The third factor: utility

I am guilty of focusing on threat a lot in my analysis. I do value survival more highly, though, but perhaps it takes up less of my theorycrafting because there aren’t so many variables to consider.

Threat and survival are usually disparate goals, and you need to choose a mix of tank talents which lands you somewhere on the spectrum between them.

If you think graphically, the choices are often like this:

If you want more survival talents, those points need to be taken from somewhere else in a typical trade-off scenario. You will look losing threat talents.

However the third factor that’s often overlooked is Utility. Having played a warlock and paladin, I know about spec’ing for raid utility. The DK also has utility, albeit not like my warlock did at L70 with debuffs, stamina buff, stones, summoning and so on, but still it’s there.

A more useful way of thinking about your spec include this third factor, utility. Often it’s simply PvP talents that you misappropriate into raiding.

I raise this now because it’s very easy to get swept up in the romance of high threat. You can look at the new Icy Slam and try to respec yourself entirely around doing more of them. Even with people like me regularly saying “excess threat is just lost dps from the tank”, it’s lost a bit when in the same breath I then tell you which is the highest threat tank spec.

Do not forget utility.

Remember raid buffs matter more than personal dps. They’re hugely important. A fully buffed 25-man raider can do twice the dps he would alone.

Remember utility like slowing effects on adds or range for icy touch/howling blast or even casting mark of blood to benefit your co-tank.

Now with Icy Slam giving us extra threat for free, why not consider if you can move a few points into utility or even survival. Whilst acclimation and spell deflection are pretty lacklustre, they’re not useless. Chilblains helps on the Lich King. More range helps with Rotface ooze.

This is open for comments here and cross-posted to this forum thread.

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2 comments to The third factor: utility

  • noob

    As much as i would like to maximize my threat output i aways end up spec with utility in ICC.
    The reason is simple, i would like to be in control of  the  situation instead of leaving it to the dps.
    As a DK tank, we have a lot of raid utility whereby we could make use to make the encounter a lot easier.
    The few raid utility that i have been using in ICC are;
    1)  Icy reach – this talent is useful for Deathwisper, Rotface, Dreamwalker, Blood Prince & Lich King
    2) Chiblains – Rotface, Blood Prince normal, Dreamwalker, Lich King
    3) Desecration – DBS Heroic
    4) Master of Ghouls – DBS Heroic
    5) Reaping for Chain of Ice -DBS Heroic
    6) AMZ – Sindragrosa, Blood Prince heroic
    Here is my spec http://www.wowarmory.com/character-talents.xml?r=Dath'Remar&cn=Tankazor&gn=Brave+New+World
    Before using this spec make sure you dun have any problem with threat and survivability.

  • Kåne

    http://www.wowhead.com/?talent#j0EroI0cobZhxxxA0Iz00buZ0x:ad
    27/39/5 – IT Machine Gun
    Survival – All frost survival minus GotG and Acc + Rune Tap, MoB, & VotTW (so really high)
    Threat – BotN + DRM = lots of Icy Slams (so really high)
    Utility – Abom Might & IIT (so really high)
    DPS – abysmal, but your threat is high so just pretend you are a warrior pre 3.3.3

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