Quick Glance at Death Knight Tanking Talents

This post contents Wrath Beta SpoilersAuthor’s note: I have quit playing WoW before patch 3.0.5. Warcraft-related content is no longer being updated, and information in this post may not reflect the live game any more.
Wowhead (no, I’m still not linking to them) put up a WWI-based talent calculator for DKs. From a quick survey, it appears Blizzard wants indeed not to typecast each talent tree to specific roles, as talents fit for tanking appear in all three.

The good news, though, without having a concrete idea of the impact in terms of gameplay, it does appear that by level 80, all important tanking talents across all three trees are speccable in one single build, and you may even pick up a couple of DPS-boosting talents while doing so.

Of course, in practice this approach changes little of substance compared to some cookie-cutter 0/49/12 (or variant thereof depending on progression) tankadin build of old, it only gives the illusion of variety. Still, from the current design perspective, it looks like tanking talents are at the lower tiers, while all three trees have some interesting DPS talents in the top tiers (once the tanking stuff has been taken care of).

EDIT post release: People interested in looking at what builds and trees are viable on live would be well advised to follow this Elitist Jerks discussion. The current finding is that while blood tanking doesn’t cut it, the jury is still out between frost and unholy. And that’s a good thing IMO.

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4 Responses to Quick Glance at Death Knight Tanking Talents

  1. Flaime (4 comments) says:

    If the Death Knight is supposed to be a “DPS” tank, it wouldn’t it make sense that there be some sort of tank enhancement talent in each tree? I would expect that Death Knights will probably be faced with tree decisions based on boss resistances, making their tanking specs rather more varied (and their tanking duties rather more expensive) than the other tank classes.

  2. Gwaendar (217 comments) says:

    Frankly, unless they go really through with the notion of allowing players to have two full talent specs they can swap around without cost, having a tank who needs to respec depending on what boss he’s going to tank is almost certain to kill that class.

    If the talents remain more or less as is, I think you will have three different spec groups for the DK:
    - Full tank with all core tanking talents specced in all three trees
    - DPS / Offtank: a “major” taking the tanking talents in one tree, speccing that tree’s DPS talents all the way up to Tier 11, then minoring additional tanking or support talents in the other two trees
    - Full out DPS, with different flavors per tree.

    As is, the trees suggest a lot of different gameplay types. How much of these will be viable remain to be seen :)

  3. pingamaster (1 comments) says:

    frost is tanking. Period. On a raid boss blood and unholy WILL NOT be able to hold up against it, it would be impossible.

  4. Gwaendar (217 comments) says:

    2 things.

    First, mind the post date. I was looking at the first published beta talent trees.

    Second, going by EJ ‘s current discussion, unholy is actually raid tanking viable, possibly even better than frost.

    Not sure a dogmatic stance at this stage is the right approach.