  8. Rachkalos says

    Well, a link pointed me in the direction of a Death Knight blog, being as I started my own, experimental DK blog a couple of weeks ago, I thought that I’d take a look…

    I’ve come to the conclusion that the choice of tanking spec pretty much revolves around the amount of threat that your DPS are putting out and whether your choice of spec will keep you at the top of that threat table. The ICC crew are going flat out to try and get themselves killed these days and to be honest, I’m too scared to try Frost instead of Blood for tanking in case it all goes horribly wrong.

    Which is a shame because I absolutely love my DW Frost DPS offspec, all the psychotic spinning around and proc-watching really appeals to me!

  9. Otoño says

    “I like the idea of soloing content – if only because of my odd hours. And I hear you about the OMG moment, for my Frost Build it comes as I drop DnD, HB, maybe BB, and realize I have nothing but 40 runic for the next six seconds…”

    You have Death Grip and Dark Command. If people can screw up threat beyond a Death and Decay on AoE, or an Icy Touch followed by a full rune rotation on a single target followed by TWO TAUNTS, you’re not the failure, they are. Any tank geared enough for the content they’re running, with the help of the aggro-whoring Rogues and Hunters using their Tricks and Misdirects on you, will hold aggro on a boss.

    And, not to mention, there are SO many classes that have abilities to completely drop aggro. Hunters, Rogues, Mages. Warlocks to a point. Priests if you taunt once they Fade.

    There is such a thing as tanking fail, no doubt about it — you could run in and Icy Touch one mob and ignore the rest on an AoE pull. You could blow all your cooldowns 5 seconds into a fight for no good reason. But seriously, if you’re doing the basics right, and people are still pulling threat — particularly in those crucial first few seconds — it ain’t your fault that your threat takes a few seconds to ramp up. It’s their fault that they’re aggrowhores.

    What YOU need to practice, to be completely honest, is how to tell them so. However diplomatic you want to be, if you’re the tank, you’re the leader of the group — no matter who’s leading it. You get to call out when someone screws up and causes a wipe because they sent you panicking, running off after mobs because they run away from you and not to you, and so on. Confrontation is good, when you’re with people who will listen to criticism. I’ve seen you tank, and you don’t fail at it.

    {Moody} I’m printing this out and taping it to the wall by my monitor.

  10. Tomi says

    @Moody But will 2H Frost still be viable?

    I’m certain two-handed tanking continues to stay viable, but it almost seems like dual-wield is becoming the de facto frost spec. At least there are so many buffs into that direction.

    But if you consider it, the old two-handed frost spec still works the same. All you need to do is more two talent points from Merciless Combat to the new Endless Winter, since the change applies equally to both DW and two-handed tanks. The main question is, which will be better.

    As soon as the patch hits live, I’ll try re-speccing and going to see which works better and you’ll most likely see some results, eventually posted on my blog.

    [Moody] I’ve moved two points from Merciless Combat (which seemed pointless to me tanking, but I needed to put them somewhere) into Endless Winter. I’ve also Replaced Death Coil on my toolbar with Icy Touch. I’ll let you know how it goes, here. And I’ll stop by your blog to check your results as well.

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