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Thread: Blood DK Tanking questions

  1. #1
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    Blood DK Tanking questions

    Hey Everyone,

    I just have a few questions, thoughts and concerns that I would like to share/gain insight on. My character is http://us.battle.net/wow/en/characte...exandar/simple

    I have been having many arguments and disagreements about Blood Dks and how our Mechanics work. Another DK in the guild has been consistently trying to tell me that Stamina isn't worth stacking and that everything should be put into mastery because of some Tanking Theory Crafting that he has read.

    Now maybe I am just a traditional tank but I like to follow certain guidelines. Just in my Opinion, You should Always stack health til you are at a comfortable level, THEN your Avoidance and Mitigation, AND Lastly, Mastery. Reasons why I say this is that if you are getting hit for huge, not enough health will kill you, not having avoidance means healers have to work harder, and mastery being last is that after you have done all of those, your mastery and therefore blood shield will work even better due to the increased health pool.

    The other Disagreement we always run into is about the Glyph of Vampiric Blood. He claims its the best thing ever, I disagree completely though. According to him its good because it increases healing done to you by 40% instead of just the average 25% and that it also works on Blood Shield and Death Strike. After just doing some light reading, I have found out for myself that it does not affect blood shield. now my argument is that it increases your health pool for those critical moments when you are taking a severe beating and increases healing done, thereby increasing your rune tap AND your DS and your Blood Shield.

    Also I am trying to get a further grasp on how health pools and average numbers are going these days for dodge parry mastery and health pools are.

    Any thoughts, suggestions, comments, concerns, or ideas for any of this and/or my gear would be hugely appreciated

  2. #2
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    It has been generally accepted that you won't stack stamina in Cataclysm. You get most of your health from your gear and enchants without much problem. Using gems that have half avoidance/mastery and some stam is not a bad thing, and even matching a blue socket with a pure stamina gem is not a bad thing.

    The problem is that stamina by itself will not increase your time to live. Only avoidance and mastery can effectively do that by keeping the health you already have stable. I believe the argument is that, if you have a lot of health, it only helps if you still have that health later. Otherwise you're struggling to bring that health back. Since the healing strategy and playstyle is such in Cataclysm that your healers can no longer afford to keep you at full health all the time efficiently, you aren't realistically going to have all that extra health you've gained as is.

    I'm not saying that having a decent amount of health is not a good thing, nor am I saying that stamina is invaluable. I'm saying that with survival as your key objective, the amount of health you have will not (at this tier anyway) absolutely determine whether or not you survive. What will go towards doing that is your avoidance and mastery, and cooldowns like VB.

    Mastery works off of your Death Strike. If your DS is healing you for 25k, and you have 100% mastery, you're sitting there with a shield that will absorb another 25k damage so you don't have to take that damage and reduce your health on the next hit. No matter how much health you have, that will not change the value of your mastery. It is still reducing your next hit. Whether that hit will kill you or not is a different story entirely - for this scenario, we're going to assume that you're not about to die and all you're doing is hitting DS - because the other side this scenario (to me at least) says that you're either setting yourself up to use another CD as it is anyway, or you're not doing something right, or your healer is dead.

    ANYWAY. The point I'm making there is that avoidance and mastery save the health you have, making them just slightly more important in terms of your survival. Do I think there is a point where you want to say, I have a good amount of health? Yeah, I just think its easily reachable, whereas survival skills are harder to come by.

    As there is a large debate over what to go for in terms of mastery versus avoidance, I would amend your thoughts to simply that avoidance and mastery are at the same basic level (unless you're not very good with your DSs, and you'd tip more towards avoidance... but anyway) in terms of survival. Because: you won't get hit for a huge amount if you're able to avoid some of the attacks, and if you're using DS intelligently you'll mitigate future damage as well as gain back health you lost just recently - again, not taking a huge hit. While I agree with some of what you said, there are some flaws, but I'm sure you see what I'm saying.

    As for Vampiric Blood - the reason the glyph is good is because it ties into the healing point I made earlier - healers need more help in Cataclysm than tanks need more effective health. Which is probably part of the reason you don't see its significant impact - you're still caught up in your want of health, versus your survivability. Now, it is true that it will increase the heal of your DS, and leave the Blood Shield alone, but the difference comes from what the glyph does to VB. 40% increase to all healing is much better than the normal 25%. It helps your healers more, and it helps all of your other abilities that heal you, and it does not take that healing away. Note that the increased health you gain is later lost. If your healers suddenly needed to heal you more to bring you up - which they wouldn't be trying to do anyway - and suddenly all the healing they just did to bring your health up is lost, they've effectively drained their mana on nothing. Besides. It has a minute cooldown. You should probably just be using it whenever it is available (or in conjunction with other healing tools like Lichborne).

    I won't say anything in terms of the avoidance versus mastery debate other than that you can decide for yourself what you'd rather go after, but also that you should keep an eye out for what happens after this next patch (personally favoring mastery myself)

    From what I've said above, I also won't get into your gear and enchants/gems... but I do want to ask about your spec.

    First Impressions: you have to interrupt and possibly bring the Abom's Might buff to the raid. From this I would also assume then that you're raiding 10 man content, and further, that your friend is the healer (joking of course, but if he is... well then it's just hilarious).

    The third point in Scent of Blood is largely unnecessary, as the gain from it has been pointed out to be minimal at best. The choice of putting points in Blood Caked Blade isn't surprising, but not putting any points into Blood Tap is strange (to me at least) seeing as how you want to have more runes available quickly, rather than having to wait what seems like an unnecessary amount of time otherwise. Crimson Scourge can be interesting and useful if you're the add tank, but because you won't be applying your diseases through "traditional means" most of the time, it will be rare, and also somewhat detrimental to your health to lose out on the extra Death Strike (as of right now anyway). Since I'm certain that you're going to need every point in Virulence, the third point in Epidemic is all I'll point out. That extra time is only necessary if you are desperately in need of having Frost Fever up and Outbreak just isn't cutting it (for some reason).

    That being said, as you don't have the Lichborne Spec I can't say that you're missing any important glyphs, except of course for Vampiric Blood. However I would suggest the glyph of Rune Strike over the glyph of Death Strike, seeing as how if you're going for threat, it is superior to the damage increase that the Glyph of DS brings to the table.

    Hope all this helps! =D

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Netheras View Post
    It has been generally accepted that you won't stack stamina in Cataclysm.
    One should be careful to write statements like that. It is by no means a generally accepted fact that one shouldnt use mostly stamina gems. People do seem to go for more socket bonuses than before but I havent seen many good tanks who arent stacking any stamina at all. In the end the gems matter even less than before. Now reforging thats another matter :-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alexandar View Post
    Hey Everyone,

    I just have a few questions, thoughts and concerns that I would like to share/gain insight on. My character is http://us.battle.net/wow/en/characte...exandar/simple

    I have been having many arguments and disagreements about Blood Dks and how our Mechanics work. Another DK in the guild has been consistently trying to tell me that Stamina isn't worth stacking and that everything should be put into mastery because of some Tanking Theory Crafting that he has read.

    Now maybe I am just a traditional tank but I like to follow certain guidelines. Just in my Opinion, You should Always stack health til you are at a comfortable level, THEN your Avoidance and Mitigation, AND Lastly, Mastery. Reasons why I say this is that if you are getting hit for huge, not enough health will kill you, not having avoidance means healers have to work harder, and mastery being last is that after you have done all of those, your mastery and therefore blood shield will work even better due to the increased health pool.

    The other Disagreement we always run into is about the Glyph of Vampiric Blood. He claims its the best thing ever, I disagree completely though. According to him its good because it increases healing done to you by 40% instead of just the average 25% and that it also works on Blood Shield and Death Strike. After just doing some light reading, I have found out for myself that it does not affect blood shield. now my argument is that it increases your health pool for those critical moments when you are taking a severe beating and increases healing done, thereby increasing your rune tap AND your DS and your Blood Shield.

    Also I am trying to get a further grasp on how health pools and average numbers are going these days for dodge parry mastery and health pools are.

    Any thoughts, suggestions, comments, concerns, or ideas for any of this and/or my gear would be hugely appreciated
    http://pwnwear.com/forum/tank-basics-f2.html

    There's allot to read there. I spent a great deal of time between EJ's and this site in an attempt to be a better resource for my other half. There are about 3 spec's that are very viable and the camps are divided; in the end, you are going to have to do what you feel most comfortable with.

    http://elitistjerks.com/f72/t110102-...e_tanking_4_x/
    This is the main EJ thread and it's really easy to get lost there- but here's the section I ran into and it led me to some very good reading:

    http://pwnwear.com/forum/avoidance-b...35.html#p14021

    If you like, I have a ton of material (I'm a note taker as I read, so I can send it your way). I did this because of complaints of DK tank being hard to heal- which was not the case when conferring with the main healer core (it was a substitute used in a pinch). However, the resulting gemming/reforging change increased survivability greatly; and he went with the avoidance/stam similar to some other DK tanks - and yes, well below hit currently.

    Send me a PM if you want that information. Best of luck!
    Breaking Out Fat Bright Crayons for the raid challenged since 2005!
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatrikL View Post
    One should be careful to write statements like that. It is by no means a generally accepted fact that one shouldnt use mostly stamina gems.
    While I understand what you mean, I did go on to explain that I don't think that using stamina gems is a bad thing, or that it should be avoided. Just that by stacking, I mean just going straight stamina, with no consideration for any of the other tanking attributes. Also not entirely sure what you mean by gems not being as important. And then of course by generally accepted, I meant just in terms of looking at the issue from a theory crafting perspective. Not from the eyes of the general population.

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    Dear Neth,

    I will have to say that I agree with many of the points you made in your response and that i greatly appreciate your post and response. I guess that I only have somethings that I would like to clarify/question.

    The disagreement inst that my guildy and I have (he is also a dk tank btw ) is that we both have similar avoidance but my health is tad higher than his and his mastery is a few points higher due to a gear difference. my point isnt necessarily that you should stack stam through gems so much as that its incredibly important unto you are a good solid level. I have seen hundreds of different tanks while on my healer in heroics that have such low health that they just arent capable of surviving. I feel as if the extra effective health gives healers more breathing room when it comes to healing you, you may not get healed to full at first, but the thought that if you were you could take more before you died is still massively appealing to me. That might just be though because every time i see a tank with super low health my heart just drops.

    As for the glyph description, I know a lot of fights are spike dmg nowadays and they only deal so much damage during that time, I prefer the not glyphing because i can pop that right before the damage and survive by a decent amount and not die from a stupid melee hit or something.

    A good example is the Ozruk encounter in Heroic Stonecore, His shatter ability hits you for 150k standard, maybe a little more or less. I can pop vampiric blood right before he smashes me and still have 45k left over because i jumped to 197k versus the standard 160k. that difference would only leave me with 15k and a chance to get owned right after the attack. I feel like this happens to a lot of tanks and I know that myself as a healer went haha you just got one shot, i couldn't even save you.

    As far as the DS goes for having good timing, I can easily say that I don't even though I hope the 4.0.6 changes go then it will be really nice.

    Dear Onxy,

    I appreciate the websites as well. I did read up on the elitestjerks forum and thats where i got most of my arguments from, it really is a nice read, lots of props to those guys. If you could I would most definitely appreciate any links or good credited research. I do know one thing about research just from being in college right now alone that most statistics are not super clear or interpreted the right way. with that said tho, i would gladly follow up on reading and I'm always down for a good discussion

    I have gone over my spec and done more reading on it, I believe i just respecced my tank but i need to have a little more time with my tank to see how it fairs,

    Thanks guys, looking forward to more responses ^_^

  7. #7
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    also, i forgot, I never use blood tap, maybe im just good with the piano, but i feel like im never waiting on rune cds. and threat is never a problem with me.

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    Didn't say you were having trouble, just that the Death Strike glyph is inferior. And I get what you're saying about Ozruk, though personally I would avoid that damage altogether. Seems sort of unnecessary to take the hit and have your healer try and bring you back up than to never take the damage anyway. Which is the entire point of avoidance/mastery.

    And Elitist Jerks usually bases their findings both on math and logical returns - they say most of the same things I've been saying.

    Blood Tap and Empower Rune Weapon are both incredibly important cooldowns because they offer you back your runes. I'm sure in the raid content you go up against you'll find the need for them.

    I'll follow up with my own experience in heroic Deadmines against Admiral Ripsnarl (I don't have a full tanking set, had to tank because our tank was having connection issues). I only had about 138k health for that fight, which I'm not sure if that seems low to you, but I also have a decent amount of avoidance and mastery working for my set. As I'm sure you're aware, he periodically enrages and does significant amounts of damage to the tank. My healer would not have been able to keep me up if I hadn't had the CDs and mitigation from my trinkets that I did, but it wasn't a matter of how much health I had, just of being able to keep the health that I had. Because the flip side of this coin was the tank I mentioned that had the connection issues goes the same route that you have, and hasn't been able to get past the boss (though his average gear isn't as good as yours, just close enough to mine to be able to make the comparison). On other trash pulls, the healer almost never had to heal me because my blood shield and DS would keep me from taking the majority of the damage that the adds put out.

    I would also reference Lore's most recent episode of PST for support against the need to stack stamina.

    EDIT: Not sure where you are going with your spec, looks like increased damage overall... What are you doing exactly? Though I see you replaced the DS glyph. By the way if you do start using blood tap, you'll need that glyph so you aren't dealing damage to yourself when you use it.
    Last edited by Netheras; 01-29-2011 at 09:20 AM. Reason: checked spec

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    I would definately move the points from Morbidity to Rune Tap, and maybe Hand of doom with all the caster adds needing CC'd you can't always count on having a dps with the appropriate CC for a caster.

    And as for the gemming not sure where your going there either?
    Definately a bit stam heavy and you reforged one of your items exp- to hit then gemmed exp?
    "It's always the Healer's fault; unless it's the Tanks fault, just ask the DPS'er in purples doing 5k!"

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    just wanted to note, I did a lot of reforging and I got super lucky in BoT, any thoughts on the new gear, gems, and chants?

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    Went over your reforging and gemming etc. Looks like you've started heading towards the mastery side, although for your weapon, I would reforge the crit off of it, as expertise will do you more good than the crit will. The hit gemming and expertise gemming seems a bit wasted, as with your Virulence set up and your hit already at around 4% without them, you should be spell hit capped against any adds you have to interrupt. Not to mention your expertise is at a nice area without the extra bit you get from the gemming (and that reforging off the weapon will cover any that you lose).

    Not much else to say, but still have to ask where you were going with the points in Morbidity. Seems like an arbitrary move, but not sure what you're tryin to do so *shrug*

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    Quote Originally Posted by Netheras View Post
    While I understand what you mean, I did go on to explain that I don't think that using stamina gems is a bad thing, or that it should be avoided. Just that by stacking, I mean just going straight stamina, with no consideration for any of the other tanking attributes. Also not entirely sure what you mean by gems not being as important. And then of course by generally accepted, I meant just in terms of looking at the issue from a theory crafting perspective. Not from the eyes of the general population.
    Ok I probably missunderstod you there. I dont read stacking as only stamina gems an nothing else but rather if stamina is what you gem mostly for (pure stamina gems and/or hydrib gems).

    What I meant that gems are less important than ever was that the relative values of gems is much smaller today than it was at the end of wrath. We have far less sockets still but also the stat values you can get from gems is much smaller compared to the stat values from the gear than it was before.

    And latsly about the generally accepted, I still say you are a bit narrow minded about it. I wasnt talking about the general population either, the theorycrafting crowd hasnt even decided completely on how best to value the different stats. While stamina is not favored as much as it was in wrath, it might still be king even if that doesnt mean one should gem solely for it. Just because things have changed a bit doesnt mean all stat weights have been reversed completely.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alexandar View Post

    A good example is the Ozruk encounter in Heroic Stonecore, His shatter ability hits you for 150k standard, maybe a little more or less. I can pop vampiric blood right before he smashes me and still have 45k left over because i jumped to 197k versus the standard 160k. that difference would only leave me with 15k and a chance to get owned right after the attack. I feel like this happens to a lot of tanks and I know that myself as a healer went haha you just got one shot, i couldn't even save you.
    Why would you ever let this hit you?

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    Quote Originally Posted by PatrikL View Post
    And latsly about the generally accepted, I still say you are a bit narrow minded about it. I wasnt talking about the general population either, the theorycrafting crowd hasnt even decided completely on how best to value the different stats. While stamina is not favored as much as it was in wrath, it might still be king even if that doesnt mean one should gem solely for it. Just because things have changed a bit doesnt mean all stat weights have been reversed completely.
    First: If you have no idea how I will take the changes to stat values as they may change in the future, you have no place assuming that I am narrow-minded about those stat weights. Personally, I make sure to do enough research on the subject that I can convince myself that, again, STACKING stamina is generally accepted as not the best course to take (looking here from both a DK's perspective and as a tank in general) because sacrificing all of the avoidance and mitigation stats for what is just one part of a tank's ability to survive in an encounter is just not viable.

    Second: Things have changed a lot more than a bit, and you'd have to agree that with both the healing changes, encounter design around those changes, the massive health increase and the sudden addition of a new stat that also affects tanking, the game isn't like it was in Wrath. With that said, I still haven't said that the stat weights are completely reversed, just that Stamina is not the way to "win" to the exclusion of all else. Do I think it takes a back seat in comparison to all the other stats? Well I still said that even half stamina gems are to be expected on anyone's gear, so I don't think I'm saying that either.

    Third: While the current theorycrafting on the subject hasn't exactly finished, I believe it has still drawn some useful conclusions bout the stats as a general guideline for their use and therefore guidelines on what DK tanks should look at. What I said earlier about stamina falls into those guidelines. Because they are guidelines, and not rules, it is all still subject to change, and how the raid makeup and difficulty of the encounter shapes up to be.

    I don't think you're wrong in that I am focusing the conversation away from stamina here, but I do so because I favor (through my own research) the avoidance/mastery side of a tank's survivability, and the possibility that the OP was perhaps too focused on the fact that only through more health would he survive an encounter as a tank, which is just not true.

    If you have anything more to say, feel free to PM me. I don't believe you're helping the OP at this point, or furthering the discussion. If you want to push any more of your own points or feelings on stamina as a stat weight, I believe you can do so without referring to me, as you can convince me of any of your points by just giving examples and by showing the relevant theorycrafting from other posts here.
    Last edited by Netheras; 01-31-2011 at 11:12 AM.

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    as a note for why i would ever get hit with that - it happens, better to save yourself and not wipe the group

    Neth, as far as morbidity goes, I like death and decay, a lot, i use it all the time on bosses and the such because with the increased duration and damage, it does quite a lot. its also good for doing heroics still too, once i get into just raiding, im more than likely going to change it, but for now, i still need it for keeping big groups. and yea i redid the reforging ... again because i was screwing around with avoidance, i didnt see the going up to 17% parry and 15.5% dodge as big enough to be a game changer without my health going up substantially to soak up the damage from being a stam avoidance tank yet, im just not as good as the other guys posted about earlier.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Netheras View Post
    If you have anything more to say, feel free to PM me. I don't believe you're helping the OP at this point, or furthering the discussion. If you want to push any more of your own points or feelings on stamina as a stat weight, I believe you can do so without referring to me, as you can convince me of any of your points by just giving examples and by showing the relevant theorycrafting from other posts here.
    I still think using statements like "it is generally accepted" is a bad way to try to enhance an argument.

    For the record I never said anything about how good/bad stamina was. I can't very well push my points if I never made them now can I? In fact I never said anything was better than anything else, just that it MIGHT be.

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