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Thread: Help needed with TPS/Agro as DK Tank

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Help needed with TPS/Agro as DK Tank

    Hey there,

    Well, I started to tank in the last couple of weeks with my DK. (character link below)
    Frost with mostly heroic 232 gear (few 219, few 245). 34K hps unbuffed, 560 Def with SG on weapon.
    http://eu.wowarmory.com/character-sh...enor&cn=Caleth

    So my issue is trying to hold agro vs the higher geared DPS.
    Using Omen, I can see my TPS is about 3-4k TPS. But yesterday one of the DPS complained that my TPS was woefull....(ouch).

    Typically rotations,
    Single Target Rotation - IT-PS-OB-BS-BS IT-PS-OB-OB RPDUMP = RS/FS

    Multi-Target Rotation - DnD-IT-PS-Pest then TAB-HB/Pest/BloodBoil RPDUMP = RS/FS
    or DnD & HB & Boiling blood for trash,

    I have to confess, my IT/PS on multi mob pulls is less than ideal, so it is sometimes quite tricky to ensure that there are diseases up on mobs at all times.


    Looking for advise on what I can do to increase my TPS or overall agro.

    Cheers.

  2. #2
    Assuming Frost is your tank spec, since your Unholy spec has no defensive talents...

    I've found that it is -really- hard to keep solid threat against good dps as Frost. If your DPS are focusing 2-3 targets instead of large-area aoe (warriors, blood dks, ret pallies, then you're going to lose mobs. For single-target, I find that even as blood, my threat is terrible until I get a string of rune strike procs.

    One thing I found helpful for aoe is to drop plague strike completely out of your aoe rotation, and glyph for howling blast. I also specced Deathchill for extra burst when I didn't have a KM proc for an aoe pack pull, but that's just using a flavor point.

    HB > D&D > BB > tab rune strike/frost strike > HB > Obl > (HB if Rime procs) > BB > BB

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Thanks for the advise. Indeed, Frost is my tank build (unholy is my dps).

    Agreed on the glyph for HB, I will slot that in in favor of the Glyph of FS.

    I was thinking of giving Frost DW a blast to see how the threat goes there instead.

  4. #4
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    The single target disease system lets you jump way out infront of the dps that jumps the gun however, I have found the more viable tank build is blood. *I NOT TRYING TO START A SPEC WAR HERE*. However, with the upcoming changes to blood as well as IT, it would be a good idea to take a look.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    I tank in both Frost and Blood, so I can tell you the differences between the two as far as threat is concerned. First: 2-handed Frost Tanking, while viable, is certainly going to be rough. I don't want to ruffle any feathers, but Blizzard has certainly put a lot in giving Frost the advantage with Dual-Wield, and the sacrifice that Frost makes for this is inferior 2-handed Tanking. If you want to remain a 2-handed Tank, I would suggest Blood.

    That said, I'll be referring to Frost in the Dual-Wield sense for the rest of this post, as that's the one I have experience with. I've certainly played 2-handed Frost, before patch 3.2, but not since.

    Dual-Wield Frost is far more competitive than a lot of people think. I personally believe it comes down to the fact that Dual-Wield Frost hadn't been competitive for a few patches, and they see a lot of BAD Dual-Wield Frost DKs. However, if you grab two DPS weapons, slow/slow, and then rune them with Nerubian Carapace if you need the health and defense or Fallen and Razorice if you want to maximize threat, you're ready to do a Dual-Wield (DW) Frost style of Tanking, which, as I said, is very competitive.

    The main difference between DW Frost and Blood, as far as threat is concerned, that I've noticed is this: You have to work harder at threat for DW Frost. Blood does not, in my experience, pull superior TPS, but it is much easier to pull superior TPS as Blood. The reason for this is that Frost relies heavily on procs, and cannot lean on its white damage as much as Blood can. Screwing something up in the DW Frost rotation (as with Frost rotations in general) can drop your threat quite a bit. And, while it's not terribly difficult to recover, if you have a DPS riding you on threat as it is, they could end up being dead DPS.

    However, some simple rules can help you to maximize your threat (you may already follow them in your 2-hand):
    > Use Killing Machine procs only on a Rime proc or a Frost Strike
    > Only use Frost Strike if you have more than 60 Runic Power (with glyph)
    > Even if you do have over 60 Runic Power, Frost Strike is only best used under the following:
    - You have a Killing Machine proc
    - You're approaching Runic Power cap (100)
    - You're in a Rune Blackout
    If you have something else that you can do, and none of those conditions are met, then you should probably do it. Frost Strike, while a good threat generator, gives its best advantages in these situations. Killing Machine guarantees the crit. Making sure you don't cap means you won't waste incoming Runic Power. And in a Rune Blackout you have to rely on white hits to keep your threat up, which as I mentioned before, is quite inferior to Blood. But, if you have the Runic Power for Frost Strike, you can still throw out your best threat in this tight moment.

    Ensuring that you use Rune Strike whenever you can as often as you can is important for any DK, and is the reason for the Runic Power "60" rule above. You always want enough Runic Power that even if you use a Frost Strike, if Rune Strike procs, you can use it.

    Watching for and relying on procs, and always trying to maximize threat by prioritizing abilities makes DW Frost threat more difficult to hold. However, if you can do all of those things, it is certainly competitive with Blood. As most of the time, survival is not in my hands, I enjoy the challenge that comes with the DW Frost threat setup.

    Blood is a much easier threat setup by comparison. You apply diseases ONCE, and then use your Glyph of Pestilence to apply them over and over again with that one spell. From there, you eat Unholy/Frost rune pairs with Death Strike, to turn them into Death Runes, and use Heart Strike whenever it's up. You also watch for your Rune Strike, obviously, and use it whenever available. Death Coil is your Runic Power dump. But, honestly, it's fairly weak as a threat generator and is something you would most often consider using in a Rune Blackout (even then, your white hits usually hit hard enough to do quite well).

    You don't have to watch for any procs beyond Rune Strike, and you're basically relying on 2-3 buttons at any time. You only worry about your diseases once every 20 seconds, using Pest to reapply them. It should be noted that you may often have to clip your diseases in order to keep them up. However, this is preferred as losing a couple seconds on your diseases (in which they still maintain 100% uptime) is not as bad as losing your diseases, and then using two GCDs and two runes to put them back up. Much of the fun from Blood comes in effective use of the survival CDs as opposed to threat generation.

  6. #6
    Hmm, looking at your amory your expertise is very very low, i think 10? you should defenitly try and get that number up, my first suggestion would be to get the 245 triumph helm. your hit looks really good, and in 5 mans the hit cap is only 7% i think(?), so you could probably lose a little bit for some more hit.

    Thats really the only thing i can see wrong, besides maybe spec issues or rotation or something, but the above poster should have all the answers you need to any of that.

    Just as another reminder on expertise, i think as a frost dual wield you are gonna want a little bit more then the average dk tank would, at least thats what the dw frost dk in my guild thinks... i am very dedicated to the blood way of tanking.

  7. #7
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    DW Tanks get slightly better survival from expertise than 2-handed Tanks (as far as DKs go) but it honestly isn't enough to worry about. I still take significantly less damage as DW Frost than Blood (of course, Blood is a reactive mitigation, so you have to look at the heals from Blood, but even comparing Blood's heals, I take quite a bit less damage in Frost) even when my expertise is, currently, lower in Frost than it is in Blood.

    So, short answer: Yes, Expertise is more beneficial to DW Dks than 2-handed Dks, but not by enough to suggest that it should hurt your threat or survival by any significant amount in comparison. That being said, unless you really have to sacrifice expertise to get it, 26 expertise is the dodge cap and so is a very good number to shoot for as a rough minimum in order to help your threat.

    On the bright side, Frost DW requires less hit rating than most people think because of Nerves of Cold Steel. Though, to my knowledge, that only counts towards attacks done with the one-handers (so not anything on spell hit).

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Assuming your AoE rotation is fundamentally correct and you're getting the diseases up quickly I try and influence the group behaviour before assuming it's all my problem. When I zone in the first thing I say is hit skull if it's marked on groups if not no DPS till you see the black stuff jumping between the mobs (pestinlence) - usually I always mark the priimary target if I have the opportunity. Normally this works...

    I'd be encouraged if someone in any of the non-guild groups I'd been in said something like "your TPS was woeful" if only because it demonstrates an above average level of understanding of threat mechanics by the DD and would suggest they're may even be, god forbid, running Omen and looking at it and not recount...

  9. #9
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    In heroics you don't really WANT to apply diseases. If the target isn't going to live long enough for you to
    A) apply Icy Touch + PS + Pest
    OR
    B) A + live longer than 10 seconds

    then your optimal AoE rotations are as follows:
    Frost: DnD + HB + BBx2 and then use rune strike or whatever on the target you're focused on. Mobs will be dead shortly after anyways.
    Blood: DnD + BB spam

    As Frost, if you have HB glyphed, it applies Frost Fever, which, in 90% of cases, is enough and you really don't need Blood Plague. If the mobs you're tanking are going to live long enough to get some Blood Plague ticks, then, as Blood, you will want to apply both diseases and spread them early on and then keep them up.

  10. #10
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fools View Post
    Hey there,

    Well, I started to tank in the last couple of weeks with my DK. (character link below)
    Frost with mostly heroic 232 gear (few 219, few 245). 34K hps unbuffed, 560 Def with SG on weapon.
    http://eu.wowarmory.com/character-sh...enor&cn=Caleth

    So my issue is trying to hold agro vs the higher geared DPS.
    Using Omen, I can see my TPS is about 3-4k TPS. But yesterday one of the DPS complained that my TPS was woefull....(ouch).

    Typically rotations,
    Single Target Rotation - IT-PS-OB-BS-BS IT-PS-OB-OB RPDUMP = RS/FS

    Multi-Target Rotation - DnD-IT-PS-Pest then TAB-HB/Pest/BloodBoil RPDUMP = RS/FS
    or DnD & HB & Boiling blood for trash,

    I have to confess, my IT/PS on multi mob pulls is less than ideal, so it is sometimes quite tricky to ensure that there are diseases up on mobs at all times.


    Looking for advise on what I can do to increase my TPS or overall agro.

    Cheers.
    I found that putting one point in Deathchill and pulling with a Howling Blast (Deathchilled) usually helps. For big AoE pulls I only use one disease rotation and if I think that Howling Blast won't be enough I throw down a death and decay. I try to avoid DnD at all costs if I can. My Howling blast crits are between 4-6k usually and thats on all the mobs so it's some good initial agro with frost fever being applied because of the glyph.

    It seems like, for me at least, that if I keep agro for first 5 seconds that I'm golden from that point on with Rime procs and death runes becoming available to fill gaps.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maat View Post
    Assuming Frost is your tank spec, since your Unholy spec has no defensive talents...

    I've found that it is -really- hard to keep solid threat against good dps as Frost. If your DPS are focusing 2-3 targets instead of large-area aoe (warriors, blood dks, ret pallies, then you're going to lose mobs. For single-target, I find that even as blood, my threat is terrible until I get a string of rune strike procs.

    One thing I found helpful for aoe is to drop plague strike completely out of your aoe rotation, and glyph for howling blast. I also specced Deathchill for extra burst when I didn't have a KM proc for an aoe pack pull, but that's just using a flavor point.

    HB > D&D > BB > tab rune strike/frost strike > HB > Obl > (HB if Rime procs) > BB > BB
    I just read your post and your basically the same exact thought as mine. Deathchill HB with the glyph is a must for jumpy dps.

    I don't blood boil as much as you do, but in o shit situations I lay down everything I can including blood boil.

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