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Thread: Death Knight AOE Spec, MT Spec and Rotations

  1. #121
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    In large part because of gold (or the lack thereof), I've been focusing more on Unholy tanking. I leveled unholy, and have the glyphs to support it. It's also what I'm most comfortable with.

    The intent here is to MT 25 man raid bosses eventually, be it Unholy or Frost.

    Anyway, for heroics and OTing 10mans I've run with 9/11/51:
    Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft

    Lichborne is great for breaking fear, and for giving the healer a little more breathing room with 90+% avoidance, fear breaks, and DC heals. It's meant as a true an "oh-sh*t" button, as opposed to IBF and BS, which are more "spammable", though I don't keep them on cooldown all the time.

    Edit: I'll mess with frost a bit, hopefully this weekend when I can afford to reglyph and respec.

    Edit 2: If you really want Unholy Aura (which is useful in a lot of fights, and is faster than the speed enchant), you can drop 2 points in outbreak or impurity, and put them into Unholy Aura. I would argue that Necrosis while tanking is a good talent (at least for a points dump), because it procs off rune strikes, and gets the 13% bonus of ebon plague.
    Last edited by ttocs; 12-02-2008 at 07:16 AM.
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  2. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by Praeda View Post
    Under Frost Tanking Rotations, you have


    But with the Frost spec you have (which I tend to agree with, btw), you left out BotN. Typo?
    you are right.. i will update this to be (Keep Blood Runes on Cooldown)..

    Sorry haven't been back in a while.


    I've seen lots of success so far with all 3 builds, I am currently rocking the frost build and have seen a lot of the ups and downs of Death Knight raid tanking (not as easy as tabbing then hitting a mob with Conc Blow then moving back to main target) but Icebound Fort + T7 4 piece bonus + Frost Spec on AoE pulls is 21 seconds of easy mode fun.


    Unholy - As avoidance goes up Bone Armor is Scaling beautifully.

    Frost - The option of finishing rotation w/ Death Strike (for non-threat sensitive fights) or w/ Obliterate (for more threat) is really nice along with the plethora of oh shit buttons.

    Blood - Have not messed with blood yet, however our other DK tank swears by it and is having good success with it.


    For those people with 20+ 80s in your guild please go to Obsidian Sanctuary as it is a joke and free emblems + gear we got our first kill (one shot) with 21 fresh lvl 80s from our guild *I won't pug guild runs*.

  3. #123
    Brand new here and I've been looking for DK tank information so first I'd like to say this information is great and ty for it.

    I was wondering on the blood spec why Subversion instead of Scent of blood? Is it that there's more than enough RP gained? Or perhaps it could go to Will of the Necropolis for that buffer?

    I was thinking of this one myself.
    Last edited by SINisterWyvern; 12-02-2008 at 02:01 PM.

  4. #124
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    Tank spec

    ok for 1 u cant use just 1 spesific spec for tanking u have to put talent points in each talent tree frost/unholy/blood because you will need dodge/parry,,,attackpower,,,and armor,, without those u can not tank u may hav a really good thing going but it is not a full tank spec without all of that....

  5. #125
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    In Frost: AOE Rotation: DnD,IT,PS,PEST,HB, BB,UB,OB,HB,PEST
    UB I think there is no Unholy Blight in the Frost-Spec...

    In Blood: AOE Rotation: DnD,IT,PS,PEST,HB, BB,DC,DS,DS,PEST
    ...and no Howling Blast in the Blood-Spec.

  6. #126
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    Unholy build I personally use Death Strike rather than Scourge Strike
    Single target would be IT > PS > BS > BS then DS
    AoE: DnD (if more than 3 targets 3 or less its too expensive to use 3 runes) IT>PS>Pest>BB then on to DS and BB rotation tabbing to next target and using pestillence.

    Imo getting hung up on rotations is not so good, sometimes a mob goes down fast so an oblit might be a better choice, death strike keeps your health at a decent lvl and if you keep pest up your next target is already diseased up so you can keep on DSing, you may have a decent ammount of health so a SS might fit in better. I find DK tanking to be very reactionary yes you need to IT PS BB BB to get diseases on and blade barrier up but from then on its horses for courses.

  7. #127
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    Looking at the rotation you have for a single target, I've tested it out and so far, I really dislike it. I just don't feel you're taking advantage of your IT and PS ticks nor are you using the most out of your skills.

    Now, granted, I'm one of the kings of unconventional, but I'm testing out some rotations with a frost tanking build right now. This is more for a single target threat situation that could work for psudo AoE tanking, replacing a couple of things differently.

    This is what I've been practicing.

    IT > PS > HB > BS > BS > dump = phase 1

    Then, my rotation changed to the end of my full second rotation which is this.

    HB > OB > BS > BS (dump)

    Now, this is the third rotation and the one that you used the first two to set up for good:

    IT > PS > HB > OB > Dump > HB > OB > BS > BS > dump.

    This usually lasts the whole time you have your diseases up, and they do fall off, but within one second, you're back at casting IT. I feel like this could be a much stronger build, but requires more focus to set up the rotation properly. Also, one wrong move and you will completely screw up your rotation and have to restart from scratch. So I suggest you practice it.

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  8. #128
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    On the subject of rotations, i came across this on World of Warcraft :: Allakhazam.com
    I thought it was very interesting and worth sharing with all of you...

    The original poster's name is Sunny. You should be able to find this on the official forums as well as World of Warcraft :: Allakhazam.com under the death knight forums...

    Sunny wrote:

    Don't rotate. Prioritize.

    Once upon a time, a long time ago, I looked at the DK class and started thinking about rotations. A good 5-6 ability rotation would ensure that we'd be spending our runes properly each cycle, and then we'd get our Runic Power, which we'd spend in our downtime between rune refreshes. That's the basic idea behind the class mechanics, and it works... sort of. Except sometimes we don't have that option, because we used a double rune and it refreshes at the same time, and we need to use it. Or sometimes the runes refresh in 8 seconds, when we were expecting 10. Or sometimes our rotation falls off because we were expecting to see our diseases up longer than we thought they would be, and they aren't up now. So now what do we do?

    Once upon a time, a little more recently, I sat down with a spreadsheet to try to build my "perfect" DPS rotation. My goal was to maximize the total DoT uptime (including Unholy Blight), minimize the number of "dead" GCDs (GCDs where I do nothing but wait for my runes to come back), and try to use my hardest hitting attacks (Scourge Strike) at the same time. My plan was to build a rotation that would eventually double back on itself and then I could just memorize the perfect rotation, and use it in normal play. Except that didn't quite work itself out too much either.

    What ended up happening was that around the 45th or 50th GCD, I realized something. There was no real discernible pattern that was emerging yet. Due to the 2 sec difference from Epidemic, this means that the disease durations would edge 10% closer and closer to the beginning of the rotation every 20 seconds. Because I needed to keep the diseases up for maximum damage, this meant that I would have to clip my Scourge Strikes, and thus my rune refreshes. For example... if you have to use Plague Strike + Icy Touch in one rotation, that means that you will not be able to use the runes for an FU ability until the rune for the later of the two refreshes, which will create a single GCD of 'lag' time that you can potentially fill with a runic power ability. However, if you do that, chances are pretty good that it won't be in the same place on the next rotation, and you might not even have enough runic power to do something at that point.

    So at the basic level, yes... we have rotations. But those rotations don't play within the rules we expect them to, and adjusting them is a natural thing. So, instead of using a specific rotation and sticking with it, the best method of being a DK that I've found is to have a *priority* system. You all understand what priorities are. Even at the basic level, there's some priority level going on - you use Icy Touch and Plague Strike before you use Blood/Heart Strike, because the diseases that Icy Touch and Plague Strike put up increase your Blood Strike damage. Even further, if you attempt to keep to a specific rotation, you end up having to memorize a lot of rotations. Here's what I mean:

    If you have >60 RP:
    Unholy Blight > PS > IT > BS > BS > SS

    But if the thing will die fast:
    UB > PS > IT > SS > BS > BS

    But if you get more than one:

    UB > PS > IT > Pest > DnD

    But if you don't have Runic Power:

    PS > IT > SS > BS > BS > UB

    But if you know it will die fast:

    PS > IT > SS > BS > DC > BS

    As you can see, there are a lot of variations on a normal "rotation" here. And each one is situational. What ends up happening is that you don't need a hard and fast rotation. What you need is a list of questions with which to decide what to do. It should end up being something like this:

    0. What is my goal?

    Aside from being obvious, this changes based on role. A tank's role isn't to deal as much damage as possible, but to build up as much threat as possible, and on as many targets as possible. A damage dealer's goal is usually to kill things as quickly as possible. Sometimes it's more important to kill a specific target (like the healer) than it is to spread as much damage around as possible. Other times it's all about dealing as much damage as you can to everything around you (AE packs), because it will all die soon enough.

    1. What is the best order to get my diseases up on the target?

    Every DK needs diseases up. If I am Unholy, this means I usually start with PS > IT, so that Blood Plague is up as quickly as possible, to ensure that +10% damage from Rage of Rivendare is up as long as possible. For Frost, this should start with IT > PS, for the Tundra Stalker bonus. If I am blood, I can either lead with Icy Touch if I am far away, or Plague Strike if I am nearer.

    2. How many enemies are there?

    Every DK build has to change their rotation based on the number of enemies. It is almost always better to pestilence than anything else. Blood Boil is generally a worthwhile expenditure of the blood rune if there are more than 3 targets if you have Outbreak, and more than 6 as Blood (with no outbreak). Yes, Heart Strike just hits that hard. Death and Decay is still probably the best damage ability you can use in an AE situation.

    3. Do I have RP for something to start with? If so, can it wait? Should it wait?

    Most RP abilities have some sort of optimal situation to use them. For example, the Gargoyle gains 40% of your AP per strike, and takes a snapshot of your character when you summon it. You are much better served by summoning the gargoyle when you get a Fallen Crusader Proc and clicking your AP trinket than you are when you don't have those temporary buffs up, since your gargoyle will hit significantly harder. Unholy Blight, however, will always put up damage reflective of whatever buffs you have on. If you start it up and the buffs come later, the damage will gain from the buffs as you go. Thus, if you have the choice between UB and Gargoyle, ask yourself "Do I have any temp buffs right now that can make Gargoyle the most useful?"

    4. How long is this fight?

    If the fight will end quickly, you want to front load your damage as much as possible. This means that damage over time powers like Dancing Rune Weapon should take a back seat to up front damage like Death Coil. By the same token, for fights that will almost certainly last longer than the duration of the power, then you should use the power that provides the most damage in that time frame. For long fights, you also want to consider whether you have enough time to use your cooldowns more than once. Patchwerk, for example, is a fight that lasts up to 5 minutes. If you expect that the fight will be longer than 3 minutes (and it likely will be at the start), you can pop your Gargoyle or DRW early, then use it again before the fight ends.

    5. When should I use RP compared to Runes?

    As a general rule, you want to find out what abilities deal the most damage, and use those as often as you can. Runic Power cooldowns like DRW and Gargoyle are right up there, and if the fight lasts long enough to use them more than once (as per #4 above), I try to get them out as early as possible (under whatever optimal conditions I can, #3). After that, I personally prefer to prioritize Runes over Runic Power. The runic power will still be there, but the runes will have to take their time to cool down, and my runes generate a larger portion of my damage than my runic power does.

    6. What about proc abilities like Sudden Doom?

    You're still paying your GCD for those, and procs are generally unreliable. Look at the timing, and figure out when you are going to next be able to use a GCD for a non-rune ability. The worst case scenario is to get a proc and not use it. This includes wasting a proc by getting another proc. However, you have to weigh that extra 1.5 sec on the GCD for when your runes refresh. If you are running a 4-HS or even a 6 HS cycle, you're going to really be hurting for GCDs. Ultimately, this is one I tend to play by ear. I'd be interested in seeing somebody's extended DPS report based on waiting for a proper GCD to use Sudden Doom, vs immediately using it.

    Ultimately, I think it is important for folks to realize that sticking to a rotation isn't a good thing, because it's too restrictive. You use different abilities during different situations, but your best bet is to be informed about it and react accordingly. There are so many factors to playing a DK that being stuck in a rotation that you think you should be doing without adjusting for the situation at hand will end up with bad play. I'm hoping that this will help some of the newer DKs understand how it all works out. This may (should!) be old hat to some folks (I hope most of you), but I thought it was worth consolidating.

    Cheers.

  9. #129
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    Thanks much for posting that, it is full of good ideas.

    I've been composing something of the sort in my head for the last couple weeks. If you follow a cookie cutter sequence you will fall behind the best that you can do. It's part of what I love about the death knight play style. In order to get the best performance you have to be constantly re-assessing what you have available. You have 6 separate CD's (usually 2 at a time, together or staggered by a single CD, at the most basic), you have a growing rage-esque bar that is being wasted if it's sitting at max, you have 2 diseases to juggle or maintain on your targets, and as a tank you need to be aware of your setting including the relative threat values on targets in play, the potential for new targets, and your own safety for the sake of easing the fight on your healers and possibly saving your life.

    You need to know what is your best choice for a next move on the fly, and you need to adjust as you go. The best death knight will always be the one who adapts organically, rather than trying to adhere to their "optimal" rotation. Think, understand your abilities, and know how to weigh them on the fly.
    The (Old) Book on Death Knight Tanking
    The New Testament on Death Knight Tanking
    -----------------------------------------
    Quote Originally Posted by Horacio View Post
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  10. #130
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    just tried dw tanking, coz of def rating, aggro ist lower than with a two handed weapon but there aren't any threat problems so far.
    i came up with this build, which is kinda pretty nice, what do ya think'bout it?

    Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft

    it is different to the common dw-tanking builds, but i think this is superior to them if you haven't threat problems at all.
    Last edited by Aryeh; 12-05-2008 at 02:43 AM.
    i'm confused...oh wait...maybe i'm not...

  11. #131
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    blood tanking

    ok i need some pointers iam curently blood specced for tanking i tried frost and unholy and well basicly blood is my personal fav. atm iam having a hell of a time hitting the 540 defence mark that is suppose to be the crit immune( iam sitting at 536) one thing ive noticed is iama t 5,5% crit immunity and it doesnt seem like 4 def skill will make me cap. iam wondering if that my imagination or sometin. also i have atm 18.5% dodge and 19% parry unbuffed and before blade barrier. 62% damage reduction also and 25,5k hp unbuffed. wat iam wondering is iam i going on the right direction or theres somtin i should focus on more then getting that last 0.5% crit immunity. this is all aiming to tank 25 naxx already cleared all the 10 mans they are weak so i cant really know if iam rdy to tank 25 man or not.

  12. #132
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aryeh View Post
    just tried dw tanking, ...what do ya think 'bout it?

    Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft

    i think this is superior to them if you haven't threat problems at all.
    I see where you're going with this and it's not a bad build, there's just a few things from the blood tree you don't really "need". Even if threat is not a problem, I'd imagine staying alive wouldn't really be either, so Rune Tap is kind of redundant. Veteran of the Third War is a good idea, but like I said, just a few spread out points I'd recommend rearranging. Maybe something more like this:

    Something a little different.

    With this build, you get Epidemic and Frost Strike which, speaking as a deep Frost Spec, is an excellent RP dump. Threat may not be a problem for you, but you want to make sure you're not "all over the place".

  13. #133
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    Just like to add that untill you got enough hit/expertice having a set rotation will limit you. Since your rotation will become a mess because of miss/dodge/parry on raid bosses. Personaly i have prioritised my abilities instead.

    This is for unholy

    Low threat situation
    1. IT 20%dmg reduction is vital since we are spike enough as it is
    2. PS to keep your threat at a descant level
    3. BS to keep BB up at all times
    4. SS

    High threat situation
    1. IT 20%dmg reduction is vital since we are spike enough as it is
    2.BS to keep BB up at all times
    3.PS not so imprtant if you are miles ahead on threat
    4.DS

    I have tried a set rotation, but i find it hard to maintain with misses etc. If our abilities did not have mutiple purposes(like debuffing) then maybe it would be less of an issue.

  14. #134
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    concider hybrid tanking spec!

    HI guys im no wow pro but after reading up and playing with the talent calc ive come up with a tanking spec 29/5/37 i have tried to pick all stat increases and direct tanking improvements have a look and plz let me know of anything i may of missed or any comments
    this spec gives amongst other things stats of ..

    +13% str
    +8% stam
    +6 expertise

    and such tanking talents as....
    unholy command
    magic suppression
    anti magic zone
    bone shield
    spell deflection
    blade barrier
    toughness
    and although not tank talents very handy are bladed armor for a nice ap increase and impurity for a nice sp increase
    also master of ghouls just cos i love the little guy
    World of Warcraft Europe -> Info -> Classes -> Death Knight -> Wrath of the Lich King Beta Talent Calculator

    also can anyone plz tell me the defence cap for a dk to be uncrusable?
    Last edited by eddiehitler; 12-07-2008 at 04:47 PM. Reason: some extra info

  15. #135
    Quote Originally Posted by eddiehitler View Post
    can anyone please tell me the defense minimum for a dk to be uncrushable?
    In Wrath you don't worry about crushing blows, only crits. 540 Defense Skill is the minimum to reduce to 0% the chance that you will be crit by the vast majority of raid bosses.

    http://www.tankspot.com/forums/f63/4...questions.html
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  16. #136
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    ah yeah my appologies it was uncrittable that i meant lol i knew it was 540 for pala and warr but wasnt sure if dk would be the same thanks for the info

  17. #137
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    I have a few things i'd like to add and ask. Being that this is my first time to tankspot...I spent about 3 hours just trolling and reading and even...watching stuff. Learning because I had a Resto Druid for a main and cleared Sunwell Pre 3.0 in any case i'm not a noob. Anyways, I absolutely love Deathknights and Unholy DKs seem to be my niche. When i'm tanking I start pulling with Icy Touch of course but with my Unholy Tanking build. Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft It increases the range of the Icy Touch therefor giving you more time for your runes to come back.

    Anyways so a general AoE pull goes like:
    IT DnD PS Pest Bloodtap SS SS Unholy Blight
    (Unless of course you're taking alot of damage then i'd use Death Strike) And for runic power dumps i'm using Rune Strike and Death Coil.

    And for Single targets of course u'd just swap in Blood Strikes for DnD and Pest right?...well that's not how I do it...so i'd like some feed back to my rotations and this rotation goes...
    IT DnD PS BS Bloodtap SS SS Unholy Blight

    Also if I remember correctly Bloodtap isn't on GCD so that's why I put it in there not that you really NEED it but it helps out when you would least expect it when you maybe mess up or press the wrong button. Which I seem to be doing alot. >.< So anyways, feedback on my spec/rotations would be nice. Thanks. First post here btw so be gentle.

    Foxx

    Edit: I generally use DnD in between IT and PS because you're always waiting on the mobs to get to you and also if you use pestilence first your diseases might not hit all of the mobs or at least from my experience.
    Last edited by Foxx33; 12-09-2008 at 03:49 AM.

  18. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by eddiehitler View Post
    HI guys im no wow pro but after reading up and playing with the talent calc ive come up with a tanking spec 29/5/37 i have tried to pick all stat increases and direct tanking improvements have a look and plz let me know of anything i may of missed or any comments
    this spec gives amongst other things stats of ..

    +13% str
    +8% stam
    +6 expertise

    and such tanking talents as....
    unholy command
    magic suppression
    anti magic zone
    bone shield
    spell deflection
    blade barrier
    toughness
    and although not tank talents very handy are bladed armor for a nice ap increase and impurity for a nice sp increase
    also master of ghouls just cos i love the little guy
    World of Warcraft Europe -> Info -> Classes -> Death Knight -> Wrath of the Lich King Beta Talent Calculator

    also can anyone plz tell me the defence cap for a dk to be uncrusable?

    First off, you didn't pick up expertise in any of the trees so you don't have +6. Secondly, the little guy isn't really worth it as a tank because you're always gonna be cleaved/stomped/(insert Frontal damage here) and last but not least the def cap is 540. Have you tried tanking as that spec or just speculating? I mean it looks kinda viable but i'd have to try it. For my friends' sake i'd like to let someone else try it first and see if it was even worth the gold to respec. Not trying to be mean just giving you some feedback.

  19. #139
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    Eddie has Veteran of the Third War which gives him the 6 expertise.

    Ghouls are coded to DPS from behind like all pets, so they shouldn't get cleaved, but at the same time, they don't have the most health so they can die to aoe very easily, also complicated by the fact that if you don't have Master of Ghouls they won't show up on any frames to heal. Personally, I never take it for tanking simply because I have too many other places I'd like to place my talent points already.

    I also don't take Gargoyle for tanking because it doesn't help you at all. It acts as its own summoned entity and so gives you no threat at all.

    Vendetta tends to be fairly unhelpful in raids as well since it only procs off of your killing blows (which will be taken more often than not by DPSers), and will do absolutely nothing for you in a boss fight.

    (Eddie) Overall, your spec is packed with some great fundamentals for survival and your self-healing will be a very nice self-controllable way to really extend your effective health under a beating. The place where you'll feel your spec suffer is damage/threat. You went into blood but didn't take any of the Blood Strike damage improvements, or Heart Strike, or Blood-gorged (which I'm generally not too fond of for tanking anyway as your health dips enough), and you went into Unholy without taking enough in Desecration to get that damage buff reliably, you didn't get Crypt Fever/Ebon Plague to increase your disease damage, and no Rage of Rivendare for the constant 10% damage buff. Abom's Might is nice, but 10% more AP but as only AP it's purely damage (no Str = Parry benefit) and it's a small % increase in total damage next to one of the 10th tier talents or the improved diseases (and the third disease). Similarly 2-hand weapon specialization is a nice damage increase, but I don't tend to take it for tanking builds since it doesn't really stack as well with other ability modifiers outside of Blood. In blood it can work well since you're relying more heavily in your rotation on weapon damage, but again, point for point I'd sooner move that elsewhere.

    If you find you can pull the spec off without threat issues, good on you and stick with what feels good, but you might find it a little easier to manage if you pull a little out of Blood and fill out more of the bottom of the Unholy tree (though I fully understand the appeal of Vet of the 3rd War and Mark of Blood).

    (Fox) This is kind of a no-duh comment, but depending on your positioning you can pull with DnD, if you're running in or pulling back 40 yrds (have them running from end to end across the damage zone). For really pulling back I actually have a tendency to Death Grip one target back (the first target usually, otherwise the annoying one who'll sit at range), stack diseases on that target while the others are running back, simultaneously setting Desecration, then drop DnD to get the current mob and the incoming, then pestilence once they're all in range.

    I'd also give some thought to the helpful post in this forum about avoiding set rotations for priority-based move selection. I love Blood Tap as well, the glyph is too worth it, and with a 1 min CD there's no reason not to use it every time you have an excuse. I do tend to save it for big pull setups and for mid-pull bone armor re-upping. For example, set diseases and pestilence plus DnD puts all your runes on CD but sets up heavy DoT threat, to hedge yourself up on the initial burst threat I'll sometimes pop Blood Tap and Bloodboil (which I'm happy to say is critting for over 1k for me now!), or if you wait to near the end you can use it to get off a DS/SS or what have you.

    Incidentally I will ALWAYS DS unless my health is full or not going down frequently enough. Death Strike offers good threat thanks to the heal (and incidentally the DS glyph is one I don't take off), but it also adds to your survival. With unholy I get upwards of 4-5k heals on crits and minimum 2-2.5k just slipping it in rotation which is that much less your healers don't have to heal. We're fortunate to be the only class that can heal constantly while tanking without distinct reprecussions (Pallies casting means no avoidance/blocking, Warriors take the threat debuff when they block enrage effects, and Bears have a long enough CD to make it predominantly situational).

    Otherwise, I'd agree, obviously Pestilence and BB are wasted on single target pulls, Blood Strike is the logical filler. DnD can be good threat on a single target still, though I'd rather be using moves that eat up less Runes, and you can get slightly more RP from using fewer rune abilities, not a lot but enough.
    The (Old) Book on Death Knight Tanking
    The New Testament on Death Knight Tanking
    -----------------------------------------
    Quote Originally Posted by Horacio View Post
    Who f-ing divided by zero?!?

  20. #140
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    Unholy Command and Anti-Magic Zone are Situational at best for tanking.

    There's a lot more to use than death grip for pulls.
    Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. -Seneca
    Everyone marvels at a square egg, but only the chicken understands the PAIN.

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