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Miagorme
07-15-2009, 07:23 AM
Hi there,

First, I'd like to say thanks for all the information on this website. It's been very helpful to me, and it's enabled me to help other tanks that happen to be too lazy to read up on their class/gearing.

Background: I had been a Paladin Tank for a couple months, and moved up into raiding guilds quickly. I did not enjoy my first raiding guild much, but I found my home in a smaller and much more efficient guild. We had Naxxramas on farm for a while, and we never really had any trouble with the dual Paladin tank combination.

Ulduar was released, and we continued to utilize the dual Paladin tank combination. We did sort-of well, but after talking with the guild leader of the top raiding guild of the server, I decided to re-roll a Death Knight.

Currently, this is my Death Knight: WoW Heroes - World of Warcraft PvE character info & ratings (http://www.wow-heroes.com/index.php?zone=us&server=Lightninghoof&name=Mi%C3%A2) (if link doesn't work, replace whatever is after the i with (hold alt)0226 -- used a different link due to the accent over the a messing up wowarmory.com's link)
Notes:
-31945health, 25875armor (-62.94% phys) in Frost Presence
-Standard tank arcanum on helm, and 18stam on gloves. Armory didn't update them.

Paladin for reference: WoW Heroes - World of Warcraft PvE character info & ratings (http://www.wow-heroes.com/index.php?zone=us&server=Lightninghoof&name=Miagorme) (SBV: 1356, gemmed for EH)


Strategy etc. notes:
Rotation: IT, PS, DS, HS, HS -- After this point, I use judgement for my next move, generally DS'ing after I get hit and HS'ing until then. I have rune strike macroed to everything, and I have a second actionbar without rune strike macroed to anything, in order to reserve RP.


My healers are saying I take a lot of damage, and frequently requested I got back on my Paladin about 5% dodge ago. I stagger my cooldowns as efficiently as I can, and I gem for balance, with a preference towards dodge.

Here's where I need help: I'm unsure if my healers are simply used to healing two incredibly over geared Paladin tanks in Nax and aren't used to healing Ulduar yet, or if my DK really isn't ready to tank Ulduar. Suggestions, tips or advice of any kind would be greatly appreciated, as I'd like to be the best I can be. I've read a lot and looked just about everything for DKs up, but I've never had my stats etc. looked at by other (good) tanks, so I'm not sure where I stand.

Thanks in advance,
Miagorme/Miā

Krehinth
07-15-2009, 07:37 AM
Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft (http://www.wowhead.com/?talent#j0EMZhxxxh0Ikcziost0xh)

Miagorme
07-15-2009, 07:39 AM
I wasn't aware Heroes didn't show secondary spec. Here's my DK's frost spec:
The World of Warcraft Armory (http://www.wowarmory.com/character-talents.xml?r=Lightninghoof&n=Mi%C3%A2&group=2)

Krehinth
07-15-2009, 07:44 AM
I see but I would deff drop Killing machine for Bladed armor and maybe Virulence for Morbidity

Esch
07-15-2009, 07:46 AM
Here's where I need help: I'm unsure if my healers are simply used to healing two incredibly over geared Paladin tanks in Nax and aren't used to healing Ulduar yet.

Based on what I could gather, I don't see anything glaringly wrong. Your gear is adequate for entry Ulduar. This leads me to suspect that you're still adjusting to the DK playstyle, and healers are very familiar with healing Paladins. An interesting comparison would be how your healers feel about druids - if they say that druid tanks are taking a lot of damage, then it's definitely healers being familiar with healing paladins. I felt a similar adjustment in my healing team, but I think we worked through it in Naxx.

Generally, healers get into a healing groove and know how to anticipate spike damage. With Ulduar's high damage and a 'new' tank, it's understandable that they don't have a feeling for a DK. Again, I wonder about the druid, as the tank design of DK/Druid is similar in terms of avoidance/armor/health.

Two things that may help involve adjusting your talents, specifically Imp Icy Touch & Rune Tap (improved). Imp Icy Touch will provide more dehasting on mobs (especially larger aoe packs), which will reduce the overall damage you suffer. Rune Tap, especially if improved, gives an additional heal for spike damage, so you can top yourself off and/or help heal through a spike. (I would take points out of Spell Deflection, which I find too random, and Virulence, which is limited value for a Blood spec IMO.)

Miagorme
07-15-2009, 07:49 AM
I decided to tank bosses as blood because a few of my DPSers blissfully enjoy ignoring "sec, need threat" "don't hit yet" "moment please" while trying to prove I shouldn't be on my DK because of 'threat issues'. Right now, I like the extra threat and ability of a self-heal of 4k+ (9k+ if I use DRW's diseases and VB together), since it tends to help my healers out a lot and it lowers the chances of damage spikes killing me, since I'm getting self healed for 4k inbetween boss hits.

Krehinth
07-15-2009, 07:54 AM
As esch said I don't see anything that is very out of place your spec is pretty strong and your gear is viable for Uld. (I would just try to replace your hands and belt)

Krehinth
07-15-2009, 07:55 AM
Blame the healers! : P

Miagorme
07-15-2009, 08:01 AM
@Esch: I assumed the healers still needed to adjust and decided to stay on my DK, as the avoidance/EH number differences between the two characters made it seem the DK was the superior tank, and the healers were simply used to healing differently.

Regarding Spell Deflection, I went Blood for Sartharion 3 drake since my Frost threat wasn't high enough to hold aggro in the zerg method. The breaths were hitting hard, and I wanted to mitigate as much damage as I could. I tanked Mimiron as Blood and the Spell Deflection worked very well; I usually range-tank the head during P3 and P4, so I did it on my DK as well. I took much less damage watching Spell Deflection and timing AMS based on the likeliness of chain procs of Spell Deflection.

I got Virulence because my hit rating is low and I didn't want to miss any taunts. I typically do my spec around my gear, so that'll change with a couple new pieces. With the trigger-happy, headset-removed, "oops, didn't hear you say wait", "your Paladin doesn't have threat problems" DPSers I had, I went with as much threat in my spec as I could, as I wasn't sure how often I'd be able to use Rune Tap without always holding a blood rune for emergency, which I'm assuming would pretty much neuter my threat.

@Krehinth: The gear I have now is from two weeks of raiding, and I hope to replace the hands and belt in 10 uld as soon as possible. None have dropped yet, so I'm probably going to get the crafted BIS belt and run 25 Sarth if Freya decides to hate me again.

Satorri
07-15-2009, 08:24 AM
I agree with Esch's advice on the spec items. Virulence is incredibly light in value for a Blood tank, especially with glyph of Disease (it'll only help DC's, and IT's you'll use very infrequently). Imp IT is not taken for the IT damage, either. If you are tanking next to a Protadin, that aoe-able de-hasting will be a very nice value for your tank team. Learning to use Imp Rune Tap can make it appear as if you are taking a lot less damage, but it is a tricky skill in that it is entirely limited in effectiveness by how well you time its use.

So long as you're craving survival value, Spell Deflection and WotN are nice, but personally I prefer to trade those points into Imp Rune Tap and Mark of Blood. The trade off is a very passive (and there balanced slightly down) defense to an active (and therefore balanced up slightly *if* you use it enough) survival method. If you're still getting your DK legs really rolling though you may want to phase that sort of thing in as you are more and more comfortable.

You may know this, but I also feel inclined to point out that Dancing Rune Weapon is not a tanking value by any stretch. It's great if you want to pick up some more damage (which maybe you do, but it's not needed from where you describe your progression), but it adds no threat for you.

For your Frost Spec, I would generally disagree with Krehinth on his point removals, though let me be more specific:
As a tank, Bladed Armor is your single largest threat buff (not counting the talented spells) and you are well-advised to fill that out completely. Virulence is useful for a tank, but not as good a gain per point as Bladed Armor. 2h spec does not outperform Bladed Armor either, so if nothing else I'd move those 5 points into Bladed Armor. Morbidity as a Frost tank is entirely unneeded, and half wasted since you won't often use DC (and it's rarely advisable to). You can do fine aoe threat with good use of HB abd BB, and there's no reason to be dropping DnD on CD (only reason to take Morbidity). I'm assuming you have no shamans or dps dks so you are the one provided the 20% melee haste? If so that's fine and I would leave the rest as is. If you do have a shaman to drop Windfury (if it's elemental/resto dropping Wrath of Air and you have other casters to give that haste, you can just re-organize buffs a little =D) then you can easily trade those 6 points into other tasty values like Virulence, 2h Spec, Epidemic, and Scent of Blood, all of which are fine threat buffs.


In general, this is just a matter of psychology and gear level for your healers. Your DK is less geared than your pally already, and Pallies will take less damage. As Blood, you will take more damage, but sharp use of your heals (as it sounds you do with your DS's, and you can add Rune Tap to) can make it appear as if you are taking less damage.

Satorri
07-15-2009, 08:29 AM
Ah ha. Funny thing, Rune Tap becomes a pretty decent chunk of threat when your health gets bigger, provided it is single target.

To illustrate:
My Rune Taps heal for about 9600 in my full raid buffs. Our healing gets the normal threat modifier but also is cut in half, so that nets out to 9953 threat, which is the same as if I'd hit the mob for 4800 dmg on a strike. 4800 damage from a single blood rune beats HS unless I crit or Sudden Doom proc'd (which I don't have), so for my particular health, on a single target (healing threat gets divided), Rune Tap surpasses the threat value of HS on a single target.

With your health it may not be so, however, but it is not a non-threat move, to be sure. My above comments may shape the threat of your Frost spec, I actually do more threat with Frost generally speaking, and survive better as Blood, TOTALLY backwards from what people usually think of them in terms of.

Krehinth
07-15-2009, 08:30 AM
Do you disagree with my advice replacing Killingmachine with bladed armor or that you think there are better things to switch? And gratz on your 1000 posts!

Satorri
07-15-2009, 08:33 AM
Aye to the latter. Bladed Armor is big, but so is Killing Machine for a tank. Killing Machine for me works out to be the equivalent of about 40% crit on FS and HB for me which is pretty huge.

2-hand Spec on the other hand is very very easy to compare directly with Bladed Armor, and it fails in comparison with most any level of gear in Frost Pres. The other points get less clear, but Virulence was one I usually prioritize much lower.

Miagorme
07-15-2009, 08:36 AM
@Satorri: I was interested in DRW since I noticed while leveling that it mimicked diseases I inflicted, and was unsure if they would count as third and fourth diseases, adding up to a total of 20% max health DS heal. I decided one talent point wasn't too bad to experiment with, and with that, I developed a third CD for Mimiron: revolving around loading up D(ancing)RW diseases before the 15k dps tick (Plasma Blast?), then using DS and making E(mpower)RW a defensive CD by utilizing it to use DS a total of 3-4 times, depending on when I get diseases set up.

Regarding trading the passive survival talents for active survival talents: that's a great idea, and I was looking into that. Right now, I still need to think about my rotation and cooldowns while tanking hard bosses, but I will definitely look into that when I get more and more familiar and comfortable with my DK.

Thanks for your help and input, everybody. I appreciate it.

(woah, fast responses :D)

Using Rune Tap as a threat generator sounds like a great idea, especially saving it for when I get hit. My heart strikes don't hit for anywhere near 4800, so that tip will increase my threat generation by a lot, especially if I use it during Vampiric Blood.

Krehinth
07-15-2009, 08:38 AM
I see, you have lead me to consider a slight change in spec: )

Satorri
07-15-2009, 08:44 AM
I didn't fully appreciate this until I started playing more with Frost tanking in progression raiding, but a REALLY powerful tool as Blood, I use when my health drops.

I have health warnings set up, so when I take a big hit, I'm the first to know, faster than my healers thank you latency. I usually can hit DS, and if I don't have a B rune available I'll pop Blood Tap quickly, so I can DS and Rune Tap simultaneously. BAM! 45% of my total health back in a single breath (with Vamp Blood that's a 25k heal! >.>).

Esch
07-15-2009, 10:03 AM
I decided to tank bosses as blood because a few of my DPSers blissfully enjoy ignoring "sec, need threat" "don't hit yet" "moment please" while trying to prove I shouldn't be on my DK because of 'threat issues'.

If your DPS is choosing to try and pass you threat, let them. Watch them die. Continue with the pull. Folks that choose ignore omen or allow threat are a liability. Don't make your job harder, let them die and continue. The issue is that paladins have amazing threat generation, which DPS love as they (DPS) don't have to be responsible for threat.

I've seen enough threat pulls result in wipes later in Ulduar, so DPS has a responsibility. Sooner they acknowledge it, the less it'll haunt you later.

Jaeden
07-15-2009, 10:05 AM
Side not, spec war aside(I like unholy tanking and I have awesome threat ;P)

Your healers are not healing for Ulduar. It is different than healing Naxx and ESPECIALLY different from healing Naxx with overgeared characters.

Your dpsers are being tards, they need to handle their aggro and give you a second to start the aggro snowball. Once we start rolling in threat, nothing short of a rogue dpsing a secondary target in aoe or a really good hunter can touch us in threar.

Miagorme
07-15-2009, 10:32 AM
Yeah, I was thinking about just letting them die, but I figured I should get better at threat generation now than have trouble on Hodir, Vezax and the harder threat fights. I frequently yell at the one or two that try and pull aggro, and I yell at them even more when they don't assist, pull aggro on some random low priority mob, die, then complain.

Seems like I'm not the only one that needs a second or so before the DPS starts going nuts; that's very comforting. Thanks!

Miagorme
07-17-2009, 05:05 AM
Re-using an old thread rather than making a new one:

The World of Warcraft Armory (http://www.wowarmory.com/character-sheet.xml?r=Lightninghoof&n=Mi%C3%A2)

Any suggestions for gems? Right now, I have a balance and 32k unbuffed health. Would it be best to go for the huge hp pool for Blood's self heals, or would it be better to keep things how they are? I noticed I didn't get hit often and was thinking maybe the self-heals are getting wasted, but I'm not sure if I should look forward to getting hit more often simply to heal myself my often. Any thoughts?

edit: Also, are there any addons that compare tank damage? It'd be incredibly useful for finding/creating information and evidence that this is better than that, this works and that doesn't, etc. Right now, most of my group thinks my DK can't handle anything too difficult and I've frequently heard "I wish Danwe were here," but the numbers suggest quite differently. However, they aren't numbers I can supply and make them understand.

keeprock
07-17-2009, 08:48 AM
I still don't know if you've solved your original problem with "taking too much damage." Healing wise, Ulduar has many more intense moments of healing where the healers need to be ready, and ready now. If you healers were getting lazy in Naxx and are carrying that over to Ulduar they'll have problems.

Now, keeping the healing mentality in mind and looking at your gems, you have 129 dodge rating socketed in. This give you 3.28% more dodges. The unfortunate part is your healers can't see the 3.28% dodges or plan their healing around 3.28% more dodges. "He'll dodge the next two, I'll conserve some mana." What they see, is the 40+% you don't avoid and plan their healing based on that cycle. Get hit big, healing comes faster. So like most guilds you have a set of healers playing "keep the health bar from reaching 0." So that means the more health bar you have, the longer they have to win that game.

If you trade all dodge for stamina (which I recommend), you will pick up 1950 more health before buffs. Multiply that by raid buffs and it gives the healers substansially more health bar to play with. That is the benefit of effective health. Not only that, your guild is going to look at you and think, maybe this DK can tank this boss since he has this much HP.

The other factor in the debate for stacking stamina is that math and theory generally agree that this is the way to go for Death Knights. We get good defense and dodge from gear. We don't need much of anything else. Stamina is the most effective way we can make a difference to our survivability via gemming.

Esch
07-17-2009, 09:10 AM
Re-using an old thread rather than making a new one:

The World of Warcraft Armory (http://www.wowarmory.com/character-sheet.xml?r=Lightninghoof&n=Mi%C3%A2)

Any suggestions for gems? Right now, I have a balance and 32k unbuffed health. Would it be best to go for the huge hp pool for Blood's self heals, or would it be better to keep things how they are? I noticed I didn't get hit often and was thinking maybe the self-heals are getting wasted, but I'm not sure if I should look forward to getting hit more often simply to heal myself my often. Any thoughts?

Stack health. The only socket bonuses I would concern myself with would be your pants. Plus, until 3.2 hits, you can fill out your helm & shoulders with +27 stamina gems, and still get the bonus.

Blood is going to get hit, that's a given. The catch is blood is capable of so much percentage-of-total-health abilities, that it can negate it. On just (3.1) Frost Presence, Vot3W & RotSG, you 11.89 hit points per stamina. That adds up, but it also means DS/Runetap heal for more also. Adding more raid buffs (Kings, Fort, MotW) continues to build on that healthpool.

Also, large health pools are more forgiving for healers. There is a real point where you can get enough health to take two unavoided hits, and that's when healing suddenly feels 'easy' as you aren't liable to get two-shotted. I've seen warriors and paladins get gibbed that way a lot until they get solid gear.


edit: Also, are there any addons that compare tank damage? It'd be incredibly useful for finding/creating information and evidence that this is better than that, this works and that doesn't, etc. Right now, most of my group thinks my DK can't handle anything too difficult and I've frequently heard "I wish Danwe were here," but the numbers suggest quite differently. However, they aren't numbers I can supply and make them understand.

You can use recount, but if you do, be sure to compare damage with your personal effective healing. You will take more damage than a paladin (block does matter), but the effective healing can outweigh the difference.

On the other hand, if folks are complain that they think you're not able to take the damage, I have to wonder how tightly they're trying to heal. As folks have commented, Naxx =/= Ulduar, there are a lot more instances where healers must spam heal and opt to cancel, instead of casting 'as needed'. How your group did on Patchwerk may be worth considering, a if you had trouble there, on a healer-spamfest fight, then I have to suspect healers.

Ghads. I despise folks that blame healers. I'm going to curl up in a corner and beat myself some more and call it bad-esch-tanking.


Offhand, how many paladins do you have in your raid group currently?

Edit: Tried to dig up a useful log, but I'm not as familiar with the worldoflog setup, so I can't find something that compares our warrior, myself and paladin tanks usefully.

Miagorme
07-17-2009, 09:22 AM
Understood; I'll replace all my gems with 24 stam gems, and use Solid Dragon's Eyes (41 stam)/Regal Twilight Opals (8 dodge/12 stam) to fill stamina socket bonuses. Right now, I'm out of JC tokens and don't have the money to buy necklaces and get that many Solid Sky Sapphires, so I'll fix things in a day or so. Thanks for your help (again)!

edit: Not sure, but I think the healers may have either been worried about my gear or maximum health, which is understandable from their point of view. It would be harder to keep someone with 34k max health from dying than it would to keep someone with 42k max health from dying, regardless of avoidance, due to the lack of ability to reliably predict when damage will be taken.

Regarding paladins, either 1-2 or 4-5. Lately it's been 1-2.

keeprock
07-17-2009, 10:06 AM
As one last point, and it may have been said already, blood tanks take more damage. It's very noticeable to healers because your bars disappear faster. But on the other side of the coin they also reappear faster from healing. That alone is probably the reason why the healers question your gear and ability. If you were frost you'd mitigate more and your bars wouldn't "appear" so bad. There's no reason to change to frost, but that is probably why they like the paladin better since his damage appears softer and more predictable.

Miagorme
07-17-2009, 10:19 AM
I went Blood after I got better gear. I was Frost until I hit 30k unbuffed and 50% combined avoidance.

Now I'm at 34k unbuffed and ~51% avoidance.

Esch
07-17-2009, 11:23 AM
Thanks for your help (again)!

You're welcome. I think I can speak for several of us that we want to help folks improve, and it's that guy over there *points* that scares me. He thinks he knows it all. :eek:


edit: Not sure, but I think the healers may have either been worried about my gear or maximum health, which is understandable from their point of view. It would be harder to keep someone with 34k max health from dying than it would to keep someone with 42k max health from dying, regardless of avoidance, due to the lack of ability to reliably predict when damage will be taken.

It's also appearance. Watching a tank's life bar bounce all over isn't easy (mentally) for healers and generally reflects a 'poorer' tank. A larger health pool reduces the appearance, as well as giving healers more leeway. I know ANYONE can tank if you apply enough heals, but there is a point where have a tank do it is easier than finding infinite mana/healing. Btw, 42k buffed HP = 6.3k Death Strikes, 8.4k Rune Taps. Nice.


Regarding paladins, either 1-2 or 4-5. Lately it's been 1-2.

I raise the question as my raid REALLY likes 3 paladins, though we bounce between 2 and 5. With two paladins, assuming one does Kings, that means the second has to cover Might, Wisdom (if no resto shaman) and/or Sanctuary. Doable, though it gets rough on some of the hybrid classes.

ikely someone is not getting a buff and bringing 'back' another stable paladin would reduce the list of Paladin1 Kings/Might dps, Paladin2 Kings/Wisdom casters, Paladin-Danwe Sanc's the raid. A 3% damage reduction does show up on aoe heavy fights, which may be something the healers are thinking on top of how they view your DK's mitigation/health.

Though, one paladin... /wince. Kings the raid, and be ready for QQ spam about 'where are the other paladin buffs I need?'.