Friday, June 3, 2011

Talents Part II

Last time we looked at the first two tiers, and spent around 12 talent points. So now it's time to look at tiers 3 and 4 and see what we must take, and what options are available to us.

Tier 3
There are two big items in tier 3, and we'll start with our staple Bone Shield. This is pretty much a mandatory talent for any self-respecting DK tank. Pop this up about a minute before a big fight (If it's off cooldown, I usually put this up at the end of a fight in preparation for the next), and for the first few hits, but for at least 6 seconds (thanks to a 2-second cooldown in between charges), you will get 20% less damage. During boss fights, this should be used as often as possible to save your healer some mana.

Next up is Toughness, which just like the Paladin and Warrior talents increases our armor. Not much to say on this, as this is one of those obvious talents that cannot really be skipped.

Also in the third tier we have Blood-Caked Blade, which is a freebie hit for 25% weapon damage plus 12.5% per disease. While no talent is wrong in the Cataclysm era, this one is hazy at best. To get any real value out of this, you would need to keep your diseases up on the target you are attacking (including trash packs), and then it only adds about 1-2% DPS to your total for the fight. If you have points to spare, and religiously use diseases, this is an option, but skip it otherwise.

Lastly in this tier is Abomination's Might, which increases the Attack Power of all party/raid members by 10%, and your own Strength by 2%. This buff is shared with Paladins, MM Hunters and Enhancement Shamans. I used to run with this, but I removed it in my most recent build. It's a nice buff that's not always provided by the group and the 2% Strength, which is personal only and not provided by others in party, adds Parry & AP and thus DPS and threat. If you have two points to place somewhere, it won't hurt you to do so here, but it isn't mandatory.

Tier 4
We've now spent around 16-1 points and can move into tier 4 where we start off with Sanguine Fortitude. Icebound Fortitude is a great defensive cooldown, and increasing the damage reduction to 50% is something you cannot in good faith turn down, costing no Runic Power is a nice freebie. Think last phase of Admiral Ripsnarl when he starts summoning vapors constantly, this can save your group from you wiping.

In the middle of the fourth tier we have Blood Parasite, which could provide for some freebie heals during longer fights. The opinions on usefulness of this talent vary, but most people take it as the heals can be quite nice, and heal anyone nearby. The downside is that you need to be in combat for the Bloodworms to pop and heal. If you are out of combat, they will just despawn when their 20 seconds are up. In general I would pick this talent, unless you are desperate to spend points elsewhere.

Last in tier 4 is Improved Blood Presence, which is mandatory to become crit-immune. We can thank Elune for no longer needing to stack defense to become crit immune. This talent has taken that place, and you cannot skip on this as a tank. The rune regeneration is a nice bonus which gives us faster Death Strikes.

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