Blood-Caked Blade vs. Subversion

9 08 2009

Lately I’ve been finding myself having aggro issues with my DW spec, which has points in BCB rather than Subversion. People on EJ have been math-battling it out (no clear winner yet, it seems) but I’m finding myself leaning towards a Subversion build. While I don’t usually pull aggro, I find myself uncomfortably high on threat, to the point where I occassionally stop DPSing or Shadowmeld to avoid death by one-shot.

Since Subversion obviously provides its own boost to damage (unfortunately harder to quantify than BCB, which shows up in parses and so is more easily valued) as well as some nice utility, I think it might just be superior. However, not all tanks being equal, this talent swap should be considered on a strict case by case basis. If your tank is always far above you in threat, BCB is probably a better bet for you. If not (and some fights are extremely threat sensitive, such as Vezax, who is untauntable), seriously think about using Subversion instead of BCB.

On a side note, I’m going away from Monday to Wednesday night and won’t have access to my laptop, so this is the last you’ll hear from me (except perhaps a few tweets from my phone) until I get back. If you have a question or simply want to tell me something, I’ll most likely still have access to e-mail. Have a good first half of the week, interwebs.





14 responses

10 08 2009


10 08 2009


10 08 2009

HAI! lol. I haven’t tried DW on my DK yet because I’m now having a lot of fun with Blood. Although I would say Subversion wins out here. I tried the 0/10/61 Unholy spec before I went Blood and had to actually slow myself down while DPS’ing. Where as with my old Unholy spec and new Blood spec, I can pewpew without too much worry. I also didn’t take BCB on my Bloos spec because I know it only really scales with gear – BCB was giving me a 0.7 of my overall DPS as Unholy.

Have fun while you’re away mate!

10 08 2009

Funny that you mention this, I *just* respeced from 0/53/18 to 3/53/15 last night because I was pulling serious amounts of threat during my guild’s Naxx run, even with my crappy blue quality weapons. I’ve been following the math debate on EJ as well, and I’m not really seeing a convincing argument for BCB when Subversion provides a boost in damage to our main ability and has the added bonus of lowering threat. At some point, the min/max argument becomes trivial when you get into “real situation” versus “mathematical models”, which I think escapes some of the people on EJ from time to time. Not to mention everyone’s situation is going to be different anyway!

Oh, and I forgot to mention this last time I posted, but great blog you got here by the way. Since I’m also a fan of Frost DPS, what you’re writing about is in line with the issues I’m going through very consistantly. (Except my gear is nowhere near as good as yours!) Keep it up! 🙂

10 08 2009

Thanks for the kind words Khayal! 🙂

11 08 2009

If your looking into an alternate pug spec to use lets say just for heroics, and your raiding guild doesn’t require you to tank or be some other spec for certain occasions then…yea sure but no…Dropping BcB just because a tank cannot hold threat off you in heroics is a complete and total waste.

So lets just take obliterate into account… 18% chance to crit just via talents(Rime/Anni). Your proposing that an additional 9% crit would be worth having over 1k swings with a 30% proc chance every 10s.

If your looking at this from a pure threat stand point then no its not worth it, from a pure dps point…its plausible but not exactly worth it.

However, nice blog i think its great that your taking initiative and proposing ideas instead of just waiting for EJ to tell the world what to do.


13 08 2009

@Vox: I wasn’t referring to a spec solely for heroics as usually they are so easy I could /castrandom my way to victory. Also, I’m not looking at Subversion as solely a threat reduction or solely a DPS increase, nor do I claim that Subversion is worth more DPS than BCB. As I said, it’s difficult to quantify a %to crit versus BCB which does a flat percent of your total damage and is relatively even across most fights.

Taking the threat reduction and the crit bonus together, however, makes Subversion an attractive talent, especially in fights where DPS gets boosts that the tank cannot take advantage of or if the tank has to run through hurdles the DPS does not.

14 08 2009

I am currently running DW as my offspec (my main spec is 51/0/20) and I am loving it. I am using the same gear and the only swap is made in the weapons department.

Just to lay some ground work, our guild got the server 1st/horde 1st and world 7th kill on Jax Tuesday night. We have cleared Ulduar and are doing Hard Modes to unlock Alganon. I am very well geared also. (Kathmaul on Stormscale)

For my DW spec, I originally went with 0/53/18 and have mostly been using it in Heroics (because I only have two iLVL 213 weapons 😦 ) and have been seeing massive aggro issues, even with our Raid MT tanking the heroic. The worst part is is that DKs have no inherit aggro dump (willing to buy FD). So I found myself going with the 3/53/15 build for aggro management.

My reasoning being, I would rather take the 1% loss to my flat DPS with losing BCB over having to watch one more thing with having to manage aggro on top of all of the other crap going on.

btw, I used 3/53/15 for this week’s raid on Ulduar and even with my crappy weapons, I was only 300DPS average under my normal 51/20 DPS average. (Sadly, no IHers dropped this week, I have seen every 1her DE’d in the past month, I shoulda taken em wgen I had the chance…) So, in my opinion, DW is looking good and with 226 weapons may really shine. I especially liked it for hard mode Holdir, it made breaking the tombs so much easier because I would IT-PS-Pest then HB and OBL until I got a free HB and pop it again.

14 08 2009

Sorry for the wall-o-text above…..

One other thing, why wouldn’t buffing your main attack with added crit be a bad thing over all?

I have been watching my recount breakdown to see how things are working out with DW after each boss fight and I have been averaging 57% crits on my Obliterates with Subversion. But even better was the 75% crits my Frost Strikes were averaging 🙂

14 08 2009

There’s nothing bad about buffing OB with some crit. I think BCB and Subversion are pretty much equal when you factor in the threat generation issue. Subversion basically lets you ignore Omen because you should never pull aggro off a competent tank.

15 08 2009

I agree Shop, I am no brainiac like the guys over at EJ (to be honest, I much more prefer Krenian over at Tankspot), but looking over Recount, I haven’t noticed too much of a DPS difference between a BCB and Subversion build. Altho, I am sure that the uber-geeks at EJ have a spreadsheet that proves a difference.

My opinion is play what you enjoy and more importantly KNOW. Often times on the raid bosses there is so much crap going on that having to watch one less thing is a DPS increase in and of itself. That is partly why I have never been a fan of ITx6, not that it isn’t a bad build, just not my play style. I prefer to watch what is happening around me instead of watching procs and what not, but that is just me.

15 08 2009

I actually really miss ITx6. That rotation was a hell of a lot of fun to play and unless they buff Frost Strike it probably won’t reappear on the scene. 😦

14 09 2009

You asked once how you could fit in Unbreakable Armor into a frost rotation.

Here’s something i put together a while back, its chicken scratch but i remember you posted about it so i thought i’d toss it here as well.

So, i’ve been playing with the idea of working around Unbreakable Armor into my rotation without burning a frost rune. Heres what i’ve come up with. Your rotation is as such…

OB OB OB *Dump*

I started thing about burning Blood Tap right after the last obliterate in the second rotation, however…what happens is that once your blood tap is over it reverts back to Blood in the middle of a second obliterate 2 rotations later so you get this…


OB OB OB *Dump*

OB *Stuck for 3 seconds* OB *Dump*

IT PS OB BS *Stuck for 3 seconds* BS *Dump*

Essentially, your PMF(Pretty Much Fucked) for the remainder of your rotation.

My solution:

Cancelaura Blood Tap right after you use Unbreakable Armor So your rotation is essentially the same except your Death rune auto turns back to blood which means you can continue your rotation like nothing happened. So you look like this


IT PS OB BS BS *Dump* / F U FU B B



***Death Rune Automatically gets turned back to a Blood rune on cooldown***



#showtooltip Blood Tap
/cast Blood Tap
/cast Unbreakable Armor
/cancelaura Blood Tap

Veoxess, Voracity of Anvilmar Alliance

16 10 2009

I looked at subversion a couple days ago and i thought about switching, what ended up making up my mind was when i was doing a 25man onyixa, and during the aoe phase i pulld about 12k dps and pulled agro from the tank. So the threat reduction played an important roll, but the obliterate buff really helped my decision too. Even though i don’t have the best weapons yet i still pulled over 5k single target. When I did the research in recount, I had over 450 melee attacks and only had 125 blood cake’d shots, which ranged from 200-550 dmg. To me bufffing a main attack rather than getting random small hits is much more crucial to me. i im sticking with subversion and still hitting my 5k dps, as well as i don’t here the omen threat warning going off every 7 seconds.

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