Frost talents by the point

For Frost tanks, what threat values do some of these talents provide?

  • chill of the grave: +1.6% with Icecrown dodge-nerf radiance, 1.8% outside it (tested by going from 1 to 2 points)
  • scent of blood: 1.1%  with Icecrown radiance, and 1.4% outside it
  • subversion: 0.9%
  • dark conviction: 0.6%
  • runic power mastery: 0.4%, which is a tiny gain, but you take the talent for quality-of-life so it’s easier to keep 20 RP

I like taking the [spell]Icy Reach[/spell] talent, since it doubles the range of howling blast, which is excellent in AOE situations and makes it easier to start a fight with HB.

Of course, that doesn’t result in higher TPS calculations in a sim, but talking from experience, I weight the range talent very highly.


Good, bad and situational talents for Frost

Other good places for the talents are:

  • [spell]Deathchill[/spell], superb to use with HB as an opener on trash packs
  • [spell]death grip[/spell] so you can more easily grab ranged mobs in 5-mans
  • [spell]chilblains[/spell] surprisingly good in 5-mans, for added control
  • [spell]acclimation[/spell] does reduce your incoming damage, it’s a mitigation talent.

I have also analysed Blood talents in a similar way.

There’s still a bug in Kahorie’s sim for dual-wielding tanks, so I can’t check if there’s any difference with two-handers. I would expect runic power talents to be more valuable.

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11 comments to Frost talents by the point

  • Uru

    Speaking of SoB and CotG,do those numbers hint that 2/2 Cotg while tanking gives more RP than 2/3 Sob?
    Atm i use a frost tanking build with 2/3 Sob and 0/2 Cotg…i always believed that Sob is stronger on a per-point basis, since it’s a “tank specialized” talent that you can’t use in dps specs (ok it was just a belief of mine, no maths involved :-p ).
    But if it’s so i’m going to change , i’d really have a use for more RP while frost Dw tanking (running with OB+RS+HB glyphs, i always have RP to feed runestrikes, but not always enough to shoot a frost strike if Killing Machine procs..wich is quite a waste).
    Happy New year btw :)

  • Psy
    Twitter: thelordpsy

    I’m really intrigued by your listing here, primarily looking at your good/bad/situational setup.  I disagree with a lot of it.  I still feel that Rune Tap is a useless talent unless you’re trying to do a gimmick with the AOE version from the glyph.  As there’s no use for that gimmick right now, there’s no use for rune tap.  The simple explanation is that if your healer can’t react to a damage spike quick enough, you probably can’t either.  If you play with bad healers a lot, that might change.  I’d consider it a situational talent at best.  Icy reach increases the range of HB but doesn’t increase the width, so it’s not that useful.  I consider it a solid PvP talent and not much else.  Endless winter is marked as both situational and good, it should probably just be situational.  Deathchill is an absolute waste because KM procs so much.  One extra crit is rarely useful.  Acclimation is built not to function in many situations where you’d want it to.  If the damage is a constant aura, it generally only procs on the application of the aura and then fades.  Virulence can be useful as a frost tank because you rely on spells quite a bit and the spell hit cap is quite high-  Significantly out of proportion unless you have Virulence.  Lastly, I’d move Morbidity to situational.  It’s excellent in 5-mans where otherwise you wouldn’t be able to start every single pull with DnD.
    …Wall O’ Text

  • Uru

    to be honest i can’t understand how CoTg improves his effectiveness depending if you have or have not icecrown -20% dodge aura…it’s a talent totally independant on your dodges, it counts on your hits excusively(obvious but still)
    speaking of something else, i am a fan of acclimation ; many people doesn’t even try it because they read its a proc, but the truth is that having it, EVERY time i have to deal with some magic enemies (bosses and trash), when the combat is finished i ALWAYS have stacks of magic resistance on me, and if i go watch the combat log, there’s lots of mitigated hits (and it mitigates lots of damage, having 2-3 stacks of acclimation means 30%+ of incoming damage mitigated).
    counting that almost all bosses in game have some sort of magic damage skill and that ALL trash packs in game have some caster in them, this is a very powerful talent and no frost tank should skip it imho.

  • Gravity
    Twitter: gravitydk

    Psy, wow, you’re right. I can’t believe I’ve played a DK for so long and not known, such an obvious thing. The icy reach only extends your range, but not the HB radius. So you can target someone further away, cast HB, then everyone within 10 yards of the target is hit. Icy Reach talent doesn’t extend that radius. :(  Thanks! I learned something :) .

    Re Deathchill, it’s not taken for the tps gain at all. It’s great for control. You can open up with a crit, to get a massive threat lead on aoe packs.

  • Eidi

    What about Glacier Rot? Does it increase overall DPS more than Chill of the Grave?

  • Gravity
    Twitter: gravitydk

    Acclimation is much debated, because its usefulness depends on the fights you’re in. It can be excellent, like twin valkyrs, or useless like Patchwerk. It is not a bad talent for a tank. You can argue that if you have enough threat, then why not go for more mitigation by taking acclimation, even if it only helps you on say 2 out of 5 fights?

    @Eidi: Glacier Rot bufs IT, FS and HB, which account for about 25% of your total damage. It’s worth about 2% tps per point, based on quick sums.

    @Uru: Chill of the Grave gives you RP, which gives you Rune Strike, which is massively high-threat, and you’ll do more of them outside Icecrown, which means buffing it is also more valuable.

    @Psy, thanks for your comments matey. Regarding Virulence, spell hit is the worst threat stat (only rated 0.4 EP) but I did a sim to verify, adding 1 pt was almost meaningless to threat, about 0.09% . It’s terrible. Only HB and IT are effected by it, and they’re about 10% of total damage.

  • Psy
    Twitter: thelordpsy

    I can see that with Virulence, especially as a tank where you don’t need your rotation to be 100% set and you’re going to be getting a huge amount of threat from Rune Strike.  Interesting.

    If Icy Reach extended the radius of Howling Blast, it’d be a necessary talent for Frost;  It’d quadruple the area which HB hits.  Alas, maybe one day :)

    I don’t feel Acclimation is *bad* but I do feel it’s very situational.  There are many places where the damage you take is spaced out enough that Acclimation fades before the second damage spike and many places where acclimation simply refuses to proc.  It’s a backlash against an awkward error (that may still be in place- I haven’t checked).  If you take the talent Acclimation and walk around Naxx, you might end up with a 3-stack of Frost and Shadow without ever being in combat.  But anyway, the specific fights in ICC could lend themselves to taking Acclimation;  We’ll find out soon!

    Regarding opening with Deathchill, if you open with DC-HB-DnD-BB, you have a ton of AOE threat, but you can’t get diseases out.  If you start with DnD-BB-HB, there’s a reasonable chance KM will proc before HB, giving you the same effect as the initial rotation with slightly later threat.  If you can swing it, DnD-IT-Pest-BT-HB is the optimal opening sequence, you’ll generally have a KM proc by the time HB is up, and you’ll have diseases rolling.  The CD on BT is one minute so you can only do this every 2nd or 3rd pack depending on the dungeon, but the CD on Deathchill is 2 minutes.  Just seems silly taking a force-crit talent in a tree that has a force-crit proc (Unless you’re PvPing where Deathchill is much stronger).

  • Deathchill is nice to have if you’ve skipped on Killing Machine entirely to get Improved Icy Talons, like me. Note that I say “nice to have”, not necessary by any means.
    I use a single-disease Howling Blast-glyph DW Frost spec, and thus Howling Blast is thrown up at the very start of a pull, right after Death and Decay (which has a longer range). Blood Boil hits harder if a disease is up, thus it’s better to use it at the end of the initial pull.
    The nice thing about Howling Blast-glyph frost-tanking compared to unholy and blood is that you get a nice deal of instant-threat from Howling Blast, even if it hits much less than it otherwise could have. If you need to use three GCDs to icy touch, plague strike and pestilence, it gives stupid/impatient/(insert negative adjective here) dps time enough to pull aggro on any secondary target, like a paladin opening with Divine Storm. You can say a lot about it being their own fault to dying like that and so, but it’s a great luxury to avoid that completely.
    Gravity: I disagree on a lot of your comments, all of which Psy has already commented on.

  • Nex

    I was wondering, since the sim crashes on my comp, if you could sim the threat value of two-handed weapon specialization and post them here (for frost 2h)?

  • Emi

    From my experience, and this from a comparatively PoV, i wouldnt quantify CotG as providing higher value than SoB. For 1 point on SoB, yes i agree but SoB starts pulling away nicely with 2 points on it.

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