Sure, Unholy’s fairly weak for tanking, but does it matter?
The usual argument I hear, a flawed one at that, is “you pay your $15, you choose your spec”. That is true in a solo game. In a raid, no, you should pick a good spec that works, or you impact the other 9 or 24 people’s ability to progress. If you want to pick a useless spec, go play solo.
That said, Unholy tank is not useless. It isn’t a fail-tank spec. It is not as good as Blood or Frost, but it is good enough for many raiders outside hard-modes. (I still wouldn’t use it.)
If they were in guilds doing hard-modes, they’d have to respec into Blood or Frost. If their raid was wiping on normal modes because of tank-death events or healer throughput/mana issues (ie. not enough damage reduction talents), they’d have to respec. I think those kinds of signs would be in your face pretty fast, and a smart person would consider a respec.
I’ve long hoped that Unholy would be viable, I like it, but I’m letting go of that attachment because now I cannot see it as good enough for me. My guild really does our best, in our limited raid time, to progress as best we can. I do not want to give any edge to Blizzard’s AI if I can tilt the game in my favour instead.
Fail specs are:
- melee hunter wtf
- tanking without the 5/5/5 baseline DK talents
- tanking without other tree’s mandatory avoidance/armour buffing/stamina inducing talents
You can fail in other ways that are more catastrophic, like allowing mobs to hit you up the ass (you should always face the enemy), or tanking in unholy presence (oops, most of us have done that once after a wipe run). You could raid with dps who cannot target switch quickly enough, etc.
Point is, if you personally love Unholy, why not use it? Whilst I’d not recommend Unholy in ICC, there is a question of finding the balance between enjoying yourself and success. Sometimes you have to make personal compromises in order to succeed. If Unholy is not causing failure conditions, and you love it, then keep that bone shield spinning.
For others like me, who optimise just for the sake of optimisation: Frost or Blood.