Blood is so flexible. You can spec into survival, single or AOE threat. What’s the threat you gain from a heavy threat build compared to one for survival?
Here’s a really survival-heavy tank build for 25-mans.
Regarding spell damage: Some tanks might poo-poo the spec since it has [spell]spell deflection[/spell] (which is fairly weak, as not many fights actually include direct damage magic attacks) but put that aside for the purpose of this discussion. If you really hate the talent, move the points somewhere else. Once we’ve seen full parses of ICC, we can decide what value spell mitigation will play and respec appropriately into it, [spell]acclimation[/spell] or even [spell]magic suppression[/spell]. For now, I included it to deliberately nerf the spec’s threat output.
The build assumes your shaman is bringing the AP buff from [spell]53137[/spell]. I would never use this build in 5-man heroics. It skips [spell]hysteria[/spell], which is a superb talent in a 25-man environment where you’re pushing the envelope. It includes [spell]will of the necropolis[/spell] which I like for survival because it is a Plan B talent.
I then built a very high threat blood tank build, with some constraints so it’d still be a tank build.
I kept crucial tank talents like [spell]rune tap[/spell] and [spell]vampiric blood[/spell], but dropped [spell]mark of blood[/spell] and WotN. I skipped the raid buffs just as I had in the survival build, so it was a fair comparison. Because I had previously analysed the best threat talents for a blood tank, it was pretty easy to optimise.
I took 3/3 [spell]morbidity[/spell] for AOE. It’s not great for single-target threat. If I wanted to max that, ravenous dead is better.
Then I ran Kahorie’s sim, with my usual raid buffs and i245 settings.
The threat build generated 8.7% more threat (6489 TPS vs 5966).
You should ask yourself, do I really need more threat? Many tanks assume they do, without really validating the assumption.
In a 5-man heroic, your snap agro is important. In a 25-man raid, it’s nearly always your sustained threat generation that matters. Put some thought into how much survival you should sacrifice in order to boost threat and reflect if you’ve got the balance right.
For a gain of nearly 9% threat at most in this example (which is a good amount, of course), is it really worth the cost? Are the DPS really that close to your threat ceiling?
My personal ideal setup is a survival-oriented blood tank build (probably not with spell deflection) coupled with a frost AOE build (with howling blast glyph), for the best of both worlds. Once I get a good two-hander, that’s what I’ll be doing.
Chat on this topic is now in this forum thread.