Managing 5 pulls
I am learning to tank as a frost DK and I need some advice from more experienced tanks. I rely on HB and OB as primary threat generation. I am having some issues with losing threat on mobs that have spread out beyond my HB cone. I know it is my technique, not gear or spec.
My question to other more experienced tanks is this. Do you rely on DnD to manage this, or do you rotate targets. If you rotate targets, how my FU rune cycles do you usually go through before turning around. I have tried to stay away from using DnD since it does not have a great threat-per-cost return, but if this is the way to go, I can change.
I'm a frost DW DK and I always lay a DnD and grip the first mob to it or DnD the pack and charge in. Your first rotation on packs should be DnD, HB, Blood Boil. You can rune strike or frost strike your primary target for threat until your runes are back up. I also rune tap and pop another Blood Boil every 60 sec.
D&D as much of the pack as you can, DG a ranged, Strangulate a caster, Howling Blast when they're all in range.
My opener as a Frost DK against multi-mob packs is D&D, HB, and BB. I think the "don't rely on D&D" is once you get going as that's when it interrupts your rune synergy.
Say you don't D&D on the opener.. that leaves you 1 of each rune. You can pop another BB for AoE damage but what are you going to do with the F and U runes remaining? I suppose if you're running a non-HB Glyph 2 disease rotation you would actually use all three of those to set up your diseases on all targets. However, if you're using the HB Glyph and relying primarily on a 1 disease rotation, you get to Obliterate a single target (which does nothing for AoE threat). You can't use another HB for 8 seconds so those runes sit there either not getting used or getting used on a single target.
As the others have said Open with D&D on as much of the group as you can, Howling Blast them, Blood Boil, this will ensure you have a nice good lead on threat at the start.
Doing this will use up all your runes (especially blood) which will activate Blade Barrier to mitigate damage.
I open with D&D, IT, PS, Pest, BT, BB, FS, HB. I really like this opener as it takes advantage of the front end threat of D&D, gets two diseases ticking quickly, and then slams everything into place with HB. You do not want to use D&D after the first rotation, so getting all the mobs into that opening D&D quickly is the key.
The new ICC 5 mans have some crazy spread out pulls, and this strategy combined with a number of other tricks works beautiful in them.
Depending on the pull I may just drop D&D at max range and DG a sole caster/ranged into it, I may Drop D&D at max range DG a caster/ranged and strangulate a caster. I may run strait at one caster dropping D&D on the caster as I arrive and DG the other caster into it (this is only for pulls where burning down mobs where they stand is the best option.. and you should be aware of pats and proximate mobs in the area before deciding on this one). Finally.. though as DK's its easy to forget this, since when we tank we have so much power to make a fight happen when and where we want it, but in some cases the old fashioned LOS pull is still best. Pop around the corner.. taunt... run back, drop D&D and spread the pain.
One of the nice things about D&D openers, and the reason I stick to them, is that you have so much control over radius location, and with practice you can get precise drops fast and on the run. You can get it into place when the first couple of mobs arive (or get deathgripped) and start grabbing aggro on the late arrivals as soon as they close into its radius. With HB as an opener you have to target the center mob and hope the rest are not too spread out. If they are.. you are pretty much screwed. If you DG and then use HB you are almost gauranteed not to immediately hit the rest of the mobs in the pack, and if the mob you target with HB is in the center, then it is often not the primary dps target, so you have to switch targets to spread diseases, dish out RS procs, etc. in order to make sure you don't loose aggro on the current single target dps target while holding the pack. With a DG into D&D opener, your DG will often be on the caster... who will often be the first DPS target (I typically on two caster pulls mark the furthest away caster with skull and the closest with X... X gets the strangulate or is the mob I run up to, Skull gets the DG, IT, PS any FS I dump, and any RS that procs). Once they are round up you may from time to time have to do some extra running and positioning, but mostly you can just switch targets as they die in dps order using the current primary dps target as your vector for spreading diseases, and as the recipient for your frost strikes and rune strikes woven into the aoe tanking roation.
I will grant that what I do takes alot more work (learning curve) then many of the simpler strategies that may be relied on, but imo the versatility and control is worth the effort.
Actually you have that backwards, D&D is the highest threat-per-rune investment for multiple mobs.