Your HP is really low for tanking Uld 25. Dunno much about DKs tho so can't help you on spec
1st time poster just want to start by saying how much I appreciate this site and what an invaluable resource it has become for me... thanks
I have recently been called upon to MT my guilds ulduar 25 runs as we are short on tanks atm (tank is my offspec, but I really enjoy it and its a work in progress for me) and I have some concerns about my survivability. After tanking xt and razorscale for the 1st time I have found that in some cases I have been 1 shotted by big melee swings... and Im curious if there's something I could improve as far as my spec etc is concerened, or maybe I am simply not geared enough? Please armory Mcdaveknight of Fenris and take a look. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
Your HP is really low for tanking Uld 25. Dunno much about DKs tho so can't help you on spec
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I wish I had a DK toon cause I cant really answer any questions about your spec. Better gear would help. I can tell you that I MT ulduar 25 and it is not uncommon to get hit for 18-20k by most bosses. I think some 10 man ulduar gear and the other valorous gear would help you. Your total HP is a little low. I notice you gem/enchant for DEF and HIT. You need to stay DEF capped but the hit cap is not as important in ulduar as say more HP. You may be able to replace them with stam gems as it would put you closer to 30k unbufed(which is more like 40k fully raid buffed). Have healers use HOT's on you immediately and use a trinket or an ability as soon as the fight starts. Good luck.
The armory doesnt reflect your hp from frost presence I believe...
I am almost 30K hp unbuffed, 37.6 hp raid buffed and my avoidance is nearly 54% with ssg. I have gemmed for stam where I can, and unfortunately my current gear leaves mr starving on hit rating, so I've had to put a couple hit gems in and I have to eat hit food and take a hit elixer, otherwise Im afraid that my single target threat would suffer. I have the 226 tanking sigil but I initially didnt use it because single target threat used to be an issue for me, but lately it hasnt been as I have bound all my keys with runestrike and learned my rotation solid so I've considered using the 226 sigil again.
edit: I also have a betrayer which I know would give me more dodge... but I dont use it as I feel I need the expertise from the jawbone right now.
Personally I wouldn't gem hit much, even as a DK. I have it gemmed in a threat/trash set, but when you're trying to survive, replace all those hit/exp gems with stamina. If you're getting one-shot, you need more health.
As far as spec is concerned, you can address both threat and survival concerns. You only have one point in improved icy touch, so you're not giving the full melee attack speed reduction on bosses and mobs. Frost is also the most RP-starved spec of the bunch, so you should find a good benefit dropping points in Scent of Blood. Since you're concerned mostly about your single-target threat, you should consider dropping the points in Morbidity for SoB. 30 seconds on DnD is usually plenty for in-between trash pulls. I also don't use Icy Reach, either - if I need a 30 yard ability I'll Death Coil or Death Grip.
Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. -Seneca
Everyone marvels at a square egg, but only the chicken understands the PAIN.
I think gear and spec are on-track. If anything it might be a case of learning the fights, and when to use your defensive cooldowns to avoid taking the killing blow.
I appreciate all the helpfull insight. @ttocs: my current build is a little experimental... I wanted to see if icy reach would really be worth it and like you said... its pretty meh (although it was a lil helpful on razoscale adds) and as far as imp icy touch goes... I really wasn't sure how important it was... is the full 6%(?) really that helpful? If so I will inevitably pick it back up. As far as morbidity vs sob goes, I rarely find myself rp starved, and I definately enjoy the decreased CD on DnD. As far as my single target threat is concerned I had said that initially it used to be an issue, but lately it hasn't as my rotation has gotten tighter and I have RS bound to all my attacks, which is why I'm planning on using my sigil of deflection again as soa was only there for more threat. Im hoping that will give me a little more survivability. I've been wondering if it might be worth it to use my betrayer over my jawbone and lose the expertise?
If your looking for every bit of survivability, you might want to use the essence of gossamar from heroic AN for a trinket. That's an instant 1k more health.
You should never use any pure gem other than stamina. I see a lot of 16hit gems and it's really hurting your effective health.
If it's a yellow socket use a def+stam or hit+stam, red socket exp+stam or dodge+stam, blue obviously pure stam.
If you're serious about tanking you might want to think about professions, you have two fathering professions. Dropping herbalism and picking up JC will net you anywhere from 1200-3000 health, as well as one of the best tanking trinkets in the game. Mining is fine as it gives a large stam boost.
As a warrior I wouldn't gem forpure hit rating in yellow sockets or use orange exp/hit gems in red sockets. If matching sockets for a bonus I would instead use green hit/sta gems in yellow sockets and purple exp/sta gems in red sockets and then accept being below caps. Stamina is just too important in progression raiding - especially when you're being one-shot as you wrote. I definately wouldn't gem for defense if already above the cap.
Also, you would benefit a lot from skilling up in JC - but you probably know that.
Again, I am grateful for all the advice. I have picked up JCing (and hoping I dont spend all my gold leveling it >.>) and plan on replacing the 16 hit in my shoulders with a 8 hit 12 stam, and I intend on replacing my two 8 hit 8 expertise gems in my tier pecies as well. As it turns out those are both red slots... so I'm on the fence about wether I should use the big sexy pure dodge gems or purple gems with stam attached. I am also curious if the def rating enchant to chest is really worthwhile... I was thinking maybe a +10 all stats would be much more beneficial.
Great advice on this entire post all around...I have just one suggestion that has yet to be mentioned in here, and that is perhaps trying out a Blood spec.
Blood is unrivaled at single target threat and while it may not be considered to be as good (by some folks) for trash pulls as Frost or Unholy, I have found it to be quite effective for the entirety of the instance.
As you have said, you had the problem of being one-shotted. Blood can help mitigate that in several ways. First off, the boost in HP from Veteran of the Third War can help substantially. Secondly, with Death Strike in your rotation, you can help the healers (and yourself) by healing yourself with your swings, and for a decent amount at that. This can help a LOT when you get hit twice in quick succession for 20k (a frequent occurrence in Ulduar 25, especially in Hard Modes), sometimes that 6k from a DS in between can be the difference between life and death. Also, with Vampiric Blood, your HP will skyrocket, allowing an extra ~10k Cushion for you to have in those sticky situations.
Combined with the unrivaled single/dual target threat, your ability to heal yourself with Rune Tap, and the general overall power of Blood, you may find this to be a relatively easy way to increase your survivability in 25 man Ulduar and beyond.
Trust me, it was hard to give up Howling Blast for me too, but I just don't think Frost scales as well with higher level gear as Blood does. Others may disagree but I think if you give it a shot you may well decide you love it...and seeing your profile on the armory, it looks like you are already familiar with Blood, so you should find it a relatively easy changeover. If you want to try out a good Blood Tanking spec, check out the one on my Armory Link: Zivh <Blind Fate> US-Norgannon-Alliance
I hope it works out well for you, as a fellow DK Tank, cheers and good luck!
Last edited by Zivh; 07-26-2009 at 05:47 AM. Reason: Punctuation Error
Blood has lower mitigation than frost because of the self healing it can do, blood has a larger healthpool because of higher incoming damage.
Blood requires more thought than the other trees, and as such is more complex to play but I find it much more rewarding. If you switch over to blood you need to be aware of the mechanics and time you DS for when you take a large hit, it will heal you anywhere from 6-8k and alleviate the stress on the healers. Maintaining threat while using DS intelligently is one of the intricacies of the tree.
I have never once had a problem keeping threat in Blood Spec, even while timing a DS, and in fact, the HPS does indeed help add a small amount of TPS as well. A lot of the confusion with Blood Knight tanking is with the rotation...but using a proper build can alleviate that by giving you the free range of Death runes, allowing for 6 Heart Strikes in succession for unrivaled threat, or 2 Death strikes (or 4 if you pop your ERW) for additional life.Maintaining threat while using DS intelligently is one of the intricacies of the tree.
This is also nice because those Death runes can be used for your other helpful abilities, such as your Vampiric Blood or Rune Tap, the latter of which IMHO is one of the most ridiculously awesome skills that a DK Tank can have...a 10k heal every 30 seconds for the cost of ONE blood or death rune....more if you throw the glyph on there.
I will agree that yes, it takes some getting used to, but I think you will come to enjoy it after just a few short attempts.
With the few gem and gear changes I made (swapping jawbone for Betrayer, and using my sigil of deflection as opposed to SOA) I was able to MT ignis without getting nailed to the floor... so Im hoping with a few gear upgrades this will soon be a non issue. I understand Blood is the preffered spec for progression tanking right now, and I have played it in the past but I simply cant give up the AOE insta aggro of frost, I struggle far too much with aoe threat in blood. In a raid enviroment this isnt so bad as there is another tank to help with large trash pulls, but in 5 mans I simply cant effectively and quickly gain threat on multiple mobs, and in situations like razorscale and thorim I really cant afford to be shakey with my aoe threat.
Razorscale and Thorim's arena are the only times I switch back to Frost from my primary Blood. Other than those two fights there's no need for snap aggro threat.