Unholy tanking

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Rascall
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Unholy tanking

#1 » Post by Rascall » 28 Aug 2018 13:18

For a considerable time I was playing (including RS10nm and ICC10hc/25n) as Unholy dk tank with this build:
https://truewow.org/armory/talents.php? ... alm=t&sp=0

But recently I´ve been reading a bit about UH tanking (there isn´t much theorycrafting out there) and I find this build to be more optimal:
https://truewow.org/armory/talentcalc.p ... 53&realm=t

The idea with the first build was to go down the UH tree to get Bone Shield and provide the raid with Ebon Plaguebringer debuff while going into frost tree to get more avoidance from Frigid Dreadplate to increase Bone Shield uptime (which is now from 20 to 50 sec with a lot of dodge gems, hoping to increase the average uptime with better gear). However, I am thinking of taking the second build as Ebon Plaguebringer is supplied in raid by balance druid or warlock and blood susbspec gives a lot of handy talents and the benefit from Frigid Dreadplate can be achieved by being night elf (the racial giving more avoidance). I would appreciate any constructive feedback, especially whether to keep Frigid Dreadplate to keep Bone Shield uptime or go for blood subspec for Rune Tap, Spell Deflection, Veteran of the 3rd War and Mark of Blood.
Note that single and aoe thread is good enough I believe so at this stage I am aiming for the highest survival.
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Ancestor
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Re: Unholy tanking

#2 » Post by Ancestor » 29 Aug 2018 11:28

U dont survive long enough? I think those are very ugly builds atm @mobile but will tryto give something better if none else 1st

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Rascall
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Re: Unholy tanking

#3 » Post by Rascall » 29 Aug 2018 12:02

UH tanking builds are pretty much the same with a few variations. In UH tree you go down to take Bone Shield while picking Magic Suppression and Anti-Magic Zone. My main question is whether to take frost subspec for more avoidance (hence more Bones Shield uptime) or blood subspec for obvious reasons.

With UH survival it is tricky since you have to gem dodge to get a decent uptime of Bone Shield (30 sec and more) and only then stamina. I do survive long enough of course as a tank in 10/25 raids but if I can improve anything I am always up for it.
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Dunkelstein
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Re: Unholy tanking

#4 » Post by Dunkelstein » 29 Aug 2018 13:11

Frost variation looks like a lot more damage output, but I think in terms of defensives Rune Tap, Mark of Blood and Spell Deflection make up for 3% melee miss chance and they are not just defensive against melee attacks.
Veteran of the Third War is a good stam boost and synergizes with tap and mark, and more expertise also means less parry haste for the boss. Combined with Bladed Armor I don't think the blood variation is far behind frost in threat, not like threat is really an issue anyway.
But if you have 1337 gear and are just in farm mode anyway, I guess Bone Shield uptime is more comfortable because your health will spike less often and more predictably.
Having so many different CDs is what makes DK tanks so awesome, if you want to press fewer buttons just play paladin :D
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Rascall
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Re: Unholy tanking

#5 » Post by Rascall » 29 Aug 2018 13:59

The thing with frost subspec is that it gives Frigid Dreadplate which is essential for Bone Shield, however, I can get that by being night elf (2% from racial instead of 3% from Frigid Dreadplate reduced chance to be hit) so I believe blood subspec is worth the perks as Dunkelstein said.

The only bad thing about this dk tank spec is that you sacrifice so much dodge gems in order to make Bone Shield work and even then diminishing returns apply. 4 charges will expire before 1 min cooldown is reset. It sometimes happens that with a slow attack speed of bosses the Shield lasted almost 1 min but on average it is those 30 seconds.

The threat is not an issue at all since with so much avoidance you basically spam Rune Strike.

There is another way how to play UH tank from what I was reading (again not much theorycrafting out there) and it is using Bone Shield an active damage reduction wherever needed instead of maintaining constant upkeep by avoidance. This allows gemming stamina, however, Bone Shield lasts let´s say 10 sec. It has the internal cooldown (1 or 2 sec before you lose other bone) meaning that you cannot lose all 4 bones immediately. Various comments prefer this way as stamina is the way to go in Wotlk.
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Re: Unholy tanking

#6 » Post by Rascall » 29 Aug 2018 14:56

https://truewow.org/armory/talentcalc.p ... 54&realm=t

I have tweaked the blood subspec build a bit. The UH got a minor change although this change is debatable. Crypt Fever received 1/3 point in order to have a 3rd disease on the boss making Death Strike heal more (5% of max HP healed per disease). Note: With this build, I use neither Obliterate nor Scourge Strike and no threat issues.

Also went deeper into Blood tree to obtain Abomination´s Might (raid buff does not concern me that much since most likely there will be MM hunter either in 25m setup, less likely an enhancement shaman) in order to gain 2% more strength and hence more parry. However, I had to sacrifice Improved Icy Touch to 2/3 points only in order to get Abomination´s Might. But once again, a 25m setup would have 1 frost dk dps with 3/3 giving that debuff on the boss.

It seems the main issue to solve is whether to stack stamina and use Bone Shield as an active button for a few seconds or stack avoidance trying to maintain that 20% reduced damage for almost 1 min. Regardless of that, I believe that blood subspec gives more perks.
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Re: Unholy tanking

#7 » Post by Dunkelstein » 29 Aug 2018 17:34

IDK if I would rely on 100% boneshield uptime for every encounter. How often do you get hit by extra attacks such as cleaves/trash or how often do you end up with an extra add even though it's not planned, how many parries does the boss get which will increase his melee swing speed, what if someone can't control their pet and it hits the boss from the front which will proc more parry haste, etc....
It depends on the scenarios you find youself in at the content you play regularly, or struggle with regularly, and it depends on the kind of people you play with, not just their spec and playstyle.
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Rascall
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Re: Unholy tanking

#8 » Post by Rascall » 29 Aug 2018 19:31

Dunkelstein wrote:
29 Aug 2018 17:34
IDK if I would rely on 100% boneshield uptime for every encounter. How often do you get hit by extra attacks such as cleaves/trash or how often do you end up with an extra add even though it's not planned, how many parries does the boss get which will increase his melee swing speed, what if someone can't control their pet and it hits the boss from the front which will proc more parry haste, etc....
It depends on the scenarios you find youself in at the content you play regularly, or struggle with regularly, and it depends on the kind of people you play with, not just their spec and playstyle.
If Bone Shield falls before 1 min there are:
1. Blood Tap 12% dmg reduction for 10 sec (tier10)
2. trinkets, e.g. Corroded Skeleton Key - absorbs 6400 dmg, lasts 10 sec
3. Icebound Fortitude - 30+ %dmg reduction for 12 sec
4. Summoning Army of the Dead - taking less dmg based on dodge+parry
5. Blood Barrier - 5% dmg reduction is almost always on
etc...It is not relying on Bone Shield only...the tricky thing is to balance avoidance and stamina however.

UH tanking (Bone Shield build gemming dodge) is capable of single target tanking (boss) so for Marrowgar, Rotface, Festergut, Blood Queen or Sindragosa there is no doubt UH can tank (tanking LDW adds no problem here, tanking Gunship no problem, I´ve tanked so far Saurfang 10hc/25n was doable with boss+adds on me but there is also oftank, haven´t tried PP yet, blood princes no problem at all even with 2 princes hitting me, vdw no problem). I would probably not dare tanking LK as UH but for Halion is great in both realms.

But you are right scenarios of hardships while tanking as UH are many but UH tanking is too specific and not for everyone, that is the beauty of it :D (note: In cataclysm, while blood remained the only tanking spec, Bone Shield was moved to blood and received 6 bones, so Blizzard learned from its mistake in wotlk, with 6 bones in wotlk UH would be awesome).
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Re: Unholy tanking

#9 » Post by Anesthesia » 26 Sep 2018 19:38

Hello,
personally I would play it in a spec like this;
- https://truewow.org/armory/talentcalc.p ... 71&realm=t

Going for extra 3% miss chance from frost tree feels like wasting a lot of points to get there.
Talent points from Necrosis could also be used elsewhere, but Im pretty sure it gives more dmg than Impurity or BCB + 2 talents in necrosis. Blood-Caked Blade counts as an extra attack which can be missed, dodged..... I think, but anyway, its less dmg because necrosis ignores armor.
Ebon Plague is great because it also counts as an extra disease and increases dmg from other abilities and also Death Strike healing and with Master of Ghouls your pet becomes a reliable self heal for 40% max hp every 2 minutes, which is why I dont think you need any of blood self healing talents in Unholy tank build
I did not pick reaping because it doesnt make much difference, and desecration allows you to kite shit and be the best tank ever... xD
You can also take both reaping and the other thing, and not care about runes at all :O
- https://truewow.org/armory/talentcalc.p ... 71&realm=t

Oh yeah, and having a pet is really nice, it can tank something sometimes and you get a stun and also a reduced CD on army of pets, and that is THE BEST tank ability in the game, it provides dmg reduction and mobs to tank instead of you, how great is that?

Oh and Bone shield is amazing as it is already, its not a great buff for when you tank a lot of mobs, it will go away in an instant, but vs bosses its usually better than other defensive CDs because of its low CD and long duration.
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Rascall
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Re: Unholy tanking

#10 » Post by Rascall » 27 Sep 2018 14:48

Going for extra 3% miss chance from frost tree feels like wasting a lot of points to get there.
Quite the contrary, I would say boosting avoidance is your primary stat on UH tanking. The more avoidance the more uptime of Bone Shield. I find the talents spent while reaching Frigid Dreadplate pretty useful too. Improved Icy Touch and Toughness do not need an explanation for a dk tank. Icy Reach is situational in my view. Lichborne...well can be used for self-healing with Death Coil but I don't like it. Within the buff timeframe, you manage to do coil yourself 3 times and its healing is poor compared with Death Strike, which exactly as you say, heals per 3 diseases on target which is good enough. Annihilation...more crit is never bad for tank although I don´t use Obliterate, instead, I always use Death Strike. You can use Runic Power Mastery but what I see a problem on UH tanking is runic power starvation so it is not needed to expand runic power maximum. Note that as UH dk I tend to stack dodge which allows you to spam Rune Strike like crazy. Nice for threat and as I said previously with Rune Strike spamming (and glyph giving it more crit) threat is not a problem at all. So we reach Chill of the Grave and this is the reason I picked it for more runic power generation. Endless Winter...more strength=slightly more parry= theoretically more Bone Shield uptime. Interrupt without runic power costs is welcome.

Talent points from Necrosis could also be used elsewhere, but Im pretty sure it gives more dmg than Impurity or BCB + 2 talents in necrosis. Blood-Caked Blade counts as an extra attack which can be missed, dodged..... I think, but anyway, its less dmg because necrosis ignores armor.
Damage boosting talents are up for discussion but as I say with Rune Strike spamming with very high avoidance you cannot have single target threat issues.
Ebon Plague is great because it also counts as an extra disease and increases dmg from other abilities and also Death Strike healing and with Master of Ghouls your pet becomes a reliable self heal for 40% max hp every 2 minutes, which is why I dont think you need any of blood self healing talents in Unholy tank build
I agree about Ebon Plague. I could consider having a constant pet around but to be honest, if the healers are average at least you should not fall below half of your HP forcing you to use ghoul for healing. Having a small OT next to your side could be helpful for cleaving from some bosses but I don´t know.
I did not pick reaping because it doesnt make much difference, and desecration allows you to kite shit and be the best tank ever... xD
Desecration affects only movement speed and not attack speed no?

Oh yeah, and having a pet is really nice, it can tank something sometimes and you get a stun and also a reduced CD on army of pets, and that is THE BEST tank ability in the game, it provides dmg reduction and mobs to tank instead of you, how great is that?
I use the army of ghouls only once per encounter if so for the nice damage reduction. Lowering the cooldown by 4 min from 10 to 6 min does not make much difference to me for the average encounter duration.
and Bone shield is amazing as it is already, its not a great buff for when you tank a lot of mobs, it will go away in an instant, but vs bosses its usually better than other defensive CDs because of its low CD and long duration.
Even if you have a group of adds on you, Bone Shield has internal CD 2 sec I believe until another bone can be consumed. So with glyph giving you 4th bone (mandatory for UH tank even if stacking stamina and using Bone Shield only as active ability instead of passively maintaining its uptime by avoidance) the uptime of Bone Shield is 8 sec at a minimum. So it should not disappear instantly. Still, 20% damage reduction for 8 sec seems good enough. Vs single targets (bosses) it can last 20-45 sec from my experience and I even gem dodge like crazy. But with diminishing returns, it's hard but still good enough to keep Bone Shield uptime. Dodged melee attack from a boss is always good and Bone Shield also affects spell damage (either aoe or direct from a boss) so it is a really cool tank ability. The beauty of UH tanking in my view is to balance stamina to have good enough HP in raids (sure it will never be a bear druid and in fact UH tank stacking avoidance has the lowest HP of all tanks but he should aim for some decent 60-70k HP in raids) and avoidance to force uptime of Bone Shield close to 1 min. Imagine that paladin has 3% constant dmg reduction while Divine Plea is up (from a glyph). So 20% dmg reduction with Bone Shield should, in theory, sound tempting enough.

I still wonder about blood subspec for UH tank. Note that Spellshaterring runeforging deflects 4% spell damage and Spell Deflection 3/3 gives you a chance to take 45% less direct spell damage. Though as you say UH tank might not need blood subspec as anti-magic shell and zone should eat spell damage.
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