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Thread: Looking for advice for gearing up in heroics

  1. #1
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    Looking for advice for gearing up in heroics

    Hello guys, I'm just seeking advice for my next course of action. I'm working well in heroics and I'm trying to prepare myself for Naxxramas. I've cleared Vault 10 as an OT with no problems, I assume OT for Obsidian Sanctum would be similarly easy as well.

    Link to Armory:
    The World of Warcraft Armory

    First off, my spec. I guess I chose a quite difficult path for myself, opting to be a DW tank instead of the traditional 2-hander tanks. I chose to take points in Dark Conviction instead of other Unholy or Frost talents due to the extremely low crit chance without it. It's a lot easier to keep threat especially with multiple mobs with a good Howling Blast crit. Having the extra crit also produces more Killing Machine procs, which also assist in having my Howling Blasts crit more often.

    Secondly, my gear. Please ignore the fact that I'm 534 defense and unfit for tanking a heroic, I recently replaced my Arcane-Shielded Helm from Heroic Nexus with the Tempered Titansteel helm and it brought me a tad lower than what is expected to tank a heroic dungeon. I plan to enchant my chestpiece with +22 defense rating to bring me back up to a normal defense rating. I would like people's opinions on whether or not I'm ready to be tanking every single heroic dungeon that is available to me at this point (I'm talking about Oculus, Culling of Stratholme, Halls of Lightning/Stone, etc.) because to this point I have been sticking to the easier instances to gain Emblems and the easier pieces of gear.

    I'm working on getting revered with Argent Crusade for the arcanum and trying to get rid of the need for defense rating on my trinkets (especially that outdated Adamantite Figurine, which has helped me tremendously by giving me that extra boost to gain 535 defense but now I am seeking to remove) and instead replace them with avoidance trinkets.

    A small problem that I've been having is the fact that mages tend to pull aggro from me during heavy AoE pulls. I would lay down a Death and Decay, cast Pestilence and Howling Blast, and start whacking away, but somehow the mage is still able to pull aggro despite doing nothing but casting Blizzard. Is there something I'm doing wrong with the pull? The only thing I can think of as a plausible solution is the Death and Decay glyph which I haven't been able to grab a hold of. Thoughts?

    (I realize this post is quite .. long. Sorry about that. >_>)

    edit: I have another question: how should I be putting gems in? I realize that a lot of my stamina comes from gems but getting expertise and hit rating is quite important, especially since I'm dual wielding. Currently my course of action is to put Guardian's Twilight Opal (+12 stamina, +8 expertise rating) for red sockets, Solid Sky Sapphire (+24 stamina) for blue sockets, and Jagged Forest Emerald (+12 stamina, +8 crit rating) or Vivid Forest Emerald (+12 stamina, +8 hit rating)

    edit2: Should've added in the thread title that I was a tank. Sorry about that.
    Last edited by Kaytee; 04-02-2009 at 05:05 PM. Reason: Another question to ask.

  2. #2
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    i see a couple of problems. First i would go to 2h until you can get better gear (yes i know not what i wanted to hear either) also if you insist of dw do reg hol and h uk to get the 2 def swords from there. Secondly get rid of your crafted saronite stuff quick. Try to run h hol and pick up the shoulders, run h vh for some good gloves and pants, run h ok (i would go dps for that) and try to get the bracers, if you dont have enough to get the emblem belt than h an drops a really good epic belt.
    When your able to be def capped w/o the trinkets run h an and get the blue stam trinket and get the emblem dodge trinket as well.
    BTW your health is fairly low to be tanking some of the tougher heroics. I would also change your spec around some. Take out dark conviction and icy talons (yes crit and haste help) and go for 3/3 rime and 1/1 deathchill, then go to the unholy tree and fill out virulence(will help with hit)
    But i would strongly urge you to go 2h until you get better gear.
    Hope that helped

  3. #3
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    I have to agree with Myddraal here about going 2handed (for now).
    Equipping a 2hander and putting on Rune of the Stoneskin Gargoyle will immediately pay dividends in having you be Defense Capped (540 Defense) which will allow your low health to slide for the bottom half or so of heroics. Any decent blue 2handed weapon will be adequate for the job, though the crafted epic 2handed mace is far and away the best upgrade you could get 'quickly', and that will allow you to generate more threat as well, you can still then roll for and get the Defense swords (the Blue ones from H Utgarde Keep and Reg Halls of Lightning and the Epic from H Utgarde Pinnacle eventually) to go back to dual wield tanking.

    The crafted gear is fine for now, as it is almost necessary to use to be def capped for quite some time, however it DOES need to be enchanted, you could probably get over 25000 health in frost presence with enchanted gear, most importantly is the Head Arcanum (which you said you were working on) and the Leatherworking Stam/Agi attachment.
    Mages are one of the biggest threat generating DPS classes out there, losing out to one at first isn't surprising, especially using underlevel blue onehanders such as yours, just because you're losing out on threat to a mage does NOT mean you're making a mistake or playing poorly, and is understandable, one of the problems with DK Dual Wield tanking (I started on it myself) is that our single HIGHEST threat move (Rune Strike) is based on weapon damage, and 2handers have a clear advantage in that department.

    Heroic Violet Hold should be your first heroic every day, the pants are a life saver and will help out greatly (particularly for defense). Followed by Heroic UK.

    If you choose to remain dual wield the first move to help your threat would be to find a SLOW mainhand weapon, the Reputation Sword from the Knights of the Ebon Blade or the Infantry Assault blade from Heroic UK are your first choices, the higher weapon damage will help you generate more threat and both are certainly upgrades from either of the weapons you have now.

    As far as armor upgrade goes (beyond the Violet Hold pants) many tanks don't get to upgrade to Epic Bracers until 10 or 25man naxx (Bracers of Lost Sentiments/Minion Bracers/Bracers of the Unholy Knight) as many tanks will see one of those before they see the Bracers of the Herald from H Old Kingdom. The only instances I would STRONGLY suggest you not try tanking for at least several gear upgrades are Utgarde Pinnacle, Culling of Stratholme, Old Kingdom, Halls of Stone (only due to the zerg boss) and Gun'drak (only because Gal'darah hits as hard as a Raid boss). Once you're over 540 Defense, and over 25k Health unbuffed in frost presence, you can begin tanking all heroics and offtanking 10man naxx I'd also suggest trying to run 10 and 25man Vault every week and 10/25man Obsidian Sanctum once you are defense capped, you may not be one of the two tanks for 25man vault, but you could handle add tanking on Sartharion and vault is just easy.

    As far as gems go... your first priority is Def Cap... your second priority is minimum stam (25k health unbuffed in frost presence) and then your third priority is threat generation, you have to stay alive BEFORE you worry about threat, so I would gem until you are def capped, and then gem for stam, and once you are past stam worries you can worry all you'd like about hit and expertise.

    Excuse the long rambling response.. it's 7:30 in the morning and I pulled an all nighter last night. Good luck!

    Edit: Another thing that I forgot to mention... there's a quest in Halls of Stone that you can do on either Regular or Heroic that will get you very very nice blue tanking shoulders that should prove an upgrade to your tempered saronite.
    Last edited by Cornix; 04-03-2009 at 04:42 AM. Reason: Adding additional information

  4. #4
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    @ your aoe threat issues. You said your rotation was D&D, pestilence, HB, and "whacking away". First of all, I assume that before you try and use pestilence you IT your main target. Assuming that is true, the next question becomes are you tab-targeting and RS/FS on the adds. Are you keeping HB on cooldown? Are you making sure to keep at least frost fever or better yet both diseases on all mobs? My guess is you may not be. One thing that would help would be to take points out of conviction and put them into epidemic/virulence. Hit with spells is a pretty important stat for DW as is my understanding and epidemic will help keep your diseases up on aoe mobs. Other than all that, yeah it is quite likely a gear issue. (One other pointer, don't forget bloodtap/ERW. Both are great ways to accelerate your tps.) Good opener is D&D, IT, Pest, Blood-Tap, HB, then pest/tab-target FS, and HB on CD. Hope this helps.

  5. #5
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    Ah, I almost forgot about Blood Tap. I've been using ERW for panic situations when the game plasters "Losing Threat" all over my screen so I can Howling Blast or Death and Decay so regain control. Thanks for that tip.

    Thank you to everybody who posted, I think I've gotten a much better handle on tanking. Thanks!

  6. #6
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    As a few minor things..
    What glyphs are you using? Glyph of Death and Decay (while not popular, can't say I use it myself over FS/OB/IT) can help significantly with AoE threat if that is your main focus.

    As far as your Dark Conviction concerns go... the extra crit in NO WAY helps your killing machine procs... at least not with the new version of killing machine. Using a slow mainhand will help your killing machine procs however... KM is now a chance on any melee hit, not just crits, and the slower the weapon the higher the chance per hit.

  7. #7
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    Lose DW and getting a 2-hander will increase your threat.

    All our attacks use hit rating. 2 handed needs 8% or 263 hit rating.

    DW needs something like 27% hit.

    Good FAQ: Death Knight FAQ. Read this before posting! - Elitist Jerks


    If you can get 540 def WITHOUT Rune of the Stoneskin Gargoyle, put Rune of Swordshattering on your 2h. It will raise your avoidance by about 2%.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cornix View Post
    Using a slow mainhand will help your killing machine procs however... KM is now a chance on any melee hit, not just crits, and the slower the weapon the higher the chance per hit.
    I think I'm a bit confused as to this point. Wouldn't the fact that its a higher chance per hit with slow weapons have been a way to normalize KM procs for any weapon speed? (i.e. A slow weapon with a higher %chance to proc and a faster weapon with a lower % chance to proc should have a similar total number of procs in the same time span?) We like to see some theorycraft behind this if it exists yet. Either way, the reason you would want a slower weapon in this case would be because a lot of your attacks are based off weapon damage (Basically all of the strikes) so you would want higher weapon damage.

  9. #9
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    I honestly have no idea and can't find anything (nor will the sketchy combat log in WoW allow me to test this) to support either side, granted it was only a cursory glance and a few minutes beating on a dummy. Also still not entirely certain whether non auto-attacks will even proc KM.

    I'm sorry for presenting 'false' information... it would still technically help your frost strike KM procs by raising weapon damage.. so I'm going to say that's what I meant.

    *whistles innocently*

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