Jan 2010: I changed my mind, I like SoB a lot. Ignore the below. - Gravity
Scent of Blood
After some careful thought and a bit of chat with TankSpot on blood tanking, I’m moving my builds away from including the Scent of Blood talent into other talents instead, and putting a bias for Rune Tap (self-heal) into all my blood specs.
Scent of Blood gives you runic power, and it stacks if it procs more than once. I like it because blood otherwise does not generate any additional runic power. You always need RP for our big tank cooldown IBF and for threat on Rune Strike.
SoB talent lets you play a more relaxed style, because the RP is nearly always there for those tanking purposes or DPS with a death coil.
However, by carefully watching your runic power you can save those points and move them into Subversion (for crits), or in fact anywhere else.
I will keep just 1/3 in Scent of Blood in some builds. A tank shouldn’t need more than that.
Mathematically too, 1/3 this is a more reasonable distribution because the extra points of 2 or 3 in SoB just give you more charges, which are gained by each melee attack. Those extra points give you some burst of runic power, but really what tanks need is a continuous stream. The proc rate on SoB does not change with extra points in the talent, just the runic power you gain from each proc. Therefore, 1/3 is enough to help top-up your RP for the tanking purposes of IBF or RS if you want continuity rather than burst. Tanks don’t really need 2 or 3 unless they’re spec’ing all-out for threat.
October 13 ’09: I did a quick simulation to find out how much TPS 1 point of Scent of Blood gave a blood tank, and it was fairly marginal (about 0.5%).
Improved Rune Tap is a talent I love but I did not have it in all my specs. Notably it wasn’t in the Heroic spec, which on reflection it should have been. I added it. I would prefer to have that than Will of the Necropolis for heroics.
For raids, I’d want both (my raid spec did already include both).
I have updated the specs, find them via the main tank specs page.