View Full Version : Tanking Death Knight

09-22-2011, 02:47 PM
Hello, I'm actually quite new to the game and a friend of mine recommended this site for me specifically for tanking.

Anyway, this my Death Knight atm (http://us.battle.net/wow/en/character/zuljin/Nischel/simple)

So far my items are okay, but I have to mostly concentrate on getting mastery gems, parry and stamina etc etc rather than strength and hit, which seems to be a big mistake of mine.

And the I have to concentrate on enchant items, which I have to do via quests to get exalted. That's going to take some time lol

Any advice would be appreciated.

09-22-2011, 03:31 PM
I am by no means a "leet" player, but I do love playing my DK tank. My first suggestion is actually to get glyphs. You have one glyph, and imo it is not a strong glyph.

Heart Strike
Rune Strike
Death Strike

Rune Tap
Vampiric Blood

Blood Tap

Obviously you should fill all of them, but the ones I mentioned are a good place to start.

You mentioned your gems, so you know to fix that, along with enchanting your gear.

It looks like you are very aoe specced, I assume that is because you spend most of your time grinding dungeons. Personally I don't see an issue with that, but if/when you progress further you should take a look at the Blood DK thread on this forum. It would actually answer all the questions you have asked here, and the answers would be from some very good players.

You should also pick up some Professions and max them out. I don't know the "best" professions for tanks, I have BS and Alch on mine, which gives me a means of making some gold and an extra 80 mastery from the two extra sockets and a nice mastery trinket in the Stone.

You really should check out the Blood DK thread, it might take you an hour to go through it, but it is very informative, it helped me a bunch.


09-22-2011, 04:52 PM
I appreciate the help, but atm i'm saving up as much gold as i can get to get a better sword then what I have now. And with the new patch coming out, the valor equipment can be bought by jp so my life gets a little easier lol so i'll be stuck in a rut for a while. Actually, atm i'm doing the tol barad thing to try and get a drake, it'd be my first!

09-22-2011, 05:00 PM
I am by no means a "leet" player


You need to enchant and gem your gear in current gems/enchantments. The difference between ungemmed/enchanted is about a piece of gear. Think of your gems and enchants as another slot of armor.

Glyphs are big. Get them, its just as important as your spec.

Spec: If you spec morbidity, then you don't need to spec Crimson scourge. You really only need one or the other. Aggro i not an issue at all, unless you just put on the blinders and attack one target.

I would highly suggest reading this guide:

It will help you understand the in's and out's of DK tanking.

09-22-2011, 05:33 PM
2 minutes too late xP I took his advice and have been currently reading that very thread, it's very helpful, thank you. It's very, very grinding work, it's nearly impossible to do everything by yourself without someone to help you. And that's a rare thing I found.

09-23-2011, 02:29 AM
Your gems are a bit of a mess. The only thing you should gem, at least until heroic mode leveling, is mastery(yellow socket), mast/stam(blue) and mast/parry(red). You will overall get so much parry from the str on your gear so that you want to reforge it away when you can, into mastery first then dodge. Also the rune on your weapon could/should be swapped for Swordbreaking - 4% parry is a LOT. Do not bother with Hit, some expertise is nice to have for less missed Death strikes, thats about it.

09-23-2011, 04:16 AM
I'm going to break with convention and say you don't have to gem mastery.

With DKs, the difference between gearing raw avoidance (dodge/parry) and mastery is not as absolute as it is for other plate tanks. In particular, how much value you get out of mastery is directly tied to your skill and experience, because it is derived from your death strikes. The better your gear gets (and the harsher your diminishing returns on dodge/parry become), the more mastery shines... and the better you are at managing your death strikes, the more mastery shines. But as a starter tank, it is not "the only 1 true way". To quote the linked guide above:

A comparison of the survival value of Avoidance and Blood Shield can be found in the Advanced Topics section. The short answer is that the relative value is situational and personal. Avoidance will allow you to negate an entire hit, while Blood Shield will shave damage off of many more hits, but in much smaller relative scale per incidence. Comparing on a total damage reduction value, you can take less damage overall with the benefit from Mastery rating, provided that you use DS more than 4.6-5.0 times per minute.
As for hit/expertise - gear to the content. Having both above 0 makes a significant difference to your quality of life and reliability of rotation. Until 4.3 when death strike still heals if it misses, that's quite a big survivability boost too. Certainly shouldn't cap or gem for hit or expertise outside a specific 'threat set', but don't look on all hit/expertise plate gear with the same disdain that other plate tanks tend to.

10-26-2011, 10:47 PM
Swelt, I've been taking your advice to heart. Actually, I've been using your dk character page as an example to further my own. Grats on the heroic items btw.

Also, i've been meaning to ask. Why can't tanks duel wield as a tank? There are one handed weapons designed specifically for tanking, so shouldn't that be considered?

10-27-2011, 12:08 AM
Wow, that topic comes up so much, lol.

The shortest answer is your spells. Most of them are calculated using the main hand only. Therefore, you lose a TON of damage and threat by having a one hander in your main hand. Downing the mob faster will reduce the damage you take more than the minor amount of stats you gain from using two "tank" weapons.

10-27-2011, 12:44 AM
Even in Wrath DW Frost tanks were sketchy. Not enough threat generated to keep even a severely throttled DPS from pulling aggro. And back in early wrath, DW Frost tanking was totally doable.

10-27-2011, 03:45 AM
Even in Wrath DW Frost tanks were sketchy. Not enough threat generated to keep even a severely throttled DPS from pulling aggro. And back in early wrath, DW Frost tanking was totally doable.

Sorry but eh? DW Frost tanking was fine from a TPS PoV. Threat of Thassarian & Nerves of Cold Steel made more some very nice numbers if you got a pair of agi 1h (and only people who didn't know how to play a DW frost tank took tanking 1hs).

Frost's main problem was it's slightly gimped survivability, Blood got Vampiric Blood, Unholy got Bone Shield and Frost got Unbreakable Armour (+30% armour and +10strength). By mid wrath most tanks had enough armour that you where so far into its DRs that the CD maybe worked out to be a <10% damage reduction, later on it hit the problem that tanks could and were hitting the armour caps rendoring it useless. And furthermore most of the extreme tank killers that you popped CDs for where magic damage, and bypassed your armour entirely.

Blood got better CDs and better stam scaling in a time when CDs where a defining aspect of tanking and stam stacking was king. In todays world, Forst probably wouldn't have come off so bad as it had better avoidance due to frigid Dreadplate (-3%chance to be hit) and acclimations(chance to develop resistance after taking magic damage) UA would still be meh, but not so meh as it was in wrath.

10-28-2011, 03:26 PM
I agree, most of the DW tanks on my server(s) were total baddies, rolling Rimefang's Claws and thinking it was OP. I went with more of a two-hander Frost tank build myself and only used UBA for burst damage on DPS races (Thaddius for example). But yes, Frost tanks were a bit squishier due to lack of CDs, though we also had Lichborne for the self-heals. In fact, looking back on the old frost tank builds the move to switch the tank spec to blood made perfect sense then but totally lacked foresight.