Best tank spec in 3.33

For raids, I’d go with blood or frost.

Here are my posts with much more detail.

Patch Blood Frost Unholy
3.33 blood 3.3

Gravity’s Grid of Blood specs 3.3.3

Interactive talent tree to explain each talent

Frost 3.3 spec here or dual-wield Unholy tanking 3.3

March 23, 2010 update: 3.33 does not change your spec much, if at all. Read my full analysis, or visit the forums to see what others have to say.

Unholy should not be used for maintanking most of the ICC raids bosses: its bone shield uptime is just too short. Exceptions are Sindragoa and Valithria (where it’s awesome). There is a “fun” argument for Unholy, but I cannot recommend using it for raids.

For 5-mans or raids outside ICC, any tree will do the job if you’ve more threat than your dps, and unholy is a great option for AOE. For 5-mans, I’d recommend Frost though, it’s easy-mode threat.

Which spec if unsure? More discussion on the differences here.

Want to talk spec?

pwnwear now has forums.

Very active and growing. We don’t do “rate my spec” yet welcome padawan tanks along with scarred old vets like me. It’s a meeting place for DK Tanks. Registration is fast; you have to pass a fun Q&A test on WoW!

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15 comments to Best DK tank spec in 3.33

  • Malorax

    For those of us never intending to hit ICC, I’m finding the Unholy tank for 3.3 to be well worth the investment.  With Imp AMS and AMZ for many of the new 5-man encounters, it’s helping out my healers a lot.  And then, like you mentioned, Ebon Plague adds to the group utility as well :D

  • I went to ICC 5 Mans yesterday and even in my OP gear some damage was really stressing my alt lvl 210-219  healer. I have a HP pool of 40700 health unbuffed. So about 46k 5m buffed.

    And Loads of aoe Pulls where I would have loved some more Aoe tps as the dps is madly hitting all different mobs.

    Other than that I’m also testing the 1 disease Frost spec and I must say I’m not getting over 6k tps in a 5man. I don’t know if that is ok but it feels lowish.

    I’m not sure about unholy or blood as my gear is basted on my weapons stats so getting a 2hander that fits will be rather difficult.

  • Emi

    Loved ICC. In terms of TPS i was pleasantly surprised and as for my survivability, i really felt very comfortable (blood tank).

    The 5 man instances are nice for quick runs and the only real challenge(if you can call it that) is the last instance. But as soon as you figure the hunter is the primary guy to take down(he has a shot that increases magic damage taken) its really trivial.
    Oh, and i must say i loved the new LFG. Got a group ready and ported within 20 seconds.

  • Thanks for the post.  I haven’t played my DK much since October, but will have to look up any updated specs to see what’s worth changing both in DPS and Tanking.   Currently, I run blood as DPS and Tank, and unholy as DPS when needed. If the unholy tank spec looks good enough, I may go back to that, as it was my original tanking spec before my former GM requested I change it.  Any suggestions for placement of talent points would be appreciated.

  • Kenshi

    I’m not that fond of unholy as we have a TPS magnet Pally in the raid.

    I’m doing the single disease atm and it is coolio HB ftw !!!

  • Kenshi

    Even in 2h Single disease I’m getting my ass kicked …

    I’m at 6-7 K tps when I’m critting alot

    he is at a steady 9-10 k and that is flat steady

  • Ksatriamati

    Dear Gravity,
    i must say that your posts have been a great help for me towards learning to tank and choosing which spec i am comfortable with.  Thank you very much for that
    However, with the new ICC heroics i seem to be having some trouble with some of the pulls as a DW frost tank. The 3/4 caster pulls  just seem to literally eat me at the start of the pull.  I’ve started thinking about speccing into the spell acclimation talent or maybe go unholy for the magic reduction talents. but otherwise haven’t had any problems with threat as Howling Blast is just insane as an initial opener.
    Anybody else having problems with these pulls? any advice would be great! :O ]
    Ksatriamati of Frostmourne

  • kenpachi

    can ya link some good dk tanking 2h weapons plz,

  • It depends on whether or not you’re running a PUG with little communication, or if there’s some cooperation with your DPS. In the best case scenario, you’ll manage your following cool downs; Strangulate, Mind Freeze, Death Grip, and your AoE silence if you’re a Blood Elf. If you have one or more dps in your group that is somewhat together, an interrupt from them helps quite a bit. Examples would be; Kick, Counter Spell, whatever the new Shaman interrupt is called, etc. Just let each interrupt capable dps know what their raid mark icon is, and mark your targets appropriately.
    If you’ve got a clueless group on your hands, things are still possible, but more annoying. You’ll use Mind Freeze right after the pull on one of the casters, then Death Grip another one right to where you’re beating down the 3rd caster. The 4th one will be more or less a thorn in your side, be ready to taunt. Once Mind Freeze is up again (10 seconds), you’ll need to use it on that 4th mob. It’s a pain, but hopefully you won’t have to run with completely uncooperative dps every time.
    Good luck!

  • Kyle

    Those pulls are easy mode for frost dks. Run to closest caster. DG another caster in, at this point you will have almost the whole pull aggrod to you, and in a pug the morons doing damage will probably be starting to pop cooldowns, considering youve had about 2 seconds for threat. At this point, in a pug, hit HB asap to build some snap aggro to counter your groups dps threat. Then strangulate the last caster and get ready to DG/Taunt the soul horror back into AoE if it ports out to your healers and casters.

    Now settle into an easy HB/tab FS spam and dont be shy with AMS and Mind Freeze to help your healers mana.

  • I am a very new dk tank but I am really liking DW frost. I’m still working on gear so it’s somewhat hard to get him into the random icc 10 pug but I was abel to get up to saurfang. For at least those first three (well 2.3 boss with gunship) I didnt really see a problem as far as damage taken or TPS versus the Blood dk who tanking with me.  I really like being able to  pull aoe threat off any other tank with some nice rime procs.

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