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The Death Knight Tank and You: The Specs Part 3

August 2, 2009

ZOMG Death and Decay is OP NERF DKs!!!!1

ZOMG Death and Decay is OP NERF DK's!!!!1

We find our hero with a maid’s apparel on his buff body while he shines Thorim’s ridiculously large boots…

Hey, we Death Knights have repair bills too! Besides, I have yet to finish this damned chain and unlock these dailies. I do want the shiny shoulder inscriptions,very nice, although I do wish that this snow would stop hitting my eyes. So, how about whoever puts up an Anti-Magic Zone first gets extra credit. Oh wait, none of you have it because that is today’s lesson, yes my students of the tank, Unholy Tanking, the lost art that I would have loved to still call home. But nonetheless, let’s see if any of you would love to master this strange art!

Unholy: Unholy in a sense is another part of the extreme valley of difference that is Death Knight tanking. Frost as you may have found out in your recent studies, is a strong tanking tree, it plus a TON of threat and right when we need it too. It puts up some large numbers that are just delicious and fun to see, though Unholy is almost the exact opposite. Yes it pulls quite a bit of threat for itself, but it does it in a vastly different way, it does not use single target attacks for its main source of threat. The real strength of Unholy is its AoE threat production, so as you can imagine a few tanks will like it just for that, you drop your Death and Decay, put up your Unholy Blight and that stuff is not getting pulled off easily. Aside from amazing AoE threat that’s only challenged by frost on a very good day, it is perfect for tanking some spell damage, yah you warriors have your shields, but can you take a fire ball like a pro? Yah, did not think so there buddy! With spells like Anti-Magic Zone or a talent like Magic Suppression we can take those big hits much more efficiently then you bulky bears or you handicapped tanks with shields. Aside from all of that, there are still some pretty decent tanking abilities that only an Unholy tank could get, such as Bone Shield.

That's whatchya get for making me leader, Klin!

That's whatchya get for making me leader, Klin!

The Abilities of the Tree: Since there are really no “buffs” to say in this tree, these are made up for by the vast amount of Unholy exclusive abilities, so I would say us and blizzard are fairly even for that, right? First is Unholy Blight now before this bad boy gets nerfed to the point where I break down and cry, he does an AoE using Locusts that surround your body to bite and rip apart your enemies that wish to hurt you. This is a great way to get threat for either single target or multiple targets within 10yd of the Death Knight.  Elnoriah’s thoughts: GET THIS, seriously guys, free threat for your runic power that is not extremely useful as an Unholy Tank? Yes please Blizzard! Another key ability that entices some Death Knights to the tree is the Master of Ghouls, this allows your Raise Dead spell to give you a permanent ghoul with a randomly generated name, said ghoul allows you to control itself and its few but somewhat useful abilities. If used correctly he can become quite a fine Off Tank, you can use your Death Coils to heal him, or have him snag that add running towards the priest and stun it, allowing you to Death Grip it over, showoffy but it does work and gets the chicks to love ya. Elnoriah’s thoughts: Definite Maybe, you would have to sacrifice some talents to do so, but he can be useful when used right. Plus walking corpses are a sure way to pick up the ladies, trust me! The next ability is a single target attack that uses one Frost and one Unholy rune to execute, yes let’s give it up for Scourge Strike. This bad boy does a decent amount of damage, and does a bit more with both of your diseases up, or all THREE if you want to be a real unholy player. Yes I said it folks three, pick up Crypt Fever and The Ebon Plaguebringer, two hard hitting diseases that you can not pass up! Elnoriah’s thoughts: All three of these talents are a MUST, do get them, and do love them, trust me! Bone Shield is an amazing ability that really gives Unholy Tanks a great edge for a couple of hits. There are 5 base charges (6 if you glyph it) in which each one allows you to take 20% less damage per hit for those 4 or 5 hits. The time the shield is up, you are granted an extra 2% damage, not bad for threat building I would say! Elnoriah’s thoughts: This thing was MADE to tank with, take it or I swear I will make you cry!

I arg, think, arg, he's trying to say, arg, laaand, arg!

I arg, think, arg, he's trying to say, arg, laaand, arg!

The OH SHI- Buttons: Unholy has only one spec specific OH SHI- button, other then the general Icebound Fortitude or Anti-Magic Shell that each of the specs have. Said OH SHI- button is a spell that I have mentioned earlier, this being Anti-Magic Zone. Basically this spell uses an unholy rune to make a giant purple bubble of pure epicness, which absorbs 75% of the spell damage of all of the members of your party/raid for either 10sec or 10000 *2AP spell damage. That is a great thing to have, especially on some of those heavy magic damage dealing fights such as Loken, or popping it on the melee who got ice blocked in KT. To make things simple this is like your Anti-Magic Shell, but for multiple people!

The Elnoriah: See? I told you I was crazy, yes, Unholy Tanking will work fine, just fine. The only tricky part about the playing style is how you spec it, sure there are multiple ways to do so, as is any other Death Knight tanking spec. Though, the one that I found to be the best so far after about 5-8 specs would be the one I have used up until only recently, and if you would like to copy me, you may find it right here.

The Lesson: Unholy is probably one of the most interesting specs to play out of the bunch, you are very much so relying upon your diseases to grab your threat. In this spec Death and Decay is probably going to be one of your main moves, which is quite interesting, it is a very strong disease like your other three (remember Unholy gets a third disease). So, instead of all of the attacks getting a huge crit chance like Frost, they get a basic damage buff due to the extra diseases you are putting on, so scourge

strike can do quite a hefty sum of damage! Unholy is the easiest and my thoughts, the best for doing Heroics, and DPS/PVP are not a problem either. It is also an extremely viable spec for Off Tanking, but for Main Tanking, it really would not pull enough threat to be an amazing MT spec, I have pulled it off, but it was very close to having some crazy shaman rip it off of me. So to sum it up, Unholy or Frost really are the best choices for you aspiring tanks out there, give both of them a try, choose what you like, maybe try Blood out a bit, so ’till next time!
-Elnoriah

Hey, he gets 3000miles per gallon... of human blood.

Hey, he gets 3000miles per gallon... of human blood.

Writer’s Update: Right on, that was a really fun series to write, and I hope it helped a few of you pick/try some new ways of tanking. My next Death Knight Tank and You will most likely be about surviving the horrible aftermath of the upcoming patch, which will make tanking, well a bit more fun/challenging. Though, what I do hope to write is a nice long juicy post about some of the alts we’ve had made around here, as well as bug Gradii into a plot we have been discussing for a few days now, fun stuff! Happy WoWing!
-Eld

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Brtt permalink
    August 3, 2009 11:47 AM

    Actually, Bone Shield has 4 charges un-glyphed (unless they stealth-changed this *very* recently).

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