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The Pros of Dual Wield Tanking

June 22, 2009
See? Blizzard is giving me FIRE on my weapons!!!

Flaming one-handers? DO WANT PLEASE!

We join our Death Knight friend once again finding there is no sword for him in King Yirmon’s recently created corpse…

“Gahh!”, he screams in despair, why does this thing NEVER drop? Since the latest patch notes, I have been thoroughly intrigued with the art of Dual Wield tanking. Blizzard at least looks like they are attempting to allow us to dual wield once and awhile if we so please, and already I have found a tank in my guild who does this seldom-used art! Why in the name of Christ’s cookies would I want to do this? Well, from using my noggin’ I have come up with a few reasons why I would like to use two one-handed weapons over a single two-handed weapon.

There are a couple of simple reasons that I have come up with THEORETICALLY that dual wield tanking may give me significant benefits, note this is only logic and reasoning so you are open to debate through comments (actually, I encourage it!).

The Runes: From what I have looked at, with two one-handers you would use the Rune of Swordbreaking to tank at least. I am almost 95% sure that this rune stacks if it is used a second time on the other one-handed tank weapon, so by using our math we can see that I would gain 4% Parry and a not so orgasmic but still cool 100% reduced rating to be disarmed. For those of you who do not tank as a Death Knight regularly, you should at least note that we can not use shields so the only way to not get hit is through the dodge or parry avoidance skills, other then that we just get beat around like a Feral Druid, so this 4% extra parry rating would boost my avoidance skills significantly to be very delicious.

The Stats: Through this point of my debate with myself, I will be using the Red Sword of Courage and the Infantry Assault Blade to give you all a visual about what I am talking about. First we can see the +25 STR and +24 STR respectively, even with dual wielding another weapon it would not be as great as my generally two-handed weapons as far as strength goes. As a Death Knight a good chunk of our Parry comes from 25% of our STR stat, though the rune in the above paragraph would make up for that, and then some, so this loss will not break me as a tank at all in my opinion. Next we can look at the +58 STAM and +49STAM stats, respectively of course. These two weapons together get  me close but still a few STAM points off most two-handed weapons I would be using, the STAM drop is not significant enough though to make the practice not worthwhile! Combining the amount of Defense Rating I get from both swords, you have a total of 71 Defense Rating. The amount I would get out of a two-hander was 25 defense SKILL at all times due to the Rune of Stoneskin Gargoyle so under calculations I would be hitting the Defense Cap still, and maybe be around 1-3 points above the cap rather then exactly on the cap.

The Talent Changes: Fret not my good friends, I shall still be mostly Unholy through and through, but there will have to be some changes to make me got a bit deeper into Frost. Frost gives Nerves of Cold Steel which in total will increase my chance to hit with one-handed weapons by 3%, now using a two-handed weapon makes hitting that much more easier, but with two one-handers I will need some extra hit chance. Another cool bonus from the talent is the 15% more damage done by your offhand, in general, this is a great talent to have, more damage done = more threat, and more threat means all your mobs stay on you as a tank, aka this talent is very very good! From there I will be getting Black Ice to increase my frost and shadow damage by 10%, this is a great talent for any spec, and I will be screwing around with this to see if I gain any more threat by taking this talent. Though the main story in my talent changes folks, is whether or not Obliterate paired with Annihilation is better then Scourge Strike. Both use one Unholy and one Frost rune, yet from the looks of things, Obliterate does a TON more damage than scourge strike in terms of damage from diseases and just the bonus damage as a whole.

New axe for PvP is oh so spicy!

New axe for PvP is oh so spicy!

Conclusion: In my personal opinion I feel that dual wield tanking will be the next step for me in the life of a Death Knight tank. This is only a theoretical standpoint of my views on the bonuses of dual-wielding as a tank, but I have seen it work through past friends and current guild members of mine. Note this is only a current look of things, not the upcoming 3.2 look which would influence me even more to go dual wielding.

Writer’s Update: Hiya all! I got back last night from my huge White Water Rafting trip, all in all it was a nice weekend away from the interwebs and kicked off my summer events for me. But now, it’s business time, I will constantly be trying to get my tanking one-handers so I may have a taste of this great practice before the upcoming patch. Don’t forget to look out for the newest Dynamic Duo tomorrow, it will be saucy (!?). Happy WoWing!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. June 22, 2009 8:11 PM

    Beware the Parry gib… It might be coming to a repo depo near you.

    Good thing I have portable repo gnomes.

    • June 22, 2009 11:01 PM

      Yeap, which is ANOTHER reason Klin why I needs some new shoulders, you have to be decently geared in order to dual wield tank for that there reason.


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