Deathknight tanking at lower levels
So I have rolled a deathknight with the intention of leveling her as a tank, mainly in random dungeon groups. My main is a prot warrior so I do not lack knowledge of general tanking concepts. I am after class specific tips on how to get the most out of a (currently) level 60 DK tank.
I have gone with a frost spec for now, mainly because of one thing: Howling Blast. As I thought that the vast majority of tanking situations will be AOE tanking, I have looked for ways to make AOE tanking more effective. I have run Hellfire Citadel 3 times yesterday.
My first realization was that while HB indeed does a good amount of opening threat, it is not enough to last for long. The first couple of pulls were a nightmare with dps going as they normally do but me tanking for the first time and hard pressed looking for the right buttons. Tabbing through targets and using whichever ability was available didn't really work for obvious reasons. Applying diseases with IT and PS and then spreading them with Pestilence was far too long time spent on one target, by which time all the other mobs were on the dps.
So I settled into a rhythm of DnD + HB which left me with one Blood rune to spend and about 5-6 seconds of waiting for runes to come off cooldown, and no way to pick up further adds in that time. However, even with the waiting, this was working better than without DnD. I used Deathchill with the opening HB whenever it was available. Having no standard taunt (as Dark Command is only available at 65 and Death Grip has a very long CD) I needed to establish very good threat up front. By the 3rd run it went smooth usually, although sometimes hell broke loose.
I completely forgot that I should have Blood Boil as well, which i could use my final blood rune on. And then have enough RP for a Frost Strike.
Now I'm hearing that an Unholy spec would be better for tanking at this level. Is this true, even without HB? I doubt it. Also, anything more I could do or something I could do better regarding the abilities I use from my limited arsenal to be a better tank?
The way to open as a Frost Tank is, D&D, Howling Blast, Blood Boil for an AoE tanking situation.
Yes it will burn all your runes, but you should have a nice lead on threat from that. Then as the runes come off CD, use Icy Touch, Plague Strike, and Pestilence to put more love out there.
Another variant opening is to D&D, Icy Touch, Plague Strike, Pestilence.
Always mark the mob that you are going to target, it will help with controlling aggro, at least if the dps actually attack the marked mob.
Thanks for the reply Selene, so it is about as I thought. D&D, Howling Blast and Blood Boil makes for a very nice threat lead. The lack of taunt is still a bit disturbing though, so I usually save Death Grip in case I need it during the fight. Although at some groups it could be very nice to pull the caster mob with Death Grip to start.
Depends on how many casters/ranged mobs there are in a group.
Originally Posted by Hruktar
If there is only one and I don't feel like using Death Grip, I just mark that mob, drop D&D on them, and start from there...
Or I drop D&D and Death Grip the mob, or Death Grip then drop D&D. There are several variations on the opening, just depends on what works best for you.
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