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Thread: Death Knight Tanking.. a real working scenario

  1. #1
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    Death Knight Tanking.. a real working scenario

    Hey all. I have been researching for a week and have yet to find exactly what I need on the subject of DK tanking. I am scared to attempt to tank right now for fear of ridicule because I suck. I have read tons of guides on DK tanking and the information is good.. but none of it explains real world scenarios very well.. or really touches when to use what skill under practical scenarios. Most guides are long winded and I just needed something quick and dirty.

    So I thought I would give a hypothetical encounter.. and someone could explain the best way to tank it and why. Like explain how to hold threat and heal yourself and all that. Perhaps which abilities are best to use at certain times.

    So quick and dirty.

    Boss fight in heroic. Main boss and two adds... A and B.
    Boss is just a big brute.. A is just a soldier with AOE Damage and mob B is a healer.

    So basically I have to hold the attention of everyone.. while DPS kills the healer, then moves to the soldier before we kill the boss.

    It's just a made up encounter.. but how would a DK tank handle something of that scenario?


    Please don't flame me too hard.. I am really just trying to do the right thing and learn before I wipe a bunch of people.. gear and all that is easy.. skill is what is hard.. and since I am a bit of a moron.. this method may help me best.

  2. #2
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    If one of the adds is crowd controllable, you would probably be best off CCing one of them and killing them one at a time.

    If not, no fear. Mark one with a skull (healer first), the other with an X, and then the boss with whatever else to denote that you kill him last.

    If you can CC one, then let the CC-ing person pull for you - let the targets run towards you into your death and decay (if they need a little coaxing, you have Strangulate for casters and Death Grip for everything else). When you see the trap or CC cast go off, drop DnD between you and the target (obviously not where it will break CC), then if necessary Strangulate the caster and/or Death Grip those stubborn guys that don't want to come punch you in the face.

    I like to pop Dancing Rune Weapon in conjunction with Empowered Rune Weapon early in boss fights, personally. The 20% parry early in the fight helps you survive the initial attacks, and of course 50% increased threat output (and damage) is a huge boost as well, helping ensure that your DPS doesn't rip threat off of you while you're building a Vengeance stack.

    When dealing with a healer, make sure you have at least 20 RP at all times and keep an eye out for heal casts (this goes for casters in general, but healers are especially a PITA), be ready to spring into action with your Mind Freeze. Remember that PuGs are stupid, never rely on them to interrupt anything.

    Other than that it's pretty straightforward. Rotate cooldowns as necessary (Vampiric Blood in particular is something you should use very liberally, it only has a 1 minute cooldown so you can use it multiple times per fight - same with Anti-Magic Shell with casters).

    I say rotate cooldowns because it's rarely a good idea to stack them.

    As far as self-healing, try to maximize your Death Strike usage if you're not having threat issues (if you are having threat issues, then using your death runes for Heart Strikes would be higher TPS). Rune Tap is on a short cooldown and it automatically refreshes if you drop to low health, so don't be afraid to pop it when you see yourself dipping low and/or the healer is incapacitated/running/afk.

  3. #3
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    First off you would grab the attention of both mobs, as long as the DPS focus fire, threat won't be an issue at all.
    As tank your main focus will be on the boss or the dps add (if it can be interrupted and the boss doesn't have anything that needs to be interrupted). Keep diseases on all 3 targets, and making sure they are all within range of Heart Strike.

    As to the kill order. If the damage from the dps add is low enough that the healer can heal through it without too much issue, burn the Healer first. If the damage is too high, you have to burn the dps add first then the healer. How much threat you have to maintain on the dps add is dependent on if it is strictly AoE or if it needs to be truly tanked to keep from crushing a dps. If it can crush a dps, then you focus your tanking on the dps add.

  4. #4
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    Assuming no CC:
    1) Death grip the Healer
    2) Death and decay so that it picks up the other two mobs.
    3) Outbreak on the healer.
    4) Pestilence to spread the diseases.
    5) Blood Boil to get the debuff up on all three.
    At this point my rotation becomes as needed either death strikes if I am taking damage or rune strikes to hold threat. As long as one of each rune is on cooldown at all times and you are not wasting rune power by over capping it, you are fine.

    And since this is "a real working scenario" the healer would be oom about 10 seconds into the fight somehow, the 2 melee dps would be dead from standing the AE of the second add and myself and the ranged DPS pulling 2k DPS would duo the rest of the fight with no healer. =)

    Lichborn macro ftw~
    I'll try to be nicer if you try to be smarter.
    Kensú

  5. #5
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    1) Stop downing yourself ahead of time, let alone at all.

    2) Get 3 DPS and 1 healer from your server, who understands your situation, to go with you to some regular dungeons and get some experience on bosses you know.

  6. #6
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    Wow guys.. after a week a tons of research this is by far the most useful thread. The reason I say I suck is because my healers keep dying when I try to act like a big boy and tank. The mobs don't seem to care about the DPS.. I just cant seem to hold their attention away from the healer. On my warrior something like taunt or intervene is nice to save a healer.. so what would be the best ohsh!t button if a mob goes straight for your healer? Is there anything a DK has that is a sure way to bring a mob back?

    I guess a good example of someone that doesnt like to pay attention to me is Ozruk in stonecore. For some reason that guy just loves to ignore me and walk off and squish everyone else. A which point everyone yells at me for sucking .

  7. #7
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    Ozruk can be a hard one, as tanks tend to to spend most of the fight, either running out or running it. As a DK you have Dark Command, and Death Grip, both are Taunts

  8. #8
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    Isn't Dark Command http://www.wowhead.com/spell=56222 the DK taunt?
    An introduction into WarTanking (no longer updated as I've retired from WoW - the concepts will still be mostly accurate but the numbers no longer will be.) - http://www.tankspot.com/showthread.p...101-The-Primer

  9. #9
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    http://www.wowhead.com/spell=49576 Death Grip is a fixate, not a taunt. Right?
    An introduction into WarTanking (no longer updated as I've retired from WoW - the concepts will still be mostly accurate but the numbers no longer will be.) - http://www.tankspot.com/showthread.p...101-The-Primer

  10. #10
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    Hmm.. lol.. I have used Dark Command before but it never seemed to work worth a darn. To make stuff like taunts work do I need to gear differently? I mean do things like expertise or mastery help stuff like that?

  11. #11
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    Taunts don't miss. Death Grip and Dark Command are both Taunts. While the Pull mechanism of Death Grip might not work, the taunt part will still go off. And I guess DG could be considered a fixate... but it still forces the boss/mob to attack you, places you at the top of the threat pile. I consider it a Taunt anyway. And they don't work if you already have threat on a mob.

    Sqitso, just remember that you won't be able to get help with every situation that you find yourself in - part of being a tank is figuring out your own strategy by seriously thinking about it beforehand. You'll have to come up with ways of dealing with encounters based on your abilities and those of your group.

    THAT being said, expertise will keep you from missing your Death Strikes and Heart Strikes (at least not too often if you get it to around 26), and mastery will increase the amount of damage absorbed through your Blood Shield - both gems of information that you should have found in your week of research. What will help with threat is getting your hit rating up so that your initial threat isn't being ignored in favor of the healer threat... although you should ask your team to wait a few seconds for your aggro, just because its a better practice than just PEW PEW LOL FAIL.

    Something that I've had to say to some of my friends that are DK tanks is that Hey hey - this isn't frost tanking anymore. Put that Obliterate away. Not to mention Necrotic Strike, Festering Strike and Blood Strike have no place in Blood tanking. Just be sure that you aren't using up your runes on strikes that don't matter, and that you're using Rune Strike effectively. RS can proc free runes that were on Cooldown, so make sure you're using that too, since its a HUGE threat move.

    And lastly, people have been recommending the addon ALL week - Threat Plates + Tidy Plates. Personally I just use Tidy Plates and was able to set it up the way I wanted to track aggro very easily. Its very useful in seeing who has aggro, and whether or not you need to taunt off.

    Side note: Ozruk is the Tank-check encounter. 4 abilities in quick succession means that you have to be constantly on the move, but still hitting the boss, so be careful in worrying too much about that encounter. It is part gear, part reaction time and tough on tanks.

  12. #12
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    Currently my DK is still a baby. I am just running dungeons with him because of the justice points and how bad it sucks getting justice points after 85.. kind of waste time if you don't do it during your leveling.. So I am stuck with many greens. Should I wait for better gear or go ahead and keep practicing?
    Last edited by sqitso; 01-15-2011 at 10:45 AM.

  13. #13
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    Practice, practice, practice. A lot of what you asking can only be learned by doing and having to react in the scenario. For multi-mobs DnD is your best friend at the pull, but in Cata make sure you don't break cc with it. Mark your target so the dps know who to focus on; remember if the dps is off your target and they pull aggro that's their issue. They'll blame you, but it's not your fault - this content puts a burden on the dps that WoLK didn't, they need to wear big boy pants, watch out for themselves at times and work for the good of the group, not just top the meters.

  14. #14
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    A lot of the quests and reputation factions give a decent amount of tanking gear (blues and at exalted, some purples) which will be far more helpful than the few greens you pick up otherwise. Be sure to look through the gear that you can get off of quest chains. In higher level areas like Uldum and Twilight Highlands, you can get 333 blue pieces for relatively simple quests. Getting your rep up means doing the dailies and wearing your tabards, but if you're running dungeons already anyway, it should go by pretty quick.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Netheras View Post

    Not to mention Necrotic Strike, Festering Strike and Blood Strike have no place in Blood tanking.
    Blood Strike has plenty of use in Blood tanking.

    A more accurate statement would be that Blood Strike is more situational and should be relegated to an unused corner until you run into situations where you should swap Heart Strike for it.

  16. #16
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    I guess what I don't understand is, what is the gain of using Blood Strike over Heart Strike? And if it is in a corner until a situation pops up where you use it over Heart Strike, would it matter if you didn't use it and just used Heart Strike instead?

    The only thing I can think of would be not wanting to break CC. But there are so many ways to avoid that situation.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Netheras View Post
    I guess what I don't understand is, what is the gain of using Blood Strike over Heart Strike? And if it is in a corner until a situation pops up where you use it over Heart Strike, would it matter if you didn't use it and just used Heart Strike instead?

    The only thing I can think of would be not wanting to break CC. But there are so many ways to avoid that situation.
    If you don't want to grab adds, which can be an issue in raid settings.

    Good example was on Heroic Halion, when one tank would grab the big fire dude (that enrages and beats the snot out of you if any of the little fire dudes were near him, you needed to have two tanks for the seperate groups). A DK would use Blood Strike instead of Heart Strike in that situation.

    A 5-man comparison could be made to the last boss in Blackrock Caverns, where you want to avoid AoE whenever the adds are nearby (a ranged has to kite them). Of course this can easily be avoided by having the ranged pull for you and taunting the boss off of them, but you get the picture.

  18. #18
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    Mark pulls for CC. Any Dangerous mobs that are left that could not be CCed should be marked in a kill order as well.
    Don't forget to mark a Kill target with skull. This will save you headaches with threat as people try to kill different targets.
    You can use Horn of Winter to get aggro on you immediatly after CC goes out.

    Stand at max Deathgrip range and Drop DND as far back as possible while it can still hit stuff infront of you.
    This will give players the max distance to re-CC stuff that may get broken before it ends up in the DnD ring of anti CC magic.
    If something that has to be CCed does end up in your DnD, do what you can to get it out of it so it can be CCed.

    Deathgrip is great for moving casters. If it is down, Strangulate works too.

    Don't forget to put Frost Fever and Scarlot Fever on non casters targets. It reduces the damage you take by a lot.

    Get used to the range of your AoEs (including Pestilence) so you have an idea of when it is safe to use them without breaking CC.
    Be aware that although Heart Strike requires the target to be in melee range, the cleave distance is much further.

    Use Death Strike for spikes of damage. Ask any healer, DKs take small damage and then suddenly take huge spikes.
    This actually works to our advantage if played properly. Death Stike's Heal and our mastery require big damage in short bursts to be most useful.
    The spikes are where you want to use it.
    Blood Shield Tracker is a good addon to use to spot the spikes. http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-a...d-tracker.aspx

    Don't forget about Bone Shield and Vamp blood. They can be used to bridge gaps after you reapply frost fever and will be without Death Strike for some time.

    Also if you have not seen them, I recomend watching some guides Ciderhelm made during wrath.
    They have been buried in the News thread so you may not have seen them.
    There is quite abit of info that even experienced tanks may not have picked up on.

    TankSpot's Tanking Reference: Positioning & Movement
    http://www.tankspot.com/showthread.php?48258

    Tanking Reference: Awareness & Camera Control
    http://www.tankspot.com/showthread.php?47630
    -My DK is a Healer

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