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The New Icy Touch in Frost, or, Show Me On The Doll Where The Death Knight Icy Touched You

You may get the feeling, from the title, that I’m impressed with the change to Icy Touch.

For those unfamiliar with the change, Icy Touch now does roughly seven times more threat while the DK is in Frost Presence. Combine this with the doubling of threat from Frost Presence itself, and Satorri at Tankspot estimates that it gives fourteen and a half times more threat.

Fourteen. And a half.

“That’s crazy-talk” you think, because that’s exactly what I thought. So, this morning, I volunteered to tank a random heroic for guildies, and found out for myself.

We did end up pugging a DPS, a paladin who kept trying to tank the instance in dps blues.  We tried to offer help, thinking low gearscore = newb, but in this instance it was more like low gearscore = asshole who can’t get their guild to run heroics due to foul mouth and stupidity.  But I’m not bitter, as the douchebag-caused wipes allowed me to dial Icy Dickpunch back from “bulletproof and OP tool for all occasions” to “valuable single-target and pulling tool” which is probably where the designers meant it.

That said…

That said, I’ve noticed that while I still have some problems with groups, having that railroad spike of threat came in handy for pulling things off the healer. I had one of our top mages and one of our ICC 25 hunters going mad on bosses, and by using IT to refresh diseases and saving HB for Rime procs I easily kept aggro. When the mage mirrored, I laid into IT, empowered rune weapon, laid into it again, and she didn’t come close to pulling off me. And if I’m using this spec in a fight like Rotface or Saurfang when I need to taunt and disease without AoEs, IT is an Arthas-sent blessing now.

Tanking, which is a misery and a tribulation unto me, is now fun and exciting.

I give it till the weekend before the inevitable nerf.

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8 Responses

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  1. Bexi says

    Maybe this will make tanking better for my DK…I was having trouble keeping aggro in randoms.

  2. Otoño says

    I don’t see this one getting nerfed — Blizzard recognized that DKs couldn’t hold threat worth a damn compared to other tanks, despite often having superior DPS. So they gave us a gift. It makes sense.

    Stuff like this happens because as expansion content is released, DPS to tank damage ratios change. In Naxx, a tank may have done 1/2 the DPS of a DPSer. Now it’s more like 1/4. Naturally with that kind of scaling, a tank that used to hold threat really well no longer does. This is an easy way to fix that, by giving us a buff to something we already open up a fight with.

    While the IT may receive a small nerf, it will still remain incredible for threat generation.

    [Moody] Yeah, intellectually I know. I’m still cranky over what they did to Unholy Blight, though.

  3. Linedan says

    14.5x more threat? Honestly, I believe it.

    I actually don’t think it’s going to get nerfed–and I say this as a warrior tank who tanks ICC-25 alongside a T10-geared DK. (I’m too busy gloating about 12k+ Revenge crits to worry about Icy Dickpunch right now!) While the snap threat on IT is astonishing compared to pre-3.3.3, it doesn’t seem to me to be unbalanced. It has, however, caused some serious “WTF?” moments as DK tanks adjusted to just how gigantic a boost it was, and caused some humorous problems on friends’ ICC 10-man tank-switch fights like Saurfang and Festergut. And by “humorous,” I mean “wipe.”

    Snap threat has always been a DK weak spot, now y’all have something that works well for it (boy, does it work well for it). It really is Icy Dickpunch.

  4. MoodylonerDK says

    It has, in fact, not been nerfed yet. I am amazed.

    With my new 4T9 tanking gear, I may even think about considering not dropping my Frost tanking spec – although a Blood one, with the high physical damage component, would be very helpful for Lady Deathwhisper.

    Still, let’s hope that Icy Dickpunch remains in our arsenal – I find it flows a lot better than my other taunts, and is easier to find in a hurry.

  5. Otoño says

    Been actually tanking a bit since this change. Me likey. IT now means I don’t need to concern myself with threat, I can concern myself with staying alive.

    I swapped to a Blood tank spec that I didn’t consult EJ on. Don’t know what they think of it, but I like it.

    The beauty of it so far is just that it’s so damn survivable. It’s freaking cooldown city. Right now, I have:

    Anti-Magic Shell every 45s
    Icebound Fortitude every 2m
    Mark of Blood every 3m (great for popping before AoEs that hurt raid)
    Vampiric Blood every 1m
    Rune Tap every 30s
    And then the Tier 10 bonus once I get another piece, 12% damage reduction every time I use Blood Tap (1 min CD)

    Since the FU Strike is a lifedrain and creates Death Runes, it leaves me with a whopping six Blood Runes at my disposal if I need them. Today, I tanked Koralon in VoA with some really crappy healers. I blew VB, MoB, Rune Tapped, and then lifedrained the sucker — got back about half my HP in a couple GCDs. Saved my ass on Meteor Fists with a dead tank laying there next to me.

    Rune Tap is sick when talented. 8k HP returned when unbuffed, 12k with Vampiric Blood up… freaking awesome. All in all I find it makes tanking in Blood something much more static, rather than having healers in full panic mode because your HP has just plummeted and all you can do is sit there and pray.

    Rotation is funny, too. IT/PS/HS/HS and… wait. Okay, wounded. DS. DS more. Oh, refresh diseases. Couple more HS. DS more. DPS drops because of it, but you hold threat like crazy now, so you get to keep yourself alive instead of fretting about whether you’re generating enough threat. And it means no more Seconds of Death where you can’t do anything — you’re actually waiting to blow runes until wounded. Rune Taps replace Heart Strikes when your HP drops below 50% or so. Vamp Blood AND Rune Tap if the need is dire.

    Maybe this is weird tanking, but I have to say, I like it.

  6. ghostcrawlerisgeorgebushindisguise says


    It’s how they should have designed DK tanking since the beginning, they are reducing overhealing (which means skilled healers will overheal less instead of the current situation where you are forced to overheal or someone gets 2-shotted), making a mechanic for blood tanks where their self heals will also help mitigate damage, and they are working on balancing tank classes and healers more so that niches are there but it doesn’t kill the class in a certain area of raiding in their role (Resto druids will be able to tank heal better, Paladins will be able to raid heal better). All the changes that are happening in Cataclysm are supposed to make the game more balanced, what’s SAD is that it took them more than a couple years to implement it when they knew gameplay was becoming unbalanced.

Continuing the Discussion

  1. Wednesday Reading « Cynwise's Battlefield Manual linked to this post on March 31, 2010

    […] over at Death Grip My Heart looks at the new Icy Touch and comes up with some choice names for […]

  2. A little randomness never hurt « Achtung Panzercow linked to this post on April 2, 2010

    […] new boosted Icy Touch–or, as the Twitterati have dubbed it, Icy Dickpunch.  Moody over at Death Grip My Heart (warning:  possible NSFW artwork of hot dead blood elf chick) has a pretty good post on it.  […]

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