Surazc – Death Knight Tank
One of the things that I enjoy the most about playing my Death Knight is that I’m not pigeonholed into doing things one specific way. Do I want to tank as a frost mage in plate? Okay, I can do that. How about a warlock with the long sought after ability to DoT multiple targets at once while granting bonus damage? Yep. Unholy’s got that covered solidly. Ever played a rogue? If not, there’s Blood.
Each talent tree in the Death Knight class is a solid mix-up of tanking utility and damage generation. Each tree has its own flavor, and with that flavor, a focus.
Blood seems to be the solitary OT spec of choice. It has a great deal of utility depending on how far down you go and if need be, can survive on its own for a solid amount of time by sacrificing raw damage obliterates for death strikes.
Frost gets down and dirty with an area-wide CC ability for its 51 point talent. Everything about frost revolves around stacking things up just right. Frost focuses more on controlling a situation versus its distant cousin in the Blood tree who seeks to turn every situation into Rambo v. Country X.
Unholy is, without contest, the Area Tank spec of choice. It also, without trying, is the support spec of choice. A Support Tank is what I’ve always wanted in my raids, and with Unholy DKs my wish has come true.
The thing that really makes DKs shine though is not the resource system of the class, but the design of the talent trees. In every tree you see a pattern:
- 1st Tier: A tanking talent and 2 DPS talents.
- 2nd Tier: Self-buff talents (minus Death Grip)
- 3rd Tier: 1st utility, tree defining damage buff ability
- 4th Tier: More self-buffs (Blood’s buff is survival)
- 5th Tier: Damage talents (Frost is the exception here)
- 6th Tier: Raid-Wide support and a personal buff
- 7th Tier: Novelty Talent, Aura, and Support Talent.
- 8th Tier: Utility + Damage Buff
- 9th Tier: Tree defining strike, talents which make your frequent skills much better, and a survival talent
- Tier 10: Expertise and Damage bonus
- Tier 11: Giant RP dump which follows the tree ideal.
There are very few deviations from this talent structure throughout the entire class, and it is this fact, not their abilities, that make DKs so good.
We pay for structure though with the inability to use a shield. Not having a shield removes an entire (working or not) mitigation stat from the lineup and CAN make spec’ing a little bit difficult.
Having tanked in all three trees I have to say that while I die less often in Frost, tanking is more fun in Blood. Something about going toe-to-toe with a raid boss and having nothing to back you up except a giant 2 handed weapon piques something waaaay deep in the male machismo.
Unholy will forever be the support/DPS spec as it is difficult seeing a Warloc– I mean Death Knight, do much anything else with that lineup of talents.