View Full Version : Tanking DK - Too Difficult to Heal? Looking for Help...

06-25-2011, 10:52 PM
I took some time off from my DK when the Troll heroics were released, and focused on my hunter, now that she is geared I wanted to get my DK ready for raiding. Before I took my break I was doing well in heroics, studying stats, working on rep and heroic gear, using the kickass guide here on TS... and never once was I told that I was too hard to heal.

Now I keep attempting the troll dungeons and there doesn't seem to be a healer out there that can keep me up! I keep hearing i'm too difficult to heal!?! I know how to play my toon, I can manage CD's pretty well, and have NO threat issues at all, but I drop like a freakin rock off a cliff. I'm blowing through every self heal I have and still dieing miserably. So, defeated, I go BACK to normal cata heroics the other night, and its smooth sailing, the pug healer even whispers me to tell me "you're too good to be here, you should be in ZA/ZG"... hows that for irony?

So anyway, not sure WTH i'm doing wrong, or whats SO different about these damn troll dungeons. It isnt that I don't know the fights, my hunter has been thru these a hundred times... I'm not dieing from the fight mechanics, i'm just plain running out of HP! Dungeon buffed I have just over 200k health.

Just hoping someone might be able to throw some advice at me before I get frustrated and give up on this toon altogether (which I don't want to do, I LOVE my DK!). Many Thanks!


06-26-2011, 05:03 AM
You make some mistakes in your armory but nothing that would explain why you're going splat so dramatically. Possible problems:

- You're not using any CC. It's necessary on a few pulls when you're pugging (and sometimes even with competent guildies/friends).

- You had a horrible string of bad healers in your pugs.

- A combination of many small mistakes in your gear/spec/rotation have a noticeable impact on your survival.

Probably all three in tandem. For starters, I'd get 2/3 Scent of Blood in your spec (drop Butchery to do that, and I guess toss the other point in Abomination's Might, which is a decent talent for 5-mans even if it's totally unnecessary for raiding) and reforge a bit better. I'd slim down to 26 expertise, and focus on mastery.

06-26-2011, 06:21 AM
Sounds to me like you took a lot of avoidable damage because a DK can almost solo both places without overgearing it to much. Even if you stated you don't, on my feral toon in full agility gear (about 150k with 15% LFD buff) i've no problem staying alive what so ever. Do you CC at all on nasty packs like double flame caster? You got a LOT of short time cooldowns, don't be shy popping Vampiric Blood, Rune Tap, AMS and Bone Shield vs everything and rotate between the longer ones like Death Pact + Raise Dead, IBF, DRW & Lichborne (which you don't have yet) on every other pack.

06-26-2011, 01:04 PM
Thanks for the advice guys. Reforged the extra Expertise into mastery this morning, threw a chant on my gloves, and reconsidered my glyphs. Would you say Lichborn is actually worth getting? I just respecced a bit to give it a try but have never used it before, I suppose an extra self heal can't freakin hurt at this point!

I certainly call for CC when I think it's important, based on what i'm used to doing on my hunter, and with the exception of those damn war bears in ZA, trash hasn't been the worst of my issue. The final straw that sent me here last night in particular was the Dragonhawk boss. I can get aggro and keep it on all the Dragonhawks (hatching one side at a time), stay out of fire wall and avoid bombs, but despite my best efforts I end up dead. Even while all other party members were at 70% or above health, leading me not to blame the healer...

Going to experiment this evening with the new changes. The feedback is much appreciated!

06-26-2011, 08:08 PM
:)i think if someone say DK tank is too difficult to heal , he or she must be a newbie healer.
DK have many skills to heal himself ,Rune Tap , Death Pact + Raise Dead, DRW & Lichborne
.and u said
I can manage CD's pretty well. Use ur cooldowns in right time. I think that will help u to become a great DK tanker.

06-26-2011, 10:56 PM
Well i'm happy to say I made it through ZG tonight. The healer and 2 dps had never even been there, so it took forever!!.. but I was told by the healer I took in and the pug healer that came in when she had to leave that they had no problems with me. Amazing what a couple spec tweaks and and a simple reforge can do... and I got the shiny mace off the last boss woohoo! Thank you guys for the help. Happy to be tanking again =)

06-27-2011, 07:39 AM
DK tanking is all about timing. If something's about to hit you for a metric s**tload, save your Death Strike until after it hits you. That two seconds won't hurt your total number of DS uses and will probably save your life after the hit. A normal heroic example is the Evolved Twilight Zealot mobs in BRC. After you interrupt them, usually about 2 seconds or so, they'll hit you for about 60k. If you have a DS ready when he's trying to cast, hold it until that big hit.

Also, as justinlee says, your CDs need to be timed as well. When you're getting a big pull, try using a couple in decreasing strength. For example, when you pull the pack before the bear boss in ZA, as soon as the mobs get to you, pop Icebound Fortitude, then when it's off use Bone Shield, then maybe even Vampiric Blood if nothing is dead yet. If you're going from half damage to full damage, that's a huge jump on your healer. Using bone shield gives them half damage to partial damage to full damage, giving them time to adjust and keep up.

It's been mentioned, but CCs are huge.

As Sebadoh said, it's entirely possible that you got a lot of horrible healers. I've found that if you're queuing solo as a tank, you're going to get incompetent healers 85% of the time. If you queue solo as a healer, you're going to get incompetent tanks 90% of the time.

And to answer your question, Lichborn is HUGE to have. When you use it, you can Death Coil yourself to heal. Don't fall into the trap of always having a lot of RP to use it as an emergency button. Especially since you're trying to get into raiding, it's important to know the fights to know when there will be huge amounts of damage or a chance of it. You want to save RP for those moments so you can pop it and help your healers out. A good example in troll heroics would be in the last boss of ZA, if he assumes the lynx form and uses Claw Rage at someone you have to taunt or it will kill the DPS. Save up RP for this moment. It's still going to be a LOT of damage on you and you're going to want to do things like Icebound the first, Bone Shield + Vampiric Blood the second, then you could LB+DC the third and put out that much extra healing. When I'm tanking Cho'gall, we two heal the fight and there is a point when I have only one healer on me because the other is healing the add tank. I save RP for this moment in case he gets targeted by Worship and I have a couple seconds of no healer at all.

You don't save RP because RP = Rune Strike = more runes = more Death Strike = more survivability. If for some reason you do need it as an emergency, pop it and use any RP you have on the spot, DS until you have no more runes, DC again if possible, pop Empower Rune Weapon and DC twice more, then DC a couple more times. As you can see, it's slow, so it's still not much of an emergency button like a Paladin's Lay on Hands, but it is possible.

Here's a good macro for Lichborn...

/cast Lichborn
/cast [target=player] Death Coil

06-27-2011, 08:24 AM
The tweaks help, but I find that 90% of the fails in ZA/ZG are because the healers suck. I can't tell you how many times I zone in there on one of my tanks and see what I know will be a fail healer - most are geared as follows just over 80k mana (although some will have up to 95k; these are the ons that trick you, you see the 95k mana and think "oh they'll be okay" - then you find you're screwed), at least one if not more pvp/dps items equipped, no enchants, missing gems and missing belt buckle; or, what gems and enchants they have are all messed up, like the pally stacking crit and mastery). In ZG they'll usually make it to the crazy cat lady then fail hard ("omg I'm oom in the first 30 seconds"), which I view as the heal check fight; in ZA they don't make it past the trash pulls before the second boss.

Don't underestimate just how bad some healers are; now that I heal almost exclusively in guild raids I find myself more in tune to what's going on with healers in these runs.

06-27-2011, 11:46 AM
[FONT=Arial] The final straw that sent me here last night in particular was the Dragonhawk boss. I can get aggro and keep it on all the Dragonhawks (hatching one side at a time), stay out of fire wall and avoid bombs, but despite my best efforts I end up dead. Even while all other party members were at 70% or above health, leading me not to blame the healer...

My first instinct when I read this was actually to blame the healer, even though the group was fine. Were you getting dispelled? I have seen some very well geared tanks die like a clothy when they have 30+ stacks of the debuff on them. If the healer stays on top of the dispelling, it won't get out of control and the fight is much more manageable. If you are not getting dispelled, no matter how good your gear is or how experienced you are in rolling cooldowns, you will most likely die before the end of the fight.

06-27-2011, 11:52 AM
And if the DPS aren't buring the adds down, few healers will be able to keep keep up with the dispels,

06-27-2011, 01:41 PM
It's very possible dispells could have been the issue in ZA, ran into that last night in BH. Ended up booting a healer because he would not dispell on his side. I don't pretend to know shit about healers, or how hard thier job is, never played a healer and never will! I do know that I never had issues before now in part because I always brought my own healer that I trusted, but he has since moved on from the game causing me to pug one nearly everytime now. Was just hopeful that it would be impossible to get a "bad" healer everytime I tried to Q, but now it seems it is very possible!

Kazistrasza, thank you for the helpful info, especially the macro. Everyones help has been very much appreciated! I have only come here a few times, when I have exhausted everything I can think of on my own, and everytime the people here have been awesome.

06-28-2011, 08:43 AM
Maybe you should start coming here more often than as a last resort? :)

And you're welcome.

06-29-2011, 11:27 AM
Maybe you should start coming here more often than as a last resort? :)

And you're welcome.

Oh don't misunderstand! I READ these forums a LOT lol, but I don't generally post for help unless I can't work out the issue on my own. I pride myself on trying to "fix me" myself =) I don't want to be one of those lazy folks that doesn't do her research, and just expects others to do it for me! But sometimes I gotta admit, I need help and when that happens this is where I come =)


06-29-2011, 11:32 AM
Also, don't think that the healers are the only poor pugs that you're getting. As Tengenstein mentioned, it could be that the healer was trying to stay on top of the dispells but the dps were tunnel visioning on the boss to max the Recount meters and the adds weren't going down quick enough, leading to too many debuffs to stay on top of dispelling.

I'm glad that you have been successful recently, though, proving that it's not just a "blame the tank" game. If you're confident in your abilities as a tank, keep at it and hope for good pugs to compliment you.

07-01-2011, 05:11 AM
Given that your Mastery's boost to your self heal via Death Strike+ absorb, you may want to go back to Stoneskin Gargoyle on your runeforge. I use it on my DK and I brazenly pug tank Call to Arms ZA/ZG without issue since I hit 346 item level.


Yes, I'm a mess. It is also my 3rd 85 and gets the least of my time and attention, sad as it makes me. I just enjoy my Hunter and Priest far too much to lighten up with them.

07-16-2011, 02:39 PM
Sort of offtopic, but combining certain spells makes for a very effective cooldown, this ones i use as a first defense after DRW, and death strikes, ams are not cutting it. i keep my blood tap for this macro exclusively, cause its such a nice on demand macro. not sure the death strike is needed at the end, and i dont even think it goes off, but doesnt seem to do any harm anyway.

#showtooltip Rune Tap
/use Earthen Potion
/cast Vampiric Blood
/cast Blood Tap
/cast Rune Tap
/cast Bone Shield
/cast Death Strike
/use 13
/use 14
/use Healthstone

basicly insert a burst of health with the vamp bonus(glyphed preferably), and maintain it for a while with bone shield. now you still have lichborne and ibf and raise dead + deathpact left, also the cds used there will be working within a minute again anyway. you could push in another burst with RD+DP before vamp ends aswell, wich should used all togheter push you close to max health really. especially with the scales of life trinket combined(also a 1m cooldown, yey).

more on topic.
for my last setuping issues as a blood tank, i want to find a nice way to track my current HPS from HoTs's, and display incomming cast heals on me, that lets me have more controll over when i should use my cds. iv just started searching around for heal prediction addons and such. iv found a absorb monitor already so thats covered, so i either need to setup tellmewhen for every possible HoT in the game, and or some addon displaying my current HPS.HOT, or ill just have to do a guessing game with the count of hots i have.

So any addon advice to maximize my blood deathknights potential would be greatly appreciated. Since blood deathknights healing is quite substantial and nessesary to have somewhat of a controll over, especially tanking raids in hardmode. i think we need to know whats up with the healing on us. in detail.

edit: owh and dont forget army of dead gives you about 4seconds worth of a IBF, the damage reduction during that time can in some cases be more usefull than a deathstrike.

Cheers /rho

07-16-2011, 03:02 PM
I started tanking ZA/ZG the first day they went live as a DK with ilvl 346 and cleared them both the same day. I think it depends on the healer you have. Shamans and paladins said they loved healing me. Priests and Druids said they wanted to go /wrist.

07-16-2011, 04:20 PM
I started tanking ZA/ZG the first day they went live as a DK with ilvl 346 and cleared them both the same day. I think it depends on the healer you have. Shamans and paladins said they loved healing me. Priests and Druids said they wanted to go /wrist..

Yeah im gonna be in more heroic raid tanking very soon, and i feel crippled by not knowing what healing im gonna receive between each GCD. Noone wants a papertank in hc raids, or one that just burns cds through intuition and gambling. i mean, if someones casting a massive heal on me thats ready in 0.5 seconds, i dont really have to waste multiple cds cause i guessed i was gonna die. Good dk tanking needs to be very aware to stay competitive with other tanking classes imo.