Friday, June 10, 2011

Talents: Frost

Now that we've spent at least 31 talents in the Blood tree, let's look at the other trees to see what goodies we can snag to assist us in tanking. Again I must note that I'm doing this from a 5-man instance perspective and not a raiding perspective. This is not the raid spec you are looking for *waves hand*

As the minimum needed for the Blood tree is 31 points, I'll go into Frost up to ten points. However more often than not, you will spend a few more points in Blood, or split your points between Frost and Unholy, so adjust accordingly. This is the age of Cataclysm; there is no one cookie-cutter spec. There is only the one right spec for you and your play style.

Tier 1
Let's get the last talent out of the way first. Nerves of Cold Steel does nothing for us. We're a two-handed weapon kinda tank. Going to two one-handed weapons will not work for us. (There is some debate ongoing and people looking at it but don't, just don't. Leave that up to the Elitist Jerks to figure out)

Our next option is Runic Power Mastery. This talent increases your Runic Power pool from 100 to 130. There is no huge need for us to grow our Runic Power pool beyond 100, however there is a niche use in a 2nd tier talent that makes having 120 Runic Power quite powerful. Consider this a filler talent to reaching the 2nd tier in Frost.

The final option in Frost is Icy Reach, which increases the range of Icy Touch and Chains of Ice by 10 yards, allowing us to pull from 30 yards away. I prefer opening with an Icy Touch to get some threat started as the target walks towards me and I can engage in melee. Definitely not a make-it or break-it talent, but useful in its own way.

Tier 2
Annihilation does absolutely nothing for us. Obliterate should not be part of your tanking rotation at any point in time. Your Unholy and Frost runes should be saved for Death Strikes. Skip this talent.

Next is Lichborne which is an interesting talent for Bloody tanks. While the immunity to Charm, Fear and Sleep effects make this sound like a PvP talent (which it may be for others, I do not dabble in the arcane arts of PvP), for us tanks it could mean another defensive cooldown. If you save up 120 Runic Power (here is where the extra Runic Power comes in handy) and hit Lichborne, followed by three Death Coils targeting yourself, you will heal yourself for a fair amount in those 10 seconds. Assuming around 7000 Attack Power, each Death Coil will heal you just short of 11K. Vampiric Blood and the Glyph of Death Coil could boost this to around 15K. Nothing to sneeze at in a pinch.

Next up in the second tier is On a Pale Horse, which reduces movement-slowing effects a little bit, and increases mounted speed. The mount speed increase is slight, as most people are in a guild of at least level 3 which provides Mount Up. Don't bother with this talent for any tanking reason.

Lastly in Tier 2 is Endless Winter, which makes Mind Freeze free. With the current instances being what they are, and the odds of finding a DPS that knows how to interrupt and doing so at the appropriate time being slim to none, this one is almost mandatory. It's not that we cannot afford the 20 Runic Power, especially with 130 Runic Power at our command when we're topped off, but rather we cannot afford to find ourselves with less than 20 Runic Power when the crucial time for the interrupt is there. If you're going to use LFD for random dungeons, please take this talent and take care of the interrupts for the group.

That sums up the Frost tree for this post. My current spec goes into Lichborne and Endless Winter for the added utility. However next post we will look at what the Unholy tree has to provide, as there is plenty utility there as well.

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