Quite a few tanks really don’t like the idea of an Icy Touch spam build. At its most extreme, this kind of spec involves skipping any talent which helps you do strikes like [spell]obliterate[/spell] in favour of those which help you slam Icy Touch. The playstyle is then use death runes for icy touch.
Many tanks do not like it out of principle, and strongly argue against using it, because Blizzard have said they will nerf it if they see enough player behaviour changing.
I’m pragmatic: this makes me fall on the side of discouraging people from IT spam, and to recommend they instead spec fairly normally but use IT when required for a threat boost.
The way you can classify any spec is to consider its three factors: survival, threat and utility. If you decouple threat and damage, like Icy Slam does, then raw damage output (dps) is utility.
Thus, if you’re in a normal 10 or 25 man raid, and you have ever wiped at 1%, you know that damage output is important. If you had IT Spam spec, and wiped at 1%, then in my book you contributed to that failure. If you wiped at any other point due to survival issues, then again an IT Spam spec is likely the cause; they generally don’t have as many survival talents.
Anyhow, the only IT Spam spec I like so far, but I would never use it myself, we’ve called the Unbreakable Abomination. It’s like a mini-buffbot spec, with both IIT and 10% AP raid buffs. It is single-target oriented and has very crappy AOE, and has to use IT for threat, so whilst it boosts raid melee dps it ruins your own. The spec has good survival though, so it doesn’t fail that important factor, and great utility albeit sucky damage contribution.
I am fairly confident the net dps benefit to the raid from both raid buffs outweighs the personal dps loss.
The 10% buff
The new 10% raid buff does throw a spanner in the works, because now a devil’s advocate could say: because the dpsers hit so much harder and you have 10% HP and dps too, who cares how you spec? My view is you should just do it properly anyhow, so you can get the boss kill with honour. If it’s going to be easier, then your response should be to go with a normal hard-hitting spec and kick the ass out of the boss, not go with some high-threat twinkle-toes version. Be tough!
A guild officer did a quick calculation on how much this buff helps. (I love my guild).
You know what’s really interesting is the dps gain allows you to have someone die about halfway and still have enough dps to beat the boss. That is really significant. Some encounters were so finely tuned, you can’t die, you can’t lose anyone (dps, heals or tank).
With the 10% buff, that’s changed: now you can probably lose a dps halfway and still pull it off (assuming everything else was going to lead to a kill, of course). Here’s the thread on this 10% topic.
So what is the right Frost tank spec then?
I would just drop epidemic, go with a normal priority. You’ll find diseases dropping off after your second obliterate, so put them back up. You will do IT a bit more often than before (but not twice as much). You gain threat from this but do not compromise much on damage output, and can spec into a bit of utility.
You should spec into IIT whether DW or 2H tank. It’s a net gain in both cases.
Personally I took advantage of the extra threat and spec’d into even more utility and 5-man convenience, with [spell]Chilblains[/spell] for slowing, like this. I also still have a single-target-only Blood spec.