Frost is intended to dual-wield

Blizzard have given a unequivocal statement that Frost is designed for dual-wielding. That two-handed Frost will not, and is not intended to, give the same DPS (for raiding) as dual-wield will.

In tanking, it’s the same: you get higher TPS in dual-wield. Just remember, you should have more expertise to tank dual-wield than two-handed.

What’s refreshing is a black and white statement about their design intent, from blue poster Zarhym.

Q u o t e:
Just curious….are we ever going to see a viable 2h frost spec viable for raiding again. 2h frost was the spec i enjoyed the most, even more so than Unholy. I know there are other dks thinking the same thing? are we ever going to see a viable 2h frost spec for raid or is it going to forever remain the tree for DW?

It’s not very likely you’ll see a viable two-hand Frost raiding build any time soon. Each death knight tree already offers a good deal of versatility given that there are potential DPS, tanking and PvP avenues in each. They’re designed so that players can choose their path based on play style and flavor, not because of role (in the way that a Holy priest who wants to DPS as Holy is out of luck). Trying to also have dual-wield versions from Blood and Unholy builds made the matrix of what we wanted to accomplish a little too large. If there does end up being a viable two-hand Frost build that works, we’re not going to go out of our way to break it. That said, we aren’t going to go out of our way to promote it either. The Frost tree is currently meant to be a dual-wield tree much in the same way the Fury tree is a dual-wield tree for warriors.

We wanted death knights to dual-wield. Making every tree have a dual-wield build wasn’t working. One tree had to become dedicated and we thought Frost made the most sense.


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18 comments to Frost is intended to dual-wield

  • I think, from a DPs perspective, blizzard has done a very good job of making the various trees for DKs all competative raid DPS. Unholy might hold a slight overall lead right now, but Blood and Frost are both excellent DPS, and bring valuable raid buffs. This sits in pretty sharp contrast to some of the pure classes, where there might be one gimped tree (Rogues), or two (mages).
    .-= The Renaissance Man´s last blog ..Merry Christmas! =-.

  • Malorax

    Wait…so does this apply to two-hand DPS ‘and’ tanking in Frost, or just DPS Frost?

    • Gravity
      Twitter: gravitydk

      DW frost tanking does more TPS than two-handed. 2H does a lot though, so it’s not broken or anything ‘bad’. DW just does more threat if you do a like-for-like comparison (eg. same iLevel weapons).

  • Psy
    Twitter: thelordpsy

    I’m fairly certain that a threat-oriented Frost DW is the highest threat tanking build possible (across all classes) simply due to the handling of Rune Strike. Unfortunately, that’s totally unimportant since threat hasn’t been an issue for this entire expansion. 2H has better tanking weapon itemization and that’s what ends up mattering.

  • RJK

    Great more DK’s rolling on one handed tanking weapons… :/

    .-= RJK´s last blog ..Between Holiday Blahs =-.

  • Kenshi

    yeah giefk the sweet 2.6 weapons

  • RJK

    I was in a PUG this morning with a DK dual wielding tank spec’d in some type of Unholy Blood thing. After wiping on the first boss in Nexus (when was the last time that happened?) I said I think Frost is better for dual wield dk’s. He said No, we wiped again, I changed specs, said “I’m tanking, and you need to go to” LOL it was a good run after that. ;)
    .-= RJK´s last blog ..Between Holiday Blahs =-.

    • Gravity
      Twitter: gravitydk

      hahaha that’s awesome :) hopefully he comes and learns about the right way to spec, and I love how you switched out and took over.

      I got into a new casual raiding guild last night, am sooooo happy about it. We did some 5-mans together, they”re all pro’s, was awesome. I’m DW frost at the moment, because I’ve got two 1H good weapons (Tankards) and not as good a 2Her. Very good threat.

      ps. I’m kinda on holidays, in case you guys didn’t see my sticky post from last night.

  • I’ve really enjoyed DW Frost tanking, but I’ll be picking up my Shadow’s Edge pretty soon here, so I’ll have to get used to using a 2 Hander again. I thought this would be a great opportunity to go back to tanking with a Blood spec, so I switched my spec a few days ago. However, I could only handle it for a few days before I had to go back to Frost last night. This is not a rip on Blood tanking whatsoever, as I really do think Blood tanks rock. I think it’s more just a play style thing for me. That and the fact that I’m usually the tank on adds duty, and “oh crap” moments – so the snap AoE aggro is really nice.
    Anyhoo, I’ve pretty much always dual wielded when Frost tanking, so I’m wondering if any 2 Hander Frost tanks out there have any thoughts on the usefulness of the 5 talent points spent on Rune Power generation in the Frost and Blood trees? Are you finding it overkill at all? When dual wielding, I find that I chew through RP like crazy with all the Rune Strikes I’m pulling off, but I figure using a 2 Hander will give me a lot less Rune Strike opportunities. On the other hand, I can always dump RP via Frost strike.  Any comments would be greatly appreciated. Normally I’d just respec about half a dozen times to move one or two points around to fine tune things, but I’m a little short on gold after buying 25 Primordial Saronite….

  • Thanks, that was exactly what I was looking for. I’m looking forward to that axe…

  • Kiku

    I’ve been playing with RAWR more recently (just starting to use Kahorie’s), to determine the overall value of DW vs 2hander frost tanking.  Even going from a dps 2hander to dual tank one handers (all relative ilvl 245 or 251) my overall mitigation and survivability go down.  I can only assume this is related to parry haste, which surprised me because I have over 30 expertise.  Even when I try with slow one hander dps weapons, or stack a little more expertise, it appears I sacrifice mitigation and survival for threat.  I’m starting to wonder if DW tanking is ever the right call unless threat becomes an issue.  Any way you slice it a dual weild build will generate more parry haste than a 2hander build, and it doesn’t look like there are any weapons with enough stats to compensate enough for this.  Am I totall off base here?

    • Shazear
      Twitter: Shazear

      There are some sets that I see the optimizer that chooses a DW situation over 2h, but yes, in general, I see the TankDK model prefers 2h for tanking.  You can post an issue on the Rawr issue tracker and include your XML, and I’ll take a more indepth look at your situation to make sure that everything looks in order.

  • Harry

    First let me say thanks for an awesome DW DK site, I am new to tanking and doubt I would be doing as well as I am without your help. :-)   I have been wanting to DW Tank since I created my DK when they first came out.  I took my time leveling my DK since I knew that the DW spec was weak but after seeing the buffs it got in 3.3 I got excited and rushed him up to 80.  This is my first tank and currently my gear level is around 219 average I am using Quelldesar from Ony and Old Lucky as my weapons, but am still getting hammered by my guild for taking a bad tank spec.  I have tanked several heroics and surviability/threat do not seem to be an issue (expertise is 34, defense 545, and almost hit capped at 7%) but they tell me that will change when i get to raid tanking.  I really would love to prove a viable and helpfull tank in raid situations, is it possible with my DW DK?  If it is possible, what would you recommend changing for my raid tanking spec, should i drop some experise for more stam?  Thanks again.

  • Arencey

    I would be more confident to dual wield tank  if we didn’t have to use rogue weapons, duel wield tanks still have to use rogue weapons don’t they? last time I checked EJ they said dw tanking doesn’t put out more tps if you use tank weaps, which means a huge stam loss unless you want to gimp threat just to look cool.

  • Doc

    DW tanking works fine.   It is amazeing for aoe threat on larger trash pulls.  And proper use of your damage reduction tools is more important to not being “squishy” for almost any tank class.  I wont even try to get into specifics as Gravity has covered it so well.  Most of the problems stated with dk tanks is attitude and lack of know-how.  Hope that your guild wakes up Harry, the might find they have been missing out on a great oportunity.

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