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View Full Version : Tanking Pit of Saron Ice Tunnel as a DK tank



Maggotbrain
03-22-2010, 12:26 PM
My death knight tank (blood) has gotten heroic Pit of Saron a few times recently as a random instance and while I've managed to scrape through, the ice tunnel just before the final boss gives me a lot of trouble.

I've tanked it on my warrior, druid and paladin and have no problems on them and I generally don't have threat issues with this character.

I guess my main issue is that I have to grab all the mobs as I run to the middle and then drop Death and Decay on the big circle. Assuming the DPS aren't stupidly overzealous I'm usually fine once I get that down.

If I have Empower Rune Weapon up I can safely burn runes getting their attention but if I had to use it on the trash coming up the ramp (which has happened) then I find it tricky to gather mobs that decide they are interested in the healer and be able to generate enough threat once we stop to quickly get a lead on the AOEers.

Am I missing an important "gather mobs while moving" ability? Is this easier with a Frost or Unholy spec?

Any advice is appreciated.

Regards,

Maggotbrain

Satorri
03-22-2010, 01:24 PM
It may be easier as Frost or Unholy, but it is also quite doable as Blood.

Generally, my method works like this.

1.) Tell the dps to hold their fire until you're situated on the middle platform. It is hard enough to generate aoe threat on the move, if people try to jump the gun it can get out of hand easily. The tunnel does not demand the hardest dps they can manage as fast as possible, but people get excited...

2.) Mount and hustle to the first pair of adds. I usually prefer to IT on the way in, then PS one target, and usually hit a HS on the second target before I Pest, actually. Once the first two little mobs run up, Pest the diseases from the first target around, and keep hustling.

3.) About this point when you're still a short distance from the middle platform I will use IBF and/or avoidance trinkets, or possible Vamp Blood if you have Mark of Blood and/or Rune Tap to combine with it. Your goal here is to require as little healing as possible so that the healer generates as little threat as possible.

4.) As soon as you can reach it with range, drop DnD on the middle platform and collect everything on it, and commence aoe tanking the way you would anywhere else (matching the HS/BB balance to the group and their AoE/Single target dps strengths).

5.) The top half of the tunnel is generally smoother, and it's smart to keep juggling diseases out if you can.

The big thing is, don't be shy to stop and collect things mid run. It is better that everything is stuck to you than that you get to the platform immediately. Save your Death Grip and taunt for things that come loose, don't waste them when new things are running in. Just smack newcomers with a strike or auto-attacks, and keep diseases around.

Don't let yourself get excited and try to rush beyond the pace at which you can keep things under wraps.

Leucifer
03-22-2010, 02:33 PM
I think the main problem you might be running into is "stupidly overzealous dps". I've found that when running with guild members, I never have problems. Problem is usually in pugs with what you exactly stated.

Myself.... I usually tell the party.... "No dps on mobs until I get to the middle and after I drop death and decay. When I take off, give me a 2 second head start into the tunnel." One thing, as you're making your way up, even simple auto-attack hits get threat going. If you're going through a group... snap blood boil. It DOES NOT require diseases to do damage. :) It just does less.

What I do though... is as I'm approaching the middle platform, I drop DnD on the platform a little bit ahead of me, just before I get to it. Think: circle right in front of you, then run into the center. It gets aggro going before the range dps is really in range and buys you a few moments as melee catches up. Then I drop IT-PS-Pest.... hit Empower Rune Weapon if I really feel I need to.... or wait for runes to pop then slap them all with Blood Boil a couple times.

As for the healer.... I'm always keeping an eye on them to deathgrip or dark command something charging them. You and the healer need to be taking care of each other all the time. Dps... man, if they pull it, they can tank it. They NEED to be listening and paying attention to what's going on. Haven't run into that issue a lot, but there's usually one player in the group that just seems a little "touched".

I've usually only had troubles with the tunnel when people are not thinking. Again... pause before charging up... and give directions as to what YOU need as a tank. If dps goes all wonk spamming AoE, targeting loose trash on their own, then the problem really isn't you, it's the fact that they aren't playing as part of a group. If it ends as a wipe, I'll whisp the healer and ask them, "what do you think went wrong?". Chat with them. You and the healer need to be on the same page if nothing else.

EDIT: And if you haven't familiarized yourself with tab-striking.... now's the time to learn.

Rachkalos
03-22-2010, 04:32 PM
I've found that during the charge to the middle platform, you can fire off three Blood Boils to grab the add's attention (one from Blood Tap). That should be enough to hang onto them so that the healer doesn't aggro them. Obviously, it won't be enough to keep them off the DPS if they decide to do something stupid... but, hey... that's their own fault.

By the time you get to the platform, the first Blood Rune is hopefully back up and you can Death & Decay the platform and then it's good old IT-PS-Pestilence business as usual. It can be nice to pop Icebound Fortitude right after D&D - gives the healer a couple of seconds to get their act together whilst you have a dozen mobs on you in all directions.

After that I try to work my way up the second half of the tunnel because I'm rarely in the mood to do another charge through the mobs after the last one!

TheYanger
03-23-2010, 12:23 AM
Learn to use blood boil more, basically. It's the best way to grab a few mobs on the way somewhere, and you can always blood tap for another rune if you need it when you finally plant for the DND.

Specifically in that tunnel, I combine the strats Rachkalos and Satorri mention - I'll grab the first stuff with an IT and a melee or something, and then blood boil the next 1-2 sets on the way to the center.
Basicall,y even though the blood runes are important to your AE threat, don't be afraid to use em tot oss out boils to move mobs with you before you get them into AE - this is true in any 5 man, just yell at DPS not to touch them until you get them where you want and they see Death and Decay. I use this method to run 3-5 groups together in most instances and it works fine as long as people listen.

Bosk
03-23-2010, 04:58 AM
I'm lazy - I AotD every time there.

Satorri
03-23-2010, 09:02 AM
An interesting idea Bosk, but doesn't that leave everything behind, ghouls included?

Or do you mean at the platform?

The Hoof
03-23-2010, 09:44 AM
The only thing I'd add to Satorri's response is that I use pestilence heavily. If you get both diseases on the first mob, you'll actually generate a decent amount of starter threat just with the diseases as long as your dps is keeping it in their pants. It's a little easier as frost with killing machine procs and howling blast, but should be completely doable as blood.

Bosk
03-23-2010, 09:56 AM
An interesting idea Bosk, but doesn't that leave everything behind, ghouls included?

Or do you mean at the platform?

I look for an opportunity to use AotD in every heroic, for example i always pull the first room in UK with my army to speed things up.

I PoS tunnel I charge through mounted (leaving the rest of the party scrambling to catch up, hit a few mobs as I am running, throw a D+D onto the central platform and then pop the Army. If I am with a pug I'll just stay and clear from there, but if I am with my guild we just leave the army fighting and pull to the end of the corridor as normal, into a big D+D patch.

The remaining mobs come running after us when the army is dead, but they just run into another D+D and more aoe.

I know this is a lazy DK way to do things :)

SquishemHard
03-23-2010, 10:04 AM
I like making sure I have Death runes from the pack before the tunnel. Then I just power through, hit BB when new things get close and taunt/IT/coil anything that gets past. Use CD's and anything I can to get to the middle asap and without needing/being able to get heals. Then drop D&D on the circle. If someone attacks early and gets aggro, they can tank it until it gets to the platform.

Croshicynn
03-23-2010, 10:13 AM
I am a blood tank as well, and have found that as long as your dps dont get excited prematurely, then blood boil is enough to keep the mobs on me until getting to the platform. So at the first group i BB, and if necessary death strike for blood runes, and blood boil as i get new mobs, even w/o disease this is more than enough to keep the adds on me. Upon arriving at the platform, do the usual, drop DND, spread diseases and rock out.

Maggotbrain
03-23-2010, 10:38 AM
Thanks for the feedback.

Was diseasing first guy and trying to time pestilence / blood boil a bit but still having issues.

I think my main issue was coordination with group and taking it a bit fast so as to stay ahead of the DPSers. I'm used to directing the party a bit more on my warrior but for most heroics the DK doesn't seem to need to as much so I'd gotten a bit cavalier.:)

xulev
03-23-2010, 12:28 PM
You can just blood boil them as you go by and use horn of winter as well. Horn of winter has a small threat component in case you don't know, it's useful when things are out of range of blood boil. Like in Halls of Reflection when the waves of adds spawn, hit horn of winter and as long as group isn't clueless... they all come to you around a corner.

Krays
03-23-2010, 07:44 PM
Been doing POS on my rogue alot lately and tBH the smaller mobs dont hit very hard even on me, and die in a few hits anyway, if i had only tanked that place i would assume like u i needed aggro on everything at all times, but that simply isnt true, theres alotr of these kinds of mobs around i found while i dps , that i could kill alone without tank/healer help. So as long as you have the few bigs mobs and a couple of the small ones, I wouldnt worry about dps killing a small mob as they running along, just focus on having aggro on the big mobs at the very least (and the really big one in heroic).

Acidbaron
03-24-2010, 09:50 AM
Your gear determines how far in the tunnel you can go untill you have to stop, know your limits, tell your healer not to heal you untill you actually stopped, idem for your dps otherwise they'll end up playing tank and fail (don't have patience or show it for dps who can't wait and think before acting) and then you just do it in parts as people suggest, using blood boil to get some agro on it, time blood boil and don't spam it.

I never had an issue doing this with people who knew what they are doing and i don't feel i should compensate for others that don't know how to play. such as people running in before me putting a dnd down as dps dk and then blaming me for dieing or why i stopped.

The AoTD way is interesting ill give it a shot next time i get there.

Banterloft
03-24-2010, 11:36 AM
With a 50k+ health pool I instruct the healer not to worry about me until we are to the platform. No worries at all. IT one, PS the other, spread dieseases on the second group, BB on the third, BT then DnD in the center. I target the big icy thing and start AOE tanking and let my tidy plates do the rest. At around 50% of the big icy ele I drop AOTD and move forward, the party moves with me and we burn the group at the end of the tunnel and AOTD clears up anything left over from the first group. Pull boss and on to HOR.

Leucifer
03-24-2010, 02:50 PM
I look for an opportunity to use AotD in every heroic, for example i always pull the first room in UK with my army to speed things up.

I PoS tunnel I charge through mounted (leaving the rest of the party scrambling to catch up, hit a few mobs as I am running, throw a D+D onto the central platform and then pop the Army. If I am with a pug I'll just stay and clear from there, but if I am with my guild we just leave the army fighting and pull to the end of the corridor as normal, into a big D+D patch.

The remaining mobs come running after us when the army is dead, but they just run into another D+D and more aoe.

I know this is a lazy DK way to do things :)

So what if it's "lazy"? Seems to work..... effective. Hell. Sounds smart to me. I'm going to give this idea whirl. Props.

And since you like AotD, I save mine in HoR for the final dash away from Arthas. If I have a group that struggles with dps, I'll pop it on that last ice wall and things start getting a little crazy.

And Kray's right..... most of the trash there doesn't hit that hard. It's just a matter of your group composition. Running with a bunch of clothies? Some concern. Running with a bunch of plate? Pfffft. Agree with Acidbaron on his general sentiments. People should be thinking. I know, I'm hoping for big things there. lol

As for Banterloft.... that's great. You're a 50k health DK. /clap. Congrats. Now we all know how bad-ass you are.
For the guy who isn't walking around in godly armor and is taking a crack at this with say... 30-35k health.... ? My counter..... if you're getting dinged up good.... USE YOUR COOLDOWNS. Icebound fortitude goes a long way. And I recommend using IT then pestilence, especially if you have Improved Icy Touch (http://www.wowhead.com/?spell=49175). Slow them buggers down. With the change in 3.3.3, it now can be spread and procs with pestilence. :) Handy change.

Terpene
04-04-2010, 10:43 PM
@Leucifer, I had been popping AotD at the begining of the last wall - I now realize the error of my ways. I feel kinda dumb for not thinking that it would be more useful mid-way through that last bit, when aggro starts to go everywhere.

As far as the OP, you can queue up death runes on the last pack of mobs before the tunnel. If you have 6 death runes, you'll have no issues popping off 3 BB (4, using rune tap) then laying down DnD. And during the AOE slaughter building up another 4 death runes for the last pull.

As a new DK tank, I find Death Rune management one of the most important factors in threat generation in Heroics.

Leucifer
04-05-2010, 08:45 AM
@Leucifer, I had been popping AotD at the begining of the last wall - I now realize the error of my ways. I feel kinda dumb for not thinking that it would be more useful mid-way through that last bit, when aggro starts to go everywhere.

As far as the OP, you can queue up death runes on the last pack of mobs before the tunnel. If you have 6 death runes, you'll have no issues popping off 3 BB (4, using rune tap) then laying down DnD. And during the AOE slaughter building up another 4 death runes for the last pull.

As a new DK tank, I find Death Rune management one of the most important factors in threat generation in Heroics.

Rune management in general is critical to us.

And yes. I've tried AotD now several times. Works nice. Seems to pick up the initial wave of trash and allows me to move up the tunnel to the end nicely. Great suggestion imo. TY Bosk!

BruisedOoze
04-05-2010, 09:55 PM
You can always just kill the adds along the way while watching your head. There's nothing really pushing you to get through in a certain amount of time short of people maybe getting too uncomfortable around all the falling ice.

Kurtosis
04-05-2010, 10:45 PM
Runes force a rhythm on the DK, even on those infrequent occasions where the rhythm is somewhat off the encounter's beat. POS tunnel is one.

To fix it, I rolled a Prot War w/ Engineering instead, and Charge, Intercept, and Nitro boost all the way through, spamming Shockwave, TC, Demo Shout, Devastate, Revenge, and Shield Slam, and popping SW, Last Stand, and SB at the end till the dps catches up. Fun fun fun :D

Bosk
04-07-2010, 01:34 AM
I've just done it for the first few times on my new bear. Now that is OMG easy...

nekorion
04-07-2010, 01:57 AM
Unholy tank reporting in.

My aoe threat is generally better than blood, but I still struggle to NOT die during said area. IBF is my lover during this pull. I don't think I've ever not popped it, and I rarely pop it anywhere else.

Any new tanks trying to get through, go slow. Tell your group "I'm going to make frequent stops, and we're going to mop up each group as we come to them". It turns it from "hope to god we don't die" AOE pull to "casual dps on mobs while avoiding icicles" jog, and in general it's easier on the entire group.

When I'm dpsing on my other toon its far too easy to pull aggro on that middle platform while tanks struggle under the strain of the aoe damage cap. Slowing the pace prevents that omen "YOU'RE DRAWING TOO MUCH AGGRO" sound we all hate to hear.

Leucifer
04-07-2010, 04:23 PM
Runes force a rhythm on the DK, even on those infrequent occasions where the rhythm is somewhat off the encounter's beat. POS tunnel is one.

To fix it, I rolled a Prot War w/ Engineering instead, and Charge, Intercept, and Nitro boost all the way through, spamming Shockwave, TC, Demo Shout, Devastate, Revenge, and Shield Slam, and popping SW, Last Stand, and SB at the end till the dps catches up. Fun fun fun :D

ROTFL........ Nice fix.

Reminds me.... They just gave [Victory Rush] to level 7 warriors. O_o
Yes.... I'm hooked.

Pwnanapuddin
04-07-2010, 04:54 PM
I usually try to be as inappropriate as possible with my groups, asking if they want to take half or the whole thing.

If I am only doing half, I lead in BB's and such to get base threat, upon reaching the middle platform I target the revnant, drop DND, and go to town.

If you want to do it an even easier way (and have a rogue with you) you can do the entire tunnel in 1 big run, alternating BB's with DND's when you can, once you get to the middle get the revnant like normal and spread your diseases, if kept close enough, you should be able to pest and BB your diseases onto every mob in the tunnel while the rogue tricks/fans along with you.

Leucifer
04-08-2010, 08:32 AM
I've run Pit several times with the AotD popped from mid tunnel after first batch of trash is cleared. Works like a charm. Mad props to Bosk for the idea.

oddible
04-12-2010, 01:03 PM
Remember that Blood Boil still does damage even with no diseases up. I think we have a tendency to get a bit strict about sticking to our rotations even when the strat isn't working. If you want to use your standard rotation you're going to have to stop more often to spread your diseases and gather everything up. Break your rotation and just slap a few Blood Boils down and you'll get enough attention that your healer will be fine until you get to the next stop (elemental or end). Yeah, you won't have any blood runes when you get to the platform so you might want to save your Blood Tap so you can pop a DnD or a blood boil after a pest. (I think this is what Lucifer was saying too).

Bosk
04-13-2010, 03:03 AM
I've run Pit several times with the AotD popped from mid tunnel after first batch of trash is cleared. Works like a charm. Mad props to Bosk for the idea.

Now pop army in the middle and move on pulling to the end :)

Denekawa
04-13-2010, 06:39 AM
I look for an opportunity to use AotD in every heroic

Apparently you like to piss off your Rogues and Feral Cats because they are the only ones to take a massive DPS loss whenever AotD is up. Playing a Feral Cat as an alt has enlightened me as to why they hate AotD so much. If killing the trash quickly is important, AotD is not the ticket. If keeping all the trash off of you is important, then AotD is the ticket.

9 times out of 10, the tunnel goes awry because the DPS start in as you run up the tunnel. Any DPS worth their salt will pull aggro if they start in before you get to the first platform. Most are smart enough to wait. The rest just like to make the run longer than it needs to be. If the DPS hold back, and the healer is savvy enough to let you take some damage until you get to the middle before topping you off, you should have everything on you when you get there. Standard AoE rotation for the win.

Bosk
04-13-2010, 06:47 AM
Apparently you like to piss off your Rogues and Feral Cats because they are the only ones to take a massive DPS loss whenever AotD is up. Playing a Feral Cat as an alt has enlightened me as to why they hate AotD so much. If killing the trash quickly is important, AotD is not the ticket. If keeping all the trash off of you is important, then AotD is the ticket.


I have no interest in whatever the DPS loss people suffer in a heroic if I finish it faster and cleaner. It never actually occurred to me until you made this point that anyone else did, but I guess there may be some people.

Edit: To clarify, I regard people's dps as irrelevant in heroics. I can't remember when I last cared about it.

Goros
04-13-2010, 10:01 AM
Frost tank.

I also refuse to allow people to dps until the first platform, or at the end of the tunnel. My job, as a tank, is to keep the Healer alive, who keeps me (primarily) and the other people alive. If I let the healer die in the tunnel (or anywhere else) then I fail as a tank. DPS are in charge of keeping themselves alive. I use Skull Me to mark my target so the DPS can switch as I do, and I can keep AOE threat with D&D & HB unless one of the dps fails and pulls them off me, which gets them dead and I don't lose any sleep over it. I'll watch it happen and then deathgrip the mob back to me before it swings at the healer. It's not my job to respond to fail dps as they fail, it's my job to take most of the damage...but as long as the tank and healer are still standing you can finish them off.

I do allow the healer to heal in the tunnel on the way up, as I pass mobs I will BB for the first 2 non-elites, then BB the elites with a HB. I pop my Empower Rune Weapon to reset my cooldowns, pop another BB (and by this point am at the first platform) then I drop a D&D and hit a deathchill/HB combo to lock up the AOE threat. I single target the main elite and use it/ps and pestilence to lock even more aggro, then pop HB and BB whenever they come up. Rinse & repeat at the top level, but there are usually more mobs up there so I'll make sure I have IB and at least one more CD ready. Icks & Skeleton key being my current 2 choices for heroics, I have plenty of CD's to pop just in case.

kingcomrade
04-14-2010, 07:49 AM
I have had the most fun tanking this place as a DK. It's one of the few places in the game where you can use all your cooldowns and everyone expects you to run through pulling half the place at a time.
I'm Frost, though, not blood. What I do is just go through, call up my army and start running, hit the first group with an HB, hit the second group of small adds with a blood boil, then throw down DnD on the platform. I often use my trinket cooldown on this first run in. After this group is cleared (sometimes I have to use unbreakable armor depending on healer's gear level), I pop up my ghoul and move on, using the same HB, BB, DnD at the end. I often use fortitude as I'm running down this second part. The reason I pulled out my ghoul is so that once I get to the end, if the healer is still moving up I can death pact.

Another option is to use your runes singularly, icy touching and plague striking and blood boiling things as you go up, as you are Blood. You would use different cooldowns overall, but still. It's a fun place to use all your cooldowns.

Leucifer
04-14-2010, 08:38 AM
Now pop army in the middle and move on pulling to the end :)

That's what I've been doing. At the middle platform, after clearing the first series of garbage.... pop AotD.... run to top. And yes.... still works like a charm. :)

Leucifer
04-14-2010, 09:38 AM
Apparently you like to piss off your Rogues and Feral Cats because they are the only ones to take a massive DPS loss whenever AotD is up. Playing a Feral Cat as an alt has enlightened me as to why they hate AotD so much. If killing the trash quickly is important, AotD is not the ticket. If keeping all the trash off of you is important, then AotD is the ticket.

9 times out of 10, the tunnel goes awry because the DPS start in as you run up the tunnel. Any DPS worth their salt will pull aggro if they start in before you get to the first platform. Most are smart enough to wait. The rest just like to make the run longer than it needs to be. If the DPS hold back, and the healer is savvy enough to let you take some damage until you get to the middle before topping you off, you should have everything on you when you get there. Standard AoE rotation for the win.

Wow. I'm sorry but this is just a fine example of why wipes happen and just one of the more thoughtless comments I've seen.
Let's break this down:


Apparently you like to piss off your Rogues and Feral Cats because they are the only ones to take a massive DPS loss whenever AotD is up
WHO GIVES A RATS ASS WHAT YOUR DPS IS IN A HEROIC!?!?!?!?!?!? OMG. I FORGOT! THE ROGUE/FERAL CAT IS THE ONLY PERSON IN THE GROUP, RIGHT? Get over yourself. So, you suffer a small dps loss. Whoopdeedoo. How about the clothies that I'd like to see survive to the end? Or how about that ROGUE that I'd like to see survive? Oh, that's right. You're mindlessly just blasting away at the closest thing to you. One of my jobs as the tank is to keep agg so that the dps can survive. Hey..... pop quiz. How much dps can you do...... when you're dead?

I have a funny feeling you'd be one of the few times where I let the "You pull it, you tank it" rule take effect.


If killing the trash quickly is important, AotD is not the ticket. If keeping all the trash off of you is important, then AotD is the ticket.
Sure it is. Cause they pull massive aggro. With every hit, they rip the agg off whatever mob they hit. So you CAN beat on a mob.... and enjoy not having that mob pummeling you because AotD has their focus. Let's take a better example...... HoR. That final stretch. I use AotD there a lot of times because of the same reason. I can pop it when things get ugly and know that my little ghouls will be getting slammed instead of my dps'ers. That and frequently there, instead of targeting ONE mob... I see dps each going after their own target. I only have so many taunts available to me. Pit isn't much different in that tunnel.


9 times out of 10, the tunnel goes awry because the DPS start in as you run up the tunnel. Agreed. Fully and wholeheartedly AGREED.


Any DPS worth their salt will pull aggro if they start in before you get to the first platform. Most are smart enough to wait. The rest just like to make the run longer than it needs to be. A monkey sporting a tire iron and a raging case of poo-flinging would pull aggro there. And NO. Most are NOT SMART ENOUGH TO WAIT. I usually have to TELL the group to wait and not dps until the middle platform. If I don't.... well... I get a feral kitty or rogue going all "hero" on me.


If the DPS hold back, and the healer is savvy enough to let you take some damage until you get to the middle before topping you off, you should have everything on you when you get there. Standard AoE rotation for the win. Agree. IF the dps hold back. The healer.... I usually whisper them and tell them what I need. So long as my healer stays alive.... I can make it through the whole tunnel WITHOUT dps (to be blatantly and completely honest). I just like to have everyone survive and ensure everyone has a good run. And yes.... standard rotation at the middle platform.........
THEN I POP AotD for the second part of it up. On the way up that second stretch, Army picks off all the loose crap that usually jumps on dps so they can follow me up and clear the tunnel. Then the trash on it's way up runs straight into the DnD I lay down at the top (if they survive).

Really.... the problem with the tunnel is usually this.....
......over-zealous, itchy trigger-finger dps who just can't hold off from killing shit for two seconds
Probably the first thing that jumped out to me as a tank when I first got heavily into it was this:
A lot of dps players are very mindless/unaware/unattentive of what they're doing and are not really "thinking" when they're playing. I see it every day. I'll be honest, it's made me a better player when I do play dps because I see how it can help/hurt a situation.

Oh, and you may quote me on that.