View Full Version : Death Knight Dk Tank Needs Help

10-19-2011, 02:25 PM
I have been tanking a long time a dk both in man pugs and 5 man heroics.

However for the life of me I am having a very hard time deal with za more then zg itself on trash packs especially the mobs before the bear boss and some bosses in there.

My friend who is a druid healer can barely if not at time keep me up he is very critical so its hard to take what he says since he has not played a Dk tank at 80 or 85 but he healed his other dk friend much easier them me the other night so...

As such he and a few other have given me mix advice as to what I should be reforging and what runeforge I should be using to try to survive za better.

SO I ask if anyone has any advice on my character I would appreciate it, and I am aware my second profession isn't really meant for me or raiding (was a farmer alt a lot time ago) just more worried about my reforging and enchants and gems in hopes I might survive through za better and make zg a bit easier.

Here is my characters link http://us.battle.net/wow/en/character/azgalor/Nayumi/simple

10-19-2011, 04:23 PM
Your spec needs some work. Unless you're going for the Lichborne/heal spec ignore the Frost tree. Red sockets should be Parry/Stam; Blue should be Mastery/Stam and yellow Mastery. You're missing enchants and glyphs, but they're minor glyphs so no real big deal. I do reforge to hit so DS has less of a chance to miss, but others don't. I've tanked with 0 hit with no issue. Chest should be the Stam enchant. I've been playing my pally as my main these days, but the DK tanks fine. My spec is a bit off, but I'm too lazy to change it right now. The two points in Crimson Scourge can be moved, but other than that it's fine.

DS as much as possible, that will help a great deal.


10-19-2011, 05:00 PM
I'm not a big fan of the Lichborne spec myself, but it seems it might help you quite a bit. EJ's DK thread has a macro all shiny and typed up that you can copy to make use of the ability, which should in turn help the healer, which should in turn make troll runs go smoother. Don't forget to use your cooldowns, and death strike is a miracle worker.

10-19-2011, 05:04 PM
Also, at your gear level you need smart groups on ZA, you'll need cc since mass pulls will really tax the healer.

10-19-2011, 05:13 PM
Not sure if the issue's centered around gear, honestly. Average item level is a smudge short of full t11 (354/359). She should be able to tank FL in it imo. The real question is why is she so squishy in a troll dungeon at this point? Something is going horribly wrong in terms of self-protection, or the healer's using far too much mana keeping the group up to spare any for the tank. Granted, nobody uses logs for heroics, but if you have one, it would help a lot.

10-19-2011, 05:23 PM
The bear trash in Zul'Aman has an ability called, http://www.wowhead.com/spell=42747 that reduces armor by a lot. This in combination with some of the other mobs in the pull right before the bear boss especially can be very nasty for a non-block tank. What I usually do on my dk is chain CDs or use Army for the bear boss trash, then do the boss with only my shorter cds like vamp blood still.

I find the boss isn't an issue as much as the trash is.

http://us.battle.net/wow/en/character/antonidas/Darkthornne/advanced is my DK just for reference.

10-19-2011, 05:39 PM
20k armor gone? Holy massive sunder, Batman! That's ridiculous. Even a blocked hit would be nasty! This ability used by the bears is definitely something to keep an eye on. Thanks for pointing that out!

Note: When you see this debuff, Icebound Fortitude is your friend. Should flatten the spikes by giving back the damage reduction you would have gotten from armor. Unmodified, 20k is nearly ALL of your armor, so definitely use IBF when you get the debuff.

10-19-2011, 08:01 PM
Thank you every that replied.

I will do my best to try to re-enchant my gear and re-gem along with trying to time my cooldowns better especially in ZA. :)

10-20-2011, 10:46 AM
Cooldowns, cooldowns, cooldowns, cooldowns

Use them on trash, it will fool your healer into thinking you have some amazing gear.

10-25-2011, 10:40 AM
Something else that might help smooth incoming damage is to mark certain targets.
Medicinemen, Flamecasters, Axe Throwers, then Bears tends to be my priority.
Really annoys me when people dismount both bear riders at the same time, especially while the axe thrower is still up.

10-25-2011, 05:09 PM
Bears have Crunch Armor. As a DK tank, those bears gotta go! CC the healer/caster, death grip the axe thrower, and down those bears. Clean up the melee, then stomp the casters to mush.

10-25-2011, 06:55 PM
The axe thrower has a knockdown, and guess what you can't do while knocked down? Avoid. At all. So bye bye Bone shield. Also the bears with Crunch Armour don't spawn until you've knocked the Warbringer off them, Whilst being ridden the bears do not have the the uber sunder so there's no real danger if you're not being knocked on your arse every 5 seconds.

10-26-2011, 05:04 AM
Lesson learned! Thanks for that!

10-26-2011, 05:59 AM
The axe thrower has a knockdown, and guess what you can't do while knocked down? Avoid. At all. So bye bye Bone shield. Also the bears with Crunch Armour don't spawn until you've knocked the Warbringer off them, Whilst being ridden the bears do not have the the uber sunder so there's no real danger if you're not being knocked on your arse every 5 seconds.

If someone in the party has a stun, then stun the riders at about 50%, the bears then don't appear after the rider is knocked off.

10-26-2011, 07:56 PM
The axe thrower has a knockdown, and guess what you can't do while knocked down? Avoid. At all. So bye bye Bone shield. Also the bears with Crunch Armour don't spawn until you've knocked the Warbringer off them, Whilst being ridden the bears do not have the the uber sunder so there's no real danger if you're not being knocked on your arse every 5 seconds.


I had to yell at guildies last night that should have known better too >.< and of course the healer we pugged in thought we were insane... >.>

10-28-2011, 08:55 AM
If I'm healing on my pally in ZA, I'll usually stun one of them. Some of the reactions are great: "hey, it bugged no bear came out...."

Although, one huge benefit of clearing FL every week is that I only have to do one ZA or ZG once a week to cap VP; unless there's a BH in there, then a reg heroic does it.

11-03-2011, 11:27 AM
Ah..... ZA. Fun stuff. Honestly one of my favorite dungeons as a good group will really shine.

CC's, interrupts, spell-steals, all sorts of goodness..... and all of it can backfire horribly if done wrong. I'll discuss each pull in turn as I've seen it as a DK.

1) Bears before bear boss. As a DK, the first two are pretty gimpy. Just works better if dps is focused on one at a time. That helps a lot on pretty much all of the trash pulls. Use vamp blood if needed as it has a short cooldown time.

2) The next pull. Couple things can be done. If you have a priest with, the can MC the troll shammy. A really good hunter can pop a frost trap at the bottom of the stairs to nail one on the way down. Rogues can blind a target. Mage/shammy can poly/hex. Main issue is that none can be effectively engaged until after they run down the stairs. You can't cc them at the top or on the way down. You have to hit them after they do their programmed run down the stairs.

What usually kills cc on this pull is that the group is not all on the same page and in agreement on what to do. Priority for kill is Tots > Medicine Man > Axe Throwers > Rest of Junk. Main thing is to kill the totems quickly if they appear. A good group with well-focused dps can kill the medicine man before he even drops them. After that, axe throwers can gimp a tank's ability to mitigate damage with that knockdown. I'll usually go into this pull with IBF popped as soon as they jump on me, as it's the first 10-15 sec that are brutal on the healer.

3) Twin bear riders... again, the stun around 40%. They hop off around 30-35%. A true interrupt or stun will break them from hopping off. Don't try with mind freeze as you have to be PERFECT on timing. Main thing here again though is burn down adds in succession. Troll > Bear > Troll > Bear. Don't start on the next troll-bear until first bear is down, as you don't want to end up trying to hold off 4 adds. Oh, and be aware, when the rider jumps off the bear, unless you've built some aggro on them, they will go after the first person to hit them. Be ready to taunt.

4) The pull just before the boss is always nasty. A good hunter, again, can trap one. Priest can MC, but it's tricky at this stage. A rogue is great as they can slap blind on the axe thrower or medicine man once they break their initial move forward. The thing, once again, that screws up people is that, the mobs cannot be cc'ed prior to pulling them. They do that initial run forward, during which you can't engage the targets. Once I round these guys up with DND and a heart strike or two, I'll pop IBF (which should be off cd by now) and deal with medicine man, just like before. Then... get the axe thrower. Again, that knockdown renders you defenseless. If you start working on the riders and mounts before killing that axe-thrower your healer will not thank you. Dps needs to focus on focused fast kills of individual adds. For you as a DK, stagger your cd's here. IBF when dealing with the full group..... then pop DRW for parry boost is great for adding dps to the pack. From there... vamp blood and trinks.

Bear boss... you know what to do..... then....

Next up, you have the trash on the way to the dragonhawk guy. The main issue here is awareness of the scouts. They pat around and can make things ugly. Priest is great here as they can MC stuff. QUICK NOTE: Tell the priest to just let the mobs kill the MC'ed target. Especially on the pull just near the stairs leading up to the boss. If they MC a flamecaster there, and they cast it, it often will pull other mobs if they are anywhere in range of that attack. As a DK, you can Dark Sim the flamecaster's bolts, which do a nice chunk of damage to the whole pack of mobs. CC's are your friend though. Really... this section is all a matter of applying cc's and being smart to not break them. Also, the trees in this section provide great cover for the scouts that pat around. Don't just sit content thinking you're clear. Keep checking around for a scout, and be ready to deathgrip it or chain it.

1) First bunch, either have a ranged hit hard as a group on the scout... or deathgrip it in. If ranged nail it, deathgrip the flamecaster in (caster = will stay put and kill you at range). Drop DnD and when his two buddies come charging in, share the love and diseases with them. Get the flamecaster down asap then nail the heirophant. My reasoning: He does groupwide damage. Yes, the guardian is beating on you and applies a DoT, but from the healer's perspective, it's easier to keep up one tank than 5 people taking equal beatings from an the AoE's the heirophant applies.

2) Next pack, ride/run in.... deathgrip the scout to you.... pop him with deathstrike (usually enough to kill or significantly wound), drop DnD immediately to grab all the dragonhawks and the beastmaster troll. Cycle diseases around. AMS works great on the flame damage, just make sure you have them facing away from your group. Oh... and watch out for scout pat. Usually see one around here.

3) Deathgrip the scout on the little mound, or have ranged burn him down. The next group, have as many of the flamecasters cc'ed as you can. If you can cc them all, great. Just be careful with DnD and blood boil as you don't want to break the cc's. My usual approach if I have no cc's available, chains of frost on the scout in the pack, have the dps kill it, and DnD the rest of the mobs following that. Pop AMS to deal with first flame attack. Then focus on getting each flamecaster down. Use interrupts on it and lock it down. One hurts, yes, but it's easier to heal through one than both.

4) The pull on the stairs. This one gives people fits. CC flamecasters if you can. HOWEVER..... dps needs to remember to RE-CC them. If they EVER break free from a cc, they will charge, and usually charge the healer.... one-shotting them. That's the main thing with this pull. You have to keep an eye on the cc's on those to make sure they don't break free of the CC. If they are about to break loose from cc and your dps are asleep at the wheel, get on the flamecaster asap and get aggro so that it doesn't kill your healer. I'd say 90% of the wipes I've had at this spot are due to that. A priest CAN MC here.... but make sure they know to NOT use any offensive ability of the MC'ed target, as it'll usually pull the pack at the side of the stairs also.

Dragonhawk boss........... then.....

1) First pack of cats. Issue here is they charge and stun you, then go after dps/heals while you sit there wishing you could do something. Easy fix.... pop IBF, drop DnD. IBF prevents stuns and this allows you to pull no problem.

2) The first pack of cats on the other side of the lake. These, as of right now, give more tanks the fits than anything else. The aggro table on these must be royally hosed or something because I've seen these cats ignore DnD, consecrate, thunderclap, you name it. If you go in first as a tank... make sure NO ONE ELSE CASTS ANYTHING until you have the cats. Usual problem I have here is with resto druid as they want to have you HoT'ed up before the pull. Thing is, those HoT's generate aggro. If the group can't handle not standing still for 2-3 seconds, have everyone stack on you and drop DnD, use blood boil and heartstrike. I really recommend the first, and just make sure people don't overreact to a cat chasing them. If you simply don't trust your group... go for option C as a DK.... AotD. :) Oh, and here's the really crappy part. If you wipe, for whatever reason, the aggro table behaves as it should on the second pull. I have a funny feeling this might be how Blizzard has decided to deal with people who use path of frost to skip the croc pat that's next to the lake.

3) The rest of the cat pulls are not as sensitive, so pull as you would normally. Use vamp blood to help your healer.

4) Group on stairs prior to lynx boss..... have people with cc's hit the cats. The mobs at the top have stealth detection. This is another spot where IBF is handy for dealing with the stuns the cats dish out. If you can't cc the cats, go in with IBF so they don't stun you at the point when you'll be taking the most damage. Interrupts on the trolls when they try to cast domesticate.

Lynx boss.......... then....

1) Trash pull just before the berserkers is actually not that bad as you can LoS pull things with the edge of the doorway. CC the medicine man or flame caster if you can. If not, have everyone sit patiently and LoS pull them around the door. Just make sure you guys nail the totems from the medicine man. One thing here is, even if you root the medicine man, you can actually run the trash out of the totems' range if those are inside the room. They're just like regular shamy tots.... they have an effective distance.

Overall, some basic rules:

1) CC's are great so long as used PROPERLY and maintained. Dps that fire-n-forget cc's can cause more problems due to flamecasters charging.
2) Interrupts. Make sure people use these.
3) Do not be afraid to use cooldowns. Prevention of a problem > trying to fix the problem after it occurs.
4) Focused fire. Dps scattered onto different targets is not effective. Each target dead relieves the healer of healing burden.
5) Don't forget bone shield at the start of every pull. 20% reduced damage at the peak damage phase for each pull REALLY helps your healer.

There you go. From a DK tank perspective.