View Full Version : Tanking Ulduar, feeling insufficient

07-08-2009, 08:57 AM
Hey guys,

My guild is pretty casual, we have a consistent group of 10 raiders and we've been doing Ulduar. We've cleared the "e-z bosses" (Everything through Auriaya) and we were in last night, 1 shotted everything. So when I ask my question, realize that our guild is making it through these encounters and doing it with a 2 healer group composition.

I'm in a mix of Naxx10/25 and Ulduar10 gear. I'm heavily Frost specced. You can see my armory here: Andaris of Moonrunner (http://www.wowarmory.com/character-sheet.xml?r=Moonrunner&n=Andaris)

I off-tank, our main tank is a paladin who is similarly geared: Rendorac of Moonrunner (http://www.wowarmory.com/character-sheet.xml?r=Moonrunner&n=Rendorac)

Our healers haven't complained about it too often, but I get the impression (again, just an impression) that I take a lot more damage than Rendorac does. This is hard to quantify, because the damage model of the main mobs and adds in any fight are completely different, so it may just be me feeling inferior, but with the nerfs coming in 3.2 I want to get ahead of this problem, and work to resolve it.

I use my cooldowns, the only major talent I don't have is Acclimation, but I feel like I'm getting nailed by melee harder than Rendorac, taking spikier damage across the board, and...yeah. I'm a bit frustrated. I don't mind him being good, he's an awesome tank, and I want to be pulling my weight too.

What can you guys recommend? Should I refocus my itemization? I'm defense heavy right now, but I don't mind that because the avoidance scales and it makes IBF count for more.

So my questions would be:

1. Do I need to change my priority in itemization? I've tried to focus on a balance between avoidance, health and mitigation, not sacrificing too much of one for the others.

2. Is there some glaring talent that I totally missed because I m a r tarded?

3. Aside from keeping up Blade Barrier (which sucks now), and using CD's when necessary, is there anything else I can do? (Edit: Ok, blade barrier doesn't suck. It's a Reaaalllyy strong talent. It's just not as fun as it used to be.)

Thanks in advance,

07-08-2009, 03:54 PM
Also, I'm open to complete spec changes...Right now I sit at about 58% avoidance, 29k HP and 27k armor.

I'd lose a cooldown, and about 3% avoidance, but would I do better tanking this content in Blood spec?

I've gone down the Unholy road, but since the Bone Shield nerf I haven't really enjoyed it as much. It feels more fragile without the snap AoE aggro of Frost or the self healing of blood.


07-08-2009, 07:19 PM
OK so I am not going to comment on your gear, talents etc because I know next to nothing about DKs, however think about this.

I play prot paladin, and have had people saying I was easier to heal than a deathknight whose gear was over half a tier ahead of mine. I took more damage over the course of the evening but because I take a constant stream of damage, and the healers know about how much damage I am likely to take in the next 5 seconds, they can plan their heals in advance. The deathknight on the other hand would take zero damage for 10 seconds, then take 3/4 hits, then a while without damage, then suddenly take massive burst again. Healers dont like this :)

It is very likely that the paladin takes more damage over the course of the encounters, but the damage dealt to the tank is more noticable when you are tanking because it is more "spikey". This is simply the nature of how deathknights (and druids to a certain extent) take damage.

Just something to mull over...

07-09-2009, 07:40 AM
58% avoidance is quite commendable. You *might* want to consider a few offset pieces that are gemmed for more stam or just have higher stam at the cost of a little of that. The idea here being that the larger your HP pool the less healers will care that you got a bad avoidance streak. Since DK's dont mitgate the damage over time as smoothly as a shield tank, we do need more stam than they do. I would say 29K is a tad low for udluar, but thats just me.

Happy tanking

07-09-2009, 08:19 AM

That's a great point, I hadn't thought about that. You're right, of course. And that goes perfectly into what Silveronfire is saying.

Great point about the bigger health pool. I will work on that.

Thanks guys! Awesome ideas! :)


07-09-2009, 08:22 AM
dks take more spike dmg than any other class because of their avoidance type tanking

07-09-2009, 08:25 AM
Ugh. I guess this means I need to pug Heroic Azjol'Nerub. ;)

07-09-2009, 08:49 AM
With a paladin running around as the other tank, a blood spec would be a good choice as the two of you can balance each other out. It's a good EH/single target build and can provide a DPS boost with abom's might and hysteria.

You've got more armor, more hp, and better avoidance stats than the pally. The only reason your damage is more "spikey" than his is because your healers are likely healing you more retroactively than they are healing him. They are waiting for damage instead of just spamming. The fact that you have both better mitigation and avoidance stats would make me believe (on anecdotal evidence alone mind you) that you do in fact take less damage than him on a single encounter. Also, your cooldowns are able to be timed to minimize damage bursts (you have something available every tantrum that allows the 2 healers to focus on the raid for XT as an example).

If you choose to go to the blood side of things, there'd be a couple things I suggest for fun ways to boost EH:
-get 10k honor and switch to the Gladiator's shoulder enchant.
-Enchant your bracers with something :).
-Run AN for that dang trinket.
-Consider leveling up mining and taking a 2nd profession :P

07-09-2009, 09:18 AM
Haha. Thanks Geros. I'm so very bad at professions, but I guess the 60 stam from 450 mining is pretty worthwhile, and if I go Blacksmithing I could socket my gloves...hm.

The +40 Stam to bracers will definitely help, I'm getting that before our progression night (tomorrow night).

Yeah, I'm the master of CD's, that's why I love Frost. It gives me another CD. I think I'm going to want that even more when 3.2 kicks IBF in the mouth. sigh.

So, Geros...When you say that Blood would balance out a paladin, what do you mean? I'm all about Synergy, so that sentence made me go, "Oh? Ooohh."

07-09-2009, 09:50 AM
Blood is generally the weakest of the three trees in AoE threat (no HB or UHB). Paladins are generally extremely strong in AoE threat. If you were paired with a druid I'd suggest that frost provides snappier AoE threat.

Also, Vampiric blood is a pretty decent cooldown in itself. Your death strikes heal for almost 7% of your 115% normal hp for each disease when active. It doesn't reduce incoming DPS but improves HPS significantly.