I think you missed the part where these are forums for endgame raiding. 5mans are not endgame raiding. And simulation and theorycraft developed for endgame raiding isn't going to work for optimizing 5mans anyway.
Hi, first-time poster. I'm a DK wearing mostly level 213 to 226 PvP epics from BGs (equivalent to level 187 or 200 epics in PvE I'd wager) and now dual-wielding Tankards o' Terror. I'm sure there are some others out there in this circumstance, at least on DK alts. So I wanted to find the best spec for heroic 5-mans and Naxx at this level of gearage.
With this in mind, I put my lowly stats through the simulator and removed all buffs (you can't really rely on any particular buff in pugged heroics, after all). Low and behold, I found a spec that absolutely blows 0/53/18 and 3/51/17 away.
Priority: Unholy (BP>FF>DCMax>IT>BS>DC>GF>PS)
Party Buff: Ebon Plaguebringer
Sigil: Vengeful Heart
Runeforge: FC, RI
Glyphs: Ghoul, Dark Death, Unholy Blight
Glyph of Disease is the obvious choice for a "short disease" spec such as 15-55-1, but for the record the spec was still unconditionally superior to the leading specs even with Glyph of Icy Touch (3502 DPS, 2106 TPS).
I don't think the recommended specs of 0-53-18, 3-51-17, or 0-17-54 are even remotely viable for fresh 80 DW DKs compared to my spec. It's not just about their lower DPS, it's also the facts that 3-51-17 has no party buff and 0-53-18 generates 30% more threat. (And Unholy DW is by far the worst of the bunch at this level.)
Bear in mind that because Bladed Armor does not scale well, when a DK gets geared and/or starts running Ulduar, he will probably want to move on to 0-53-18 or 3-51-17. My 15-55-1 spec is for DKs at the level of running Heroics and lower-tier raids like 10-man Naxx.
I also tried simulating them all with one of the more common Heroic buffs, Blessing of Kings. Results were very similar, but it's probably not worth reposting numbers for every possible little buff you might get in a Heroic.
Originally Posted by Fargom
Builds using a blood subspec have been shown to be inferior to the unholy subspec flavor. This is mostly due to bladed armor's poor scaling, and the already high crit rate on various abilities. Dark conviction is simply not that valuable to a frost build.
I want to point out that Bladed Armor is superior to the Unholy tree equivalents at least through level 219-226'ish armor ratings. So the statement assumes we all start DW whilst already wearing Ulduar gear.