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Thread: Comprehensive Guide to Death Knight Tanking

  1. #221
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    Honestly? I wouldn't spec for specific circumstances. I think your first priority is to figure out which spec you enjoy most then learn how to use it in every situation you need. With dual specs if you are a chronic tank, you can even take your top two.

    Ultimately you can make any of them work for anything you need, the defining issue is experience and practice. From the sound of it you really enjoy Frost. If you want the most reliable form, personally I'd recommend a dual wield spec with a collection of options. If you collect fast tank weapons, slow dps weapons, and stock up on glyphs you can adjust your method slightly as needed. If you want peak single target killing you can do slow/slow with glyphed OB, FS, and RS, and a double disease method. If you want versatile AoE tanking you can do slow/fast or fast/fast with glyphed OB/RS, FS, and HB and a single disease design to abuse AoE spam.

    That's all terribly personal though, I value personal enjoyment over min/max output on a class-wide scale.
    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?!?

  2. #222
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    Hahaha Thanks for comment, Satorri. But in this case I will stay blood I do enjoy blood a lot more than frost and normally I tank most number of encounters in blood.

  3. #223
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    Alright, keep rereading and am think I am close to starting to tank again in the heroics this time. Was wondering if I could have someone with some Frost DW experience take a look at my profile and give me some pointers. http://www.wowarmory.com/character-s...th&cn=Faerosia

    Now I have the T9 tank pants in my bags, working on the T9 chest and the 245 vendor tank helm right now. As for the other pieces that need upgrades I have the Amulet and Ring from the chest in H HoR, Trinket and Wrist from H PoS and the Boots and another Nighttime from H FoS planned out. Belt I might go for the crafter Belt of the Titans if it aint too much or might just end up with the 219 from the normal PoS. Spec is a little out of whack as well gotta redo it to match http://www.wowarmory.com/talent-calc...00000000000000

    Question I have is once I get all that on, how do I hit the expertise soft cap of 26? I know some gems will help but trying to get it right.

    Apologizing for the wall o' text ahead of time.

  4. #224
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    When you're gearing up there is only so much you can do Salmonman. You kind of have to take what you can get and adjust with gems here and there to what you feel is important.

    Once you have a proper set of gear to tank with whether it is ideally balanced or not it will at least have the necessary components for you to be tanking. You can then headhunt raids and instances to patch and swap pieces while tanking.
    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. #225
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    I'm sorry, I know this is a newbie question. However, at the start of a pull (as Frost spec), would I activate Unbreakable Armor/Icebound Fortitude? Or would I use it throughout and during the trash pulls and repeat after CDs, or are they simply intended as "Oh crap!" skills?

    Thank you.

  6. #226
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    UA is an awful "oh crap" skill. I would use it every time it is up, save IBF for the oh crap moments.

  7. #227
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    Thanks Satorri, been focusing on that part too much I lost sight of my other stats. But am up to 29k health unbuffed in frost with still needing a belt, helm and trinkets. Loving frost DW just having trouble picking weapons lol.

    Oh, and who else is excited for the 3.3.3 stuff? IT with very high threat, off hand dmg talent increased, just looks to be nice to be a DW Frost lately.

  8. #228
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    A stunning read.... I have been tanking my Death knight for 8 or so months with degrees of success. I have read other very good informative guides , some on this very site...

    This guide on my first read through has been both assuring to know I'm on the right lines and also a wealth of information as to where I could improve.
    The urban myth sometimes appears to be "OMG DK TANK IN GROUP.. WE'RE DOOMED......" and that's why I want to be the best I can. I think there may have been a trend for a lot of DK's to all have a go at tanking but many have given up as it needs time/thought and a considered approach.

    On a personal note I have tried to retain hit and expertise as I read from previous guides these are important..
    I suppose no hittie NO threatie !!!!! and you can have bags on stam, truck loads of armour but if the targets are running around everywhere because you haven't or can't hit them....

    I do suffer from a tendancy to loose track of cooldowns/runes and start hitting whatever is off CD.. but again.. a read of this guide.. and a re-read at some point will improve this no end..

    Without wanting to sound too nooby I am a tiny bit confused about when to use procs and exactly what they are still..... but this has helped.

    It seems to be working ok. I do about 1800-2k dps which I'm sure can be improved and generally hold threat . I always ask dps (especially aoe) to hold the carnage back a few secs so I can get it (threat) on.. so to speak..

    I tank on a paladin also and have always found (again on a personal note) that the pala has been MUCH easier to tank with even with worse gear and worse stats..... the value of threat and hit was learned on the pala when I read up, geared up and tanked Violet Hold heroic with a new sword when I had a 1h sword skill of 227...... and wiped the group...... to the sound of boo's and jeering........ lol.... Thanks again for the informative read..

    http://armory.wow-europe.com/charact...pear&cn=Karter
    Of course I hit him first .. He's Bigger than me !

  9. #229
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheMiller View Post
    Without wanting to sound too nooby I am a tiny bit confused about when to use procs and exactly what they are still..... but this has helped.
    I assume we're not speaking semantically (proc is our slang for special short-term buffs when they trigger, like Rime or Killing Machine). I do recommend Power Auras Classic, if you aren't shy about addons. The ability to create nice visible indicators of special effects like Rime and KM is very valuable to tightening your performance as Frost, I find them nigh-indispensable.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheMiller View Post
    I tank on a paladin also and have always found (again on a personal note) that the pala has been MUCH easier to tank with even with worse gear and worse stats.....
    I find tanking on my Paladin a bit simpler as well, at least from the fundamental standpoint. Added depth with Paladins comes in using your many many utilities, where as there is a higher element of depth in just doing your core duties as a DK. I do enjoy that about DK tanking though, it keeps things interesting, interactive. Tanking ICC on my Paladin I find it easier to zone out in certain places.
    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?!?

  10. #230
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edgewalker View Post
    UA is an awful "oh crap" skill. I would use it every time it is up, save IBF for the oh crap moments.
    UBA is just fine against physical damage... or am I the only one who thinks that 5/30 equals 16 percent additional mitigation? Use 4 piece bonus blood tap to activate it and now it is a downright sick "oh crap" skill.

    But really, the reason I logged in is... OMFG.. Threat multiplier on Icy Touch in 3.3.3.... and a cascade of Frost Buffs.. hooray Beer!!!

  11. #231
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    This is just unbelievable cool DK Tank guide, thank you very much S. Maybe I just skimmed through it and missed it, but where are the rotations for each spec you recommend ? I am looking to try out both the Blood and Frost spec, but Blood seems more my liking with the self healing abilities and stuff like that. What spell rotation is best for a Blood Tank ? Thank you.

    Ok after reading it closer it looks like for Blood Tank spec the rotation goes like this ? IT,PS, DS, then the runes which are HS, BB, PeS, but what about these (Runetap, Mark of Blood, Vamp Blood ) ?

    Was just talking to my Guild about this great article and said I might try out Blood spec for my DK Tank, he said WTF, ever since 3.3 the Blood Tank's are the worst he said only allowing like 2 targets at most. He told me go Frost and nothing else. Opinions/
    Last edited by Darthdingo; 02-21-2010 at 11:18 AM.

  12. #232
    Quote Originally Posted by Darthdingo View Post
    Was just talking to my Guild about this great article and said I might try out Blood spec for my DK Tank, he said WTF, ever since 3.3 the Blood Tank's are the worst he said only allowing like 2 targets at most. He told me go Frost and nothing else. Opinions/
    I think that that is a terrible misconception. Frost has an easier time pulling aggro on multiple targets (I say easier and not better because when carefully played blood will be able to provide a very good aoe threat) ,but it shouldnt be the only option. I think what it boils down to is what spec you prefer to play. Some specs are a bit more gear dependent then others, but when u get into Icc content your gear shouldnt exclude you from being able to tank as a blood, frost, or unholy spec.

    [i think maybe when u start off tanking then you should probably go with a frost build, simply because when you are running heroics for gear it will give u an easier time gaining threat on the packs of mobs. Once you gear up a little bit more and learn how to use all of your abilities effectively, there shouldnt be any difficulty tanking many many many more mobs then just 2 targets in a blood spec x.x]

  13. #233
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darthdingo View Post
    Was just talking to my Guild about this great article and said I might try out Blood spec for my DK Tank, he said WTF, ever since 3.3 the Blood Tank's are the worst he said only allowing like 2 targets at most. He told me go Frost and nothing else. Opinions/
    Every major progression guild uses Blood tanks. They are without a doubt the best for pure raid tanking. Your guild leader is poorly informed

  14. #234
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    Thanks for the info. I am Frost spec Tank right now while I gather badges to gear up. So far just have 2 pcs of the Tier 9 gear, working to get all 5...and also some misc item level 200 Def gear. So I am still a fresh 80 newb/Tank. Can I switch to Blood spec Tank now this early ?

    Or not until I have the full 5 pc Tier 9 set, only then switch to Blood Tank ? I always did enjoy Blood when I first created my DK in DPS role over a year ago, interested in how that tree Tanks, in 5man Heroics and the lower 80 Raids ? Can Blood still attract and hold aggro for a mid level geared 80 compared to Frost ? My guild mate said that Blood spec is a great Tank, but not to be used until I have Tier 10 and 264 item level gear.

    What is the best rotation for Blood spec ? I am mainly going against groups, like 5man Heroics, and then single target for the bosses, so will use two sets of rotations right ?


    What is your opinion of this Blood Tank spec;
    http://pwnwear.com/2009/12/09/blood-tank-spec-in-3-3/
    Last edited by Darthdingo; 02-21-2010 at 11:35 PM.

  15. #235
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darthdingo View Post
    Was just talking to my Guild about this great article and said I might try out Blood spec for my DK Tank, he said WTF, ever since 3.3 the Blood Tank's are the worst he said only allowing like 2 targets at most. He told me go Frost and nothing else. Opinions/
    Reaction? Your friend has no idea what he's talking about.

    As for gear and new tanks, you can really tank with any of them at any point in your gearing. Blood can actually be quite nice for new tanks, *but* here's the general breakdown:

    Blood = scales *very* nicely with gear, particularly health from your gear. Larger your health the stronger many of your Blood tools become.

    Unholy = scales nicely with gear, particularly avoidance. As your avoidance improves you can see a decent margin of increase in value from Bone Shield (though not directly, the avoidance is the actual source of improved damage reduction, but longer uptimes on Bone Shield will result in your healers seeing you take much less damage overall when it absorbs most of the hits that do get through).

    Frost = scales the weakest with gear. The passive mitigation means that regardless of your gear you are getting roughly the same value from the talent spec from top to bottom of your gear progression. It is not exactly static but it does mean that as your gear does more and more work your talents don't scale nearly as much as Blood's. This means that the static mitigation/avoidance can be *very* nice for a new tank who is light on gear contributions. This is anything but game-changing though.

    At the end of the day, your best bet is to figure out which spec you enjoy the most and stick with it. The more practice and experience you get with your spec of choice will be a much bigger value than where you put a talent point or two.

    For the spec you linked (<3 Grav), it is a survival-oriented build that sacrifices baseline threat from Subversion and Morbidity for the sake of WotN. Currently WotN is a nice value, but generally will only see the most use in progression raiding. With your gear you might find value in it if you do much in the ICC 5-mans or ToC (Gormok and Anub, generally), but it is not a major survival value overall. It's a nice clinche, when you see it proc you'll probably be happy it did.

    I wouldn't recommend that spec for you though unless you're diving into the deep end of tanking.

    *if* the WotN change goes through 3.3.3 (figure 1-2 months from now), it will shift its value up a bit as an overall survival tool, but as it stands I wouldn't put too much weight on that talent over the fairly formidable value of Subversion and Morbidity for threat.
    Last edited by Satorri; 02-22-2010 at 06:58 AM.
    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?!?

  16. #236
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    Thanks Sat

    So for a newb DK Tank can I switch to Blood spec now, or still better until I have my full Tier 9 set later this week ? I will use your talent tree listed on page 1 of this thread for the Blood Tank, now what is the best rotation to use ? For now I am main tanking 5man heroics, no raids yet with this guy until he is in 100% 232 and higher gear.

    So when I see a mob in front of me in a 5amn dungeon to do I always start off with DnD, then bring then IT, PS, HS, HS, DS, BT ? I am confused on how to do the Blood rotation. Also which spells are the big AoE ones to use with mobs ?

    Or use this for mobs; DnD - IT - PS - PEST - DC - BB - DC - DS - DS - PEST, and this for single targets IT - PS - HS - HS - OB - Dump(DC/RS) ??

  17. #237
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    If Blood is what you want to do, better to start now and train with it as you improve your gear, that way when you feel comfortable stepping into raid tanking you won't be doing it with an unfamiliar spec.

    For Blood, try not to think in terms of rotation, think in terms of priority.

    Keep diseases up (Pest them to targets who don't have it)
    DS on FU pairs that aren't needed for IT/PS
    HS on free Blood/Death runes, unless you could really use the heal in which case DS is still a fine tool

    RS on every availability. Only DC if your runes are on CD and you have more than 60 RP.

    DnD is very nice for AoE groups, don't be shy about when you use it in 5-mans, though I would recommend not using it on bosses, instead set your diseases and hammer him with DS/HS.

    BB is a worthwhile swap for HS if you are trying to support threat against 4+ targets against stuff like Volley, Hurricane, and Blizzard (i.e. where everything is taking uniform damage). On 3-4 or fewer targets you can do just as well by swapping targets with your HS cleaves to spread the love around where it's needed most. I highly recommend doing this just to practice sometimes as it is a valuable skill as a tank.
    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?!?

  18. #238
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    I have started using a blood tank spec. I find myself with full rune power and the only way to dump it is death coil. Is this right, or should I be dumping it another way. Thanks...

    edit: Ok I just realized I havent tried this on a raid boss yet, and the runic power will be consumed by rune strike, excuse my nubness.
    Last edited by Nemo; 02-22-2010 at 02:24 PM.

  19. #239
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satorri View Post
    For the spec you linked (<3 Grav), it is a survival-oriented build that sacrifices baseline threat from Subversion and Morbidity for the sake of WotN.
    I find questions like "how do you like this spec" lacking when they do not state the scenario or situation in which it would be used. Satorri's response is right.

    In fact, in my post, I specifically describe the scenario that spec is designed for.
    In Satorri's OP, he also talks specifically about designing your spec to your situation.

    The classic analogy here is threat -vs- survival. You have to design a spec which sits somewhere on the continuum between those two, or finds a happy balance.

    So, usually, asking "how do you rate this spec" without any context about the situation you will be tanking in, shows some premise that there is a 'one spec to rule them all', which is false.

    All that said, I also maintain a view that for some people, you're better off picking a spec you enjoy (Satorri mentioned that on this page too). I've written about how Unholy isn't appropriate for most bosses in ICC, but that if you love it and you're happy, and your raid doesn't kick you, then go for it.
    The DK tank site: pwnwear.com.

  20. #240
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    I have been playing as Frost tank while I gear up. So far just have 2 pcs of Tier 9 gear, and misc item level 200 +Def gear. I asked my #1 Guild Death Tanker, and he said Frost or Unholy only for a DK Tank, he said Blood sucks so bad, unless your uber geared full Tier 10, 277 highest items from ICC 25man, then Blood is great, but no gear below 277 is good for Blood he said.

    I was very interested in trying out Blood Tanking too once I had the full 5pcs Tier 9 gear...oh well

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