The matrix of Blood specs

Here is an useful way to show various talent spec choices against a matrix of survival, threat and utility indicated as a third factor. I thought I’d call it Gravity’s Grid! This can help you understand the purpose of a spec.

Gravity’s Grid for blood tanks in 3.3.3

Survival high AOE+ spc Bal*   Bal+ ST* ST+ Bal AOE
Medium Bal
Threat lower Medium High

Note the “AOE+ spc” is a specialised spec that came up in discussion about hard-mode specs and I posted about the glyph choices.


  • + is utility in a spec, and means there is more than one utility talent in the build
  • “ST” is single-target oriented spec, meaning it compromises on AOE
  • * with spell deflection
  • “AOE” is an AOE oriented spec, as much as Blood can
  • “Bal” is a balanced spec for both AOE and single-targets

Significance of Cataclysm

With Cataclysm, this kind of analysis will be a lot easier since we only need the Blood talent tree with the other two trees for tank flavour or threat. I had initially thought I’d do one matrix for each tree, but for the moment will just do Blood since many tanks from the other trees will be considering a switch to get familiar with it.

Remember, tanking at L85 will feel different to how it does now, even though you’ll be in the Blood (ie. ‘protection’) tree for DKs. Therefore, being familiar with it now won’t be exactly the right training ground for L85. Threat values will change because of the shift away from a passive rune strike to an active version, for example, which in turn will change your priority and rotation.

Discuss and improve

You can comment here on the blog on in this forum thread. If any improvements are needed, let me know.

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