Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Frost DW Tank Spec and Glyphs (3.2)

The Case for Dual Wield Tanking
(If you're looking for a rotation, go here)

I've decided to take a small plunge into the world of Death Knight tanking. In fact, this plunge is going to be a very pointed one. We all know that DK's can tank just fine, but I want to dual wield tank. Yes, you heard me, DUAL WIELD. In addition, I want to be a frost dual wield tank. Why? Because it's atypical and fun for me. What more reason does one need?

I want to start by defining the scope of the article. I'm not trying to say DW tanking is better than other tanking, I'm merely making the case that it is equally viable as a form of tanking. Thus, please keep that in mind when reading. I'm not trying to disprove other methods of tanking, only trying to prove mine by association and comparison.

The whole concept of dual wield tanking has been taboo for some time. Ask any seasoned veteran elitist and they'll probably spout off some diatribe about the parry-haste mechanics on bosses. For those of you that don't know, this mechanic is that each time a boss parries one of your attacks, he gains a temporary haste for his attacks, meaning you take more damage. This is why we force melee to the back of bosses (so they don't contribute) and why expertise capping is a must.

Note that I didn't say hit capping there. Hit capping has NOTHING to do with the chance for a boss to parry you. That's all expertise, baby.

Anyways, at first I thought this was going to be an uphill battle, filled with complicated maths to be able to be respected by the otherwise skeptical tanking community. Luckily, Mr. Vick (nothing to do with dogfighting, I'm sure, unless he wants to roll a worgen) commented the other day about a Tankspot discussion that debunks the theory that DW tanking for DK's is completely unviable. I went and found that discussion, read through the whole of it, and what follows now is my interpretation of the data and what it means for DW DK tanks everywhere.

First things first: the spec. 
With the new DW friendly talents that Blizz gave us in 3.2, it's very important to be sure you're specced correctly for any sort of dual wielding. This means basically for DW you must get the following two talents: Nerves of Cold Steel and Threat of Thassarian. You can see if you'd like to click that my 8/53/10 spec reflects these. Additionally, I've taken many of the traditional frost tanking talents.

Now, I mentioned that I thought the DW part was going to be the harder sell. However, I think with the recent nerfs of the frost tree while buffing DW talents, it may in reality end up being the fact that I'm going to be a frost tank and not a blood or unholy tank. Still, while frost may be the least attractive at the moment, there is no obvious taboo on using it as your tank spec. Plenty of people still Frost tank with a 2H. Thus, I'm not going to try to justify the frost part here, this is mainly to address the issue of dual wielding. If you have a problem with frost, that's fine. Just don't give me crap about my DW.

Secondly, it's important to note that I'm going with the following glyphs:
Then, I snatched up two Teldrassil Protectors from the Argent Tournament, because these seemed like a good place to start for 1H tanking weapons. The fact that they have defense and parry is really good for a DK DW tank. Most 1h weapons may waste some points on block, which is obviously useless for us. The rest of my gear is your typical DK tanking fare.

These get me to around 535 defense, which is the heroic defense cap. I'd like to get to 540, which is the raiding defense cap, but I'll need to work on my gear a bit more to get there. I've maxxed out the enchants and such that I can use to help my gear.

Finally, I headed to the runeforge to get my weapons to glow. I was a bit saddened when I learned I couldn't use Stoneskin Gargoyle to bump my defense some more (duh, it's only for 2h weapons), so I slapped one with Swordbreaking and the other with Spellbreaking. It may behoove me later to pick up an enchant for Blade Ward, since from all reports this looks like a good one, especially for DW DK tanks (since we both hit more and rely more on our own parry).

Okay, so now on to the more mathy portion of this post, since I've covered the initial setup.

I mentioned earlier about Expertise and Hit capping. For hit, with the Nerves of Cold Steel talent, we only need to gather a paltry 5% hit. "But wait!" you may say, "I thought DW imposed a penalty that means you need a whopping 27% hit in order not to miss." Yea, I say to you, that is indeed the case for white noise hits. That is most certainly NOT the case for melee based special attacks, where we need 8% (minus the 3% from the talent gives us 5%). Now, we do gain some benefit by going higher, since we rely on spells and they don't cap until 17% (minus 3% gives us 14%)... but you really don't see as much of a threat/dps gain from hit after 8% than you do from stacking other important stats. If you can pick up more, fine, just don't sacrifice better stats for it.

Also, to quote myself from earlier: Hit capping has NOTHING to do with the chance for a boss to parry you.

Like I said, that's expertise. The number we need to shoot for there is 26 "skill" (not rating). This is the so-called Dodge Cap. The prolific Splug from the tankspot forums explained it pretty well and was venerated by his peers, so I'll quote him:

"Getting over the 6.5% dodge cap [26 skill] is very efficient for threat, and by that point the parry-haste contribution becomes overshadowed by the raw avoidance gains from dual wielding tanking weapons [Splug]."

Yes, therein lies our first right hook at the jaw of the DW parry-haste myth. You see, one of the benefits of dual wielding is an increased contribution by your extra weapons to avoidance in the form of more parrying. Thus, it is argued that at the dodge cap, your expertise is enough to minimize the amount the boss is parrying you, while granting you enough avoidance that you reach a tipping point where the boss mechanic is overshadowed by your avoidance. Yes, that is just a restatement of the quote above, but it is an important point not to miss. This is one big feather in our cap for the viability of DW tanking.

Now, we can get more expertise, which will further decrease our chance of being parried as well as help with threat generation, but once we get to this cap, we should again not sacrifice other essential stats. This is just another benchmark similar to hit capping that we want to hit prior to throwing ourselves out in LFG saying "hey, I can haz tank!"

Along this line, we need to remember that we'll be parrying a bit more ourselves with two weapons. The increase in parry for a dual wield tank is significant not only for avoidance, but also for threat generation. Remember, parry doesn't suffer from diminishing returns like many other stats, and DK's start out with more than our fair share of parries anyways.

What does this mean? Well, recall that DK tanks have an ability called Rune Strike. This is the very cornerstone of DK tanking. Check it out via that link if you haven't heard of it. It is important to note that not only is it high threat, but it is also activated every time we parry an incoming attack. Didn't we just say that a DW tank will be parrying a lot more do to having more parry and an extra weapon (more attacks)? Why yes, we did. Quite simply, this means we'll be doing more Rune Strikes than our 2H counterparts.

Let me assure you that Rune Strike seems to proc almost constantly when you DW tank. I just tried it this last weekend in a heroic, and was amazed at how often that button lit up. I basically had to press it between each spell/special cast. If you've read that tooltip or are familiar with the ability, you also know that Rune strike is both UN-parriable AND it replaces parriable white noise attacks. Thus, not only are we increasing threat generation by DW, but we're also decreasing that nasty parry-haste mechanic contribution even further.

If the above is not enough to convince you, lets put this in a little perspective. After all, a DW DK tank is probably still going to be parried more than a 2H DK tank, if we're comparing apples to apples. Let's bust out the oranges though! That is, lets look at another flavor of tanks: Warriors. They have to deal with the same parry-haste mechanic we do.

Again, it was done better in the tankspot forum discussion, so I'll quote the enlightening and math-centric Satorri (2S is two slow weapons, 2F is two fast weapons, 1S is one slow two-handed weapon, just FYI... warrior is your typical warrior tank):

"So let's adjust the table from above [which did not take into account replacing white attacks with Rune Strikes]:
#attacks  #parries(no Exp) #parries(26 Exp)
Warrior =     72       10.1             5.4
DK-2S =       58        8.1             4.4
DK-2F =       80       11.2             6.0
DK-1S =       31        4.3             2.3
So, notice now that while you will get more parriable swings, and more parries with dual wielding than a 2-h as a DK, DK's also start way ahead of the curve for parriable attacks, and in fact, dual wielding tank weapons can only marginally increase your risk of parry-haste over that of a warrior with the same Expertise. And after expertise we're nitpicking on half an actual parry (which is only relevant in a giant number statistical average) [Satorri]."

So what's the point here? Well, I haven't noticed any Warrior tanks being shunned from groups for parry-haste mechanics, nor has that mechanic been a particular problem for them. Yet, DW tanking for DK's is on par with warrior tanking when it comes to the same mechanic. Sure, 2H DK tanking may be better from a very selective perspective, but DW tanking has it's own perks as well (more parries, more avoidance, more rune strikes... the threat may end up being a wash since you hit harder with 2H weapons, but more often with two weapons). Also, I'm not trying to answer the question of if DW tanking is better, only if it's viable. I'm trying to debunk the myth that DW tanking suffers from too much parry-haste. Clearly, I think I've shown that it is just that... a myth. So, to answer the question...

Is dual wield Death Knight tanking viable in the 3.2 World of Warcraft?

My answer is an emphatic: Yes.

(Edit: I tried to clean this up a bit to make it easier to browse.  Also, if you're looking for more... I go into detail about my rotation and such things here.)


  1. Great article! Good theorycraft, thoroughly but simply explained, and I am going to give it a try!! ;-)

  2. TY. So far it's been fun, though I haven't had a true test.

  3. I've been a 2h DK-tanking defender for a long time. BUT lately I've been trying the dual wield-tanking and, wtf!!!, it works. With a Slightly diferent build of talents and taking into acount that you have to achieve a certain level of gear to do it, it's definitely possible; and it has many advantages from my blood 2h tanking spec. I agree that expertise is the clue BUT I should go for a higer hit (360). Nice blogg ^^

  4. I haven't been able to play with this as much as I'd like, so I can't say I have a set rotation yet.

    Basically, the same principles you might use as a Frost DPS DK would apply... 1. put up diseases 2. OB 3. Runic Power Dump.

    That's it. For tanking, my RP dump is primarily Rune Strike, and you should hit it any time it's available. I only use Frost Strikes if I'm at or near my RP cap of 130.

    For AoE situations you'd have to swap it up... perhaps use some HB or DnD to make sure you lock those extra mobs on. This is where I really haven't worked out a whole lot, but I'd probably us Pest after applying diseases and then hit a HB instead of OB. I might lead off with a DnD, but could run into rune problems later... Depends on how much threat I need.

    Hope that helps a bit...

  5. I think maybe I wrote a post about it. If not, I should. If I did, I should find it and link it here. I'll search later when I have some time... for now, the short version is depending on what type of threat I want... single target or AoE.

    For ST: I put on diseases, then OB and FS as I can, keeping the diseases up. I don't FS too much so as to leave myself with enough RP to hit Rune Strike whenever the button lights up (from a parry). You really do a lot of RS and they're great for threat, so they should be priority one, but they're proc dependant so you gotta do the other stuff when you can.

    For AoE: DnD, Howling Blast to lead off... it's a good combo of both burst and non-burst threat generation. Then I'll try to put up diseases and use Pest to spread them. Usually this is awkward with runes at this point, but, also, if you're AoE'ing, usually stuff dies fast. If not, after that I just try to keep up diseases and throw in a HB whenever I can... basically only doing the DnD up front.

    However, in cases where there are "waves" of mobs, I will save some runs to try and throw the DnD/HB combo for each wave. It's sort of cumbersome rune-wise, but it works in my experience (which has been 10 and 25 Naxx apart from heroics).

    It's mostly a priority system more than a rotation... just trying to use the right skills at the right time. It's been my experience that a tanking "rotation" is better off being flexible since you have to react a lot more but is also more forgiving since you don't have to be perfect to generate good threat. You just have to do the right things at the right time.

    Both DPS and tanking are challenging, mind you, just different challenges and the old "rotational" thinking doesn't exactly fit to tanking, IMO.

  6. Yeah, definitely did not post this anywhere that I can easily find. I totally meant to. In any case, I'll postify the previous comment so it's a little cleaner and make a fresh post out of it soon.

  7. i have also been tweeking and messing with the DK DW mechanics (my DK has DW since lvl 60) and everything u have here is valid just i would recomend a slower high damage main-hand weapon with a very fast offhand weapon like [gleaming quel'serra] and [red sword of courage]

  8. Okay, so we use a slow main hand to maximize our "special attack" damage, right? That's how I understand it. Thus, having a faster off-hand shouldn't gimp anything since it's all calculated off your main hand. Am I correct in that? Because in that case, I would think using a fast off hand is definitely good.

    The only down side might be some more parries, but really it should be negligible anyways, as I've pointed out above. We're talking slights of slights at that point.

  9. Do you use Obliterate even though it consumes your diseases?

  10. I have it talented so that it doesn't do that. 3/3 Annihilation is good stuff :-).

  11. i was wondering about your choice of glyph of obliterate. i know 20% dmg is always good, but what about glyph of runestrike, it adds 10% crit to runestrike. and you were saying since its dw youll be runestriking more, wouldnt you want that glyph instead?

  12. That's actually a great suggestion that I'll have to look into. You're probably correct that I'd get a lot more out of runestrike since I'm probably using it at least 2:1 vs OB. I haven't done any math, but I'll prolly pick it up an give it a go.

  13. Isn't Oblit an aoe attack? or am i confusing it with frost strike? (I don't think i am but Im at work in work mode which puts WoW to the back of the brain). If I am right though.. then glyphing for Oblit well help with some mob round up as well where the focus of rune strike is a threat builder. I dw frost and the only problem I run into is controlling mobs.

  14. I think you're getting those confused with Heart Strike. That's a blood tree talent that hits the target and his nearest ally. OB and FS are both single target attacks only.

    Best way to control an AoE pull, imo, is howling blast with a DnD. If you're still struggling, think about swapping a glyph for the HB glyph that'll put Frost Fever on all the targets your HB hits. You should try to get diseases up and spread them anyways, but the glyph will let you do it more quickly.

  15. Very well written and accessible. Yay! You can haz writing!

    Just picked up my second Peacekeeper Blade yesterday, the same day Blizzard gave me a 1h weapon defense rune. Yay! (Yes, it was for me, but the rest of you can use it too.)

  16. TY, I will work on updating this for 3.3 in the not-so-distant future as well.

    There shouldn't be too much different, but the rune is a biggy.

  17. Thanks for this blog dude. Like the others have said, well written and well structured.

    One tip for all dk tanks. If you're willing to use macros for your abilities, tie rune strike to multiple abilities. Since it's not on the cooldown and will hit on your next melee strike, this allows you to basically try to do it pretty much any time you do anything else. That way you don't really have to *watch* rune strike to see if it's available, it will just go off pretty much whenever it can. I use the same principle on my bear tank with maul.

    As far as rotation, if it's a group I generally go in with a DnD right off the bat where I plan to tank them and then fire off a howling blast. Then usually RP dump if I can and then go into diseases and pestilence. I personally use blood boil a lot too, but that's more a personal preference than being necessarily the "right" thing to do.

  18. Great tip. I think I published such a macro in my 3.3 (see the DK Tanking Primer link above on the left).

  19. Hello, read the post and loved it. This is however my recomendations:

    >- Spec & Talents -<

    There is no need for Hungering Cold. Your party members AOE will break out the mobs anyway.

    Epidemic is a must for rotations to work.

    Scent of Blood is debateable as you generate enough RP as it is.

    2% dmg reduction from Improved Frost is not necesarry and can be switched if you like to.

    I would suggest to put 1 pt from HC into Deathchill and 2 pt from SB into Epidemic. Or put 2 pts from Improved frost into Epidemic.

    Only spec Icy Talons if no other DK' has it!

    >- Rotations & Aggro -<
    Given that you have Epidemic.

    D&D - IT - PS - Pestilence - OB - BS - BS - Hob w/rime.

    Your initial pull will be by using D&D, this generates enough AOE threath to hold the mobs as long as DPS stays on the correct target.
    Target main "Skull" and set up deseases + spread. Use Blood Tap when needed to spread deseases. This generates enough threath to hold aggro when people start to DPS.
    Continue with 1 Obliterate and 2 Blood Strikes, always OB first as you want the CD to start asap. Continue with the BS to get blade barrier up.

    Once the above 3 is done, every rune will be on cooldown. This is when you use your RIME proc to cast a Howling Blast for more AOE, i like to use HoB in combination with Deathchill which makes it a critical hit on all targets around you! (to me this is IMBA)

    Rinse and Repeat from step 1.

    >- Summary & What Would Mac Gyver Not Do! -<

    Be ready to use RP when ever your Rune Strike is ready. From DW this will happen a lot and normally there wont be to much RP left for Death Coil. Remember you can select RS and continue your rotation without interuption, the RS will go off as soon as possible and wont mess things up.

    If you mess up the rotation, have Empowered Rune Weapon as backup and Blood Tap.

    When you pull, trust in your D&D, it WILL hold aggro as long as your party members targets the correct mob.

    MacGyver would never start with D&D followed by HoB, you will then have spent all of your runes. D&D + Deseases is a far better opening sequence. The deseases will be far more beneficial for both aggro and survivability compared to a HoB!

  20. I'm a frost tank at the moment.

    Few points: 1) You don't really parry that much more as a DW tank. You get 2 tanking weapons worth of parry rating (maybe a percent) more, but if you compare the net amount of STR that you find on a good tanking 2H, you might see that there is usually about 30 STR more on the 2H weapon, which will eat up a half a percent of the advantage. You get a little bit from defense, however, and some dodge and such, but the difference is close to a wash. Not needing nerubian carapace may allow you more mileage, but I use them to maximize EH

    Second, very often I like to pull with Glyphed Howling Blast. It hits harder than DND up front, applies my glyphed frost fever to each target (which ticks for a lot) and allows me to 1-disease oblit. Also, it gives me a whole lot more snap threat than DND, so now I have time to drop DND and let it tick. If you just pull with DND and then start on one target, typically a high melee dps will overtake you on several mobs. I've found for most heroics / multimob situations I have less trouble if I forget about plague strike and that disease and just do a 1 disease rotation. Then I don't need to pestilence, I have less rune clashes and, importantly, I can still hold AOE threat off warrs and pallies, who IMO are the fastest AOE threat with whirlwind and divine storm. Faster, easier, better.

    Bosses, I'll start with icy/plague/oblit/BS and then I'm off to the races, I usually drop howling out of my rotation for bosses but it really doesn't matter a whole lot.

    I specced the talent that increases the range of howling blast.

    I've found blood tanking a little better for raids, since it's usually one target, but I don't really like the mechanism of vampiric blood vs. unbreakable. Single target tanking, if you're frost and you're losing threat all the time (raiding) you might want to try blood. If you're doing heroics and you're losing threat all the time, you might want to try frost. If you really outgear the crap out of heroics and you're just in a hurry, just use an unholy DPS spec in tank gear, unholy is massive AOE DPS. I personally hate unholy raid tanking because the single target threat sucks donkey nuts at progression levels, even with scourge strike changes thus far.

  21. Thanks for the comment and great info!


    Ur info is nice on some subjects but rather misguided in others.
    I dont know who told u that, and I quote from ur post, "you really don't see as much of a threat/dps gain from hit after 8%".
    That is total Bs my friend. As a dk ur strength also adds to ur threat through white hits so u want the hit cap wich is well over 8%. The more u swing and miss the less total threat output u have, and it may not seem like ur white hitting at all with different rotations but you actualy are and that is a huge amount of threat you lose if ur not hit capped and are missing. ESPECIALY as a DW frost dk tank.
    That is why it is considered taboo to DW as a frost tank till ur fairly well geared. It takes alot to get hit capped for 2H let alone DW wich requires more hit, however yes DW usualy does pull more threat pending on specs and rotations and how much strength the toon has IF your geared for it.
    And to get def capped super easy for DW just pop on Nerubian Carapace (adds deff rating to 1H weapons) but im not sure if you had it at the time of ur respec...

    As for parry haste mechanics, yes warrs have the same as dw dks, but so do pallys. DW dks are not quote "shunned" for that reason, they are shunned for being too squishy. Yes they do pull SLIGHTLY more aggro, however in general DW dks have less stam and agility in comparison from the gear they chose to use(AKA 1h weapons)than frost dk tanks who 2H it. It isnt always the case but it is the general case. To Dodge and Parry Is a DK Tank!! Since dks dont have block, those 2 stats gotta be up there in #s and agility gives u points in dodge and hit if nothing else (least according to mainstream critics)


    Now for ur spec...
    Ur dk DW spec is totaly retarded. Ur speced more for pvp DW frost than tanking. For example...

    There is absolutely no need for Icy Talons or Acclimation as a frost dk tank in any aspect. True u gain some melee haste but ur wasting valuable points that should be used elsewhere for a more benificial outcome. I figured this out the hard way on my frost dk tank, I kept IT for the longest time and decided just to take the advice from my friends and take it out and replace it and now im doing MUCH better. Yes my attks r a bit slower but I am surviving better. And they arent much slower to make a huge difference.
    In the case of Acclimation you boost resistance to spells, but only have a chance to so it isnot something that is givin to you at all times. It is nice to have a bit of resistance at points to spells as a dk I will admit, however it is NOT needed. If your against foes with caster properties ur Anti Magic Shell (the non UH spec version) should be in play at every CD and that will midigate much of the dmg u take from spells anyway.
    You should take points form these talents and put them in Glacir Rot(frost tree) and Epidemic(UH tree). Why? Point for point deseases are a dks biggest aggro puller. The longer they last, the more TPS you have. This is the same for all Dk tank specs.

    As for your points in Morbidity(UH tree)... It isnt a bad talent to have if ur into heroics rather than raids but if ur going into raids, get Bladed Armor(blood tree) instead. You shouldnt be DNDing a raid boss anyways because it wastes runes for less aggro than a good rotation puts out in the same runes, and the attk power will up ur TPS a little more.

    Also, u dont have Lichborne. That is a MUST HAVE for frost dk tanks and if possible all dk tanks, altho not every spec can allow enough points to get it, but as frost u have to have it. Its a vital CD that you should be popping like ur neighbour pops pills. It keeps u from being feared, stunned and all that jazz wich if u midigate, u are allowed more TPS due to the fact that u arent cut off for 3+ seconds from all attacks.


    Finaly for glyphs. Ur glyphs are also set for heroic tanking wich is fine if that is what ur after. But I recomend switching out Glyph of Desease with Glyph of Runestrike if you decide to hit up raiding. U can keep it thats fine but you will have to alter ur rotation to fit it in as I showed above.

    If you make these corrections you will notice more survivability and TPS output than ur current setup.


    if u have any points left u should put em in either Runic Power Mastery or Chill Of The Grave, just for a bit of replenishment or Icy Reach for some range increase. I personaly chose CotG for accumulation rather than pool or range. My belief is that if u need range because someone is ahead of you, that person ahead of u needs a brain check, noone should be running infront of the tanks.

    Also for choice of weapons, as a DW frost dk tank u want slower 1h weapons. They usualy give more strength and stam wich will give more hp and threat per swing. Ur choice of weapons isnt bad for STARTING to DW tank but I recomend grabbing some of the weapons out of the fairly new ICC Instances PoS, FoS, and HoR both heroic and normal.

    Rotation time... Ur rotation has the basics down however u dont use Bloodstrike. Believe it or not BS pulls quite a bit of threat. In ur current rotation, you spam Oblit as much as you can and still have runes left over that go to waste. You start off well, laying out ur deseases. However, you also start of patchy. Unless you use ur runic CD spells at the start of pulls, your going to be short on runic for your runes needed for Oblit and other spells to be off CD by the time u can nolonger use Frost Strike. You would be white hitting till they are up, wich also caters to what I have said earlier in this comment about hit and strength for white hitting threat. As this comment is getting fairly long I will shorten this part up for you and just lay out the rotation I have have come up with that pulls 4-6k TPS pending on skills that the boss does for SINGLE TARGET THREAT in just triumph equivilant gear(aka 10 toc equivilant)...
    Start by laying ur deseases with IT and PS. Then use Oblit, followed by 2 BS and then a FS dump(aka, using FS till u no longer can) Your runes will b off CD by this point or very close to being off CD but if your impatient pop ur Runic CDs and hit FS again.
    Follow this up with 2 Oblit, 2 BS, and another FS dump.
    If you chose to keep glyph of desease, the follow up rotation will go, Pest, 2 Oblit, BS, FS Dump.
    Rince and repeat and youll be dishing out some nice aggro for being frost wich is commonly known for not having high TPS output.
    Each rotation set after the first set, I recomend popping ur Lichborne and Runic CD if you havnt already, it will set u up for oncoming attacks and let u have enough runic to boost the chance of having the runic needed to use Rune Strike. Use Rune Strike when it procs and ur other CD like Unbreakable Armor, Icebound Fortitude and ur Anti Magic Shell when needed.

  26. @DK Love

    Okay, so the first thing is that you're reading and critiquing an older article here. I've since updated this for 3.3 with what I've learned and what's changed. Please read that before launching into an in-depth response.

    Most of what you say makes good sense though, except for that bit about white noise. I'm not sure where you're getting your information but I pull all my stuff off Elitist Jerks for the most part. According to what I read there, white noise affects your tanking threat output noticeably, you're doing it wrong. You should get far more of a boost from special attacks like Rune Strike, which do NOT benefit from the extra hit. While having more hit doesn't hurt, you should not stack it to the exclusion of other, more useful stats such as Str if you're looking for threat. 8% is the cap for your non-spell special attacks (Rune Strike, OB, BS, PS, FS and others... not IT or HB are the big spells i believe, DC for other builds).

    With all of this being said... my goal as I've laid it out here is not a main tanking, end game raiding build. Rather, I mostly off tank or tank heroics as you guessed. For that, I believe my spec is well balanced to handle the random rigors of OT'ville. It's a bit of a different approach from the cookie cutter 2H builds, but I wasn't going for conventional here. In practice, I've been very pleased with this build and haven't noticed a problem with equivalently geared party members.

  27. @ Fulguralis

    well if you feel comfortabe with it thats fine, however when i was mentioning the ovr 8% fo hit cap, i was refering to only DW tanking. I myself got that info of the same plce, Elietest jerks a while back when i was leveling my dk so i could get a 1up on other tanks early on. I read there that DW tanks should have 10% rather than 8%. Im not 100% sure if DW dks have changed since then and i should have thought about that b4 i said that, since i did look alongtime ago. blizz messes things up so much it may be different from then.
    and ya special attks do generate more threat but if u miss the white hits u still lose what threat those gain for you is what i was saying. it ends up adding up after a while like that pile of clothes in the conor of ur bedroom =P

  28. Yeah, having the extra hit certainly doesn't hurt as long as you don't have to sacrifice too much.

    The 8% melee cap is referenced several places on EJ with regards to patch 3.3. Perhaps the best explanation I've found is in the Frost DPS section here:

    The little blurb on hit explains it thoroughly and can easily be adapted for tanks since hit affects both specs the same. Here is the direct copy/paste...

    "32.8 rating gives you 1% hit, therefore you will require 263 hit rating (164 with Nerves of Cold Steel) or 8%, to be hit capped on special attacks. This means, contrary to what some might think DW builds actually require less hit to cap their special attacks than our two handed brothers. Special attacks include: Blood Strike, Plague Strike, Frost strike, Obliterate. (and others that we don't care about as DW)

    Spell hit cap is 17% against level 83 (boss level opponents. The talent Virulence provides 3% hit for spells, the Druid talent Improved Faerie fire, or the Shadow priest talent Misery will further reduce this requirement by 3% (Hit debuffs do not stack.) The final result brings the requirement via gear down to 11%, at which point no spell will miss. Spells include Howling blast, Icy touch and Death coil.

    White hits have a hit cap of 27%. The talent Nerves of cold steel reduces this by 3%. At this point, no white hits (or any attack for that matter) will miss. This cap is not reasonable to reach for any DK, and should not be attempted. However, keep in mind that gaining hit over the spell hit cap still has a dps value as it will allow more white damage, more blood caked blade procs, and more Killing machine procs." - via linked EJ article.