No pretty pictures with this post but I will link my spec here. There are three reasons to consider talents, 1) does it provide mitigation. 2) does it provide increased threat. 3) does it provide some useful utility. If a talent doesn't address any of these three reasons and is not needed to break a lock in a tree, do not take it. So without further ado, here are my talents listed out, how many points, and why I took them.
Blade Barrier - 5 points. Whether I'm AOE or single target, I make sure to burn both my blood runes to proc this and get a nice 10% increase to my parry. In my current gear this brings my avoidance up to 45%. Without a doubt, this is a must have in every tanking spec for its mitigation. Not only is it 10% more parry, it means more Runestrikes. Who doesn't want more of those. Well the bosses you tank don't but we don't care about their opinions.
Bladed Armor - 5 points. In Frost presence this ups my AP by well over 600 points, half of which is incremental to being in blood presence. This is a pure threat talent.
Dark Conviction - 5 points. 5% crit on everything you do. Pure threat goodness.
Toughness - 5 points. This is another pure mitigation talent. If you don't have this you shouldn't be tanking. 15% more armor is sweet, especially since it has synergies with Bladed Armor to help increase your threat.
Vicious Strikes - 2 points. Increases the damage you do on your primary single target attack. More threat means dps can burn harder.
Morbidity - 3 points. While it does increase the damage on death coil, the primary reason to take this is to lower the cooldown of Death and Decay to 15 seconds. This allows you to keep your AOE threat at its peak 80% of the time. Not only that DnD is a high threat ability. Warlocks with their Seeds of Corruption can cast to their evil little hearts content when you have this talent.
Anticipation - 5 points. Extra dodge pure and simple. This is the last of the 3 mitigation talents that all tank specs must have. Like Blade Barrier this also will allow you to throw the smack down with more runestrikes. Woot!
Epidemic - 2 points. Let's face it, Icy Touch and Plague Strike aren't exactly the kings of dishing out damage by themselves. With this talent, the wonderful diseases they create last longer. This gives you more time to use your precious runes on scourge strike and therefore this is both a utility and threat selection.
Necrosis - 5 points. More damage pure and simple = more threat.
Blood Caked Blade - 3 points. Free attacks that don't consume a weapon swing or a GCD. This tends to run about 2.5% of my overall damage output. That adds up to quite a lot of extra threat.
Shadow of Death - 1 point. This talent covers all three reasons. Mitigation is helped with a boost to your stamina. Threat with a boost to your strength. Utility, because you have to die twice. Boss kills you with 3% left, no worries you self rez as a ghoul and can help burn him down as he runs from player to player ganking them all.
Impurity - 5 points. More damage on some of your key single target and aoe abilities.
Dirge - 2 points. This helps keep your runic power up. It's like viagra for rune strikes.
Magic Suppression - 5 points. Mitigation pure and simple when armor just doesn't do the job.
Reaping - 3 points. If you want death runes you want reaping, and you do want death runes. These little babies are what allow you to get some extra scourge strikes in. Even better you get these by burning your blood runes so you can proc blade barrier. I love the fact that blizzard put so much synergy between mitigation and threat in so many of our talents.
Master of Stupid (I mean Ghouls) - 1 point. This is a utility selection as it doesn't help when tanking. The damage it puts out doesn't add to your threat. It doesn't help with mitigation, and he dies in AOE intensive fights. I like my Ghouls for the extra damage they give me when I'm not tanking so I keep this point.
Crypt Fever - 3 points. Increases the Disease damage you have out there. Let's face it, if you're not using pestilence to get on the CDCs shit list you're not aoe tanking. Your standing in the middle of a pack of mobs hoping they don't like your name.
Bone Shield - 1 point. If you are an Unholy tank, you are bone headed without bone shield. This is pure mitigation and make sure you buy the glyph for it too. On single target fights, you can stack enough avoidance to keep this up for longer than a full minute which gets you past its cooldown. Healers will love you for the extra 40% mitigation from ALL sources of damage. This is the Unholy talent that makes the folks over at EJ think, "you know, unholy might be better at tanking than frost." Take it or spec Frost.
Ebon Plaguebringer - 3 points. This gives you a 3rd disease to spread around you dirty dirty little girl. More threat plain and simple.
Scourge Strike - 1 point. This will be your bread and butter attack against single mobs. Lots of tasty damage means lots of ill will from the boss. Guess he won't be sending you a Christmas card this year.
Rage of Rivendare - 5 points. This is another one of those great talents that provides both threat and mitigation. It pumps the damage done by targets you've infected and gives you more expertise. More expertise means you trigger the bosses parry-haste less often, means you don't get hit as frequently. You are already this deep in Unholy, take it.
Unholy Blight - 1 point. AOE threat galore. Yummy.
So there you go. I know there are some great talents I left out, but the trade offs are part of the fun of the game.
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