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Thread: Pit of Saron Ice Tunnel as a DK tank

  1. #1
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    Pit of Saron Ice Tunnel as a DK tank

    My death knight tank (blood) has gotten heroic Pit of Saron a few times recently as a random instance and while I've managed to scrape through, the ice tunnel just before the final boss gives me a lot of trouble.

    I've tanked it on my warrior, druid and paladin and have no problems on them and I generally don't have threat issues with this character.

    I guess my main issue is that I have to grab all the mobs as I run to the middle and then drop Death and Decay on the big circle. Assuming the DPS aren't stupidly overzealous I'm usually fine once I get that down.

    If I have Empower Rune Weapon up I can safely burn runes getting their attention but if I had to use it on the trash coming up the ramp (which has happened) then I find it tricky to gather mobs that decide they are interested in the healer and be able to generate enough threat once we stop to quickly get a lead on the AOEers.

    Am I missing an important "gather mobs while moving" ability? Is this easier with a Frost or Unholy spec?

    Any advice is appreciated.

    Regards,

    Maggotbrain

  2. #2
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    It may be easier as Frost or Unholy, but it is also quite doable as Blood.

    Generally, my method works like this.

    1.) Tell the dps to hold their fire until you're situated on the middle platform. It is hard enough to generate aoe threat on the move, if people try to jump the gun it can get out of hand easily. The tunnel does not demand the hardest dps they can manage as fast as possible, but people get excited...

    2.) Mount and hustle to the first pair of adds. I usually prefer to IT on the way in, then PS one target, and usually hit a HS on the second target before I Pest, actually. Once the first two little mobs run up, Pest the diseases from the first target around, and keep hustling.

    3.) About this point when you're still a short distance from the middle platform I will use IBF and/or avoidance trinkets, or possible Vamp Blood if you have Mark of Blood and/or Rune Tap to combine with it. Your goal here is to require as little healing as possible so that the healer generates as little threat as possible.

    4.) As soon as you can reach it with range, drop DnD on the middle platform and collect everything on it, and commence aoe tanking the way you would anywhere else (matching the HS/BB balance to the group and their AoE/Single target dps strengths).

    5.) The top half of the tunnel is generally smoother, and it's smart to keep juggling diseases out if you can.

    The big thing is, don't be shy to stop and collect things mid run. It is better that everything is stuck to you than that you get to the platform immediately. Save your Death Grip and taunt for things that come loose, don't waste them when new things are running in. Just smack newcomers with a strike or auto-attacks, and keep diseases around.

    Don't let yourself get excited and try to rush beyond the pace at which you can keep things under wraps.
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  3. #3
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    I think the main problem you might be running into is "stupidly overzealous dps". I've found that when running with guild members, I never have problems. Problem is usually in pugs with what you exactly stated.

    Myself.... I usually tell the party.... "No dps on mobs until I get to the middle and after I drop death and decay. When I take off, give me a 2 second head start into the tunnel." One thing, as you're making your way up, even simple auto-attack hits get threat going. If you're going through a group... snap blood boil. It DOES NOT require diseases to do damage. It just does less.

    What I do though... is as I'm approaching the middle platform, I drop DnD on the platform a little bit ahead of me, just before I get to it. Think: circle right in front of you, then run into the center. It gets aggro going before the range dps is really in range and buys you a few moments as melee catches up. Then I drop IT-PS-Pest.... hit Empower Rune Weapon if I really feel I need to.... or wait for runes to pop then slap them all with Blood Boil a couple times.

    As for the healer.... I'm always keeping an eye on them to deathgrip or dark command something charging them. You and the healer need to be taking care of each other all the time. Dps... man, if they pull it, they can tank it. They NEED to be listening and paying attention to what's going on. Haven't run into that issue a lot, but there's usually one player in the group that just seems a little "touched".

    I've usually only had troubles with the tunnel when people are not thinking. Again... pause before charging up... and give directions as to what YOU need as a tank. If dps goes all wonk spamming AoE, targeting loose trash on their own, then the problem really isn't you, it's the fact that they aren't playing as part of a group. If it ends as a wipe, I'll whisp the healer and ask them, "what do you think went wrong?". Chat with them. You and the healer need to be on the same page if nothing else.

    EDIT: And if you haven't familiarized yourself with tab-striking.... now's the time to learn.
    Last edited by Leucifer; 03-22-2010 at 02:42 PM. Reason: Adding one little tidbit....

  4. #4
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    I've found that during the charge to the middle platform, you can fire off three Blood Boils to grab the add's attention (one from Blood Tap). That should be enough to hang onto them so that the healer doesn't aggro them. Obviously, it won't be enough to keep them off the DPS if they decide to do something stupid... but, hey... that's their own fault.

    By the time you get to the platform, the first Blood Rune is hopefully back up and you can Death & Decay the platform and then it's good old IT-PS-Pestilence business as usual. It can be nice to pop Icebound Fortitude right after D&D - gives the healer a couple of seconds to get their act together whilst you have a dozen mobs on you in all directions.

    After that I try to work my way up the second half of the tunnel because I'm rarely in the mood to do another charge through the mobs after the last one!

  5. #5
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    Learn to use blood boil more, basically. It's the best way to grab a few mobs on the way somewhere, and you can always blood tap for another rune if you need it when you finally plant for the DND.

    Specifically in that tunnel, I combine the strats Rachkalos and Satorri mention - I'll grab the first stuff with an IT and a melee or something, and then blood boil the next 1-2 sets on the way to the center.
    Basicall,y even though the blood runes are important to your AE threat, don't be afraid to use em tot oss out boils to move mobs with you before you get them into AE - this is true in any 5 man, just yell at DPS not to touch them until you get them where you want and they see Death and Decay. I use this method to run 3-5 groups together in most instances and it works fine as long as people listen.

  6. #6
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    I'm lazy - I AotD every time there.

  7. #7
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    An interesting idea Bosk, but doesn't that leave everything behind, ghouls included?

    Or do you mean at the platform?
    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. #8
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    The only thing I'd add to Satorri's response is that I use pestilence heavily. If you get both diseases on the first mob, you'll actually generate a decent amount of starter threat just with the diseases as long as your dps is keeping it in their pants. It's a little easier as frost with killing machine procs and howling blast, but should be completely doable as blood.
    "What we need is a special blend of Psychology and extreme violence"

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satorri View Post
    An interesting idea Bosk, but doesn't that leave everything behind, ghouls included?

    Or do you mean at the platform?
    I look for an opportunity to use AotD in every heroic, for example i always pull the first room in UK with my army to speed things up.

    I PoS tunnel I charge through mounted (leaving the rest of the party scrambling to catch up, hit a few mobs as I am running, throw a D+D onto the central platform and then pop the Army. If I am with a pug I'll just stay and clear from there, but if I am with my guild we just leave the army fighting and pull to the end of the corridor as normal, into a big D+D patch.

    The remaining mobs come running after us when the army is dead, but they just run into another D+D and more aoe.

    I know this is a lazy DK way to do things

  10. #10
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    I like making sure I have Death runes from the pack before the tunnel. Then I just power through, hit BB when new things get close and taunt/IT/coil anything that gets past. Use CD's and anything I can to get to the middle asap and without needing/being able to get heals. Then drop D&D on the circle. If someone attacks early and gets aggro, they can tank it until it gets to the platform.

  11. #11
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    I am a blood tank as well, and have found that as long as your dps dont get excited prematurely, then blood boil is enough to keep the mobs on me until getting to the platform. So at the first group i BB, and if necessary death strike for blood runes, and blood boil as i get new mobs, even w/o disease this is more than enough to keep the adds on me. Upon arriving at the platform, do the usual, drop DND, spread diseases and rock out.

  12. #12
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    Thanks for the feedback.

    Was diseasing first guy and trying to time pestilence / blood boil a bit but still having issues.

    I think my main issue was coordination with group and taking it a bit fast so as to stay ahead of the DPSers. I'm used to directing the party a bit more on my warrior but for most heroics the DK doesn't seem to need to as much so I'd gotten a bit cavalier.

  13. #13
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    You can just blood boil them as you go by and use horn of winter as well. Horn of winter has a small threat component in case you don't know, it's useful when things are out of range of blood boil. Like in Halls of Reflection when the waves of adds spawn, hit horn of winter and as long as group isn't clueless... they all come to you around a corner.

  14. #14
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    Been doing POS on my rogue alot lately and tBH the smaller mobs dont hit very hard even on me, and die in a few hits anyway, if i had only tanked that place i would assume like u i needed aggro on everything at all times, but that simply isnt true, theres alotr of these kinds of mobs around i found while i dps , that i could kill alone without tank/healer help. So as long as you have the few bigs mobs and a couple of the small ones, I wouldnt worry about dps killing a small mob as they running along, just focus on having aggro on the big mobs at the very least (and the really big one in heroic).

  15. #15
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    Your gear determines how far in the tunnel you can go untill you have to stop, know your limits, tell your healer not to heal you untill you actually stopped, idem for your dps otherwise they'll end up playing tank and fail (don't have patience or show it for dps who can't wait and think before acting) and then you just do it in parts as people suggest, using blood boil to get some agro on it, time blood boil and don't spam it.

    I never had an issue doing this with people who knew what they are doing and i don't feel i should compensate for others that don't know how to play. such as people running in before me putting a dnd down as dps dk and then blaming me for dieing or why i stopped.

    The AoTD way is interesting ill give it a shot next time i get there.

  16. #16
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    With a 50k+ health pool I instruct the healer not to worry about me until we are to the platform. No worries at all. IT one, PS the other, spread dieseases on the second group, BB on the third, BT then DnD in the center. I target the big icy thing and start AOE tanking and let my tidy plates do the rest. At around 50% of the big icy ele I drop AOTD and move forward, the party moves with me and we burn the group at the end of the tunnel and AOTD clears up anything left over from the first group. Pull boss and on to HOR.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bosk View Post
    I look for an opportunity to use AotD in every heroic, for example i always pull the first room in UK with my army to speed things up.

    I PoS tunnel I charge through mounted (leaving the rest of the party scrambling to catch up, hit a few mobs as I am running, throw a D+D onto the central platform and then pop the Army. If I am with a pug I'll just stay and clear from there, but if I am with my guild we just leave the army fighting and pull to the end of the corridor as normal, into a big D+D patch.

    The remaining mobs come running after us when the army is dead, but they just run into another D+D and more aoe.

    I know this is a lazy DK way to do things
    So what if it's "lazy"? Seems to work..... effective. Hell. Sounds smart to me. I'm going to give this idea whirl. Props.

    And since you like AotD, I save mine in HoR for the final dash away from Arthas. If I have a group that struggles with dps, I'll pop it on that last ice wall and things start getting a little crazy.

    And Kray's right..... most of the trash there doesn't hit that hard. It's just a matter of your group composition. Running with a bunch of clothies? Some concern. Running with a bunch of plate? Pfffft. Agree with Acidbaron on his general sentiments. People should be thinking. I know, I'm hoping for big things there. lol

    As for Banterloft.... that's great. You're a 50k health DK. /clap. Congrats. Now we all know how bad-ass you are.
    For the guy who isn't walking around in godly armor and is taking a crack at this with say... 30-35k health.... ? My counter..... if you're getting dinged up good.... USE YOUR COOLDOWNS. Icebound fortitude goes a long way. And I recommend using IT then pestilence, especially if you have Improved Icy Touch. Slow them buggers down. With the change in 3.3.3, it now can be spread and procs with pestilence. Handy change.

  18. #18
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    @Leucifer, I had been popping AotD at the begining of the last wall - I now realize the error of my ways. I feel kinda dumb for not thinking that it would be more useful mid-way through that last bit, when aggro starts to go everywhere.

    As far as the OP, you can queue up death runes on the last pack of mobs before the tunnel. If you have 6 death runes, you'll have no issues popping off 3 BB (4, using rune tap) then laying down DnD. And during the AOE slaughter building up another 4 death runes for the last pull.

    As a new DK tank, I find Death Rune management one of the most important factors in threat generation in Heroics.
    Last edited by Terpene; 04-04-2010 at 10:44 PM. Reason: spelling

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terpene View Post
    @Leucifer, I had been popping AotD at the begining of the last wall - I now realize the error of my ways. I feel kinda dumb for not thinking that it would be more useful mid-way through that last bit, when aggro starts to go everywhere.

    As far as the OP, you can queue up death runes on the last pack of mobs before the tunnel. If you have 6 death runes, you'll have no issues popping off 3 BB (4, using rune tap) then laying down DnD. And during the AOE slaughter building up another 4 death runes for the last pull.

    As a new DK tank, I find Death Rune management one of the most important factors in threat generation in Heroics.
    Rune management in general is critical to us.

    And yes. I've tried AotD now several times. Works nice. Seems to pick up the initial wave of trash and allows me to move up the tunnel to the end nicely. Great suggestion imo. TY Bosk!

  20. #20
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    You can always just kill the adds along the way while watching your head. There's nothing really pushing you to get through in a certain amount of time short of people maybe getting too uncomfortable around all the falling ice.
    "Just because it's not nice doesn't mean it's not miraculous." - T. P.

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