Friday, March 6, 2009

PTR Blood Tank Results

I didn't get a whole lot of time to test my Blood tank spec yesterday like I had hoped. My better half was sick and my folks came to visit. I did sneak in a Heroic Violet Hold run. I may have just converted to Blood for tanking in 3.1. It was that good.

First the bad news, AOE threat is an issue. Even with Morbidity and a 15 second cool down on DnD it is possible to lose adds. Worse, it becomes even more important you establish a kill order or at least ensure DPS is using an assist to target your target. We had a Hunter pulling 3k DPS on the run and whenever they targeted someone I wasn't they pulled aggro.

This is easily solved with smart play and shouldn't truly be an issue. As for grabbing snap aggro on adds when DnD is on cooldown? The new and improved, as well as talented, Blood Boil will do just fine. Even without diseases up, this will capture the attention of all the badies long enough to cement threat properly so your heals don't get ganked.

To make this even easier, I have determined it is best to go with the numbers and trade out Subversion and get Death Rune Mastery. My Heart Strikes and Obliterates won't quite hit as hard on average but overall I will get more Heart Strikes in which should increase my overall threat as well as even it out since I will spam 6 strikes per 10 seconds instead of 4.

Doing the easy math, my OB's hit for 2,249 on Cyanigosa while my Hearts nailed her for 1,750. I'll still use OB's to convert the Unholy and Frost runes over to Death Runes, but that will allow me to pop a lot more Heart Strikes. In addition I am more likely to have a rune available for Blood Boil should an add show up.

Overall single target threat is good as well. We were maybe 15 seconds into the fight and I was already pumping 4,400 TPS in a 5 man with Horn of Winter being my only buff. Give me might, kings, mark of the wild, food, and a flask and this number easily grows past 6,000.

Lastly, I would add that this output was done primarily without the benefit of glyphs. The bone shield and scourge strike glyphs I was rocking just don't add any value to a blood build.

I need to do some research on the new glyphs before I really have some recommendations for blood. Unholy Tanking is easy, the new Pestilence, Scourge Strike, and Bone Shield and you should never have to worry about keeping your diseases up. For blood I would definitely keep the Pestilence, might get the new Plague Strike, and need to think about the third. I am a little torn on the PS one as well. With the pestilence glyph I may not be using PS all that much, even on single target.


  1. Thanks for the info. It's nice to finally see someone who gives blood tanking a fair shake. I've just started tanking (7-8 heroics so far) with my blood dps/hybrid spec, and so far I really like it. With two sets of gear I feel like I can do respectable dps or tanking.

    Also, with the changes in the latest ptr build, to my amateurish eyes it looks like blood got nerfed the least.

    Haniball of Mok'Nathal

  2. I haven't had a chance to revisit this since the lastest build hit the PTR. That said the spec will go under some modification with the impacts to Lichborne. Just not as much reason to put so many points in Frost now.

  3. There is apparently supposed to be a change to the Pestilence Glyph that makes it, in addition to spreading the diseases from your current target to other targets, will also renew the diseases on your current target. Whenever this change hits the PTR, do you believe this will have a major impact on not just AoE threat (Where popping either two blood runes, or a blood frost and unholy to keep diseases on all targets are your options for keeping diseases up vs just using Blood Boil), but also single target threat where you can get away with using only one frost and one unholy rune to keep your diseases up the whole fight.

    Also, I noticed that on Live Servers, diseases applied by Dancing Rune Weapon can be spread by the pestilence of its summoning Death Knight even long after DRW's duration has ended (I managed to keep a chain going for upwards of 3 minutes by dragging the mob with the 4 diseases to the next group and casting Pestilence before the disease's duration ended). If the proposed Pestilence Glyph change goes through and it also renews DRW's applied diseases on the main target, do you believe it will have enough of an effect on damage (apparently DRW attacks and diseases do not generate threat for the summoning DK though)to justify grabbing for various DPS race fights. Presently I'm not certain of DRW applied diseases count for calculating disease bonuses on Death Strike and Heart Strike... I personally haven't noticed any difference at least.

  4. @ Anon 3/16

    I don't have any experience with DRW and tanking so I can't comment on your second paragraph.

    When I was on the PTR I hadn't scored the new pestilence glyph but on paper it sounds incredible. More reliable than the scourge strike glyph and frees up one global cooldown and trades a FU rune pair for one blood rune. I beleive this will be a staple glyph of all tanks.

    As for using pestilence to refresh your disease on single targets over icy touch and plague strike, I'm not sold on it yet. The question becomes is the damage output of one death strike greater than the output of IT+PS+HS.

  5. Just a quick follow up in comparing DS+Pest to IT+PS+HS, this assumes you have a blood build.

    For Frost builds the comparison is OB+Pest, vs IT+PS+BS.

    For Unholy its SS+Pest vs IT+PS+BS.

  6. Using Pestilence to renew Diseases, it looks something like this... assuming Epidemic talent is maxed for 21 second Duration Diseases.

    1. *Starting 10 S cycle*
    IT + PS + DS + HS + HS

    2. *First True Rotation 10 S Cycle*

    DS + HS + HS + HS + HS

    3. *Disease Renewal 10 S Cycle*

    Pestilence + HS + HS + HS + DS

    Repeat Stage 2 then 3.

    Using Icy Touch and Plague Strike rather than Pestilence for single target nets a rotation of just stages 1 and 2... because Blood's Pesti Cycle vs Blood's IT + PS cycle both share stage 2, is it not correct that we have to compare the damage of cycle's 1 and 3? 1 having IT + PS + DS + HS + HS vs Pesti + DS + HS + HS + HS. Essentially, is IT + PS > Pesti rotation's third HS?