An Argument, With Myself!
We find our favorite Death Knight carefully perusing his personal armory in the Ebon Hold…
So last Sunday I decided upon something, something game-changing in its own way. Due to my account being hacked and them screwing with my lovely spec, I decided it was a perfect time to change it up a bit. As you all know I have been Dual Wield Tanking for quite some time, and it was fun, but honestly not as fun as good old Two-Handed Tanking.
As for every action, be it WoW or anything else, there is usually a few Pros and Cons, and DW Tanking v.s. 2h Tanking is no exception. Just remember, this is based on my experience, anything you would like to add do not hesitate to add a comment.
Dual Wielding: You are wielding two weapons made specifically for a Tank, thus allowing you to get more Tanking stats such as Avoidance. Taking a look at any Tanking 1h, we can see that they go much faster then any 2h you would be wielding, this is both an advantage and a disadvantage. With faster weapon speed your Rune Strikes are able to hit a lot faster, thus allowing you to use more abilities and acquire much more threat then the average 2h user.
Due to Rune of Swordbreaking on both of our weapons, we gain 4% more Parry, which in turn gives two bonuses to a DW Death Knight Tank. An avoided attack is what is used to trigger one of our largest Threat Creators, Rune Strike, so in addition to being able to use them faster, we in turn get more of them due to the extra 4% Parry! Any attack that is Parried will be avoided, meaning that you will not take any damage from the attack, so the increased amount of your avoidance via Parry helps your survivability quite a bit.
So more threat, better survivability, and stats on the weapons that are focused for Tanks, how could 2h Tanking every think to top this?
2H Tanking: First of all, you do not need to use extra talents in Frost just so that you can become viable, as a Tank. Just use the bare minimum that you would like and put the rest in the respective trees that you desire. This is actually pretty big, a lot more choices/customization can be used in the 2H Tanking as opposed to DW due to your ability to take less Talents in Frost.
Rune of Stoneskin Gargoyle, take a look at that, yes at the moment it is only for 2h users which means there is a high advantage in a few ways due to a single Rune. This adds 25 Defense SKILL, with my gear I never have to gem or even think of gemming or enchanting for Defense Rating which in turn allows me to gem/enchant my gear for more useful things. The “more useful things” is of course Stamina and lots of it, I actually have about 2k more HP as a 2H Tank than as a DW Tank, although if you take a look at the Rune again, we also gain 2% Stamina overall just by showing that Rune off.
You will hit like a TANK! Sure, 2h weapons are extremely slow, most ranging at about 3.60 seconds between attacks, but they hit for quite a bit. Can anyone say 5k Obliterate crits? I sure can, which in turn results in a TON of threat. Sure, for me it was still about 600-700TPS less than DW, but it is highly viable.
More HP, 3-6 more talents usable outside of Frost, and less worrying about the Defense Cap, both styles of Tanking are worthy adversaries to each other. Both 2h and DW Tanking have great Pros, but which one is actually the “best”?
Conclusion: DW in my opinion has some better pros, the amount of threat that I gained was about 600-700TPS, which is nothing to scoff at! Though I lost about 2k HP, the massive boost in avoidance increased my survivability more than the HP was worth. Now remember, you should at least have a decent set of gear before attempting to DW Tank, when you take a hit you feel it a lot more as a DWer.
Dual Wield: The one thing that any Tank should be scared of when thinking over the choice of DWing is the dreaded Parry Gib! Whenever anyone parries an attack, they get a faster attack to follow up shortly after, this goes for bosses too. With two fast weapons, the boss has a much better chance to parry your attacks, and thus much more of a chance to Parry Gib you (I.E. Hitting you for an instant attack following one of their normal attacks). This can be extremely deadly, and in turn can usually be the end to a DW Death Knight Tank. remember, the longer a fight goes, the more chances the boss gets to hit you with a Parry Gib, as well as the less mana the Healers have to spend on picking you back up after a fall. The only way to lessen the chances is to get GOOD DPS, shorter fights = less chances for a Parry Gib!
As a Dual Wielder it is much harder to become uncrittable by raid bosses due to a single reason, you do not get the Rune of Stoneskin Gargoyle like our 2H cousins. You are missing out on 25 Defense Skill and will have to gem/enchant to pick yourself back up to the cap, which then results in a bit less HP. remember what I stated earlier, the avoidance you gain makes up for this, at least in most fights.
2H Tanking: The slowness of the weaponry can become a minor problem in the sense that it takes quite some time to be able to use a Rune Strike, but your giant Axe/Mace/Sword should make up for that with a 4k crit when it does come around. A minor con, but somewhat noticeable when you compare the two side-by-side, for sure!
The only other con I can think of would be that you would have port to and from the Ebon Hold to put a new Rune on your weapon any time that you would like to change your spec (to a PvP or DPS of course!). The reason you do not have to do this with your two 1H weapons is that you should NOT be using Tanking weapons to DPS, seriously! There is no Tanking 2h thus meaning you will have to change the rune when you wish to do something other than 1h DPS!
Conclusion: 2H Tanking has minor (if even) cons to it, whereas the DW ones can be risky with sub-par groups/mediocre gear. The lack of cons would be the answer to WHY most people seem to 2H Tank, sure the DW seems to have better pros in my opinion, but as I have said, the cons are a big risk.
So, is one better than the other? Yes and no at the same time, both are extremely viable for Tanking and should be considered as choices, but for me I just prefer to use my 2H. No, not because I do not trust my Guild or have faith in my Tanking “skillz”, it is merely a fun aspect! Come on who WASN’T interested in the fact that Death Knights could run around with Arms Warrior weapons and Tank perfectly, (when they were announced)?
Come Munchy, people to kill, places to Tank!
“… you never… take me… Tanking…”
True, but you get to rip off some Gnome’s limbs! GNOMES!
“…I’m a… vegetarian… you twit…”