View Full Version : Tanking DK Advice

11-16-2009, 10:31 PM
Hi I am newly 80 as of Saturday and was wondering if anyone could give me their opinion on my spec and what my exact rotation should be I have tanked for H HoL, H CoS timed, and H Occ succesfully no wipes except on drakes in Occ =P but had some issue keeping aggro in CoS although the dps were 2.5k and higher. So thanks and please help =)

11-16-2009, 10:32 PM
The World of Warcraft Armory (http://www.wowarmory.com/character-sheet.xml?r=Hydraxis&n=Carnick)

11-17-2009, 06:24 AM
i would just like to say gratz on gettin to lvl 80, 1st of all 3 talent trees for a DK can be used for tanking as im sure u know, blood is best for single targets like bosses, frost is good all round and unholy is best for AoE tanking, while ur lvling and getting ur gear etc. i recommend going frost, i found it a good all round tanking spec, blood and holy are more dependent on ur gear than frost is, obviously the worse ur gear the worse ur gona be in blood and unholy for tanking, unholy is more of an off tanking spec for raids, well i think so anyway, never used it my self but i know the basics, i lvled as frost tank, which was great and easy to use, then after awhile when i started getting better gear i swiched to blood tanking as im the main tank in my guild, also spam rune strike as much as pos if ur not, its the best tps move a DK has, also u want to get ur defence up 2 540 as soon as, as that makes u uncritable on bosses, which is a must. i use Tanking | Skeleton Jack (http://www.skeletonjack.com/category/tanking/) for my tanking spec and rotation. a gd website with loads of details.

hope this helps

11-17-2009, 06:40 AM
Hi Carnick, your Talent spec looks good, but you need to replace your green items with at least cheap blue ones from AH. get your Defense up above 540 and you become crit immune. So buy blue gear that increases your defence rating up to 540, then aim for stamina and then hit rating.

When it comes to aggro, make sure you have a death and decay out as often as possible, and always use pestilence directly after Icy touch & Plague Strike, keep spreading diseases and use Rune strike as soon as it lits =). Be careful when using Army of the dead at bosses that cast AoE damage in front of them, since the boss will turn around like crazy and casting that spell all over the place!

Good Luck & happy tanking!


11-17-2009, 04:40 PM
I appreciate the the help in the matter and I am trying to cap my defense =P but I was wondering if when AoE tanking I should spam BB when I have DaD down and Diseases.

11-18-2009, 12:21 AM
as soon as possible, u should use blood boil as it is really good AoE tps and DnD is good for just pulling the mob. also try and work on ur expertise, parry and dodge, that is wat my guild told me when i first hit 80. hope that helps.

11-18-2009, 04:17 AM
I was once Unholy myself, and while it works I found Frost a lot easier. This allowed me to focus more on the nuances of tanking, which in the long run will make me a better player I believe. Once I have the nuances down I believe that any spec I decide to go with will be a lot better cause I know all the little things it takes to be sucessful.

I agree with making sure you get your defense up to at least 535, which prevents critical strikes for Heroics. 540 defense is for raids. I would then slot for stamina like Torrminator said. However this is where we part ways. I would start slotting for dodge and not hit. Parry really isn't a good enough IMO for us DK's to gem for it, as we get it from strength anyway.

As for your rotation Unholy is pretty much DnD====>Icy Touch====>Plague Strike====>Pest====>BB. Keeping your dieseases up is key. Now if you decide to go Frost you can see here that it is a lil easier, which allows me to focus more on doing what I can to make life easier on th healer. I rarely, if ever use pestilence. My rotation is as follows: HB===>DnD====>BB===>HoW====>HB, BB, BB. That rotation is for mobs. There is a little time between HoW and your next HB but by now you should have the aggro snapped. My boss rotation uses IT, PS, BS, BS, OB. Keep in mind two things. One, I have a Rune Strike macro on all of my attacks so it will always be ready to go when procs. Two, I have the glyph of Howling Blast that infects all the toons hit with it with Frost Fever. I rarely lose aggro to anyone, and if I do it is usually because they are trying to tank themselves LOL.

AotD is situational. Remeber to that while casting it you take less damage, so if you get behind you might wanna pop it, but for pete's sake don't pop army when the boss is using Whirl Wind...unless you need a good laugh and wanna watch your squshie teamates fall like dominoes.

11-19-2009, 12:47 AM
Ok =D I got my cap defense , no greens, and my spec pretty much down Next question.... what weapon am I looking for what kind, stats and why thanks again .... And when will I be ready to tank/off tank naxx, uludar and so on

11-19-2009, 09:01 AM
your gd to go for naxx, id recommend doin ToC 5 HC to get Marrowstrike - Item - World of Warcraft (http://www.wowhead.com/?item=47522), the agility is real good for DK tanks, gives you extra crit, dodge and even armor, got nice amount of stam to it and a gem socket, this was one of the best weapons i've had so far, second only to Anguish - Item - World of Warcraft (http://www.wowhead.com/?item=47911), and buy you self Bracers of Dalaran's Parapets - Item - World of Warcraft (http://www.wowhead.com/?item=40734) there BoE so if you have a mate or fellow guildy with a few spare emblems they can use to buy it for you do so, id also suggest regemming for epic gems and get fully enchanted, they can be really expencive tho thats the only problem, i'd think you'd be good to go to uld then.

11-19-2009, 05:26 PM
I know this is a silly question but until I get better from H ToC 5 should I got with The sword of the staff from the champion seals =D I know that staff sounds silly but it has similar stats to Marrowstrike so why not ? If that is DK's can use staves...

11-19-2009, 09:03 PM
it would be a good if DKs could use staves but they can't, sorry.

i've also noticed you have gone for frost, i used frost from the start, only went blood after i became the Main Tank, your specs not do bad but id recommend taking points off Runic Power Mastery (http://www.wowhead.com/?spell=50147), Lichborne (http://www.wowhead.com/?spell=49039), Hungering Cold (http://www.wowhead.com/?spell=49203) and Virulence (http://www.wowhead.com/?spell=49568) and put the points on Frigid Dreadplate to finish it off, Acclimation because Dks can some times get hit hard by spells and on Morbidity which cuts the CD on your DnD by half which is great.

i'd also change your Glyph of Bone Shield with Glyph of Unbreakable Armor, being your in frost and not Unholy now.

won't be to much longer now till can start tanking some of the harder raids :)

11-20-2009, 11:22 PM
I tried to get in a group for H ToC today and they said I wasnt geared enough so when will I be geared enough ? And how do I check my gear score not the piece but my gear as a whole ?

11-21-2009, 12:27 AM
Well, having been in your exact position - and still being there, in a way - I felt like trying to contribute something. :P

It seems like you make enough Emblems, so get Emblem gear upgrades, while running Trial of the Champion; starting with a new Sigil (http://www.wowhead.com/?item=40207). And though it's an extremely rare drop, I, personally, feel it's worth getting - unless you get something better first: Essence of Gossamer (http://www.wowhead.com/?item=37220), a trinket from Hadronox in Azjol-Nerub (Heroic).

Bracers of the Herald (http://www.wowhead.com/?item=37620): Herald Volazj, Ahn'kahet - The Old Kingdom (Heroic)
Waistguard of Living Iron (http://www.wowhead.com/?item=40689): Emblem of Heroism (40)

The Vault of Archavon. :-)

Your spec looks fine, though I'd change a few things. This is the way I'd go about it: Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft (http://www.wowhead.com/?talent#j0EZhxxxA0Izc0buzAo0x:TasV0m)
The 4 floating points, I'd, personally, invest in Deathchill and Death Rune Mastery, or Morbidity.

Also, though professions should not be given the very same priority as gear: Jewelcrafting and Blacksmithing are good! :-) Use your mining, first, to farm the mats, then level Jewelcrafting and Blacksmithing - epic gems and extra sockets!

Good Luck! :-)

P.S: I will edit it anytime it's deemed necessary. :D

11-23-2009, 06:37 AM
[QUOTE=20x;320318]However this is where we part ways. I would start slotting for dodge and not hit.[QUOTE]

I agree, I had a chat with a Paladin about it. After you get your stamina up you should aim for Dodge rating (Dont forget that you canīt dodge or parry attack from mobs that are behind you, so keep them in front of you)

Also, I would like to recommend using a addon called "Deadly boss mods" (Deadly Boss Mods - Addons - Curse (http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-addons/details/deadly-boss-mods.aspx))

It gives you warnings and heads-up on incoming spells from bosses. (Itīs like having a friend beside you yelling at you to move out of an AoE)

20x, can you post the Rune strike macro? Sounds good.

11-25-2009, 01:36 PM
Well I am now keeping aggro well but my problem still remains that I am taking too much damage and I am not sure what to do to handle this...

11-25-2009, 02:01 PM
If you dont already have rune strike macro's, here is an example.

#showtooltip (Spell)
/cast (Spell)
/cast !Rune Strike

so it would like like this for a blood tank like myself

#showtooltip Heart Strike
/cast Heart Strike
/cast !Rune Strike

You should make a macro for most if not all of your abilitys. I have a macro for Icy Touch, Death Strike, Pest, and heart strike.

Unfortunatly I cannot view the wow armory to look at your spec or gear at this point to give you help with the damage being taken. Just remember that at this point, DK tanks are going to take more damage than other all other tanks.

Ohhh and if you are being told that you take too much damage from healers (coming from my main is actually a healer) dont worry about it too much as long as you get to the defence "cap" Healers these days are typically lazy due to healing extremely over geared tanks, you know, the ones that are main tanks in ToGC and then doing heroics for fun. You very well could be taking a normal amount of damage, it could be just that the healers are used to healing better geared players.

11-25-2009, 02:05 PM
Well I am now keeping aggro well but my problem still remains that I am taking too much damage and I am not sure what to do to handle this...

And one more bit of advise. DK tanking is all about managing your cool downs. As frost, you have UA and IBF, and if you have any "Use" trinkets. You should be using these until you and your healer feel confident that you can go with out them. A 30 second wait while your cool down on IBF wears off is always better than a 3 min death walk and rebuff...

11-30-2009, 02:45 AM
Alright Carnick, itīs time to get your HP up.

In your item slots, make sure to equip epic gems like http://www.wowhead.com/?item=40119 (http://www.wowhead.com/?item=40119) to raise your HP, there are also lots of enchants that grants you more HP, ask around for enchanters and tell them you want the Stamina enchants. And remember, if you get an waist without a gemslot, you can buy a belt buckle from AH and insert a gem of your choice.

There are good enchants you can buy from the WOTLK factions when you gain reputation with them, like http://www.wowhead.com/?item=44150 (http://www.wowhead.com/?item=44150). You can buy this from the Argent crusade, check out all the factions for enchants.

check out my gems & enchantments on my tanking gear, I think its a good tanking combination: http://eu.wowarmory.com/character-sheet.xml?r=Hellscream&n=Torrminator (http://eu.wowarmory.com/character-sheet.xml?r=Hellscream&n=Torrminator)

11-30-2009, 04:28 AM
if you havent found the enchants for stamina yet there is

275 heath to chest
40 stam to bracer
30 stam and resil for shoulders
22 stam to boots
37 stam to head from the glyph
55 stam to legs with leg armor

all that i can think of off the top of my head

12-01-2009, 05:51 AM
Honakwar has a nice list. I, though, am listing here the enchants that I'd prefer to finally see in the respective slots - and half of this list is the same as Honakwar's. :P

+37 sta / +20 def (http://www.wowhead.com/?item=44150) to Head
+30 sta / +15 res (http://www.wowhead.com/?item=44957) to Shoulder
+275 hp (http://www.wowhead.com/?spell=47900) to Chest
Eternal Belt Buckle (http://www.wowhead.com/?item=41611) + 30 sta (http://www.wowhead.com/?item=40119) (or 51 sta (http://www.wowhead.com/?item=36767)) to Waist
+55 sta / +30 agi (http://www.wowhead.com/?item=38373) to Legs
+15 sta / +mra (http://www.wowhead.com/?item=39006) to Feet
+40 sta (http://www.wowhead.com/?spell=62256) to Wrists
+18 sta (http://www.wowhead.com/?item=38376) to Hands
+16 def (http://www.wowhead.com/?spell=44591) to Cloak
Stoneskin Gargoyle (http://www.wowhead.com/?spell=62158) or Nerubian Carapace (http://ptr.wowhead.com/?spell=70164), or Others (http://ptr.wowhead.com/?spells=7.6.776) to Weapon

12-01-2009, 04:31 PM
If you dont already have rune strike macro's, here is an example.

#showtooltip (Spell)
/use (Spell)
/use !Rune Strike

so it would like like this for a blood tank like myself

#showtooltip Heart Strike
/use Heart Strike
/use !Rune Strike
/fixed ;). Using 'use' instead of 'cast' saves one character, which will become valuable as OP starts using and making more complicated macros that hit the 255 char limit.

To OP, no Bladed Armor = bad. A DK w/ ~25k armor will derive an additional ~700 AP from that talent, which is a significant % of a DK's total AP (For example, your AP is currently 2034).

AP buffs everything - strikes, autoattacks, spells, even diseases. Point for point it is one of our best threat talents. Switch the 5pts from Icy Talons into Bladed Armor. AP > Haste for DK tanks. Icy Talons is more of a Frost DW DPS talent.

Here's a guide I wrote at EpicAdvice.com (http://epicadvice.com/questions/3099/death-knight-dual-spec-which-tree-to-tank-heroics/3109#3109) for new DK tanks looking for a good entry-lvl 5man farming spec, should be useful for you.

12-02-2009, 03:09 AM
Tanking as a death knight, if i ever loose agro i use dark command which instantly brings back my agro.

12-02-2009, 03:18 AM
Well I am now keeping aggro well but my problem still remains that I am taking too much damage and I am not sure what to do to handle this...
I sometimes find myself taking a lot of damage, though everything else - positioning, gear, abilities used - is fine. I think because Death Knights don't use shields, we tend to take a bit more damage - though most (competent) healers should be able to heal it.

PS: You've got way too much hit! :P Almost enough expertise...

...To OP, no Bladed Armor = bad. A DK w/ ~25k armor will derive an additional ~700 AP from that talent, which is a significant % of a DK's total AP (For example, your AP is currently 2034)...
Did you mean to say Bladed Armor is not bad, or did you mean to say that it is [bad]? :-) The argument presented seems to favor the notion you said that it isn't bad, though...

12-02-2009, 02:37 PM
Did you mean to say Bladed Armor is not bad, or did you mean to say that it is [bad]? :-) The argument presented seems to favor the notion you said that it isn't bad, though...
Heh, I meant that Bladed Armor is good (for DK tanks in Frost Presence). Not having it is bad. Eg, it's one of a tank's best threat talents, so OP should get it.

For example, looking at OP's armory, it appears he as around 24k armor in Frost Pres. BA would give him 24000/180*5 = 667 AP. His current AP is 2034, so that's a ~33% AP increase from 5 talent points. Pretty good considering that buffs almost every ability a DK has. Better than the alternative haste buff from 5/5 Icy Talons.

12-02-2009, 03:56 PM
Capping expertise is much more important than capping hit to start. This is for 2 reasons:

1. Until the soft cap (of 26 expertise): Expertise is worth signficantly more than hit point for point (% to dodge and parry but offset by it not affecting spells).

2. Most importantly, since expertise reduces the chance to parry it reduces parry haste. Parry haste is when some add's parry their cooldown on their next melee swing can be reduced. This means they could theoretically hit you with 2 melee hits almost simultaneiously and might make your dmg intake much spikier. I would definitely try and get to 26-30 expertise rating as a good starting point.

12-02-2009, 03:59 PM
Just don't forget that hit is very important for DKs. Sadly, many of our abilities are based on spell hit, so low hit simply will not fly. However, it doesn't only affect threat. Mind Freeze, our one and only true interrupt, is based on spell hit and having more hit rating can mean all the difference in interrupting some deadly spell or not.

12-03-2009, 06:55 AM
While hit is important, and we do have some spells - thereby making spell hit cap a stat to look at - I've yet to see significant issues with my 157 Hit Rating. :P Of course, it fell only the day before and before that I had about...200-230 hit rating, and was fine. :-)

12-03-2009, 07:11 AM
I've tanked Jaraxxus and missed three Mind Freezes in a row due to spell hit. I've also missed the first icy touch on a pull and lost a dps because I wasn't quick enough on the subsequent taunt (takes me a second to realize I missed). It's rare, but it does happen.

12-03-2009, 07:15 AM
Ahh! :-( ...Hmm, maybe I should rethink a couple of gear choices and gems.

12-03-2009, 08:34 AM
I wouldn't, if you're happy where you are. Just don't discount hit, that's all I'm trying to say. It's probably more important for DKs than any other tank.

12-07-2009, 09:42 PM
I am starting to take large amount of damage on bosses and thinking about making a blood of spec for this problem ....comments or tips ?

12-14-2009, 01:52 AM
I recently changed spec to blood just to try it out as secondary spec, but i must say itīs kind of cool. Tried out the new Icecrown 5-man dungeons on heroic and tanking in blood spec made alot of difference, especially on the no-adds bosses where I can use Mark of blood, blood tap and vampiric blood with improved death strike. Think Im gonna use this spec until Cataclysm.

Check it out, and comment if you find anything i should remove/add:

The World of Warcraft Armory (http://eu.wowarmory.com/character-talents.xml?r=Hellscream&cn=Torrminator&gn=Swedish+Empire)

12-14-2009, 11:22 AM
I am starting to take large amount of damage on bosses ...

This (to ninja the thread for a second).

Is it my imagination, or is my baby DK tank casually playing through hcs, Naxx and Uld suddenly taking a *lot* more incoming damage since 3.3? I'm used to being spikey (and until now I've enjoyed playing UH because I *am* playing casually and like the playstyle and the cooldowns) but this is getting ridiculous. I know the mob pathing isn't making things any easier but I don't think this greatly-increased spikeyness can be solely attributed to that - and every single one of my tanking stats has increased since the patch and I wasn't seeing anything specwise that looked like the culprit.

I'm moving to Frost and Blood for my two tank specs this patch, and this is the first time since rolling the DK that I've been moved to do this. What am I missing about this patch, or has it finally decided to expose my noobness?