Newbie tank has probs w/ trash rather than bosses...
So I literally *just* started tanking. I've played the game for about 2 years and felt like trying something different. I'm using my DK and I've been following elitistjerks for talents, specs, spell priorities and such. I think I have a good handle on my "rotation" and to teach myself, I'm just running normals (even though I can do decently in DPS spec in heroics) and trying to master one dungeon at a time, until I get the hang of things.
So I started with Grim Batol (normal). And I'm finding that the bosses don't pose much of a challenge to me but it's the trash that trips me up.
What am I supposed to prioritize? The dragonkin are easy to figure out (seer first), but when it comes to those packs that contain the caster humanoids, the elementals, the skillstorm ogres, who goes first? I feel like I'm making people prioritize the wrong ones first. I've been targeting the skinny humanoid casters first then going to the elementals but maybe I have it backwards? Anyway, I can find plenty of guides on bosses but nothing seems to cover the trash on the way to the boss and that's what I'm having a hard time dealing with. Oh ya, and with the Wyrmcaller guys, do you burn down the caller first or his dragon concomitant?
If anyone has any advice I'd be welcome to hear it, the trash is stressing me out.
I don't play a DK but a warrior tank and a healing priest so I cannot give you a special DK answer. What I can tell you that I've seen many DKs struggle much more with their health bar at that groups than I see warriors or paladins struggel (only had one bear tank in Grim Batol, so don't know about them).
But I don't think that's only about which class you play yourself but about what you can do to prevent dmg with you group. It's important to us Interrupts and you may want to have some CC going on. Since there are very different kinds of mobs it looks like it's intended to CC some. It's great to have a warlock or shaman there because they can controll elements and humanoids at the same time there.
A general rule is to bomb them well with the dragons. Tell your group to focus well and not spend the breath on groups you do not have to kill. In normal mode many people don't know where to focus the breath but it definitly makes it easier.
What do I do with this packs? The elementals are quite anoying and they probably have full life because the are called back to life or are standing in corners where it's hard to bomb. If there is a water elemental I try to CC it as highest priority. Warlock, Hunter, Shaman and Paladin can help there. The other CCs depend on my group setup, if they can Interrupt well, casters are probably less of a problem. As a warrior tank I myself can interrupt, stun and spell reflect, so in most cases they are not as dangerous as maybe the others. When ogers start to whirl around, either let someone disarm them or just step aside. I let my group focus very low and non elite targets first. If there are elementals left those elementals have ha high priority, too. But it helps much to reduce the number of dangerous mobs, soon.
For the Wyrmcaller guys, I kill the caller first, everybody should have stuff up on him, anyway. I'm not sure but last time I was there I thought that the dragon does not start with breath and blue patches until the caller is down, but maybe it was just because the caller was dead so soon.
A more or less general rule for the groups should be: Don't hesitate to use your dmg preventing CDs. When I have to heal DKs with entry lvl gear in hard modes (have not done normals for quite a time) they tend to drop down some seconds into the fight. I blow all I have as a healer, there. Use what you have to help there, too. Those buttons are meant to be pushed and the CD is so low that they will be up for the boss fight, anyway. I use their counterparts on my warrior tank, too.
For prirorities on my DK, I always take out the casters first and cc the elementals in whatever way possible. They are the more dangerous enemies in my opinion. If you can't cc the elementals then target them first. Water elementals are nasty, as are the fire and water larger ones that almost look humanoid. The larger water ones can destroy a group with their charge attack if combined with the aoe from the fire one.
Always kill the wyrmcaller first because a lot of people don't realize you have to kill the nets he throws at first. If you leave him up he can do a lot of damage if people don't know what they're doing. It's hard to screw up the dragon's mechanics since they are pretty obvious. (Don't stand in swirly crap, don't get hit by breath attack)
Cool, thanks for the info. I'll try changing up my priorities and seeing if that makes a difference.
In regards to the trash just before Throngus, that 2nd pack of casters/giant guy, what's the easiest way to make the casters who are hanging back actually run to you so that I can get the pack away from Throngus' wandering path? I could death grip one of them but if there's a second, I'm not so sure. Should I basically just run back towards the hallway to break LOS or is there a quicker/better way?
Not sure on the Mastery mechanic for Druid Tanks but for Warriors and Paladins, their Mastery is imo one of the best out there. Since other than the Warrior's Crit Block, it is totally passive. It is 30% damage reduction flat off if they block (40% for Paladin's if they use Shield/WoG, 60% for Warrior if they Crit Block). While a DK's Mastery is totally active, requiring them to hit with Death Strike.
Originally Posted by Katzazi
I have a DK and Paladin tank that are both geared for Cata Heroics, my Pally is the the lower ilevel of the two but it is the one I will do pugs with as a tank, my DK I only tank for guild runs, or with a Healer I know at the very least.
As to the Trash, the suggestions already given are a good way to go.
Unless you get totally hosed as far as a group goes, just wait til he pats away, which will give you more than enough time to kill them, and CC one or two of them. Kill the casters first, the big guy can go last, he hits like a truck, but as long as he is hitting the tank he is "harmless" overall compared to the casters.
Originally Posted by Architekt
Just wait until he is far away, than it depends on your group setup. If you have d3 humanoi CCs, use them on the casters while the giant is NOT stunned and kill the giant furst and open the CCs later on. As long as they stay CCed the boss will not even be aggroed if he steps on them, but you should have plenty of time to kill all of them anyway.
Originally Posted by Architekt
If you have less humanoied CCs use them just after the giant get's STUNNED by the casters and pull and focus on the free casters. As soon as the giant gets out of the stun switch to him.
When you havent tanked for very long, and I think to some extent especially as a DK tank, it is easy to forget to use ones defensive cool downs enough. VB for example has a very short CD and should be used multiple times on most trash groups. You might also have a trinket with an on use effect and dont forget to use AMS generously (most groups have at least one caster which you can mitigate a lot of damage from by activating AMS just after the pull).
Trash, in my oppinion, pose the single biggest threat to a tanks life in almost every dungeon, so cc'ing, slowing, stunning and the like does a huge difference. Unless you have a group with say 3 useable cc's trash will hurt a lot in most places.
Was the problem staying alive or keeping threat on all btw, not sure after reading your post?
Threat hasn't been an issue, even with people with high DPS. But you're right: I've definitely not been using my cooldowns enough. Icebound Fortitude has a 3 min CD so it's one of those skills that feels like the cooldown is just too long to use every fight but short enough to not wait all the way until a boss fight. Which means I wind up rarely using it. I should get in the habit of using it on the larger packs. Also, I know I'm not popping VB and rune tap enough. Probably AMS also. Combine that with the 2 groups I've been in so far not wanting to CC because it "takes longer" and it's been pretty stressful so far. I'll give it another go and make sure to pop my CDs. Perhaps I'll insist on CCing the larger packs with full HP. Thanks.
Well thanks everyone, just thought I'd mention that I did a ton of tanking today (still normals) and it was a cakewalk. The simple reminder of using my CDs whenever they were available did wonders to keep me always above 50% hp and I was able to deal with "problematic" situations easily, whereas before I was all panicky.
Groups that refuse to CC in normal mode dungeons, annoy me.
Originally Posted by Architekt
CC makes things easier on the healer and tank. Healers don't expend as much mana, so will most likely not have to drink after a group is taken down or will not have to drink for as long.
CC helps guarantee there will not be a wipe if something unforeseen happens.
To be fair many people have geared up enough that running with no cc's even in heroics is getting fairly common. I'm amazed at how quickly this have become common and seeing healers with a full mana pool after 5 mob pulls with no cc.
Originally Posted by Selene
But sure I agree with you that it's always a bit more controlled when ccing a mob or two.