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[PvE] Frost Tank

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1 [PvE] Frost Tank on Sat Jul 25, 2015 5:30 pm


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Frost tanking 101

1. Advantages and disadvantages of frost tanking


Excellent damage reduction from multiple talents.
Howling Blast is excellent AoE snap threat


Little to no group or raid utility

2. Talent build

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3. Glyphs

These are the glyphs I recommend


Glyph of howling blast
Glyph of obliterate
Glyph of frost strike

Glyph of Howling Blast is mandatory for single-disease tanking, since the whole strategy is based around using Howling Blast to apply Frost Fever. Glyph of Obliterate is great for single-target threat, as is Glyph of Frost Strike, since more Frost Strikes is more threat. If you feel like you need more defense, you can replace one of the above glyphs with Glyph of Unbreakable Armor.

Glyph of horn of winter

4. Stats

Defence : Pushing critical strikes off your incoming damage is one of the most important steps you can take to become a full-fledged tank. To do that against heroic dungeon bosses, you'll need 535 defense. To do it against raid bosses, you'll need 540. Mind you, that is defense skill, not defense rating, which is what is on most gear. You'll need 4.92 defense rating at 80 to get a single point of defense skill. You can also get 25 points of defense skill by using Rune of the Stoneskin Gargoyle or Rune of the Nerubian Carapace. Those are actual skill points, not rating, so it will be a very significant boost. It's also worth noting that while 540 and 535 are the defense "caps" for getting critically hit, defense points above that are still useful, since they provide dodge and parry rating. You'll be better off getting raw dodge and parry rating instead. Each 25 Defense Points gives you 1% Dodge, 1% Parry and 1% chance to be missed. There is no Defense hardcap currently known to players.

Stamina : Stamina means more health. Much like blood tanks, your general goal as a frost tank should be to get the highest effective health possible. If you're at a loss as to what to gear for, it's very hard to go wrong with stacking stamina.

Armor : Armor mitigates a percentage of all incoming physical damage. For physical damage boss fights, it's invaluable. After stamina, you're going to be wanting a ton of this. It's also valuable in that it does not really diminish in value as you get more armor, because every percentage point of reduction becomes that much more valuable. Finally, more armor means more of an armor buff from Unbreakable Armor. Always keep items with lots of armor handy.

Dodge rating : Dodging allows you to completely avoid incoming physical attacks. That means you survive longer and your healer has less work to do. In other words, it's very handy to have. Dodge is subject to diminishing returns, but for the most part, a beginning tank shouldn't have to worry about stacking so much dodge he reaches the cap, so it's pretty safe to equip dodge gear as you find it.

Parry rating : Like dodge, parrying also allows you to completely avoid incoming physical attacks. Like dodge, it is also affected by diminishing returns. Since death knights get parry from strength to begin with thanks to Forceful Deflection, they actually don't need to worry much about grabbing parry rating and should instead focus on dodge, especially when gemming.

Hit : 8% is the hit cap for 2H attacks and specials. You need it because if you can't hit the boss, you can't generate threat.

Expertise : You need 26% expertise at the minimum being a tank. You get 5% expertise from talents and the rest you get from your gear.

Strength : The more strength you have, the more threat you'll get. In addition, death knights get a chance to parry from strength. That said, you don't really have to go out of your way to get strength. You should get more than enough it just from grabbing good tank gear.

5. Notes on weapon and disease choice

Before we get into the PvE talent builds, we should discuss the differences between two-handed tanking and dual wield tanking. Two-handed tanking is still very viable with frost, simply because your top DPS doesn't matter. Two-handed tanking will still allow you to keep adequate threat. In fact, it's arguably superior to dual wield tanking simply because it gives you more talent points to work with, since you aren't obligated to take Nerves of Cold Steel and Threat of Thassarian.

That said, dual wield tanking is still solid, as long as you take the dual wield talents. That said, be careful about what weapons you choose. While it may be tempting to choose tank one-handers for the stats, they are not always the optimal choice. The fast attack speed and lower high-end damage on them means that you will not put out as much threat as you need. You're much better off using DPS weapons with slow speeds and high damage. Parry gibbing is also a concern with fast weapons, though not as much as you'd think, since most high-end bosses no longer use the parry-haste mechanic and healer output is usually high enough to compensate for the few bosses that still do.

The other choice you have is whether to go with a single-disease or double-disease rotation. Since Glacier Rot and Tundra Stalker provide a large amount of extra damage potential to Frost Fever and targets infected with Frost Fever, many frost tanks find that they can put out enough threat simply by using one disease. This method generally involves glyphing Howling Blast and using it to keep Frost Fever up. This method can be useful in that it greatly simplifies your rotation and provides quicker up-front aggro on AoE pulls, but it does provide less sustained threat. With two diseases, you need to build up a bit more, but you'll have more powerful Obliterates to provide more solid sustained single target threat.

6. Gems

If you're raiding Icecrown Citadel go for straight Solid Majestic Zircon in every Socket, if there is no bonus worth taking left anymore with the stacking Zone-Wide Buff on Stamina Healing and Damage.
If a socket bonus is of +12 Stamina or more, take it ,if its less like +9 Stamina, don't bother.

Meta : Austere Earthsiege Diamond
Red : Stalwart Ametrine (use to activate he meta gem)
Yellow : Regal eye of Zul
Blue : Solid Majestic zircon

7. Enchants

Helm - Arcanum of the Stalwart Protector +37 Stamina +20 Defense, Engineering Only: Mind Amplification Dish +45 Stamina

Pauldrons - Greater Inscription of the Pinnacle +20 Dodge +15 Defense, Greater Inscription of the Gladiator +30 Stamina +15 Resilience Inscription Only: Master's Inscription of the Pinnacle +60 Dodge +15 Defense

Cloak - Major Agility +22 Agility, Mighty Armor +225 Armor, Titanweave +16 Defense, Engineering Only: Flexweave Underlay +23 Agility

Breastplate - Super Health +275 Health, Powerful Stats +10 All Stats, Greater Defense +22 Defense, Heavy Borean Armor Kit +18 Stamina

Bracers - Major Stamina +40 Stamina, Expertise +15 Expertise, Major Defense +12 Defense, Leatherworking Only: Fur Lining - Stamina +102 Stamina

Gloves - Major Agility +20 Agility, Armsman +10 Parry +2% Threat, Heavy Borean Armor Kit +18 Stamina, Precision +20 Hit, Expertise +15 Expertise, Engineering Only: Reticulated Armor Webbing +885 Armor (The Armor from this stacks with Frost Presence/Toughness/Meta Gem making it undoubtedly the best enchant possible if you have Engineering on your Character.)

Belt - Eternal Belt Buckle +1 Socket

Legplates - Frosthide Leg Armor +55 Stamina +22 Agility

Boots - Tuskarr's Vitality +15 Stamina Minor Runspeed Increase, Greater Fortitude +22 Stamina

Rings - Enchanting Only: Enchant Ring - Stamina +30 Stamina

Weapon 2H - Rune of the Stoneskin Gargoyle +2% Stamina +25 Defense

Weapon 1H - Rune of the Nerubian Carapace +1% Stamina +13 Defense

8. Rotation

For single-target tanking, you'll essentially want to use the frost DPS single-target priority system:

I. If Killing Machine procs, use Frost Strike. If Rune Strike is lit up, use it.
II. Make sure Frost Fever is up.
III. Make sure Blood Plague is up.
IV. Use Obliterate.
V. Use Blood Strike (if you have blood runes up and don't need one for Pestilence).
VI. Use Frost Strike.
VII. If Rime has procced, use Howling Blast.
VIII. If all your runes are down and you don't have the runic power for Frost Strike or Rune Strike, use Horn of Winter for the extra runic power.

For multiple target tanking, your proper rotation will depend on whether you're doing a double-disease rotation or single-disease with the Glyph of Howling Blast.

For double-disease, your rotation will looking something like this:

Death and Decay->Icy Touch->Plague Strike->Pestilence->Howling Blast->Blood Boil->Pestilence

If you're trying out a single-disease rotation, your rotation will look like this:

Death and Decay->Howling Blast->Blood Boil

After that initial throw-down, alternate with Blood Boils, Howling Blasts and Obliterate as your runes refresh.

In the case of multiple targets, saving your Killing Machine procs (or your Death Chill button, if you have the talents) for Howling Blast if possible. You'll get some pretty sweet snap aggro that way. For runic power dumping, use Rune Strike when it's available, Frost Strike when it's not. Rime procs should be used immediately so as not to waste them.

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