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Thread: [Cataclysm] Death Knight Tanking: Satorri's Guide to the Bloody Future

  1. #241
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarklingThrush View Post
    Does expertise generate threat just by being there? or only when it allows you to land a blow that otherwise would have been dodged? I have not been expertise capped since "expanding" out of my old raiding gear, and wonder how much of a priority it is to change that (along with hit cap). If I remember right, I am about 22 expertise atm (reforged some for more avoidance), and I think that gives bosses around a 3% chance of dodging me.
    Expertise gives you threat (and some survival) by making sure your threatening moves hit. You get zero threat from being dodged, parried, or missing.

    22 Expertise means you have about a 1% chance to be dodged and a 8.5% chance to be parried.

    If you aren't having threat issues, I wouldn't worry too much about pushing the values up.
    The (Old) Book on Death Knight Tanking
    The New Testament on Death Knight Tanking
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    Quote Originally Posted by Horacio View Post
    Who f-ing divided by zero?!?

  2. #242
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    I was wondering if anyone had any theories on stat balancing. Has anyone done the math on the benefits of reforging mastery vs dodge/parry? Basically, because of diminishing returns, what is the (for lack of a better term) "soft cap" that a DK should hit with mastery?

    The reason why I ask, is while I think our mastery is amazing, I believe it's benefits are rather hard to quantify. To be honest, math is not my strong suit by any means, and I am trying to find information on the value of mastery rating vs avoidance. At what point will one benefit more from reforging away from mastery? Is our mastery so good that we can just stack it up to 100% DS heal conversion without risk to survivability? If that is the case, doesn't that mean one must then reach expertise soft cap as well as hit cap, leaving little room for avoidance ratings?

    I apologize if my question my seem a bit vague but, I'm just trying to find information to help tune my character. Thanks for any help I may receive.

  3. #243
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arclyte View Post
    I was wondering if anyone had any theories on stat balancing. Has anyone done the math on the benefits of reforging mastery vs dodge/parry? Basically, because of diminishing returns, what is the (for lack of a better term) "soft cap" that a DK should hit with mastery?

    The reason why I ask, is while I think our mastery is amazing, I believe it's benefits are rather hard to quantify. To be honest, math is not my strong suit by any means, and I am trying to find information on the value of mastery rating vs avoidance. At what point will one benefit more from reforging away from mastery? Is our mastery so good that we can just stack it up to 100% DS heal conversion without risk to survivability? If that is the case, doesn't that mean one must then reach expertise soft cap as well as hit cap, leaving little room for avoidance ratings?

    I apologize if my question my seem a bit vague but, I'm just trying to find information to help tune my character. Thanks for any help I may receive.
    Satorri posted a link to a google spreadsheet with mastery vs avoidance values in the advanced concepts section.

  4. #244
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    Thanks Soth, but unless I am missing something, the spreadsheet I saw used values for level 80 tanking with 85 values yet to come. It seems that the guide was written as a projection for cataclysm, and now that we have had a few weeks with the game, I was just wondering if anyone actually had updated values for 85 content or ideas that we can discuss concerning the new values. I am more than happy to contribute combat logs if anyone wants them, I would just like to get the conversation shifted towards optimization at 85.

    I'm mostly trying to gauge other DKs and how they feel about mastery vs avoidance and go from there. Because both avoidance and mastery DR is linear, there has to be a sweet spot where one can balance all three stats to a point right before the DR makes additional rating slightly less efficient.

  5. #245
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    I am not trying to fine-tune my stat balancing just yet; my gear is still changing every day. At this point in the expansion, I am leaning a bit towards avoidance over mastery because I get to use Death Strike less on the many significant trash pulls (too busy with HS/PS/BB). So avoidance is helping equally on trash and bosses while mastery is more useful for the bosses. That being said, I really just going for the best gear overall and will take either. When I do reforge, I am usually taking points out of hit or expertise and using it to increase dodge (which is a tad lower than my parry atm). I am item-level 346 currently and expecting three more significant upgrades today (the Tol Barad 2h sword, the Hyjal epic tanking cloak, and a crafted epic tanking belt). As I cross the I-level 350 mark and am equipping mostly epics, I will probably start worrying about reaching the hit and expertise caps.

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    What do you all think about still using the 2% threat enchant on gloves?

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    I am still using the Armsman enchant (+2% Threat should scale just fine through Cata), and I use the new version of Tuskar ("Earthen Vitality" now) on my boots. I am mostly stacking avoidance with my other gems and enchants.

  8. #248
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    Hello,

    I have seen some people saying that haste will be an interesting stat, if it's not already in term of survivability. It would be based on the fact that haste provides more DS, which means more absorption. It was suspect to me so I decided to make basic calculations :

    x is the number of DS. Mastery is the mastery coming from gear and haste (10% haste has a value of 0,1 here)
    Absorbed+healed = x/(1-haste) + (0,5+Mastery*x)/(1-haste)

    We have Mastery= haste for values of 60% haste or more which seems a little difficult to obtain. Mastery seems to be the best stat for survavibility against haste for a long time.

    However I forgot to take into account the runic power generated by DS which means more RS and consequently more DS even. (Scent of blood too)

    Number of DS considering RP generated by DS :
    Each DS provides 20 RP, while we need 133 RP to have statistically a DS by activated runes.
    x/(1-haste)+ x/(1-haste)*(20/133)+ x/(1-haste)*(20/133)...
    which would means 10% haste = 11,75 more DS from this source.

    Considering scent of blood, we have (with the 3 points talent and a fast 3,4 weapon) 20 (200RP) strikes per minute in raid conditions, which means another 20 RP if we increase haste by 10%.
    200/(1-haste)+200/(1-haste)*(20/133)...
    which would means 10% haste = 11,75 more DS from this source.

    If we add Scent of blood and considering the symbiotic loop, we have
    Finally, I think a 10% more haste is equivalent to a 13,5%/(1-0,1) = 15% DS boost which would mean we have mastery and haste equivalency (in term of stats budget in survivability) if haste =~ 30%

    I would be interested if some people could do the same computation to see if my reasoning is correct.

    [Edit] I believe my post after reading another time is far from being readable (missing information,/explanations), I will correct that, sorry.
    Last edited by Hypathia; 12-27-2010 at 03:28 AM.

  9. #249
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    Haste is beneficial to all strains of DK due to it's impact on rune cooldown alone.

    Really eager to see the spreadsheet regarding mastery vs avoidance. I have a funny feeling avoidance will still top off as being the better value versus mastery.

    One thing I want to bring up on the mastery:

    Anything you do to reduce that incoming damage will reduce the effect of your mastery/DS powers. So, if you pop IBF in anticipation of an incoming hit, the follow-up death strike will be limited due to the reduced damage from IBF.

    That in mind, I've kinda taken a look at the survival tools for a blood DK and see it can be broken down into basic tiers as to their value to our survivability and the effectiveness of these abilities. As I see it currently, this is how I'd break these down:

    Primary - Always on, high returns/effectiveness

    Avoidance (dodge/parry)
    Stamina/Health

    Secondary - Mid to low frequency* with high returns OR high to mid frequency* with moderate to low returns

    IBF - high damage reduction
    AMS - high damage reduction
    Vamp Blood - Improves healer's mana efficiency, BIG VALUE currently
    Blade Barrier - with new rune cooldown mechanic, more up-time
    Rune Tap - on demand heals for 15% of base health, and can be group heals also
    Lichborne/DeathCoil Combo - (see OP)

    Tertiary - Low frequency* with mid to low returns

    DS - high rune investment, duration short, value as a minor cooldown (regardless of mastery level)
    Blood Worms - hard to time, low chance, group heal though
    Bone Shield - low to moderate effectiveness, long wait to reuse


    (*Frequency = ability's effective uptime)


    DS-

    I've been using this as a "mini-cooldown". BB, HS, and diseases are my bread and butter for maintaining threat in multi-mob situations. DS used mainly on boss fights, spaced out with blade barrier to try and keep some sort of level damage reduction up. It's a little tricky though. The one big benefit I've seen is removing the tie to diseases, as before, in order to get benefit out of DS, it used a FU pair that you might need to refresh diseases. I don't rely on it as much as an offensive, aggro generation device anymore.

    Bone Shield-

    Pain here is that it can take away effectiveness of DS blood shields. Good for softening up big hits and buying a little bit of breathing space afterwards for the healers. Seems like most are having issues with mana and my approach has been trying to keep myself from becoming a mana sponge.

    Which leads me into....

    Avoidance-

    Best bang for the buck so far. Again, tied into the previous mana sponge notion, it's just needed. If the healer over-extends trying to keep the tank and dps (which, now have health pools of 100k+) topped off, it's easy to find yourselves in trouble quickly. I know it's NOT a tank issue, but my recommendation is that ANY dps with self-heals need to use those if they have them. Rogue's is sweet. DK dps, I'll use death strike to try and reduce workload on healer when I run dps. Pally, Word of Glory. Enh shaman have an instant when they do things right.

    Back to avoidance though, I feel that dodge/parry lead the pack for ANY tank, regardless of class, simply due to survival issues. Mastery is nice, but it's not king. Compared to the actual hits we're taking as tanks, blocks from shields of any sort, blood shield or other, is a pittance compared to the gain from avoidance.

    Just my two cents.........
    No one tanks in a void.........

  10. #250
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    And yeah.... I know Sat was probably hoping I vanished into the ether......... lol
    No one tanks in a void.........

  11. #251
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    Why was I hoping you disappeared? =)

    The long and short of haste (forgive the brevity and lack of math here), is that it *does* play a nice survival value coupled with a focus on Mastery, but the gains are less than you would get from other values like more Mastery and more Avoidance.

    It will *feel* nice to speed up your runes, but you won't get major gains.


    For Arclyte and anyone else who is wondering, I am going to update my calculations to confirm the relative value at 85, but I am not expecting it to be wildly different. Chances are that you will have the same split schools in which you can invest:
    1.) Max Mastery and make sure you make heavy duty use of DS.
    2.) Max Avoidance and worry less about DS vs your other threat abilities.

    Regardless of what style you pick, and I haven't seen reason to believe one is *vastly* superior, though I will show my math on which will give you the numerical edge, I can say this with high confidence:
    APPLY YOUR TANK DEBUFFS!

    I cry every time I watch a DK or other tank *not* using their 10% damage reduction and 20% attack speed reduction. They are as significant as the sum of your gear, or when you press your big defensive cooldowns. Spare your healer some grief!
    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. #252
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satorri View Post
    Why was I hoping you disappeared? =)
    Just ribbing ya. Really good guide. Thank you for presenting it to us.

    Quote Originally Posted by Satorri View Post
    The long and short of haste (forgive the brevity and lack of math here), is that it *does* play a nice survival value coupled with a focus on Mastery, but the gains are less than you would get from other values like more Mastery and more Avoidance.

    It will *feel* nice to speed up your runes, but you won't get major gains.
    Any improvement on the cooldown is appreciated. One thing I have noticed, ALL cooldowns are 1 second longer than they actually "are" because Blizzard, for some strange reason, has decided to count a zero second, and then the ability resets in the second after that. You will probably think I'm crazy, but time something.... deathstrike... whatever.... and tell me what you find. I thought I was nuts too because it just felt off. Then I timed it......

    Take a look for yourself.

    Quote Originally Posted by Satorri View Post
    For Arclyte and anyone else who is wondering, I am going to update my calculations to confirm the relative value at 85, but I am not expecting it to be wildly different. Chances are that you will have the same split schools in which you can invest:
    1.) Max Mastery and make sure you make heavy duty use of DS.
    2.) Max Avoidance and worry less about DS vs your other threat abilities.

    Regardless of what style you pick, and I haven't seen reason to believe one is *vastly* superior, though I will show my math on which will give you the numerical edge,
    Will be very interesting to see the results.
    Quote Originally Posted by Satorri View Post
    I can say this with high confidence:
    APPLY YOUR TANK DEBUFFS!

    I cry every time I watch a DK or other tank *not* using their 10% damage reduction and 20% attack speed reduction. They are as significant as the sum of your gear, or when you press your big defensive cooldowns. Spare your healer some grief!
    Can't support that last statement enough!!!! Survival is a real issue in Cata so far. Healers are really having a fun time trying to keep up. Now, with dps having 100k+ health pools, the healer has to deal with 4 mana sponges (including themselves) in addition to the tank. I'm seeing "OOM" a lot more frequently.

    My advice:

    - Tank debuffs always up. This means diseases on target at all times + blood boil/disease debuff up.
    - Stagger your abilities the best you can. It can be done. Use heart strike to renew blade barrier. Pop deathstrike after that. Then hit blood boil to refresh its debuff and kick blade barrier back up. Those three alone should be staggered to ALWAYS ensure some type of damage reduction.
    - Use of vampiric blood / rune tap to augment your healer.

    Anyway, thanks again Satorri for enlightenment.
    Last edited by Leucifer; 12-28-2010 at 04:49 PM. Reason: its not it's
    No one tanks in a void.........

  13. #253
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    Heartfelt TYVM

    As a Tank ty for clarifying issues for me.
    As a healer TY for stressing avoidance I have seen way to many tanks stubbornly holding on to Stam sponge technique and directed them here for "schooling". lol
    "It's always the Healer's fault; unless it's the Tanks fault, just ask the DPS'er in purples doing 5k!"

  14. #254
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    Just wanted to clarify something I posted earlier. I know I probably had a few people scratching their heads wondering wtf I meant.

    Quote Originally Posted by Leucifer View Post
    That in mind, I've kinda taken a look at the survival tools for a blood DK and see it can be broken down into basic tiers as to their value to our survivability and the effectiveness of these abilities. As I see it currently, this is how I'd break these down:

    Primary - Always on, high returns/effectiveness

    Avoidance (dodge/parry)
    Stamina/Health

    Secondary - Mid to low frequency* with high returns OR high to mid frequency* with moderate to low returns

    IBF - high damage reduction
    AMS - high damage reduction
    Vamp Blood - Improves healer's mana efficiency, BIG VALUE currently
    Blade Barrier - with new rune cooldown mechanic, more up-time
    Rune Tap - on demand heals for 15% of base health, and can be group heals also
    Lichborne/DeathCoil Combo - (see OP)

    Tertiary - Low frequency* with mid to low returns

    DS - high rune investment, duration short, value as a minor cooldown (regardless of mastery level)
    Blood Worms - hard to time, low chance, group heal though
    Bone Shield - low to moderate effectiveness, long wait to reuse

    (*Frequency = ability's effective uptime)
    What I mean by frequency is: Each ability has a certain duration given a certain cooldown time. IBF with say, a 12 second duration with a three minute cooldown period before it can be used again, has a lower frequency than say DS with a 3 second duration (assuming timing on next hit) and a 10 second cooldown period (assuming that a FU pair was used and we have to wait for that same pair to refresh). That in mind, the first we could say has a 1:15 ratio of seconds of usefulness to seconds of downtime, and the second, a 1:3.

    With IBF though, we have a static ratio. It doesn't change with the exception of available rune power. It's a very stable and consistent 1:15. With DS though, we're dependent on an active pairing of FU runes, with each having a 10 second cooldown. DS in some instances could very easily be a 1:6 if you're waiting on runes. Theoretically, if you REALLY screw up your rune sequence, you could drive that up even higher. Say you use a frost to tag a mob that is wandering into the group, or an unholy to drop DnD on a group that has aggro'ed a party member, you've thrown the pairings out of sequence and will have to wait additional time before you can use that survival ability.

    Then you take into account the effectiveness. IBF is a 20% reduction in damage for 12 sec. Depending on timing, this could be a significant damage reduction.

    I did a quick calc just to show relative value of these abilities. The attachment is rough, but details out a rough scenario.

    Over the first 12 seconds that IBF is in effect, it's value FAR surpasses the value of DS over the first 12 seconds. It reduces a flat 16k out of 80k worth of hits. DS only effectively reduces 11875, combining heals and damage reduction. Where death strike REALLY sees it's value is over the full-duration, where it's relative value increase compared to IBF.

    Conclusions?

    1) Death Strike and its mastery is great for the long haul of a fight, where its real value shines as a frequent, low effect damage reduction / survival tool. This should be a considerable benefit to healers as it should reduce the burden on them.

    2) Death Strike will probably see best use as a recovery tool post-large hit, used to purchase the tank quick heals and to buy the tank/healer a small reprieve from the next hit for recovery. It is a damage recovery device. It will shine here because it is based off of the previous 5 seconds, which involved a large hit.

    3) Death Strike should NOT be used in anticipation of a big hit as a damage preventative, as it draws value from the previous 5 sec worth of damage. It is not as effective as a damage prevention device in this case. Don't count on it to keep you from dying.

    The ultimate conclusion I draw is this:
    Used in conjunction with blade barrier and blood boil's associated disease effect, death strike functions as a consistent low-level damage reduction benefit, and to reduce the workload on the tank healer. The second function is post-big-hit tank recovery.


    All that said, death strike is a key tool to the DK tank. It however, isn't radically different than before. If anything, it's been modified to account for the burden on healers after the large hits, where a healer has to contend with the tank's large health pool.
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    Last edited by Leucifer; 12-29-2010 at 05:50 PM. Reason: clarity
    No one tanks in a void.........

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    Quote Originally Posted by Satorri View Post
    APPLY YOUR TANK DEBUFFS!

    I cry every time I watch a DK or other tank *not* using their 10% damage reduction and 20% attack speed reduction. They are as significant as the sum of your gear, or when you press your big defensive cooldowns. Spare your healer some grief!
    I definitely agree with this.

    In general, I think the Cataclysm changes are proving to be very fun, giving you a lot more to think about during combat and a lot more interesting choices in the way you want to play.

    I've even been pleasantly surprised at how fun and rewarding it can be to use Dark Simulacrum, which I totally did not expect.

    Really good fun stuff all around, I'd say.

    Quote Originally Posted by Leucifer View Post
    My advice:

    - Tank debuffs always up. This means diseases on target at all times + blood boil/disease debuff up.
    - Stagger your abilities the best you can. It can be done. Use heart strike to renew blade barrier. Pop deathstrike after that. Then hit blood boil to refresh its debuff and kick blade barrier back up. Those three alone should be staggered to ALWAYS ensure some type of damage reduction.
    - Use of vampiric blood / rune tap to augment your healer.
    Very good points.

    One interesting thing I've noticed is that PvP-style specs seem a lot more viable for PvE in Cataclysm than they did in Wrath.

    I've been having a lot of fun trying out a self-healing Lichborne spec with emphasis on interrupts (33/8/0). Being able to cast a free Mind Freeze every 10 seconds is a huge defensive advantage in a lot of fights. It can save your healer a ton of grief (and mana), especially if the next big blast you interrupted was an AoE attack hitting the whole party or a nasty debuff that would need to be dispelled, etc. If you have even one other person in the group who is good with interrupts, you can almost completely lockdown a caster and make a fight go much, much easier.

    Sure, once you get into a raid setting where you have plenty of other folks who can handle the same duties, then you may be better off using those points elsewhere, but that will depend a lot on the specifics of the fight, your raid composition, etc. Even if it doesn't work in every case, it's pretty hard to argue with a defensive ability you can use that often without depleting any of your other abilities.
    Last edited by Urythmic; 12-29-2010 at 12:34 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Satorri View Post
    Leave shields to the sissy tanks who need something to hide behind. Death Knights take it full in the face!
    | Unforgiven | Blood DK tank: Urikslargda |

  16. #256
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    Quote Originally Posted by Urythmic View Post
    One interesting thing I've noticed is that PvP-style specs seem a lot more viable for PvE in Cataclysm than they did in Wrath.
    Heheh. Try sub rogue for dps in dungeons. It's a clasic pvp spec but I'm running it with an emphasis on backstab crits. Once you get slice and dice up, can stand behind a target and slam 11-13k crits with backstab all day long.An alternative I've played with is with recuperate specced. Higher energy replenishment from that increases ability usage and gives a damage reduction too.

    Same is true with hunter. All of my guildmates are running survival as it's leading the pack in dps.

    Quote Originally Posted by Urythmic View Post
    I've been having a lot of fun trying out a self-healing Lichborne spec with emphasis on interrupts (33/8/0). Being able to cast a free Mind Freeze every 10 seconds is a huge defensive advantage in a lot of fights. It can save your healer a ton of grief (and mana), especially if the next big blast you interrupted was an AoE attack hitting the whole party or a nasty debuff that would need to be dispelled, etc. If you have even one other person in the group who is good with interrupts, you can almost completely lockdown a caster and make a fight go much, much easier.

    Sure, once you get into a raid setting where you have plenty of other folks who can handle the same duties, then you may be better off using those points elsewhere, but that will depend a lot on the specifics of the fight, your raid composition, etc. Even if it doesn't work in every case, it's pretty hard to argue with a defensive ability you can use that often without depleting any of your other abilities.
    Easy macro for the Lichborne heals......

    /cast Lichborne;
    /cast [@player] Death Coil


    Spam that button and it'll cycle what it can use, which, after you pop Lichborne, will be DC.

    As for the use of mind freeze, good point. Yes. Other roles can do it too, however..... having the dps interrupt their cycle to hit an interrupt might be a bigger dps loss for the group. As the tank, you're pretty focused on controlling the boss as it is. It's just another form of "boss control".

    One note: ties in in a way, but on a LOT of mobs, uninterruptable casts CAN be stopped with a rogue kidney shot. It generally does NOT do the same with bosses. Handy thing to keep in mind as a lot of those spells are the real hard-hitters.
    No one tanks in a void.........

  17. #257
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leucifer View Post
    Easy macro for the Lichborne heals......

    /cast Lichborne;
    /cast [@player] Death Coil


    Spam that button and it'll cycle what it can use, which, after you pop Lichborne, will be DC.
    That's the same one I've been using, though I also made a separate one just for DC (for the subsequent DC heals, so I can see the GCD on it, etc.). Nice to know I could get by just spamming that one. Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Leucifer View Post
    As for the use of mind freeze, good point. Yes. Other roles can do it too, however..... having the dps interrupt their cycle to hit an interrupt might be a bigger dps loss for the group. As the tank, you're pretty focused on controlling the boss as it is. It's just another form of "boss control".
    Yeah, exactly what I was thinking. Cheers!
    Quote Originally Posted by Satorri View Post
    Leave shields to the sissy tanks who need something to hide behind. Death Knights take it full in the face!
    | Unforgiven | Blood DK tank: Urikslargda |

  18. #258
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    #showtooltip Death Coil
    /cast Lichborne;
    /cast [@player] Death Coil

    I think that'll work. Will that show you the cooldown for DC? I think there's a better 'show' but I can't remember it off the top of my head.

  19. #259
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    Right now I use:
    /cast Lichborne;
    /cast [@player] Death Coil
    It shows the cd for lichborne which is what has the cd and dc has no cd. SO if you had 120 RP when you hit that macro you can get 3 DC's out of the macro.
    One could even race change to undead and just have /cast [@player] Death Coil and use that anytime they have more than 40 rp.

  20. #260
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leucifer View Post
    1) Death Strike and its mastery is great for the long haul of a fight, where its real value shines as a frequent, low effect damage reduction / survival tool. This should be a considerable benefit to healers as it should reduce the burden on them.
    Interesting point here. I tend to use DS with 100% mastery similar to this. I also have Power Aura's set up to show when my 'shields' are active as I try to avoid overlapping them:

    ie avoiding using DS when IBF and Bone Shield are up and running. I feel that using DS, which will give me a shield, on top of those abilities somewhat negates the effectiveness of those abilities (50% damage reduction and 20% damage reduction). I must admit though, using DS when VB is up is certainly a fantastic method of getting those self heals and also mitigating the next hit - especially given that you will likely get 1-2 DS/Blood Shields up during those 12 seconds.

    Does anyone else seem think that this practice is worthwhile?

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