For Unholy in patch 3.3: read my full analysis.
Sept 28: In 3.22 the below spec is no longer the highest threat unholy build, it’s now with no-epidemic.
October 1st: the below analysis has a major error in the character sheet I used, overweighting attack power. Look at the no-epidemic page for the latest on unholy.
Original post continues:
I did a few simulations of a Death Knight deep Unholy tank build to see how useful the new Subversion and Scourge Strike glyph are. This is using patch 3.22 changes. I also wanted to check the relative values of wandering plague, blood-caked blade, ravenous dead, and epidemic.
Read my conclusion for the highest tps DK unholy spec I could find.
These tests are using Kahorie’s simulator v1.1.1 which knows about the PTR changes. My usual caveats apply and baseline stats used (they’re at the bottom of this post).
- 2 points in wandering plague are worth the same DPS as 2 in blood-cake blade
- wandering plague is better, however, since it scales with raid buffs, hits AOE, and doesn’t increase boss-parry risk. I didn’t expect it to have been as good as BCB though, that’s good news
- 2 points in subversion is a tiny bit slightly less DPS (~0.9%) than two in wandering plague or BCB, so basically you can consider them equal for tanking purposes
- 2 points in epidemic, when you also have the new SS glyph, is worth less than two in those other talents mentioned; ie. 2.2% less dps when spec’d into epidemic instead of subversion
- I double-checked, plague strike glyph is pathetic. You can’t use it instead of SS glyph and think epidemic is enough.
Can you just use the new SS glyph and have zero in epidemic? They both work to extend disease duration, so do you need both? Here’s what I found:
- You do not need epidemic if you have the SS glyph. Sim with zero gave 3067 dps, sim with 2/2 epidemic gave 3079 dps, both had the glyph, no other changes. That’s basically no gain.
- However, you’ll screw yourself in AOE situations.
- Therefore, take Epidemic anyhow, and don’t get the new +3 second SS glyph
- Use Unholy Blight glyph instead.
- This is consistent with commentary in the EJ DPS thread.
Next test, how much does Ravenous dead compared to virulence? Virulence buffs death coil, which is your 3rd or 4th biggest damage source, but it uses RP which for a tank is often consumed by rune strikes. Ravenous dead on the other hand, buffs strength which increases all your spell damage directly.
- Virulence took death coil to 15.7% of total damage from 15.4%, since it missed only 5% of the time and not 7%. That was a net 0.5% dps increase. Not good.
- Ravenous Dead on the other hand gave 1.8% more dps for two talent points.
In earlier tests, I have worked out that Desolation is slightly weaker than Bladed Armour. I also found Black Ice is about the same value as wandering plague, around 1% per talent.
This is based on simulation theory crafting.
This means a deep unholy tank, going for highest threat, you would spec like 12-8-51.
Sept 28: that’s not the highest threat build actually anymore, it’s now no-epidemic.
(Don’t gimp your AOE by dropping epidemic and don’t use +3 second SS glyph.)
Remember my caveats for all these sims (sigil/presence, etc).