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Thread: Comprehensive Guide to Death Knight Tanking

  1. #441
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    So I think we can all agree that DS is very valuable, as is rune tap.

    I know for me, personally, as a tank I like to have as much under my control as possible when it comes to my survival. Not that I can't, or don't trust my healers I just like being able to throw a 30% heal on myself instantly if things get crazy. And by the very nature of DKs, you're not always going to have those two runes available for that emergency DS, but you can always save blood tap when you need a quick rune tap.

    To me it simply becomes a question of, if you don't take something like rune tap as a tank, what is your reasoning behind it? Is it threat? I ran with five expertise and under the hit cap for awhile before I got my most recent axe, and I've never had any threat issues, so I can't imagine that being it.

    DPS? Because honestly, the alternatives don't provide that much of a boost, especially if you are one to try and keep runes available for those emergency Death Strikes when you need them.

    Is it simply because you don't think you should have to watch your own health? Because thats not very practical, even in Vanilla tanking on my warrior through wrath launch it was something I paid attention to and considered as a part of my job description.

    This is of course considering that you take DPS talents as opposed to other tanking ones such as Spell deflection and Scent of blood, though even scent of blood isn't really something I'd personally take as a blood tank.

    Of course theres the simple personal preference...whether you choose to take rune tap or not isn't going to make or break the raid and yes healers should be able to keep the DK up just fine, especially if they are well geared. I just prefer to have the tools available.

  2. #442
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    I agree with you completely, I have to ask myself what people are thinking with hysteria in their tanking builds, no offense intended, but as a tank I'm not worried about anyone's dps, mine or anyone else's and you don't need hysteria (or scent of blood for that matter) to hold aggro so why not put those points in rune tap and improved rune tap? Only makes sense, first tanking priority is to stay alive, can't hold aggro if you are dead. And I don't see it as not trusting my healers, more like doing everything in my power to make them not work as hard.

  3. #443
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schmevan View Post
    I agree with you completely, I have to ask myself what people are thinking with hysteria in their tanking builds, no offense intended, but as a tank I'm not worried about anyone's dps, mine or anyone else's and you don't need hysteria (or scent of blood for that matter) to hold aggro so why not put those points in rune tap and improved rune tap? Only makes sense, first tanking priority is to stay alive, can't hold aggro if you are dead. And I don't see it as not trusting my healers, more like doing everything in my power to make them not work as hard.
    Because raid DPS is probably the most important aspect in ICC, followed by good healing?
    Hysteria is an amazing investment for one talent point.

    Rune Tap is a decent talent, just a higher investment than a lot of tanks in high end guilds will likely spend. I think the whole argument started against arguing for Rune Tap and not WoTN though, Hysteria is almost universally taken.

  4. #444
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    I wouldn't go that far.

    Hysteria is a very powerful cooldown that you can give to someone else, I certainly have it in my tank spec and fury warrior rotates it with his Death Wish.

    Plus it only takes 1 point and doesn't keep you from getting any critical tanking talents.

    It comes down to how much is the talent worth, and what do you have to leave out in order to get it? Hysteria is definitely a talent that is worth alot, and you don't have to really give up anything to get it.

  5. #445
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edgewalker View Post
    Rune Tap is a decent talent, just a higher investment than a lot of tanks in high end guilds will likely spend. I think the whole argument started against arguing for Rune Tap and not WoTN though, Hysteria is almost universally taken.
    I dunno, seems pretty equal as far as I've been able to tell. Those that don't take rune tap take spell deflection or scent of blood usually, hell I've seen one with 5/5 necrosis. You of course have Sudden doom.

    Though WoTN is definitely a talent to prioritize over any of them as far as tanking goes. You have your talents that are a undisputed must, and then you have the ones that you can live without and are flexible. I'm open to the idea that different raid groups have different demands.

  6. #446
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kanzer View Post
    I'm open to the idea that different raid groups have different demands.
    I think that last line there is the ticket. WotN is clearly going to be much more beneficial to tanks being forced to eat their own teeth, but if you are an add tank, off tank, or whatever you want to declare yourself as other than main tank, you'll be better off picking up some other talents that might help with being able to do a specific job very, very well.

    Let me make a comparison. My main is a disc priest. Now, priests are unusual healers in that they have two healing trees. Both have specific benefits, and either one can be better than the other in certain situations, especially considering your other healers you're working with. Now, DKs are in this same boat, in that they are unique tanks. They have 3 very different, specifically designed tanking trees. What this means is, if you're MT and you're going to be playing a game of bloody knuckles with Arthas, than blood is most likely going to save your ass sooner than the other trees. Now, if you're MT is a druid with 60-70k HP and is acting as Raid Meatwall, then perhaps you'd be better suited to go frost for OT duty. Nothing says "zomfg pay attention to me, mob" like an icy touch fueled by KM, Glacier Rot and TS, which could be the difference between a smushed healer, or beating the enrage timer because the DPS didn't have to wait to smoke an add, and could hop back on the boss sooner.

    The point I'm trying to support here, is that arguing over which talents are more important than others only works when the venue in which those talents will be utilized is clearly stated first. Blanket statements for all raid types would result in a lot of MM hunters, Combat Rogues, and Blood tanks, as there's apparently no reason for anything else.

  7. #447
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lilithium View Post
    I think that last line there is the ticket. WotN is clearly going to be much more beneficial to tanks being forced to eat their own teeth, but if you are an add tank, off tank, or whatever you want to declare yourself as other than main tank, you'll be better off picking up some other talents that might help with being able to do a specific job very, very well.

    Let me make a comparison. My main is a disc priest. Now, priests are unusual healers in that they have two healing trees. Both have specific benefits, and either one can be better than the other in certain situations, especially considering your other healers you're working with. Now, DKs are in this same boat, in that they are unique tanks. They have 3 very different, specifically designed tanking trees. What this means is, if you're MT and you're going to be playing a game of bloody knuckles with Arthas, than blood is most likely going to save your ass sooner than the other trees. Now, if you're MT is a druid with 60-70k HP and is acting as Raid Meatwall, then perhaps you'd be better suited to go frost for OT duty. Nothing says "zomfg pay attention to me, mob" like an icy touch fueled by KM, Glacier Rot and TS, which could be the difference between a smushed healer, or beating the enrage timer because the DPS didn't have to wait to smoke an add, and could hop back on the boss sooner.

    The point I'm trying to support here, is that arguing over which talents are more important than others only works when the venue in which those talents will be utilized is clearly stated first. Blanket statements for all raid types would result in a lot of MM hunters, Combat Rogues, and Blood tanks, as there's apparently no reason for anything else.

    There really aren't MT/OT duties anymore. Sindragosa, DBS, Marrowgar, LDW, BQL, Blood Princes, Valithria... most fights the OT and MT take the exact same amount of damage or they are taking the same mobs. On some fights, like Deathwhisper Heroic, the "OT" is likely taking heavier damage than the "MT". The exception is Lich King, but even solo tank strategies require the OT to take an absolute pummeling from Shamblers and Double Raging Spirits.

  8. #448
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kanzer View Post
    I wouldn't go that far.

    Hysteria is a very powerful cooldown that you can give to someone else, I certainly have it in my tank spec and fury warrior rotates it with his Death Wish.

    Plus it only takes 1 point and doesn't keep you from getting any critical tanking talents.

    It comes down to how much is the talent worth, and what do you have to leave out in order to get it? Hysteria is definitely a talent that is worth alot, and you don't have to really give up anything to get it.
    Hysteria is good bang-for-the-buck. 1 talent point for that kinda spike damage is nice. And a deathstrike or two (which you are going to want to hit with) takes the edge out of the loss. I like it a lot more than some of the other lackluster talents (Sudden Doom for example - an uncontrolled Death Coil against a random target.... and yes... it is random... watch it carefully. I've had it accidentally pull
    which is always a joyous occasion).

    One talent I've been severely questioning the effectiveness of..... Morbidity. I've seen more than a few times when things have gotten a bit out of hand, and I've tried to slap down a DnD (with Glyph) trying to collect new adds and such, and frankly.... I'm less than impressed. The heals provided for by this talent can be sketchy (please ghoul.... live long enough for me to pull this off).

    In fact, this was enough for me to write a small bit about AoE threat gen on WoWHead. I'm going to rip that post off there and share it here. I'll post an edit with the exact link.

    EDIT: Link for the discussion I started regarding AoE threat for DK tanks (kinda geared towards non-frost)
    http://www.tankspot.com/showthread.p...-for-a-DK-Tank.......
    Last edited by Leucifer; 04-06-2010 at 10:02 AM.

  9. #449
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    Thanks for the tips so far. They are much appreciated.

    Per request here is my armory. Sorry, I'm as new to forums as I am to DK tanking. Hopefully the link works.

    http://www.wowarmory.com/character-s...ath&cn=Kurosai

  10. #450
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayKannon View Post
    Thanks for the tips so far. They are much appreciated.

    Per request here is my armory. Sorry, I'm as new to forums as I am to DK tanking. Hopefully the link works.

    http://www.wowarmory.com/character-s...ath&cn=Kurosai
    Expertise really isn't a needed stat for a frost DK anymore, and neither is hit. Frost gets so many modifiers to frost damage that IT will provide more threat than you will ever need. I would change all your hit and expertise and str/stam gems into pure +30 stamina gems. Likewise, I would DEFINITELY change that bracer enchant to +40 stamina. Same with the glove enchant to an 18 stamina patch, chest enchant to 275 health, cloak to 225 armor. If you REALLY wanted to improve your character you would drop you professions, herb/inscript is as bad as it gets for an aspiring tank. Leatherworking is the best one overall, and you could still go Mining if you wanted a gatherer with an HP boost.

    Your next frost badge purchase could be Cataclysmic Chestguard if you wanted an EH boost and some expertise to make up for what you are losing, or Verdigris Belt if you wanted the pure, larger EH boost. Personally I would go with the belt and then gloves, as you would get 2 pieces for barely more than the price of the chest. It's also a lot easier to upgrade the tanking chest as you get into ICC10 because it drops off of LDW, the second boss.

    Eitrigg's Oath, to put it bluntly, is a bad trinket. Farm the Black Heart, or farm Glyph of Indom via badges. The Black Heart is probably the better bet until you can get into ToC25 pugs and get a Glyph, or can get Unidentifiable Organ from ICC10.

    Primal Saronite prices are going down, if you have spare gold Pillars of Might are a large upgrade, but still a defense loss. Still definitely try to find ToGC10 pugs, there are a lot of easy to get upgrades there, and the runs are fast and painless on most servers.

    You also may try a spec like this - http://www.wowhead.com/talent#j0EZhxxxAMIzf0buzAo0x:Twa I would expect your TPS, overall raid DPS, and ease of play to go up. UBA has a huge uptime, it's worth it to glyph it where your gear currently is.

  11. #451
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kanzer View Post
    Plus it only takes 1 point and doesn't keep you from getting any critical tanking talents.
    Hysteria can be a great value for your group, my kitty friend loves it. Adding 20% to his dps is comically big.

    And it isn't much of a comparison to put it next to Rune Tap, as it is literally apples vs oranges. Survival vs Raid DPS. Everyone has their own needs, and the two are not mutually exclusive, I run with both.

    (and if you want to reduce Edge's gear advice to general rules:
    1.) NO! BAD! Don't get avoidance.
    2.) Stamina!
    3.) Armor!
    4.) That's not Stam or Armor? Make it Stam/Armor!
    5.) Win)
    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?!?

  12. #452
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    As frost you can get away with lower expertise, but I wouldn't cut back on hit. The increased threat from Icy touch is a boon but it's still a spell with 17% miss rate. Also your primary snap aggro ability on ae packs being Howling blast, which is also a spell..

    If Frost tanking really is your thing there is a little room to play with talent wise.

    http://www.wowarmory.com/character-s...gion&cn=Xsycho

    This is an alt btw, and really doesn't have anything that isn't relatively easily obtained, and by easily obtained I mean pug raids.. 38k armor raid buffed, close to armor cap for 20 seconds every minute with unbreakable, 56k health raid buffed... I will spike into the 20k's in 10 mans for threat, Ive hit 30k's in 25's. Obviously the only issue I have with threat is weak tanks that I have to stop specials on; sometimes really weak ones I have to stop white hits... I'm also going to admit to using shadowmeld at key times with REALLY weak tanks.

    I've found if freeing up some talent points for goodies is what you want dropping black ice to 2/5 is your best bet. Having improved Icy Talons "seems" to be the best move for frost now btw. (Hungering cold is just a personal preference thing, I just love me some hungering cold haha). It also helps to have runic power generation talents as frost, scent of blood and chill of the grave in some combination for frost stikes. While you won't have issues with threat much you will have downtime waiting on runes and frost strike can hit very hard. Tanking a reanimated fanatic that is mostly melee immune isn't reliant on taunt when you can do spell damage to them.

    It is quite possible that I will dump the hit/stam gems and str/stam gems and gem all stamina when I get my collection of blue gems back up.
    Last edited by xulev; 04-06-2010 at 09:41 AM.

  13. #453
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    Seems like a lot of you guys prefer the improved Icy Talon setup. I understand that from a threat and damage standpoint, as well as from a raid buff standpoint. But is there any more I could do to squeeze survivability out of the tree? The gems seems directly applicable. Is acclimation worth it?

  14. #454
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayKannon View Post
    Seems like a lot of you guys prefer the improved Icy Talon setup. I understand that from a threat and damage standpoint, as well as from a raid buff standpoint. But is there any more I could do to squeeze survivability out of the tree? The gems seems directly applicable. Is acclimation worth it?
    The thing I don't like about Acclimation is this one big thing....
    You have to get hit first in order for it to kick in. And..... it's only a 30% chance that it'll proc.
    If it's a BIG hit.... can you survive long enough to be able to benefit?

    And it's varied in it's effect. Example:
    Sartharion encounter:
    * Magma around the island will NOT trigger this
    * Dragon breaths will all trigger this
    * Fire Blaze (elemental adds) will NOT trigger this, even though their attacks are resistable by it
    * Lava Strike (the fire balls from the lava) will trigger this
    * I still haven't gotten a shadow proc off of the void zones, but data is inconclusive.
    (cut from WoWHead - Acclimation rank 3)

    Smart use of it would be.... pop AMS.... reduce first hit.... them use the resistance developed to deal with subsequent hits. Grants 50 resist to magic of a type for 18 seconds and it stacks.

    It'd be great in a fight where you know something is gonna be slamming you consistently. (Wonder if it works for Heigan's room?) In that case.... could be amazing! Personally, I like Spell Deflection better. It works on Sarth's breath for example.... and if it works (same chance as my parry).... bam, automatic 45% magic damage reduction. Advantage to Acclimation though is it doesn't have to be direct attack spells (reports of it proc from totems! lol)

  15. #455
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    Acclimation is nice on fights with a lot of periodic damage in that it will stack to full and pretty much stay there. Like on Princes if you tank keleseth it really works well. Twin Valks you get two acclimation stacks that basically will stay up. It really doesn't save you from big magical type attacks, but what big magical attacks do you need to be saved from? It's also useful on sindragosa... Anything with constant peridioc damage it will be very useful on. You don't really need it if haha.

    But with the latest blue bs post frost tanking dies with wotlk. It was a fun tanking style while it lasted I guess...

  16. #456
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leucifer View Post
    The thing I don't like about Acclimation is this one big thing....
    You have to get hit first in order for it to kick in. And..... it's only a 30% chance that it'll proc.
    If it's a BIG hit.... can you survive long enough to be able to benefit?
    It applies the damage reduction to the hit that procs it. It's not something you would need or want to avoid a large amount of magic damage; it's too unreliable. It's the kind of talent you would take to solo tank Sindragosa. Or for Hodir back in Ulduar when you had no frost resist gear. I think the biggest problem with it has always been how deep it is in the tree. It's a bad place to be looking at trading points.

  17. #457
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    Unless they changed something, Acclimation is definitely pretty terrible on Sindragosa. Doesn't work on the Aura, only stacks on Blistering's and Breaths, so at BEST it's a crapshoot.

  18. #458
    I wish u luck in reworkin the guide from the ground up when cata hits! i know its gonna be amazing.

    Im just sooo happy blood is the tree they chose for tanking, i would be sad if i couldnt tank that spec anymore =(

  19. #459
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    Ha ha, I won't be reworking the guide. It will go into the out-dated material archives, and I'll start working up a new guide.

    I'm a little disappointed there will only be one tree to write about, but it will save me a couple days of writing. =)
    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?!?

  20. #460
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    Less writing is easier on the wrists, Satorri.

    I am kinda happy about the change, but I did like the idea of each tree can do dps or tanking. I think what would be nice, but would break with the mold, is to seperate out the tanking talents and dps boosting talents into a general tree and leave blood, unholy and frost trees for flavor. Or something like that anyway. But they have themselves dug into 3 trees only so we would never see anything like that.

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