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View Full Version : Helping a DK Tank and I am so lost.



Funkay
09-03-2009, 06:48 PM
So, I'm a prot pally and have been recently helping a DK in my guild set up to tank for us. The only issue is, I know almost nothing about DK's and tanking. For whatever reason, the lack of block is throwing me off and I have a hard time judging his gear to see how far he can tank. So my questions pretty much extend to this:

1) Help with DK Blood Tank Specs and rotation.
2) Avoidance guide. How does a DK make up for the lack of block
3) What kind of Avoidance should one have to start tanking Ulduar? Stack Defense? Does Dodge and Parry have to be equal?

Anything that anyone has any input on regarding DK Tanking would be appreaciated.

Aurelia
09-03-2009, 07:05 PM
I dont really know about blood spec and its rotations, but..

Avoidance: Shoot for an absolute minimum 40% combined from dodge and parry. This will be very easy even in heroic gear, so ideally you should be pushing past 45% to tank in Ulduar. DK's dont really make up for lack of block - they take the hits, or they don't, and they rely on cooldowns, self-healing and passive mitigation to survive. As a Blood DK tank, your guy will mostly be relying on active cooldowns and a superior health pool for his survival.

For more info on tanking as blood, this is an excellent thread to refer to:
http://www.tankspot.com/forums/f14/54331-satorri-s-big-build-shop-blood-tanking.html

Tylovan
09-03-2009, 07:16 PM
In my experiences with tanking so far, I can give you a few bits of help. Though hopefully others can fill in for the things I'm not sure on...

Awhile back I saw a very nice Blood Tanking specc actually posted here on TankSpot. I can't seem to find it right at the moment, but my current one wasn't horribly off the mark from it. While I can't give you an exact xx/xx/xx layout, I can at least suggest a few talents to be SURE you get in:

Rune Tap is of course a necessity. for it's place in the tree there's no reason NOT to pick it up. It may not seem like much at times, but sometimes popping that bit of extra health is the difference between your tank dying and your tank living. I've had a few times where I've popped it and that extra bit of health has lasted just long enough for a healer to finish up casting his or her heal to get me back to topped off. Improved Rune Tap also can't go amiss either.

Death Rune Mastery. pick it up. it compliments Rune Tap very well as well as other abilities provided you sink the maximum amount of points in. It helps prevent seeing the dreaded 'not enough runes' message. Nothing worse than seeing that in a boss fight.

Two-Handed specialization. I suppose this one's a matter of personal preference, but...I haven't met a DK who dual-wields and tanks. If they're out there I'd like to, I'd like to see how they do it, but really...we don't use shields, weapon in each hand is for DPS. I'm sorry.

Spell Deflection. Not quite as good as a Warrior's, but still can save your butt, especially combined with anti-magic shell. pretty self-exclamatory.

Mark of Blood. Beautiful, absofreakingloutely BEAUTIFUL ability in my book. it may not do much, but on fights like Patchy or Thaddius, every single drop of HP we get helps. I'm all about not only taking the damage, but helping to make people's jobs easier, and this one certainly helps healers even if it's a little bit, so I love it. Great for single-targets. Pity it doesn't last longer, though.

Veteran of the Third War....all three points in this one. do it. three things a tank needs right there and you're getting a boost from them. no-brainer.

Improved Blood Presence...nice if you've got the points to get it. Blood is all about healing but to really be effective in tanking you've gotta be in Frost Presence of course, so that really kinda helps.

Hysteria...I dunno. At first I thought it might help. Smack it on your lowest melee-dps and watch him burn up the charts for a little bit. But the times I've used it I've kinda been too busy to notice the effect it has, so I'm not sure.

Improved Death Strike...yeah. just reading it kinda makes it a no-brainer. again, we're all about healing here, so...

Vampiric Blood...just like Rune Tap, it's a save-your-behind button. the health does indeed go away, but provided you use it the right way it'll save your butt.

I know I missed alot, and I'd go into other details, but figured this post is kinda long anyway. I've jabbered enough now. let someone else talk.

Kurtosis
09-03-2009, 08:25 PM
Rune Tap is of course a necessity. Improved Rune Tap also can't go amiss either.
/second. Vampiric Blood followed by an Improved Rune Tap and a DS or two is the best Oh Shit button the class has, it has taken me from 10% to 80% in just a few seconds and prevented a wipe.

Death Rune Mastery.
/second. There just aren't enough Blood Runes for all the Blood Rune-using abilities Blood DK's have - Vampiric Blood, Rune Tap, Heart Strike, Pestilence, Blood Boil, Mark of Blood, DnD off the top of my head. Without DRM chances are you won't have Blood Runes when you really need them (like for VB + RT).

Two-Handed specialization. I suppose this one's a matter of personal preference, but...I haven't met a DK who dual-wields and tanks. If they're out there I'd like to, I'd like to see how they do it, but really...we don't use shields, weapon in each hand is for DPS. I'm sorry.
Frost can DW tank just fine using two tanking weapons w/ defense, dodge, parry, etc. on them. Several here at Tankspot do. More avoidance, less EH. Blood tanks shouldn't even think of it since there are no talents supporting that style in the Blood tree (and one of the two Frost talents ThoTh is way too far down the Frost tree for Blood to get).

Mark of Blood. Beautiful
/second, I use it, though arguable whether it's a must-have. Don't think all Blood tanks use it.

Veteran of the Third War
/second, b/c some of Blood's abilities like VB, RT, and MoB scale off stamina. The more stam you have the better they scale. Strength also improves AP (threat) and Parry.

Improved Blood Presence...nice if you've got the points to get it.
I use this in my current build (which buffs self-healing and single-target melee threat at the expense of Death Coil and AoE threat). While the healing buff only applies to self-healing, and its only 4% in Frost Presence, that's 4% extra self-healing on RT and DS - isn't much but it adds up.

Hysteria...I dunno. At first I thought it might help. Smack it on your lowest melee-dps and watch him burn up the charts for a little bit. But the times I've used it I've kinda been too busy to notice the effect it has, so I'm not sure.
I don't bother, I've usually got my hands full with everything else to remember keeping this up on a melee dps every 2m. Abomination's might ftw.

Improved Death Strike
/second.

Vampiric Blood...just like Rune Tap, it's a save-your-behind button. the health does indeed go away, but provided you use it the right way it'll save your butt.
Basically the scenario is, you just got hit with spike dmg that took you from 80% to 10%. Pop VB and hit Rune tap, which gets you back up to around 50%, then DSx2 gets you back to around 80% (rough numbers, but that's the gist of it). If your runes are down, use Empower Rune Weapon (http://www.wowhead.com/?spell=47568) to refresh them.

That gets you past the immediate threat of dying, and you still have 20+ seconds of +15% to all healing (self and external) for your healer to get un-cc'd or whatever and back on top of it. When the effect ends, your max health drops back to normal and your current health drops by 15%, but by then you've at least avoided a death that would have killed you otherwise.

It's a really interesting and more sophisticated mechanic than your standard dmg reduction cd's like Bone Shield and IBF. And, the more stamina you have, the more effective it is relative to the incoming dmg from the boss.

My current Blood spec (http://www.wowhead.com/?talent#jcEMqI0IsbMbssxhxZ0g:iGp0Mm), again buffing self-healing and melee threat at the expense of Death Coil and AoE threat.

A few more notes - Blood is the least RP-hungry of the three tress, so I've found I can get away without any points in Scent of Blood.

3/3 Improved Icy Touch considered a requirement for all DK tank specs, reduces incoming dmg and slows incoming spike dmg.

Blood Worms = meh. Most encounters have AoE that kills them b/f they can do anything useful.

Improved Death Coil - again, this spec sacrifices DC dmg for melee dmg and self-healing.

Obliterate - I don't even put it on my action bar, since it uses the same runes as Death Strike. I just spam DS instead. Ime, talented and glyphed DS does almost the amount of dmg as Obliterate, and the extra self-heal probably equalizes their threat gen. Haven't tested that latter claim though, but even if Oblit still did more threat I'd probably still use DS for the EH boost unless I had otherwise unsolvable threat problems.

Glyphs - VB is Blood's primary tanking cd, and DS one of its two primary strikes and one of its two primary self-heals. Disease is a quality of life glyph, allowing you to refresh diseases on all targets in range with a single gcd and rune, instead of 3 gcds and 3 runes (IT + PS + Pest).

As for Rotation, I don't think in terms of that when tanking. Too many things happen that require adaptation on the fly instead of sticking with a set rotation. In general though:

AoE pull:
DnD - IT - PS - Pest - [all runes on cd, use your rp for whatever you need, be it IBF or DC]
From there, use your Blood Runes for Heart Strike and convert you Frost and UH runes w/ DSx2
From there, keep diseases up w/ Pestilence, and maintain threat w/ Heart Strike, Blood Boil, and Death Strike. VB and RT as needed. Convert Frost and UH runes w/ DS as necessary.

Boss pull
IT - PS - DS - HS - HS - [all runes on cd, use rp for whatever you need]
From there, maintain threat w/ HS, self-heal and convert Frost/UH runes to Death Runes w/ DS, keep diseases up w/ Pestilence, use RP for IBF or Death Coil as necessary.

Regarding lack of block, same way bear tanks do - compensate w/ avoidance, or in the case of a Blood DK, highest possible Effective Health. Which you choose will depend on the encounter (Ulduar dk tanks seem to prefer higher EH, at the expense of lower avoidance).

Regarding Defense, dodge, and parry, start with Satrina's 3.2 thread on avoidance diminishing returns (http://www.tankspot.com/forums/f63/40003-diminishing-returns-avoidance.html). Iirc, 65% avoidance is the cap, and 40% is minimum you want to tank raids with. The problem w/ 65% is that it still leaves open the possibility of getting 3-shot in a spike dmg cluster, wiping the raid. But if you stack stam at the expense of avoidance, you expose yourself to more dmg and spike dmg, but increase your ability to live through it. Eg, bad luck on the RNG can negate even 65% avoidance, but not high stam and EH.

toonnamefail
09-03-2009, 09:17 PM
Read sat's guide, the points you choose are for want of preference/playstyle only. In no way is Rune Tap a necessity, I certainly do not have it and know many blood tanks who find it as useless as I do in endgame tanking, same goes for MoB.

Tylovan
09-04-2009, 06:07 AM
The only thing I'd add in Kurtosis' rotations would be to say throw in a Rune Strike when needed, as well as throw in Blood Boils. I used to be able to do a DnD-IT-PS-BB-BB-BB and then whatever the heck I wanted because I had a solid threat lead. Kept my diseases up and dropped DnD and BB when applicable. Used Death Strike when I could/thought about it.

Nowadays with the nerfness....well, I use DnD alot more....IT-PS-Rune Strike-DS if possible-HS spam.

Bosses...pretty much the same if I have the room to drop a DnD, otherwise I usually start with IT and PS and then Rune Strike it off the bat. Nice thing about Rune Strike is that you can pop two or three other abilities and Rune strike just...eventually gets there. it shares a seperate cooldown from most other abilities, so if you have to hit an "oh shi-!" button like VB or Rune Tap, it's fine. Admittedly I'm not the most geared right at the moment, but since I've started using it I've found Rune Strike works pretty well. Used to have trouble with the dragon packs in H VH for example...now I just drop a DnD and throw one disease on and Rune Strike it...basically all the mobs come back to me at just about the point they were ready to go to the warlock or mage, and they stay on me. it's nice to have.

I can see where MoB is useless for endgame. I'd imagine the health it gives is minimal to worthless, but I hear less complaints about it than things like Dancing Rune Weapon. Personally I just like to have those things around to make the healer's job easier by whatever small amount I can. Although I know it's been done, I can't tank without a healer, so I treat all my healers as good as possible.

One other thing that's good to note if you're using DnD to pull, is DnD has probably...half a second or so of animation to get itself set up. Oftentimes you can use that to your advantage. Like for example in ToC when you're starting the Paltress fight and she has her groups of adds up. I simply target the healer of the group I'm gonna pull. DnD right in front of me, and then death-grip them over to me. The other two coming running right into the DnD. I've got the target that needs to be killed so DPS can focus on me (although I still mark it just for redundancy) and the other two mobs are focused on me rather than me trying to do something more clumsy and the other two running amok with the rest of my party while I get them back.