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Thread: Comprehensive Guide to Death Knight Tanking

  1. #101
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    Heya, my DK is gonna hit 80 soon I've two questions.

    Firstly regarding spec. I've found Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft in one of the stickies on WoW forums and it is said to be THE progression spec. I modified it a bit and came up with Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft. I lose out on Will of the Necropolis and Scent of Blood but gain Rune Tap and Imp. Rune Tap which I think would be very useful.

    Would you say WotN and SoB are REALLY that important and are worth sacrificing Rune Tap for?

    When compared to the blood spec you posted, I lose Improved IT and gain Necrosis among other things. Is Improved IT really important, and why?

    Secondly, regarding glyphs. Glyph of Vampiric Blood is given, however I'm picking two out of Glyph of Disease, Glyph of Death Strike and Glyph of Rune Strike. In the sticky from WoW forums regarding the progression spec, it picked Glyph of Rune Strike and Glyph of Death Strike. However, I can't help but think of the usefulness of Glyph of Disease. Instead of spending three runes to IT -> PS -> Pestilence, I could just use one Blood/Death rune to refresh all the diseases on all targets.

    Lastly, thanks very much on such a great guide, I've learned a lot from it.

  2. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firebolt145 View Post
    Heya, my DK is gonna hit 80 soon I've two questions.

    Firstly regarding spec. I've found Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft in one of the stickies on WoW forums and it is said to be THE progression spec. I modified it a bit and came up with Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft. I lose out on Will of the Necropolis and Scent of Blood but gain Rune Tap and Imp. Rune Tap which I think would be very useful.

    Would you say WotN and SoB are REALLY that important and are worth sacrificing Rune Tap for?

    When compared to the blood spec you posted, I lose Improved IT and gain Necrosis among other things. Is Improved IT really important, and why?

    Secondly, regarding glyphs. Glyph of Vampiric Blood is given, however I'm picking two out of Glyph of Disease, Glyph of Death Strike and Glyph of Rune Strike. In the sticky from WoW forums regarding the progression spec, it picked Glyph of Rune Strike and Glyph of Death Strike. However, I can't help but think of the usefulness of Glyph of Disease. Instead of spending three runes to IT -> PS -> Pestilence, I could just use one Blood/Death rune to refresh all the diseases on all targets.

    Lastly, thanks very much on such a great guide, I've learned a lot from it.
    While there are places where one can play with DK Tank talent builds, IIT is not one of those places. Just read the tool tip, all tanks have a method of dehasting the boss/mobs attack speed... IIT is how a DK tank does it. If you get hit more often, you die faster. Your job is to (1) stay alive and (2) hold aggro and IIT is one of the most important talents for (1). Don't raid without it.

  3. #103
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    WotN is a passive, possibly save your butt ability with a 15 second cooldown. Less necessary in ICC because of smaller hits, but still useful. SoB fuels your Rune Strikes, your #1 threat generator. IMHO, neither are worth sacrificing for a 30 second cooldown heal. Others disagree.

    Improved IT is important because it allows you to make mobs hit you slower, therefore making you take less damage.

    I used to use GoD because it makes the rotation fairly mindless, but it negates the value of Improved IT because the refresh leaves a Frost Fever on the mob that only melee dehastes them the original untalented amount. You also sacrifice some amount of threat.

  4. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haberdashery View Post
    My question pertains to AoE threat. As you state in your guide (and that I've also found in personal testing and experience), D&D pretty much sucks as Frost since HB does the job so well, and because it's awkward for our rune usage, in my opinion. My typical AoE pull is HB/BB/BB/OB (hoping for a Rime proc, and giggling like a school girl when it happens), then Blood Tap for another BB if it's up. Obviously using Glyph of HB, of course.
    I disagree with the criticism of D&D in frost. I have in the past experimented with single disease openers and found they are inferior to the following: D&D, IT, PS, Pest, BT, BB, FS, HB (no glyph on HB, D&D glyphed). I only open with HB when a gauntlet forces me to do aoe pulls faster then the untalented cd of D&D, or when some unwary dpser aggros mobs during the 5 or so seconds I sometimes have to wait between trash pulls. In heroics and whatnot I pull to fast to use BT on every pull, so I omit that first BB on every other pull or so, and often just make sure that it is stuck in the rotations for the bigger pulls in the instance (leaving it out of little two/three mob pulls to make sure it is available when I chain pull an entire room).

    That being said, I only use D&D to load aggro in the first rotation. Given its rune cost its not really practical after that. So I continue on with IT, PS, Pest, BB, FS dump, HB. When all but one or two of the mobs are dead I will either go strait single target, or use hybrid rotations, depending on the situation.

    The IT, PS, FS dumps and RS procs should all be targeted to the primary dps target if there is one, so that your high threat single target dpser's don't grab aggro while the aoers mow down the rest. Even in fights where mobs aren't marked for dps priority, the single target dps'ers who are worth a damn will use /assist macros or other conventions (such as target of target) to make sure they are dolling their damage on your highest threat target.

    As far as the aoe threat generated goes... my server is full of DK tanks using one disease rotations and glyphed HB openers, but high damage aoers often tell me that I am one of the few DK tanks who they will open up hard and early with, without worrying that the entire pull is going to jump them for doing it.

  5. #105
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    Just a quick thought.

    Bone Shield would be interesting if it were turned into something of a Holy Shield type ability, giving the Unholy tree essentially a block mechanic.

    1U - Bone Shield - Creates a whirling shield of bones that protect you, causing you to take 20% less damage from all sources. 3 Charges (4 glyphed). Lasts 10 seconds. 30 second cooldown.

    Rough idea, and it's early in the morning, but something like that might make it more viable in ICC content.

  6. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sterbefall View Post
    I used to use GoD because it makes the rotation fairly mindless, but it negates the value of Improved IT because the refresh leaves a Frost Fever on the mob that only melee dehastes them the original untalented amount. You also sacrifice some amount of threat.
    I knew it didn't refresh Imp. Icy Talons, but I was unaware of this. Can anyone confirm?

  7. #107
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    GoD does not do anything to Imp Icy Touch except make it so you don't use the damage increase on IT very frequently. It has zero effect on the de-haste as the talent modifies Frost Fever and doesn't care how it is applied.

    You also sacrifice no threat to take GoD, in fact you increase it slightly, however it *may* not be as large a value as other threat glyphs, which is why I classify it as a play style effect more than a threat glyph. The trade off means you don't have to use IT/PS, but instead use a no-threat Pestilence and another single-rune ability of your choosing (often HS/BB). The glyph gives you one extra rune and one extra GCD per bi-phase.

    And to be clear on Imp IT, the full de-haste is really not a smart thing to leave off unless you're trusting someone else to apply the debuff. The talent amounts to something on the order of 2% reduced damage per point, or ~6% for the full 3/3 in Imp Icy Touch. This is a very respectable tanking talent.

    Firebolt. I don't know where you dug up that "THE progression spec" but while it's not horrible you should know it's just a heavily threat-centric build with a little dumb wrapped in (the whole spec trades survival tools for threat tools until you reach WotN and MoM, where they trade a point in MoM devaluing several other talents, and fill out WotN as the sole survival tool aside from Vamp Blood).

    To answer some of your specific concerns though, WotN is a fine talent if you're dealing with heavy hitting raid bosses (the sort of thing you don't see often outside of Uld/ToC), and you want an insurance policy. The overall reduction is nothing particularly comparable to other survival tools. Even in the most generous of situations it will only approach them. I wouldn't recommend using it as a new 80, your points will be better spent otherwise.

    I love glyph of Disease, I feel that it makes me a stronger tank with fewer vulnerabilities in threat generation. It is not universal, nor is it an absolute superior threat value, but there is no good reason to not use it unless you have glyphs you prefer. You can probably not notice leaving off glyph of Vamp Blood as a new 80 either, but when it comes to heavier raid tanking, you'll likely enjoy the longer duration (especially since the t9 4 piece bonus is so easily achieved now, combining the glyph with that bonus makes for a high Vamp Blood uptime).
    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?!?

  8. #108
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    I never particularly cared for Glyph of Disease when in blood spec.

    I always found that it really screwed up my rotation to the point that the one extra HS was not worth it. The problem is that you cannot possibly refresh your diseases at the same time every rotation, thus the pestilence has to be moved around.

    Even in a perfect 2/2 Epidemic rotation, any minor delay, will cause the disease to drop off, and if you happen to hit Pest, spreading only one or zero diseases, you have wasted your Death Rune, and can't even deliver a proper IT/PS combo to recover until another whole rotation.

    I just found that the tiny amount of extra DPS (HS damage vs. IT/PS damage) to not really be worth it, never mind that I would also have to lose a DPS glyph on top of that.
    If I am incorrect, do you have a strong rotation where it would be possible to always use Pest at the same time each rotation?

    My rotation is IT > PS > HS > HS > DS > DC > DC or HoW > DS > HS > HS > HS > HS
    Currently I use glyph of rune strike, dark death, and death strike. I would probably sacrifice the death strike glyph if I were to grab the disease one.


    Edit: The above is really geared toward a single target situation. In an AOE situation, where I am already using Pest, it would be a nice tool to have.
    Last edited by Vanthus; 01-06-2010 at 12:13 PM.

  9. #109
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    I'm stumped, how does Glyph of Disease screw you up? Are you trying to use a static rotation, set sequence and you don't feel like you can Pestilence at the same time with it?

    Part of the point of Glyph of Disease the way I use it with Blood and DRM is that you don't have to try to follow a strict cast sequence (which I actually find to be inhibiting). Instead you can follow a priority system and remain flexible. You can Pestilence whenever you need to with Glyph of Disease because you have 4-6 accessible runes constantly coming off cooldown. If you miss a refresh that's for your own lack of attention, it has nothing to do with the glyph.

    I'm also a little confused by your putting glyph of DS below Dark Death, but perhaps you have 3/3 in Sudden Doom?
    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. #110
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    As far as the aoe threat generated goes... my server is full of DK tanks using one disease rotations and glyphed HB openers, but high damage aoers often tell me that I am one of the few DK tanks who they will open up hard and early with, without worrying that the entire pull is going to jump them for doing it.
    Comparing yourself to others that may be under geared, poorly geared or just plain fail is rarely a good way to measure yourself

    I run with ICC, ToCG geared DPS and do not have trouble holding packs with a single disease opener in Frost. I do not use D&D at all in when I'm tanking frost. So to each their own. That's the great thing about DK's, you can really play them in so many different ways and do well.

  11. #111
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    As far as the aoe threat generated goes... my server is full of DK tanks using one disease rotations and glyphed HB openers, but high damage aoers often tell me that I am one of the few DK tanks who they will open up hard and early with, without worrying that the entire pull is going to jump them for doing it.
    Comparing yourself to others that may be under geared, poorly geared or just plain fail is rarely a good way to measure yourself

    I run with ICC, ToCG geared DPS and do not have trouble holding packs with a single disease opener in Frost. I do not use D&D at all in when I'm tanking frost. So to each their own. That's the great thing about DK's, you can really play them in so many different ways and do well.

  12. #112
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    Satorri, you're probably right about the haste debuff. I thought I'd read that GoD didn't work with it in addition to Icy Talons, but I may have misread it.

  13. #113
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    I'm entirely confident that it has no effect on Imp Icy Touch. I'm not 100% about Icy Talons as I rarely have the talent. =)

    Imp Icy Touch modifies the Frost Fever effect, and is exclusive from Icy Touch use (ironically). Icy Talons is worded to say that it is triggered so long as "Frost Fever is reducing a target's attack speed" so I'd assume it works for that as well, but that I haven't read on or tested.
    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?!?

  14. #114
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    I can confirm that icy talons is not renewed by glyph of disease.

  15. #115
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    Talents

    Quick question:

    I am planning to go with Talent Calculator - World of Warcraft an need help with my last 3 points. I was originally planning to go with 3 points into Morbidity but I realized I only use DnD at the beginning of the rotation (pull) so why would I really need to lower it's cooldown? One option I am thinking of is going 1 point into Morbidity (since some pulls are fast enough where I wish I had DnD 2-3 sec early) and the other 2 points into Imp Blood Presence. Thoughts?

    Thanks.

  16. #116
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    Imp BP is a poor choice for a tank. Think about it. You hit for 10k with great gear, you get a 200 heal. That's almost laughable when you consider you spent 2 talent points for it and death-strike is a % heal that is already in any blood tanking spec.

    While i'm so very tempted to say that WOTN is the only only only choice for those three points... i suppose if you just don't care about maximizing survivability scent of blood deserves a point (not sure why you don't have at least 1 point there, though 3 isn't necessary), and sudden doom is a slight single target threat boost.

  17. #117
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    This did turn out to be a good book, well done Satorri. I haven't quite finished reading it yet.
    The DK tank site: pwnwear.com.

  18. #118
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    Thank you, Grav, you humble me. =)

    And Adiba, remember that reducing the CD on DnD is only half the talent, the other half buffs your DCs which is not a bad investment either. The combined value can be rather nice.

    For when you use DnD, try running it. I usually will only drop it once per pull in a 5-man, but if your group is strong enough you'll be rolling through the instance rather fast and you may find you are watching the cooldown. Perhaps that will only come with time and experience though, as pushing the pace of an instance is a skill set (and the impatient desire to go fast has seen many of the tanks I heal not able to support their own pace >.<)
    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?!?

  19. #119
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    Edits for the sections I've read so far

    in the section entitled "glyphs", I recommend you change title to "Glyphs not to use" or "bad glyphs".

    In that section, Glyph of IT (should really have been called glyph of frost fever, eh), is excellent for unholy tanks threat who can pick RS, BS and IT. My view is it shouldn't be in the bad glyph section, but it is bad for frost or blood tanks, compared to their alternatives. IT Glyph though for Unholy is generally the highest threat choice for your third glyph (RS and BS being the two mandatory 1st and 2nd).
    The DK tank site: pwnwear.com.

  20. #120
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    I haven't actually crunched the numbers, that section was written just before 3.3 and I didn't catch that to re-address.

    For pure threat choices, I'd want to compare it to Dark Death with UB taken, and DnD as well. I'll have to do that, but now is not the time. =)

    And I don't like labeling a section "bad" anything. The point is they aren't actually bad, they're just limited or not valuable depending on the situation. IT was labeled as inferior because it offered less value, not no value. I'll need to re-run numbers.
    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?!?

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