Hey... after much deliberation i've decided to roll a tank. My main is a warlock and has been for over a year, so i've got quite a bit to learn in an environment that is not always so forgiving
to give some quick background - i rolled a DK, did some fairly extensive research into builds, etc and decided to roll Unholy because i like the thought of being a strong AoE tank (off spec will probably be frost). i'm level 60 and am rolling through quests in Hellfire with no problem at the moment and would like to start attempting some dungeons at 61 when i learn DnD.
my basic question is what can i do now, and/or what normal 5-mans should i run to really start learning how to tank and get a grip on the concepts. i've learned the DK spells i have available pretty well, and again have done a good bit of research, but all that means nothing without some experience. what are some good dungeons i can run to learn the techniques i'm really going to need? also what dungeons are going to drop "must have" gear for me?
i know there's a lot to learn and basically i want to learn as much as i can before hitting 80 because it seems the expectations raise quite a bit at that point
I personally can't say I played much of the BC instances when I was leveling my DK Tank. The only instance that I can think of that has any kind of decent tank item that will last you thru Northrend is the "Adamantine Figurine" from Shadow Labs.
DK's are pretty over powered in the BC, as I was able to solo just about all of the 2-3 person group quests that I came across. Keep in mind that I lvled as Blood Spec, so I had plenty of self healing abilities.
The 2h Axe from the Ring of Blood in Nagrand is a must have as well, you just have to be lvl 65 to be able to do the quest.
Those are the only 2 notable items that I can see being any sort of upgrade before Northrend for a DK.
Your first set of "tanking" gear will be the Cobalt Armor set which are all lvl 70 items. You can replace just about every single piece of gear with those at lvl 70 and start tanking the Northrend instances. If you don't know a BS, they all went for fairly cheap prices on the AH (at least on my server)
As for DK Tanking in general, this is what I have learned from tanking all normal Northrend instances and a few heroics.
I simply toss my Death and Decay (DnD) on the ground under my feet, with in reach of being able to Death Grip (DG) a mob directly into the AoE. The rest of the trash should follow, as long as they are Melee (I normally DG the ranged/caster types). If there are more than one caster/ranged mob in the group, I would normally go to the grouped up ranged, pop my DnD under them and DG any casters outside of my DnD.
After they are all with in my DnD, I would pop my Icy Touch and Plague Strike, which puts 2 diseases on the mob. Then go onto doing a Pestilence to spread those onto all of the other mobs. For my spec I would normally do a Deathchill+Howling Blast on all of the mobs and that would usually be enough jump in aggro to make it so the DPS doesn't take them off of me. Never ran as Unholy, so I'm not sure what other AoE attacks you have to get that jump in Aggro.
At lvl 65 you will also get the "Dark Command" (DC) ability which will be your taunt, in case the DPS starts taking aggro. Even you DG is a good ability if your DC is in cooldown if you need to take a mob off one of your party members.
Very similar to the Trash pulls, I would run up to the boss, toss DnD under the bosses feet. Then start doing my normal DPS rotation on the boss.
Icy Touch, Plague Strike, Blood Strike (I think that's what it was), Obliterate... I also pop my Rune Strike and Frost Strike (Frost tree only) when ever I can, these are great Runic Power dumps.
There are 3 abilites I pop to help mitigate damage and make sure the healer can keep me up... Icebound Fortitude, Unbreakable Armor, and Lichborne. The last 2 are Frost only, I'm not sure what other damage mitigation you have in Unholy besides the Bone Shield. Another good ability is the Anti Magic Shell (which I think you get in your 70's), and in your case the Anti Magic Zone (AMZ) you have in Unholy, which will be great for just about any caster'esque battles. If you find your ranged/healer always getting tagged on a boss, simply pop the AMZ around them before you engage the boss.
I'm not a very experienced tank, as my first tank was a DK. I switched other to Frost spec when I hit Northrend to start tanking the instances out there. Took me a little while to figure out how to keep aggro, but now all seems well and good with the 2 Diseases, Pestilence, then Howling Blast (I add Deathchill in when it's up for a big burst of damage) on a group.
Well.. I hope some of my 2 cents help you get up and running as a DK Tank.
Last edited by drofnas; 01-15-2009 at 08:15 AM.
Reason: just some caster related updates and spelling mistakes
I'd say as far as learning experiences go. Shadow Labs / Shattered Halls will teach you a lot in terms of handling big packs. Magister's Terrace will teach you a lot about kill orders and casters.
But those are all lvl 70 instances. For you, Hellfire Citadel is just fine for teaching you the basics of tanking.
Ramparts is very short, has smallish packs, lots of patrols for you to watch out for. Plus, most mobs mix ranged and melee so you'll get used to what to do there.
Blood Furnace has some really hard hitting mobs, so you'll learn about CC (hey don't laugh, every tank should know how to apply it, even if they decide they never use it). Also, the 2nd boss has a really difficult timed event before he spawns. So that's a good chance to see if how you are at reacting on the fly and blowing cd's.
Really though, just tank whatever instances you can. There's a lot you'll learn just by *tanking.* Doesn't require any specific instance, experience and all that.
cool... good feedback. i suspected that might be the case, but being that i didn't run too many BC instances on my warlock, i didn't know exactly what they had to offer in terms of experience. i guess what i mean by that is, if there is a particular boss or something in BC that is "just like" a boss in naxx or something, only watered down - that way i could learn a concept without as much pressure for performance.
anyway, i'll just grab whatever groups i can and if i have difficulty grasping something i'll come back here