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Thread: Death knight tanking

  1. #1
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    Death knight tanking

    Okay, before i begin let me ask a few questions to clarify whether some of my thoughts seem valid or not.

    Until the recent change to a dks armor rating it was my impression that death knights biggest weakness was straight magic damage or not being able to hold as much threat with the use of cooldowns taking priority. (Ie anti magic shield and such) does this hold still hold true or has the latest change in lowering their armor make physical avoidance stand on even ground if not of greater importance in heroics and above?

    Also i'm currently using a cell phone to post this thread so please excuse me if this has been discussed already as using a phone can be very difficult to locate the information myself.. Lol

  2. #2
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    Oh also just to note, i an refering to frost tanking in particular seeing as unholy is having no such difficulty generating aggro.

  3. #3
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    Frost builds with Killing Machine have no problems with threat at all.

  4. #4
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    I don't think any of your comments are (or were) accurate.

    DK's have no significant advantage or disadvantage with taking magic damage compared to other classes except for Anti-magic shell, but that's a huge advantage.

    DK's have the same issues with generating threat as everyone else. Good tanks do it without problem, poor tanks struggle. And poorly geared DKs will have a harder time out-threating much better geared dps. That's the same with every class.
    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?!?

  5. #5
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    aah that's so true.. but for the most part it isn't as much a question of gearing as a question of using my rotation properly. i for the life of me cannot seem to consistently generate aggro as frost without losing it and having to scramble to get it back. (unlike my unholy spec using the same gear.)

    My biggest concern was the fact that in the more magic threatening heroics (like the beginning of H Oculus and H AN) i'm still being torn apart by the constant damage and i only survive it as a frost spec by the use of my cooldowns and trinkets but my aggro generation becomes only single target if even for those times where i do pop them.

    I guess a better way to phrase my question would be, would it be benificial to use more magic mitigation in my spec (without the heavy loss of aggro) or just go for a balanced tanking spec for frost?

  6. #6
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    no offense but what's wrong with having to use cd's? i mean that's what they are there for. and the connection between having to use a defensive cd and having to switch to single target threat isn't very clear to me either.

    also it isn't worth it to pick up extra magic mitigation talents while still mainly running 5man heroics and even later it is very situational especially the talent in frost (acclimation). so at your stage of progression i'd say it's best to keep a balanced tank spec.

    also if you want advice about your rotation you will have to post if you use HBglyph or not. but if you are still struggeling with aggro it might be worth picking HBglyph up. so you can start with D&D>HB>bb which basicly pulls enough aggro that you shouldn't worry to much about aggro anymore if you keep HB & bb on cd from then on.

  7. #7
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    I'm not sure if there's need for another topic like this, but... give us your armory link Nib, so we can check your talents and gear. Maybe there's something you can improve. Sometimes your healer is also learning, are you running HC with the same healer every time? Good healer make a huge difference, really

  8. #8
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    My problem is not the use of cooldowns but the fact that if i ever should use them at the start of a normal rotation (when a dps pulls more adds usually) i don't have the aggro established nor the runes to get it all under control. Add that to the fact that most higher dps on my realm do nothing that may drop their aoe dmg, it seems smarter to just incorporate it into my spec and save me a few headaches!

    And as far as me using the hb rune and your reference to my lvl of play, i'll say this. I am currently using an unholy tanking spec with more then sufficient gear (mainly gemmed for aggro and dps over avoidance due to the much better geared dps and the much shorter fights) and i've been trying to get back into frost tanking in my spare time but because of my realm's progression and my lack thereof i have a very difficult time finding out what will work for my toon and what won't.

    Oh also the reasoning behind why i'm not as well geared at the moment is really quite simple. I live in an area that is a 5 or 6 hour time difference from my server time so on average i tend to log on at about 8 pm server at the earliest and i'm on for a few hours (usually in to bed at 2-3am server). Not the easiest or most practical time to pug a raid huh? Lol

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by coe View Post
    I'm not sure if there's need for another topic like this, but... give us your armory link Nib, so we can check your talents and gear. Maybe there's something you can improve. Sometimes your healer is also learning, are you running HC with the same healer every time? Good healer make a huge difference, really
    And coe, that's another part of my problem. As i just wrote i'm usually on in during the late night hours so although i do have a few regular healers i do also take more then a few chances with whoever happens to be on and willing. Also my biggest concern because of this is trying to run anything that may be difficult and find out that the current heals is too new to really heal me through the inc burst damage. And as for the armory link i'll need to do that tomorrow along with a spec link for frost that i use but the toon name is Mydarkside on Nazgrel (us) if you want to take a look.

  10. #10
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    Nibb, few things I would change:

    - take Sigil of the Unfaltering Knight - Item - World of Warcraft for tanking (additional avoidance helps in HC runs),
    - swap Parry gem you have for something else (never gem for Parry),
    - in talents drop Subversion (blood strikes are minor threat in Unholy build), ghoul talents (pets don't add to your threat, they generate their own threat),
    - take those talents: Imp Icy Touch (additional dehaste on mobs == you take less beating), Dirge (more RP for rune strikes, early Unholy Blight), Reaping (more Scourge Strikes).

    Your gear is ok, if you want to try Frost build check out my wowarmory.

    edit: now I noticed most importnat thing

    Take Scourge Strike, after last buffs this is your major threat tool And drop Death Rune Mastery talent, you don't want blood runes, but you want to have unholy / frost runes for Scourge Strike spam

  11. #11
    i have a question on sapph does acclimation proc? because it doesnt seem to be proccing on the ticks and other stuff.

  12. #12
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    Yes, it does proc. Whether it's a good investment of talents is another question; I don't like it for PvE. Good for PvP.

    Here's one post on it, arguing against it pretty well.

    Here is some maths on it (I love maths).
    The DK tank site: pwnwear.com.

  13. #13
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    Unholy Build

    Hey guys, maybe this needs a thread of its own, but Death Knight Tanking fits the category for what I would like some input on.
    I have been doing allot of looking around on specs & DK tanking since my main is now a DK. I came up with a build that I believe provides Max stamina, expertise & threat.

    http://www.wowhead.com/?talent#j0EGM0hcZ0LZbghcL0kghmocou

    When I made this build, I kept in mind that a tanks job is to survive & keep threat...good tanks do good damage no matter what the spec/class with proper rotations.
    I chose to not put points into Reaping since I'm putting points into Scent of Blood...I'm going to be spamming Runic Strike anyways.
    Since 90% of all mobs & bosses in Ulduar are heavy magic damage, I went with Spell Deflection & Anti-Magic Zone...along with Bone Shield & improved Magic Suppression, well that's just a ton of mitigation all on its own.
    Night of the Dead was a filler that I found to be extremely nice to have...between bosses takes roughly 15 minutes, so I have a mini shield wall for every boss.
    We have an Unholy dps DK in the raid, so I donít need Wandering Plague.
    I took Veteran of the Third War over Rage of Rivendare since Veteran provides an extra point of expertise, & I'll take 6% more stamina over 10% damage any day.
    IIT was difficult to pass up, but I figure I should be doing more then enough threat to really make it worth the 3 points.

    Any thoughts, comments & questions are appreciated.

  14. #14
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    Indeed Shake, this is not the right place, not even the right section of the forums.

    That said, your initial statement is correct, but deserves an asterisk:

    Good tanks can perform adequately with most any spec/class.

    As a DK your threat and survival will have strong correlations with your spec and your gear. You can get a large range of results based on the three golden factors: gear, spec, and player.

    Forgive me for not looking over your spec, I'm kind of on the run at the moment, but I may get to it later or this weekend.
    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?!?

  15. #15
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    Actually Shake, i did look at your spec ideas and it's slighty based on my theory in the blood tree, although it does deserve it's own thread lol.

    A few things i'd like to pick on though.. although unholy is the threat generating spec (nearly unrivaled in most cases) you still lost alot of your threat from your combination by simply overlooking certain talents. namely i would try to fit in ravenous dead (3% strength; hence stronger diseases as a whole), wandering plague (although it's not needed, it's still great threat producer depending on your crit chance. i'd drop a point in it) and possibly the 5th point in toughness (even 1% more armor will help on most trash mobs/any boss with adds). also, although ebon plaguebringer does increase your crit chance, you only would really need it for wandering plague (more crit) and unholy blight (which can be made up for by ravenous dead). now i'm not saying that it's to not be used but those points can (somewhat) easily be spread out to better suit your aggro.

    Then again it also would greatly depend on your gearing.. if you have better gear then most that you run with (i myself tend to be somewhat poorly geared in comparison) then you're spec may work just fine on threat but if some out gear you by a small or even great amount (like me) then you may want to alter it to better suit others.

    What i came up with for someone like myself is this, but feel free to look at it and alter it how you see fit.. also lemme know any comments!

    Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft

  16. #16
    Guys, about these 23/5/4X "unholy" specs: they propably work mostly ok but they are not optimal and their synergy is somewhat lacking (regardless of the gear level).
    - You have x points Desecration in them. It's use as tank is quite situational and when you compare it to Rage of Rivendare you'd get by going a bit deeper into unholy tree you see a huge difference. RoR gives you 2% more dmg per point (as unholy you want the blood plague always in targets) + extra expertize that we tanks love
    - Ebon Plaguebringer is very good boost to your own (unholy dmg is magic: SS, DC, UB, BB...) dmg/threat and the raid dmg and gives you some extra crit as bonus. Going deep into unholy without it maxed (regardless of being tank, dps or even pvp spec you want it always) is very questionable.
    - I'm not a fan of wandering plague unless you are speccing into unholy as trash tank. The unholy AOE tanking is very very good without buffing it at all and tanks pretty much always run low crit-% ==> Wandering Plague not too efficient
    - I'm not into Unfaltering Knight Sigil; I use Awareness. It boosts both my main nuke and secondary defensive nuke (Death Strike with 3 diseases is very good, get nearly 7k heals each strike when raid buffed) dmg very nicely and help/boost to keep up threat whether not I'm playing offensively/defensively.

    IMO these semihybrid specs really give up too much very good threat/defensive capabilities (I bet $$ that my "pure" unholy tank spec just obliterates these when it comes to single or multitarget threat: just having RoR for 10% extra dmg and Reaping for more SS are just so good) for that extra STR/STAM in blood tree and I fail to see how they would be very useful other than in special cases like Sarth +3D where you need magic mitigation from both unholy and blood tree + absolutely maxed health. All in all, when speccing like this you should understand that you do not gain threat and health, you lose punch of threat (6% more STR from blood tree loses to RoR quite bad) and gain some health.

    Some comments about statements made in this thread
    - "I'm spamming Rune Strike". No you are not. You can't spam next melee abilities that only work when you parry/dodge. Unholy tank spams DCs during times when runic is high and when runes are not available
    - "Spell Deflection is a lot of magic dmg minitigation". It can be some yes, but it is also unreliable and much nerfed after the Parry loss from the recent Blade Barrier change. It is much weaker abililty than it seems.

  17. #17
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    I used an Unholy-Vot3W spec for a while, it had enough threat to do the job. It was fun too. Lots of stamina, and great spell-damage reduction from Blood's Spell Deflection and Unholy's Magic Suppresion. Spec is like this.

    I did some 25-man raids in that spec with no threat problems. Note it does not have IIT so you must have a warrior doing that for you. (Not something I recommend, kinda cludgy).

    But my point is that the threat was fine and it felt fun.
    The DK tank site: pwnwear.com.

  18. #18
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    I'll be better with future posts, this should be its own thread.

    I decided to go a little deep in the Blood tree because I saw 3 points in Veteran of the Third war being better spent then Ravenous Dead (only 3% strength with it & pet abilities which are worthless for a DK tank) & better then 5 points in RoR...basically 3 points spent in a talent that provides 1 more expertise 6% stamina, and 3% more strength...that's an overall 5 points you can put into something else.
    That brings me to my next question...would moving 3 points from Spell Deflection over to 5/5 Dark Conviction make up for no points in RoR?
    Would an increase to my crit by 5% with weapons, spells & abilities be better then a flat 10% increased damage to just spells & abilities (not weapon)? If so, you would be able to replace RoR altogether & be all the better for it. Spell deflection is lacking thanks to the Blade Barrier nerf, so would be 3 points better spent in the first place.
    As far as Wandering Plague, I use Blood Boil hear and again & that seems to keep all mobs on me like glue, so I feel ok not putting any points in it.

    The last piece to the puzzle is 3 missing points in Reaping...I don’t see where I can really move any points, and I'm thinking I wont see much of a difference in my TPS...specially with 5/5 Dark Conviction.

    By the way, my Armory link is The World of Warcraft Armory -- I'm going to level JC & probably stick with enchanting...any thoughts on that?

    New Tallent Tree will be Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft

    Edit:
    Quote: IMO these semihybrid specs really give up too much very good threat/defensive capabilities (I bet $$ that my "pure" unholy tank spec just obliterates these when it comes to single or multitarget threat: just having RoR for 10% extra dmg and Reaping for more SS are just so good) for that extra STR/STAM in blood tree and I fail to see how they would be very useful other than in special cases like Sarth +3D where you need magic mitigation from both unholy and blood tree + absolutely maxed health. All in all, when speccing like this you should understand that you do not gain threat and health, you lose punch of threat (6% more STR from blood tree loses to RoR quite bad) and gain some health.

    You may have a point, but I have always been one to experiment with something new to see if it works a little better. All this needs more testing on my part, and I'll try it both ways & post my results.
    Last edited by Shake; 06-12-2009 at 01:32 PM.

  19. #19
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    IMO these semihybrid specs really give up too much very good threat/defensive capabilities (I bet $$ that my "pure" unholy tank spec just obliterates these when it comes to single or multitarget threat: just having RoR for 10% extra dmg and Reaping for more SS are just so good) for that extra STR/STAM in blood tree and I fail to see how they would be very useful other than in special cases like Sarth +3D where you need magic mitigation from both unholy and blood tree + absolutely maxed health. All in all, when speccing like this you should understand that you do not gain threat and health, you lose punch of threat (6% more STR from blood tree loses to RoR quite bad) and gain some health.
    On threat i agree with you whole heartedly slackhoid, BUT the idea behind using a hybrid spec like this (at least in my case) is to maximize survivability just incase of a questionable party and STILL hold enough aggro to maintain threat. i tested out a spec similar to the unholy one i posted and although the drop in threat really stinks in some cases (keeping me on my feet at most times) it was still able to hold threat from quite a few ulduar geared dps (3.5k-4.7k dps with good target switching) AND made the job a little easier for the heals.. (granted i did use raise dead/death pact liberally =P) Considering that majority of my gear is from heroics/emblems of heroism though, i think that was pretty good!!

    Lol as i said earlier, i don't have alot of time to pug a raid and there's not as many on when i am so although i'm not nearly as geared as most i run with. regardless i still do know what i am doing. my only thought is if it would be a "smart" idea to regem for parry instead of dodge with a spec like the one i am currently in ( Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft ). i mean sure i get way less physical avoidance through parry but i DO get much better magical mitigation via spell deflection (valuable mainly for trash mobs/some bosses) and i tend to "kite" most trash mobs anyways hence avoiding alot of physical damage seeing as how the dps is usually sufficent and since so much of the game is movement based now if you or your healer(s) are not as geared (moving for mines, out of aoes, etc)..

    So tell me, what do you think? lol

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Nibbs111x View Post
    Lol as i said earlier, i don't have alot of time to pug a raid and there's not as many on when i am so although i'm not nearly as geared as most i run with. regardless i still do know what i am doing. my only thought is if it would be a "smart" idea to regem for parry instead of dodge with a spec like the one i am currently in ( Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft ). i mean sure i get way less physical avoidance through parry but i DO get much better magical mitigation via spell deflection (valuable mainly for trash mobs/some bosses) and i tend to "kite" most trash mobs anyways hence avoiding alot of physical damage seeing as how the dps is usually sufficent and since so much of the game is movement based now if you or your healer(s) are not as geared (moving for mines, out of aoes, etc)..

    So tell me, what do you think? lol
    I'm a long time pug-raider ger myself and am huge fan of using your own imagination and trying things instead of running cookie-cutters from Elitisjerks. I'm by no means saying that "don't do that", just trying to point out compromises you make.

    I used to play pvp for fun in blood/unholy hybrid and generally I'm fond of the combination and originally tried a version for tanking too. One major issue I encountered was that I can't put the 8 very important points into Frost. IIT is a huge damage reduction. When pugging you cannot always count that there is melee speed reduction available and even in full guild runs you may encounter situations where that can be temporarily unavailable (Thorim arena vs. tunnel grouping...). So all-in-all I've found that I cannot live without it, it just so good. If your best buddy is a warr that pretty much is always there to provide that then it is quite different ballgame.

    I would not start gemming for parry to improve spell deflection. To get a single % of parry you need so much more gems vs. getting a % of dodge that it is simple not worth it. I've been using policy of taking parry when it comes in otherwize solid item but do not enchant/gem to it.

    Spell deflection is an ok talent, but it being random/situational greatly diminishes its value in my eyes. Unholy's great magic mitigation/absorbtion make a huge difference in healing needed for example during Steelbreakers Fusion Punches, Hodir's Frozen blows etc. using IBF, AMS/AMZ, AotD can pretty much gimp all those attacks. In these critical situations Spell Deflection does not help at all because you cannot count on it to catch that crucial big magic blow.

    As for threat; in normal situations threat is rarely an issue in current WOW and the only things pointing out threat differences between well-played tanks are those where dps is enjoying huge NPC or environmental buffs like Hodir, Iron Council.

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